Posts Tagged ‘local food’

A Veggie Carb is a Healthy Carb

Friday, November 13th, 2015

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Eat healthy carbs. This advice is often given to athletes and couch potatoes alike, but sometimes it is hard to know which carbohydrates to choose. Fall is a great time to enjoy your healthy carbs in the form of roasted vegetables, which are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Popular and nutritious vegetables for roasting include:

  • Beets – good source of folate
  • Brussels sprouts – good source of vitamins C and K
  • Carrots – good source of vitamins A and C
  • Onions – contain bioflavonoid anti-oxidants and allicin (anti-tumor compound)
  • Parsnips – good source of Vitamins C and K and fiber
  • Potatoes (skin on) – good source of vitamins B, C, folate, and niacin and potassium
  • Rutabagas – good source of vitamin C
  • Sweet potatoes – good source of vitamins A,B6 and C and potassium
  • Turnips – contain vitamin C
  • Winter squash – good source of vitamin A

The roasted vegetables in the photo include beets, parsnips, turnips, onions, butternut squash, and carrots. They were seasoned with olive oil and dried herbs and roasted at 425° until soft. Simply in Season, a cookbook that celebrates local foods, suggests a ratio of 2 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp dried herbs (or 3 tbsp fresh) to 6-8 cups cut up vegetables. They suggests varying the vegetables used, but including at least one sweet vegetable (carrot, sweet potato or parsnip) and one stronger flavored vegetable such as turnip or rutabaga.

Have fun experimenting and be sure to share what works well for you!

© 2015 Kathleen Searles, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN

Strawberries: The Taste of Summer

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Spring 2015 011One of the food highlights of summer is fresh strawberries. With their glossy red color and juicy sweetness, ripe strawberries are a treat for the eyes and the palate! They are also full of nutrition benefits. One cup of sliced fresh strawberries has just 55 calories, but provides over 100% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C and more than 3 grams of fiber.  In addition, strawberries contain anti-oxidant phytochemicals, including ellagic acid, anthocyanins, quercetin and catechin. These compounds may help protect the body from inflammation and the negative effects of cholesterol.  Food and medical scientists are continuing to research the potential beneficial effects of strawberries and other berries in preventing heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

We don’t really need science and nutrition to convince us to eat strawberries, however! The best berries will be bright red through to the tip, with a fresh appearing green cap. Berries will not ripen any further after they are picked.  Fresh strawberries taste best when used soon after harvesting or purchasing. Don’t wash them until you are ready to use them. Strawberries should only be left at room temperature for a few hours, and after that can be stored in the refrigerator. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and store for 2-3 days.

If you have more strawberries than you can use in a few days, you can freeze the extras. I usually just wash them and remove the green caps. Then I spread them on a cookie sheet and blot with a paper towel to remove excess water before placing the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours. When the berries have hardened I transfer them to a freezer bag¸ removing as much air as possible from the bag.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use strawberries:

  • Just cut up plain with a little sugar or sweetener if needed
  • With sour cream or yogurt and a sprinkle of brown sugar
  • Cut up alone or with other berries and served with a drizzle of maple syrup and chopped mint leaves
  • With cottage cheese (The mint/maple combo is especially tasty this way!)
  • With plain, vanilla, or lemon yogurt as a snack or dessert
  • In smoothies (frozen berries are great for this)
  • Sliced over a salad of fresh leaf lettuces, sugar snap peas, green onions, thinly sliced cucumber, and grilled chicken breast and topped with a strawberry vinaigrette

 

Head to a nearby farmer’s market  or pick-your-own farm to start enjoying the freshest local berries.  Share YOUR best strawberry ideas on our Facebook page!

 

© 2015 Kathleen Searles, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN