A forum for Healers and Seekers
What is it? Kale is a leafy green vegetable.Here are 10 healthy foods that you may never have tried before – but
Why buy it? In a study by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, kale ranked first among 84 vegetables for having the highest levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This potent cancer fighter contains 16 essential nutrients, including calcium, iron and vitamin A.
How to buy and store it: Choose dark green bunches with no signs of wilting or yellowing. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to five days.
How to serve it: Stir-fry chopped kale in olive oil and garlic. For crispy kale chips, tear leaves into bite-size pieces and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 10 minutes.
What is it? Jicama is a juicy tuber with the texture of a raw potato and the flavour of an apple. Once peeled, it can be enjoyed raw or cooked.
Why buy it? It contains inulin, a natural prebiotic fibre that improves calcium absorption in bones and may help prevent osteoporosis.
How to buy and store it: In the produce aisle, look for firm jicama with dry roots and no signs of mould. Refrigerate for up to two weeks.
How to serve it: Its crunchy texture makes jicama a welcome addition to crudité platters. Since it doesn't lose its crunch once cooked, it's also great in stir-fries.
Try: Mixed Greens with Citrus Dressing and Sea Salt
What is it? Kiwifruit is a fruit with a sweet-tart flavour.
Why buy it? One serving of kiwifruit (one large or two small fruits) has more vitamin C than an equivalent serving of oranges and an average of 20 per cent more potassium than a banana. Studies show that eating kiwifruit helps treat constipation, due to the fruit's high fibre content.
How to buy and store it: Ripe kiwifruit is ready to eat when a gentle squeeze shows signs of softness. Refrigerate for up to four weeks.
How to serve it: Kiwifruit can be used in salads and smoothies, or eaten on its own.
What is it? Edamame are green soybeans, sold in or out of the pod.
Why buy it? As a meat alternative, edamame make an iron-rich, high-protein main dish with little saturated fat. The soy isoflavones found in edamame may also help increase bone mass and decrease bone loss in women.
How to buy and store it: Check the vegetable section of your grocer's freezer and keep frozen for up to a few months.
How to serve it: A common appetizer in Japanese restaurants, edamame can be steamed for a few minutes and served as is. When removed from the pod, edamame make a delicious addition to soups, salads or grain dishes. Feeling adventurous? Try edamame ice cream.
Try: Sausage, Mushroom and Edamame Pappardelle
What is it? If you've ever grown a Chia Pet, you'll recognize these nutritious little seeds. Chia, also called salba, is a whole grain.
Why buy it? Fifteen grams of chia contains six grams of fibre, as well as calcium, magnesium and iron. Chia is also high in alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat. This type of omega-3 fat is "essential," which means that our bodies can't make it, so we must get it from food. ALA is an important component of our cells.
How to buy and store it: Check the health food or organic aisle for bulk bags of whole or ground chia, or packages of single-serving "straws." Keep in a cool, dry place for up to one year.
How to serve it: Sprinkle chia on cereal, yogurt and salad. Bake with chia to add more fibre to your breads, cookies and bars. Note: If your grocery store doesn't have a health food or organic aisle, look for chia at your local health food store.
What is it? A protein-rich seed related to spinach and chard.
Why buy it? Quinoa is one of the few grains that is a "complete" protein, which means it contains all nine of the essential amino acids that our bodies need. This makes it a perfect grain for vegans. It is high in copper and manganese, two trace minerals that help antioxidants perform their protective role in the body.
How to buy and store it: Look for bagged or boxed quinoa. Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container for up to six months.
How to serve it: Boiled quinoa usually fluffs up in just 12 minutes. Serve as an alternative to rice, pasta or couscous. Mix in some dried fruit, nuts and cumin for a perfect side dish.
Try: Quinoa Cakes with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
What is it? This alternative to rice is actually a member of the rhubarb family, making it a seed rather than a grain. Regardless, it is considered a whole grain in the culinary world.
Why buy it? Compared to white rice, buckwheat has double the B vitamins and iron, and significantly more folate, potassium and magnesium. It's also rich in fibre, protein and the antioxidants rutin and quercitin.
How to buy and store it: Look for boxed buckwheat in the ethnic or kosher aisle. Keep in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to one year.
How to serve it: Go traditional with European-style kasha varnishkes (buckwheat with bow-tie pasta), or try buckwheat noodles, pilaf or pancakes.
Try: Lazy Buckwheat Casserole
What are they? Red lentils are a type of legume, similar to beans.
Why buy them? Due to their high fibre content, lentils help fight high cholesterol and protect against heart disease.
How to buy and store them: Look for bagged red lentils in the canned bean aisle. Keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place for up to a year.
How to serve them: Unlike other legumes, red lentils cook quickly (in about 30 minutes). They lose their shape and take on a porridge-like consistency, making them perfect for lentil soup or spicy Indian dal.
Try: Big Batch Mexican Bean and Lentil Soup
9).Whole grain orzo
What is it? Orzo is a dainty pasta that resembles brown rice but cooks in a fraction of the time.
Why buy it? It's high in antioxidants and B vitamins, and is naturally sodium-free. Plus, it has double the fibre content of regular orzo.
How to buy and store it: Look for boxed orzo in the pasta aisle. Store in a well-sealed container for up to two years.
How to serve it: Try Greek orzo salad. Add chopped tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, feta cheese and light vinaigrette to your cooked orzo.
Try: Orzo and Mushroom Salad
What are they? Brazil nuts are a tree nut native to South America.
Why buy them? Brazil nuts are high in selenium, a potent antioxidant that helps protect cells against damage that can lead to cancer and heart disease. Having just one Brazil nut provides you with 100 per cent of your daily need for selenium.
How to buy and store them: Choose shelled raw or roasted nuts from the bulk bin. Keep in the refrigerator for one month or in the freezer for up to one year. Fresh in-shell nuts are available in autumn; store them in a cool, dry place for up to two months.
How to serve them: Enjoy them by the handful, as part of baked desserts or in savoury dishes.
Try: Tropical Granola Clusters with Brazil Nuts