Many people can relate to food boredom. We eat what we know, because familiarity is comfortable, safe and reliable. Still, eating the same foods day in and day out can lack some excitement and compromise good nutrition. To prevent the hum drum of shopping and eating, a food challenge can break the monotony and spark new deliciousness onto your plate. Why not try a new vegetable every week? What about finding a recipe with an unknown ingredient and finding adventure in your kitchen? The possibilities are endless, so try one of these three and I am pretty sure, you’ll be glad you did!
Fiddleheads: You do not make music with them, you eat them! A fiddlehead is a baby fern that is cut before it matures. Just 10 calories per ounce, or 40 calories per half cup, fiddleheads are a pretty good source of protein, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C. Choose ones that are tightly curled, small, firm and bright green. Add them to salads, use as garnish or sauté quickly with vegetables. They are so pretty, you’ll love having them on your plate!
Nutritional yeast: It is not a homeopathic remedy. Nutritional yeast looks like a ground coarse flour. It is a pure yeast strain called Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is in the same family as mushrooms. It is yellow-brown in appearance and is generally purchased in the bulk food section of health food stores. It is a nutty, cheesy-like flavored food that can be added to foods such as popcorn, stir fries, breads or pastas and is an excellent plant source of B12. It is recommended that vegans incorporate nutritional yeast to best meet their B12 needs. Try it a few times, it will grow on you, well, like yeast.
Lemongrass: Even the name sounds too healthy to be yummy. So commonplace in Thai and many Asian cooking pantries, lemongrass is renowned for immunity boosting and disease fighting properties. When used fresh it is a gorgeous source of fiber and healing properties. In America, we eat chicken soup when we are ailing, in Thailand, they eat lemongrass laden Tom Yum soup – it is said to heal headaches, flus, fevers, arthritis, stomachaches and more. You can also use fresh lemongrass in stir fries, and as a spice in entrees and side dishes. Buy it fresh at Asian markets or dried in the spice isle, your body will thank you.
Come up with your own list of exotic fare and be adventurous in your eating! Remember to give new foods like fiddleheads, nutritional yeast and lemongrass a few tries before deciding if they should be added to your repertoire. Sometimes it takes exposure to remind your palates that new foods can be delicious, too!
What unique foods have you tried lately?