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Archive for April, 2008

Watermelon is one of America’s all-time favorite foods. You can find it at almost every summer picnic or outdoor party and in the produce section of most food markets. The average American eats about 15 pounds of watermelon a year.

Although many people think of watermelon as a fruit, it is also considered a vegetable by some.

With a name like watermelon, it’s no wonder the melon is 92 percent water. So in addition to providing a sweet treat, watermelon can be a source of fluids for young athletes before, during and after sporting events. This doesn’t mean you should substitute it for water and sports drinks on the playing field. You still need to have those drinks nearby.

Nutritional value

Watermelon has zero saturated fat, is low in sodium and cholesterol free. Because of its high water content, watermelon is also low in calories. A good food for dieters!

It is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6 and C as well as potassium. Two cups of diced watermelon provides 20 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin A and 25 percent for vitamin C. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommends we include two cups of fruit per day in our daily diet.

Lycopene, a potential antioxidant found in watermelon, may have disease-fighting benefits. Researchers believe lycopene might have a role in the prevention of some diseases, such as forms of cancer and heart disease. There are about 15 to 20 milligrams (mg) of lycopene in a two-cup serving of watermelon, compared to 4 to 5 mg found in one tomato.

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I found this great blog Radish Boy, it that has easy to follow gluten free recipes. These are gluten free oat matzoh, that I made for our seder tonight. Matzoh is unleavened bread eaten on Passover, the holiday that celebrates the escape of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.

According to Jewish law, matzoh must be made from one of the five grains traditionally eaten in Egypt that could become leavened. These grains are wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats. It is made quickly, so that the grains don’t have time to ferment and leaven the bread. No more than 18 minutes can pass from the time that flour and water are mixed together to the time that the bread is finished in order for the bread to be considered matzoh.

Unfortunately for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it is difficult to find gluten free matzoh, and it can’t be made from alternative grains such as rice, buckwheat or quinoa. There are several companies that sell gluten free oat matzoh, made specifically for Passover.

So in an attempt to follow the rules, I made gluten free oat matzoh using oat flour and water, and following the 18 minute time limit.

Here’s the process:

2 cups gluten free oat flour
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. In a bowl, mix the flour and water. Spread a thin layer of oat flour on a board and then knead the dough until it becomes a workable, about 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a snake and cut into inch size pieces. Roll each piece into a thin circle, and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 7 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Make sure that the entire process takes only 18 minutes from start to finish. These matzoh will be very crisp and have a delightful, nutty taste.

Technically, these are not Kosher for Passover because the oat flour I used was not supervised by a Rabbi to ensure that it did not ferment or become contaminated during processing. But I think it is a good substitute to teach our kids about the meaning of Passover, without being too strict about the law.

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