Tuesday, 27 February 2018

German Apricot Cake (Aprikosenkuchen) Recipe

This recipe for German apricot cake (aprikosenkuchen) is plain-Jane in everything but the taste. It's such a classic that many Germans know how to make this cake by heart.

Fresh fruit makes this cake a steady summer coffee accompaniment whether camping on the beach or relaxing on the balcony.

What You'll Need
  • 10 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (double-acting or 1 package German backpulver)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)
  • 1 1/2 pound apricots (about 14 fresh, washed, cut in half and pitted)

Optional: sweetened whipped cream

How to Make It
  1. Use an 11-inch springform pan if you have one. Otherwise, try a 9x9-inch or 13x9-inch baking pan, but note that the baking times will vary.
  2. Heat oven to 350 F. Coat pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla or vanilla sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in lemon zest.
  4. In a separate small bowl, mix together the flour with the baking powder and salt. Beat into the egg mixture. Add the buttermilk and mix well.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Place the apricot halves on top, cut side down.
  6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Keep an eye on the cake especially if you used a different pan size.
  7. Serve with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Yams-Your Supplement for Starch

While yams appear very similar to sweet potatoes, they're quite different. In fact, they're not even related. Yams belong to the Dioscoreae or morning glory family, while sweet potatoes are from the genus Convolvulaceae. Yams (from the African word "nyami," meaning "to eat") have only one embryonic seed leaf, while sweet potatoes have two.Yams are grown throughout Africa, but Nigeria is the world’s most prolific producer, exporting to 70% of the world market. Close to 200 species of yams are eaten worldwide, but other than those found wrapped individually in supermarkets, they aren't easily found on American produce shelves. Popular varieties include Hawaiian yam, Korean yam, and sweet yam.


Myth-Yams can be eaten raw!

Truth-Raw yam tubers carry toxic alkaloids and should be peeled and cooked before consumption.

Yam Fun Fact

Yams are thought to have originated in Asia, carried to Africa around the first century before being transported to the Caribbean with the slave trade.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Watermelon-Water with Vitamins

Watermelons have reputed roots in Africa, with the first recorded harvest in Egypt somewhere around 5,000 years ago. From there, they were sprouted throughout Asia and Europe. Colonists brought seeds with them to the New World, where around four billion pounds of watermelons are now produced every year. It's easily the best-loved fruit in America. A member of the Cucurbitaceae family with – you guessed it – cucumber, as well as squash and pumpkin, watermelons can weigh anywhere from two to 70 pounds. They grow on long vines and rest on the ground while they mature. Often oblong and light green in color, they can also be round, spotted, or striped with white bands running from end to end.

Watermelon Fun Facts

·    Of course, there's a National Watermelon Promotion Board. It reports various interesting watermelon facts, such as the world's heaviest watermelon, grown in Arkansas in 2005 and weighing in at 268 pounds.

·    A hint for growers: a pale or buttery yellow spot on the bottom of a watermelon indicates ripeness.


Myth- Has anyone ever told you that if you eat a watermelon seed, a watermelon will grow in    your stomach?

Truth- A show of hands, please. One, two, three, four…okay, pretty much everyone. Here’s the thing: Now that we’re adults, we all know that tall tale is absurd -your stomach has no nutrient-rich soil, no sunlight and, oh yes, it’s filled with corrosive acid, also these little babies are really good for you when soaked in water as they are excellent source of potassium, zinc and magnesium.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Victoria Plums-Your Royal One in Your Diet

The Victoria plum is a type of English plum. It has a yellow flesh with a red or mottled skin. This plum is a cultivar of the egg plum group. The fruit shape is oval or ovate. The ground color is greenish yellow, mostly covered with a purple color. The stone does not come off completely from the flesh but the skin is easy to pull off. The flesh is quite rough, light yellow and in good development and full maturity is sweet and tasty. Maturation time is mid-to-late September (in some places)


Myth- You should never eat the dark coloured plums!

Truth- Plums which are darker in shade are on its peak to eat raw as the sugar content in it reaches higher and is more concentrated.

Victoria Plums Fun Fact

The name "Victoria" comes from Queen Victoria (1819–1901). The variety was first discovered in a garden in Alderton, Sussex. It was introduced commercially in Sweden in 1844 by a nursery owner, Denyer, under the name of Denyer's Victoria. This strain quickly became very popular in Sweden in the late 19th century.