All posts by Star Khalifah

Writer - Follow me on Twitter @StarLightEasy

Corn

Look at the corn! Only a fool would buy corn without looking at it.

I hope no one is offended by that statement. We all play the fool sometimes but you have to look at the fresh corn cob so you know what you are getting. You don’t want to get rotten kernels or accidentally bring home the worms that live in corn silks. Blessed are the grocery stores that have trash bins next to the corn because removing the hull and leaving it in the past is the way to go.

What To Look For:

Corn that looks healthy. It really is that simple. You want the color of the variety you’ve chosen to be a pretty color with no gray parts. The kernels should be plump and not wrinkly at all.

Nuts and Seeds

What is the difference between a seed and a nut? Some say that seeds grow on the outside of a fruit while nuts grow on the inside. Or, is it the other way around?

It’s a bit confusing!

Here at Easy Light Sources, nuts and seeds fall into the same category of being a nice plant-based source of protein.

Having one or two types of nuts and seeds available is a pantry staple for most vegans. They can be used creatively in a lot of ways or just eaten raw. Or roasted. Or whipped up into a nut butter (assuming you are the owner of a boss food processor).

We can talk about a few of them but usually they are interchangeable in recipes. There is a high risk of redundant information.

Commonly made into nut-milks: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts.

Commonly made into pie crusts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans

Commonly made into [raw] pie filling: Cashews, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts

Commonly made into something savory: Cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts

They are heavy in desserts and its easy to consume a lot of nuts when it is disguised as a slice of pie. Be conservative with the portions 🙂

Soak nuts before you use them to eliminate some phytic acid.

 

Melons

The original idea for this essay covered only cantaloupes and honeydew melons. There was a back and forth battle about whether or not to include watermelons, seeing as they are a little different.

In my biased opinion, seeded watermelons reign supreme over all others.

All melons mentioned in this body of work share the similarity of having a high water content and an abundance of seeds. That’s why they are perfect for eating in the summer time! The flavor of the melon depends on the variety that you’re getting.

They are usually affordable too, especially when bought in season. Cantaloupes can be found abundantly in most pre-made fruit salads. Honeydews also, just to a lesser degree. Are you cool with that?

If you’re buying cantaloupes, follow the smell. You will not have to hunt to find a ripe cantaloupe, the fragrance will find your nose.

If you’re buying a honeydew, buy one that is blemish free with no soft spots.

If you’re buying a watermelon, get one with seeds. Among other things, the ones with seeds usually tend to be the sweetest. Also, if you’re looking for a sweet watermelon, get one with a yellow patch on it so you can kind of see how it sat in the dirt for a while as it grew.

Watermelons are so cool. Such a big fruit filled with water and it all comes from 1 seed.

watermelon
Nice yellow patch on this one. Yes, it was sweet.

 

Cucumbers

Crunchy, long, and green. That’s a cucumber for you. They are sold as whole produce in the grocery store. Baby cucumbers are also a thing, although finding them fresh can be tough given the fact that small cucumbers are also made into pickles.
If this essay included gardening tips, I would point out that small cucumbers are ideal for eating. The advice that follows would be to harvest them before they grow as big as the ones in the grocery store. Why? Personal preference, mainly… Big cucumbers should be at least partially peeled before serving, if only for a more enjoyable eating experience.

Choosing a cucumber:

Look for cucumbers that are evenly sized and have smooth skin.
Absolutely NO: fragrance/odor. Also avoid soft or wrinkly cucumbers because they’re probably old.

English Cucumbers

There are the long, narrow cucumbers that come shrink wrapped in plastic. The environmental sin can almost be forgiven because of the convenience of working with this variety. The outer skin of these are thinner and does not require peeling. They usually cost more too (probably to cover the cost of the excess plastic.)

Cauliflower

White foods come with the assumption that they’re somewhat bland in flavor (see:tofu). The optimistic way to view these foods would be as a blank canvas that is ready to take on whatever flavor profile you throw at it.
Cauliflowers are sold as individual heads. Sometimes they come in their own plastic bag package. Organic cauliflower heads cost more (unsurprisingly) and are usually smaller too. However, do not let the small size deter you from buying organic.
See, cauliflower is one of those foods that can do more than expected. Cut up and roasted, you can make a side dish to feed 3-4 people. When blended with other ingredients into a sauce, this white vegetable will give you more bang for your bucks.

What to look for when buying cauliflower:

– Round and full cauliflower heads
– White flowers (get a good look at it)
– Gray colored patches indicate old cauliflower. If you decide to buy it when it looks like this, make sure you use it that day.
– Slimy/slick parts of cauliflower mean that it’s r o t t e n.

sheep cauliflower