Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Cucumber

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Yes! I found a vegetable that’s in season that I haven’t blogged about yet. Cucumbers!

Cucumbers are delicious, healthy, and refreshing. One cup of cucumber contains a mere 20 calories. It also provides you with lots of water as well as 20 mg of calcium, 185 mg of potassium, and 16 mg of magnesium (not a lot, but every little bit counts!).

Try adding cucumber slices to your water for a refreshing drink. Snack on cucumber spears. Or make a simple salad of chopped cucumber and tomato topped with freshly ground pepper and a little bit of salt.


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Carrots

As time goes on I’m running low on vegetables to write about as part of my weekend blogging. Fortunately, I just realised that I’ve never written about carrots. I suppose the simplest things often get overlooked.

One medium (61 gram) carrot only has 25 calories, 20 mg calcium, 195 mg potassium, 5054 mcg beta carotene, 3.6 mg of vitamin C.

I love the different colours of carrots that you can get at the farmers’ markets. Despite what many people say, I also find the carrots at the markets far more delicious and sweet than the ones from the grocery stores. Honestly, as much as I love the convenience of the one-stop shopping, I kind of wish we could go back to the days of small local specialised markets. Or if we could even have a mini farmers’ market inside each grocery store that would be great. Sometimes it’s just not easy to get to the farmers’ market and this way more people would have access to the local bounty. Sorry, little digression there… Back to carrots.

Carrots are great raw (and if you get the lovely market ones you can get away without peeling them if you give them a good scrub) or cooked. Just be aware that vitamins, such as vitamin C, are heat sensitive so you will have some nutrient loss when you cook them. You’ll lose more vitamins depending on your cooking method as well. The shorter the length of time you cook them, the more vitamins you’ll retain. If you boil them, save the water and use it in soups or mashed potatoes.


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Eggplant

This is the season for squashes and eggplants. Eggplant is another one of those vegetables that I loathed as a child (okay, until my 20s, maybe even my 30s). I can remember my dad making eggplant dishes and us kids accusing him of trying to starve us. Oh, the joys that children must bring. Back to the point, eggplant can be delicious and creamy. It’s great in a number of dishes including curries, moussaka,┬áratatouille, and stir-fries.

Eggplant, or aubergine, has 77 calories (per half cup), 1.3 grams of fibre, and 64 mg of potassium.

Eggplant tends to have a natural bitterness, particularly the larger varieties. In order to improve the flavour of the eggplant, slice and place in a large colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave for about 15 minutes to allow the salt to draw out some of the moisture and bitterness. Rinse and dry thoroughly then use as suggested in your recipe.


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Follow Friday: @eatlocalsource

This Follow Friday goes out to a local business. Local Source┬áis a market and catering company in the North End of Halifax. They sell products from local farmers and producers as well as their own baked goods, salads, and panini sandwiches. They have a small seating area which is perfect for a quiet business coffee date or lunch and you can pick-up ingredients for supper while you’re there.