For the month of April, I'm participating in the Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge from Wego Health. Each day I'll be writing a health-related post based on the HAWMC prompts, aiming to challenge myself as a writer and health activist. Thanks for following! Thinking about this post prompt, of making a health-related time capsule that won't be opened until 2112, I immediately decided on ingredients. I spend a lot of time thinking about food, making recipes, writing about meals, reading food-related blogs and articles, and learning about diet and health. Naturally, I'd opt for a foodie time capsule. I hope that in 2112, many of these ingredients won't be so difficult to track down for those not living in a big city - of course, the internet has made that easier. But mostly, I wish I could know how our culinary landscape will change by then. I fear it may be even more monotone than at present. In my imagination, though, everyone grows their own fruit and veg (which I plan on doing once we move to the States and have a garden), there's no more high fructose corn syrup or some equally terrible equivalent, and food allergies are a thing of the past. So what will the future earth dwellers make of these goodies?
- Coconut Oil. I don't leave home without it. However, when at home, it is used regularly in both the kitchen and the bathroom, for cooking and skin moisturizing. One of the best changes I made for my skin was using coconut oil daily - as someone with larger pores and a tendency to produce oil, I never ever moisturized. In fact, I tried to dry it out as much as I could with chemical-laden anti-acne products, just making it worse. The beauty of coconut oil is that it not only gives your skin a chance to find its own moisture balance, but it's antibacterial so won't clog pores or cause breakouts. It also works wonders on scars and dry hands. My favorite brand in the UK is Biona, so a nice big jar of their organic virgin raw coconut oil will feature in my time capsule.
- Fresh Medjool Dates. Nature's candy. They are such a decadent sweet treat, not to mention packed with nutrients, such as iron, potassium, vitamin A, and fiber. I love using them in raw desserts - they provide the sticking factor when creating raw pie crusts. I'm also perfectly happy to munch on a fresh one on its own - you can find trays of sticky ripe dates pretty much everywhere these days. Just don't pick those glazed ones - an unnecessary addition of glucose syrup to something that's already sweet.
- Dried Figs. Along the same line, a bag of dried Turkish figs would be in the time capsule too. What I like about them is their tough skin and soft center, the crunchy seeds inside, and the toffee-like taste. Again, dried figs, like dates, have a wide variety of nutrients: vitamin K, B vitamins, copper and manganese. Wonderful to snack on with raw pecans.
- Goat Cheese. I don't know if perishable items are a great idea in a time capsule, but let's pretend this cheese can magically be preserved for a hundred years without rotting or growing mold. I'm an absolute fanatic about all manner of goat cheeses: from the soft & stinkiest to the hard & cheddar-like. Recently, I had some goat gouda - a brand new taste sensation! It's amazing the variety of cheese that can come from goat milk. Plus, it's a good source of tryptophan, a calming amino acid also found in oats and chocolate.
- Quinoa. A bag of quinoa is without question an ingredient to add to the time capsule. This gluten-free grain (really a seed) is great any time of day and stores in the fridge exceptionally well once cooked. It's a staple for my summertime meals, being transformed into salads and tabbouleh-style dishes with a rainbow of chopped veggies added to it. If you're looking for ideas on what to do with it, try these quinoa recipes.
- Raw Almonds. My diet would be severely lacking if it didn't include almonds. Whether I'm having them on their own as a snack, blending them up into a milk, making a cheese spread, or lightly roasting them in my granola, they're a cornerstone of my pantry. They're rich in calcium, vitamin E, protein, magnesium, and monounsaturated fats.
- Cooked Chickpeas. While I'd like to use more dried beans and really start from scratch, it's just so much simpler to buy a can of cooked chickpeas and cut out hours of prep. Adding some chickpeas to a dish is an excellent way of getting in extra protein and fiber. And who could resist some freshly made hummus? I've made it with the most rudimentary of kitchen equipment and the most basic of ingredients. Tahini certainly adds creaminess, but you can go without it if necessary. Chickpeas have a bland flavor, making them perfectly amenable to strong spices and herbs. Plus, they keep for ages (not sure about 100 years) so they're great to keep in the pantry for a lazy day.
- Ginger Root. For many reasons, I'm including fresh ginger root, but mostly for medicinal purposes. If the time capsule discoverers ever suffer gastrointestinal issues, such as indigestion, nausea, or gas, a couple of slices of ginger in a mug of hot water will soothe and relax. Its warming properties can help you to "sweat out" a cold. And people with arthritis should make ginger a mainstay of their diet due to its powerful anti-inflammatory contents. For all those reasons, not to mention the wonderful flavor it brings to stir-frys and curries, ginger will definitely be included.
- Green Tea. A few teabags of green tea are my final additions to the time capsule. I love starting my day with a mug of organic green tea, usually from the UK fairtrade brand Clipper. Its gentle caffeine content adds an energy boost without the jitters, and, when brewed with a non-boiling heat, will bring you a a big antioxidant boost in the form of EGCG.