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Archive | December 21st, 2010

Lime Prices on the Rise

Lime Prices on the Rise

You may have noticed that the prices of limes have jumped recently.

The prices are twice what they were just days before, says Mariana Oliver, owner of Marioli, 18730 Tuscany Stone near Stone Oak Parkway.

But what can you do? she asks. Lime is an essential ingredient in Mexican food. It’s used in everything from spritzing on top of a tortilla soup or making a margarita.

Lime prices are on the rise.

During a recent visit to a supermarket, prices of key limes had risen to $3.98 for a two-pound bag, up from $1.98 just a few weeks ago while Persian limes were three for $1, up from five or sometimes 10 for a dollar.

One reason, according to FreshFruitPortal.com, is that more than 150 Mexican growers suspended exports to the United States to protest the U.S.’s rejection of previous fruit shipments that had been determined to have have the disease sweet orange scab.

“The groups halted shipments Dec. 13, the day that the U.S. Department of Agriculture allowed lime shipments to resume under stricter rules to ensure that the fruit does not have the disease,” the article says. “César Cortés Bello, director of Mexico’s lime growers and exporters council, said the group was preparing a report accusing the U.S. of violating the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement. He said that 49 containers were blocked, causing losses of 500 million Mexican Pesos (US $40.3 million).

” ‘We will stop sending limes for one or two weeks, even though it will affect our farms, but if we don’t, the United States will always keep us down,’ he is quoted as saying.”

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Chefs’ Corner: Raw Walnut Brownies

Chefs’ Corner: Raw Walnut Brownies

Walnuts

For many of us, cracking and shelling nuts is a holiday tradition that takes us back to our childhood. Here’s a treat that uses the flavor of fresh, raw walnuts in a brownie that’s anything but traditional.

Local raw food expert Christa M. Emrick shares her recipe for Raw Walnut Brownies, which go together quickly in a food processor and are rich enough to make anyone forget baked brownies. The sweetness here comes from the dates.

Try to find dried cherries without sugar added; they are often available in the bulk departments of grocers like Whole Foods and Sun Harvest.

For more on Emrick’s raw food classes and recipes, click here.

Raw Walnut Brownies

1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, unsoaked
Dash of salt
7 – 10 pitted medjool dates, unsoaked
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa or carob powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water
1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries or raisins

Place the walnuts in a food processor fitted with the S-blade and process until coarsely chopped.

Remove 1/4 cup of the walnuts and set aside.

Add the salt to the walnuts in the food processor and process until finely ground.

Add the dates and process until the mixture begins to stick together.

Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and process until evenly distributed.

Add the water, dried fruit, and reserved walnuts, and process briefly, just to mix.

Pack the mixture firmly into a square container.

Cut into small pieces. Be aware: The brownies are very rich in flavor.

Note: Stored in a sealed container, brownies will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer.

Makes 8 brownies or 4 servings.

From Christa Emrick

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