Salt, fermentation and choosey behaviour
I love salt. Rock salt is my favourite and I would risk my life before handing it over to the salt-intake police. As this is a healthy eating report, perhaps I should be backing the Government of Canada’s mission to cut the salt in 2011. Instead, I will only suggest that you skip the processed food (the true salt bandit), pick healthy options from a range of old and new world traditions and apply all portion sizes sparingly. This to me is the picture of health.
So is a good bout of walking. When I walk through downtown to Rebar (50 Bastion Square), I feel fantastic. I can’t wait to see Kermit-green walls and taste “green” as in “Grasshopper,” my usual order when it comes to wheatgrass drinks. Wheatgrass has withstood the test of time in the still-strong juicing community. It’s also efficient: 30mls of wheatgrass juice is equivalent to approximately 1kg of a leafy green vegetable. Made up mostly of chlorophyll, it increases red blood cell and tissue-cell growth, normalizes high blood pressure and blood sugar levels and aids in digestion.
Speaking of green and healthy, the Rebar salad is always five stars. Try a miso dressing on the side for top health benefits. Miso, a fermented combination of soybeans, rice and barley, is high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals. There may be a spiritual correlation: miso was introduced to Japan from China at the same time as Buddhism.
An order of Buddha’s Feast at Lotus Pond (617 Johnson) and a perpetual pot of Iron Buddha green tea will keep the functions of body, mind and spirit in excellent health. In the 18th century, the Chinese started the fermentation trend, creating fermented cabbage full of nutrients, fiber and lactic acid bacteria to aid in intestinal digestion.
Bozena and Michal Tkaczyk at Cook N’ Pan Polish Deli (1725 Cook Street) have been offering a wide selection of fermented food options for as long as I can remember. Handmade perogies with sauerkraut are on the menu or pick up frozen bigos (sauerkraut stew with onion, sausage and herbs) to take home for a rainy night. Sauerkraut scooped from the barrel and sold by the gram will do you finely for a daily dose, or sit for a bowl of borscht, loaded with antioxidants to keep the heart disease and cancer tigers at bay.
At the end of the day, a pinch of salt, a side of sauerkraut and more than a little flash of green will do us all well for good health. M