Nourishing Traditions Book Review: Part XVII – Fish

 

Fish is something new to our family! Growing up we didn’t eat much fish, probably because it was more expensive than other meats and probably because my grandmother didn’t cook fish! With my third pregnancy my midwife stressed the importance of eating fish especially when pregnant. I knew that it was important, but I just didn’t know how to cook it, where to purchase it, how to prepare it. It was a HUGE unknown for me!

I know, that may sound so foreign to you! However…. we are working on it! Now I love cooking fish! It’s easy, quick and doesn’t take a lot of prep work! It doesn’t need a lot of spices or flavorings! Especially when fresh! And, praise God, my kids love it too! That makes it SO much easier when at least the family is on board with it!

We have been trying to have fish about once a week. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t! I’ve posted a few fish recipes in the past. The Fish Tacos are, by far, our favorite, but the Simple Soy Sauce Salmon is a close second.

This chapter of [amazon_link id=”0967089735″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nourishing Traditions[/amazon_link] offers more variety and other ways of cooking fish. I’ve tended to lean towards broiling, frying or grilling. I’d never really thought of poaching it! I’m gonna give it a try! A few of the other recipes offer ways to cook it that would be more traditional to ethnic cultures. One would be wrapping it in leaves, or making fish cakes.

So many new options and ideas are fantastic! These recipes appear pretty simple and only have an ingredient list of about 5-10 items, sometimes even less than that. As you know, simple and quick is key around this house and this chapter seems to offer that. At times there are a few ingredients that I’m not as familiar with or don’t really know anything about, like sorrel leaves, juniper berries, fennel (love it, but don’t often know how to cook with it), or kaffir leaves. But I’m game! I’m gonna look for some of this next time I’m at the Asian market!

As I read this chapter I was reminded yet again WHY fish is so good for us! The amount of minerals and vitamins are amazing. Vitamin A and D are available in abundance as well as omega 3 and other long-chain fatty acids. I think many are turned off from fish because of the warning of mercury contamination. This is especially true for freshwater fish. It is best to avoid these unless you are sure of their source. Shorelines close to industrial areas are where contamination is most likely. Examples of freshwater fish include catfish, carp and other scavengers.

Small amounts of mercury is found in other types of fish, but this is normal and healthy. Deep sea fish like salmon, tuna, swordfish, sole and flounder that are from cleaner waters or from the North Atlantic should be fine.

Farm raised fish, on the other hand, are best avoided. They are often given feed fortified with soy and other pesticide ridden foods. They fatty-acid profiles are not as good as the wild and some are even given dye to make their flesh more appealing (pink for salmon, etc).

Of course you can seemingly find a study to prove anything you want. However, I have seen results from quite a few studies that prove that the consumption of fish helps protect from tooth decay, heart disease, atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), cancer, and actually help to control cholesterol. These studies also didn’t say that fish had to be eaten every day for three meals in order to see these effects. Once a week is sufficient, but twice a week would be better, most of them concluded. This is totally possible and doable!

Do you eat fish in your home? Do you have a few favorite go to recipes? I’d love to add to my repertoire! Let me know!

Read Part XVIII

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