Jul 28, 2011

Creamy Whole Beet Pilaf

1 beet, peeled and quartered
1-2 c beat greens, stems trimmed/shredded
4 c water/broth (up to 7 c. if using brown rice instead)
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 c Arborio rice (I rarely use arbirio, but most often brown rice)
salt and pepper to taste
1 T lemon juice (opt.)
2 T butter (opt.)
grated Parmesan cheese  (opt. for top)          
  1. Sautee onion in the oil until tender, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the rice; cook and stir another 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in the beet and beet green mixture, cooking another minute.
  4. Pour in the broth mixture 1 cup at a time, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding each batch, stirring continually. Do this for the amount of time the rice normally takes to cook, but allow the water to absorb until tender--may have to periodically taste for doneness. (I do brown rice and cook it for a whole hour with seven cups of broth/water)
  5. Continue stirring until creamy and thick, about 3 minutes more. Add lemon juice, butter and salt if desired. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired. ]

*found this recipe at allrecipes.com and it's a great way to use the whole beet/greens. I tweaked it a little by not adding any cheddar cheese, using brown rice and adding the lemon juice. It's very creamy with the brown rice and 7 cups water! And I've used pumpkin and feta, in place of beets. Adding pureed vegetables makes it healthier. So this recipe is my modified version. Enjoy!

Jul 27, 2011

Ukrainian Red Borscht Soup

1 (16 oz) pkg pork sausage, cooked (opt.)
3 medium beets, peeled and shredded
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 T oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 -1 (6 oz) can tomato paste (or ketchup, to taste)
2 quarts water
1/2 medium head cabbage, cored and shredded
1 (8 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained (opt)
3 cloves garlic, minced (opt)
salt to taste
1 t. sugar (opt, but not needed)     
1 t vinegar, any type (opt. -- if you didn't add in ketchup)   
  1. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until tender. (add meat now if desired)
  2. Fill the pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook 10 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, beets, cabbage and tomatoes; cook 10 more minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste to the soup, cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Taste, and season with salt (and sugar if needed).

*from www.allrecipes.com

Jul 19, 2011


Try this simple twist on regular and boring oatmeal!

1 c rolled oats
1/4 c raw almond slivers
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cup warm filtered water plus 2 T whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c filtered water
1/4 c raisins
1 T flax seeds, ground
fresh berries, optional but good!

Mix oats with almonds, cinnamon, and coconut.  Combine oat mixture with warm water mixture, cover and soak at room temperature for at least 7 hours and as long as 24 hours.  (I find it easy to start soaking my grains just before going to bed or right after dinner.)  Bring an additional 1 cup of water to boil with sea salt.  Add soaked oats and raisins, reduce heat, cover and simmer several minutes.  Serve with butter, flax meal and either Rapadura, date sugar, pure maple syrup, maple sugar or raw honey.  You'll feel SO good after eating such a healthy and delicious breakfast!

recipe from: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
*see post: awesome heath benefits of soaking flour

Jul 18, 2011

Beef 101: From Cuts to Cooking

In case you're like me and get overwhelmed at the Meat section of the grocery store or feel like you're constantly at battle with your beef in the kitchen--turning out chewy and dry, here's a little info on what the different cuts of meat are and how to cook them.

The Best Cuts & Cooking Methods
Grilling, broiling, and pan frying
The best cuts of meat are rib eye steaks, strip or shell steaks, and T bone, which contains both the strip and tenderloin steaks. Sirloin and round steaks will be tough and dry. Flank steaks and flat iron steaks are good when quickly cooked and sliced across the grain, as described above.

Top sirloin, tenderloin, standing rib roasts, and top rump roast are good candidates.

Stir frying
Flank, top round, and sirloin steak are good. These cuts are best cooked quickly, and since elastin is broken because the meat is cubed, they are more tender.

Tenderloin is the best bet. This mild cut absorbs flavors easily and it is very tender.

Pot roasting and braising
Chuck and rump are the best cuts. These cuts have more collagen and need long, slow cooking in a wet environment to reach their optimum tenderness. Chuck has the most flavor and is the most tender.

Ground beef, chuck is the way to go. It has optimal amounts of fat and is tenderized mechanically by the grinding action. Most lean ground beef is chuck, but if you're not sure, ask!

Read more to find out why and for extra tips...

Basic Cuts of Beef
For beef, there are eight 'primal cuts'. At the top of the animal, starting near the head and going back toward the tail, they are chuck, rib, short loin, sirloin, and round. Underneath the animal, from front to back, they are brisket, plate, and flank. The tenderness or toughness of the cut depends on how much the animal has had to use the muscle. Therefore, cuts near the shoulder or leg, which are used often for movement, are going to be tougher. The muscles that are not used as much, in the center of the animal, include the rib, plate, and loin. 

Protein, Water, Fat, Sugar, and Collagen

  • When meat is cooked, protein molecules, which are tightly wound and connected to other molecules, first unwind. This is called 'denaturing', and all it means is that the proteins are relaxing and separating. Because proteins are attracted to each other, they almost immediately pair up with other proteins, forming bundles. This is called 'coagulating' or cooking. As more heat is applied, the bundles of protein shrink. Up to 120 degrees F, the bundles shrink in width. After 120 degrees F, the bundles begin to shrink in length as well. 

  • Water is also present in the muscles. Some of it is bound up with the proteins, fats, and sugars, and some is 'free water'. The amount of liquid left after the beef is cooked is directly related to the juiciness of the finished dish. As the protein bundles shrink and fat melts in the muscle, water molecules are squeezed out. Not too much water is squeezed out as the protein shrinks in width. But as the temperature increases over 120 degrees F and the bundles become shorter, more and more water is squeezed out and evaporated. That's why a well done piece of beef is so dry. Cooking times and temperatures must be controlled when cooking beef.

  • Fat is flavor! A good cut of meat will have specks of white fat evenly distributed through the meat. Leaner cuts of beef, such as flank and round, have less fat and can benefit from marinades and dry rubs.

  • Sugar plays an important role in beef, its finished color and flavor. Sugar and protein, when heated in an acid-free environment, combine to form complex molecules in a process called the Maillard Reaction. The wonderful crisp crust with its rich caramel flavors that form on a seared piece of beef are all from the Maillard Reaction. High heat is required for this reaction to occur; grilling and broiling are the best methods. You can also brown meats before cooking to start the Maillard Reaction, and you can broil roasts at the end of cooking time to achieve the same result.

  • Other substances in meat include collagen and elastin. These are present in the hard working muscles of the animal. Collagen will melt as it is heated, turning into gelatin and becoming soft and melty. Elastin can only be broken down physically, as when you pound a cube steak before cooking or grind meat for hamburger. These compounds are found in the brisket, shank, chuck, and round primal cuts; in other words, the beef we cook as pot roasts and stews and hamburger.

The Two Methods of Cooking

There are two methods for cooking meat:
Dry heat: grilling, broiling, sauteing, roasting, stir frying, and deep frying.
Wet heat: braising, pot roasting, stewing, steaming, poaching, and slow cooking. 

You choose the cooking method depending on where the meat was located on the animal. Steaks, cut from the little-used center area of the animal, are naturally tender with little collagen and elastin, so they cook best using dry heat and short cooking times. Rump or round roasts have more collagen so they need wet heat, and longer, slower cooking in order to melt the collagen.

Most solid cuts of beef are cooked in a two stage method.
quick high heat produces the Maillard reactions and forms a flavorful crust on the surface.
slower cooking at a lower temperature will evenly cook the meat through without overcooking the outer edges.

If you are grilling a steak, divide your grill into a hot side and cooler side by controlling the number of briquette. Start the steak on the hot side to form a crust and pull it over to the cooler side to finish cooking.
Roasts and stir fries use the same two stage method; first browned over high heat, then cooked with lower heat until the correct inner temperature is attained. You can also cook a roast with low heat in the oven, then turn on the broiler for the final few minutes to create a crisp flavorful crust.

TIP: After cooking, cover the beef to retain heat and let it stand for 5-10 minutes. This will let the water redistribute throughout the cut.

*from www.about.com

New Food Adventure: Figs

We got figs in our basket last week. So it was the first time I'd had fresh figs--not like Fig Newtons or anything. I had to post on it. I actually just ate them fresh. You peel them and eat the inside.

Figs grow on the ficus tree (Ficus carica). Native to the Middle East, figs were one of the first fruits ever to be cultivated. Currently, California ranks third in the world in fig production after Turkey and Greece.

Figs tend to be more popular in their dried form because fresh figs are very delicate and tend to deteriorate quickly. When choosing fresh figs, select those which are plump and tender, have a rich, deep colour, are free from bruises and are not mushy. Ripe figs should not be washed until ready to eat and should be kept covered and refrigerated, where they will remain fresh for approximately two days. Unripe figs should be kept at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.


Figs are high in natural and simple sugars, minerals and fibre. They contain good levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese. Dried figs contain an impressive 250mg of calcium per 100g, compared to whole milk with only 118mg.

The health benefits of figs include promoting healthy bowel function due to the high levels of fibre. Figs are amongst the most highly alkaline foods, making them useful in balancing the pH of the body. They are a good source of potassium, important in helping to regulate blood pressure.

10 Tips for Incorporating Figs in your Diet

  1. Eat dries figs as a healthy energy snack. For extra flavour and nutrients, stuff them with nuts and a little honey
  2. Add figs to baked goods such as muffins, cakes and muesli bars.
  3. Add dried or fresh figs to porridge, oatmeal or breakfast cereals.
  4. Stew dried figs in fruit juice with other dried fruits to make a delicious fruit salad. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg before serving
  5. Poach figs in red wine or fruit juice and serve with Greek yogurt or creme fraiche.
  6. Add quartered fresh figs to a salad of fennel, rocket and parmesan cheese.
  7. Stuff fresh figs with goat's cheese and chopped almonds and serve as an appetizer or dessert.
  8. Make a fig butter by boiling dried figs in fruit juice until soft. When all the liquid has been absorbed, place the mixture in a food processor and blend until smooth. Use to spread on rice cakes, toast or crackers.
  9. Add chopped fresh figs to rice, quinoa or couscous dishes.
  10. Make a fig tart by grinding two handfuls of walnuts in a food processor. Add one packet of dried figs, 1/2 packet raisins,3/4 c. apple juice, 1 tablespoon grated orange zest, 2 tablespoons honey and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Process until the mixture is the texture of a sticky paste. Press into a pastry case and bake at a medium heat for 35 minutes.

Read more at Suite101: Health Benefits of Eating Figs: Nutrition Facts and Tips for Serving Figs | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/fabulous-figs-a34848#ixzz1SUEQ2iEf

Jul 11, 2011

Renaissance Pears

both sweet and savory --won a Recipe contest
6 bosc pears
3 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 slices of cheddar cheese
1/3 c. walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. + 1-2 T. rapadura sugar (Portuguese name for dried sugarcane juice)
1/4 c. water
dash cinnamon

Make candied walnuts:
Place 2 T sugar in a mini-pan on medium heat and melt. Add walnut pieces and coat. Quickly take out and seperate pieces to harden on silcon mat.

Cut pears in half, long-wise and cut out the core and stem.
In a larger pan, combine 1/2 c. sugar with 1/4 c. water and place in pears cut-side up.
Cover pan and simmer pears on medium-low heat for 7 to 10 minutes--until pears are cooked through.
Remove cooked pears from pan and place on dish. Put the slice of cheese, bacon crumbles and candied walnuts on each pear.
Meanwhile, increase heat to medium and bring remaining sugar water in large pan to a boil until sugar turns from light color to dark and just starts to thicken a little (about 5-7 minutes). Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat immediately and drizzle over pears; sugar will harden fast. Add tiny dash of cinnamon on top.
You're done! Eat and savour every bite.

Jul 9, 2011

Brownie Pudding Cake (soaked)

I made this for my son's birthday cake. His first. Excellent with strawberries.

1 c brown rice flour (grind your own if you have a good grinder)
1/2 c thin coconut milk
2 T cocoa powder
1/2 T raw apple cider vinegar (or kefir)

1 T chia or flax seeds
3-4 T water
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
2 T melted coconut oil or butter
½ c sweetener of choice

1 1/2 c boiling water
1/3 c cocoa powder
dash of salt
½ c sweetener of choice

1-Mix together the flour , cocoa powder and coconut milk and apple cider vinegar, if using. Leave covered in a warm place for 12-24 hours.

2-When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chia seeds in the water and let sit for 15-20 minutes, until thickened. Put the water on to boil. Then mix the baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract and salt, oil or butter and sweetener, and the chia seed mixture in with the soaked flour mixture.

3-In another, heat safe bowl, combine the boiling water, cocoa powder, dash of salt and honey. Mix until combined.

4- Scrap the batter into the pan 8 x 8 x2 or pie dish. Then pour the boiling water mixture over it.

5-Baking for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the cake topping. Then remove from the oven. Let rest at least ten minutes and up to 45 minutes before serving. The longer it sits the thicker the sauce will become.  My husband actually likes this best cold. But most enjoy it warm with some ice cream on top.

*from nourishinggourmet.com

Jul 8, 2011

How to Eat More Fruits

1. Make it a rule: Every breakfast or Lunch includes a piece of fruit
It's the perfect morning food, filled with natural, complex sugars for slow-release energy, fiber, and nutrients galore. Cantaloupe, an orange, berries--all are perfect with whole wheat toast, cereal, or an egg.

2. Make another rule: Fruit for dessert at least three nights per week
A slice of watermelon, a peach, a bowl of blueberries--they're the perfect ending to a meal, and are so much healthier than cookies or cake. Like your desserts fancier? How does chocolate-covered strawberries, poached pears in red wine, peach and blueberry crisp, or frozen fresh raspberry yogurt sound? They count too.

3. Every Monday, start your week with a fruit Smoothie
Add one cup fresh fruit, 1/2 cup fruit juice, and one cup ice to a blender and liquefy. That's two servings of fruit before 8 a.m.! If you'd prefer a creamier smoothie, toss in 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt.

4. Substitute fruit sorbet for ice cream
One scoop (1/4 cup) contains up to one serving of fruit, says Carolyn Lammersfeld, R.D., who leads the nutrition team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Chicago. To whip up your own, try freezing peaches packed in their own juice for 24 hours, then submerge the can in hot water for one minute. Cut the fruit into chunks and puree until smooth.

5. Or substitute frozen fruit bars for ice cream
Buy pure-fruit versions that don't add extra corn syrup or sugar. Feel free to have one every single day. Or better yet, make your own. Do blended fruit by itself, or add yogurt and/or sugar. You can freeze bananas and then spread peanut butter on them and refreeze, and then dip in melted chocolate and nuts before going in for one last freeze for scrumptious snacks.

6. Keep a fruit bowl filled wherever you spend the most time. This could be at work, near your home computer, or even in the television room. And keep five to eight pieces of fresh fruit in it at all times, such as bananas, oranges, apples, grapes, or plums. Most fruit is fine left at room temperature for three or four days. But if it's out and staring at you, it's not likely to last that long. A piece of fruit makes a perfect snack--as often as four times per day.

7. Get your fruits dried
Dried fruits are very portable and have a long shelf life. Take them to work, on shopping trips, or even on vacation. Raisins and prunes are classic choices. Also try dried cranberries and blueberries, which are extremely high in phytonutrients, or dried apricots, which are chock-full of beta-carotene, says Mary Gregg, R.D., director of Human Care Services for NutriSystem, Inc. Other options include dates, figs, dried peaches, dried pears, and dried bananas.

8. Bring fruit with you anytime you go out and about for more than an hour
Once you are on the highway cruising along or walking step after step along a path, an apple or a nectarine tastes great and helps break the tedium.

9. Substitute fruit puree for oil in baking
Prunes work particularly well for brownies, or applesauce for lighter cakes and muffins, etc.  You can even make your own by blending it up and freezing in ice cube trays and then just use the cubes  as needed, so you always have some on hand.

This list of foods NOT to eat has been sorted into food group categories. You should takes steps to minimizing these types of food, realizing that it may take time, energy and substitutions to old recipes, or even new recipes. It's easy to get overwhelmed, so think of this as the IDEAL. Maybe set a goal which food group to work on this month, or to try the goal during the week, but allow a little splurging on weekends.

· Refined Sugar: Besides staying away from table sugar and candy, watch for added sugar hidden everywhere. Learn the many different sugar names and check all packaged, canned and processed foods, such as cereals, prepared meats, bakery goods, jams, etc.

· Grain Products: Try to stay away from refined grain foods. These include most breads, crackers, pasta and breakfast cereals. Also eliminate cakes, pies, doughnuts, cookies, croissants, muffins and all pastries and snack foods such as chips, most snack mixes and buttered popcorn.

· Fats and Oils: Limit saturated fats and refined vegetables oils. Eliminate food with trans fats and other bad fat. This includes margarine, lard or partially hydrogenated oils found in cookies, cakes, pastries, doughnuts, chips, fried foods, candy and most chocolate.

· Meats, Poultry and Fish: - Limit red meats high in saturated fats and other fatty cuts of meat – ribs, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, bologna and other packaged meats, plus most hamburgers. Also avoid deep frying anything.

· Dairy and Eggs: Limit cream products, such as full-fat cream cheese, sour cream, cream sauces, whipped cream and ice cream. Also limit the use of butter, eggs and full-fat cheeses and whole milk, 2% reduced fat milk and whole milk yogurts.

· Beans, Nuts and Seeds: Stay away from any bean soups or chili that contain sausage, bacon, ham or other high fat meats. Also avoid all salted nuts and seeds, as well as those roasted in oils.

· Fruits and Vegetables: Eliminate fried vegetables and fruits, vegetables with butter, cheese or cream sauces and fruits with cream or whipped cream. Also avoid fruit drinks and high sugar fruit juices. One cup of fruit juice has no fiber and up to 10 teaspoons of high glycemic sugar.

· Excess Salt: Average salt consumption in the U.S. is 10-15 grams a day. The National Academy of Sciences recommends 3-8 grams. To cut your salt intake in half, limit table salt and avoid chips, salted nuts and popcorn and most prepared, canned and packaged foods.

· Liquids: Avoid all sodas, milk shakes, fruit juice and fruit drinks and greatly limit or totally eliminate caffeine and alcoholic beverages.  

·  Vegetables: When picking from the vegetables list, go for the bright colors with the most vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Choose dark green, orange and red vegetables, like broccoli, kale, carrots, squash, red peppers and tomatoes. And garlic and onions are powerful natural antibiotics that strengthen immunity and help prevent disease. Go for organic if possible (especially for the top "dirty dozen" that are most affected by pesticides).
·  Fruit: From the fruits list, choose whole fresh, frozen or, in limited amounts, naturally dried fruits. Pick berries, oranges, red grapefruit, cantaloupe, apples, apricots, plums and other brightly colored fruit that's low on the glycemic foods index, rather than canned fruit or fruit juices. Go for organic if possible (especially for the top "dirty dozen" that are most affected by pesticides).

· Whole Grains: Choose 100% whole wheat or rye breads, crackers and pastas, sprouted grains, brown rice, oatmeal and other whole grain high fiber foods instead of refined grains, like white bread and white rice. Try grinding your own gerain and making combination flours of various whole grains so it's not just wheat (which can be hard on some peoples' bodies). 

· Beans, Nuts and Seeds: Beans (legumes), such as lentils, soy beans, garbanzo, and kidney beans are good sources of both protein and fiber. They can be added to salads, home made burritos and soups. Good choices of nuts and seeds are raw, unsalted almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds. If you’re watching calories, keep portions small.

· Fats and Oils: Good quality food fat from olive oil, fish oil, beans, whole grains, raw nuts and seeds provide important, healthy fatty acids. Using butter is just fine, just don’t use it for everything. Use extra virgin olive oil for salads, stir-frying and baking (unless the tempurature is really high). Remember, fats are high in calories, so eat sparingly for good weight management.

· Dairy and Eggs: Choose only healthy fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream. If you drink milk, make sure it's fat-free. And don't overeat butter, cheese and eggs.

· Fish, Poultry and Meats: Healthy high protein foods are important. Have omega 3 fish, such as salmon, trout or sardines at least twice a week. Also include poultry (without the skin), beans, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds. If you eat meat, pick lean cuts and limit portion sizes.

· Water and Other Liquids: Since your body's mostly water and you use and lose about 9 cups of it a day, fluids are essential. And here's the bottom line. Pure water is the healthiest thing to drink. So stick with water, mild herbal teas without caffeine and plain lemon water.

Preparing Legumes 101

Preparing legumes

Beans and dried legumes require soaking in room temperature water, a step that rehydrates them for more even cooking. Before soaking, pick through the beans, discarding any discolored or shriveled ones or any foreign matter. Depending on how much time you have, choose one of the following methods:

Slow soak. In a stockpot, cover 1 pound dried beans with 10 cups water. Cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

Hot soak. In a stockpot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 pound dried beans and return to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover tightly and set aside at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.

Quick soak. In a stockpot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 pound dried beans and return to a boil. Boil 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

Gas-free soak. In a stockpot, place 1 pound of beans in 10 or more cups of boiling water. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Then cover and set aside overnight. The next day 75 to 90 percent of the indigestible sugars that cause gas will have dissolved into the soaking water.

Cooking tips

After soaking, rinse beans and add to a stockpot. Cover the beans with three times their volume of water. Add herbs or spices as desired. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender. The cooking time depends on the type of bean, but start checking after 45 minutes. Add more water if the beans become uncovered. Other tips:

Add salt or acidic ingredients, such as vinegar, tomatoes or juice, near the end of the cooking time, when the beans are just tender. If these ingredients are added too early, they slow the cooking process.

Beans are done when they can be easily mashed between two fingers or with a fork.

To freeze cooked beans for later use, immerse them in cold water until cool, then drain well and freeze.

One pound of dried beans yields about 5 or 6 cups cooked beans. A 15-ounce can of beans equals about 1 1/2 cups cooked beans, drained.

Type of legumesCommon uses
Adzuki beans Also known as azuki beans, asuki beans, field peas, red oriental beans Rice dishes and Japanese or Chinese cuisine
Anasazi beans Also known as Jacob's cattle beans Homemade refried beans and Southwestern recipes — especially soups
Black beans Also known as turtle beans, black Spanish beans and Venezuelan beans Soups, stews, rice and beans, Mexican dishes, and Central and South American cuisine
Black-eyed peas Also known as cowpeas, cherry beans, frijoles, China peas, Indian peas Salads, casseroles, fritters, bean cakes, curry dishes, and Southern dishes with ham and rice
Chickpeas Also known as garbanzos, garbanzo beans, ceci beans Casseroles, hummus, minestrone soup, Spanish stews and Indian dishes, such as dal
Edamame Also known as green soybeans Side dishes, snacks, salads, soups, casseroles, and rice or pasta dishes
Fava beans Also known as broad beans, faba beans, horse beans Stews and side dishes
Lentils Soups, stews, salads, side dishes and Indian dishes, such as dal
Lima beans Also known as butter beans, Madagascar beans Succotash, casseroles, soups and salads
Red kidney beans Stews, mixed bean salad, chili and Cajun bean dishes
Soy nuts Also known as soybean seeds, roasted soybeans Snacks or as garnish to salads

Homemade Herbal Infusions

If you have some herbs around the house, why not boil some water with these herbs and create your own infusions (herbal tea). See what you have and what benefits result.

Here is our post about how to make a simple infusion:

Part Used
Additional Information
Relieves flatulence, harmonises digestion and eases nausea. Useful for combating colds & chills.

A cleansing herb, offering a good source of minerals. Beneficial for the kidneys and frequently used for joint disorders.
Avoid in pregnancy.
The ‘mother of the gut’. Use for digestive weakness. Also very helpful to alleviate tension. A pleasant herb for children, to relive colic and promote rest.
Add an infusion to your bath. Use as a final rinse for your hair.
A herb to aid the circulation, promote good digestion and to help combat infection.
Avoid in pregnancy.
A herb frequently used to reduce water retention (oedema). High in minerals which are frequently depleted by synthetic diuretics.
Seek help from your herbalist if you suffer from water retention.
A lovely tasting tea, generally useful to relieve cold symptoms, including catarrh and sinus problems.
Can be used to make a lovely wine and/or cordial.
A digestive agent to help relieve griping and indigestion, to encourage milk supply when breastfeeding.
A useful herb to relieve colic in children.
Lemon Balm
A refreshing gentle herb to relive anxiety. Promotes digestion and induce rest.
Lemon Balm also has anti-viral activity.
Lemon Verbena
Similar activities to Lemon Balm, but with a slightly different flavour.

Another anti-stress herb for soothing the nervous system. Used by herbalists for some individuals with high blood pressure and circulatory disorders.
Consult your herbalist if you suffer from a circulatory disorder.
A cleansing and detoxifying herb with anti-fungal, anti-viral and antibiotic activity. Marigold exhibits these properties internally and externally.
Use as a wash, compress, foot and hip bath.
A detoxifier used as a spring tonic, for allergies and joint disorders.
Use nettle in soups with other vegetables. A good hair tonic, (use in the final rinse).
A herb for the digestive system. Harmonies well with elderflower for colds and catarrh. Try for headaches.
A max of 4 cups per day is recommended. Do not use for children under 4. Pleasant foot bath.
A herb to encourage digestive functions. Traditionally used to increase circulation to the head, to relieve pain and improve concentration.
A max of 3 cups per day. Don’t use if you suffer from high blood pressure.
Excellent as a gargle to relieve sore throats and enhance immunity. Sage may also reduce milk flow during lactation-so avoid during breastfeeding.
Do not feed if you are breastfeeding or pregnant
A useful herb for ear. Nose, throat and chest infections
Useful to combat coughs and colds in children.