Posts tagged ‘Food’

October 17, 2013

Sunroot or Sunchoke is a Nutritious Medicinal Root Vegetable

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Sunchokes Helianthus tuberosus L.are also called Jerusalem artichokes, but it has no relationship to Jerusalem and it is not an artichoke. The better known common names for this yellow flower are sunroot, sunchoke and earth apple.
Sunchoke is the modern common name used to avoid confusion with artichokes for cooking purposes, but it does have a mild artichoke flavour.

Sunchoke is a very tall prolific perennial plant that is native to North America, and has a long history of being used by Native Americans as a root vegetable. The sunchoke flowers belong to the same family as sunflowers, and the flowers follow the sun like sunflowers do. They like to grow wild and they need lots of space, because it likes to multiply. The stalks and leaves are rough and hairy. The roots are starchy tubers that look a little like ginger rhizomes, and are edible like a potato.

It was a popular plant to use to hide the outhouse or to put in front of other unsightly eyesores, as it creates a thick, tall hedge that requires no maintenance, unless overpopulation is an issue. Perhaps there is a warning in there somewhere among the yellow flowers.

Sunchoke is becoming popular food for thought again, but when consuming lots of sun chokes it may cause digestion disturbance in the form of …um… gaseous upset. It has earned the nickname “fartichokes.” Eat a little and see how well your digestion system tolerates it.

The edible tuber roots have a high inulin content, which is a type of soluble fibre. Inulin is a carbohydrate with sweet polysaccharides that is safe for diabetics, and it is pre-biotic. Containing the Pre-biotic (FOS) Fructo-Oligio-Saccharide means that it promotes healthy bacteria, which is beneficial for feeding healthy flora in the digestion system. It balances yeast and has a positive impact on overall health. It breaks down into fructose in the gut, but might be hard to digest for some people, and may cause cramping, bloating and excessive wind, especially when consumed in a large quantities. It relieves constipation.

It is best to wait until the first or second frost to harvest, and they are dug up until springtime, weather permitting of course, or buy them where you get fresh produce. Some people prefer the springtime to dig them up. They are available year round, but peak season is October-March.
It is also best to dead head the flowers if the roots are going to get dug up and eaten, they will grow bigger.
Store up to one to three weeks raw, but once cooked eat right away. Some people say they are better stored in the fridge for a week before eating.
They are a good source of iron, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin C, FOS and of course fibre, Inulin. It improves calcium absorption, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Sunchokes are good medicinal food, but eat sparingly at first.

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WAYS TO PREPARE SUNCHOKES

Sunchokes will oxidize like a potato so dip them in water with lemon juice or keep them in water until ready to use, because they will turn brown. Do not cook in aluminum or iron pans.
The skins are edible like ginger skin is, and when cooking it is best to leave the skins on and remove peels later if desired. Wash, scrub and remove rootlets or strings if any are present before cooking. Goes well with mint, onion, garlic, chives, thyme, cumin, black cumin, pepper, turmeric, rosemary, lemon citrus, lemon verbena, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.

RAW
Eat Sunchokes raw topped on a salad or mixed in salsa, grated or thinly sliced and tastes like jicama. Try small amounts at first to see if your digestion can handle it this way. They can also be added to juicing recipes.
I wonder what it would be like thinly sliced and pickled like ginger.

STEAMED
Sun chokes are better steamed and not boiled, which will make them mushy. It does make good puréed soup mixed with nut or coconut milk.

SAUTÉ or STIR-FRY
They make a great water chestnut stir-fry substitute, they have a similar texture and taste.

BAKED
Oven bake them brushed with oil and herbal seasonings and bake for 20-40 minutes at 375 degrees.
Bake with sweet potatoes and other root vegetables to make root chips.
I wonder what they would taste like flavoured and then put in the dehydrator and dehydrated overnight.

Food and Cooking (2004 edition), page 307, Harold McGee indicates that the flatulent effects of Sunchoke roots are due to complex fructose-based carbohydrates that are not digestible by humans.

Long, slow cooking allows enzymes present in the fresh tuber to convert these to fructose over time.

McGee recommends 12-24 hours at 200 F / 93 C.
The result will be soft and sweet, akin to a vegetable aspic.

Note that the ogliosacharrides in beans are a different class than the inulin in Sunchokes, and the digestive supplement Beano is not effective with sunchoke.

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http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/34060/what-cooking-methods-prevent-the-gaseous-side-effect-of-sunchokes

April 29, 2013

Tips for Getting Summer Body Ready

beachy

 

1. Accept yourself. We are all imperfectly perfect and perfectly imperfect, just accept all the things that you think are flaws. The mirror reflects the whole picture. What parts are you concentrating on? Are you fixated on a mole or wrinkle while not getting any exercise? Focus your awareness and free yourself from self-criticism while still taking proper self-care. Don’t hold yourself to others ideals about what they think beauty is. Everyone has natural beauty.
2. Stop caring what other people might think about you. True happiness is to be yourself away from the negative constraints and limits of others. True freedom is not letting others weigh you down with their Issues. Surround yourself with positive people who not only accept you for who you are, but encourage and support you.
3. Become immune to criticism. Look behind where the criticism is coming from and what is motivating it. Realize their fixation on weight, a mole or wrinkle is their body issue and it has nothing to do with you. Realize this is their projection and don’t take it personally. Some people just want to feel superior at any cost. Wear your stretch marks from having children like a badge of honour, some women can’t experience the miracle of giving birth. Women are not dolls. Everyone has wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite, moles, so remember be kind to each other we are all human.
4. Eat a diet high in natural organic plant-based foods and avoid gluten, refined sugar, processed fake ingredients and unnatural foods. Eat food as medicine and you will look and feel great!
5. Stay consistently active for healthy mind and body balance. Do yoga, bike, walk in nature, dance or join a sports team or group to help encourage you. You will be more motivated if you are having fun and have other people around you that are enjoying it too. You don’t have to be “beach bikini summer body” ready to enjoy the beach! Being active on the beach creates “beach bodies.”

You are now bathing suit summer body ready! Go out and enjoy yourself!

April 22, 2013

Canadian Maple Syrup

maple

Fresh pure Maple syrup from the Maple Syrup festival is such a treat it deserves a blog! The maple leaf isn’t on the Canadian flag for nothing! The red leaf officially became Canada’s flag in what year? 1887, 1918, 1965, ?

85% of the world’s maple syrup comes from Canada with Quebec and then Ontario being the largest producers. Who knew that maple syrup is a good source of calcium besides being nature’s delicious candy.

The maple tree has to be at least forty years old to tap and the harvest season lasts six weeks. The best conditions and times to tap are when it is below freezing at night and above freezing in the day time.

On an average season one tree can produce 10 gallons of sap. The sap is evaporated into a quart of maple syrup. Enjoy real Canadian Maple Syrup! YUM!

October 22, 2012

Chaga Mushroom

The Chaga mushroom/conk doesn’t resemble a typical mushroom at all, it looks like a piece of burnt black charcoal on the outside and the inside is orange yellowish. I first thought it looked like a lightning strike. Chaga grows on rotted or wounded trees, and has a symbiotic relationship with them.

Chaga was known  by the ancient Chinese as the “King of all mushrooms” which is high praise coming from the masters of medicinal mushrooms in the East. The Siberian tribesmen who are also masters of medicinal mushrooms called it the “Gift from God,” and what an amazing gift it is!

Chaga mushroom is an adaptogen which means it helps the body adapt to any kind of stress, bringing balance to all systems and acts as a tonic to the adrenals and immune system.
It is an amazing medicinal mushroom that addresses malnutrition, fortifies the immune system, and has anti tumour properties.
It is a top source of SOD (superoxide dismutase) which is an enzyme that protects all cells in the body. Also it is very nutritious being rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, phytonutrients, tannins.

This Chaga mushroom weighs almost a pound and was wild-crafted from the Northern Ontario forest.

You can use the dried Chaga in a tea or in a tincture. A double extraction tincture is the best way to get the water-soluble and alcohol-soluble parts of mushrooms.
Use a cheese grater to break up Chaga into smaller pieces. Make a tincture by steeping ground chaga in 80 proof (40%) or stronger alcohol, for a month. Strain the chaga pieces and simmer them in water for at least half an hour, or use a crock pot.
I steep it on the lowest warm setting in a ceramic crock pot.
Cool and strain. Mix water and alcohol. Use 1:1 or 60-40% ratio above 20%
Here is how to make a tincture > http://earthelixir.ca/2012/01/10/make-your-own-herbal-tinctures/

Wild-craft ethically or buy it from a reputable source.

More about Mushrooms:

http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/the-chaga-natures-medicinal-mushroom

http://www.mushroomexpert.com/

http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/

CHAGA MUSHROOM/CONK AKA CLINKER/TINDER MUSHROOM

Common   Name Chaga mushroom/conk aka Clinker polypore/mushroom
Latin Name Inonotus obliquus
Family Hymenochaetaceae
Parts Used Fungi/Mushroom
Target Organs Immune, Nervous, Endocrine, Pancreas, Spleen, Digestive, Liver, Urinary, Heart
Common Uses Strengthens and cleanses all systems.Tonic to Immune, Nervous, Endocrine systems, Heart, Stomach,   Digestive, Liver, Urinary system.Lowers cholesterol, normalizes blood pressure,Supportive treatment for cancer, diabetes, infections, allergies, hypertension, worms, liver digestive problems
Properties Primary properties underlined:Adaptogen,   adrenal tonic, analgesic, antiallergenic, antiatherogenic, antibacterial,   anticarcinogenic, anticardiotoxic, anticatarrhal, antidepressant, antihepatotoxic,   anti-inflammatory, antimutagencic, antineoplastic, antinephrotoxic,   antineurotoxic, antioxidant, antiradiotoxic, antithrombotic,   antiulcerogenic, antiviral, anxiolytic, aperient, appetite stimulant, astringent,    blood pressure normalizer, cardiac, depurative, diaphoretic,   diuretic, decongestant, emmenagogue tonic, expectorant secretolytic, hypocholesterolemic,   hypolipidemic, immune stimulant, immune tonic, nervine, pancreatic,   vasodilator,vulnerary
Constituents Polysaccharides, tannins, phytonutrients,  triterpenes, amino acids, saponins, inotodiol,
Phytosterols,
betulin and betulinic acid found in birch

Minerals, magnesium, chromium, iron,germanium

Cautions Correct identification   is important to avoid poisoning, illness and possible death.Caution with   hypoglycemia.
September 13, 2012

DIY Chicory and Dandelion Coffee

A beverage drink that is delicious and good for the liver? I had to taste it to believe it myself and I’m converted! You may never look at your ‘weeds’ the same way again.

Here’s some nutritional information and medicinal uses of the humble dandelion. http://earthelixir.ca/2012/04/24/dandelion/

Chicory flower

I’m sipping on some fresh home-brewed Chicory & Dandelion root coffee as I share this delicious news, it is a good combination together. Both chicory and dandelion are good on their own in a hot beverage, or have them together like I am enjoying.

How to make your own Chicory & Dandelion root Coffee  

Dig up some dandelion and/or chicory roots.

Wash them in a bucket of water outside.

Scrub and rinse them well removing dirt.

Cut them up and rinse them more until clean.

Grind the roots fresh (it is easier at this stage to grind the roots if you don’t have a good grinder)

or grind the roots after they have dry roasted.

Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet.

Roast the roots in a 200 °oven with the door open to dry roast

About an hour or two until golden.

Spread them around while baking and check to see that they don’t burn or get overcooked. Cool and store in a glass sealed jar.

To make coffee : Put 1 tablespoon of roasted root per cup of water and simmer gently in a pot for 5-15 minutes depending on desired strength.

The best tasting brew is when I am camping. Gather the roots, wash them and roast them on a hot rock carefully separated from the fire. Pound the roots. Brew like you would coffee. Tastes the best outdoors!

1 tablespoon of roasted roots to 1 cup of coffee

Drink it how you would like your coffee.

Enjoy! mmmmm *sip

 

June 11, 2012

Illuminating Blogger Award Nomination

I was kindly nominated by

http://thebeadden.wordpress.com/ (check out their creative beautiful blog)

for a food stories blog illuminating blogger award.

http://foodstoriesblog.com/food-stories-award/

To be nominated for an illuminating blogger award is such a thrill! It is amazing to get so much positive feedback about my blog lately.

I want to help create a healthier planet with healthier people in it using the healing powers of nature. I love to experiment and post many recipes covering nutritious, delicious, healthy, gluten-free food, gardening, natural health medicine, beauty, cleaning products, crafts,  all using nature and natural ingredients. There is so much more to come my head is bursting!

If you have any suggestions or topics that you would like to see covered, leave a comment or message me.

Thank you for your continued support, it is so appreciated!

April 10, 2012

How my Dad Overcame Diabetes

When my father got diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes he did not want to take the pharmaceutical medication offered to him because his arthritis medication he had taken earlier caused him to have a bleeding ulcer so severe he almost died.

****** Note to others who are taking pharmaceutical medications: Pharmaceuticals and even OTC remedies like aspirin can cause bleeding ulcers.

The doctor gave my father 4 months to change his diet and try alternatives to see if he could avoid taking the pharmaceutical medication for his high blood sugar levels. I usually do not treat family and friends because of the conflict of interest it can create, but if they come to me openly and willing how can I refuse?

I gave my dad an herbal tincture formula and some diet and supplement advice. I also gave him a glycemic index guide to help educate him on the sugar levels in foods and how they affect the body, and told him to start reading food labels.

When he started to read the labels on food he couldn’t believe how much sugar was in everything, not to mention the other types of code words for sugar like glucose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrups, now under the code word corn sugar, and the list goes on. He said no wonder diabetes is a problem; the over-consumption of refined sugars is killing people.

The danger with diabetes is that high levels of sugar destroy blood vessels which cause glaucoma, heart disease, and stroke. It is also good to avoid bad fats like hydrogenated, animal saturated fats, and processed and refined foods, because they destroy blood vessels just like high levels of sugar do.

When my dad went back to the doctor 4 months later he was no longer diabetic and his blood sugar was under control!!! My dad stuck with the change in diet and in 4 months he lost 20 pounds and is diabetes free! It is a comfortable weight loss of 5 pounds per month and he will be less likely to put it back on. He also avoided getting a knee operation for his arthritis, and now has less arthritic flare-ups and is pharmaceutical free. Not many seniors can say they are pharmaceutical free! The doctor also asked my dad tips about how to lower his own blood sugar.

My dad has stuck with his all natural diet, takes herbs and supplements and has maintained his healthy weight. Now he feels great, and everyone in my family has received better health benefits because of this immense change in diet.

When the problem is detected early the better the chances are for rapid recovery. An individual detailed diet is recommended because everyone is different and unique.

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