Thursday, April 30, 2009

In a rut? Try new fruits and vegetables

Excerpts from a 4/28/09 Houston Chronicle article by Chris Rosenbloom

The average supermarket carries about 40,000 products, yet many people are stuck in a rut, eating the same food week after week.

Georgia State University nutrition students challenged fellow students to a “nutrition fear factor” test to encourage them to try new foods.

The results? “Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience of tasting different foods that were interesting and healthy to eat,” said student Lauren Sieber.

Here are four foods that you may not have tried, but conquer your inner fear and conduct your own “nutrition fear factor” test with your family. Your kids will have fun, and they might learn to like more than baby carrots and apples.

• Carambola: It’s used in Southeast Asia and is also called star fruit because, when sliced, each piece looks like a star. Choose a sweet variety, such as Arkin. Look for one that is shiny and firm to the touch.

• Plantains: A staple of Latin American cuisine, they look like large bananas, but are really a starch vegetable rich in potassium and vitamin C. Ripe ones will look almost black. Slice it, saute with a little butter or margarine and a pinch of brown sugar and salt.

• Broccoli rabe

• Dried figs.