You hear it time and time again in news reports and magazine articles, the buzz is out there…fruits and vegetables are going to save the world from obesity. We are bombarded with reports telling us how we need to eat more of them, how supposed super fruits are embowed with disease fighting properties, they’re good for you, any preschooler can tell you that. I don’t disbelieve it, but I can’t help but notice that despite all the buzz around produce, people are still more likely to pull up to a drive through window than the local fruit stand. Why, shouldn’t we know better? Aren’t we too well-informed a society to do such a thing? The answer is that fruits and vegetables, regardless of what powers you attribute to them, or how nourishing they may be, are quite frankly…boring.
An article in “Cuisine Lite” magazine presents a beautiful spread of “10 Super Fruits and 10 Super Vegetables” that we should be eating. The pictures are gorgeous, ripe tantalizing tomatoes, succulent red strawberries, a juicy golden papaya, split just so, it’s jewel-like seeds glittering seductively. There’s no lack of skill in their graphic design department, these pictures would entice even the most hardened fast food junkie. By each gorgeous piece of fruit, given an almost candylike property by the carefully orchestrated lighting, a blurb is printed, revealing what health benefits each luscious tidbit brings to the table. Tomatoes, whose lush ruby-red color comes from lycopene, a carotenoid that greatly helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts and even cancer, are one of the most talked about “Super Fruits” out there. However, unless it’s been slipped between a patty and a sesame seed bun, or squashed into paste and spread beneath the warm bubbling cheese of a pepperoni pizza, most people aren’t eating these little gems.
Why not? Again, it comes down to the fact that no matter how alluring they can be made to look in the pages of a magazine, when face to face with nature’s bounty in the produce section, most people would rather pass. There are plenty of reasons. Even if you enjoy your veggies, we all know produce doesn’t keep, not nearly as well as the countless shelves full of products with added preservatives. They may not be more nourishing, but it’s comforting to know that when you buy a box of cookies, you won’t be greeted with a pile of mushy, molding rot a few weeks later, when you go to crack the box open. Fruits and Veggies can’t always promise the same.
Then there’s the preparation involved. Unless your going to chomp into an apple after apple, like a horse, for your dinner, there’s a good deal of preparation that goes into getting these Super Foods ready for consumption. You have to chop, slice, boil, and the end result…something that’s not nearly as attractive or creative as it looked in your recipe book, and certainly much more labor intensive than take out.
“Cuisine Lite” offers several promising recipes that incorporate these powerful ingredients. They look great on paper, but how do they check out in real life? Our goal for this week? To use our own creativity in the kitchen to test these recipes, and come up new dishes that anyone can prepare, incorporating as many of these Super Foods as we can in our creations. We want to prepare meals that not only satisfy our palate, but satisfy our bodies. We’ll post pictures of our culinary adventures, the ingredients used and the health benefits they offer that have won them the title of “Super Foods.” . We also want to encourage others to send in their healthy recipes. We’ll post them for others, and give them a test run for ourselves. Our goal isn’t weight loss, but general good health, something everyone, regardless of what size, activity level or age their bodies are currently at should be able to enjoy.
To your health!
-Sharon & Sarah Marcotte