Energetics of Sumo: Sweet-Sour Citrus

The sumo citrus, originally named “dekopan”, is a hybrid fruit that is a mixture between a normal orange and a satsuma tangerine. This hybrid fruit was originally developed in Japan in 1972 and had made its way around the world because of its sweet taste, large size, and ease of peeling the skin.

Energetics:

Sumo oranges have a cooling thermal temperature with a sweet and sour flavor. These energetic characteristics can be a beneficial tonic for poor appetite and weak digestion. Sumo oranges can help to regenerate body fluids, lower inflammation and acidity (like in arthritis), moistens those who are dry and overheated from disease processes, physical activity, or hot weather, and can also help to lower a fever. The peel itself has qi stimulating, digestive, and mucus resolving qualities (which is a similar quality to grapefruit).

These fruits have high amounts of vitamin C and bioflavonoids which have been shown to help those with weak gums and teeth. Eye cysts can be helped to dissolve by putting the inner white lining directly onto the eyelids.

Sweet Sumo Kiwi Smoothie Recipe:

This delicious mixture is anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and low calorie

Ingredients:

  • 1 sumo citrus – peeled
  • 1 kiwi – peeled
  • 4 oz pineapple
  • 1 tsp mangosteen
  • 3 tbsp almonds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ice

Throw into the blender and drink up!

Original recipe by The Blend

Energetics of Eggs: What Came First?

Howard Helmer the Omelette King

Omelette Trivia: Omlette’s are beaten eggs cooked in a pan and rolled or folded. The ancient Romans supposedly made the first omelet and, because it was sweetened with honey, they called it ovemele (eggs and honey). Some insist this was the origin of the word omelet. Others maintain the word was derived from amelette (Fr) meaning blade, describing the long, flat shape of an omelet.

The fastest omelette maker in the world made 427 two-egg omelettes in 30 minutes. American Egg Board’s Howard Helmer, is the Omelette King; he holds three Guinness World Records for omelette making.

Egg Varieties

Eggs are available all year round and the most common types found in stores include:

Organic: Eggs produced following the strict organic food guidelines.  These eggs are produced from chickens not treated with any antibiotics or hormones.

Omega-3 Enriched: These eggs are produced by chickens that have been fed a diet containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.  While these eggs are enriched, they are not meant to be a sole source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Brown: These eggs are produced by a special breed of chickens.  The color of these eggs does not necessarily equate a significant nutritional benefit.

How to Choose Eggs and How to Store Eggs

Eggs sold in stores and most markets are classified by the USDA grading of AA, A, and B.  This system is an indicator of many quality parameters, including freshness, with the AA grade has the highest quality and B as the lowest.

Always inspect eggs for breaks or cracks before purchasing them.

Never wash eggs before storing them, as you can remove the protective coating on the shell that prevents making them susceptible to bacteria contamination. Many fridges come with a special compartment on the door for eggs, but you should not use it if you wish to keep your eggs fresher longer.  The best place to store the eggs is by putting them at the back of your fridge.  If you store eggs properly they can last up to one month.

Salmonella Scare

There are many safety concerns around eggs and salmonellosis (salmonella poisoning).   Salmonella bacteria can be found in both cracked and uncracked eggs.  It can be introduced to eggs in two ways — from outside the egg (as a result of contact with organic matter such as chicken manure) and from within (from the hen to the egg before it has been laid). Safe food handling techniques, like washing eggs, may not actually protect you from salmonella. The only sure way to prevent getting sick from consuming salmonella poisoning is to cook eggs to an internal temperature of 160°F.

Should Eggs Be Refrigerated?

Never store eggs in the door!

There has been a lot of debate on whether eggs should be refrigerated or not. This stems from the fact that Europe handles this issue much differently than the United States.

American egg producers focus on preventing contamination from the outside, so they are required by the USDA to thoroughly wash the eggs before they go to market. They’re rinsed in hot water, dried and sprayed with a chlorine mist almost as soon as they’re laid.  Europeans take a much different approach. In the United Kingdom, for example, producers instead vaccinate laying hens to prevent the transmission of salmonella. They then rely on a thin, naturally occurring coating called the cuticle, to prevent any contamination from the outside of the shell penetrating to the egg.  British authorities actually discourage refrigerating eggs on the theory that chilling and then warming could create condensation, which would allow salmonella to penetrate the shell. In the U.S., this cuticle is removed during washing and even though some producers replace it with a light synthetic coating, regulations still require refrigeration.

Egg Nutrition

Eggs are an “egg-cellent” source of protein, especially for the price per egg! Dietary protein provides essential amino acids that we use to build muscle, tissues, skin, immune system, antibodies, nutrient transport proteins, and many other compounds vital to physiological function.  Eggs are also a great source of iodine and selenium, which are components of thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These nutrients are needed to synthesize hormones and maintain healthy thyroid hormone metabolism.  Eggs are an important factor in brain function and health due to its levels of choline.  Choline is not produced enough by the body and must be supplemented by our diets.  Choline deficiency can cause other deficiencies, such as folic acid. Like many leafy green vegetables, eggs are a great source of lutein, a carotenoid that is an antioxidant found concentrated in the eyes.  Lutein has been shown to help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.  Eggs are also a good source of bone-building vitamin D, vitamin K, and phosphorus; energy-producing vitamin B12 and vitamin B5; sulfite-detoxifying molybdenum; and sleep-promoting tryptophan.

Many people shy away from eggs due to their high cholesterol content, but an increasing number of studies have found that high saturated fat intake is more related to high cholesterol levels than foods rich in cholesterol.

Energetics

Eggs are a blood and yin tonic, have an ascending direction (eggs influence energy and fluids to move higher in the body), calms fetus’ excessive movement in mothers, help prevent dryness of the lungs throat, and eyes, and are used in the treatment of diarrhea.

Since eggs nurture blood and yin, they can be used for a person with a dry, thin, anemic constitution.  However, eggs can also cause a thick type of mucus, therefore consumption of eggs often cause imbalance, especially for the sluggish, overweight person or others with damp-mucus symptoms.

Eggs are great for protein deficiency, but they do have a drawback in their sticky mucus forming quality, which can eventually block the gallbladder, slow the functioning of the liver, and leave deposits throughout the body.  Eggs also can contribute to wind, manifested in liver conditions such as vertigo, strokes, nervousness, spasms, and paralysis.  Therefore, eggs are contradictive in wind conditions.

Easy Frittata – Easy Egg Recipe

I love frittatas!  All you need is a basic frittata recipe and then you can add in your own ingredients for the perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner meal.

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1-ounce Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted asparagus
  • 1/2 cup chopped country ham
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to broil setting.

In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and salt. Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Add asparagus and ham to pan and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with parsley.

Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

Source

Energetics of Horseradish: Spicy Spring Antioxidant

 

Horseradish Facts

Horseradish, Armoracia rusticana, is a cruciferous vegetable that is part of the Brassica family (which contains mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and others). This potent root vegetable is also considered a perineal plant and has a multitude of beneficial uses. The root of the plant is what most are familiar with consuming, however the leaves and flowers can also be harnessed in various ways—nearly every part of the plant has medicinal properties.

Horseradish can be used as an expectorant to fight the common cold, flu, and various respiratory disorders. Horseradish has also been found to have antibiotic, antifungal, and anticancer properties. The German Commission E (equivalent to the US FDA) prescribes horseradish as a treatment for UTIs

Energetics

Horseradish nourishes the Lung, Spleen, and Large Intestine meridian channels. It has a warming constitution and a pungent flavor profile. The pungent energetics will assist in opening the orifices of the body: expels congestion in the lymph system and phlegm in the lungs.  The energetics of horseradish also strengthen yang by dispersing cold and treats external conditions like fevers and chills. It also supports, warms, and invigorates the lungs, supports liver yang, promotes urination, and assists in removing blockages from the body.

Nutrition of Horseradish

The nutrition of horseradish starts with Glucosinolate, found in horseradish, is a vital antioxidant compound that has many benefits for the human body. This compound is a main proponent for its anti-cancer ability. Glucosinolate protects the body from toxic mutagens and also assists the body in detoxifying those that are already present within the system (by increasing blood flow to the areas infected by pathogens). Broccoli and others from the Brassica family have this compound as well, however, it is 10 times more abundant in horseradish. For more information about the scientific evidence for horseradish’s nutritional components see the life extension link at the bottom of this blog post.

Recipe Using Horseradish

Horseradish Tea

The leaves of horseradish can be put into hot water to drink as tea. This form of medicine was used to treat scurvy (due to its high vitamin C content).

Pungent Probiotic: Homemade Horseradish

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. kombucha (or whey if your meal is a dairy meal)

1 6 inch horseradish root, peeled and chopped

½ tsp. salt

*Cold water

Alternative addition: beets!

Method:

Peel and chop the horseradish root into ½ inch slices.  Put on your onion goggles and proceed in a well-ventilated space.  Put the horseradish root, kombucha (or whey), and salt, into your food processor.  Process on high for 30 seconds.  Add cold water 1 tbsp. at a time, if necessary, to allow the blades to process the horseradish root freely.

*if using store-bought kombucha, then make sure to get an unflavored version. Also, open the bottle and allow it to stand on the counter for a couple days to a couple weeks (put cheesecloth over it with a rubberband to keep bugs out). This will allow for the kombucha to become more potent*

When the horseradish root is pureed fully, transfer the prepared horseradish root to a jar and refrigerate.  The kombucha (or lacto-bacteria in the whey) will preserve the horseradish for several weeks, if kept refrigerated.

Recipe by Joybilee Farm

 

http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2009/11/horseradish-protection-against-cancer-and-more/page-01

https://www.eastwesthealingacademy.com/herbs/horseradish/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/horseradish.html

http://joybileefarm.com/horseradish-passover/

 

Energetics of Umeboshi: Try Something New

umeboshi

Umeboshi Facts

Umeboshi (梅干) are pickled ume fruits common in Japan. The word “umeboshi” is often translated into English as “Japanese salt plums,” “salt plums” or “pickled plums.” Ume is a species of fruit-bearing tree in the genus Prunus, which is often called a plum but is actually more closely related to the apricot.  Pickled ume which are not dried are called umezuke (梅漬け). Umeboshi are usually round, and vary from smooth to very wrinkled. Usually they taste salty, and are extremely sour due to high citric acid content, but sweeter versions exist, as well.

Umeboshi were notorious for their ability to eat their way through the plain drawn aluminum lunch boxes commonly used in the 1960s. The combination of organic acids and salt in the umeboshi were the cause of this phenomenon.

Umeboshi were esteemed by the samurai to combat battle fatigue.

How Is Umeboshi Made?

6a0120a71b1d39970b0192ab2da552970d-800wiUmeboshi are traditionally made by harvesting ume fruit when they ripen around June and packing them in barrels with salt. A weight is placed on top and the fruit gradually exude juices, which accumulate at the bottom of the barrel. The left over salty and sour liquid is called umezu (梅酢), or ume vinegar, although it is not a true vinegar. It is great for making pickled vegetables.  The ume is then taken out of the barrels and laid out flat on reed/grass mats to dry in the hot sun for about 3 days.

How To Eat Umeboshi

Umeboshi Makizushi

Umeboshi Makizushi

Umeboshi are usually eaten in small quantities with rice, for added flavor. It is also a common ingredient in onigiri, rice balls wrapped in nori, and they may also be used in makizushi. Makizushi made with umeboshi may be made with either pitted umeboshi or umeboshi paste (which is cheaper.  Another usage of umeboshi is in “Ume ochazuke,” a dish of rice with poured in green tea topped with umeboshi.

Umeboshi is used as a cooking accent to enhance flavor and presentation. They may also be served as a complement of a green tea or a drink with shochu and hot water.

Energetics – Health Benefits of Eating Umeboshi

umeboshiThe health benefits of Umeboshi are as follows: it treats indigestion, diarrhea and dysentery, removes worms, and acts on the liver. Umeboshi is hailed as the “Japanese Alka-Seltzer” because of its use in treating digestive upset.

The Japanese folk remedy for colds and the flu is okayu (rice congee) with umeboshi.

Caution: Habitual consumption can add too much salt to one’s diet.

 

How To Make Umeboshi At Home

This Umeboshi recipe is not for the light-hearted or impatient.  If you are of the said type, you can find pre-made umeboshi in jars at your local Japanese or Asian foods store.

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Ume Plums
  • Coarse Seas Salt
  • Red Shiso Leaves
  • Shochu (Can use vodka or other distilled alcohol if needed)
  • Bowls
  • Flat Baskets
  • Large wide-mouth container
  • Weights (Can use water in tightly sealed plastic bags)
  • Large Jars

Prepping the Ume

When you buy them, make sure you choose ones that are firm, plump and unblemished. Even small blemishes or cuts on the plums could lead to mold, which is the biggest reason umeboshi can fail. Once you have the ume plums, carefully remove any remaining stems. The best way to do this is with a cocktail stick. Try not to pierce the ume plum when you’re doing this – again, this can lead to mold. Once the stems are removed, wash the plums in several changes of water, and then fill a large bowl with cold water and leave the ume plums to soak overnight. This gets rid of some of the bitterness in the plums.

After soaking overnight, drain and dry the plums. Made ready a bowl of shochu or vodka, and dunk the ume plums completely in the alcohol. This is to kill any kind of mold spores on the surface.

Prepping the Red Shiso Leaves

Red shiso or perilla leaves give color and flavor to the umeboshi. Use about 10% of the ume plus in weight of shiso leaves – so for 1 kilo of ume plums, use 100g of shiso leaves. Wash them, take off any tough stems, sprinkle with a little salt and massage the leaves with your hands until they are limp.

Salt Ratio for Fermenting

Traditional umeboshi uses around 20% salt, which is fairly salty.  You can lower the salt percentage if you choose, but beware that the lower the salt ratio the higher risk of mold developing.  So we suggest starting at 10% or 12% for beginners.

Here’s the amount of salt vs. ume plums at different percentages:

  • 8%: For every 1 kilo of ume plums, use 80 grams of salt
  • 10%: For every 1 kilo of ume plums, use 100 grams of salt
  • 12%: For every 1 kilo of ume plums, use 120 grams of salt

Getting Pickling Container Ready

Use a large, wide-mouth jar or other fairly deep container. Wash it inside and out thorougly, then disinfect the inside. Some people do this by putting the container in boiling water, but the most common – and convenient – way is to spray it with some shochu or vodka.

Filling the Pickling Container

Start with a layer of coarse salt. Cover with a layer of ume plums, then a bit of the shiso. Repeat the salt-ume-shiso layers, until the ume are used up. Now, cover the whole thing with a plastic bag or sheet, then put on a weight that is at least half as heavy as the ume plums – in other words, 1 kilo of ume plums requires at least a 500g weight.

While there are dedicated ceramic weights available, you can use anything you can find such as a bagful of water (as long as it doesn’t leak), a full water bottle, clean rocks in a plastic bag, hand weights or dumbbells, and so on.

Once the container is full and weighted down, cover the top with a clean, porous cloth like a cheesecloth or open weave kitchen towel; secure this with a rubber band or string. Leave in a cool, dark area of your house, until the ume plums become soft and completely immersed in a reddish liquid.

Once the liquid is about 2 cm above the top of the ume plums, reduce the weight by half, and leave the ume plums in the jar in the liquid until it’s time to dry them in the sun.

Drying Out

Take the plums and the shiso leaves out of the jar. Put the ume plums in a single layer on flat baskets, and the shiso leaves in spread-put clumps separately.

Leave the plums like this in a fairly sunny place with good ventilation, for about 3 days. If it rains, take them inside before they get wet. Turn them over at least once a day.

Finish

The umeboshi are now done. You can store them as-is, in a jar, layering plums with the shiso leaves. Or you can pour back in some of the ume vinegar, to give them a softer texture.

Umeboshi improves with age for a few years. The best time to start eating them 3 years after making them, though you can eat them right away. The best time flavor wise is at the 5 year mark. Do not store over 10 years, as they will start getting mushy, if stored with a liquid, or dry and brittle.

Alternate Umeboshi: White Umeboshi

You can make umeboshi without the red shiso leaves. This results in light brown umeboshi and an almost clear ume vinegar.

Source

 

 

Energetics of Dates: Today is the Date to Eat Healthy

4-Simple-Ways-In-Which-Dates-Help-Control-Diabetes

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Facts About Dates

Dates, fruits derived from the date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera L.), are one of those foods that people either love or they don’t. I’m one that used to highly dislike them, and more recently I am slowly beginning to like them more and more. I’m liking them especially because they have such a low glycemic index, yet they taste quite sweet! Dates, visually speaking, are interestingly unique when compared to most other fruits. The same is true for their energetics and nutritional content.

Energetics

Dates nourish one’s elements with a sweet flavor and a warming constitution. This flavorful fruit tonifies the qi and the blood. Dates work their magic through the routes of Liver, Lung, Stomach, and Spleen channels.

Nutrition Of Dates

2This phenomenal fruit is packed full of nutritional content: vitamins, minerals, healthy fats & oils (0.2-0.5%), dietary fiber (6.4-11.5%), multiple amino acids, and sugar (don’t worry though, it’s GOOD sugar!). Dates have vitamin C, B(1) thiamine, B(2) riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin A. Dates contain various proportions of boron, calcium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, and zinc. In regards to oils, dates have palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic unsaturated fatty acids. As a side note, date seeds contain 14 types of fatty acids and consist of about 50% oleic acid. There are 23 different type of amino acids that build the protein (2.3-5.6%) stored within dates. The largest component of dates are carbohydrates/plant sugars (44-88%). All of the contents above can range depending on the varietal of date and the time of year it was produced.

Although dates are mostly built of plant sugars, don’t get lost in attempting to equate this to added sugars that you normally read about on an ingredient panel. Plant sugars, in their natural form, are much different than processed sugar because of the way in which they are chemically packaged within the fruit. Nature has created a beautiful combination of biochemistry in that the sugar molecules are surrounded by all of the abovementioned items: these surrounding components make it so that sugar is slowly broken down/released into your body and is a wonderful way to sustain your day. Dates are a low glycemic index food and are a perfect snack for many (even those with diabetes!).

Medjool-dates-010As with anything, don’t eat too many! And at the same time, don’t deprive yourself of them because of being worried about the sugar content. The key to this concept is that our bodies break down every item that we eat and convert it into sugar; the important aspect here is that it is the speed at which this process occurs. If we eat foods that slowly turn into sugar, then we have a more sustainable energy level throughout our day.

Now, go have a date with some dates!

 Dates Recipe

5 Ingredient Peanut Cup Energy Bites5-Ingredient-PB-Cup-Energy-Bites-Perfect-for-a-healthier-on-the-go-snack-vegan-glutenfree

EASY, 5 ingredient peanut butter energy bites sweetened with dates and studded with oats, dark chocolate and chia seeds! Full of fiber, protein and healthy fats.

Author: Minimalist Baker

Recipe type: Snack

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free

Serves: 15

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (~220 g) dates, pitted (if dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain well)
  • 3 Tbsp all natural salted peanut or almond butter
  • 1/4 cup dairy free dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds (or sub flax or hemp seeds)
  • 2/3 cup gluten free rolled oats

Instructions:

  1. Pulse dates in a food processor or blender until they’re in small pieces or it forms a ball (see photo).
  2. Add oats, chocolate, chia seeds and peanut butter and pulse or mix until combined. You want there to be consistently small pieces but not overly processed.
  3. Carefully roll into 1-inch balls (29-30 grams per ball), using the warmth of your hands to mold them together. Should yield 14-15 balls.
  4. To set, pop in fridge or freezer for 15 minutes. Otherwise, eat as is! Will keep fresh in an air-tight bag or container for up to a week. Freeze for longer term storage.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12850886

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-dates.html

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/dates

If you’re curious about using dates as a low glycemic sugar substitute:

https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/are-dates-new-low-glycemic-sugar-substitute

Energetics of Plums: 1 In a 1000

European Plums

Plum FactsEuropean Plums

Plum Facts

Did you know that there are over 100 varieties of plums in the US alone? Between the US, Europe and Asia there are thousands of varieties in a wide range of sizes and colors.  There are very few fruits that have such a range.  Plums have been cultivated since the ancient times.  European plums are believed to have originated from Damacus, Syria and Persia, while Japanese plums originated from China.

Plum Varieties

Plums are from the genus Prunus and are related to peaches, nectarine, and almonds.  They are considered drupes, which are fruit that have a hard stone pit surrounding their seeds.  Dried plums are also known as prunes.

Japanese Plums

Japanese Plums

Plums belong to one of six categories: Japanese, American, Damson, Ornamental, Wild, and European/Garden.  The plums in each category vary by size, shape and color.  The two main varieties found in the supermarkets are Japanese and European plums.

Japanese: These are known as clingstone because their flesh clings to the pit.  The skins of Japanese plums range from crimson to black-red (but never purple).  They are very juicy with yellow or reddish flesh.

European: These are characterized by their blue or purple skins. They are smaller in size, denser and less juicy then their Japanese counterpart. They are considered freestone because their flesh easily separates from the pit. This type is used most often in making prunes.

The Plum season starts in May and ends around October, with Japanese plums making the first appearance and peaking in August. European plums start peaking in the fall.

How to Pick Plums; How to Store Plums

Japanese Plums

Japanese Plums

When selecting plums look for ones that are fully ripe.  They should yield to gentle pressure and are slightly soft at the tip. Better quality plums will have a rich color.  Avoid plums with soft spots as this is an indicator that it is overripe. Overripe plums with brown flesh should not be eaten.  Make sure that the plums you are selecting are free of puncture marks, bruises, or any signs of decay. You should also avoid hard plums, as they have been picked too soon and will never develop their full taste, texture or nutritional benefits.

Plums are a very delicate fruit and bruise easily, so always handle them with care.

Proper storage is the key to keeping plums fresh.  If properly stored, fresh plums can last up to 10 days.  Any plums that you are planning to eat within a day or two can stay on the counter, store any other plums in fridge.  To enjoy maximum flavor and juiciness, make sure you allow plums to get back to room temperature before eating them.

Plums Nutrition

Plums - Nutrition FactsPlums (both fresh and dried) are an excellent source of antioxidant protection.   They have a high content of unique phytonutrients called neochlorogenic acid and chlorogenic acid.  These are classified as phenols and they have been found to be very effective in neutralizing a particularly destructive oxygen radical called superoxide anion radical. Another antioxidant that is found plums is catechins, a flavonoid phytonutrient that have been found to protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation.  Plums have many heart healthy nutrients as well, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and dietary fiber.

 

Plum Energetics

European Plums

European Plums

 

 

The purple varieties tend to be slightly cooling, while its yellow varieties tend to be neutral.  Plums build body fluids.  Plums can be used in the treatment of liver diseases, cirrhosis of the liver, hardened for expanded liver conditions in general, diabetes and dehydration.  The purple plums are best for liver conditions that express themselves as emotional repression, pain, and nervous disorders. Stewed prunes are a traditional remedy for constipation and are especially beneficial when excess liver and heat signs are present.

Caution: Plums are not good for people with delicate digestion or gastrointestinal ulcers or inflammations.  Rich in oxalic acid, plums can deplete calcium in the body.

 

Plums Recipe

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Plum Reduction

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Plum ReductionIngredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over high heat until the oil shimmers; gently lay the tenderloin into the hot oil. After about 1 minute, gently loosen the meat from the bottom of the skillet, if necessary. Cook until the pork is seared a golden brown color, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to the lined baking sheet.
  3. Roast the seared tenderloin in the preheated oven until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork reads at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C), about 15 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into medallions.
  4. Cook the plums, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, honey, and blueberry juice in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the plums are soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the sauce to the saucepan and simmer until reduced and thickened to the consistency of apple butter, about 5 more minutes. Spoon plum sauce over the sliced pork to serve.

Source

 

Energetics of Goat’s Milk: You Got Goat Milk?

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-goat-milk-image24057054

Goat’s Milk Facts

Goat’s Milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk.  It only has trace amounts of the specific casein that is thought to cause of casein sensitivity, and it contains more calcium and protein than cow’s milk.  While in America cow’s milk is the norm for drinking and making other dairy products, for the rest of the world, goat’s milk is actually consumed much more.

In ancient Egypt goat’s milk and cheese was highly revered and was included in the burial chambers of the pharaohs with all their other treasures.

Goat’s Milk Varieties

Goat’s Milk: Goat’s milk comes with different amounts of butterfat and is available fresh, powdered, as canned evaporated milk or as ultra heat treated (UHT) milk in aseptic containers.

Goat Cheese: Goat cheese has fewer calories than cheese made from cow’s milk and has a stronger flavor.  Young goat cheese has a pleasant tartness with a slight gummy texture.  Goat cheese increases in gumminess as it ages.

Goat Yogurt: Goat yogurt has a fuller flavor than yogurt made from cow’s milk.

How To Choose and How To Store Goat’s Milk

Nourishing-Practices-Why-Raw-Goats-MilkWhen purchasing goat’s milk, always pay attention to the “sell-by” date and use it as a guide to the shelf life of the milk. Smell the top of the container to make sure that the milk does not smell spoiled. When purchasing from stores, try to buy the milk at the bottom of the fridge, as that is usually the coldest part.

Although goat’s milk comes in many forms, fresh is always best for drinking and making desserts.  Dried, canned, and those in aseptic packaging picks up an unpleasant caramelized flavor when they’re heated for packaging.

imgresAlso, it is best to stay away from UHT or ultra-pasteurized milk products. UHT milk (from goat or cow’s milk) has been thermally processed at or above 280° F for at least 2 seconds, either before or after packaging, so as to produce a product which has an extended shelf life.  “According to Lee Dexter, microbiologist and owner of White Egret Farm goat dairy in Austin, Texas, ultra-pasteurization is an extremely harmful process to inflict on the fragile components of milk. Dexter explains that milk proteins are complex, three-dimensional molecules, like tinker toys. They are broken down and digested when special enzymes fit into the parts that stick out. Rapid heat treatments like pasteurization, and especially ultra-pasteurization, actually flatten the molecules so the enzymes cannot do their work. If such proteins pass into the bloodstream (a frequent occurrence in those suffering from “leaky gut,” a condition that can be brought on by drinking processed commercial milk), the body perceives them as foreign proteins and mounts an immune response. That means a chronically overstressed immune system and much less energy available for growth and repair.” Source

Goat’s milk should always be refrigerated, as warm temperatures cause the milk to spoil quickly. Always seal or close the milk container when storing to prevent it from absorbing the food from aromas in the fridge.  Avoid storing goat’s milk in the fridge door as it exposes it to too much warm air when the door is opened and closed.

Nutrition of Goat’s Milk

Goat_Milk_Nutrition_Facts_-_03.16164354_stdThe nutrition of goat’s milk is like cow’s milk in the sense that it is a great source of calcium, a mineral that is very important to maintaining the strength and structure of bones. Goat’s milk is also a good source of high-quality protein. Protein is needed for our bodies to build muscles and tissues. Protein also gives us slow burning energy that helps you feel your best. Goat’s milk is also heart healthy, as it is a good source of potassium which helps maintain normal blood pressure and heart function.  It also promotes energy production in the cells through high levels of phosphorus and vitamin B (riboflavin). Phosphorus is needed to make ATP, the molecule that serves as fuel for cellular activity. Riboflavin is a component of the flavoprotein enzymes that allow oxygen-based energy production to occur.  Also found in goat’s milk is dietary fluorine, which helps build immunity, protect teeth, and strengthen bones.  Be aware though that fluorine is lost during the pasteurization process.

Energetics

Goat’s milk is used as a remedy for people in a weakened and convalescent conditions. It is used in the treatment of emaciation, malnutrition, stomach ulcers, nervous exhaustion, and loss of energy. Goat’s milk enriches the intestinal flora and can be beneficial in cases of constipation.  Its astringent properties can also help treat diarrhea.  Goat milk can be easier for infants to digest when the mother is emotionally upset, chemically toxic, or imbalanced in other ways.

Goat’s Milk Recipe

Goat Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Homemade-Scalloped-Potatoes-RecipeIngredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed with peels on*
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 1 1/2  to 2-quart casserole dish with baking spray. Set aside.
  2. With a mandolin or sharp chef’s knife, slice the potatoes into very thin slices, 1/8-inch-thick or less. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with the minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the slices as evenly as you can.
  3. Spread 1/3 of the potato slices in the bottom of the prepared dish. Crumble half of the goat cheese over the top. Repeat with the next 1/3 of the potatoes, then the remaining goat cheese, then finish by layering on the final third of the potatoes. The potatoes may discard some liquid as they rest in the bowl. If this happens, simply leave the liquid in the bottom bowl and shake the potato slices gently in your hands to remove excess liquid before layering them in the dish.
  4. Pour the milk evenly over the top of the dish, then sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Cover the dish with foil, bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 additional minutes, until the top has browned. Scatter the rosemary over the top. Serve hot.

Source

Energetics of Chicken: Time Honored Tradition

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Chicken Facts

Raising chickens for food has been going on for a millennia.  The first domestication of chicken was said to have occurred in South Asia around 4000 years ago from a species called the red junglefowl. Chicken is consumed all around the world thanks to its versatility in cooking. It is so popular that experts estimate that there are about 25 billion chickens in the world at any given time.

Varieties Of Chicken

imagesChicken is available all year round.

Organic Chicken: Organically grown chickens have been fed an organic diet free from hormones or antibiotics. They have been raised in humane conditions, they are not allowed to be overcrowded and must have access to the outdoors and direct sunlight.

Free Range Chicken: Chickens allowed to run freely in the farmyard rather than being raised in coops. Some believed that this method of raising chickens leads to more flavorful meat. Free range chickens are not necessarily organic.

Broiler/Fryer Chicken: These chickens are not limited to just broiling or frying, they are also great being poached, steamed, grilled, or roasted.  They are not however good for stewing.  The average weight from this type of chicken is from about 2 ½ to 5 lbs and are about 8 weeks old when brought to market.

Roasters Chicken: This variety can be roasted, grilled, braised or stewed. They average from 3 to 5 lbs and are brought to market when they are 3 to 5 months old.

Stewing Chickens: These chickens are tough but flavorful.  They are best for stewing, braising and making stock. Stewing chickens are mature chickens that weigh 4-6 lbs and are usually around 1 year old.

Capons: These are surgically castrated male chickens.  This procedure results in birds that weigh about 10 lbs at a very young age.  They have a large portion of white meat, but the thick layer of fat under the skin makes them fattier than other varieties. They are best roasted.

Cornish Game Hens: This is a hybrid of cross between a Cornish Game Cock and a White Plymouth Rock Chicken. They weight ¾ to 2 lbs, are very low in fat and can be roasted, broiled, braised, and sautéed.

How to Choose and How to Store Chicken

depositphotos_2540985-stock-photo-raw-chicken-isolatedTo select the best chicken look for meat that have a solid and plump shape with a rounded breast and a fresh smell. Whether choosing a whole chicken or parts, the chicken should be pliable when gently pressed. The color of the skin should be it be yellow or white, does not have any bearing on the nutritional value. Regardless of color, the skin should be opaque and not spotted. Check the sell by date to make sure that your chicken is not expired.

If purchasing frozen chicken, look out for freezer burn or ice deposits. Also avoid chicken that has frozen liquid in the packaging, as that is a sign that it has been defrosted and refrozen.

Chicken should be stored in the coldest part of your fridge. Do not remove from its packaging until you are ready to use it. Check to make sure that the package does not leak, if it does you will need to wrap it tight in saran wrap.  It is important to make sure that the chicken does not contaminate other foods.  Refrigerated raw chicken can last for 2-3 days if stored properly.

Nutrition Of Chicken

chicken nutrition labelChicken is a great source of the B vitamin, niacin, which components of DNA require.  There have been links to genetic damage caused by a deficiency in niacin (as well as other B-complex vitamins). Niacin also is essential for converting the body’s proteins, fats and carbohydrates into usable energy and helps optimize blood sugar regulation.  Another B-vitamin that chicken contains is vitamin B6, which along with niacin helps support energy metabolism.  Vitamin B6 is essential to the body’s processing of carbohydrates, especially the breakdown of glycogen.  Chicken is also a great source of the trace mineral, selenium, which is an essential component in several metabolic pathways, including thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems and immune function. Chicken is a good source of phosphorus, a mineral that is essential part of the ATP molecule that fuels the activities of the cells. Chicken is an excellent source of protein, which in addition to its important physiological functions, dietary protein is important in preventing bone loss in the elderly.

Energetics of Chicken

Chicken acts as a qi energy tonic, specifically affects digestion (spleen-pancreas and stomach), increases jing (essence) and improves the condition of the bone marrow, and aids lactation.  Used when the following conditions result from the spleen-pancreas imbalances, anorexia and poor appetite in general, edema, diarrhea, diabetes, excessive urination, vaginal hemorrhage, vaginal discharge, and weakness following childbirth.

Chicken Recipe

Chicken Tikka MasalaCrock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece whole ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 to 2 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
Fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups cooked rice, to serve

 

Directions:

Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and transfer them to a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of garam masala, paprika, and kosher salt until the chicken is evenly covered with spices. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juices.

If you have the time: Marinate the chicken in 1/2 cup yogurt for up to 6 hours. Shake to remove excess yogurt before transferring to the slow cooker.

→ If you have the time: Sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet until softened, then stir in the ginger, tomato paste, and spices until fragrant. Transfer to the slow cooker with the chicken and diced tomatoes. This will give your tikka masala more depth of flavor.

Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Fifteen minutes before the end of cooking, stir in the heavy cream. If you prefer a thicker sauce, leave the slow cooker uncovered for the last 15 minutes. Taste and add more garam masala or salt to taste.

Serve over rice with fresh cilantro sprinkled over the top of each serving. The tikka masala can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days or frozen for 3 to 4 months.

Source

Energetics of Shishito Peppers: Roulette for the Sweet or Spicy

shishito-green-and-redShishito peppers are part of the nightshade family, and they are much sweeter than most peppers—well for the majority of the time. Beware though: shishito peppers can be quite unpredictable because 1 out of 10 can be very spicy!

The common understanding is that these peppers originated from Japan, yet they may have actually been originally introduced by Portuguese travelers. These peppers are green in color when young (when they are usually eaten), and they eventually become bright red as they grow older.

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Energetics:

Improves appetite and digestion, reduces swelling, promotes circulation, promotes optimal health, promotes heart health, promotes vision health, helps build strong bones, and aids in healthy weight control.

Peppers generally have anti-inflammatory properties, however individuals with loose stools (spleen-deficiency) should avoid shishito peppers (whereas in other individuals peppers can strengthen digestion). Peppers, in general, can weaken digestion in spleen-deficient individuals; if you are one of these individuals, then search through our blog for foods that nourish spleen deficiency. Check out this blog on winter squash

 

 

Flavors and Direction

Affected organ

Effects

Food

Pungent (yang) Warming, direct energy outward and to upper body, expansive, dispersive Lung/Large Intestine Stimulates circulation, cardioprotective, clear obstructions and improve liver function, moistens the kidneys affecting fluids in the entire body, improve digestion, and reduce mucous conditions, expels parasites Warming: spearmint, rosemary, scallion, garlic, onion, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, black pepper, all peppers, cayenne, mustard greens, fennel, anise, dill, nutmeg, basil and horseradishCooling: peppermint, marjoram, white pepper and radishNeutral: taro, turnip and kohlrabi
Sweet (yang)Warming, direct energy outward and to upper body (upward) Spleen-pancreas Stomach Slows acute reactions and neutralizes toxic effects of other foods, also lubricates and nourishes the body. Those to benefit most are dry, cold, nervous, thin, weak , scattered or aggressive persons. Less needed for those persons with damp or mucous signs. Fruits: apple, apricot, cherry, date, fig, grape, grapefruit, olive, papaya, peach, pear, strawberry, tomatoVegetables: beet, mushroom, cabbage, carrot, celery, chard, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, potato, spearmint, squash, sweet potato, yamNuts/seeds: almond, chestnut, coconut, sesame seed, sunflower seed, walnut

Sweeteners: amasake, barley malt, honey, molasses, rice syrup, whole sugar (unrefined)

 

Nutrition derived from 40 grams of shishito peppers has been listed below:

Calories 20 % Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Sugars 2g
Protein1 g 2%
Sodium 10 mg 0%
Vitamin A 80%
Vitamin C 170%

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Roasting Shishito Peppers by Emma Christensen

Serves 4 to 6

What You Need

 

Ingredients
2 dry pints shishito (bright green & firm)
1 tablespoon cooking oil (see Recipe Notes)
Coarse kosher salt or sea salt

 

Equipment
Mixing bowl
10-inch or larger cast iron or stainless steel skillet (do not use nonstick; cast iron is best)
Heatproof spatula or tongs

 

 

Instructions

  1. Heat the skillet: Place a large skillet under the broiler or on the stovetop over high heat to warm.
  2. Oil the peppers: Place the peppers in a mixing bowl. Drizzle them with cooking oil and a healthy sprinkle of salt. Use your hands or a spatula to toss the peppers until evenly coated.
  3. Transfer the peppers to the skillet: When the skillet is hot enough that a flick of water evaporates instantly, pour the peppers into the skillet. Be careful — the pan is very hot! The peppers should start to sizzle immediately.
  4. Cook the peppers until blistered: Transfer the skillet with peppers back beneath the broiler, or continue cooking over medium-high heat on the stovetop. (If cooking on the stovetop, turn on a vent fan.) Cook the peppers without moving them for a few minutes so they char on the bottom, then stir with a spatula. Continue cooking and stirring every minute or two until the peppers are blistered and darkened all over, 5 to 6 minutes total.
  5. Transfer the peppers to a plate and sprinkle with extra salt: The peppers are best when eaten within minutes of coming off the heat. Have a bowl of dipping sauce ready!

Recipe Notes

  • Cooking oil: I prefer to use olive oil for this dish, though technically olive oil isn’t ideal for this kind of high-heat cooking. I just love its rich, savory flavor with the salty peppers. If you’d prefer to use something else, I’d go for grapeseed oil or even peanut oil.
  • Dipping sauce: Make a simple dipping sauce for these peppers by mixing mayonnaise, sour cream, or yogurt with some lime or lemon juice and some hot sauce, like our Magic Summer Sauce.

 

 

 

References:

http://www.onlyfoods.net/shishito-peppers.html

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-roast-shishito-peppers-recipe-221033

http://eats.coolmompicks.com/2015/09/08/amazing-shishito-pepper-recipes/

http://www.asianfoodchannel.com/shows/real-girls-kitchen/recipes/shishito-peppers-with-soy-ginger-sauce

Energetics of Buckwheat: A Gluten Free “Grain”

buckwheatI know when I think of buckwheat I think of it being a glutinous grain like wheat, but in reality it is a fruit seed!  Buckwheat is actually related to rhubarb and since it is not technically a grain it is gluten free! While Buckwheat is considered a gluten free grain, if you wish to bake bread or other leavening foods you will have to mix it with a wheat baking flour.

The word buckwheat is thought to have come from the Dutch word bockwheit, which means “beech wheat”.  Beech wheat comes from its beechnut-like shape and its wheat-like characteristics.  Buckwheat is known for its unique flavor that is stronger than other grains.  The French like to make crepes with buckwheat, as do the Russians, although they are famous for their caviar filled crepes called blinis.

Varieties

buckwheatBuckwheat is native to both Northern Europe and Asia. You can find buckwheat both roasted and unroasted.  Unroasted buckwheat has a soft, subtle flavor, while roasted buckwheat has more of a nutty taste.

Buckwheat Groats: These are raw buckwheat kernels with their shells removed. They are unroasted and are often referred to as whole white buckwheat groats.  White groats can be substituted for recipes calling for rice.

Kasha: Since Russian porridge dish know as kasha is often made with roasted buckwheat groats, this form of buckwheat is called by this name.  Kasha can come in coarse, medium or fine granules.  It is an excellent side to meat dishes or can be combined with vegetables for a main dish. Kasha has a sweeter, nuttier flavor than unroasted groats.

buckwheat-sobaBuckwheat Grits: These are finely ground unroasted buckwheat groats. They cook quickly and are sold as buckwheat cereal or cream of buckwheat (my personal favorite winter breakfast).

Buckwheat Flour and Soba Noodles: Buckwheat is ground into flour and available in either white or dark forms; the darker variety is more nutritious. You can use buckwheat flour in making everything from pancakes to Japanese Soba Noodles.  True Japanese Soba Noodles are made with Buckwheat, but always make sure to check the ingredients label, as some companies will also add wheat flour.

Buckwheat is available all year round.

How to Choose and Store

buckwheatAs with any bulk section, always make sure that the bins are covered and that the store has good turnover to ensure maximum freshness.  Whether purchasing in bulk or pre-package, always make sure there is no evidence of moisture present.

Place buckwheat in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place.  Buckwheat flour should always be stored in the fridge.  If you live in a warm climate or experience periods of warm weather, you should store all buckwheat products in the fridge.  If stored properly buckwheat groats will last 6 months and buckwheat flour will last 3 months.

 Nutrition

buckwheat-nutritionBuckwheat has been found to help manage blood sugar balance, this is due to the component chiro-inositol that plays a significant role in glucose metabolism and cellular signaling.  Buckwheat has a concentration of dietary fiber and magnesium that has been linked to lower total serum cholesterol.  The dietary fiber helps reduce cholesterol levels and magnesium helps promote blood vessel relaxation and circulation.  Buckwheat also contains a high concentration of the flavonoids, rutin, quercetin, and kaepferol. These flavonoids are strong antioxidants and prolong the activity of vitamin C to promote overall optimal health.  The manganese found in buckwheat is an important cofactor in the production of superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant.

Energetics

buckwheat flourBuckwheat cleans and strengthens the intestines and improves appetite. It is used in the internal treatment of dysentery and chronic diarrhea.  It is used externally as a treatment for skin inflammations, eruptions, and burns. This is done by applying poultice of roasted buckwheat flour and vinegar.

Rutin found in buckwheat strengthens capillaries and blood vessels, inhibits hemorrhages, reduces blood pressure, and increases circulation to the hands and feet. Rutin can also be used as an antidote to x-rays and other forms of radiation.

Caution: Not recommended for those with signs of heat such as high fever, thirst, red face, deep-red tongue color, and high blood pressure.  Or for those with wind conditions such as dizziness, disorientation, nervousness, spasms, or emotional-instability.

 

Mushroom Buckwheat Risotto with Goat Cheese Curds

Buckwheat risotto

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw buckwheat
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 cups hot stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup dried shiitake
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated manchego cheese
  • large spoonful soft goats curd*
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • truffle oil (optional but amazing!)

Directions

Boil the kettle and pour about 1/3 cup of water over the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and sit aside.

Fill a saucepan with the stock and place on top of the stove to bring to boil. Once boiling, turn to a very low simmer and cover. In another saucepan on medium heat sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Once transparent add buckwheat and and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes.

Turn up the heat and add the wine. This will bubble and spit so be careful! Keep stirring until all the wine is absorbed. Now add some of the hot stock and continue to stir through until taken up by the buckwheat grains.

Take the soaked dried shiitake from the bowl of water and finely chop. Add these in with the next ladle of stock. Continue with this process of adding stock until buckwheat becomes soften through. The process should take approximately 15-20 minutes. (There may be some stock left over, dependent on the consistency of your risotto).

Whilst the risotto is cooking, place the sliced portotbello mushrooms in a hot pan with a good splash of rice bran oil and the chopped marjoram and thyme. Using tongs, turn them every 3-4 minutes creating a lovely deep crust on the mushrooms as you do so. This process should take at least 10-15 minutes.

Once the buckwheat risotto is ready (as described above), turn to low heat and stir through parsley, manchego, liquid from soaked shiitakes and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Place lid on saucepan and leave for 1-2 minutes to settle.

To serve, place a serve of the buckwheat risotto on a plate, top with the portobello mushrooms and finely a good dollop of goats curd. It using, finish with a drizzle of truffle oil.

Hint: Traditionally a risotto should be oozy on the plate when served.

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