The 52 New Foods Challenge – Persimmons

Persimmons are not a “new” food for me, however, I’m not a big fan of them. This is probably the only fruit that I don’t really like. From what I gather, if you grew up eating them (probably because you had a tree in your yard – at here in silicon valley), you like them, if you didn’t grow up eating them, eh, no so much. You guessed it, I didn’t have a tree in my yard or in any of my relatives’ yards. And while I don’t have many recipes for using persimmons, I have made a seasonal salad at Thanksgiving that included persimmons, and it was delish!

Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends baking persimmons, making a persimmon cake, or making persimmon chips.

Food Facts:

  • Persimmons are a relative of the apple and the pear.
  • Good source of vitamins A, C, B6, E, and K,  maganese, potassium, and copper.
  • Good source of fiber.
  • Persimmons contain antioxidant carotenoids, including: lycopene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and phenols.
  • Because of the nutrients they possess, persimmons are heart protective.
  • Studies have also shown that persimmons have an anti-viral effect.
  • In season in late fall and early winter.
  • A new study shows persimmons being used to combat breast cancer cells while not harming regular breast cells. This is due the content of fisetin, a flavonoid.
  • Originally from Asia.
  • There are two types of persimmons, astringent and non-astringent. The astringent persimmons are bitter when eaten raw.
  • Fuyu are best peeled and eaten raw and can be eaten while the fruit is still firm.
  • Hachiya are best used for baking. They are also commonly dried by hanging them from a string and allowing the sun to “candy” them.
  • Hachiya have an elongated shape and the Fuyu are short and stout.

From:

The 52 New Foods Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Superfoods by Tonia Reinhard, http://blog.outoftheboxcollective.com/recipes/glorious-persimmons/ and http://foodfacts.mercola.com/persimmon.html.

 

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

In Season, in March

Happy March!

March is one of my favorite months because SPRING officially begins and because my birthday is in March. 🙂 As for what’s in season in Northern California in March, I wish there were fruits that were in season besides citrus fruits, but since there aren’t, I’m enjoying the citrus. March is officially asparagus season in most of North America. After reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life I decided that I would only be eating asparagus during the late winter and early spring. It’s what I’m
most excited for this month! Bring on the stinky pee!! What seasonal produce are you going to enjoy in March?

Hugs and Health <3,

Katie

This comes from The Young America Creative out of San Francisco.  www.thisisya.com 

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The 52 New Foods Challenge – Pears

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Pears

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests making a pear sauce – like apple sauce or in a winter fruit salad (I made a similar one for Christmas). Mmmmm!

Food Facts: 

  • Pears ripen in late summer to mid fall, if you’re buying pears at any other time, they are either imported or have been in cold storage, like apples
  • Apples and pears are from the same food family and are very similar, except the flesh of pears contains stone cells, often called grits
  • Good source of vitamins C, E, B2, and K and potassium and copper
  • Good source of fiber
  • It is an anti inflammatory and it counters atherosclerosis, a common problem in cardiovascular disease
  • They are good for lowering cholesterol
  • Often recommended as a hypo-allergenic fruit because they are less likely to cause a reaction
  • Contains antioxidants called phenols
  • Antioxidants levels maintain even when cooked- this makes Jennifer Tyler Lee’s pear sauce an even better idea!

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 – Grapefruit

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Grapefruit

Grapefruits are not a new food for most of us, but Jennifer Tyler Lee has a recipe for broiled grapefruit with a touch of honey which sounds pretty yummy. I’ve been wanting to try grilled or baked grapefruit because I think the caramelization of the sugars might make it more appealing to me. 

Food Facts:IMG_0170

  • Good source of vitamins A, C, B6, B5 (pantothenic acid), folic acid, thiamine, copper, selenium,  potassium, and magnesium
  • Good source of fiber
  • Contains antioxidants called anthocyanins, liminoids, lycopene, and carotenoids
  • The only citrus indigenous to the “new world” or the Americas (first found in Barbados)
  • They are known for helping to lower blood cholesterol, help normalize hematocrit levels (important if you are anemic), and helping to protect against cancer, macular degeneration,  and cardiovascular disease.
  • Can also help the body get rid of excess estrogen, helping to prevent breast cancer
  • Like oranges and mandarins, they are often picked when green, shipped, and then artificially ripened with ethylene gas which causes them to ripen. This causes them to look ripe but they aren’t truly ripe  and have fewer bionutrients than tree ripened fruit.
  • Grapefruits harvested after December are more likely to be tree ripened (their season is late winter/ early spring)
  • Organic Grapefruits (mandarins and oranges too) have not been degreened
  • To select the best grapefruits: look for large, smooth-skinned fruits that are heavy for their size
  • Until about one hundred years ago, all grape fruits had white flesh! The pink flesh was a natural mutation making it sweeter.
  • Some Medications and grapefruit should not be used together – meds used for blood pressure, cholesterol, anxiety, and those that reduce the rejection of an organ after transplant. Check with your doctor.

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 – Avocado

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Avocado

I think we all love Avocado. Obviously there is guacamole- my favorite! But for a quick and easy option, I also like to have a half or whole avocado sprinkled with sea salt and lemon and maybe hot sauce. What I’ve been really digging lately is: guacamole deviled eggs! Jennifer Tyler Lee has a recipe for avocado chocolate pudding – I do want to try this too! I tried avocado ice cream and I wasn’t a big fan. What are you favorite ways to use avocado?

Food Facts:IMG_0163

  • Good source of vitamin E, folate, potassium, and magnesium
  • Very good source of soluble fiber
  • High in healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Haas avocados have 2-4 times more antioxidants than other varieties sold in stores
  • Unripe avocados will ripen quickly in a brown paper bag
  • They will also ripen on your countertops – but they stop ripening once in your fridge – so they can be kept in the fridge until ready to be eaten (usually for several days)
  • “One serving gives you more antioxidants than a serving of broccoli raab, grapes, red bell peppers, or red cabbage” (Robinson, 2013, p. 206)


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, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planetby Tonia Reinhard

In Season, in February

It’s February!! <3 <3 <3 For me, the first day of February means January is over. Woot! I’m not a fan of January. 1.) It’s winter. 2.) It’s cold. 3.) It’s dark really early. 4.) It’s winter. 🙂

With the start of February in Northern California, comes cherry blossoms. I also love seeing trees, plants, and bushes in my garden with little flower buds. Just this morning, I saw blossoms on my blueberry bushes! This fills me with happiness because homegrown blueberries = happiness in my world.

Well, even though blueberries aren’t on the list, here is what is in season in February. What seasonal produce are you looking forward to? I’m enjoying mandarins and arugula.

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

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The 52 New Foods Challenge – Edamame

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Edamame

This was this past week’s new food. While I’m not a big fan of soy products, organic and non-gmo edamame is okay by me if you can tolerate it well. Also fermented soy products (miso and tempeh) are okay as well, but all others, including tofu, soymilk, etc. are on my avoid list.

Food Facts: IMG_0161

  • Good source of folate, manganese, thiamine, riboflavin, copper, selenium, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamin K.
  • Complete source of plant protein (contains all of the essential amino acids).
  • Contains isoflavones – antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
  • A good source of fiber and protein.
  • Most soy products sold in America are loaded with pesticides and have been genetically modified. Always choose organic and Non-GMO
  • It scores 48/1000 on the ANDI scale (a rating of nutrients per calorie)

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, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet by Tonia Reinhard

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Romanesco

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Romanesco

I LOVE roasted crucifers, and this one  is no exception. Jennifer Tyler Lee also recommends sautéing it with EVOO (I would use butter) and lemon and parmesan. Sounds yummy too!! I recently made “cauli rice” using romanesco and it was delicious! 🙂

Food Facts: IMG_0147

  • Member of the cruciferous family- related to cauliflower
  • Contains four times more glucosinolates than white cauliflower
  • Cauliflowers have a lower respiration rate than broccoli and therefore can be stored for up to a week in the fridge without compromising the nutritional value.
  • Was developed from wild cabbage
  • Cancer fighting vegetable
  • Good source of B Vitamins, vitamin K, & C, potassium, phosphorous, boron, and fiber
  • On the ANDI scale it scores 295/1000 (a rating of nutrients per calorie)

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson, and Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno