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Volume III
January 27, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Some Great Foods to Try

By Patty Liston

I grew up eating all different kinds of food. As an Air Force "brat", my family and I lived all over the world. The rule in our home was that my siblings and I always had to try everything at least once. If we didn't like it, we could defer the next time it was offered, (unless we were a guest in someone's home, of course). I ate spicy Turkish beans when I was 3, German red cabbage at 4, hot Texas bar-b-que at 6, and my first snail drowning in butter and garlic when I was nine. The list goes on, and I loved it all!

As a result of this broad and adventurous life-style, I am game for anything. If you don't believe me, I'll share my tale of eating grasshoppers, zebra and snake sometime. Given that, the following foods should be a walk in the park. They are good for us, but are seldom a part of our cupboard or refrigerator.

This vegetable is a top source of vitamin A and cancer-fighting antioxidants. It can promote good eye and skin health, and is the perfect food to eat when you are trying to strengthen your immune system. One cup has almost as much vitamin C as an orange. Make a "green smoothie" by chopping up kale and mixing it in a heavy-duty blender with some fruit and organic apple juice! Yummy

According to Eating Well magazine, "Sardines are one of the best sources of heart-healthy, mood-boosting omega-3 fats, and they're packed with vitamins". Truth-be-told, this is one food, along with live, that my mother let me "defer" on. Other people love sardines on salads, and even between slices of bread with a thick slice of tomato and mayonnaise. Keep it up, oh ye of the greater palate than I.

I wrote about how to get the seeds out of this antioxidant rich fruit. (Slice it in half and whack the skin with a heavy spoon and the seeds will fall into your hand). I love pomegranate! You can juice the seeds for a great drink, or add the seeds to salads, sandwiches, fruit salad, or pop them in your mouth for a great burst of rich flavor.

Did you know that a study in the Journal of Nutrition states that eating a breakfast made with "slow release" carbohydrates such as oatmeal three hours before you exercise may help you burn more fat. Pass me the oatmeal! According to the study, "eating slow-release carbohydrates didn't spike blood sugar as high as eating refined carbohydrates, such as white toast. In turn, insulin levels didn't spike as high, and because insulin plays a role in signaling your body to store fat, having lower levels may help you burn fat".

Kefir is a smooth, drinkable yogurt that is full of good probiotics that may help to boost your immune system. It will also give you 29% of your daily value of calcium per 8-ounce glass. If you are not fond of plain kefir, it is also made with fruit flavors.

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