Nourishing Traditions Book Review – Part XXI: Catalog of Vegetables

I LOVE this chapter.  There are 55 pages of recipes!  And I know I can get stuck in a rut of always making the same things and there is quite a wide variety of samplings of different veggies and how to prepare them.  I’ve actually never made an artichoke before, can you believe it?  And the recipe for them explains how to prepare, cook and serve them!  That is exactly what I need for veggies I’m unfamiliar with!

I also really enjoyed reading the two page intro that Fallon provides just talking about veggies in general and details about them and facts that help in preparation and choosing what to eat.  In particular. I found interesting what she had to say about kale.  We have a lot of kale and spinach in our green smoothies and according to her, maybe we should cut back on that a bit.  Here is what she had to say (page366)

“While we recommend the inclusion of much raw food in the diet, some vegetables are best eaten cooked.  For example, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale contain chemicals that block the production of thyroid hormone (known medically as goitrogens).  Beet greens, spinach and chard contain oxalic acid that blocks calcium and iron absorption and irritates the mouth and intestinal tract….Cooking destroys or neutralizes these harmful substances (as does the fermentation process).  Spinach and cabbage are popular salad foods but should be eaten raw only occasionally.”

I know I’ve only cooked kale on a few occasions and I wasn’t super thrilled when it’s served alone.  I have added it to veggie or chicken soups with success and it adds nice flavor and color.  There are so many details about so many foods that it’s just amazing!  I think many times there can be a case for or against eating raw or cooked for just about every food.  However, I think moderation is super important and Fallon does state that as well.  I can say we have been drinking a lot of green smoothies around here, so maybe I need to change it up so that we have some different additives for a change!

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but each chapter has quotes and fascinating information in the margins all through the recipe section.  I make a habit of reading all of these when I read through the chapter.  This section in particular I found captivating.  These quotes refer to vegetables and their origins and the nutrients they contain.  There is way too much information to even try and convey here.  I learned Asparagus is Italian and has been used through history for a diuretic.  Commercial strawberries can have up to 500 lbs of pesticides sprayed on them per acre and lead the list of the most contaminated foods.  Beets are from Germany and are considered a blood restorative and high in iron and potassium.  Broccoli contains some protein and is high in indoles which is a potent anticancer substance (as do all cruciferous veggies: cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower).  Carrots are a native of Afghanistan and if eaten daily lower cholesterol and blood pressure.  It’s even proven that a carrot a day will reduce the risk of lung cancer by 50% in smokers… even if they continue to smoke!

I could continue to go on and this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the information!  This is a true treasure and I could read and reread many times and still not be able to remember all that is here.

Hopefully you’ve found this helpful and an encouragement to read the book for yourself!

Read Part XXII


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