Jackie Wilson Asheeke

Many of us have those yucky foods from our childhood that we refused to eat. We wailed, cried, whined and resisted. But, now… we make some of those foods now and they aren’t so bad after all.

I used to hate liver. I remember getting punished as a seven year old because I would give the liver from my plate to the family dog that waited quietly under the table at my feet to get his supper. My mom was not amused; my siblings thought it was hilarious.

Jackie’s most hated food list

Beef Liver
Liver is possibly one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. A small amount of liver provides well over 100 percent of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for many essential nutrients. It is also rich in high-quality protein and low in calories. Liver is cheap and readily available from grocery stores and butchers. Liver has Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Copper and Choline.

I now love it with butter-soaked fried onions and razor thin slices paprika in all colours. I heavily spice the liver with cumin, meat spices, salt and pepper. Yummy!

Broccoli
Broccoli has a reputation as a superfood. It is low in calories but contains a wealth of nutrients and antioxidants that support many aspects of human health.

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, alongside kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips. (Take note that turnips and rutabaga are still on my “I hate” list…so time did not heal that void.)

Broccoli is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The body produces free radicals during metabolism. Free radicals are toxic in large amounts. They can cause cell damage that can lead to cancer and other conditions. Broccoli smashes the free radicals.

I prepare my broccoli with just a sprinkle of vegetable soup powder and a dash of white pepper. I cut off only the heads and put them in a bowl with some water and cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes. Sometimes I grate mozzarella on top and melt it for a further 30 seconds in the microwave. Yummy.

Beans
Black-eyed peas are incredibly nutrient-dense, packing plenty of fiber and protein into each serving. They’re also a good source of folate, copper, thiamine, and iron. One cup cooked contains Protein: 13 grams, Fat: 0.9 grams, Carbs: 35 grams, Fiber: 11 grams, Folate, Copper, Thiamine, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium, Vitamin B6, Selenium, and Riboflavin.

They are also high in polyphenols, which are compounds that act as antioxidants in the body to prevent cell damage.

Navy beans are a nutritional powerhouse, as they’re packed with fiber and protein and a good source of numerous micronutrients, including folate, magnesium, and vitamin B6. They have the vitamin and mineral load of the black eyed peas noted above.

Copper aids energy production. Iron has numerous important functions, including producing hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout your body.

I make my beans soul food style using pork trotters or smoked turkey legs (these are rare in Namibia). I soak the dry beans overnight, finely dice onion and celery (sweat them in butter) and set this aside until the beans are mostly done. I use my slow cooker on low and it can simmer for about 4 hours and it is fantastic. I cook the pork trotter alone first for about an hour in chicken broth and bouquet garni. I use that fluid and meat to cook the beans. It is GREAT…but I gave my mom the blues when I was 10.

My list could go on to include fried or baked fish (I love all kinds of fish now), peas (I use them in stews and in tuna fish salad), carrots (I love these raw and grated with pineapple bits or cooked with mandarin orange juice and slices), kidneys (I love chicken gizzards over rice and make a mean beef kidney pie; I love sautéed lamb kidneys!)

Go back to your childhood food nightmares and see what you can do to perk up good flavour and good nutrition!

Nutrition information from healthline.com