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Tiny Track 'n Snack Bento #197

During the month 500+ bloggers around the world will highlight the wonders of a vegan lifestyle.

My posts will mostly focus on being EXTRAveganza, or ‘vegan on the road’. That’ll include bentos (dôh), travel-friendly recipes and examples of how I fared on our recent holiday in France — my first as a vegan. And then there will be some side-trips. ;)

Are you ready? Here we go!

Tiny Track ’n Snack Bento (#197)

Tiny Track 'n Snack Bento #197

Yesterday I went hiking with a group of friends. A snack I always bring in situations like this, is a small selection of nuts and dried fruit. That’ll keep me on my feet when I my legs get wobbly – which always happens when I get hungry. Not only aren’t we always sure we’ll be able to buy food on the way, as a vegan I prepare myself for the chance that one can only get a cheese sandwich or a piece of apple pie. ;)

Nuts are packed with unsaturated (= good) fats, protein & fibres, which make you feel satisfied quickly — and it’ll last for a while. In my experience some dried fruits have the same effect.

Now if you’re worried about the calorie intake… You shouldn’t! Nuts are really good for you. Unsaturated fats actually help balance your cholesterol and protect against hart disease. Nuts also contain plenty of vitamins & minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, omega-3, calcium, phosphor, vitamins A, B, E and more. And hey, hiking = burning calories anyway!

Of course not all nuts are good for you, just unroasted and unsalted ones like, for example, almonds, walnuts and cashews. Still, sometimes I bring some of the ‘bad’ ones as well. A grrl can have a treat, can’t she? ;) Yesterday there were a few (salted) rosemary-garlic cashews and cocktail nuts in my little box among more healthy goodies like died cranberries, apricot and apple, candied pineapple, walnuts and Brazil nuts.

Oh, and I almost forgot… I also indulged in some chocolate-covered soy beans! :D Got those in France so I’ll tell you more about those later in a post about Les Vacances de Mme Gnoe! ;)

Wandeling Bornia's Baaierd

I hope all this talk didn’t make you go nuts?

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When making bentos I always try to stick to the ‘rainbow rule’: to use at least five different colours. Not only is this appealing to the eye, it has health benefits too! Their looks tell you something about the essential nutritients these foods contain. Of course I’m talking about plants and fungi, not artificial colouring ;)

Now I know this is not a bento post ;) Just look at the nice colours in my CSA vegetable bags from the past two weeks!

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 46, 2010

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 46, 2010

  • Corn salad (green)
  • Beets (purple/red)
  • Bok choi (green)
  • Carrots (orange)
  • Cilantro (green)
  • Tomatoes (red)

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 47, 2010

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 47, 2010

  • ‘Slobber Cabbage’ (yellow, white, green)
  • Raddichio (red)
  • Romanesco (green)
  • Lettuce (green)
  • Parsley (green)
  • Red Belle de Boskoop apples (Rode van Boskoop; white, yellow)
  • Spring onions (green, white)

If you look closely you’ll see this week’s loot was not completely vegetarian… Not to worry: we saved the poor little guy ;)

About colours and their nutritional compounds

  • Red: anti-oxidants and lycopene, beta-carotene and vitamin C.
  • Blue & purple: anti-oxidants (anthocyanins). Those in grapes and olives might be one of the reasons red wine is thought to lower the risk of heart attack.
  • Green: carotenoids; leafy greens are high in dietary fibre and excellent sources of potassium, magnesium and folate (B-vitamins).
    Quote from Wikipedia: “People consuming diets rich in carotenoids from natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are healthier and have lower mortality from a number of chronic illnesses.
    (A. T. Diplock1, J.-L. Charleux, G. Crozier-Willi, F. J. Kok, C. Rice-Evans, M. Roberfroid, W. Stahl, J. Vina-Ribes. Functional food science and defence against reactive oxidative species, British Journal of Nutrition 1998, 80, Suppl. 1, S77–S112)
  • Yellow and orange: beta-carotene, potassium and vitamins C, A & B2; yellow fruits are rich in the mineral potassium, orange food provides zinc and selenium.
  • White (tan & brown): anthoxanthins (flavonoids which exhibit antioxidant properties). White produce such as garlic and onions contain allicin (which may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure). White fruit and vegetables contain nutrients that help provide powerful immune-boosting activity and are good sources of the mineral potassium too.

Note: I’m no expert on nutrition and I’ve used several sources on the Internet to compile this list, so it might contain errors and is probably not complete.

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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