Anti-oxidant-rich recipes

mtnrdredux_gwJuly 24, 2014

I am doing some cooking for a friend undergoing chemo. She has always eaten organic and been a healthy eater. I also know that she believes in the healthful properties of anti-oxidants.

I think she would really appreciate anti-oxidant-rich organic dishes. She is a total foodie so pretty open. I am trying to think of things to make. Here are some of the guidelines:

1. Preferably can be eaten at room temp; side affect is hot/cold sensitivity
2. Has to be relatively soft and easy to chew; her mollars are also sensitive from the chemo
3. High calorie is good; she was always thin and is now losing weight

So far I have only two ideas.

A. spinach quiche (maybe Kale? i think id have to cook it a lot first ...?)
B. chia seed pudding with fresh blueberries on top

Can anyone think of other ideas that meet these constaints?


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I found a few from Living Well magazine. The site shows up with pop-ups, but if you click on the recipe, the pop-ups disappear.

You probably know, too, that you have to be careful of fresh produce and vegetables while your friend is immuno-compromised. Use only those products that can be peeled or cooked and scrub them thoroughly before peeling.

Here is a link that might be useful: Antioxidant recipes

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:10PM
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Does she have a vitamix or other blender to make smoothies and juices, I think Annie juices a lot so she'd have good recipes.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:12PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I had to google antioxidant high foods so I would choose from this chart:

Here is a link that might be useful: chart

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:27PM
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I have reservations that anyone can eat enough healthy foods during chemo as appetite is so often compromised. I would suggest your friend might also rely on supplements. Curcumin is a very good anti-oxidant as well as anti-inflammatory so is good against cancer with no side-effects.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:37PM
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Hi Lucky, She may well be using supplements, no idea, I will ask on the off chance that it has not come up. But she also needs to eat and I am just trying to chose things I know she and her family will appreciate.

Mitch, forgot to mention, she is making smoothies already but dislikes them at room temp

Thanks, Bumble
Fun, I did NOT tjink of that. No one has mentioned it. I do recall that with a relative. Thanks, I will double check.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:44PM
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I would second fresh juices. WHile some might not believe that the Gerson therapy works. they still offer recipes that one might try.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gerson

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:49PM
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My MIL just went through chemo and we were worried about the fresh fruits/veggies and I have even heard of no fresh flowers, etc. but that was not her case. I think it may depend on what chemo drug is used. Her only limitation (in that area) was she could garden but wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly when finished. She loved fruits/veggies but did have trouble with acidic things such as orange juice, tomatoes, etc.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Another site....

Here is a link that might be useful: Gerson soup

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:53PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Here is a good, gentle soup that does not have to be consumed piping hot.

A soup with curry and full fat coconut milk would also likely be a good choice (perhaps with cauiflower and well blended for ease of digestion?).

Here is a link that might be useful: Green soup

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:25PM
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I make a 'green drink' almost every day with spinach, kale, peaches (fresh or frozen), pineapple, apples, chilled coconut water, a tbsp of honey and flax and/or chia seeds. I often substitute fresh/frozen strawberries or blueberries depending on what I have. I have a Nutri Bullet 900 I used to blend all this in the large container. I use half greens then add the fruit to the 'max' line. Add honey ad flax seeds and chia seeds (about a tbsp each). Pour about a half can of chilled coconut water and then finish with ice water up to the max line. I love the taste and you can adjust the fruit to what you prefer. I pack in the spinach and kale then add the fruit.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:32PM
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If she can tolerate chewing nuts, I'd recommend a trail mix for easy snacking--you can buy the ingredients like dried blueberries, cranberries (very high in anti), and so on, and also add dark chocolate pieces (cocoa is high in anti). This mixture, of course, is high-calorie.

I just came across a recipe this morning for blueberry compote. I could not locate it again, but just found this one. Cloves are also high in antioxidants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blueberry Compote

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:40PM
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This link is interesting. Again, I think a dried berry-based trail mix would be great (with or without nuts).

Here is a link that might be useful: 10 Highest Antioxidant Foods

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:43PM
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And then this list from the more conventional WebMD.

Editing to add the only dishes I can find that use red beans are of the chili/beans-and-rice variety. Or, a kidney bean salad. I cannot recommend specific recipes--my DH doesn't care for beans, so I rarely use them.

Here is a link that might be useful: 20 Common Foods With the Most Antioxidants

This post was edited by peony4 on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 17:02

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:49PM
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Anything with blueberries...esp this time of year. I am sure you could google healthy recipes for blueberry muffins and breads. Easy to freeze for future use, too, in case she gets inundated with food from friends.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:56PM
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I love to make Barefoot Contessa's Very Berry Fruit Salad, again you might need to double check about the fresh produce, but it's super easy and fabulous.

Here is a link that might be useful: Very Berry Fruit Salad

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:07PM
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I really think soup is the way to go. Antioxidants and phytonutrients abound in dark green and vibrant colored veggies like carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, asparagus, etc. And mushrooms too! There's an unlimited amount of soups you can make.

1. Soup can be eaten at room temp.

2. Certainly is soft!

3. Easy to make high calorie with the addition of heavy cream, rice or beans.

A. spinach quiche would be a wonderful accompaniment to soup. Great source of protein too.
B. I would make it rice pudding just to add more calories and sweeten with honey for even more of an antioxidant boost.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:20PM
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Most doctors ask that their patients refrain from taking supplements while undergoing chemotherapy. There's just not enough information about how various supplements might affect the efficacy of the chemo for it to be safe.

If your friend is losing weight, you may need to get some carbs into her. Potatoes, pastas, etc. when made fairly plain usually digest easily. Acids sometimes upset one's stomach because the stomach lining gets irritated by cytotoxic chemotherapies.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:29PM
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Hmm, I know I would not want room temp soup. I like chilled soup, I like hot soup. But ... hmm
FYI, chia is super-in for the health conscious. Has it all over rice for nutrition. My friend's recipe uses coconut milk, but i like the idea of a drizzle of honey (from our very own hives too!).

Sweettea, thx! Love BC

SueB - blueberry muffins ... maybe w goji and flax too... love it!

Thanks Peony, for the list. Trail mix a no-go due to teeth sensitivity (chemo side effect)

Outside - problem with smoothies/drinks is she can't tolerate cold.

Boop, Gerson soup looks good for me! But she can't tolerate hot.

Tishtosh, I make a great curry carrot and coconut milk soup. Maybe that would be ok roomtemp ..

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:37PM
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I guess I was assuming everyone likes room temp soup like me!

Ha! I was thinking you meant chia flavor (I'm a chia latte junkie) and not the actual seed. I looked up a recipe and I'm amazed that you can soak them and they swell up like tapioca. I agree, much much better than rice.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 6:04PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

You might ask on the cooking forum...there's a different annie there who is very knowledgable about foods and another gal named grainlady who is also quite knowledgable. I'm sure they'd give you some great suggestions.

I think soup is a great idea. You might also look into broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables that are supposed to be anti-carcinogenic.

Chia seeds are a wonderful power food, but be sure to soak them for 10 min before you use them...they absorb 10x their weight in water and can be constipating unless least that was my experience.

You're so thoughtful to be considering all of this for your friend!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 6:31PM
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Fun2BHere has it correct with both observations.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:47PM
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So sorry to hear about your friend, Mtn. I am linking one of my very favorite recipes that I just finished eating at room temp - roasted swiss chard and feta. It is not super high calorie but can be served with rice or pasta (not so great at room temp). A friend of mine who went through chemo said she loved broccoli quiche when she was in treatment. I have used her recipe many, many times. I don't have it with me, but it is easy enough to improvise - just use half and half or light cream and lots of cheese to boost the calories. You are a good friend.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roasted Swiss Chard and Feta

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 8:16PM
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This is a wonderful cook on the Martha Stewart video series Everyday Food -- do check out her other recipes .... her series is called Eat Clean with Shira Bocar

... hope this helps .....

Here is a link that might be useful: Shira Bocar -- Beet-Plum and fresh ricotta

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 8:29PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I also have a recipe for a broccoli flan type dish (it has another name, just cannot think of it right now). The eggs and possibly cheese would provide protein and calories, the broccoli the antioxidants and because the broccoli is pureed it is wasy to digest. It could be served with a roasted red pepper coulis if she is up to it (or a beet coulis) for a pretty presentation. If you would like the recipe, I can pull it out tomorrow. Mediterranean recipes are likely a good bet as many of them are supposed to be served at room temperature.

For things such as chia and flax, while they are nutritional powerhouses, if she has not used them prior to this point, I would proceed very cautiously. For anybody with a sensitive system, it may make them more uncomfortable.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 8:31PM
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Spanikopita is easy to make and has a much higher spinach to egg ratio than quiche and it's excellent at room temp. I make a big pan of it and then nuke (if she doesn't mind the micro) the leftovers for a very short time to take the chill off only and barely warm it. My recipe uses chard and parsley to add to the flavor and nutrition.

If she needs to have high calories, I make (not for the calories but for the deliciousness) an avocado/chevre dip that is really, really good. My friends would eat it with a spoon!

And avocado hummus is an easy and different way to get beans, one of the best sources of nutrition. And the avo ups the calories.

Here is a link that might be useful: Avocado chevre dip

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:25PM
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I've been wanting to try this one. You'd probably need to omit the hot sauce and you might want to make your own tomato sauce if you're talking fresh-organic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:17PM
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Thank you all for your good wishes, kind words and yummy recipes.

I want some of these for myself! Seriously, I am making that chard recipe, the beet/plum/ricotta recipe, and the avocado goat cheese! Oh my.

One of the links above also took me to a great kale pesto, which i will freeze in cubes, and she can use in a room temp pasta salad etc. I am also going to make some blueberry muffins, the spinach quiche and chai pudding. The only thing that can't be frozen is the chai pudding, so that's pretty flexible.

Btw, she is allowed to eat anything she wants, oddly enough.

thx again!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:15PM
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I second AnnieD's advice about heading over to the cooking forum for advice. ann_t and grainlady are gracious, creative and very knowledgeable.

Here is a link that might be useful: ann_t's website

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:37AM
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Not odd at all. My mom and MIL neither had restrictions on their eating as long as they could tolerate it.

There is also a cookbook on cooking with chemotherapy. I can't remember the name/author. A friend who dealt with this with her mother gave it to me and then later I passed it on to a friend also dealing with a relative going through cancer/chemo. You might google recipes for those going through chemo??

Good luck to your friend!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:55PM
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Returned from cherry country in Wisconsin this week where harvesting has just begun. (

I learned that more and more studies are showing the health benefits of tart cherries (Montmorency variety). There are 17 compounds in tart cherries with antioxidant properties. Besides a variety of ways to use the fresh fruit, there's always pure cherry juice--a little puckery, perhaps--that can be used to boost antioxidant levels.

Some delicious cherry pie, tart, or other dessert-like recipes might help with weight gain as well.

All good thoughts sent to your friend and you for helping at a difficult time.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:10PM
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