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Mary’s Memo – July 1st

SEND DRYER SHEETS TO THE LANDFILL!


Although I knew towels absorb more moisture without dryer sheets, I didn’t realize that fabric softeners, either liquid or dryer sheets, coat the interior of the washer and dryer with a film that is difficult to remove. As for dryer sheets, the chemicals are particularly noxious because when heated in the dryer the chemicals are released through dryer vents into the environment. If you want more information about their toxicity check it out on the internet. If you insist on a softener add 1/4 cup white vinegar to the wash cycle. A towel free of fabric softener sheets is a great back scratcher! Source: www.healingnaturallybybee.com/articles/toxin5.php

FOR THE 4TH OF JULY


What could be more appropriate than a bag of Snyder of Hanover Patriotic Shaped Pretzels at Chief Supermarkets featuring stars, flags and Liberty Bells. Compared to many snacks including potato chips, pretzels are low in calories and every bit as good for dipping.

WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN


It has been just over a decade since Swedish scientists first raised concerns about acrylamide in the food supply after they detected carcinogens in starchy food heated to high temperatures. Studies, including one last year in Food and Chemical Toxicology, have consistently found that potato chips, French fries and other fried potato products have the most acrylamide. But the chemical is also detected at lower levels in some healthier foods such as breakfast cereals, crackers and bread which we tend to eat a lot of. Over the years, scientists have also found acrylamide in roasted nuts, peanut butter, olives, some dried fruit, coffee, especially dark-roasted and instant coffee and other foods. Unless you’re on a raw foods diet, it’s nearly impossible to avoid all acrylamide and there’s no reason to, anyway. Since the invention of cooking thousands of years ago, humans have been consuming acrylamide, along with other potential risky high-heat byproducts. Remember, too, that most foods naturally contain potential cancer promoters, as well as cancer fighters. Coffee, for example, is a big source of acrylamide exposure, yet studies consistently find that coffee has health benefits. And if acrylamide-containing food is otherwise good for you, such as whole grain breads and cereals, the benefits outweigh the risks. Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, July 2013.

RAVE REVIEWS FOR THIS FRUIT SALAD


I subscribe to Kraft’s quarterly Food & Family magazine. The summer issue includes a recipe called Creamy Fruit Salad that tasters raved about. The creaminess comes from a small box of Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding thickened with 1 cup orange juice. Two cups watermelon chunks were replaced with 2 cups Del Monte Pineapple Gold pineapple and the zest of an orange was added to give the salad an extra flavor boost.

CREAMY FRESH FRUIT SALAD

• 2 nectarines, chopped
• 2 cups halved strawberries (quarter larger ones)
• 2 cups Athena or Tuscan melon chunks
• 2 cups pineapple cubes
• 1 cup fresh blueberries
• 1 cup green seedless grapes
• Zest of 1 navel orange
• 1 (3.4-ounce) package Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
• 1 cup No Pulp Florida Orange Juice

Combine fruit and zest. For two minutes, whisk together pudding mix and orange juice. Toss gently with fruit mixture. Garnish with fresh mint leaf (optional). Source: Adapted from recipe in Summer '13 Kraft Food & Family.

CLINGSTONE VERSUS FREESTONE PEACHES


Peaches available now are likely to be clingstone where the flesh of the fruit stubbornly clings to the pit. Freestone peach flesh falls easily away from the pit when cut and is excellent for grilling. Instead of clingstone peaches, choose nectarines and/or plums to grill now. In my opinion, no peach beats a freestone one from groves in southern Michigan although area grown freestones are also acceptable.

They may not lend themselves to grilling, but this week’s Peach Crisp was well liked by Bryan Chief tasters. Once peeled, cut slices away from the pit.

PEACH CRISP

• 6 cups fresh peach slices (about 1 dozen)
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 cup flour
• 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

Mix almond extract with peaches and spoon into deep 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter until topping looks crumbly. Spoon evenly over peaches. Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 40 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden brown. Recipe makes 6 to 8 servings. Top with small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Source: Adapted from Allrecipes, world’s favorite recipe web site.

A VERY HAPPY 4TH OF JULY TO ALL!


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