One of the ladies who follows my Instagram account called these rainbow fritters and I thought, Oo, I like that!
I have been pondering on plant intake, veggie and fruit intake specifically. We are told to eat five serves of veg and two serves of fruit a day, which actually very few of us do, but we also need diversity in our plant food intake. If we eat one apple and one pear a day, then that is two serves of fruit, but if that is our daily eating pattern, day in, day out, we are following the guidelines, but all we are getting is the nutrients that are available in an apple and a pear. We need to mix it up a bit, so how about a pear and an apple on the first day, a banana and a kiwi fruit on the second day, a serve of grapes and a couple of apricots on the third day, some strawberries and an orange on the fourth day, and so on. Can you see how this will give us a greater range of nutrients?
This goes for veggies too, if you are buying frozen veg, get the peas, corn and capsicum instead of the plain peas, buy the salad mix instead of one type of lettuce, get the four bean mix in the can instead of a single variety, all of these things extend your diversity intake and that is so important because we literally are what we eat, our food makes up the building blocks of our body, so let’s give our body lots of options.
I was reading the other day that we need to aim for thirty different plant foods a week, and I thought, Oo, that is a lot, but it isn’t, not really. This recipe I am going to show you has fourteen types of plants in it, zucchini, green onions, red onions, carrot, radish pods, snow peas, corn, red tomato, yellow tomato, rosemary, oregano, almond, lemon, avocado and if I was counting my almond milk, which I didn’t, cashew, linseed and sunflower as well. I could so easily boost this more by sprinkling a gremolata over the top, a mixture of toasted seeds, but it was perfectly glorious as it was.
Now I am not claiming there are fourteen serves per plate here, on our plates Mr T and I had probably three serves of veg, but what we are looking at here is diversity. Some of the essential compounds our body needs, it uses in tiny, tiny amounts, but if we don’t eat them, they are not available to use.
Let’s look at a trace mineral like molybdenum, never heard of it? Don’t worry, neither had a single person in my nutrition class, molybdenum is one of our essential trace minerals, it acts as a cofactor for several of our body’s enzymes, that means those enzymes need molybdenum to do their job, and our body pretty much runs on enzymes, so this makes molybdenum really important. You know why you have never heard of it? Because we need 0.1 parts molybdenum to one million parts of our body, that is how little we need. It is found in legumes, cereals and nuts.
Let’s look at one a little better known, manganese, manganese helps us have strong bones and is also a cofactor for those all important enzymes, it is found in tea, leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains.
What about the water soluble vitamins? These are ones we can’t store, so we need to ingest them regularly. Let’s look at Thiamin, or Vitamin B1, it is used by the body in energy metabolism, deficiency symptoms include enlarged heart, cardiac failure, muscle weakness, poor memory, confusion, irritability, apathy….pretty scary stuff, good news is, it is found in moderate amounts in all nutritious foods, especially whole grains and pork.
Let’s look at one of the supplement company’s favourites, Vitamin C, we all know this one, and such a lot of us take a supplement, myself included at the moment, I was given a bottle of vitamin C plus zinc because I had had both Covid jabs and I thought, eh, why not.
Anyway, so we all know Vitamin C helps us stay healthy by scaring away the colds, well, that isn’t exactly how it goes, but anyway, Vitamin C is an antioxidant, so it helps clear the damaging free radicals out of our bodies before they can go rogue and do too much damage, think of Vitamin C like Luke Skywalker and the free radicals as the storm troopers, we don’t want the storm troopers charging around our body with their blasters, so we need to take in enough Jedis, (Vitamin C) to help neutralise them. So what is Vitamin C in? Well, oranges of course, broccoli, potato (yes, potato), strawberries, capsicum, cruciferous veg like cauliflower and Brussel sprouts, rockmelon, lettuce, tomatoes… the list goes on.
Do you see what I am getting at here? Diversity in our plant intake, well, in all of our diet really is key, some things we need a tiny smudge of, some things we need quite a lot of, so if our meals are diverse and nutrient rich, we are going a long way to preserve our health.
Okay, rainbow fritters, at last, here we go.
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons almond milk
Olive oil for frying
I small carrot, grated
1 spring onion, chopped,
2 tablespoons radish pods (I do not expect you to have these unless you have a radish gone to seed in your garden, I just include them as I put them in here and I want to show you how you can add whatever you have here and it will be glorious)
8 snow peas, sliced into thin strips
1 small tin of sweet corn, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon combined chopped fresh oregano and rosemary
1 small zucchini, chopped or grated
Combine the eggs, tapioca starch, almond flour, baking powder and almond milk into a large bowl.
Add in all your prepared veg and a little salt if you want it.
Give it all a good stir to combine, it will look like vomit, that is okay. Keep going.
Heat some olive oil, not too much, these things are like sponges, we don’t want to eat too much oil, in a frying pan, I used heat four of nine if that is any help, so you want it to be hot enough to seal the food on contact, not hot enough to scorch the fritters before the veg is cooked inside, so medium heat, just make sure it reaches that before you drop the first one in.
Pop spoonfuls of mixture into the hot oil, fry until golden on the bottom, flip them over, fry until golden on top.
And we are done. I served these with a very simple guacamole of yellow and red tomato, red onion, avocado, lemon juice and a smudge of extra virgin olive oil, and some of the ham Mr T was given for Xmas, which was so enormous it will take us a year to finish it. And they were delicious. Very simple to make, and providing our bodies with a rainbow of nutrients. Amazing!