What you might think of as weird foods are considered daily fare by others. Modern transportation and packaging have allowed some local treasures to become international. Eating some of these foods can add valuable nutrients to your diet. Others may only add calories. Some will become instant favorites, while others may be an acquired taste. Marmite, a British spread, or its similar Australian counterpart Vegemite, is made from brewers’ yeast. It’s a great option for vegetarians because of its high protein and vitamin B12 content. B12 is a vitamin that’s often missing from a vegan diet. Both Marmite and Vegemite are acquired tastes. You either love them or hate them, there’s no in-between.
Organ meats are nutrient dense.
Organ meats come from pigs, chickens, lambs, cows, goats, and ducks. They’re also called offal. It means leftovers or waste products. Yes, the word offal is pronounced just like the American word awful, but don’t let that stop you. These nutrient-packed selections are a great addition to any diet. They have a high vitamin content and are high in iron and protein. The most common organ meats are liver, heart, gizzards, tongue, kidneys, brain, tripe, sweetbreads, Rocky Mountain oysters, and chitterlings. Many of these are inexpensive and a good source of protein.
Kohlrabi looks like a turnip with a few spiked hairs.
Kohlrabi is often called a German turnip, although it’s from the same family as cabbages, cauliflower, and broccoli, not turnips. If you love the mild taste of broccoli stems, you’ll love the taste of kohlrabi. Like broccoli, you can eat it raw or cooked. It is high in vitamins C and B6, potassium, and fiber. It’s beneficial to the gut since it has both soluble and insoluble fiber, promotes heart health, and improves the immune system. You can eat both the leaves and the bulb.
Try the alternative to dairy, hemp milk.
For many people, dairy of any kind can promote a very uncomfortable reaction in their body. Milk alternatives like oat, almond, and hemp milk are blessings. It’s made from ground, soaked hemp seeds. Even though hemp and marijuana are from the same species, cannabis, there’s no THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, in hemp. The seeds are high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and iron. It’s more nutritious than other milk alternatives and is carb-free if there are no additives.
- Those tiny seeds amongst the black sunflower seeds in bird feed are millet. You can use it in place of rice. This gluten-free seed is high in magnesium, protein, iron, folate, and fiber.
- Kimchi and sauerkraut are two nutrient-dense fermented foods with different flavors. Depending on your locality, either one could be considered weird. Both support a healthy digestive system and reduce inflammation.
- Pickled herring is common to many cuisines, but it’s not a traditional dish in America. It has all the nutrients you get from fatty fish, including omega-3 fatty acids. Surströmming or fermented herring also has those benefits and the benefit of probiotics.
- Europeans brought dandelion seeds to America to grow food. They fared far too well. If you and your neighbors don’t use chemicals on your lawn, use the young dandelion leaves for salads.
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