Plus an easy recipe: Bamboo Steamer Carrots with Cumin & Walnut Oil
We often hear the term whole foods or whole food cooking, yet do we really know what the terms mean?
The ‘Whole Food’ way of eating is enjoying as many “whole foods” as possible – that is, eating foods as close to their natural form as possible, with very minimal processing. This is the way people were eating a hundred years ago prior to the age of fast food restaurants, manufactured processed foods, convenience foods. It was when people actually spent time in their kitchen cooking, and less time eating out or eating on the run.
Simply, Whole Foods Cooking uses S.O.U.L. Foods: Seasonal. Organic. Unprocessed. Local.
Many health experts believe eating more whole foods improves health and helps prevent disease. Whole foods – like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes – retain their fiber and beneficial phytochemicals and nutrients that are often removed in processed foods.
Eating organic, whole foods, and shopping at farmers’ markets, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and food co-ops is something many people have had to re-learn. Our intention with the Whole Food/ S.O.U.L Food Wednesday BLOG is to get you as excited about cooking and eating real whole foods as we are.
The Top 5 Whole Foods
Fresh Vegetables & Fruit
- Roots: carrots, beets, sweet potatoes
- Greens: collards, kale, dandelion greens
- Round veggies: tomatoes, cucumbers
- Fruit: apples, pears, melons
- Berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
- Grains that are not processed and refined (like white rice)
- Brown rice, quinoa, kasha, steel cut oats, millet
Beans & Legumes
- Black beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans
- Lentils & split peas
Nuts & Seeds
- Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts
- Sunflower seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds
- Nut butters, nut milks
Whole Meat, Poultry & Fish
- Organic grass-fed meat
- Chicken breast from whole chicken
- Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
Our Whole Food / S.O.U.L Food Wednesday Recipe for the Week
Bamboo Steamer Organic Carrots with Toasted Cumin Seeds & Walnut Oil
This simple recipe totally transforms the ordinary carrot into a deliciously sweet, fresh earthy dish that you’ll want to eat over and over again. Once you’ve made this recipe, we invite you to try it with different rainbow carrots, different herbs (such as lemon thyme or lemon basil) and different oils (such as almond oil or extra virgin olive oil). Enjoy!
- 6 - 8 large carrots
- 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
- ½ fresh lemon
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 2 - 3 tbsp walnut oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- To toast the cumin seeds, heat a small fry pan over low heat. Add the seeds and cook until fragrant. Once done, remove them from the pan and set aside.
- Set up a bamboo steamer. Fill with one inch of water and place over medium-high heat.
- Wash carrots and slice into sticks or rounds. Place the carrots into a steamer basket and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place over the simmering water. Cover with a lid and let steam, about 5 minutes or until just cooked through.
- While the carrots are steaming, gather the lemon and oil. Roughly chop the parsley.
- Once the carrots have finished cooking, transfer them to a large bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over top and drizzle with the oil. Gently toss to coat. Add the cumin seeds and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Add the parsley and toss again.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
Bamboo Steamer Carrots prepared by students in Whole Foods Cooking at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts
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About the Author Melanie Albert
Melanie Albert, nutrition and food expert, author and speaker, has been active in the integrative medicine and nutrition fields for over a decade. She is the founder & CEO of Experience Nutrition Group, LLC, whose mission is to improve the lives health and nutrition of the sports community, kids and corporations through food and lifestyle education.
Melanie is an instructor in Whole Foods Cooking, Holistic Nutrition (Conscious Eating) and Entrepreneurship at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) in Tempe, AZ. She also teaches Intuitive Eating at Spirit of Yoga in Tempe, AZ. Melanie walks her talk and you can always find her at farmers' markets, in the kitchen experimenting, and practicing yoga.