Monday, 9 May 2011

A healthy dose of curiosity

I was talking to a friend recently about how she'd started systematically trying all the foods she didn't like as a child and had found that she actually liked some of them that she'd been adamant she'd really disliked as a child. I thought this was a very worthwhile experiment - there can be all sorts of non-taste related reasons why we decide we dislike certain foods as children, and in addition our taste buds change alot as we get older so we may experience foods in a totally different way.

Fortunately for me my mother had a zero-tolerance policy on fussy eating so I haven't grown up with any strong dislikes of any particular foods and infact have a healthy curiosity to try new foods which keeps my diet evolving over time. All too often people fall into a food rut and only eat what is familiar to them, however by trying new foods you may find some new foods that you love and in the same time introduce a healthy level of variety into your diet.

So next time you're in the supermarket maybe pick up a fruit or vegetable that you're not familiar and then dig out some recipes to find out how to prepare it. Or if you're not great in the kitchen try something new in a restaurant instead of going for your usual choice.

I also find that health food stores are a great source of new and exotic foods. My latest health food store discovery has been Ume Plum seasoning, a vinegar made from the Japanese fermented Ume plum, which is considered a superfood in Japanese cuisine and macrobiotics.

This vinegar makes a delicious dressing when mixed in equal parts with olive oil and I have taken to having this over greens (steamed bok choi, kale) or salads or poured into the hollow of half an avocado as a quick and yummy snack. Go on .. try it .. you might find you like it!

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