Food of the Month

Go Crazy for Cauliflower

Care of Ashley Sauve When looking for a food high in antioxidants, cauliflower might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Rather than spending big money on freeze-dried berry powders, it will benefit your diet to give this humble veggie a chance! Cauliflower is an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C and a great source of manganese. It also contains a wide variety of phytonutrients, giving it anti-cancer superpowers! Cauliflower is also an excellent source of anti-inflammatory vitamin K. Anti-inflammatory diets have become a hot topic lately as research has begun pointing toward chronic inflammation as a risk factor for illness. Inflammation-related illnesses include Chron’s disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and type 2 diabetes (just to name a few)! Reduce your risk of illnesses like these by choosing cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower at least 3-4 times each week. Better digestion is another great perk of eating cauliflower. Not only is it high in dietary fibre (important for keeping digestion moving at a healthy pace) but it also contains the compound sulforaphane. Research has determined that this compound can help protect stomach lining by preventing harmful bacteria from clinging to the stomach wall.  Most… Read More

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Sweet corn with avocado basil butter

Care of Amy Symington Ingredients: 6-7 cobs of sweet corn, husked, washed and roasted or grilled 1 cup basil 1 avocado 1 lime zested & juiced 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar pinch of sea salt & cayenne Directions: 1. Prepare the sweet corn. Depending on the size of the cobs, roast or grill for 10-15 minutes at 375°F or on medium heat until the kernels are tender. 2. Place all the remaining ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth. Spread on top of the sweet corn to taste. Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Food of the Month Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes

Sweet sweet corn

Care of Amy Symington Corn season is a bittersweet time of year as it indicates the end of the summer’s sunshine, but is also the first sign of Canada’s bountiful autumn harvest.  I literally do not know one person who does not love tucking into a sweet, crisp piece of “buttery” corn on the cob.  That is, unless of course you have braces, then you’ll probably prefer your corn cob-less.  No matter how you shovel it in though, you will be pleased to hear that sweet corn is not only delicious but also falls under the extremely nutritious category. Sweet corn contains what is referred to as ferulic acid which is a type of flavonoid that has been shown to have anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties.  Ferulic acid tends to be found in high concentration in the outer layer of the corn kernel where the insoluble fibre is located.  The levels of ferulic acid that are released tend to increase as the corn is cooked, so to reap these benefits do ensure that you cook your corn at least slightly. In addition, sweet corn is one of the best sources of dietary fibre, aiding in digestion, the absorption of vitamins and… Read More

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Wonderful Watermelon

Care of Ashley Sauve Watermelon is one of the greatest things about summertime. A cool, refreshing slice on a hot, muggy day is the ultimate treat. It seems like this juicy fruit was made to cool us down in the heat, which makes sense as it originated from the warm climates of southern Africa. In fact they are native to the Kalahari Desert, though the first recorded crop was depicted on a 3,000 year old Egyptian tomb using hieroglyphs. It might seem strange, but this is because watermelons were so nourishing, they were left as food for the afterlife!  Watermelon isn’t just a summer comfort food. It packs a pretty solid nutritional punch with its high lycopene content (something tomatoes are recognized for). Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient, vital for cardiovascular health, and has more recently been associated with bone health as well. The light coloured flesh close to the outer rind of the watermelon tends to contain higher concentrations of lycopene as well as flavonoids, phenolic antioxidants and vitamin C. So, be sure to enjoy all areas of the watermelon! It’s also been recently discovered that watermelons are significantly higher in lycopene when they are allowed to fully ripen. Read More

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Rockin’ Raspberries

Care of Amy Symington     A descendant of the rose family, these tart and tasty little red bundles of goodness are once again in season! And it’s so easy to see why everyone loves their tangy yet mildly sweet flavour profile as it lends itself to endless dessert and even savoury possibilities. Raspberries are an excellent source of manganese, vitamin C and dietary fibre and are a low glycemic food, aiding in the regulation of blood glucose levels.  They are rich in the flavonoid anthocyanin, which has been shown to have antioxidant/anti-inflammatory benefits, lowering oxidative stress present in the body. This in turn could potentially lower one’s overall risk of chronic disease. Raspberries also contain raspberry keytones. Raspberry keytones are the primary aroma compound found in raspberries and are used in perfumes and as flavouring agents in food products. However, most recently they have been heavily marketed in the supplement world as the latest weight loss/fat burning miracle. With that said, currently, there is no conclusive, substantiated evidence to prove that this is in fact the case and it is not recommended to take raspberry keytone supplements to assist with weight issues.  The leaves from a raspberry bush are used to… Read More

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Rockin’ Radicchio

Care of Ashley Sauve Radicchio is an often over-looked vegetable, resembling a small cabbage with deep, wine-coloured leaves. However, radicchio is not related to cabbage, but rather is a member of the chicory family. It is most commonly found in lettuce mixes to round out the salad with a sharp, bitter flavour. This bitter flavour is reduced when is it cooked, making radicchio an excellent side dish when grilled or sautéed. Radicchio is an excellent source of the wonderful vitamin K. Vitamin K is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease as it protects the brain from damage. Also included in the gorgeous red leaves are moderate amounts of vitamins B2 & B3, potassium, copper, iron, manganese and zinc. Historically, radicchio has been used as a painkiller and a sedative (particularly to treat insomnia). These properties are thanks to the bitter substance Lactucin found in the leaves of the plant. Because of this Lactucin, radicchio is also known to have antimalarial properties. Pretty impressive for this humble salad green! Radicchio is classified as a ‘bitter’ vegetable, which means that it provides amazing medicinal value. Bitters can be used to increase the appetite and to aid digestion by stimulating secretion of digestive juices,… Read More

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Food of the Month: Fiddle (dee dee) Heads

Care of Amy Symington Contrary to popular belief, fiddleheads are not alien larva spawn from a furry green monster.  They are native to Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec and are the leaves of a delicious young fern that resemble the curled end of a fiddle.  If allowed to mature they would unfurl into long beautiful fronds.  They have a short, but sweet season here in Canada, usually starting in April or early May and ending approximately three weeks later.  They are deemed to be uniquely and traditionally Canadian and have been enjoyed as a delicacy for generations. There are many types of ferns that fiddleheads can be harvested from, however some have been found to be more nutritious than others. Recently, ostrich fern fiddleheads were found to contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as lowering LDL cholesterol levels.  They’ve also been found to contain twice the amount of antioxidants than the widely acclaimed, antioxidant rich blueberry. The ostrich variety in particular is the leafy goodness you will want to get your hands on. Generally speaking though, fiddleheads harvested from most ferns are found to be a… Read More

Filed under: elifelines Food of the Month Nutrition

Miraculous Mint

  Care of Ashley Sauve Certain flavours are associated with different times of the year and fresh mint was definitely made for spring. However, there is no need to ignore this miraculous herb the rest of the year! If the refreshing flavour isn’t reason enough, mint also offers a variety of health benefits and comes in handy on a date! Historically, mint has been used to treat stomach pain, heartburn, skin burns and even the common cold. Mint is also a good source of manganese, which helps produce healthy bones and skin, as well as copper and vitamin C, which both prevent anemia when eaten with iron rich foods. Pretty impressive for a little leaf! Mint also has a romantic past! According to Greek mythology Hades, God of the Underworld, fell madly in love with a nymph named Minthe. Hades’ wife became so jealous she transformed little Minthe into a small shrub, hoping those passing by would trample her. Hades could not reverse this curse, so he gave Minthe a strong, sweet fragrance so he could always smell her nearby. Today, mint stays romantic by freshening breath after a stinky meal—making for a much sweeter goodnight kiss! You might already know that mint can be used as a decongestant,… Read More

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Cayenne Pepper

Care of Amy Symington Photo care of Vegetarian Times Cayenne pepper (or Capsicum frutescens), a proud member of the nightshade plant family, is named after the city of Cayenne in French Guiana and is an extremely versatile and highly utilized spice worldwide.  It can be seen in almost every culture’s cuisine from South Asian to Caribbean to Thai to Latin to American. Although found in many different forms from fresh to dried to flaked, powdered tends to be the form most universally consumed.  Its pungently hot characteristics are most often utilized in hot sauces, curries, soups, jerked foods, rice and bean dishes and salsas.  However, its uses are endless really. Additionally, there are almost as many health benefits for cayenne as there are potential uses.  Due to its high content of capsaicin, the consumption of cayenne can lead to an increase in metabolism, circulation and blood flow to all major organs.  If you are interested in decongesting your sinuses, reducing your cholesterol levels, regulating your blood pressure or increasing thermogenesis (aka the burning of calories), cayenne is your friend.  It promotes healthy mucus production in the body, hence the runny nose after eating, which can aid in regulating digestion and increasing immunity. Cayenne… Read More

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Meet the Beet

Care of Ashley Sauve Beets are often overlooked, however this veggie has a special place in our hearts! In fact one of the earliest recorded uses of beetroot was as an aphrodisiac by Romans. There are many reasons to get beets on your plate this Valentine’s Day. While beets are available in a variety of shades, red beets are most well known and widely available. The pigments that give beetroots their romantic hue are also responsible for a variety of impressive health benefits, including cancer and heart disease prevention. Thanks to the rich concentration of betalain pigments, beets offer anti-oxidant effects which protect against cardiovascular disease and age-related illness such as Alzheimer’s. Beets are also high in phytonutrients with strong anti-inflammatory effects. Since many types of heart disease and even type-2 diabetes are caused by chronic inflammation in the body, beets are a healthy addition to any diet. Perhaps this is why Apollo 18 astronauts dined on beets in 1975. One of the most significant health benefits associated with beetroot is colon cancer prevention because of its high fibre content. While all dietary fibre is important, there is some research indicating that the type of fibre found in beetroot is… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Food of the Month Nutrition