My family has always loved fruits and vegetables, but in the last several months, I’ve made it my quest to delve into the shelves at Whole Foods and Sunflower Market and broaden our horizons even further.
On our journey, I’ve started following a lot of blogs and when reading recipes or posts, I quite often find myself asking, “What is that?”
Here are some of the “odd” foods and what they are.
Chia seeds-Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, a good source of calcium, a plant-based protein and omega-3 fatty acid. They are dense in calories, at 139 calories per ounce, but low in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol. When they are combined with liquid, they turn into a gel.
How to eat them: Use them in smoothies, oatmeals, yogurt, or even in baked goods.
Goji Berries-berries loaded with antioxidants and compounds rich in Vitamin A. Some research suggests anti-aging effects and may help prevent heart disease. You may want to avoid goji berries if you are on blood thinners, have diabetes or are on blood pressure medication.
How to eat them: like raisins or other dried fruits-in cereals, trail mixes, oatmeal, or granola. The berries can also be rehydrated by soaking in warm water until they plump.
Kefir-a cultured, enzyme rich milk product that is similar to a drinking-style yogurt. It contains probiotics and yeast. It can be made of any kind of milk-cow, goat, soy, rice, sheep or even coconut. It can also often be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant because the yeast and bacteria produce lactase, an enzyme that consume much of the remaining lactose. It can be made at home with starter grains, or purchased ready-made.
How to eat it: in smoothies, dressings, substitute for buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream in recipes.
Cocoa Nibs-crushed cacao beans that have been fermented, dried and roasted.
How to eat them: Candy them and use them where you would add nuts, like in baked goods, as a savory topping for salads, or use to crust meat, or add to smoothies.
Wheat Berries-whole wheat kernels, that are boiled to become study, chewy grains with an earthy flavor. They are packed with fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, antioxidants and Vitamin E.
How to eat them: cook in salted, boiling water like other grains and add to soups, chili, hot as a side dish, or in a cold salad. Also good with milk and eaten like a cereal or oatmeal.