Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Big Theories, Small Actions

I spend a lot of time reading books about health, fitness, and nutrition which frequently leave me feeling overwhelmed. That feeling is usually when I try to incorporate and intermingle several theories, philosophies, or techniques into one viable system for daily consumption. Lately I've been going much bigger with the fruit intake and veg juicing. By trying to incorporate more raw foods into my daily diet, some of the enjoyment of food has, in fact, waned.

To avoid the all or nothing mentality that challenges me in several areas, today I compromised with a quick, less destructive, yet extremely easy and accessible cooking technique for some fresh local produce. 

Blanching veggies simply means boiling them for a short duration, 3 minutes in my example today, then putting them in an ice water bath to halt further cooking. Like steaming, this maintains the fiber's integrity much  more than other cooking methods and doesn't break down as many nutrients. Check out http://www.greenbeansnmore.com/recipe-r.html for specific directions.

Beans in the boil.
Beans in the ice.

Yesterday's Lunchtime Salad
Another challenge I've faced in the past with vegetarian or whole/raw habits is a longing for hot foods, especially in colder months. Salads are great, but sometimes, I want a fat baked potato to feel full and satisfied. The blanching method allows for hot food without prolonged baking or microwaving. Today I had such a craving for something filling and warm but not fatty and heavy, so I went for some carrots and green beans from the local farmer's market.

In about 15 minutes of prep time, I had 2 big bowls of veggies which will last the Wifey and me a couple days.

Today's Warm and Heartier (by comparison) Lunch
Clearly something was lost in the process, but once the water is thoroughly cooled, it will go into my herb wagon to recycle the nutrients and keep me from just pouring it down the drain.

 For more than you ever wanted to know about my fascination with green beans and their health benefits, I posted that earlier...

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