We all know the Mediterranean diet is healthy and guess what is a major staple in this way of eating?
Yup- tomatoes! Tomatoes are a powerhouse of carotenoids with the best known one being lycopene, which by the way, is also high in last week’s featured food- watermelon. Lycopene has high antioxidant activity. Translated: they protect our cells from damage. Most notably, tomatoes have been shown to protect against prostate cancer, UV skin damage and even pancreatic cancer. Some tips for getting the most out of your tomatoes: eat the skins where most of the carotenoids are and eat some fat with your tomatoes like olive oil or avocado. The fat helps us absorb the beneficial compounds in tomatoes.
These 8 AMAZING facts about tomatoes, and more info on their health benefits, and how to prepare are from:
EIGHT amazing facts about tomatoes!
Your Recipe: Gazpacho
Try this amazing gazpacho recipe to use up all those summer tomatoes in your garden:
1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!
After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.
Copyright 1999 The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
There are plenty of good reasons to eat watermelon. It is:
Here's Your Recipe (great for summer cookouts)
Cucumber- Mint Watermelon Salad
Enjoy within 1-2 hours.
Ok, so kale is so…. 2015, right? Well, it does not diminish its superfood status! Kale rose to superfood status for good reason- it is extremely healthy. If you have not had it yet, now is the time to try it. It is one of the most nutrient dense foods on our planet. That means for the little number of calories it contains, it gives us back huge amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, K and C and a good source of copper, magnesium, vitamin B6 and calcium. It also contains sulfur compounds that have been shown to prevent cancer and help our livers do their detoxifying jobs. Finally, kale is good for our eyes as it has certain antioxidants that are especially beneficial for our eyesight. That’s nothing to blink about!
Try raw kale in salads, either mixed in with other greens or as a stand- alone. Tip: it is easier to chew raw kale if the salad is prepared a day in advanced and allowed to sit overnight. Another tip: “bruise” your kale by adding a drizzle of olive oil and squeezing it in your hands.
Your Recipe: Sauteed Kale
Try this easy sautéed version. I like to add a little feta cheese at the end:
SERVINGS = 4
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add crushed red pepper flakes, if using, and let them sizzle a bit in the oil.
Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored.
Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all (most) the liquid has evaporated. The kale should still remain bright-ish green.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Total Fat 8 g
Sodium 75.6 mg
Carbohydrate 18.9 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Sugars 1.2 g
Protein 5.8 g
If kale just isn’t your thing, keep adding it to your green smoothies.
Everyone knows salmon is good for us (and it is a superfood too), but are you familiar with black cod? Also called sablefish or butterfish, it is delicious with a buttery taste and bonus - it is high in omega 3 fats right up there with salmon. These omega 3 fats, DHA and EPA, are important for optimal health. Did you know most of us get way too many omega 6 fats and not enough omega 3s? Omega 3 fats help reduce inflammation in the body, are an important part of our brain (which is 60% fat overall) and are especially beneficial to babies in utero.
Don’t like fish? Walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds are good plant sources.
Bonus Healthy Fact:
Wild Caught black cod gets a green light on the Monterey Bay Aquarium seafood watch guide:
Black cod has a similar taste to sea bass and is often prepared the same way.
Here is Your Recipe:
Try this delicious recipe from Mark Bittman on NY Times cooking
Broiled Black Cod with Miso
½ cup sugar
1 cup miso, preferably dark
½ cup mirin, sake or white wine
1 ½ to 2 pounds black cod fillets (skin may be on or off)
Heat broiler; set rack 3 to 4 inches from heat source. Combine first three ingredients in a small saucepan and, over low heat, bring almost to a boil, stirring occasionally just until blended; mixture will be fairly thin. Turn off heat.
Put fillets in an ovenproof baking dish or skillet, preferably nonstick, and spoon half the sauce on top. Broil until sauce bubbles and begins to brown, then spoon remaining amount over fish. Continue to broil, adjusting heat or rack position if sauce or fish is browning too quickly, until fish is just cooked through. Serve immediately.
11 calories; 5 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram monounsaturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 43 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 29 grams sugars; 43 grams protein; 85 milligrams cholesterol; 2671 milligrams sodium
Don't blink or this season will be over. Black raspberries which are not seen much in Ohio since they are grown mostly in the pacific northwest. These berries which are not to be confused with blackberries, are a rising star as they have some amazing health benefits.
Here is your Recipe:
Try this fermented black raspberry drink called Kvass: http://fearlesseating.net/how-to-make-black-raspberry-kvass/
Easier options would be to include fresh black raspberries in salads or smoothies or just by themselves, savored for the short season they are here. Try frozen ones or powdered black raspberries the rest of the year to enjoy year round health benefits of this amazing fruit.
Mounting research is showing they may surpass blueberries for their antioxidant content! Black raspberries have especially strong cancer fighting power against oral and esophageal cancers.
Welcome to our new BLOG on SUPERFOODS.
In this BLOG, we will explore the healthiest foods on the planet!
What are these “superfoods?” These foods are nutrient-rich food and considered to be especially beneficial for our health and well-being. These extremely healthy foods are generally very high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and/ or other compounds that our bodies need to:
Each week we will explore a different SUPERFOOD with a recipe to try it out. You likely will know most of these foods and hopefully are already eating many of them. We hope to nudge you to increase these foods and incorporate more in your daily food intake.