When you think of Italian food what springs to mind? Pasta, pizza and parmesan cheese possibly?

What about tomatoes, aubergines, capers, onions, olives, extra virgin olive oil,Β pistachios, almonds, fresh fresh fish (and especially sardines), and em… red wine (small doses of course for that resveratrol Β πŸ™„ ) ?

  • Herbs such as basil, oregano, mintΒ and parsley (in particular) were front & centre and add extra taste & flavour with added digestive benefits.
  • Capers were found in many pasta and seafood dishes and whilst they are quite high in sodium (so those with hypertension be aware) they have some Vitamin K and Vitamin B content*
  • Tomatoes – excellent for antioxidant (antioxidants actually but it rhymes almost) , read more atΒ Β http://nutritionbyanna.com/2015/04/spanish-discoveries/#sthash.Qp4rWNdi.dpbs
  • Aubergines (eggplant)Β – a vegetable I promised I would use more in my foodie resolutions, good for B vitamins,Β manganese and fibre*
  • Fish – including the most delicious prawns, sea-bass, sardines (vitamin D source which in turn assists with calcium absorption so worth considering to support bone health)

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Sea-bass from what I recall – with red cabbage style relish. Simple but delicious

 

Olive oil is best stored in small dark glass bottles as is liable to go rancid from heat, air and light.

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    Extra virgin olive oil – abundant in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), ie Omega 9 and also good for Vitamin E

 

 

 

 

 

Sicily is full of multi-cultural food influences from it’s past Arabic, Greek, Roman and Norman inhabitants and everything is eaten fresh and in-season.

I tasted capers like I’ve never had before that flavoured salads and were part of meze type plates – or should I say antipasti – and the caponata was a feast of unforgettable flavours. Β Google it, it has been described as an “aubergine stew” but it is so much more, Β food heaven for vegetarians and non vegetarians alike and whilst the method in making it may slightly vary in parts it never disappointed (ok maybe once but standards were risen high)

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Caponata

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit and veg carts abound in prominent street locations making the healthy oft-quoted Mediterranean diet an accessible reality for many. Β Fruits like peaches ripened by the sun and sold practically off the tree taste extra delicious as they are not subject to long distance travel and storage.

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On street fruit cart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wine tasting with olives, sun-dried tomatoes and hummus… great combination of flavours and views.β™₯

 

*http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/222/2
*http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2444/2