Having a varied diet is essential to good nutrition and that includes shellfish. Mussels are a shellfish option with big nutritional benefits, which we explain in more detail below. As well as being delicious and surprisingly easy to cook, they are extremely affordable. You can pick up a 1kg organic pack of mussels from the fish monger for around $10, which is perfect for serving 4 people.
Mussels boast an impressive nutritional profile. They are high in desirable fatty acids EPA and DHA, linked to improving brain function and reducing inflammatory conditions. They are high in selenium which helps support healthy immune function and acts as an antioxidant to cell damage. Mussels are also high in manganese which helps support production of sex hormones, regulates blood sugar and supports blood clotting. They are high in Vitamin B12 which helps mood regulation, supports the nervous system and helps your body utilise iron, which they also contain. Vitamin C is also high in mussels and this helps strengthen tissues including ligaments and tendons, while also maintaining healthy teeth. They are a great source of protein and contain other minerals such as zinc and vitamins such as folic acid. Additionally they are a low-mercury seafood option. Plus they are delicious and fun to eat.
Roughly chop tomato and bacon, then set aside in seperate bowls. Finely dice garlic, add it to a heavy saucepan with the olive oil and bacon. Cook for 5 mintues until the bacon is cooked through. Add tomatoes and roughly chopped basil, cook on medium-low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent bacon from sticking to the pan. Season with salt as required. Add mussels, stirring to coat them in the tomato sauce. Cover with a lid and allow them to cook for 5-8 minutes until mussels are open (discarding any that do not open). Serve mussels in a bowl with a generous amount of sauce, adding fresh basil to garnish. You could also serve this with a small side salad of spinach with a dressing of olive oil, lemon, whole grain mustard and honey.
This recipe is originally from Life Changing Food, a highly recommended cookbook for nutritionally dense and delicious food.