Archive | August, 2013

Watermelon smoothie: variations on a theme

25 Aug

Big, sloppy slices of watermelon served at a picnic table are the quintessential summer snack—sweet enough to be dessert but, as several recent studies remind us, good for our health as well. But also drinking watermelon juice/smoohtie it’s the best refreshing choice for your body! For more information read this article: What’s New and Beneficial About Watermelon
It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories. Given its name, you might assume the fruit has little nutritional value—and it is more than 90 percent water . But a 10-ounce (300-mL) wedge of watermelon packs in about one-third of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C , as well as a modest amount of potassium (9 percent of the daily value).
It could even combat cancer: watermelon is among the best dietary sources of lycopene , an antioxidant linked to both the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer, although scientists are still investigating the details of that connection.

I tried a lot of smoothie’s recipes with this fruit and I selected four of that to share with you! They’re totally vegan, raw, organic, gluteen free, soy free, low in fat and very refreshing drink!

watermelon mintWatermelon and  Fresh Mint smoothie
Very easy to prepare, you need to use only a lot of watermelon’s slices and fresh organic mint. Blend and enjoy that!
watermelon peachWatermelon peach smoothie: I used some slices of watermelon, one small organic peach, a pinch of ginger powder
beetroot water melonWatermelon beetroot smoothie: you need to use some slices of watermelon, one organic beetroot, 1/2 squeeze lemon juice, a pinch of ginger powder. I added an handful of raspberries. But if you like you can added half frozen banana.
Prunus domestica Watermelon and Prunus domestica: this is a species of flowering plant in the family Rosaceae. A deciduous tree, it includes many varieties of the fruit trees known as plums in English, though not all plums belong to this species. The greengages and damsons also belong to subspecies of P. domestica. Its hybrid parentage is believed to be Prunus spinosa and Prunus cerasifera var. divaricata. This is the most commonly grown plum at least in Europe, and most prunes (dried plums) are made from fruits of this species. To made this smoothie I simply use some slices of watermelon, two or three prunus and half squeezed fresh lemon. I served that with some slices of banana

Watermelon…Healthy & Delicious. Every Day!

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Raw diet and legumes

22 Aug

The raw food diet is based on the belief that the most healthful food for the body is uncooked. Although most food is eaten raw, heating food is acceptable as long as the temperature stays below 104 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (the cutoff temperature varies among those in the raw food community). Cooking is thought to denature the enzymes naturally present in food. According to raw foodists, enyzymes are the life force of a food, helping us to digest food and absorb nutrients. If we overconsume cooked food, our bodies are forced to work harder by producing more enzymes. Over time, a lack of enzymes from food is thought to lead to digestive problems, nutrient deficiency, accelerated aging, and weight gain.

Cooking food can diminish its nutritional value. For example, the cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli, sulforaphanes, are greatly reduced when broccoli is cooked. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin C and folate, are destroyed by heat. Other foods, however, become more healthful after cooking, because the fibrous portion is broken down. For example, cooked tomatoes contain three to four times more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Cooking also promotes the formation of potentially harmful compounds in food during high heat cooking, such as advanced glycation end products and heterocyclic amines. Raw food detox diets or cleanses are entering the mainstream. People typically go on a detox diet for 3 to 21 days. After the detox diet or cleanse, they may continue a raw food diet, return to their regular diet, or try to improve their daily diet by consuming more raw foods.

What Do I Eat on a Raw Food Diet?

There are different ways that people follow a raw food diet. Most people who follow a raw food diet are vegan. The percentage of raw food is usually 70 percent or more of the diet. I’m a raw from 70% to 80% but I’m not comfortable to go totally raw and especially in winter I like to eat warm soup, and in summer a lot of legume’s salad like this:

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Legumes, also called pulses (primarily in the U.K.), is another name for beans, peas, and lentils. This group also includes chickpeas, baked and refried beans, soy milk, tempeh, and texturized vegetable protein. Legumes are all good sources of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins, and other nutrients that may prevent cancer and heart disease.

According to the Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), the following are the daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables. Two (2) or more servings a day. Legumes, which is another name for beans, peas, and lentils, are all good sources of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins. This group also includes chickpeas, baked and refried beans, soy milk, tempeh, and texturized vegetable protein. Serving size: cup cooked beans • 4 ounces tofu or tempeh • 8 ounces soy milk

I’ll sugget you to read this book: Legumes: Properties, Nutrition, Consumption and Health (on pages 65-88) and this funny but also interesting article To Bean Or Not To Bean, That Is The Question (Legumes, Lectins, and Human Health)

I’ve been trying many different recipes. Everyone enjoys the comforting old-fashioned flavor of this vegetable soup.

Ingredients

1 cup dried lentils, rinsed

3/4 cup dried yellow split peas

3/4 cup dried green split peas

3 quarts vegetal broth

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrot

1/4 teaspoon curry (or berbere)

1 clove

3/4 leaf or fresh basil

Directions

Soak the legumes overnight. In a large pot, pour the vegetal broth and cook the legumes with other ingredients for 30 minutes hours or until the lentils and peas are tender. Serve with fresh basil and mixed seeds.

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Foods high in bad fats, sugar and chemicals are directly linked to many negative emotions, whereas whole, natural foods rich in nutrients – foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes – contribute to greater energy and positive emotions. Marilu Henner quotes

Tofu Scramble

21 Aug

Loved this. I’m not a tofu person, but this was a terrific way to eat tofu.
For a long time a was thinking to prepare this dish but for some reasons I avoided… Today was the right day to prepare scramble tofu…It was a raining day, just like the day that gave you a little sadness and you realize a lot.

Ok I’m sorry go to the vegan, organic, low fat recipe, I used:

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 14-ounce package firm water-packed tofu, rinsed and crumbled

1 1/2 teaspoons berbere powder

1 teaspoon ground onion

1/2 teaspoon poppy seed

1 small zucchini, diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 sun dried tomato

Place tofu on a plate lined with several layers of paper towels (to absorb liquid). Using a fork or potato masher, smash tofu.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cilantro; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in poppy seed; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tofu. Add zucchini; cook, stirring often, until heated through, 1-2 minutes. Stir in berbere powder; season if you like with salt and pepper.

IMGP5823Serve scramble  and garnishes, as desired.

Berbere is a spice mixture whose constituent elements usually include chili peppers, garlic, ginger, dried basil, korarima, rue, ajwain or radhuni, nigella, and fenugreek. It serves as a key ingredient in the cuisines of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Berbere sometimes encompasses herbs and spices that are less well known internationally. The latter include both cultivated plants and those that grow wild in Ethiopia, such as korarima (Aframomum corrorima)and long pepper. Berbere may be used dry or mixed with oil to form a paste. Traditionally it is used to season slow-cooked wats (stews) that may contain lentils, beans, and cereal. We love sprinkling it into lentil soup, roasted vegetables, and sautéed greens!

The taste of your life depends on the spices you used to brew it. Add laziness to it and it becomes bitter as the bile; put a cube of good attitudes into it and you will lick your lips more and more due to its sweet taste.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

Ginger Melon

3 Aug

IMGP5644Pick 3 big slice of winter melon, 4/5 cubes of ginger, 4/5 cubes of coconut water…add mint….then blend until smooth…
CAM00077Enjoy this fresh, vegan, raw, gluten free, organic, smoothie, perfect for the summer.

Winter Melon is the sole member of the Benincasa genus. It is known by different common names like ash gourd, winter gourd and white gourd. Due to the fuzzy appearance inside, they have also been termed as fuzzy gourd. This fruit is consumed worldwide and known by regional names in Hindi, Tamil, Chinese etc. It has great viability as fruit and vegetable as the entire plant can be consumed. China is one of the top consumers of this melon, especially during celebrations.

The health benefits of ash-gourd have long been known. The ash-gourd is mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita for its many nutritional and medicinal properties.

Also known as white gourd, winter melon, white pumpkin, wax gourd, petha, safed kaddu, boodida gummadikaya, pooshnikai, ash gourd is actually a fruit but is referred to as a vegetable because it is cooked and eaten as a vegetable.

Oblong in shape, and 1 to 2 metres in length, ash-gourd has a smooth rind that’s an ashy green with white flesh, and big, flat, oval seeds (like the red pumpkin). These gourds have been cultivated since ancient times in countries like India, Malaysia, China, and Papua New Guinea.

In India, the ash-gourd is offered to the gods in religious ceremonies. It is also considered to be effective in warding off evil spirits and the evil eye — hence it’s hung outside newly constructed homes and buildings.

Ash-gourd is now found around the world. In the US, ash-gourd is available pretty much year-round in Indian and Asian grocery stores. It keeps well for a long time and is thus ideal for exporting. What contributes to its longevity is the chalky wax on its skin which prevents micro-organisms from attacking it and preserves it. Uncut pumpkins can be stored for almost a year without refrigeration.

Every part of this fruit is useful. Ash-gourd leaves are rubbed on bruises to heal them, while the seeds are used for expelling intestinal worms. The ash made from burning the rind and seeds are mixed with coconut oil and used to promote hair growth and to treat dandruff .

Several benefits of consuming this fruit-vegetable are:

By drinking wax gourd juice on empty stomach in the mornings peptic ulcers can be cured.

For preventing blood loss from nose or as a result of piles, a mixture of Indian gooseberry and fresh juice of winter melon can help.

The pulp can be boiled and then mixed with sugar into a sticky product by warming it. This is an excellent means of gaining weight after suffering from diseases like tuberculosis or diabetes.

It is an effective diuretic, which helps in eliminating toxins by causing frequent urination.

It has been regarded as a vegetable or fruit which provids quick energy as revealed by ancient yogic science.

It has natural cooling properties which can be checked during the winters by adding a hint of honey to it.

Inexpensive and versatile, ash-gourd is a healthful vegetable that should definitely be a part of any nutritious diet.

Have a great Saturday 🙂