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The 52 New Foods Challenge – Rhubarb

My mom talks about growing up in Michigan and picking rhubarb from their backyard garden, sprinkling it with salt, and munching on it. I believe there was also a backyard swing involved in that story, although I could be merging two stories together. The first time that I tried rhubarb, the taste reminded me of picking sour grass with my grandma as a child. Like many people, I have also tried it in strawberry rhubarb pie. Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends a strawberry rhubarb crisp or rhubarb ice pops (YUM!). Additional ideas for use include in sweet fruit breads, rhubarb syrup, and rhubarb mojitos (!!!!!). I like sour things, so I imagine that I would like it chopped in a salad with other raw veggies. How do you use rhubarb?

Food Facts:

  • rhubarbThe leaves of the plant are poisonous. The stalks are the edible part of the plant.
  • It can be used to help constipation.
  • It has been shown to have anticancer effects in lab studies.
  • It is rich in lycopene and can be supportive in preventing heart disease.
  • It has vitamins K and C and calcium, potassium, and manganese.
  • Good source of fiber.
  • It is an early spring plant – one of the first to grow, especially in colder regions.
  • Choose firm stalks when harvesting or purchasing.

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Wikipedia, and The Pioneer Woman.

 

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Green Beans

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Green Beans

GREEN BEANS!! Since I was a kid, I have always loved green beans. I just found them at my local farmer’s market this past weekend! The grin on my face for green beans was probably pretty goofy, but boy was I happy! I tend to just sauté them in ghee and lemon with some salt and lemon pepper, so I could use a new recipe! Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests stir frying them with almonds (or other seeds or nuts).

Food Facts:

  • Short cooking methods do not destroy the important nutrients of green beansIMG_0221
  • They are rich in iron and for the body to absorb the iron, vitamin C is needed – so lemon or tomato would be great eaten with the green beans
  • Good source of vitamins C, A, K, potassium, manganese, magnesium, niacin,  folate, riboflavin, potassium, iron, calcium, and copper
  • Good source of fiber
  • Rich source of antioxidants including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin
  • Frozen and cooked green beans still have high antioxidant content
  • Boiling does reduce vitamin C content
  • Green beans can protect against heart disease and stroke
  • In studies, they have also been found to help children with asthma

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet
by Tonia Reinhard

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Eggplant

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Eggplant

Confession time, I don’t like eggplant at all. The texture is too mushy for me and flavor isn’t that great either. But I’d like to like it, so I’ll keep trying it and see if I can like it one day. Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests an eggplant stir fry or a grilled eggplant with a minty yogurt dip (the minty yogurt dip might be able to convince me).

Food Facts:

  • Cooking does not destroy the important nutrients of eggplan.
  • It is a member of the nightshade family – a relative of tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes
  • Good source of vitamins B1, B6, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, niacin,  folic acid, copper, and thiamineLufa_Farms_Eggplant
  • Good source of fiber
  • Rich source of antioxidants including phenols, anthocyanins, and plants sterols
  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels
  • Helps fight free radicals
  • Have been shown to protect cell membranes

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes
by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods
by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet
by Tonia Reinhard

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Zucchini

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Zucchini

Again, I find myself behind!! 😦 but I’ll be catching back up over the next few days. In my opinion, it’s a bit early for zucchini to be listed here – it’s not typically “in season” until late spring or early summer in most paces in the US, so I won’t be buying any until it’s at my farmers market. Anywho, besides sautéed as side dish and ZOODLES (zucchini noodles), paleo zucchini muffins are my favorite way to eat it! I love Danielle Walker’s recipe! Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great Oh and zucchini chips are pretty BOMB!

Food Facts:IMG_4433

  • Squash blossoms are used commonly in Italian cooking
  • Summer squash isn’t as rich in nutrients as winter squash because of the high water content (81%)
  • They are very low in calories
  • Good source of vitamin C, potassium, and carotenes
  • Squash has Anticancer effects – prevents cell mutations
  • It’s great to consume squash in the summer because it helps prevent dehydration and the carotenes help protect against sun damage (Nature is so smart!!)
  • Small to medium sized squash will have a superior flavor to really large squash
  • It does contain high levels of oxalates, so if you have a history of oxalate containing kidney stones, avoid over consumption.

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Asparagus

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Asparagus

The first spring food for our challenge! (That puts me at least a couple week behind!) Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests roasting asparagus or adding them to a frittata. A couple of weeks ago, when I found them at my favorite vendor at my local farmers market for the first time this season, I decided to make cream of asparagus soup. The recipe I had called for heavy cream, but I decided to paleo-ify it by using cashew cream instead. It was great! I’ll be making it again!asparagus(2) 2 -1500px

Food Facts:

  • The season generally starts in March and only is a few months long, so I rarely buy asparagus after spring is over
  • Asparagus is best cooked and served as soon as it is harvested, so growing your own is highly recommended. When purchased from the farmers market or store, cook within a few days
  • Shorter spears are up to ten times sweeter than spears that are 10+ inches long
  • Cooked asparagus is more nutritious than raw and steaming is the most nutritious way to cook it
  • Purple asparagus is more nutritious than green asparagus
  • Member of the lily family
  • Good source of vitamins A, C, and K, and potassium, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, manganese, and copper
  • Good source of fiber
  • Includes antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene
  • Considered to be a good prebiotic. Our digestive systems are home to billions of bacteria (when they are functioning well, that is) and the bacteria colony needs to prebiotics to thrive
  • Because of their high fiber content, they help to lower cholesterol
  • Asparagus has been shown to suppress the growth of liver cancer cell

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet
by Tonia Reinhard

 

Photo Credit: Laci Smith https://www.instagram.com/laciphotography/

In Season, in April

April is here and that means that STRAWBERRY season IMG_5955is upon us. This means that I will be eating as many strawberries as I possibly can from now until about October.  Here is a list of what is in season in April (in Northern California). This calendar is brought to you by The Young America Creative out of San Francisco.

What are you looking forward to in April?

Hugs & Health <3,

Katie