For the past year or two I’ve come to meet a new breed of food items, ones I cannot even prounounce let alone tried before or seen in a restaurant or tried to cook. Now all the hip foodies and health fanatics out there plus the well-known dieticians are encouraging their consumption and providing us with different dishes made with them. I thought I’d help out and write about the ones I know of, It might not be news to some of you to me personally it is and I’m sure others around K-Town aren’t as familiar. Those new trendy food items are all considered “Superfood” items and are supposedly packed with health benefits and illness fighting components, those are the ones I know of that is:
- Quinoa the star of the lot and the it superfood in Kuwait, everywhere you look it’s quinoa this and quinoa that. It reminds me of how popular the rocket was a few years ago and how every dish was turned posh or artisan by stuffing it with rocket even if it didn’t belong or tasted horrible. Quinoa, pronounced keenwaa, is distant cousin of burghul and couscous. It has the same texture and kinda tasteless but is supposedly the only grain that’s really packed with proteins -correct me if I’m wrong here-. I’ve had it once in London and lo and behold, in a salad bought from Casper & Gambini yesterday! It’s not too bad for something too healthy, I’d stick to salads right now until I manage to learn how to cook with it. Oh by the way, you cannot find a bag of quinoa anywhere in the Kuwaiti markets, it’s sold out everywhere!
- Kale Leaves move over rocket, the kale has arrived! Green leaves that’s used like spinach or basil in pestos or as chips -they turn to chips-, or in stews. Why kale? Well, according to Wikipedia and I quote “kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells“. Superfood indeed, now I’ve never tried it before and haven’t seen it around but I’m definitely willing to give it a try. I just hope it doesn’t have a slimy texture. P.S. The name reminds me of Kal-El, I couldn’t help it.
- Chia Seeds they look weird, like little fish eggs that are about to hatch in your mouth as you crunch on them or little bird eyes, the ones that I’ve seen any way but they are supposedly very healthy with lots of benefits and are added to smoothies and frozen yoghurts. Again I don’t know where is it sold or who provides it in Kuwait but I don’t think I’ll be trying it anytime soon.
- Flax Seeds and Powder I’ve been eating it for quite a while, its something that looks like a deflated apple seed and is supposedly wondrous and fights cancer. You sprinkle it over salads and my husband has it in the salt mill so he can crush it directly into his food, it is quite tasteless btw so it doesn’t really ruin the taste of your food. There is also a Flax meal that you can bake with. I think the Flax seeds are available in Nature Land shop in Qadsiya Co-op but I’m not sure about the flax powder and the flax meal.
- Agave Nectar I first came to know about agave when I tried Chiquita bar’s healthy smoothie (post) three months ago. Apparently it’s a sweetener that is derived from some plant and doesn’t wreck havoc with your blood sugar like refined sugar does. I didn’t mind it, and if it’s a healthy alternative to sugar I’d be more than happy to introduce it to my diet. Someone had once shown me a bottle of liquid agave syrup that looks like honey and supposedly bought from Kuwait but I can’t for the life of me remember who or when.
- Wheat Germ it’s some sort of grain that is used in baking and in power smoothies. I’ve seen a lady on instagram who baked tortillas with it yesterday. It’s supposed to be very good for you and I’m not sure how different it is to bake with whole wheat than to bake with wheat germ exactly but you don’t add whole wheat flour to your power smoothie now do you?
- Black Garlic I remember seeing or reading about black garlic, I think it was on instagram. Black garlic is regular garlic that is aged and fermented garlic. Left to rot more like it but instead it’s supposedly develops some nutritional properties that are excellent once turning black. I’m not sure about the taste though and I don’t think I’ll be seeing one around Kuwait anytime soon.
- Rapeseed oil you might have heard that any oil once it’s exposed to high temperatures -i.e. used to fry something- it would start breaking down or something but in conclusion it would develop some toxins that cause cancer, including the healthy olive oil? Well, the healthy people say that rapeseed oil can be used safely in cooking with high temperatures without producing those toxin things, hence preventing cooked food from becoming cancerous. I know a lady whose been buying it for years on end now from Nature Land store in Qadsiya co-op but I’ve never tried it before, I might be trying it out soon though.
OK people, now the quinoa is here to stay and is peeking it’s head in restaurants dishes around Kuwait already, we can now welcome these into our diets and ride the latest health wave out, not all trends are bad. If you already consume these superfoods, can you please share your experience and ways of cooking with them? Much obliged!