Healthy, Simple Smoothies; Recipes to Soothe your Soul

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For the well intentioned and time constrained, smoothies offer a fun and swift means to maintaining on the health conscious path. With a small, compact blender, you can conveniently whip up a breakfast to go, or an easy and nutritious lunchtime beverage with no mess or fuss, quicker than you can place an order at a fast food drive-through.

The following recipes offer a few basic options for nutritious smoothies. It took me more time to select the fruit and vegetables than to prepare and blend them. Making a conscious effort at keeping a minimalist ingredients list will ensure against acidic combinations. As will maintaining a separation between fruit smoothies, and vegetable smoothies.

1. Banana Peanut Butter

Potassium, Protein and Vitamin B Boost:
2 small to medium size organic bananas
1 Tbsp. organic natural peanut butter
about 2 -3 oz. spring water
For peanut allergies substitute 1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds

Add small amount of water so that the consistency is similar to the creamy, smooth texture of a milk shake.

A good start for the morning, providing essential electrolytes, regulating blood pressure and blood sugar.

2. Berry Powerhouse

Vitamin C and Antioxidants:

3-5 strawberries
5-7 blueberries
1/2 medium organic Fuji or Gala apple with skin
1/2 small lemon, (juice)
about 1 oz. spring water

Berries, and apples help to flush the body of stubborn bacteria. Lemons neutralize stomach acids. A nice mellow, refreshing beverage.

 

3. GazpachoSMOOTHIES photo of gazpacho

Vitamin C and Immune System Boost:
1 medium Roma tomato
1/2 medium cucumber, (peeled)
1 segment garlic
1 pinch stems, cilantro
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed
1 quarter size piece ginger root
1 slice red onion

All ingredients are equally represented in this balanced combination. Cool cucumber mellows tomato’s acids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anti-inflammatory foods: photo of cut kale greens

Anti-inflammatory Foods: Rapid Healing Recipe

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Greens are one of the fundamentals of southern cuisine. To that extent, most southern cooks are privy to traditional methods of cutting them for cooking. However, many will attest that within the ten commandments, there contains a footnote that states, “Thou Shalt Find No Superior Accompaniment to Greens than Fat-back.” I contend that not only is there a flavor-rich alternative, in addition it is one that will bring harmony to your body and mind with it’s abundance of health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties.SeaBear Smokehouse

Kale the (Anti-inflammatory) Super-Green

Kale greens are a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K. That is only the beginning. The anti-oxidant power of kale can be tested by sitting out a leaf at room temperature. Unlike other greens in it’s botanical family, kale resists the rapid oxidation that causes greens to wilt. Consequently, it is one of the most Lutein rich foods. Lutein is an anti-oxidant carotenoid that is scientifically proven to protect eyes from degradation. Kale also contains Alpha-Lipoic-Acid, which lowers glucose levels in the blood. Another key element, the chlorophyll contained in greens binds with toxic cancer causing agents, and prevents the body from absorbing them. Oxalic acid is an enzyme that prevents the body from absorbing calcium. Although kale contains one of the lowest concentrations of oxalates in comparison to other greens, cooking these super-greens lowers oxalic-acid even more. Further, kale is also a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Cutting Greens

After washing greens well, trim the tougher portions of the stems. If preferred, you can cut around the stem of leaves and remove them, keeping the leaf in tact. First, fold lengthwise. Then fold down, and roll. Hold rolled leaf firmly, and cut along edge. You can layer two or three leaves, then repeat the process. I used the Dinosaur kale variety, (which has softer stems).

1. Fold lengthwise.

2. Roll.

                                                    

anti-inflammatory kale,

3. Cut strips along edge

Ingredients:

Kale: 1 bunch

Red Onion: 1 whole

Garlic: 2 cloves

Black Pepper: 1 tbsp. (fine ground)

Water: 1 liter (spring water)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 3 tbsp.

Rosemary: 1 sprig

Whole Poultry Fryer: 4-6 lb. (organic)

Brown rice: 1 lb.

Instructions:

First, to braise chicken, either cook chicken whole or cut into 6 parts, (2 legs, 2 wings, 2 breast). Place in pot with 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp fine ground black pepper, 1 sprig of rosemary, and 1 liter of spring water. Bring to a boil, then allow to cook, (total cooking time: About 30-45 minutes, (or until blood no longer emerges from center when pierced). Set aside. Pour off liquid from boil, and combine kale, 1/2 red onion, and 2 cloves garlic in pot. Bring to a boil. Cooking time: About 30 minutes. When cooked, greens should be an olive green color. Remove from heat, separate liquid from kale, and add liquid to brown rice. Cook rice until done. Cooking time: about 35 minutes. Rice should not be mushy. When brown rice is cooked, you will see small white flecks throughout. This is the bran contained within the center of the rice grain. Note, it is removed in white rice. Dice the remaining 1/2 of red onion, and mix with rice.

Notes, Recommendations

  • Cooking rice: 1 cup rice to 2 cups water or liquid.
  • Organic poultry and meats must meet strict requirements that are in alignment with an anti-inflammatory diet.
  • Long grain brown rice is an excellent source of B vitamins: Thiamine, Niacin, B6. The B vitamins, (often called the brain messenger vitamins), are all essential to brain and nerve function, as well as metabolism.

Notice the fresh juice exposed upon cutting into a fresh onion.

Benefits of Red Onions

To retain the beneficial enzymes, it is best to consume red onions raw or lightly cooked; either crushed or chopped. Onions generally contain Quercetin, an anti-inflammatory enzyme that prevents tumor growth, and removes toxins from the body. In addition, it keeps blood glucose levels low. Anthocyanins are flavonoids which color the red skin of these onions and other purplish foods. They are also an anti-oxidant that suppresses cancer cells’ ability to further develop by inhibiting Angiogenesis, (the growth of new blood vessels that feed cancer cells). Lastly, Allicin, a compound found in garlic and onions, combats bacteria, fungus, and viruses. Chopping or crushing releases this enzyme.Yoga-Wheel Banner

 

Sources:

The Truth About Cancer. (07/18/2017). “Health Benefits of Red Onions: Four Ways Red Onions Reduce your Cancer Risk.”  [https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/health-benefits-red-onion/]

Nutritiondata.self. “Kale, Raw Nutrition Facts & Calories”. [http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2461/2]. [07/19/2017].

Nutritiondata.self. “Rice, Brown, Long-grain Cooked Nutrition Facts & Calories”. [http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5707/2]. [07/19/2017]

Wikipedia. “Kale”.  [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/kale]. [07/19/2017].

easy healthy recipes

Slim Down with Healthy Fats; Easy, Healthy Recipes

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Vitamin F, otherwise known as EFA, (Essential Fatty Acids), is one of the nutrients required for a healthy mind, and healthy body. The USRDA, (Recommended Daily Allowance), for adults 18 and older is 20-35% of daily calories. For men, the total recommended daily calorie intake is about 2500, and for women, aproximately, 2000. The body converts fat into energy. Growing children require more of it. The USRDA for children for Vitamin F is up to 40% of their total daily calories

Key to Staying in Shape

Understanding our food cravings and finding healthy solutions are key to staying in shape. The following recipe is just one of many easy healthy recipes that you can prepare quickly, does not require cooking, and incorporates 5 whole “Super Foods” that contain all the benefits of healthy monounsaturated and poly unsaturated fats, as well as other essential vitamins, antioxidants, and cancer prevention flavonoids. The immediately noticeable benefit to these healthy, fat containing foods is that they satiate the appetite, cut cravings for unhealthy foods, and help to keep the body in shape, inside and out.
The flavors in this dish are light and savory. The garlic compliments the avocado. Lemon adds a citrus zest to the red onion and pepper.

INGREDIENTSeasy healthy recipes

1             Avocado
1/2          Red Onion (medium)
1 (clove) Garlic
1             Lemon
5             Almonds
1 tbsp.    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp.      Black Fine Ground Pepper
3 oz.       Pita Chips, (whole wheat)

DIRECTIONS

easy healthy recipes

Start by cutting one medium avocado in half, remove seed and dice. Peel, and dice half of one medium red onion. Peel, and dice one clove garlic. Cut one lemon in half and squeeze juice over avocado, onion, and garlic. Add one tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil. Sliver, slice, or chop 5 almonds. They can be raw or toasted. Make sure the almonds you choose do not contain additional oil, just simply whole almonds. Add 1 tsp. of black ground pepper. Serve with whole wheat pita chips. Ideally, select pita chips with no more than 10 ingredients.

 Additional Notes on Easy Healthy Recipes

When dicing onion, simply make several slices horizontally, vertically, then slide knife across, under first layer. You can SeaBear Smokehouseuse a similar concept with the avocado, and garlic. View more healthy recipes.

 easy healthy recipes

Collard Greens; How to Select, and Prepare Amazing Greens

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collard greensGreens grow wild in various climates, conditions, and terrains all around the world. Valued as food, and medicine, in various cultures, and traditions, where plant tops are only one aspect of edible plants that offer healing properties through root, stalk, seeds, berries, and other plant features. Common greens cultivated in the US. include collard greens, turnips, rudabega, and mustard greens. Other edible varieties, such as dandelion, watercress, chard, and kale also offer unique nutritional values. Greens seem to catch more attention around the holidays, or in southern cuisine.

Where to Buy Collard Greens

You can buy bunches of greens at grocery stores, farmer’s markets, roadside stands, and mobile vegetable trucks. They are available throughout the southern united states year-round, and enjoyed indiscriminately throughout the population. In northern climates, there is a shorter window for cultivation, with exception to hot-house growers.  They do not have nearly the status, and demand as in the southern region.

Tips on Purchasing, and What to Look forSeaBear Smokehouse

The most tender greens are winter greens, grown in cold temperatures, above 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Grocery stores market greens in varying ways. I have seen collard greens, mustards, and turnips in small bunches, comparable in size to bunches of cilantro, or parsley. This does not do justice to the shoppers visual sensibilities. All stores do not display small bunches, nor do they all display greens such as turnips, removed from roots. They are likely, however to stock prepackaged turnips, or collard greens, cleaned, and cut-up. Road-side stands, mobile retailers, and farmer’s markets are more likely to  sell larger bunches, with roots, due to direct connections to local farms, and retail environments where greens are kept fresher, longer.

Collard Greens are Living Foods

collard greens, and other varieties; photo of rudabega greens

Rudabega greens

Skip the canned greens. The best way to buy greens is by the bunch. Of the four most popular varieties, collard greens stay fresh longer, followed by rudabega, then turnips. Mustards have the shortest shelf life. Collards contain higher concentrations of calcium, as noted by their stronger stalks, and denser leaves. Rudabega greens, also known as northern turnips, also have dense leaves. Their leaves, and shoots are characteristic of both collards, and turnips in appearance. When selecting bunches, briefly look at the center of the bunch, to check for any mold. This is not necessarily a frequent occurrence, though not uncommon. Always select bunches with green leaves.

collard greens, and other varieties

Mustard greens, (curly leaf variety)

The stalk will allow you to keep bunches fresh prior to using them. The stalk of the plant connects the bunch to the root. Try Placing a bunch of collard greens in an up-right position in a 5-gallon bucket of ice water, 1/5 full, and watch the leaves perk up, just as a flower in a vase of water. You can trim the base of the stalk at an angle, as you would the stem of a rose. This will allow for better hydration of the whole plant. On bunches with roots, you can also place them upright, root fibers will absorb the cold water, and deliver it to the leaf.

Cleaning Greens

When fresh from the farm, greens will need a good rinse to remove any traces of dirt, or silt. This can be done easily outside, using a nozzle attachment and hose. Remove the rubber band from the bunch, and use cold water, with a medium force shower setting. You can place the bunch over a bucket, or lay it across a patio table. Wash the bunch from the tops, down. Collard greens are the easiest to clean. For greens with roots, you can use a scrub brush or your hand to rub away stubborn grit that accumulates in crevices, and on the surface of the root. For pre-cleaned greens, as many store-bought bunches are, you can make sure they are free of grit by filling a large bowl, or pan of water, soaking and draining the leaves as you go. Watch that grit settle to the bottom!

Cutting the LeafRSCN5928 - Copy collard greens

To prepare greens for easy eating, one of the best ways is to shred them. You can either remove the stems, or shred greens with the stem. To remove stems, lay one leaf on a cutting board, cut around the stem, then place the it to the side. You can cut, and cook stems, separately, or freeze them, for later use. Fold the leaf in half, then roll it. Slice across in strips, about 1/2 in. to an inch wide. Continue slicing from one end to the other. You can stack 4 leaves at a time. Line them up, de-stem, fold, roll, and shred. After you cut  across, you can go back, and cut them vertically, for bite-size greens.

Nutritious Flavor

collard greens, and other varieties

The key to enjoying food is cooking for your self, and valuing each ingredient. Instead of thinking in terms of flavoring greens, aim to compliment them. What you add to your recipe should not smother, or overwhelm these natural flavors. Rudabega roots are not starchy, or heavy, as baking potatoes are. They contain the similar spicy, bitter, sweet flavor of the tops. If you enjoy turnip greens, rudabega tops are a sublime alternative. Mustards are generally grown, and marketed in two varieties, slick leaf, and curly leaf. The flavor is similar, though curly leaf mustards are even more delicate. Mustards lend a delightful, mildly horseradish like spice, and tanginess. Turnip, and rudabega greens add that bitter, sweet flavor, and their roots pack more flavor punch. Collard greens have a milder flavor. They are botanically closer to the cabbage plant, and can easily blend, and compliment other greens.

Cooking with Pot Liquor

The major benefit of boiling greens in water is that you can re-use that deliciously nutritious flavored water, or (pot liquor), to cook an easy accompaniment such as steel-cut oats, brown rice, barley, or noodles. If you can’t decide on which variety of greens to cook, try more than one. Add 2 sliced jalapeño peppers, and 3-4 small segments of garlic to a pot of greens. You can add *smoked fish after the greens are cooked, such as smoke chub, herring, or salmon. Or you can opt for an organic, tender cut of meat. You don’t have to trim the fat to make a healthy dish. As long as the fat does not steal the show.

collard greens, and other varieties

*Please note, when selecting smoked meats or fish, naturally smoked methods are more harmonious to the human digestive system than chemical processes. Additives used in chemically processed smoked meats, such as nitrates, are also used in the manufacture of fireworks, and explosives. They can create an explosive response in the digestive system, and therefore, promote negative associations about eating greens.

 

simple turkey baste, photo of

Terrific Turkey Recipe Simple, and Savory

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Simple Turkey Baste

Easy Turkey baste
Author: 
Recipe type: turkey or poultry baste
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-20 servings
 
This recipe can be adjusted to the quantity of turkey you are cooking.
Ingredients
  • Per 2lb. turkey= (2 turkey legs) / Per 20lbs.= (whole turkey)
  • Mandarin: ½ / per 20lbs.= Mandarins: 5
  • Garlic: 2 segments / per 20lbs.= Garlic: 2-3 cloves
  • Jalapeno peppers: ½ / per 20lbs.= Jalapeno peppers: 5
  • Granny Smith apple: ½ / per 20lbs.= Granny Smith apple: 5
  • Olive oil: 2.5fl.oz. / per 20lbs.= Olive oil: 10fl.oz.
  • Apple cider vinegar: 5fl.oz. / per 20lbs.= A.C.V.= 20fl.oz.
  • Long grain brown rice: ½lb per lb. of turkey
  • **Note** Omit mandarin oranges in case of acid sensitivity
Instructions
  1. Pour apple cider vinegar and oil in a mason jar or measuring cup.
  2. Wash mandarin in cold water, then pat dry.
  3. Cut the mandarin in half, squeeze the juice from one half into jar.
  4. Remove the fruit from one half.
  5. Lay the peel down with the inside of hull facing the cutting board.
  6. To remove the zest, angle a knife at a slant, and lightly scrape the surface of the peel. Scrape the knife in one direction. Use ¼ of the mandarin for zest.
  7. Gather the scrapings and add to mixture.
  8. Next remove 2 segments from a clove of garlic and clean, (remove the paper thin layer).
  9. To mince, first score the garlic by making cuts vertically in a chopping motion, cut horizontally, then mince or chop.
  10. Repeat with the second segment and pour the minced garlic into the jar.
  11. Quarter one jalapeno pepper lengthwise.
  12. Then score and mince one half of the pepper and add to mixture.
  13. Do the same with one Granny Smith apple.
  14. Place turkey in aluminum foil.
  15. For large, whole turkey, place in a deep cooking pan.
  16. Brush or pour mixture over entire turkey.
  17. Pour the remaining contents into foil or pan.
  18. Seal the foil by bringing up the edges.
  19. For large whole turkey, wrap aluminum foil from upper edge of pan over the top and fold down closed.
  20. Bake in pre-heated oven 30-45 minutes.

RSCN6573 turkey baste, raw mixture of ingredientsThe Most Essential Part of a Turkey Recipe is the Turkey

I recommend choosing organic turkey or poultry. To be certified organic, poultry must meet three criteria. First, the birds do not receive any hormones or antibiotics. Second, foul are raised outdoors, and third, poultry feed does not contain any animal by-products, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, and the feed is not grown with chemical pesticides. Consequently, the flavor and texture of organic poultry are a better quality. This recipe is also compatible with other poultry, such as goose or duck. You can adjust the consistency of each ingredient to your taste. In addition, it is always helpful to taste-test as you go.

Turkey Baste Ingredients

Fruit

  • Mandarins Beloved by kids for their
    FSCN6574 turkey baste recipe, mandarins

    mandarin oranges, (cuties), 3 lb. bag

    FSCN6570

    mandarin oranges, halved

    compact size, these are a seedless, low acidity variety of citrus fruit. Each mandarin packs a sweet, juicy punch. Nutritionally, they are rich in vitamin A, and Potassium which makes them a nice choice for snacking. One 3 lb. bag, (pictured), has about 10-12 mandarins.

  • Granny Smith apples are an appropriate apple variety for cooking and baking alike. They contain a moderate level of sweetness, which becomes more concentrated when cooked, though doesn’t become to heavy or syrupy. Adding this type of apple is an easy way to include a balanced sweetness to a recipe.

    Other Essentials

  • Garlic is an antibacterial powerhouse. An excellent condiment for combatting the flu-season.
  • Jalapeno peppers add heat and flavor to a recipe and are a good source of vitamins C and K.turkey recipe, raw ingredients: mandarin, garlic, jalapeno peppers
  • Apple Cider Vinegar is preferable to white vinegar for its natural enzymes, minerals, and it’s effect on neutralizing stomach acids.  Utilized in this recipe to distribute the other ingredients.
  • Olive oil (Extra-virgin) has a nice mellow flavor and cooks food slowly. Coconut oil can be substituted for olive oil if preferred.
  • Long grain brown rice is a tasty, satiating, and nutritious accompaniment to this recipe.DSCN6515DSCN6526DSCN6529DSCN6532DSCN6530DSCN6540 turkey baste recipe, granny-smith applesRSCN6572RSCN6569DSCN6544/ turkey prior to bakingRSCN6564/ basted turkryRSCN6562 turkey baste recipe, brown rice

 

easy cooking with rosemary

Rosemary; Cooking with Healing Herbs Infuses Elegance, Charm, and Good Fortune

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You can find fresh herbs at the grocery store or supermarket. They come in clear, flat, 5 in. long containers, 3/4 oz. to 1 oz. for $2.00, (price may vary). Each fresh rosemary package has several 4-6 in. long stems, called sprigs. Each sprig has many narrow leaves (about an inch long). One package may contain about 8-10 sprigs. Notably, it is always best to select herbs that are green, and fresh looking in appearance. The aroma of rosemary radiates an exhilarating citrus type of quality. When inhaled, it tends to clear the nostrils not unlike the effect of fresh pine, though not overwhelming. Surprisingly, it’s subtle aroma is perceptible through the plastic container. 

Rosemary Wows and Woos

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You don’t have to reserve fresh herbs for extravagant recipes. Adding fresh rosemary to a simple dish is an easy way to treat the senses with minimal culinary effort. This easy preparation requires less than 10 minutes to arrange, and cooks in 25 minutes. First, begin by slicing three large russet potatoes, or baking potatoes. Cut the potato lengthwise in half, then cut the halves lengthwise again. Now you can either cut those into thin lengthwise chips or cut them into fries. Pour 3 tbsp. of olive oil, place one jalapeño pepper, and one sprig of rosemary at the bottom of a glass or ceramic cookware dish. Lay the cut potatoes on top and cook in the microwave for about 25 minutes, or in an oven for about 35 minutes.

As it cooks the aroma will refresh the surroundings, and clear the mind from a chaotic or stressful day. You will know the dish is ready when the potatoes are soft throughout, and a touch of golden brown edges their tops. As you sit down to partake of this simple and fancy fare, it will amaze you how easy and rewarding it is.

SELECTING OLIVE OIL

Choosing a good olive oil is pivotal in determining whether you opt to select olive oil as a cooking oil. Some brands are repellant, and I have found that no two brands have the same qualities. The most readily noticeable generally being it’s fragrance. With this in mind, it is worth investing the time  and energy in trying several brands before making a conclusive decision. There are generally two varieties to select from: Extra virgin, cold pressed is the first pressing of the olives. Rich in omega 3 fatty acids, it also contains anti-inflammatory enzymes, has a richer aroma, bold flavor, and greenish tint. The second pressing is golden in color. It is the refined oil, with a milder flavor, and costs less. 

Please note, olive oil is not recommended for diabetics due to it’s high concentration of fatty acids. Sunflower oil is a tasty alternative, and is vitamin and mineral rich, with a light aromatic flavor. Coconut oil is another healthful option, that has added benefits to the metabolism.

rosemary, cooking with herbs, easy cooking; photo of roseamary bush

Rosemary bush