Add Fiddlehead Ferns to Your Spring Detox!

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FIDDLEHEAD FERNS


I love to try new things, and I especially enjoy eating foods that have a short season. However, in today’s global age, it can be difficult to determine which foods are in season and which are not.


One item that is only available in the spring is the fiddlehead fern! What is a fiddlehead, you ask? It’s the early shoot of the ostrich fern as it pokes its head out of the soil each spring. These coiled up fronds are harvested from about April to June, depending on the location. (I’m talking North America here.) They taste a little like asparagus, but need to be eaten as soon after harvesting as possible. Otherwise, they can be bitter.


Fiddleheads, like all vegetables, are very nutritious and full of fiber. They have a long tradition of being used for cleansing the body of toxins in the springtime. Modern science has confirmed many amazing health benefits too! They have twice the antioxidants as blueberries (but please don’t throw them into your smoothie, as they should not be eaten raw). And, believe it or not, they are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids! They are also high in vitamins C and A, some Bs, iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. So, you’ll do well to add these funny looking vegetables to your spring detox, or even your regular diet.


Needless to say, I was very excited the other day when I saw some fiddleheads at Whole Foods, and on sale too! I brought them home and cooked them that very same night. 


It is recommended to steam or boil fiddlehead ferns first, even if you plan to sauté them later. It is not recommended to eat them raw due to some past outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, although rare. I prefer steaming for about 10 minutes first, then eating with a little organic butter. This time, I tried something a little different. 


I boiled some new spring potatoes and set them aside. I sautéed shallots in a little butter, then added the steamed ferns.


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I cooked them for about 1-2 minutes, then added a tablespoon of white wine and cooked until most of the liquid was gone. I stirred in the potatoes, added a little more butter and a bit of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (salt will also do). 


It was a great side dish to the roasted chicken I had prepared as well!


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Surprise your family with something new, and enjoy all of the delightful spring vegetables now!

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™