geerntete Äpfel in großen Apfelkisten zwischen Apfelbäumen, © Tourismusverband LK Stade/Elbe e. V./ Martin Elsen
© Tourismusverband LK Stade/Elbe e. V./ Martin Elsen

Superfoods


Superfoods from Lower Saxony

“Superfoods” is a term describing foods that are particularly rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants or essential amino acids and that are not manufactured on an industrial scale. Their high nutrient density has a positive impact on our health, does us good and keeps us fit.

It is important to make sure we eat fruit and vegetables that are in season, as these will be grown locally. They taste better and avoid the unnecessary environmental pollution caused by long transportation routes. If you want to make sure your diet is healthy, you should look out for organic quality labels, as fruit and vegetables grown conventionally may have been contaminated with pesticides.

It is often incorrectly assumed that these superfoods are only found abroad. But this is not true: we have nutritious superfoods right on our doorstep here in Lower Saxony. Here are just a few examples:

Apple Tree, © Tourismusverband LK Stade/Elbe e.V. / Martin Elsen
© Tourismusverband LK Stade/Elbe e.V. / Martin Elsen

Apples

Our regional apples taste good and are extremely healthy. Most of the vitamins are found in the peel so this should be eaten with the fruit. Apples are rich in vitamins C, E, B1, B2 and B6 in addition to iron and iodine. There are more than 7,500 varieties of apple with various colours and flavours. In Altes Land, Germany’s largest concentrated fruit-growing region, around 300,000 tonnes of fruit are collected during the apple harvest every year.


Blueberries, © Ostfriesland Tourismus GmbH / www.ostfriesland.de
© Ostfriesland Tourismus GmbH / www.ostfriesland.de

Blueberries

Blueberries, bilberries and huckleberries are all names given to these tasty blue berries. 70% of all German plantations are located in Lower Saxony and blueberry picking is a popular summer pastime. As well as being delicious, the fruits are very healthy as they are high in antioxidants. The berries contain vitamins C, E, K and B in addition to iron and magnesium. They also help your immune system to fight infections and colds.


Buckwheat, © Fotolia
© Fotolia

Buckwheat

Buckwheat has been grown in China for more than 4,000 years. It reached Europe in the Middle Ages. This plant species belongs to the knotweed family and is not, as some people believe, a cereal. Buckwheat is gluten-free, so it is a healthy alternative to cereals for coeliacs. It also makes a delicious ingredient in salads or muesli and is known to prevent diabetes, varicose veins and high blood pressure.


Strawberries, © Mittelweser-Touristik GmbH
© Mittelweser-Touristik GmbH

Strawberries

From a botanical perspective, strawberries are aggregate fruits, not berries. Strawberries are also high in vitamin C and various antioxidants. In addition, the little red fruits contain fibre and minerals such as calcium, potassium and zinc. They are said to have a positive impact on the metabolism and the immune system.


Heidekartoffel potatoes, © Bad Bevensen Marketing GmbH / M.Kowalska
© Bad Bevensen Marketing GmbH / M.Kowalska

Heidekartoffel potatoes

Almost all typical German food in Lower Saxony comes with these yellow spuds. The “heath’s hidden gold” is bursting with potassium, protein and vitamins. Potatoes grown on Lüneburger Heide are known for being quality produce, not least because the cropland is on sandy heathland soil. Only producers from the Lüneburger Heide region can use the “Lüneburger Heidekartoffel” (“Lüneburger Heide potatoes”) name.


Hokkaido pumpkin, © TourismusMarketing Niedersachsen GmbH / Peter Hamel
© TourismusMarketing Niedersachsen GmbH / Peter Hamel

Hokkaido pumpkin

Autumn is pumpkin season. They are sold from late summer onwards. The Hokkaido pumpkin is very popular in Lower Saxony. It gets its name from the Japanese island where it was originally grown. The pumpkin is high in nutrients because, unlike other pumpkins, it contains little water. It is also low in fat so you can feast on it without worrying about your figure!


Kale, © Fotolia
© Fotolia

Kale

Kale is extremely healthy as it is high in vitamin C, calcium and iron. It is an alkaline food and a healthy winter vegetable because it has a high nutrient density. This kind of German cabbage can be prepared in a number of ways but it is important to cook the vegetable gently to retain as many nutrients as possible. Kale can also be used in raw food recipes, for example in popular green smoothies.


fresh asparagus, © Fotolia - svetlana kolpakova
© Fotolia - svetlana kolpakova

Asparagus

Asparagus harvesting takes place from mid-April to late June. During this time, you can savour the flavour of German asparagus, also known as the “King of Vegetables”, in Lower Saxony. Asparagus can be boiled, steamed or pan-fried and is low in calories as it consists of 90% water and just 0.2% fat. It is rich in calcium, vitamin E and potassium, which are good for the nervous system and blood pressure. In traditional German food, asparagus tastes great with schnitzel and potatoes. Finish with brown butter and Hollandaise sauce for authentic German food.