Featured

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Cucumbers

I have always loved cucumbers. I find their crunchy texture and mild and refreshing flavor irresistible. It always baffles me that there are people out there that don’t like them (ahem…you know who you are ;-). I’m a HUGE fan of pickles (I’ll thank my Essenmacher roots for that!) and I love cucumbers on salads (green salads, pasta salads, etc.). I’ve also had refreshing cucumber waters and cucumber cocktails. JeIMG_0531nnifer Tyler Lee also recommends Asian cucumber salad, minty cucumber salad, and cucumber tea sandwiches. All of which sound great!

Food Facts:

  • Seventy percent of the US pickle crop is made into pickles.
  • Cucumbers are composed mostly of water, making them a very refreshing option during summer.
  • The flesh contains vitamins A and C and folic acid, while the skin is rich in fiber and contains the minerals silica, potassium, magnesium, and molybdenum. [My thoughts on peeling vegetables: peeling them is just extra work AND it takes away vital nutrients, so no thanks.]
  • Good source of vitamin K and B5, phosphorous, copper, and manganese.
  •  Cucumbers belong to the same family as melons, summer squash, and winter squash.
  • Have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Are a good source of flavonoids, lignans, and triterpenes.

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 whfoods.com.

Advertisements
Featured

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Basil

basil in bowl 1000pxWhile working at the Campbell Farmer’s Market, basil was always a top seller for Tomatero. Tomatoes, strawberries, and basil always brought folks to the booth. In fact, one of my coworkers would often wave some basil through the air to release the scent to help lure them in like Yogi Bear. I love basil. I like making traditional caprese salads, basil pesto, and my awesome sister-in-law Amy, makes a watermelon caprese salad (watermelon subs nicely for tomatoes for those avoiding nightshades). Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests trying a nut free pesto – using sunflower seeds or adding fresh peaches and basil to ice cream! YUMMMY! What’s your favorite use for basil?

Food Facts:

  • Sweet basil is the variety that we typically eat, however Holy basil or tulsi is a variety that is coveted for its medicinal purposes and is native to India.
  • Excellent source of vitamins A, K, and C and maganese.
  • It is rich in antioxidants, especially carotenoids.
  • Basil’s essential oils are antifungal and antimicrobial and have been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi.
  • It is also an anti-inflammatory and can be used to support conditions where inflammation is a factor.
  • Basil should be stored with stems in a glass of water on the counter. Putting basil in the fridge turns it black.
  • There are more than 60 varieties of basil.
  • It belongs to the mint family.
  • Some of the major medicinal uses include: digestive support, a mild sedative, headache relief, kidney support, poor circulation, and intestinal spasms.

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.

Featured

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Salmon

Salmon is my most favorite fish. I’ve loved it since I was a kid. My uncle John would go out fishing and always bring home plenty of salmon to share. Often, he would smoke the salmon and this was my very favorite treat. It’s like I had arrived in healthy heaven. Today it is still my favorite, along with halibut.

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests a sesame crusted salmon, which sounds delicious. She also suggests a recipe for crispy salmon chips (salmon skin) which intrigues me!

Planked Alaskan salmon and asparagus

Food Facts:

  • Always opt for wild salmon. Its nutrient values are far superior to that of farmed salmon. Wild salmon has 20% higher protein content and 20% lower fat content as compared to farmed salmon.
  • The chinook and sockeye varieties of salmon are fattier than ono, pink, and chum.
  • Salmon is a great source of potassium, selenium, niacin, phosphorus, thiamine, folate, riboflavin, and magnesium, and vitamins B5, B6, B12, C, and E.
  • Great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Wild salmon has a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats.
  • Cold-water fish, like salmon, have been shown to protect against heart disease, alzheimer’s disease, and many types of cancer.
  • Salmon is good for combatting inflammation.
  • It has also been shown to help prevent against depression.
  • It is a great protein source for detoxification of the liver. [aka Love your liver with salmon.]

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.

Featured

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Sunflower Butter

Sunflower butter or sunbutter is a great option for those that are allergic to nuts but can tolerate seeds. It has a great peanut-y flavor. As with all nuts and seeds, I recommend opting for organic because fat is where the toxins (herbicides) are stored. I also generally recommend raw nuts and seeds because roasting can damage the fragile fats and is often used to hide the rancidity of nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds have a season when they are fresh, just like all fruits and veggies. Choosing raw allows you to know that the nuts and seeds are still fresh. Although, raw and organic nut butters are CRAZY expensive (like $12-$25 for a fairly small jar). You can certainly make your own. Add the nuts or seeds to a food processor and turn it on. Once they become the right consistency, turn off and store in a jar (in the fridge to slow the oxidation process). Some people add salt, sugar, or oil to it. Feel free to experiment away!

Jennifer Tyler Lee, like many parents, was looking for a nut-free alternative for her children while at school. She suggests using it as you would peanut butter…ants on a log and apple slices dipped in sunbutter. She also suggests a no bake snack called Bitty Bites. I would obviously sub out the whole wheat flour for a grain-free option like cassava flour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFood Facts:

  • Good source of vitamins B1, B5, B6, and E, folate, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, and protein.
  • Sunflower seeds contain phytochemicals, especially phytosterols, which can help to lower blood cholesterol.
  • They are a great source of monounsaturated fats (24 grams per 1/3 cup serving).
  • Sunflower seeds also contain arginine an essential amino acid that is important during periods of growth.
  • Contain heart healthy compounds.
  • Have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antiallergenic.

 

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.

 

Featured

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Cherries

Well this post will be up just in time for cherry season to be over :(. Cherry season typically starts near the end of May and goes through late June/early July.  But better late than never! Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests that folks dehydrate them, making “Sour Cherry Blasters” or make them into a cherry compote to accompany vanilla ice cream. Cherries are not one of my favorite fruits, but I will enjoy them raw. While I do think they are tasty, I just like other stone fruit better.

Food Facts:

  • Sour (tart) cherry juice can be used to help improve sleep and has been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease and and diabetes.
  • Cherries are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, copper, and manganese.
  • Good source of fiber.
  • Both sour and sweet cherries have been shown to reduce inflammation.cherries
  • Cherries have also been reported to reduce Gout attacks.
  • Sour cherries are lower in calories than sweet cherries.
  • They are a rich source of flavonoids, especially anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins.
  • Cherries were one of the first fruits to be brought to the “new world”.
  • One study found that runners that drank Montmorency cherry juice (one glass before the race and one glass during the race) were less sore afterwards because of the ability of the cherries to help with muscle recovery.
  • Fresh cherries are firm, shiny, and lack dents, pits, or bruises. They also have bright green stems. The fresher the cherry, the more nutrients!
  • Store cherries in the fridge and eat them quickly!

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 Murry, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planetby Tonia Reinhard, and Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson.

Featured

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Peas

This week’s new food from Jennifer Tyler Lee is Peas. These are usually a crowd pleaser with kids and even most adults will eat peas. They are a sweeter and starchier veggie, which is probably why kids and picky adults like them. I like peas just fine, but I almost never make them. They’re a little too “basic” for me, after all, I really like lavender shortbread [inside joke for my Cookie Bake-Off Ladies]. Jennifer Tyler Lee shares her experience with kids really enjoying to help with the shelling of fresh peas. She also suggests making pea soup in shooters to make eating more fun for kiddos.

Food Facts:

  • peas-331280422124r5OkFrozen peas are 25% less nutritious than fresh peas and canned peas are 50% less nutritious than fresh peas. Opt for fresh or growing them yourself.
  • Pea sprouts are a great option in the winter months to get some fresh greens in your diet (especially if you grown them yourself!)
  • Good source of vegetable protein, B vitamins, phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
  • Green peas are less nutritious than other colored heirloom pea varieties. The other colors have more phytonutrients.
  • Unfortunately peas are low in nutrition compared to most other common vegetables.
  • Choosing relatives of peas with edible pods, snow peas, sugar snap peas, etc., increases the nutritional value.

From Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson, 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

Featured

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Portobello Mushrooms

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Portobello Mushrooms

Another confession: I don’t like mushrooms. This is another texture thing for me. But I’ve founds that the more I eat a food that I’m not fond of, often I learn to like them. Hence my 52 new foods challenge. Mushrooms are my current project. It’s slow going, but I think I will like mushroom eventually. Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests making them in cheese quesadillas, which seems like a great gateway to me! I have found that if I cut them up pretty small and put them in things (soups, sautes, cauliflower rice, etc.) I can tolerate them. 

Food Facts:

  • portobello-mushroomsGood source of minerals including selenium, zinc, potassium, and copper and also the B vitamins, especially vitamins B6 and B12
  • Rich source of antioxidants
  • Mushrooms have been studied for their Anticancer benefits and antiviral benefits as well

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 – 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/