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Food for Health

All the fuss about enriched pasta

cythiah@lakevillejournal.com

One of our reporters who shall remain nameless (Hint: He is a bachelor and does his own cooking) feels very strongly that pasta that has been enriched is not worth eating. Although he is not generally a fussy kind of guy, he becomes positively libertarian when it comes to spaghetti, and he just doesn’t want to eat noodles that the government has been tinkering with.

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Tomatoes, delicious any season

Every summer, our family grows tomatoes. Planting them, watching them grow and, finally, eating or cooking them is a fun process. 
There are many types of tomatoes you can grow. My favorites are cherries and some of the heirloom varieties. 
The cherry tomatoes are small and, when sliced in half, are perfect to put on top of a salad or pasta. They come in different colors — a few different reds as well as oranges and yellows. There are even brown or chocolate cherries now.

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Lovely, when you get to know them

I’ve always had odd eating habits. Up until I was 8 or 9 years old, I would only eat white foods — except for fruit rollups and candy, of course. 
As I’ve grown older I’ve become more adventurous and have expanded my palate in many ways. For example, I tried fish when I was 14, and later sushi, and I loved both. 

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Show the love to quinoa, and get health and flavor

I haven’t always loved quinoa. In fact, the first time I tried it I didn’t like it at all. I was at my friend’s college apartment for dinner, and she suggested taking a whack at using this tricky ingredient. 
We were both excited about the prospect of trying something new, and supposedly very healthy, and jumped right into the task without looking at the directions with a careful eye. 

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For citrus, winter weather wasn’t the problem

On a recent trip to Florida I decided to do an in-depth study on the health of American citrus fruit this season.
I had assumed that the weird weather and heavy snows in the south have had a negative impact on the crop. I was wrong.
Tim Brown is a third-generation farmer, whose family has been growing citrus and other fruits and vegetables in Sarasota for the past 99 years.
The weather this year has been fine, he said. But two diseases have been reducing the amount of sellable fruit.

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Mushrooms deserve second look, for antioxidant qualities

Well, I like mushrooms just fine, and I knew they had selenium, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. I never would have imagined they were anything more than kinda good for you, though; they seem so bland.
Apparently they are the Clark Kent of the nutritional world, however. A paper published in 2012 by the National Institutes of Health calls mushrooms one of the most powerful cancer-fighting tools around, and also says they can help counteract all the negative effects of chemotherapy (nausea, anemia, bone marrow suppression and lowered resistance).

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All together now: Moderation

cythiah@lakevillejournal.com

Well, of course it’s frustrating when health experts and people you trust change their opinions about what we should be eating. Why wouldn’t it be?
But on the other hand, perhaps we’re being too literal about how we respond to those recommendations. After all, just because someone tells you kale is beneficial and fights cancer, that doesn’t mean you need to eat it for breakfast every day.

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Persimmons are in stores now, and are fresh and yummy

It would be a lie if I were to tell you that persimmons are a fruit you need to eat. They’re healthy, sure, but what fruit isn’t?
Having said that, one of the nice attractions of the persimmon is that it is one of the few fruits that you can buy fresh in late autumn and winter. It’s like the pomegranate and the clementine. You can’t get them all year long, which is probably a good thing. They’re an exotic treat during the cold months when you’re sick of bananas and apples, but you wouldn’t want to eat them all the time.

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Hard cider is an easy option for the holiday season

cynthiah@lakevillejournal.com

You don’t need an excuse to drink hard cider these days. It’s the alcohol equivalent of the Mason jar, a drink that’s healthy, hip and actually in some way good for the environment (anything that encourages people to grow more apples is a good thing).
But, yes, hard apple cider is actually a relatively healthy drink, too, and something worth having on hand during the holidays. For one thing, hard ciders are made only with apples so they’re gluten-free (check the label to be sure that no hops have snuck into your brew).

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How to stay warm in this winter wonderland (yuck)

cynthiah@lakevillejournal.com

People often ask me why I hate winter so much and the answer boils down to, “It’s cold. All the time.”
Not only is it cold outside (and inside) all the time, but I am cold all the time. Some people have bodies that respond to under-70-degree temperatures by generating more body heat. Mine does not. Everyone has a theory about why this is so, but I don’t really care (sorry) what you think about this particular subject. The bottom line is: It’s cold and I’m cold and I don’t like it.

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