By Renee Schofield, Health and Wellness Coach
The harvest is coming! As a Health and Wellness Coach, I love looking for fun things to share with families that bring healthy recipes to your table. Summer is a great time to enjoy all the good things from our gardens and fresh produce aisles at the grocery store. Everybody’s favorites like sweet corn on the cob, fresh raspberries, strawberries and watermelon are in countless delicious recipes for summer.
But how about bringing some adventure to the table? Consider trying something new or exotic to entice the kids and make your meals both healthy and exciting. What about star fruit or mango? Or Romanesco?
Here are two of my favorite discoveries and some suggestions on how to use them.
This edible flower is a Star Trek-looking combo of cauliflower and broccoli, with a nutty twist. Steam, broil roast or stir fry/ It’s delightful mashed just like you would potatoes! I like to add bacon bits, sour cream, and onions! And for the kids, it’s a long way from boring old broccoli! Make sure to show it to them before you start cooking. Here’s a quick recipe:
Whole Roasted Romanesco with Za’atar
From the Family Friends Food blog
Whole romanesco, roasted with olive oil and deliciously fragrant za’atar.
PREP TIME – 5 mins
COOK TIME – 1 hr 30 mins
TOTAL TIME – 1 hr 35 mins
SERVINGS – 4 people
CALORIES – 242 kcal
1 large Romanesco (or cauliflower)
6 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp za’atar Note: To make your own za’atar, combine dried oregano and thyme with a little sumac and some sesame seeds. Alternatively, simply use a mixture of oregano & thyme.
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Remove the outer leaves from the Romanesco and wash thoroughly. Place the whole Romanesco stem down in a large oven-proof dish.
Whisk together the olive oil, za’atar and garlic powder (if using). Pour and brush this mixture over the Romanesco, making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies.
Cover loosely with foil, then roast at 180°C (350°F) for 50-60 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook for a further 20-30 minutes until the Romanesco is tender when tested with the point of a knife.
The dragon fruit is also unusual, but tasty. It’s a species of cactus fruit and has a mild taste similar to a pear, with edible seeds like a kiwi. Its bright pink skin with lovely green scales makes it a stand-out in the produce aisle.
Dragon fruit is a great source of vitamin C and fiber. No special skill is required for eating it… chop it in half and scoop out the middle. Add to a salad, make a smoothie or eat it alone. I like it in with chia seeds. Here’s a recipe from the Blend with Spices blog:
Dragon Fruit Chia Pudding
by Hari Chandana Ponnaluri
Delicious chia seed pudding with dragon fruit/pitaya, coconut milk, vanilla and sugar. A perfect grab & go breakfast!
PREP TIME – 5 mins
1 Dragon Fruit
1 Cup Coconut Milk
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract (or ½ teaspoon Vanilla Essence)
2 Tablespoons Sugar
4 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
Peel and chop dragon fruit.
Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
Refrigerate it for 1-3 hours or overnight to set.
Garnish and serve chilled.
These are just two examples. I encourage you to spend some time in the produce aisle or at the farmers’ market this season. Have your kids help you find the most unusual fruit or vegetable, use the internet to find a family-friendly recipe, and let the adventure begin.