New Cookbook Features 50 Most Nutrient-rich Fruits and Vegetables

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We all know what we’re supposed to do to stay healthy. Eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise on a regular basis. It’s common sense, right? Sometimes I’ll go into my fridge with the intention to make smart food choices, but the flour tortillas and butter look up at me and say, “Warm me up and smother this goodness all over.” 

“Damn you tortillas,” I scream. “You’re killing me!”  

Thankfully there is a new cookbook that clearly shows us the top vegetables and fruits we should be consuming — “50 Best Plants on the Planet,” by Cathy Thomas of Melissa’s Produce.  The inside of the dust jacket says this book, “shows you which fruits and veggies pack the best punch. Which ones best suit your body, if you’re looking to boost immunity or heart health, to soothe your tummy, smooth your skin or balance your mood.” I want and need ALL of the above.

The nutritional information is easy to read and understand  and the recipes make me excited to eat veggies and fruits. That’s HUGE for me.

You can purchase your copy of “50 Best Plants on the Planet” for $35 at Melissa’s website:

This is Melissa’s Produce third cookbook featuring new favorites like cactus pear, chrysanthemum leaf, passion fruit and kumquats.

The alphabetized encyclopedia contains information about the 50 most nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. The health benefit of each produce item is highlighted and paired with tips on how to buy, store, and, of course, cook each item, with 150 recipes for simple sides and main courses. It’s perfect for any level cook.

At a book launch party held at Melissa’s Produce in Vernon, Ca., we got to mingle with other food bloggers and media, the daughter of the owner of Melissa’s Produce, as well as some of the top chefs who developed the recipes in the book.

Five Most Nutrient Dense Vegetables
We also learned so much while at the event. Like, can you name the five most nutrient dense vegetables as noted in the Nutrient Balance Indicator score?  Answer: Asparagus, Chinese Broccoli called Gai Lan, Beets, Cilantro, Reppini.

Cilantro? I know. I was amazed as well. Who knew?!  

We also were quizzed on the five most nutrient dense fruits. The answer? Blackberries, cantaloupe, raspberries, guava and gooseberries. You see! You’re already smarter and you haven’t even read the book yet. Get it. You and your body will be glad you did.

Cookbook author Cathy Thomas


A showcase of all of the beautiful recipes featured in the book.


Grilled Mozzarella-stuffed Chard with Black Rice.


Endive Boats with Green Olives, Parsley, and Walnut Salad.

Blackberry Gratin


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