Our First Tuesday Tip of the Week!

Tuesday tips are weekly, bite-size tips that can help boost you and your family’s health.
We’ve been so busy with projects in the making, events and marketing that we’re going back to this blog that desperately needs some tending to!  We’re making some big changes actually but more on that later.  For now, let’s get to it because…

Pomegranates are in season  :D  and while some of you may or may not know this, I happen to live on a fruit and vegetable farm in Morocco, so it’s been quite the feast over here.  We’ve watched the fields of this ancient fruit change throughout the year.  The blossoms are an indescribable red-orange color and while you’re sad to see them go, the fruit they bare is such an exciting treat for everyone here on the farm.

Pomegranate blossoms
I normally enjoy the seeds with watercress and lemon juice or paired with eggplant but after doing some research and discovering the incredible health benefits of pomegranate, I started looking for more ways to incorporate these delicious, garnet-colored gems.

  • Pomegranate is considered to be THE most powerful anti-oxidant rich fruit of all fruits (woah.)
  • They help protect us from heart attacks, strokes, and have anti-cancer properties
  • They boost our immune system
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • They have also shown to speed up the removal of life-threatening artery plaque

Removing the seeds yourself can save money and increase the nutrient value of the pomegranate.  You can  check out how to do this here.  This recipe is a quick and easy way to get a lot of great nutrients packed into a little bowl of happiness.  I hope you enjoy it!

Pomegranate oatmeal

Yummy Pomegranate with Rolled Oats Recipe
1 whole pomegranate seeded
1/2 cup dry rolled oats (unfortified)
Add hot water to reach the consistency you like
Add 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds
Sprinkle 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

 

Micronutrients: Vitamins
Vitamin C: 48%
Vitamin E: 9%
Vitamin K: 60%
Thiamin (vitamin B1): 33%
Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 14%
Niacin: 8%
Vitamin B6: 13%
Folate: 32%
Pantothenic Acid: 17%

Micronutrients: Minerals
Calcium: 10% (3% comes from the cinnamon alone!)
Iron: 18%
Magnesium: 29%
Phosphorus: 31%
Zinc: 19%
Copper: 34%
Manganese: 122%
Selenium: 22%
Potassium: 25%

Macronutrients:
Calories: 431
Fat: 9 g
Carbs: 85 g
Fiber: 18 g
Sugar: 40 g
Protein: 12 g

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Goodbye My Little Artichoke

Growing up the only artichokes I ate were marinated and came in expensive, tiny jars.  It wasn’t until I visited Morocco that I had the pleasure of enjoying the entire plant in its intimidating splendor.  Excited by the novelty of it all, I dipped the steamed leaf into a small hand painted bowl filled with crushed raw garlic, olive oil and lemon juice.  I finally reached the heart and it’s been a  lifetime love affair ever since.

IMG_4987 copy

Kids are likely to develop a preference for foods they familiarize themselves with and eating artichokes the traditional way is a fun opportunity to slow things down and get your children involved in the kitchen.  After the entire vegetable is steamed, they get to to peel, dip and nibble the flesh of each leaf and work their way down to the best part, the heart!  The whole process is an invaluable learning experience where they get to see the inside of the plant from start to finish.  This kind of ritual can become bonding moments they will cherish and take with them to adulthood :)

Artichokes’ full bodied texture and earthy, yet subtle flavor is reminiscent of eggplant and portobello mushroom.  They give substance to any dish, from paella to quinoa recipes.  Frozen artichokes are also a great option when they’re out of season since frozen produce are normally harvested at their peak (meaning higher nutritional value) and the way they are steamed and frozen does a pretty good job at keeping the nutrients.  My absolute favorite is extracting the heart from a fresh artichoke and serving it steamed with sliced avocado, lemon juice and paper thin slivers of raw garlic.   This is a simple recipe with complex, out-of-this-world flavors!  Here’s a helpful 90 second video of how  to remove an artichoke heart.

Roman Style Artichokes from 'Savoring Time in the Kitchen' blog.

Roman Style Artichokes from ‘Savoring Time in the Kitchen’ blog.

If raw garlic might be a bit overwhelming for your little one, a sprinkle of garlic powder will do the trick.  Odds are, them watching you enjoy it will pique their curiosity and  increase their odds of acquiring the delicious, spicy taste eventually.  Leading by example instead of nagging is as effective for adults as it is for children!

I know this sounds crazy, but I’m pretty sure that in another life I was Mediterranean and lived off of artichokes.  This past year I’ve been fortunate enough to live on a  fruit and vegetable farm in Morocco, so you can imagine how I felt when I discovered the farm’s blossoming artichoke field!  Everyday before sunset I would collect a couple and have fun preparing them with my husband.  Turns out adults like using their hands as well!  Working side by side in the kitchen, laughing and listening to music was the perfect way to end the day.  Since cooking needs to be done regardless; why not make it a time to nurture and bond with loved ones, instead of treating it as a chore?

The cold winter days grew longer and we were scheduled to travel during the end of artichoke season.  When we came back from our trip my heart ached just a little as I walked towards the silvery field knowing the season had passed.  To my surprise, they had left us these bittersweet parting gifts and a promise of return.

Artichoke-Flower

 

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