See the big guy in the back? That’s Sumo. A Sumo Citrus that is. Again I am led by research into finding out just how lucky I am. It’s a rare fruit that is a California citrus making it out in the world. The weird foods always do that! I thought that maybe in the citrus department, the sumo wouldn’t be the only other “weird food” in my fridge. I wondered if many people associate the waning of winter with the abundance of citrus? It’s my favorite time of year don’t you know!
Left to Right:
- Cara Cara navel orange: a fantastic beauty with dark pink juice and pulp. It’s an amazing combination of sweet and tart with few seeds.
- Meyer lemon: Originally Chinese, this thin-skinned non-acidic sweet lemon is amazing.
- Sumo Citrus: fabulous easy to peel, sweet and seedless orange with a funky exterior.
- Kumquat: A fun little guy who’s no stranger to the weird food category. A tart citrus you eat skin on – it has some seeds but it’s worth it!
- Minneola Tangelo: My sturdy favorite due to its more predictable availability, it’s a hybrid grapefruit tangerine that’s sweet-tart, easy to peel with minimal seeds.
I feel like this line-up is my Spring collection! But I love citrus and the crazy benefits that I get from eating something I love (and puts the sweet tooth down for a nap).
Citrus is famous for its Vitamin C properties. Let’s break it down shall we?
- One medium orange has nearly 3.5 g of fiber, versus the 0 g in Dole chilled orange juice with pulp
- One medium orange has 18 g carbs, versus 27 g in Dole
- One medium orange has 70 calories, versus 120 in Dole
- One medium orange has 12 g of sugar, versus 23 g in Dole
- To further blow your mind, a child’s Sprite at McDonald’s has 110 calories with 28 g carbs and 28 g sugar
That should settle the “but fruit has more sugar” mumbo jumbo right? Whole foods like a whole orange have fiber – that sugar is naturally fortified with fiber to coordinate with the sugar; and fiber keeps you full (& happy).
And the deal with Vitamin C is that it’s an important antioxidant nutrient that enhances the absorption of iron. Immune support? Heck yes! I rarely get sick! It’s works to prevent damage from harmful free radicals (aging and cancer) in the fluid inside and outside the cells of the body. In areas of the body where cell turnover is particularly rapid, like the digestive system, vitamin C helps prevent damaging changes (mutations) in the DNA – which can lead to the abnormal cellular growth (cancer). Lemon peel in black tea in particular has been shown to reduce skin cancer risk by 30% according to a University of Arizona study. Lemons and oranges also have a phytochemical limonene, which have been shown to prevent cancer. It’s also an antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antineoplastic and antimalarial agent. Did I also mention that 1/2 cup of lemon juice a day raises citrate levels which help fight kidney stones? I use a whole lemon in my smoothie every day. It masks the veggies so I can cram as much spinach as possible in there.
Do you know what those little green guys are? It’s not a grape or a mini-melon, and its mom is usually wearing a faux fur coat…
It’s a kiwi berry! Have you ever had a kiwi fruit? They are DEELICIOSO and these little mini versions are even better! They are pop and go! No need to peel them and no seeds to spit out, like cherries or other fantastic fruits. If you see them, be sure to get them since they are available now in select places.
A 6 oz portion contains significant amounts of 20 nutrients, including twice the vitamin E of an avocado. They have five times the vitamin C of an orange and more potassium than bananas. Kiwi berries are also high in fiber and rich in folic acid.
They are best if consumed within one week and they’re ripe when soft. Get ’em while the gettin’s good!
Oh my goodness, fried rice. It’s like my all-time favoritest Asian restaurant food. But oh my goodness gracious is it UNHEALTHY!
I still occasionally indulge in some Thai fried rice, with shrimp (and make it last for 2 meals). But by occasionally, I mean once or twice every two months. A certain article I saw about the amount of oil used, and the post I did on MSG, really slapped my fried rice loving face.
First of all, if you are going to eat restaurant fried rice, for the love of pete make sure it doesn’t come loaded with MSG (see my informative post here).
Second of all, it’s oil city. And if you’ve eliminated MSG from the equation, this is what makes restaurant rice soooo much better than homemade fried rice.
Third of all, the rice may be genetically modified rice. If it’s golden rice?-You bet it’s modified. How do you know though? Ask. Two birds, one stone! Call ahead and ask if they use MSG and if their rice comes from a reputable source or if it’s organic. Call in the parking lot and use a crappy British accent even.
And lastly, you really can’t make it the same at home. It’s not you and it’s not the seasonings, it’s the fact that you don’t have a pipe dedicated to pumping insane heat into your stove and huge wok to mix the copious amounts of hot oil, etc.
As proud as I am of this fried rice recipe, it’s no restaurant Thai fried rice. But I would rather whip this up than drive on over to the restaurant, so there’s something! By no means is it a poor substitute, it’s just different. Unfortunately the fat, sugar and sodium additions in the Standard American Diet (SAD) are what keep most of us coming back for more, despite our best efforts. So if you’re jonzing for some fried rice that doesn’t even need meat, then give this a whirl.
20 Minute Vegetarian or Vegan Fried Rice (serves 2-3)
- 1-1 1/2 cup uncooked rice
- 1 T olive oil + 1 T olive oil-later
- 4 carrots sliced
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 2 shallots (the small purple parts, not 2 whole unpeeled shallots)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 head broccoli flourets
- 1 yellow pepper chopped or sliced
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 T chili paste
- 2 T cilantro chopped
- Optional: 2 eggs sunny side up or whatever you like.
- Cook rice either the day before or right before you start your veggies. Most fried rice recipes online say the trick is to cook the rice the day before. Fried rice is traditionally a “leftover” meal, but I’ve used fresh cooked rice with no problems. If you don’t already have a rice cooker, GET ONE! It’s the best $15 you will spend, plus it cooks quinoa!
- Rice cooker rice takes about 15-20 minutes, so once you’ve started your rice, you can prepare and begin to cook your veggies.
- Heat 1 T oil in a large pan or skillet on medium. Add your carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the veggies and 1 T olive oil and saute until the veggies are your desired consistency. If you want super soft veggies, 10 minutes oughta do it. But if you like them with a bit ‘o crunch still then 6-7 minutes should do. Grab a pepper or carrot and gauge cooking time from there.
- Once your veggies are perfect, add your rice, chili paste, sesame oil and cilantro. Mix until combined and serve. Yields about 2 cups cooked fried rice per person (2).
- **If you’re using an egg, you can cook it after step 4. I cooked one as a last minute addition and my rice was still flaming hot. So don’t stress if you’re not even sure you want one until the end.
Nutrition Facts? Oh boy! You get everything except Vitamins B-12 and D!
Homemade compared to Panda Express Fried Rice (I adjusted to accommodate equal serving sizes):
Total Fat 19.2 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Panda: 177 mg (yes I checked multiple times!)
Sodium 242.2 mg
Panda: 970 mg
Potassium 754.4 mg
Panda: Not on the grid!
Total Carbohydrate 85.8 g
Panda: 97 g
Dietary Fiber 7.4 g
Panda: 1 g
Protein 12.6 g
Panda: 14 g
Vitamin A 327.2 % and Vitamin C 151.5 %
Panda: Yeah, right!