Monthly Archives: June 2015

I LOVE JAPAN ❤ 日本の今を伝えたい! The Case of the Missing Spring.

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A little more than two months ago, cherry blossom season came and went in a flash, as it usually does.
It seemed that, within a week of sakura coming out in full bloom, the wind had already carried them away.

Cherry blossoms herald the arrival of spring, the time during which we can begin to walk outside without our heavy winter coats (sometimes, anyway).
This year, however, spring appeared to last all of a week before it gave way to summer. What happened?

I found myself wearing short-sleeved shirts before the end of April.
That usually never happens. Last year, I remember wanting to wear long sleeves outside well into May.
Sometimes I’d even have to throw on my winter coat!

But not this year.
It may have gotten a tad chilly during rainstorms, but otherwise the weather was more or less consistent (in my opinion) with summer conditions.

Is this a new trend?
Given all that’s happening with global warming (or, as some call it, climate change), it could be a permanent change.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see. All I know is that, in all my years in Japan, I’ve never seen spring skipped altogether.
And that’s a shame, as Japanese summers are already too long as they are!

What do you think?
Do you agree that 2015 lacked a spring season in Japan?
If you have any thoughts, please let us know!

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I LOVE JAPAN ❤ 日本の今を伝えたい! 天日干し野菜・きのこのすすめ! Sundried Vegetables & Mushrooms!

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天日干し野菜を始めませんか?

Why don’t we start eating sun-dried vegetables?

長期保存ができ、栄養価も高いといわれる「干し野菜」は昔ながらの知恵です。
冷凍庫や冷蔵庫のなかった時代には保存できる食材として重宝されていて、
長旅の食糧としても活用されていました。
人々の生活の中で生まれた知恵である「干し野菜」は、保存食として今もなお私たちの生活を豊かにしてくれています。

So-called “sun-dried vegetables” with a long shelf life  and high nutritional value are an age-old wisdom. In times when refrigerators and freezers were non-existent, foods that could be preserved were particularly invaluable and were also used for long trips.  Born from the lives of people ages ago, the ingenuity of sun-dried vegetables as preserved foods can also benefit the lives of those living today.

 

天日干しの干し野菜にする事で、余分な水分がなくなり、
野菜に含まれるビタミンD・ビタミンB群・カルシウム・鉄分・ナイアシンがアップします。
日光の紫外線に長期間当たる事で成分が変化する野菜がみつかったり、
ダイエット脂肪燃焼に効果を発揮する干し野菜も報告されています。

During the drying portion of the process, extra liquid is extracted from the vegetables through evaporation and the natural occurring vitamin D, vitamin B group, calcium, iron, and niacin in the vegetable increases. It has been found that prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultra violet rays change the chemical composition of the plant.  It is also reported that some dried vegetables are effective for dieting and burning fat.

 

旬の食材をたっぷりと収穫して保存、きちんと使い切る昔ながらの知恵のひとつです。
天日に干すだけですので塩漬けや砂糖漬けなどより手間いらずで単純な保存法です。
世界中にさまざまな乾物が生まれているのもその手軽さゆえでしょう。

Preserving vegetables after a harvest when seasonal crops are plentiful and using exactly as much as one could spare over the year is another age-old wisdom of the past. Since for sun-drying one only needs to use the sun and air, you can preserve foodstuffs simply without the use of salts or sugars. Throughout the world many types of sundried food have been produced due to the simplicity of process.

 

乾物には他の保存法にはない優れた付加価値があります。
それは、天日乾燥することで、旨みや香り栄養が増すということです。
きのこ類も旨味がさらに凝縮します。
天日干ししたきのこで出汁をひいたり、炒めたりなどオススメです。
調理時間がとても短くなり、調味料も少なめでしっかりと味がつき、
普段食事に時間をかけれない忙しい方々にも簡単で栄養のある食事をいただくことができますのでオススメです。

For dried foods there are other benefits which are not seen in other preservation methods. In the process of  sun drying umami flavor, aroma, and nutritional value are enhanced.  For mushrooms, umami taste is further condensed after they are dehydrated. I strongly recommend using sun-dried mushrooms for making dashi soup or broth, or frying them as ingredients for fried foods.  Dried foods make the cooking time shorter and the amount of seasonings smaller to get  distinctive taste. Even for busy people who have little time for preparing every day meals, I would recommend trying dried foods to have easy-to-prepare and nutricous meals.

 

キビ麺パスタ (天日干ししたmushroomを使ったパスタ)

Kibi millet Pasta with Sundried Mushroom

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By Yumi, Heathy Food Stylist