7 Foods (and a Recipe!) to Strengthen Your Joints

Create a strong foundation for health by nourishing your bones, muscles and tendons. Not only can you do this in simple ways, you can also do this in delicious ways.

These seven common foods can help revitalize your joints and tendons:

  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Eggplant
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Blackberries
  • Basil
  • Brussels Sprouts

Garden TomatoesThe bonus? This is the season for most of these fruits and vegetables—at least in California. Head to your local grocery, farmer’s market or even your own garden to gather up ingredients for a supercharged meal.

Here is a tasty, easy recipe that incorporates some of these key ingredients. For more nutrition tips, join our information-packed Nutrition + Health classes or purchase past classes from our BE online store.

Summer Garden Pasta
Serves 4

Pair this with a raw kale, shaved Brussels sprout and blackberry salad, and you’ve got the perfect meal for joint health.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant (1 lb), cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for the pasta water
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes, stems removed
  • 8 plum tomatoes (1 ¼ lbs), peeled, cored and quartered
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb spaghetti or perciatelli
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated or shaved

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine eggplant, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; toss to combine. Spread in a single layer in a baking pan.
  3. In a second baking pan, place all tomatoes and garlic cloves.
  4. Transfer both pans to heated oven. Roast garlic and tomatoes until garlic is soft and tomatoes are shriveled, about 30 minutes. Roast eggplant until brown and tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.
  5. When cool enough to handle, squeeze soft garlic from cloves.
  6. Meanwhile, place peppers over a gas burner with a high flame and roast until charred on all sides, turning as needed, about 5 minutes. Place the hot charred peppers in a metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
  7. Using a paper towel, rub charred skin off peppers. Remove and discard seeds and stems. Place 2 peppers, and any liquid collected in the bowl to a the bowl of a food processor. Add roasted garlic, plum tomatoes, vinegar, cayenne, remaining tablespoon olive oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3/8 teaspoon pepper; process until smooth.
  8. Cut remaining peppers into 1/4-inch-thick strips; set aside.
  9. Fill a large stockpot with salted water; bring to a boil. Place pasta in water; boil until pasta is al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain in a colander; transfer to a serving bowl. Pour puree over pasta; toss to combine. Add basil, roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and reserved pepper strips; toss. Serve immediately, garnished with grated or shaved Parmesan cheese as desired.

Enjoy!

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