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Food for Health - Cynthia Hochswender

Feelin’ hot, hot, hot

The only red hot chili peppers that I like are the ones that sing “Dani California.” Some people just love hot food, though — the bigger the burn the better. I won’t be genderist here but you can make your own assumptions about how many women boast that they can eat large amounts of super-hot peppers and not suffer any ill effects. 

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Matzo and a healthy Passover meal

We don’t really need to look for health benefits in our spring holiday meals. But let’s do it anyway. 
I’m going to a Passover seder this week at the home of my friends Fred and Jenny and I’m in charge of matzo ball soup. So, naturally I want to write first about matzo balls. 

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The maple sap revolution

The sap is running from maple trees here in the Tri-state region. If you know someone who makes their own syrup, give him or her a call and see if you can buy a half gallon of the pure, clear sap, before they boil it down into amber syrup. 
Here’s the math: It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. And most people still boil down the sap in a tank over a wood fire. It takes a long time for all the water to boil out of the sap, so someone has to keep an eye on the tank and to keep chucking logs into the fire.

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Glad tidings: coffee, chocolate are healthy foods

I love stories about how my favorite unhealthy foods are actually nutritious. It’s like that Woody Allen movie, I think it was “Sleeper,” where they discovered that all the foods we used to think were bad for you turned out to be good for you.

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Applesauce is not the only way to preserve apples

There is some primal instinct that makes us feel as though we are unfulfilled if we don’t spend the autumn months picking apples and then preserving them. I know I feel it, and I know I have personally made gallons and gallons of applesauce even though, like many of my friends who also make applesauce, no one actually likes to eat applesauce (come on, be honest). It makes it slightly more appealing to me if you call it apple mousse instead, as my Austrian friend refers to it.

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That’s why they say it’s cool as a cuke

Stop me if I’ve told you this story, but earlier this summer I was infected with ehrlichiosis by some horrible small bug and I had a very high fever for several days and was sick for weeks. 
During that time, all I wanted to eat was white rice and cucumbers. 

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Magical, exotic (and not bitter) eggplants

Charlie Paley should rename his farm market in Sharon, and call it Charlie’s Sugar Shack or Charlie’s Candy Store. The fruits and vegetables he’s been growing and selling over the past few weeks are so sweet and delicious that to call them farm produce doesn’t really capture what they are.

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Can’t beat beets for a sweet summer treat

One of the many nice things about buying vegetables from local farms is that you can ask about the conditions in which your vegetables were grown.
Of course, just because you ask doesn’t mean that you’ll get a complete answer. There is so much anxiety these days about genetically modified foods that even if your farmer is using GMO seeds, he or she might not tell you about it — even if you ask point blank.

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