This is the FINAL post for The 52 New Foods Challenge! WOW! It has taken me MUCH longer that 52 weeks to blog about this, but hey, I stuck with it!!
Pomegranates are a fruit that I didn’t really eat until I was an adult. I loved buying the ready-to-go pomegranate seeds at Trader Joe’s! So easy! They are quite a fun snack, although they are a bit of work when you buy the whole fruit. I also enjoy adding pomegranates to salads. The seasonal Thanksgiving salad that I mentioned here, also had pomegranate seeds. Danielle Walker of Against All Grain adds them to a Brussels sprouts dish, which adds a delightful twist.
Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests making a sauce using pomegranates instead of cranberries or add them to a wild rice and pistachio dish. Both sound delicious!
Pomegranates are thought to be the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, rather than apples.
They originate from Iran.
The red seeds are called arils.
Pomegranates are a good source of vitamins K, E, and B6, and folate, potassium, manganese, and pantothenic acid.
Rich source of antioxidants, especially tannins and flavonoids.
Studies show that pomegranate juice can inhibit the growth of breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancers.
Pomegranates have been shown to be heart protective, as it can improve blood pressure and improve blood flow.
B R U S S E L S S P R O U T S ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Hopefully that conveys my excitement for this fall and winter veggie. I could seriously have them nearly every day and still love them. But it wasn’t always that way. The first time I had Brussels sprouts was at my step sister’s wedding in 2009. I had avoided them for all of my childhood and well into my twenties. At the wedding, they were pretty boring, so I didn’t add them to my list of new favorites just yet. Then in 2010 I began working for Tomatero Organic Farm and in the fall we had Brussels. So I bought some and found a recipe in a cookbook for how to prepare them (roasted in butter and topped with bacon). And you know what? I LOVED them. From there on out, I was hooked!
Danielle Walker of Against All Grain has a great recipe and I have created my own favorite recipe too. Look for it soon! Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests Brussels Sprouts Chips, which surprisingly, I have yet to try! She also suggests roasting them with bacon [this is a very common way they are prepared] and also sautéed with lemon and walnuts.
VEGGIE TIP: If you aren’t on the Brussels bandwagon yet, it’s probably because these are DENSE little veggies and if not cooked through to the center, they aren’t very tasty. Using a food processor, try grating them or slicing them (my favorite). Now they will be cooked through and it won’t take an hour to chew them.
Member of the brassica/cruciferous family.
Sinigrin and progoitrin and the bitter chemicals that are responsible for some folks distaste of Brussels sprouts.
Brussels kill more human cancer cells than any other member of the cruciferous family.
When shopping for brussels:
It’s important to buy them in season for less of a bitter flavor.
Brussels should be bright green with densely packed leaves.
Frozen Brussels have only 20% of the caner-fighting compounds as fresh Brussels.
Like broccoli and artichokes, Brussels respire rapidly, so refrigerate immediately and eat as soon as possible.
Steaming Brussels for 6-8 minutes will help them to retain the most nutrients (although that’s not how I like to cook them).
Great source of vitamin B6, C, and K, folic acid, beta-carotene, thiamine, and potassium.
Rich in fiber.
Contain the antioxidant, glucosinolates, that help to fight cancer.
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).
Short cooking methods do not destroy the important nutrients of green beans
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
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!
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.