Give Your St. Patrick’s Day Menu a Boost with Watercress

 

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, there is an image of a smoothie with watercress in it, a hand holds a bunch of Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress and there is an image of dewey clover leafsGreen beer, leprechaun decorations and corned beef and cabbage are ubiquitous staples for many people on St. Patrick’s Day. But did you know many of these customs were adopted in the US as over a million of Irish people emigrated in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. Prior to then, the Irish customarily ate lamb or bacon on St. Patrick’s Day in their native country. Cattle was primarily for dairy products and beef was too expensive for the average Irish person. 

If you’re planning a St. Patrick’s Day dinner, deviate from typical corned beef and cabbage main course. Instead, try a few our favorite recipes with one of our favorite veggies, watercress, which will “beef” up your nutritional intake for the day.

Top o’ the morning to you! Start your day off right by tossing a handful of Pete’s Living Greens Organic Living Watercress or  Living Upland Cress into your AM smoothie. It’s also a great remedy for those who may have imbibed in a little too much green beer. This recipe inspired by Carrie on Vegan will keep you going during the long day of festivities. Plus, watercress and upland cress contain high levels of vitamin C, helping keep your immune system strong whether you’re braving the brisk air during a parade or partying into the wee hours.

If you are planning a tame evening with friends and family, take a cue from the Irish for your dinner menu. To start, serve these adorable shamrock tea sandwiches as a light appetizer. Guinness Risotto with Shrimp and Watercress is a sophisticated dish that balances the iconic Irish brew with the emerald, peppery superfood. If you want to experiment further, prepare Watercress Soup with Whiskey Cream from Food Network. Who said leafy greens and libations don’t go together?

After dinner, have the family reuse the plastic clamshells that hold our butter lettuce to make homemade St. Patty’s Day stencils. Go to about.com and Enchanted Learning for a few pointers and simple shamrock templates. May the luck of the Irish be with you as you prepare delicious and nutritious fare for your loved ones!

 

 

Go on a Moroccan Culinary Journey with our Lamb Couscous Salad

 

Take your family on a culinary journey this week to Morocco. The North African country is home to a vibrant culture with influences from Spain to Senegal to Portugal and beyond. Filled with an abundance of delicate spices and aromas, Moroccan cuisine satisfies a variety of palates from savory to sweet. Luckily you won’t have to make the journey to Tangier or Marrakesh in search of authentic fare with our Lamb Couscous salad. 

In addition to broadening your family’s horizons, this dish features vitamin-rich Bouquet  Lettuce, Upland Cress and lamb — a healthy and lean alternative to red meat. According to the American Lamb Council, “A 3-ounce serving of lamb provides nearly five times the essential omega-3 fatty acids and alpha linoleic acid of a 3-ounce serving of beef.”

Lamb also contains an average of 40% of monounsaturated fat, which is the same kind of fat found in olive oil. “Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Oils rich in monounsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of,” says the American Heart Association.

Serve the meal with a signature cup of Moroccan mint tea and close your eyes. You’ll swear that you’re right in the thick of a busy Moroccan Square taking in its sights and of course its bites.

Moroccan Lamb Couscous Salad
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. Meatballs
  2. 1 pound ground lamb
  3. ¼ cup bread crumbs
  4. ¼ cup red onion, minced
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  6. 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  9. ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  10. ½ teaspoon cumin
  11. ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  12. ¼ teaspoon pepper
  13. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  14. Salad
  15. 1 head Pete's Living Greens Bouquet Lettuce, torn into pieces
  16. 1 cup Pete's Living Greens Living Upland Cress
  17. ¼ cup raisins
  18. ½ cup dried apricots, sliced
  19. 2 Persian or ½ English cucumber, cut into half moons
  20. 1 cup cooked couscous)
  21. Creamy Mint Dressing
  22. 1 ½ cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  23. 2 clove garlic, minced
  24. 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  25. 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  26. 1 teaspoons lime zest
  27. ¼ teaspoon salt
  28. Freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400⁰ and line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
  2. To make the meatballs, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Shape mixture into 1 ½-inch meatballs. Place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet and bake uncovered 18 to 20 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Drain on paper towels.
  3. While meatballs are baking, combine salad ingredients.
  4. To prepare dressing, combine all ingredients and whisk until blended.
  5. Top salad with meatballs and drizzle with dressing.
Pete's Living Greens Blog http://www.livegourmet.com/wordpress/

Running into Fall: Eat Leafy Greens to Give Your Athletic Performance a Boost

 

A woman runs as the sun sets. Two images for leafy green salads accompany the runner photo.Marathon running may not be synonymous with fall pastimes like sipping pumpkin lattes or heading to the cider mill. Yet, thousands of diligent individuals are preparing for half and full marathons around the world this season. These athletes have to properly cross-train, fit in ample training time and stretch to successfully complete their goals. They also have to be mindful of what they eat. In fact, intense bouts of physical activity like marathon running deplete one’s antioxidant levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, plant-based foods, like Pete’s Living Upland Cress and Organic Watercress, are the best sources of antioxidants.

 Why are these substances important?

“Powerful antioxidants found in dark leafy greens, including lettuce, can benefit athletes by reducing damage to cells during exercise and in recovery,” says Barbara Ruhs, Arizona-based Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Expert. “In addition, leafy greens are a source of hydration and a variety of vitamins (vitamin C), minerals (potassium, magnesium) and nutrients (fiber) that may enhance athletic performance.”

When our bodies undergo physical exertion, we produce free radicals, and there is evidence linking free radical production to the process of aging and DNA and cell damage. Ruhs mentions a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition that found that subjects who consumed watercress daily before working out, experienced less DNA damage than their non-consuming watercress counterparts.

You don’t have to be a marathon runner to reap the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise regime.  The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week.  Our Pete’s Living Greens products are an excellent addition to a well-balanced diet for active individuals of all levels. Peruse our blog and Facebook page, for a variety of nutritional yet tasty recipes.

You can find Barbara Ruhs on Twitter at @BarbRuhsRD, Facebook, Pinterest and on http://www.neighborhoodnutrition.com/

 

Acai Bowls originated in Brazil…What?!

 

Though acai bowls have been popularized by US juice and smoothie establishments in recent years, the trendy dish actually originated in Brazil. The main component of the bowl is acai, which is a berry that comes from tall palm trees native to Central and South America (most notably in the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil).

According to Wedmd, “Some studies show that the fruit pulp has a very high antioxidant capacity with even more antioxidant content than the pulp of the cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry or blueberry.”

Grace McGuire of Nourish with Whole Foods combines acai powder with a variety of vitamin rich fruits and vegetables, including our very own watercress. In fact, our Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Brand of Living Organic Watercress are certified antioxidant greens and are superfoods like the delicious berries. What’s a superfood you ask? It’s an extremely nutrient-dense food that is very beneficial for maintaining good health.

Acai bowls make a great breakfast and will keep you going throughout the day! Pick up your favorite fruits along with our Living Watercress and acai powder to make your own unique bowl. Take a cue from Grace’s recipe to get started. Don’t forget to share photos of your creations with us by tagging us @LiveGourmet on social media.

Nourish with Whole Food’s Acai Bowl with Living Watercress
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup of raw coconut water
  2. 2 handfuls of organic spinach
  3. 1 handful of Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress OR Grower Pete’s Brand of Living Organic Watercress
  4. 1 cup or 4 frozen organic strawberries
  5. 1/2 cup of frozen organic blueberries
  6. 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  7. 1-2 tsp of Acai powder
  8. 1 sliced (frozen) banana
  9. 1 scoop of Amazing Grass Green Superfood (optional)
Instructions
  1. Blend on high and serve. Top with your favorite nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruit, coconut flakes or nut butter (pictured here).
Pete's Living Greens Blog http://www.livegourmet.com/wordpress/

8 Reasons to Eat Our Living Greens

 

Eight reasons to eat our Living Greens. Hollandia Produce varieties are brightly displayed.You’ve probably heard eating your greens, like our Living greens, is good for your waistband, but did you know they provide a number of health benefits? According to the USDA, “Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods… [And] these same antioxidants have also been proven to decrease the risk of heart disease.” 

Here at Hollandia Produce, our Living greens not only provide essential vitamins and antioxidants but they’re rooted in freshness and alive with flavor. Need more convincing?

Here are eight reasons to eat our Living greens.

  1. They have ample amounts of vitamins and minerals. Watercress and Upland Cress have as much vitamin C as an orange and more calcium than milk. Romaine Lettuce has more vitamin A than a carrot, and Butter Lettuce contains significant amounts of Vitamin K.
  1. Watercress helps the body recover from exercise-related oxidative stress. A study found that subjects who consumed watercress daily before working out, experienced less DNA damage than their non-consuming watercress counterparts.
  1. They keep your stress levels down. Researcher Joe Hibbeln says in a NPR article about stress and diet , “omega-3s [can help] make your stress system more flexible.” By consuming a head of Romaine lettuce, like our Living Baby Romaine, you’ll receive an ample amount of your recommended daily amount of Omega-3 essential fats
  1. They’re a great low-carb option. Use Living Butter Lettuce in place of sandwich bread, taco shells and wraps.
  1. Cress protects your eyes and skin. In addition to its vitamin A and C power, Watercress and Upland Cress contain lutein — an antioxidant found most notably in dark green leafy vegetables that supports eye health and vision. 
  1. Our Hydroponic growing system uses less water than conventional farming. It recycles water while limiting water loss due to evaporation. Moreover, our method produces nearly four times the yield per acre while using up to 84% less water than if our lettuce were field-grown (exact figures depend upon the region, soil structure, time of year and irrigation method used).
  1. They’re versatile! Add them to a diverse array of dishes, including trendy Acai bowls, grain bowls, juices and more.
  1. They’re the freshest greens you can buy. Living Baby Romaine, Butter Lettuce, Watercress and Upland Cress are sold with their roots attached to preserve maximum freshness.

Live Gourmet’s Favorite Springtime Watercress Salads

 

Spring has graced us with its presence for a number of weeks now. You’ve probably noticed that trees are blooming, more people are frequenting parks and a larger variety of produce is trickling into your neighborhood market. As the weather continues to warm, you may find yourself inclined to cook lighter with more seasonal ingredients.

grower-pete's-organic-watercressWhy not choose from the plethora of spring-inspired salads out there? We’ve picked our favorite ones just for you. What we also found during our search is that watercress proves to be an exemplary salad green.

Its peppery bite gives even the simplest of salads a new dimension. Moreover, it will boost your dish’s vitamin and mineral content. This versatile leafy green is loaded with phytonutrients, cancer-fighting antioxidants, and essential vitamins. One serving contains as much vitamin C as an orange, more calcium than a glass of milk, and tons of fiber.

Though these recipes are inspired by this season, you can still make them at any time in the year with our Living Watercress. Unlike traditional field growing, our greens are grown hydroponically in state-of-the-art greenhouses where we control light, temperature, humidity, and nutrients. While our growing cycle is mildly affected by seasonal changes, our greenhouse growing method allows us to grow your favorite LIVE GOURMET® and GROWER PETE’S® products with consistent uniformity year-round.

Watercress
Delish’s Watercress Salad with Verjus Vinaigrette

Here our Favorite Springtime Salads with our Living Watercress:

Delish’s Watercress Salad with Verjus Vinaigrette – This salad has a secret ingredient, Verjus, a pressed, unfermented juice of unripe grapes, which gives the greens a sweet and slightly acidic taste.

BBC Good Food turns the traditional salad on its head and incorporates watercress in the dressing.

Root vegetables like Chioggia beets and black radishes add a heirloom touch to Love and Lemon’s Spring Root Watercress Salad.

The sumac yogurt dressing gives Saveur’s Kohlrabi, Apple and Watercress Salad a Middle Eastern flair.

In Eating Well’s Asian-inspired salad, a warm sesame shallot vinaigrette is added. Perfect for the early—and perhaps sometimes chilly—days of spring!

How to Make Infused Body Oil with Live Gourmet Living Watercress

 

You’ve probably heard that our Living Watercress is the most nutrient-dense superfood, and a versatile ingredient to variety of culinary dishes from around the world. But what you may not know is that it’s also an excellent natural skin and hair remedy—it’s been known to even promote hair growth. If you need more convincing, read Leven Rose’s “10 Reasons Watercress Oil will Spice up your Beauty Routine.”

Watercress Infused OilThis week, we’re here to show how to make infused body oil with our Living Watercress (inspired by Grow Forage Cook Ferment and Herbal Academy of New England).

What You’ll Need

Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Living Watercress

A glass jar with a tight fitting lid

A mortar and pestle

A carrier oil (jojoba, olive, castor or apricot seed oils are great options)

Vitamin E oil, optional

Dark glass bottle with lid

Cheesecloth and strainer

Tip: Make sure your watercress is as dry as possible so that oil doesn’t become rancid during the infusion process. You can dry it out the old fashioned way—upside down in a well-ventilated space out of direct sunshine. But, if you’re short on time, you can put trimmed herbs in the microwave. For instructions, go to Serious Eats.

Instructions

  1. Once your watercress is as dry as possible, grind the greens in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Add approximately one ounce of watercress to ten ounces of oil in a clean, dry jar. Stir the mixture to get rid of any air bubbles which could cause oxidation and screw on lid tightly.
  3. Place the jar in a warm, sunny spot for approximately 4-6 weeks, checking on it every few days.
  4. After 4-6 weeks, strain the mixture with a cheese cloth-lined strainer into a bowl to separate the plant parts from the infused watercress oil.
  5. Transfer the oil into a dark glass bottle, add a few drops of Vitamin E oil (it helps keep the infused oil fresh) and secure with the lid and store in a cool dry place.

Want instant infused oil gratification? Try the slow cooker method as described on Pioneer Settler

Power Up Your Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Dinner with our Living Watercress 

 

shamrock_01_png_by_clipartcotttage-d7979djGreen beer, leprechaun decorations and corned beef and cabbage are ubiquitous staples for many people on St. Patrick’s Day. But did you many of these customs were adopted in the US as over a million of Irish people emigrated in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. Prior to then, the Irish customarily ate lamb or bacon on St. Patrick’s Day in their native country. Cattle was primarily for dairy products and beef was too expensive for the average Irishmen. 

If you’re planning a St. Patrick’s Day dinner, deviate from typical corned beef and cabbage main course. And instead, prepare a tasty roasted lamb and add a few vegetable sides to “beef” up the meal’s nutritional factor. 

The most nutrient dense vegetable that you can incorporate is our Living Watercress and Upland Cress varieties. Watercress is a significant source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye health and vision. The green leafy vegetable’s nutritional value doesn’t stop there.  One cup provides 106 percent of DV for vitamin K, 22 percent for vitamin A and 24 percent for vitamin C. 

Photo: YUKI SUGIURA via The Telegraph
Photo: Yuki Sugiura via The Telegraph

Combine a powerhouse side dish like the Telegraph’s baby potatoes with watercress with Martha Stewart’s stout braised lamb for an authentic and well balanced Irish meal. 

Do you have a watercress side that pairs well with your St. Patrick’s Day meal? Snap a photo of your culinary feat then share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us @LiveGourmet. We will share them with our foodie followers! 

Up Your Fruits and Veggies Intake this February by Juicing

 

February is a rough month for many of us. The holidays are a distant memory and, in some parts of the country, there are many gray days ahead before spring emerges. It’s easy to fall into patterns of unhealthy eating and little exercise when the weather is dismal. However, instead of hiding under the covers until the sun and warm weather returns, stay the course by practicing healthy eating habits.

watercress-apple-juice
Photo: juicing-for-health.com

To stay on track, add meals made with whole fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins and minerals to your daily diet. One way to do this is by juicing. CNN says, “New research shows eating up to seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day can have a significant impact on your lifespan. For those of us who don’t have time to cut up or cook two servings with every meal, juicing is an easy way to consume them on the go.”

Our Living Watercress and Upland Cress are excellent additions to juices. Based on its nutrient-to-calorie ratio, watercress is ranked highest on the nutrient scale. This versatile leafy green is loaded with phytonutrients, cancer-fighting antioxidants, and essential vitamins. In fact, one serving of this peppery flavored veggie contains as much vitamin C as an orange, more calcium than a glass of milk, and tons of fiber. The Detox Specialist has several whole food beverage recipes like its Tropical Watercress Detox Smoothie. We’ve included it in this post for you to try!

Share your own fresh juice concoctions, smoothies and more made with our Living Watercress and Live Gourmet on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Tag us @livegourmet!

The Detox Specialist’s Tropical Watercress Detox Smoothie
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup fresh or frozen mango cubes
  2. 3/4 cup fresh pineapple
  3. 1 small handful of Grower Pete’s™ Organic Living Watercress
  4. 1 large handful of organic baby spinach
  5. 1 cup pure water approx. Use less or more according to how thick you like your smoothie
  6. 1/2 teaspoon stevia powder (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the directions, go to http://thedetoxspecialist.com/blog/cleansing/tasty-watercress-recipes-for-body-cleansing/
Pete's Living Greens Blog http://www.livegourmet.com/wordpress/

Show Some Culinary Love this Valentine’s Day During American Heart Month

 

OV26AOMUMIFebruary is American Heart Month, and according to the CDC, nearly 1 in 3 deaths in the US each year is caused by heart disease and stroke. At least 200,000 deaths from heart disease and stroke each year are preventable. What can you do prevent heart disease? Stop smoking, incorporate a daily exercise regime, and maintain a healthy and balanced diet says the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Eating foods such as leafy greens and vibrantly colored fruits that contain flavonoids, plant compounds found in various foods and drinks, are rich antioxidants that are thought to help prevent cell damage. A Finnish study concluded that a high intake of flavonoids could be protective against heart disease.

Our Living Watercress and Upland Cress are among those fruits and vegetables that are excellent sources of flavonoids and other impactful antioxidants. Show some culinary love this Valentine’s Day by preparing a meal that’s heart healthy and high in vitamins and minerals.

datwatercresssssssFirst, pick up our Grower Pete’s Brand Organic Living Watercress or Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress at your local market. Then, start with Food Network UK’s Bruschetta with Gorgonzola, Balsamic Figs, Mint and Watercress or Food 52’s Oyster’s Rockefeller (which are thought to be an aphrodisiac) with Watercress and Greens. Is your sweetheart a vegetarian? Don’t fret. You can still cook a romantic meal that meets both of your dietary needs without sacrificing flavor, like Sainsburys Magazine’s Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Watercress Mint Pesto. Last, but certainly not least, indulge in a bottle of red wine or dark chocolate. They too are rich in flavonoids!