Every Thursday, this column introduces you to the Good For You Food of the Week. In 2011, we discussed some foods you may have been afraid to try. Maybe they look weird, or you’re just convinced they can’t possibly taste good. But you owe it to yourself to give them a try. As always, the goal of this column is to present helpful information in a way that is easy to understand, featuring real-life experiences and maybe even a little humor. Let’s take a look back at some of this year’s best Good For You Foods. Be sure to click on the links to read more about each food.
Chickpeas are one of those foods people tend to shy away from. Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a terrific, meat-free way to boost your protein intake and lower your risk for heart attack and diabetes, and they’re insanely affordable.
Fennel is another good for you food that people seem to avoid, probably because they’re not sure what to do with it. This bulb has a delicate, licorice-like taste and you can use the stalks, seeds, fronds and even the flowers (if you can find them). Very low in calories, fennel provides vitamin C, dietary fiber, and several minerals.
Halibut is a great addition to any diet. If you don’t eat meat, or just want to add some variety to your menus, halibut is an excellent choice. It’s packed with protein, selenium, B vitamins and minerals.
Chia seeds may seem unusual, but they provide a host of nutritional benefits. Most importantly, they’re another meat-free way to add protein to your diet, and also provide calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. Look for them in the bulk bins at the Boise Co-Op.
Jicama is a similar to the turnip or potato, but it has a unique sweet taste and crunchy texture. An excellent source of vitamin C, jicama only has 45 calories per serving.
Spaghetti squash is a wonderful alternative to pasta. It has only 60 percent of the calories and carbohydrates of pasta, but it’s loaded with antioxidants, calcium, and dietary fiber. And squash is extremely affordable.
Kohlrabi may have an odd look, but this turnip-like vegetable is similar to broccoli stems, and has only 36 calories per cup. You can eat the flesh or the greens, and it can be served cooked or raw. With vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins and dietary fiber among its many nutrients, kohlrabi is a nice addition to your plate.
Edamame are the edible pods of the soy bean. They might look a little weird, but they can be highly addictive. These legumes are high in fiber and protein, making them an ideal snack to keep you feeling full and satisfied between meals. Enjoy them boiled in the pod and tossed with spices, or shell them and add them to a variety of dishes.
Talk it up:
Did you try any new good for you foods this year?
To receive all of the Boise Healthy Living Examiner’s articles, click on subscribe or the RSS feed button. Each week, you’ll get informative articles on Need to Know, and Good for You Food of the Week, plus seasonal features like Spotlight Sport, Healthier Holiday, Broncos Challenge, and more.