HolisticGoddess

Holistic lifestyle, healthy eating, yoga, & Life!


2 Comments

Let’s Talk TURMERIC!

 

 

Not only has Turmeric  been used as the Motherload of Spices, but also a healing remedy or textile dye. Turmeric is native to Indonesia and India for more than 5,000 years! The flavor resembles a peppery taste, bittersweet, with a mild scent reminiscent of ginger to which its related. Turmeric is mostly used as one of the ingredients used to make curry powder.

 

Turmeric contains a unique phytonutrient curcumin, which has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and has been found to promote optimal liver function. Turmeric is also rich in minerals such as iron and manganese…..not to mention, it’s low in calories! 2 teaspoons contains around 16 calories.

 

Usually, you can find fresh Turmeric in the refrigerated section of your local market, but most of the time,  I’ll just purchase mine in powder form in the spice section. Turmeric powder however, should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark, dry place where it will keep fresh for about 6 months. Fresh Turmeric should be kept in the refrigerator. Since Turmeric is used as a dye in some places, be careful when using it as it can easily stain things, including clothes and counter surfaces.

Ways To Enjoy Turmeric

1. You can use it in salad dressings to give it a boost of extra nutritional value and add some color to it.

2. Add Turmeric to egg salad for even bolder yellow color and extra nutrition.

3. Mix some in with brown rice or pastas.

4. Turmeric is a great spice to compliment the taste of legumes such as lentils and or steamed vegetables.

 

Turmeric health benefits include:

  • Anti-inflammatory protection
  • Promotes joint health
  • Promotes liver detoxification
  • Promotes heart health
  • The curcumin found in Turmeric is said to block an enzyme that promotes head & neck cancer
  • Relieves arthritis
  • Controls diabetes
  • Heals wounds
  • Improves digestion

 

 

 

Additional benefits from Turmeric include a concentrated source of heart-healthy dietary fiber, Vitamin B6 and Potassium, energy-producing Iron, and free-radical scavenging Manganese. So not only does it turn any meal into a tasty, spicy plethora of nutritional goodness, but also good to keep on-hand for most natural home remedies, salves and teas for example.

 

No spice cabinet is complete without the goodness of Turmeric! 🙂

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Let’s talk EGGPLANT!

Is it an egg? Or is it a plant? 😀

Eggplant belongs to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. While different varieties of Eggplant can vary slightly in taste and texture, they can generally be described as having a  bit of a bitter taste and spongy texture. It’s that unique texture that makes Eggplant a versatile vegetable that can be used in so many different types of recipes.

Eggplant also comes in a variety of colors ranging from lavender, to jade green, orange and yellow…and in a variety of shapes and sizes. Eggplant is a great source of Potassium, Dietary fiber, Copper, B1 Thiamin, Manganese, and Beta Carotene. In addition to the vitamins and minerals that it contains, Eggplant’s health-promoting properties are also provided by an anthocyanin called nasunin; this phytonutrient provides protection from oxidative damage to cellular structures and also provides Eggplant with its deep rich color and flavor.

You can find Eggplant pretty much all year round. Usually, its peak season runs from August through October. From what I’ve researched, these are the months when its concentration of nutrients and flavor are the highest.

And of course, I can’t leave without providing you all with one of my simple recipes for this beautiful vegetable! For a quick snack, you can make Eggplant Mini-Pizzas:

1 Large Eggplant

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup of pasta sauce

4 oz of shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

 

Preheat oven to 350°

Cut Eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds

Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, & garlic powder

Place eggplant slices on a baking sheet, and place in oven for about 7 min. or until tender.

Top Eggplant with pasta sauce & Mozzarella cheese

Continue to bake slices until cheese is melted. Serving size: 2

Enjoy! 🙂


2 Comments

Let’s Talk….Dates!!

Have you ever had a date with Dates?

If you haven’t, you’re in for a real treat! Dates are like nature’s candy. They are sweet, delicious fruits from the tropical oasis packed with much needed minerals and energy to help you stay fit and healthy. Botanically, they are fruits that grow on the palm tree belonging to the family of Arecaceae. The tree is believed to originate from the banks of the Nile and Euphrates Rivers of ancient Egypt & Mesopotamia. Date palm is now grown for its edible fruits under warmer climates across all continents.

Date fruit has an outer fleshy part that surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. The fruit is oval in shape and when ripe,  range from bright red to depending on the variety. “Amir Hajj”, “Saidy”, “Khadrawy”, and “Medjool” are just some of the important varieties that are popular for their superior quality.

Some of the health benefits of this natural goodness include:

  • The fruit is rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut
  • They are moderate sources of Vitamin A, which is known to have antioxidant properties and essential for vision
  • They contain health benefiting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants called Tannins. Tannins are known to contain anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, & anti-hemorrhagic (prevents easy bleeding tenancies) properties
  • Excellent source of Iron
  • Great source of Potassium, Calcium, Manganese, & Copper
  • Helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon

There’s a good supply of them all year round at your local supermarket. I found some from small packet a little less than a pound for $2.99 to a 12 oz. pack for around $6.00.

Being nature’s cure for the common “sweet tooth”, I’ll always try to grab some before going to chocolate and I feel better knowing that not only did I eat something sweet and delicious, but it’s also giving my body much needed vitamins and minerals. They can also be included in many recipes or fruit salads as an healthy alternative to sugar.

So whether you’re married, single, or still looking……it’s all about the DATES! 😀


Leave a comment

Let’s Talk…..Winter Squash!

“Modern day Squash was developed from wild Squash that grew in the area between Guatemala and Mexico. The Native Americans held Winter Squash in such high regard that they buried it along with their dead to provide them nourishment  on their final journey.”

Now, with that said….this MUST be some good stuff!

Squash can come in many varieties such as: Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash, Hubbard Squash, Turban or Buttercup Squash,  Kabocha , Spaghetti Squash, & Pumpkins.

Although Winter Squash is available from August through March, it’s peak season is in the fall during the months of October and November. These are the months when it’s concentration of nutrients and flavor are the highest and it’s cost at it’s lowest!

This vegetable is packed with Vitamin A, B6, & C, Potassium, Fiber, Manganese, Folate,  Omega-3 fatty acids, B1 Thiamin, Copper. With all of that, what’s there NOT to like? 🙂

They also come with alpha and beta carotene, known as “Provitamin A” compounds because they can be converted into an active form of Vitamin A. These carotenoid phytonutrients also function as powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. Excellent food for knocking out colds and flu!

I tried Squash for the first time around 2 years ago. Mainly because I’ve never tried it before and I wasn’t sure how to cook the stuff, but I had lots of my vegan and semi-vegan friends tell me how delicious it was….so I decided to give it a go! After a couple of trials and error learning the best and easiest preparation and cooking methods, I’ve come to love this stuff…..a LOT!

One of my favorite Squash recipes to make takes around 10 minutes!:

2 cups of Butternut Squash (I was lucky to find some at my local supermarket in small packages already cut into 1-inch cubes)

3 tbs. Extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp Lemon juice

Sea salt & pepper to taste

Fill the bottom of the steamer with 2 inches of water.  Steam covered for 7 minutes or until tender…yet firm enough to hold it’s shape. Testing Winter Squash with a fork is the best way to determine whether it’s done.  Transfer to a bowl.  For more flavor, toss Butternut Squash with the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper while it’s still hot.  Research shows that carotenoids found in foods are best absorbed when consumed with oils. Serving size: 1-2

So if you haven’t tried it before, squash your fear of Squash….and get some today! 😀


Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Carambola…..

Cara…WHAT???

To put in in simpler terms….Star fruit, also know as Carambola, is a juicy tropical fruit that is grown throughout Southeast Asia. It’s called a Star fruit because…well…if you look at it’s top vantage point, it indeed looks like a star! Star fruit is generally green when unripe, but colors will vary from pale yellow to deep amber when ripe. It has four to six pointed ridges that run from top to bottom, and a soft flesh encased in a thin, waxy, translucent skin, which is also edible.

The Star fruit is mostly consumed fresh or as a juice. It’s also rich in Vitamin A, C, Iron, and also contains a high fiber content. The taste varies from sour to sweet. One way of distinguishing the sour variety from the sweeter ones is that the former has narrower ribs, while the latter has thicker, more fleshy ones. The unripe Star fruit is preserved in many part of Southeast Asia and is used as a traditional remedy.

I’m always trying new and exotic fruits and decided to purchase some awhile back. This is me holding one:

To me, they tasted pretty darn good! Kind of a cross between and apple, pear, and a cucumber. It was DELICIOUS, and very juicy! They’d make an excellent addition to any fruit salad or party  entree as they can add a very decorative touch.

Some of their health benefits include:

  • May lower cholesterol levels
  • Star fruit is known to cure hangovers
  • Has been used to treat eye sores
  • Star fruit is given to nursing mothers as it is believed to stimulate milk production
  • For sunstroke, a piece if the sweet variety is recommended
  • For nausea & indigestion, eat a half piece of the fruit and repeat after 3 hours
  • High in Vitamin C content, it can be used to ward off winter colds and flu
  • It it recommended as a diet fruit because of it’s high fiber & low calorie content
  • Star fruit is also packed with antioxidants and flavonoids

Here’s a quick video to learn more about it’s qualities an preparation 😀 :

Enjoy!!! 😀


Leave a comment

Let’s talk Avocados!!!

The beautiful, rich, tropical, fruit……yes, it indeed IS a fruit 🙂 !

Mostly served with vegetables, it comes with a smooth, buttery, texture and rich distinctive flavor. Best eaten raw, Avocados can be enjoyed in a number of ways. Add them to a salad, use them as a creamy replacement for mayo or prepare them as a dip that will sure to delight both you & your friends!

Packed with Vitamin K, Fiber, Potassium, Folate, Vitamin C, & Beta-Carotene, they provide a fantastic reason why it should be included in your healthy eating. Proper storage and preparation are keys to enjoying the best flavor and nutritional benefits that Avocados has to offer! Usually, the Avocados found in your local market are often still hard and will need to be ripened after you take them home. Hard Avocados aren’t a sign that the fruit is bad, in fact, unless you are going to be serving them immediately after purchasing, it’s better to buy one that’s still hard, so you can control the ripening process and have one ready when you want to eat it.

While the majority of Avocados’ calories do come from fat, almost two-thirds of the fats they contain are the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocados are a great tasting and nutritious food and, when eaten in moderation, can be an important part of your healthy diet.

I personally, can’t get enough of them! Some folks like to eat them raw, like myself, others prefer to cook them. I’m not too crazy about them after they’re cooked though, they tend to gain a bitter taste after the heating process.

Since I’m all about “Quick n’ Easy” I have one of my favorite Avocado Dip recipes that I’d like to share:

1 medium ripe Avocado

1 tbs. of lemon or lime juice

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend for 1 minute. Another alternative is you can mash the Avocado with a fork or potato masher and then add ingredients. Serving size: 1-2.

An Avocado a Day Keeps the Hunger Away…..Enjoy!!! 😀


Leave a comment

Let talk nuts, nuts, and more NUTS!

No, no……not talking about the ones you see on tv or the ones you know personally, but the kind you EAT! 🙂

Nuts, believe it or not, are considered to be fruits.  All nuts offer different health benefits but generally, they are all high in protein, calcium and good fats! Just a small handful can offer a quick boost of energy. That’s nature’s way of showing us that big things DO come in small packages! But even though nuts are generally high in fat, they’re packed chock-full with  heart-healthy, monounsaturated fats which helps to lower blood cholesterol and prevent heart disease….the GOOD stuff we want….your heart will thank you for it! 🙂

With so many different varieties, researchers now report that nuts may have a myriad of health benefits, from preventing heart disease and diabetes to fighting cancer. Now that’s information to go nuts over!

Finally, most nuts are excellent sources of fiber and vitamins, which help keep your body running like a smoothly oiled machine.

They make an excellent in-between meal snack! Since I always have a sweet tooth and don’t always want to run to chocolate, what I do is take a ziplock bag, grab a handful each of almonds, cashews, and peanuts, top it of with a handful of dried cherries or cranberries and VOILA! I have a travel bag of ready-to-eat, energy-boosting goodness!

AND…….

It knocks out my sweet tooth! So don’t let the squirrel take all your nuts, get some today and start your way to a good, healthy heart!!! 😀