Parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot and grown as an annual. It has a sweet flavour, delicious in stews and soups, roasts well and I enjoy them cut into fries or chips and cooked in coconut oil. Parsnips are high in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium and also contain both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre.
Purchase organic tomato passata/puree in glass containers (pure tomato without sugar or salt). Tomatoes are acidic which increases the rate at which BPA enters food and this can be a concern with canned tomato products. Tomatoes are a useful source of vitamin C, beta carotene, folate and potassium. Tomatoes are a nightshade vegetable.
The green pea grows in a seed-pod, each pod contains several peas. I have chosen to use organic frozen peas for convenience in my recipes, when using fresh you will need to cook a little longer. Peas are starchy but high in fiber, protein, vitamins A, B6, C and K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. I also use snow peas and sugar snap peas in my recipes, both are eaten whole in their pod.
Pecans are a rich source of dietary fibre, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and thiamin. Nuts are a great protein snack. Eat them raw or activated and it's best to avoid store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils.
Use a good quality organic peppermint extract (not peppermint flavouring), purchase from health food stores or online. Peppermint essential oil is a good choice. If you are using essential oils only a few drops will be needed (they are pure oil and very stronger). Use less in your recipe and add in gradually to your taste. I use DoTERRA essential oil.
Pineapple is a tropical fruit. The pineapple flesh can be eaten fresh, cooked, dried, juiced or preserved. Pineapple is an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, it also contains Bromelain. Bromelain serves many purposes but is best know as a digestive enzyme, it breakdowns proteins in food to provide amino acids.
Raw pink Himalayan salt crystals is unlike common table salt which can be a highly refined industrial byproduct, otherwise know as sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is completely pure and may naturally balance the body's alkaline/acidity and regulate water content. In addition Himalayan salt helps in the absorption of nutrients from food and contains many trace minerals for healthy cell structure. I purchase fine pink Himalayan crystal salt so I can use it in my shaker and for cooking.
The pistachio nut is a member of the cashew family. The fruit has a hard, creamish exterior shell and the edible kernel or seed has a mauvish skin and light green flesh. Pistachios are a rich source of protein and dietary fiber, they also contain B vitamins, thiamin and calcium. I use raw pistachio nuts (kernels) in my recipes.
Poppy seeds are widely used as a spice and decoration in and on top of many baked goods, they can also be made into a paste and used as a filling in pastries. The tiny black poppy seed is less than a millimeter in size and it takes about 3,300 poppy seeds to make up a gram. Poppy seeds are a nutritionally dense spice with high levels of essential minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Pork mince is ground down boneless pork meat, it's economical and is very versatile. I often combine both pork and beef mince together to add extra flavour to a mince meat dish. Pork is popular throughout eastern Asia and the Pacific. Purchase organic if available or grass fed and finished. Pork is an excellent source of protein and very high in thiamin (vitamin B).
Purchase wild caught shellfish. Prawns are large swimming crustaceans or shrimp, they are high in protein and low in saturated fat. A source of niacin, vitamin B6 and folate. They contain the minerals, calcium and iron, also some zinc and magnesium. Shellfish is prone to contamination, so extra care should be taken when buying, preparing and cooking. Shellfish can provoke allergic reactions in some people.
Probiotics help balance the microflora in the gut, helping the digestive system and offering protection from harmful bacteria. Common benefits claimed from taking probiotics include the reduction of gastrointestinal discomfort, strengthening of the immune system, improvement of bowl regularity and reduced bloating. Choose a capsule or powder containing a high number of live bacteria strains. Some form of probiotic should be consumed every day, I sneak some in my breakfast smoothie, fermented vegetables are an excellent source. I add probiotic capsules to ferment my Cashew Probiotic Cheeze on page 301 of The JOYful Table.
A prune is a dried plum. Prunes can be used in both sweet and savoury cooking. Remove the pit before using in cooking. Prunes contain a mild laxative. They are high in dietary fibre and vitamin K and also high in antioxidants. Purchase organic prunes that contain no preservatives (sulphur).
Psyllium powder is ground down psyllium husks to produce a very fine powder. Psyllium is a source of soluble dietary fibre, it expands when mixed with liquid. It can help relieve constipation and diarrhea. Psyllium is used in gluten free baking, as the finely ground husks bind moisture and help make breads rise and less crumbly. You can purchase psyllium husk powder from a supermarket or make your own by using a blender or food processor to ground to a very fine powder.
Psyllium husks are indigestible and are a source of soluble dietary fibre. They expand when added to liquid and are used to relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. Psyllium is also used in gluten free baking, where the ground husks bind moisture and help make breads less crumbly.
Like all orange pigmented vegetables, pumpkins are rich in beta carotene (vitamin A) and studies show pumpkin contains more than carrots.
Pumpkin seeds or pepitas are an amazing health food, a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium. They are small packages full of nutrition (plant based omega 3 fats, zinc, anti-inflammatory benefits). Sprinkle over salads, add to snack bars, granola, smoothies and they can also be ground down to add to grain free baked goods.
The purple red skinned variety of sweet potato with it's white flesh, is the second most popular variety of sweet potato in Australia. It is also know as 'Northern Star'. It isn't as sweet as the most popular golden orange variety and has a nutty flavour. It has a firmer dry flesh and will take a bit longer to cook. It's perfect for people unable to eat nightshade vegetables but would like a white fleshed potato. It isn't high in beta-carotene (vitamin A) like the orange variety.
The radish is an edible root vegetable and is mostly eaten raw as a crunchy salad vegetable. There are many varieties ranging in different flavours, colours, shapes and sizes. The most common are the European radishes (small/round red) and the Daikon Asian radish (large/oblong white). Radishes are high in vitamin C and fibre, they also contain a group of compounds called isothiocyanates, which have been shown to be effective against certain cancers.
Raspberries are a perennial fruit with woody stems, they are cultivated to provide both fresh and frozen fruit. Raspberries spoil faster than most berries because of their delicate structure and hollow core. If frozen they will preserve for up to a year. Raspberries are usually quite expensive and purchased as a special treat. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, a source of folate and contain useful amounts of iron and potassium. High in fibre.