Tag: superfood

Black cabbage is the superfood for the cold months – Italian Cuisine

Black cabbage is the vegetable that cannot be missing on our tables in the cold months. That's why and the most delicious recipes to bring it to the table

It is the real protagonist on the table of the colder months, the kale or kale in addition to being a tasty and tasty vegetable, ideal in the kitchen for the preparation of numerous recipes, it is considered a real superfood for its remarkable beneficial properties.

The many virtues of black cabbage

Black cabbage belongs to the “leaf” variety of cabbage, which unlike cauliflower and broccoli, do not develop a central head. Also called Tuscan cabbage, feather cabbage or palm cabbage, it is formed by a clump of long, curled dark green leaves with bluish hues. A typical winter vegetable, aromatic and tasty, it is the main ingredient of ribollita, a traditional Tuscan soup but as we shall see, it is a versatile ingredient that is the protagonist of many recipes.

In addition to being tasty and tasty, black cabbage has numerous virtues that make it a food very important for our health. Like all vegetables belonging to the cabbage family, it is very rich in antioxidants, mineral salts and vitamins, C in particular; it is a natural anti-inflammatory and is able to strengthen our immune defenses. Recent studies also indicate it as particularly useful in the prevention of tumors, in the treatment of gastric ulcer and as a formidable natural shield against the flu.

Steamed or centrifuged, added to salads or soups, a base for simple or elaborate dishes, for all its beneficial properties it is important to consume it regularly.

black cabbage pot

How to cook black cabbage

To fully enjoy its properties, the best way to consume black cabbage is boil it in boiling water.
Detach the leaves from the head, remove the central rib by separating the leaves with your hands. If the leaves are very leathery, you can help yourself with a small knife. You can boil the cabbage in boiling salted water for 3 '. Once drained, immerse it in cold salted water with ice: in this way the leaves will keep their bright color.

Another cooking method is the brazing: place it in a pan in a sautéed shallot and oil and, when it has softened, add salt. It is ready for consumption or to complement soups, such as the traditional Tuscan ribollita.

Our recipes with black cabbage

Yacon, the South American superfood tuber that is conquering the world – Italian Cuisine

Yacon, the South American superfood tuber that is conquering the world

Yacon is the sweet yet low-calorie tuber from the Andes that is conquering the world because of its delicious taste and its beneficial properties that make it a superfood in effect.

The yacon, a low-calorie tuber, rich in nutrients, with a pleasant crunchy texture and a rather sweet taste, has all the credentials to become one of the next trends "superfood". Originally from South America, in recent years the yacon has been cultivated and marketed in everything and is particularly popular in the organic sector. More and more are the studies that ascertain its beneficial properties and more and more are also the products based on yacon, as well as the recipes in which it is used.

From the Andes to commercial success

This tuber grows spontaneously in the Cordillera of the Andes, in particular in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, and for some years it has also been cultivated in the United States, in Brazil, in Argentina, in New Zealand, in Australia and in various parts of south-east Asia . Its marketing has recently increased significantly, just as small-scale production has increased. In supermarkets and grocery stores, mostly biological, yacón can be purchased in the form of syrup, powder, tea or dehydrated slices, but they are also increasingly common yacon based products including cereal or chocolate bars, cereals, vegetable-based protein supplements, superfood powders and capsules and even toothpaste.

What makes this tuber an exceptional superfood

The nutritional characteristics, and in particular its dietary potential, make it yacon a food of great interest, ideal for natural, low-calorie and vegetable-based diets. In particular, the yacon has prebiotic properties, is rich in natural fibers and iron, is able to dampen the sense of hunger and, above all, is a natural sweetener since it is rich in oligofructose, a low-calorie sugar that can fight blood sugar and regulate insulin in the blood.
In short, this good and superfood ingredient is particularly suitable for overweight people, for those suffering from high cholesterol and for those who suffer from digestive irregularities.

How to use the yacon in the kitchen

Beyond the health benefits and the possible intake of this tuber in the form of sweetener or natural supplements, the rediscovery of the yacon and its popularity also regards its versatile use in the kitchen.
The taste of this naturally sweet food it is delicate and juicy and recalls a cross between Asian pear (nashi), apple and a Mexican potato (jicama), while the consistency has been repeatedly associated with that of Chinese water chestnuts.
The yacon it tends to absorb sauces and condiments and can be eaten raw, simply washed and peeled, perhaps cut into thin slices or grated, to be added to fresh summer salads to give a pleasant, refreshing and fruity touch. In this case it is advisable to cover it with a little lemon juice first, to prevent it from blackening too much. For example, the tuber can be grated with carrots and seasoned with sunflower seeds or used instead of apples in the American Waldorf salad or in the traditional South American salpicón salad. The yacon can finally be cut into slices and fried or cooked and added to soups.
Its pleasant sweetness combined with the low calorie content make it finally ideal for tasty and light desserts, such as pancakes, puddings, desserts, or used instead of apples as the main ingredient of cakes and pies.

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Banana flower, new vegan and superfood trend – Italian Cuisine

The banana flower, an exotic ingredient very much in vogue in Asian cuisine, is the new vegan superfood, also appreciated in the West and often used as a substitute for fish

In restaurants, both Western and Eastern, i flowers to eat they are used less and less as a decorative element and increasingly as a main ingredient in dishes. An example is the banana flower, food already very popular in Asian cuisine and currently very appreciated by local and European chefs, as new vegan food trend. This splendid and tasty flower has in fact a fleshy consistency similar to that of fish and, like jackfruit, lends itself well to original salads and second vegan dishes.

Because the banana flower is the new vegan superfood

In recent years we have witnessed a succession of vegetable ingredients that, thanks to their characteristics, nutritional properties or versatility in the kitchen, have become popular "superfood" alternatives to meat and fish. To top the podium of international vegan superfoods, after shitake mushrooms, avocado and jackfruit, are now banana flowers, an ingredient used for centuries in the cuisine of Southeast Asia. These flowers are indeed experiencing a moment of great rediscovery in Asia and they are making their appearance also in European kitchens, in particular in those of the United Kingdom. Banana flowers, also called mocha or hearts or banana buds, grow at the ends of the banana heads, have a deep purple color, a teardrop shape reminiscent of artichokes and a slightly bitter taste reminiscent of bitter courgettes or, indeed, artichokes. The external flower is crunchy, ideal to eat raw in exotic spicy salads, while the inner part, softer and more crumbly, remembers the consistency of the fish and is therefore perfect for appetizers or second vegan dishes. From a nutritional point of view the banana flower is not particularly proteinic, a factor to keep in mind if one wants to integrate it into a vegan or vegetarian diet, but it represents a rich source of fibers food and vitamins A, C and E.

Banana blossom mania: uses in the kitchen and recipes

This versatile, relatively inexpensive and delicious vegetable food is therefore used in a wide variety of dishes, from gourmet recipes to fast and tasty preparations, perfect for street food. In the raw version the banana flower is particularly known in Thailand, where it is used for a exotic pinzimonio accompanied by a creamy and citrusy sauce made from coconut milk, or inside rich salads which the yum hua plee, a spicy salad with raw banana flowers cut into thin slices. The heart can instead be boiled, grilled, stewed or fried, and therefore used in the most disparate recipes, from first courses with noodle or rice to rich soups, to exotic second courses as a meat or fish substitute.

For original vegan preparations you can for example take inspiration from delicious indian curry, perhaps to combine with potatoes or legumes, or, avoiding the ingredients of animal origin, from the Philippine stew kare kare, a recipe based on vegetables such as green beans and Chinese cabbage and seasoned with a delicious sauce made with ground peanuts and various aromas. Thanks to the fibrous consistency of the inside of the banana flower, it is also possible to chop this ingredient and use it in pancakes, as they do in South India and Sri Lanka, or for originals spicy vegan kofta.
In Europe, banana flowers are very popular also in fried version, often marinated in kombu and samphire seaweed so as to have a taste similar to that of fish. Very popular, for example, in England on fish and chips vegan of the Sutton and Sons chip shop in London.

Photo: Banana flowers superfood_Wikimedia_Takeaway.jpg
Photo: Banana flower salad superfood_Flickr_uhwestoahu.jpg
Photo: chote chitr recipe with flowers of banana_Flickr_goodiesfirst.jpg

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