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Healing Green Juice for the flu season

In Beverages, Blog on January 17, 2013 at 11:25 AM

celery-red grape-watercress-apple-coconutwater-bee pollenThe flu season is here, and there is no better time than now to get your natural flu shots…. I am not talking about the one with the needle, where you get 20% off at Safeway. I am talking about the type of booster, that can really enhance your health and wellness, at a higher level (and with no side effects). This juice is one of many, that I enjoy to make, and there are even extra benefits if you are an athlete, and need a great recovery drink.

I want to put watercress at the center of my juice today. Watercress (Nasturtium officinalis) is a semi-aquatic perennial herb, belonging to the family of Brassicaceae, which has long been known for its flavoring, therapeutic and aphrodisiac properties. Watercress is rich in fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamin C, beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, iron, Vitamins B1, B2, zinc, copper, manganese and is also a good source of iodine.  In fact, watercress has more calcium than milk, and more iron than spinach.

Watercress has many health benefits, and has been used for cancer prevention, treat upper respiratory tract infections (just don’t consume it, when you have stomach or intestinal ulcers or inflammatory kidney diseases), and appears to have vision preservation properties by helping to lower the risk of one of the most common cause of adult blindness, macular degeneration, which could be due to the effect through its high level of two carteniods, lutein and zeaxanthin.

We all know, that hard exercise takes its toll on the body. A lot of people think they can exercise hard, and then eat and drink junk afterwards, but the fact is, that this just breaks down the body over time, and you get more injuries, colds, and the body take longer to recover. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that eating a small amount of this leafy green each day raised levels of key antioxidants, that fend off the damage caused by exercise. The sudy also showed, that wear and tear creates more free radicals, which contribute to DNA damage. The same study showed that the athletes, who ate watercress 2 hours prior to a workout, were able to reap benefits right away. Just 3 oz. of juice will do the trick. That’s why a nutrient-rich diet that neutralizes free radicals, and allows the body to heal goes hand in hand with training.

Watercress has plenty of health and therapeutic properties. However, due to its strong, pungent and bitter taste, it is never used alone, but is always added to juices, salads or other dishes as an ingredient, flavor or garnish.

My morning juice was a great tasting juice, and watercress took it to the next level.

 

Ingredients

  • 8 stalks of celery
  • 1 -2 bunches of fresh watercress
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 red grapefruits
  • 1 red apple
  • 2 cups raw coconut water
  • 1 tsp Bee pollen

 

To make

Juice the celery, watercress, cucumber,grapefruit and apple. Add the coconut water and blend well. Garnish with bee pollen!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Healing spices that are perfect for warming you up!

In Blog on January 16, 2013 at 1:03 PM

spicesEach season is filled with exciting challenges of how to to satisfy the body’s needs, and it can change from person to person. To feel balanced in the cold, we need to eat and drink balancing foods, that are nourishing, grounding and warming. One of the ways to do this, is to add spices to your meal. Here are the 9 perfect winter spices, you can easily add to get started.

Fresh ginger

  • This is my favorite thing at anytime of the year. Ginger breaks up congestion, improves your circulation and it burns toxins in the body.
  • Use: Add fresh ginger to warm water with lemon, herbal teas, maki, any dish where you think it could go along

Cinnamon 

  • Cinnamon is a big time favorite of mine. I think I have cinnamon most days during the winter. The smell and flavor of cinnamon is amazing, and it’s a great anti-oxidant, that supports a healthy blood-suagr level.
  • Use: Add cinnamon in nut mylks, teas (chai), desserts, Indian and Moroccan foods
Nutmeg
  • The nutmeg tree is a large evergreen tree, native to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas. Inside its apricot-like fruit lies a hard seed, the kernel of which is the spice nutmeg. Most people probably only know of the ground version, but when you grate nutmeg fresh, it’s a totally exciting experience when it comes to smell and flavor. Nutmeg is another healing spice, as it helps reduce pain and inflammation. It also help clears the respiratory passage, and normalizes the digestive system.
  • Use: Sprinkle it over warm drinks (goes great with cinnamon and cardamom), use in soups or mix it into teas and stews and raw foods

Cardamom

  • Cardamom always reminds me of Indian tea and I love the smell and the flavor so much. It’s a truly healing spice. Cardamom clear food cravings and destroys mucous in the stomach and upper gastrointestinal tract.
  • Use: Teas, desserts, raw foods, soups and curries

Turmeric

  • During the winter, I get an urge of using turmeric in my food. turmeric cleans the liver and blood and has very powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce arthritis and inflammation (good to know if you live in a really cold climate and have aches). Turmeric invigorates the blood and strengthen joints and tendons.
  • Use: turmeric tea, curry dishes, quinoa dishes, spicing up vegetables, soups (use with broth)

Garlic

  • We can’t live healthy lives without this amazing healing herb. Garlic is THE perfect medicinal food, and the more you get during the winter the better. Garlic lower the blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, control the triglycerides, supports the immune system, has natural antibacterial and anti fungal action, fight infections and act as an antiseptic.
  • Use: Flu-fighting tonics, any type of food

Cumin

  • Cumin is very popular in the raw food kitchen, For many reasons, flavor is one, but cumin also has a relaxing effect and support healthy blood sugar levels and is an anti-oxidant.
  • Use: Many raw food dishes, curry dishes, herbal teas, Arab foods, chutneys, dressings
Rosemary
  • Rosemary is to me a reminder of being in the mediterranean. The smell is warming , relaxing and yet so fresh. Rosemary is a great anti-oxidant and can cure headaches and improve memory.
  • Use: All types of mediterranean foods, soups, and tomato-based dishes, and even teas.
Saffron
  • Saffron comes form one of the most beautiful flowers – the saffron crocus and is known to be one of the most expensive spices. It provides a golde-yellow hue to dishes. Saffron is a nourishing purifier that invigorates, and moves the blood while cooling it. Saffron breaks up blood clots and clears liver stagnation. It is said to improve eyesight and enhance digestion.
  • Use: Paella, desserts, curries and caribbean and Eastern foods.
Here’s some recipes to get you started…
All Raw
All Raw
Vegan, cooked

Rainbow Salad

In Blog, Entree, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Raw, Salads on January 15, 2013 at 8:05 PM

 

Vegan – High Raw or Raw, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-free option

Bell peppers are great to add to any dish. They are nutrient-dense vegetables and contain many powerful phytochemicals, vitamin C and beta carotene. The red ones are more nutritious than the green ones. Red bell peppers contain lycopene, which is a carotene that helps protect against cancer and heart disease. Bell peppers have also been shown to prevent blood clot formation and can therefore reduce the risk of strokes and prevent heart attacks. People with elevated cholesterol should increase their intake of bell peppers and chili for that matter.

The other main vegetable ingredient here is cabbage. Red cabbage has a lot to offer. It is high in anthocyanins and vitamin C, and red cabbage is a great source of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese. Red cabbage has twice the vitamin C as green cabbage, so make sure to add this wonderful vegetable (preferably in its raw state) over the winter time, when fresh berries are not available.

The Rainbow salad, is a great dinner idea in the winter time. You get loads of anti-oxidants, vitamins and enzymes from the salad, along with and loads of plant protein from the Quinoa, and of course all the medicinal benefits from turmeric (anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory)  - Did I remember to say, that the flavors are amazing?

I have chosen to make this a high raw dish to keep all the nutrients – of course you can cook it, but then you lose the flavors, color, and important nutrients, so try this high raw version and enjoy the evolution of a fresh and healthy meal.

Make this your own, by adding in organic ingredients you already have at hand – I stayed clear of nuts in this recipe, and used sunflower seeds to get that crunchy and satisfying feeling.

 

Ingredients

  • 2-3 bell peppers (orange, red and yellow ), finely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 2-3 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 red apple, chopped
  • 1 cups mixed nuts and seeds (almonds, pine nuts (pignoli), hazelnuts (filberts)) + (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup mixed organic fruits (goji, cranberry, cherry, raisins, apricots)
  • 2 tsp turmeric, ground
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly pressed orange juice
  • 2 cups organic rainbow quinoa (or regular organic quinoa) or wild rice (sprouted for a 100% raw experience) or try raw cauliflower rice

 

To Make

  • Chop up all the veggies and dried fruit. Add to a bowl. Add the nuts and seeds and mix in the lemon juice and olive oil
  • Add the orange juice to the quinoa and mix well.
  • Add the quinoa or wild rice on the side of the salad

 

To Serve
Serve on its own or with mango chutney or fresh chili for added flavor and heat!
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