What ingredients do sophisticated cooks have in their kitchens?

Farmers markets and even the produce department of your local grocery store can be an exciting adventure for even the pickiest eaters. Unusual ingredients can take the boredom out of your meal planning, and give your family delicious reasons to stay home for dinner. While sophisticated cooks may already know about these ingredients, few may be willing to share just how easy they are to use or prepare! Hint: Carotino Red Palm & Canola Oil can be used in just about any recipe to add extra nutrients without overpowering the flavor of these unique ingredients.

Here are three of our favorites:

Baby daikon radishes: These long white radishes have a mild taste, and are commonly used in Asian cuisine. Daikon radishes are low in calories and rich in vitamin C. They may be grated and served raw as a garnish. You might also consider serving them as a side dish by either sautéing them alone or with other vegetables using a little Carotino Red Palm & Canola Oil. For an even milder flavor, peel and wash the radishes thoroughly before cooking.

Gooseberries: Mouth-puckering gooseberries are credited with numerous health benefits. They are loaded with vitamins C and A, and are loaded with fiber. Gooseberries have a short season each summer, but freeze well so you can enjoy them all year long. Cooking gooseberries are the most commonly available type. They should be hard, shiny and green. Prepare by snipping off both ends of the berries, and cooking them in a pan with a little water and sugar or honey to release their full flavor. Or treat your family to an old-fashioned gooseberry pie. Dessert gooseberries are a fun find, when available, and are delicious when served raw in fruit salads.

Maitake mushrooms: These versatile mushrooms, also called Hen of the Woods mushrooms, have a firm texture and woodsy flavor. They can be used in everything from salads to soups. Be sure to clean them well first by first dunking them in water, then rinsing under the faucet. Enjoy a maitake pesto by chopping the mushrooms in a food processor, then sautéing them with garlic in a little Carotino Red Palm & Canola Oil. Season with salt, pepper and parsley. Serve on toasted French bread.

You don’t need gourmet cooking skills to produce unusual, nutritious dishes. Just a little inside information (from us) and a sense of adventure!