Fenugreek is related to clover. The leaves, called methi in Hindi, can be eaten, but I’ve never seen them for sale in any place that I’ve lived. I’m familiar with the seeds, which are used as a spice. They are also sold as a supplement, but are effective at edible quantities, and taste so good that I have a hard time seeing the point of the pill version. I prefer to buy the seeds whole, but where I live now I can only find them pre-ground, so that’s what I’m currently using. I’ll get into all that after breakfast & lunch…
I was ready for a change in the mornings, so I’ve switched up my routine breakfast a bit, but I still get in my flaxseeds and some fresh fruit.
- 1 1/2 c muesli with 25% dried fruit (that’s 1 1/8 c whole grains + 1/3 c dried fruit)
- 1 T ground flaxseed mixed into the muesli
- 2 apricots (fresh)
Checklist items: 2 other fruits, flaxseeds, 1+ whole grains (4+ out of 18 servings)
Here’s what’s awesome about chopped salads: you can cram a lot of high-nutrient-density food into a small space if you chop it up real good.
- 3/4 c corn
- 1/4 c buckwheat, toasted
- 1/4 c pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 c carrot
- 1/4 c onion & garlic
- 1/2 c broccoli
- 1 c arugula
- 1 c lettuce
I chopped up the greens and vegetables before adding the corn, seeds, and buckwheat. Then I mixed it together with a little bit of tamari, lime juice, sriracha, and seaweed flakes.
Checklist items: cruciferous, 2 greens, 1 other vegetables, nuts, 2 whole grains (6 out of 18 servings)
I wish you could smell this picture, but you can’t, so you’ll just have to go buy some fenugreek. It’s like a blend of curry and maple syrup.
Fenugreek is most noted for its potent anti-cancer properties, and for its ability to help nursing women lactate (though not recommended for pregnant women because of uterine side-effects). What most people don’t know, though, is that the seeds are also antimicrobial and anti-parasitic.
Based on studies done with rats, which may be translatable to humans, fenugreek fights kidney stones by reducing calcium oxalates in the kidneys. It also helps to combat heartburn and acid reflux, and to reduce cholesterol by binding to it and ushering it out of the system.
In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, using fenugreek significantly impacted body strength and composition compared to the placebo in men working on resistance training (a.k.a. weight lifting).
Fenugreek is also a good source of protein & fiber, and is rich in iron, copper, potassium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, & phosphorus. Did you know it’s important to consume copper, iron, & zinc in roughly the right ratios? I was curious when I learned about this, so I entered a bunch of random fruits & veg into cronometer – everything I happened to enter respects the general bounds of this ratio. So, it’s really only a worry if you’re supplementing. For example, too much iron can prevent the body from absorbing zinc and copper. Supplementing with zinc also prevents copper absorption. The ideal ratio of copper : iron : zinc is 1 mg : 18 mg : 12 mg for women (men need less iron at 8 mg, but more zinc at 15 mg). Fenugreek, like most whole plant foods, is also in the ball-park, with 1.1 mg : 33 mg : 2.5 mg. It could have a little more zinc, but it’s not way out of whack.
Last but not least, just like its relative, clover, fenugreek fixes nitrogen in the soil, so it can be used in crop rotation to restore nitrogen to depleted soil in a more sustainable way than manure or chemical fertilizers. A great reason to increase demand for it in the marketplace! Aaand, now that I’ve brought up manure, let’s talk recipes. Sorry.
This is a healthy, fast & simple way to enjoy fenugreek. It also happens to be one of my favorite things to make with all the beets I’ve been taking out of my garden.
This recipe is for 2 people; the checklist below is for half the recipe:
- 1 1/4 c dry red lentils (≈ 3 c cooked)
- 1 c onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 c bouillon, homemade if possible
- lime juice
- 1 tsp fenugreek, ground or whole pieces
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander, ground
- s&p, to taste
- 3 c of beets, pre-cooked
- Sauté onion & garlic with fenugreek, coriander, s & p. Deglaze with a little bit of lime juice & bouillon.
- Add lentils and bouillon, cook covered for about 15 – 20 minutes, until lentils are tender.
- Add the beets and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes more.
- At the end of cooking, add lime juice, to taste, about 2 T. This really brings the flavors together! Don’t skip it!
Checklist items: 3 beans, 4 other vegetables, 2 spices (9 out of 18 servings)
By the way – this recipe contains an insane 40 g of protein per serving. At my weight, that’s my day’s worth in one meal! So, never let anyone tell you vegans can’t get enough protein. It also contains 44 g fiber per serving, which you won’t find in any animal products.
- 1 banana, frozen
- 1 cup berries, frozen
Make yourself a small bowl of banana ice dream like this.
Checklist items: berries, 1 other fruit (2 out of 18 servings)
Taking account of the day:
21 servings in total.
We got at least the recommended servings of everything today, plus extra spices, and 2 extra servings of other vegetables.