Stephen Twining, whose family founded Twinings of London, in 1706, shares five tips to brew your favorite cup of herbal tea: Start with a clean mug and a clean kettle of fresh, cold water; As soon as the water reaches a boil, remove the kettle from the heat source; Set the tea bag in the mug before you add hot water, pouring it directly onto the tea bag; Use a timer for a perfect brew. Herbal teas should steep for four minutes; and if desired, add honey, sugar or a squeeze of lemon — do not add milk or cream to herbal teas.


Purple is the new color for healthy food

Purple will reign as the new color of healthy food, according to a recent report on garden trends by The Garden Media Group. The report predicts the hot topics, major goals and concerns for the upcoming year in the world of gardening, according to a column by Don Kinzler in the Fargo Forum.

“According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the purple antioxidant anthocyanin helps fight cancer, has anti-aging benefits, reduces obesity, protects the heart and promotes mental strength,” Kinzler writes.

Purple foods that could gain in popularity in the new year include beets, black raspberries, plums, eggplant, purple cabbage, purple cauliflower, purple carrots, purple sweet potato and purple corn.


Flexitarians will grow their own protein in 2018

The Garden Media Group recently issued its annual Garden Trends Report, predicting hot topics, goals and concerns for 2018 in the world of gardening, writes Don Kinzler, a lifelong gardener who worked as an NDSU Extension horticulturist, in the Fargo Forum.

One trend they highlighted was growing your own protein.

The term “flexitarian” is being used for the 23 million Americans who often eat meals that don’t include meat, Kinzler writes. Merriam-Webster defines flexitarian as “one whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish.”

“As meat becomes more expensive, gardeners will be growing their own protein in the form of protein-rich vegetables like peas, broccoli, corn, asparagus, spinach, kale, beans, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes and millet,” he says.


Practicing with plant-forward cuisines

Plant-based foods are becoming indulgences on their own, Leslie Wu explains in a recent Forbes article.

“Not only are vegetables being celebrated in their own right, but the ways in which they are made to imitate meat-based products or carbs are becoming increasingly more sophisticated,” Wu writes. “This year’s National Restaurant Association annual survey of chef preferences highlights vegetable carb substitutes such as cauliflower rice and zucchini spaghetti as areas to watch.”

The following are some ideas to try the vegetable-forward trend at home:

— Add richness to dishes with coconut milk or texture with chickpeas.

— Consider using ingredients such as rinds or green tops to make pickled or pesto preparations (like pickled watermelon rinds, beet-green pesto or broccoli stem slaw).

— Use a ricer to make a cauliflower carb substitute, or mash parsnips into a puree.

— Experiment with uncommon herbs such as chervil, lovage, lemon balm or papalo, the association recommends.

— Brandpoint