Capers - Tasty and Nutritious!

This yummy Mediterranean favorite is actually the flowering bud of the caper shrub, which is native to Greece, Italy, Cyprus and North Africa. Buds are hand picked and wilted in the sun hours before being pickled in a vinegar, oil, and salt brine. They add flavor and nutrients to recipes and are low in calories. Capers contain healthy levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Niacin (naturally lowers cholesterol), and Riboflavin, as well as important minerals such as calcium, iron and copper. Capers are a great source of phytonutrients and antioxidants and are one of the greatest plant sources of the flavonoid compounds rutin (improves blood circulation in the capillaries and reduces LDL Cholesterol) and quercetin (contains anti-bacterial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties). 

You can get more capers in your diet by adding them to salads and pastas or vegetable dishes; here is a delicious, simple recipe perfect for fall that includes capers.

Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken and Potatoes

1/3 c olive oil

1/4 c fresh lemon juice

 1 jar (3.5oz) capers, drained

2 lemons, sliced

10 garlic cloves, smashed

3 T fresh rosemary leaves

1 t sea salt

1 t fresh ground black pepper

3 T olive oil

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 lb small red potatoes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F; stir together first 8 ingredients in med bowl.

In an oven safe skillet, heat 3 T olive oil over medium high heat on stove top; add chicken and potatoes to pan, cook about 10 min (until chicken browned) then turn chicken and pour lemon mixture over chicken. Bake at 450 45-50 min or until chicken cooked through. Serve with a salad and crusty whole wheat bread. 

Robbie Fichtel