Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

  Last week I made some of the "Moist Incredible Pumpkin Bread" and took it into Super Fly. (Recipe below) Even on the second morning it was still incredibly moist and all gone by lunch time.  As I had left over canned pumpkin and didn't want to waste it, I looked for a quick & easy recipe to use it up.  Luckily, I found this delicious Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe.  At first I wasn't quite sure about Pumpkin in a smoothie but one sip changed my mind forever.  Now I crave them all the time....

  Vegan, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, yeast free, corn free - this smoothie is creamy and light.  Not only will it add extra fiber to your day, but having pumpkin in the morning will keep you fuller, longer!  It is delicious even without the Vegan Whipped Topping.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk (I use sweetened)
1/2 Cup Canned Pumpkin  (I use Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin with a BPA Free Liner)
1/2 Ripe Banana
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Ground Ginger
Pinch of Ground Nutmeg
Pinch of Ground Cloves
Pinch of All Spice

Directions:

Place everything but whipped topping in the blender.  Blend until Smooth.  Pour into your favorite glass and place a couple tablespoon of coconut whipped cream on top.  (Optional and is great without it.)  Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired!

Vegan Whipped Cream:

1 Can of full fat Coconut milk, chilled in the fridge overnight
1/2 tsp. pure Vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Palm/Coconut sugar, ground in coffee grinder
1 chilled glass bowl

Pierce the bottom of the chilled can of coconut milk to drain out the liquid portion of milk.  Then, open the top of the can and drop the solid milk and vanilla extract into the chilled glass bowl.  Beat with hand mixer for 15 seconds before adding powdered coconut sugar and blending for another 15 seconds.  Please back in fridge until ready to use.  THIS IS A GREAT SUBSTITUTE FOR WHIPPED CREAM ON ANYTHING!! 

I hope you enjoy & remember YOU ARE what you EAT!!    Beci

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Moist Incredible Pumpkin Bread

 
  Along with the leaves turning spectacular shades of yellow, orange and red, another sure sign of fall is PUMPKINS. 

  The pumpkins in the garden are finally mature, and the kids are looking forward to cutting them into Jack-O-Laterns for Halloween. 

  October & November wouldn't be the same without Pumpkins adorning our doorsteps and cooking in our ovens. 

 
   While I must admit Pumpkin Pie is my number one favorite, this incredible Pumpkin Bread is a close second and doesn't last for long around the house.
 

SUPER MOIST (VEGAN) PUMPKIN BREAD

INGREDIENTS:

3 1/2 Cups Organic Un-Bleached Flour
2 Cups packed Dark Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup White Sugar* (I use Raw Sugar)
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Applesauce
2/3 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk*
2/3 Cup flaked coconut (optional)

* If using Sweetened Milk reduce Sugar to 1/3 Cup

DIRECTIONS: 

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans with coconut oil.

  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, regular sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg & cinnamon.  Add the pumpkin puree, oil, applesauce, milk and mix until all the flour is absorbed.  Fold in the flaked coconut (if using).  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minuted in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (My oven cooks fast and is ready in about an hour...so start checking it around the 50 minute mark)

  Remove from oven, and cover loaves tightly with foil.  Allow to steam for 10 minutes.  Remove foil, and turn out onto a cooling rack.  Tent loosely with the foil, and allow to cool completely. 


Not only does pumpkin taste good but it is also good for you.......

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

  • It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
  • Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.
  • With 7384 mg per 100 g, it is one of the vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family featuring highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as α, ß carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body.
  • Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea in retina of the eyes. Thus, it helps protect from "age-related macular disease" (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • The fruit is a good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
  • It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
  • Pumpkin Seeds indeed are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. In addition, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals and health-benefiting vitamins. For instance, 100 g of pumpkin seeds provide 559 calories, 30 g of protein, 110% RDA of iron, 4987 mg of niacin (31% RDA), selenium (17% of RDA), zinc (71%) etc., but no cholesterol. Further, the seeds are an excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to GABA in the brain.
I hope you enjoy and Remember.... You Are What You Eat.   Beci 


Monday, September 24, 2012

Minestrone Soup

  This last weekend I had an Autumnal (or Fall) Equinox Celebration at my home and it seemed like the perfect time to make my favorite Minestrone Soup Recipe.  The leaves are starting to change color and slowly fall off the trees.  The temperature is also getting down right crisp in the evening and early mornings.  September is my favorite month and for the first time ever, I am looking forward to fall & winter.

  About this time last year, I was looking for a great Minestrone Soup Recipe and my dear friend Ashley found this in the newspaper.  It came from the Restaurante Della Fontana.  For those of you around my age, you most likely ate at the Della Fontana before one of your High School Proms.  It brings back many wonderful memories.......



Minestrone Soup
~ Restorante della Fontana ~

¼ Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup diced onions
1 Cup diced carrots
1 Cup diced celery
½ Cup pearl barley
3 Cups Water
1 Cup chopped cabbage
1 Cup chopped spinach
1 Cup green beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons garlic
1 Cup cooked (or canned) kidney beans
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 ½ teaspoons salt (I use sea-salt)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 (32-ounce) boxes beef broth plus 1 Cup (I use Vegetable broth)
1 Cup ditalini pasta (I use 1/2 ditalini and 1/2 small shells)

      In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil.  Add the onions, carrots and celery.  Cook until the onions are translucent and the other vegetables are softened, about 7 minutes.  Remove from the pot and set aside.

      Add the pearl barley and water to the pot, cover, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, about 35 minutes.
         
     Add the cabbage, spinach and green beans and continue to cook, covered, until the spinach has wilted and the cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes.
         
     Add the garlic, kidney beans, tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, oregano  & broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, about 15 minutes.  (I also added the onions, carrots and celery mixture at this point)
         
    Add the pasta and continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, another 10 minutes.  Season with Salt and pepper. 

MAKES 5 quarts!

TIP:  I love a little more kick and add a bit more Oregano to the recipe.  It also freezes well so I often make a double batch.  When un-freezing, you will need to add more water or vegetable broth while heating.

I hope you enjoy.....

Namaste,  Beci

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care

A few weeks ago I discovered a wonderful Lotion called EveryDay Shea Moisturizing Body Lotion. EveryDay Shea has a complete body care line which includes, Hand Soap, Bubble Bath, Shampoo & Conditioner, Baby Lotion & Body Bath.  This line of body care is....
  •  Certified Fair Trade
  •  Made w/ a base of Unrefined Shea Butter
  •  Made w/ nutrient-rich Water rather than plain H20
  •  Paraban free
  •  Contains NO synthetic Fragance
  •  Cruelty fee with NO Animal Testing
  •  Petroleum Free
Their website is www.everydayshea.com

 
After doing some research, I found that EveryDay Shea is an extension of Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care. Alaffia was founded by Olowo-n’djo Tchala, a Togolese native, as a way to generate funds to conduct community enhancement projects in his home country and other West African nations in order to reduce poverty and gender inequality. Olowo-n’djo believes that Africans can mobilize their natural resources in a sustainable manner to empower their own communities, and that this is a more sustainable avenue towards reducing poverty than waiting for outside aid or for corrupt governments to fall. Alaffia and the Alaffia Shea Butter Cooperative were founded in order to trade the indigenous resource – Shea Butter – in the West to raise proceeds which are then returned to Togo in the form of community projects. 

Here is a Short Video About Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care:


Like all other Alaffia Products, 10% of sales are allocated to support Alaffia's community empowerment projects in West Africa. These projects are aimed at reducing poverty and empowering women in poor communities in Togo, and include:

Bicycles for Education: Donations of used bicycles from our US communities give disadvantaged students in Togo the incentive to stay in school. They have sent more than 3500 bicycles to Togo and distributed them to girls and boys in more than 70 villages.

Maternal Health: 1 in every 16 women faces death from pregnancy and birth related complications in West Africa. Alaffia funds prenatal care for 700 mothers each year to help reduce maternal deaths, since saving mothers is critical for reducing poverty in their communities.

School Supplies & Repairs: Spending on education in Togo has dropped by half over the past ten years, meaning families and communities must make up the difference. Every year, they donate school supplies to hundreds of families. Alaffia also donates metal roofs, bench seats, and school supplies to rural schools in central Togo to help these communities maintain their schools. In 2011, they built our first high school in Kouloumi, Togo.  (Video Below)

Reforestation To help mitigate the effects of climate change, combat deforestation, and prevent soil erosion in Togolese communities, they plant 8,000 trees each year.

During the past few months, Alaffia has been working on a few short videos, with the hope of providing you with a deeper knowledge of Alaffia and their products.  The following are links to YouTube videos, including an overview of their Shea Butter Cooperative, the celebration and inauguration of the first high school they constructed, an introduction to their new Authentic African Black Soap (which has the most positive reception of any product Alaffia has introduced!) and an overview of our Beautiful Curls line. ENJOY!

I would love for you to take a brief moment to watch these short films – no more than 4 minutes each. This is a way for you to realize your contribution when you purchase Alaffia and the positive impact that it has on the lives of disadvantaged individuals in Togo.


 Alaffia Fair Trade Shea Butter Cooperative


Alaffia's Kouloumi School Construction Poject


Alaffia's Authentic African Black Soap

Alaffia's Discover Beautiful Curls

______________________________________________________________

Not Only are you making a positive impact when you purchase Alaffia Skin Care Products, you are using a product with amazing health benefits. Here are some of the ingredients:
  • Wild Harvested Baobab
  • West African Neem
  • Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Red Palm Oil
  • Extra Vigin Cocoa Butter
  • African Wild Honey
  • BASE OF SHEA BUTTER

The Benefitz of Shea Butter

This comes direct from Alaffia's web-site (www.alaffia.com) about SHEA BUTTER and itz healing powers:

Shea Butter
Shea Butter is the oil from the nuts of wild Shea trees (Vitellaria paradoxa) scattered throughout the wooded savanna of West and Central Africa. Shea Butter has been used for centuries in Africa and is completely enmeshed within the history and culture of the West African savanna. Shea Butter is mentioned in almost all African historical documents, including a reference as early as Cleopatra’s Egypt, which mentions caravans bearing clay jars of Shea Butter for cosmetic use. Funeral beds of kings were carved in the wood of old Shea Trees, and Shea Butter has always been a staple of African pharmacology

Indigenous Knowledge for Skin Care
Shea Butter has been used for centuries in Africa as a decongestant, an anti-inflammatory for sprains and arthritis, healing salve, lotion for hair and skin care, and cooking oil. However, the protective and emollient properties of Shea Butter are most valued for skin care. In recent clinical trials, Shea Butter was found to help to protect skin against climate and UV aggressions, prevent wrinkle formation, soothe irritated and chapped skin, and moisturize the epidermis. Shea Butter also enhances cell regeneration and capillary circulation, which helps prevent and minimize stretch marks, inflammations, and scarring.

Unrefined Shea Butter
Only pure, unrefined Shea Butter contains its full healing and moisturizing properties. Most Shea Butter available to the general public outside West Africa is white and odorless: in other words, it has been “refined” to remove the natural scent and color of natural Shea Butter. In the process, the majority of the effective agents are also removed.

In addition, refined Shea Butter has usually been extracted from the shea kernels with hexane or other petroleum solvents. The extracted oil is boiled to drive off the toxic solvents, and then refined, bleached, and deodorized, which involves heating it to over 400 deg F and the use of harsh chemicals like sodium hydroxide.

Shea Butter extracted in this manner still contains some undesirable solvent residues, and its healing values are significantly reduced. Antioxidants or preservatives such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) or BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) may be added as well. The end result is an odorless, white butter that may be aesthetically appealing, but lacks the true moisturizing, healing, and nutritive properties of true traditional Shea Butter

    Try Shea Butter on these conditions:
  • Wrinkles
  • Dry Skin
  • Psoriasis
  • Massage
  • Hair care
  • Stretch marks
  • Burns
  • Arthritis
  • Chapped lips
  • Sun damage
  • Cracked and dry heels or elbows
  • Small wounds and scrapes
  • Diaper rash (prevention and relief)
  • Insect bites & stings
  • Muscle fatigue, aches & tension
  • Pets (skin infections, dry skin & coats)


 In summary, I highly recommend Alaffia Skin Care Products. It will not only make your skin look and feel better, it will give you peace of mind knowing you are making a positive impact on the people in Togo, West Africa and supporting a sustainable product that is good for our planet.

Namaste,  Beci

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cuckoo for Coconutz

You might call it a cultural craze, since the coconut has been exploding on the scene lately.  In fact, the two largest soda brandz on the planet have both recently acquired coconut water brands. 

Additionally, you can find coconut related products in health food stores and in mainstream retail.  Itz everywhere and I AM CrAzY for Coconutz.  I've been cooking with it, using it as a hot oil treatment on my hair and slathering it all over my face and body for several years.  So letz take a closer look at this fascinating phenomenon called the coconut.


This information comes from an article called The Scoop On The Drupe.....

"Even though the word NUT is in coconut, itz not a not or wholly even a fruit for that matter.  Itz technically called a drupe; itz a fruit with an outer husk or skin, a usually succulent middle layer, and a hard and woody inner shell typically enclosing a single seed.

  Other examples of drupes include: stone fruits such as plums, cherries, dates, mangoes and apricots as well as raspberries and blackberries, which are made up of clustered tiny drupe lets surrounding a central stem.

While coconutz may fit neatly under the "drupe" umbrella, there are important differences within the coconut world to consider.  While itz true that coconutz are super foods packed with vitamins minerals and fiber, there's a difference, for instance, between young coconutz versus mature coconutz, as well as coconut water versus coconut milk.  For example, young coconutz have more water and soft, gel-like coconut meat, while mature coconutz have less water and firmer coconut meat.

  Both young and mature coconutz are good for you, however, the mature coconut may have a lightly higher healthy fatty acid content, while young coconut may have a bit of an advantage water-wise.  Here's why: young coconut water is high in B vitamins, minerals (especially calcium, magnesium and potassium) and contains high levels of electrolytes.

   Speaking of coconut water, letz just clarify that coconut water is the liquid inside the coconut.  Coconut milk, however, is made from the expressed juice of grated mature coconut meat and water.  Going a step further ... coconut cream is made in a similar way as coconut milk, but contains a higher ratio of coconut to water, thereby making it thicker.  You can even buy or make coconut kefir from coconut water or coconut milk.  You'll not only get the health benefits of coconut, but, since coconut kefir is a lacto-fermented beverage, you'll also get probiotics and enzymes, which support digestion.

  While we're at it, letz not forget about coconut oil ~ known as the world's healthiest oil ~ from the coconut meat that contains untra-healthy medium chain fatty acids like lauric acid, myristic acid, caprylic acid, palmitc acid and more.
1
  Don't use just any coconut oil, either, because coconut oils on the market vary dramatically quality-wise.  Low-quality coconut oils are processed by chemical extraction, using solvents, or are hydrogenated, bleached and deodorized,  A high-quality virgin organic coconut oil derived from fresh coconutz with NO GMO ingredients, bleaching, deodorizing, refining or hydrogenation is what you want to look for and use. 

  Two other coconut products gaining in popularity with the health trendsetter crowd are RAW COCONUT CREAM and RAW COCONUT KEFIR. 

Here is what you need to know about these cutting-edge drupe derivatives:


  Raw coconut cream is created by pressing or "juicing" the meat of the mature coconut.  This creates a food loaded with Medium-chain fatty acids that are easily absorbed by the body-providing a yummy source of quick energy.  An added bonus is that raw coconut cream has the consistency of cream cheese and has a smooth texture - making it an ideal healthy snack or ingredient in a raw dessert or smoothie.  Whatz more, raw coconut cream is perfect for those on a raw, vegan diet.

  Raw coconut kefir is made from raw coconut water that is naturally fermented with probiotics, but itz dairy-free, suitable for vegans and packed with enzymes.  Raw coconut kefir also promotes a healthy intestinal environment supporting your body's immune and digestive systems.

  Likewise, raw coconut kefir supports proper hydration since it is a highly organized, ionized water source.  (Note:  I recently read an article about success stories of Autism & ADHD using Raw Coconut Kefir.  Here is the link:  http://healingautismandadhd.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/cucko-for-coconut-kefir/_ )

  With such great taste and a variety of health benefits, itz no wonder there's a cultural coconut craze,  So, if you're going cuckoo for coconutz, now you have the scoop on this amazing drupe."





 I found the below video on the Benefits of Coconut Oil.  According to Dr. Bruce Fife,"Coconut Oil is the worlds only low calorie fat.  When you eat coconut oil, the body uses it to produce energy and in the process your metabolism is kicked up a notch so you burn off calories at an accelerated rate.  Studies show that adding coconut oil to your diet increases metabolism by 48% and in obese individuals it increases metabolism by 65%."  He also talks about many other benefits of eating coconut oil.

My dog, Ochee, has actually been trying to tell me this for months.  Every time I cook with Coconut oil he begs me for a teaspoonful.. He loves it and has lost 18 lbs in just over a year.




Remember... You are What You EAT..... Namaste,  Beci

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Apple-Cinnamon Muffins

  This morning I woke up craving my favorite Vegan Apple-Cinnamon Muffins.  I haven't made them since the last cold day in the Spring.  It was such a nice treat to smell the apple & cinnamon wafting through the house as I got ready for my day.  So today I would like to share the recipe with you. It comes from one of my favorite books, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.  This is one of the most used cook books I've ever owned.

  The Recipe is a BASIC Muffin Mix in which you are only limited by your imagination of things you can add to it.  There are some different variations listed below.  My favorite is the Apple-Cinnamon but I've also made the Zucchini-Raisin and it was equally as good.


Basic Fruit & Nut Muffins

Skinny Bitch in the Kitch

Makes 12 Standard Sized Muffins

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
2 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 C Sucnat or Natural dry Sugar
1 Tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon fine Sea Salt
1 1/4 C Soy Milk (I use Almond Milk)
1 C fresh or dried fruit, diced or chunked
1/2 C Chopped Nutz (Optional)

  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a standard-sized muffin tin or use muffin liners.  (I actually use a large muffin tin which makes them double the size)  In medium bowl, whisk together the soy (almond) milk, oil and vanilla.  Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until barely combined.  Stir in the fruit and nuts, if using.  Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin tin, dividing it evenly.  (I then sprinkle a little bit of the Sugar In The Raw on top of the muffins)....


Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.

Here are some different variations:

CRANBERRY~ORANGE Muffins:  Add the zest of 1/2 orange.  Use dried cranberries and omit the nuts.

TROPICAL MACADAMIA NUT Muffins:  Add the zest of 1/2 orange, combine banana and shredded coconut for the fruit, and use macadamias for the nuts.

APPLE~CINNAMON Muffins:  Use apples for the fruit, add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves to the dry ingredients.

ZUCCHINI~RAISIN Muffins:  Combine shredded zucchini and raisins for the fruit, omit the nuts and add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger to the dry ingredients.


HOPE YOU ENJOY..... Beci


Thursday, July 12, 2012

CEREAL ~ Thumbz Up or Down?

  Itz time to begin my monthly report of products that I've researched and stamp with approval "Thumbz UP" or dissaproval "Thumbz DOWN".   Over the last several weeks I've been looking for a great tasting and organic cereal.  This has proven to be more difficult than I imagined even at my local Health Food Store (Good Earth).  I was a bit surprised to find that they were still selling PEACE Cereals since they are no longer "certified organic". So the Thumbz DOWN out-number the Thumbz UP for this month.  But I will continue my quest and report back with my findings.
  First, I will start with the cereals that I'm giving a Big Thumbz DOWN.........

A BIG THUMBz DOWN......

KASHI CEREAL  

In April of this year KASHI went under attack as not living up to its "natural" label on its products.  Most of you probably read something about it on Facebook or heard about it in the news when some consumers claimed Kellog was misrepresenting its cereal.  

The controversy went viral after a grocer tacked a note to one of his store shelves (in Rhode Island) telling customers he wouldn't sell the cereal because he found out the brand used genetically engineered, non-organic ingredients. (For more on the story, I have listed a link to an article from USA Today at the end of this review.) 

Most corn and soy ingredients come from genetically engineered crops, which have never even been proven safe. In fact, scientists have linked GMOs to serious health problems. In Cornucopia Institute tests, researchers detected GMO material in 100 percent of the soy in Kashi GoLean.  (Please read my page to the right "WHATz a GMO" for more information.)
Kashi is owned by food industry giant KELLOG COMPANY, which also markets Bear Naked, a non-organic granola.  (Many big Food Corporations are changing the names on their products to mask who they are from the conscientious consumers) The Cornucopia Institute also points out that the cereal-making giant has no policy against the use of toxic pesticides, hexane, a harmful solvent used in non-organic soybean processing, and GMO ingredients. 

PEACE CEREAL 

In the past I was a big fan of Peace Cereal and really loved the taste.  But about a year or so ago I noticed that they were no longer labeled "Certified Organic".  Doing some research, I found that until 2008, all Peace Cereal products were certified organic or labeled "made with organic ingredients," meaning at least 70 percent of the ingredients were organic. Today, none of their products are, which can be confusing to customers who initially trusted the once-organic brand. Strawberry-containing Peace Cereal options could contain the carcinogenic pesticide Captan, which is detected in 55 percent of conventional strawberries tested.

Peace Cereal has no organic options left, but its prices remain the same.

BACK TO NATURE

Back to Nature is owned by KRAFT FOODS and comes in nine varieties, with only one being organic. Its "natural" granola products contain conventional ingredients that are produced on conventional farms with the use of pesticides and other synthetic inputs that would be prohibited on organic farms. Conventional grain ingredients destined for processed foods like granola can be fumigated in the warehouse. The USDA has tested ingredients like wheat flour for toxic fumigant residues, and has found some samples to be contaminated with levels higher than the maximum acceptable level for children. Organics, which prohibits these fumigants, offers a level of protection that 'natural' products don't."

_______________________________________________________________

NOW FOR A BIG THUMBz UP ~ NATURE'S PATH ORGANIC.....

After searching the shelves for a product labeled "USDA Organic" and "NON GMO Project Verified" this is the only brand that I found. It is also labeled "Certified Gluten-Free" and the boxes are made from "100% Recycled Paperboard".  This all added to my desire of wanting to support this company but was it going to taste good? 

The first box of cereal I tried is the SUNRISE, Crunchy Vanilla which contains: Corn, Rice, Flax, Quinoa, Buckwheat and Amaranth.  It was like a combination of Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies and Corn Puffs.  I enjoyed it but since I've never been a fan of Corn Puffs, I found myself wishing they had left them out.  It was almost a little too sweet for me, but I feel most people who like their cereal sweet will love this.

INGREDIENTS:  Made with love and....Whole corn meal, evaporated cane juice, brown rice flour, yellow corn flour, unulin, quinoa puffs, flax seeds, natural vanilla flavor, buckwheat flour, quinoa, sea salt, amaranth, molasses, tocopherols (natural vitamin E).  ALL ORGANIC 

Nutrition Factz:  Serving Size 3/4 Cup; Calories 110, Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 130 mg, Potassium 65 mg, Carbohydrate 25g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 7g, Protein 2 g.

The second box of Nature's Path Organic Cereal I tried is the Flax Plus, MAPLE PECAN CRUNCH.  This is absolutely my favorite.  It is "Toasted crunchy flax flakes combined with a breakfast granola made of golden-hued, real maple syrup and roasted pecans."  I love cereal with a granola and nut crunch.  This was perfect and just what I was looking for.

INGREDIENTS:  Made with love and...
Organic whole wheat meal, organic rolled oats, organic evaporated cane juice, organic wheat bran, organic pecans, organic flax, organic soy oil, organic brown rice flour, organic oat bran, organic barley malt extract, sea salt, organic maple syrup, organic coconut, natural maple flavor, organic oat syrup solids, tocopherols (natural vitamin E), organic molasses, organic cinnamon.

________________________________________________________________

Today I went to Nature's Path Organics web-site and was pleasantly surprised to find a large variety of different products..... COLD CEREALS, HOT CEREALS, PREMIUM GRANOLA, TOASTER PASTRIES, BARS, ENVIROKIDS CEREALS, PANCAKE MIXES & LOVE CRUNCH. 

I AM ON IT....cannot wait to try their 8 different flavors of OATMEAL, the PANCAKE MIXES and, of course, the LOVE CRUNCH.  Here is their website:  http://shop.naturespath.com/

ENJOY....and remember YOU ARE what YOU EAT.  Namaste,  Beci


Monday, July 9, 2012

CHILL OUT w/ Frozen Assets

  This week I found some wonderful, healthy popsicle recipes to share. 

This first batch of recipes were found in the "edible WASATCH" magazine and written by Amy Thompson..... For full online magazines go to http://www.ediblewasatch.com/ 

Huckleberry Ice Pops w/ Lemon Verbena

If you can get huckleberries for this recipe, use them.  Their perfume-y flavor is delightful with the lemon verbena.

2 cups Huckleberries or Blueberries
1/2 cup White Grape Juice (if berries are frozen)
1 cup fresh Lemon Verbena Leaves
6 tablespoons Maple Syrup

Blend all ingredients in a blender, fill ice pop molds and freeze.  If berries are fresh you may need less white grape juice.

Strawberry-Basil-Balsamic Ice Popz

This recipe tends to freeze less rock hard than the others and is a great option for sorbet both because it won't freeze solid and because the flavor is a bit more grown up.

2 Cups Strawberries
4 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 Cup tightly-packed, fresh Basil Leaves
6 tablespoons good Balsamic Vinegar

Blend all ingredients, pour into ice pop molds and freeze.

Frozen Frog Eggs

 Chia seeds, puff up and get a slippery coating when soaked in liquid.  They remind me so much of the frog eggs I used to gather as a kid.  A little spinach completes the illusion and adds extra nutrition to boot.

1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
2/ Cups Pear Juice, divided
2 Cups fresh spinach
3 tablespoons honey

Soak the chia sees in 1 cup of the pear juice until they are plump and look like a clear frog egg with a tiny tadpole inside.  Blend the other 1 cup of pear juice with the spinach and honey, stir in the "frog eggs."  Pour into ice pop molds and freeze.

Peach-Sage Ice Popz

Sage usually makes me think of butternut squash, but it works surprisingly well in these ice popz paired with sweet, summer peaches.

2 Cups Peaches
20 fresh Sage Leaves
1/2 to 3/4 cup White Grape Juice (if using frozen peaches)
4 tablespoons honey

Blend all ingredients, pour into ice pop molds and freeze.  If using fresh, juicy peaches, you may be able to skip the white grape juice.

Fairy Nectar

This recipe in particular tends to attract butterflies and little girls in tutus.

2 Cup White Grape Juice
4 tablespoons Honey
4 Rose Blossoms, Petals only
2 teaspoons Rose Water

Blend all the ingredients.  You will end up with a light pink liquid, flecked with tine bits of rose petal.  Pour this into ice pop molds and freeze.

_____________________________________________________

This second batch of recipes were found in deliciousliving magazine at Good Earth. (Go to http://www.newhope360.com/ for more recipes)

 The recipes are by Jennifer Brewer and photo by Mick Jones. 

STRAWBERRY ICE POPz

Serves 8 / Gluten free
Prep 15 minutes / freeze 2 1/2 hours

Simplicity itself.  For a luscious twist, follow step 2 to add a nut-cream layer; nobody will believe the resulting "strawberry shortcake" popz are dairy free, gluten free, and sweetened only with dates (though for either version, if your berries aren't quite ripe enought, you can always add a bit of sugar).

16 ounces fresh Strawberries, washed and hulled
Sweetener (agave or honey), to taste

NUT CREAM (Optional)

1/4 cup Raw Cashews
1/4 cup Raw Macadamia Nutz
3-4 Medjool Dates, pitted
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
1/2 tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 tablespoon pure Vanilla Extract

1.  Pulse strawberries in a food processor until fully pureed; taste and add sweetener if necessary.  Divide mixture among eight 3-ounce pop molds. Freeze.
2.  To add optional nut-cream layer: In a food processor, pulse cashews, macadamia nutz, and dates until well ground.  Add coconut milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and a pinch of salt; blend until smooth and creamy.  After strawberry popz have been in freezer for about 30 minutes, remove and pour nut cream mixture on top.  Insert sticks.  Freeze until set, about 2 hours.

PER SERVING: (with nut-cream layer): 99 cal, 6g fat (3g mono, 0g poly, 2g sat), 0mg chol, 1 g protein, 11g carb, 1 g fiber, omg sodium

MELON MOJITO POPz

Serves 6 / Staff Favorite, Gluten Free, Vegan
Prep 8 minutes / freeze 3 hours

  These flavorful pops take advantage of the delightful summery combination of lime, mint, and melon.  Green honeydew is wonderful but any melon will work just fine.

1/4 cup Coconut Sugar or Natural Cane Sugar
3 tablespoons choped, fresh Mint Leaves
1/4 cup fresh Lime Juice
1 cup sparkling Lime-flavored water
2 cups finely diced Honeydew, Cantaloupe or Watermelon



1.  Combine sugar and mint in a food processor and pulse until mint is finely chopped.  Scrape into a bowl and add lime juice and sparkling water, stirring until sugar dissolves.
2.  Divide melon pieces among six 3-ounce pop molds.  Fill with lime mixture, leaving about 1/4 inch at the top.  Secure lids and jiggle molds to distribute mixture evenly.  Freeze until set, about 3 hours.

PER SERVING:  53 cal, 0g fat, 0g protein, 14 g carb, 1 g fiber, 28 mg sodium

PEACHY BASIL POPz

Serves 8 / Gluten Free, Vegan
prep 15 minutes / freeze 3 hours

  A grown-up ice pop (for kids, you might leave out the basil).  The sweeter your fruit, the less sweetener you will need, so be sure to taste your mixture before adding any.  You Can also use nectarines in these yummy popz.

1 pound ripe, white or yellow Peaches (about 3 medium), halved and pitted
2 tablespoons thinly slice fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar, to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Coarsely chop peaches in a food processor.  Transfer 1 cup of chunky peaches to a medium bowl; stir in basil and set aside.
2.  To peaches remaining in food processor, add orange and lemon jices, agave, and vanilla.  Puree until smooth.  Add to bowl with the chunky peaches and mix well.  Divide mixture among eight 3-ounce pop molds.  Freeze until set, about 3 hours.

PER SERVING:  45 cal, 0g fat, 0 mg chol, 1 g protein, 11g carb, 1 g fiber, 0 mg sodium

CREAMY CHERRY KEFIR POPz

Serves 8 / Gluten Free
prep 10 minutes / freeze 3 hours

 Kefir's beneficial bacteria survive when frozen, making these creamy pops a treat for your tummy.  Also try this with flavored kefir.  If you don't have fresh cherries, substitute frozen.

2 cups (about 11 ounces) fresh pitted cherries
2 cups plain, unsweetened coconut kefir
2 tablespoons agave or brown rice syrup
1 1/2-2 teaspoons almond or vanilla extract

1.  Combine cherries and kefir in a food processor and process until cherries break down and kefir turns pink.  Add sweetener, extract, and a pinch of sea salt; pulse until blended.  Pour mixture into eight 3-ounce pop molds and freeze until set, about 3 hours.

PER SERVING:  67 cal, 1 g fat, 2 mg chol, 4 g protein, 12g carb, 2 g fiber, 32 mg sodium

CHAI ICED TEA POPz

Serves 8 / Bluten Free, Vegan
prep 20 minutes / freeze 3 hours

 Too hot for tea?  These delicious popz are a refreshing way to get your anioxidants.

8 black tea bags
2 cups water
1 cup Coconut Milk
3 tablespoons Coconut Sugar or natural Cane Sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


1.  Bring tea bags and water to a boil in a medium pot.  Boil for 1-2 minutes; remove from heat.  Steep 10 minutes.
2.  Remove tea bags, squeezing to extract all flavor.  Add coconut milk, sugar and spices.  Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Cool slightly before pouring into eight 3-ounce pop molds.  Freeze until set, about 3 hours.

PER SERVING:  40 cal, 2 g fat (0 mono, 0g poly, 2 g sat) 0mg chol, 0 g protein, 5 g car, 0g fiber, 10 mg sodium

BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE FUDGE POPz

Serves 8 / Gluten Free, Vegan
prep 15 minutes / freeze 3 hours

 Instead of heavy cream, arrowroot thickens this rich mixture.  The only sugar is in the chocolate; if you like sweeter treats use chocolate hemp or soy milk or add 2-3 tablespoons of sweetener before heating (don't boil soy milk).  Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving to soften.

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
3 cups vanilla hemp milk, divided
10 ounces 70% cocoa chocolate bar, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.  Whisk arrowroot into 1/2 cup hemp milk.
2.  in a medium pot, stir together remaining 2 1/2 cups hemp milk and chocolate.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly; boil gently for 1 minute.
3.  Remove from heat and stir in arrowroot mixture and vanilla.  Cool slightly before pouring into eight 3-ounce pop molds.  Freeze until set, about 3 hours.

PER SERVING:  262 cal, 17 g fat (5 g mono, 5g poly, 8g sat), 0mg chol, 2 g protein, 21 g carb, 3g fiber, 0mg sodium

Note:  You can also try these recipes in the Zoku Popsicle maker (previous post) for popsicles that are frozen within 5-7 minutes.  If you are going to purchase the Zoku Maker through Amazon, please click on the Carousel Link on this blog to the right.  It will help add a few cents to my cause.  Thank you for your support.

Namaste,  Beci

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Nourishment

  On the weekends, I open the book UNTIL TODAY by Iyanla Vanzant for spiritual upliftment.  Every page is dated with a message for that day.  Normally, I would not post this information on this blog.  Instead I would include it on my blog http://balancinghandz.blogspot.com/ which includes excerpts from my daily life and uplifting stories.  But as I opened and read the messages for both July 8 & 9th, it incorporated the message with physical nourishment (food) and seemed so appropriate. 

  Yesterday, I spent most of the day catching up on must needed sleep, meditating and organizing all the articles, books & magazines I've saved over the years pertaining to food tips and healthy recipes.  This morning I woke up with excitement and gratitude in my heart once again ready to focus on this blog.  Sometimes it is all too overwhelming with the abundance of information I have.  This puts up a wall of confusion as I don't know where to even begin and what information will be the most helpful  This message reminds me to just ask for help and I will receive the guidance that I need.  I hope you enjoy and find this relative to your lives.

  JULY 8th.....

   Picture yourself sitting at a banquet table, covered with all of your favorite foods.  Imagine the sight.  The smell.  Anticipate the pleasure of sinking your teeth into all of your favorite foods, which have been prepared to perfection.  Now imagine that as you finish one delight, a well-mannered server brings you the next.  This continues until you are filled to capacity and thrilled to exstasy.  You push back from the table totally satisfied and grateful.

  Are you aware that your spirit needs to be fed?  Did you know that your spirit would be delighted to partake in a feast of spiritual food?  How about a plate full of prayer?  Or maybe a few hours of succulent self-reflection.  Perhaps a piping-hot selection of spiritual literature, served by the side of a lake or under a tree, would satisfy your spiritual hunger.  Can you imagine feasting for a few hours on spiritually uplifting music?  What about some forgiveness a la mode, topped with compassion?  You cannot imagine how much your spirit would enjoy it.

  Would you believe that there are many eager angels, guardians and guides just waiting to serve you?  They have already set the table and begun to prepare everything you need to satisfy your spirit.  Need some help?  Look under the appetizers.  Want some more understanding?  Check the daily specials.  If warm wisdom or scrumptious security would fill you up, try the Chef's Specials.  It's all there on life's spiritual menu.  All you have to do is simply raise your head, your heart or your hand and ask.  Like the body, the spirit must be fed.  Your spirit not only requires a well-balanced diet, it must be fed on a regular schedule.

  Until today, you may have believed that your spirit could survive on bits of information.  Just for today, be devoted to preparing a spiritual banquet for yourself.  Take a moment to identify all the things that would fill-full your spirit, and then ask the angels to serve it up.

  Today I AM devoted to having a spiritual feast..

  ___________________________________________________________

JULY 9th.....

  What if you were forced to sustain yourself on a low-calorie, minimal-intake diet for the rest of your life?  Or worse, what if you were told that you could never eat again?  No more chocolate.  No more homemade soup.  How would you feel?  How would you survive?  

  If you did not eat to sustain your physical body, you would eventually grow weak and weary.  As you used up the reserve resources of nutrients and vitamins, your vital organs would stop functioning,  Your body would begin to shrivel up and waste away.  A person can only diet or fast for so long before the body demands to be fed.  The same is true of the Spirit.

  Some people are suffering from spiritual malnutrition.  Some people have deprived themselves of spiritual nourishment for so long, they no longer have the strength to handle the weight of their lives.  Their vision is shot!  Their sense of SELF has been diminished to the point that it is a chore for them to do the simplest task in their lives.  Spiritually malnourished people are fretful and frightened, worried and worrisome.  They are drained and draining.  They have their eye on someone else's plate, someone else's life, and they will stretch their shriveled and shaking hand out for whatever crumbs can be spared.

  There is only one cure for spiritual malnutrition.  It is a steady diet of spiritual food.  Prayer builds the spiritual structure.  Faith puts meat on the spiritual bones.  Gratitutde builds spiriitual muscles.  If you are feeling worn out, run down or weary, check your spiritual diet!  You may need to increase your intake of spiritual nutrients.

  Until today, you may have been suffering from spiritual malnutrition.  Just for today, increase your intake of spiritual food.  Engage in a few spiritual experiences.  Test your spiritual muscles.  Make the necessary adjustments to your spiritual diet.

  Today I am devoted to increasing my spiritual intake.. 

____________________________________________________________

  While reading this I couldn't help but think how my choices in food over the last several years has lifted me to an entirely different level not only physically but also mentally and spiritually.  The meat, dairy, processed foods and sugar I consumed weighed me down and made me feel downright awful both inside and out.  Of course, this was not even realized to it's full extent until I gave them up.  Now I can "fill myself up with all the foods that I love" without having physical side affects like feeling bloated, sick or fat afterwards.  I leave the table feeling better about myself in all aspects of my physical & mental well-being. 

  I know, most of us grew up on breakfast, lunch & dinner made from the Betty Crocker Recipe book and to deprive ourselves of the meat, dairy, processed sugar and now GMO's that we've become used to, seems totally overwhelming and unrealistic.  Just take a moment and think about how our parents & grandparents were led to believe that Miss Betty was a wholesome, homemaker who had derived these recipes in her own kitchen.  They had no idea that she was actually a fictional character created by the meat, dairy and processed food industry to get us addicted to their products for financial gain. 

  While all change evolves over time, one day at a time, I promise there is no deprivation.  In fact, I'm struggling to loose 5-7 lbs right now on my vegan, sugar-free diet...I AM NOT DEPRIVED!!  It is all in the mind ~ focus on the food you are substituting, the new taste, consistency and how it makes you feel.  Let go of your focus on deprivation....it is also fictional!

  So while focusing on your "SPIRITUAL FEAST & INCREASING YOUR SPIRITUAL INTAKE"......try coming to the realization that what you consume will either increase or decrease your physical, mental & spiritual well-being.  It's your choice...how do you want to feel?  Your meals can be a Spiritual experience.



Namaste,  Beci 

NOTE:  If you are interested in purchasing any of Iyanla Vanzants books through Amazon, please click on the Carousel Link to the right on this blog.  It will help add a few cents to my cause.  Thank you for your support...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

HEALTHY POPz w/ the ZOKU Machine

  Last Friday I went to my good friend, Leslie's home.  Her cute son, Max, was making popsicles all by himself with fresh cut up strawberries and cranberry juice.  It was the first time I had ever seen the ZOKU QUICK POPSICLE MAKER.  He was using the triple maker, pictured below.  (Zoku also has a Duo and Single maker available for purchase.)

  Max informed me that his popsicles would be done in about 8 minutes without going in the freezer.  This I had to see....


  Leslie and I went out on her deck to chat and before I knew it Max came out with his popsicle in hand.  I immediately fell in love with the ZOKU Popsicle Machine and am looking forward to purchasing it. 

  Of course, there is also a recipe book, storage container and tools to create professional looking popsicles like this....



  But since it'z summer and I like to make it as healthy and simple as possible, mine are going to look more like this  (Once my Zoku machine arrives)......



   Let the experimenting begin...

Remember... YOU are what you EAT....  Namaste,  Beci :)

NOTE:  If you are going to purchase the Zoku Maker through Amazon, please click on the Carousel Link on this blog.  It will help add a few cents to my cause.  Thank you for your support.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kidney Cleanse...

Today I am starting this natural KIDNEY CLEANSE made from just PARSLEY and pure clean water.  I will update you with the results and any differences I feel in my body.

"Years pass by and our kidneys are filtering the blood by removing salt, poison and any unwanted entering our body. With time, the salt accumulates and this needs to undergo cleaning treatments."


 Here is a very easy cleansing recipe......  
 
  First take a bunch of parsley (MALLI Leaves)and wash it clean. Cut it in small pieces and put it in a pot and pour clean water and boil it for ten minutes and let it cool down and then filter it and pour in a clean bottle and keep it inside refrigerator to cool.
 
  Drink one glass daily and you will notice all salt and other accumulated poison coming out of your kidney by urination also you will be able to notice the difference which you never felt before.
Parsley is known as best cleaning treatment for kidneys and it is natural!

For more Health Benefits of PARSLEY... please see post below.

REMEMBER... YOU are what you EAT (& DRINK).... Namaste,  Beci :)

Parsley

While parsley is a wonderfully nutritious and healing food, it is often under-appreciated. Most people do not realize that this vegetable has more uses than just being a decorative garnish that accompanies restaurant meals.

Parsley is one of the world’s seven most potent disease-fighting spices which also include Ginger, Oregano, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Sage, and Red chili peppers. Parsley grows in most climates and is readily available throughout the year. It is a biennial plant which means that it produces seeds during its second year of production and will reseed itself if you let it.

  • Alias Names for parsley: Parsley, also called Petroselinum sativum, common parsley, garden parsley, curled leaf parsley, flat leaf parsley, Italian parsley, rock parsley is the world’s most popular culinary herb is also known as “rock celery” and belongs to the Umbelliferae family of plants. 
Parsley, curled leaf and flat-leaf:
Herb Parsley curled 300x199 Herb Parsley
Parsley curled leaf (Petroselinum crispum)
Herb Parsley Italian 300x197 Herb Parsley
Italian flat leaf parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Herb Parsley flowers 196x300 Herb Parsley 
Parsley’s Many Therapeutic Health Benefits Include Its Use For: 
  • Anemia: Builds up the blood because it is high in iron.  The high vitamin C content assists the absorption of iron.
  • Antioxidant: Increases the anti-oxidant capacity of the blood.
  • Bactericidal (kills bacteria)
  • Bad breath
  • Baldness: Believe it or not, men even scrubbed parsley onto their scalps to cure baldness—which doesn’t work.
  • Blood purifier
  • Blood vessel rejuvenation: Maintains elasticity of blood vessels, and helps to repair bruises.
  • Diarrhea is greatly helped by drinking parsley tea.
  • Digestion: Parsley is an excellent digestion restorative remedy. It improves the digestion of proteins and fats therefore promoting intestinal absorption, liver assimilation and storage. Because of its high enzyme content, parsley benefits digestive activity and elimination.
  • Dissolves cholesterol within the veins
  • Diuretic
  • Ear health: Treats deafness and ear infections.
  • Edema: Acts as a diuretic and blood vessel strengthener.
  • Fatigue: Parsley is high in iron so helps repair and provides components for better blood cells.
  • Gallstones: Helps dissolve them.
  • Glandular support of the liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands.
  • Gout
  • Hormonal support: In women, parsley improves estrogen and nourishes and restores the blood of the uterus. Conditions like delayed menstruation, PMS, and the menopause (dry skin, irritability, depression and hair loss) can often improve.
  • Hormone balancing is achieved through the volatile fatty acids contained in parsley.
  • Immune booster: The high vitamin C, beta carotene, B12, chlorophyll and essential fatty acid content render parsley an extraordinary immunity enhancing food. Parsley is an immune-enhancing multi-vitamin and mineral complex in green plant form and one of the most important herbs for providing vitamins to the body.
  • Inhibits tumor formation, particularly in the lungs.
  • Insect bites: Rub on to relieve the swelling and itch.
  • Jaundice
  • Kidneys: Parsley is effective for nearly all kidney and urinary complaints except severe kidney inflammation. It improves kidney activity and can help eliminate wastes from the blood and tissues of the kidneys. It prevents salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues; thus parsley literally forces debris out of the kidneys, liver and bladder. It helps improve edema and general water retention, fatigue and scanty or painful urination.
  • Liver congestion: It enriches the liver and nourishes the blood. Parsley helps reduce liver congestion, clearing toxins and aiding rejuvenation.
  • Menstrual irregularity: Parsley helps to make the cycles regular by the presence of apiol which is a constituent of the female sex hormone estrogen.
  • Menstrual pain 
  • Night blindness: Bad eyesight is a sign of Vitamin A deficiency.
  • Rheumatism
  • Spleen strengthening: The parsley root in particular strengthens the spleen, and can, therefore, treat malabsorption.
  • Stamina loss and low resistance to infection, point to a sluggish liver. This can manifest itself in blood deficiencies, fatigue, a pale complexion and poor nails, dizzy spells, anemia and mineral depletion.
  • Stomach problems
  • Strengthens loose teeth: In the Middle Ages parsley was used for many conditions including ‘fastening teeth’ (Scurvy, which is caused by a Vitamin C deficiency, makes the gums spongy and the teeth loose.)
  • Uterine tonic
  • Weight loss benefits from being a diuretic
Nutritional Benefits of Parsley:
Parsley is a nutrient powerhouse containing high levels of beta carotene, vitamin B12, folate, chlorophyll, calcium, more vitamin C than citrus fruits, and just about all other known nutrients. Parsley is a moistening, nourishing, restoring, ‘warming’ food, pungent with a slightly bitter, salty flavor. It enhances and stimulates the energy of organs, improving their ability to assimilate and utilize nutrients.

Beta carotene is used for protein assimilation. This nutrient benefits the liver and protects the lungs and colon. Beta-carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A, a nutrient so important to a strong immune system that its nickname is the “anti-infective vitamin.”

Chlorophyll Parsley is abundant in chlorophyll, thus purifying and inhibiting the spread of bacteria, fungi and other organisms. Chlorophyll from parsley is slightly anti-bacterial and anti-fungal which acts to enhance immune response and to relieve mucus congestion, sinusitis and other ‘damp’ conditions. Chlorophyll, high in oxygen, also suppresses viruses and helps the lungs to discharge residues from environmental pollution.

Essential Fatty Acids Parsley is a source of alpha-linolenic acid, an important essential fatty acid that is too frequently deficient in today’s diets.

Fluorine is an important nutritional component abundantly found in parsley. Fluorine has an entirely different molecular structure from chemically-produced fluoride. Tooth decay results from a shortage of fluorine, not fluoride. It is the combination of calcium and fluorine which creates a very hard protective surface on teeth and bones. Fluorine also protects the body from infectious invasion, germs and viruses.

Folic Acid, one of the most important B vitamins, but one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is to convert homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at high levels, can directly damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Folic acid is also a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells–the colon, and in women, the cervix.

Iron: The iron content of parsley is exceptional with 5.5mg per100g (4oz). A half-cup of fresh parsley or one tablespoon dried has about 10 percent of your iron daily requirements.  Plus, parsley has the vitamin C your body needs to absorb that iron.

Protein: Parsley is made up of 20% protein. (About the same as mushrooms.)

Vitamin B12 Parsley contains traces of B12 producing compounds. Such compounds are needed for the formation of red blood cells and normal cell growth, important for fertility, pregnancy, immunity and the prevention of degenerative illness. The action of vitamin B12, however, is inhibited by birth control pills, antibiotics, intoxicants, stress, sluggish liver, and excess bacteria or parasites in the colon or digestive tracts. Parsley helps to counteract these inhibitors.

Vitamin K: Getting at least 100 micrograms of Vitamin K a day can drastically cut your risk of hip fracture. Vitamin K is necessary for bones to get the minerals they need to form properly. Parsley is loaded with vitamin K (180 mcg per 1/2 cup). Cooking parsley nearly doubles its Vitamin K.

Vitamin C: Parsley contains more vitamin C than any other standard culinary vegetable, with 166mg per 100g (4oz). This is three times as much as oranges. Flavonoids, which make up the Vitamin C molecule, maintain blood cell membranes, and act as an antioxidant helper.

Volatile oil components – including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. Parsley’s volatile oils, particularly myristicin, have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, and particularly, tumor formation in the lungs. It acts as an antioxidant that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and the smoke produced by trash incinerators).

Parsley also contains calcium (245mg per 100g), phosphorus, potassium (1000mg per 4 oz), manganese (2.7mg per 100g), inositol, and sulphur.
Many of my client’s test they would benefit greatly from eating parsley for all kinds of health problems.

How to Use Parsley:
Top off your sandwiches with it, include it in your salad greens, put it in Tabbouli or better yet, toss it into simmering soups, stews and sauces. We eat it raw in salads and those days when I can’t eat it raw, I often add a couple of parsley capsules to my nutritional supplements.

Parsley juice, as an herbal drink, is quite powerful and is usually taken in quantities of about 2 fl oz (50ml) three times a day and is best mixed with other juices. I noticed that it’s most effective to juice parsley in between other vegetables as the juice is heavy and thick and doesn’t move through some juicers very readily.

Types of Parsley:
The two most popular types of parsley are curly parsley and Italian flat leaf parsley.  They are both related to celery. The Italian variety has a more fragrant and less bitter taste than the curly variety. There is also another type of parsley known as turnip-rooted (or Hamburg) that is cultivated for its roots, which resemble salsify and burdock.
Note: Chinese parsley is actually cilantro.

Contraindications for the overuse of Parsley: A bit of conflicting opinion here. It IS a diuretic so ingesting too much parsley could affect the kidneys if you have kidney problems. One source stated that the essential oil within parsley may cause epithelial irritation within the kidneys. Occasional reports of skin or mucous membrane reactions and a suggestion not to eat too much during pregnancy due to it emmenagogue effects. One source said that it could cause abortion! That seems far-fetched but I’m trying to be complete here. (An Emmenagogue is a drug or agent that increases menstrual flow.)

How to Pick and Care for Parsley:
Whenever possible, choose fresh, dark green, organically grown parsley that looks fresh and crisp over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. Avoid bunches that have wilted or yellowed leaves indicating over-mature or damaged produce.

Parsley can be stored loosely wrapped in a damp cloth or plastic bag and refrigerated for up to a week. Wash just before using. If the parsley wilts, either sprinkle it lightly with some water or wash it without completely drying it before putting it back in the refrigerator.

The best way to clean it is just like you would spinach. Place it in a bowl of cold water and plunge it up and down like you would a toilet plunger. This will allow any sand or dirt to dislodge. Remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill it with clean water and repeat this process until no dirt remains in the water.  If you have excess flat-leaved parsley, you can easily dry it by laying it out in a single layer on a clean kitchen cloth. I pre-chop mine (both varieties) and place it on a cookie sheet on top of the refrigerator where it is warm. Stir it occasionally to allow consistent drying. Once dried, it should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place.

Some feel the curly leaved variety is best preserved by freezing, as opposed to drying. Although it will retain most of its flavor, it has a tendency to lose its crispness, so it is best used in recipes without first thawing.

How to Grow Parsley:
Possibly the most popular herb grown in cooler areas, but also one of the most ‘failed’ herbs. There are two reasons for this – firstly parsley is not so quick or easy to germinate as many other herbs. Secondly, it does require a reasonably rich soil to perform well. Parsley grows in either sun or partial shade. From plant to harvest is approximately three months.  Once growing well in a good soil, it is however a low maintenance plan.

Helpful Links and References: