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Healthy foods you crave

Saturday morning I was in the deli at Whole-Foods type market looking for something to take for lunch. After days of holiday excess, the rich foods I usually love just didn't appeal to me. Then I saw the organic kale salad (chopped raw kale with pumpkin seeds, slivers of red onion, in a sesame vinaigrette). I don't normally like kale. I'm not sure I've ever eaten raw kale. But my body clearly wanted it, because it tasted delicious.

So that started me wondering, what healthy foods do you sometimes crave? I don't mean healthy foods you like okay that you eat because you think you should, I mean healthy foods that you actually *want* to eat. I also mean foods that are intrinsically healthy (like kale) and not foods that have been altered (alternate fats and sweeteners, for example) to make them more healthy. Maybe we can all discover some delicious healthy foods!

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  1. Fruit. My sister and I both adore fruit of all kinds and keep a big basket of whatever's in season on the counter for snacking. But I've noticed that healthy-food craving seems to be a habit - since I started making a point to eat more vegetables a plate just doesn't look complete without something green on there.

    8 Replies
    1. re: mordacity

      i'm so with you and the other fruithounds out there. i really have to watch myself when i have a bowl of grapes, cherries, clementines, melon, etc... in front of me. i'll stuff myself silly and rue the consequences, later.

      in the non-fruit dept, i also love turnips, sliced and eaten raw with salt, and sometimes have really strong cravings for roasted asparagus and roasted brussel sprouts. sometimes i crave roasted sunflower seeds (generally when i get a little underweight from having too many long, low-appetite days at the office or when the weather's cold and i need the fat). i regularly crave chicken liver, though the healthiness of that is probably debatable. fresh-made salsa is also high on the list. and probably like many other chowhounds who like sashimi / nigiri, i go through periods when i want it three times a day.

      i think this has come up on this board in the past, but i strongly believe that your body tends to crave what it needs. whatever's in raw kale, i must not need much of. ;)

      1. re: cimui

        I know the feeling of stuffing oneself with fruit! I have absolutely no self control when there is fresh watermelon, honeydew, grapes or mangoes in front of me. I will eat it until I am SICK.

        Also, I love, loveee roasted brussel sprouts. My body needs it at least twice a week.

        ETA: I also crave tofu all the time. I prefer it to meat, when presented with the choice.

        1. re: pinkprimp

          Oh I totally crave watermelon with sea salt in the summer! And honeydew and other melons as well. Fresh mango slushies, lychees, all the juicy fruits. The craving usually happens in the summer though.

          And when the weather is hot, I crave fresh, cold sashimi or raw seafood.

          1. re: pinkprimp

            tofu's another good one. the really fresh, soft, creamy stuff is better than ice cream. mmm!

            1. re: pinkprimp

              Hah! While I don't crave fruit necessarily, I've been known to eat strawberries until my belly hurt. Although come to think of it, I can eat quite a bit of other fruits.

              As for the vegetables, I may have a problem. Like pink, I MUST eat brussel sprouts at least twice a week. I prefer roasted, but have also had steamed. I will go on broccoli binges. And as to the OP: I have constant cravings for miso kale. Clearly I like my greens.

              I am the person, however, who sneaks back into the kitchen after dinner to snack on spinach leftovers,

              I haven't decided if my aubergine cravings count, because it feels like such a luxury food.

            2. re: cimui

              i get cravings for fatty fish like salmon and tuna i blame it on omega three imbalance, i also have got into a habit of eating tons of frozen spinach and i regularly get a craving for brussel sprouts or other brassica family members.

              i also crave an apple and lemons around three or four o'clock with a vengance. same with prunes and dried figs every two weeks or so

              1. re: cimui

                I also crave brussels sprouts.. which I know, most ppl think is totally weird. But I could eat them almost every day with lots of fresh lemon juice.
                I also crave oatmeal with lots and lots of cinnamon.

            3. Brussel sprouts and red chard.
              Brussel sprouts roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper until the edges are crisp.
              Red chard on top of the stove with olive oil and salt and pepper.
              Pretty much every day.

              1 Reply
              1. re: latindancer

                oi vay... brussel sprouts prepared this way are more compelling than *any* dessert, to me. the only thing that might edge them out in my book are french fries.

              2. Fruit (all kinds, raw)

                Salmon (grilled with kosher or sea salt, no other dressing)

                Taro (steamed or baked)

                Japanese yams (baked)

                Broccoli (steamed)

                1. Amaranth. Great by itself, but also great in a 3:1 ratio with brown rice. Add some roasted chestnuts or top with gamasio. With a good butter it's amazing, but that sort of lessens tthe health angle.

                  Roasted brussel sprouts with EVOO and a spinkle of some vinegar - brown rice vinegar or, for sweet, sherry or balsamic.

                  Kukicha tea.

                  A tomato *still on the plant* plain or with a touch of kosher salt. It can't get any fresher.

                    1. re: carlee134

                      Avocados are very nutritious, but they're also really high in fat. One avocado has about 300 calories, so they need to be eaten in moderation.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        I'm gently chiming in...yes, they are high in fat but it is monounsaturated fat which is better for you...I would not eat one every single day, probably...here's some more information in case anybody is interested:

                        "Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate and copper. Avocados are also a good source of potassium: they are higher in potassium than a medium banana.

                        Although they are fruits, avocados have a high fat content of between 71 to 88% of their total calories - about 20 times the average for other fruits. A typical avocado contains 30 grams of fat, but 20 of these fat grams are health-promoting monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid."

                        1. re: Val

                          Even healthy fats have 9 calories per gram. I'm just thinking of people I know who put a whole avocado on their salad and wonder why they aren't losing weight when all they eat is salad!

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            Point well taken...could be what they are dressing the salad with too and how much, no? Bottled dressings are an entire other subject! Thanks, Ruth!

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              Ruth, it's too bad there's not a gentle way for you to point out to these people that a *serving* is only 1.1 ounces...or about one-FIFTH of an entire Haas/California avocado :)

                            2. re: Val

                              I hate you all. I'm now desperately craving guacamole and I can't have it until summer!

                              1. re: mordacity

                                i just bought some deliciously buttery Haas avocados here in Jersey, so the only reason i imagine you're waiting until summer is for really good, fresh tomatoes...in which case, i suggest you track down some good, organic cherry or grape tomatoes, and make yourself some guac!

                            3. re: Ruth Lafler

                              Ruth, I will eat as many Avacados as I want. They are insanely good for my heart and have very good anti-inflammatory compounds. They have been one of the biggest reasons that my bad cholesterol has dropped about 40 points in 18 months--along with a liberal use of olive oils and eating walnuts and pecans. These are the foods you should be eating more of, not less of. Many people eat salads in the hope of loosing weight, but then drown it in unhealthy dressings.I like a simple drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

                              Granted, I don't eat a whole avacado at once. Usually 1/2 is enough to be satisfying for me.

                              1. re: rokzane

                                spot on ! I eat half an avacado with a head of romaine almost all winter for lunch.
                                By adding no more than olive oil/acid and pepper it is not a health scare lunch.

                                1. re: rokzane

                                  Granted, I don't eat a whole avacado at once. Usually 1/2 is enough to be satisfying for me.
                                  *************

                                  Exactly what I suggested -- moderation!

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    I feel compelled to point out here that Ruth has always hated avocados.

                                  2. re: rokzane

                                    i'm a teenager with a really fast matabolsim i suppose because i eat two avacados in one sitting when i have them on taost! yummy and good for my heart i suppose.