Carrot

Posted in Vegetables

Carrot

Binomial name: Daucus carota From the Umbellifera family, it is a biennial plant of white flowers. Origin: the carrot is a species native to Central Asia and the Mediterranean area. Greeks and Romans already cultivated it and consumed it, although in this period it was violet. Its current orange colour is due to the selections realised in Holland in the middle of the 18th century, which increased its quantity of carotene, the pigment source of this colour. Medicinal values: carrots contain a lot of beta-carotene, which is transformed in vitamin A into the organism. The beta-carotene is an effective antioxidant, very useful to fight against some types of cancer, especially the lung one. Recent investigations suggest that it can also prevent infarcts and cardiac diseases. Besides, this vegetable has a lot of fibre and sugar. Caloric value per 100 g: 42 kcal Varieties: there are three basic types of carrots based on the shape they have: the big one, the fine one and the carrots of branch. Curiosities: because of the introduction of this vegetable by the Arab people in our country, the Spanish term “zanahoria” comes from the Arab “isfannariya”. In the Levant area is very popular the world “carlota” to mention it; its origin is Latin and comes from  “carrota”, that, at the same time, it comes from the Greek language and it means ‘to...

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Cassava

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Cassava

Binomial name: Manihot esculenta The homonymous bush (yuca, mandioca, cassava) can measure until 2 m height. Origin: it is known also as manioc or mandioca; it is the basic food of a lot of inhabitants of America, Africa and Asia. During the World War I, the cassava purchased big importance in Europe, since, in this poverty period, with its flour it was making bread. Medicinal values: the cassava is digestive, calming, anti-inflamatory and slightly astringent. It is recommended in case to suffer gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, excess acidity, gastroenteritis, colitis and diarrhoea. The flour can be applied in hot poultices with lemon juice to treat furuncles, infected grains or in case of suffering a skin infection that produces streptococcus. Caloric value per 100 g: 110 kcal Varieties: the variety that is used to eat as a tuber is sweet cassava. The bitter one does not lose its toxicity even after boiled, consequently its consumption is mortal. Curiosities: from pulverized root is obtained flour with which are prepared thin pancakes known as mandioca bread. This flour is named “gari” in western...

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Tomato

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Tomato

      Cherry                                         Raf       Pear                                             Vine Kumato Binomial name: Lycopersicon esculentum We are in front of a plant of the Solanaceae family. There are almost one hundred varieties of tomato, from America. Origin: the tomato is native to the Andes, although its gastronomic importance has brought it to cultivate it all over the world. It arrived to Europe from Mexico, no without difficulties, althought in the beginning it was considered a poisonous plant. In the 18th century, tomato sauce appeared in the Old World, and with it the triumph of this vegetable. Medicinal values: tomato does not stand out by any specifically medicinal property, but it helps to improve all the parts of the human body. It possesses a high amount of vitamin A, C and E, what stimulates our general system. It is indicated for any type of diet, it has a low energetic value and it helps in the diuretic function and circulatory system. Caloric value per 100 g: 39 kcal Varieties: Cherry, Raf, Pear, Daniela, Vine, Kumato, Cluster. Curiosities: at the beginning, the tomato was refused in Europe due to its resemblance with the poisonous berries. At present, the Mediterranean kitchen would be inconceivable without this...

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Rucola

Posted in Vegetables

Rucola

Binomial name: Eruca sativa It is an annual plant, with thick and ramified root. The flowers are grouped in pendants lengthened and they are whitish or yellowish. Origin: this species is native to South Europe and West Asia. The rucola has been cultivated in the Mediterranean from the Roman period, where it was harvested in the wild. However, its expansion is very recent, since it began to produce it on a large scale and to subject to scientific investigation in the mid-1990s. Medicinal values: it is rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant; and iron, very good for anaemia. In Greece, rucola is recommended to prevent digestive problems. Caloric value per 100 g: 31 kcal Varieties: although more and more people knows rucola, Italians differentiate it between two varieties, rucola and annual wall-rocket. Curiosities: the Romans considered it...

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Pepper

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Pepper

      Italian                                         Yellow       Red                                              Green Padrón pepper Binomial name: Capsicum annuum L. The pepper belongs to the Solanaceae family, the same as the tomato. It is an annual herbaceus plant. Origin: pepper is native to the area of Bolivia and Peru. It was Christopher Columbus the one who entered it in the European continent. Medicinal values: peppers are diuretic, digestive and blood tonic. They are indicated in cases of hypertension, gout, kidney stones and urine retention. Caloric value per 100 g: 22 kcal Varieties: Lamuyo, green and red, Californian, jalapeño, yellow, anaranjado, Italian. Curiosities: capsaicin, a compost present in all the species “Capsicum”, stimulates sensory receptors and epidermis pain. It produces a sense of burning in the mouth, that most of mammal find unpleasant. It is thought that the manufacture of this substance is a protection measure to avoid that the fruits of the plant are eaten. The capsaicin does not affect birds, since if they eat the fruits, in return they propagate the...

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