Ingredients For Delicious Winter Salads

An younf woman eating a warm winter saladFood crops harvested in winter months with the use of hoop houses or hot houses (such as used in California, USA) and other methods that extend the natural growing season, and old-fashioned storage vegetables like cabbages and potatoes all mean that there are plenty of winter produce to choose from.

What winter produce that is available, is sufficient to enjoy delicious winter salads along with great homemade dressings and vinaigrette’s.

The different crops available in the winter months include among others:

Beets: Available in season from fall through spring in temperate climates, and those available during the summer months, are from storage.

Belgian Endive: This leafy green is forced to produce under artificial conditions, making them available year round. Their traditional season, as with all chicories, is late fall through winter.

When grown in open fields they are covered with sand for about 6 months to keep out the light. When grown in hot houses they are placed in darkness for 6 months before shipping to market for purchase.

Read more here about the endive (includes a recipe with video): Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken

Broccoli: This and all other cruciferous vegetables can be grown year-round in temperate climates, but broccoli tastes best when harvested in the cooler temperatures of fall in most climates.

salad plate with Warm Winter Salad with Apples Spinach Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Warm Winter Salad with Apples Spinach Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Brussels sprouts: These vegetables are part of the cabbage family.  They grow on stalks, and they last somewhat longer than when sold packaged or removed from their stalks.

Cabbage: This vegetable is crispy when raw with bitter flavor, though it mellows and sweetens the longer it’s cooked.

Sweet Potatoes: This root vegetable is often referred too or interchangeable with yams. The two vegetables are different though.

Most yams in the USA are sweet potatoes. Yams are dry and starchy, and grown mainly in Africa and Asia. They can weigh up too 100 pounds.

Sweet potatoes store very well and are available year round in warmer areas. Though their season is from late summer through winter.

Other vegetables available in fall to winter months include, radicchio, radishes, turnips, winter squash, rutabagas, parsnips, chard, collard greens, cress, spinach, kale, carrots, leeks, fennel, and celery among others.

There are also a verity of fruits in season during the winter months that you can enjoy in fruit salads, or as a snack. To view the available in season winter fruits link here: Fruits Info – Seasonal Fruits.

Salads To Enjoy In The Winter Months

Chilly temperatures, and dark winter days are traditionally suited to cheese, meat, and vegetable casseroles, including pastas. A salad filled with raw vegetables may not seem appealing in the cold winter.

But what if you could prepare a warm winter salad, like this one – Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts. This recipe is offered by a professional chef, author, recipe developer, educator and certified health coach at A Food Centric Life.

THE RECIPE

Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts

1 large bunch of organic kale (Tuscan, Lacinato or Dinosaur)

a white salad plate with Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts

Image Credit: A Food Centric Life

1 large shallot

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

Handful of dried cranberries

Small handful of chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (suggestion: infused balsamic fruit flavored variety like dark cherry)

Salt and pepper, to season

Bring a large pot (5 quart/liter) of water to a boil while you are trimming the kale leaves and slicing the shallot. Trim the ribs out of the center of the kale leaves, and then cut the leaves crosswise into ribbons. Slice the peeled shallot crosswise into thin rings.

When water boils, add 2 teaspoons salt, then drop the kale leaves into the water and cook for 2 minutes (called blanching). Drain well through a sieve and place kale on a clean kitchen towel. Alternatively you can steam your kale for 2-3 minutes, and then proceed with the recipe.

In a medium sauté or fry pan, heat the olive oil over medium low heat until warm. Add the shallot rings, then the garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring until softened. Be careful not to let them burn. Add the cranberries, walnuts, and vinegar. Stir and cook for a minute, then add the cooked kale. Toss the kale ribbons to coat and warm, season up with salt and pepper, and then serve.

Make this a even more warm winter salad by either serving the warm salad as a side dish with roasted chicken, as Sally the author of “A Food Centric Life” explains, or as a foundation for roasted salmon. She also suggests placing the warm salad over a bed of quinoa for a vegetarian or vegan entree.

Sally says you can use a fruit flavored infused balsamic vinegar like dark cherry or fig when making the vinaigrette.

Another great warm winter salad you can enjoy is: Sweet Potato, Kale and Shrimp Skillet

2 tablespoons olive oil

salad plate with Sweet Potato, Kale and Shrimp Skillet½ cup onion, diced

Red pepper flakes, to taste

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups sweet potatoes, diced

2 cups fresh shrimp

3 cups trimmed and coarsely chopped kale leaves

Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat a a ceramic coated cast iron pan over medium heat, add olive oil.

Next add onions and red pepper flakes, and saute until onions are soft and browned.

Next add garlic and cook about 30 seconds more.

Next add sweet potato and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes. If necessary add a 2 or 3 tablespoons of water to help cook the sweet potato.

Next add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they are pink in color.

Turn heat to low and add kale, stirring in until wilted.

Season to taste with salt and pepper (optional).

Plate and serve.

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Enjoy Warm and Tasty Winter Vegetables

Enjoy Warm and Tasty Winter Vegetables

Just because the weather is cold shouldn’t keep you from enjoying in season fresh produce. Nature gives us a collection of its best winter vegetables that have proven to be flavorful. Winter root vegetables can contribute an interdependent, sweet flavor to a hearty winter soup recipe, like carrots, or sweet potatoes.

Roasting most winter vegetables brings out their best flavors. Even using complementary herbs and spices helps add some extra exceptional tastes.

Available In Season Winter Vegetables

Brussels sproutsAlthough Brussels sprouts are available year-round, their peak season is from September to February.

When looking to purchase them, remember to look for small firm sprouts with compact bright-green heads, and the smaller the head the sweeter the taste. Roasting Brussels sprouts lightly caramelizes their edges but keeps them tender inside.

To view a few recipes using Brussels sprouts one of the following links:

Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon 

Warm Brussels sprouts and Dilled Potato Salad 

Brown Butter and Brussels Sprout with Fennel

At All Recipes (allrecipes.com) they call Broccoli the star vegetable in stir-fries, soups, salads, and casseroles.

Broccoli can be purchased year round. But when in season, as a winter vegetable when roasted retains its entire flavor and even gains deliciously crisp bits when.

preparing broccoli to eatWhen asked the question – How Do You Describe Broccoli? – to a community of online people at answers.com, one member answered saying, “Broccoli is good chopped into small pieces or cut into larger piece and cooked until tender.

It’s delicious to eat as it is when cooked naturally and also in recipes.

The popular dish, broccoli and cheese is made with cooked, tender broccoli before draining and stirring in cheese until it melts and mixes in with the broccoli.

You can also make cheese sauces, which you serve, poured over the broccoli on a plate.

Either way it is cooked or served, broccoli is a favorite among vegetables and nutritionally powerful” (Answers).

To view a recipe using broccoli click here: Baked Garlic and Broccoli

The Sweet Potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the Convolvulaceae family.

This species of plants are known commonly as the bindweed or morning glory family, which has more than 1,650 species of mostly herbaceous vines, but also trees, shrubs and herbs.

Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn SaladStuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad

The sweet potato is a starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous root. There are about 1,000 species of sweet potatoes, with some varieties sold at market for food, while others are not for consumption, as they are poisonous.

The sweet potato is only distantly related to the common potato, though it is not part the nightshade family.

The website – “The Worlds Healthiest Foods” – has this to say about sweet potatoes when preparing to eat them, “It can be helpful to include some fat in your sweet potato-containing meals if you want to enjoy the full beta-carotene benefits of this root vegetable.

Recent research has shown that a minimum of 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases our uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes. Of course, this minimal amount of fat can be very easy to include.

In our Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe, for example, we include 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and with just this one tablespoon, each of our 4 servings for this delicious recipe provides 3.5 grams of fat (whfoods).

To view a few recipes using sweet potatoes click one of the following links:

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Southwestern Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

Baked Beets and Sweet Potato Chips

KaleKale is considered to be the most robust of the cabbage family. Its high nutritional worth and intense flavor make kale an exceptional addition too many vegetable recipes.

At Mind Body Green, Alison Lewis makes note of kale as “the new beef,” “the queen of greens,” and “a nutritional powerhouse”(MBG).

To view a few recipes using kale click one of the following links:

Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo Soup

Moroccan Three Bean and Kale Soup

Red Kale Beets and Sweet Cilantro Vinaigrette

Leeks are winter root vegetable that looks much similar to onions, and to which they are also related. Their flavor is onion-like but much milder, mellower, and not overpowering, as onions sometimes can be.

The darker green parts have plenty of flavor. They can either be cooked longer then the root parts to tenderize them, or used when making homemade soup stock, like chicken broth base soup along with potatoes, carrots, and herbs.

They can also be eaten raw or joined with a salad of leafy greens to divulge a wonderful crisp crunchy flavor.

Link here for a recipe using leeks: Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken –  includes a video

Turnips are a a round, light-colored root related to the mustard family. Though the vegetable is grown for its eatable root, the top green parts are also enjoyed in salads.

Turnip greens are a common side dish in southeastern U.S. cooking, primarily during late fall and winter months.

Smaller leaves are preferred when boiling them in water, as the larger the leaf the stronger the flavor.

However, if you find yourself cooking with larger turnip greens, any bitter taste can be reduced by pouring off the water from initial boiling and replacing it with fresh water.

The natural sweetness of Parsnips comes alive when they’re roasted and caramelized.

The addition of fresh rosemary, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar makes a sweet, aromatic glaze.

Roasted parsnips make a great side dish for pork tenderloin.

Link here for a recipe using parsnips :  Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon

Belgian EndiveThe genuine Belgian endive is deeply rooted in its country of origin – Belgian, were it was discovered in 1830.

This compact white colored small cylindrical shaped leaf vegetable with light green tips is a tangy, but tender and delicious vegetable.

Some cooks add the leafy vegetable to soups, while others use it in salads.

Link here for more about endives discovery and for a recipe: Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken –  includes a video

Other winter vegetables that can still be found in your local market are…

Buttercup Squash – Collard Greens – Delicata Squash – Sweet Dumpling Squash – Winter Squash

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Natural Cleaners For Healthy Household Cleaning

Natural Cleaners For Healthy Household CleaningPlant based products not only help keep us healthy, but they also can do the same for our environment. Using essential oils and other plant based products to clean your home, not only makes it healthier, but can keep you healthy as well.

Using oils derived from plants and flowers, mixed with some other food products we use weekly if not daily in our cooking and baking, like lemons, salt, vinegar, and baking soda only makes since.

Most modern day cleaners that are purchased might help clean the home, but they do have toxic chemicals as well. Chemicals we breath in, and absorb into the skin. These toxic chemicals are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can effected our health in a negative way.

Common Toxic ChemicalsIn the USA, the “Toxic Substances Reform Act” (TSCA) was passed into law in 1976 to limit the use of toxic chemicals.

When passed into law, TSCA approved more than 60,000 chemicals that existed prior to 1976, and only 200 of the original 60,000 chemicals have been tested for safety, with only 5 of them being restricted for any use (Safe Chemicals – Healthy Families).

But to date (2015) there are still over 80,000 chemicals in use, with some of them in household cleaners.

The most common is triclosan, which has been linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan have shown to disrupt thyroid function. Treatment of waste water does not remove all of the chemical, and therefore ends up lakes, rivers and water sources. Triclosan is also very toxic to aquatic life (EWG’s Guide to Triclosan).

Natural Household Cleaner Recipes

It doesn’t make any since to bring toxic household cleaners into your home, when there are natural cleaners available.

Using vinegar, lemons, baking soda, salt with added essential oils, will get your home just as clean as any toxic chemical, but without the unhealthy side effects.

Be sure to purchase therapeutic grade and organic essential oils. Be sure the Latin name is included on the bottle.

wood floorCleaning Wood Floors

1/2 cup white vinagar

3 drops orange oil

3 drops lemon oil

3 drops grapefruit oil

2 drops tea tree oil

1 quart of water

Add all of the above to a hand sprayer and apply to the wooden floor and mop.

Mold and Mildew Cleaner 

bath room4 ounces of water

1/4 distilled white vinegar

3 drops lemon oil

1 drop clove oil

5 drops tea tree oil

Mix all of the above in a spray bottle, and spray on ares of the kitchen or bathroom that have mold or mildew. Let sit 20 minutes before rinsing away.

spray bottles General Purpose Cleaner

1/2 cup baking soda

1/4 cup vinegar

3 drops tea tree oil

2 drops eucalyptus oil

1 drop thyme oil

5 drops orange oil

5 drops lemon oil

Mix all of the above in a small spray bottle.

carpetCarpet Cleaner

8 ounces of baking soda

5 drops grapefruit oil

Mix in a small jar. Cover with lid. When needed, shake out onto carpet, let set about 5 minutes, and vacuum up. This solution can also be used in home carpet cleaning machines.

washing dishesDish Washing Soap

1/2 cup castile oil

1/2 cup vinegar

1 quart of water

6 drops lemon oil

2 drops geranium oil

3 drops tea tree oil

Mix all of the above in a container and use when ready to wash the dishes.

Article Inspiration By: Herbal Remedies Magazine (2016)

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The Usefulness of Salt Around The House

The Usefulness of Salt Around The House

Varying colors of natural salt grains Varying Colors of Natural Salt Rocks

Salt without a doubt makes food more delicious, and savory. But did you know that it has usefulness outside the kitchen?

Here are a few suggestions out of 100’s of household uses for salt.

First though, we would suggest using Sea salt or Himalayan salt for the following applications.

Sparkling Flower Vase

flowers in glass vases

 You just bought yourself or received a bouquet of flowers, but the glass vase is marred with cloudy streaks on the inside due to hard water stains.

Here’s the salt fix: Scrub the streaks with a paste of 1 teaspoon of of salt and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar.

How it works: The abrasiveness of the salt grains and the acidity of the vinegar cuts through the mineral deposits that are causing the streaks.

Cleaning A Shower Curtain

plastic shower curtain Keeping a shower curtain clean of mildew can be a job. But here is the trick to keeping free of mildew with the use of salt.

Here’s the salt fix: Fill the bath tub with 5 to 6 inches of water, and add 2 cups of salt. Remove the curtain from the rod, and immerse it into the salt water for about an hour.

How it works: Soaking the curtain in salt water will leave an unseen coating of sodium crystals that helps to prevent mold and mildew from latching on to the plastic shower curtain.

Boosting the Life of a Broom

Don’t those brooms wear out faster than expected. If you want to extend or boost the useful life of that household broom do the following.

extending life of broom

 

Here’s the salt fix: Before the new brooms first use, soak the bristles in a 50/50 solution of hot water and soak for about 25 to 30 minutes.

How it works: Salt hardens the brooms bristles to prevent them from fraying.

After removing the broom from the salt-water, just store it leaning against a wall upside down so the bristles are off the floor when not in use.

Eliminate a Carpet Full of Fleas

You love your dog, but you hate the fleas that can hop from your pet to the carpet. Is there a solution to getting rid of the fleas and not the pooch?

Here’s the salt fix: Vacuum the carpet and furniture thoroughly.

Next, literally sprinkle the salt crystals over the surface of the carpet and upholstery.

Let the salt sit overnight, then vacuum again the next day, and empty the canister right away.

How it works: The salt will dehydrate those little fleas that hatch from eggs deep in the carpet and fabric fibers of the upholstery.

Stop Mold From Growing On Your Cheese

We all hate the mold growth on cheese. Is there a way to slow or stop mold from naturally growing on it?

moldy cheeseHere’s the salt fix: Soak a paper towel in in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of salt and 3 cups of water.

Wrap the wet paper towel loosely around the cheese before placing it in the refrigerator.

How it works: The salt inhibits mold growth by dehydrating it.


You’ll Enjoy Knowing the Top Nine Varieties Of Cheese’s Enjoyed By Food Lovers


Brighten Those Faded Cloths

washing clothes Detergent can be harsh on clothing after awhile. Naturally brighten those colors with salt.

Here’s the salt fix: Use this solution even before your colored cloths start to fad, and even if they have faded, this fix will work to brighten their color. Toss 1/2 cup of salt into the wash cycle.

How it works: The chloride in the salt will help to dissolve hard water deposits, in turn helping the colored clothes look like new. This solution will seal in colors on new clothing with their first washing.

Cool Down Canned or Bottled Drinks In A Flash

Your guests have arrived, but you forgot to put the drinks in the refrigerator. Not to worry. You can cool those canned or bottled drinks in about 5 minutes. How? With salt.

Here’s the salt fix: To chilled those canned or bottled drinks, just toss them in a large tub of cold water and 2 handfuls of salt, and as much ice as you can fit. Add the beverages, and in about 5 minutes you have cold drinks.

How it works: The salt reduces the freezing point of water, so the caned or bottled beverages will cool in only 5 minutes. Rinse the cans or bottles before serving them to family or guests.

Save That Bitter Cup Of Coffee

bitter tasting coffee Most people who love their coffee, also hate it bitter. The next time it happens to you, don’t toss the coffee, save it with salt.

Here’s the salt fix: Just add a pinch of salt to your cup of bitter coffee.

How it works: The ions in the salt helps to neutralize the bitterness of the coffee, without adding a salty taste, as long as it is only a pinch.


Read More About: Coffee: Facts, Myths, and Trivia


 

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Stocking the Kitchen with Useful Gadgets for Healthy Cooking

Stocking the Kitchen with Useful Gadgets for Healthy Cooking

Have you been through Williams-Sonoma, Target, Macy’s, or Sur La Table to see their featured kitchen gadgets? If you are a zealous cook, and have a love for being in the kitchen to cook for others or just to relieve stress, then you can’t help but search out and admire the latest tools of the trade, in this case the most necessary kitchen gadgets.

After you have eyed all of those gadgets, you ask which ones do I really need? Here is a look at four of the most useful kitchen aids that we think will help make your cooking and baking time in the kitchen more of a breeze.

Microplane Grater

The Right Kitchen Gadgets for Healthy Cooking -microplane and box grader

Click To Enlarge For Better Viewing

Microplane graters are very useful for grating a verity of foods , like nutmeg, cheese, and zest from citrus fruit. The microplane is etched instead of stamped, like the box grater is.

The microplanes etched edges are razor sharp, grating the food items even finer, then the the smaller stamped grater side of the box grater.

Orange Ginger and Rainbow Carrot's

 

Citrus zest is a healthy way to add seasoned flavor to your favorite recipes. The microplane can easily zest any citrus rind without piercing the pith.

Try a side of steamed or roasted rainbow carrots, sliced and mixed with ginger syrup and the zest of an orange.

A microplane will also grate the perfect chocolate shavings for a cake, or some hard Asiago cheese to grate over your favorite pasta or even a pizza.

 

Immersion Blender

Immersion Blender

Click To Enlarge For Better Viewing

The immersion blender allows you to puree nutritious soups and dips without straining your wrist.

Some of the hand held blenders have multi-speeds making it easier to work on thick or denser concoctions, taking only 90 seconds to puree thick soups like split pea and ham , or chunky spaghetti sauce into a pureed spaghetti  sauce.

A handheld immersion blender saves you time, as you don’t have to get your blender out to puree the soup or other food items, and less clean-up.

Angled Measuring Cup

angled measuring cup by OXO

Source: Chef’s Resource – chefsresource.com –

 

An angled measuring cup by OXO makes measuring foods that are easy to underestimate when cooking or baking, such as flour, cooking oils, pasta, cereal, and nuts.

The angled measuring cup has measurement markings visible from above, making it easier to add accurate amounts of ingredients to your cooking or baking and eliminating the need to examine amounts at eye level.

 

 

 

Colored Flexible Cutting Boards

Sanitation is important when using cutting boards. Bacteria can reside in grooves produced by cutting, or in liquids left on the board, either it be a wooden or plastic cutting board.

Colored Flexible Cutting Boards

Source: Chefs Catalog – chefscatalog.com –

Bacteria or allergens can easily be transmitted from one part of the kitchen to another or from one food to another by way of cutting knives, hands, or surfaces such as chopping boards.

To reduce the chance of cross contamination, why not use flexible cutting boards, which are of different colors for use with different types of food such as raw meat, cooked meat, dairy and vegetables.

Many professional kitchens follow this standard color-coding system.

Blue cutting boards: raw fish

Red cutting boards: raw meat

Green cutting boards: vegetable, salad and fruit

Yellow cutting boards: raw poultry

Brown cutting boards: cooked meat

White cutting boards: dairy (also for universal if no other board is available)

Remember that stocking your kitchen with the appropriate tools of the trade doesn’t have to be expensive. Shop around and investigate and read up on product reviews, such as those done by Good House Keeping , Eating Well, Consumer Search , with the reviews posted on their websites.

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Healthy Mouthwatering Lunch

Pickled Mini Sweet Peppers

Pickled Mini Sweet Peppers

February is National Canning Month in the United States. Why, you may ask in the middle of winter? I am not really sure why. It would seem that the mid summer months  on in to October would seem more appropriate, when most summer fruit and vegetables are at there peak and are being harvested.

To honor the occasion, Registrar Corp is presenting important information about U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registration regulations for Food Canning Establishments (FCE), according to PRWeb.

The process of canning food in the United States dates back to May of 1862 when Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Agricultural Act that established the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

By 1901 the canning company who went by the name “Norton Brothers” joined with 60 other firms to form the American Can Company. Canning food back in the early 1900’s was fairly new, and food was canned in different containers, including glass jars and tin cans.

pickling  seasoning with salt and coconut sugarDuring the early years of commercial canning, there were numerous cases of botulism outbreaks. But the industry canned on, until they got it right.

Salt as well as sugar is the secret to canning. Salt flavors and preserves. It also creates a hostile environment for microorganisms that would otherwise spoil foods.

This is why the amount of salt you put in most brined pickle recipes is critical. It also applies to caning other food products.

Salt helps keep the brine and canned food at a balanced pH level that prevents bad bacteria from forming. Sugar can do the same thing, such as in canned jams and jellies.

Good bacteria also need nutrients to grow. In our canning we used Himalayan salt, which contains 72 trace minerals., minerals we thrive on for good health. We tried something a little different in our recipe, we used coconut sugar, in place of white refined sugar. Because of that our pickling brine is not clear, but it has good flavor.

Let’s get started with our feature canning recipe and here is what you will need:

10 ounces mini sweet peppers (yellow, red and orange), ends cut off and remove seeds

2 fresh Serrano peppers, seeded, and thinly sliced

1 cup water

mini sweet peppers marinating in brine1 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or granulated sugar)

2 tablespoons pickling spices

1 1/2 tablespoons Himalayan salt

Place peppers in a large heat-proof bowl and set aside.

In a medium stainless steel saucepan combine water, vinegar, sugar, pickling spices, and salt.

Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until sugar and salt has dissolved.

mini sweet peppers in jar waiting for brinePour hot vinegar mixture over peppers and cool, until brine temperature reaches about 75 to 80 degrees.

Transfer to two 4 cup glass containers with lids. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 month.

seeding and veining Serrano chiliesSerrano peppers can be hot, because of their volatile oil content. When seeding them as well as removing the veins, you need to be careful not to touch your eyes, as they will burn.

Avoid direct contact with chilies as much as possible. When working with chili peppers, use a spoon to remove the veins and seeds. First cut the stem, then cut in half from the top to the bottom of the pepper.

Grab the bottom tip of the chili with one hand and slide a spoon under the seeds and veins to completely remove them. Then cut into strips and cut in half each strip depending the length of the chili pepper.

Each jar has 8 servings each. Each serving is 1/4 of a cup.  Enjoy 3 sweet peppers per day, as they provide 200% of your daily need for vitamin-C, your epidermis (skin) will thank you.

 

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Food Parts That Are Still Surprisingly Useful

Food Parts That Are Still Surprisingly Useful

Don’t toss the food scrapes just yet! You can still use them to make or prepare something you may never given any thought too.

Watermelon Rinds

Watermelon rind has nutritional benefits. It contain vitamin-C and vitamin B-6, both great for skin, immunity, and the nervous system. Here’s something that maybe a surprise to you the rinds may help your sex life. A 2008 study at Texas A&M University research reported that watermelon rinds have high concentrations of a compound called citrulline, which the body converts into an amino acid that helps improve circulation and relax blood vessels.

After cutting up a watermelon save those rinds and blend them into a fruit smoothie, or try using them in a stir-fry. The rinds when cooked have a zucchini-like texture, with a slightly sweeter flavor.

Banana Peels

A 2013 study found that around 40 million tons of banana peels are thrown in the trash and go unused worldwide. Did you know you can use the peels to heal wounds, just rub the pulp side on bruises and scrapes to deliver potassium to heal the wound.  Soak the peels in a jar of water, for a few days, then mix five parts water to one part banana-water, and fertilize your potted plants .

The Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (2011) wrote that banana peels contain carotenoids and polyphenols, which are thought to help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Wash the peel in water then blend into a fruit smoothie. India boasts a dry vegetable curry using chopped banana peels boiled with turmeric powder and salt, then mixed with other ingredients, such as mustard seeds, green chilies, and cabbage.

Sweet Potato Peelings

After peeling a sweet potato, use the peels help lighten those persistent dark circles under the eyes. Even some have used the peels as a remedy to fad away freckles and age spots o the skin. It’s the enzyme called catecholase in the potatoes that give the peelings of the sweet potato this ability.

Stale Bread

Stale bread has always been used to make crumbs or croutons But did you can know you can run stale bread through your spice or coffee grinders to remove any leftover odors or residue?

If you have smudges or marks on the walls, including crayon marks, stale bread can help. First remove the crust, then wipe the marks or smudges with a soft cloth, then rub semi-stale bread against it. The sponge like texture will work like a store bought cleaning eraser.

Onion Skin‘s

The wrapping around onions is rich in the nutrient quercetin, a plant pigment that helps to prevent your arteries from clogging, and helping with lowering blood sugar, and reducing inflammation.

A 2011 study reported that in the European Union alone, around 500,000 tons of onion skins go to waist each year. Though the onion skin is not palatable, you can reap the health benefits by tossing the onion skins into beef, chicken or vegetable broth while cooking soups and stews. The out come will be a rich, flavorful soup. Don’t for get to remove the skin before serving.

Olive Oil

Do you have a bottle of olive oil that has lost its fragrant taste? Will don’t toss it. There are still ways to use it.

Do you have a pair of paints that has a zipper that just won’t budge? Dab some oilve oil on the teeth of the zipper to make it zip again. You can even use it to wipe off eye makeup. Surprised? Just try it and see for yourself.

Other uses include rubbing into the leaves of potted plants to make them shine and look healthier, or even use to polish your leather shoes.

Swiss Chard Stalks

Those of us that use Swiss chard, always toss the stalks, but wait, German researchers reported that the stalks contain glutamine an amino acid , which boosts the immune system, and can also aid the body to recover from surgery and heal wounds.

Cut the stalks into one-inch cubes, roast for about 20 minutes, and season with lemon juice, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper. Add a whole Swiss chard (stalks included) to the blender for a powerful boost to your green juice or smoothie.

If none of the for gone ideas sound appealing to you, you can toss those scrapes into a mulch bend to add to the soil in your garden. Even if you don’t garden, give your scrapes off to a friend who does, or to your local community garden.

 

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Improve Your Health in the Kitchen Not the Medicine Cabinet

 

Improve Your Health in the Kitchen Not the Medicine Cabinet

When we don’t feel good, most of us might turn to the medicine cabinet. As it may have pain relievers for sore muscles or a headache, stomach ache, fever or even diarrhea. The medicine cabinet and what it may offer to you in times of failing health is only temporary.

Why not look to your kitchen to relieve your aches and pains? Are we crazy asking that question, you may say. There is only food in the kitchen. That is the point. Our health is dependent on what we are eating.

When you choose to start living a healthier lifestyle and look for alternative ways to better your health, have you ever considered what the kitchen has to offer you in this respect?

There are particular food ingredients, and there are many of them that have positive health benefits, that are actually good for your aches and pains.

What are they, you are asking?  They are herbs and spices.

Here are a few of those healthy spices and what they can do for you.

Cayenne Pepper – This is known as a spice with a zing to it. Many spicy dishes contain cayenne pepper, and for this reason some shy away from eating it.

But actually, you should embrace it and use it more often. It’s known to increase your fat burning metabolism so you help shed pounds by as much as 25%. It also is an anti-inflammatory spice, reducing pain.

Garlic - Improve Your Health in the Kitchen Not the Medicine Cabinet Ginger Ginger is known for its ability to help with nausea, but can also calm an aching stomach, as well as reduce acid reflux.

Cinnamon – This is an excellent spice to help aid the bowls with diarrhea attacks and an upset stomach. It coats and sooths the stomach and digestive lining.

Garlic – Garlic can help keep lower cholesterol levels and it can decrease your blood pressure. Garlic is also an anti-inflammatory, relieving pain.

Allspice - Improve Your Health in the Kitchen Not the Medicine Cabinet

 

Allspice – Allspice is a natural stimulant that can help relieve problems in the stomach with indigestion and gas. It works much like cinnamon, coating and soothing the digestive lining, relieving pain and inflammation.

Mustard – This is an excellent spice for those who suffer from respiratory problems.  It’s another stimulant that is a helpful aid in squashing respiratory ailments.

Peppermint - Improve Your Health in the Kitchen Not the Medicine Cabinet Peppermint – This is a pleasure-filled spice that is tasty and helps with insomnia.  As an added benefit, it can help with digestive disorders and also bouts of tension.

Turmeric – This is an antioxidant that defends against free radicals.  It is a great anti-inflammatory and reduces pain throughout the body.

Herbs and spices are more commonly known as methods used to liven up our food. What most don’t realize is that there are certain spices that actually help you lead a healthy life while making your food taste good.

The next time you’re planning your dinner menu, think to yourself, “What can I be doing for my health when I spice up our favorite recipes tonight?”

 

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Taking the Path to a Healthy and Nutritious Diet

 

Taking the Path to a Healthy and Nutritious Diet

Believe it or not, there are still people who have heard about eating a healthy diet, but are undecided about going down that path.

Learning to eat healthy and understand proper nutrition, living a healthier lifestyle may seem difficult, but it really isn’t.

A little knowledge is all it takes to get started on the path to good health.

A healthy diet is essential for sustaining the function of a healthy body.

Eating the right foods for all day energy and vitality, and for living a minimal disease-free life.

Breaking unhealthy habits is difficult, but not an impossible task.

The place to start is reading for yourself the benefits of eating healthy foods and getting daily exercise.

When a person begins to understand what healthy eating is all about, the next step begins with a healthy eating plan and to rid the kitchen of any unhealthy foods.

What foods are described as unhealthy? Any food that has been processed, and this would include, cookies, potato chips and any beverage with the word “soda” in it.

Processed, packaged foods typically have little to no nutrition, and therefore do not meet the nutritional needs of the body.

Boulder Canyon Natural Foods - Taking the Path to a Healthy and Nutritious DietKeeping junk food and drinks out of your kitchen can help to prevent temptation.

Instead, stock your kitchen with healthy snacks, such as a variety of fruit and vegetables, cheese, yogurt, and various 100% whole wheat products.

Simple nutritional snacks can include among others, almond butter and an apple.

Some minimally processed package foods are an okay option like these Boulder Canyon Natural Foods, both of which are made with either 100% olive oil or 100% avocado oil.

Healthy Meals

Lean Meat and Vegetables - Taking the Path to a Healthy and Nutritious Diet

What do healthy meals include? Lean proteins and vegetables. Also, eating fruit as a snack between meals.

Use Fruit as a Snack - Taking the Path to a Healthy and Nutritious Diet

A healthy eating plan includes the recommended daily allowances from all the food groups.

We won’t pretend it is easy to do, that is getting 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Just do your best.

Another step in learning to eat a more nutritious diet, is learning how food works in the body.

This may not seem important to you, just so long as you feel satisfied when you east.

How food Works in the bodyIf you were aware how some foods work in the intestinal tract, and how some foods waist your bodies energy to digest and expel from the body, you’ll be more prone to make healthy choices at meal and snack times.

The energy that is wasted on junk foods consumed or food additives your body does not even recognize, would be,

1. Energy otherwise spent to repair your body

2. Energy waisted to maintain a healthy immune system

Junk food can rob you of the energy to do the things you enjoy, instead of being fatigued and tired all of the time.

Once you appreciate how specific nutrients work in the body, you can then start to slow down the premature aging process.

As they say, “Knowledge is power!”

Cook At Home

By cooking at home, you control the ingredients that go into your food as well as the cooking method, and therefore having control over your health and what goes into your body.

Schedule

Many people have very busy lives, and eating junk food and fast food on the go is typical.

It’s important to plan ahead. Rather than grabbing a fast food lunch on the run, take a bagged lunch to work, possibly a tuna salad sandwich on 100% whole wheat or a fresh salad.

The weekend is a good time to plan for the week, and prep food that can be used easily throughout the week.

Plan ahead for healthy dinners as well, by cooking ahead of time and using the freezer to its fullest advantage.

There are many healthy meals you can make in quantity and freeze for later.

Examples are stuffed bell peppers, vegetable or meat lasagna, just to name a few.

Healthy Shopping - Healthy Shopping - Taking the Path to a Healthy and Nutritious DietShop the Perimeter of the Supermarket

Did you know that the periphery of any supermarket or perimeter has all the healthy foods, while the inside aisles carry all the processed and unhealthy ones.

Think about it, the produce, bulk foods, fresh meats, and the dairy products are all on the periphery or perimeter.

Next time you are at the market take a stroll and look around the perimeter to see what is there.

Are you ready to take the path to a healthy and nutritious diet?

 

 

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