Sunday, July 11, 2010

Top 10 Most Hated Foods?

This year, Yahoo! posted a list from a survey of the top 10 most hated foods (I guess this is an American suruvey but it probably holds true around the rest of the world):
1. Liver
2. Blue Cheese
3. Eggplant
4. Okra
5. Sardines
6. Lima Beans
7. Brussel Sprouts
8. Grits
9. Hard Boiled Eggs
10. Beets

Someone please tell me why several of these 'most hated foods' are at the top of my 'favorite foods' list? For example, not that I get around to using these ingredients too often, but when I do I consider it a treat.

1. Liver. I totally understand why this is disgusting. Though they do make maksamakara in Finland that people like to sparingly spread on their sandwhiches and I've been told it's delicious. It's also good for you in small proportions. I just remember when I was small my dad used to threaten liver and onions for dinner if we weren't good *blech*

2. I LOVE blue cheese, and I believe the quality of dairy in Finland is so good that I have been known to eat blue cheese right from the package, by itself, plain, with my fingers :) Something about the saltiness, maybe I get low on sodium and just want it (I do the same with feta cheese which is also salty).

3. I'd cook with eggplant more often if it weren't so expensive in Finland. Eggplant parmesan is one of my favorite meals and it's something my dad always makes for me when I'm at home because it's one of the few vegetarian recipes he knows. Eggplant is high in Vitamin B just to name a few, and has been shown to lower chloresterol.

4. Okra does tend to get a little slimy when cooked (which is why it makes a good laxative). Some of history's most beautiful women such as Cleopatra and Yang Guifei loved okra and a quick search into the health benefits of okra shows that the fibers are sugar stabilizin and have probiotic features, aside from being packed with Vitamins A and C. In Nepalese restaurants these are often referred to as 'lady fingers' which to me gets the confusing image of Italian cookies into my head, but nonetheless in the right kind of curry, Okra fits right in.

5. Sardines in moderation can be good, but can make a dish over salty if you're not careful. Sardines are packed with calcium, protein, iron and phosphorus, but recent studies have also shown that Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has antioxidant properties that help fend off heart disease. I wish I liked sardines more, but I can handle them only in tiny proportions in e.g. caesar salad dressing.

6. Lima beans seem to be innocuous to me, so I have a hard time believing so many people HATE them. I mean, they don't really taste like anything do they? They are also known to stabilize blood sugar levels and lower chloresterol.

7. Though I hated them as a kid, brussel sprouts have become one of my favorite vegetables and I've been discovering recipes with brussel sprouts ever since. And they're so cute! I especially love them just drizzled with a little olive oil and tossed with some garlic and baked, yum. The health benefits are many, as with any other vegetable related to the cabbage family, they are full of Vitamin C, A, folic acid, fiber, potassium and calcium. Further, for a vegetable, they have a lot of protein there, so complimented with whole grains, all of the amino acid proteins are there.

8. Corn products have been found to have antioxidents such as lutein and cartenoids, but in most ways, grits and milled corn products are devoid of many nutrients. This is especially true of polenta, even though I love this special little starch- it's especially nice for people that need a gluten free diet. But to hate grits? These remind me of late nights at Denny's when there used to be one at the end of College Parkway in Annapolis and I'd go there with my friends in the summer time after we'd snuck into the Bay Hills pool late at night.... memories. A little bit of salt and butter and mmmmmm......

9. Protein, amino acids and cartenoids are all obviously beneficial in eggs and it has been known to help prevent heart disease in moderate consumption. Maybe people just don't like the texture of a boiled egg. I just found a great Thai recipe that involves frying hard boiled eggs- I must try it.

10. Beets! Don't get me started. Beets are high in iron amongst other things and can be known to purify or detoxify the blood. Folic acid is a plus for pregnant women, but others include Vitamins A, C, niacin and biotin, high fiber content, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium, calcium.... the list goes on. They often aren't cooked in a great tasting way, but the beets shouldn't be punished for this because it is not their fault! I've found that in many recipes, a little sugar, balsalmic vinegar and something to enrichen it, like goats cheese, can go a long way....

Any ideas on this? What is your most hated food and why? Maybe we can all work together to make some recipes out of these hated but good for you foods so we can get the most out of mother nature in a sustainable way :)

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