Energetics of Cherry: The Tart/Sweet Superfood

Inflammation and pain are a few of the most common symptoms that people experience. You can easily see this by looking at any over-the-counter medicine aisle at your local grocery store. Lucky for us, cherries are a wonderful and natural remedy for lowering pain and inflammation—among many other benefits! Vote with your dollar and support farms that produce foods that positively impact our health in the most beneficial ways possible. Two DELICIOUS cherry recipes are at the end of this blog.

Energetics

Warming thermal nature; sweet flavor; increases and assists in the circulation of qi energy, tonifies the spleen-pancreas, clears and cleanses blood, and prevents involuntary seminal emission. Tart cherries are astringent and help to tighten and move out excess leaking conditions like excess sweating and frequent urination. Remedy for exhaustion, fatigue, diabetes, gout, arthritis, and rheumatism by eliminating excess body acids.  Treats coldness, improves blood and anemia.

 

Nutrition

Essentially, cherries come in two versions: sweet (which most people are accustomed to, and prefer most often) and tart. Generally, both have the benefits listed within this blog, however tart cherries are the ones that pack the most powerful superfood punch! The flavonoids contained in both types are praised for their anticancer effects and antioxidant capacities. Antioxidants are heavily important to ingest in one’s diet because they have the ability to minimize free-radical activity within the body; free radicals are oxidized molecules that cause damage at the cellular level.

Sweet Cherries

Did you know that cherries can help you sleep better, speed up exercise recovery, and relieve aches & pains?  Tart cherries, or tart cherry juice, is an easily absorbed source of natural melatonin – one of the few natural sources available. While you’re sleeping better, the anthocyanin’s antioxidants (like lutein and zeaxanthin), combined with beta carotene, vitamin C, and quercetin (a blood vessel relaxer) are burning fat more efficiently and reducing uric acid and inflammation.  Inflammation conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, and gout, and even sore muscles can be reduced with a cup or two of daily cherries.

Cherries also contain potassium (1 cup of cherries is equal in potassium to a small banana) which helps lowers blood pressure. The darker the cherry the higher the anthocyanin content.  These same nutrients help fight cancer, lower inflammation, enhances the production of cytokines (thus regulating immune responses), and also keeps the brain healthy too.

Sweet and Tart Cherries, fresh & raw

Nutritive Value per 100g

Principle

Nutrient Value per 100g

Percentage of RDA

Cherry type

 Sweet

    Tart

 Sweet

   Tart

Energy

 63 cal      50 Kcal

  3%        2.5%

Carbohydrates

16.1 g      12.18 g

12%        9%

Protein

1.06 g      1.00 g

2%         2%

Total Fat

  0.2 g         0.3 g

1%       1.5%

Cholesterol

    0 g           0 g

0%         0%

Dietary Fiber

 2.1 g         1.6 g

5.5%       4%

Vitamins

Folates

4 mcg           8 mcg

1%            2%

Niacin

0.154 mg   0.400 mg

 1%         2.5%

Pantothenic acid

0.199 mg    0.143 mg

4%             3%

Pyridoxine

0.049 mg   0.044 mg

4%          3.5%

Riboflavin

0.033 mg    0.040 mg

2.5%          3%

Thiamin

0.027 mg    0.030 mg

2%          2.5%

Vitamin C

     7 mg        10 mg

11%        17%

Vitamin A

     640IU      1283 IU

21%        43%

Vitamin E

 0.07 mg     0.07 mg

0.5%         0.5%

Vitamin K

  2.1 mcg     2.1 mcg

2%            2%

Electrolytes

Sodium

     0 mg           3mg

0%             0%

Potassium

  222 mg       179mg

5%             4%

Minerals

Calcium

   13 mg         16 mg

1.3%       1.6%

Copper

0.060 mg   0.104 mg

7%        11.5%

Iron

  0.36 mg   0.32 mg

4.5%       4%

Magnesium

    11 mg        9mg

3%          2%

Manganese

0.070 mg   0.112mg

3%            5%

Phosphorus

    21 mg     15 mg

3%           2%

Zinc

 0.07 mg     0.10 mg

0.5%        0.1%

Phyto-nutrients

Carotene, alpha

   0 mcg        0 mcg

Carotene, beta

  38 mcg   770 mcg

Crypto-xanthin, ß

    0 mcg      0 mcg

Lutein-zeaxanthin

  85 mcg    85 mcg

(Source: USDA Nutrient database)

Preparation

Cherries are in season from May to August.  Try Bing, heart-shaped Lambert, and golden Rainier sweet cherries, or Montmorency tart cherries.  Eat within a day or two of purchase, and rinse just prior to eating.  Look for shiny, deep colored cherries with a green stem still attached. If purchasing dried tart cherries, then be sure to check the ingredients panel as most contain added sugar. Whether treating yourself with wild (sweet) cherries or tart (sour) cherries, it’s a healthy indulgence, so dig in!

 

Kale Quinoa Montmorency Tart Cherry Salad w/ Salmon Recipe

Total Time: 65 Minutes

Prep: 20 Minutes

Cook: 45 Minutes
Yield: 4 People
Level: Beginner

Ingredients

  • Butternut Squash Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/2 inch cubes)
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • Salmon Ingredients:
  • 2-7 ounce salmon filets
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 lemon slices
  • Salad Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Montmorency tart cherry concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (hot or chilled)
  • 1 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts

Directions

Make Butternut Squash and Salmon:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss butternut squash with olive oil, rubbed sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread on parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until squash is tender and beginning to caramelize on edges.

Place Salmon, skin side down, in small baking dish or foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place lemon slices on top of filets. Roast for 15 minutes or until just opaque. Allow salmon to cool slightly before removing skin. Use fork to flake fish into chunks.

Make Salad Dressing:

While butternut squash and salmon are cooking, mix salad dressing ingredients in a bowl, liquid measuring cup, or jar with lid. Whisk or shake salad dressing until well combined. Set aside.

Assemble Salad:

Place chopped kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, a spritz of fresh lemon juice, and squeeze/massage kale leaves with clean hands for about 5 minutes or until leaves begin to tenderize and turn a dark glossy green. Toss kale with half of the salad dressing and set aside for 10 minutes.

Add quinoa, dried Montmorency Cherries, toasted walnuts, and butternut squash to the kale. Drizzle with remaining dressing and stir to combine. Gently fold in salmon and serve.

Tips:

Be sure to cut kale into small pieces and massage for at least 5 minutes to ensure tender delicious leaves.

Butternut squash and salmon can be cooked at the same time. Just add salmon to the oven halfway through the squash’s cooking time.

Butternut squash, salmon, and quinoa can be made the day before and mixed together before serving.

Salad can be tossed together with freshly cooked warm quinoa, butternut squash, and salmon for a warm salad, or assembled with precooked chilled ingredients for a cold salad.

Recipe courtesy of Emily Caruso, jellytoastblog.com

Cherry Ice (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups pitted cherries, fresh or frozen, plus whole ones for garnish

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together wine, honey, and lemon juice until combined. Set aside.

Place cherries in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to bowl with liquid mixture; stir until combined. Pour into a shallow metal pan and place in freezer. Stir with a fork every 10 minutes until mixture is slushy and partially solidified, about 35 minutes. Spoon into serving cups; garnish with whole cherries.

 

http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2007/12/sf_cherries/page-01

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/

http://aprilcrowell.com/asian-medicine/cherries-natures-blood-cleanser

Energetics of Plantains: A Plethora of Pleasant Pancakes

Plantains are a wonderfully delicious and beneficial fruit from the plant family Plantaginaceae. This is amongst the few fruits which can be consumed—and thoroughly enjoyed—during a wide range of unripe to very ripe states. Each varied state of ripeness will provide a wide gamut of flavor profiles, and of course, energetic qualities that affect the body in very specific ways.

Energetics:

Unripe (bitter) plantains strengthens yin, directs energy inward and downward to the lower body, are cooling to the system, and are helpful in relieving diarrhea, colitis, and hemorrhoids; bitter foods affect the heart & small intestine Officials and assist in reducing body heat and drying body fluids.

Ripe (sweet) plantains strengthens yang, are warming to the system, lubricate the intestines and lungs, benefit conditions of thirst and dryness, and detoxifies the body. Sweet foods affect the spleen-pancreas & stomach Officials. Ripe plantains are especially beneficial in the treatment of constipation and ulcers, dry lung or dry cough, addiction (especially alcoholism), and hypertension. Furthermore, ripe plantains are supportive to the elderly as they are helpful in regulating blood pressure, relieving dryness, and are easy to digest.

Preparation:

Depending on the taste profile that you prefer—and most especially the energetic health effects that you’re looking for—choosing your ideal ripeness is essential for the preparation of plantains.

Green (unripe & bitter) plantains are going to be closer to the consistency and starchiness of a potato and less messy when removing the skin.

Yellow -> black (ripe & sweet) plantains are much closer to the taste of a banana and can be messy when removing the skin. If you’re looking for the sweeter taste, then you want the plantain skin to be BLACK. I know this seems weird compared to most other fruits, however, this is when it is in its prime sweetness; simply be cautious to make sure that it has not developed mold while ripening.

Plantains don’t peel like a banana; you need to cut off both ends, slice into the ‘seams’ of the fibrous peel (without cutting into the fruit), and then use the knife to pry the peel off of the fruit. Here’s a great Plantains 101 blog if you want some more guidance on this process

RIPE Plantain Recipe:

Plantain & Coconut Pancakes by Sonia, The Healthy Foodie

Ingredients

  • ½ very ripe plantain, peeled and sliced
  • 3 whole eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch Himalayan or unrefined sea salt
  • ¼ tsp chai spice (see this post for Sonia’s mix)

Garnish ideas

  • 1 tbsp full fat coconut milk (refrigerated works best)
  • 1 tbsp toasted coconut shavings (organic, unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp unpasteurized/raw liquid honey

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor and blend until very well combined.
  2. Let the batter sit for a few minutes to give the coconut flour a chance to thicken.
  3. Meanwhile, add some coconut oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  4. When pan is hot enough, slowly pour about ¼ of a cup of batter per pancake and cook until tops become sort of matte and dull looking and edges appear cooked.
  5. Very delicately flip the pancakes and continue cooking until golden.
  6. Place the cooked pancakes in a very low temp oven to keep them warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
  7. Garnish with coconut milk, a drizzle of honey and sprinkle with toasted coconut shavings, if desired.

UNripe Plantain Recipe:

Egg-Free Green Plantain Pancakes

Recipe by Amanda Torres, The Curious Coconut

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 -15 minutes

Total time: 15 – 20 minutes

Yield: about 12 large pancakes

Ingredients

Cooking Directions

  1. You will need a good blender to make this recipe. Begin by peeling the plantains and slicing into pieces about 1 inch wide. To peel, use a knife to cut both tips off, then cut the plantain in half or in quarters. Next, use your knife to cut a slit down the length of the fruit, being careful not to cut into the flesh of the fruit (it may come off with the peel if you do). Use your fingers to lift the peel off. Use your knife to help clean up any bits that are hard to remove with your fingers. Add peeled plantain pieces to blender.
  2. Add your seasoning of choice, salt, baking soda, and coconut oil to the blender. Don’t turn it on yet.
  3. Prepare gelatin. **YOU CANNOT USE GREAT LAKES COLLAGEN HYDROLYSATE (green can) IN THIS RECIPE.** I recommend the RED can, since it comes from grass-fed cows. First, you need to “bloom” (wet) the gelatin, then melt it. To bloom, put the 3/4 cup filtered water into a small pot. Slowly sprinkle gelatin on top of water and watch that it soaks into the water. When you near the last of the gelatin, you will need to use a fork to stir the dry gelatin into the wet gelatin. I whisk it several times. Put pot on stove and heat over medium low heat while continuing to stir. Continue heating until all gelatin has melted and no clumps remain. Pour into blender with other ingredients.
  4. Pre-heat a large pan or skillet over medium heat. I use an anodized aluminum double-burner skillet that doesn’t require greasing. If using a frying pan, heat a few Tbsp of coconut oil in the pan.
  5. Blend on high. Use a spatula to scrape down sides of blender to ensure that all of the plantain gets pureed. I usually have to scrape the sides down once or twice and blend for a total of about 60 seconds or so.
  6. Pour batter into your hot pan in desired size. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes, then flip. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes then serve.
  7. This recipe will make about 12 large pancakes and is enough to feed 2 – 4 people. I like to top with fresh or cooked berries (cooked with a splash of water in a small pot until crushed easily) and a bit of grade B maple syrup. Non-autoimmune paleo topping options include creme fraiche, yogurt, or even some soft cheeses. I also like to pair these with a few slices of bacon for a great sweet and salty juxtaposition.

One Last Alternative Recipe (non-pancake): Monfongo

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 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 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.

Asian Soba Noodles with Vegetables and Edamame

Ingredients:
1 (8oz) package 100% buckwheat soba noodles
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, cut into thin sticks
1/4 scallions, finely chopped
1-2 cups edamame, shelled and soaked in warm water 10 mins

Dressing:
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
2 Tsp toasted sesame oil
3 Tbs gluten free tamari
1 Tsp maple syrup
1 Tsp brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 lime, juiced
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Directions:
1. Bring large pot of water to a boil and add soba noodles. Cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain noodles into a colander and immediately run cold water over them to remove all the starches.
2. In a large bowl, combine noodles, cabbage, celery, carrots, scallions, and edamame.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, toasted sesame oil, tamari, maple syrup, brown rice vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and salt.
4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
5. When ready to serve, garnish with cilantro.

Adapted from Cancer Fighting Kitchen

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.

Source

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 Turmeric: An Honourable Herbal Spice with a Multitude of Applications (Part 2)

turmeric-heart-320x209This blog on turmeric is part 2 of 2; if you haven’t read part 1 yet, then click here and check it out.

The use of turmeric as a spice, and as a household remedy, has been utilised across various cultures and has known to be safe for centuries. To date, no scientific studies in either animals or humans have discovered any toxic effects associated with the use of turmeric (Lao et al. 2006), and it is clear that turmeric is not toxic—even at very high doses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted its own clinical trials with turmeric and published a 300-page monograph. The FDA has declared turmeric, and its active component curcumin, as GRAS (generally regarded as safe).

Turmeric has been scientifically tested in a multitude of aspects and has a substantial list of observed benefits. These health benefits span a wide range of useful applications: anywhere along the spectrum from anti-aging qualities to anticancer functions.

Turmeric has been observed to:Turmeric

-Support collagen production: collagen is the ‘glue’ that holds the body together. This connective tissue is the most abundant protein in the body. Turmeric also provides a mineral, manganese, which helps to rebuild/replace old collagen in the skin and elsewhere throughout the body—thereby keeping skin young-looking, soft, and less prone to wrinkles

-Help to hasten gallstones out of the gallbladder: great preventative for those whose family has a history of gallbladder stones/removal or those that may be on the brink of needing gallbladder surgery.

-Be at least 10 times more active as an antioxidant than vitamin E (Khopde et al., 1999). Extracts can scavenge free radicals, increase antioxidant enzymes, and inhibit lipid peroxidation (stops cell damage due to free radicals).

-Be antimutagenic: this means that its compounds can prevent the mutation of your cells & genes. If the body has too many toxins, free radicals, etc. then genetic mutations can occur; these mutations cause disease and illness. Because toxins lie within everyone’s bodies, ingestion of antimutagenic agents become imperative.

-Prevent damage to the liver (Miyakoshi et al. 2004) and also serves to protect the heart (Mohanty, Arya, and Gupta 2006)

 turmeric list Specific Ailments Turmeric is Beneficial for:

Turmeric is used as an herbal medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, chronic anterior uveitis, conjunctivitis, skin cancer, small pox, chicken pox, wound healing, urinary tract infections, and liver ailments (Dixit, Jain, and Joshi 1988). It is also used for digestive disorders; to reduce flatus, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, and colic; for abdominal pain and distension (Bundy et al. 2004); and for dyspeptic conditions including loss of appetite, postprandial feelings of fullness, and liver and gallbladder complaints.

It has anti-inflammatory, choleretic (increases bile/solids secretion), antimicrobial, and carminative actions (decreases gas/bloating) capabilities (Mills and Bone 2000). Turmeric targets the digestive organs: in the intestine, for treatment of diseases such as familial adenomatous polyposis (Cruz-Correa et al. 2006); in the bowels, for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (Hanai and Sugimoto 2009); and in the colon, for treatment of colon cancer (Naganuma et al. 2006). For arthritis, dosages of 8–60 g of fresh turmeric root three times daily have been recommended (Fetrow and Avila 1999). For indigestion (dyspepsia), 1.3–3.0 grams of turmeric root is recommended. No known interaction of drugs with turmeric has been reported by the monographs of the German regulatory authority, Commission E (Blumenthal, Goldberg, and Brinckmann 2000).

In a study with human subjects, the effect of turmeric was examined on patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). When 1 or 2 tablets of turmeric extract were given daily for 8 weeks, the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome was significantly decreased, as was the abdominal pain/discomfort score (Bundy et al. 2004).

Turmeric volatile oil is also effective against respiratory tract disorders (pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, etc.) . The volatile oil is active in removing sputum, relieving cough, and preventing asthma. Thus, turmeric volatile oil may be an efficacious drug in the treatment of respiratory diseases (Li et al. 1998).

Anticancer Properties Observed:

cancerTurmeric inhibits cancer cell multiplication (cell proliferation), induces programmed cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells, and thus has many anticancer properties (Azuine and Bhide 1994; Deshpande, Ingle, and Maru 1997; Garg, Ingle, and Maru 2008). This fact is vitally important because cancer’s main ability to grow and replicate is due to its cells having an ‘infinite’ life program. This means that it can continually replicate and grow without needing to live by the rules of other healthy, non-cancerous, cells. Therefore, turmeric combats cancer by attacking its main forms of living/growing/replicating.

turmeric pillsThese animal studies have also shown turmeric to fight against the development of skin cancer (Villaseñlor, Simon, and Villanueva 2002), breast cancer (Deshpande, Ingle, and Maru 1998a), oral cancer (Azuine and Bhide 1992a), and stomach cancer (Azuine and Bhide 1992b). Turmeric prevents the formation of cancer at various steps, including inhibiting mutation (Polasa et al. 1991), detoxifying carcinogens (Thapliyal, Deshpande, and Maru 2001), decreasing cell proliferation, and inducing the death of tumor cells (Garg, Ingle, and Maru 2008). Certain organic chemicals within turmeric are able to infiltrate cancer cells and destroy them from the inside out: this process can be likened to well-trained ninjas; the cancer cells have no idea that they have invited in those who will destroy them. Even though these studies were all observing turmeric on animal subjects, it seems that multiple cultures throughout history—over a 4,000 year span—have had phenomenal reasons to apply this medicinal herb into their diets.

Further Health Benefits:

Would you like to increase the functioning of your gut? Turmeric acts as a potent digestive stimulant. As a dietary supplement, it enhanced the activities of pancreatic lipase, chymotrypsin, and amylase; each of these are important digestive enzymes that reside in different parts of the digestive system. Moreover, turmeric mixed with other spices such as coriander, red chili, black pepper, and cumin brought about a pronounced stimulation of bile flow and bile acid secretion (Platel et al. 2002). Mixing any of these singular herbs with turmeric creates a synergistic relationship where each herb becomes more effective. Increasing the bioavailability of turmeric in this way will induce higher amounts of bile flow which allows for the liver to detox more effectively, lessens the likelihood of gallbladder stones, and simultaneously increases the effectiveness of the digestive process.

Turmeric Golden Paste Recipe:Turmeric-Paste

-1/2 cup – turmeric powder

-1 cup – filtered water (estimated; might need more depending on desired thickness)

-1 1/2 tsp – ground black pepper

-1/4 cup – high quality cold pressed organic oil of your choice (olive, avocado, coconut, etc.)

 

Directions:

-Gently heat water in a pan (do not use Teflon coated or aluminium pans, if possible)

-Add turmeric powder & ground black pepper into the pan as it heats

-Gently stir until you get a thick paste (~6-10 mins)

-Add oil & stir more

-When you have desired thickness, then turn off the heat and allow to cool

-Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks

As stated earlier, black pepper assists turmeric in becoming highly bioavailable which helps it to be more effective within the body. The added oils will allow for the stomach to more easily absorb and assimilate the golden paste.

This paste can be used as an herbal remedy when feeling a flu or cold. It can also be used as a way to prevent illness and keep your immune system healthy and within the optimal range. Turmeric paste can be mixed with milk or water an d taken to treat intestinal disorders, colds, and sore throats. This paste can be eaten by itself, added to coffee, a smoothie, or your favorite dish. Get creative and enjoy!

Check out this website or this website for further information on ways to use this golden paste =)

 

Resources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/

http://www.turmericforhealth.com/

Organic Non-GMO Turmeric

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