Tag Archives: vitamin K

better than candy

5 Apr

4980568258_8a3f50f2dbPrunes!

A wonderful dried fruit to keep on hand for days when you just want something sweet.

It’s helpful to stock up on foods that you know are better for you than others. This will help inspire you to eat more natural foods vs. processed foods, since they will simply be out of reach.

Prunes and other dried fruits like dates, apricots, raisins satisfy that sweet tooth every time! Prunes are a fantastic source of various nutrients like vitamin K, fiber and potassium.

No recipes here, just our enthusiasm for pure unadulterated prunes. So go on, and prune it up!

Photo courtesy of eLaboureur

homage to herbs

18 Jun

1224527043_e132d2f026Herbs are a delicious and nutritious way to add flavor to lots of dishes. They taste magical in various outlets; omelets, spritzers, on all sorts of meats, seafood, tofu, in ice cream, vegetables, pasta sauce, salad dressings, marinades and rubs, and in creative desserts.

As wonderful as they are as accompaniments to many dishes, have you considered using them to make an herb salad, containing only herbs?  Yes, it can be done, and the results will leave your taste buds as happy as ever!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of the following herbs: parsley, basil, chives, taragon, dill
  • 1/4 cup white wine or cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Wash all herbs in cold water and pat dry. Tear off the leaves and combine in a large bowl. Cut chives into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the rest of the herbs. To make the vinaigrette, mix the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper together, then slowly whisk in the olive oil until the mixture gets thick. Toss the salad with enough dressing to lightly coat each leaf. It is also fun, and pretty to add edible flowers (like nasturtiums) as a garnish, or serve as is.

Herbs not only taste great, but are also packed with important nutrients. We used the following herbs in our salad:

  • Parsley: Derives its name from the greek word for “rock celery,” parsley is packed with vitamins B, A, C, K, E, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium.
  • Basil: Prized in many cultures as the “holy herb,” basil is a great source of vitamins A + C, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium.
  • Chives: Containing the most vitamin A of all of their allium family members, chives are rich in vitamins K, C, B and minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, zinc and calcium.
  • Tarragon: Used to treat toothaches in Ancient Greece, tarragon is full of vitamins A, B, C, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.
  • Dill: Native to Southern Russia, this fernlike herb is a great source of calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin A.
Photo courtesy of Denise Defreyne

mulberry madness

6 Jun

As a pedestrian it’s easy to overlook many details of street life, especially while texting, finishing off that last paragraph in your book, holding a coffee cup, a bag and trying to cross the street without bumping into people, or moving vehicles all at once. If we took a moment to put down our phones, books, beverages and become more present on the street we are bound to see many beautiful scenes unfold before our own eyes.

Mulberry trees are abundant in our environs, and you have probably seen them. They are those big green trees with black berries that fall easily onto the pavement. They get smashed really fast by pedestrians, and most dogs that walk by sniff them as though they were a treat. These trees grow well in New York City since they thrive in poor growing conditions, as they are strong and resilient just like us New Yorkers.

You know a mulberry fruit is ripe when it has turned black like a blackberry. Harvesting techniques vary but you can help yourself by removing berries with your hands (warning: they stain and actually make for a great natural dye), the stem is indeed edible, just make sure to give them a good rinse before eating. These berries have countless health benefits and contain resveratrol (found in red grapes, goji berries), vitamins C, A, E, K, iron, potassium, magnesium. Not so bad for a New York City street tree!

Flora’s seasonal recipe: welcome back asparagus!

30 Apr

2552865406_0f2739a78bI’d like to give a warm welcome to our long lost friend, asparagus. When spring arrives, I always look forward to the shoots and stalks that we get to enjoy during this transformative time of year. When you are in the practice of eating seasonally you tend to get really excited about welcoming back certain items into your kitchen, and boy am I excited for asparagus’ debut!

I love asparagus, not only for it’s nutty-sweet taste, but also for the nourishment I receive from them. Asparagus is full of vitamin K, B’s, C, beta-carotene, zinc and other trace minerals that helps clear our skin, and clean our blood. Thanks my friends!

When I have a bundle of asparagus waiting to be devoured, one of my first inclinations is to sauté them like we did last spring, but this spring I want to try something different, so I’m going to make a fresh asparagus soup for chillier spring evenings.

Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bunch of local asparagus
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Directions:

Roast your garlic, by placing your cloves (keep the peel on) in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes. Add your stock and bring to a boil. Snap off the bottom of your asparagus stems (save them for a shaved salad later), and simmer them in the stock for 10-20 minutes or until your asparagus is fork tender. Place your tender spears and vegetable stock into your blender (or keep it in your pot, and use an immersion blender), add the roasted garlic (peels removed) and blend until smooth. Top your soup off with a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper. I added a touch of goat cheese to mimic the effect of creme fraiche, but the soup stands well on it’s own without the addition of cheese.

Happy spring eating to all!

Photo courtesy of Benson Kua