I don’t like making my dinner table political nor thinking about my food in terms of micronutrients, macronutrients nor carbon footprint size.
Granted, I agree that the more local your food, the better. It is picked when ripe, eaten closer to the time of picking which means there are more vitamins, minerals and nutrients in it, plus you are helping out your neighbors. I agree, that it is important to eat foods in season, if possible. If you’re going to eat grains, it is best for them to be whole, and possibly soaked. I like using a wild yeast.
But you’re still going to find bananas in my fruit basket pretty much year round (and really, where in America are bananas local or in season?) and white flour in my pie crust.
Just being honest here.
But here’s the thing. . . . I enjoy eating real foods. Honest foods. And I look forward to the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season, when they are in season. I just don’t like to get in fights with people about the politics of it, I’d rather just enjoy the smiles and full bellies of satisfied, nourished people around the table.
And, over the past few years, I’ve begun cooking and including in our meals a wide variety of what dietitians and foodies are now labeling “Super Foods.” Why? Because they’re super good for you. And they taste good. Some of them, I can take or leave (flaxseed, I’m talking to you!). But a few of them . . . those have really become favorites in this house. You’ve probably come to recognize them on my blog. They’re familiar faces. And though
I’ve recently decided to consciously stop thinking of food as political and just get back to the enjoyment of cooking
Have you met kale yet? You really should. It is the epitome of the “dark, leafy greens” that everyone is telling you to eat. It is my favorite as it packs a ton of nutrition into a few mouthfuls, without a strong flavor. According to an article in the Guardian, Kale contains
“. . . . six times more calcium than broccoli [is] high in vitamins A and C, [and is]
Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. The health benefits of this baby leaf make it one of the most nutritious green vegetables around. Cooked baby leaf curly kale provides more calcium for each 100g than milk, yogurt, cooked broccoli or cooked spinach.
In addition, 100g of the cooked leaves provides over half (55%) of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C - the antioxidant that helps to protect the body from free radicals. It also contains seven times as much Vitamin A as cooked broccoli.”
in my opinion, and I’m here to make a believer of you! How do we eat it?
I also use the kale cubes in green smoothies. You can’t taste the kale. At all.
Recently, I’ve also found a love for Caldo Verde, a traditional Portuguese soup featuring kale and smoky linguica. Awesome.
Okay, getting off my soapbox about kale . . . other superfoods we love include,
For a cheerleader story about how great cranberries are, check out this article (this is already going to be a long blog post!) .
In our house, it is a sad day when our dried cranberries get used up. I, frankly, primarily use them dried in baked goods but occasionally have a jar of juice or fresh cranberries in the fridge as well. My favorite uses (other than the lovely Cosmopolitan) include:
My mom’s granola (also made with good for you oats and honey and nuts, among other things)
(just like mom’s except . . . no grain!)
“The Works” oatmeal cookie bar (which also features runner-up “super foods”, oatmeal, coconut and dark chocolate! Oh, and whole wheat flour . . . yum)
(also featuring . . . oatmeal (though I bet you could have guessed that!) and yogurt)
(say that five times fast! Oh, and did I mention that you can make it yeasted, or sourdough? Yum.)
Here’s a link to an article all about coconut. I am just on the cusp of using it to it’s fullest, there are far more recipes and bloggers who are using it in depth much more than I (coconut water, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut milk ice cream . . . those are definitely on my list to start playing with). For me, I primarily use coconut in two forms; shredded/dried and coconut oil.
I use coconut oil as an alternative to “vegetable oil”, i.e. canola oil, and most vegetable shortenings (sometimes I use butter but I no longer use shortening at all) in most recipes that call for it (be it sweet or savory) and have been known to drink a Tablespoonful of it melted in my coffee to boost my metabolism. Looking for more coconut recipes? I highly recommend this book, Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Doctor Mary Enig and Sally Fallon.
And finally, one of the SuperFoods we eat the most, eggs.
We love eggs. We go through about three dozen eggs a week. Two adults and one two year old. Three dozen. Seriously. Normally we eat them the basic way that everyone else eats them, scrambled or fried for breakfast. Eaten as a snack hard-boiled or chopped up on a salad. Egg salad. No need for a recipe or blog post on that, but sometimes we eat them in more unusual ways . . .
Scrambled up and served on breakfast pizza