Marks Daily Apple
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Mark's Daily Apple

5 Jul

Simple Fruit Salad

While there is a time and place for everything, when it comes to fruit salad my motto is keep it simple! This means no sugar – brown, granulated, confectioner’s, caster or otherwise. No simple syrup. No cream cheese, heavy cream or mayonnaise. No mustard (yes, some recipes call for mustard). No granola or marshmallows. No whipped cream. No gelatin. No instant vanilla pudding. No sour cream. And no shrimp paste. Whew! Am I forgetting anything? Oh, yeah. No canned fruit! Who needs all this nonsense when you can enjoy delectable, naturally-sweet, fresh fruit on its own. Let the fruit shine, people!

I was surprised to find how difficult it was to track down a simple fruit salad that wasn’t marred by the addition of so many superfluous ingredients. This one comes close. (I’d personally add some fresh blueberries and raspberries.) Enjoy!

800px Fruit salad closeup

Photo (CC)

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5 Jul

3 Healing Herbal Teas You Can Make in No Time at Home

We hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday!

Here are three healthy, soothing herbal infusions you can make at home. Herbal teas, of course, are not technically “tea”, but the combinations of herbs, fruit and spices promote many aspects of wellness. These are some of our favorites:

Cleansing & Rejuvenation

Recovering from illness? Or maybe a little too much festivity? Here’s a refreshing, stimulating blend.

1 or 2 strips fresh sliced ginger

2 teaspoons peppermint leaves (basil can work, as well, but won’t be as tasty)

1 teaspoon dried lavender

This herbaceous, spicy blend is wonderful for the stomach and digestion. For an extra herbal note you can add a dash of oregano or a sprig of rosemary.

mint

Sir Iwan Flickr Photo (CC)

Stress

Feeling ragged and overwhelmed? On edge? This infusion is guaranteed to relax.

1 rosehip

1 teaspoon linden flowers

1 teaspoon chamomile flowers

This gentle, sweet blend will help you sleep and promote calm. Add an orange peel twist for extra interest.

chamomile

Matsuyuki Flickr Photo (CC)

“Stomach Upset”

Why did I eat that? Here’s a natural tonic that will relieve cramps, gas and digestive complaints.

1 heaping tablespoon blueberries (boil and mash – don’t just use jam!)

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 sprig peppermint

This tasty, light syrup will have you feeling settled and restored in no time.

blueberries

Lori D Stone Flickr Photo (CC)

Infusion confusion? Here’s how to do it:

Infusion is very simple. You’ll generally want to use about 1 teaspoon of each herb to 1 cup of water, but if you are using dried herbs you may need an extra teaspoon or so. Add the herbs or flowers to water you’ve just boiled (wait for the boiling to settle down before adding the herbage). Cover and wait 10 minutes – presto, infusion! Strain and enjoy.

Source

Further Reading:

Types of tea

Cooking with tea

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4 Jul

Happy 4th!

We’re taking the day off. We’ll see you all tomorrow!

fireworks

Photo (CC)

3 Jul

MDA International Edition: What’s Going on with China?

Everywhere we look, it’s China in the news. Talk about growing pains. China, get it together!

First, the head of the State Food and Drug Administration accepted upwards of $850 thousand dollars in bribes to approve drugs. He was sentenced to death (imagine if we did that here).

Then, there were the various product scares: toothpaste, pet food, and toys. Hmm. Local is looking better and better, but we Americans sure love our cheap stuff.

Next, it turns out Beijing officials pressured the World Bank to cover up a very dirty fact: smog in China kills hundreds of thousands of people every year.

china

Photo (CC)

How has globalization affected you, for better or for worse?

Some conversation starters: drugs from Canada, AIDS in Africa, food from afar, and dare we say it? Wal-Mart.

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3 Jul

Eat Your Flowers! (They’re Not Just for Slugs Anymore)

Did you know that many flowers are edible? Of course you knew that. But they are also nutritious. And tasty.

Even though we don’t “do” bread around here, we sure love that Wise Bread blog. They always have excellent articles ranging from consumer concerns to saving money to nifty foods. Though we don’t recommend deep-fried food, baked or grilled zucchini flowers would be delicious. Check it out!

zucchiniflowers

This is Margie James’ Flickr Photo (CC)

You can also eat…

Nasturtiums

nasturtiums

This is Bumbleybee’s Flickr Photo (CC)

Broccoli

broccoliflower

Photo (CC)

Yep, broccoli is actually a flower and not, in fact, a little tree. And one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

Bachelor Buttons

bachbuttons

This is Terry Bain’s Flickr Photo (CC)

A little bit spicy, but sweet underneath. icon wink

Further reading:

More edible flowers!

Interesting vegetables to try

Top 10 fibrous foods

Save your bored tastebuds now!

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