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Posts Tagged ‘Minerals’

Some may say honey-don’t at the thought of melon with peaches, but I say honeydew! This was indeed surprisingly sweet goodness! I couldn’t taste the melon or the peaches explicitly, but the grapefruit tartness was altered to a sweet flavor that for those opposed to the tartness of the fruit would certainly appreciate. I can see this becoming a staple juice in my kitchen – another success from The Big Book of Juices and Smoothies. It’s a 5-star juice for the skin, as well as a 4-star juice for the immune system and for boosting energy. It’s full of beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamins B3 and C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. This recipe makes about 12 ounces. I drank about 8 or 9 ounces of it, and Mocha thoroughly enjoyed the rest.surprising sweetie smoothie

1 C frozen peaches
1/4 honeydew melon, seeds and skin removed then chopped
1 ruby red grapefruit (ideally from Texas), freshly juiced

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

surprising sweetie smoothie

Happy Blending!

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Microminerals

The third post in the Vitamins and Minerals trilogy. I’ve given you Vitamins and Macrominerals, so to conclude we’ll discuss the Microminerals. These are otherwise known as trace elements. Though they are found in very small amounts in the body, they do play a critical role in nutrition. People usually only need about 100 micrograms a day. Micronutrient malnutrition is typically found in underdeveloped countries, since those in developed countries have easy access to readily available foods and supplements. Micronutrients enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for proper growth and development – thus the small amounts that are required can have big impacts on overall health.

Mineral; Food sources; Major Functions; Recipes in which to find it

Chromium: Vegetables,yeast, beer, unrefined wheat flour, corn oil. Necessary for glucose metabolism, formation of insulin for proper blood glucose concentration. Peachy Blue Monster, Naan, various Steamed Vegetables, Pasta Primavera, just about any vegetable recipe on this site 😉
Cobalt: Broccoli, spinach, oats. Necessary for formation of red blood cells. Moroccan Veg, Scape Bake, Green Enchiladas, Oat Surprise Muffins
Copper: Wheat products, barley, cocoa, lentils, molasses, mushrooms, nuts, oats, seeds, wheatgerm. Necessary for hemoglobin formation, maintenance of certain copper-containing enzymes, proper intestinal absorption of iron. Dulce de Bourbon Chews, Sweet and Spicy Nuts, Oat Surprise Muffins
Fluorine: Fluoridated water, toothpastes, tea. Hardens bones & teeth, suppresses bacterial action in mouth. Herbal teas, Green teas, Black teas
Iodine: Iodized table salt, seaweed (nori). Necessary for synthesis of thyroxin, which is essential for maintenance of normal cellular respiration. Nori Rolls, and any dish you salt… 🙂
Iron: Beans, raisins, molasses, dried spirulina, pepita, sesame/sunflower seeds, quinoa, soy flour, endive, pistachios, tomato paste, miso, apricots, oats, lima beans, wheat, barley, lentils, peaches, spinach, wheatgerm, potatoes, peas, gingerroot, tahini, beets, thyme, nuts/nut butters. Component of hemoglobin, myoglobin; necessary for transport of oxygen to tissues, cellular oxidation. Peachy Blue Monster, Fruit Salad, Black Bean Quinoa Salad, Roasted Thyme Potatoes, PB Cups, Refashioned PB Cookies
Manganese: Bananas, bran, beans, leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts. Necessary for formation of hemoglobin, activation of enzymes; Important for tissue respiration, growth, healthy nervous system. Dulce de Bourbon Chews, Breakfast Burritos, Blueberry Bran Muffins, Green Enchiladas
Molybdenum: Legumes, green leafy vegetables, peas. Component of several enzymes. Lime-Saffron Millet ‘Pea’laf, Italian Herb Veg & Quinoa, Chickpea Cauliflower and Kale curry
Selenium: Whole grains (especially the bran and germ), onions, celery, cabbage, broccoli. Enzymes, lipid metabolism, antioxidant (protects plasma membranes from breaking down). Dulce de Bourbon Chews, Fresh Fruit Salad, Red Beans & Rice Soup, Cornbread stuffing
Zinc: Legumes, green vegetables, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, pepitas, brewer’s yeast. Part of many enzymes, important in wound healing, cell growth, and cell repair. Chickpeas Romesco, Fresh Fruit Salad, Sweet & Spicy Nuts, Green Enchiladas

Happy and Healthy Eating!

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Macrominerals

Continuing with educating the masses on how a vegan diet can give you everything you need (see previous vitamin post), here’s the Macrominerals: what they do for you, and what foods and recipes you can find them in! Aptly named macrominerals are those which are found in the body in larger amounts than microminerals. Macrominerals are also consumed in larger quantities and provide bulk energy.

Mineral; Dietary Sources; Major Functions; Recipes it can be found

Calcium: Soybeans, kale, spinach, watercress, parsley, seaweed, nuts/seeds, molasses, dried fruits, figs. Necessary for proper bone structure, normal heart action, blood clotting, muscle contraction, excitability, nerve synapses, mental activity, buffer systems, glycogen metabolism. Chickpea Cauliflower and Kale Curry, Fruit Salad, Vegan Pizza w spinach, Blueberry Bran Muffins/Loaves, Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies
Chloride: All foods, table salt. Principle anion of extra-cellular fluid, necessary for acid-base balance, osmotic equilibrium, helps with muscle cramps. No special dish since we salt nearly everything these days..but beware of excess salt intake.
Magnesium: Green veggies, nuts, whole grains, molasses, yeast extracts, apples, figs. Necessary for proper bone structure, regulation of nerve and muscle action, catalyst for intracellular enzymatic reactions, especially those related to carbohydrate metabolism, prevent retinopathy. Clementine-n-Mango Juice, Dulce de Bourbon Chews, Fruit Salad, Blueberry Bran Loaves
Phosphorus: Beans, grains, fruits. Combine with coenzymes in various metabolic processes; necessary for proper bone structure, intermediary metabolism, buffers, membranes, phosphate bonds essential for energy production (ATP), nucleic acids. Clementine-n-Mango Juice, Classic 3-bean salad, Fruit Salad, Breakfast Burritos, Chickpea Cauliflower and Kale Curry
Potassium: Avocados, banana, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, dates, prunes, raisins, potatoes (with skins), cantaloupes. Major component of intracellular fluid, necessary for buffering, muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission. Clementine-n-Mango Juice, Dulce de Bourbon Chews, Moroccan Veg with Spiced Orzo
Sodium: Most processed & packaged foods, table salt, breads. Major component of extracellular fluid, necessary for ionic equilibrium, osmotic gradients, nerve impulse conduction, buffer systems, helps with dehydration, muscle cramps, and kidney failure. Peachy Blue Monster, Pita bread, Chickpea Noodle Soup
Sulfur: Cabbage, garlic, onions, wheat germ . Structural, as amino acids are made into proteins. Banana Bread, Peachy Blue Monster, Red Beans & Rice Soup, Potato Gratin

Happy and Healthy Eating!

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Kale

Kale seems to be one of those vegetables that scare people off, maybe because of its strong flavor or because it’s denser (and therefore chewier) than spinach, I don’t know. But I’d like to encourage everyone to give it a try. It’s chock full of beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin and calcium; and is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (so it’d be great to pair with pasta if, like us, wheat makes you a little feverish). It is chewier than other greens, because it’s unusually high in fiber for a leaf. That has the benefit of making it very filling. Plus, I’m on a never ending quest to increase the number of plant species I consume, so if you’re new to kale, this can be another notch in the old cutting board for you. 🙂

When choosing your kale, you want the leaves to be very crisp and dark green. Then:

1. Give each leaf a rinsing, and pat down with a towel to remove the excess water.

kale1

2. You’ll want to remove the thick vein in the middle of each leaf. Just pinch both sides of the leaf while pulling the vein away from the back.

kale2kale3

3. Especially if you’re new to kale, you’ll want to cut it into thin strips, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

kale54. More kale recipes will be forthcoming, but now give it a try in my Chickpea, Cauliflower and Kale Curry.


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Here’s a juice that punches quite the wallop of vitamin C for preparing our defenses against the coming cold and flu war. I love the combination of mangos and clementines – it’s like a tropical party in a Florida orange grove, yet keeping the feel of my Texas peaches roots! I also thoroughly enjoyed the pulpy texture by just tossing in the clementine wedges whole instead of juicing them. So in addition to the obvious ascorbic acid (aka Vit C), what else are we getting from this orange-colored blend? Well, as with all orange/yellow fruits and veg we get beta-carotene. We also get folic acid, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and sulphur. In addition to the immune boosting properties, this juice is also good for boosting energy and is great for that healthy skin glow! This recipe makes about 12 oz. I could fill 1 and a half of the 8 oz Soy Candles by Phebes glasses (washed, of course).

Ingredients:

1/2-3/4 C frozen mango chunks (or 1-2 fresh mangos)
1 nectarine or peach, pitted and diced
2 clementines, peeled and separated into sections
1/2 C orange juice (fresh or prepackaged)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Happy Juicing!

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Want a boost the health of your skin? Want to boost your energy? Well, this juice (adapted from The Big Book of Juices and Smoothies) will do both with two simple ingredients! Blueberries and Peaches!! Two of my favorite fruits combined into one yummy juice – of course, you could always opt for a nectarine in place of the peach if you’re not a peach fan…and still get all the goods for your energy level and skin appeal. This juice also helps with immunity and it gets a 1-star for digestion (on a scale of 5-star for skin and immunity). It’s also chock full of nutrients: beta-carotene, biotin, folic acid, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, C and E, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and sulphur. Whew…that was a mouthful! You could also play around with different berries, such as straw or rasp! Even a blackberry would be good blended in. If you want a thicker, smoothie appeal – toss in a banana (frozen or room temp)! The recipe makes one 8oz drink, so feel free to double!

Ingredients:

1 peach or nectarine, pitted and chopped
1.5 (women-sized) handfuls of blueberries (or 1 man-sized)

Directions:

Blend together in a blender…strain if blueberry skins bother you, or not, whatever.

Happy Juicing!

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I needed a little pick-me-up Tuesday after a celebratory dinner Monday night. I was wanting to use the cherries from the Farmers Market for some baked goodies, but I decided to add to the list of juices instead. Plus, I also figured after the cake and cookies I made this weekend..more baked goods were perhaps the last thing I needed. So I investigated in my Big Book of Juices and Smoothies and found something that would give me some energy, enhance my immunity, and just the slightest bit of detox 😉 Naturally, I made a wonderful addition using frozen blackberries…so here is a pineapple-cherry pick-me(and you, too)-up!

Ingredients:

1-2 large handfuls of cherries, pitted
1/2 fresh chopped pineapple
1/4 C frozen blackberries

Directions:

Blend all in a blender, if you’re like me and don’t have a juicer.

The frozen berries give it a thicker, smoothie appeal. Plus they make it a cold beverage since I hadn’t previously chilled my pineapple.

These fruits are good for energy, immunity, the skin, some digestion, and a little bit of detox. The nutrients contained in this blend include: beta-carotene, folic acid, vit C, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur.

Blackberries are rich in antioxidants, particularly vit C. And pineapples contain an alkaline substance known as bromelain, which aids digestion and is linked to reducing inflammation in arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.

Happy Juicing!

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I am just tickled blue that July is the month of the blueberry! I can’t wait to make my ever-popular blueberry tart, a blueberry smoothie, blueberry bran muffins/loaves, blueberry-almond icing on lemon cake, oh the list goes on and on… I realize we’re at the middle of the month, but it’s never to late to discuss the health benefits of noshing on the tiny blue fruit!

Historically, blueberry juice was used to treat coughs, as a relaxant during childbirth, and diarrhea (treated by the anthocyanins combating the intestinal bacteria). We’ve all heard about the antioxidant properties of blueberries, and for those of you fighting cholesterol, blueberries contain large amounts of pectin which has been shown to help reduce blood cholesterol.

Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are high in Vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene – but studies have shown that most of the C is lost upon freezing or canning, so get them fresh if you can!

But it’s still good to eat them even if they’re frozen or canned.. Blueberries are also high in potassium, manganese, and magnesium.

Let’s take a look at a few of the individual molecular components:

Anthocyanins create the blue color in blueberries. Anthocyanins are antioxidants, known to reduce heart disease and cancer in humans – remember, we’ve also seen these in cherries. They are found throughout the plant world, but blueberries are the highest of any fruit or vegetable. This substance is believed to combat E. coli.

Chlorogenic acid is another antioxidant which may also slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal – this could help to alleviate that hyperglycemic rush after a large and engourging meal, as well as help prevent the hypoglycemic crash destined to follow; helps keep things at an even keel. Chlorogenic acid’s antioxidant properties may also help fight damaging free radicals.

Catechins’ (also found in green tea) antioxidant effect is believed to diminish the formation of plaque in the arteries. And with less plaque in the arteries, the more room for your blood to flow happily through your circulatory system, ergo reducing blood pressure. Further research is being done to see if they combat and/or suppress cancerous tumors and cell proliferation, but to date no evidence is solid.

Resveratrol is a substance that is produced by several plants (also found in the skins of red grapes, which are used to make wine). A number of beneficial health effects, such as anti-cancer, anti-viral, neuroprotective, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and life-prolonging effects have been reported for this substance. Resveratrol is also found in peanuts, and other berries of Vaccinium species including bilberries and cranberries.

Oxalates are the one possible negative aspect of blueberries. Oxalates should not be eaten in high concentration as they can crystallize and cause kidney or gallbladder problems, and slow the absorption of calcium into the system. But that’s no reason to have a handful of blueberries as a snack!

There are current studies world-wide to determine further effects on health and many believe that blueberries help the eyes, prevent urinary tract infections, lower cholesterol, protect against macular degeneration, and aid the cardiovascular system. Many of these studies have not arrived at a conclusion, and no single food is a cure-all, but looking at the list of phytochemicals in the blueberry, I am eager to eat them for health as well as pleasure.

Check this link for further nutritional info on blueberries in the raw!

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Sometimes you just need a big bowl of fresh fruit salad! And with June being National Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month, what better way than to celebrate with yummy fruits commingling in one scrumptious bowl. This fruit salad is full of great nutrients. Besides getting in your daily quota of fruits, you get a plethora of vitamins and minerals. Apples, oranges, grapes and strawberries provide vitamins A, C, E, and Folate, as well as Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Selenium and Zinc – not to mention fiber. Grapes and kiwis also pack in B6. Kiwis, in addition to B6, provide B2 and Niacin, while oranges have B1 and Pantothenic acidNiacin, Folate, and Pantothenic acid are part of the vit B family.

Fresh Fruit

Ingredients:

2-3 oranges or tangelos, peeled, slices separated, then halved into bite sizes
fresh Strawberries, halved then again into bite sizes
Green Grapes, halved or not..
Farmer’s Market Seedless red grapes
2 Gala Apples, cube into bite sizes (or other favorite apple)
1 fresh Pineapple, cut into bite-size cubes
2-3 kiwi, peeled and cubed

*Wash all ingredients, cut accordingly, mix in bowl. Any fruits you love, toss in the mix. Watermelon would also be fun…

Fresh Fruit Salad

Crunchy Variation: For a fun crunch, top individual servings with granola.

Smoothie Variation: Toss about a Cup of mixed fruit into a blender, add a frozen banana or mango chunks and a shot of pomegranate juice. Blend until yummy!

Extra Sweet Variation: Sprinkle with a little brown sugar, or grill the Pineapple (for a caramelized flavor) before adding to the bowl.

South Texas Variation: Leave out the kiwi. Add in a Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit (peeled, seeded, and halved like the tangelo). In a bowl, squeeze 1 fresh lime to get the juice. Whisk in a pinch to 1 tsp of cayenne or chili powder. Pour over salad, toss to combine.

Fruit salad

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The UN has dubbed 2008 as The Year of the Potato. The intent of the declaration was to raise awareness of the potato as a means to fight existing poverty and hunger throughout the world. Because the humble spud ranks as the fourth major food crop in the world after corn, wheat, and rice, it seems perfectly logical using it as a weapon against world hunger. I say lets fight world hunger and educate ourselves on one of my favorite vegetables. And who doesn’t love potatoes? Nobody I know…

Lets start with the stats of this powerhouse tuber:

One medium sized potato has 110 calories, is fat-, cholesterol- and sodium-free.

Potatoes rank highest in potassium when eaten with the skin (620 mg; comparable to spinach, broccoli, and bananas) among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and the 20 top most frequently consumed raw fruits. Potassium is essential to the body because of its role in attaining optimal muscle performance and improving the nerves’ response to stimulation.

Iron, essential in helping the body convert food to energy as well as resist infection, is also present in trace amounts.

One medium (5.3 ounce) potato is an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C (45% of the Daily Value). Vitamin C is essential to help maintain healthy connective tissue and heal wounds.

The many varieties of Washington potatoes are good sources of B vitamins, helping the body make healthy red blood cells and amino acids.

Potato skins are chock-full of natural fiber (3 grams per serving)! This amount of fiber equals or exceeds that of many “whole” grain products-whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta and many cereals.

And a 6 oz. potato contains 3 grams of highly digestible protein (almost as much as half a glass of milk; making the potato is a tastier, more filling, and more compassionate choice) making it a great foundation for a whole meal.

Potatoes contain trace amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.

Jo has already kicked us off with her Mashed Potato and Favorite Potato recipes. And lets not forget the Vegetable Curry, which wouldn’t be the same without potatoes. So look for many more potato recipes to come! And eat those potatoes!!!

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