Superfoods From the Garden: Grow it, Cook it, and Achieve the Best Health Ever, by Michael van Straten, published by Cico Books. Is a book full of great gardening tips and nutritional advice for the foods we need to eat to be in the best health ever.
About the Book
“It is not as difficult as you may think to establish a Superfood garden and to make it as organic as possible. Once you start to make compost, you become much more aware of the natural cycle of growing, harvesting, and returning the residues to the soil.”
“Good food and good health go hand in hand, and if in the process of cultivating both, you can do your bit toward reducing our carbon footprint and helping to slow down global warming, that’s even better. Without becoming obsessive, every bottle you recycle, every drop of water you reuse, every mile less you travel in the car are small steps in the right direction. The biggest step is bringing up your children to have a care for their planet. By fostering this caring attitude in our young, we are more likely, with the combined efforts of millions, to make that giant leap for mankind that allows us to pass on a greener and pleasanter world from generation to generation.”
You really are what you eat. This book reflects what is good and wholesome. Making the effort to eat as local as you can, whether from a garden plot or a planter on a balcony really impacts your health and wellness. Fabulous food can be had with generous helpings of vitamins, antioxidants, protection against diseases and essential nutrients right at your doorstep.
Browsing through this beautifully photographed book makes me think how lucky I am to have this copy to give away which was so generously donated to me from Thomas Allen & Son. There are so many ideas and informative passages that I feel the need to share. I am amazed and thrilled with the section about apples for instance. Did you know apples aid in digestion, maintain blood sugar levels, help to reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast, lung and colon cancer, and as well aids in asthma and arthritis? The pectin and fibre in apples help to eliminate cholesterol and protect the body against environmental pollutants, combines with heavy metals and removes them from the body. Apples are excellent if you have arthritis, rheumatism, gout or colitis. The Brat Diet is one that van Stratten touts as being an effective treatment against diarrhea. Bananas, Rice, Apples and Toast. Simply mash the fruit and rice together and eat with whole-wheat toast. Even grated apple, allowed to oxidize and turn brown before eating is quite effective. Wow, now we know why it is said that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”!
The book goes on and on with endless information on each vegetable and fruit, how to grow it, cultivate it, harvest and store it. Then goes on as to how to prepare it, along with the essential nutrient information explained rather thoroughly. As well I enjoy the little tidbits of information tucked in here and there. Especially the section on how to peel an onion without crying, and in particular number 6, which states “Wear swim goggles!” Peeling onions under water really does work though, and cutting from the top to the root works as well.
Beets. We seem to get our fair share of beets, and quickly and swiftly run out of ideas as to how to prepare them. Most of us shy away from beets, as they take so long to cook, and make our pee red. Reading this section really helps in knowing why we should not swap out our beets. They are an energy booster. Great for athletes because they increase the amount of oxygen that cells in our bodies can absorb, providing added strength and resistance and as well a blood builder which assists to combat anemia and other blood disorders. They have heart-healthy, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. The red pigments also cause beeturia, a condition which makes urine red which is harmless and can be surprising and entertaining to see.
Don’t forget to eat the leaves. Some think that is the most delicious part.
Beets are a strengthening vegetable, and they are among the most important foods of Romany traditional medicine. A good source of both instant and slow-release energy, this recipe is perfect for anyone recovering from extreme physical exertion or illness.
- 1 lb. Beets
- 1 large Onion, thinly sliced
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups Arborio or better still Camaroli rice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 5 cups vegetable stock, heated
- 1 small handful chives, finely snipped or onion tops
- 1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, minced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Wash the beets, cut off the tops leaving about an inch of stem. Place them, unpeeled in a saucepan and pour in enough boiling water to half cover them. Simmer, covered until they are tender – about one hour depending on the size of the beet. Allow to cool, then rub off skin. Drain off liquid. Under cold running water, gently rub off skin. Or allow to cool, then rub off skin.
Season beets with a little salt and dice. Fry the onion gently in half the butter, until soft, but not coloured. Add the beets and cook for a few minutes. Add the rice and stir until the grains are all coated with the butter. Pour in the wine and boil rapidly for a minute or two to reduce it. Add the hot stock, a ladle-full at a time, stirring until absorbed. Continue until all the stock is used and the rice still has some crunch – about 25 minutes. Stir in the remaining butter, the herbs and the parmesan. Leave to stand, covered for 2 minutes to enhance the flavors before serving.
Superfoods From the Garden: Grow it, Cook it, and Achieve the Best Health Ever, by Michael van Straten, published by Cico Books, new in 2011 will be an amazing addition to your recipe shelf and medicine shelf, helping you make the wisest choices for you and your family. All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this review, and as well a what superfoods you have in your own garden or patio right now and you are entered in the contest. Good Luck! And Happy, Healthy, Local Eating!