Powerhouse Produce With Huge Health Benefits


You want to add more produce to your life, but it often times goes bad before you use it. What if you got some key powerhouse items that can be utilized in many ways, for many palates, and yet give most nutritional bang for the buck? 

Here's the ones I keep on hand - 


Fennel and Fennel Seed. It's not just a tasty crisp veggie, but the root veggie and its seeds are both extremely delicious and nutritious.

Adding them to your diet may improve heart health, reduce inflammation, suppress appetite, and even provide anticancer effects.

To reap the benefits of fennel, try incorporating raw fennel bulb into your salads or using the seeds to flavor soups, broths, baked goods, and fish dishes. This grows nicely in the garden too!

Roasted fennel seeds are often eaten between meal courses and give loads of benefits, as does fennel water. Boiling fennel seeds in water into a tea will make your skin glow. Because it's also a great source of potassium, it can be a wonderful natural diuretic.

I cut up fennel bulb and eat it raw, but it's great on salads and roasted, in soups and curries.... I use it a lot. It has a slightly licorice tang to it and is very addictive once you start eating it.

Giada de Laurentiis probably has some of the best recipes for fennel as it's a Mediterranean diet standard.


Once you start regularly utilizing lemons in your cooking, you keep a bowl nearby with lemons stacked up. Lemon brights, adds acid, balances oils in marinades, and even has a nice diuretic effect with a great level of potassium.

High in fiber and vitamin C, lemons are associated with weight loss, reducing heart disease risk, helping anemia, kidney stone prevention, aids digestion, and anticancer.

During the winter citrus season, I often times juice a lot of lemons and freeze the juice. I also grate the rind. I use lemon in just about anything I cook, saute, stew, and more. Lemon butter made with butter, juice, and zest is an amazing addition to all fish dishes and chicken.

Don't get me started on what it can do for desserts!
Let's check out what Giada de Laurentiis can do with lemons. (I make this every summer)


I admit to an obsession with the mushroom. I was a vegan for about 6 months and they were the basis of much of my diet, with a satisfying meaty feel and taste, and an ability to bring nuances to a soup that blow the mind.

They are low in calories, but high in selenium, fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They can help mitigate health issues like heart disease, hypertension, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and cancer. Studies have found they can help retain memory in older people.

Put them on pizza. Saute and put atop steak, hamburgers, sausage sandwiches, Philly Cheesesteak. Add to all stews and soups. Add to salads. Fill ravioli with them. Stuff them.

When fall comes, I always make a several-mushroom soup (includes sherry in the broth) utilizing at least 3-5 kinds of mushrooms. Since mushrooms can be dried, you can reconstitute with a good soak in hot water and you're ready to go. They also grow very very fast, so you might enjoy a mushroom growing kit.

What does Giada do with mushrooms?


We hear how good garlic is all the time, but WOW!

It fights bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. But, it also also known to help protect against cancer, heart disease, protecting heart after a heart attack, reduced hypertension. It also reduces clotting tendencies.

There are so many good reasons to have lots of garlic in your diet and it's a pretty easy thing to add.

A garlic aoli (garlic/mayo) makes everything taste better. Garlic in anything you sautee will bring it to life. Sauces are always better with garlic. Try drizzling with olive oil, wrapping up in foil, and roasting in the oven to make a soft sweet spread.

What would Giada do with garlic? What wouldn't she do!


Greens are something I go through a lot and they should be a daily basic in every diet. Fresh herbs, salad greens, and spinach are all things I want on hand but do not necessarily survive long in the fridge.

This hydroponics station I've designed my kitchen around having a space for!

Spinach freezes great. This allows for soups, stews, smoothies, and even sneaking pureed into sauces so family has no clue what they're getting. My favorite smoothie ever is orange juice and spinach - they mix beautifully!

I often get spinach at the store instead of salad greens because they last really long in comparison and they can be sauteed and added to pastas, lasagna, fried, and more!

There are elements within spinach that specialize in ridding you of free radicals, making them exceptional cancer prevention. It makes your bones stronger. It lowers your blood sugar. It's fantastic for your eyes. Reduces inflammation. Reduces blood pressure.

In general, greens are considered a very important element in the diet. Whether you use it in salads, puree it into smoothies, saute it, add it atop your pizza, cook in an omelet, or roll it in a tortilla sandwich as a roll-up with cheese and meat, you're getting it into your diet.

What does Giada do with spinach?


Every nut is great, but walnuts have an intense flavor that works for sweet and savory, as well as having tons of amazing health benefits in its oil.

The healthy fats in walnuts help prevent against heart disease and cancer. It also helps to lower your LDL (bad cholesterol).

Put them on salads, add them to oatmeal, use in both sweet and savory dishes. Eat them as a snack (I love them with some hard cheese and grapes).

What would Giada do with walnuts?


As much as you love blueberries, rethink blackberries for your purple item! It has much more immune-boosting vitamin C and it freezes well. I utilize them in smoothies mostly because they do freeze so well.

Add them to salads. Put them atop your oatmeal. I put them on a plate with some cheese and nuts for a snack.

What does Giada do with her blackberries?

Other valuable foods I really like to keep nearby -
granny smith apples
ginger root
dark chocolate
olive oil
bone broth