Energetics of Kohlrabi: Discover Your New Favorite Vegetable

photo credit: postbear via photopin cc

photo credit: postbear via photopin cc

Kohlrabi is more than a funny name, it is also very good for you. It’s name comes from the German word kohl, cabbage, and rabi, turnip. Hence its nicknames German Cabbage and turnip cabbage. Its origin in nature is the same as that of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts: they are all bred from, and are the same species as the wild cabbage plant (Brassica oleracea).

The Best Way to Choose and Store

The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter. Young stems in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple, although not as sweet. Kohlrabi is grown annually. They weigh about 150 g and have good standing ability for up to 30 days after maturity. There are several varieties commonly available, including White Vienna, Purple Vienna, Grand Duke, Gigante (also known as “Superschmelz”), Purple Danube, and White Danube. Coloration of the purple types is superficial: the edible parts are all pale yellow. The leafy greens can also be eaten. Kohlrabi stems are surrounded by two distinct fibrous layers that do not soften appreciably when cooked. These layers are peeled away prior to cooking or serving raw. This results in stems that often provide a smaller amount of food than you assume from their intact appearance. Kohlrabi root is generally served raw in salads, while the leaves are a bit more versatile. The leaves can also be eaten raw, or they can be cooked and used like collard greens or kale.

Energetics

Kohlrabi nutritionKohlrabi is rich in vitamins and dietary fiber while only containing on 27 calories per 100g. Kohlrabi is especially high in vitamin C, with 102% of your recommended daily value. It also contains health-promoting phytochemicals such as isothiocyanates, sulforaphane, and indole-3-carbinol that are supposed to protect against prostate and colon cancers. Kohlrabi has high levels of minerals throughout the plant. The stem also has an abundance of copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, and phosphorus. The leaves are also very nutritious, with high levels of carotenes, vitamin A, vitamin K, minerals, and B-complex group of vitamins.

Kohlrabi improves qi energy circulation, eliminates blood coagulation and stagnancy, reduces damp conditions in the body, relieves painful or difficult urination, stops bleeding in the colon, reduces swelling of the scrotum, and alleviates the effects of intoxication by drugs or alcohol. It is used in the treatment of indigestion and blood sugar imbalance, especially in people with hypoglycemia and diabetes. The juice is drunk as a remedy for nose bleeds.

Roasted Kohlrabi and Butternut Squash

Roasted Kohlrabi and Butternut Squash

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 medium kohlrabi (2 1/4 lb with greens or 1 3/4 lb without)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 lb butternut squash

 

Preparation

Put oven rack just below middle position and put baking pan on rack, then preheat oven to 450°F. (If roasting vegetables along with turkey, preheat pan for 15 minutes while turkey roasts, then roast vegetables underneath turkey.)

Trim and peel kohlrabi, then cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Toss kohlrabi with 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Transfer kohlrabi to preheated pan in oven and roast 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel butternut squash, then quarter lengthwise, seed, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Toss squash with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in same bowl.

Stir kohlrabi, turning it, then push it to one side of pan.

Add squash to opposite side of pan and roast, stirring and turning squash over halfway through roasting, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes total (after squash is added).

Toss vegetables to combine and transfer to a dish.

 

Source

Roasted Kohlrabi and Butternut Squash

Energetics of Flaxseeds: More Than A Seed

Did you know that Charlemagne himself was a huge fan of flaxseeds?  He was so impressed with the versatility of the flaxseed (it can be used as food, medicine, and as a source of fiber in linen) that he created and passed laws that required its cultivation and consumption.

The earliest farming and consumption of flaxseed happened in Mesopotamia around the Stone Age. There are even records of it being used in Ancient Greece. The botanical name for flax is linum usitatissimum, which means most useful.  A most apt name for this multitasking seed.

Varieties

There are 2 main varieties of flaxseeds.  Flaxseeds are a bit larger than sesame seeds and they have a hard outer shell. Flaxseeds can be purchased as whole seeds, ground into a meal, or as oil. Flaxseeds are available all year round.

Yellow and Golden flaxseeds are used mostly for culinary uses.  When buying flaxseed at the store, this is the variety available.

Brown flaxseed is used mostly in the production of paint (as an oil additive) and linen.  It is also used as cattle feed.

How to Choose and Store

Flaxseeds are usually stored in either bulk bins or are prepackaged. If you platoon buying bulk always make sure that the store has a quick turnover of inventory and that the bins have a good seal. Always check to make sure there is no moisture gathering as that can lead to rotting and mold.

To extend the shelf life of your flaxseed I suggest buying it whole.  Whole flaxseed stay fresher longer than pre-ground seeds. Whole flaxseed needs to be stored in an airtight container and put in a cool, dark, dry place (like the fridge). If stored properly flaxseeds will stay fresh up to 3 months.  If you wish to extend the life, you can store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.

If you are buying flaxseed oil make sure you get cold-pressed or organic.  It should be stored in an opaque bottle and stored in the fridge.

How to Properly Use Flaxseeds

Always grind flaxseeds before serving.  In order to allow the digestion and absorption of nutrients from flaxseeds, they need to be ground to break their hard shells. You can find flax seeds pre-ground or you can buy whole seeds (which have a longer shelf life) and use a coffee grinder at home.

Nutrition

Flaxseeds are a great source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid. ALA is an easy to use form of energy for the body, it inhibits inflammatory compounds,  and is also essential for proper skin function. Diets rich in ALA are associated with a lower risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Flaxseeds are also a great source of lignan phytoestrogens, this is a phytonutrient that is converted into 2 hormone-like substances, enterolactone and enterodiol.  These hormone-like substances demonstrate a number of protective functions against breast cancer.  Flaxseeds are a good source of dietary fiber, containing both insoluble and soluble fiber. Therefore, they have been found to have a laxative effect decreasing constipation and increasing the number of bowel movements. Flaxseeds are also a good source of free-radical-scavenging manganese and copper, as well as bone-building phosphorus.

Energetics

Flaxseeds are neutral, so they are neither warming or cooling, and they have a sweet flavor.  Flaxseeds can be used as a laxative or to relieve pain and inflammation.  They influence the spleen-pancreas and colon. As a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds are great for boosting immunity and cleaning the heart and arteries of plaque.

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Quinoa

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer with cold water to remove bitterness until water runs clear and is no longer frothy.
  2. Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat until warm, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir quinoa and salt into the milk; simmer over medium-low heat until much of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir maple syrup and lemon zest into the quinoa mixture. Gently fold blueberries into the mixture.
  3. Divide quinoa mixture between 2 bowls; top each with 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds to serve.

Source

 

Coping with Seasonal Stress

The holiday season can be filled with a dizzying array of demands, visitors, travel and frantic shopping trips. For many people, it is also a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness and anxiety. Compound the usual seasonal pressures with economic strain and you many find this to be one of the most emotionally trying times of the year.

Boost your overall ability to handle seasonal stress by replenishing the nutrients that stress hormones deplete by including the following foods in your meals:

Blackberries – Blackberries are jam packed with vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. Vitamin C has shown to be a powerful stress reducer that can lower blood pressure and return cortisol levels to normal faster when taken during periods of stress.

Cruciferous Vegetables – Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and kale are full of stress-relieving B vitamins. Cauliflower is also one of the very best sources of vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid. Pantothenic acid helps turn carbohydrates and fats into usable energy and improves your ability to respond to stress by supporting your adrenal glands.

Salmon – Salmon is a healthy and delicious way to get your dose of B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Among the many benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, a 2003 study published in Diabetes & Metabolism found that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduced the stress response and kept the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine in check.

 

© Donna Sigmond, EastWest Wellness

Energetics of Scallions: How They Differ from Green Onions

photo credit: leezie5 via photopin cc

photo credit: leezie5 via photopin cc

While browsing the produce section of my local supermarket I encountered a perplexing revelation. I was looking at a very popular type of onion and wondering, “Is that a scallion or a green onion?” Is there a difference, or are they the same thing?

The Best Way to Choose and Store

“Scallion” is actually the group name for many members of the onion family, including green onions and scallions themselves. The difference being a green onion is a new onion harvested while its top is still green and its bulb small. Whereas, a scallion is younger than a green onion, and its white base is skinnier. A baby onion is considered a scallion until its bulb matures to about three-quarters of an inch, and then it’s called a green onion. So, essentially they are the same thing, just the name differs depending on age.

When buying scallions look for ones that have fresh, green tops that appear crisp and tender. The base blub should have two to three inches of whitish color. Avoid any that have yellow or wilted tops.

scallion nutrition

Energetics

Scallions are surprisingly full of nutrients.  They are a member of the Allium family, like garlic.  Most of flavonoids or antioxidants are found just under the outer skin, so try not to peel more than absolutely necessary.  The phytonutrient polyphenol content in onions is higher than in garlic, leeks, tomatoes, carrots or bell peppers.  Quercetin, a flavonoid, will transfer to the broth when simmered (low heat) in a soup or stew.

Scallions help promote urination and sweating, alleviates exterior conditions such as common cold or flu if taken during the first stages (especially when the cold is a “wind-cold” influence), it is a antifungal and antimicrobial, and relives dampness and watery accumulations like edema. They are also used to treat heart and chest pain, diarrhea, abdominal swelling and pain, arthritis pain associated with coldness disorders, and in tea form treats measles.

Caution: avoid when heat signs prevail, including yellow tongue coating, yellow mucus, fever, aversion to heat, and great thirst.

Spicy Scallion and Onion Salad

Spicy Scallion and Onion Salad

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

Preparation

Place onion and scallions in a medium bowl of cold water. Chill until scallions curl, at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk gochugaru, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon water in a medium bowl. Let sit, whisking occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and sauce looks shiny, about 10 minutes.

Drain onion and scallions and spin in a salad spinner or pat dry. Transfer to bowl with gochugaru sauce. Add vinegar and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper.

Do ahead: Onion and scallions can be soaked 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Source

Spicy Scallion and Onion Salad

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 Spaghetti Squash: It’s an Im’pasta’!

orangettiSpaghetti squash is a wonderful replacement for all of the various grain-based spaghettis that are normally combined with Italian recipes. This type of squash has much less calories (50 calories per 100 grams), way more fiber, and is extremely low on the glycemic index (which is great for everyone, and most especially those with diabetes).

It also has a packed nutritional panel consisting of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfur, Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, and Zinc. This squash varietal also contains beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin which have been associated with keeping one’s vision health, among many other health benefits that these nutrients bring with them. Beta-carotene specifically has been shown to be beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels and has been helpful to those with insulin resistance.

Image result for super squash
Nutrient content
N (%) 1.77
P (%) 0.36
K (%) 3.86
Ca (%) 0.42
Mg (%) 0.18
S (%) 0.21
B (ppm) 31.5
Cu (ppm) 8.54
Fe (ppm) 26.0

Mn (ppm) 6.26
Zn (ppm) 20.9
Fruit quality
Fructose 1.36
Glucose 1.35
Sucrose 0.35

 

Energetics:

Winter squash has the most concentrated source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) of all vegetables. ALA is an omega-3 essential fatty acid that is very good for heart health.  The deep yellow and orange colors of the winter squashes are a reflection of its carotenoid phytonutrients—alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin—content. In addition to the phytonutrients, winter squash also is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, antioxidants that benefit overall health, including heart health.  The vitamin A in winter squash is not just an antioxidant, it is an important nutrient for lung health, as it is essential for the growth and development of the tissues that line the lungs.

Spaghetti squash is also a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin A, C, B6, B1 and B5, niacin, thiamin, manganese, copper, and tryptophan.

Spaghetti squash is warming in nature.  It influences the spleen-pancreas and stomach, reduces inflammation and burns (fresh squash juice is applied to relieve burns), improves qi-energy circulation, and alleviates pain.  Squash and its seeds can be used to destroy worms, though seeds are the most effective. For parasitic worms, eat a small handful of the seeds of a winter squash once or twice daily for 3 weeks. Compared to summer squash, winter squash has higher amounts of natural sugars, carbohydrates, and vitamin A.

baked-spaghetti-squash-garlic-butter-4574

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 squash half

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

arismenu.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 20 oz 99% lean ground turkey breast (you can also use the 93-94% or 96% lean ground beef)
  • 1/4 lb chicken or turkey sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried or finely chopped fresh oregano, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried or finely chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Slice spaghetti squash length wise and scrape out the seeds. Rub 1/4 tbsp olive oil into each squash half and season with salt and pepper. Place each spaghetti squash half face down in a large baking dish and bake for 40-60 min. When squash is done, middle will be tender and pull apart easily.
  2. In a large pan, sauté onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add ground turkey. Season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until browned. Add sausage, crushed tomato and 1 teaspoon each basil and oregano. When sauce starts to bubble, reduce heat to a simmer until thickened (about 3-4 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, combine ricotta and cottage cheese in a medium bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon each basil and oregano. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper. Lightly mix until combined.
  4. When spaghetti squash is fully cooked, flip in the baking dish so that it is now skin side down. Evenly divide ricotta mixture between each squash half. Repeat with meat sauce. Top each half with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
  5. Turn oven to broil, and cook for another 2 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbling. This happens very quickly–make sure to watch closely, otherwise it can burn easily. Serve immediately. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

Notes

The sauce is very forgiving. Add/subtract whatever spices you like to get your desired flavor. I used a spicy (pre-cooked) chicken sausage, but you can use whatever flavor you like.

Resources:

http://thescienceofeating.com/2014/12/24/benefits-of-spaghetti-squash-2/

https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/v5-445.html

Recipe: http://arismenu.com/lasagna-stuffed-spaghetti-squash/

Energetics of Elephant Garlic: Garlic That’s Not Actually Garlic?

Elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum) is normally confused with ‘regular garlic’­­ (the type that many of us have seen and eaten). This extremely large garlic-resembling-imposter tastes much less pungent than its look-a-like counterpart, however, it does have many of the same health qualities as traditional garlic. Elephant garlic is not garlic—its geneElephant-Garlicalogy is actually much more closely related to leeks—even though our eyes would certainly tell us differently! For those out there that do not like ordinary garlic, try elephant garlic and see if you enjoy it, because it has SO many healthy qualities that your body might be craving.

The cloves/bulbs of an elephant garlic are extremely large in size; one bulb can be as large as an entire head of regular garlic. Contrary to popular belief, elephant garlic’s flavor profile is not stronger than ordinary garlic. It is actually much less intense; it is much milder, sweeter, and still packs an energetic punch in the realm of health and wellness!

As does regular garlic, elephant garlic contains the chemical compound “allicin” which has been scientifically shown to have antibacterial & antioxidant properties and can suppress/inhibit certain types of cancers. Allicin, the compound responsible for garlic’s unique odor, is one of the many powerhouses of its nutrient profile. Elephant Garlic has potent antibacterial and antiviral agents, and contains flavonoids, minerals, proteins, and vitamin B which collectively help to kill harmful microbes within the body.

A study from 2013 examined the effects that elephant garlic had on seven kinds of bacteria. Their results show that, “the antimicrobial activity of elephant garlic was stronger than ampicillin [Penicillin] when used against Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus thuringiensis, Staphylococcus actinomycetes, and gray actinomycetes. Even at a very low concentration (12.5%), elephant garlic still had an antibacterial effect on common bacteria E. coli and S. aureus.” This study concluded that elephant garlic has vital antibacterial properties and has an inhibitory effect on cancerous tumors on the bones (osteosarcoma).

Other research shows it to be effective against common infections like colds, flus, stomach viruses, and Candida yeast. Studies further show that allicin helps to lower blood pressure, triglyceride, and insulin levels in the blood. Allicin has also been shown to help protect against colon cancer by protecting colon cells from the toxic effects of cancer-causing chemicals.

Lets discover some ways to get this vital & delicious medicine into our bodies!

Ways To Eat Elephant Garlic

Elephant garlic can be consumed in much the same ways as conventional garlic. It can be stir fried, fermented, pickled, roasted, baked—even eaten raw—as well as sautéed, or cooked in a soup. Feel free to get creative!

Roasted Elephant Garlic + Cauliflower Soup by AdriennEats

1 head elephant garlic
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
3 tbsp olive oilroastedgarliccauliflowersoup1
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp ghee
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium turnip, diced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp paprika
4-5 c water
2 c almond milk
smoked paprika & dill to garnish each bowl

Preheat oven to 350°F. Drizzle elephant garlic (or regular head of garlic) with about a tablespoon of olive oil and cover with foil. Roast for almost an hour.

Fifteen minutes later, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread cauliflower florets onto the sheet and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes.

Put ghee into a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, cooking until translucent and softened. Add the celery, turnip, bay leaves, and spices. Cover for five minutes, allowing the vegetables to sweat a bit. Add the elephant garlic and roasted cauliflower along with the water and almond milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves. Use a hand immersion blender (or regular blender) and blend until smooth. If the consistency is chunky, like puree, add water to thin.

Finish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika and dill.

Roasted Elephant Garlic for Appetizers, Dips, & Sauces

By Dr. David Richard, ND, LAc

Spread liberally on bread, add to pasta dishes, use to add texture and taste to salads, or place on top of grilled burgers and steaks. Be creative, it’s completely up to you!

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Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes, Serves 10-12

20 cloves elephant garlic, peeled
1 quart Organic Whole Milk
1/4 cup Organic Olive Oil

 

 

 

  1. Measure the milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and add the cloves of garlic. Poach the garlic for 10 minutes. Rinse and drain the poached garlic, place into a mixing bowl, and toss with the olive oil.
  2. Place the coated garlic into a baking pan and place into a preheated 350°F oven for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use in recipes as directed or serve plain with fresh whole grain bread or vegetables.

 

*Disclaimer – Poaching elephant garlic in milk is a process used to tame its bitter nature. However, doing this poaching process may remove/dismantle some of the healing energetics of allicin, mentioned earlier*

Raw [Elephant] Garlic Bomb

For when (or before) you’re not feeling well

This works with either conventional garlic or elephant garlicGarlic

-Finely chop enough [elephant] garlic to fit onto a large spoon.

-Drizzle an organic high-quality oil of your choice (coconut, avocado, olive, etc.) onto the spoon with chopped [elephant] garlic.

-Drizzle raw organic local honey onto the ingredients (enough for your flavor profile needs)

-Put the spoonful into your mouth and thoroughly chew the mixture until it becomes a soft paste in your mouth. Chewing this mixture completely, as long as you can stand, is essential to allow your body to most easily process and receive the healing qualities of this food.

-Take 5 or so minutes to sit and relax. If done correctly, your mouth will begin to salivate and your body temperature may rise a bit. Wait a few minutes and you will feel revitalized, ready for your day, and the sickness will be at bay.

Check out Intentional By Grace – 7 Ways to eat Raw Garlic ~Flu Fighting Food~

*If you did not get the above mentioned effect, then double the amount of [elephant] garlic for your next round*

For more info about conventional garlic, check out our previous Blog Post “Energetics of Garlic: Move over Dracula”

Energetics of Grapefruit: Delicious and Nutritious

Grapefruit TreeHave you ever wondered why this large cousin of the orange is named after its smaller counterpart grapes? It is because like grapes, grapefruits grow in clusters on trees! The grapefruit is a native of Barbados and has only been around since the 1700’s. Many botanist believe the grapefruit is actually a cross breeding between oranges and pomelos, a citrus fruit brought to Barbados from Indonesia.

photo credit: Darwin Bell via photopin cc

photo credit: Darwin Bell via photopin cc

Best Way to Choose and Store

While available all year round, peak season is early winter through early spring. Grapefruit are designated white, pink or ruby depending on inner flesh color, not skin color. They come in many varieties and sizes. Duncan, a white grapefruit, are large with yellow skin and is used primarily to make juice. Lavender Gem, a white grapefruit, is a grapefruit-tangelo hybrid with a lemon-yellow or pink blush colored skin. The inner flesh is a pinkish-blue and has a delicate flavor. The most popular variety is the White Marsh, which is a white seedless grapefruit. Pink and ruby varieties tend to be sweeter and have a higher concentration of vitamin A. You can select the best tasting grapefruit by looking for ones that are heavy with smooth skin. Ripe grapefruit are heavy and firm, yet slightly springy when gently squeezed. At room temperature they should have a sweet aroma.   Skin discoloration, scratches, or scales do not affect the taste. Avoid grapefruit that show signs of decay or overly soft spots at the stem. These are signs that they will be less flavorful and more bitter. While grapefruit tend to be juicer when warm, they only last 5 days at room temperature. If refrigerated they can last up to 10 days.

grapefruit nutrition

Energetics

Grapefruit contain lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient that is responsible for its pink coloration and provides protection from free-radical activity. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, that provide immune support and powerful antioxidant protection. Grapefruits are great for heart health, they contain pectin and mineral potassium. Pectin is a soluble fiber that helps trap fats like cholesterol in the intestinal tract.   Mineral potassium helps regulate blood pressure. The pulp of citrus fruit, like the grapefruit, contain glucarates, compounds that may help prevent breast cancer. Grapefruits are also a good source of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) which plays an important role in the body’s production of cellular energy.

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

Grapefruit increases appetite during pregnancy, helps overcome alcohol intoxication, and treats poor digestion and belching. Grapefruit peels move and regulate spleen-pancreas digestive energy, resolves mucus conditions of the lungs, lung congestion and coughing, and are used to alleviate intestinal gas, pain, swelling, and promote peristalsis. To extract these properties from the peels, make it into a tea. The tea is also good for frostbite when applied at room temperature with a compress, as it helps restore circulation to the damaged tissue. The juice from grapefruits when combined with tea made from grapefruit pulp will reduce fevers.

Grapefruit seeds are even more beneficial. The extract made from the seeds, Citrus Seed Extract, is an extremely potent antibiotic.   The extract dries damp conditions in the body, inhibit members of several classes of microbes and parasites, among them: protozoa, amoebas, bacteria, viruses, and at least thirty types of fungi. The extract comes in a variety of forms, including liquids, capsules, sprays, and ointments. Internal uses include prevention of “traveler’s diarrhea”, allergies, gardida, parasites, flu, strep throat, and staph infections. External uses include wart removal, treatment of athlete’s foot, nail fungi, dandruff, and poison oak.   This extract is also used in household settings by soaking produce to remove parasites and pesticides, sterilizing laundry, cleaning contaminated surfaces and kitchen utensils, and ridding drinking, bathing, and swimming water of microbes.

Caution: Those with signs of dryness and/or deficiency, including deficient yin syndrome, should use Citrus Seed Extract sparingly.

Energetics of Sweet Potatoes: Not a Yam!

 

The holidays are a great time for putting sweet potatoes on the dinner table. Though available year-round, their peak season is in November and December. They are a great replacement for conventional potatoes (red, russet, etc.)  because sweet potatoes are more nutritionally dense.

You can make nearly anything from these delicious vegetables: casseroles, potatoes pancakes, mashed potatoes, fries.

Though the term “yam” is often used interchangeably with sweet potatoes, the true yam is actually an entirely unrelated food that originates in West Africa and Asia. In the produce department of your local grocer, if you see a sign labeled “yams,” it is most likely a sweet potato. You can recognize a yam by its wrinkled skin and rough texture.

Storage and Preparation:

Make sure to look for ones that are firm and free of any cracks, bruises, or soft spots. Never refrigerate them, nor buy ones found in the refrigerated section of a grocery store, as the coldness can adversely affect taste, because these are grown in tropical climates.

With proper storage, sweet potatoes can stay good for up to 1 month!

The best way to cook a sweet potato to retain its rich nutrients is to steam or bake it.

 

sp4Nutrition:

Just because sweet potatoes are sweet, doesn’t mean their bad for your blood sugar. Sweet potatoes can help balance your blood sugar better than conventional potatoes.

The tubers are packed with many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), and thiamin (vitamin B-1), niacin, and riboflavin.

They also promote lung health due to its abundance of Vitamin A.

It’s other minerals help build healthy bones, boost energy level and moods, and promotes digestive health.

Energetics:

Cooling thermal in nature with a sweet flavor, sweet potatoes promotes the production of qi. It builds the yin fluid capabilities of the kidneys, which in turn benefits dry and inflamed conditions in the body.

It increases quantity of milk produced by lactating women.

Sweet potatoes remove toxins from the body, and strengthen the spleen-pancreas.

It can also be used to treat diarrhea or upset stomach, and boosts red and white cell production.

Note that sweet potatoes are a nightshade food, along with tomatoes, peppers, cherries, tomatillos, and more. Nightshade plants are high in alkaloids so anyone with arthritis or gout likely should avoid this family of foods. Steaming, boiling, and baking can help reduce the alkaloid levels.

Curried Carrot, Sweet Potato, and Ginger Soup

Recipe courtesy of: Health.comsp5

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/4-inch) sliced peeled carrots
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 3 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add potato, carrots, ginger, and curry; cook 2 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stir in salt.

Pour half of soup in a food processor; pulse until smooth. Repeat procedure with remaining soup.

Energetics of Chard: Taste the Rainbow

 

The amazing variety in chard is quickly recognizable in its vibrant colors, including the dark greens in its leaves and the rainbow of reds, purples, and yellows in its stalks and veins. There are a lot of different types to choose from, including rainbow chard, fordhook, yellow, rhubarb chard, or baby Swiss chard. All these choices make it easy to incorporate chard into your diet.

 

Storage and Preparation:

When selecting Swiss chard, it’s highly recommended to buy organically grown for this vegetable.  Avoid chards that are blemished, or the leaves are wilting. You want to find one with a vibrant, bright green color. Chard is available all year round, but it’s more flavorful during the cold months.

If not stored properly, it could lose up to 30% of its vitamins. To extend the shelf life, you’ll want to store it in the refrigerator to prevent deterioration.  Wrap it in a plastic bag, and let out as much air as possible.  Do not wash before refrigerating, keeping it out of water until you’re ready to use keeps it crisp.

When refrigerated, Swiss chard can stay fresh for up to 4 days.

Preparation for Swiss chard is extremely simple.  Make sure it’s thoroughly washed, and then chop the leaves into 1 inch slices. Fordhook chard has a white stem, which can be cut up with the leaves to enhance the flavor.  Remember, the thinner the slice, the faster it will cook, so adjust cooking time if you want to slice it thin.

 

Nutrition:

Swiss chard is the power-house of many phytonutrients that have health promotional and disease prevention properties.

It provides a cocktail of vitamins and minerals that promote bone health. It’s a great non-dairy option for getting your recommended calcium intake. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin K and magnesium, both crucial to healthy bones.

The dietary fiber found is Swiss chard helps regulate the digestive system, and helps to prevent or relieve constipation. Dietary fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

 

Energetics:

Chard is a cooling food used for people exhibiting signs of excessive heat.  Symptoms of excessive heat are panting, thirst, red eyes, dry skin, dry cough and restlessness.

Swiss chard has general hemostatic properties which help stem or retard bleeding from any part of the body in cases of hot- blood bleeding.  Hot-blood is caused by heat that has penetrated deep within the body, agitating the blood and increasing the possibility of hemorrhaging. Signs of hot-blood include scarlet tongue, skin rashes or red skin eruptions, fever thirst, and fast pulse.  Hot-blood can also be caused by a deficiency in yin, which is indicated by fresh red tongue, night sweats, and fast, thin pulse.

Swiss chard is also used for cooling heat congesting the lungs.  The exterior symptoms are fever accompanied with chills, and a red tongue with a dry, yellow coating.  In addition, there is a dry cough, shortness of breath, and a painful sore throat.

 

Garlic Sautéed Swiss ChardBI0207-1_Swiss-Chard_s4x3_lg

Recipe courtesy of Melissa d’Arabian

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large bunch Swiss chard; ribs removed and chopped into 1 inch slices
Kosher salt to taste
Splash red wine vinegar

Add the oil to a large sauté pan with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until the garlic turns golden. Add the chopped Swiss chard ribs and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the Swiss chard leaves and season with salt, to taste. Cook until the leaves are wilted. Stir in a splash of red wine vinegar. Serve immediately.