Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

March is National Nutrition Month

MediLodge of Howell celebrates National Nutrition Month and encourages you to incorporate healthier food in to your diet. Nutrition involves monitoring the food and drink that is necessary for living. Nutrition is important for living a healthy lifestyle. By practicing proper nutrition, you can have a healthy body and long life. There are some things you should know about nutrition and the information in this article can help you with a few tips to show you just how easy it is to incorporate good nutrition into your life.

We eat vegetables both cooked and raw. Which is better? Raw vegetables have their advocates. But current studies show that most vegetables have higher nutritional value and are more digestible when cooked. Carrots and cabbage are tasty eaten raw, but many vegetables are palatable only when cooked. Steaming is the best method to retain food value.

March is National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month

Seniors can live longer, stay sharp mentally longer and maintain a high quality of life longer, with good nutrition every day. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables help keep bones stronger, which reduces the risk of fractures. The nutrients in fruits and vegetables can also reduce recuperation times in the event a fracture occurs.

Introduce food to your young children gradually. If they are small, expect them to want to touch and smell the food first. Don’t chide then for doing this, or they may have a negative impression of the food and refuse to eat it. Help them to get a grasp on the color, texture, and smell of the food.

As stated earlier, nutrition includes monitoring the food and drink that is necessary for living. Nutrition keeps people healthy and proper nutrition is essential for a long life. Using the information in this article, you can practice proper nutrition and live a long and healthy life.

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MediLodge of Howell

MediLodge of Howell

December is National Fruit Cake Month!

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef, MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

Hello again to all MediLodge friends and family! Has everyone put away all the summer clothes, and broke out all the sweaters and long underwear? It is admittedly a dismal time in the Burchell household. But fear not! The joys of the holiday season are nearly upon us. December is both an end and a beginning… the end of another year and the beginning of winter (although technically speaking this doesn’t happen until Jan. 21, tell my body that when the temperature is below freezing and the car needs scraped before heading to work).

December is also National Fruit Cake Month! Yay! The fruit cake…given as gifts during the holiday season, it would seem, has been around since time immemorial. Some like it, some absolutely hate it. There isn’t a whole lot of in between on this one. I used to be in the hate category, but I do believe that had a lot to do with public opinion at the time, which really hasn’t changed in the few decades that I’ve been aware of this holiday confection. Now however, I really do like fruit cake. But not your run of the mill, very dry almost stale types, that get re-gifted 3 times over. There does exist in the world very moist, dense, and superbly flavorful fruitcakes.

The oldest reference that can be found regarding a fruit cake dates back to Roman times. The recipe included pomegranate seeds. Pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. Honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added during the Middle Ages. Crusaders and hunters were reported to have carried this type of cake to sustain themselves over long periods of time away from home. Mail-order fruit cakes in America began in 1913. Some well-known American bakers of fruit cake include Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, and The Claxton Bakery in Claxton, Georgia. Both Collin Street and Claxton are Southern companies with access to cheap nuts, for which the expression “nutty as a fruitcake” was derived in 1935.

Commercial fruit cakes are often sold from catalogs by charities as a fund raiser. Most American mass-produced fruit cakes are alcohol-free, but traditional recipes are saturated with liqueurs or brandy and covered in powdered sugar, both of which prevent mold. Brandy- or wine-soaked linens can be used to store the fruit cakes, and some people feel that fruit cakes improve with age. If a fruit cake contains alcohol, it could remain edible for many years. For example, a fruit cake baked in 1878 is kept as an heirloom by a family (Morgan L. Ford) in Tecumseh, Michigan. In 2003 it was sampled by Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. To lengthen the shelf life of a fruit cake, wrap the cake in alcohol soaked linen before storing. I actually think I would enjoy sampling this fruit cake! Now I have never had the opportunity to make a fruit cake, so I am going to include a recipe from the Food Network. I have examined this recipe, which is from one of my favorite chef ’s, Alton Brown, and do believe it has the makings of an excellent holiday gift!

Free Range Fruitcake

Ingredients:Alton Brown Free Range Fruitcake
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup currants
1/2 cup sun dried cranberries
1/2 cup sun dried blueberries
1/2 cup sun dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
Zest of one lemon, chopped coarsely
Zest of one orange, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
1 cup gold rum
1 cup sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter
(1 1/4 sticks)
1 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 whole cloves, ground
6 allspice berries, ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pecans, broken
Brandy for basting and/or spritzing

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325°F.
1. Combine dried fruits, candied ginger and both zests. Add rum and macerate overnight, or microwave for 5 minutes to rehydrate fruit.
2. Place fruit and liquid in a nonreactive pot with the sugar, butter, apple juice and spices. Bring mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes. (Batter can be completed up to this point, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before completing cake.)
3. Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mixture. Quickly bring batter together with a large wooden spoon, then stir in eggs one at a time until completely integrated, then fold in nuts. Spoon into a 10-inch non-stick loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again.
4. Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack or trivet. Baste or spritz top with brandy and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.
5. When cake is completely cooled, seal in a tight sealing, food safe container. Every 2 to 3 days, feel the cake and if dry, spritz with brandy. The cake’s flavor will enhance considerably over the next two weeks. If you decide to give the cake as a gift, be sure to tell the recipient that they are very lucky indeed.

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MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

What’s Thanksgiving Without Pumpkin Pie?

MediLodge of PlymouthMediLodge of Plymouth loves pumpkin pie, standard fare at most Thanksgiving feasts. Many of us look forward to eating it for dessert once a year. However, if you are tired of that thick, sweet piece of pie at the end of this already-filling meal, consider some interesting alternatives.

Pumpkin is a very nutritious fruit — not a vegetable as most of us believe. Its scientific name is “cucurbita maxima,” which reflects the possibility of its “maximum” size. In fact, The World Pumpkin Federation reports the largest pumpkin ever grown weighed more than 1,000 pounds! There are about 26 varieties of pumpkin, ranging in color from bright orange to pale yellow and green.

You can find pumpkin mixed into soups, salads, main dishes, desserts (other than pies) and even drinks. Here are a few different ideas to get your culinary juices flowing: pumpkin soup, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin-chicken chili, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin muffins, scones, cookies, bars and breads, pumpkin butter, pumpkin-pecan cheesecake, pumpkin beer, pumpkin fudge,and pumpkin creme brulee. Recipes for these and many other pumpkin dishes are plentiful and readily available at your favorite online recipe site when you put “pumpkin” in the search box provided by the site.

MediLodge of PlymouthIf you want to start a new pumpkin tradition, roasted pumpkin seeds are easy-to-make and not as time-consuming as baking a pumpkin pie. It is a fun multi-generational activity which can be enjoyed by children all the way up to senior citizens as your Thanksgiving Day unfolds. Here are step-by-step directions: Rinse the seeds in cold water and remove the pulp and fibers, then drain and blot dry. Coat the pumpkin seeds with melted butter or vegetable oil and sprinkle lightly with salt or your favorite seasoning. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. One four pound pumpkin will yield approximately two cups of seeds. If you roast some of the seeds and plant others, next year you will have your very own pumpkin patch. Then you can select from pumpkins you have grown for use in recipes, thereby starting another tradition for you and your family!

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For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge of Plymouth

MediLodge of Plymouth

Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips

Here in Michigan we have a big sports weekend coming up.  The Tigers start their playoff run tonight.  The Lions take on the Packers on Sunday.  The Red Wings have just started their season and Michigan and Michigan State hit the field this weekend.  It sounds like the perfect time for a healthy recipe for something to snack on while you enjoy the game.

This recipe comes to us from MediLodge of St. Clair as their “Recipe of the Month.”

Ingredients

2 kiwis, peeled and dicedfruit salsa cinammon chips

2 golden Delicious apples-peeled, cored and diced

8 ounces raspberries

1 (16 oz.) carton of strawberries, diced

2 T. white sugar

1 T. brown sugar

3 T. fruit preserves, any flavor

10 (10 in.) flour tortillas

Cinnamon sugar:

1 cup white sugar

2 T. cinnamon

Instructions

1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter. Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet.

4. Bake in a preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

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MediLodge of St Clair

MediLodge of St Clair

Foods That Help Hydrate from MediLodge of Yale

On a hot day, you know that a bottle of water is a must to stay healthy and hydrated. But eating certain foods can also help fight thirst while replenishing your body with vitamins and minerals. And make sure you know the warning signs of dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, sleepiness, headache and dizziness. To ward off dehydration, bring one of these snacks to the beach or enjoy a fruit or vegetable salad for lunch, then avoid the foods below that can dry you up.

Hydrating FoodsMediLodge of Yale

Strawberries: These in-season fruits are 91% water and contain folate and vitamin C.

Oranges: At 87% water content, oranges are hydrating and full of healthy vitamin C.

Iceberg lettuce: This lettuce is made up of 96% water, but it’s lacking in the nutrient department. You can try mixing it up with darker green lettuces, like romaine and spinach, for an interesting and varied salad that packs plenty of vitamins.

Cooked squash: Work squash into a yummy dinner stir-fry to gain the hydrating benefits of this 94% water vegetable.

Dehydrating Foods

Ice cream: Any food full of simple sugars, such as ice cream and candy bars, dehydrates the body because of the amount of water the body uses to break down those sugars. So if you’re strolling down the boardwalk with an ice cream cone, make sure you have your water bottle with you, too!

Nuts: A Planters mix might not be the best beach snack. Peanuts are only 2% water, and they contain protein, which has been found to dehydrate the body.

Alcohol: You probably know this one! Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more frequently, which can lead to dehydration. To keep thirst at bay, and potentially avoid a nasty hangover, drink one glass of water after every alcoholic drink you have in an evening.

Infused water is a great way to refresh that glass of water. How about a ice smoothie or fruit smoothie. Iced Tea. Add ice in a blender. Add lemon if you like. There are many flavored teas out there: peach ginger is one of my “flavorites.” Chill and add ice. So pour a nice cool glass of that H2O and chill out this summer. Stop in the office for some infused water recipes.

From the desk of Charlene Wheaton CDM and Chef Bob, MediLodge of Yale

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MediLodge of Howell Celebrates National Watermelon Month in August

Watermelon, an Ingredient for Skin Care

Watermelon can be called more than a thirst quencher. With so many benefits lined up in its name it is not coincidence that it is stated as one of the favorite fruits for many people. It has been used in many forms such as fresh juices, smoothies, as well as pickles depending on your taste. As it is rich in fat and protein it is widely used as a favorite snack. Watermelon servings per day would help you in the long run. It helps you with conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer and arthritis. It has nature’s best source of antioxidants. These antioxidants help in neutralizing the free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause lot of damage to your body. Watermelon is very useful for removing blemishes on the skin. It was termed to be one of the treasured gifts of Native American. Rich in A, B and C vitamins keeps the skin fresh, radiant and hydrated. The acids in the fruits act as exfoliates. Watermelon seed oil is also beneficial for your body. The presence of omega 6 and omega 9 essential fatty acids helps the skin immensely. This oil has a very good absorption level which readily penetrates the skin and dissolves the sebum buildup. It proves to be a good for skin care, due to its moisturizing properties. The non-greasy oil helps to smooth your skin by refurbishing the elasticity of the skin. It is widely used as massage oil, baby oil, facials, face creams, salt scrubs, shower bath as well as hair oil.

watermelonBeautifying Watermelon Recipes:

Watermelon Toner

You would require 1 cup watermelon pieces, 2 tbsp. witch hazel (a shrub), and 2 tbsp. water.

Preparation: Blend the watermelon pieces in a blender. Strain the liquid. Add witch hazel and water in the blended juice. Dab this juice on your face using a cotton ball. This mixture is rich in sugar and vitamins like A and B. The strong astringent properties and water content gets you a fresh and clean face.

Works as a Exfoliate

Mash a cup of watermelon chunks and then apply this paste on your face. Find a place to relax for 10 minutes. Rinse it later. It is a process of natural facelift helping in cleansing and tightening the skin.

For Dry Skin

Mash a cup of watermelon chunks mixed with a banana. Banana acts like a binding agent enhancing the effect of the watermelon.”

For Oily Skin

Yogurt and watermelon are a great combination for oily skin. By applying this mixture on your face, it assists in the process of exfoliation. The lactic acid in the yogurt does wonders on your skin.

You should exercise precaution when using the recipes from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to them.

WatermelonsMelon Surprise Recipe

1 cantaloupe or other small melon

2 cups fresh fruit

Granulated sugar

1/4 cup Marsala wine, sweet sherry or 1 tablespoon Kirsch

6 oz cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons milk

Chopped nuts

Start this dish at least a couple of hours before you intend to serve it. Peel the whole cantaloupe, muskmelon, honeydew melon or other small melon. Cut a piece off one end to make a 4- to 5 inch round opening. Scoop out the seeds then remove most of the melon flesh in bite-size pieces leaving a wall thick enough to contain the filling.

Toss the melon pieces with about 2 cups of fresh raspberries or strawberries, fresh, frozen or canned pineapple chunks or peach slices, grapes etc. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and 1/4 cup of Marsala wine, sweet sherry or 1 tablespoon of Kirsch. Fill the center of the melon with the tossed fruit mixture; replace the top.

Blend the softened cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of milk and use this mixture to frost the outside of the melon. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the cheese. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

To serve, stand the melon on a plate and surround it with leftover fruit.

One melon makes 3 or 4 servings.

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MediLodge of Howell

MediLodge of Howell

August is National Peach Month

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef, MediLodge of Monroepeaches

Well it looks like the dog days of summer have set upon us. Goodbye rainy cold June, and hello suffocating humidity of July and August. I’d rather have it hot I must say. Without this good heat, most summer crops would not be of as high a quality. August is National Peach Month. I don’t know if I can think of any other fruit that is as delicious as a perfectly ripe peach, bursting with juice that runs down your chin….yum!

The peach is a deciduous tree, native to North-West China, where it was first domesticated and cultivated. It bears an edible juicy fruit also called a peach. The species name persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia. Peaches and nectarines are the same species, even though they are regarded commercially as different fruits. Nectarines have an orange center and faint fuzz, while peaches have white centers and very fuzzy skin. Important historical peach-producing areas are China, Iran, Mediterranean countries such as France, Italy, Spain and Greece, and more recently, the United States (where the three largest producing states are California, South Carolina, and Georgia).

In the early 17th century George Minifie, a horticulturist from England, brought the first peaches to the New World colonies, planting them at his estate in Virginia. It was our early American Indian tribes who actually spread the peach tree across our country, taking seeds with them and planting them as they traveled these United States. Georgia is known as the “Peach State” because of the production of its peaches.

In Korea, peaches have been cultivated from ancient times. According to history, peach trees were planted during the Three Kingdoms of Korea period. The peach is seen as the fruit of happiness, riches, honors and longevity. It is one of the ten immortal plants and animals, so peaches appear in many folk paintings. Peaches and peach trees are believed to chase away spirits, so peaches are not placed on tables for jesa (ancestor veneration), unlike other fruits.

medilodge of monroe

Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Adult Only Fresh Peach Gelées

Ingredients:

• 1 cup Asti Spumante

• 1/2 cup Vodka

• 1/4 cup Peach Puree

• 1 (3-oz.) package peach-flavored gelatin

• 1 (1-oz.) package unflavored gelatin

• 1 cup boiling water

• Garnish: fresh peach slices

Preparation:

1. Stir together wine, vodka, and Peach Puree in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish; sprinkle gelatins over wine mixture. Let stand 1 minute.

2. Stir 1 cup boiling water into wine mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Cover and chill 8 hours or until set.

3. Cut gelatin into 64 (1-inch) cubes. Garnish, if desired.

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For more information on locations and services, visit the MediLodge website.  Find us on Facebook for up-to-date pictures or watch our YouTube channel for videos of events and activities.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

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