Apple-Berry Topped Sourdough French Toast

Apple-Berry Topped Sourdough French Toast

Fresh organic foods are a great way to start your day. GMO foods compared to organic  foods has a lot of conversation. It is true the vitamins maybe the same, but the phytonutrients  are not. Phytonutrients are produced in the vegetable or fruit to combat insects and infections, the more phytonutrients the better.

Plant foods contain thousands of natural chemicals. As we noted they are called phytonutrients or phytochemicals.”Phyto” refers to the Greek word for plant. These chemicals help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats.

But genetically modified plants have been compromised. How? With glyphosate engineered into the seed, the plant has no reason to fight of infections, and insects. In turn, the plant becomes lazy so to speak, and the phytonutrient production in the plant is much less, meaning less nutrients.

There are more than 25,000 phytonutrients found in plant foods. When you eat or drink phytonutrients, they help prevent disease and keep your body working properly.

Some of the important ones include:

These nutrients act as antioxidants in your body, meaning they tackle harmful free radicals that damage tissues throughout your body. GMO foods compare to non gmo have much less antioxidant abilities.

It only makes since to eat all natural non gmo foods, that have been seeded, grown and harvested organically. To learn more about glyphosate link here to read, What Do You Believe About Glyphosate.

Now for our featured recipe: Apple-Berry Topped Sourdough French Toast.

2 apples, color is your choice

1/2 cup blueberries

2 large eggs

2 large or 4 small slices Sourdough bread

1/4 cup coconut milk

8 ounce coconut water

1 teaspoon tapioca-root

1-2 teaspoons coconut sugar

pecan pieces

large shredded dried coconut pieces

Ingredients above make for 2 servings

straining apple juice pureeCore one apple, leaving skin on and add slices to a Nutri-Bullet, food processor, or blender. Add the coconut water and processes.

Next, over a medium sauce pot strain the pureed apple. Once the juice has drained, save the puree in a glass bowl. Add some lemon juice, and coconut sugar, and you have fresh homemade applesauce. Save in the refrigerator and eat within 3 days.

With the other apple, leaving skin, core, remove seeds, and slice thick pieces into thin slices.

Add apple slices to the sauce pot. Bring apple slices to a soft boil. Next, add tapioca-root to a little water, and stir into sauce pot. Continue stirring until juice thinks some. Do not over boil the tapioca, as it can loss its thickening ability.

Next add coconut sugar and stir in until well combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

eggs and coconut milkBreak eggs into a dish and add coconut milk, and mix together.

cooking sourdough french toastHeat a large ceramic coated skillet over medium heat. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of grass fed butter, and melt. Coat both sides of sourdough slices and add to pan. Cook both sides until golden brown, but not burnt.

Apple-Berry Topped Sourdough French Toast

On individual plates, add 2 slices of cooked bread, and spoon on cooked apples with syrup. Top with 1/4 cup blueberries, pecan pieces, and shredded coconut. Enjoy the start of your day with this all organic breakfast.

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Sugar Snap Peas with Tarragon

Sugar Snap Peas with TarragonFresh tarragon has an intense flavor over dried tarragon. When the herb is dried the oils dissipate.

You can store tarragon from 3 to 5 months in the freezer, doing so retains the most flavor of fresh tarragon during sprig of tarragonstorage. There is no need to defrost the herb before using it. Dried tarragon should be kept in a sealed container in a cool, dark place and used within 1 year.

Heat greatly intensifies the flavor of tarragon.

Though is may not look like it, tarragon is a species of perennial herb in the sunflower family.

There are variations of the herb and they include “French tarragon“, which is best used for culinary purposes, “Russian tarragon”, typically better than wild tarragon but not as good as the French tarragon, and “wild tarragon”.

Flavor

If you are wondering what the flavor of tarragon is, we would describe it as slightly peppery and it has a taste that’s somewhat similar to fennel, anise or licorice.

Health Benefits

Tarragon has great health benefits. It contains trace amounts of minerals including iron, potassium, and small amounts of calcium. It also contains vitamin-A, a nutrient essential for healthy eyes. This is herb is one of the recommendations to reduce your risk of macular degeneration.

Our featured recipe also includes:

Cilantro: contains trace minerals and vitamin-A

Shallots: Part of the allium family, which includes onions, garlic and scallions. Shallots also help to ward off cancer. They also contain 34 micrograms of folate, which is good for brain and nerve function.

Sugar Snap Peas:  They are a good source of vitamin-C, a nutrient that protects DNA structures from damage and improves the immune system. The sugar snaps also contain folate, which helps to improve heart health. Low levels of folate can raise levels of homocysteine, which increases the risk of heart disease.

Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate. If you are taking the B-vitamin as a supplement, it is recommended to take the natural form, folate. As noted folic acid is a synthetic oxidized form, and is not found in fresh natural foods as is folate. Because it is synthetic, is not bio-available to the body, as is folate.

Now for our featured recipe – Sugar Snap Peas with Tarragon – and here is what you will need.

1 pound sugar snap peas

1 shallot, diced

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 to 1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cilantro, chopped

Himalayan salt and pepper to taste (optional)

cooking sugar snap peasIn a large sauce pot, bring water to a rapid boil, and add snap peas and cook until they turn bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

chopped fresh herbs and shallotsMean time, prepare the tarragon, cilantro, and shallots.

In a large ceramic coated skillet over medium heat, add butter and melt. Next add shallots and cook until soft, about  3 minutes. Next whisk in a splash of fresh water, about 1 to 2 tablespoons, then add snap peas and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Next add chopped tarragon, cilantro, and mix in with snap peas and shallots.

Sugar Snap Peas with TarragonSpoon cooked sugar snap pea mixture into a serving bowl, and serve with your favorite main dish.

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Growing Your Own Health Promoting Herbs

Growing Your Own Health Promoting Herbs

Growing Your Own Health Promoting Herbs

The more natural your food that you eat the better it is for your health. When you cook your meal using prepackaged box or canned foods, there is really no nutritional value. Also considering the food has been processed, and doing so leaves little to none of the original nutrients.

Whole fresh food on the hand, prepared by nature to meet your body’s nutritional needs, is a lot better choice. You receive more vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients for optimum, if not better health, including better energy levels, weight management, and disease prevention, like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Plant foods are the best sources of vital nutrition, and the more you eat the higher your chances of ageing gracefully, as they say.

Herbs are part of the plant food choices. They can provide a number of health benefits, as they are used for medicinal purposes, while adding natural flavors to a variety of prepared dishes, including desserts for those with a sweet tooth.

Grow your own ptted herbs and plants on your balcony or patioIf you love gardening, and if you don’t have a plot of land, maybe you like having potted plants on your patio or balcony, or even a sunny window that can accommodate potted plants, then you could possibly grow your own.

Just think of the Italian dishes you can make with the fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme you would be harvesting from your garden or potted herbs.

Or the peppermint tea you can make for when you have an up-set stomach or the basil to add to your pitcher of watermelon juice or sliced tomatoes.

Herbs are really easy to grow and as we mentioned are dense in nutrients. More commonly grown herbs include basil, sage, thyme, mint, and rosemary. But let’s talk about some other herbs that you might already have in the garden, or buy as a tea when you’re not feeling well.

Healthy Herbs You Can Grow In Your Garden

Echinacea

echinacea flowersEchinacea also referred to as a “Purple Coneflower,” grows from 1-2 feet tall. It was used in ancient cultures as a way of reducing the symptoms of viral infections due to a cold or the flu, and other infectious illness.

It is also available at your local co-op or Whole Foods Market as a tea, supplement form or as a tincture. If you have this herb or flower in your garden, you can make a tea with the plant parts whenever you feel a cold coming on.

 Echinacea contains antioxidants called phenols which help to regulate certain enzymes and human cell receptors in the human body. The herb also has alkylamides, and this compound directly affects the immune system when confronted with invading infectious bacteria.

Cilantro

Cilantro has become a popular herb to grow in home gardens. The herb is also commonly recognized as leaf-coriander in Asia and quite similar to dill in culinary terms, as the leaves and seeds are used in many culinary dishes, such as in the Mediterranean and Latin American countries.

cilantro The herb bolsters many plant derived chemical compounds that are used as disease preventing and health-promoting properties. It also contains minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.

Potassium is an important for cell and body fluids that help control the heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is needed for red blood cell production, and manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

The American diet lacks the very essential mineral magnesium that has many uses in the body, from sleeping well, digestion, elimination, muscle and bone health just to mention a few.

It is also rich vitamins, which include folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, and vitamin-C, which are essential for optimum health.

Chamomile

This plant has white daisy-like flowers and is best grown near the house where you have ready access to it. The flowers are used for their health benefits including the management of colic, indigestion, skin irritations, inflammation, and anxiety.

It can be infused as tea using the plants leaves, stems, and roots or worked into a salve that can be directly applied to the skin to relieve irritations, as the plant has natural anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, and helps in clearing up skin irritations like eczema, acne, and allergies.

In medical studies chamomile tea was noted to raise urine levels of glycine, a compound that calms muscle spasm.

What a great plant to have around after working in the garden all afternoon. Make a tea in the evening and your muscles are relaxed.

Feverfew

This plant is best grown in flower gardens because they produce nice yellow daisy-like flowers with yellow-green leaves that resemble those of chamomile, for which it sometimes is confused. The herb plant is also known as Midsummer Daisy, and Wild Chamomile.

FeverfewBoth the leaves and flowers of this plant or herb can be brewed into a tea or chewed directly for the relief of various kinds of uncomfortable symptoms, like:

  • Headaches or migraines,
  • Pain due to arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Constipation
  • Dermatitis
  • Earache
  • Fever
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Insect bites
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Psoriasis
  • Muscle spasms

It can also be made into a salve so that it can be directly applied to skin irritations.

Lavender

This plant or herb produces lovely purple flowers, you may have seen it, and referred to as French Lavender.

Lavender is used as an essential oil for aromatherapy. The aroma or the smell of lavender is relaxing and calming to the mind and body.

It is also used as a natural pain reliever, and it can be prepared as a tea, or directly applied as a salve to bruises and cuts on the skin, to help relieve pain and inflammation of these affected areas, and also works as a natural antiseptic when applied to affected areas of the skin.

An Herb Garden Year After Year

There are several benefits to having these herbs as well as others we did not refer too. Those that produce flowers are a beautiful display for the garden.  Many are perennials, meaning they come back year after year to give you the health benefits you need.

Others are annuals, like basil and the cilantro we mentioned. They can be reseeded by allowing the plant to go to seed. Just remove the flowers after the petals have faded, alone the seeds to dry and put them into a labeled envelope culinary and medicinal herbs prepared for dryingand date it.

The following season you will have new seeds to start your annul herb garden to once again reap its health benefits and culinary flavors.

You know the best part of growing your own herbs, is you can pick them fresh as you need them, and you are assured they are grown in organic soil without the use of pesticides.

An added benefit to using culinary herbs from your garden is you can feel doubly joyful, for not only preparing your own whole food fresh meal, but you also grew the herbs in your garden.

 

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The Broccoli – Essence of Real Food

The Broccoli – Essence of Real Food

The Broccoli – Essence of Real FoodWhen you were a youngster you probably didn’t see what was so great about broccoli. What you didn’t know then, but probably know now is that broccoli is the essence of real food, as it has been dubbed one of many, a super food.

The broccoli from top to bottom is overflowing with macro-nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that are needed for overall health and well-being. This vegetable has been around for millenniums, and has forever been used and viewed as the ideal go-to food.

It’s healthy, can be eaten in a number of different ways, comes with a variety of benefits, is easy to cook, and offers the body a boost of vitamins and minerals in every serving.

Continue reading to get an overall understanding of this vegetable, the essence of real food.

Understanding the Broccoli from Top to Bottom

Broccoli is an edible plant that closely resembles the cauliflower, and is associated to the cabbage family. It’s a vegetable that originated in Italy, and was first mentioned of about 2,000 years ago.

Due to the broccoli’s rich green color, and its counterpart the purple broccoli, both are high in antioxidants and macro-nutrients for excellent health.

Anatomy of the BroccoliAfter harvesting the broccoli plant and removing the root system, it contains three main parts:

  • Flowery Head
  • Leaves
  • Stalk

The root system of the broccoli plant needs nutrient rich soil in order to grow and support the plant and produce its vital vitamins and minerals.

Broccoli plants need to be watered often in order to keep the plant hydrated and well fed as it approaches maturity.

The leaves and stalk are lesser known parts of the broccoli plant because gardeners and farmers often discard these pieces at harvest. However, they are actually edible and highly nutritious.

Broccoli leaves can be long and thin or short and wide and grow along the stalk. They are often blue-green in color and thicken towards the head of the plant.

The crowning head is the part of the broccoli most familiar to people. Sometimes called the curd or the head, the top of the broccoli is most commonly eaten. This head is made of small, dense edible floral shoots. Usually, the head is harvested long before the shoots, or little florets open.

There are two cultivars of broccoli, purple and green, though the green shoots are most commonly cultivated by gardeners. The best environment for planting and harvesting broccoli,  is in full sun, with plenty of water, and nutrient rich soil.

Broccoli Rates High In Nutrition

broccoli head and leavesBroccoli is a great food to eat as it contains various nutrients that hold anti-cancer properties and support a strong, healthy immune system.

Broccoli is an essential source of energy, healthy complex carbohydrates, protein, and low in fat.

Nutrients: Broccoli contains vitamin-C and many of the B-vitamins, including thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and folate. It also has traces of calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorous.

High Fiber: Need more fiber in your diet? Look no further as broccoli is high in fiber. The fiber in broccoli can help support heart health, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and helps support healthy weight management because it is filling and low in calories.

How to Prepare Broccoli

Meat and Broccoli Stir-FryBroccoli can be steamed, boiled, microwaved, stir-fried, or eaten raw.

However, over cooking or boiling broccoli has been proven to reduce levels of anti-carcinogenic compounds present in the food. It is therefore best to steam it until it reaches a bright green color, but no longer.

Adding Broccoli to Your Diet

broccoli at the farmers marketAdding broccoli to your regular daily diet can help increase your overall health.

Have broccoli as a side dish at dinner, add broccoli to a salad for lunch, chopped broccoli with eggs or in an omelet for breakfast, and even eaten raw as a healthy snack is a great way to include this essence of real food to your diet (recommended not to eat raw if you have a low thyroid problem).

All parts of the broccoli can be juiced, as it makes a great addition to any green juice. Juice it along with kale, spinach, green apples, celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon.

You’re not a kid anymore, so enjoy the essence of real food. Enjoy eating broccoli.

Enjoy our recipe using broccoli: Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad (includes a video).

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Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

The medical journal, “American Medical Association” publish  in 2010 based on a study that found vitamin B-6 when combined with folate ( not folac acid, the inferior form, a synthetic form) and methionine ( an amino acid, also found in meat, chicken, fish, eggs, garlic, onions, legums, and some dairy) can reduce the chances of lung cancer by as much as two-thirds. Asparagus contains both of these vitamins, and including the amino acid methionine.

More great news of the vegetable asparagus is it contains saponins which helps to fight inflammation, and can help with arthritis and rheumatism. It can also help to prevent varicose veins. Ayurvedic medicine has used asparagus for century’s to treat the symptoms of menopause as well as infertility and loss of libido (in both men and women).

The featured recipe also includes vitamins and minerals like vitamin-A, vitamin-C, calcium, and iron. It also has 18% of your daily need of protein 9 grams (daily protein need is 25 grams for woman and 30 grams for men).

Now for our featured recipe, and here is what you will need.

Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

1 package cheese tortellini

Pint of cream

¼ cup grated Asiago cheese

5 – 7 asparagus stalks

1 4 oz. can mushrooms

1 cup baby spinach

1/2 tsp. black pepper

 

Asparagus being blanched - Mushroom Tortellini with AsparagusBring a pot of water to boiling. Separately prepare a bowl of cold water with some ice.

Add salt to the boiling water and blanch the asparagus for 2 – 3 minutes until they just start to become tender.

Remove and add asparagus to the cold water to stop the cooking and set the color.

Remove to a paper towel to drain and dice into ½ inch pieces. You could do this ahead of time and keep the prepare asparagus in the refrigerator.

Next bring a pot of water to boil and the tortellini according to package instructions.

While cooking the pasta, heat a large sauté pot over medium heat and add 3/4 of the cream. While the cream is heating continue to stir and allow it to slow reduce, scrap sides of pot if needed.

When the cream has reduced by about 1/3 lower the heat and simmer, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Next add the asiago cheese to the cream, and turn the heat to high, stir in till cheese is melted. Add mushrooms and black pepper, and stir in.

Tortellini should be done now, so quickly drain and add to the cream along with the asparagus and toss to combine.

Place spinach on top of mixture and place a lid over pot, and allow spinach to wilt, about 4 minutes.

If you see the cream sauce to thick and would like it a bit thinner, just add a little more cream a tablespoon at a time till you see the thinness you desire.

Plate paste and garnish with cheese, if desired.

A great addition to this recipe would be roasted pine nuts. You can also 86 the mushrooms if you like, in other words delete them from the recipe (86 is a restaurant term for “out of product”, can also mean, “you’re out of here”).

 

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

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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

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