Sign up

You deserve to feel great, look great & LOVE your body

Enter your email for your FREE starter kit to get healthy & lose weight without dieting:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Foodist Approved: Toasted Turmeric Pumpkin Seeds

by | Oct 29, 2014
turmeric pumpkin seeds

turmeric pumpkin seeds

Boo!

It’s finally time to carve that giant pumpkin that’s been hanging out on your front steps for the last couple of weeks. I know I’ve been anxiously awaiting this moment, not because I can’t wait to carve a scary face (my carving skills are seriously lackluster), but because I can’t wait to get my hands on those slimy seeds.

The best part about carving pumpkins has gotta be the seeds. They’re a gooey, stringy mess coming out, but with a little love they can be transformed into a crunchy, crave-worthy salty snack. If you overdo it with sugar on Halloween night, they’ll provide some much-needed balance.

And here’s one more reason to not toss your seeds: pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, a mineral we could all use a little extra boost of this time of year. Zinc helps your body fight off nasty cold and flu viruses.

Happy carving!

Read the rest of this story »

Tags: , , , ,

Farmers Market Update: Autumn

by | Oct 16, 2011
Winter Squash

Winter Squash

Alright Mother Nature, you win. It’s autumn now and I’ll accept it, even if San Francisco only had about five days over 80 degrees this year. I don’t need summer when I have produce like this.

Thompson Grapes

Thompson Grapes

Bring on your autumn grapes. Grapes have never been my favorite fruit, but they are so sweet and crispy this year I can’t resist them. I like wine too, and harvest is soon. Grapes are ok with me.

Flame Grapes

Flame Grapes

I’ll take your apples too. These heirloom varietals don’t taste anything like the overly sweet fujis I grew up with. These apples remind me of what I’ve always wished apples tasted like whenever I have apple cider.

Autumn Apples

Autumn Apples

And these little wickson apples, the size of golf balls, are as complex as a glass of wine.

Wickson Apples

Wickson Apples

Of course I don’t mind the sweet white pomegranates, with their pink seeds and delicate flavor. They aren’t as sour as the red ones are this early in the season, and the seeds aren’t nearly as tough and woody.

White Pomegranates

White Pomegranates

I finally gave in and got some brussels sprouts too. Sure I used to hate them, but once I learned the secret to cooking these little guys they became a welcome guest on my dinner plate. I’m especially fond of the smaller sprouts like the ones I found today, because they are almost never bitter.

Early Brussels Sprouts

Early Brussels Sprouts

With Halloween approaching not even the winter squash offend me, but these days I eat them instead of carve them.

Sugar Pie Pumpkins

Sugar Pie Pumpkins

Yes I’ll miss summer—or at least the idea of it. I’ll miss the peaches and plums.

Peaches

Peaches

I’ll revel in the last of the figs and melons.

Brown Turkey Figs

Brown Turkey Figs

Maybe if I’m lucky you’ll give me a few more weeks of eggplant.

White Eggplant

White Eggplant

Perhaps the sweet peppers will last until my birthday next month.

Sweet Peppers

Sweet Peppers

Or maybe the spicy ones will?

Hot Peppers

Hot Peppers

What always breaks my heart most is the tomatoes. I can live a few months without strawberries, but the tomatoes really get me. Everything is better with a dry-farmed early girl tomato on it. It will be hard to see them go.

Organic Cherry Tomatoes

Organic Cherry Tomatoes

But I love my cauliflower. (Pretty much everyone loves my cauliflower). And it will keep me company as fall rolls in and winter approaches.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

I’ll embrace your root vegetables as they sweeten in the cold.

Beets and Carrots

Beets and Carrots

I’ll give you some time on the persimmons though, I don’t think they’re quite ready yet.

Hachiya Persimmons

Hachiya Persimmons

Today’s purchases (~$40):

  • Heirloom kabocha squash
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Red Russian kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Wickson apples
  • Daikon
  • Ginger root
  • Garlic
  • Dahlias

Is your farmers market still running?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Farmers Market Update: Halloween

by | Oct 31, 2010
Hanging Pomegranates

Hanging Pomegranates

It’s Halloween weekend, always one of my favorite times to visit the beautiful San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Baby Pumpkins

Baby Pumpkins

Crazy Farmer

Crazy Farmer

I can’t tell you how anxious I was to get to the market this weekend. I’ve been traveling a lot and haven’t been around on a weekend in what feels like forever.

At this point I’ve come to terms with the fact that summer is over and I’m completely ready to embrace autumn. Today I stocked up on some of my favorite autumn veggies like Delicata squash and Brussels sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts Stalk

Brussels Sprouts Stalk

Delicata Squash

Delicata Squash

I was also excited to get my hands on some apples today. The Arkansas black apple I tried may have been the best apple I’ve ever had in my life. It was crisp, slightly sweet and had distinctive notes of cinnamon. Mind blowing. But the star fruits right now are the pomegranates. It’s also a great time for grapes and Fuyu persimmons.

Cut Pomegranate

Cut Pomegranate

This is a particularly interesting time of year for California produce. Some of the unusual items I found today include heirloom tobacco leaves and dried sunflower seeds. The tobacco wasn’t cured, so is not yet smokable.

Dried Sunflower Seeds

Dried Sunflower Seeds

Dried Heirloom Tobacco

Dried Heirloom Tobacco

You can also find an assortment of root vegetables. Carrots and scarlet turnips were particularly beautiful this week. Carrots have been turning up on a lot of menus around the city lately.

Scarlet Turnips

Scarlet Turnips

Carrots

Carrots.

The onions and sunchokes are also remarkable.

Sunchokes

Sunchokes

Spanish Onions

Spanish Onions

But despite the new arrivals, we still have a terrific selection of late summer vegetables like peppers, eggplant and tomatoes.

Assorted Eggplant

Assorted Eggplant

Shishito Peppers

Shishito Peppers

Some final notes: Dates are on their way out (get them while you can) and Meyer lemons are on their way in.

First Meyer Lemons

First Meyer Lemons

Dates

Dates

Today’s purchases:

What did you find at the market this week?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Farmers Market Update: Fleet Week

by | Oct 10, 2010
Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco is a zoo this weekend, but it’s awesome. It’s Fleet Week, which means we have the Blue Angels buzzing over our heads several times a day. And the weather couldn’t be better to hang out on rooftops and watch the action.

Because we are in the middle of changing seasons, the farmers market is a new adventure every week. As summer produce wanes, autumn produce is ramping up. Some of the new items will last all winter, and others are only around a few weeks during the interim.

Pumpkins and Tomatoes

Pumpkins and Tomatoes

White pomegranates are a special treat only around for a couple weeks this time of year. They are sweeter and their pink, translucent seeds are softer than the more typical red pomegranates. Definitely try one if you get the opportunity.

Shin Li Asian Pears

Shin Li Asian Pears

White Pomegranates

White Pomegranates

Asian pears are another temporary item at the market. They’re delicate, watery flesh and subtle flavor make them easy to over look, but it’s fun to bring a few different varietals home and experiment with their unique flavors while you have the chance.

Organic Quince

Organic Quince

Fresh Chestnuts

Fresh Chestnuts

Chestnuts and quince will also be around for a short time and are fun to experiment with. I also saw persimmons for the first time this week.

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

First Persimmons

First Persimmons

At this time of year though, my favorite foods are still the late summer produce. I can’t get enough tomatoes and peppers. I adore them. And they pair so beautifully with fresh herbs and almost anything.

Fresh Herbs

Fresh Herbs

Hot Peppers

Hot Peppers

And let’s not forget about vegetables. It’s last call on winter squash and eggplant. But you can also find fall favorites like brussels sprouts and artichokes.

Artichokes

Artichokes

Baby Brussels Sprouts

Baby Brussels Sprouts

Also notable is that Warren pears are now available at Frog Hollow, and you can pick up some fresh whole wheat tortillas at Massa Organics.

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Warren Pears

Warren Pears

I’m leaving for Hawaii early this week so I only picked up some white pomegranates and padron peppers.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

For The Love of Food

by | Oct 16, 2009
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

I had to make some tough cuts again this week, but I really wanted to share some new studies vindicating the benefits of dietary fat. I also love Yoni Freedhoff’s exposé of the crooked dairy industry trying to pretend their products don’t kill you. Added bonus: I included 2 recipes this week–couldn’t choose.

If you’re a food blogger trying to grow your brand on Twitter, I collaborated on a post with Danny Jauregui at Food Bloggers Unite! Reinforce Your Brand and Solidify Your Identity With Twitter

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For complete reading lists join me on the social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you there. (Note: If you want a follow back on Twitter introduce yourself with an @ message).

For The Love of Food

  • “Good” dietary fats trim body fat in diabetic women <<It is so strange to me how much nutrition science used to demonize fat since all the data indicates the opposite is true. Fat is awesome, eat more of it. (Reuters Health)
  • Diet-Heart Hypothesis: Another Nail in the Coffin <<More evidence supporting the health benefits of (most) fats, in case you didn’t believe me the first time. (Advanced Mediterranean Diet)
  • Milk prevents colon cancer? <<Maybe, but it also CAUSES prostate cancer and other scary diseases. Blogger Yoni Freedhoff has been on a tirade against the Canadian dairy industry lately and I love it. (Weighty Matters)
  • Sprouted-grain breads: The facts <<B.S. of the week I can’t think of anything more pointless then discussing nutritional differences between sprouted bread, whole grain bread and “regular” bread. Do you know how much bread you’d have to eat for these differences to matter? Way more than is healthy. So who cares? This is nutritionism at its worst. (Los Angeles Times)
  • A Response To C. Kimball <<The Amateur Gourmet penned an eloquent response to Cook’s Illustrated editor Christopher Kimball for calling out food bloggers for the demise of Gourment Magazine. It’s short and worth reading.
  • 15 Ways to Save Time in the Kitchen <<Great tips to make cooking less of a chore from Macheesmo.
  • How Sustainable Is Your Diet Approach? <<This is sustainable in the “can you keep it up” sense, not the “sustainable agriculture” we’d all like to see develop sense. I love JC’s approach to fitness and health. (JCDFitness)
  • Georgian Cilantro Sauce <<I heard about this recipe on The Splendid Table podcast I mentioned earlier this week. It’s from Georgia the country, not the state. It has dried apricots, walnuts, spices, tons of herbs and even more cilantro. If you make it for me I’ll be your best friend forever 🙂
  • Eat at your desk: Squash and Cauliflower Salad with Salsa Verde <<This seasonal recipe from Savour Fare looks really healthy and delicious.
  • Serious Eats Pumpkin Carving Contest <<I just wanted to show you a picture of pumpkin cannibalism. Unfortunately I can’t publish the photo here because it isn’t released under creative commons. But it sure is cool, huh? (Serious Eats).

What are you reading?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Farmers Market Update: Early Autumn

by | Oct 11, 2009
Mini Pumpkins

Mini Pumpkins

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the seasons change. Just last week there were figs everywhere, but I couldn’t find any today. Instead there were piles and piles of persimmons, a sharp contrast to the one sad looking crop from last week.

But you can’t say I didn’t warn you about this. Summer is ending and autumn is in full swing. How often do you get to see oranges sitting next to nectarines? Not very often, I can assure you.

Early Fuyu Persimmons

Early Fuyu Persimmons

Oranges and Nectarines

Oranges and Nectarines

The main attractions right now at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market are winter squash, peppers, pomegranates and grapes. You can also find nice rainbow chard, apples, pears, green beans, melons, eggplant and tomatoes. The first crop of walnuts and almonds have arrived, and the stinging nettles at Star Route looked pretty good (if you’re into that sorta thing).

Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettles

Walnuts

Walnuts

I definitely learned a few new things while shopping today:

Apparently these Spitzenburg apples were Thomas Jefferson’s personal favorite. (say wha?)

Spitzenburg Apples

Spitzenburg Apples

Kabocha squash–my favorite as of last year–comes in both orange and green (I only knew about the green ones).

Orange & Green Kabocha Squash

Orange & Green Kabocha Squash

I also stumbled upon these funky looking jelly melons at Lucero Organic Farms. I had never seen these at the market before, so naturally I bought one. Also called “horned melon” and “blowfish fruit” I would have guessed these were native to Southeast Asia, but Wikipedia says they’re African. The sign up at Lucero claims they might be a good diet food too, whatever that means. If the one I got is any good I might get some more next week.

Jelly Melon

Jelly Melon

Following up from last week, I bought myself some of the sweet pepper chips from Happy Quail Farms, which were just too good to resist. And to spice things up I snagged two Scotch bonnet peppers from Tierra Vegetables. I think I’ll have to bring home a pair of nitrile gloves from the lab to handle these things, but hopefully I can turn them into something delicious.

Scotch Bonnet Peppers

Scotch Bonnet Peppers

Pepper Chips

Pepper Chips

And finally, I think I might have found my Halloween costume 😉

Today’s Purchases:

Fig Leaves

Fig Leaves

What are you eating?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Farmers Market Update: Changing Seasons

by | Oct 4, 2009
Bosc Pears

Bosc Pears

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but feel like there wasn’t much of a summer this year. In fact, if it weren’t for the amazing produce at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, I wouldn’t believe it had been summer at all. Shouldn’t I have tan lines by now?

Yet somehow it is October.

And despite the confusing weather, it is clear that the market is moving on to fall. There is still plenty of summer bounty to be found, but make no mistake about it: this is your last chance for stone fruit, tomatoes, summer squash, corn, eggplant and melons.

Zucchini

Zucchini

Sweet Organic Melons

Sweet Organic Melons

The Sungold cherry tomatoes (the little orange ones) are especially awesome. But the most impressive thing I found at the market today was the chili peppers.

I never cared much about peppers before I started shopping at the farmers market, but I can assure you that nothing smells better in my market bag than the peppers. (Maybe the basil. But not really.)

Extra Hot Peppers

Extra Hot Peppers

Chili Pepper

Chili Pepper

A fellow market goer was blown away that Tierra Vegetables had these Scotch Bonnet peppers, which she said are necessary for making Jamaican jerk sauce. I had already spent over $10 on peppers, so I held off buying them until next week. But aren’t the beautiful?

Pepper Chips

Pepper Chips

Scotch Bonnet Peppers

Scotch Bonnet Peppers

I also got to try these funny looking pepper chips from Happy Quail Farms, and they were delicious! Sweet, flavorful and crisp without a drop of oiliness. They had a spicy variety as well, but the woman scared me off from trying them because she said, “I mean really hot.” Again, maybe next week.

Also peaking now are figs, grapes, pears and apples.

Flame Grapes

Flame Grapes

Kadota Figs

Kadota Figs

But how we really know fall is here are the winter fruits and vegetables that are appearing. I saw the first persimmons this week at Twin Girls Farm. I also bought one of these adorable white and green baby pumpkins. I was told they are really sweet and easy to cook.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

First Persimmons

First Persimmons

Pomegranates are also fantastic right now. I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine (shhh, don’t tell anyone): the white pomegranates at K & J Orchards are worth getting to the farmers market early for–before they sell out. They are sweet and amazingly flavorful, but the seed is much more tender than in a red pomegranate. Plus they are a beautiful pink color, amazing in salads or on cereal. Their season is shorter than the red pomegranates, so get them while you can.

(Read: How To Clean A Pomegranate)

White Pomegranates

White Pomegranates

White Pomegranate Seeds

White Pomegranate Seeds

I have another not so well kept secret for you today as well. The pears at Frog Hollow Farm have, against all odds, reached new heights. I’ve been obsessed with their Warren pears for years, and they are just coming into season. But right now I cannot get enough of their Taylor Gold pears. These things are amazing! What’s a girl to do?

Taylor Gold Pears

Taylor Gold Pears

Warren Pears

Warren Pears

Today’s Purchases:

What are you eating?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Farmers Market Update: Prepping for Asilomar

by | Sep 20, 2009
Hawaiian Apples

Hawaiian Apples

My goal at the farmers market today was to get everything I need to survive the next few days at the annual neuroscience department retreat at the Asilomar conference grounds in Monterey, CA. Last year they served us some of the most unspeakably disgusting food I’ve ever eaten in my life, and budget cuts forecast this year to be even worse.

Almost certainly I’ll be stuck eating fewer calories than usual, but I like to have a few of my own things to make sure I am at least somewhat nourished. For a complete rundown of what I’m bringing, watch the 3 minute video clip below.

How do you survive conferences and events that serve horrible food?

Since I also won’t be cooking dinners or making salads at work for the next few days, I didn’t buy my usual cornucopia of vegetables this week. But I certainly wanted to!

Peaches and Pomegranates

Peaches and Pomegranates

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

The seasons are changing before my eyes. Autumn fruits like pomegranates, pears, grapes and apples are downright abundant. You can also find pumpkins, carrots and beets, all wonderful for roasting in the fall. (Try this recipe for delicious roasted beets with mint and chevre).

I even found chestnuts at K & J Orchards!

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Chestnuts

Chestnuts

I learned today that Brussels sprout season is early this year (it usually starts in October-November). I decided to buy some since I know they will keep well until I return on Tuesday. They are really small right now, which is how you want them for the best taste. I used to hate Brussels sprouts, but have since learned the error of my ways.

Roasting Pimentos

Roasting Pimentos

Peppers and Eggplants

Peppers and Eggplants

The good news for those of us who adore summer produce is that most of it is still spectacular. Tomatoes, peaches, plums, zucchini, melon, peppers (oh the peppers!), eggplant, figs, okra and green beans are what I’m going to focus on for the next few weeks while they are still around.

Paw Paw Ice Cream

Paw Paw Ice Cream

Oh, and if you’re a fan of paw paws, Langier Ranches made up some paw paw ice cream you can get for only $1!

Today’s purchases:

What did you find at the farmers market this week?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,