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Blending is not Juicing

Blenders are often confused with juicers and many people think that they probably serve the same function. Blenders make delightful smoothies, do a fine job of grinding spices and coffee beans and my personal blender can emulsify tasty salad dressings in a snap. Smoothies, especially green smoothies are a great addition to a healthy diet, however juicing offers a number of different advantages.

A blender is not the best choice for carrots nor will you be able to make a crisp glass of fresh apple juice with it. Blenders produce a smooth beverage with a lot of bulk that can be very filling.  A blender breaks down produce with rapidly rotating blades and the output contains everything that went in, including the fibrous skin, pith and flesh.  It is important to avoid blending to the point where the fibrous structure is broken down.  Continue reading “Blending is not Juicing”

The Truth about Carbs and Weight Gain!

The average American diet, heavy in animal products, requires the production of an extra ton and a half of greenhouse gases compared to a plant based diet.1 A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit and legumes is environmentally responsible and can help maintain a healthy weight.

In recent years, however many diet books have blamed plant foods, which are high in carbohydrates for the obesity crisis. While the theory persists, health care professionals have advised against low-carbohydrate diets for years.

A  study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that consuming a low-carbohydrate diet (less than 47 percent of calories from carbohydrates) is associated with a greater likelihood of being overweight or obese.2 The July 2009 study found that the lowest risk may be in consuming a diet with 47 to 64 percent of calories from carbohydrates. This was not the first study with these findings.

Continue reading “The Truth about Carbs and Weight Gain!”

Summer Salad~ Pasta, Baby Spinach and Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet; they provide energy and are necessary for proper organ function. There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex.

Simple carbohydrates are created when commercial processing removes the fiber-rich outer hull and bran in whole grains that result in products such as, white rice, white flour, white sugar, white bread, etc.

Simple carbohydrates are absorbed and digested very quickly and spike blood sugar causing a rush of energy followed soon after by a crash. This is an unhealthy outcome.

On the other hand, complex carbohydrates release energy slowly and are found in vegetables, nuts, legumes and grains, such as oatmeal and pasta. Unlike simple carbs, these foods are also high in vitamins and minerals.   

Pasta has been criticized in recent years as a leading culprit in the rise of obesity. The fact is that pasta is a healthy carbohydrate and a central component of the Mediterranean diet, widely recommended as an effective regimen for maintaining a healthy weight.

Unlike wheat used to make bread, pasta is made from durum, a hybrid of wild grasses and an entirely different species. Like Kamut, durum is much older than modern wheat and has not been as domesticated. Continue reading “Summer Salad~ Pasta, Baby Spinach and Orange Poppy Seed Dressing”

Draw Raves with this Luscious Curried Couscous Stir Fry!

Couscous (KOOS-koos) is widely consumed in the Middle East and a staple throughout North Africa, where couscous is the national dish of countries, such as Morocco and Tunisia.

In the 2008 cult classic, “Pineapple Express,” couscous was described as a food so nice, they named it twice and indeed this quick cooking type of pasta is gaining in popularity.

While the granules may look like grains, couscous is actually a form of pasta made by rolling durum wheat flour (semolina) with salted water to form small kernels. Couscous is a light, tasty and very convenient ingredient, as it cooks in just five minutes. Continue reading “Draw Raves with this Luscious Curried Couscous Stir Fry!”

Celebrate Memorial Day with a Delicious Eco-Vegan Cookout

Memorial Day Weekend officially opens the summer cookout season. All across America, outdoor grills are being readied for the backyard barbecue season’s inaugural event.

Take advantage of the long weekend to prepare healthful, compassionate and eco-responsible meals for family and friends.

This Memorial Day, choose a meatless menu. It can be one of the most important choices you can make for your health and the health of the planet. Continue reading “Celebrate Memorial Day with a Delicious Eco-Vegan Cookout”

Glazed Poppy Seed Bundt ~ No Eggs, No Dairy No kidding!

Who doesn’t love a gorgeous glazed bundt cake? The sheer volume of most bundt cakes make the choice all the more worthwhile. This luscious cake is filed with apple chunks and cranberries, topped with a sweet lemon glaze and calls for Fuji apples. Fuji is a variety that is large, firm and crisp, which makes them perfect for baking.

Poppy Seeds add More than Crunch and Color to Baked Goods

Poppy seeds are a lovely addition to cakes and quickbreads, but they don’t just add color and crunch!  Even the small amount sprinkled on a roll contains some niacin and folate and just one teaspoon of poppy seeds supplies measurable amounts of iron, calcium and zinc. Continue reading “Glazed Poppy Seed Bundt ~ No Eggs, No Dairy No kidding!”

Research Finds Eating Garbanzo Beans Helps Control Weight!

Chickpea Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Garbanzo beans, AKA chickpeas are very low in fat and calories. A terrific source of fiber and protein, just two cups of this hearty legume would satisfy the adult daily requirement for protein.

This tasty legume is a versatile and satisfying ingredient in all kinds of dishes. The signature ingredient in hummus, garbanzo beans add flavor and texture to soups, salads, stir-fry dishes and stew.

Continue reading “Research Finds Eating Garbanzo Beans Helps Control Weight!”

California Drought ~Who’s Really Using Up Most Of the Water?

 

Some scapegoat almonds, while ignoring the cow in the room.

The Golden State is home to an agricultural industry with more than 400 commodities and produces nearly half of the vegetables, fruits and nuts gown in the country.  Across the nation, US consumers regularly purchase many foods from crops that are produced exclusively in California.

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the agricultural industry in the Golden State is the largest in the country ($46.4 billion for its output in 2013). California agriculture is also responsible for 69 percent of the nation’s commercially available fruits and nuts.

Only about four percent of California’s water footprint is the result of individual use, however when California was experiencing the worst drought on record, residents were asked to be very vigilant and cut back drastically on household water use.

According to a recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) a stunning 80 percent of California water goes to agriculture, so if we really want to talk about drastic conservation, perhaps we should look at our food choices. Continue reading “California Drought ~Who’s Really Using Up Most Of the Water?”

There’s More to Coffee Than Just Beans!

Ted Hsieh was on vacation in Kona, Hawaii on a coffee plantation tasting tour when he discovered the delicious tart, fruity taste and benefits of the coffee fruit.

He soon learned that that these coffee cherries contained enough caffeine, electrolytes, and antioxidants to dwarf the other healthy beverages on the market.

Ted was hooked and Kasira Tea was born!  Continue reading “There’s More to Coffee Than Just Beans!”

Welcome Spring with this Delightful Roasted Asparagus Salad!

Roasted Asparagus Salad is a riot of flavors, textures and nutrition

Roasting asparagus spears takes this spring superfood to new heights that impart unique sweet flavor and a moist, tender texture.

Eating asparagus can help flush excess fluid and salt from the body, and that can help prevent urinary tract infections. That is because asparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which makes it a natural diuretic.

Asparagus is packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals,  An excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate, asparagus is a very good source of fiber, B vitamins, manganese, phosphorus and potassium.

This delicious dish also features ripe avocado, sweet red onion and bite sized grape tomatoes that contain numerous health benefits. Continue reading “Welcome Spring with this Delightful Roasted Asparagus Salad!”