Persimmons and Pomegranates

If you live in southern California, you would think it’s summer. It’s been 90 degrees this week. Walk through a farmers market though, and you realize summer is over with. Berries, and stone fruits have pretty much disappeared. They have been replaced with apples, pears, persimmons and pomegranates.  I’m fortunate enough to have a pomengrate tree in the backyard, and today I picked my first “ripe” pomegranate of the season. At the farmers market, I overheard a farmer say that pomegranates are best picked when the skin is starting to crack. When shopping for pomegranates look for one that’s similar to the one pictured below:

Pomegranates have been toted as preventing and curing certain diseases such as heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction. The question is who’s funding the research? For the most part it’s the juice company POM Wonderful, they have spent more then $34 million dollars to back-pomegranate based scientific research. The truth is: “Any consumer who sees Pom Wonderful products as a silver bullet against disease has been misled,” David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. If you think pomegranates are going to decrease your chance of becoming ill, they most likely won’t, but are there benefits to eating pomegranates? Of course! Pomegranates are a good source of Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and they contain antioxidants and fiber(you have to eat the seeds for the fiber).  If you enjoy pomegranate juice try making your own for instructions click here. When you purchase pomegranate juice from the store it’s been flash pasteurized, so nutrients are lost. Not to mention it’s been sitting in a plastic bottle for probably a couple of weeks. The easiest way to de-seed a pomegranate is in water. For a video tutorial click here.

Persimmons. There are two different types the Hachiya which has an acorn-like shape, and isn’t ready until it’s very soft like a very ripe tomato. I like to slice them up and cook them in bacon fat, or toss them into a salad.  The other type is a fuyu(pictured below) and looks more like a tomato. Their texture is more like an apple, where you can just bite into it. They are my personal favorite, and perfect in salads. The orange color signifies that they are high in beta carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A. They are a good source of Vitamin C, Manganese, and Fiber. 

  • Pomegranate and Persimmon Salad
  • Lettuce
  • Handful of Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1/4th of a Persimmon sliced
  • 4-6 Crispy Pecans
  • Sprouts
  • Dressing: Olive Oil and Vinegar(I used Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Peach Vinegar)

Sources:

LA Times: FTC targets Pom juice health claims
Nutrition Data: Pomegranates
Nutrition Facts: Persimmons
Pomegranate juice the king of antioxidants

This post is part of Fight Back Friday

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Asian Meatballs with Sesame Lime dressing

I’m always looking for new recipes that use ground meat. Since organically raised meat costs more then conventional meat, one of the easiest ways to lower costs is to purchase ground meat. I found a recipe that will work with ground turkey, pork or a combination or beef and pork. This recipe was very simple and tastes great!

 

  • Meatball ingredients:
  • 1 lb. of ground meat(I used turkey)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 Tablespoon of finely minced ginger root
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos or soy sauce(Gluten Free)
  • 2 teaspoons of Asian Sesame Oil

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowel, mix well and form into meatballs. You can either cook them on the stove in a pan with a healthy fat such as bacon fat, lard, tallow or coconut oil. I used a combination of bacon fat and coconut oil. After 4-5 minutes check to see if they have browned and flip them over. The other option is to bake them. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven and set the oven temperature to 500*F. Place meatballs in a glass baking dish and cook for 15 minutes.

  • Dipping Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons of Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 2 teaspoons of Asian Sesame Oil
  • 1 clove of minced garlic(optional)

Mix all ingredients. When the meatballs are ready sprinkle them with cilantro springs, now I thought it said cilantro stems so thats why you see stems in my picture. You can either dip the meatballs in the sauce or poor it on. I served it with steamed cauliflower and broccoli.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday

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Lamb Meatballs with Lemon-Cumin Yogurt

I love finding simple lamb recipes, when I cook with lamb I usually make Indian dishes which take at least an hour to make. This was a nice simple recipe that didn’t take too long to prepare and tasted great.

  • Ingredients for the meatballs:
  • 1 pound of ground lamb
  • 1/4th cup of diced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped ( I love garlic so used 4)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Ingredients for yogurt:
  • 6 ounces of whole-milk Greek yogurt or Goat yogurt( I used goat yogurt)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the meatballs mix all ingredients in a large bowl and mix throughly with your hands. Form into balls. To cook them you can either place them on a baking sheet in the oven at 375*F for 20-25 minutes. I decided to fry them, I fried them in a combination of bacon fat/coconut oil, turn them over every 3-5 minutes until the are no longer pink in the middle. It took approximately 15 minutes to cook them.

While the meatballs are cooking, combine all of the yogurt ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper( I forgot to do this, and it tasted fine).  Mix well and serve with meatballs.

This recipe is part of Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday.

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