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The New year brings some nutritional food to the table. Work these fruits and vegetables into recipes to add a seasonal flavour. Words Liggie Pelekani
The artichoke is often overlooked as it appears daunting to prepare, but once you peel back its layers and find the heart of this veggie, you’re left with a very versatile, nutritious and tasty ingredient.
They have been around for centuries and were once considered a delicacy and cure for a floundering male libido
— probably due to the legend of a beautiful woman who angered the gods and was subsequently turned into an artichoke as punishment. Folklore aside, they are packed with antioxidants to ward off illness, and cyanic properties that help lower cholesterol, as well as helping the liver to flush out unwanted toxins — great for the skin.
Toss them in salads with parmesan shavings and pesto, or simply eat with a generous squeeze of lemon. To find the heart, hold the stem, slice it in half and discard the tip. Break off the stem and snap away the remaining leaves at the base until you find the fluffy ‘choke’. Carefully spoon this away and you’re left with the good stuff. Did you know, one serving of artichoke contains more fibre than a cup of prunes — great for gastrointestinal health and with only 60 calories.
Not just for breakfast and diets — this juicy fruit can be found in pink, white or ruby fleshed varieties. It’s healthy, as it’s low in calories and it kick-starts your metabolism, but be creative with it. Use in salads, with fish dishes, and as chutney — it’s more versatile than you think.
This leafy green vegetable is a member of the cabbage family and is a great source of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, making it great for bones, hair and skin. It’s most commonly boiled and serves as a great accompaniment to warm fish dishes — also delicious in stews and soups.
A popular British seaside snack, cockles are rich in Omega-3, which helps protect the heart. They’re also low in calories and high in vitamin B12 — brain food. Find them fresh at the fish counter or pickled in jars. Steam them in their shells and serve with pasta or use in a fish pie.
Cook at home-blood orange ice cream
8 blood oranges: finely grated zest of 2, juice of all 8
580ml whole milk
6 egg yolks
225g golden caster sugar
Pinch of sea salt
280ml double cream
Boil juice until reduced. Cool, mix with milk and bring to boil. Set aside for 30mins then return to a low heat. Whisk yolks, sugar & salt. Pour milk onto mixture while whisking. Pour into pan, return to low heat & stir until thickened. Strain into bowl sitting in ice & stir in cream. Add reduced orange juice. Stir until chilled, then pour into ice cream machine. To finish, freeze in lidded container for at least four hours or overnight.
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