It took 25 years for my taste buds to mature enough to appreciate cooked spinach. Why? Probably they were trying to tell me that raw spinach is the better way to go. Overcooked and canned spinach lose as much as 50% of their nutrients. Spinach is high in Vitamin A (beta-carotene which is good for eye health), Vitamin C and folate. It is an exceptionally good source of iron and calcium; however, spinach also contains oxalic acid which can inhibit the body’s absorption of these nutrients. Absorption of iron can be increased by eating spinach with a fruit or vegetable that contains additional Vitamin C. Baby spinach has all the nutrients of full-grown leaves but lower oxalate levels.
My grandmother made the best cole slaw, but to me one of the best parts of the process was when she would slice me a wedge of cabbage and lightly salt it. It’s a cool, crunchy treat I still enjoy today. Don’t even get me started on the delicious homemade sauerkraut that our wine expert, Ross Wasserman makes each year (check back for that recipe when this year’s cabbage crop is harvested)
Cauliflower, as its name would suggest, is actually a flower. Its coarse green leaves typically cover the head, shielding it from sunlight, prevention the production of chlorophyll which would otherwise make the flower green.
Eat more of it!! Broccoli, like all cruciferous vegetables, contains large amounts of sulfur compounds that enhance the ability of the liver to remove toxins from the body. Broccoli is high in Vitamin A and various phytochemicals which may help prevent certain cancers (all this and only 44 calories per cup).
I grew up thinking I didn’t like beets. In fact, having tried a pickled beet once when I was around 7 years old kind of sealed the deal for me. It wasn’t until we started growing beets in the Beekman 1802 heritage garden and roasted them that my love affair began.
Everyone needs a little extra spice in their life every once in a while. We’ve been known to add habanero to just about everything – even our ice cream and caramel sauces.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced 3/4-inch on the diagonal
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons julienne lemon zest
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the red pepper flakes, and stir to combine.
- Add the carrots, water, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature slightly and cook rapidly until the liquid has evaporated, the carrots are tender and glazed, about 10 minutes. Add the lemon zest, raisins, and nuts and toss to combine.
- For more great recipes and the best of seasonal living, visit Dr. Brent on the farm at www.beekman1802.com.
Having hosted “Ask Dr. Brent” on Sirius for three years, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked how to remedy the symptoms of a chronic condition, how to make a wound heal faster, or how to lose weight… among a long litany of other “how-tos”.
While some of the answers were more complex, they almost always included the point that a healthy diet is at the center of dealing with almost any health issue – mental or physical.