08/16/2016: Update on Bananas.



Okay, so, we just have a few minutes and I wanted to kind of summarize my traveling adventure for the last three months in Northern California. Tie that all in with all the wonderful things about plant foods. So, the first thing I want to talk about is bananas. [Laughter]. A, we rediscovered the Staff of Life Market in Santa Cruz. I think it is my ultimate favorite grocery store. The food is so fresh there and it lasts such a long time because the farms are right there and they get picked and delivered to the store. The prices are incredible. Unfortunately, you can’t afford real estate in Santa Cruz, but [laughter] if you can find a place to pitch a tent or an RV or something you can take advantage of the Staff of Life ‘cause the food prices are great and the food’s great. So, I was there and I picked up some red bananas. Have you ever had red bananas? I‘ve had them a few times. I’ve seen them in the store a little more frequently and I purchased them maybe the first few days of August maybe around August 3rd. They were really hard and I knew that they wouldn’t be ripe until they felt a little soft inside and a week went by and they were still hard and I wanted to eat them because I didn’t buy any other bananas and I like to have my bananas and I opened one up and you never want to eat these red bananas when they’re not ripe because they’re dry and hard and chalky tasting and very unpleasant. So, I just forgot about them for a while. It took about two weeks and then they ripened and they were just really lovely and the flesh inside has like a pink hue to it and it tastes like a banana but it has a fruitier maybe like a berry flavor a note or a highlight and a, it’s just a, I love variety and I love trying new things, but the thing about the red banana is we may be seeing more red bananas and we need to learn when they’re ripe and when they’re best to eat because the Cavendish banana, I’ve been hearing this now for a decade or two, but those in the know about bananas keep telling us that we’re not going to have the Cavendish banana forever because it’s believed that the Panama disease, a fungus, also known as banana wilt is going to wipe them out and before the very popular yellow Cavendish that we all see in the stores today, even more popular was a banana called the Gros Michel, Gros Michel, c’est Francais, Gros Michel, G-r-o-s-m-i-c-h-e-l which means, big Mike, big Michael and it was a yellow banana that was very popular and then gosh about 60, 70 years ago it was wiped out, practically wiped out by this Panama disease and for a long time the Cavendish seemed to be resistant, but now it’s seeming, the Panama disease has kind of morphed as these a funguses and viruses do and looks like it’s going to to take over the Cavendish. There’s lots of varieties of bananas out there. You just have to discover them and that’s why the red banana is more interesting to me these days. Now, like I said I’ve been hearing for decades that the Cavendish is going to disappear and it hasn’t disappeared yet, so maybe, maybe there’s hope, but I love bananas. I love them and then, oh, we did, my partner Gary De Mattei and I, we did a reading last week, August 9th, which is why I didn’t do a program, of a new play that Gary’s written. He’s been working on it for about five years and we did our first reading and it was spectacular. I love the fact that the small audience that came to hear it, they listened to the over two hour program, they laughed and they got it and it was wonderful and actually it was about food, but that wasn’t the point of the story, but there was a lot of discussion of food in the play. A, but one of our friends who came, instead of giving us flowers, which traditionally when you do a theatre project people who come reward people with flowers and it’s lovely to get flowers, some of our friends they brought a box of vegetables ‘cause they know that we’re crazy vegans who love our vegetables, but it was really a delightful gift and it came with a big head of kale and peppers, tomatoes, and radishes, a, there was a mango in there and some fresh mint and it was such a thoughtful gift. It came in a lovely basket. Oh, and it had those tricolored carrots, the yellow, purple and orange carrots. What a lovely gift. So, we ended up making a number of things. One is we were really craving our mint tea that we like to make at home, but we didn’t have any mint tea and I suppose we could have bought some, but I was really limiting all the different things that we were going to buy and when we got the fresh mint, there was an opportunity to make mint tea, which we did a number of evenings, and then we made this wonderful gumbo with red lentils and all of these vegetables: the peppers, the tomatoes, the carrots. It was just really, really lovely. So, yes, there’s just a thought for you if you’re thinking about an unusual, but lovely gift to bring people who love vegetables, a basket of really stunning fruits and vegetables can be really nice. I would love it anytime you want to buy me a gift. [Laughter]. Ah, okay. And then the other thing I want to mention is a, how exciting it is, I’m still thrilled, when I see vegan options in places where I don’t expect them. So, we went to the movies a few times and the Alternative Baking Company had their cookies at the movie theater, so we bought a cookie and I loved it. It was the Explosive Expresso Chip cookie and we went to see the Jason Bourne movie so I thought an explosive cookie would pair very well with the movie, but I wanted to make a note this is really a delicious cookie but it’s important that this cookie be shared. The package, if you read it, says that there are two servings, it’s one cookie, it’s about three and a half inches, four inches in diameter maybe, it’s a big cookie, but there’s 460 calories in that big cookie, so, if you share it that’s 230 calories, seven grams of fat in each serving or 14 grams of fat in the entire cookie. It’s a delicious cookie, but it is a big, big treat and best shared. So, if you see those cookies out and about, I highly recommend them, but I also recommend breaking them up and sharing them with people ‘cause they are a very rich treat and I still have a, what do we got, like three minutes left, we discovered Blue Line Pizza. It’s a restaurant in California. It is not vegan, but they are very vegan friendly and I want to say it was the best vegan pizza I have ever had. So, they offer a thin crust and a Chicago style crust. The thin crust is vegan, the Chicago thick crust is not. They also make gluten free a, crust, which a, is by Udi’s, I think that’s the name they used that brand which is also not vegan, but their thin crust is vegan and fabulous and they also offer Daiya cheese, I know some people call it, Daiya, but I’ve been told it’s pronounced Daiya, like dairy, Daiya and a, so Gary got half, we ordered a large pie, Gary got his half with the Daiya cheese, cause I don’t really like it too much and I got my half with mushrooms ‘cause he doesn’t really like them and it had sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic and spinach and olives and it was incredible! So, that was our once a year day with pizza ‘cause we don’t have pizza very often, but I know people love pizza. So, if you’re out in Northern California you might check out Blue Line Pizza ‘cause they are awesome. Well, there you go. I’ve talked my way into and out of another program. So, thanks for joining me and I really hope you will check out Brenda Sanders. You can go to ResponsibleEatingandLiving.com and check on the radio page for her. I’ve included a number of links. She’s just so inspiring and if you can get to the VegSoul Fest this weekend, I highly recommend it. It really should be fun and informative. Thanks for joining me. I’m Caryn Hartglass. You can find me at Info@RealMeals.org. Remember, have a delicious week.

Transcribed by Nanette Gagyi, 8/26/2016

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