Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Carotenoids - a story and recipe

Carotenoids are found in bright yellow, orange and red fruit and vegetables. Cartenoids are high in antioxidants, containing beta carotene that is a precursor to vitamin A.

I knew about carotenoids long before I studied Naturopathy, as my mum shared her hilarious story with pumpkin. Here is the story:

While studying nursing in the UK, my mum loved eating fresh fruit and vegetables. It came to a pumpkin phase for her, as she was eating pumpkin every day for months. One day, she noticed her hands were going orange and felt rather alarmed. She headed to the doctor, informing him that she might have jaundice (a liver condition that affects skin color) and that her hands are orange.

The doctor then asked her about her fruit and vegetable consumption, asking her if she had eaten excess orange fruit and vegetables. Then my mum just exclaimed "Oh...PUMPKIN! " Needless to say her hands got back to normal once she eliminated the excessive consumption of pumpkin. The condition is called Carotenemia. As the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

However, in moderation - the benefits of carotenoid rich fruit and vegetables help to boost your immunity, prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Here I share with you a recipe on how to prepare baked Sweet Potato Fries - a healthier alternative compared to deep fried fries.

1 Sweet potato, skin peeled
2 tbs rice bran oil
1 pinch of salt and pepper

To prepare:
Once the skin of the sweet potato is peeled, there is no need to wash it. Water makes your fries too soggy. Proceed to cut them into fries. No standard shape, however do your best to make them a similar thickness.

Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Place the fries at the center of the baking tray, with baking paper below. Add the oil, salt and pepper. Toss evenly with spoon. Then arrange fries neatly by spreading them evenly across the tray. Bake for 20 mins, longer if you want it to be more crispy. Serve with your fav. dip, for me it's hummus. Enjoy!