June 15th 2011

6 new foods to try right now

Next time you’re jotting down your grocery list, take a close look. Are you constantly feeding on the same menu? Buying the same things? Making the same meals?

If the answer is yes, keep reading.

Here are our six of our favourite foods… and if you haven’t tried them, now’s the time.

Edamame

If you’ve ever dined in a Japanese restaurant, chances are you’ve seen these on the menu. Edamame are green soybeans, sold both in and out of the (nonedible) pod. These high-protein contenders are also rich in iron, and just carry a smidge of fat. You can often find them in the freezer section of the grocer. To serve, steam them for a few moments and sprinkle with sea salt. Eat with your fingers, licking the salty goodness from your finger tips as you nosh your way through your new favourite snack.

Kale

We’ve talked about why we love leafy greens before, and this one is definitely a powerhouse you shouldn’t ignore. Studies have shown that kale is one of the best veggies for you. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise: they have the highest level of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals than nearly any other vegetable. They have about 1000 (yes, a thousand) percent of your daily needs of vitamin K, and are packed with fibre, iron, and calcium, too. Serve as you would spinach, into soups, sauces, and stirfries, or blend into a smoothie.

Quinoa

This grain-like seed is actually related to spinach, but serves as a great substitute for rice or couscous. It is full of nutrients, and is considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids. It is also rich in copper and manganese, and, well, tastes great, too. It cooked quicker than rice – in about 15 minutes, and makes for a great base for stirfries, perfect for summery salads, and works well as a sweet breakfast cereal with berries and maple syrup. Check out our recipe for a Chickpea Tagine with Minted Quinoa.

Jicama

Pronounced hi-cah-mah, this juicy vegetable has the texture of a raw potato and the sweetness of a mild pear or apple. It can be enjoyed raw or cooked, and is loaded with fibre. Specifically, it contains inulin, a naturally occuring prebiotic that helps with calcium absorption. Serve it raw as a slaw mixed with your favourite other vegetables, or bake it like french fries or add to stirfries.

Chia Seeds

These tiny seeds are the same ones that come from the Chia Pet. Also known as salba, this whole grain contains six grams of fibre per fifteen gram serving, and are chocked full of calcium, magnesium, and iron. They are also a great source of Omega-3 fats, instead of relying on flaxseeds, hempseeds, or fatty fish. Serve on cereal or yogurt, or add it to your favourite baked goods.

Red Lentils

Most people are familiar with brown or green lentils, often found in hearty soups. Red lentils, however, are a milder legume, with the same health benefits but less distinct taste – which makes them a perfect contender for sneaking in dishes. The high fibre content helps reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease, and they’re filled with protein, too. Unlike regular lentils, these cook up in about 25 minutes. They still make for a great soup, but also work well in sauces and chili, too.

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.