Fiddleheads: The Delicious Superfood You’ve Never Heard Of
They’re back! Fiddleheads, a seasonal delicacy with an A+ in Nutrition! Could they be the next superfood? At only 20 calories per 1/2 cup serving Fiddleheads have twice the antioxidant content of blueberries are a source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, high in beta-carotene, contain iron, fibre, vitamin A, C and are rich in potassium.
Have you ever heard of fiddleheads? These curious-looking, coiled ferns may not be well-known, but they are a superfood with a surprising number of health benefits. In this blog post, we will explore what fiddleheads are, why they are considered a superfood, their nutritional value, and how to cook them. We will also provide an easy recipe to get you started.
What are Fiddleheads?
Fiddleheads are the young, coiled fronds of certain ferns, which appear in early spring. They are called “fiddleheads” because they resemble the scroll at the top of a fiddle or violin. The ferns are harvested before they unfurl and are typically only available for a few weeks each year. Fiddleheads are native to North America, but they are also found in parts of Europe and Asia.
Why are Fiddleheads a Superfood?
Fiddleheads are considered a superfood because they are an excellent source of many nutrients that are important for good health. They are low in calories and high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. Fiddleheads are also a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for good health.
Health Benefits of Fiddleheads
Here are some of the health benefits associated with eating fiddleheads:
- Rich in antioxidants: Fiddleheads are an excellent source of antioxidants, which help to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- Good for digestion: Fiddleheads are high in fiber, which can help to improve digestion and reduce the risk of constipation.
- Boosts immunity: Fiddleheads contain vitamin C, which is important for a healthy immune system.
- Lowers blood pressure: Fiddleheads are a good source of potassium, which can help to lower blood pressure.
- Good for bones: Fiddleheads contain calcium, which is important for healthy bones.
Nutritional Value of Fiddleheads
One cup (155 grams) of cooked fiddleheads contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 34
- Protein: 3 grams
- Carbohydrates: 7 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Vitamin A: 50% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 42% of the DV
- Calcium: 7% of the DV
- Iron: 6% of the DV
- Potassium: 10% of the DV
How to Cook Fiddleheads
Fiddleheads can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling, steaming, sautéing, or grilling.
* Fiddleheads should never be eaten raw. They should be thoroughly cooked before eating. Click here for Food Safety Tips for Fiddleheads – Health Canada and find out how to properly cook them and tips for avoiding food-borne illnesses.
Top them with fresh herbs and lemon juice or enjoy them with any of the following:
- Wild Rice
- As a side to smoked salmon, chicken, beef or turkey.
- Add them to your stir-fry for dinner.
- Add them into an omelet for breakfast.
But my all time favorite is having them on their own with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Here is a simple recipe for sautéed fiddleheads:
- 1 lb fiddleheads
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Clean the fiddleheads by washing them thoroughly and removing any brown or papery bits.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the fiddleheads for 2-3 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the blanched fiddleheads to the skillet and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
PureSense Health Clients – 1 cup cooked Fiddleheads with 1 Tbsp Olive Oil = 1 Veggie + 1 Fat