Friday, August 20, 2010

Sunburned Bell Peppers and Basil Pesto

Aren't they pretty? 
Yesterday, my dear friend that facilitates the CSA (community supported agriculture) group that I am a member of , gifted me with the extra's that were leftover from our weekly allotment.
The above pictured bell peppers were one of the items.  These peppers are what is called seconds, meaning that they are in some way not up to quality to distribute in our prepaid shares.  These peppers got sunburned, which means the sun burned spots on them.  Too hot!  They can be a bit unsightly as you will see in the picture below. Most people do not want them...not me!!  All that you need to do is to cut away the burnt part and you have a good pepper.  I will use these for my juice tomorrow.
They are organic, full of vitamin C and A. Check out this link for the nutritional profile of the bell pepper. Eat them, juice them or add them to your salads.  Bell peppers are part of the nightshade family. Some folks with arthritis do better by stayiing away from nightshades which include~tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and bell peppers.  Remember each of us are unique, some may be able to eat them and others may not.  Listen to your body, it speaks to you~in responses...slow down and pay attention.

These peppers do not look pretty.  They do not have  mold on them, just blackend skin from the sun...some parts of them are actually charred and have turned a bit white.  Sometimes the sun burns a hole right into them....several of mine had holes.  As I stated earlier all you need to do is cut the burned part away and you have a perfectly good pepper as pictured at the top.
If you are on a budget or just thifty, go to your farmer's market and see if you can make arrangements for the next week to get a box or bag of seconds.  Farmer's usually just toss these into the compost pile...which is a good thing...but you may be able to make a deal and save some $$$ and get an abundance of produce for juicing or snacking.  Farmer's usually have seconds on cucumbers and zuchinni's too!  Don't be shy...get to know your farmer...who they the grow the just might make a new friend.

I have another dear friend that has been sharing some of her organic garden with me this season.  Today she gifted me with one of her basil plants and a variety of tomatoes.
I  divided it into two bunches, bound each with a rubber band and sprayed them off with the hose and air dried them outside  and now they are hanging in my dining room to dry and store for the winter.

Basil Walnut Pesto

I took a large handful of fresh basil leaves placed them in the food processor
about 1 c. of raw organic walnuts
3 garlic cloves
sprinked nutritional yeast on top
splash of lemon juice
a bit of water
a couple grinder twists of Himilayan salt

Blended until smooth and placed it in a squeeze bottle (thanks to Penni Shelton for the great idea!)
this filled a 12 oz. bottle full to the brim

no time for a picture today...I've been squeezing it on the fresh tomatoes my friend so generously shared with me
I found this to be a very satisfying meal today..
Click on the ingredients above to read about the benefits of these foods and ideas on how to incorportate them into your diet

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