This week saw the publication by the Canadian government of the latest version of Canada’s food guide. The four food groups are gone. Instead, the guide promotes the regular intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein foods. For protein foods, it is suggested that plant-based foods be consumed more often but the guide still includes fish, eggs, dairy and lean meat in the list of such foods. As for beverages, water should be the beverage of choice according to the guide. And of course, put the brakes on eating foods high in sodium, sugar and saturated fat. The guide also places importance on food skills and literacy. It promotes more cooking at home, and reading food labels to help you make more informed food choices. Regarding that last point, I think it’s never too early to start reading food labels. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I saw my tween compare labels on our cereal boxes.
One issue that I have read about repeatedly in articles concerning the new food guide is that of food insecurity and that healthier food tends to be more expensive. While there is truth to that when it comes to fresh fruits and healthier consumer packaged goods, cooking healthy at home doesn’t have to be expensive. You can’t beat $1 for a can of beans or chickpeas! To celebrate the new food guide, I have included an easy hummus recipe below and the link to AFN’s Roasted Chickpea video on our website.
- 1 can chickpeas (19 oz.)
- ¼ cup liquid from can of chickpeas
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini*
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
*If you are allergic to sesame or don’t have tahini at home, add some more olive oil or water to get a creamier texture.
Drain chickpeas setting aside ¼ cup liquid from the can. Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor. Add the liquid from chickpeas. Process for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Serve chilled.