Top 5s & Honorable Mentions
Food can look beautiful, taste exquisite, smell wonderful, make people feel good, bring them together, inspire romantic feelings.
Top 5 Fruits for Your Diet
1.Raspberries and Blackberries Fun FactS
There are more than 200 species of raspberries grown from the Arctic to the equator. They range in color from yellow to orange to red, purple, and black. Fragrantly sweet and with a subtle, tart overtone, raspberries are a taste sensation.
2.Pears Fun Facts
The pear’s delicate flavor and buttery texture have earned it the nickname “butter fruit” in Europe. The Greeks loved pears so much that Homer refers to them in The Odyssey. Pears are picked unripe; if left to ripen on the tree, they will have a gritty texture.
3.Apples Fun FactS
With about 7500 varieties worldwide, apples are among the most widely consumed fruits on earth, second only to the banana in America. Most of the 2500 varieties grown in the U.S. are hybrids of the apples first brought to America by early colonists who established orchards in Massachusetts and Virginia.
4.Oranges Fun FactS
One of the most popular fruits in the world, the orange is actually a modified berry with a tough, leathery rind. Rarely found in cooler climates, it was long considered a rare and expensive delicacy.
5.Bananas Fun FactS
Americans eat more bananas than any other fruit— about 33 pounds per person annually. Although there are more than 500 varieties of bananas, most bananas sold in the U.S. are of the Cavendish variety.
Top 5 Vegetables for Your Diet
1.Avocado Fun FactS
A favorite of the Aztecs, the avocado is native to Central America, with evidence of avocado cultivation in Mexico for thousands of years. Avocados were first cultivated in the United States in the mid-1800s. California produces nearly 90% of the domestic crop.
2.Broccoli Fun FactS
Broccoli is native to the shores of the Mediterranean. The Italians were the first to cultivate broccoli, and it quickly became a favorite food in ancient Rome.
3.Spinach Fun FactS
Spinach was the favorite vegetable of Catherine de Medici during the Renaissance. When she left Florence, Italy, to marry the king of France, she brought along her own cooks so they could prepare spinach in the ways she preferred.
4.Sweet Potatoes Fun FactS
Sweet potatoes aren’t related to white potatoes at all but are in the morning glory family. One of the oldest known vegetables, the sweet potato is native to the New World and has been found in pre-Incan ruins in Peru.
5.Carrots Fun FactS
Carrots were esteemed for their medicinal value prior to the time of Christ. Settlers arriving in Virginia were the first to bring carrot seeds to America.
Top 5 Beans for Your Diet
1.Navy Beans Fun FactS
Navy beans got their name during the years when Theodore Roosevelt was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. They were a staple food of the U.S. Navy during most of the 20th century. Small, dense and smooth, creamy white and mild in flavor, these are the beans used for the famous Boston and English baked beans. With nearly 150,000 acres committed to the effort, Michigan leads the nation in the production of navy beans.
2.Lentils Fun FactS
Named for their distinctive lens shape, lentils are mentioned four times in the Bible, most famously as the ingredient in the soup for which Esau sold his inheritance to his younger brother, Jacob. In colors ranging from yellow to orange to red, green, brown, and black, lentils are sold whole or split, with or without the skins. Lentils have a high drought tolerance, so they can be grown in semi-arid regions—in the U.S., the Palouse Region of eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle.
3.Pinto Beans Fun FactS
Pinto means “painted,” and dry pinto beans have a mottled surface that appears painted. When cooked, this mottling disappears and the beans adopt a uniform color. They are the most commonly consumed bean in America, with the average American consuming 4 pounds (dry weight) per year. Dove Creek, Colorado, is the “pinto bean capital of the world.”
4.Black Beans Fun FactS
Black beans came to Europe when Spanish conquistadors returned from their voyages to the New World. Spanish and Portuguese traders carried them into Africa and Asia. Black beans have a rich, smoky flavor that has been compared to mushrooms; they have a velvety texture, yet hold their shape well during cooking. They are an important source of protein in the cuisines of Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.
5.Kidney Beans Fun FactS
Originating in Peru, kidney beans were carried by native traders into Central America where they were discovered by the Spanish monks who accompanied the European explorers. Kidney beans are part of Louisiana’s famous red beans and rice. These regal red, kidney-shaped beans must be boiled for at least 10 minutes to destroy their natural phytohemagglutinin, and then cooked until tender. Failure to boil these beans could lead to unpleasant gastric symptoms. (Canned beans have been fully boiled.)