23 April 2012

Healthy self-reliant eating is a simple as... 6, 7, 8

Typically, you'll tend to eat more healthily as you live a more self-reliant lifestyle. Much of that is because you're taking control over what you eat, whether it's by cooking from scratch, growing your own food, hunting game, etc.

Exploring self-reliance in your food choices will often expose you to new and different options in your foods. In our explorations, we've come across three interesting articles from Rodale.com about foods you probably haven't incorporated into your diet yet. You can click any of the following titles to visit the actual article, but our summary of each is below:

The 6 Healthiest Foods You're Not Eating
Technically, not all of these are ideal "self-reliant" foods for most Americans. Nonetheless, you should check out any that sound interesting:
  1. Pearled Barley: a slow-digesting carbohydrate used in soups and bread, or as a rice substitute.
  2. Sardines: An excellent source of omega-3, readily stored in cans.
  3. Purslane: This common "weed" is actually a great source of omega-3.
  4. Guava: Not generally a "local" fruit, but is very high in lycopene, potasium, and fiber.
  5. Kimchi: Spicy pickled cabbage that stores well and is good for you.
  6. Shirataki Noodles: Made from an Asian yam, they're a much healthier option than regular pasta.

The 7 Best Eggs You're Not Eating
We're all used to standard chicken eggs, however, there are other options to consider. As noted with the article above, not all of these are optimal for self-reliant Americans, of course.
  1. Duck: Very similar to chicken eggs in size and taste, but better nutritionally.
  2. Quail: More common outside America; here they're treated as an expensive delicacy.
  3. Goose: About three times bigger than a large chicken egg, so adjust accordingly.
  4. Ostrich: Good luck getting one, but if you do, invite nine hungry friends when you cook it.
  5. Emu: Tougher to find than ostrich eggs, but you'll only need to invite a couple friends.
  6. Turkey: A bit hard to find, since the birds are reportedly worth more than the eggs.
  7. Heirloom Chicken: Like tomatoes, chickens also come in "heirloom" versions, each with subtly different eggs.

8 Weeds You Can Eat
A valuable skill for self-reliance and preparedness is foraging. Edible "weeds" are great for foraging since many of them are incredibly hardy, and they grow whenever and wherever you don't want them, as most gardeners can attest. Here are eight to consider (though, again, not all are optimal for America):
  1. Dandelion: The bane of most homeowners, the greens are quite good in salad.
  2. Purslane: This was in the "6 Healthiest Foods" list above, but we didn't mention that this has lots of antioxidants too!
  3. Kudzu: Apparently, Americans in southern states have a fairly inexhaustable supply of this versatile plant.
  4. Lamb's Quarters: Called "wild spinach" which has more calcium, protein, and vitamins than actual spinach, which is saying something!
  5. Red Clover: Better than white clover (which is also edible), this is high in protein and is reportedly an anti-cancer agent.
  6. Bamboo: An extremely versatile and tasty plant, though not nearly as common a weed in America.
  7. Japanese Knotweed: Another invasive species like Kudzu, which looks a little bit like bamboo, but tastes more like rhubarb.
  8. Watercress: Sold at grocery stores, you can actually find this in the wild if you know what you're looking for.

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