Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food."  Hippocrates, 400 B.C.
Helping ourselves to keep well is not just about the remedies we take to make ourselves feel better.  We must also try to eat foods which nourish our bodies at the cellular level.  The temptation to eat the 'wrong foods' is often too much to ignore; especially if you have a family of fussy eaters as mine were. There is plenty we can do to make things better, and perhaps bit by bit the see saw of good food- bad food can re-balance itself.
One way which we can help ourselves is through nutritious salads.  Now if you are thinking a bit of iceberg lettuce with a tomato and perhaps a pickled onion, well, lets not go there.  A really tasty and healthy option is pea shoots mixed with young dandelion leaves and the delicate green fronds of fennel.  Mix these in your salad bowl and with a little dressing you have an amazing burst of flavour.  If you are not into growing your own peas all is not lost,as you can now get pea shoots in your local store quite easily.  They are crisp and so fresh you can feel goodness oozing out of them.  Delicious.  
Dandelion leaves are delightfully nutritious and are still commonly eaten on the continent, and of course they are free.  Collect them young, but not from the verge or roadside.  You don't want all those nasty exhaust chemicals.  If you are like me there are most likely plenty in the garden anyway! lol.
The nutritional value of pea shoots are Vitamins A, C and the mineral folate which helps us make good DNA and strong cells, including blood cells.
The nutritional value of dandelion leaves is vitamins A and C again,  vitamin K and B6, minerals such as magnesium, potassium,  iron and calcium. For more information on dandelion, just in case it hadn't been on the top of your salad list look at the link below.  
Fennel leaves contains folate, potassium and vitamin C.
Happy eating :)

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