The Healthy Cruiser
This short list of megafoods provides peak nutrition and fitness. Stock up on them the next time you provision.
BEETS: Buy these fresh, with dark, leafy greens. Chop and stir-fry greens with onions as a side dish or add to soups or stews. Beetroots are high in folate and antioxidants. Store them on board as you would potatoes. To cook roots, boil until easily pierced with a fork. Cool, peel, slice, and serve with balsamic vinaigrette, or eat them raw and grated on salads or juiced.
BLUEBERRIES: Add them—fresh, dried, or frozen—to your provisions to have another antioxidant in your corner. Studies have shown that eating blueberries improves your memory as well as your morning bagel.
CABBAGE: This perfect cruising veggie is another antioxidant giant. It can be stored for up to 40 days in a cool, dark place. Wrap cabbage in dry newspaper to retain its freshness. If the outer leaves dry, rehydrate them by steaming for a minute or two. Cabbage can be used raw instead of lettuce in sandwiches; as a healthy, Asian-style slaw with rice vinegar; or thrown, chopped, into a one-pot dinner.
CINNAMON: Cinnamon helps to control blood sugar and cholesterol. Buy a big container for your cookies, cereals, breads, pancakes, and hot chocolate.
POMEGRANATES: Eat this antioxidant on your dawn watch and you’ll be rewarded with sunshine before sunup. Working the seeds from the skin is a deliciously rewarding pastime. Their juice lowers blood pressure, and the fruit is full of fiber and flavor. They’re delicious when added to breads, muffins, and chicken stuffing or when tossed in a salad.
PRUNES: Wrap these in lean bacon and grill for an impressive hors d’oeuvre, or eat straight out of the bag. Prunes are dried plums and store for months. They’re crammed with antioxidants and help you avoid the dreaded cruiser’s malaise, constipation.
PUMPKIN: The seeds can be cleaned, dried in the sun, and roasted or fried in a pan with a dash of paprika and salt to make a great snack. Or use them on salads, in soups, and on top of baked bread. High in magnesium, they’re good for prostate problems. Pumpkin flesh, high in fiber and vitamin A, is a low-cal, filling vegetable. Simmer it slowly with honey, cinnamon, and lemon juice, or add it to soups and sweet-bread recipes.
SWISS CHARD: This mineral- and beta-carotene-laden beet green is grown for its leaves only. If you’re unable to buy beets with greens still attached, look for Swiss chard and cook the same way, or eat it in a salad your first couple of days out. Washed well, with stalks separated from the leaves, it keeps for three to four days in a resealable bag in your icebox.
SARDINES: Fresh or canned, their oil is overflowing with omega 3. They supply all the B vitamins and minerals, including calcium, and are delicious straight from the can or on toast. If you’re lucky to catch or buy them fresh, grill them over the glowing coals of a driftwood beach fire.
TURMERIC: This beautiful, bright-yellow spice, a major ingredient in curry powder, is an anti-inflammatory and fights against cancer cells. Sprinkle it into your next rice creation, or rub it onto chicken breasts before sautéing or barbecuing. Try some in a cheese omelet to add an exotic flavor.
These 10 megafoods aren’t hard to find, even in remote cruising areas. Dried, canned, or frozen, they pack a wallop of healthy goodness. By including even a couple on your next provisioning list, you’ll be way ahead in the nutrition game.