January 31, 2017

Top 5 Ways TO Increase Your Super Food Intake

Goji Berries

Pure and Simple Goji Juice:

One of our favorites! In a 12oz. glass of water or a juice bottle add one handful of Goji Berries and let them sit and hydrate for a few minutes or all day as you drink your own Goji Berry juice. Chewing the Gojis as you drink is a wonderful experience with four grams of fiber per handful. It is a great pick-me-up between meals and the most delightful way to enjoy a glass of water.

Pure and Simple Goji Fruit Juice:

This is a unique experience in phyto nutrient energy that you feel throughout your body; a buoyant lift that fills you with joy and feeds you right down to a cellular level! Blend together equal amounts of Goji Berries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, apples, raspberries and blackberries. Put in a blender for a few seconds, add a cup of water or orange juice for easier blending, pour into your goblets and drink an elixir of live energy! To add a special touch dust the top of juice with cocoa powder and a light sprinkle of chopped pine nuts and serve.

Pure and Simple Goji Apple Salad:

2 diced apples, 3 tbsp. each of walnuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, 3 tbsp. soaked Goji Berries. You can let your imagination soar with this salad! Substitute or add a variety of different fruits and nuts.

Pure and Simple Goji Trail Mix:

This is also one of our favorites. We mix up our combinations and play with the recipe almost every time we make a new batch. Children like it when we add dark chocolate chips to the blend. We use the Tibetan Goji Berries with sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pecans, a small amount of pine nuts, walnut pieces, dried blueberries, apples slices, cherries, peaches, pineapple, and a small amount of coconut shreds.

Pure and Simple Goji Bars and Goji Balls:

Everyone loves these bars and they are loaded with fiber and phyto nutrient energy! We include flax seed, sunflower seed, pecan pieces, blueberry, cherry and Goji Berry, coconut butter, almond butter, cocoa powder, molasses and honey. We have made these chunky style and have finely diced up the pieces and enjoyed the bars both ways. Mix and combine ingredients to desired consistency and form into shapes of your choice. Place on wax paper and put in the refrigerator for an hour and they are ready to take out and enjoy.

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January 30, 2017

What do Hollywood celebrities like Ben Kingsley, Anthony Michael Hall, Madonna, Paula Abdul, Mischa Barton and Gisele Bundchen all have in common? ding ding ding they all eat GOJI BERRY! Similar to the benefits you get from eating other berries, goji berries are loaded with beta-carotene (a pigment found in plants and fruits) which helps promote healthy skin. Goji berries have also been known to help boost the immune system and protect the eyes — talk about a super fruit. This fruit has been around for ages and has been a hidden gem to a lot of people.


Super Food that's Super Easy! Goji Berries (a.k.a. Wolfberries) are used throughout the Orient to treat a broad range of ailments and diseases. They are high in antioxidants, amino acids, essential fatty acids and are widely used to reduce inflammation.

Container Grow Your Gojis. Goji Berries can be container grown to be kept inside a s a gorgeous house plant as well.

This is one of the easiest plants to grow organically. It's highly disease resistant and rarely bothered by insects. Even deer and rabbits leave it alone. There is no need for any chemicals or sprays. Just plant it and pick.

Don't baby your Gojis. They're naturally drought tolerant and like well draining soil. Thrives in zones 5-9, tolerating temps down to -18 F. Does well in the dry west or humid east.

Pick $175 worth of Berries each year from a single plant! A mature plant will produce almost 7 lbs of berries under good conditions. We don't know of any other fruit plant that has this incredible of a payback. Plus it continues to produce year after year.

Eat Goji Berries all year long. Your berries get sweeter the longer you leave them on the bush and will be much tastier than what you buy in the store. Eat them fresh, juice them, freeze them or dry them on newspaper. Most people prefer to eat their berries like raisins. Grow several plants and enjoy healthy Goji Berries all throughout the year.

Plant your Gojis every 4 ft. They grow into viney bushes. Some people grow them on a trellis. They are self pollinating, but do better with additional companions.

Almond Goji Berry Energy Bars:

Goji berry has been shown to:

  • Boosted immune system and flu protection. A boosted immune system and flu protection can go hand-in-hand. ...
  • Potential weight loss aid. Goji berries pack healthy food energy into small servings. ...
  • Antioxidants for eyes and skin. ...
  • Maintain blood sugar. ...
  • Increased testosterone. Continue reading →
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January 30, 2017

Sufferers of headaches know just how debilitating they can be. Headaches occur in millions of individuals across the country, and they have a mirad of different causes. The consumption of different foods can be the cause and the cure of headaches. Food allergies and sensitivities are a leading cause of headaches and migraines. The symptoms of headaches and migraines are not only pain, but can include vertigo, fatigue, malaise, and auditory and visual auras. Auras are a change in perception that can accompany severe headaches.

Migraine sufferers experience relief by following a diet rich in magnesium, some experts believe.

"To increase your magnesium intake, try consuming magnesium-rich foods such as bananas, dried apricots, avocados.

Coffee In moderation,coffee can be a great fix for a pounding headache. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it can reduce the size of blood vessels. In excess, this can cause a headache. However, one cup of coffee could help tame a difficult migraine. If your headache is caused by seasonal allergies, coffee will have an even greater effect.

Bananas are a great food to eat when trying to relieve a stubborn headache. They are high in magnesium, which can relax your blood vessels and ease head pain. They are also high in potassium, which is an essential part of your electrolyte balance. A night of heavy drinking can leave you with a painful hangover and you may need to replace your lost electrolytes due to dehydration.

Almond Start helping your sore head by eating a handfull of almonds. This healthy snack is high in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps release serotonin, the feel good brain chemical. Turkey is another great option for consuming this amino acid. Almonds are also full of magnesium, which can relax your muscles and blood vessels. Physical pain and mental stress can cause tension headaches, which would benefit from consuming extra magnesium.

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January 30, 2017

Making your own Vanilla Bean Essential Oils is very easy and doesn't take a lot of time! You can make your own oils that will leave your home smelling amazing. You can also use you can use them to make homemade soaps, massage oils, body lotions and aromatherapy items.

Things You'll Need

-16 ounces of organic coconut, safflower or jojoba liquid oil
-3 to 5 large organic vanilla beans
-Sharp knife
-16-ounce canning jar with tight lid
-Double boiler
-Wooden spoon
There are steps for COLD and HOT infusion methods to use with you Vanilla Bean Oil. Just click on the link above for further steps.

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January 30, 2017

With a name like Cotton Candy and Mango put them together and what do you get?? The best of both worlds! Finally a mango that


brings out our childhood favorites and did I mention that this is 100% healthy for you? YUP you heard right... 100% healthy it's fruit.

This mango is PlantOGram's Designer Mango Variety it's not a mango that your going to find in your local super market or far

mers market like the Valencia Pride Mango ,Julie Mango or even the Lancetilla Mango.

Valencia Pride Mango

Julie mango Valencia Pride shown above Julie Mango shown above Lancetilla Mango shown above

Close your eyes and experience the taste of this mango infused cotton candy flavor. Cotton Candy is packed with sweet flavors and a thick pulp. The tree is considered a dwarf variety tree and a great producer. The tree itself can be container grown and pruned to maintain a healthy height of 5-7 feet. Watering only when needed. Remember Mango's don't like to be in wet soil.

Cotton Candy Makes a fun edition to any garden or indoor home plant just the name sounds like a great icebreaker... What kind of mango is that?? and it's in your home?? It's a Cotton Candy Mango Tree and yes it's indoor and grows very well in a container! Wham!

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January 30, 2017

So a lot of us live in a colder climate area or just want to feel like were living in paradise! I don't blame you having or adding fruit trees to your landscape outdoors (weather permitting) adds value to your home and putting fruit trees indoors in beautiful containers lets you wake up in a tropical paradise every day ! (LUCKY YOU)

So here are the do's for Container Gardening your PlantOGram Fruit Tree:

  • Select a container that has several drainage holes and is about 1/2 size bigger than the shipping pot.
  • Plant on the same level set the roots into the soil so that the growing point stays just at the same level with the soil surface. If the plant is set too deep the stem may rot.
  • Potting Mix make sure to use a well-drained potting mix. Adding a drainage layer at the bottom is beneficial. DO NOT use top soil or any other garden soil for potted plants!
  • Water only when the soil is dry to the touch and let it drain. DO NOT water if the soil is already wet. Tropical plants don’t like their feet wet.Leaves & Stems remove any yellowed leaves or damaged branches using sharp clippers. For the tops of trees that are broken because of shipment, trim below the break and the plant will put on new growth within 4-6 weeks. Some large size plants are slightly pruned for shipment.
  • Light DO NOT plant your tree out of the package and directly into full sun.
  • DO NOT fertilize for at least six to eight weeks. After that use a balanced slow release fertilizer similar to osmocote 14-14-14 once a month during warm seasons only.

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January 12, 2017

Papaya is a wonder fruit that is available all around the year. While many people are not too fond of ingesting the fruit, it is packed with great benefits and works wonders for the skin when topically applied.

Basic Tips To Keep In Mind Before You Indulge In Fruit Facials

  1. Make sure the masks are always applied on skin that is cleansed and exfoliated. Exfoliation will not only remove dead skin but also enhance blood circulation, which will improve the results of the pack.
  2. Make sure you blend the fruit well so that you can extract as much as pulp possible.
  3. Make sure all your chores are done and your mind is relaxed when you do the facial. You need to sit still when you apply the pack. Not only will it allow the pack to rest and prevent it from sliding off your face, but it will also help you calm down and unwind.
  4. Make sure you are wearing old clothes as fruit packs are ought to be messy.
  5. Some fruit pulps are extremely fluid;they will not remain on your skin.So, to add some volume, you could add oats to the fruit pulp. It will help the pack stay on your face, and offer added benefitsas well.
  6. When you apply a pack, you should cover both the face and the neck, as they are both exposed to the same environment.
  7. Adding these ingredients to the fruits will definitely amp up their benefits.
  8. Honey – Hydrates the skin and improves acne resistance.
  9. Lemon Juice – Kills bacteria, reduces blemishes, improves complexion, and fights acne.
  10. Yogurt – Removes excessive oil, protects the skin against harmful rays of the sun, and reduces tanning. It also makes your skin smooth and soft.
  11. Milk – It acts as a great cleansing and moisturizing agent. It enhances skin elasticity and improves the complexion as well.
  12. Green Tea – It helps in rejuvenating the skin.

You Will Need

  • 2 pieces of papaya
  • 1 tsp. of honey


  1. Blend the papaya such that it becomes a nice, smooth pulp.
  2. Add the honey to it.
  3. Apply generously on clean, dry skin. Allow it to rest for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Wash your face with water and pat dry.
  5. Once you moisturize, you will notice a healthy glow on your face.


This pack is safe to use for women with normal to dry skin. Use this pack once a week for best results.

Why It Works

Papaya is rich in vitamin A and an enzyme called papain, which has exfoliating properties that successfully remove all the dead cells. This element also helps in enhancing the complexion and promoting fairness(1). The fruit also contains elements that are anti-inflammatory. Therefore, it relaxes and soothes acne-prone skin. Papaya also thwarts premature aging. It makes the skin firm, and removes fine lines, scars, and blemishes. It nourishes your skin, making it look brighter, moisturized, and glowing.


Although there could be no adverse reactions when you use a natural fruit pack, it is best to do a patch test before you apply the pack on your face.

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January 12, 2017

The “wolfberry fruit”, as goji berries are known in China, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) since around 200 B.C. Goji berry benefits were even mentioned in “Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing”, an ancient book detailing the medicinal and agriculture knowledge of the mythical Chinese emperor Shen Nong and the oldest book on Chinese herbs in existence.

Goji berries benefits include the ability to naturally treat diabetes, hypertension, infectious diseases and common illnesses like the cold or a fever.


Replace your cranberries with Goji berries in your granola Cereal for a healthier choice and get all of the extra proteins your body needs!

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July 27, 2016

by: Michael Podlesny

I am convinced that composting is the number one thing you can do as a home vegetable gardener that is beneficial for your soil and plants. Adding good quality compost to your soil helps with drainage, nutrients in the soil and so many other things. Along with the soil benefits you can also take a lot of organic material that would otherwise find its way into a landfill and actually put it to good use. The question is, if you are new to gardening, how do you get from that organic material to usable, quality compost?

First lets start with what is "organic" material. Organic material can be grass clippings, leaves, your left over dinner, coffee grinds, banana peels and so on. Plastic, Styrofoam and meat bones are NOT considered organic material for the compost pile.

Set aside an area of your yard where you will dump all of these items into. As a side note, when it comes to left over food, it is best to bury that. It could draw in unwanted animals like raccoons, opossums, etc.

Once you have your pile of organic material in place you are all set. Nature will take care of the rest. Bacteria, insects and worms will work hard together to break your pile down into usable compost. If time is not a factor then you can literally let the pile sit there and it will eventually break down. However, like you, I want my compost a bit faster, so here are some things you can do to help speed things up.


Using a yard shredder, chipper or your lawn mower, you can break down larger items in very small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they will break down.


You should be keeping your compost pile moist. Do not over water your compost pile as items in the pile will get matted down, which prohibits oxygen from reaching areas deep inside your compost pile, thus creating a "rotting" smell as anaerobic bacteria takes over. A lite watering every other day, or more often if it gets hot and dry outside will do the trick.


A good practice is to get into the habit of turning your pile over. A pitchfork is all you will need to complete this task. Every few days use your trusty pitchfork to literally turn the pile over by bringing the material from the bottom to the top and vice-versa. For optimal results you want to turn the pile over when the center of the compost pile reaches 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.. You can pick up a compost pile thermometer for a few bucks.

Finally, remember to keep your compost pile well ventilated. The more air that reaches through the pile, the quicker and the better the outcome will be.

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July 23, 2016

Jane Lear

“I’m struck by the variety of eggplants at my local farmers market. Since I’m trying to eat more vegetables, they seem like a fun place to start, but what’s the best way to cook them?

—James Goodman

Eggplant, one of the glories of late summer, holds a valued place in cuisines all over the world, including those of India (where it originated), Italy, France, Turkey, Greece, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Because it is so at home with a cosmopolitan array of seasonings—and because it’s delicious hot, cold, or room temperature—its versatility is nothing short of dazzling.

But what I really like about eggplant is its rich, suave, savory quality—it is, after all, regularly used as a meat substitute. We spend much of the season gorging on fruits and vegetables high in natural sweetness—berries, peaches, melons, tomatoes, zucchini, corn, peppers, and more—and by mid-August, I, for one, begin to crave a deeper bass note of flavor.

I am not alone in this desire. “Peppers are full of sugars that caramelize and are delicious partly for that reason. Tomatoes have a certain sweetness, too. But I appreciate a more sober, meatier vegetable-fruit to work with,” wrote Deborah Madison in Vegetable Literacy. “Eggplant can play a supporting role in a dish, as in ratatouille, or it can stand alone as a dip, a spread, or a side dish. You can slice large, round eggplants, grill or broil the slices, then crown them with any number of toppings: a parsley–pine nut salad, or an herb salad, a tomato salsa, saffron-scented ricotta with salt-roasted tomatoes, tarator sauce with pomegranate seeds, a spicy peanut sauce. The same slices can be rolled around a filling, used to make eggplant gratins, or layered in a pasta-free lasagna with ricotta and tomatoes.”

Hungry yet?

I sure am, but before I take a stab at organizing the types of eggplant you may come across, I should address the misgivings people have about bitterness (an undesirable characteristic to Western palates) and the related fact that eggplant is a nightshade.

It’s an Old World member of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), to be precise, and so contains bitter alkaloid compounds thought to contribute to numerous illnesses and conditions such as arthritis and chronic joint pain. It also has more nicotinethan any other commonly eaten vegetable. The earliest eggplants contained high amounts of alkaloids, but over the centuries, plantsmen have bred out excessive bitterness.

The myth that bitterness has to do with the maleness or femaleness of eggplants, by the way, is just that: a myth. All eggplants come from the female organs of the flower, but eggplant flowers have both male and female organs. The seeds they contain will grow into plants that make flowers with both male and female parts.

Very mature (i.e., seedy) eggplants, especially those that have been held in cold storage or languished in the fridge, can still be unpleasantly astringent, which is why most recipes call for salting eggplant before cooking. Interestingly, though, “the usual explanation for why salt would eliminate bitterness doesn’t entirely make sense,” wrote Kenneth Chang in The New York Times after a consult with food scientist Harold McGee. “The usual explanation is that salt draws out water from the eggplant through osmosis (true), and that with the water come the bitter alkaloid compounds. But the water almost certainly wouldn’t wash away all of the alkaloids or even a majority of them. (Extracting water also makes the eggplant a bit firmer.) But salt can remove bitterness without removing the bitter compounds,” yet it is unclear if that’s a result of chemistry, taste, of how our brain processes the flavor.

I don’t bother to salt the ultrafresh eggplants I pick up this time of year at a farmers market or roadside stand, but I often take the precaution with one I buy at a grocery store; who knows how long it’s been there in that refrigerated case, or how it’s been handled? Even though the eggplant has become a year-round supermarket staple, “its true garden season is brief,” noted Madison. “It doesn’t like to travel, and it doesn’t like cold storage, so it is best to buy what is grown locally and enjoy it soon after you bring it home.” That said, don’t leave it out on the kitchen counter for any length of time; it will lose its moisture quickly. Swaddle it in a clean kitchen towel, tuck it in the warmest part of the fridge, and use it within a day or two.

This time of year—for me, at least—the path of least resistance is to fire up the Weber. Grilling eggplant instead of frying it gives it lightness and a complex smokiness that is wonderful in all sorts of dishes. Thick, meaty slices of the cultivar Black Beauty, for instance, make a wonderful vegetarian grilling alternative to portobello mushroom caps; repurpose any leftovers (if you should be so lucky) into baba ganoush.

Even though eggplants can be a little tricky to grow, they are not a pesticide-heavy crop; you’ll find them on the “Clean Fifteen” list published by the Environmental Working Group. I was relieved to discover this, as I hate trimming off the skin, which is where much of the eggplant’s nutrition is contained in the form of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and polyphenols such as anthocyanins. According toMedical News Today, “its phenolic content makes it such a potent free radical scavenger that the eggplant is ranked among the top 10 vegetables in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity.”

The Shop

A fresh, ripe eggplant will have smooth, bright, glossy skin, and there should be still a bit of stem attached. The eggplant should be firm, should feel heavy for its size, and when you press very gently on the skin, it should spring back immediately. In general, smaller is better. I’ve heard some people say they can tell a good ’un by thumping it like a melon. If you do that, avoid eggplants that sound hollow; they’ll be dry and fibrous inside.

There is such a dizzying array of eggplant shapes, sizes, and colors, it’s hard to organize them in any definitive way. Many thanks to Elizabeth Schneider’sVegetables From Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference for the groupings below.

Italian American Eggplants

This type of eggplant—dark purple to almost black, large, and bell- or pear-shaped—is what most of us think of as the classic eggplant for parmigiana and rollatini as well as those two perennial summer favorites, caponata and ratatouille. If you see a cultivar named Black Beauty, pounce. It’s an open-pollinated heirloom (from 1902) that is deep and rich in flavor. Simply cut thick rounds, toss them in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill until golden. Inside, they’ll be lush and custardy—a real scene stealer, no matter what else you’re serving. Feel free to gild the lily with a sprinkling of grated Parm or chopped fresh basil or mint.

Striped or Violet-Blushed European-Type Eggplants

Italian heirloom Rosa Bianca and Spanish heirloom Listada de Gandia make great gateway eggplants—their flesh is mild, creamy, and consistently lacking in bitterness. Sliced into steaks, they’re great for grilling, roasting, or broiling.

The diminutive violet-and-white-striped or marbled cultivar called Fairy Tale is especially appealing to children or the eggplant-adverse. Grill it whole until it’s on the brink of collapse, or halve lengthwise, lightly caramelize in a skillet, and drizzle with your best balsamic vinegar.

Asian-Type Eggplants

Long, slender cultivars such as Pingtung Long, Ichiban, and Orient Express are nearly seedless, silky in texture when cooked, and extremely approachable, particularly if you are cooking for one or two. Cut them into slices (they stay as neat as cucumber rounds) or even-sized pieces and use them in a stir-fry, or do as Madison does and slit them in five or six places, insert a slice of garlic into each cut, and then grill or braise them until they start to collapse. They’re also ideal for Japanese nasu dengakumiso-glazed eggplant.

Small, Deep-Purple Round or Pear-Shaped Eggplants

These are often Asian but may be variously called Japanese, Indian, Italian, or “baby.” They vary in flavor and texture, so don’t be shy. Experiment and see what speaks to you.

Green-Skinned Eggplants

These come in as many shapes and sizes as other eggplants, and even though we usually associate a green color with unripeness, they are as ripe and ready to eat as Green Zebra tomatoes are. This type of eggplant is often considered to be Southeast Asian, but delicious American cultivars include the Louisiana Long Green and the egg-shaped Applegreen, developed in New Hampshire.

The small, round, green-skinned eggplants usually labeled as Asian or Thai are mild and full of crunchy, mild seeds. The green-and-white American cultivar Kermit has a great meaty texture. You can steam, braise, or slice and sauté any of these cuties, and they also stand up well tomicrowaving.

Tiny green pea eggplants, which grow in clusters like cherry tomatoes, are common in Thai curries as well as in Somali stews.

White-Skinned Eggplants

White eggplants, which also come in all shapes and sizes, are common to Southeast Asian cuisines. When cooked, their flesh becomes mellow to mild in flavor and very tender. The skin tends to be on the thick side unless the eggplant is very young, so you may want to peel it. Alternatively, steaming softens the skin somewhat and also helps prevent darkening.

Small, Round Red or Orange Eggplants

Cultivars such as Turkish Orange (aka scarlet or Ethiopian eggplant) tend to be on the seedy side when ripe—that is, bright orange—so choose those that are green to light orange. A few years ago, a friend was inspired by New York magazine to slice and fry them like green tomatoes, and they were absolutely delicious.

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