Power powders. Nut butters. Wonder weeds.
From asparagus to zucchini, algae to zinc, avos to Za’atar, Jane’s Delicious Superfoods for Super Health is an uber-comprehensive guide to all the delicious, nutrient-rich foods you should eat if you want to boost your immune system, improve your health and reduce the risk of disease.
Jane, who’s been growing and eating healthy organic food for more than a quarter of a century, and whose book Jane’s Delicious Garden led to a veggie-growing revolution in SA, talks us through fruits and vegetables, seeds and grains, herbs and spices, nuts, seaweeds, mushrooms and more.
There’s detailed info about why these foods are good for us, how to maximise their benefits and tips on how to incorporate them easily into our daily meals.
Dotted through the book are titbits about the history and origins of what we eat, health aspects- think food sensitivities and the importance of gut bacteria, a list of kitchen and pantry basics, plus a few recipes and useful tips on smoothies, sprouting, juicing, dehydrating, fermenting and healthy cooking.
And for those keen to grow their own superfoods, there is also gardening advice.
An excellent addition to your library, joining Jane’s Delicious A-Z of Vegetables, A-Z of Herbs and Urban Gardening. R350, Sunbird.
JANE’S HEALTHY HUMMUS
Hummus is a healthy and delicious spread. The basic recipe is a smooth blend of chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), garlic, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. It’s easy to make and much cheaper, and tastier, than store bought, especially if you use dried chickpeas and make your own tahini. It freezes well, so make a big batch and freeze small portions. The secret to smooth, creamy hummus is soft and mushy chickpeas, and the trick to this is bicarbonate of soda. Place the dry chickpeas in a bowl and cover with at least 8 cm of water. Add 1 teaspoon of bicarb per cup of dried chickpeas. Soak overnight, then simmer for 2 hours in the soaking water, adding more water if needed. If using canned chickpeas, cook them with bicarb for 20 minutes and they’ll make much creamier hummus.
Once those are ready, purée 2 to 3 garlic cloves, the juice of 1 lemon and sea salt to taste, and let stand for about 10 minutes. This tames the garlic’s pungency, as the acids in the lemon ‘cook’ it a little.
Add three-quarters of a cup of tahini and blend until it’s thick and creamy. Don’t stint on the tahini – its nutty, slightly bitter taste gives hummus a rich flavour. (If the oil has separated out of the tahini, blend it in beforehand.)
Run the food processor and slowly add 2 tablespoons of iced water; this makes the hummus fluffier. If your tahini is very thick, you might need to add a couple more tablespoons of iced water. Add half a teaspoon of ground cumin and 3 cups of cooked chickpeas. While blending, drizzle in 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Continue blending until super-smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Add more iced water for a creamier texture. Taste and add salt and lemon juice if needed. I usually add more of both but I prefer to add it at the end rather than adding too much up front.
Many other ingredients can be added to hummus to make a delicious array of healthy spreads. Try roast beetroot with ricotta cheese and mint; roast carrots with orange juice and harissa; avo with basil and coriander; or baked sweet potatoes with hot curry powder.