March 12, 2010

Olive

Olive is a fruit, growing on the tree of the same name, native to coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean region, apart from Asia and parts of Africa. Olive tree has been cultivated since ages, being the source of olives for consumption, olive oil, fine wood and even the useful olive leaf. Today, amongst the most popular uses of the tree is the production of olive oil. Though widely used in the Mediterranean region, olive oil is becoming increasing popular as a cooking medium, across the globe. The main reason for it being the high nutritional value of the fruit and the health benefits it offers to the users. Read on further to explore the nutrition benefits of eating olives and using olive oil.



Nutritional Value of Olives
Given below is the amount of nutrients present in three olives, combined together:
  • Fat - 2.5
  • Cholesterol - 0mg
  • Sodium - 110mg
  • Carbohydrate - 1g
  • Calories - 25
  • Protein: 0g
  • Iron
  • Vitamin E
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Copper
  • Fatty Acids
  • Amino Acids


Nutritional Value of Olive Oil
Given below is the amount of nutrients present in 100 gm olive oil:
  • Energy - 900 cal
  • Saturated Fats - 15.6 gm
  • Unsaturated Fats - 73.4 gm
  • Poly-saturated Fats - 9.5 gm
  • Vitamin E - 19.4 mg


Health Nutrition Benefits of Olives/ Olive Oil
  • The mono-saturated fats present in olives/olive oil, when combined with the antioxidant protection offered by vitamin E, lower the risk of damage and inflammation.
  • Olive/olive oil contains active phytonutrient compounds, including polyphenols and flavonoids, which have been found to have significant anti-inflammatory properties.
  • The vitamin E present in olives/olive oil has been known to offer cellular protection against free radicals present in the body.
  • Olives/olive oil prevents the oxidation of cholesterol in the body and thus, helps reduce the risk of having heart attack or stroke.
  • Since they help the body in neutralizing free radicals, the nutrients in olives/olive oil also lead to prevention of colon cancer.
  • Olives/olive oil are said to be effective in reducing the frequency and/or intensity of hot flashes in women, who are going through menopause.
  • Regular consumption of olive oil has been associated with decrease in systolic (maximum) as well as diastolic (minimum) blood pressure.
  • Those who consume olives/olive oil are at a lesser risk of developing diabetes at later stages in life.
  • Good quality olive/olive oil contains a natural chemical that acts like a painkiller.


Olive/olive oil has been known to be beneficial for people suffering from the following ailments:
  • Asthma
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Stomach Problems
  • Constipation
  • Diabetes

March 9, 2010

Lulo

Common Name: Lulo
Scientific Name : Solanum quiroense
Origin: América
Family: Pasiflorácea

Lulo, also known as “Naranjilla,” is grown in Ecuador and Colombia. This refreshing and healthy fruit has a sweet-sour taste and has the potential to become the latest taste trend. Imports’ offers the Lulo as a top-quality pulp and juice for developing innovative drinks, dairy products, as well as confectionery and bakery products.

The Lulo fruit is truly exotic. In Colombia, it is regarded as a “royal fruit” due to its extraordinary taste. The Lulo bush (Solanum Quitrents) grows in tropical altitudes in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. The fruits, which look like orange-colored tomatoes, are difficult to transport in their fresh state as they continue to ripen after picking.

This refreshing fruit is a favorite in the South American juice bars. Whether as juice, in refreshing cocktails or in dairy products, the Lulo has great potential to become the newest taste sensation. With its sour-sweet fruit taste, its image as an unusual exotic fruit and the beneficial and nutritional health benefits, there are several options for Lulo: as a refreshment for kids, a smoothie for the health conscious or as a juice or juice blend for young and old alike. Its characteristic aroma also makes it suitable as a top note for drinks.

Fruit preparations with Lulo are also ideal for dairy products and can be provided in a form suitable for baking, for fruit bars and other baked products. The aromatic Lulo is also perfect for use in ice cream, jelly products or chocolate pralines.

The Naranjilla (Ecuadorian Spanish, diminutive of "Nirvana") or Lulo (Colombian Spanish, from Quechua) is a subtropical perennial plant from northwestern South America. The juice of the Naranjilla or Lulo is somewhat green and is used as a beverage. Ripe Naranjilla fruit is very delicious, but must be harvested when fully ripe otherwise they can be quite sour. Naranjilla are attractive plants, with large heart shaped leaves up to 30cm in length. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered in short purple hairs. Naranjilla are fairly sensitive and must be protected from strong winds, and grow best in partial shade as full sunlight is too intense.

The Naranjilla (Ecuadorian Spanish, diminutive of "Nirvana") or Lulo (Colombian Spanish, from Quechua) is a subtropical perennial plant from northwestern South America. The juice of the Naranjilla or Lulo is somewhat green and is used as a beverage. Ripe Naranjilla fruit is very delicious, but must be harvested when fully ripe otherwise they can be quite sour. Naranjilla are attractive plants, with large heart shaped leaves up to 30cm in length. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered in short purple hairs. Naranjilla are fairly sensitive and must be protected from strong winds, and grow best in partial shade as full sunlight is too intense.

Nutrition Facts
100 grams portion

Water 89.15%
Protein 0.65%
Fats 0.10%
Carbohydrates 9.3%
Fiber 0.16%
Calcium 15.7Mg
Phosphorus 9.47Mg
Vitamin C 36.86Mg
Iron 1Mg

March 6, 2010

Naranjilla

The naranjilla plant is a spreading, herbaceous shrub to 8 ft (2.5 m) high with thick stems that become somewhat woody with age; spiny in the wild, spineless in cultivated plants. The alternate leaves are oblong-ovate, to 2 ft (60 cm) long and 18 in (45 cm) wide, soft and woolly. There may be few or many spines on petioles, midrib and lateral veins, above and below, or the leaves may be completely spineless. Young leaves, young stems and petioles are coated with richly purple stellate hairs. Hairs on other parts may appear simple. Borne in short axillary clusters of as many as 10, the fragrant flowers, about 1 1/5 in (3 cm) wide, have 5 petals, white on the upper surface, purple hairy beneath, and 5 prominent yellow stamens. The unopened buds are likewise covered with purple hairs. A brown, hairy coat protects the fruit until it is fully ripe, when the hairs can be easily rubbed off, showing the bright-orange, smooth, leathery, fairly thick peel. The fruit, crowned with the persistent, 5-pointed calyx, is round or round-ovate, to 2 1/2 in (6.25 cm) across and contains 4 compartments separated by membranous partitions and filled with translucent green or yellowish, very juicy, slightly acid to acid, pulp of delicious flavor which has been likened to pineapple-and-lemon. There are numerous pale-buff seeds, thin, flat, hard and 1/8 in (3 mm) in diameter.

Food Uses
Ripe naranjillas, freed of hairs, may be casually consumed out-of-hand by cutting in half and squeezing the contents of each half into the mouth. The empty shells are discarded. The flesh, complete with seeds, may be squeezed out and added to ice cream mix, made into sauce for native dishes, or utilized in making pie and various other cooked desserts. The shells may be stuffed with a mixture of banana and other ingredients and baked. But the most popular use of the naranjilla is in the form of juice. For home preparation, the fruits are washed, the hairs are rubbed off, the fruits cut in half, the pulp squeezed into an electric blender and processed briefly; then the green juice is strained, sweetened, and served with ice cubes as a cool, foamy drink. A dozen fruits will yield 8 oz (227 g) of juice. Commercially, the juice is extracted mechanically from the cleaned and chopped fruits, strained, concentrated and canned or put into plastic bags and frozen.

Sherbet is made in the home by mixing naranjilla juice with corn sirup, sugar, water, and a little lime juice, partially freezing, then beating to a froth and freezing. Naranjilla jelly and marmalade are produced on a small scale in Cali, Colombia.

Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion

* Calories 23
* Moisture 85.8-92.5 g
* Protein 0.107-0.6 g
* Carbohydrates 5.7 g
* Fat 0.1-0.24g
* Fiber 0.3-4.6 g
* Ash 0.61-0.8g
* Calcium 5.9-12.4 mg
* Phosphorus 12.0-43.7 mg
* Iron 0.34-0.64 mg
* Carotene 0.071-0.232 mg (600 I.U.)
* Thiamine 0.04-0.094 mg
* Riboflavin 0.03-0.047 mg
* Niacin 1.19-1.76 mg
* Ascorbic Acid 31.2-83.7 mg
*According to analyses of fresh fruits in Colombia and Ecuador.

Toxicity
People with very sensitive skin may find the hairs on the fruits irritating and should protect the hands when rubbing off the fuzz.

March 3, 2010

Nannyberry

Family: CAPRIFOLIACEAE
Genus:Viburnum
Species:Nanny-Berry (Viburnum Lentago)

Species Description

This species is native to North America north of Mexico.

Allergenicity: No allergy has been reported for Nanny Berry (Viburnum Lentago) species.

Pollination: Occurs in following seasons depending on latitude and elevation: Spring to Summer.

Angiosperm - Flowering Dicot: Plants in this group have two embryonic leaves (dicotyledons). Examples of dicotyledons are beans, buttercups, oaks, sunflowers, etc.

Shrub: A woody plant smaller than a tree, and usually with several stems from the same root.

Tree: A large plant, not exactly defined, but typically over four meters in height, a single trunk which grows in girth with age and branches (which also grow in circumference with age).

Perennial: Living for many years.

Weed: Any plant growing in cultivated ground to the injury of the crop or desired vegetation, or to the disfigurement of the place; an unsightly, useless, or injurious plant.

Wetland Plant: Plants growing in aquatic or wetland habitats. These include all known floating, submerged, and emergent taxa, plus those that are found in permanently or seasonally wet habitats.

Woody Stem: Non-herbaceous. Lignified.

Species Usage
Butterfly Plant: A plant that is known to attract butterflies.