Thursday, November 21, 2013


Rhubarb (
Although tempted to go to bed with a rather depressing book on corrupt nature of public schooling (Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Gatto), I talked myself into writing my fiftieth blog post. Having brewed a fresh cup of coffee and cut a slim piece of chocolate-rum cake I made earlier in the day, I positioned myself in front of a bright laptop screen and began the word play. 

Lately, it has been increasingly more difficult to allocate time and energy for blogging. Evidently, my husband's new work schedule, although suitable for us as a family, is not conducive to my self-assigned occupation of a wanna-be writer. Indeed, the recent lack of consistency in my blogging is hardly an effective way to develop content and expand my audience, but I continue to plug along when I can, aware of the need to overcome fatigue, discouragement or pure laziness.

During the days off, a mystical force draws me out of the kitchen and into our master en-suite, hot loud water filling the bathtub and the aroma of mimosa permeating the humid air. During pregnancy, I took baths frequently, seeking relief from 35 lb of extra weight I carried. However, after childbirth, the need for daily under-water submersion slowly dissipated, leaving it up to Jon to initiate much of subsequent bubble play.
Kumquats (

When he leaves, however, and I am presented with an opportunity to challenge myself as a parent, the days become longer, leaving me with limited energy to carry on at night. Luckily, my sales and business background encourages me to regroup and return to writing, however utopian its fables of great success as an author appear to be.

And if not the lure of full-time word play, the desire to educate and inspire takes over, forcing me to write for the greater good of all. Tonight, I chose to shed the light on calcium-rich sources among fruit and berries. One of the earlier posts, Plant-Based Nutrition: Calcium in Vegetables, listed top ten vegetables rich in calcium and this time, I embarked on researching their sweet cousins.

The very first plant on my list of ten, rhubarb, immediately caused confusion.   For starters, it consists of edible leaves and stems and is therefore a vegetable; however, based on its culinary use, it has been ruled to be a fruit. Further, the USDA's National Nutrient Database distinguishes between rhubarb, raw and rhubarb, frozen, uncooked and assigns 86 micro-grams and 194 micrograms  per 100 grams of rhubarb, respectively. Now, as far as I can see, the only difference between the two listings is in that one reads frozen, which does not adequately explain the dramatic difference in mineral content. So unless someone breaks it down to me, I will keep this vegetable/fruit in first place.


1.  Rhubarb
194 mg/100 g
2.  Figs, dried
162 mg/100 g
3.  Prunes, dehydrated
72 mg/100 g
4.  Dates, Medjool
64 mg/100 g
5.  Kumquats
62 mg/100 g
6.  Prickly pears
56 mg/100 g
7.  Apricots, dried
55 mg/100 g
8.  Black currants
55 mg/100 g
9.  Orange, navel
43 mg/100 g
10.  Mulberries
39 mg/100 g

Kumquats (also spelled cumquats) were another discovery, although coming from the citrus family of fruits, it was no surprise they contain significant amounts of calcium. An orange in reverse, this olive-sized fruit has sweet rind, sour pulp and is eaten raw or cooked in its entirety. Reflecting back on all the recent shopping trips, however, I do not recall seeing these, which is all the more reason to paying close attention on my next grocery run.

Prickly pears (
A close second to a kumquat is a prickly pear- a cactus fruit which, some describe, tastes like all-natural bubblegum [...] and watermelon. A bit of an unusual depiction, it makes it that much more tempting to taste one. 

Interestingly enough, one can find this fruit growing in Canada- extreme southwestern Ontario, to be exact, where it is protected by Parks Canada as a an endangered species. Luckily, prickly pears often appear at the Real Canadian Superstore, so introducing them into one's diet is entirely possible, although a touch costly.

It is 12:22 am and although fatigued, I am glad to have completed another post. There is a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in writing on topics of passion like nutrition, and I shall remind myself of it the next time I feel uninspired...

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