Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kale Pesto

Today's entry will be brief. I wanted to share a recipe I played with in the kitchen today. Since kale is sooooo kool and Wednesdays are typically pasta nights for us...it's an easy dinner before church, I thought I'd use my favorite green to make another favorite of mine...pesto! If you are not familiar with pesto it is a pasta topping/sauce. It is traditionally done with basil. I didn't have any fresh basil, however I have an abundance of kale right now so I figured, why not? It turned out really well. The best part is that its another way to get kale into my picky 12 year old...he loves pesto....thats a high score for this Momma!

PS: Pesto is also great on quinoa, flax bread( or any bread you eat), tomato slices, and chicken

Kale Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:

1 16oz bag Trader Joes Organic Brown Rice Penne Pasta
3 large handfuls Organic or Pesticide Free Kale
1 Fresh Garlic Clove
1 Freshly Squeezed Organic Lemon
1/3 Cup Raw Walnuts
1/2 Tsp Celtic Sea Salt
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Optional: 1/4 Tsp Chlorella Powder (Totally not a must, but if you have it this is a great way to sneak it in since pesto is already green)

Optional: Grated Romano Cheese to sprinkle on top

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions. Then put everything else into the food processor or blender until creamy. Mix a few dollops in a bowl with the pasta and enjoy! It's so easy and so good for you!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Superfoods: Ginger

It's so amazing the transitions that we go through in life and the changes that we make. Often times we make changes that we would never have anticipated ourselves taking part in, yet these changes are many times for the better. When I started making changes in my dietary lifestyle I learned how extremely important our digestive health is and the integral part it plays in our immune health. You cannot separate one from the other. I realize over the past several weeks I have sung the praises of many Superfoods. They are truly wonderful. I honestly do not know of any that are as potent or have the same properties of ginger root.

Ginger is grown predominantly in Asia and the Caribbean. It has medicinal and culinary uses. It has a lovely flavor with a spicy kick. It is in the same plant family as turmeric. This does not surprise me knowing the properties of turmeric. They also look very similar. I have had ginger as a regular part of my health regimen for several years. Over the past year I am to the point where I consume it almost daily. I put it in smoothies, cook with it, use it in tea, and put it in desserts. It is excellent for digestion.

It relieves nausea very well. It's super for pregnant mom as to be for soothing their stomachs without any nasty side effects. Sometimes eating out can be an adventure, a dangerous one in fact. Consuming raw ginger can help in a pinch to relieve stomach distress from food sensitivities. It is an effective anti-inflammatory, especially combined with turmeric. You can eat the root raw, make a tea with it, or take a high quality supplement. Get organic whenever possible. If you have a cold or are congested eating small prices of raw ginger throughout the day as well as blending in a smoothie can be very effective for immune support in addition to being a mucous solvent. That means it breaks up all of the yucky gunk.

This phenomenal root also can be pressed for its essence or essential oil. Topically you can take advantage of its healing anti-inflammatory properties by blending with a carrier oil and applying to the inflamed joints and muscles. You can also rub it with a carrier oil on your stomach for relief from digestive distress.

There are just too many incredible ways to use ginger. Here's a smoothie recipe to try it out with:

1-2 handfuls organic kale
1/2-2/3 cup pineapple
1 date
1 Tbsp coconut butter
2 inch hunk raw organic ginger root
1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
1 cup ice

Blend and enjoy!



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fiber: Do You Get Enough?

Fiber is essential for the body. Our bodies cannot and will not function properly without it. Fiber is the indigestible part of plant food. It is in all plant foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains. Animal products and fats do not contain fiber.

Fiber acts like a mop to our intestines. It cleans everything out so we keep our intestinal tracts clean and healthy. The lack of real raw plant fiber can lead to numerous digestive disorders. There is fiber in cooked food, but it is broken down and not as effective. Most adults need 25-30 grams of fiber daily. Unfortunately as it stands in the USA most adults are only getting half that amount.

When our bodies do not have enough fiber they do not function properly. Fiber pushes out toxins and infected bacterial strains through out digestive tracts. Without fiber we cannot properly excrete these items through our feces in turn becoming constipated and then ill. We need to be able to go to the bathroom regularly.

In order to stay satiated throughout the day it is important to include a lot of raw plant fiber in your daily diet. Most people think its protein that keeps you full, on the contrary it is fiber and healthy fat. A healthy amount of raw fiber keeps you fuller longer then leads to weight loss. Eating more plant food allows more food to be eaten that's lower in calories and contains healthy fat. Having a plant based daily diet is a fool proof plan to get enough fiber.

A great simplistic way to include a lot of raw fiber is implementing a daily smoothie into your routine. A smoothie makes eating enough vegetables and fruit possible. You can consume so much more in a smoothie than you ever could in a bowl or on a plate. Sipping on plant fiber throughout the day prevents over eating, promotes regularity, and provides energy.

Recipe to Try:

2 Handfuls of Organic Kale
1 Stalk of Organic Celery
2 Limes, peeled
2 Organic Apples (gala, honey crisp, Fuji, or pink lady)
1 1/2 Cups Spring Water
1/2 Cup Filtered Ice

Blend it all and enjoy!