Brown Flax Seeds

Getting Your Omega-3s From Flax Seeds

Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum) are members of the Linaceae family. Spun, dyed, and knotted wild flax fibers found in a cave in Dzudzuana, in the present day Republic of Georgia, have been dated to 30,000 years ago. Flax was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent region of Mesopotamia during the Holocene epoch, which began 11,700 years […]

Sipping Coconut Water

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young coconuts (Cocos nucifera). Coconuts belong to the Arecaceae family along with açaí berries, oil palms, dates, and heart palms. Many historians believe that coconuts originated in Malaysia and Indonesia. Early sea travelers of the East Indies may have carried coconuts with them for nourishment as well as to trade for […]

Remembering Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves. It is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae, which includes basil, beebalm, giant hyssop, ground ivy, lavender, marjoram, oregano,  perilla, peppermint, sage, savory, skullcap, spearmint, thyme, and wild bergamot. The family also (surprisingly) includes chia, and (even more surprisingly) coleus and teak. The name “rosemary” derives from the […]

Passing Down Heirloom Beans

An heirloom plant is a varietal that has not been used in the modern large scale farm production, but rather passed down through family or farm from an earlier period in time. Heirloom beans are a variety of common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). They share their species with green snap beans, pinto beans, Great Northern beans, kidney […]

Trying Tomatillos

Tomatillos (Physalis philadelphica) are small, spherical, green or green-purple fruits. They are members of the Solanaceae or nightshade family, which also includes peppers, tomatoes, goji berries, eggplant, potatoes, tobacco, and petunias. Evidence of tomatillos has been dated as far back as ca. 800 B.C. and found in Tehuacán cave levels (south of the ciudad de Puebla) dating to A.D. 825-1225. The Aztec word tomatl means […]

Taking Time for Tangerines

Tangerines (Citrus tangerina) are orange-colored citrus fruit that are closely related to (and perhaps a variety of) mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulata). They share the genus Citrus with lemons, grapefruits, limes, oranges, and pomelos. The fruit is a modified berry with a leathery rind called a hesperidium. Like other citrus fruits, their peels contain many volatile oil glands in pits. Their inner flesh is composed […]

Powering Your Body With Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a variety of common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). They share their species with green snap beans, heirloom beans, Great Northern beans, kidney beans, black turtle beans, navy beans, cranberry and borlotti beans, flageolet beans,  pea beans, pink beans, and yellow beans. These beans, along with corn (maize), and squash were the “three sisters” of Native American cuisine. Common beans share the genus Phaseolus […]

Cooling Off With Cucumbers

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) share the genus Cucumis with cantaloupe, horned melons, winter melons, and bitter melons. All these fruits in turn belong to the family belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae, along with chayote, squash, and watermelon. Cucumbers originated in India from Cucumis hystrix. They have been cultivated for at least 3,000 years. Cucumbers are listed among the foods of ancient Ur (ca. 3800 BC-500 BC), […]

Selecting Yellow Crookneck Squash

Yellow crookneck squash (Cucurbita pepo) is a summer squash. It is a variety of the same species as acorn squash, delicata squash, dodi marrow, gem squash, heart of gold squash, Kamo Kamo, pattypan squash, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, sweet dumpling squash, zucchini, and yellow summer squash. In turn, they are members of the Cucurbitaceae family, along with watermelon, cucumber, horned melon, muskmelon, cantaloupe, Persian melon, Korean melon, canary melon, […]