Food Challenge Update (Foods 15-18)

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I’ve surpassed halfway of my 30 new foods before 2015 challenge! Here’s what I’ve been tasting as of late:

Food #15: Garlic Scapes
And Those Are: The tops or flower stalks of garlic plants.
Found Where:  Berry Patch Farm country store and a vendor at Downtown Farmers’ Market
Cost: $2 for a bunch of scapes
Health Benefits: Basically the same health benefits of eating the garlic bulb, which I’ve been doing for many years! Who doesn’t love garlic? Anyway, garlic has antioxidant properties that have been shown to help reduce risk of heart disease and cancers.
Prepared How: I made garlic scape pesto and then I made some more.
Yea or Nay: Heck Yea! I can’t begin to describe how good garlic scape pesto is. I mean seriously, it is better than any basil-based pesto I’ve ever had. I used the garlic scape pesto as a dip for chips and veggies, as well as the base for a pizza we made. scapes pesto

Food #16: Swiss Chard
And That Is: A green, leafy vegetable common in Mediterranean dishes.
Found Where:  My friend Derva’s unique little garden, as seen below! Her husband, Bill, laid all the bricks and stones by hand which I would imagine was a fantastic cardio and strength workout. Talk about making the best use of the space you have!
Cost: Free! Derva invited me over to pick some because she’s sweet and generous.
Health Benefits: High in vitamins C, A, and K. Hint: all green leafy vegetables will be high in vitamin content.
Prepared How: I sautéed with some white wine and parmesan cheese.
Yea or Nay: Yea! I actually enjoyed the Swiss chard quite a bit and would definitely make it this way again. I was kind of expecting it to taste like the mustard greens from last month but nope, much better. I’ve had Swiss chard in the past but never prepared it, which is why I am counting it as a new food.IMG_3765IMG_3766

Food #17: Blackcurrants
And Those Are: A berry
Found Where:  Berry Patch Farm
Cost: Free. I ate one Blackcurrant. I tasted it and decided I didn’t want any more. I did pay for my redcurrants, blueberries, and gooseberries, however.
Health Benefits: High in Vitamin C! Like blueberries and other berries, blackcurrants have antioxidants and can help you steer clear of a laundry list of chronic illnesses. Also, I read that blackcurrant seed oil is high in Vitamin E and therefore some skin products contain blackcurrant oil
Prepared How: Just picked it off the bush and popped it in my mouth!
Yea or Nay: Here’s the deal, I only ate one and it was so strong in flavor that I decided the only way I could eat these is if I added a lot of sugar and made jam or muffins or a pie. So technically I guess it’s a nay but I think they could be delightful if prepared properly. I have made so many desserts this summer I just didn’t have it in me to make another.currants

Food #18: Gooseberries
And Those Are: A berry from the same family as currants.
Found Where:  Berry Patch Farm
Cost: $6.50 per pound
Health Benefits: Vitamin C, fiber
Prepared How: Most people use gooseberries to make pie or jam but I actually like them to eat them like I would candy. I used to eat a lot of candy so this is like nature’s version of my favorite sour candy, Sour Patch Kids.
Yea or Nay: Yea! They were difficult to get off the bush because there were thorns everywhere but it was well worth a few scratches here and there!gooseBefore this project, I used to pass by foods that I didn’t recognize or know how to use and instead go with something familiar or comfortable. Now when I walk into a store or pass a booth at the farmers’ market, I’m excited when I see something I don’t recognize! I’m actually quite surprised by how many fruits and vegetables have made my list. I only have 12 foods left and the rest of 2014 so I’m feeling pretty good about meeting my goal!