26
Feb

Where To Start with Cooking and More

Why You Should Cook In A Cast Iron Dutch Oven

One of the cookware that has been around for centuries is the cast iron Dutch oven. It is the original cookware that was made for outdoor cooking. The original design has legs with a flat bottom and also has a flanged lid to hold coals. It is also the original cookware that has a handle attached to the sides.

When you will use the original Dutch ovens, you will realize how easy it is to cook on it outdoors and indoors as well. When it comes to the cookware that the early household needs, they would only prefer the Dutch ovens. Because of the fact that this cookware are very durable, many people of the past that cross countries use and brings this cookware with them. It is the Dutch oven that is considered as one of the cookware that helps feed the early civilizations in the US. There are a lot of ways for you to cook food in a Dutch oven. You can simmer, boil, roast and bake in a Dutch oven. That is why for someone that is traveling, it is the Dutch oven that they refer bringing as you can do almost all kinds fi cooking with it and that’s what made them very popular. For the people that want to travel light, it is this cookware that they will be needing.

It is now the Dutch ovens that have also undergone a number of different design changes over the years. A Dutch oven that is made of aluminum or cast iron can now be seen today. But there are still Dutch ovens that are made the original way. And there also those Dutch ovens that have been passed from generation to generation.

People that want to have their very own Dutch ovens has been increasing over the past years. There are a lot of people that wants to redo the home dishes that they once experienced during their childhood. It sis these Dutch ovens that made a huge different in this kind of dishes. It is the Dutch oven that can provide the same moistness and taste of those dishes. The old recipes that you used it enjoy can now be cooked by you using this cookware. It is also them modern cooks that are now learning the versatility of this cookware.

Every home today has already their very own duct ovens. It is the Dutch oven that is considered by many as not just a simple tool in the kitchen but also as a piece of history. For many generations to come, the Dutch oven is now being considered as a tradition. It is this cookware that create a connection from the past to the present.

Source: http://tyrneathem.com/glamp-like-a-diva/

17
Jan

The Definitive Guide On What to Eat Before a Morning Workout

Certain sounds are welcome during a grueling workout, like breathless panting or a high-energy “woo!” But stomach growls? Not so much.

Even if you’re not normally a breakfast eater, eating something before you move will likely boost your performance. (First, you have to become a morning person, though.) When you roll out of bed, your body has fasted for eight or more hours, so your energy supplies are depleted. Your muscles need glycogen (the way the body stores carbs) to fuel exercise—so you want to make sure to take in some carbohydrates to refill your tank, says registered dietitian Robyn Kievit Kirkman. Ideally, you’ll eat a mix of carbs and protein an hour before you sweat. The carbs give you a kick of energy, and protein will help that energy last longer.

But what exactly should you eat pre-workout? That depends on the type of exercise you’re gearing up for. (This 20-minute workout is a surefire way to start your day right if you’re looking for morning movement inspiration.) Consider this your breakfast fuel cheat sheet.

If your workout is…low intensity
Less intense morning workouts, such as barre or yoga classes, don’t call for quite as much food as other more taxing routines. You should fuel up with 30g of carbs and 8g of protein, says Kievit Kirkman. A banana with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter should do the trick.

If your workout is…moderate intensity
For workouts that fall in the middle of the exercise-intensity spectrum—a 4-mile run or hopping on the saddle for a 45-minute spin class—shoot for 30g of carbohydrates and 15g of protein, says Kievit Kirkman. That could be an English muffin topped with two eggs.

If your workout is…short and intense
If you’re knocking out a 15-minute HIIT session, you want to take in the same as you would for a low-intensity workout—about 30g of carbohydrates and 8 or so grams of protein. Kievit Kirkman suggests a banana and a hard-boiled egg.

If your workout is…all about endurance
You really need to load up for a workout that’ll last longer than an hour. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends eating a minimum of 30g of carbohydrates per hour of exercise, which is just over a half cup of oatmeal. Kievit Kirkman recommends supplementing that with the same amount of protein. Try adding a scoop of protein powder to your oatmeal, for instance. (Or blend up one of these protein smoothie recipes that will keep you full all day.)

And if you’re running late for your workout
Don’t have an hour to spare to fuel up and digest pre-workout? “It’s about getting 30g of easily digested carbohydrates just five minutes before,” says Kievit Kirkman. The easiest thing to grab on your way out the door: a banana. But keep in mind that what works for you won’t work for everyone, she says. When you figure out what to eat before a morning workout, stick to it so your body will begin to recognize how to stay energized from warm-up to cool-down.

17
Jan

What to Eat Before and After a Workout

Before: Whole Wheat Toast with Sliced Banana and Cinnamon

When it comes to gearing up for workout, carbs are your gym BFF. The key is to have a mixed bag of complex and simple ones so that the release of energy during your workout is slow and steady throughout your routine. Whole-wheat toast with fruit gives you both types of carbs with the bonus of being super easy to digest. Complex carbs will keep your motor humming, while the fruit adds an extra kick of energy. For those training for a race, bananas are perfect in raising potassium levels, which drop when you sweat a lot. For an added bonus, add a dash of cinnamon. The spice has been linked to stabilizing blood sugar and improving brain function.

After: Grilled Chicken and Mixed Vegetables

Your body is in recovery mode, so you need a nutrient dense dish. The lean protein and carbohydrates in chicken will fill you up without feeling overly bloated. Add some veggies in olive oil to keep your ticker in tip top shape.

Before: Greek Yogurt and Trail Mix

Getting ready for a long run? Eat some yogurt first. It’s easy on your stomach and when paired with trail mix can give you the little rev your body needs. Just make sure to choose a mix that is mostly nut and dried fruit based with as little fillers as possible. (Yes, sadly we’re talking about those little chocolates!) The healthy sugars from dried fruit provide that quick energy boost while seeds and nuts will keep insulin levels from dropping mid-workout. Just remember, a little bit goes a long way. Seeds and nuts are high in fat, which means they take longer to digest. Too many and you could start feeling sluggish and slow as you sweat.

After: Veggie Omelet with Avocado

You already know eggs are a great source of protein and help aid in muscle recovery and growth. Switch it up from the usual scramble and make a veggie-packed omelet. Garnish with a few slices of avocado for fiber and monosaturated fats (the good kind!). Similar to olive oil, avocados can help your body better absorb fat soluble nutrients that your veggies have like vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins are stocked with antioxidants, the best boost for your body, inside and out.

Before: Smoothies

Need a snack on-the-go on your way to the gym? Stick with a smoothie. Not only are they time-friendly, building your own blend has a bunch of exercise benefits. For a foolproof formula, use your favorite sliced fruit, a cup of Greek yogurt and some granola for a thicker consistency. If you’re picking one up, check the label to make sure it’s made from whey or milk-based proteins. And no need to go overboard — 10 to 20 grams of protein before exercising is plenty.

After: Salmon with Sweet Potato

Aside from the usual protein perks, salmon has bioactive peptides, small protein molecules that play a role in inflammation reduction, helping to regulate insulin levels and give you joint support. Sweet potatoes pack in those complex carbs as well as help to restore glycogen levels, which get depleted after a workout.

 

 

 

17
Jan

Healthy Sweet Snacks That Satisfy Your Cravings Without a Sugar Crash

When you’re hankering for dessert but it’s 2 p.m. and you’re still trying to stay on track, reach for one of these sweet snacks. It’ll satisfy your craving without the forthcoming sugar crash.

3-Ingredient Fruit Roll-Ups

Homemade fruit leather is like the adult version of Fruit by the Foot. Fruit, honey, and lemon juice are the only ingredients and these have only about 20 calories per roll.

If you were anything like me as a kid, you probably used to think, “When I’m a grown up I can have ______ for dinner every night!” (insert: icecream, cookies, poptarts, cotton candy etc.).  But now that I finally am a (sort of) grown up, I know I have to suppress my inner-child demands in favor of not weighing 500 lbs.  But I recently discovered a way to have my cake and eat it too.  Well, fruit roll-ups anywho.

When I first came across a recipe for a similar fruit leather type thing, I was suspicious.  You mean to tell me I can use my oven as a dehydrator?  I don’t need one of those fancy shmancy things?  I figured I would have to give it a couple tries, some old fashion trial-and-error, but alas, the first try was a major success!  I’m talking major, these things are really good.

And you just need 3 ingredients: fruit, lemon juice, and something to sweeten it.

I used a mixture of raspberries and strawberries (about 3 cups) for my base (though I bet mango would be bangin’ as well).  The sweetness is really to your taste.  You can use honey or Stevia/Truvia/Sugar (2-3 tablespoons).  And finally the lemon juice (2 tablespoons) is used to keep the bright color of the fruit.Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until it’s as smooth as can be.

Next, line a baking pan with a good quality plastic wrap.  My baking sheet didn’t have sides, which I imagine would have been useful in this circumstance.  But work with what ya got and just line a big-ish pan with plastic wrap.  The fruit mixture should be liquid enough to pour, but thick enough that it doesn’t really spill around on the sheet.  Pour it into the plastic-lined pan, then spread it out with a spoon or spatula.  It should be as thin as possible without forming holes, about ⅛ – ¼ inch thick.

Then just let it dry out in the oven.  Use as low of temperature as your oven will go, mine goes down to 170 degrees.  The temperature you dry it at determines the time needed, and can range from 4 to 6 hours.  It’s finished when the middle is no longer gooey.  The edges may get too dry, in which case you can rehydrate them a bit by rubbing them with water.

Once dried, let the fruit leather cool, then remove from plastic wrap.  I found it was easiest to use a clean pair of scissors to cut this stuff.  Remove the edges then cut into 1 inch wide strips.  For the true fruit roll-up experience, cut strips or parchment or tissue paper and roll the fruit into the paper.  Use a touch of tape or string to hold it all together.

3 Ingredient Fruit Roll-Ups
Print
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8 rolls
Ingredients
  • 2-3 cups fruit
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey, sugar, or sugar-substitute
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Blend fruit in food processor or blender until smooth. Mix in sweetener and lemon juice.
  2. Pour into a pan lined with plastic wrap then spread out ⅛ to ¼ inch thick.
  3. Dehydrate in oven at 140 to 170 degrees F (60 to 75 degrees C, or as low as oven will go) for 4 to 6 hours, or until middle is not longer tacky.
  4. Allow to cool, then remove from plastic wrap.
  5. With clean scissors, trim off edges then cut into 1 inch wide strips.
  6. Wrap with strips of parchment or tissue paper, then use tape or string to seal.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 roll Calories: 21 Fat: 0mg Carbohydrates: 5g Sodium: 0mg Protein: .5g

 

17
Jan

Vegetarian Meals to Make for Meatless Monday

Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion and Spinach Quesadilla

  • Carb Grams Per Serving: 38

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 ounces baby spinach
  • 4 8 – inches whole-wheat flour tortillas
  • 4 ounces semisoft goat cheese
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, sugar and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is dark golden brown. Remove from pan. Add the spinach and 1 tablespoon water to the skillet; cook 2 minutes, or until spinach is just wilted. Remove from skillet and turn off heat. Spread a quarter of the goat cheese on each tortilla and top with spinach, tomato and onion; fold closed and press lightly. Heat the skillet and place two folded quesadillas in it; cook two minutes per side, or until golden brown and lightly crisp. Repeat.

Nutrition Information

PER SERVING: 337 cal., 15 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 38 g carb. (7 g fiber), 13 g pro.

Rolled Lasagna

  • Makes: 4 servings
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Carb Grams Per Serving: 51

Ingredients

  • 8 lasagna noodles
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 12 – ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 large leek, white part only, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 ounces low-fat mozzarella, grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon pasta water.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes; cook 15 minutes. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese until combined. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion; saute 3 minutes. Add the leek; cook 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms; cook 10 minutes. Add the asparagus; cook 3 minutes.
  4. Turn heat off; add 1 1/2 tablespoons goat cheese and the mozzarella, reserved pasta water, nutmeg, salt and black pepper. Add the mint and basil, reserving 1 teaspoon of each.
  5. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Spoon 1/2 cup vegetable mixture onto each noodle, roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Drizzle with remaining tomato sauce; crumble remaining goat cheese on top. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the Parmesan and reserved mint and basil; serve.

Nutrition Information

Servings Per Recipe: 4
PER SERVING: 426 cal., 18 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 51 g carb. (6 g fiber), 17 g pro.

17
Jan

Healthy Breakfast Recipes Healthy (and Easy) Breakfasts -Cranberry Orange Bread with Pecans

Warm, and toasty with flavors reminiscent of the holidays, this Vegan Cranberry Orange Bread with Pecans makes a heartwarming hostess gift or a delicious morning or afternoon snack. This recipe yields two loaves or one loaf and nine muffins or 18 muffins.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 2 loaves or 18 muffins
Author Vanilla And Bean

Ingredients

For the Bread/Muffins:

  • Coconut Oil Pan spray
  • 1 3/4 C White Whole Wheat Flour, aka Ivory Wheat Flour 294 g
  • 1 3/4 C All Purpose Flour 298 g
  • 2 Tbs Organic Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp Pink Sea Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 C Almond Milk + 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar 262 mL
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Oranges, zest of both, juice of one (about 1/4 C or 60mL)
  • 1 C Granulated Sugar 228 g
  • 1 1/4 C Coconut Sugar – see note* 188 g
  • 3/4 C Coconut Oil warmed to liquid state (146 g)
  • 3/4 C Apple Sauce unsweetened (192 g)
  • 1 3/4 C Fresh Cranberries 164 g
  • 1/2 C Pecans 68 g

For the Streusel (optional):

  • 1/3 C White Whole Wheat Flour, aka Ivory Wheat Flour 51 g
  • 1/4 C Pecans 28 g
  • 2 1/2 Tbs Granulated Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Pink Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs Coconut Oil warmed to liquid state

Instructions

For the Loaf(s) and/or Muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare loaf pan by spraying or rubbing coconut oil in pan. If using muffin cups, line a muffin pan with cups. Or use mini panettone cups and line a pan with parchment or silpat to set the muffin cups on.
  3. While the oven is preheating, toast the pecans for the bread and streusel for about 15-18 minutes. They should be fragrant and toasty (watch them carefully as they go from toasty to burnt quick!). Set aside to cool, then rough chop 1/2 C for the bread and finely chop 1/4 C for the streusel.
  4. Sift together the whole wheat and all purpose flour, corn starch, sea salt, baking powder and nutmeg. Set aside.
  5. In a spouted measuring cup combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Whisk. To the milk mixture, add the orange zest, juice and vanilla extract. Whisk again and set aside.
  6. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the granulated and coconut sugar and oil (make sure the oil is warmed a bit warmer than room temperature) until throughly combined; it will look sandy, about two minutes. Add the apple sauce and beat the mixture until the ingredients are combined and emulsified, about two minutes. (At this point the coconut oil may separate or clump if it is not quite warm enough. If this happens, the mixture can be warmed slightly until the oil in in a liquid state again. Beat until emulsified.)
  7. Add 1/2 the sifted ingredients to the sugar/oil mixture and pulse just until combined. Add 1/2 the milk mixture and pulse just until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture, pulse in, then add the rest of the milk mixture. Pulse until ingredients are combined.
  8. Fold in the rough chopped pecans and all the cranberries.

For the Streusel (optional):

  1. Fine chop the cooled pecans.
  2. Mix the flour, pecans, sugar, salt and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  3. Add the warmed coconut oil by teaspoon full to the flour mixture, mix well. Clumping is ok.

For Assembly:

  1. Divide the bread mixture evenly between loaf pans, a little over 1/2 full each. Use the back of a butter knife and run a slit down the center of the bread. This will help it rise evenly. If making muffins, fill the muffin cups to a little over 1/2 full each as well (about 106 g).
  2. If adding streusel, spoon the streusel evenly over the bread and/or muffins.

To Bake:

  1. For muffins, bake for 30-35 minutes turning once after 20 minutes.
  2. For a loaf, bake for 65-70 minutes turning once after 30 minutes.
  3. Test for donness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the muffins/loaf. It should come out clean when done.

Recipe Notes

*If coconut sugar is unavailable, granulated sugar can be used instead.

17
Jan

The 10 Healthiest Foods

Healthy Food #1: Lemons

Why They’re Healthy:

— Just one lemon has more than 100 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C, which may help increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels and strengthen bones.

— Citrus flavonoids found in lemons may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and act as an anti-inflammatory.

Quick Tip:

Add a slice of lemon to your green tea. One study found that citrus increases your body’s ability to absorb the antioxidants in the tea by about 80 percent.

  • Healthy Food #2: Broccoli

    Why It’s Healthy:

    — One medium stalk of broccoli contains more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement and almost 200 percent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C — two essential bone-building nutrients.

    — The same serving also helps stave off numerous cancers.

    Quick Tip:

    Zap it! Preserve up to 90 percent of broccoli’s vitamin C by microwaving. (Steaming or boiling holds on to just 66 percent of the nutrient.)

    Healthy Food #3: Dark Chocolate

    Why It’s Healthy:

    — Just one-fourth of an ounce daily can reduce blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals.

    — Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants shown to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL levels.

    Quick Tip:

    A dark chocolate bar contains about 53.5 milligrams of flavonoids; a milk chocolate bar has fewer than 14.

    Healthy Food #4: Potatoes

    Why They’re Healthy:

    — One red potato contains 66 micrograms of cell-building folate — about the same amount found in one cup of spinach or broccoli.

    — One sweet potato has almost eight times the amount of cancer-fighting and immune-boosting vitamin A you need daily.

    Quick Tip:

    Let your potato cool before eating. Research shows that doing so can help you burn close to 25 percent more fat after a meal, thanks to a fat-resistant starch.

    Healthy Food #5: Salmon

    Why It’s Healthy:

    — A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of depression, heart disease, and cancer.

    — A 3-ounce serving contains almost 50 percent of your daily dose of niacin, which may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.

    Quick Tip:

    Opt for wild over farm-raised, which contains 16 times as much toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) as wild salmon.

    Healthy Food #6: Walnuts

    Why They’re Healthy:

    — Contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce cholesterol, of all nuts.

    — Omega-3s have been shown to improve mood and fight cancer; they may protect against sun damage, too (but don’t skip the SPF!).

    Quick Tip:

    Eat a few for dessert: The antioxidant melatonin, found in walnuts, helps to regulate sleep.

    Healthy Food #7: Avocados

    Why They’re Healthy:

    — Rich in healthy, satisfying fats proven in one study to lower cholesterol by about 22 percent.

    — One has more than half the fiber and 40 percent of the folate you need daily, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.

    Quick Tip:

    Adding it to your salad can increase the absorption of key nutrients like beta-carotene by three to five times compared with salads without this superfood.

    Healthy Food #8: Garlic

    Why It’s Healthy:

    — Garlic is a powerful disease fighter that can inhibit the growth of bacteria, including E. coli.

    — Allicin, a compound found in garlic, works as a potent anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood-pressure levels.

    Quick Tip:

    Crushed fresh garlic releases the most allicin. Just don’t overcook; garlic exposed to high heat for more than 10 minutes loses important nutrients.

    Healthy Food #10: Beans

    Why They’re Healthy:

    — Eating a serving of legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) four times a week can lower your risk of heart disease by 22 percent.

    — That same habit may also reduce your risk of breast cancer.

    Quick Tip:

    The darker the bean, the more antioxidants it contains. One study found that black bean hulls contain 40 times the amount of antioxidants found in white bean hulls.

 

17
Jan

Healthier Meals With Herbs,Fruits and Vegetables – Decorate Your Dinner Table With Herbs and Olives!

Cooking is more than just making food to be eaten or feeding yourself, family and friends~ Cooking is an ability to enjoy creating something tasty, healthy, beautiful, health-beneficial, or marvelous! Create healthier dishes with fresh herbs, fresh fruits and vegetables,or fresh herbs and olives to decorate!

~There are so many unique things that distinguish a persons’ cooking style that to say that one way of cooking is better than another is misinformation. Albeit there are a lot of greatly experienced cooks and chefs, remember, your family has an affinity for some of their favorite dishes and a blue ribbon dish is probably not one of them. ** Cooking styles come and go and change and flow according to ingredients, availability of fresh vegetables, fruits, spices and grains, though some things never change and that is the comfort foods that are what you and me grew up eating in our family dinner plates. Family is a relative term~ ha, ha, in both senses of the word. A good family meal is enjoyed with people that congregate together in comfort at the dinner table to enjoy each others company; coupled by great tasting and smelling food and drink where they partake as a group activity.~

I enjoy cooking, especially when cooking for my husband and close friends that become family while we are enjoying delicious southern, Mediterranean or unique blends of cooking styles that are blended and borrowed from other cultures. I enjoy borrowing tastes, ingredients and ideas from many cultures and cooking styles,

Let me remind you of some very delicious, natural things, when added can make soups, salads or stews have a tangy, spicy or colorful taste to appease and please the people you feed at your dinner table.

Whenever possible, I like to add fresh, sliced or grated ginger, lemon peel, and tumeric, for color, or chopped celery leaves to most any dish, hot or cold any temperature can receive a nice color, flavor or boost of vitamins to your dish.

If you wish to add color to white rice, add slices of peeled and grated fresh tumeric and review the healthy benefits of adding tumeric to your meals. If you enjoy onions and peppers, add them, whether cooked or raw, they add a lot of vitamin C and other healthy antioxidants to your daily food intake. Onions and garlic can not only help your eyesight or arthritis, pain or inflammation, they offer more healthy benefits~ Make tasty food do double duty as medicine, especially when added as a little everyday, now that’s a good healthy regime!

How about healthy, edible garnishes? I like to cut and decorate fresh radishes and serve as rosette garnishes on my dinner plate as decoration, color, and of course, radishes have great health effects as well. *Apples, fresh cranberries, grapes, peeled pomegranate seeds, sliced oranges, fresh dates, shelled almonds, shelled pistachios and walnuts all make great holiday decorations on your dinner tables. * Guest will want to eat before, during or after your holiday meal is served, or during the meal for additional tasty options and food flavors to savor throughout the course of your holiday festivities.

*Instead of a cheesy spread served with hot bread, try chopping raw vegetables to have a lot of colors on your linen tablecloth this Thanksgiving. Place cut strips of sliced carrots, celery sticks and small bowels of different types and colors of olives instead of flowers to decorate your holiday table this year. * Olives come in many different colors, it’s really fun to decorate tables with edible items. How about adding pieces of lemon grass,rosemary,cilantro springs, parsley sprigs and mint leaves to your dinner table? ** Place them in small ramiken dishes, or tiny crystal cups, they decorate your table, add aroma, and of course, these items can be utilized by your guests for added flavoring to the dishes that serve as condiments as well. Your dinner guests can sprinkle mint leaves on their turkey, parsley springs to their stuffing, cilantro flowers to their salads and even fresh rosemary to their mashed potatoes. ** If you enjoy capping off your meal with a good-quality Chinese Green Tea, then adding the lemon grass or fresh mint leaves to your tea is a delicious way to end your healthy decorated and displayed array of raw herbs and vegetables, your guests will surely find your holiday dinner table unique and decorated with a lot of fragrant herbs is a great, fantastic and marvelous way to end the last meal of the day!**I hope you enjoy your healthy holiday dinner tips and that you will try one or more ideas with your family and friends!

17
Jan

The Art of Hunting Honey From Wild Bees

oney hunting from wild bees is an old craft which involves following the honeybee to their colony, in an effort to go honey harvesting and collect honey. Their colonies are typically found in hollow trees. The end reward? Of course collecting the fine harvest of the golden honey, and in many instances, you can collect the wild bee to start your own apiary outside your home, or an open space you have available for this hobby of yours.

Where to hunt –
One might think that the deep countryside is the only place to collect honey from wild bee; this however is the furthest thing from the truth. In many instances, in the middle of the city or crowded areas, you can typically find the wild bee and go honey harvesting nearby to where you live. Suburbs, cities, even rural, highly populated areas typically are swarming with the wild bee. The first major flow of the year typically occurs early in the spring months of the year and makes for the easiest time of the year to track down the wild bees you want to hunt and harvest honey from.

Baiting the bees –
When honey hunting, collecting honey from wild bees shouldn’t be to hard; in fact, there are a few forms of bait which can be used to lure them in an effort to harvest the honey. Make sure you track the flowers or areas where they are collecting the nectar from, to produce the honey. Being in the general vicinity and area of harvesting is the most important part to capturing a vivid set of wild bees and harvesting a large quantity of honey. Provide your own source of nectar to bring to the area (a 50/50 mix of sweet blended with water should do the trick). Not only will this natural bait keep them coming back to the area, but is going to allow you to harvest greater volumes of honey at a time as well.

Upon collecting the sugar nectar bait you place, each bee colony will return to their tree or hive area. In turn, they will continue returning for the honey allowing you to lure in the bees for collection to build your own apiary. It is a good idea to start the hunting in areas where bees are found in high volumes and are already foraging for honey.

Collecting the bees is the next part of your endeavor to capture your wild bee harvest. Boxes, cartons, or even something as simple as a cigar box can be used to hold the bees in containment, upon capture, until you can take them to the area you plan on setting up your apiary.

It is a hobby/craft which has been going on for several years. With this in mind, wild bee hunting should be done carefully and in areas where vast number of bees are found. Capture and baiting them is simple, and for beekeepers or bee enthusiasts alike, this is a great craft for enjoyment, and eventually developing your own bee apiary and producing your own honey over a period of time.

17
Jan

Organic Cloves – The Bountiful Boon of Mother Nature

Cloves are the calyx and the unopened petals of the flower bud of Syzygium aromaticum – a tree in the family Myrtaceae. The tree is an evergreen and these aromatic flower buds are available throughout the year. They were native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia originally, but they are an indispensable part of many different cuisines today.

Cloves-they spiced up history:

Archaeologists have found evidence that this aromatic spice was used in Syria even before 1721 BC. In the 3rd century AD, a leader of the Han dynasty insisted his subjects chew on Cloves before they opened their mouths in his vicinity.

So profitable was the clove trade, that wars over the monopoly of clove production and distribution were fought in the 13th and 14th centuries!

Not sugar, but spice and all that’s nice:

The nutrients found in cloves include protein and dietary fiber. Cloves are also rich in minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc. They are also a source of vitamins C, D. E, K, B6, B12 and contain riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, and folate.

That something so small can be so packed so much goodness demonstrates the power of Mother Nature.

Grandma’s remedy for a toothache:

This is probably the most commonly known fact about cloves today.This is the reason that so many toothpaste advertisements revolve around this theme.

This little flower bud is great for oral health in two ways-:

First, it contains constituents like kaempferol and oleanolic acid which fight oral infections.

Second, it acts as a good analgesic or pain reliever. In fact,clove oil is the prime constituent of a many toothaches relieving products.

Cloves are used in cooking for their wonderful aroma. In addition,they are immensely good for digestion as they stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes. They also reduce flatulence, gastric irritability, dyspepsia, and nausea.

Cloves are antimicrobials. They can help fight against serious diseases like Cholera which, in epidemic form, claim thousands of lives. Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera which often attacks the small intestine resulting in debilitating and life-threatening diarrhea. The eugenol in cloves combats and eliminates the parasites and bacteria which trigger diarrhea.

Boosting the immune system: is an extension of the anti-microbial quality of cloves as this spice keeps infections at bay. The principle of prevention being better than cure is relevant for conserving health and boosting immunity.

Cloves for a healthy liver: The liver is the second largest organ in the human body (the largest being skin). It processes everything that we eat and drink while filtering our blood to purify it. All this is inhibited if the liver is fatty. Studies have shown that the eugenol in cloves is beneficial for a fatty liver. Eugenol also arrests cirrhosis of the liver which might otherwise progress to fibrosis (cancer).

Cloves can fight against cancer: Cells are destroyed by the human system as a matter of course to maintain regular function and activity. This is called apoptosis. A hallmark of cancer is anti-apoptosis or the ability of cancer cells to avoid apoptosis or programmed cell deaths. Studies prove that the aqueous infusion of cloves has the ability to arrest the proliferation of cancer cells by causing cells with faulty DNA to die.

Use one or two cloves a day to keep diabetes at bay as compounds found in cloves help to increase insulin efficiency.

Clove compounds are good for heart health:

Cloves work in regulating triglycerides (or fats in the blood), LDL cholesterol and total serum cholesterol.They are also good anti- coagulants and help prevent blood clots.

Cloves are good for preserving good bone quality: as they are rich in manganese and vitamin K. Just 2 teaspoons of ground cloves covers 60% of your daily allowance of manganese.

Get rid of that headache by adding 2 drops of clove oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil and some sea salt and gently massaging this on your forehead. This is way healthier than popping a pill.

The wonderful aroma of cloves makes them a popular spice in cooking, no doubt. But cloves are used in so many other ways because of their aroma.

In Victorian England, the gift of a fragrant pomander made of orange and cloves was considered to convey the warmth of feeling.

Clove cigarettes are popular, especially in Indonesia where they are called kretek. However, cigarette smoking remains injurious to health: cloves just enhance flavor, they do not in any way detract from the harmful effects of smoking.

Soaps with clove oil are not just fragrant; they have a soothing effect and are anti- bacterial too.

Not all living creatures like the aroma of cloves. They are actually used in ant repellants.

There is just one note of caution that must be sounded here. Clove oil is extremely strong and is best used diluted with something like coconut oil. It is also advisable to avoid consumption of clove oil; use the ground spice instead.

We have all heard the talk about “going organic”. Organic farming is a nonchemical way of cultivation which uses natural fertilizers and pest control methods.

As a result, organic clove or food for that matter does not contain chemical residues or preservatives: it is thus fresher, safer and healthier.

Remember that we can enhance the bounty that Mother Nature has blessed us with many times over by going organic.

Organic cloves can be used with great versatility. They are living proof that goodness comes in small packages. Even while opting for make sure they are of the best quality or from a trusted name in organic Products.