Well summer is over and after some much needed R&R its time to get back to real life. That means back to TOPS meetings, back to MORE SERIOUS consideration about what I'm eating and restocking the refrigerator with fresh seasonal foods.
So what’s in season right now?
Where I live grapes are readily available all year round, but this time of year is the best for big juicy gems to pop into my mouth. Of course, that’s the reason its also wine making season.
Grapes are a great portable snack. They are loaded with antioxidants and are a good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K. Red grapes and green grapes are equally healthy. When shopping for grapes look for firm, plump grapes that are even in color. They should have a smooth texture and still be attached to their stems.
Store grapes in plastic wrap or place them in a ventilated bag and they will stay fresh for about a week in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
Wash them under cool running water just before eating or you can freeze them for a cool treat.
When shopping for eggplant look for firm eggplants that are heavy for their size and have smooth, shiny skin.
Eggplants will stay fresh for up to five days when stored in the crisper.
Eggplant can be peeled or not, depending on personal preference. After cutting the eggplant into pieces, lightly salt and let stand for about 15 minutes to reduce some of the bitterness. Wash and dry the pieces before cooking to remove the excess salt.
Eggplant contains only 24 calories in a cup and is full of antioxidants to help fight disease and cell damage.
These little guys are full of vitamin A and are full of beta-carotene. The only contain about 17 calories each and are reputed to keep your eyesight healthy.
When shopping look for a rich orange color as opposed to light yellow. The fruit should feel slightly soft to the touch.
Everyone pulls the “ugly face” when someone mentions Brussels sprouts, but the come in at only 32 calories for ½ cup and are a great addition to stir-fries. They can also be steamed or roasted.
When shopping look for Brussels Sprouts that are firm, compact and vividly green. Avoid the one that look puffy and feel soft. Especially avoid the one that look like they have perforations in their leaves as this could be a sign of aphid infestation.
Stored in a plastic bag they will keep for up to ten day in your refrigerator and they can be frozen for up to one year.
When preparing them make sure to rinse them well under cool running water to remove any insects that may be hiding in their tightly packed leaves. They cook very quickly and taste best when cut into smaller pieces, so cut them into quarters before steaming or roasting them.