Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ABC: Apples, Bok Choy & Corn

NZ's Crush Market offerings
The importance of fruit and vegetables cannot be overstated. Their all-natural goodness is highlighted by no unhealthy fats or cholesterol and they are extremely low in calories. Here's a debatable argument: Studies have shown that serious illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease could be easily averted with the heavy inclusion of fruits and vegetables in the diet. 

I don't believe that there is one miracle cure for diseases that plague us but giving our bodies a fighting chance through food is probably worth a go. There are so many delicious varieties that truly the possibilities are endless when it comes to re-inventing your diet. You can eat mounds of any of them a day to meet *nutritional guidelines and there is no guilt involved. Everything in moderation of course.

Now that I am blogging from New Zealand, I must point out that the food culture is pretty spot on when it comes to food. They try to avoid huge factory farming and chemicals which interfere with the natural deliciousness of fruits and vegetables. These practices may also compromise the nutritional value. Organic, local & savory fruits and veggies are available at markets and natural food stores worldwide. More and more mainstream grocers in many countries are offering organic and chemical free options in the produce sections. Be sure to stock up just a little bit on each trip to keep a good flow of variety.

One of the best age old foodie practices is eating right along with your local growing seasons. Let what is available at specific times in your area be a guide for what to eat. It's also usually cheaper to buy the in season items which avoid additional transport and gas costs. Let the local stuff be the guide for your menu planning. If it is readily available at the local market in the morning, then it may just end up on your plate that night. This is how it should be.
A wee little hand is so tempted by these oranges which are chocked full of Vitamin C
Here are some of my yummy market choices from this past week:

"An apple a day" pretty much says it all. These babies are nutritious, delicious and come in a multitude of varieties. Their nutritional value is the highest when they are savored in their most pure form. Skin on and raw. Most commercially grown apples end up as sauces or ciders with less than 50% of the fiber and mineral stores. What a waste if you are looking more than a fast fruit fix. There is nothing quite like crunching into a juicy apple. 

Quick & Savory Recipe
Looking for a dessert that will wow tonight? Served alone or a la modeBaked Apples are simple and can be made with just: 
Apples, Butter, Cinnamon & Sugar
Cut apples into wedges & place in bowl. Generously sprinkle cinnamon/sugar & stir.
Pour seasoned mixture into baking dish.
Cut butter pats & place 1-2in. across (2 rows).
Cover, Bake 20 min & stir half way through.

(*Contains: fiber, lutein, beta-carotene, calcium & flouride)

My family is seriously multi-cultural and that includes a rich Asian element which serves as the foundation for many of our meals. Here is bok choy. It is a member of the cabbage family and we use it in stir-fry because it's absolutely delicious. 

(*Contains: Vitamin C, magnesium, Omega-3 & 6, folate and potassium)

Everyone is familiar with fresh corn. Summer is coming upon the United States and since we just finished ours down unda', we are passing the goodness on to them. Native to the Americas, it serves as an excellent carbohydrate just the way it is. Though its versatility yields it in many directions, I feel it's best enjoyed alone. Oh! And with butter...

(*Contains: B1, B5, folate, calcium, fiber and thiamine)

Think about your day today and if you've not yet savored a fruit or veggie, I must ask,
 "What are you waiting for?"

*All of these foods contain at least the ones listed and many more. Be sure to check the dietary guide for your own personal daily requirements. We found Planet Pace where you can input your stats and get a report on what you need to keep your own body fueled each day.