500 Fruits: Update #4

Now that I’ve hit 50, I think I’ll slow down a bit on posting these updates, perhaps every 20 or so. We’ll see. Apparently going on vacation is helpful when you want to try new fruits. I’ve still got two more sitting on my counter waiting for me to eat them (in fact, all but one of the updates were bought in PA). Perhaps tomorrow evening.
Other than the obvious of getting to try new things, and giving myself permission to be adventurous, I think the thing I’m enjoying about this project the most is talking to other people about it. The first question I usually get is “Are there even 500 different fruits?” to which the short answer is “Yes.” Then I start talking about fruit varieties (would you say a pink lady apple is the same as a green granny smith?). Then, depending on the person, they either start talking about their favorite fruits, or weird fruits they’ve tried. My coworkers and I had probably a 10 minute conversation about this over lunch today (and this is a topic we’ve already covered). Then I got everyone to try yellow plums that I bought in Pennsylvania. For one of my coworkers, this may have been his first plum ever.

50. black grapes
49. zucchini
48. dapple dandy plum
47. sprite melon
46. dark sweet cherry
45. yellow plum
44. red banana
43. bartlett pear
42. lychee nuts
41. White nectarine
40. Red Velvet Pluot
39. Black Velvet Africot – probably one of my favorites so far
38. Sweet red cherries
37. Clementine
36. mulberries
35. pineapple
34. lime
33. jalapeno
32. Grapefruit
31. Blackberries
30. Packham’s Triumph pear
29. Cantaloupe
28. Rainier cherries (we think)
27. Red Anjou Pear
26. Asian pear (which will not be making it’s way into my usual rotation) **turns out the one I had likely wasn’t ripe enough, I’ve been advised to try one again, but make sure it’s ripe.
25. Bell pepper (red)
24. D’anjou pear
23. Pluot
22. Black plum
21. Red Plum
20. green seedless grapes
19. grape tomatoes
18. Blueberries (crappy blueberries, but none the less, they still count)
17. Avocado (though the one I had in Costa Rica was *WAY* better)
16. vine on tomato
15. Nectarine
14. Apricot
13. Raspberries
12. Navel orange
11. Peach
10. Seedless red grapes
9. passion fruit
8. strawberries
7. kiwifruit
6. Banana – Oh, so THIS is what a banana tastes like!
5. Guanabana
4. Papaya
3. Plum – Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a plum before. Shame because I might actually like ‘em.
2. Mango
1. Watermelon

Gluten Free Granola

For the first time in 7.5 years of being gluten free, I’m ready to say “I have Celiac Disease.” No, I still haven’t been officially diagnosed. But a trip to my parents reminded me that my dad HAS been diagnosed celiac. So with vast improvement on a gluten free diet and my father having Celiac Disease, it is likely what I have too. There really isn’t any difference to how I’ll live my life with this change of words, but some things will change. I’ve always told people that one of the hall marks to me of having Celiac is knowing that if you eat gluten you’ll increase your chances of various cancers significantly. So with this change in wording, I need to remind myself that that sentiment applies to me too. I need to be more mindful of trace gluten along with actual gluten consumption (perhaps I need to cut out the occasional cheating at weddings…).

I was also inspired in the last 10 days ‘on vacation’ to rethink my diet and maybe actually put into practice some of the ideas I’ve been thinking about. I need to cut down on crap sugar intake, refined flours and such and actually cut completely out of my diet high fructose corn syrup. The recipe below is a step in the right direction, but it still needs some work.

Gluten Free Granola
I’ll be doing some tweeking of this recipe eventually, but this was my starting point tonight. I need breakfast for tomorrow (and this week in general) and wanted to make granola. But I don’t have any peanut butter, which my usual recipe calls for. So I gave this one a go based on what I have on hand. I used this recipe from Gluten Free Gobsmacked and altered it based on my tastes and what I didn’t need to make a second trip to the grocery store for.

1. Mix, in a medium bowl, 1.75 c GF rolled oats with crushed GF cereal to make a total of 3c ‘cereal’
2. Mix in 2/3 c sunflower seeds, 1 c crumbled pecan pieces, 1/3 c ground flax seed, 2 t cinnamon, and 2/3 c dried cranberries.
3. In a small pan (or in the microwave if you have one), melt 3 T salted butter.
4. Once the butter is melted add 2/3 c real maple syrup and 2 T brown sugar. Simmer until the brown sugar is fully dissolved.
5. Pour maple syrup mixture into the cereal/nut mixture and mix well.
6. Pat into a large cookie sheet sprayed with oil and bake 25-30 min at 325F. Ideally you should flip it every 8-10 min.

**Caveats** I didn’t preheat my oven. Hell, the oven shouldn’t even be on right now. It’s hot (well, for Wisconsin it’s hot). This also means that I did the first mix/flip, but none of the others. I just can’t stand to be in front of the oven right now. The rest of the house is finally cooling down and really, I’m fine if this doesn’t come out perfect. I’m also making a move to STOP using parchment paper and just deal with cleaning the pan. While I do love how easy clean up is with parchment paper, I don’t like the waste of putting another item into the trash can. Instead I’ll see how just washing the pan itself goes (and no, I don’t use nonstick either).

500 Fruits: Update #3

In less than two months, I’ve tried 40 different kinds of fruit. And I haven’t even started in on the apple varieties!

40. Red Velvet Pluot
39. Black Velvet Africot
38. Sweet red cherries
37. Clementine
36. mulberries
35. pineapple
34. lime
33. jalapeno
32. Grapefruit
31. Blackberries
30. Packham’s Triumph pear
29. Cantaloupe
28. Rainier cherries (we think)
27. Red Anjou Pear
26. Asian pear (which will not be making it’s way into my usual rotation) **turns out the one I had likely wasn’t ripe enough, I’ve been advised to try one again, but make sure it’s ripe.
25. Bell pepper (red)
24. D’anjou pear
23. Pluot
22. Black plum
21. Red Plum
20. green seedless grapes
19. grape tomatoes
18. Blueberries (crappy blueberries, but none the less, they still count)
17. Avocado (though the one I had in Costa Rica was *WAY* better)
16. vine on tomato
15. Nectarine
14. Apricot
13. Raspberries
12. Navel orange
11. Peach
10. Seedless red grapes
9. passion fruit
8. strawberries
7. kiwifruit
6. Banana – Oh, so THIS is what a banana tastes like!
5. Guanabana
4. Papaya
3. Plum – Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a plum before. Shame because I might actually like ‘em.
2. Mango
1. Watermelon