The orange is a fruit from the citrus family. The most common varieties are - Valencia, Navel and Blood oranges. Oranges are commonly peeled and eaten fresh or squeezed for juice. Oranges are full of nutrients, they promote clear healthy skin and have a whopping 170 different phytochemicals and more than 60 flavonoids - giving anti-inflammatory properties and strong antioxidant effects.
Oregano is an important culinary herb. It's used for the flavour of its leaves, when dried the leaves are more flavourful than fresh. Oregano has an aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste and is popular in Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. I prefer to purchase an organic brand, Simply Organic.
Organic whole oats are an excellent source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Choose oats that are packed in a gluten-free environment. Oats are a gluten-free grain but avoid if strict paleo, I've used them in baby rusks due to their binding properties. I find they don't crumble like coconut flour rusks do, making them safer for babies. Most babies will only chew on the rusk and not consume them until older.
Paprika is a spice made from grinding dried mild and sweet red chili peppers. Paprika is used to add colour and flavour to a dish. It has a sweet pungent flavour and distinct bitter aftertaste. Even just a small sprinkle of paprika can deliver antioxidants and nutrients like, Vitamin A, E and B6, also iron. I purchase an organic paprika made by 'Simply Organic' (from iherb.com). Paprika is a nightshade.
Parsley would be the most widely used herb worldwide. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. Fresh parsley contains useful amounts of vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium. Parsley is also high in bioflavonoids and other anticancer compounds.
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. Choose firm parsnips with light coloured skin in season.
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.
Pears are a mild, sweet fruit that is rich in important antioxidants, including vitamin C and K, flavonoids, minerals, including copper, iron, potassium, magnesium and dietary fibre. Pears are a seasonal fruit grown in the cooler months.
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.