Enjoy whole foods is about how we can ruin favas, also known as broad beans, real bread and brown rice.
Anyone who reads this column with any regularity will know that I am enamoured by broad beans. Thus I was delighted when I saw that Dr Weil, had written up a recipe for Fava Bean Bruschetta. He is definitely someone to follow but like Bernard Preston with a just a touch of skepticism.
In this instance, Dr Weil takes what is basically broad beans on toast, gives it a fancy Italian name, and then proceeds to utterly desecrate what is in actual fact a very fine whole food.
First he recommends you shell the beans, and then pop them out of their skins. It effectively removes almost all of the fibre, and is the reason why contrary to all other legumes, favas are reckoned to have a very high glycemic index; doubly refined in this way they certainly do.
Then he instructs the cook to grill the bread in the oven; what’s the matter with the toaster, requiring a fraction of the electricity and taking perhaps a tenth of the time?
Finally, cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the toast, the inference being that you then discard the clove.
He has taken a simple and nutritious dish that can be made in fifteen minutes, robbed it of much of its nutrients, and made it far more difficult and time-consuming to prepare; enough to put anyone off, so I rewrote the recipe as broad beans on toast, which is a wonderfully nutritious and tasty dish.
Whole broad beans, shelled, skinned and the fibrous remains.
Using 100% flour for the toast under your broad beans is more difficult. You must have a wheat mill to make your artisan bread; it is truly a whole food which is almost impossible to buy. You have to grind the meal yourself; you simply won't find it on the shelf of your supermarket.
And then there’s America’s test kitchen, another site with many good ideas; their 10 good things to know about fresh corn is superb, but they utterly ruin the newsletter with their Corn Risotto. Made with white rice and corn from which they have extracted the puree and discard the solids. In short both the rice and the corn are highly refined starches with a glycemic index that will push your blood glucose into orbit if you’re the slightest bit insulin resistant; and that’s a good many people.
Again, I rewrote the recipe, calling it green mealie risotto, using brown rice and all the fibre in the mealie; it makes a very fine and nutritious dish. There is heaps of research stating how healthy whole grains are, but their Corn Risotto is akin to eating white bread.
It seems to my cynical mind that even top chefs love to take a simple dish, remove half the goodness and make it difficult to prepare. It’s little wonder that Americans are so obese. And so are we in South Africa, not because of bruchettas and risottos, but largely because of sugary colas, chocolate cake and koeksusters, and refined mealie meal. It’s no coincidence that the USA and SA rank in the top five nations where the C-19 virus is wrecking such havoc.
Enjoy whole foods because they provide the fibre out colons must have, and the nutrients that our cells demand if we are to enjoy long, vigorous lives.
Broad beans are a unique vegetable because they are about the only natural source of L-dopa, the precursor of dopamine. That is the neurotransmitter missing in people suffering from Parkinson's disease.
More than half the chemical is found in the pod. Dr Weil's recipe discards most of the real virtue of this wonderful bean.
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