Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Dirty Dozen

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 12:  A gen...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
I know "The Dirty Dozen" sounds like some kind of mobster movie for the 70's.  But when you are talking in terms of produce, the dirty dozen and clean fifteen are references to fruits and veggies with the highest and lowest pesticide contamination levels.  Ever since I have been teaching classes on homemade baby food, I have had moms asking me whether they should be using organic produce.  Personally, I use this list as a guide for when to go organic, and when conventionally farmed fruits and veggies are okay.  Unfortunately our weekly budget doesn't allow us to go totally organic, so we need to pick and choose when to spend the extra money.

Eating produce without pesticides may reduce your risk of getting cancer and other diseases. And according to the Environmental Working Group, avoiding fruits and veggies containing pesticides or choosing certain organic produce can reduce the amount of toxins you consume on a daily basis by as much as 80%.

Check out the lists below:


The Dirty Dozen

  • Peaches- 96.7% of samples tested positive for pesticides, 87% for multiple pesticides
  • Apples- 94.1% tested positive, 82.3% for multiple pesticides
  • Sweet Bell Peppers- 81.5% tested positive, 62.2% for multiple pesticides
  • Celery- 94.1% tested positive, 79.8% for multiple pesticides
  • Nectarines- 97.3% tested positive, 85.3% for multiple pesticides
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Kale- 53.1% for multiple pesticides
  • Lettuce
  • Imported Grapes
  • Carrots- 82.3% tested positive
  • Pears


The Clean Fifteen

  • Onions- no detectable residues on 90% or more of samples, zero samples positive for multiple pesticides
  • Avocado- less than 10% tested positive, less than 1% for multiple pesticides
  • Frozen Sweet Corn- no detectable residues on 90% or more of samples, zero samples positive for multiple pesticides
  • Pineapples- less than 10% tested positive, less than 1% for multiple pesticides
  • Mango- less than 10% tested positive, less than 1% for multiple pesticides
  • Asparagus- no detectable residues on 90% or more of samples
  • Frozen Sweet Peas- 77.1% had no detectable pesticides
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage- 82.1% had no detectable pesticides
  • Eggplant- 75.4% had no detectable pesticides
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon- 28.1% tested positive, 9.5% for multiple pesticides
  • Broccoli- 65.2% had no detectable pesticides
  • Tomatoes- 53.1% had no detectable pesticides, 13.5% positive for multiple pesticides
  • Sweet Potatoes and Grapefruit tie

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Breakfast Quinoa=Warm+Yummy

Quinoa is not a grass, but its seeds have been...                         Image via Wikipedia
Quinoa (keen-wa) has become Dylan's (and my) new favorite breakfast food, especially on chilly winter mornings!  It is a great alternative to oatmeal, and is just as easy to make!

Quinoa is packed with nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%).  It contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods.  It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron.  Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.
It is getting easier to find this product in the supermarket.  I usually get it at Trader Joe's or Wholefoods, but I saw it in the grain aisle last time I was at Safeway.  It has a hardy, nutty flavor, that just makes you and your baby feel warm inside.  You can prepare quinoa in a variety of ways and it is not just limited to breakfast food.  It can be cooked with veggies and broth as a side dish for chicken or fish, it can be used in salads, the possibilities are endless.

Here is the recipe I used this morning for breakfast quinoa...I promise you and your little one will not be disappointed!  Oh and it is thick enough that it sticks to a spoon so if your toddler is practicing his spoon skills, it will give him quite the workout!

Breakfast Quinoa with Maple Syrup and Berries
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups water
2 Tbs Maple Syrup
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 cup berries of your choice
1/2 milk (optional)

Rinse and drain quinoa, place in sauce pan with water.  Cook on medium heat approximately 15-20 minutes until Quinoa is tender and water is absorbed.  It will double in size.  Add maple syrup and cinnamon.  Fold in berries (try apples, peaches or raisins for variety).  Pour milk on top for thinner creamy consistency.  Enjoy!
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