Beets

Beets are an absolute super food! Originally cultivated for it leaves in the Middle East, this plant was first grown for its root by the Romans. As early as the Middle Ages beets were used for their medicinal properties and used to treat different illnesses such as fever and constipation. Nowadays we know why this inconspicuous root vegetable was so effective. It is packed with nutrients including folic acid, vitamin C, betanin and B vitamins.

Not only are beets great for your health but they are also super versatile in the kitchen. You can eat them raw, roasted, or pickled!
Stay tuned for a recipe using beets!

Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are a great way to add flavor and variety to meals! A simple tomato can taste completely different when paired with basil or roasted potatoes taste earthy and flavorful with rosemary! No matter what herbs you pick, it is hard to go wrong!

Not only do herbs add delicious flavor but they also have amazing nutritional and health benefits. Today we are showcasing a hearty, earthy, and aromatic herb: rosemary.

Rosemary has excellent immune boosting benefits as it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. It can increase circulation, support digestion, help eliminate toxins from the body and reduce stress. In the kitchen, it is a fabulously versatile herb and goes well with many dishes. The easiest way is simply by adding it to any roasted dish such as chicken, potatoes, or mixed root vegetables. Even simply adding lemon and rosemary on top of salmon before baking it can transform the dish! If this has not convinced you enough, rosemary is also very easy to grow in your garden or indoors in a small pot.

Broccoli

Did you know that broccoli is a true nutrient boost?

Not only is the full list of all the nutrients it contains very long but it is also considered a complete list. We know that everything that is in this valuable vegetable has been fully researched by scientists. One of the most important nutrients that broccoli contains is the essential trace element chromium. Chromium has a positive effect on insulin production, your blood sugar balance, and overall metabolism. Broccoli also contains the indirect antioxidant sulforaphane, which, when eaten regularly, is associated with a reduced risk of cancer and protecting the skin from harmful UV radiation. In addition to containing plenty of dietary fiber, broccoli has lots of vitamins C and E, provitamin A, potassium, calcium and iron. Due to its high content of coenzyme Q10, broccoli is also said to have a rejuvenating and anti-ageing effect.

Fresh broccoli is dark to blue-green, compact and firm. Since it withers quickly and loses its valuable nutrients, it should be prepared and eaten soon after harvesting – preferably within three days.

Important: The shorter the cooking time, the more nutrients are kept! Even consider trying broccoli raw in a salad or in a slaw!

Fennel

As we are leaving the summer months behind, delicious produce including fennel are coming into season. Originally from the Mediterranean area, where it is mainly grown as vegetable, it is now commonly found all across the US. Not only is it grown commercially but it is also found in meadows in the wild. You can recognize it by its finely feathered leaves, the typical fennel scent and bright yellow blossoms. As a healing herb, fennel has a lot to offer. The herb and seeds can have many health benefits including relieve menstrual cramps, relieve upset stomachs, aid in digestion, and boost the immune system. From a culinary point of view, opinions diverge regarding the fennel – some people love it and some do not like the taste at all! Stay tuned as tomorrow we will share one of our favorite recipes with you. Even if you normally do not like fennel, give this recipe a try because you will not be disappointed!

Infographic: LiveLoveFruit

Pizza à la Metabolic Balance

Pizza is a universal food that has been adapted many times and today we wanted to share the Metabolic Balance adaptation.

Ingredients: 
1 serving of vegetables (chard, bell peppers, etc.)
½ tomato
1 Tbsp. chopped onion
1 serving of egg
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. marjoram/oregano
1 tsp. chopped chives
Salt and pepper

Preparation:
Clean, wash and cut the vegetables into thin strips. Wash the tomato and cut it into small cubes. Whisk the eggs, water, marjoram, salt and chives well with a fork. Cook the onion in a pan then add the chard. After 2-3 minutes add the small cubes of tomatoes. Heat up another pan and distribute the whisked egg evenly in it. Fry the egg like a pancake at medium heat. After 2-3 minutes turn gently and cook on the other side. Place the egg “crust” on a plate and distribute the vegetables and any other toppings evenly over top. Enjoy!

Make Your Own Vegetable Broth

Vegetable broth is super easy to make it home and tastes much better than any powdered mix.

Simply collect your vegetable waste such as parsnip, kohlrabi, or carrot peels, the leaves from broccoli or cauliflower, the ends of root vegetables or herbal stalks, and a few onion peels (avoid adding too much onion or otherwise the broth becomes bitter). Wash and dry the peels and collect enough scraps until you have enough to fill a gallon sized Ziploc bag. 

To get started first boil the vegetable scraps with salt, water, peppercorns, bay leaf, juniper berries and 1-2 cloves. After you have brought everything to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a good 20 minutes. Then let everything steep for another 15 minutes, season, pour through a sieve, let it cool and freeze portions. This way you always have homemade vegetable broth in the freezer for whenever the need arises.

Antioxidants

Many people have probably heard of antioxidants but few are familiar with what they are and how they work.

Antioxidants are compounds prevalent in fruits and vegetables that inhibit oxidation because they can fight free radicals present in the body. These free radicals in the body are produced as a by-product of normal metabolic processes or from exposure to harmful factors such as ozone, X-rays, air pollutants, and chemicals. High levels of free radicals in the body have been associated with cancer, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Thus antioxidants play an important role in the body by helping to regulate free radical levels.

Although the body can produce its own antioxidants it is also important to get them through your diet. Many fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of vital antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and epigallacatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Foods especially high in antioxidants include green tea, berries, dark leafy greens, and beans.

For more information and a list of foods high in antioxidants, check out the links below.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/antioxidants/sls-20076428

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325873#spinach

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2841576/

Photo: Unplash

Fiber

Today we want to talk a little bit more about fiber, a plant-based nutrient, that many Americans are deficient in. Commonly found in legumes, fruits, and vegetables, fiber has many health benefits! A diet high in fiber:

  • Supports a healthy gut. Fiber is used by the microbes in the gut as energy and allows them to support a healthy microbial community in the gut.
  • Helps with weight loss. Foods high in fiber tend to keep you full for longer than low-fiber foods.
  • Controls blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber can help slow the absorption of glucose and a high fiber diet has been associated with a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
  • Regulates bowel movements. Dietary fiber helps to keep you regular and consistent.

For more information check out this infographic and article below.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/science/food-fiber-microbiome-inflammation.html#:~:text=Once%20bacteria%20are%20done%20harvesting,They%20also%20send%20messages.

Pinto Bean “Meatballs”

Today we have a great recipe for pinto bean “meatballs”. These are packed full of protein and can be served with a salad or with pasta.

Ingredients:
1 serving of pinto beans
1 serving of vegetables (parsnip, zucchini, cabbage turnip, red onion)
Caraway
1 garlic clove
Curry powder
Vegetable broth
Marjoram
Thyme
Rapeseed oil
1 slice of crispbread

Preparation:
Soak the beans overnight, drain, add fresh water and then cook for 1 hour. Wash the vegetables, clean and grate 1/3 finely and cut the rest into strips to eat as a side. Sauté the onion cubes with garlic, add the grated vegetables and cook until soft. Finally add the herbs and then take off the heat to cool. Blend the crispbread into flour in a food processor. Drain the beans and save some broth, then puree the beans with some broth into a smooth consistency. Add the steamed vegetables and puree everything together. Season as needed and then depending on the consistency, add the crispbread flour until the mixture sticks together. Form small balls and then bake until crisp on the outside. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Sandwich Spread

This vegetarian sandwich spread is easy to make but packed full of flavor!

Ingredients:
1 serving of seeds (pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Vegetable broth
1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano and thyme
Chives or cress
2 slices of rye bread

Preparation:
Roast the seeds in a dry pan and allow to cool. Add the seeds along with the other ingredients to blender and puree until smooth. If the mixture is too dry, add some water. Spread the mixture on bread and garnish with cress or chives. Enjoy!

Tip: This spread also tastes great as a dip with fresh vegetables such as tomato, cucumber, radishes, peppers and kohlrabi. For more variety you can also experiment by adding different spices!