Mushrooms, porridge or fish?  The foods you should recognize as their contribution

Hebrew Language Week is excellent in a selection of events, meetings and lectures. We chose this week to join the celebration and we will address proverbs and expressions in Hebrew that combine different foods. Although it is clear that dialects and proverbs in everyday language in general have a different meaning from the combination of words that make them up.

Eat the porridge you cooked

The association of porridge for many is that of inedible food, suitable for institutional kitchens. For these we will offer to taste a teaspoon of oatmeal, and immediately the “recipe”. Proper disclosure, we like to eat porridge, especially if it is nutritionally high quality, i.e. based on oats and not based on semolina, rice or cornflour. In oats, the amount of dietary fiber is particularly high compared to other grains. Beta-glucan, a dietary fiber in oats, has been extensively researched and found to help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Studies show that consuming oatmeal regularly helps not only in reducing blood fats but also in maintaining blood sugar levels, can help proper bowel activity and contributes to a feeling of satiety.

Porridge is an easy meal to prepare: cook in a small pot or bowl in the microwave about 3-2 tablespoons of oats + 1 cup of liquids like milk, water, herbal drink or a combination of them. Continue to cook until you reach the preferred degree of thickness. The porridge can be enriched after cooking with a large variety of toppings, which will enrich the dish with vitamins and minerals: raisins, cranberries, “coin” banana, coarsely crushed apple, pomegranate seeds, almonds, nuts, coconut chips and of course cinnamon.

This is a satisfying and easy-to-prepare dish, suitable for breakfast or dinner, especially on cold days.

Like mushrooms after the rain

A phrase especially appropriate for this time of year, winter. Their collection season is upon us. Mushroom picking is a fun experience, combining spending time in nature with a culinary addition at home.

It is customary to associate the mushrooms with the group of vegetables, but mushrooms do not belong to the plant or animal world, but are a world in themselves, which includes, among other things, the yeast known from pastries and beer as well as the molds that appear on spoiled foods.

The reason why mushrooms are associated with the vegetable group is their low calorie content, good source of dietary fiber and richness of vitamins and minerals. Of course there are differences in the nutritional benefits between the different species of mushrooms, but overall it is recommended to incorporate mushrooms as part of a balanced diet. The mushrooms contain soluble dietary fiber (also of the beta-glucan type), which helps balance blood cholesterol levels and helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Shiitake mushrooms are especially rich in these fibers. They contain water-soluble B-group vitamins, such as riboflavin (2B), niacin (3B) and pantothenic acid (5B) and minerals such as potassium, copper and selenium. Mushrooms contain the amino acid glutamate, which gives them the fifth flavor known as umami. The word from Japanese means a meaty or salty protein taste.

Foods can be naturally enriched with umami flavor through the use of mushrooms or artificially using monosodium glutamate (MSG). It is a salt of the amino acid glutamate, which is used as an flavor enhancer in food products. It is important to know that monosodium glutamate is not as nutritionally problematic as one tends to argue against it. On the contrary, its contribution as a flavor enhancer in food products can help reduce the amounts of sodium in processed products. It is not for nothing that juicy portobello mushrooms are the basis for vegetarian “burgers”.

there are a lot of fish in the sea

Fish contains high-quality, easy-to-digest protein, a low percentage of saturated fat and cholesterol, relative to animal foods. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids – EPA and DHA – including tuna, mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout and herring. This type of omega 3 is also found in seafood. Studies show that omega-3 intake has a beneficial effect on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and contributing to brain development in infants and fetuses.

Other studies suggest additional possible benefits such as delaying dementia and Alzheimer’s, improving concentration and mood and vitality during pregnancy. Apart from omega 3, deep-water fish (sea fish), oysters and seaweed have high amounts of iodine, compared to pond fish, which are derived from seawater salt. In recent years, it has been found that the population in Israel does not consume sufficient iodine due to water desalination.

The medical associations in Israel and around the world recommend including at least two servings of fish in the weekly menu, as part of a balanced and healthy diet thanks to the content of these ingredients. The fish can be purchased in different ways: fresh, frozen and canned. It is important to know that in most cases, freezing and preservation do not impair the nutritional quality of the fish, and similarly even after cooking, grilling and baking.

I have a salad in mind

In our case, the expression salad is in a positive context, it indicates a mixing of raw ingredients and therefore contains an abundance of nutrients. However, when it comes to food, in many cases the salad is perceived as a “diet food”, and even a dish that should be bothered to prepare. Pre-preparation of chopped vegetables in an airtight box and a bottle with olive oil, lemon juice and a little salt for seasoning can increase the chances of incorporating a salad into a meal.

It is recommended to be as colorful as possible, usually with red, green and orange-yellow vegetables. Also pay attention to the addition of white vegetables like mushrooms, cabbage, cauliflower, and purple: purple onion, purple cabbage, purple lettuce and beets. 

By Editor

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