Kitchen Spotlight: Okra

In this “Kitchen Spotlight” post, we’ll move South and take a look at a favorite staple: Okra. Usually recognized by its green exterior, and sticky or slimy texture when cooked, few are aware that okra can come in red and purple colors as well. It is native to Africa, and there are nearly 20 different…

What’s in Chia?

Chia seeds are tiny small black and white seeds, but nutrient rich. A member of the mint family, these were once cultivated by The Aztecs. It is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala and is still widely used there. First, what’s the nutritional profile of a serving of chia seeds (equivalent to about…

 Kitchen Spotlight: Apples

  In this “Kitchen Spotlight” post, we’ll take a snapshot look at an all-time American (and likely around the world in other countries) favorite: apples. Apples are a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber and contain phytochemicals (an example would be flavonoids such as quercetin). Carbohydrates are the main macronutrient, but apples also contain…

What’s in a Sweet Potato Leaf?

The answer is “lots”! This vegetable is eaten quite commonly in Asia – in some countries it is almost like the Iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce of the West, but cooked. It has also been studied some in research circles, but mostly in Asia. Since sweet potato leaves are considered a type of dark green leafy vegetable,…

Brown Rice Vs. White Rice: Is There a Real Difference?

Well, let’s compare them side by side. One cup of cooked long grained unenriched white rice (195 grams in weight) provides about 205 calories, 4.25 grams of protein, 0.44 grams of  fat,  44.5 grams of carbohydrate, 0.6 grams of fiber and very small amounts of the B vitamins and other nutrients  like iron, zinc and…

The Wonders of Kale

I’m sure we’ve all heard of this wonder vegetable before, but what’s really so great about kale? From far and up close it just looks like a bunch of thick dark curly leaves. Isn’t it just like any of the other dark leafy greens? I decided to do a bit of investigating. As it turns…

What’s In A Durian?

  In honor of my recent travels to Asia, this month I thought I would focus on a tropical fruit-one not very well known to those in the west, but beloved in some Asian countries, especially in Singapore. This is a large fruit with a spiky thick green exterior and a creamy yellow interior. What…

What is Farro?

The other day I asked my husband to pick up a bag of quick cooking barley from the grocery store. He came back with a bag of farro. “What’s that?” I asked. My husband replied, “I dunno. Isn’t that barley?” Somehow I wasn’t convinced. So I decided to look it up. As it turns out,…