Dashi Broth, Mung Beans, Cuke Juice & Other Foods To Get In On This Spring

If you're ready to expand your palate a bit, these foods will definitely do it.


Something that my late father used to say all of the time that used to tickle me is, "When someone invents new letters in the alphabet, I'll talk more. The first 26 bore me." If you substitute letters (or words) for foods, that's how I feel. As someone who enjoys cooking, I'm pretty intentional about looking for foods that aren't the most common; you know, ones that I can put into my recipes in order to add a bit of unexpected "umph" to them.

If you are similar to how I am, or you're simply someone who likes to learn about new things, I've got a list of 10 foods that definitely do not come up in daily conversation but, at the same time, could breathe new life into your palate if you're willing to give them a shot this spring season.

1. Dashi Broth


Bone broth is basically when you use the brewed bones and connective tissues of cows, chicken or even fish to create a broth that is able to do everything from remineralize teeth and reduce body inflammation to boost your collagen levels and support your joints. However, if you want to go with an alternative to bone broth, dashi broth is the route to take. It basically consists of kombu (a brown seaweed) and bonito flakes (which are dried and fermented tuna flakes). The kombu is high in protein, potassium, magnesium, vitamins B, C, D and E and amino acids. Meanwhile, tuna has the ability to lower your blood pressure and improve your immunity. Plus, if you make the broth and freeze it, it will keep for as long as a month. Another cool thing about dashi broth is it isn't super difficult to make. If you want to take a stab at it, you can get some step-by step instructions here.

2. Mung Beans


If you're looking for the kind of food that is high in protein, fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, mung beans have totally got your back. To make them even better, they are also basically a B-complex vitamin combined with other nutrients like folate, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.

Mung beans are good for your system because they are high in antioxidants (they are even contributed to reducing the risk of heat stroke) and, due to all of the folate that is in them (one cup equates to 80 percent of our RDI), they are a great food for pregnant women. Stores like Whole Foods usually have some mung beans on tap.

3. Cuke Juice


What the heck is cuke juice? It's just a cute name for cucumber water. Aside from the fact that cucumbers are made up of 95 percent water (which means that cuke juice can keep you super hydrated), if you drink it on a consistent basis, it's the kind of juice that will detox your system, relieve you of constipation, boost your immunity, lower your blood pressure, improve your eyesight, reduce dark eye circles (thanks to the silica that's in it), and also give you a good night's rest. All pretty solid reasons to take a crack at making some homemade cuke juice, if you ask me. (If you'd prefer to go with cuke lemonade, go here.)

4. Yacon


Boy, if there is one thing that I wish more people understood, it's that yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing. Yes, they are both tuberous root vegetables; however, yams are starchier, drier and actually harder to find in grocery stores than sweet potatoes are. Also, while sweet potatoes are typically orange, white or even purple-ish on the inside, yams are a bland yellow. The reason why I felt that was important to mention is because yacons are another veggie that looks like a sweet potato, even though it isn't. Yacons are good for you because they consist of good carbohydrates known as fructoogliosaccharides (FOS). Yacons also have potassium which is good for maintaining your blood pressure. They also contain prebiotics to improve digestion, antifungal properties to fight ringworm and athlete's foot and even properties that fight cancer. Another awesome thing about yacons is they're a low glycemic natural sweetener; this means that they taste really sweet, but they don't spike up your blood sugar when you consume it. If you want to try yacon sweetener, a favorite brand is found here.

5. Pomelo


At first glance, a pomelo looks a lot like a grapefruit (yes, they are related). The main differences are it's shaped like a teardrop, it can get as big as a cantaloupe and it has green or yellow flesh. As far as its health benefits go, pomelo contains a good amount of fiber, vitamin C, copper, potassium and thiamine. Not only that but it reduces cholesterol levels, contains anti-aging properties and helps to promote weight loss as well. And just where do you find pomelos? Asian markets. Or, you can get some dried ones online.

6. Black Garlic


Whaaat? You've never heard of black garlic before? Basically, it's what happens when white garlic is exposed to humidity and left to age for about a month or so. The end result is black garlic, the kind of garlic that is insurmountably more nutritious than white garlic is.

For starters, black garlic contains twice the antioxidants of white garlic. Black garlic also has more protein and calcium. Plus, it contains a higher amount of antifungal, antimicrobial and antibiotic agents which makes it a powerhouse at fighting off infection. Just be prepared for the fact that while it does resemble white garlic, black garlic has a different texture and taste.

You can read more about the best brands to buy here.

7. Camu Camu


If you're someone who likes the taste of fresh cranberries, you'll probably also enjoy Amazon rainforest berries known as camu camu. They are tart, high in vitamin C and are loaded with antioxidants to fight off free radicals. Some other benefits include the fact that these berries are able to fight inflammation, improve blood sugar levels, reduce high blood pressure, and they contain the amino acid valine. What's awesome about that is valine is able to strengthen your nervous system and prevent muscle breakdown too. I won't lie, the berries are a bit harder to find (if you want to grow some of your own, you can cop the seeds here). The flip side to this is a lot of people prefer to take it in supplement form. A great brand is found here.

8. Fonio


Fonio is a gluten-free rugged grain that is really popular in West Africa. It looks a lot like millet and is oftentimes used as a porridge or bread ingredient. The reason why it's a grain worth trying is because it has a very low glycemic index (which makes it great for regulating diabetes), it is high in iron, it contains the amino acids cystine and methionine (they aid in liver detoxification) and also the amino acid methionine (which strengthens your hair and nails) and, it has calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in it. International markets tend to have fonio in stock. So does Amazon.

9. Mugicha


Are you a big tea drinker? If so, one that you might want to add to your tea collection is Mugicha. Long story short, it's a Japanese tea that falls into the category of being a roasted barley tea. It's good for you because it contains vitamins and minerals that fight free radicals and aid in preventing tooth decay while reducing body fat and high cholesterol levels. You can get some tea bags here.

10. Limequat


Let's round all of this out with limequats, shall we? If you were to crossbreed a lime with a kumquat, a limequat is exactly what you would end up with. Thanks to the off-the-charts amount of Vitamin C that they contain, limequats can help to lower the risk of infection, delay signs of aging, reduce the risk of cancer, strengthen teeth and bones and lower the risk of heart disease too. Something else that's great about this particular fruit is they contain thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, folates and pantothenic acid—all of which help to keep your blood healthy and your metabolism high. Since it's a hybrid fruit that is really popular in Florida, you might need to have a few of 'em shipped to you. No worries. Sites like Pearson Ranch sell them. Just make sure to order some before June because they are only in season from January through May, making it the ultimate springtime fruit. Enjoy!

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Plantain Flour, Spirulina & Other Uncommon Foods To Add To Your Diet

Some Foods Literally Enhance Our Melanin (Who Knew?)

10 Breakfast Foods That Are Good For Your Hair & Skin

These Foods Will Give Your Skin & Hair The Moisture They Crave

Feature image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

If there's one thing Historically Black Universities are known, it's fostering a sense of interconnectedness for collaborative genius to thrive. Of all campuses, it was on the soil of The Mecca, Howard University, where She'Neil Johnson-Spencer and Nicolette Graves rooted their friendship and aligned their passion for beauty and natural brains. Today, the two have founded a skincare brand of their own, Base Butter, that has not only carved out their niche space in the market but rallied a community of women to glow from the inside out.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.

This is Maya's story, written by Charmin Michelle.

I know this may come to a surprise so many, but here we are. Yes, I got a BBL. If you aren't aware, a BBL is a Brazilian Butt Lift, a cosmetic surgery process where the doctor uses a combination of liposuction and fat-grafting, transfers the fat into the butt, resulting in added volume, defined curves, and a lift. It is technically lipo and a fat transfer. But yeah girl, this has been on my to-do list for a while. And now that I am able to afford it, I went for it.

Keep reading... Show less

As an extension of my monthly self-care routines, facials have become top priority when it comes to maintaining healthy skin. For months I've noticed excess oil, stubborn breakouts and dry cracked lips forcing me to seek an alternative to my everyday skincare routine. Unable to solve my skincare troubles, I decided it was time to seek the help of a professional to help revive my dull skin.

Keep reading... Show less

I will never make an apology for the fact that I adore the Scriptures. There is something very, remarkable is the word that comes to mind, about the fact that even all of these years later (thousands and thousands of years later), there is so much wisdom within the Bible that is still relevant and — if you want to live a content life — even necessary. Matter of fact, some of the people in my world who aren't Bible followers or even believers in God will admit to me that Proverbs (King Solomon's book of wisdom) has some real gems in it.

Keep reading... Show less

August invites you to shine bright like the sun which requires you to leave behind the sob stories of being the underdog. Recognize your power as a reflection of the Divine and watch how far you can go. Be mindful of that inner critic when Mercury enters Virgo. For every negative thought, counteract it with three compliments about yourself. When Venus enters her home sign, relationship matters get a whole lot sweeter after the wild ride that was Mercury Retrograde.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Find Confidence With This Summer Workout Created By A Black Woman For Black Women

Tone & Sculpt trainer Danyele Wilson makes fitness goals attainable.

Latest Posts