Yellow Bird: More Plains foods that are good for you

"Chokecherries, I wrote earlier in the week, are a wonder fruit. True, but I must add there are other plants and fruits in our North Dakota Plains that can be just as nutrition-filled and also contain anti-cancer agents.

Some of these are wheat from the Plains and plants such as broccoli and beans, as well as other produce containing selenium. Much of this produce is fed by the rich soils in the Dakotas, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and even Alberta.

After the chokecherry column was published, I received telephone calls and e-mails about the fruit, and I realized that I needed to emphasize something. Even though chokecherry jelly is excellent in taste, when it's cooked a couple of times with sugar and pectin added to it, the jelly has less value than the raw chokecherry. It also has more calories. It's still good jelly and I dare say better than much of the "store-bought" stuff, but some things have been cooked out.

Another person asked me, "What about juneberries or serviceberries?" Juneberries were preferred because they taste sweeter and are a lot like blueberries. Yes, they are nutritional, too, but they don't have as much nutritional value as chokecherries. That information is from Dr. Gerald Combs, director of U.S. Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks and some Canadian researchers.

Turning to other plants and fruits, I learned bread made with wheat from the Plains (not all areas) is good in two ways: First, bread made from grains grown in the Plains has a higher content of protein. Most important, the soil contains selenium, which is absorbed into the wheat and becomes an antioxidant."

Get the Story:
Dorreen Yellow Bird: Food from the Plains can do wonders for you (The Grand Forks Herald 2/23)

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