I am a big fan of seafood stews – clam chowder, bouillabaisse, shrimp bisque, but Italian Cioppino is my favorite. I’m not a strict traditionalist, I like to add a few potatoes for substance and a little bit of curry to spice it up, but you can’t make Cioppino without tomatoes. This time of year fresh tomatoes are a scarcity and I have no shame in using the canned version instead, but I always read the back labels and avoid the ones with anything non-tomato. Cioppino is a great dish to make in a big batch if you’re feeding a group, just grab a few loaves of crusty bread too!
Reading a Food Label Part 2:
Canned foods often get a bad rap and are sometimes considered to be less nutritious than fresh foods. However, this is not necessarily the case. By adhering to a few guidelines, canned foods can provide comparable nutrients to their fresh or frozen counterparts. For Cook Together 29 – Cioppino was on the menu and since fresh tomatoes are not in season, we discussed how to utilize boxed or canned tomatoes for this recipe in the healthiest way possible.
Ideally canned tomatoes contain tomatoes and a preservative like citric acid (to prevent botulism) and may also contain a small amount of calcium chloride (a salt). If there is anything else in the can – it does not need to be there and is best avoided. Food manufacturers love to sneak ingredients that have no nutritional value and are often not even recognized in the body as food, thus the body has a difficult time digesting and assimilating them.
In summary, canned foods are an acceptable and affordable source of nutrients in the event fresh foods are not available or in season. Look for cans that are BPA (Bisphenol – A) free, not dented or bent and avoid canned foods with any of the following ingredients:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
- Soy flour
- Hydrolyzed corn gluten
- Food Dyes (Blue 1 and 2, Green 3, Red 3, and Yellow 6)
The various acids within rose hips, as well as pectin, are known to induce urination and excretion. As a diuretic rose hips can help eliminate toxins from the body, as well as excess salts, liquids, and even fat. By stimulating bowel movements, rose hips can help a person avoid a number of unfortunate health conditions and discomforts. Rose hips have an impressive amount of vitamin C, which is one of the best components to boost the immune system. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/rosehip-tea.html
Lemongrass helps in restoring the vital systems which are operational in the body, including digestion, respiration, excretion, and the nervous system. This assists in the better absorption of nutrients and strengthening of the immune defense mechanism of the body. Lemongrass extracts have a beneficial effect on the inflammatory actions of cytokines, which are the signaling molecules through which the cells communicate and respond to the body. Studies have shown that lemongrass exerts anti-inflammatory action and its constituent, citral, may be the cause of its inhibitory effect on cytokine production. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-lemongrass.html