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Enjoying the Taste of Fruits and Vegetables as if from Faraway Places
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If you enjoy food from all over the world, you don’t have to travel or visit your local ethnic restaurant to experience food from other countries.  Consider the following tips to easily bring the taste of faraway places to your kitchen table:

•    Puree fruits and vegetables in a food processor to create dips, sauces, and dressings.  Try blending chick peas, garlic, olive oil, and yogurt to make a Middle-Eastern dip.
•    Combine a variety of fruits and vegetables to make salsas and chutneys.  Use your creations to flavor grilled chicken or fish.  To make a Caribbean salsa, combine papaya, onion, bell peppers, lime juice, and cilantro.
•    Use avocados in sandwiches and salads or mix with cilantro and tomatoes for an easy guacamole
•    Add fresh or dried basil to sauces, soups, and stir-fries
•    Chick Peas or Garbanzo Beans are legumes containing a protein source.  Use in soups, salads, and bean dishes

Most of these ingredients can be found in your local grocery store.

Serve fufu in place of mashed potatoes.

Ingredients:

•    3 cups water
•    4 ripe plantains
•    1 tbsp butter
•    1 clove of garlic minced
•    4 green onions (scallions) chopped

Directions:

•    Peel plantains and slice into 1 inch pieces
•    Bring water to a boil, add plantain pieces and cook for 20 minutes
•    Drain, but leave some water for mashing
•    Add butter and garlic to plantains
•    Mash with a potato masher
•    Garnish with green onions and serve

It takes 20 minutes to prepare and serves 4.

Note:  Plantains look like large bananas.  They can usually be found in the produce section of the grocery store.  Ripe plantains have black skins.

To create a creamy texture, add ¼ cup of skim milk or soy milk to plantains when mashing.

Bananas are available almost everywhere.  They are grown in over 100 different countries throughout the world.  They are especially popular with children in Africa because of their sweet taste.

Crunchy African Bananas

Ingredients:

•    1 tbsp butter or margarine
•    1 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
•    ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
•    Cooking spray
•    2 large bananas, medium-ripe
•    ¼ cup chopped unsalted peanuts

Directions:

•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
•    In a small bowl, melt butter in the microwave, about 45 seconds
•    Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon until well blended
•    Coat a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray
•    Peel bananas, cut each banana lengthwise in half.
•    Place bananas cut-side down in baking pan
•    Brush with some brown-sugar mixture
•    Sprinkle with chopped peanuts
•    Bake 20 minutes or until bananas are lightly browned
•    Serve warm

Source:  Fruits and Veggies Matter Online



By Connie Limon
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