April 4, 2016

Cinnamon does not only taste good, it is also contains many health benefits such as: anti-clotting and anti-microbial actions, blood sugar control, boosts brain functions and the calcium and fiber in cinnamon can help protect your body against heart disease and improves colon health, just to name a few. This spice is native to Sri Lankan island but also grows in many other countries such as Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, China, and Indonesia.Cinnamon has a long history both as a spice and as a medicine. Cinnamon has been consumed since 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt, where it was very highly prized  Medieval physicians used cinnamon in medicines to treat coughing, hoarseness and sore throats.

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In addition to its unique essential oils, cinnamon is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese and a very good source of dietary fiber, iron and calcium. Not only does consuming cinnamon improve the body's ability to utilize blood sugar, but just smelling the wonderful odor of this sweet spice boosts brain activity.

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April 4, 2016

One of the many key essential points to home décor is accent pieces. Whether it is bright colored throw pillows on a neutral color couch or an abstract piece of art hung on the wall, accent pieces always gives a home a simply, but fashionable, design. Another great why to decorate your home is with floral and plants. Floral and plants make great accent pieces because they can be arranged as the center piece of a coffee table or an elegant piece to fill that empty space in the corner. Taking in a plant and placing it in a modern, abstract container can make all the differences. The best types of plants for this type of home décor would be container plants and standing dwarf trees to make your home look great. 

Plant O Gram offers a variety of options when it comes to looking for great floral and plant décor. A great example of the perfect standing plant to put in that corner that just needs a little extra something would be the Sugar Can Plant.

Potted Sugar Canes

It is an easy to take care of, container plant that looks similar to the bamboo plant but is a great alternative because this plant is edible! The stems stand about 4-12 feet tall varying on the maturity of the plant, but the fanned out grass that grows atop the plant can also provide privacy. This makes it a perfect plant to put next to a window or patio door. And home décor doesn’t just mean indoors, sprucing up your patio or porch is easily done with the right fruit tree and modern container.

Potted Star Fruit Tree

Plant O Gram has many exotic standing trees that bare beautiful and bright fruit and flowers that are seasonal. Such as the yellow dragon fruit plant and the star fruit tree. So, this is one accent piece you will continue to have each year and it will never go out of style.

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April 4, 2016

The Star Fruit is a unique tropical fruit that is gaining popularity in the United States. This fruit acquired it's name from the five pointed star shape it makes when cut across the middle. The star fruit is originally from Sri Lanka and the Moluccas, and has been grown in Southeast Asia and Malaysia for almost 1,000 years. The Star Fruits thrives on growing in a warm environment so they are also grown throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, Florida and Hawaii in today's modern world. There are two varieties of Star Fruit: one sour and the other slightly sweet.

Star Fruits grow on a bushy tree that can be 25 to 30 feet high. The leaves  of the tress are sensitive to touch and light, folding up at night or when touched. This tropical fruit is readily available July through February. Star fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, low fat, and is also naturally free of sodium and cholesterol.  Also, it's waxy peel provides a good amount of dietary fiber.

Star fruits bruise easily, so  it must be handled with care. Non-ripe Star Fruits should be turned often, until they become yellow in color and ripe with light brown ribs. Keep the ripe fruits at room temperature for two to three days or unwashed, and refrigerated, in a plastic bag for up to one to two weeks. Star Fruits are generally used as a garnish in salads, sorbets, drinks, as well as to create a tart flavor in dishes.

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April 4, 2016

One of the biggest benefits of the mango is its ability to boost your immune system. The juices of the mango can also be used to make a skin cream to help cleanse your face. So, it not only helps you on the inside but on the outside as well.

Nutrition Chart

  • One cup of mangoes (225 gms contain) contains the following percentages that apply to daily value. 105 calories
  • 76 percent vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster) 25 percent vitamin A (antioxidant and vision)
  • 11 percent vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention)
  • 9 percent healthy probiotic fiber 9 percent copper (copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus production of red blood cells)
  • 7 percent potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake)
  • 4 percent magnesium

Mango Mud Mask

Ingredients:

  • 1 Mango
  • 2 tbs. oatmeal
  • 2 tbs. almonds.
  • Water

 Instructions:

  1. Process your mud base. Pour oatmeal and almonds into a food processor and blend to a fine powder.
  2. Peel your mango, cut it in half and seed. Reserve one half and put the other in the refrigerator. Cut the half into 4 chunks and add the pieces to the food processor. process for 1 minute.
  3. Add water in tbs portions untill the proper mud consistincy.
  4. To use your mask, smooth over skin and let dry for about 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  5. Store your leftovers in an air tight container and refrigerate.
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April 4, 2016

Jambolan is an ancient fruit native to Southern Asia, and according to ancient Hindu scriptures, was the sole source of food that Lord Rama lived off of during his 14 years of exile! Mind-boggling, right? But what’s even more mind-boggling is the fact that Jambolan is proven to help regulate blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. The key ingredient that is responsible for regulating this is called the jamboline, which inhibits excessive rises in the glucose level. Below you can find a recipe for a delicious smoothie, especially made for diabetics. This way you can have a treat for yourself that is good tasting and also good for you!

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Jambolan Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup de-seeded and finely chopped black jambolan
  • 2 cups low-fat plain frozen yogurt
  • 4 tbsp crushed ice
  • (Optional) 1 tsp sugar substitute

Instructions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients, and blend in a mixer till thick and creamy.
  2. Pour the smoothie into 4 individual small glasses.
  3. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Info (per glass):

Calories: 58 kcal

Fat: 0.2 grams

Carbs: 10.3 grams

Protein: 3.8 grams

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April 4, 2016

Chaitanya B.

The pineapple...we all know it and love it. This sweet and tangy tropical fruit is multipurpose and can be used for literally everything, from alcoholic drinks like the piña colada to delicious desserts like pineapple upside-down cake. But, recently, there has been heated discussion about something else the pineapple can be used for; getting pregnant.

27-health-benefits-of-pineapple-fruit

According to many experts, pineapples are loaded with an enzyme called bromelain, which serves as a natural blood thinner, among other purposes. It's important to have thinner blood while you're trying for a child because more blood will be drawn to the uterus, encouraging the fertilized egg to stick more easily to the lining of your uterus, and reducing the chances of miscarriage.  However, according to ancient Chinese as well as modern medicine, there are some strict rules to follow. Those trying for a child must consume the right amount of bromelain (not too much, not too less) at the right time for this to work. But fortunately, we've provided you with the most effective method!

How to Eat Pineapple for Optimal Implantation

  1. Get yourself a ripe pineapple, preferably organic.
  2. Remove the pineapples exterior.
  3. Cut through the middle of the pineapple, from top to bottom. (Do NOT core it!)
  4. From each half, slice six to eight equally sized wedges.
  5. When you're ovulating, begin consuming one to two slices of pineapple each day.

Good luck to all you aspiring mommies :)

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April 4, 2016

Guarana is a flowering shrub or small tree in the Maple family, it is commonly native to Venezuela and northern Brazil. The fruit seed is a central nervous system that stimulant with thermogenic and diuretic properties. Guarana plays a vital role in Tupi and Guaraní Brazilian culture. The name "guarana" is resulting from the Tupi-Guarani word wara'ná. The guaraná fruit's color ranges from orange to red and contain black seeds which are partly covered by white arils. gF

Water extracts of the guarana plant are central nervous system stimulates, meaning the thee fruit contains caffeine. In Brazil,  they produces several brands of soft drink from guaraná extract.

guara

  • Guarana increases the metabolism, that helps in fat burning process. The caffeine in guarana helps to boost the metabolism as well.
  • Guarana improves the memory and cognitive function and stabilizes the mood and helps you focus.
  • Guarana decreases the risk of thrombosis, cardiovascular disease and cleanse the blood; which helps keep away blood clots.
  • Guarana is promoted in the health food industry as a weight loss agent. The caffeine in it boosts energy and acts as an appetite suppressor.
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April 4, 2016

Chaitanya B.

The goji berry is a fruit that many of us over here in the Western hemisphere have never heard of. In fact, it's not berry-like at all. At least compared to the berries we normally eat, like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. The goji berry is actually most closely related to the potato, tomato, eggplant, deadly nightshade, chili pepper, and tobacco. Crazy, right? But what's even more crazy is that this not-so-sweet berry is actually a sweet pleasure in China....for sexually active couples.

Chinese Goji Berries 2007. Image shot 2007. Exact date unknown. ACY81M

Branded as "happy berries" in China, the goji berry is known to increase male fertility, help out with erectile dysfunction, and increase sexual libido for both men and women overall. Modern research undertaken in Beijing has shown that the berries contain a complex of polysaccharides known as LBP, which offer protection to the sperm cells and allow for increased stimulation of the male sex organs. Also, it has been found that goji berries really aid the body’s adrenal system, which is what controls how the sex hormones operate.

Looking to spice things up with your S.O.? Maybe add this goji berry, kale, and quinoa salad by blogger Holli Thompson over a romantic candlelight dinner to get the sparks going ;)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw quinoa
  • 1 large head of kale (I used curly leaf kale)
  • 3/4 cup dried goji berries
  • 1 cup pine nuts (you can substitute another seed or nut you prefer)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced very fine

Directions:

Add dried goji berries to 2 cups of room temperature water, and allow to soak for about 20 minutes. Gently pour gojis into a fine metal strainer when plumped to discard water.

Add pine nuts to a seasoned very hot pan, and stir quickly. These burn easily, so as soon as you begin to smell the aroma, pull the pan off the heat and continue to toss.

When toasted, pour into a small bowl to cool.

Boil water for quinoa, (2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa) and add quinoa. Reduce heat to simmer, and cover your pan. This should take approximately 12 minutes to cook. Remove pan from heat, and allow to cool. Fluff quinoa with a fork to loosen grains.

Trim kale from tough stalks and center stems, and slice into ribbons, approximately 1/2 inch wide. Add to a large bowl.

In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk your dressing together. Add lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and seasonings and whisk until well blended.

After the quinoa cools, add to the kale. Set aside about 2 tablespoons of goji berries for garnish, and add the rest of the gojis, along with the nuts to your kale and quinoa. Add dressing and toss to mix.

Garnish with goji berries for a pretty red color!

Serve and enjoy! :)

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April 4, 2016

Chaitanya B.

The miracle fruit, also known as the miraculous berry, comes from a shrub native to West Africa. Right off the bat, you may be asking yourself: why is it called the miracle fruit? There are many documented reasons that justify the name of this fruit, including the fact that it helps to increase metabolism, reduce blood pressure & diabetes, and help out with overall health. But, the most interesting claim about this fruit is that it allegedly makes everything taste sweeter! What? 8O

Fruit-2When the flesh of the fruit is eaten, molecules called miraculin bind to the tongue's taste buds causing sour foods to taste sweet. At neutral pH when you haven't eaten anything sour, you won't be able to notice much of a difference on your tongue. But at a low pH, resulting from ingestion of sour foods, miraculin binds proteins and becomes able to activate the sweet receptors, making your aftertaste sweet. This effect lasts for about 30 mins. So who knows? Maybe instead of adding more sugar to your cheesecake, you could just eat some miracle fruit beforehand :P

Just for funsies, these are the superhero transformations that have occurred in people's mouth after they've consumed miracle fruit:

Lemon -------> Lemonade

Cream Cheese -------> Cheesecake

Sour Cream -------> Ice Cream

Koolaid Mix -------> Powdered Sugar

Tabasco Sauce------->

Wait for it..............

Hot Donut Glaze? 8O

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April 4, 2016

Chaitanya B.

Woo hoo! It's Friday everyone! :D You know what that means. Nights out with friends, cocktail parties, and just adventures awaiting for the weekend. There's most likely going to be one common factor in all your endeavors: alcoholic beverages. But why are we blogging about this? Because we want to let you all know that you can incorporate your PlantOGram fruit trees into your Friday night libations! Whether you're hosting a party, or just bringing a cocktail over to your friend's, we've got some unique, fun drink options for you :)

1.) Dragonfruit Greyhoundtumblr_mnhlasL43s1s86rtco1_500Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium sized dragonfruit of your choice, squeeze out the juice in a glass.
  • 2 oz Premium Vodka
  • 1-2 oz Ginger Ale
  • 2-3 oz Cranberry juice

Mix ingredients and pour over ice into glass. Enjoy! :)

2.) Mango-Peach Sangria200907-r-sangriaIngredients:

  • 1/4 cup mint
  • 1 cup Grand Marnier
  • 2 peaches, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 bottle Viognier
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 mango of your choice, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sugar

In a saucepan, cook the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves; transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate until cold. Stir in the Grand Marnier, Viognier, mango, peaches and mint and serve over ice! :)

3.) Frosted Lychee & Cranberry MartiniSlushIngredients: 

  • 8 0z. lemon sorbet
  • 5-7 lychees, skinned and pitted
  • 10-12 cranberries
  • 6 oz. vodka

Place sorbet, lychee and cranberries in a blender and pulse until well combined and smooth. Add in vodka and gently pulse until combined. Pour into martini glass and serve with cranberry shrub for embellishment, and enjoy! :)

4.) Carambola Cocktailcarambola4Ingredients: 

• 2 parts of fresh starfruit juice with mint
• 1 part of vodka
• 1 part of lime
• Ice

Mix starfruit juice and mint with water and sugar. Then, mix in the vodka and lime. Shake well and serve over ice. Garnish with a slice of starfruit for embellishment :)

5.) Guava ColadadownloadIngredients: 

1 1/4 oz. Dark Rum
3 oz. fresh Guava Juice
1 oz. Coconut Cream

Blend with 8 oz. of crushed ice until smooth. Serve in specialty glass and garnish with a kiwi wheel, a tropical edible flower or a pineapple flag. Enjoy :)

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