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As I have written in the past, I firmly believe in eating as seasonally as possible. Many times, foods are available year round only because of greenhouses, imports, and of course modern methods of storage/food preservation...even concerning what should be fresh food. This can make it hard for people to know just what is in season and what is not.
So, just what are some AB friendly summer foods? Eggplant, squashes (like zucchini, patty pan, sunburst, and yellow squash), cucumbers, garlic, shallots (sorta like a cross between an onion and garlic in flavor), ginger, red leaf lettuce, green beans, Yukon gold potatoes (be wary of these if weight loss is a goal, in my experience they can slow it down, and that is true of any potato), melons (honeydew, muskmelon (called cantaloupe in the USA) and, watermelon), cherries (one of my personal favorites), peaches, figs (another personal favorite), plums, berries (black, blue, raspberry, etc.), and my long awaited basil! There’s also thyme (yum), sage, rosemary, chives, oregano, parsley, dill, cilantro, and mint to name just a few off the top of my head. Tomatoes will be coming in soon, too!
Why was I waiting impatiently for basil to return? I don’t like to pay the prices for the fresh basil that the groceries charge. What do I do with it? Three favorites are adding it to spinach salads, make pesto (I use manchego for the Parmesan), and Caprese and Panzanella salads. Another one is Pizza Margherita. Have you ever had a turkey bacon, basil, lettuce & tomato sandwich?
It’s time to get out my tart pan. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a tomato tart and I miss ‘em. A nut crust filled with fresh fruits makes a very nice dessert tart. I am particularly partial to flavoring the cream cheese based filing with some canned crushed pineapple and then topping it with pieces of strawberry, kiwi, and blueberries.
To keep the fruit on the tart looking glossy and fresh, brush it gently with a little bit of melted 100% fruit apricot preserves. Want chocolate? How about a dark chocolate & raspberry (or blueberry) tart? How about fruit pies?
How about something to add a little extra to your table (but you don't necessarily want to eat it)? There’re nasturtiums, pansies, and roses. Lavender is available now, too, if you have any musty places that could use some scent.
Vanilla beans have come down in price in my Penzeys Spices catalogue. They’re nice to bury in a container of sugar. Later, when the weather turns cool again, use both the vanilla flavored sugar and the bean itself in your baking.
Speaking of vanilla, I want to add a reminder to check your labels - even those brands you have become familiar with as blood type friendly. The ingredients used can and does change from time to time.
For example, the brand of vanilla extract that I bought recently has corn syrup in it. A tomato sauce brand that I purchased as a matter of routine now has green bell peppers in it. That’s fine for my O husband, but not me.
One last thing before I end this blog. Since my last entry, I have started dry body brushing before I take my shower. I would like to recommend it. It feels very good. So good in fact that I went out and also got a man's shaving brush to use dry on my face in addition to the big brush that I use on the rest of me. I now understand, at least in part, why pets like to be brushed all over regardless of whether they are dogs, cats, or horses.