NATURES BEAUTY - LILY

Easter is upon us, and no flower is more associated with the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection than the lily. Traditional lore says white lilies emerged where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the earth in his final hours on the cross. The ancient Greeks believed lilies came from the breast milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of beauty, was jealous of the flower’s white loveliness. A European legend says if you approach an expectant mother holding a lily….

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NATURES BEAUTY - SQUASH

Is squash a vegetable or a fruit? You would probably call a zucchini squash a vegetable, but you would most likely call a pumpkin a fruit. The definitive answer, from a botanical view, is squash are fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant.  Squash are some of the oldest cultivated crops on earth, believed to have originated in Mexico and Central America more than 10,000 years ago. The word squash comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means…..

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NATURES BEAUTY - CINNAMON

One of the best-loved spices of cooks and food lovers alike is cinnamon. Made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, where it was used to embalm mummies. The tree is native to the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. Indonesia and China produce three-quarters of the world’s supply of cinnamon today.

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NATURES BEAUTY - OLALLIEBERRY

However you spell it – olallieberry, ollalieberry, olallaberry, olalliberry, ollalaberry or ollaliberry (pronounced oh-la- leh-berry) – this blackberry hybrid is a tasty addition to pies, jams and more.


The olallieberry was developed by George Waldo, who worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in collaboration with Oregon State University, in 1949. The olallieberry was a selection that came from a cross between the black loganberry, which was developed by horticulturalist James Logan in California in 1881 by accident, and the youngberry, which was developed by Byrnes M. Young, a businessman who lived in Louisiana. According to Logan, his black loganberry itself was a cross between an eastern blackberry and a western dewberry. Youngberry in turn was developed from a cross of a western dewberry and a red raspberry. The crossbreeding resulted in a fruit that is two-thirds blackberry and one- third red raspberry. Physically, olallieberries have the characteristics of a blackberry, but they are larger, longer and somewhat sweeter. They balance the sweet and tart flavors of cassis, blackberry and plum with a tender and juicy consistency. Their complex parentage contributes to this depth of flavor that has inspired some people to call the olallieberry the king of blackberries. Olallieberries have a glossy onyx sheen with ruby highlights. The juice that squirts out of overripe olallieberries is a vibrant fuchsia-purple. How about that, it’s colorful and tasty both!

“Olalli” comes from a Pacific Northwestern Native American (Chinook) word for berry. Thus, when translated, olallieberry literally means berry berry. They may have originated in Oregon, but they grow best in the more temperate coastal regions of Northern and Central California. Olallieberry is a perennial deciduous thorny plant, but its branches are biennial, bearing fruit after two years. Every year new branches grow and bear fruit after two years of growth. Olallieberries have a very short growing season, which means they are only available for a few weeks in late spring or early summer. They should be used immediately after purchase since they are highly perishable. You can find them mainly at farmers markets, but there are quite a few places online where you can place an order if you are intrigued enough to give olallieberry a try.


Like most berries, olallieberries are low in calories. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and dietary fiber. Berries are loaded with antioxidants that help keep free radicals under control and olallieberries are no exception. Olallieberries contain high amounts of calcium that will strengthen bones and maintain bone health. They also have a component called polyphenolic, which can help strengthen memory and appears to clean up the toxins in the brain that can cause Alzheimer’s disease.


Olallieberries can be substituted for other blackberry varieties in recipes, such as the marionberry or boysenberry. They are delicious in pies, preserves, jams, muffins, shortcakes and tarts, as well as smoothies. They are good complements to dishes featuring poultry, pork and wild game. Dark red olallieberries can be used to make wine.


SOURCES:


TANYA TYLER





Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine