Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sweet Potatoe: Learn more about the Peruvian Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato. Moche Culture. 300 A.D. Larco Museum Collection, Peru. Sweet potatoes are native to the tropical parts of South America , and were domesticated there at least 5,000 years ago in Peru.

Drawings of sweet potatoes have been found in pre-Columbian ceramics when ancient tombs were discovered. The sweet potato was already widely established in the Americas by the time Europeans first arrived there. Later, it spread from there, to the Old World .

Sweet potato varieties exist in many colours of skin and flesh, ranging from white to deep purple, although white and yellow-orange flesh are the most common.

The first Europeans to taste sweet potatoes were members of Columbus ' expedition in 1492. Later explorers found many varieties under an assortment of local names, but the name which stayed was the indigenous Taino name of batata. This name was later transmuted to the similar name for a different vegetable—the ordinary potato, causing confusion from which it never recovered. The first record of the name "sweet potato" is found in the Oxford English Dictionary of 1775.

The sweet potato was also grown before western exploration in Polynesia , where it is known as the kumara . Sweet potato has been radiocarbon-dated in the Cook Islands to 1000 AD, and current thinking is that it was brought to central Polynesia circa 700 AD, possibly by Polynesians who had travelled to South America and back, and spread across Polynesia to Hawaii and New Zealand from there. It is possible, however, that South Americans brought it to the Pacific. Sweet potatoes are now cultivated throughout tropical and warm temperate regions wherever there is sufficient water to support their growth.

Today, China is the largest grower of sweet potatoes; providing about 80% of the world's supply, 130 million tons were produced in one year (in 1990; about half that of common potatoes). Historically, most of China 's sweet potatoes were grown for human consumption, but now most (60%) are grown to feed pigs . The rest are grown for human food and for other products. Some are grown for export, mainly to Japan. China grows over 100 varieties of sweet potato.

Good nutrition from a sweet source

Besides simple starches, sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates , dietary fiber , beta carotene (a vitamin A equivalent nutrient), vitamin C , and vitamin B6 .

In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fibre content, complex carbohydrates , protein , vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium , the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value.

Sweet potato varieties with dark orange flesh have more beta carotene than those with light coloured flesh and their increased cultivation is being encouraged in Africa where Vitamin A deficiency is a serious health problem. Despite the name "sweet", it may be a beneficial food for diabetics, as preliminary studies on animals have revealed that it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and to lower insulin resistance.

This root vegetable qualified as an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), a very good source of vitamin C and manganese, and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron.

Sweet potatoes have healing properties as an antioxidant food. Both beta-carotene and vitamin C are very powerful antioxidants that work in the body to eliminate free radicals.

Culinary uses

Candied sweet potatoes are a side dish consisting mainly of sweet potatoes prepared with brown sugar, marshmallows , maple syrup , molasses , orange juice , marron glacé , or other sweet ingredients.

Baked sweet potatoes are sometimes offered in restaurants as an alternative to baked potatoes . They are often topped with brown sugar and butter. In Dominican Republic sweet potato is enjoyed for breakfast. In China sweet potatoes are often baked in a large iron drum and sold as street food during winter.

Sweet potato fries or chips are another common preparation, and are made by julienning and deep frying sweet potatoes, in the fashion of French fried potatoes .

Sweet potato greens are a common side dish in Taiwanese cuisine, often boiled or sautéed and served with a garlic & soy sauce mixture, or simply salted before serving.

Steamed/Boiled chunks: for a simple and healthy snack, chunks of sweet potato may be boiled in water or cooked in the microwave.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Would You Like to Know More About Quinoa?: All About this Peruvian Cereal

Quinoa is a cereal grain from the Andes of Peru and South America, closely related to the amaranth. Quinoa´s origins are truly ancient. It was one of the three staple foods, along with corn and potatoes, used by the Inca civilization.

Quinoa was known then, and is still nowadays known, as the mother grain. Each year the Inca, using a golden spade, planted the first quinoa seeds of the season, and at the solstice, priests bearing gold vessels filled with quinoa made offerings to their god Inti, the Sun. The grain thrives at high altitudes of approximately 9,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level.

Quinoa (pronounced kee-noo-ah) contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat. Its protein is of an unusually high quality, with an essential amino acid balance similar to milk. Quinoa, combined with other grains or soy will boost their protein value. It also provides starch, sugars, oil (high in essential linoleic acid), fiber, minerals and vitamins.

Easy on the stomach

Quinoa is light, tasty and easy to digest. It has a delicious flavor of its own.

Delicious and extremely versatile

It may be used in place of almost any other grain, including rice, to make everything from appetizers to desserts. Just takes 15 minutes to prepare a whole dish.

Perfect for summer and winter

Quinoa´s lightness makes it easy to combine in cold dishes like salads, ideal source of good summertime nutrition for grownups and children. In winter it can be eaten hot, combined with meats or vegetables.

More Information about Peru:

How to Prepare the Real Peruvian Pisco?: History and Ingredients

Peruvian Pisco is a grape brandy or "aguardiente", distilled from fresh grape. Its alcohol content is around 42°. The word "Pisscu" means seagull in quechua, the Inca language. It is also the name of the port from where it was shipped, as can be seen in maps dating back to the late sixteenth century.

The four Pisco varieties are defined by flavor, according to the grape which has been used:
Pisco puro with a delicate flavor (from non-aromatic grapes such as Quebranta, Mollar or black grapes):

  • Pisco Aromatico (aromatic grapes such as Moscatel, Italia, Torontel and Albilla);
  • Pisco Acholado (mixture of different grape varieties) and
  • Pisco Mosto Verde (from grape that has not been fully fermented)
Pisco is the product of good grapes, good soil and an optimum climate. These virtues are to be found in the pisco-making valleys starting at Cañete, 90 miles south of Lima, Perú. The pisco grapes require a loose sandy loam with high salinity, where its roots can grow deep, and with a pH (a measure of the acidity of the soil) between 6,6 and 7,5. The composition of the soil and the temperature in these valleys enable the grapes to grow vigorously and prodigiously, with sufficient sugar to make a good pisco.

Obviously, each valley has its own preferred varieties, which have their own characteristics. Altitude varies from sea level to 4 900 ft.

Most pisco producers are in the south of the country. This core area includes the places where liquor was distilled in colonial times. It has its own history and although many distilleries have disappeared, or only vestiges remain, many have a lineage going back many generations and preserve the tradition of Peruvian pisco. This phenomenon of family ties can be seen in both artisanal and industrial production.

More Information about Peru:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

How to Cure Many Illnesses with Healthy Food?: All the Details

Fresh fruits and vegetables play a vital role in healthy eating habits. Fruits are packed with micronutrients that help your body to maintain it in a healthy and balanced state because they contain all the vital nutrients the human body requires. They are also a great source of fiber.

Fruits and vegetables are the best source of carbohydrates, needed to produce energy. The carbs you get from produce are easier to digest than those you get from grains. Everybody should eat a minimum of five servings of fruit each day, more, would be much better.

FRUIT provides the body with natural water. More than two-thirds of the body’s water content is found inside cells. The rest is found coursing through the body, carrying vital nutrients and blood cells. Water also serves as a lubricant in joints, aids in maintaining body temperature, and serves as an insulator and shock absorber in body temperature. Not drinking water, enough liquid or not eating high-water content foods puts a great deal of stress on the body, so it is better to consume food that contains water.

We are publishing some recommendations for the types of fruits you should reach for most often. These will help your body fight disease, they'll lower your levels of inflammation, and they'll generally improve your health.


A member of the rose family, the apple has a compartmented core and is classified as a pome fruit. The fruit is fibrous, juicy and non-sticky, making it a good tooth –cleaner and a gum stimulator.

Good source of: respectable amounts of soluble and insoluble fibber, some vitamin C and beta-carotene (if you eat the peel), potassium and boron. Apples contain pectin and are an alkaline food. Can reduce blood cholesterol levels, especially “bad” LDL type cholesterol.
The specific combination of fibre types and fruit acid in apples is probably responsible for their well-known ability to prevent and treat constipation. Ttraditionally used for arthritis, rheumatism and gout. The apple’s benefits for digestion and the disposal of unwanted substances from the body support its reputation for helping joint problems. This may be due to a combination of actions: fruit acids that improve digestion, the antioxidant effect of the flavonoid quercetin and pectin’s ability to increase elimination.

A tropical fruit with a unique flavour that can be used in many different ways. Avocados should have a smooth, buttery texture and a mild, nutty flavour. On the outside it looks like a leathery pear. Avocado is one of the most nourishing fruits.

Good source of: High in vitamin E. It is also high in monounsaturated fat and calories; contains almost all vitamins, including vitamin C and fourteen minerals, all regulate body functions and stimulate growth; its fatty substances have a good effect on the organism.
Helps with digestive problems, rheumatism, kidney, liver and skin infections; Aid in red blood regeneration and prevent anaemia.


A ripe banana is firm, with a plump texture, strong peel, and no trace of green on the skin flecked with brown means the fruit is good. Bananas can be easily digested by everyone and are good in reducing diets because they satisfy the appetite and are low in fat.

Good source of: potassium (regulates blood pressure), sugar and soluble fibre. They are excellent four young children and infants since it is good for energetic activity, benefits muscular system; bananas are good in reducing diets because they satisfy the appetite and are low in fat; ripe bananas may help sleep because of its soothing effect by stimulatin serontonin, a substance that raises mood.

Berries like cranberries and blueberries are packed with antioxidants that help your body to fight disease and lower inflammation. In fact, when it comes to antioxidants, berries deliver the most of any fruit or vegetable.

Good source of: iron, copper, manganese, zinc, molybdenum, cobalt, nickel, chromium, fluorine, selenium, silicon, rubdium, aluminium, boron, bromine and others. Contains also Ellagic acid, a substance that prevents cancer and is present in berries and brazil nuts. In addition to all this, berries are rich in soluble fiber, which can improve your digestion and help to lower cholesterol levels.


Figs are noticed for their sweetness and soft texture with a fleshly interior filled with edible seeds. Figs have the shortest life span of any fruit in the market. Once they are harvested, they last about only a week. As a consequence, about 90 percent of the world’s fig harvest is dried.

Good source of: Figs closely resemble human milk because of its mineral content. Figs are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, essential in the intestine regulation. Rich also in calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, sodium, potassium and chlorine. Due to its high content in glucose, the most assimilative of all sugars, the fig is nutritive.
Dried figs are rich in fibre, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron, and are useful as a more nourishing substitute for sugar in cooking.


Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with thick skin, many seeds and a sour taste. This citrus fruit combines tanginess and sweetness.

Good source of: Fresh grapefruit is low in calories and a good source of flavonoids, water-soluble fibers, potassium, vitamin C and folic acid; very rich in citric acid.
Grapefruit, like other citrus fruits, has been shown to exert some anticancer effects and has been found to possess cholesterol-lowering action similar to that of other fruit pectins. Normalizes hematocrit levels and prevents constipation and stone formation. Excellent aid in reducing fevers from colds and flu. When taken before bedtime, grapefruit is conductive to a sound sleep.

Lemons are firm but not hard to the touch; have medium – thick skins and are abundantly juicy. Lemons are very refreshing and make a wonderful drink in the Summer and a marvellous tea in the winter.

Good source of: Alkaline elements; rich in citric acid and vitamin C; contain phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.
They are antiseptic, natural and secure against stomach and intestine fermentations; one of the most highly alkalinizing foods; they destroy all microbes and create germ invulnerability; they are very good in retaining calcium in the body.


Mangoes have a smooth skin, orange yellow flesh, are round, oval, or kidney shaped, and are about the size of a small melon or large avocado. When ripe, the flesh is soft and exceptionally juicy.

Good source of: Mangoes are rich in vitamins A, C and beta-carotene, and are a source of vitamin E and iron.
Mangoes are depurative and diuretic and combat stomach acidity.


There are four classes of grapes: wine grapes, table grapes, raisin grapes, and sweet juice grapes. Grapes do not mix well with other fruits so they should be eaten alone.
Good source of: Vitamins A, C and P (bioflavonoids) and trace elements such as germanium and selenium; high in water and magnesium content. Dark grapes are high in iron. Raisins and sultanas are a concentrated source of calories, sugar and nutrients.
Grapes will purify the blood, invigorate the immune system, and put flesh and weight back onto bodies that have become severely wasted and weakened by cancer. Sugar from grapes is easily digested and assimilated by the blood without tiring the digestive organ. Grapes promote the action of the bowel, clean the liver and aid kidney function and are soothing to the nervous system.

All melons resemble winter squashes in structure- they have a thick flesh with a central seed-filled cavity. Melons do not combine with other foods and should be eaten alone.

Good source of: potassium, vitamin A, B, C and are very high in silicone especially when eaten right down to the rind.
Melons have an anti-clotting action on the blood.


Oranges are firm, heavy for their size, and evenly shaped. The skin is smooth and the thin skinned oranges are juicier than thick skinned specimens, and small to medium – sized fruits are sweeter than the larger ones.

Good source of: Vitamin C and flavonoids; pectin and sodium when completely matured in the sunshine. Oranges are one of the best sources of water - soluble vitamin C.
Helps the body’s defences. Vitamin C is vital for resistance to infection, both as an oxidant and in its role in improving iron absorption. Oranges combine Vitamin C with flavorous, such as hesperidins, which seem to strengthen the vitamin’s antioxidant powers. Pectin helps lower cholesterol. Oranges provide pectin, a form of soluble fibre that helps reduce blood cholesterol, especially “bad” LDL type cholesterol.

Pineapples have no built-in reserves of starch that convert to sugar. The fruit should be firm, plump and fragrant if it is room temperature; if it is cold the aroma may not be apparent.

Good source of: carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water. It also has calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, potassium and sodium, chlorine,sulphur and manganese; they are also an excellent source of vitamin C and have vitamin A, B1 and B2.
Pineapple enzymes have been used with success to treat rheumatoid arthritis and to speed tissue repair as a result of injuries, diabetic ulcers and general surgery. Studies suggest that pineapple enzymes may improve circulation in those with narrowed arteries, such as angina sufferers.


The cultivated papaya is a melon like fruit with yellow- orange flesh enclosed in skin that ranges in colour from green to orange to rose; at papaya’s centre is an oblong cavity containing dozens of small black seeds. It can be round, pear-shaped, or long like a banana.

Good source of: Vitamins A, B, C, and D, calcium, phosphorous and iron. Excellent to eat in the morning for they have nutritional value that satisfies the body’s needs in the morning. The papaya is high in digestive properties, has a direct tonic effect on the stomach and it is an excellent food for children because it is important for their growth.
Papayas clean the digestive organ; are diuretic, laxative and refreshing; helps to maintain the acid –alkaline balance of the body; used in the treatment of stomach ulcers and fevers.

An egg-shaped tropical fruit that is also called purple granadilla. The seeds are edible, so the orange pulp can be eaten straight from the shell. Its pulp is very good and highly aromatic it is used for juicing.

Good source of: Vitamin C, vitamin A, iron and potassium; If eaten with the seeds, it is an excellent source of dietary fibber.
Passion fruit has somniferous and soporific properties, taken before going to bed they help relax and sleep during the night.


Peaches are round and smooth with juicy and sweet flesh that ranges from white to intensely yellow.

Good source of: Vitamin C and A with a high sugar content.
Peaches are diuretic, depurative and detoxifying so they are wonderful to eat on a weight - loss program and are easily assimilated.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

¿How to Cook Golden Dome/ Bola de Oro?: Peruvian recipes!!!

BOLA DE ORO / Golden Dome

Ingredients : 8 servings


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cup chuño flour or cornstarch

Egg Dough:

  • 1 can (1 ¾ cup) evaporated milk
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cup (13 oz) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


  • 1 ¼ cups apricot or peach marmalade
  • 1 cup manjarblanco (sweet milk mixture)



At high speed beat eggs until thick and pale, add sugar and continue beating until a thick ribbon trail forms when whisk is lifted.

Turn off mixer. Using a rubber spatula gradually fold flour and baking powder into the beaten egg mixture.

Pour into a round 9-inch baking pan (23 cm) lined on the bottom with a circle of greased parchment paper (to unmold easily). Bake in preheated oven. Temperature: 350º F (175º C) for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, let cool. Unmold and peel off paper.

Egg Dough:

Beat together yolks, water, milk and sugar. Place this mixture in a pan and cook at medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened and difficult to stir.

Add almond extract. Remove pan from heat.

Beat mixture until cold with beater or manually if desired. If consistency is poor add some confectioners sugar. If it is too dry add some milk.

Knead dough with hands. On a work surface roll out the dough into a large circle. Line the bottom of a bowl with 8 strips of waxed paper, crossed, so that dough will not stick to the bottom when unmolded. Proceed to line the bowl with dough.


Cut cake in 4 layers, preparing circles for the bowl.

Put the smallest circle in bottom of bowl, spread marmelade; then another circle of cake and spread with manjarblanco; another circle of cake and spread with marmelade; end with circle of cake. Press down well.

Unmold with aid of paper strips.

Decorate with maraschino cherry halves, and green natural leaves.

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