Microgreens Another Source Of Great Nutrition

Microgreens are young vegetable greens that fall somewhere between sprouts and baby leaf vegetables.

Sprouts are technically the newly germinated seeds, while the microgreens are the 1-2 week-old youngster seedlings.

Sprouts grow more like a fungus, as they are provided with high humidity, an enclosed area, and a low light environment.

Whereas, microgreens grow more like a plant. It absorbs nutrients directly from the seed, soil, or nutrients added to water (if grown hypotonic) and light (photosynthesis).

Hydroponic grown microgreens
Hydroponic Grown Microgreens

Microgreens are rich in potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper – all of which are essential nutrients for the health of your body.

According to studies that have been conducted on microgreens, they contain up to 40 times more nutrients compared to their fully mature counterparts.

This means that you can get the right amounts of nutrients that you need for optimal health by just adding a few microgreens servings into your diet.

What Do Mircrogreens Taste Like

As noted above, these tiny and edible greens that grow from vegetable and herb seeds pack a nutritional punch and are absolutely delicious.

Generally speaking, microgreens have an intense aromatic flavor.

Here is a small list of the most popular microgreens grown out of over 100 varieties and their description of taste.

• Alfalfa – Mild, nutty, crunchy, pea-like taste

• Arugula – Nutty, peppery

• Broccoli – Mild, crunchy, dense, slightly bitter

• Clover – Mild earthy, nutty, crunchy, juicy

• Cress – Peppery, tangy

• Daikon Radish – Strong, Peppery

Daikon radish microgreen
Daikon Radish Microgreen

• Dun pea – Slight sweet, crunchy, robust flavor

• Kale – Mild, subtly sweet, broccoli-like taste

• Kohlrabi – Mild, sweet

• Lentils – Mild bitter, pea-like taste

• Mung bean – Mild bean taste, slight buttery

• Wheatgrass – Mild sweet, bitter, grassy

How To Use Microgreens

Apart from their nutrition, microgreens also give plated dishes visual appeal that is as a result of their delicateness and vibrancy.

Asian Pear Carrot and Daikon Radish Salad with Microgreens

Microgreens are not only important in giving your dish an appealing look, but also adds taste and texture to the plated food.

Microgreens can be used as a sandwich stuffer, with wraps, burritos, salads, soups, topped on fried or scrambled eggs, and used in smoothies among many other uses.

Pastrami Sandwich with Microgreens

Easy To Grow Year Round

The best part about growing microgreens is their ability to grow all year-round. You can grow them anywhere, whether you want to grow them indoors or in your garden.

Since you can grow them anywhere, you don’t have to wait for the right weather to set in so you can start growing them.

During summer, you can grow your microgreens anywhere as long as there is enough natural sunlight.

During the cooler seasons where sunlight hours are limited and temperatures drop below 40 degrees, you sprout the seeds in your home using a grow light to help them thrive.

Growing Microgreens Is Easy

Savory Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Savory Sweet Potato Hash

If you’re looking to introduce vegetables into your breakfast sweet potatoes will do the trick.

Sweet potatoes are considered a root vegetable. Tubers that come from the morning glory family scientifically named, Convolvulaceae.

Harvesting sweet potato  tubers

Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America.

They typically have brown skin and orange flesh but also come in purple, yellow, and red varieties. There are over 400 varieties.

Variety of sweet potatoes

In the United States and some other countries, sweet potatoes are often called yams, even though they’re different species.

They can vary in size, measuring up to 12 inches long and weighing up to about one pound.

Nutrition of The Sweet Potato

The sweet potato provides a variety of nutrients, including vitamins A – B6 and C, calcium, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants.

The potato contains complex carbs that digest slower, therefore not elevating your blood sugar.

They also contain antioxidants and are three times more concentrated in the skin than the flesh.

The antioxidants include: polyphenols, ascorbic acid, carotenoids, tocopherols, α-lipoic acid, and selenium.

Cooking With A Sweet Potato

The sweet potato is probably one of the most-versatile vegetables to cook with.

There are so many ways to use sweet potatoes as the possibilities are endless.

They can be used in both savory and sweet applications, when cooking or baking.

Typically, they are served either baked, roasted, steamed, boiled, simmered, or fried. In dessert form, as a sweet potato pie.

And that’s what’s happening here – frying shredded sweet potatoes into Savory Sweet Potato Hash Browns.

¼ pound diced smoked bacon

½ pound sweet potato, shredded

½ cup diced sweet onion

1  teaspoon dried chives

½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

½ teaspoon granulated garlic

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Chop in bacon until just crisp. Be sure to cut in enough bacon fat, which will be used to cook shredded sweet potato.

Next add diced onion and cook until onion is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Next add chives, thyme and garlic. Stir in and then add the shredded sweet potato and cook for about 5 minutes for soft hash browns or about 8 to 10 minutes for crispy hash browns.

Plate and serve topped with a sunny side up eggs.

Sweet potato  hash browns with egg

Good Reasons To Eat Your Fruits And Vegetables Every Day

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and variety is as important as how many servings you eat every day.

No single fruit or vegetable will provide all of the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy body.

A diet filled with plenty of different fruits and vegetables can help to reduce your risk for major disease.

Baked Beets and Sweet Potato Chips

Such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, just to mention a few.

All fruits and vegetables contribute to a healthy heart, though green leafy vegetables, like lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens, have shown to be strongly associated with decreased risk of heart disease.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale – and citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (including their juices) also contribute to a health vascular system (BMJ).

Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables

Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits like apples, pears, and green leafy vegetables may even promote a healthy body weight (PLOS Medicine).

Were as starchy vegetables like corn, peas and potatoes tend to be linked to weight gain, rather than weight loss (The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition).

Apples and pears are a great example of eating different types of fruit to receive your daily intake of vitamins and minerals if you want to maintain a healthy body.

Apples have more vitamins than pears, namely vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin B1. The vitamins are more abundant in apples than pears.

Apple Mango and Radish Salad

Were as pears contain more minerals than apples. Like iron, calcium, magnesium, and especially copper and zinc.

Red Pear and French Bean Salad

Both of these fruits though, contain potassium, phosphorus, and sodium.

There are at least nine different family types of fruits and vegetables that exist, and each with potentially hundreds of different plant compounds that are beneficial to your health.

Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad

That is why it is important to eat a variety of different types and colors of produce in order to give your body the nutrients it needs.

This will not only ensure a greater diversity of beneficial plant compounds, but also creates eye-appealing meals.

Red Kale Beets and Sweet Cilantro Vinaigrette

Health Benefits of Eating Root Vegetables

Most root vegetables are high in complex carbohydrates, which break down into sugar in your body to give you the energy you need to function properly.

Carrot Cranberry Salad

Root vegetables are high in fiber and phytonutrients, and low in fat as well as in calories.

They also contain vitamin C, beta-carotene, and essential minerals like potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon

Pros and Cons of Eating Root Vegetables

Accordingly Harvard Medical School, most root vegetables have starch, a kind of carbohydrate that the body breaks down into glucose for energy.

Some are higher in starch like sweet potato’s and others are lower, like carrots and onions.

But don’t let the starch discourage you from eating them.

These type of vegetables are still fresh whole foods that contain many vitamins and minerals. Eating a variety of them is good for your health.

Harvard recommends eating just one serving of root vegetables per day. And not with another starch food, like rice.

They also recommend not eating the same root vegetables all the time. Instead, eat a variety of them to get a wider selection of nutrients.

Gluten Free Penne with Smoked Bacon and Butternut Squash

Gluten Free Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Smoked Bacon

Butternut squash and also refereed to butternut pumpkin in Australia and New Zealand, is a winter squash. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to pumpkin.

Butternut_squash

The value of the nutrient content increases when cooked

According to Specialty Produce the butternut squash was developed in Stow, Massachusetts in 1940 by Charles A. Leggette.

The squash is a member of the gourd family and is the most widely grown winter squash. In the United States, Florida is the largest squash-producer with California ranking second.

Butternut is rich in fiber, and low in calories. It also is a good source of minerals, including magnesium and potassium. Those who have asthma or breathing problems, this squash can help, because of its magnesium, and vitamins A and C content.

Medical studies since 1994 have reported that low magnesium intake is linked to asthma and chronic obstructive airways. Many studies also have noted that drugs used in the treatment of asthma causes loss of magnesium in the body (The Link Between An Asthma Attack and Magnesium).

Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, who authored the book, “The Magnesium Miracle,” states that magnesium has a calming effect on the muscles of the bronchial airways, as well as the whole body (Treating Asthma With Nutrition).

Let’s breath easier, and get that all over calming effect as we present our featured recipe: Gluten Free Penne with Smoked Bacon and Butternut Squash, and here is what you will need.

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces, cooked in a steamer (optional to roast)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound gluten-free penne pasta

1 large yellow onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper corns

1/2 pound smoked bacon, cooked, but not crispy, your preference in flavor, we used a apple-bourbon smoked bacon

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to package instruction. Save one cup of the pasta water before draining pasta. Set aside.

sauteing onions Over medium heat in a large ceramic coated frying pain, add oil and diced onion, red pepper flakes and crushed pepper corns, and saute until onion are slightly browned, about 6 to 7 minutes.

adding squash and pastaNext add past, squash, and bacon. Mix until well incorporated. Next add cheese, and slowly add the reserved pasta water. The amount you add determines if you want the dish creamy or not.

Gluten Free Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Smoked BaconPlate and serve.

What Others Are Reading:

Baked Garlic and Broccoli

Baked Garlic and Broccoli

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, capable of irradiating cells from your body that would otherwise become cancerous. It is a vegetable among others in its class that stimulates the lymphatic system to detox your body as well.

As for garlic, it’s your digestive aid, antibacterial, and anti-inflammation friend. If you don’t like garlic, maybe you should get to know it better, because it fights off cancer as well.

Let’s get started with our featured recipe: Baked Garlic and Broccoli. It’s a very simple and tasty recipe, as well as a nice way to enjoy broccoli with the pure flavor of fresh garlic.

Here are the few ingredients you will need.

Ingredients for - Baked Garlic Broccoli1 cup broccoli florets

6-8 garlic cloves

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe makes two (2) servings. Double it to serve four (4) servings or triple it to serve six (6).

Tenderizing the Broccoli Marinate the broccoli florets for 30 minutes with the olive oil and salt, so that they become tender.

Garlic and Broccoli on a baking sheetPreheat the oven to 350 F for 5 minutes. Spread out evenly the broccoli florets and garlic cloves onto a baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Toss the broccoli and garlic, then continue to bake for for another 10-15 minutes or until broccoli browned a little but not burnt.

Baked Garlic and BroccoliRemove from oven and let cool about 3 to 5 minutes. Place into a serving bowl, and make it a side with your favorite meat dish.

If you wish you can add other vegetables to the baking sheet, like carrots or zucchini. Enjoy!

What Others Are Reading:

How Important is Breakfast for You

How Important is Breakfast for You

coffee on the run

No time for Breafast

All of us have heard now and again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But knowing this doesn’t stop an individual from skipping this meal or choosing to only have coffee. Believe it or not, this happens in every corner of the earth.

We need to recognize the reality, which is, breakfast is very significant meal of the day, and by eating breakfast first thing, will actually help your overall diet and eating habits, by not skipping breakfast.

Breakfast is appropriately named: break-fast. People do not eat while they sleep, and 6 to 8 hours is a long time to go without food, and even longer if we had no meal the night before.

Therefore, breakfast is the first time a person will eat anything for a long period of time. Your body is fasting, and upon raising the fast should be broken.

There are a number of nutrients, such as proteins, that can’t be stored in the body, and need to be replenished as soon as possible.

Breakfast is similar to the match that lights the fire. It happens to be an essential source of energy that allows the body to function properly throughout the day, and this includes, both an increase in physical and mental capabilities.

Weight control with eating breakfast every day

Weight Control with Eating Breakfast Every Day

Studies have shown that those who eat breakfast weigh less than those who don’t. Many, who don’t eat breakfast, wind up starving at lunch, and overeating, or snacking several times before lunch. Usually the snacks are not nutrient dense, but rather non-nutritious or junk food as it is called.

Overeating can and will lead to obesity, with other side effects, including cardiovascular disease, and type II diabetes, too mention a few.

The gall-bladder is also affected. During the night the body repairs itself from the prior day. The liver makes bile and stores it in the gall-bladder. By morning the gall-bladder is waiting for food to enter the stomach, so it can release the bile.

When this does not happen, morning after morning, the vile will soon calcify, and the gall-bladder will become infected and will need to be removed. Of course, this takes years to happen, but once the gall-bladder is gone, weight problems will then set in.

Healthy foods, which are eaten at breakfast, such as whole grain toast, bagels, eggs, meat, bran cereals, and fruit will be a useful source of vitamins and minerals to provide energy for the rest of the day.

Usually when these are not obtained first thing in the morning, it will be difficult to compensate for them throughout the day. Keep in mind that without the appropriate levels of nutrients, the body will certainly not function properly.

Beside over eating, and not eating the right foods, our emotional well-being is also affected.

By consuming a healthy breakfast, it results in us choosing healthier foods throughout the rest of the day, so you consistently obtain the proper nutrition that your body needs.

If we only drink coffee before going to work, and once at work, our bodies are letting us know it needs fuel, and aside from feeling tired, we look for a energy drink, a small snack from the snack machine or a doughnut that might be in the break room. Do you see the vicious cycle from skipping breakfast?

Setting aside 15 minutes in the morning to enjoy breakfast, can really make a big difference in your life, and how you feel. When eating breakfast you should incorporate foods from at least three different food groups.

As an example, you could have a whole grain English muffin, smeared with cream cheese (a dairy food group) or almond butter (a protein food group), and an orange (a fruit group). Even a breakfast with an egg, 100% whole wheat toast, and fresh squeezed orange juice will do as well.

Link here for some breakfast ideas from Splendid Recipes and More.

FREE e-book for You -Breakfast for Your Health- Get it here:

download button green

Breakfast doesn’t need to be complicated.

 

 

What Others are Saying About Breakfast:

Leafy Green Salads as a Main Course

Different types of lettue greens

Summer is just around the corner and the leafy greens that were planted as seed in the early Spring are sprouting from the ground about now. Have you considered what you are going to do with all those fresh leafy greens that will soon hit the market?

leafy greens sproutingOr maybe you have a home vegetable garden, with leafy greens now sprouting?

Will here at Splendid Recipes and More we have some options. Making up a leafy green salad and adding chicken breast to it, and of course a dressing or vinaigrette.

Chicken breast is the lean meat of the poultry bird. A great choice for weight control. The method of cooking the chicken is either to Broil, grill or bake it. These methods offer good nutrition and flavor.

What is your knowledge of all those wonderful greens you see in your garden or in the produce department of your favorite market?

There’s: Kale, Spinach, Arugula, Red and Green leaf lettuce, Cabbage, Endive, Radicchio, even Cilantro, Mint, Fennel, and Basil.

They are all a nutrition powerhouses and excellent source’s of vitamins A C, and K, and some like kale are a good source of calcium, as well as folate and potassium.

The benefits of eating these greens are weight loss and control, as they are a high fiber food. Cuts your risk of high blood pressure plus heart disease. Eating any of these greens will reduce blood clotting, reduces calcium in arterial plaques, reduces inflammation, and you will get improved memory and eye sight as well.

Of course you can add some color to the salad, like red, orange or yellow bell peppers. Don’t forget the cherry tomatoes, red onions or even some wild carrots (they have varying colors as well).

Now that we are all salivating for a Salad as a Main Course, here are some recipes (follow the link for the written recipe with instructions)…

Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad

 

Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad

 
Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad...close up

 

Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad

 

 

Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

 

Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

 

 

 

Follow this link too more recipes, Salads as a Main Course.

 

 

What Others are saying About Leafy Greens:

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Eternal Debate: Does Organic Living Require Supplements

supplementsThere’s an interesting trend happening in natural and organic living. People who tout the consumption of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, also seem to consume a lot of supplements. I’ve had many people ask me about this. If you’re living a healthy lifestyle, why do you need supplements?

It’s a very good question.

Many people living an organic lifestyle cite depleting soils, premature picking, cooking, processing and other factors as decreasing the nutritional value of our food. But here’s my take on it. If you’re eating healthfully, exercising regularly and unless you have specific health issues, supplementation may not be necessary.

Supplements are big business. Whether they’re synthetic or they’re natural (if you do take them, go natural), it’s a business that must convince the consumer they need their product. It’s a decision that each person needs to make for themselves and it’s important to remember that having too much of certain vitamins and minerals can actually be harmful.

And more importantly, supplements can be very expensive and you need to decide carefully if they need to be in your budget.

Many people claim they’ve never felt better when taking a specific natural supplement for a specific purpose. That’s absolutely wonderful and if you’re getting the results you are looking for, more power to you. Just realize that some supplements can create dependence and even though they’re natural, can harm you.

Recently Dr. Oz shared some tips for considering supplements:

researching– Choose single ingredient supplements
– Do your research thoroughly
– Beware of trendy supplements

And here’s how I approach it:

Eat more raw food: The more raw fruits and vegetables you eat, the more nutritional value you can pack in. Cooking strips food of vitamins and minerals, so while you may still eat the same amount of cooked food, you’re reducing the benefit you receive.

When you cook, eat real food, not pre-made processed food. Cooking your own food ensures you can use more wholesome ingredients and use cooking methods that retain the most nutritional value possible.

raw organic vegetables

Stay active. A lot of your health depends on staying active. You can take all the vitamin supplements in the world, but you still need to get moving. Exercising gives you more energy and can give the same type of boosts that supplements can, but exercise is truly natural.

Pay attention to your body. Eating and living healthy isn’t a foolproof way to stay healthy, unfortunately. So do pay attention to your body and seek medical advice, where needed.

Sleep well. A lot of the reason we feel run down is because we simply don’t get enough sleep. Make it a priority and organize your day, giving yourself plenty of wind down time so you can get a proper night’s rest.

And finally, if you’re concerned, you can get tested. There are blood tests that you can get to ensure your body is getting enough vitamins and minerals. Go ahead and get one. You might be surprised that you’re as healthy as a horse. And if, heaven forbid, you’re not, you can take action on those findings.

Next theme link here: No More Excuses: If You Want Organic Living, You Can Have It

What Others are Saying about Supplements

Enhanced by Zemanta

Salad as a Main Course

Salad as a Main Course

According to whfoods.org website, chicken is rated as a very good source of protein, providing 67.6% of
the daily value for protein in 4 ounces. Protein can be important in reducing bone loss in older people.

One scientific study on the subject showed that men and women from 70 to 90 years old who had the
highest protein intake lost significantly less bone over a four-year period than those who consumed less
protein.

Animal protein, as well as overall protein intake, was shown to be associated with preserving
bone mass in our bodies. Chicken is also an excellent source of the cancer-protective B vitamin, niacin
and is also a very good source of the trace mineral, selenium. Selenium helps with the function of the
thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function.

As for the leafy greens, they may help prevent cancer and heart disease, specially the dark greens. Leafy
greens are nutrient rich and full of vitamins. They are a healthy food choice as they contain no
cholesterol and are low in sodium. They are also rich in iron, calcium and phytonutrients.

Leafy greens are also good for vitamin K a fat soluble vitamin stored in the liver. Vitamin K is important
for blood clotting and wound healing. According to the FDA adults need 0.001 mg of vitamin K per 2.5
pounds of body weight per day. Vitamin K deficiency is rare and usually occurs when the body is unable
to absorb vitamins from the gastrointestinal tract. If you are low on vitamin K the sign will be easy
bruising or bleeding easily.

Prepare fresh chicken according to recipe, add vegetables, fruits, spinach and other leafy greens and
presto you have a “Main Course Salad.” Link here for some ideas for lunch tomorrow or dinner tonight!!

What Other’s are saying about Salads, Main Course Meals, or Food In General

Enhanced by Zemanta

Fresh Mexican Salsa

Fresh Mexican Salsa

Salsa is a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine, served as a condiment with tacos, stirred into soups and stews, or incorporated into tamale fillings.

Salsa fresca or fresh salsa is made with tomatoes and chilies. It also includes ingredients such as onions, chilies, an acid and herbs.

Fresh salsa is typically piquant, ranging from mild to extremely hot.

The Nutrition of Fresh Mexican Salsa

Mexican salsa can flaunt good nutrition.

The tomatoes, provide Vitamin C and significant amounts of Vitamins A and B which includes niacin, and riboflavin.

The minerals to consider are magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, chromium, and foliate.

chili peppersChilies play a prominent role in Mexican cuisine. They contain anti-oxidants and are high in vitamin C, B-6 and other trace minerals. Chilies naturally raise metabolic rate.

Its active ingredient, capsaicin, generates heat and also increase heart rate when consumed, both of which help to burn calories.

Medical studies have found that the capsaicin in chilies can suppress the appetite, at least slightly.

The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the use of onions for the treatment of poor appetite, the prevention of atherosclerosis, the treatments of coughs, colds, asthma and bronchitis.

To finish it off, limes or lemons have high levels of Vitamin C, B-6, potassium, folate, and flavonoids.

Salsa is a meal in itself with all that nutrition. Enjoy the video!!

Fresh Mexican Salsa

5 red tomatoes chopped, medium sized

½ medium yellow onion, diced

3 Serrano peppers, diced

½ cup cilantro, chopped

¼ cup lemon juice

Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and Serrano peppers (leave ribs for a mildly hotter salsa, if not remove ribs as well).

Chop and dice the onion, tomato and peppers. Mix in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and mix in until well incorporated.

Fill two mason jars and store in refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Enjoy with tortilla chips or any Mexican meal.

What Others Are Reading About:

Enhanced by Zemanta