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7 Lucky Foods for the New Year


Lucky Foods for the New Year

While most people get obsessive about making a list of New Year’s resolutions that they’ll most likely not keep, I say let’s
look at what we can eat to bring in good luck!  After all, what better way is there to welcome 2014, then with good food, and good company?
So, in addition to the champagne, here are seven foods to include in your New Year’s Eve celebration:

7 Lucky Foods the New Year

#1 – Grapes

Eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight is a unique Spanish tradition that everyone should partake in.  Each grape corresponds to a month of the new year.
For example, if the third grape you pop into your month is extra sweet, then March will be a good month for you.
If the sixth grape is sour, then June may be rather lackluster. You got the idea.  Needless to say
you have to eat the grapes one by one and take note of how each feels in your mouth.  Having said that, when I attended a New Year’s Eve party given by friends from Madrid,
they told me that it will bring extra good luck to be able to eat all twelve grapes before the clock chiming stops.  I shoved all twelve in at once, and chewed diligently!
Remember, though, to get organic grapes as conventional ones are sprayed heavily with pesticides.

#2 – Pomegranates

These beautiful, ruby-red fruits symbolize abundance, fertility, and longevity in many cultures. Besides, they taste delicious and add a festive look to any dish.
Here’s a great recipe to try, and read this if you want to learn more about pomegranate’s wonderful history, folklore, and health benefits.


 #3 – Pork and Sauerkraut

pork sausage with sauerkraut
In many countries, such as Spain, Cuba, Hungary, Portugal, and China, pigs symbolize wealth and progress.  Farmers have noticed that their porcine
herd never move backwards, and that they push their snouts forward along the ground when rooting for food.  In Chinese calligraphy, the word for home is depicted with a roof over a pig,

Chinese character for home

Chinese character for “home”.

which tells you how well they valued the hog! And according to the tradition of the Pennsylvania Dutch, eating pork with sauerkraut will confer great good luck, as the strands of sauerkraut symbolize long life.  So, fire up some pork chops or sausages and dig into your vat of raw sauerkraut to be progressive and live long!
(Sauerkraut and other lacto-fermented vegetables are one of the most delicious and fantastic superfoods around.
Click HERE to learn more or to get cultured starters.)

#4 – Noodles

This is a tradition that comes from China, and is actually practiced during the Chinese New Year.  But, hey, why not ensure your chances of good luck by eating a bowl during both the Western New Year and the Lunar New Year (which will be on January 31, 2014).  The numerous and long strands represent abundance and long life.
And to ensure that you have a healthy life, I highly recommend that you stay away from gluten based noodles use rice noodles
or Japanese-style yam noodles instead.

#5 – Herrings

It there anything more enticing then a plate of pickled herrings? Ah, well, I can name a few other options, but let’s stick with tradition.
The Germans, Poles, and Scandinavians all like to eat herring on New Year’s (and every day), because it represents good luck.  It is also believed that eating
herring at the stroke of midnight will usher in a year of bounty.
What’s even better, herrings supply hefty levels of vitamin D, and omega-3 without the contamination worries of other seafood.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Buyers’ Guide rates herrings
as “good alternatives”.

#6 – Black-Eyed Peas

Well, down South, the New Year’s table is not complete without black-eyed peas cooked with collards and served over rice.  Otherwise known as “Hoppin’ John”, this hardy dish
was traditionally made with smoked pork and has endless variations.  The black-eyed peas are thought to resemble coins, and the addition of collard greens symbolizes green dollar bills.
Here’s a recipe from Vertamae Grovsner.

#7 – Corn Bread

A favorite at any time of year, corn bread is another traditional New Year’s food from the South.  The golden color symbolizes gold, and who doesn’t want that?!  Some
corn bread bakers add in a handful of whole corn kernels to the batter, as they look like golden nuggets.
While there are many delicious recipes available, it is important to note that allowing the batter to ferment overnight will greatly decrease phytic acid and other enzyme inhibitors in the corn meal and other flours, so that it is much easier to digest and provides more nutrients, not to mention that fermentation will also boost the flavor.
Here’s a wonderful recipe from Poppies and Papayas, which was adapted from a recipe in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

For Love of Food and Friends AND Happy 2014!

Photo credits:
Chipmunk & Grapes- http://flic.kr/p/bB8QA (J-Fer)
Black-eyed Peas- http://flic.kr/p/4hxEnA (minimallyinvasivenj)
Bowl of Noodles – http://flic.kr/p/7GrBv5 (Alex Shyu)
Herring- http://flic.kr/p/38JThs (Ulterior Epicure)
Corn Bread – http://flic.kr/p/8FegPc (Twopeasinapod123.com)

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Twopeasinapod123 January 3, 2014, 9:29 am

    Hi Karen, that was a good article! And thank you for using my picture of my homemade cornbread for your blog!
    Have a great new year!

    • Karen January 3, 2014, 11:21 am

      Same to you! I like your photos and projects. Very obvious that you are an artistic soul.

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