January 2, 2015

Halloween Herbs for Year-Round Health

Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble,” chanted the witches of Shakespeare’s Macbeth as they added ingredients to their brew. While an eye of newt and tongue of frog may not interest you, there are a few other herbs that are fitting for both Halloween and great health. Adapted from my book Arthritis-Proof, here are a few of my favorite Halloween herbs (based on their names) that are great year-round:

Devil’s Claw—With a name like that, pain wouldn’t dare mess with this herb. And that’s a good thing for anyone suffering from it.  Devil’s claw is one of the most effective pain remedies I’ve used. It is effective for both joint and muscle pain, making it a good option for people suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other type of pain disorder.

Witch Hazel—Small twigs of this North American shrub are distilled to create a witch hazel solution that is effective for cleaning cuts and wounds. Some herbalists recommend it as an application for varicose veins or diffused into the air to aid nasal congestion.

Witch’s Aspirin—more commonly known as willow bark. The effective ingredient in aspirin was originally found in willow bark, which is also sometimes called white willow bark. The plant version offers excellent pain relief when prepared as a tea or tincture (alcohol extract). It is a natural blood thinner so check with your doctor if you’re taking prescription blood thinners.

Wolf Berry—More frequently referred to as goji berries, wolf berries are superfoods full of disease-fighting antioxidants. They are used in Chinese Medicine to improve eyesight, skin, and the kidneys and liver. They also have anti-cancer and anti-aging compounds, including:  zeaxanthin, physalien, cyptoxanthin, sesquiterpenoids, triterpenes, and beta sitosterol. Like witch’s aspirin, wolf berries may thin blood so check with your doctor if you’re taking prescription blood thinners.

no comments
January 2, 2015

The Spice That Can Strengthen Your Brain

What if there was something sitting in your pantry that had the potential to naturally boost your brain power?

Turmeric, the golden-orange spice commonly used in curries, may play a role in enhancing the brain’s ability to build new cells—a process called neurogenesis—according to a group of German researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine. The key appears to be a compound found in turmeric, aromatic turmerone, that previous studies have shown can reduce inflammation in the brain.

This most recent study expands aromatic turmerone’s benefits to include new cell growth. In fact, the compound was capable of enhancing neural stem cell growth in rats by as much as 80 percent, in some cases.

Study authors admit that, while their results underscore the potential brain benefits of turmeric, there’s still a long way to go before any science-backed argument for suggesting the spice as a therapy for those with conditions that kill brain cells, such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke.

An ancient remedy

Turmeric contains another potentially beneficial component: curcumin.

The health advantages of curcumin are perhaps the world’s worst kept therapeutic secrets. The compound has been used for millennia by Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures for a variety of purposes, from alleviating inflammation and other aches, to cooking, to ceremonial rituals.

More recently, scientific studies have identified curcumin—an antioxidant—as being potentially beneficial for people with arthritis, atherosclerosis, depression, different forms of cancer, dementia (including Alzheimer’s) and high cholesterol.

Despite these positive reviews, the formal evidence regarding curcumin and turmeric is not yet strong enough to warrant a formal dosage recommendation, but it certainly can’t hurt to use the tangy powder to spice up some of your dishes.

Since the amount of curcumin in turmeric is relatively small, try choosing a recipe that also contains black pepper and fat, two ingredients that can enhance the curcumin’s bioavailability—your body’s ability to absorb the compound

Spicy Scrambled Eggs with Leafy Greens

Ingredients

2 eggs
Salt and pepper
Dash of smoked paprika
2 tsp turmeric
1 ½ cups of spinach or kale
1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions

  • Melt coconut oil in medium saucepan.
  • Add spinach/kale and cook until wilted.
  • In a separate bowl, combine eggs, salt and pepper, paprika and turmeric. Whisk vigorously.
  • Pour egg/spice mixture into saucepan and mix until greens and eggs are thoroughly cooked.
  • (People with sensitive taste buds can add a few ounces of feta cheese to cut the heat of the dish.)
no comments
January 2, 2015

Fruit is a great refreshing meal when it’s hot and humid outside.

You can make fresh fruit flower for all occasion, and also you can use chocolate like decoration for strawberries and bananas.

Here are some unique ways to serve it.

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

Source

20 Great Ideas for Fruit Decoration

no comments
January 2, 2015

Not only “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is true, but also eating large amounts of fruit and vegetables daily improves mental health, new research finds.

The University of Queensland study revealed that eating at least eight portions a day of fruits and vegetable has an impressive on a person’s well-being.

fruitsandvegetables

For the study, Dr. Redzo Mujcic, researcher at the University of Queensland, gathered data from 12,000 Australian adults go analysize how their intake of fruit and vegetables corresponds to their level of mental health.

“The current guidelines for five vegetables and two fruits per day are based on physical health. We wanted to look at the effect fruit and vegetables have on life satisfaction, distress and overall vitality,” he said. “The existing guidelines need to be reviewed. Our research found that eating five fruits and vegetables a day is ideal, and less than ten per cent of Australians are eating this amount.”

Even though following this advice sounds expensive, Dr. Mujcic said the study considered many socio-economic factors and used information from household studies.

According to his statement, international studies confirm the study’s claim. “There was one study from the UK and one from New Zealand which found that people are at their happiest with eight portions of fruit and vegetables,” he said.

The study also found that fruits have a larger impact on mental health than vegetables, women having a greater mental health benefit from eating fruits and vegetables than men.

#plantogram #eathealthy #organic #mangos

no comments
January 2, 2015

How to Cook With Persimmons

Persimmons are a lesson in patience, since some varieties are just downright inedible — until they are fully ripe, that is. Once they’re ready, though, they taste better than candy — and, if you close your eyes, you might wonder if you’re actually eating fruit or some kind of delicious spiced pudding. The Latin name for the fruit, Diospyros, translates to “food of the gods” — do you really need any more incentive?

For me, persimmons completely embody all the flavors of fall I love so much. With a flavor similar to dates, but with hints of spice, persimmons are well-suited for all your autumnal baked goods. Not all persimmons are made equal, however. Some varietals are better suited to baking while others are best used in dishes where they hold their shape, like in salads. Here’s our primer on different persimmon types, and, of course, some recipe for inspiration as well.

PERSIMMON TYPES

Hachiya: The jewel-tone flesh of the Hachiya persimmon is super-soft, so you can just scoop it right out and add it to your batter for cakes, breads, and puddings. Try swapping the flesh in any recipe that calls for pumpkin purée. Note: This is an astringent variety so make sure you wait until it is completely ripe, or else you’re in for a mouthful of unpleasant bitterness. You will usually find them unripe at the market, since they can be very delicate. Take them home and keep them in a brown paper bag until they get soft at the tip.

Cinnamon: A sub-variety of Hachiyas, cinnamon persimmons are not astringent so you can eat them firm or soft. When you cut them open they have speckly brown spots, as if they have been sprinkled with cinnamon.

Fuyu: These persimmons have a firmer, crispier flesh than the hachiyas, which makes them great for slicing into salads, chopping into salsas, or even adding to stews. You don’t even have to peel them first. Store them in the fridge to preseve the cripsness.

Organic Sweet Pumpkin: These smaller sub-types of Fuyu persimmons are small and crisp and you can eat them just like you would an apple, skin and all.

Chocolate Persimmons (Black Sapote)

A little harder to find, chocolate persimmons are definitely worth seeking out. The are native to Mexico, Colombia, and Guatamala but are also cultivated in Florida, Hawaii, and Cuba. The texture and flavor is similar to chocolate pudding which is fitting since another nickname for the black sapote is “chocolate pudding fruit.” The flesh is extremely pudding-like which makes this variety perfect for moist cakes, milkshakes, or any recipe where you want to get that chocolatey flavor.

All of the varieties listed above can be found on www.PlantOGram.com

1 comment
January 2, 2015

Persimmons with Greek Yogurt and Pistachios recipe
Lett prefers Hachiya persimmons for this fabulously simple dessert (they're the ones with the pointy shape). But don't use them until they're super soft and completely ripe; they taste unpleasantly tannic otherwise.
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 ripe Hachiya persimmons, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted, shelled raw pistachios
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat or clover honey
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Preparation

Divide yogurt among plates or bowls. Top with persimmons and pistachios, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with salt.

no comments
January 2, 2015

Persimmon Bread recipe
Use very soft, ripe, heartshaped Hachiya persimmons rather than the smaller, firmer Fuyu variety. If you can't find Hachiyas, substitute 1 cup of canned pumpkin. Stir any leftover purée into yogurt for a sweet breakfast.
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large, very ripe Hachiya persimmons
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 lar

    Preparation

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9x5x3" loaf pan. Tap out excess flour.

    Combine raisins and 2 tablespoons hot water in a small heatproof bowl. Let steep for 20 minutes to plump raisins (or microwave for 15 seconds).

    In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

    Scoop persimmon flesh from skins into a blender. Purée until smooth. Transfer 1 cup purée to a medium bowl (reserve any remaining purée for another use). Whisk in buttermilk and orange zest. Set aside.

    Using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter in a medium bowl until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes longer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until mixture is well combined. Gradually add persimmon mixture; beat until well combined. Add dry ingredients in 3 batches, beating just until incorporated. Fold in strained raisins.

    Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

    Let bread cool in pan for 20 minutes. Unmold and let cool completely on a wire rack.

    361 calories, 13 g fat, 58 g carbohydrates

    ge eggs

no comments
January 2, 2015

Persimmon Salsa recipe
Spoon this sprightly condiment over grilled fish, alongside roasted ham, or, for an appetizer, atop slices of smoked salmon on buttered pumpernickel.
  • 4 small or 3 medium-size firm but ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 2/3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons minced white onion, rinsed, drained
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons minced seeded serrano chile
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger

Preparation

Mix persimmons, onion, lime juice, basil, serrano chile, mint, and ginger in small bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper. (Salsa can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

no comments
January 2, 2015

Braised Pork with Fuyu Persimmon recipe

Ingredients

add to shopping list

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 plum tomatoes (3/4 pounds total), peeled (see cooks' note, below) and chopped, or 1 (14- to 16-oz) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds firm-ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, seeded if necessary, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallion greens
  • Accompaniment: cooked white rice

Preparation

Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.

Pat pork dry with paper towels, then sprinkle with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wide 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown pork in 3 batches, turning, about 5 minutes per batch, transferring to a bowl as browned. (Add more oil to pot as needed between batches.)

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add pork with any juices accumulated in bowl, water, and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

Cover pot, then transfer to oven and braise pork until very tender, about 1 3/4 hours.

Scatter persimmons over pork and braise in oven, partially covered, 10 minutes more. Stir in scallion greens and salt and pepper to taste.

no comments
January 2, 2015

Here's a tangy relish to go with ham, roasted pork or the Thanksgiving turkey.
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large Pippin apple (about 8 ounces), peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 cups raisins
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large jalapeño chili with seeds, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped peeled Fuyu persimmons (about 4 medium)

Preparation

Combine all ingredients except persimmons in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture thickens but some juices remain, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes. Add persimmons and simmer until persimmons are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and cool completely. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

no comments