Dr. Oz

What does the famed heart surgeon and host of <em>The Dr. Oz Show</em> keep behind closed doors? Rach takes a peek.
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What does the famed heart surgeon and host of <em>The Dr. Oz Show</em> keep behind closed doors? Rach takes a peek.
Dr. Oz

Rachael Ray: Congratulations on having the healthiest and most packed refrigerator shelves I've ever seen. No wonder your family is so gorgeous! How many mouths are you feeding?

Dr. Oz: I have four kids, and my eldest daughter is married, so there are seven people at our table. We have another refrigerator outside, too -- we buy in bulk and freeze everything, so we need the space. I have two huge vats of blueberries in there now from my trip to Maine. I'll freeze and use them until next summer.

RR: I have to know: Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?

DO: It does. Apples have flavonoids that reduce the risk of heart disease, and they taste good, too. We use them a lot in salads because they wake up the taste buds. We go apple picking every fall as a family, which is really fun. Whether they love apples or hate them, my kids have learned to appreciate where their food comes from, and that's the most important thing.

RR: Speaking of kids, any advice for parents of picky eaters?

DO: Well, the average child will reject food they don't like about 12 times before they begin to appreciate the taste. That's in part because kids have more taste buds than adults. Here's what parents should do: Every few months, expose your kids to, say, broccoli, and eventually they won't mind that it's on the table.

RR: Great tip! What was your favorite food as a child?

DO: I loved mushrooms. My dad and sisters couldn't stand them, but we had mushrooms all the time because my mom and I liked them so much. I grew up near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, which is probably the mushroom capital of the country.

RR: I've never met a mushroom I didn't like. Do you cook a lot?

DO: I'm not a particularly good chef, but my wife, Lisa, is an excellent cook, so I like spending time with her in the kitchen. She's a vegetarian and really talented at putting together flavors.

RR: Is there a dish you always ask her to make?

DO: Yeah, I love when she cooks beets. She tosses boiled, skinned beets with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, gorgonzola cheese, salt and pepper, and it's out of this world. I like simple foods. I don't like sauces and creams because the natural flavors have been destroyed. I like to be able to taste the actual food.

RR: I agree -- the less you mess with your food, the better it tastes. What's the most memorable meal you've ever had?

DO: When I was in China, I ordered something in a restaurant called "snake soup," which I figured was just allegorical. Then I saw the waiter walking toward me with a live, writhing snake in his hands! The chef sends it out so you know it's fresh. I ended up eating the soup, but, for the record, it does not taste like chicken.

RR: That's hilarious, and a good souvenir story! So, if I was coming to your house for dinner, what would you cook me?

DO: I'm a good griller, so I'd make you grilled black cod, which I've fallen in love with recently, corn on the cob and baked butternut squash with cinnamon. I'll save the snake soup for another night.

Dr. Oz's Healthy Fridge Checklist

Eggs: "They're an inexpensive source of protein, and they don't elevate your cholesterol -- eating fat does."

Leafy Greens: "The greatest sources of vitamin K are green, leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale."

Whole Grains: "They're not stripped of nutrients like refined wheat, and they have more fiber to keep you full."

Blueberries: "Antioxidantrich foods like brightly colored berries keep skin supple and smooth."

Low-Fat Yogurt: "It has all the key nutrients your bones need. Don't buy fat-free yogurt -- it's filled with sugar."