Swiss Chard Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Yield: 6 servings
 Ingredients:
1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard, finely chopped
1/2 package baked chicken, fish,or tofu cut into bite-size cubes
2 cups red cabbage, shredded coarsely
2-3 carrots, grated
1 cup toasted walnuts
Oriental Dressing
2-3 cloves garlic (pressed or chopped)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup walnut oil
2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
Directions:
       1.  Cut off stems of the Swiss chard and slice small, then chop leaves by rolling the chard into a tube and slicing thinly, creating narrow strips.
       2.  Blend all dressing ingredients and mix well. The dressing will last for a few days in the refrigerator.
       3.  Mix all salad ingredients and drizzle with dressing.

Recipes of the Month: Tea

Sun Tea

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 24 hours

Yield: 2 liters

 

Ingredients:

3-4 tea bags of your choice

water

 

Directions:

1.   Fill an extra-large mason jar with water, add 3 or 4 of your favorite tea bags and cover with lid.

2.   Place in sun for one full day and let the shining rays pour in heat and energy, bringing out the wonderful tea flavors.

3.   Sweeten if so desired with natural sweetener and serve at room temperature or cold over ice.

Note: Garnish with mint leaves or lemon wedge.

 

 

Ginger Drink

Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 24 hours

Yield: 6-8 servings

 

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh ginger root

2 quarts water

juice of 2 limes

maple syrup or agave nectar to taste

 

Directions:

1.   Thinly peel the fresh ginger, grate and mix with water in a large saucepan.

2.   Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Cover the pan and turn off the heat; leave

for 24 hours.

3.   Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve.

4.   Add the lime juice and maple syrup or agave. Stir until dissolved. Serve chilled.

Recipe of the Month: Fruit Nut Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients:
1 banana
1 cup soy or rice milk
1 cup berries
1 cup diced melon
1/2 cup almonds
2-4 ice cubes

Directions:

1.   Mix in blender for 1-2 minutes and serve.

Note: You can add other ingredients for added nutrition such as a spoonful of bee pollen, coconut oil, flax seed oil, spirulina powder or a scoop of protein powder.

Food Focus – Benefits of Fruit

A healthy lifestyle is the key to longevity, optimum weight, abundant energy and balance. By using fruit to satisfy our taste for sweetness, we can leave behind the use of chemical, processed and refined sweeteners. Fruits are easy to digest, are cleansing and cooling and are great for those who are overstressed and overheated from excessive mental strain or hot climates. Fruits are filled with fiber and liver stimulants, which act as natural, gentle laxatives. Whenever possible, buy fresh, locally grown fruit as opposed to imported fruits shipped from far-off places. This keeps you eating in season, and more in harmony with your environment and climate.

Eating raw fruit in summer months is highly cooling, while baking it in the winter months neutralizes the cooling effect. Fruit in the form of juice is a great choice for cleansing the body, but be aware that juice rapidly raises blood sugar levels, leading to an energy crash soon after. Frozen, whole, puréed or juiced fruit can make great summertime cool-down treats. Try frozen grapes, banana-coconut smoothie popsicles or lime juice ice-cubes in iced tea!

Whether you are having fresh fruit for a light early morning breakfast, a midday snack or evening treat, enjoy nature’s sweetness and whenever possible buy organic. Here are a few summer fruits and their health benefits:

Apricots: Great for lung conditions and asthma; used to help treat anemia due to their high copper and cobalt content.

Bananas: Help to lubricate the intestines, treat ulcers, detoxify the body and manage sugar cravings; are rich in potassium (which helps hypertension).

Cherries: Slightly warming in nature; increase overall body energy, remedy arthritis and rheumatism and are rich in iron, which improves the blood.

Grapefruits: Treat poor digestion, increase appetite during pregnancy, alleviate intestinal gas and reduce mucus conditions of the lungs.

Papayas: Tone the stomach, act as digestive aid, moisten the lungs and alleviate coughing; contain carpaine, an anti-tumor compound.

Raspberries: Benefit the liver and kidneys, cleanse blood of toxins, regulate menstrual cycles, treat anemia and can promote labor at childbirth.

Recipe of the Month: Maple Fruit Compote with Honey-Ginger Toasted Nuts

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4                                                                                                                     

Ingredients:

2-3 apples

2-3 peaches or pears

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 cup raisins

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup walnuts or nuts of your choice

1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

2 tablespoons honey

 

Directions:

1.   Wash, core and chop fruit into slices or chunks.

2.   Place in a large saucepan with 1/3 cup of water. Add the maple syrup and raisins.

3.   Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

4.   Add lemon juice and cinnamon. Cook for another 10 minutes, until soft.

5.   While fruit is cooking, place chopped nuts in a skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

6.   Drizzle honey over the nuts and add ginger, but keep stirring since the honey can easily burn.

7.   Top warm fruit with toasted nuts and enjoy!

Food Focus: Natural Sweeteners

Who among us doesn’t love sweets? The sweet flavor releases serotonin in our brains, the chemical responsible for our sense of well-being and contentment. But when it comes to sweeteners, not all are created equal. There are side effects and health risks from refined sweeteners like white table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, and from artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet, saccharin and Splenda. Since refined sweeteners have been stripped of vitamins, minerals and fiber, they can spike blood sugar, which can often lead to cravings and mood and energy fluctuations. Instead, using naturally and minimally processed sweeteners can reduce cravings for sugary things.

Here are a few natural sweeteners to substitute in drinks, food and baking. Since they are all approximately 1.5 times sweeter than refined sugar, you can use less. You can find them in most supermarkets or natural food stores. When replacing sugar with liquid sweeteners in a recipe, reduce the amounts of other liquids.

Raw Honey

Everyone seems to love honey, one of the oldest natural sweeteners on the market. Honey will have a different flavor depending on the plant source. Some are very dark and intensely flavored. Wherever possible, choose raw honey, as it is unrefined and contains small amounts of enzymes, minerals and vitamins.

Agave Nectar

Agave is made through the extraction and purification of the juice of the agave cactus. It does not stimulate insulin secretion as other sugars do, so it does not create a “sugar rush.” It has a delightfully light and mild flavor.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is the concentrated extract of the sap of maple trees. It adds a rich, deep flavor to foods and drinks. Make sure to look for 100% pure maple syrup, not maple-flavored corn syrup. As with all sweeteners, organic varieties are best.

Adapted from “The Cane Mutiny,” New Age Magazine, March/April 1999.

 

 

Food Focus: Raw and Cooling Salads

Why is it that in the summer we naturally crave more fresh and raw foods? These foods have a cooling effect on the body. The lightness and high water, fiber and vitamin content work together to act as our internal air conditioning during these warm months. At this time of year we also need less dense, high-energy food because we get so much energy from being outside in the fresh air and sunshine.

There is no better season than summer to have fun creating your own fresh, tasty, creative salad combinations. By simply tossing together several of your favorite raw veggies, naked or with a light dressing, you have a perfect meal for a hot summer’s day.

Try your favorite leafy lettuce with various sliced, diced or grated veggies. The possible combinations are endless. Fresh herbs are a wonderful option to mix in, as they are packed full of flavor. Experiment with adding diverse forms of protein to your salads, such as nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, fish or poultry. Pick up a light and healthy dressing at your local health food store, or mix up something easy, like lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil.

This is a great opportunity to try a new vegetable from your market. What are some creative flavors you’ve never tried before? Fennel and mint? Daikon radish and arugula? Summer squash with watercress? Whatever you choose, have fun with your food and stay cool. Happy summer!

 

Food Focus: Fruit

Food Focus: Fruit                                                                                        

A healthy lifestyle is the key to longevity, optimum weight, abundant energy and balance. By using fruit to satisfy our taste for sweetness, we can leave behind the use of chemical, processed and refined sweeteners. Fruits are easy to digest, are cleansing and cooling and are great for those who are overstressed and overheated from excessive mental strain or hot climates. Fruits are filled with fiber and liver stimulants, which act as natural, gentle laxatives. Whenever possible, buy fresh, locally grown fruit as opposed to imported fruits shipped from far-off places. This keeps you eating in season, and more in harmony with your environment and climate.

 

Eating raw fruit in summer months is highly cooling, while baking it in the winter months neutralizes the cooling effect. Fruit in the form of juice is a great choice for cleansing the body, but be aware that juice rapidly raises blood sugar levels, leading to an energy crash soon after. Frozen, whole, puréed or juiced fruit can make great summertime cool-down treats. Try frozen grapes, banana-coconut smoothie popsicles or lime juice ice-cubes in iced tea!

 

Whether you are having fresh fruit for a light early morning breakfast, a midday snack or evening treat, enjoy nature’s sweetness and whenever possible buy organic. Here are a few summer fruits and their health benefits:

 

Apricots: Great for lung conditions and asthma; used to help treat anemia due to their high copper and cobalt content.

Bananas: Help to lubricate the intestines, treat ulcers, detoxify the body and manage sugar cravings; are rich in potassium (which helps hypertension).

Cherries: Slightly warming in nature; increase overall body energy, remedy arthritis and rheumatism and are rich in iron, which improves the blood.

Grapefruits: Treat poor digestion, increase appetite during pregnancy, alleviate intestinal gas and reduce mucus conditions of the lungs.

Papayas: Tone the stomach, act as digestive aid, moisten the lungs and alleviate coughing; contain carpaine, an anti-tumor compound.

Raspberries: Benefit the liver and kidneys, cleanse blood of toxins, regulate menstrual cycles, treat anemia and can promote labor at childbirth.

Snack Attack

Snack Attack

There’s no denying that everyone, at one time or another, has had a snack attack. Views on snacking differ. Some of us feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. If there were one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it!

 

To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you are eating too little at meals. You might be snacking to soothe jangled nerves when you are emotional, or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying.

 

Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters. Many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious. Snack on things that don’t come in a plastic wrapper or a box, like fresh fruit, leftover vegetables or rice cakes with almond butter and fruit spread. Make your own signature trail mix, organic hot chocolate made with almond milk sweetened with agave nectar, or blue corn chips with hummus.

 

You can also try “upgrading”. If you are craving something crunchy, upgrade from potato chips to raw carrots, apples or whole grain crackers; if you are craving a candy bar, upgrade to a handful of nuts and dried fruit; instead of a cup of coffee, upgrade to green tea; instead of ice cream, upgrade to applesauce with cinnamon. Upgraded snacks are high in nutrition and give you a greater sense of satiety and satisfaction; you won’t feel physically or psychologically deprived, and you’ll have plenty of energy to sustain your activities for hours.

 

Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthful goodies for whatever you’re craving, be it sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy. Dive in, be creative and enjoy your snack attack.