Eat your way to a better you…
Modern day living ain’t for sissies, that’s for sure! Now, more than ever, we all seem to be facing stressful situations in our everyday lives, and it’s taking its toll on our minds and bodies, and ultimately on our families as well. 2020 has been a year for the books (not the good books, but rather the books that should never have been written!) Covid-19 has wreaked havoc across the globe, and as South Africans we have felt the effects in all corners of our country.
The majority of people feel under pressure of some sort, daily, whether it’s health related, not having control over various situations, having responsibilities that are overwhelming, not having enough work and the general times of uncertainty that we’re living in.
Stress is so destructive – left unchecked it can contribute to many serious health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, skin conditions, depression and anxiety.
So how do we tackle it? We can start with small steps……..ensuring that we do some sort of (preferably outdoor) exercise at least three times a week, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, making time for friends, and of course, trying to eat a balanced, nutritious diet. Nutrition for menopause is particularly important as we venture into our blossoming, golden years. We’re told to “eat a rainbow” every day – fruit and vegetables of all deep, rich colours, to provide all the nutrients that our bodies need. Shouldn’t be too difficult, especially with interesting and exciting plants like zucchini, and their large brightly coloured flowers!
The golden-orange blossoms of the zucchini plant, are a delicacy in both Mediterranean and Latin American cuisines. These bright summer flowers have a delicate, earthy flavor that pairs best with cheese-based ingredients. Providing a good source of vitamins and minerals responsible for boosting immunity and overall heart health, and supporting bone density and healthy skin and eyes, raw or cooked zucchini blossoms are a health-supportive addition to any summertime meal. (Available from Thinkorganic.co.za )
Why not try this delicious recipe for stuffed, oven roasted zucchini flowers, and see for yourself?
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
- 12-14 zucchini blossoms , center pistil or stamens removed
- 4 slices bacon , cooked and cut into small pieces
- 4 ounces mushrooms (113g) , small dice
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (10ml)
- ½ cup ricotta (123g)
- 1 egg yolk
- salt or sea salt , to taste
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- olive oil for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 400° F (205°C). Lightly oil a 9×9 baking dish or line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Cook the bacon, then remove from pan. Cut the bacon into small pieces the and set aside. Keeping 2 tablespoons worth of bacon fat (absorb excess fat with paper towel), add the mushrooms and rosemary and cook until browned, 3-5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Combine the ricotta, bacon, mushrooms, and egg yolk together. Season with salt if needed.
- Gently open the blossoms and stuff with the ricotta/bacon/mushroom mixture, about 1-2 teaspoons per flower depending on the size of the flower. Lay stuffed zucchini flowers on prepared sheet pan or baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browned. Serve warm.
Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 319IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe courtesy of whiteonricecouple.com