Sunday, June 19, 2011

Organic Fruits, Greens, and Veggies

When in the grocery store produce aisle the other day, a woman asked me a question about the organic bananas I was choosing. "Are these the supposedly organic bananas" she asked in a mocking tone? Her mistrust of the organic labelling process was obvious, so I simply replied that yes these bananas were organic and directed her to the conventional bananas.

As an advocate of organic and biodynamic foods normally I would happily take the time to offer information on the health benefits of organic produce, but in this case an obviously hostile confrontation was not the answer. There are always two sides - some people are ready to discuss openly and some people are not!

I'm grateful to this woman for reminding me that not everyone is aware of the levels of pesticides on conventional foods. Personally I buy as much organic produce as is available, and purchase produce from the dirty dozen Only If Organic (this includes many red bell peppers - but never green bell peppers as they are unripened fruit). So here is some information that I'l like to share with readers of this blog.

Apples                            Peaches
Bell peppers                         Pears
Celery                            Potatoes
Cherries                     Red raspberries
Grapes                           Spinach
Nectarines                      Strawberries

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s own lab testing reveals that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government pesticide test results, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., have developed the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables above, that they say you should always buy organic if possible - because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides.

Among fruits, nectarines had the highest percentage testing positive for pesticide residue. Peaches and red raspberries had the most pesticides (nine) on a single sample.

Among vegetables, celery and spinach most often carried pesticides, with spinach having the highest number (10) on a single sample. (For more information on pesticide levels for other types of produce, go to )

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Raw Rainbow Stir Fry

Yesterday I felt like preparing something sweet and simple for today's lunch, so here is what I came up with.

This dish doesn't take long to put together and is easily dehydrated overnight.

At the bottom I have given you three suggestions for plating - feel free to play with the dressing till it suits your tastebuds - and serve it your way!

Raw Rainbow Stir Fry
1 cup broccoli, chopped into florets
1 cup fresh pineapple, in 1" chunks
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into noodles
1/2 cup snow peas

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Agave
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp gluten-free Tamari
  • Prepare the fruit and vegetables as above and place in a flat bottom glass casserole (an 8 x 11-1/2" casserole gives two good size servings)
  • In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, Agave, lemon juice, and Tamari
  • Pour the mixture over the fruit and vegetables and stir to coat
  • Remove bottom 2 trays from your dehydrator and place casserole on bottom of dehydrator
  • Dehydrate at 105 degrees for about 6-8 hours, or until softened and warmed through
  • Option 1 - I used a vegetable peeler to make zucchini noodles, placed the noodles on a plate, and covered them with the stir fry
  • Option 2 - You could sprinkle the stir fry with Sesame seeds and Enjoy As Is
  • Option 3 - Increase the amount of dressing and make a veggie rice. Place veggie rice on a plate and pour the stir fry and dressing over top of the rice.