The 52 New Foods Challenge – Strawberries

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Strawberries

This is the most exciting of all the foods and it’s likely not new for most people. There is just something about strawberries that I just can’t get enough of. For me, berries also mean summer. Ahhhhhhh. I’m pretty much a snob about my berries though…I only eat fresh berries when they are in season and I only buy them from Tomatero Organic Farm in Watsonville, CA. I choose Tomatero for three reasons: 1) They are local and organic. Organic is a big deal with strawberries as they absorb many of the pesticides that are sprayed on them and they are consistently on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen. 2) They grow several varieties of strawberries, all of them great, but this season I have been loving the Sweet Anne. 3) Also, I used to slang berries for them at local farmer’s markets for four years. You know, the whole “know the farmer” idea. 4) They are the best!!!! (I know, I said three reasons 😉

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests serving strawberry sauce on pancakes instead of syrup. I LOVE that idea. I also had sliced strawberries in a turkey sandwich with arugula (think: turkey and cranberry sauce) at an amazing place called Centrally Grown in Cambria, CA.

Food Facts:

  • Wild berries and heirloom varieties have more nutritional value and more phytonutrients.
  • Strawberries do not continue to ripen after they have been harvested, so should be
    picked ripe. This also means that if your strawberry has traveled some distance to arrive to you, they are being picked when only three-quarters ripe.
  • Underripe strawberries are less nutritious than fully ripe berries. (Maybe we should all just grow our own, huh?)
  • Most supermarket berries are large, firm, white-fleshed, and hollow. This variety has been chosen because of their ability to travel well and last longer. There are many other varieties with other flavor profiles, softer textures, pink flesh, and juicy. I HIGHLY encourage you to go the farmers market and taste them all.
  • Jo Robinson, of Eating on the Wild Side, suggests that consumers up their standards for produce, especially for berries, so that the stores will have to supply higher quality produce (ripe, not moldy, flavorful, etc.).
  • Organic berries offer more of an anti-cancer effect than conventional berries.
  • The antioxidant activity of berries increases when left out at room temperature. The antioxidants contained in strawberries include: ellagic acid, anthocyanin, catechin, quercetin, and kaempferol.
  • They help to fight against inflammation, cancer, and heart disease.
  • Good source of vitamin C, folate, and manganese. They are also rich in vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Good source of fiber.

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, Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet by Tonia Reinhard.

Photo Credit: Luv Kreativ Photography https://www.instagram.com/luvkreativ/?hl=en

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Blueberries

This is probably the most exciting time of year for someone that LOVES fruit and that tries to eat by the seasons. Plus, I have two blueberry bushes and they are exploding with blueberries right now. Since I live in California, my blueberry bushes last year weren’t very prolific. The rain this season has been significantly better but we also started collecting the water from when we’re letting it warm up to take showers. Moral of the story: lots and lots of blueberries, which equals a super happy Katie.

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests that blueberries are a gateway food for kids because they are willing to try blueberries and therefore step outside their food comfort zone. She has recipe for a Cinnamon-Blueberry Sauce that would be great on ice cream, pancakes or waffles, or CREPES!!!! Yum!

Food Facts:

  • Blueberries have a shelf life of about two weeks – freeze whatever you can’t eat. Frozen berries are almost as nutritious as fresh berries. Ideally they are “flash frozen”.
  • Great source of vitamin C, K, manganese, and fiber.
  • Contain flavonoid antioxidants such as: anthocyanins, kaempferol, and stilbenes.
  • The antioxidant content of blueberries helps to counterbalance free radical damage and the inflammatory response.
  • High intake has been associated with lower risk of ovarian cancer, lung cancer risk in smokers, reduced anxiety, depression, and inflammation.
  • Risk of dementia decreased with an increased weekly consumption of blueberries and strawberries.
  • Aronia berries, a relative of modern blueberries, have nearly 5 times the antioxidant value of our most nutritious modern blueberry.
  • Blueberries are also known for their ability to lower blood pressure, reduce arterial plaque, and prevented obesity in rat studies.
  • Cooked blueberries are actually more nutritious than raw berries because the cooking process makes the antioxidants more bioavailable (easier for your body to use).
  • Dried blueberries are less nutritious than fresh berries.

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planetby Tonia Reinhard, and Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Healthby Jo Robinson.

Photo Credit: Luv Kreativ Photography  https://www.instagram.com/luvkreativ/?hl=en

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

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Portobello Mushrooms

he 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 Recipesby Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods
by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planetby 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:

  • 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!

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: Luv Kreativ Photography https://www.instagram.com/luvkreativ/?hl=en

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Black Beans

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

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests making them in a slow cooker. Black beans are one if my favorite beans, but I love all beans. I have loved them since I was a kid but I am now discovering that they bother my gut. I have cut way back on the amount of beans I can eat. [Insert Sad Face here.]
This is our last winter food! Spring produce starts next week.

Food Facts:

  • Dried beans are very high in phytonutrients and black beans have are second only to lentils
  • Canned beans have a higher antioxidant value than home cooked beans (makes me feel good about almost never making home cooked beans!)
  • Good source of potassium, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, manganese, magnesium, zinc, calcium, copper, and omega-3s
  • Good source of fiber
  • When eaten with grains, beans make a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids
  • It helps protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes
  • Because of their high fiber content, they help to lower cholesterol and also prevent a rapid increase in blood sugar, making them great for people with hypoglycemia or insulin resistance
  • One study (Nurses’ Health Study II) showed that women that ate 2+ servings of beans or lentils each day had a 24% reduced risk of breast cancer. 

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 Planetby Tonia Reinhard

Photo Credit: Luv Kreativ Photography https://www.instagram.com/luvkreativ/?hl=en

Turkey and Vegetable Chili

Turkey and Vegetable Chili [Paleo, 21DSD, Primal, GF]

Turkey Chili

Recipe:                                                                     Spice Blend:

24 oz. chicken bone broth                                1 t cayenne pepper

1 jar diced tomatoes                                           1 T coriander

1 can kidney beans                                             1 T chili powder

1 can pinto beans                                                1 t cumin

1 medium onion, diced                                      sea salt and pepper

4 medium carrots, diced    turkey chili

4 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 T butter, grass-fed, organic

1 lb. organic ground turkey

2 T chives, minced

sour cream, full-fat, organic, grass-fed (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in butter until translucent.
  2. Add bone broth, tomatoes, beans, veggies, spices, and ground turkey. (Omit beans for Paleo, Primal, and levels 2 and 3 of the 21DSD.)
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Continue on a low simmer for 45 min.
  4. Serve immediately. Top with sour cream and chives. (Omit sour cream for level 3 of the 21DSD).  Enjoy!

Tomatoes are rich sources of vitamins C & K, carotenes (especially lycopene), biotin and fiber. They are protective against cancer and should be eaten with an oil to improve absorption.

Celery is helpful in preventing cancer, improves white blood cell activity, and helps to lower blood pressure. It is rich in potassium and sodium. It helps the liver to detoxify as well.

Onions are a member of the allium (lily) family and are related to garlic & leeks. Alliums are known to have a cholesterol reducing effect and are known for their ability to help fight off cold and flu viruses. Onions are rich in antioxidants and biotin, manganese, copper, phosphorous, potassium, vitamins B1, B6, C, and fiber.

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Quinoa

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Quinoa

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests making savory quinoa cakes or a quinoa stuffing. When I make it plain, I use equal parts water, broth, and quinoa (usually one cup of each). I also made a great Quinoa Turkey Meatloaf that was delicious! My favorite quinoa was toasted with smoked trout from Nopa in SF. Seriously amazing!!

Food Facts:

  • Indigenous to South America
  • Not a member of the grass family, like other grains. It’s actually the seed of plant that is likely related to chard, beets, and spinach. The leaves of the plant are edible and very nutritive
  • High protein content compared to other grains
  • Good source of vitamins E and B6, and potassium, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, selenium, and copper
  • Good source of fiber
  • It helps protect against oxidative damage
  • Can be used instead of cornmeal for polenta or as a hot breakfast cereal
  • Contains antioxidants called polyphenols and flavonoids
  • Much less allergenic than grains
  • Persons that have had calcium oxalate containing kidney stones should limit their consumption of quinoa due to its moderate amounts of oxalate.

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 Planetby Tonia Reinhard

Photo Credit: Luv Kreativ https://www.instagram.com/luvkreativ/?hl=en