Healthy Foods on Your List

Toasted Seaweed

Think of seaweed as a vegetable from the sea. It’s low in calories and has minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium, plus several vitamins. In the store, you’ll find that it comes in several forms: raw, dried, and toasted (such as the nori used to wrap sushi rolls). The dried types, such as wakame, need to be soaked before using them. You can also find seaweed combined with spices and sold as “rice seasoning”. And look for ready-to-eat seaweed salad. You’ll usually get the best prices and selection at an Asian market. Or look for seaweed at a health-food store. Experts recommend cutting toasted nori sheets into wide strips and wrapping them around pieces of smoked fish. Or sprinkle finely chopped nori over salads, casseroles, and soups for a nutritious garnish.

Anchovy paste

Anchovies are a top-notch source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. And because of their tiny, edible bones, they’re a good source of calcium, too. If you’d rather not deal with the slimy critters, anchovy paste will give you some of the same nutritional benefits. Just a squirt of I in soups, pasta sauces, and tapenades and other dips will add a touch of savory (but not fishy) flavor. Though it costs a bit more than canned anchovies, a tube of the paste is handy. Unlike tins, there’s no hurry to sue up a tube because you can recap it. Experts prize anchovies for their flavor-boosting quality. Adding chopped anchovies or anchovy paste to salad dressing instead of salt is one of the secrets food experts use.

Barley flakes

Barley is a source of protein, fiber, and minerals such as selenium. But it’s best known for its high-fiber content, making it a more healthful alternative in soups and side dishes than white and brown rice. The quick-cooking variety takes only 10 minutes to whip up compared with 45 minutes for regular pearled barley. Rolled barley flakes, which resemble oats, make a great hot breakfast cereal with a slightly chewier texture. The flakes add nutrients and are a good binder in meatloaf and meatballs, too. Chop the flakes in a food processor to make them a little finer. Food experts substitute barley flakes for oats in homemade granola to enjoy as a snack or to use as a quick and easy topping for a baked fruit crisp.

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