I do love shortcuts in the kitchen and sometimes, one doesn’t want to slave away. This rarebit recipe does away with the faff of making a white sauce base by using crème fraiche in its place. It also brings a delicious tang. I for one am not a fan of veg boiled until soggy (not only displeasing on the palate, but also a fast way to get rid of all of those wonderful nutrients). Roasting veg such as broccoli (try it one day tossed in soy sauce and sesame oil – it is a delight for the tastebuds) brings elements of crispy edges, soft stems and brings out so much more flavour.
Fish of all type are great sources of protein (helping to build and repair cells). White fish contains many B vitamins (protecting against heart disease) as well as being a source of iodine (helping to enhance IQ and healthy thyroid function-iodine deficiency has been linked to stunted growth and poorer intelligence), phosphorous and selenium.
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C and folate as well as being a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health.
It does not contain as much iron as previously thought, but nevertheless, it is a source of this nutrient which is needed to make haemoglobin (a protein contained in red blood cells that transports oxygen around the body) as well as a healthy immune system.
The benefits of spinach include protection against loss of muscle mass, bone density and anaemia, maintaining good eye health, cell growth and repair. The antioxidant content may help to prevent certain cancers.
Broccoli is an excellent source of natural antioxidants as well as essential vitamins (especially vitamin C which helps boost immunity and vitamin K which helps to keep the skeletal system healthy and aids blood clotting), soluble fibre, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids and phenolic compounds. Broccoli also has the advantage of being a great source of calcium helping to build and protect bones and folate needed for cell reproduction, making red blood cells and preventing birth defects such as spina bifida.
Sweet potatoes like potatoes are a complex carbohydrate food and full of soluble fibre but has the additional benefits of containing beta carotene (antioxidant that has anti-cancer properties and can help prevent heart disease). Potatoes are high in vitamin C
Cheese and crème fraiche are excellent source of protein, vitamin D, calcium (needed for strong bones) as well as other various vitamins and minerals. There is still a lot of conflicting advice on eating saturated fats in dairy foods but recent research has shown that the fatty acids in dairy foods help lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise the good HDL cholesterol and may protect against developing type 2 diabetes. Like many foods, they should not be eaten in vast amounts but certainly as part of a healthy diet.
Tomatoes are full of vitamin C, antioxidants which are cancer preventative, potassium (essential for maintaining fluid balance and muscle/nerve function) and compounds which prevent blood clots.
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