Last winter my friend and downstairs neighbor, Celeste, decided to move out of the ground floor apartment she had shared with her husband for nine years. My studio had a pair of skinny windows that faced onto a noisy gas station and body shop, but Celeste’s unit received bright southeastern sun and opened directly into a secret garden. I called my landlord, signed the paperwork, and waited to move downstairs.
Celeste, an avid gardener, had spent the last decade nourishing this Brooklyn space into a lush, dappled paradise—planting frilly ferns and pothos lillies against the shaded back fence, winterizing the fig tree in thick blankets before the first snow, and building and tending to three large raised beds where she grew vegetables and herbs that she’d harvest and leave on my doorstep, edible bouquets stuffed into a mason jar. Now the garden was mine.
I was eager to keep it going, but though I had worked with plenty of beautiful fruits and vegetables in my past job as a pastry chef and was a general produce enthusiast, I’d never gardened and had no idea how to start. But friends came to my rescue, gifting me their time and expertise as well as actual amazing stuff, like the tray of onion seedlings Mindy drove up from Florida; a trio of worn tomato cages Bob dug out of his garage when I complained about my drooping vines; and giant bags of hay Jared brought over to keep my topsoil warm. They gave me exquisite heirloom starts, including psychedelic varieties like “reisetomate” tomatoes and “sugar rush peach” peppers and taught me how to make compost tea (a compost-and-water concoction that nourishes your plants).
I filled bucket after bucket in my bathtub and trudged the length of my apartment every day to keep the beds watered. I felt heartbreak, so deep, when squash vine borers killed my first zucchini plant, then my second, then my third. I cried when I ate my first tomato, sweet with skin split from rain. I had big messy parties in the garden, the slugs sliding up our thighs once the sun went down. I made new friends who gardened. I gave away food. I ate everything else. I forgot about my old kitchen job, at least until I felt the deep, familiar ache after a long gardening session. I’d really missed that feeling.
The advice and items from friends and family members kept my garden alive, and while I can attest that the best gift for gardeners is the gift of self-sufficiency, a beautiful mosaic flower pot does not go unappreciated. I've culled these gardening gift ideas based on my own experiences over a season spent digging, watering, weeding, and harvesting. These tools may not be the flashiest or fanciest, but they are the ones I use myself, and they'd make a thoughtful gift to anyone just starting out—even with just a few indoor plants.
Organic top soil
To prepare my raised beds for a late spring planting, I tilled (fluffed) all of the preexisting soil, which was compacted and dry from winter exposure, with a small trowel. Then I bought 160 pounds of organic top soil and scattered it on top using a pint container as a scoop. I tossed it all together with my hands—using the same technique I use to mix biscuits and scones—and was rewarded with the garden equivalent of a blank canvas.
There are many ways to stabilize tall, spindly plants like indeterminate tomatoes (which are vining varieties, like Sungolds, that produce fruit throughout a season), but I use waterproof braided twine to loosely tie vines to wooden stakes. Besides being my favorite color, the hot pink hue is easy to spot while I’m literally in the weeds, and the stakes provide just the right amount of support for tall tomatoes, peas, and beans.
Blundstone gardening boots
Back when I’d spend 12 hours on my feet on hard tile, these used to be my kitchen boots. Now, they’re my gardening boots. They’re already perfectly worn in, and unlike clogs, they keep my ankles dry and safe from the clouds of mosquitoes that haunt my garden underbrush.
Conical steel wire cages are my go-to for determinate tomatoes (which have a shorter season of producing fruit and often grow fast, compact, and wide) and other high-yield bushy plants like peppers. They provide structural support on all sides once the plant starts producing heavy, fat fruit. The key is to lift the plant off the ground and encourage air circulation; the closer to the soil, the more likely the plant will be exposed to blight, rot, bugs (and, in NYC, um, rats).
Liquid kelp fertilizer
I dilute a few capfuls of this organic cold-processed liquid kelp fertilizer into my watering cans during the early growth stages of my plants, when the tiny, vulnerable seedlings in my raised beds rely heavily on the soil for nutrients. My potted plants need even more love; because potted soil dries out so quickly, I like to supplement with extra nutrients.
The Good Shears
These indestructible stainless steel scissors are sharp and strong as hell. Cookware brand Material designed these with kitchen and cooking use in mind, but honestly my pair lives outside, where I use them to prune the unruly, thick branches of my lilac and fig trees and quickly snip herbs, salad greens, and flowers for my home. These make a great gift for gardeners and home cooks alike.
Chemical insecticides, while being terrible for both animals and humans alike, also wipe out bee populations and pollute our water supply. So I stay away. Instead, I bought this organic, non-toxic Bonide BT spray (short for the bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis) from Crest Hardware in Williamsburg (where I also stock up on immune-boosting elderberry lollipops #selfcare). It doesn’t hurt beneficial insects (like pollinators and earthworms), but does kill the infuriating, destructive worms and caterpillars that gobble up my lacinato kale and other brassicas.
For everything else I mix a 1:2 dilution of Tabasco sauce and water for a DIY insecticide. Hot sauce contains capsaicin—the zippy chemical compound that I squirt over my noodle soups and fried eggs—which causes damage and dysfunction to most invasive insects (bonus: it’s also a turn-off to bigger city beasts like squirrels, rats, and birds). For best results, transfer the mixture to a small spray bottle and spritz all over your plants on a dry day with no rain in the forecast and reapply every few days.
Garden harvest baskets
I keep a stack of durable woven straw baskets—like these fair trade, pine needle Mayan baskets, which I picked up at the food bookstore Archestratus—outside with my gardening tool set. When I’m ready to harvest, I grab a basket and fill it up with veggies. It would even make a thoughtful gift for a non-gardener—it looks as beautiful outside as it does inside, resting on my kitchen counter.
Clean-Cut Mosaic planters
Although the majority of my vegetable gardening happens in raised beds, I keep about a dozen smaller plants (mostly drought-resistant herbs like rosemary, lavender, thyme, and rue, as well as persistent herbs that are prone to sprawl in beds, like mint) in ceramic pots lined up on a ledge. My most prized pieces are the pearlescent mosaic-coated terracotta pots from Brooklyn-based glass artist Kevin Newcomb. Whether your favorite gardener has indoor succulents or an outdoor herb garden like mine, every cluster of pots deserves a personal disco ball.
Row 7 seeds
Growing a full garden from seed still feels too intimidating, but I did direct sow (that’s when you drop the seeds right into the tilled soil as opposed to in a small container indoors) about a third of my garden, focusing on quick growing, immediate-gratification greens like lettuces, arugula, and cilantro, and prolific vines like zucchini.
Beginning October 1, 2021, Federal and State laws will change the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). These included changes to income limits, the maximum amount of SNAP benefits you can receive, and the amount of deductions you can claim. You will have received a notice letting you know the amount of your benefit.
As a result of the COVID pandemic, SNAP benefits increased for all households by 15%. This was a temporary change and will expire at the end of September, 2021.
Read more about the changes in this update from the US Food and Nutrition Services
Don’t forget about the new Advance Child Tax Credit Payments
There have been important changes to the Child Tax Credit that will help many families receive advance payments.
Advance Child Tax Credits (ACTC) payments are early IRS payments from the of 50 percent of the estimated amount of the Child Tax Credit that you may claim on your 2021 tax return during the 2022 tax filing season. If the IRS has processed your 2020 or 2019 tax return, these monthly payments will be made starting in July and through December 2021, based on the information contained in that return.
If you would rather claim the full credit when you file your 2021 tax return or you know you won’t be eligible for the Child Tax Credit for your 2021 tax year, you can unenroll through the Child Tax Credit Update Portal (CTC UP). CTC UP will allow you to unenroll before the first advance Child Tax Credit payment is made.
See the COVID-19 Data on DHHS Client Services Programs
EBT cardholders are now able to make online purchases at Amazon, ALDI, Walmart, BJ’s Warehouse Club (BJ’s), Price Chopperm, Hannaford, and Price Rite. Amazon, ALDI, BJ’s, Price Chopper, Hannaford, and Price Rite can accept EBT SNAP purchases on SNAP approved items only, and any additional fees (such as delivery fees) must be paid via another form of payment. Walmart can accept both EBT SNAP and Cash purchases, with cash being able to be used for any additional fees and non-SNAP approved items.
Amazon, ALDI, Walmart, BJ’s, Price Chopper, Hannaford, and Price Rite may offer promotions at different times and delivery fees may be charged. Prior to making purchases the retailers’ websites should be checked to find any current promotions being offered.
For more information on the SNAP Online Purchasing Program, please see the DHHS Press Release: NH DHHS Announces Online Purchasing Program For SNAP Recipients.
Get more with your SNAP dollars at participating Farmers' Markets. With every SNAP dollar spent, you will get an additional dollar to spend on fresh fruits and veggies. Go to the Market Manage Booth and ask for “Granite State Market Match!”
Shopping at farmers markets or farm stands doesn’t just help your community’s farmers, it’s fun!
Double Up Food Bucks
Another healthy and delicious way to stretch your SNAP benefit is to shop where you see the DOUBLE UP FOOD BUCKS sign. You can get 50% off the fresh fruits and vegetables you buy instantly when you ask the cashier for Double Up Food Bucks. Then swipe your EBT or P-EBT card and enjoy!!
Visit DoubleUpNH.org for more information.
|Double-Up Food Bucks are Available at these Participating Stores|
|Berlin Marketplace||19 Pleasant Street, Berlin, NH 03570|
|EM Heath Supermarket||12C Main Street, Center Harbor, NH 03226|
|Hanover Co-op Food Store||45 South Park Street, Hanover, NH 03755|
|Root Seller||77 Main Street, Lancaster, NH 03584|
|Vista Foods||378 South Main Street, Laconia, NH 03246|
|LaPerle’s IGA||North Main Street, Colebrook, NH 03576|
|Monadnock Food Coop||34 Cypress Street, Keene NH 03431|
|Lebanon Co-op Food Store||12 Centerra Parkway, Lebanon, NH 03766|
|Newberry Farms||66 Main Street, Newmarket, NH 03857|
|Lovell Lake Food Center||66 Meadow Street, Sanbornville, NH 03872|
|Sully’s Superette||39 Allenstown Road, Allenstown, NH 03275|
|White River Junction Co-op Food Store||209 Maple Street, White River Junction, VT 05001|
|The Local Grocer||3358 White Mountain Highway, N. Conway, NH 03818|
|Fiddlehead Farmers Marketplace||451 High Street, Somersworth, NH 03878|
|Concord Food CO-OP||52 Newport Road, New London, NH 03257|
|Concord Food CO-OP||24 South Main Street, Concord, NH 03301|
About The SNAP Program
The SNAP Program is about good nutrition and health. It provides eligible people with benefits to buy food items at grocery stores, farmers markets and other approved food retailers.
Who is eligible for SNAP?
You may qualify for SNAP benefits depending on your household size, income, expenses and resources. You may qualify if you own your home, have no home, live with someone else or live alone. You can have a job and you do not have to have children as long as your household meets eligibility guidelines. The Program gives deductions for things like housing costs, utilities, medical costs and child care.
Don’t assume that you won’t be eligible. The only way to find out is to apply.
You can apply on line at nheasy.nh.gov. You can print an application from this website and mail it in. Or you can call 271-9700 or 1-800-852-3345 extension 9700 and they will mail you an application.
If you have an unresolved SNAP concern/complaint, you can work with your District Office to address it, complete and submit the Unresolved Food Stamp Complaints form.
What You Can Buy With Your Snap Benefits
With your Food SNAP benefits you can buy milk and other dairy products; meat, fish, poultry, eggs and beans; cereals, rice, pasta and other grain products; any ingredient used for baking or cooking; fruits and vegetables; cold deli foods for home consumption; ice and water for human consumption; infant formula, some special dietetic or diabetic food and "natural" or "organic" food items; and garden seeds and plants for growing food at home.
You cannot buy any kind of beer, alcohol or wine; any type of tobacco products; non-food items like cleaning products, soap and paper products; drugstore medicines such as aspirin, cough syrup and vitamins; items to preserve food such as jars and freezer containers; any "hot" prepared foods that are ready to eat; and foods not for people such as pet foods.
How You Will Receive and Use Your SNAP Benefits
Your food stamp/SNAP benefits are directly deposited once a month into your Electronic Benefits Transfer SNAP account. You will use an EBT debit card to go shopping at participating grocery stores. At check out, you will use the same card machine used by all other customers. No one will know how you are paying for your food except the cashier and you. The store clerk is trained to assist you if you need help. You can learn more about EBT at the EBT webpage.
SNAP Program Work Rules
Special ABAWD work rules
Please read this important information about work rules for ABAWD SNAP recipients:
If you do not understand these rules or have questions about them, please call, email or visit your local District Office.
SNAP Employment & Training Program
If you get SNAP benefits, we have services that can help you find and get a job. Find out more at the SNAP E&T webpage.
Are You Eligible For WIC?
If you are pregnant or have young children up to the age of 5, you may be eligible for the WIC Nutrition Program. WIC offers nutritious foods, like milk and cheese and fruits and vegetables, along with nutrition education and breastfeeding support. To apply, call WIC at 1-800-942-4321 or visit the WIC Program's webpage for more information.
SNAP Nondiscrimination Notice
Declaración de No-Discriminación (Spanish)
This institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex and in some cases religion or political beliefs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture also prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027), found online at How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
- Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
- Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
- Email: [email protected]
For any other information dealing with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues, persons should either contact the USDA SNAP Hotline Number at (800) 221-5689, which is also in Spanish, or find them online at www.fns.usda.gov/contact-us.
To file a complaint of discrimination regarding a program receiving Federal financial assistance through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), write: HHS Director, Office for Civil Rights, Room 515-F, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201 or call (202) 619-0403 (voice) or (800) 537-7697 (TTY).
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
You may also write: Ombudsman, NH DHHS, 129 Pleasant St., Concord, NH 03301-3857, or call (603) 271-6941 or 1-800-852-3345 ext. 6941. TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 or 711.
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Species of flowering plant in the family Lecythidaceae
The Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is a South Americantree in the familyLecythidaceae, and it is also the name of the tree's commercially harvested edible seeds. It is one of the largest and longest-lived trees in the Amazon rainforest. The fruit and its nutshell – containing the edible Brazil nut – are relatively large, possibly weighing as much as 2 kg (4 lb 7 oz) in total weight. As food, Brazil nuts are notable for diverse content of micronutrients, especially a high amount of selenium. The wood of the Brazil nut tree is prized for its quality in carpentry, flooring, and heavy construction.
In various countries of South America, Brazil nuts are called castañas de Brasil or nuez de Brasil. In central Brazil, they are usually simply called "castanha," though they may also be called castanhas-do-pará (meaning "chestnuts from Pará").
In North America, as early as 1896, Brazil nuts were sometimes known by the slang term "nigger toes", a vulgarity that gradually fell out of use as the racial slur became socially unacceptable.
The Brazil nut family, the Lecythidaceae, is in the order Ericales, as are other well-known plants such as blueberries, cranberries, sapote, gutta-percha, tea, phlox, and persimmons. The tree is the only species in the monotypic genus Bertholletia, named after French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet.
The Brazil nut is a large tree, reaching 50 m (160 ft) tall and with a trunk 1 to 2 m (3 ft 3 in to 6 ft 7 in) in diameter, making it among the largest of trees in the Amazon rainforest. It may live for 500 years or more, and can often reach a thousand years of age. The stem is straight and commonly without branches for well over half the tree's height, with a large, emergent crown of long branches above the surrounding canopy of other trees.
The bark is grayish and smooth. The leaves are dry-season deciduous, alternate, simple, entire or crenate, oblong, 20–35 cm (8–14 in) long, and 10–15 cm (4–6 in) broad. The flowers are small, greenish-white, in panicles 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long; each flower has a two-parted, deciduous calyx, six unequal cream-colored petals, and numerous stamens united into a broad, hood-shaped mass.
The Brazil nut is native to the Guianas, Venezuela, Brazil, eastern Colombia, eastern Peru, and eastern Bolivia. It occurs as scattered trees in large forests on the banks of the Amazon River, Rio Negro, Tapajós, and the Orinoco.
As a result, they can be found outside production areas, in the backyards of homes and near roads and streets in the Northern and Northeastern Brazil. The fruit is heavy and rigid; when the fruits fall, they pose a serious threat to vehicles and people passing under the tree.
Brazil nut trees produce fruit almost exclusively in pristine forests, as disturbed forests lack the large-bodied bees of the genera Bombus, Centris, Epicharis, Eulaema, and Xylocopa, which are the only ones capable of pollinating the tree's flowers, with different bee genera being the primary pollinators in different areas, and different times of year. Brazil nuts have been harvested from plantations, but production is low and is currently not economically viable.
The fruit takes 14 months to mature after pollination of the flowers. The fruit itself is a large capsule 10–15 cm (4–6 in) in diameter, resembling a coconut endocarp in size and weighing up to 2 kg (4 lb 7 oz). It has a hard, woody shell 8–12 mm (3⁄8–1⁄2 in) thick, which contains eight to 24 wedge-shaped seeds 4–5 cm (1+5⁄8–2 in) long (the "Brazil nuts") packed like the segments of an orange, but not limited to one whorl of segments. Up to three whorls can be stacked onto each other, with the polar ends of the segments of the middle whorl nestling into the upper and lower whorls (see illustration above).
The capsule contains a small hole at one end, which enables large rodents like the agouti to gnaw it open. They then eat some of the seeds inside while burying others for later use; some of these are able to germinate into new Brazil nut trees. Most of the seeds are "planted" by the agoutis in caches during wet season, and the young saplings may have to wait years, in a state of dormancy, for a tree to fall and sunlight to reach it, when it starts growing again. Capuchin monkeys have been reported to open Brazil nuts using a stone as an anvil.
Society and culture
In Brazil, cutting down a Brazil nut tree (typically with the intent of harvesting lumber and Brazil nuts) is illegal, unless with previous authorization from Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources.
In 2019, global production of Brazil nuts (in shells) was 78,256 tonnes, most of which derive from wild harvests in tropical forests, especially the Amazon regions of Brazil and Bolivia which produced 91% of the world total (table).
Environmental effects of harvesting
Since most of the production for international trade is harvested in the wild, the business arrangement has been advanced as a model for generating income from a tropical forest without destroying it. The nuts are most often gathered by migrant workers known as castañeros (in Spanish) or castanheiros (in Portuguese).Logging is a significant threat to the sustainability of the Brazil nut-harvesting industry.
Analysis of tree ages in areas that are harvested shows that moderate and intense gathering takes so many seeds that not enough are left to replace older trees as they die. Sites with light gathering activities had many young trees, while sites with intense gathering practices had nearly none.
European Union import regulation
In 2003, the European Union imposed strict regulations on the import of Brazilian-harvested Brazil nuts in their shells, as the shells are considered to contain unsafe levels of aflatoxins, a potential cause of liver cancer.
Nutrition and human consumption
See also: Selenium § Toxicity
Brazil nuts contain 14% protein, 12% carbohydrate, and 66% fat by weight; 85% of their calories come from fat, and a 100-gram (3+1⁄2-ounce) amount provides 2,740 kilojoules (656 kilocalories) of food energy. The fat components are 23% saturated, 38% monounsaturated, and 32% polyunsaturated. Due to their high polyunsaturated fat content, primarily omega-6 fatty acids, shelled Brazil nuts may quickly become rancid.
Nutritionally, Brazil nuts are a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of dietary fiber (30% DV) and various vitamins and dietary minerals. A 100 g (3+1⁄2 oz) amount (75% of one cup) of Brazil nuts contains rich content of thiamin (54% DV), vitamin E (38% DV), magnesium (106% DV), phosphorus (104% DV), manganese (57% DV), and zinc (43% DV). Brazil nuts are perhaps the richest dietary source of selenium, with a 28 g (1 oz) serving of six nuts supplying 774% DV. This is 10 times the adult U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance, more even than the Tolerable Upper Intake Level, although the amount of selenium within batches of nuts varies greatly. A 200 grams bag of Brazil nuts from the supermarket has a selenium content of around 20,000 micrograms. That is almost 300 times the amount that the German Nutrition Society (GNS) recommends for healthy adults (70 micrograms per day for men, 60 micrograms per day for women). The most common signs of a chronical overdose are hair and nail loss or brittleness.
The high selenium content is used as a biomarker in studies of selenium intake and deficiency. Consumption of just one Brazil nut per day over 8 weeks was sufficient to restore selenium blood levels and increase HDL (good) cholesterol in obese women.
The selenium which is contained in Brazil nuts comes in organic compounds, mainly in the form of selenomethionine. The body confuses this form of selenium with the protein element methionine. That means that it incorporates the organic compound uncontrollably into proteins that should contain sulfur. A part of the selenium is regenerated later but does occur as a function of protein metabolism and not as needed. Instead of having the positive effects, the regular consumption of Brazil nuts can have negative effects.
The shells of Brazil nuts contain high levels of aflatoxins, which are produced by molds, can cause liver damage, including possible cancer, if consumed. Aflatoxin levels have been found in Brazil nuts during inspections that were far higher than the limits set by the EU.
The nuts contain small amounts of radium, a radioactive element, with a kilogram of nuts containing an activity between 40 and 260 becquerels (1 and 7 nanocuries). This is about 1000 times higher than in several other common foods. According to Oak Ridge Associated Universities, elevated levels of radium in the soil does not directly cause the concentration of radium, but "the very extensive root system of the tree" can concentrate naturally occurring radioactive material, when present in the soil. The material must still be present in the soil in order to concentrate in the trees.
Brazil nuts also contain barium, a metal with a chemical behavior quite similar to radium, which can have toxic effects, such as weakness, vomiting or diarrhea, after intentional or accidental ingestion.
Brazil nut oil contains 75% unsaturated fatty acids composed mainly of oleic and linoleic acids, as well as the phytosterol, beta-sitosterol, and fat-soluble vitamin E.
The following table presents the composition of fatty acids in Brazil nut essential oil:
The lumber from Brazil nut trees (not to be confused with Brazilwood) is of excellent quality, having diverse uses from flooring to heavy construction. Logging the trees is prohibited by law in all three producing countries (Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru). Illegal extraction of timber and land clearances present continuing threats.
Brazil nut oil is used as a lubricant in clocks, in the manufacturing of paint, and in the cosmetics industry. Engravings in Brazil nut shells are supposed to have been used as decorative jewelry by unnamed indigenous tribes in Bolivia, although no examples exist. Because of its hardness, the Brazil nutshell is often pulverized and used as an abrasive to polish materials such as metals and ceramics, in the same way jeweler's rouge is used.
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- ^Garcia-Aloy, Mar; Hulshof, Paul J. M.; Estruel-Amades, Sheila; Osté, Maryse C. J.; Lankinen, Maria; Geleijnse, Johanna M.; de Goede, Janette; Ulaszewska, Marynka; Mattivi, Fulvio; Bakker, Stephan J. L.; Schwab, Ursula; Andres-Lacueva, Cristina (March 19, 2019). "Biomarkers of food intake for nuts and vegetable oils: an extensive literature search". Genes and Nutrition. 14 (1): 7. doi:10.1186/s12263-019-0628-8. PMC 6423890. PMID 30923582.
- ^ abSouza, R. G. M.; Gomes, A. C.; Naves, M. M. V.; Mota, J. F. (April 16, 2015). "Nuts and legume seeds for cardiovascular risk reduction: scientific evidence and mechanisms of action". Nutrition Reviews. 73 (6): 335–347. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuu008. PMID 26011909.
- ^"Selen und Herz-Kreislauf-Krankheiten". www.dge.de (in German). Retrieved October 6, 2021.
- ^Lazard, Myriam; Dauplais, Marc; Blanquet, Sylvain; Plateau, Pierre (April 24, 2015). "Trans-sulfuration Pathway Seleno-amino Acids Are Mediators of Selenomethionine Toxicity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae*". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 290 (17): 10741–10750. doi:10.1074/jbc.M115.640375. ISSN 0021-9258. PMID 25745108.
- ^ abPlateau, Pierre; Saveanu, Cosmin; Lestini, Roxane; Dauplais, Marc; Decourty, Laurence; Jacquier, Alain; Blanquet, Sylvain; Lazard, Myriam (March 17, 2017). "Exposure to selenomethionine causes selenocysteine misincorporation and protein aggregation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae". Scientific Reports. 7 (1): 44761. doi:10.1038/srep44761. ISSN 2045-2322.
- ^"Aflatoxins in food | EFSA". www.efsa.europa.eu. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
- ^"Research improves the control of Brazil nut contamination by mycotoxins". AGÊNCIA FAPESP. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
- ^"Brazil Nuts". Oak Ridge Associated Universities. January 20, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
- ^"BBC Bang Goes the Theory demonstrates that NOT all Brazil nuts are radioactive". January 4, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
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- ^Kornsteiner-Krenn, Margit; Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Elmadfa, Ibrahim (2013). "Phytosterol content and fatty acid pattern of ten different nut types". International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. 83 (5): 263–70. doi:10.1024/0300-9831/a000168. PMID 25305221.
- ^Ryan, E.; Galvin, K.; O'Connor, T. P.; Maguire, A. R.; O'Brien, N. M. (2006). "Fatty acid profile, tocopherol, squalene and phytosterol content of brazil, pecan, pine, pistachio and cashew nuts". International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 57 (3–4): 219–28. doi:10.1080/09637480600768077. PMID 17127473. S2CID 22030871.
- ^"Greenpeace Activists Trapped by Loggers in Amazon". Greenpeace. October 18, 2007. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- ^K, Lim T. (February 9, 2012). Edible Medicinal And Non Medicinal Plants: Volume 3, Fruits. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN .
1 ounce cooked lean beef, goat, ham, lamb, or pork
1 ounce cooked lean ground beef or pork
1 slice of luncheon or deli meats (beef, chicken, ham, pork, turkey)
1 ounce cooked game meats (bear, bison, deer, elk, moose, opossum, rabbit, venison)
1 ounce cooked organ meats
1 ounce cooked (without skin) chicken, ostrich, or turkey
2 ounces cooked Cornish hen, duck, goose, pheasant, or quail
1 sandwich slice of turkey or chicken breast (4½" x 2½" x ⅛")
1 ounce cooked finfish (black sea bass, catfish, cod, flounder, freshwater trout, haddock, hake, halibut, herring, light tuna, mackerel, mullet, perch, pollock, salmon, sea bass, snapper, sole, tilapia, whiting)
1 ounce cooked shellfish (clams, crab, crayfish, lobster, mussels, octopus, oysters, scallops, shrimp, squid (calamari)
1 ounce canned fish (anchovies, freshwater trout, herring, light tuna, salmon, sardines)
1 ½ egg whites (or 3 tablespoons liquid egg white product)
½ ounce of nuts (12 almonds, 24 pistachios, 7 walnut halves)
½ ounce of seeds (chia, flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, or squash seeds) hulled, roasted
1 tablespoon of almond, cashew, peanut, or sunflower butter, or sesame paste (tahini)
¼ cup of cooked beans, peas or lentils (such as bayo, black, brown, fava, garbanzo, kidney, lima, mung, navy, pigeon, pink, pinto, or soy, or white beans, or black-eyed peas (cow peas) or split peas, and red, brown, and green lentils)
¼ cup of baked beans or refried beans
¼ cup (about 2 ounces) of tofu
1 oz. tempeh, cooked
¼ cup soybeans, cooked
1 falafel patty (2 ¼", 4 oz)
6 tablespoons hummus
Amazon vegetable seeds
10 ways to make the most of pumpkin season, from baking treats to home decor
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If you're anything like us, you're taking full advantage of all the quintessential fall activities by going apple picking, having spooky Halloween movie marathons and going leaf-peeping as the trees burst with color. Next on the list: pumpkin patch frolicking.
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Grab the kids or a loved one and hit up your local pumpkin patch for a leisurely afternoon filled with fresh air (and most likely, tasty treats). If you've already made a trip to the pumpkin patch and have a few pumpkins lying around that you're not quite sure what to do with, we're here to help. Turn your pumpkins into pumpkin pie, puree, painted décor and even mac and cheese this season. Whether you prefer to bake, decorate or store your pumpkins for later, here are 10 ways to make the most of pumpkin season.
1. Carve your pumpkins with ease
Is it really spooky season if you don't carve your own pumpkins? Set up a pumpkin carving night with family to make some creative carvings and long-lasting memories. While a pumpkin carving tool isn't necessarily a high-stakes purchase, buying the right one can help to create a precise carving (and, can help keep your hands and fingers safe from accidental cuts or knicks). Our favorite pumpkin carving kit we've ever tested happens to be a classic, basic kit with festive orange accents: The Pumpkin Masters All-In-One Kit. Yes, it looks like cheap plastic, but the old-school style carving kit comes with four tools that are fast, safe and effective in carving your precious pumpkins with ease.
Get the Pumpkin Masters All-In-One Decorating Kit on Amazon for $8.99
2. Make this fun pumpkin mac and cheese recipe
One reason we love fall so much is simply the fact that there are so many festive recipes to try, from tried-and-true recipes passed down from generations to new recipes you found on TikTok. We recommend a delightful savory pumpkin mac and cheese recipe for your next fall get-together.
To make a one-pot pumpkin mac and cheese like this one from USA TODAY's ProblemSolved, we recommend using a quality stainless steel stockpot like one from the Cuisinart Multiclad 12-Piece Cookware Set. As our best value choice for cookware sets for induction cooking, the Cuisinart set offers incredible performance at a decent price—the stockpot is especially great for pasta and soup, too.
You can also try using a trusty slow cooker for your fall-inspired mac and cheese dish. We prefer the Cuisinart 3-in-1 Cook Central after testing a variety of slow cookers, as we found it cooks food to perfection and is super easy to use.
3. Bake a top-notch pumpkin pie
In the great debate of which pie is the best pie, we'd say pumpkin pie is up there as a top contender. No matter if you're baking a pumpkin pie from scratch or using store-bought ingredients (hey, both are equally as delicious), you'll need a great pie dish for your fresh-baked goods.
Out of all the pie dishes we put to the test (by baking delicious pies in them, of course), we found the Emile Henry Modern Classics Pie Dish to be the best one. It's a beautiful addition to your baking collection that's sure to impress guests. Not to mention, it's dishwasher, microwave and high-heat safe.
Get the Emile Henry Modern Classics Pie Dish at Amazon for $39.95
4. Make your own pumpkin puree
If you find you've collected quite a few pumpkins in your home this month, you can go beyond quick desserts and make pumpkin bases like a pumpkin puree. Pumpkin puree can be used in tons of recipes, plus it can be used to add a pumpkin-y touch to your oatmeal, a pot of chili or even in your morning cup of joe. Making a whipped puree for your latte is actually quite easy—all you'll need is your pumpkins (baked in the oven) and a food processor to create that air-light consistency.
Related: Skip Starbucks with these viral fall drink recipes you can make at home
We've tested plenty of food processors and found the Cuisinart "Custom 14" to excel at any task in the kitchen, so we're sure this processor can handle whipping up a smooth and delicious pumpkin puree. This food processer is also space-saving and relatively quiet for a blending device.
Get the Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY14-Cup Food Processor at Amazon $246.05
5. Paint your pumpkins
Another way to adorn your home with pumpkin décor is by painting your pumpkins. Get the family together for a weekend of painting fun—just make sure you've got the right supplies before you start. We'd recommend top-rated acrylic paints that'll stick to your pumpkin surfaces, like this 12-pack of colorful paints found on Amazon. Reviewers love that the paint is good quality at an even better price.
The brushes that you use can help you to really get creative. You can use classic nylon paintbrushes to create fine strokes and details. Art sponges are also great tools for creating a funky stippling effect on the pumpkins.
6. Bake a delicious loaf of pumpkin bread
Pumpkin bread is a fan-favorite dessert during the fall season. If you've got a plethora of pumpkins lying around, break out your baking materials and prepare to make a yummy loaf. For a loaf pan that's been tested and approved by the Reviewed team, the Rachael Ray Yum-o! Oven Lovin' Loaf Pan is hard to beat. It can fit a large capacity of loaf (who can argue with more pumpkin bread?) and features a dark nonstick material that allows the bread to develop a delicious crust. The pan also has large, silicone handles that make handling the pan easy.
Get the Rachael Ray Yum-o! Oven Lovin' Loaf Pan at Amazon for $11.99
7. Make your own pumpkin pizza
Wait, did we just say pumpkin pizza? Yes, we did, and—spoiler alert—it's delicious. ProblemSolved shared a pumpkin pizza recipe that creates the perfect union of sweet and savory that is sure to be a hit for family dinners or while watching Sunday Night Football. If you've never made your own pizza at home, don't worry—all you need is a few tools to make the perfect pizza.
A pizza stone can help elevate your pizzas to restaurant-quality levels. Our favorite one is the Lodge Pro-Logic Cast Iron Pizza Pan. This portable pan is safe to use in ovens, grills and even on campfires and really retains its heat when cooking. It also happens to be the easiest to clean out of all the ones we tested.
Of course, you'll need a pizza cutter to slice up your pizza and serve. For a highly efficient cutter that's perfect for pizza parties specifically, we love Dreamfarm Scizza Pizza Scissors that can make it through even the thickest crust and gooiest cheese.
8. Can pumpkins to use for later
If you've taken home one too many pumpkins, don't worry—you can still store your precious picks for future recipes. Like other fruits and vegetables, you can jar or can pumpkin for future purees, butters and more fall treats. All you need is a pot for boiling your pumpkin in and mason jars the result. The Ball Mason Wide Mouth Jars are perfect for canning—they're airtight and are sure to keep your goods fresh for a long time.
Get the Ball Mason Wide Mouth Jars (Pack of 12) at Amazon for $42.99
9. Whip up pumpkin ice cream
While we're on the topic of creative pumpkin recipes: Pumpkin ice cream is a thing, and we're sure you'll love it if you love all things pumpkin. ProblemSolved's pumpkin ice cream recipe is a sweet fall treat to share with friends and family—and it's surprisingly easy to make at home, too. For this recipe, you'll need to whip cream to get it ready to become ice cream and a good hand mixer can help you make fluffy cream in an instant. The best hand mixer we've ever tested is the Cuisinart Power Advantage Hand Mixer. It's easy to handle, features intuitive speed controls that are easy to work with and the attachments are dishwasher safe.
Get the Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus at Amazon for $79.95
10. Roast pumpkin seeds for a snack
Roasted pumpkin seeds are delicious to snack on, no matter the season. To make your own perfectly roasted seeds, you'll need a good baking sheet to evenly cook them to the ideal level of crispiness. The Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet is our favorite baking sheet because of it's even heat distribution and because it is large enough to cook many seeds at once, but surprisingly lightweight making it easy to handle.
Get the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet at Amazon starting at $17
Don’t get thwarted by shipping delays or sold-out favorites this holiday season. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and get the product reviews, deals and holiday gift guides you need to start shopping now.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Best Heirloom Vegetable Seeds
May 14, 2020 - 5 Recommendations
It has never been a better time to grow your own vegetables at home. Setting up a vegetable garden in your yard will allow you to enjoy the treats from the earth organically. It not only gives you a sense of accomplishment when you’re able to eat your own produce but you also get to save some money and have to buy less at the grocery store. You can pick and choose different vegetables, depending on the season or your tastes. Making a salad with freshly grown food or popping it on the grill just gives you an extra special feeling. If you have a green thumb and you want to start growing your own vegetables, you need some heirloom vegetables seeds. These will start the growing process and ultimately create your food if you tend to them frequently. We’ve highlighted some of the best vegetable seeds on the market to give you an idea of what kind of food you can grow fresh.
Read full article
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The best gardening books for beginners in 2021
As temperatures continue to rise across the country, people will likely head outdoors for vacations, get-togethers and some grilling adventures. For those hoping to better connect with nature, gardening may be on the list of activities to try this season, especially if you’re looking for a peaceful hobby in the midst of a bustling post-vaccine summer. But if you’re just starting out, finding the right tools, apparel and other gardening essentials may feel overwhelming — fortunately, gardening books can help advise and inform you when cultivating your own flower, vegetable or herb garden.
“No one starts out as an expert, and quite frankly we’re all playing catch up to understand nature,” said Ashlie Thomas, a professional gardener who runs the blog The Mocha Gardener. She added that being able to physically reference “words in tangible form” throughout the growing season is extremely useful. As for online references, while they’re “wonderfully convenient,” Thomas said books can “provide more robust and focused content that’s not just helpful starting out, but well into the gardening journey” and can be relevant “when you have specific questions with answers that aren’t readily available online.”
For anyone trying to figure out how to work with a small space, we consulted Amazon Books lifestyle editor Seira Wilson, whose specialties include everything from gardening books to cookbooks and coffee table books. She noted there are books on “both container gardening and vertical gardening” to help you out. And if you’re thinking of growing flowers, veggies or both, gardening books “can help you choose varieties that are optimal for what you want and the conditions — including the amount of time for maintenance — that you’re working with.”
6 gardening books for beginners
To help aspiring gardeners get started with some reference material and engaging reads, we consulted Wilson and compiled her picks for the most informative gardening books for beginners. “Beginning and experienced gardeners will find not only inspiration but options in these helpful (and beautiful) books,” Wilson explained. While there are heaps of books out there that can help you start and grow your own garden, Wilson suggested these helpful books for new gardeners featuring advice, guides and stunning photography. We also tapped into Amazon Books’ data to find the most popular quotes that Kindle readers highlighted while reading these.
1. Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: A Simple Guide to Growing Vegetables at Home
- Goodreads rating: A 4.34-star average rating from 118 reviewers
- Most highlighted quote: "Other plants are best suited for direct sowing. Beans, squash, zucchini, peas, corn, carrots, spinach, and beets prefer being grown from seeds planted directly in the garden."
Vegetable and herb gardening can be a rewarding experience, especially when you’ve picked your first fully grown tomato or fresh arugula to throw into your salad. Author Jill McSheehy — who also hosts The Beginner’s Garden podcast — details easy-to-follow guidance on how first-time gardeners can grow their own food. In this book, McSheehy teaches you how to set up a good foundation for your plants such as constructing raised garden beds and mixing healthy soil, how to choose plants for your garden and how to pair companion plants and maintain plants year-round.
2.The Complete Gardener: A Practical, Imaginative Guide to Every Aspect of Gardening
- Goodreads rating: A 4.5-star average rating from 360 reviewers
- Most highlighted quote: "Bear in mind that bees do not see red at all – so a purely red flower will be ignored by them unless it has blotches or stripes that lead the bee to the pollen and nectar. Blue, pink, green and yellow plants will always be the most attractive."
If you want to be a better gardener in practically every aspect, this book is comprehensive and includes various photographs to help you on that journey. The book features guidance from author Monty Don, who’s the lead presenter of BBC TV’s Gardeners’ World, about what he believes to be the most important aspects of gardening, from organic growing techniques to his own successes and failures in his garden.
3.Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space
- Goodreads rating: A 3.74-star average rating from 389 reviewers
- Most highlighted quote: "Cucumbers, English peas, Malabar spinach, sweet potatoes, and pole beans need only a lightweight support like willow branches, netting, or string in order to climb. Other vegetables, such as edible gourds (including chayote), melons (especially cantaloupe), pumpkins (especially miniatures), squash (including climbing zucchini, vegetable spaghetti, and small winter types), watermelons, and yams (especially Chinese climbing) need stronger supports like tree branches, bamboo, and builder's wire."
For those who have smaller plots of land or simply hope to grow high yields while limiting the amount of labor, this guide on vertical gardening can advise you on how to shrink the space you need for your garden. Author and gardener Derek Fell explains his recommendations for readily available vegetables, flowers and fruits that work best for vertical gardening, how to properly use this system and the benefits of it (which include smaller garden beds to prepare and maintain and new plant varieties to try out).
4. Floret Farm's Discovering Dahlias: A Guide to Growing and Arranging Magnificent Blooms
- Goodreads rating: A 4.7-star average from 185 reviewers
- Most highlighted quote: "To help conserve moisture, we add a thick layer of mulch around young plants once they’ve emerged from the soil. Shredded leaves, straw, or dried grass clippings are all great choices."
If planting beautiful flowers is your gardening objective, “Floret Farm’s Discovering Dahlias” written by world-renowned flower farmer and floral designer Erin Benzakein can guide you on growing, cultivating and arranging fresh dahlia flowers. In addition to advice and wisdom for planting these types of flowers, the book contains vibrant photographs that are not just pretty to look at, but can also teach you their different varieties and colors.
5.New Naturalism: Designing and Planting a Resilient, Ecologically Vibrant Home Garden
- Goodreads rating: A 4.13-star average rating from 30 reviewers
- Most highlighted quote: "We need millions of people planting differently for a planetary purpose, even if that’s one thoughtful decision at a time."
For new gardeners interested in a basic introduction to ecology and plant biology, “New Naturalism” explores how a garden can foster positive environmental change and encourage diversity of plants and animals in your space. You’ll also find advice on how to upgrade existing gardens or plots of land to create a vibrant and visually appealing space for both humans and wildlife, while also guiding you on how to build meadows, prairies and other open spaces even in compact, urban settings.
6.Vegetables Love Flowers: Companion Planting for Beauty and Bounty
- Goodreads review: A 4.2-star average rating from 253 reviewers
- Most highlighted quote: "The basic recipe I follow in the garden is 40 percent flowers to 60 percent vegetables."
Companion planting — planting vegetables and flowers alongside each other — can be a beneficial way to increase food yields and fight garden pests without pesticides. In “Vegetables Love Flowers,” author Lisa Mason Ziegler explains how adding flowers to your new vegetable and fruit garden can have multiple benefits, from increasing biodiversity and the number of pest-eating insects to enhancing pollination and brightening up your home. It also features beautiful photographs of healthy gardens and flowers that can make a good accessory to your coffee table.
More gardening books to consider
In addition to the books above, Wilson also recommended the following books for gardening beginners, including a guide on how to grow your own food and an informative read on growing and maintaining vibrant flowers.
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