Category Archives: Info & Good to Know

Maca

macaMaca Root is a nutritionally dense super-food that contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and all of the essential amino acids. It is rich in B-vitamins, which are the energy vitamins, and is a vegetarian source of B-12.

Maca is rich in bioavailable dietary minerals calcium and potassium (with low content of sodium), and contains the essential trace elements iron, iodine, copper, manganese, and zinc as well as fatty acids including linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acids, and 19 amino acids.

Maca is used for  enhancing energy, stamina, athletic performance and memory. It has been said to help balance our hormones and due to an overabundance of environmental estrogens, most people’s hormones are a bit out of whack.  Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which are the “master glands” of the body. These glands actually regulate the other glands, so when in balance they can bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian and testicular glands. Instead of providing hormones to the body, maca works as an adaptogen which means that it responds to different bodies’ needs individually. If you’re producing too much of a particular hormone, maca will help regulate the production downward. However, if you’re producing too little, it’ll regulate the production upward. Hormones regulate many things in the body including mood, growth, sexual development, and tissue function. Hormones also play a role in many diseases, like cancer and depression. Maca root has been shown to be beneficial for all sorts of hormonal problems including PMS, menopause, and hot flashes.  It has been reported to have aphrodisiac properties, be a fertility enhancer and is best known for improving libido and sexual function in men and women.

Maca is an exceptionally hardy root plant native to the Andean mountain plateaus of Peru. A member of the brassica family, maca is grown at altitudes of 14,000 feet in poor volcanic soil and an extreme climate of freezing cold, fierce winds and intense sunlight, where no other crops can survive. Herbalists believe that resilient plants are especially valuable; from an herbological perspective, maca’s resiliency knows no equal. Ancient, native Peruvians used maca for thousands of years as both a food and a tonic. They believed maca increased energy and stamina, improved fertility and enhanced libido.

Maca hypocotyls may be gold or cream, red, purple, blue, black, or green. Each is considered a genetically unique variety, as seeds of the parent plants grow to have roots of the same color. Recently, specific phenotypes (in maca, ‘phenotype’ pertains mainly to root color) have been propagated exclusively to ascertain their different nutritional and therapeutic properties.  Cream coloured roots are the most widely grown and are favoured in Peru for their enhanced sweetness and size.

Darker coloured maca roots (red, purple, black) contain significant amounts of natural iodine that may avoid the growth of goiters resulting from consumption of the lighter coloured maca. Black maca is considered the strongest in energy and stamina-promoting properties, being both sweet and slightly bitter in taste. Red maca is becoming popular with many people, and has been clinically shown to reduce prostate size in rats.

The nutritional value of dried maca root is high, similar to cereal grains such as rice and wheat. The average composition is 60-75% carbohydrates, 10-14% protein, 8.5% dietary fiber, and 2.2% fats.  In addition to sugars and proteins, maca contains uridine, malic acid, and its benzoyl derivative.

MacaX6Powder-1000pxBuy only certified organic Maca Root and read the label – high protein count is a great indicator of optimal growing conditions and careful processing.  Maca root is a food, for it to be effective and to achieve results, proper dosages should be followed. In keeping with original ancestral Peruvian dosages, you should mix 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of Maca into smoothies, yogurt, herbal teas, fruit juices, etc.maca-root-powder Or if you are using our MACA POWER& Vegetarian Capsules take 2 to 6 500mg Capsules per day or as directed by your health practitioner.  It is best store Maca Root Powder in dark dry cupboard. Some people store it in the refrigerator but this is not necessary but some feel it keeps the powder fresh and the consistency lighter.

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Fennel

ImageThe edible herb called fennel belongs to the Apiaceae family, which also includes carrots and parsley. It is native to Europe and related to certain herbs that have fragrant flowers widely referred to as seeds, such as anise, cumin and dill. Although some people use fennel for its scent or claimed medicinal properties, the plant is a well-known ingredient in cooking and food products, too. Edible fennel is available in bulb, leaf, seed and stalk form, and cooks use it as a flavouring agent, garnish, herb or vegetable in dishes. You can consume the different parts of the plant in various ways, explains the Herb Society of America, such as by cooking the stalk to use as a vegetable, eating the stalk uncooked, adding the raw leaves to salads or preparing tea from fennel leaves or seeds. The actual nutritional properties of fennel may vary based on such factors as added ingredients, cooking method and the variety used.

Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also a very good of dietary fiber, potassium, molybdenum, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and folate. In addition, fennel is a good source of calcium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, iron, and niacin.

Like many of its fellow spices, fennel contains its own unique combination of phytonutrients—including the flavonoids rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides—that give it strong antioxidant activity. The phytonutrients in fennel extracts compare favorably in research studies to BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), a potentially toxic antioxidant commonly added to processed foods.

The most fascinating phytonutrient compound in fennel, however, may be anethole—the primary component of its volatile oil. In animal studies, the anethole in fennel has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer. Researchers have also proposed a biological mechanism that may explain these anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. The volatile oil has also been shown to be able to protect the liver of experimental animals from toxic chemical injury.

In addition to its unusual phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals in all aqueous environments of the body. If left unchecked, these free radicals cause cellular damage that results in the pain and joint deterioration that occurs in conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The vitamin C found in fennel bulb is directly antimicrobial and is also needed for the proper function of the immune system.

As a very good source of fiber, fennel bulb may help to reduce elevated cholesterol levels. And since fiber also removes potentially carcinogenic toxins from the colon, fennel bulb may also be useful in preventing colon cancer. In addition to its fiber, fennel is a very good source of folate, a B vitamin that is necessary for the conversion of a dangerous molecule called homocysteine into other, benign molecules. At high levels, homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls, is considered a significant risk factor for heart attack or stroke. Fennel is also a very good source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower high blood pressure, another risk factor for stroke and heart attack.

Just a super food!

Kyla’s Healthy Holiday Baking 2012

IMG_9345Each year I like to made a little treat box or container of my baking for friends and family. This year I only added two new recipes and altered or played with a few goodies from last year.  As I mentioned before I recently discovered coconut sugar and have been experimenting with it with great results.

Coconut sugar, derived from the flowers of the coconut tree, is an organic, sustainable natural sweetener that shows promising results for people who suffer from chronic illnesses or conditions such as diabetes, gallstones, cancer, heart disease, obesity or simply want to reduce sugar intake. This sugar has a low glycemic index (approximately 35) and is also a nutrient powerhouse, filled with lots of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Coconut sugar is minimally processed, unbleached and contains no preservatives.  Sounds good to me!

IMG_9316So the recipes I altered are the Almond Butter Cookies ,  Gluten Free Short Bread and Raw Vegan Rum Balls, all worked great subbing in the Coconut Sugar.  For the short bread this year I rolled the dough out and cut small but thick rounds and with half pressed a dried cranberry on top and the other half a sprinkle of coconut sugar.  These were a definite hit!

The other two recipes I put together are below.  Also look for my two other Holiday experiments: Coconut Milk Bailey’s Irish Cream and Home-Made Healthy Clamato Juice.  Click here for Holiday Baking 2011.

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Dark Chocolate, Cranberry, Pistachio and Tangerine Zest

Baking sheet, flipped over and covered with tin foil or parchment paper
1               pound Dark Chocolate, chopped
1/8          cup Raw Cacao Pieces
2/3         cup Raw or Shelled Roasted Pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3         cup Juice Sweetened Cranberries, coarsely chopped dried
1              large firm Tangerine, zested with a citrus zester (can use an orange here too)
Coarse ground sea salt

In a double boiler melt chocolate over simmering water, stirring frequently – this is standard chocolate melting procedure, I fortunately have a “warming zone” on my glass top oven and can slowly melt chocolate in a pyrex bowl.  There are few methods to melt chocolate, I suggest Googling it. Just be careful not to burn your chocolate, melting it on the stop in a pot will likely burn it!

Once your chocolate is melted, pour onto tin foil or parchment paper -lined pan and spread with a rubber spatula until it is about ¼ inch thick.

Sprinkle with zest first, then with pistachios and cherries and finished with cracked sea salt.

Allow toppings to settle a bit before transferring to your refrigerate to harden hardened.  Once hardened, break into pieces and serve.  Can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

IMG_9319Flour-less Pistachios Sugar Cookies

Oven 325 degrees
Two parchment paper lined baking sheets
Food processor
2              cups Raw or Roasted Pistachios
1              cup Coconut Sugar
2              large Egg Whites
1              teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2              drops Green Food Coloring   *Optional
¼            cup coarse chopped Pistachios and/or Dried Juice Sweetened Cranberries

Grind pistachios in your food processor until a paste. Add coconut sugar and grind some more.  Add remaining ingredients and process until you have a thick and sticky batter.

For a small, bite sized cookie use a teaspoon and drop onto your prepared cookies sheet.

Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little sugar and chopped pistachios or a cranberry and gently press.  I like to do half and half.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden on the edges.  Allow to cool on a cooling rack before eating or storing.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Saffron

Started working with Saffron this weekend! I’m going to post two recipes I’ve adapted from others I have researched and of course, made healthier and gluten/dairy free.  So far I’m loving Saffron!

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. Saffron, is native to Southwest Asia and was first cultivated in Greece.  The word “saffron” comes from the Arabic word for “yellow” It contains a carotenoid dye, crocin, which imparts a rich golden-yellow hue to dishes and textiles. Its recorded history is attested in a 7th-century BC Assyrian botanical treatise compiled under Ashurbanipal, and it has been traded and used for over four millennia. Iran now accounts for approximately 90 per cent of the world production of saffron. Because each flower’s stigmas need to be collected by hand and there are only a few per flower, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world.

Not all Saffron is created equally, Saffron is graded via laboratory measurement of crocin (colour), picrocrocin (taste), and safranal (fragrance) content. Determination of non-stigma content (“floral waste content”) and other extraneous matter such as inorganic material (“ash”) are also key. Grading standards are set by the International Organization for Standardization, a federation of national standards bodies.  The world’s finest samples, the selected most red-maroon tips of stigmas picked from the finest flowers, receive absorbance scores in excess of 250. Market prices for saffron types follow directly from these ISO scores. However, many growers, traders, and consumers reject such lab test numbers. They prefer a more holistic method of sampling batches of thread for taste, aroma, pliability, and other traits in a fashion similar to that practiced by practiced wine tasters.

Despite such attempts at quality control and standardisation, an extensive history of saffron adulteration—particularly among the cheapest grades—continues into modern times. Adulteration was first documented in Europe’s Middle Ages, when those found selling adulterated saffron were executed under the Safranschou code. Typical methods include mixing in extraneous substances like beets, pomegranate fibres, red-dyed silk fibres, or the saffron crocus’s tasteless and odourless yellow stamens. Other methods included dousing saffron fibres with viscid substances like honey or vegetable oil. However, powdered saffron is more prone to adulteration, with turmeric, paprika, and other powders used as diluting fillers. Adulteration can also consist of selling mislabelled mixes of different saffron grades. Thus, in India, high-grade Kashmiri saffron is often sold and mixed with cheaper Iranian imports; these mixes are then marketed as pure Kashmiri saffron, a development that has cost Kashmiri growers much of their income.

Saffron’s aroma is often described by connoisseurs as reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes, while its taste has also been noted as hay-like and sweet. Saffron also contributes a luminous yellow-orange colouring to foods. Saffron is widely used in Persian, European, Arab, and Turkish cuisines. Confectioneries and liquors also often include saffron. Common saffron substitutes include safflower which is often sold as “Portuguese saffron”, annatto, and turmeric. Saffron has also been used as a fabric dye, particularly in China and India, and in perfumery.  It is used for religious purposes in India, and is widely used in cooking in many ethnic cuisines: these range, for example, from the Milanese risotto of Italy or the bouillabaise of France to biryani with various meat accompaniments in South Asia.

Saffron has a long medicinal history as part of traditional healing; several modern research studies have hinted that the spice has possible anticarcinogenic (cancer-suppressing), anti-mutagenic (mutation-preventing), immunomodulating, and antioxidant-like properties. A 1995 study suggested that saffron stigmas, and even petals, have been said to be helpful for depression. Early studies show that saffron may protect the eyes from the direct effects of bright light and retinal stress apart from slowing down macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.  Other controlled research studies have indicated that saffron may have many potential medicinal properties. The active components in saffron have many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as antiseptic, anti-oxidant, digestive, anti-convulsant.

This novel spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome oxidases enzymes.

It is also rich in many vital vitamins including vitamin A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health.

Squash

The winter squash group includes pumpkin, acorn, butternut, spaghetti squash, ambercup, buttercup, hubbard, kabocha, banana, carnival, sweet dumpling, golden nugget, autumn cup…ect.  Winter squash, like other richly colored vegetables, provide an excellent source of carotenes.  Generally, the richer the color, the richer the concentration.  They also offer a very good source of vitamins B1 and C, folic acid, pantothenic acid, fiber, and potassium.  Winter squash are also a good source of vitamin B6 and niacin. Studies have shown that, due to their carotene properties, winter squash exert a protective effect against many cancers, particularly lung cancer.  Diets that are rich in carotenes (especially pumpkins) offer protection against cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.  Studies have also shown that pumpkin seeds are helpful in reducing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).   We think about winter squash as a very starchy vegetable – about 90% of its total calories come from carbohydrate, and about half of this carbohydrate is starch-like in its composition. However, recent research has made it clear that all starch is not the same, and the starch content of winter squash brings along with it some key health benefits. Many of the carbs in winter starch come from polysaccharides found in the cell walls. These polysaccharides include pectins – specially structured polysaccharides that in winter squash often include special chains of D-galacturonic acid called homogalacturonan. An increasing number of animal studies now show that these starch-related components in winter squash have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating properties.

Seeds from winter squash make a great snack food, just like pumpkin seeds. If you scoop the pulp and seeds from inside the squash and separate out the seeds, you can place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and lightly roast them at 160-170°F (about 75°C) in the oven for 15-20 minutes. By roasting them for a relatively short time at a low temperature you can help minimize damage to their healthy oils. Linoleic acid (the polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) and oleic acid (the same monounsaturated fatty acid that is plentiful in olive oil) account for about 75% of the fat found in the seeds.

Since summer squash (zucchini, cucumber…ect)  have a high water content, they are not as nutrient-dense as the winter varieties.  Summer squash still provide several nutritional benefits.  They are low in calories and provide a decent amount of vitamin C, potassium, and carotenes.     Studies have shown that juice made from summer squash is equal to juice made from pumpkins, leeks, and radishes in their ability to prevent cell mutations.  Summer squash are especially beneficial during the summer months due to their higher water content.  They protect against dehydration and the carotenes help to protect against the damaging effects of the sun.

Squash is a vegetable that might be especially important for us to purchase organic. Recent agricultural trials have shown that winter squash can be an effective intercrop for use in remediation of contaminated soils. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (pahs), including pyrene, fluoranthene, chrysene, benzo(a)anthracene and benzo(a)pyrene are unwanted contaminants. Pahs are among the contaminants that can be effectively pulled up out of the soil by squash plants. When squash is planted as a food crop (as opposed to a non-food crop that is being planted between food crop seasons to help improve soil quality), the farmer’s goal is definitely not to transfer soil contaminants like pahs up into the food. But some of that transfer seems likely to happen, given the effectiveness of squash in mobilizing contaminants like pahs from the soil. For this reason, you may want to make a special point of purchasing certified organic squash. Soils used for the growing of in certified organic foods are far less likely to contain undesirable levels of contaminants like pahs.

Acorn Squash

Easily found in supermarkets. As its name suggests, this winter squash is small and round shaped like an acorn. One of my favorite baking squashes, it’s easy to slice into halves and fill with butter. A small acorn squash weighs from 1 to 3 pounds, and has sweet, slightly fibrous flesh. Its distinct ribs run the length of its hard, blackish-green or golden-yellow skin. In addition to the dark green acorn, there are now golden and multi-colored varieties.

Available year round

Ambercup Squash

A relative of the buttercup squash that resembles a small pumpkin with orange skin. Bright orange flesh has a dry sweet taste. Peel it, cube the flesh, roast it, and serve like cut-up sweet potatoes. Has an extraordinarily long storage life.

Available June to November.

 Autumn Cup Squash

A hybrid semi-bush Buttercup/kabocha type dark green squash. Rich flavored flesh and high yields. Fruit size 6 inches with a weight of about 2 to 3 pounds.

Flesh is yellow/orange meat that is stringless, dry, and sweet.

Available September through December.

 Banana Squash

In shape and skin color, this winter squash is reminiscent of a banana. It grows up to two feet in length and about six inches in diameter. Its bright orange, finely-textured flesh is sweet. Banana squash is often available cut into smaller pieces.

Available year-round – peak season lasts summer through early fall.

 Butternut Squash

Easily found in supermarkets. Beige colored and shaped like a vase or a bell. This is a more watery squash and tastes somewhat similar to sweet potatoes. It has a bulbous end and pale, creamy skin, with a choice, fine-textured, deep-orange flesh with a sweet, nutty flavor. Some people say it is like butterscotch. It weighs from 2 to 5 pounds. The oranger the color, the riper, drier, and sweeter the squash.  Butternut is a common squash used in making soup because it tends not to be stringy.

Available year-round – peak season lasts from early fall through winter.

 Buttercup Squash

Buttercup Squash are part of the Turban squash family (hard shells with turban-like shapes) and are a popular variety of winter squash. This squash has a dark-green skin, sometimes accented with lighter green streaks.

Has a sweet and creamy orange flesh. This squash is much sweeter than other winter varieties. Buttercup Squash can be baked, mashed, pureed, steamed, simmered, or stuffed and can replace Sweet Potatoes in most recipes.

Available year-round – peak season lasts from early fall through winter.

 

 Carnival Squash

Cream colored with orange spots or pale green with dark green spots in vertical stripes. Carnival Squash have hard, thick skins and only the flesh is eaten. It is sometimes labeled as a type of acorn squash.

The delicious yellow meat is reminiscent of sweet potatoes and butternut squash and can be baked or steamed then combined with butter and fresh herbs. Also great in soups.

Available year-round – is best late summer through early fall.

Delicata Squash

Also called Peanut squash and Bohemian squash. This is one of the tastier winter squashes, with creamy pulp that tastes a bit like corn and sweet potatoes. Size may range from 5 to 10 inches in length. The squash can be baked or steamed The thin skin is also edible.

The delicate squash is actually an heirloom variety, a fairly recent reentry into the culinary world. It was originally introduced by the Peter Henderson Company of New York City in 1894, and was popular through the 1920s. Then it fell into obscurity for about seventy-five years, possibly because of its thinner, more tender skin, which isn’t suited to transportation over thousands of miles and storage over months.

Available year-round – is best late summer through early fall. 

 

 Fairytale Pumpkin Squash

French name is “Musquee de Provence.” The fruits are flattened like a cheese but each rib makes a deep convolution. The Fairytale Pumpkin is a very unique eating and ornamental pumpkin. It’s thick but tender, and the deep orange flesh is very flavored, sweet , thick, and firm. It is 115 to 125 day pumpkin and takes a long time to turn to it’s cheese color. The distinctive coach-like shape and warm russet color make it perfect for fall decorating too.

This pumpkin is usually used for baking.  Cut it into pieces and bake in the oven.

Available September to November.

 

 Gold Nugget Squash

A variety of winter squash, which is sometimes referred to as an Oriental pumpkin that has the appearance of a small pumpkin in shape and color. It ranges in size from one to three pounds. Golden nugget squashes are small, weighing on average about 1 pound. Both the skin and the flesh are orange.

Gold Nugget Squash may be cooked whole or split lengthwise (removing seeds). Pierce whole squash in several places, and bake halved squash hollow side up.

Available year-round – is best season is late summer through early winter.


Grey and Green Hubbard  Squash

The extra-hard skins make them one of the best keeping winter squa

shes. These are very large and irregularly shaped, with a skin that is quite “warted” and irregular.
They range from big to enormous, have a blue/gray skin, and taper at the ends. Like all winter squash, they have an inedible skin, large, fully developed seeds that must be scooped out, and a dense flesh. Hubbard squash is often sold in pieces because it can grow to very  large sizes. The yellow flesh of these tends to be very moist and longer cooking times in the oven are needed. They are generally peeled and boiled, cut up and roasted, or cut small and steamed or sautéed. It’s perfect for pies.

Hubbard squash, if in good condition initially, can be successfully stored 6 months at 50 to 55 degree F. With 70% relative humidity. Less rot will develop in the Hubbard squash if stems are completely removed before storage. Hubbard squash and other dark-green-skinned squashes should not be stored near apples, as the ethylene from apples may cause the skin to turn orange-yellow.

Available year-round – peak season is early fall throughout winter.

Kabocha Squash (Also known as a Ebisu, Delica, Hoka, Hokkaido, or Japanese Pumpkin)

Kabocha is the generic Japanese word for squash, but refers most commonly to a squash of the buttercup type. This squash has a green, bluish-gray or a deep orange skin. The flesh is deep yellow.

Kobocha Squash may be cooked whole or split lengthwise (removing seeds). It has a rich sweet flavor, and often dry and flaky when cooked. Use in any dish in which buttercup squash would work.

Available year-round.

 Spaghetti Squash (also called vegetable spaghetti, vegetable marrow, or noodle squash)

A small, watermelon-shaped variety, ranges in size from 2 to 5 pounds or more. It has a golden-yellow, oval rind and a mild, nutlike flavor.

The yellowiest Spaghetti squash will be the ripest and best to eat. Those that are nearly white are not very ripe. Although it may seem counterintuitive, larger spaghetti squash are more flavorful than smaller ones.

When cooked, the flesh separates in strands that resemble spaghetti pasta.

To prepare spaghetti squash, cut the gourd in half lengthwise and remove the seeds, then bake or boil it until tender. Or, wrap it in plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes. Once cooked, use a fork to rake out the “spaghetti-like” stringy flesh (all the way to the rind), and serve.

Spaghetti Squash can be stored at room temperature for about a month. After cutting, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days. Spaghetti squash also freezes well.

Available year-round – season early fall through winter.

 Sweet Dumpling Squash

This small, mildly sweet-tasting squash resembles a miniature pumpkin with its top pushed in. It has cream-colored skin with green specks. Weighing only about 7 ounces, it has sweet and tender orange flesh and is a great size for stuffing and baking as individual servings. Sweet dumplings are tiny but great for roasting and presenting whole.

Available throughout the fall.

Turban Squash

Named for its shape. Turban Squash has colors that vary from bright orange, to green or white. It has golden-yellow flesh and its taste is reminiscent to hazelnut. Has a bulblike cap swelling from its blossom end, come in bizarre shapes with extravagant coloration that makes them popular as harvest ornamentals.

It is popular for centerpieces, and its top can be sliced off so it can be hollowed and filled with soup. A larger variety of the buttercup squash, the turban has a bright orange-red rind. Its flesh and storage ability are comparable to the buttercup squash. Use in recipes that call or pie or sugar pumpkin.

Available year-round – season is late summer through early fall.

A New Year

I woke up early this morning and realized, its been just about two months since I have posted any new recipes.  My only excuse is its been a very busy December and January leaving little time to cook, let alone type.  I did however create a few keepers over the holidays and will work on getting them up this week.

So far my 2011 has gotten off to a nice start;  now, the days are getting longer,  sunshine appearing more often and yesterday I even noticed the tips of late Winter flowers peaking through.  I’m really looking forward to putting away the soup pot, dusting off the BBQ and sharing my collection of Spring and Summer recipes!

Lots of Love,

Kyla

Sprouting

Sprouts have many valuable attributes in relation to human health. Back in the 1920’s, an American Professor named Edmond Szekely put forward the concept and way of life of Bio-genic Nutrition

He classified sprouted seeds and baby greens as the most beneficial foods and recommended that they make up 25% of our daily food intake, calling them life-generating Bio-genic foods which he claimed offer the strongest support for cell regeneration.

In our daily life, various factors transpire to create free radicals within our bodies.

Free radicals are highly unstable oxygen molecules needing an electron to stabilise their entropy (chaotic state).

By stealing electrons from healthy cells the causal effects of this are the breakdown of vital biological structures and the alteration of DNA and RNA (a process called per oxidation).

Once this has occurred, the affected cell will only reproduce the altered version.These superfoods are a powerful source of antioxidants (minerals, vitamins and enzymes) which assist in protecting against this damage.

A healthy body is alkaline (i.e not acidic).Bio-genic foods have an alkalising effect on the body.

Raw foods contain oxygen and regular consumption of raw bio-genic foods with their abundant oxygen is valuable to health.

Double Nobel Prize winner Dr Otto Warburg found growth of cancer cells were initiated by a lack of oxygen and these cells, along with viruses and bacteria, could not live in an alkaline and oxygen rich environment.

Bio-genic foods are a good source of essential fatty acids (the average western diet is generally deficient in these) which play a major role in the immune system defences and are one of the highest food sources of fibre.

When these superfoods are grown to the chlorophyll rich two leaf stage, it has been shown they have been effective in overcoming protein-deficiency anaemia.

Some women have found that daily consumption of these superfoods has given relief from hot flushes and supported hormonal function.

The supply of vitamins (B complex and C) existing in seeds can be increased by the sprouting biochemistry over several days by 100% to 2000%.

This biochemistry modifies the array of minerals in sprouts so that they are in a chelated form which is more easily assimilated in the body.

It also denatures protein into the amino acid building blocks so that we can digest them in half the time of cooked foods.