Nori. Dulse. Gim.
Whatever you call it, seaweed is a nutritional powerhouse.
Although seaweed is eaten around the world, Japan is the country most commonly associated with seaweed consumption. In fact, recent research indicates that the average Japanese citizen’s gut bacteria is specifically adapted to be able to digest more seaweed than most other folks around the world.
We all know that the foods we like can change throughout our lives, but one thing I can say for sure is that I grew up loving garlic and just never stopped! As a seasoning and ingredient in soups and on meats, my family always made sure to have that extra pinch; even the smell of cooking garlic was enough to lure me into the kitchen.
Mom had no problem getting me to eat garlic, and that’s a good thing, because this unassuming little bulb of flavor really packs some amazing boosts for your health. A member of the onion family, garlic has been used since before ancient Egyptian times as a seasoning all around the world. However, even more than as a delicious food, garlic has been prized for thousands of years for its medicinal effects, many of which come from antibacterial sulfur compounds (like allicin) that appear when garlic is chewed or crushed. It’s also what gives garlic that delightfully pungent smell.
I didn’t grow up exposed to a lot of foods that you might consider to be traditionally non-American. (Whatever that means, but you get the idea.)
Ghee is certainly such a food.
In fact, when I first read about it, I didn’t even know how to pronounce it. Gee? Jee?
I had no idea, except the vague understanding that people seem to spread it on things.
One of my most vivid memories of elementary school is of sitting in one of our incredibly cramped, 20-person classrooms and eating lunch with friends. They’d be munching on zebra cakes and I would, with an excited smile, pop the lid off my little bin of sardines.
Apparently the smell of fish was less favorable to the 8-year-olds than the sweet aroma of those zebra cakes, because more often than not, I’d look up from my sardines to find myself sitting all alone.
I think part of the problem was that no one really knew what a sardine was—a small, whole fish also known as a pilchard. Belonging to the herring family, sardines are rather tiny, oily fish that you can buy fresh or in a can.
When I hear the word nightshade, my first thought is generally that it’s poisonous (since deadly nightshade, also known as atropa belladonna, is often mentioned as a poison in the mystery books I used to read as a child).
But, nightshades (also known as Solanaceae) encompasses a whole family of flowering plants that includes many very popular fruits and vegetables that you probably eat daily.
(There’s a whole section below on why you might want to avoid nightshades for health reasons as well so keep on reading!)
And if you want the whole list of nightshades foods emailed to you, just click here.
Some of the most popular nightshades are potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, and chili peppers. But because various spices and spice mixes are made from chili peppers, nightshades can be found in a whole host of processed foods!
Here’s a more complete list of nightshades that you might be eating (some of them may be rare in the US):
You’ve probably heard about this rave “all-natural” practically zero-calorie sweetener called stevia (if you don’t know what it is then read this article). But is stevia Paleo?
Can you safely add it to all your baked goods, coffee, and tea, and be healthy while doing it?
That’s what this article will delve into.
Pinto, lima, garbanzo, pea, kidney, lentil…no doubt you recognize at least some of these popular names for people’s favorite legumes.
But exactly what is it about beans that manages to capture everyone’s attention? Many tout the protein and fiber content of legumes as a major benefit, not to mention the variety of tastes and options that beans provide. Since they’re so popular, should those following a Paleo lifestyle hop on the bean bandwagon?
I lived on this island off the Southern coast of China for 3 months, and I partially survived on sweet potatoes(in addition to salted duck eggs, roasted duck, and fresh fish!).
One of the things that always bothered me when living in China was I couldn’t tell what type of sweet potato I was buying. My friend, who is living in Okinawa, expressed the same problem. So, when we discussed our favorite sweet potatoes (I know, it’s the sort of geeky conversation foodies indulge in!), we’d result to laborious descriptions of what the skin looked like, what color the flesh was, how sweet it was, etc.
So, when I spotted these 5 types of sweet potatoes in Whole Foods the other day, I decided to document these sweet potatoes with photographs and notes!
Here are the results (note accurate nutritional data on each type of sweet potato was difficult to obtain so please use it with a grain of salt):
When people hear the word “hemp,” the first thing that usually comes to their minds has something to do with smoke and a strong smell.
But don’t worry!
The hemp we’re talking about isn’t the marijuana plant but rather an innocent cousin of hemp and the seeds it produces—hemp hearts, or shelled hemp seeds.
I don’t drink coffee.
Blasphemy, I know.
But I just don’t like it. And I don’t really like caffeine either. But I have tried coffee…
I was on a cruise, and Dave Asprey was there. Awesome guy.
But when I heard I didn’t like coffee, he insisted that it was because I’d only tasted bad coffee before, which was probably true. And he insisted that I try his brand of coffee.
If you’re anything like most people, you’ll read the title and think, “Oh, monk fruit. That’s great! …What’s a monk fruit?”
Monk fruit has been a hot topic in the Paleo community recently, as it may have potential as a new (and possibly Paleo!) sweetener. Monk fruit, also sometimes known as luo han guo, is a unique plant grown only in China. It got its name from the Buddhist Luo Han monks, who were some of the first to cultivate the fruit hundreds of years ago.
But with all of the toxic compounds and negative side effects associated with other artificial sweeteners, can monk fruit really be a part of the Paleo diet? Or is it just another Paleo no-go?
Stevia is a leafy green shrub-like plant (it’s part of the Asteraceae family and is related to the daisy and ragweed).
There are many different species of stevia (one species is called “candyleaf” and is native to New Mexico, Arizona and Texas). Another species is called Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni (sometimes you’ll see it called Rebiana or Reb A), which is native to Paraguay and Brazil, and that’s the species that typically used to sweeten food.
But, when people ask what is stevia, they’re typically referring to stevia extract that we buy in stores either as a solution or as a fine white powder. You can, however, grow your own stevia plant in certain parts of the world (generally places where it doesn’t get too cold).
Stevia has been used in South American cultures (like the Guarani Indians) for over 1500 years. In South America it is often known as yerba dulce, and it is used for a variety of purposes including to sweeten local teas and as a medicine.
I tried Maple water in Vancouver earlier this year. I saw it in a supermarket and thought why not give it a try. And now, I get to share with you what maple water is, what I thought of it, and whether maple water is paleo or not.
It’s the pure maple sap that runs from maple trees. At the beginning of spring, you can insert a tap into the maple tree, and maple sap will flow out. If you want to know more, then Lauren from Paleo Raccoon has written a bit more about the process.
To make maple syrup, you take the maple water (or maple sap) and boil it down until it forms a syrup (basically by evaporating the water). It takes around 40 gallons of the water to get 1 gallon of maple syrup! That just shows you how little sugar is in maple water.
I use chocolate and cocoa/cacao powder in many of my recipes, so this question of whether there’s any difference between them has come up several times. This post will explain the answer.