Sick of being told what not to eat, Elmhurst-based nutritionist David Grotto decided to write a book about foods that do the body good. The best parts of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life ($14; Bantam) are the recipes—approved by Grotto’s three daughters—that incorporate oddities such as flaxseed into a meal. Here are five of his smartest finds.
What it is: A member of the pea family
Secret benefit: “Give it to kids to help stop diarrhea,” Grotto says.
Sneak it into supper: Use carob powder instead of cocoa powder; they have a similar taste. Stir into milk and serve to unsuspecting children.
What it is: A jam, jelly, or syrup extract.
Secret benefit: The berries contain a tremendous amount of vitamin C, particularly useful during cold and flu season.
Sneak it into supper: Use it as a pie filling.
What it is: A utilitarian plant; the base, stalk, and leaves can all be used for cooking.
Secret benefit: Fennel can be used to treat snakebite. It’s also handy for reducing gas and abdominal pain.
Sneak it into supper: “Chew on [the seeds] after a meal to help with digestion,” Grotto says.
What it is: A seed. Flax oil is more commonly called linseed oil.
Secret benefit: Studies show flax slows tumor growth in cancer patients. It can also help ease symptoms of ADHD.
Sneak it into supper: Send the seeds through a coffee grinder and sprinkle them on cereal, soup, or bread (before baking).
What it is: A leafy green vegetable
Secret benefit: A solid source of vitamin C and potassium.
Sneak it into supper: “Raw, it’s not very good,” Grotto says. “But kale in lentil soup is absolutely fantastic.”
Photography: (Carob) Blackbox Studios, Inc; (Elderberries, fennel, flax, kale) iStockphoto.com
Fourth of July Elderberry Ice Cream Pie
By Sharon, Chloe, Katie and Madison Grotto
Servings 8 (1/8 of a pie each)
Prep and cooking time: thirty minutes
Freeze until firm: 3-4 hours.
This recipe contains two powerhouse foods
For the crust:
1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons butter. Melted
2 tablespoons honey
For the Filling:
12 ounces of elderberries
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups low fat strawberry ice cream or frozen yogurt
2 cups low fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
Place graham cracker crumbs, honey, and butter in a 9-inch pie plate. Mix and firmly press mixture to form pie crust. Place in freezer for thirty minutes.
While crust is freezing, dissolve cornstarch in water and mix with elderberries, honey, and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, cook until thickened (about two minutes). Let sauce cool completely.
Place softened strawberry ice cream on top of frozen pie crust. Layer ½ berry sauce over ice cream. Layer vanilla ice cream over berry sauce. Layer top of vanilla ice cream with remaining berry sauce. Wrap with plastic wrap and freeze 3-4 hours or until firm.
BREAK IT DOWN…
Calories: 260; Total fat: 8g; Saturated fat: 3.5g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium: 160mg; Total carbs: 48g; Fiber: 3; Sugar: 30g; Protein 4g.
Copyright language: Excerpted from 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life by David Grotto, RD, LDN Copyright (c) 2007 by David Grotto. Excerpted by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.