Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Eating on the Wild Side

In Eating on the Wild Side, nutrition researcher Jo Robinson turns the produce aisle into a medicine cabinet. She has sorted through massive quantities of food studies to reveal the fruit and vegetable superstars and how to select, store and prepare them to maximize absorption of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.

Each fruit and vegetable is introduced with a description of its wild ancestor and a brief history of its domestication and resulting nutritional changes. Some cultivars have retained more of the wild nutrients than others. Robinson discusses the cultivars most available in U.S. supermarkets or farmer's markets, the relative merits of each, and when canned or frozen versions may serve as well as fresh.

I learned, for example, that purple carrots are the richest in bionutrients, and for all carrots, nutrients are more available if the carrot is cooked rather than raw. The best practice is to steam the carrots whole and slice them after. She also recommends eating them with a little oil or fat.

At the end of each chapter, Robinson provides a chart of recommended types and varieties of the fruit or vegetable for shoppers and home gardeners, as well as a good-better-best summary.

I checked this book out from the library, but I'll probably buy a copy so I won't have to copy half of it for reference.

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