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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
  • Sticky Post - Warning: 4ever Recap reusable canning lids. The reports are growing daily of these lids losing their seal during storage. Some have lost their entire season's worth of canning to these seal failures!

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Eat A Rainbow

Frugal Kitchens 101

One key factor in a frugal kitchen is getting the best nutritional value for your food dollars.  When it comes to fruits and vegetables quite often a lower nutritional value option is chosen for the convenience factor or simply because it is mistakenly thought that the product is a healthy choice.  When it comes to produce the frugal choice with respect to nutrition is locally grown, in season produce.  A few days ago I came across a rather interesting nutritional concept, eat a rainbow.  The colours of the rainbow are red, orange, green, blue, yellow, and purple.  Missing are white, brown, and black.   So let's ponder first in terms of foods why white, brown and black foods are nutritionally not as good of a food value as those vibrantly coloured foods.

White foods can be both good and bad nutritionally.  On the good side there is milks, yogurts, potatoes, mushrooms, parsnips, some fish, seafood and white onions but even these some of these have a bit of negative like high fat or high carbohydrate content associated with them.  On the bad side for white foods is most are heavily processed (eg. flours, sugars, rice) to the point there really is little nutritional value left.  In addition to that because of the processing there can be carcinogenic residues left behind in the foods.  Good brown foods include lentils, dried beans, brown rice, honey, nuts and grains.  Nutritionally poor brown foods to avoid are dried cereals, some baked goods and deep fried foods.  In general black foods are restricted to charred foods that have carcinogenic residues from the cooking process.  In contrast to these foods, there is very little negative to say about the vibrant, rainbow coloured foods.  All are high in vitamins, minerals and fibre.  In particular:

  • red - These include tomatoes, berries, apples beets, pomegrantes, cherries, grapes, cranberries, red onions, some dried beans and watermelon.  Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a beneficial antioxidant.  Strawderries and raspberries are rich in anthocyanins that are cancer fighting antioxidants that also help protect against heart disease.  Cranberries contain compounds that prevent bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract, preventing infections.  Red peppers contain lutein and zeaxanthin both of which lower the risk of macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness in older adults.  Kidney, small red and turtle beans are rich in fibre.
  • orange - These include carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, peaches, cantalope, squash, oranges and pumpkin.  Orange fruits are rich in Vitamin C while orange vegetables are rich in carotenoids.  Both provide protection against a number of diseases. 
  • green - These include leafy greens like lettuces, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, avacados, asparagus, green beans, mung beans, seaweeds and peas as well as many fresh herbs.  Dark leafy greans are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C.  Spinach is rich in Vitamin K which plays a critical role in normal blog clotting.  It is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin.  Seaweeds are rich in iodine.  Mung beans can be sprouted for a rich source of Vitamin C.  Many herbs have medicinal qualities in addition to their culinary qualities.
  • blue - Blueberries are about the only blue food occuring in nature.  They are rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins, lowering the risk of heat attack as well as fighting cancer.
  • yellow - These include lemons, some squashes, yellow potatoes, yellow onions, some edible flowers, yellow beans, and some berries.  They are rich in Vitamin C and carotenoids.
  • purple - For the most part this includes concord grapes, red cabbage, berries, nori (a type of seaweed), and eggplant.  Purple foods are rich in antioxidants.   Concord grapes are rich in anthocyanins that help lower the risk of heart attack. 
Bon Appétit!

Garden Gnome

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