We are forever being told to avoid white food, but in my fitness magazine I saw an article discussing the benefits of white food. Ok, ok, not your overprocessed, white bread, pasta and the like. But I got on board with it. In particular: parsnips, cauliflower and new potatoes.
Bring on Two Soups (anyone else thinking Acorn Antiques – if you don’t know what I’m talking about YouTube it!)
All too often some of the traditional vegetables are shunned in favour of modern, exotic superfoods.
I have to admit (and regular readers probably saw it) that I favour green vegetables over white. In fact, not only do I favour broccoli over cauliflower (which inspired me to try romanesco) I would favour sweet potatoes over white, and carrots over parsnip.
We are told to eat a rainbow – and I’m all for that – but this article reminded me not to forget (hmm…remember not to forget??) that there are nutritional benefits to be gained from some white foods.
High on the GI scale, white potatoes are an exvellent post exercise food, as Amanda Hamilton explains. It helps the carbohydrates to be absorbed faster to aid recovery after a hard session at the gym.
Cauliflower is high in vitamins and minerals such as potassium and vitamin C. Bananas are often touted for their potassium content making them excellent for exercise (hey, another white food). Cauliflower also contains omega-3 fatty acids (who knew???) which will help lower inflamation. There you go – a great post workout food! In addition cauliflower contains glucosinolate which can trigger detoxification in the body; and also contains 12g of fibre per 100g keeping your bowels happy.
I used to love a parsnip – sweet and earthy – but their relatively high calorie and starch content put me off. But again, they are high in potassium, fibre and vitamin K which, according to Hamilton, aids cell growth and helps blood to clot. And they only contain about 55 calories per portion (80g) so not that high in the grand scheme of things. Because of their high glycaemic index (GI), pair them with protein to slow the rate of absorbtion into the blood stream, and balance out the GI overall.
So to my soups:
- 100g cauliflower florets
- 150ml unsweetened almond milk
- 60g anya new potatoes
- 1/2 corn on the cob
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- melting cheese to top (optional, vegan if desired)
Put the new potatoes on to boil, steam the corn on the cob over the top, or boil in the pan. In a separate pan cook the cauliflower in the almond milk, adding water if necessary. Once the cauliflower is cooked add the nutritional yeast and blend with a hand blender until smooth. When cooked, strip the corn on the cob of the kernels and add to the soup. Slice the potatoes and serve on top with the stringy cheese (if using) Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cheesy Parsnip Soup
- 80g cannellini beans from a tin
- 40g onion
- 40g ricotta or vegan alternative
- 2 tbsp (10g) nutritional yeast
- 20g melting cheese or vegan alternative
Soften the diced onion in a non-stick frying pan. If it starts to stick add a dash of water or stock. After about 5 miutes add the parsnips and pour over enough water or stock to cover. Bring to the boil and cook until the parsnips are soft. Add in the cannellini beans, ricotta cheese and nutritional yeast and blend with a stick blender until smooth. Place back on the hob until the soup is heated through. Serve topped with the melting cheese, if using and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Do you eat a rainbow, or are you just as happy with white veg. Which are your go-to vegetables?