We’ll be listing more fruit and veg as it comes into season, with tips on how to choose, how to cook, eat, and store your produce, as well as some interesting facts and information about where and how things are grown and harvested. At Ripe, we sell Certified Organic or Biodynamic fruit and Vegetables. You can learn more about Organic and Biodynamic farming on our What is Organic? page.
When cooking legumes or grains at home, please ensure that they are soaked, preferably overnight but whatever time can be spared. Your digestive system will be thankful. Besides the absorption of nutrients broadening, the fibre content will also be enhanced. Discard the soak water and cook in fresh water. Grains are known as starches and legumes are known as proteins even though both contain protein. They pair together to make a ‘whole protein’. Grains and legumes are acid forming foods, so eat them with lots of alkaline foods (all vegetables). It is also a good idea to cook with stock to add to their quality. The stock can be as simple as a piece of kombu.
Seaweed is the general term given to a range of vegetables from the sea. Like many foods that are incredibly good for us, they lost popularity for being considered peasant food or just not handsome enough for our dinner table. Sea vegetables, however, are common in Asian cooking and are making a comeback, thanks to the genuine popularity of Japanese food. Sea vegetables are usually grown wild in the ocean. The ocean, however, is not the cleanest place in the world but with care and regular testing of pollutants and heavy metals, certified organic sea vegetables are possible. They do tend to be quite expensive, but a little goes a long way. At the moment, most organic sea vegetables come from America, look for the company ‘Maine Coast’.
As a rough guide, sea vegetables go well with rice, tofu, adzuki beans, pumpkin, miso, mushrooms (especially shiitake), eggplant, carrot, millet, mung beans and daikon/cucumber salad.
It should be noted that sea vegetables are an absolute abundance of nutrients, especially iodine (the mineral preferred for thyroid health). Finding a way to fit these into everyday cooking would benefit everyone. Try always cooking legumes and grains with some kombu (also helps with the digestion of legumes for those that are sensitive). A 10cm strip is enough to fix the cooking water with minerals and nutrients from the ocean to your dinner. Dry nori strips are easy to sprinkle atop meals.