By Kelsey Casselbury 2015-04-27 03:21:26
Nine things you likely never knew about blue and purple fruits. Got the blues? How about the purples? If not, maybe you should—after all, blue and purple fruits boast some amazing health benefits that both you and the students you serve can and should enjoy regularly. Consider yourself an expert because you already serve blueberries? If you think you know all there is to know about this color of fruit, think again. This month, School Nutrition concludes (finally!) its multi-year series of vegetable and fruit overviews based on the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s “5 A Day The Color Way” campaign. We’ve looked at the entire rainbow of vegetables, plus orange/yellow, white, red and green fruits. (If you want to collect snippets and recipes from those articles to share with staff, students and parents, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/SNMagazine/BonusWebContent.) This month, it’s finally time for the blue-and-purple fruit category, and we celebrate these gems by taking a look at nine little-known facts about them. BLUEBERRY COLESLAW YIELD: 100 2-oz. servings INGREDIENTS Cabbage, shredded—7 lbs., 6 ozs. Yellow onion, sliced thinly—8 ozs. Carrots, shredded—12 ozs. Blueberries, fresh—2 lbs, 6 ozs. Cumin seed, whole—3 Tbsps. Reduced-fat mayonnaise—1 lb., 8 ozs. Red wine vinegar—3⁄8 cup Honey—1 Tbsp. Salt—1 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped—1 1⁄4 cups DIRECTIONS 1. In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, onions and carrots. Next, add the blueberries and gently mix together. 2. In a small sauté pan, toast the cumin seeds for four minutes. 3. To prepare the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt, cilantro and toasted cumin seeds. 4. Cover and refrigerate dressing and salad separately until ready to serve. Add the dressing just prior to service. Critical Control Point: Cool to 41°F or lower within four hours. 5. Mix lightly before serving. Portion with a No. 16 scoop (1⁄4 cup). Recipe: University of Massachusetts Amherst, www.umass.edu Photo: Chilean Blueberry Committee, www.comitedearandanos.cl/english KITCHEN WISDOM SAYS . . . • This recipe is well-balanced, and the addition of the toasted cumin seeds contributes an aromatic quality that works with the blueberries. • One of the struggles with this recipe is the holding/serving. The blueberries can get smashed, which makes it a little texturally difficult for some. Maybe prepackaging the slaw in portion cups would be a good way to preserve the look of the dish. • The blueberries can be replaced by other fruit, such as apples, peaches and fresh pears. • We used frozen blueberries, and it came out very well. It was a nice change of pace from regular slaw. 1. A Wealth of Health It’s a no-brainer that blue and purple fruits are good for your health, but why? It’s because of the antioxidants present in fruits such as blackberries and blueberries; these naturally occurring substances have been proven to prevent or slow cell damage. Their power has been attributed to helping lower your risk of everything from cancer to heart disease, but antioxidants are particularly notable for their effect on the health of your brain. This is backed up by a long-running Nurses’ Health Study that has analyzed data from more than 16,000 women, finding that those who consumed the highest intake of berries—specifically blueberries, which are rich in an antioxidant known as anthocyanins— experienced slower cognitive aging, meaning they had better memory and other brain functions for a longer period of their life. Other fruits rich in this particular antioxidant include purple grapes, black currants and blackberries. (Plus, you can travel to another part of the color wheel and eat ruby-hued fruits such as cranberries, raspberries, strawberries and cherries to gain the benefits of this antioxidant.) 2. Well, That’s a Berry of a Different Color! Blueberries, by the very name, must be blue— right? Well, that’s not necessarily the case! There are more than 50 varieties of blueberries, and nearly all of them are navy in color. However, in the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed a type known as “Pink Lemonade,” which features a distinct yellowish-pink hue. At first, it was mostly grown for ornamental value; in the mid-2000s, it gained popularity as research into the health benefits of blueberries began to blossom and farmers sought something new to bring to the marketplace. This type of blueberry is sweeter than the more common varieties. HEALTHY TURKEY SALAD POCKETS YIELD: 25 (1⁄2 cup turkey salad mixture, 1 pita, 1 lettuce leaf) PER SERVING: 233 cal., 33 mg chol., 2 g fat, 35 g carb., 19 g pro., 4 g fiber INGREDIENTS Cooked turkey or chicken, diced—3 lbs., 2 ozs. Dried plums, quartered*—1 lb., 4 ozs. Celery, sliced—8 ozs. Plain nonfat yogurt—1 lb. Green onions, sliced—2 ozs. Sweet-hot mustard—2 ozs. Whole-wheat pita breads, halved—25 Lettuce leaves—25 Salt and pepper—to taste DIRECTIONS 1. In a bowl, combine the turkey, dried plums, celery, yogurt, green onions and mustard until thoroughly mixed. 2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 3. To serve, place one lettuce leaf in each pita pocket and spoon a half-cup of the turkey mixture into the pita. *Notes: Canned dried plums may be substituted for pitted dried plums. Drain the liquid and pat the plums dry with a paper towel. Recipe: California Dried Plums, www.californiadriedplums.org KITCHEN WISDOM SAYS . . . • It looks pretty straight forward to make, but in large quantities, it takes some time. However, it is simple to serve and meets USDA requirements. • We modified the recipe to use items that we have here in our kitchen, such as regular and honey mustard instead of sweet/hot mustard and raisins, so we would not have to buy special items. • Students who tried the turkey salad pita said they liked it. One said it needed more mayonnaise— little did he know there was no mayonnaise in it. • We would suggest adding about 1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds or walnut pieces to give an extra crunch and taste. • Tasty product, but there are a couple of ingredient issues. Dried plums are hard to find; prunes are not the same. I subbed dried peaches, but Craisins® would work, too. I used a honey mustard mixed with a little Gulden’s deli mustard. • I would recommend mixing all the yogurt, green onions and mustard together first and then add the turkey, dried fruit and celery. 3. Skip the Salmon No, wait, don’t do that—salmon is an incredibly healthy food! However, it’s not the only source of super-nutritious omega-3 fatty acids that everyone should be including in their diet. The seeds of black currants contain these omega-3s, as well as omega-6 fatty acids (and that’s on top of the aforementioned anthocyanins that help boost your brain power!) Pardon us while we go on and on about these little orbs—they contain four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange and are beneficial to eye health, too. The problem: How often do you see black currants at the grocery store? They’re certainly not on the list of available USDA Foods, either. In fact, some states, such as New York, banned their commercial cultivation for a long time because of the risk of an invasive fungus associated with this fruit. Nowadays, your best bet to taste this tart, aromatic, rich berry is to purchase it straight from a local farm during the growing season or buy black currant juice online. MORNING OATMEAL ENERGY MUFFINS YIELD: 48 muffins PER SERVING: 473 cal., 16 g fat, 9 g sat. fat, 63 mg chol., 33 mg sod., 68 g carb., 6 g fiber, 22 g sugar, 17 g pro., 255 mg calcium INGREDIENTS Old-fashioned rolled oats—2 lbs., 2 ozs. Brown sugar, firmly packed—2 lbs. Butter, salted—1 lb. Baking soda—1 Tbsp., 1 tsp. Cinnamon—2 tsps. Salt—1 tsp. Vanilla—3 Tbsps. Whole-wheat flour—3 cups All-purpose flour—3 cups Raisins—1 lb., 8 ozs. Orange juice—2 . cups Liquid eggs—2 . cups Cheddar cheese, reduced-fat, reducedsodium, shredded*—3 lbs. DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat a conventional oven to 350°F. 2. In large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, brown sugar, butter, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until just combined. Do not over-mix. 3. Adjust the mixer to low setting and add the two types of flours until blended. Next, add the raisins, orange juice and liquid eggs. Mix until just combined. 4. Add the shredded cheese and mix on low speed until evenly distributed in batter. 5. Lightly spray muffin pans with non-stick spray. 6. Use a rounded #12 scoop to divide batter evenly between 48 jumbo muffin cups. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Recipe: Land O’Lakes Foodservice, www.landolakesfoodservice.com Photo: Chef Robert Rusan, Maplewood-Richmond Heights (Mo.) School District Notes: According to the recipe source, each serving provides 1 meat/meat alternate, 1 oz. eq. grain. Land O’Lakes. 50% Reduced Sodium 50% Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese can be used in this recipe. KITCHEN WISDOM SAYS . . . • I added 1 Tbsp. of cinnamon, replaced the all-purpose flour with Ultragrain. flour and used USDA Foods cranberries. I baked this as a muffin and as a breakfast round (cookie); both styles were acceptable in appearance and taste. • Tasty results, though my test yielded 60 muffins and not 48. • I refrigerated some of the dough overnight, and then baked it off the next morning to see what would happen. The results were good; there was no difference in the appearance, color, texture or taste. • There are a lot of ingredients, so those that don’t do a lot of scratch cooking might shy away from it. But it can be a quick-serve item on the breakfast menu. You could prep the day before and warm them in the hot cart before serving. • You could market the cheese in the muffins—in which case, it would be best to sample them [with kids] first, preferably soon after they come out of the oven. Or don’t tell students what’s in it, and let the flavor speak for itself! • Although these contained a fair amount of calories and fat, this could be compensated for with other offerings during the week. These can contribute to the grain requirement (protein as the extra grain) and perhaps even part of the fruit requirement, depending on what other fruit/ vegetable options are being offered that day. • We are not allowed to use salted butter, so we would have to test the result using unsalted or another substitute. 4. A Prune by Any Other Name . . . Prunes seem to be the thing your grandfather eats—or what you give a little child to keep him, ahem, regular. Those in the commercial prune business have long realized they had a serious PR issue on their hands, which is why the food marketers in this industry prefer the term “dried plum.” However, not all plums can transform into prunes—uh, we mean, dried plums. Only the varieties that have a very high sugar content are able to dry without fermenting. Why do dried plums have such a serious effect on digestion? It’s due to the dried fruit’s soluble and insoluble fiber content, as well as sorbitol, an unfermentable sugar that helps provide beneficial intestinal microorganisms. But, what about eating fresh plums? These are worth a try, as they could have a healthy impact on your anxiety. Research shows that an antioxidant in plums known as chlorogenic acid can help reduce anxiety-related behaviors. 5. Which Came First? Of course, the blackberry fruit came long before the BlackBerry smartphone! Blackberries have been eaten for thousands of years, but when someone at the mobile company realized that the cell phone’s tightly clustered keyboard resembled the seeds of fruit, the team reviewed several berry names as a potential moniker. What it came down to was color—most devices were black, hence BlackBerry. If we’re getting picky, though, a blackberry isn’t technically a berry. In botanical terms, it’s what’s known as an aggregate-accessory fruit, meaning that several flowers of the plant combine to form a single mass. PEACH-BLUEBERRY PARFAIT YIELD: 24 servings INGREDIENTS Peaches, canned, diced—3 lbs. Blueberries—2 lbs., 4 ozs. Lowfat vanilla yogurt*—6 lbs. Granola*—1 lb., 10 ozs. DIRECTIONS 1. Drain the canned peaches. 2. For each serving, place 2 ozs. (1⁄4 cup) of peaches in the bottom of a 14-oz. plastic cup. 3. Place 1 oz. of blueberries on top of the peaches. 4. Pipe 4 ozs. (1⁄2 cup) yogurt over the fruit. 5. Top the parfait with 1.5 ozs. (1⁄3 cup) granola and an additional 2 ozs. (1⁄4 cup) blueberries. *Notes: Yoplait® ParfaitPro® Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt and Nature Valley™ 100% Natural Parfait Granola can be used for this recipe. Recipe and photo: General Mills Foodservice, www.generalmillscf.com Additional Fun Facts ■ No surprises here—surveys have found blueberry muffins to be America’s favorite type of muffin. ■ One best not dine on a blackberry after the medieval England holiday of Michaelmas (September 29). Folklore says that when Satan was cast out of Heaven on this day, he fell into a blackberry bush and cursed, spat and/or urinated on the brambles as he fell. ■ Just like blueberries, black currants suffer from a partial misnomer. In addition to being available in a dark purple color, currants come in red and Champagne-colored varieties. ■ The Chinese believe plums signify good fortune. ■ Dark-colored raisins are made from both green and purple grapes. You might assume that golden raisins are made from green grapes, but these versions are actually dried in dehydrators rather than in the sun like traditional raisins. ■ Blackberries might not be a true berry, but grapes are! 6. A Word to the Wise Despite being grown everywhere from North America to Asia to Australia, elderberries aren’t exactly topping the list of fruits to snack on for most people—and perhaps that’s a good thing. If you do decide to try this tart, distinctive berry, only do so when you’ve purchased them from a reputable store, and even then, make sure to cook them. Wild fresh elderberries can have traces of dangerous cyanide! On top of that, wild elderberry plants can be easily confused with the toxic water hemlock—in other words, just stay away from the wild plant. Look to consume your elderberries in the form of jam or perhaps mixed in with a fruit pie. 7. It’s a Small World For all the differences in global cuisines, there are always commonalities—for example, raisins. In ancient Rome, wealthy households typically ate yeast bread with raisins for breakfast; in Germany and The Netherlands, stollen and skerstetol, respectively, are made with raisins and eaten as a traditional part of Christmas culture. Countries from Spain to Denmark to Ireland all have traditional baked goods featuring raisins. BURSTING BLUEBERRY TURKEY BREAST YIELD: 50 servings (2.5 ozs. turkey, . cup blueberry sauce) PER SERVING: 151 cal., 15 g pro., 13 g carb., 2 g fat, 32 mg chol., 289 mg sod., 2 g fiber INGREDIENTS Turkey breast, boneless, skinless*—7 lbs., 13 ozs. Blueberries, frozen—1 gal., 2 qts., 1 cup Vegetable oil—1⁄4 cup Cider vinegar—3 cups, 2 Tbsps. Shallots, finely chopped—3 cups Sugar—1⁄2 cup, 1 tsp. Thyme leaves, dried—2 Tbsps. DIRECTIONS 1. Thaw the blueberries. 2. Place the turkey breasts in a shallow baking pan and roast at 350°F until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. 3. Heat oil and sauté the shallots for 10 minutes or until they are soft. Add the dried thyme. 4. Stir in the thawed blueberries, cider vinegar and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. 5. To serve, top 2.5 ozs. turkey breast with 1⁄4 cup of the warm blueberries mixture. Blueberries also can be served on the side in a 2-oz. portion cup. Recipe and photo: Jennie-O Turkey Store, www.jennieofoodservice.com *Notes: Jennie-O All-Natural Skinless Boneless Turkey Breast Roast Cook-in-Film can be used in this recipe. According to the recipe source, each serving provides 2 ozs. meat/meat alternate and 1⁄4 cup vegetable. 8. Aw, Sugar One medium-sized fig, weighing 50 grams, contains more than 8 grams of sugar—in fact, it’s the sweetest of all fruits! Consider that the same amount of apple contains just 4.6 grams of sugar, while the same amount of pineapple— which is pretty darn sweet—has just 5 grams of sugar. While naturally occurring sugar is far preferable to the added sugar in processed foods, it’s still a caloric concern. Does this mean you should avoid figs? The good news is that figs are also a good source of potassium, which helps control blood pressure, and dietary fiber, which minimizes the sugar’s impact on your glucose (blood sugar) levels. Just be cautious about how many Fig Newtons™ you consume at one sitting. This cookie filled with fig jam was named for the town of Newton, Mass., the home of a food plant eventually purchased by Nabisco. 9. No More Wine-ing How often do you tell your students to stop whining? Well, you can stop wine-ing, too… but in a different form! The purple grape and its juice contains resveratrol, the much-touted antioxidant in red wine that reduces the risk of blood clots, decreases LDL cholesterol— that’s the bad kind—and helps maintain a healthy blood pressure. The resveratrol is found in the deep-purple skins of the grapes, so don’t expect to get the same heart-protective benefits when you select green grapes instead. About 16 grapes equal one serving. Or, you could drink 4 oz. of 100% grape juice—but you’ll miss out on the healthy fiber in the whole fruit. (And, if you’re of legal age and prefer to get your resveratrol in the form of a glass of wine or two, we won’t judge you.) A Bolt From the Blue (and Purple) Now, it doesn’t sound so bad to have the blues or the purples, does it? Take a look at your upcoming summer and early fall menus for opportunities to partner with local farmers and make use of their harvests of blackberries, blueberries or, heck, even plums! At the very least, commit to trying one or more of these tasty fruits yourself this summer. Don’t miss the opportunity to reap all the benefits that these tasty blue and purple fruits have to offer. Kelsey Casselbury is managing editor of School Nutrition. Photography by jiunlimited.com. Recipes obtained from outside sources and published in School Nutrition have not been tested by the magazine or SNA in a school foodservice setting, except for certain “Kitchen Wisdom” selections, which are evaluated by a volunteer pool of operators. When available, nutrient analyses and meal pattern calculations are provided by the recipe source. Required ingredients, preparation steps and nutrient content make some recipes more appropriate for catering applications or adult meals. Readers are encouraged to test recipes and calculate their own nutrition analyses and meal patterns before adding a recipe to school menus. In addition, SN recognizes that individual schools use varying documentation methods and preparation steps to comply with HACCP principles; we encourage you to add your own HACCP steps to these recipes. BONUS WEB CONTENT This installment of Food Focus marks the final stop in the nine-year journey of School Nutrition delighting in the rainbow of brightly hued produce. Enjoy snippets and recipes from previous overviews of different colors of produce—including blue/purple vegetables and green, red, white and orange/yellow fruits and vegetables—by visiting www.schoolnutrition.org/SNMagazine/BonusWeb Content. In addition, check out a school-created Savey Blueberries recipe that can be menued in multiple ways. TO YOUR CREDIT: For CEUs toward SNA certification, complete the “To Your Credit” test on page 42.
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