Christina's Pantry

In The Fridge

Red radishes

Used mostly in salads, radishes have a similar effect in the body as daikon. They help us assimilate protein, fat, and fiber, as well as being a great source of vitamin C. Like other cruciferous veggies, radishes help prevent cancer and in folk medicine are used to treat liver disorders. Use in salads, stews, or pickle in a salt brine.

Seasonal fruits

All fruits are best consumed in season. They provide us with antioxidants, fiber, essential minerals, and vitamins. They are a great sweet snack and an excellent alternative to junk food. However, they are also a rich source of sugar, so best to consume no more than one serving a day of seasonal whole fruit—not the juice, the fruit.

Summer squash

Delicate, soft, creamy flesh belies the fact that summer squash, (including zucchini, patty pans, and yellow squash) are great sources of manganese, vitamin A and C, copper, zinc, and iron. Used in soups, stews, stir-fry dishes, raw in salads, and in quick breads.

Tomatoes

The epitome of summer, tomatoes are a treasure trove of nutrients. Excellent sources of Vitamin C, and beta-carotene, as well as manganese and lycopene, tomatoes are also rich sources of phytonutrients, from flavanols to carotenoids. They contribute to both heart and bone health and even contain cancer-fighting compounds. These summer fruits provide us with powerful nutrition to create wellness.

 

With one drawback…tomatoes (like other fruits from the nightshade family) contain an acid called ‘solanine’ which can aggravate symptoms of inflammation in the body, particularly arthritis. But don‘t panic. No need to throw the baby out with the bath water. You can neutralize the effects of this acid. Simply blanche and peel; oven roast; marinate or cook into sauce and you can enjoy the benefits of tomatoes without consequence to your joints. 

 

Cherry tomatoes are the exception to the rule. With a low acidic content, you can simply use them as they are. But go for organic with them as they have made it onto The Dirty Dozen list of foods with heavy pesticide residue.

Watercress

A member of the mustard family, this peppery green is delicate, but provides us with a rich source of vitamins A and C and calcium. Used in salads, lightly blanched, stirred raw into cooked stews for freshness, and in place of lettuce in sandwiches. In Chinese medicine, it is believed that watercress can cleanse the liver.

Winter squash

Includes butternut, buttercup, Hokkaido, kabocha, delicate, acorn, pumpkin. An important source of carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamin A, C, B1, B3, B5, and B6, potassium, fiber, folate, and copper, these sweet, starchy veggies lend themselves to roasting in the oven, stewing, in soups, casseroles, and desserts.

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