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Leafy Greens for Brain Health

By Ann C Wooledge
on December 08, 2015

Bring on the Green, Leafy Vegetables

Spinach, kale, chard and other green leafy vegetables of every type are great for the brain. In one study, Dr. Martha Clare Morris found that people who ate 1-2 servings of green leafy vegetables per day were 11 years younger—cognitively speaking—than those who consumed none. And that's really not a LOT of green leafies! They are easy to incorporate into our diets and so many ways to do it. That's one of the reasons she included leafy greens as one of the ten essential foods in the MIND diet, with a recommendation of at least six servings per week. If you can't quite make it to six, even two servings a week showed some benefit! 

Here are four recipes to try this month if you'd like to incorporate leafy greens into your diet in new ways. Read more here

Now here is what NOT to do - I let my swiss chard sit out on the deck during an ice storm not long ago. I think I can still maybe saute it? Or try it in this recipe. I love quiche, I love cheddar cheese and I love chard - so this looks like a winner. 

 

Another good way could be to use it in a salad - this one looks really good too - swiss chard, cabbage and brussel sprouts salad!

Now sitting right beside the swiss chard is my patch of parsley that seems to grow regardless of heat or cold this year. I'm going to plant some kale in this area this week too because I've seen it last through even the harshest Nebraska winters. 

 

Now I'm not sure what to do with this much parsley though. Freeze it, dry it? Any suggestions?

Do you have some good ways to incorporate greens into your diet? Please share!

Thanks for listening!

ann c wooledge, RN, CCAP, aromatherapist, herbalist, organic and natural cosmetic formulator

Ann's mission statement is to provide health and wellness information to you and your family that you may not find in your every-day newspapers or Prevention magazines. Her college studies, certifications and passionate self-study have provided her with a huge spectrum of understanding of the intricate issues and debates concerning health, nutrition and skin care. Ann was a Critical Care Registered Nurse, is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Professional, and has been studying nutrition, aromatherapy, skin care health and medicinal herbalism for at least 13 years. Not so surprisingly, all of these interact for health and wellness at a level we all want to achieve. She is an ardent pursuer of verified research and information and spends huge amounts of time searching for information that is relevant and evidence based. We sincerely hope you benefit from her efforts.

See our disclaimer statements here.

 

Gluten-free, Sugar-free Raspberry Muffins

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on November 29, 2012
5 comments

RASPBERRY GLUTEN-FREE SUGAR-FREE MUFFINS:

 

We’ve been experimenting with quite a few sugar free, gluten-free, yeast-free breads and desserts. We have had some victories and a few disappointments, but I wanted to share them with you. This is an adaptation to our Blueberry Muffin recipe posted last week – see here. For anyone with yeast overgrowth or even just some yeast issues, these will help starve that yeast and get it eliminated from your body. Often times we don’t even realize we have yeast and the possibility that they might have taken control of our intestinal flora. Do you have lots of bloating after eating? Probably yeast. Can’t lose weight even though you’re starving yourself? Probably yeast. We have to starve it by eliminating ALL sugar and yeast from our diets. Other things need to be eliminated too, but these are the main culprits. To say it's difficult to find a sugar-free, gluten-free, and YEAST-free bread is an understatement. Let me know if you do. We've experimented with a few recipes and found some we really liked. I will be posting those recipes very soon.

Now, just a short note about these recipes. They are adapted from a book called "The Joy of Gluten-free, Sugar-free Baking" and I highly recommend the book. However, I suddenly realized with my last two recipe attempts, the authors are WEIGHING their dry ingredients. For instance, one recipe says 1 cup (4 oz/113 grams)! Well, I've been baking since I was a kid and one cup to me is 8 ounces in a dry measuring cup - so totally NOT 4 oz! So I decided to actually weigh the flour this time at 85 grams and I think they turned out better than the last batch. Which, really if you think about it, each "flour" has a different weight - it's a bit different than using all purpose flour which stays the same. The almond flour I purchased and is available in most grocery stores, but for the pecan flour, I simply ground up raw organic pecans in the spice grinder. And seriously? If you don't have yeast issues or aren't worried about the glycemic load, you could use sugar in these recipes. Hmmm - and did you notice? There are NO oils or fats added? The fats are naturally derived from the nuts - and they are the healthy fats!

Ingredients:

¾ cups (3 oz/85 grams) pecan flour
¾ cup (3 oz/85 grams almond flour
½ cup Stevia in the Raw Extract (we were able to find this at Russ's! One of our least health-oriented grocery stores.)
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1/3 cup organic dried coconut
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs (approximately 3.5 oz/99 grams)
½ cup (4 oz/113 grams) unsweetened coconut milk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 packet NuStevia
½ to 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (I put them in still frozen)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 9 to 10 muffin cups with paper liners. I like to spray them with olive oil spray (optional). Mix the pecan flour, almond flour, Stevia in the Raw, hemp seeds, coconut, baking powder and salt until well blended. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon juice, and NuStevia until well blended.  Add the egg mixture to the bowl with the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon for 1 to 2 minutes. I’ve found that this is an important step to get the correct consistency of the batter. I even set my timer for 2 minutes after I pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture but I’m a little OCD-ish. Fold the raspberries into the batter – gently of course. Again, no need to thaw them out first - easy and fast.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and the cups should be just about full. They don’t rise much if at all.  Place the muffin pan on a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Test them with a toothpick and if it comes out clean, they’re ready. I like to then set them out on a wire rack for cooling. Well, truthfully, I like to pull a really hot one out and slather it with butter and eat it right then - my reward.

We liked these a lot and Warren took a few to work with him today.  I will do a nutritional analysis, but just knowing that I’m using nut “flour” (and we use organic raw nuts), NO sugar, and coconut milk – the amount of fiber and protein has to be high. The raspberries of course were not sweetened – so more goodness for you.

Let me know if you try these and how they turned out. If you have any questions, let me know!

Thanks for listening!


Vegetarian Moussaka - Meatless Monday, October 15, 2012

By Ann C Wooledge
on October 15, 2012
1 comment

Meatless Monday - Vegetarian Moussaka

 

My recipe records show that I first tried this recipe on July 7th, 2008, and that it was “really good!!” The recipe was adapted from “The Best Ever Vegetarian” published by Parragon Publishing, copyright 2003. I say all that because I don’t see authors listed which is interesting, and there are several other cookbooks with the same name. It is spiral bound, which I particularly like, and I have found this to be a useful guide. I like to scan the recipes and then I can write notes on the printed pages and put it in our family book of recipes.

Of course, this doesn’t have to be “meatless” and you can substitute approximately 12 oz of lamb to make it a truly traditional moussaka. The original recipe called for a 10-1/2 oz can of green lentils. I didn’t use the lentils and if I had, I would have cooked my own since they are so easy. It would, of course, add some protein and make it an even healthier meal.

Ingredients:

Approximately ½ cup olive oil

1 onion chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

14 oz can of diced tomatoes

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Pinch of cinnamon and paprika

Salt and pepper

1 large fresh eggplant, sliced

Topping:

2 tbsp butter

2-1/2  tbsp brown rice flour

1-1/4 cup organic milk or milk substitute

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup (divided into ½ cup each) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degree. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in skillet and add the onion and cook until softened. Add the celery, garlic, the tomatoes and juice from the tomatoes, and the chopped parsley. Add the lentils here if you use them. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover this mixture and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until thickened.

2.  Meanwhile, heat a little of the remaining oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the eggplant slices, in batches, if necessary, and cook until golden brown on both sides, adding more oil as necessary. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Eggplant has a tendency to soak up a lot of oil, so be sure to drain these well. Layer an ovenproof dish with the tomato mixture and the eggplant slices, ending up with a layer of eggplant. I actually used a 9 x 13 inch pan and was able to place one layer of the eggplant and one layer of the tomatoes. So – the size of your pan obviously will determine how many layers you will end up with. There is a cook’s tip that says to prevent the eggplant from absorbing too much oil during cooking, salt it first. Place the slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let stand for 20 minutes to let them dry out. In the “olden days” we would salt eggplant to prevent bitterness, but the newer varieties are without that bitterness.

3.  Topping: To make the topping, put the butter, flour, and milk into a pan and bring to a boil over low heat, whisking constantly. Season to taste with nutmeg, ½ cup cheese, salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat, let cool slightly, then beat in the egg. Pour the sauce over the eggplants, sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup parmesan cheese, and bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden.

This evening I’m thinking about using zucchini rather than eggplant, which of course, will make it something entirely different than a moussaka, but I think it will still taste good. I also think I'll add the lentils this time - red ones probably because that's what I have the most of. Let me know if you try this!

 

Thanks for listening!

 

 

Ann's mission statement is to provide health and wellness information to you and your family that you may not find in your every-day newspapers or Prevention magazines. Her college studies, certifications and passionate self-study have provided her with a huge spectrum of understanding of the intricate issues and debates concerning health and nutrition. Ann is a Critical Care Registered Nurse, a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Professional, and has been studying nutrition, aromatherapy, skin care health and medicinal herbalism for at least 13 years. Not so surprisingly, all of these interact for health and wellness at a level we all want to achieve. She is an ardent pursuer of verified research and information and spends huge amounts of time searching for information that is relevant and evidence based. We sincerely hope you benefit from her efforts.

 

Pumpkin Hummus?

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on October 06, 2012
2 comments

Pumpkin Hummus?

 

Now – I’m sort of doing this backwards. I just made some regular old hummus and found this old recipe in my stack of OLD recipes, so I don’t know where I got it from or I’d give credit where credit belongs. I am posting this because I thought it looked really good and let’s face it – we’re all wanting to do something with pumpkin now at the beginning of fall.

So – my questions would be – has anyone tried anything like this? Did you like it and/or would you make it again. I’d also like to hear if anyone else thinks this looks really good or not so good. Obviously, I am a little undecided or I would have just gone ahead and made it. Now - this has to be one of the healthiest snacks I can possibly think of what with the raw garlic and the garbanzo beans - than add pumpkin puree to that!

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp Tahini
2 Tbsp water or olive oil to thin to the consistency you like
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp cumin

Place everything in your food processor blend until you have the consistency you like best.

I posted a blog a year or two ago about how to make raw hummus and why that's a good idea, but to be honest, I've been so busy (or translate that as lazy) that I've been using canned garbanzo's. I really am going to go back to soaking and cooking dried beans - really!


Thanks for listening!

 


Spring Vegetable Stew

By Recipes for a Healthier You Vegetarian Entrees
on April 17, 2012

Mediterranean Vegetable Stew Recipe

Still putting the finishing touches on the blog about the extremely powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties of clove, both as an essential oil and a spice/herb. In the meantime, I came across this recipe and with AICR's permission I'm posting it for you. They are our information site for all things pertaining to cancer and nutrition. If you visit, take a minute to donate a little (or a lot) if you can. They are really making a difference in the world of cancer research and information. The original article is here.


Picture by permission from American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)


Satisfying Spring Stew

This hearty one-pot is full of cancer-fighting vegetables and flavorful herbs and spices. Best of all each serving weighs in at only 300 calories and 6 grams of fat, making it a great dish to help you maintain a healthy weight. Butternut squash and carrots contain cancer-fighting carotenoids while onions and garlic pack quercetin and allixin —compounds that show the ability to slow tumor growth in the lab. Serve with hearty brown rice or whole-wheat couscous for the perfect New American Plate meal.

 Mediterranean Vegetable Stew

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth (low-sodium chicken broth may be substituted for a non-vegetarian dish)
1/2 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground paprika
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom (or substitute 1 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder for spices from chili powder through cardamom)
1 lb. (2 cups diced) small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup raisins
2 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4" slices
1 (15-oz) can garbanzos, drained
1/4 cup pitted black olives, halved
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white or black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 cups cooked brown rice (whole-wheat couscous may be substituted)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.

While broth is simmering, combine spices in a mixing bowl then stir them into pot. Add butternut squash, raisins, carrots and garlic. Cover and continue simmering until vegetables are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Let me know if you try it!

 


 

Fresh Warm Spring Asparagus Salad

By Recipes for a Healthier You Vegetarian Entrees
on April 03, 2012

Warm Spring Asparagus Salad


Well, for our part of the country spring has come very, very early this year. Yesterday, April 2nd, the temperature on our deck was around 95 degrees! No - I'm definitely not complaining! I love spring and summer. One of the things I love about spring is the nice fresh asparagus that is so readily available. We planted it one year and it came back a couple of years, but never where it was big enough to pick. So, we depend on our local farmers. We've noticed too that Trader Joe's has a frozen asparagus which frankly is as good as any fresh I've tasted. We mostly just saute it in a little butter or olive oil, but when I saw this recipe for warm salad, I had to give it a try. The recipe came from George Matelian's daily email (from Whole Foods) we receive and it always has good information and recipes. To read more "in-depth" nutritional information and how to sign up for his newsletter - click here.


This one salad has an amazing array of healthy nutrients. Certainly, enough to give it a try. By using the frozen asparagus spears, you can save some time and effort. We'd use the raw apple cider vinegar and McKay's chicken seasoning. When our bell peppers are ready for picking this summer, we'll use those. In the meantime, we freeze them every year, so I have some and those are what I'll use in this recipe. I do always keep jars of roasted red peppers - maybe I will use those. The balsamic vinegar is a no-brainer for me - love the stuff.

The entire credit for the following goes to Whole Foods and their extremely informational website:

You can add this easy-to-prepare salad to your Healthiest Way of Eating in a matter of minutes. Not only is it an excellent source of health-promoting vitamins A, C, and E, but it provides 16% of your Daily Value for folate. Enjoy!

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small onion, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 2 TBS light vinegar (rice, apple cider, or white wine)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 3 TBS low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 7-1/2 oz jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained and slivered (or 2 medium red bell peppers, sliced thin)
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. Slice onion and place in a small bowl with vinegar and hot water while preparing rest of the ingredients.
  2. After about 10 minutes, remove onion from hot water and squeeze dry.
  3. While onions are marinating heat 3 TBS broth over medium heat in a stainless steel skillet.
  4. While broth is heating, snap off the woody bottom of asparagus stems, then cut the spears into 2-inch lengths. Cutting them into short pieces of equal length ensures quick, even cooking.
  5. When broth begins to steam, add asparagus. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. The outside will be tender and the inside will be crisp. Thinner spears will take about 3 minutes.
  6. Mix together roasted peppers with marinated onion, asparagus, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Marinate for 4-5 minutes and serve warm.

    Optional: If you use fresh red bell peppers, Healthy Sauté them for 7 minutes and toss with rest of ingredients in place of roasted peppers. Serves 4

     

    Let us know if you try this! 

    Thanks for listening!

      

Healthy Homemade Chai-Spiced Tea

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on March 11, 2012

Healthy Homemade Chai-Spiced Tea:

 

I've tried so many different chai tea recipes using the regular powdered spices or buying a mix of some sort - nothing tastes like I think it should. That is until I found this recipe where it's made from scratch. Luckily I already had all of these spices as a whole spice because I wanted to try more Indian dishes and have found that spices are so much better when crushed by hand just before adding them to a dish. It's really not difficult - of course a little more time-consuming than just putting a mix in a cup and microwaving it. I made enough so that I can drink 2 cups for 2 days. So, in the long run, it is less time actually. I like it warm, almost hot. It's also very good for you. You can use black tea, green tea, or rooibos (good recommendation) tea - whichever you have or like best. Any "milk" product would work as well. I used non GMO soy milk because I needed a little more protein that day, but any of the nut milks would work great. This is also a great coffee substitute if you're trying to cut down on caffeine.

Chai Spiced Tea:

1 cinnamon stick
8 whole green cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
1 teaspoon dried ginger root (not powder) OR 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and thinly slice
4 whole black peppercorns
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 inch of a vanilla bean
2 1/2 cups filtered water
2 single-serve black tea bags or 1 Tbsp of whichever loose tea you prefer
2 Tablespoons unrefined sugar (I really like the turbinado, but usually use stevia)
1 1/2 cups milk (non-GMO soy or nut milk)

Place cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, peppercorns, vanilla bean or extract in a 1.5 to 2-quart saucepan. 

Add filtered water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, set aside, and let steep for 10 minutes.

Return pot to the heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea, cover and set aside to let steep for 3 to 5 minutes.

Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids. 

Return liquid to the pot and stir in sugar (or stevia*) and milk.

Heat over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until warmed to your liking. Pour into cups and serve. (Also good over ice.) I left the spices in the glass that I stored the tea in (refrigerated it) until I wanted my next cup. By leaving the spice mixture in the leftovers, it made it taste (I do like it sort of strong) even better each time I reheated it.


Serves 2-large mugs or 4-small mugs.

Adapted from one of favorite resources - this is a great website.
http://www.cookinggodsway.com/author/Shannon/

Let me know if you try it, or if you have your own recipe that you like.

Thanks for listening!


Do you get enough magnesium?

By Ann C Wooledge
on February 26, 2012

Magnesium - do you get enough?


We subscribe to consumerlab.com and their newsletter which is always full of very good, update, accurate and needed information. Here is a quote from a recent article that they published. I can't link directly to that link because it is a secured url and requires a subscription. Which is fine, that's how they keep in business as they don't sell anything. 

So - do you eat enough magnesium rich foods every day, or do you take a supplement, none of these or both of these? Here's why you should think about it.

"An analysis of several studies concluded that magnesium may help reduce the risk of stroke. People who consumed 100 mg of magnesium more per day than average (the average being about 300 mg) had an 8% lower risk of strokes of any kind and a 9% lower risk of ischemic stroke (Larsson, Am J Clin Nutr 2012). This finding is based on total magnesium in the diet -- it does not mean that 100 mg of magnesium from a supplement will necessarily have the same risk-lowering effect, but getting a total of at least 400 mg of magnesium from your diet per day may be beneficial."

What else does magnesium do?

Well it does a lot of things, but to keep it short, it is important to take it with any calcium supplement that you might take. It also relaxes nerves and muscles, which is why I like to take my calcium/magnesium supplement before bedtime.

Foods rich in magnesium: Truthfully, magnesium isn't all that difficult to get enough of. I use the supplement because it is important to take it with calcium in order for calcium to be absorbed. I've been working on a blog about cow's milk (got way more complicated than I'd planned) and there will be more information about calcium in that blog.

According to Whole Foods, here is a list of foods rich in magnesium:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Soybeans
  • Sesame seeds
  • Halibut
  • Black beans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cashews
  • Almonds

Whole Foods has an amazing amount of information on their website, so if you want more information than you could possibly imagine, check out their page on magnesium.

Thanks for listening!





Gluten-Free Cornbread Squares

By Recipes for a Healthier You Easy Homemade Breads
on February 20, 2012

Cornbread Square Muffins - Gluten-free (easily Vegan)
cornbread square muffins gluten free

This is a recipe that I've tweaked a few times, but I think I've finally GOT IT. We've been sugar-free, gluten-free in our household since November (2011) due to yeast overgrowth issues that resulted in some really bad side effects for Warren. He's lost 45 pounds since then (this is now February 2012 as I write this) and although he needed to lose some weight, this wasn't quite how he nor I had expected it to happen. Regardless, this is one of the recipes that came from my search for FOOD - real food that tasted good and filled us up. This last batch came out light and moist, as good as any, and I think probably better than any cornbread I've made before now - and I learned most of my cooking skills while living in the south where cornbread is an art.

Preheat over to 400 degrees.

3/4 cups organic brown rice flour (the original recipe called for 1-1/4 cup of all purpose flour)
3/4 cups organic coconut flour
3/4 cup yellow corn meal (not all corn meal is gluten free, so check the package if that's important for you)
1 pack of NuStevia (the original recipe called for 1/8 cup of sugar - I've never liked really sweet cornbread, but this was good)
2.5 tsp double acting baking powder (I used Clabber Girl) - probably would use an aluminum free one next time
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup mayonnaise and to make it vegan you can use vegenaise)
1 cup nut or soy milk - I used almond milk
1 egg (when I made it vegan we substituted egg replacer)
1/4 cup olive oil

Add dry ingredients, make a well in the middle and mix the milk, egg and yogurt together and then blend with dry ingredients. Don't overdo the mixing - just until incorporated and lumps are gone. Place in square muffin pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until slightly brown around the edges.

The picture below is of the Wilton square muffin pan that Warren found at a garage sale for $4.00 - he found 2 of them. They are very  heavy and cook these squares perfectly. You can, of course, cook this recipe in any muffin pan or even square pan, but the muffin squares make serving the cornbread so much easier - no flaking or falling part when you try to cut the cornbread.

 wilton square muffin pan

Note: The last attempt at this recipe I substituted the all purpose flour with a gluten-free flour mix that we found at the grocery store, used Vegenaise and egg replacer. I will say that although good, they were heavy and doughy and not nearly as tasty and light as this batch.

Let me know if you try this, if you make any substitutions and how it worked for you.

Thanks for listening!

 

Chickpeas with gravy

By Recipes for a Healthier You Vegan Main Meals
on January 09, 2012

Chickpeas in gravy

 

Looking for a way to add plant-based protein to your diet? Here is an excellent recipe. I found this recipe on my Tweeter feed this morning and thought it looked like something we should try. It's best to soak dried beans and cook them rather than using canned, but I know it seems easier to just open a can. I even tried soaking them and using them "raw", but seriously they get rancid/moldy much too quickly unless you keep a close eye on them. Check out the blog, Quantum Vegan, for the full article and recipe.  She mentions adding flour to thicken the gravy. The way we like our gravy is cashew gravy and we just put the raw (preferably soaked but I usually don't remember to do this) nuts and water in the blender (Vitamix is great, but we don't have one) and add one tablespoon of whatever flour you want - actually garbanzo bean flour would work. We're always looking for substitutes for refined flours and wheat while also trying to eliminate as many sources of gluten from our diet as possible. Let me just say that I haven't tried this recipe yet, but will probably fix it for Warren tonight. However, I have definitely discovered that after many years of eating regular flour/roux type gravy, I much prefer the cashew gravy. I like to add about a tablespoon of veggie chicken broth seasoning (msg free!) or other seasoning depending on what flavor I'm trying to achieve. Since this recipe highlights thyme, I would think "chicken" broth would be great and we prefer the veggie type. I know, I know veggie chicken is an oxymoron! Try it like she has it or adjust it with the cashew gravy - either way, it sounds like a keeper.

Ingredients
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp flour
1tsp dried thyme
1-2cups veg broth
1 15.5oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
salt & pepper to taste

Directions
1) In a large skillet or saute pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

2) Add the flour and cook, stirring, until browned, 2-5 minutes.  Add the thyme, chickpeas, and 1 cup of broth; stir well to combine.

3) Bring the mixture a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken.  Add more broth as necessary if the gravy becomes too thick.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Serve hot.

What so great about cashews?:

The great thing about this recipe, especially if you substitute the regular gravy which has very little nutritional value, is to use the cashew gravy. Did you know that  cashews (contrary to what I was taught years ago), have a lower fat content than most other nuts, approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, plus about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil! They are high in antioxidants as well. Now how much protein?  Cashews have about 17 grams of protein for each 100 grams of nuts (about 3.5 ounces.)  Check here for information from Whole Foods about all the healthy benefits you get from adding nuts, such as cashew nuts, into your diet.

What about chickpeas?:

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are best known for their very high protein and fiber content.  One of my favorite ways to use chickpeas in to make hummus dip for celery. For those of us trying to increase our plant-based protein and fiber in our meal plans - chickpeas are one of your best bets. For just one cup of beans you will get approximately 17 grams of protein! That's a lot! And as well as that you will receive about 14 grams of fiber. This particular bean has been studied and has shown that incorporating chickpeas into your diet will help keep you satisfied without food cravings. For more information about chickpeas, here is the link to Whole Foods detailed information.

Let me know if you try it!




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Gluten-Free Products Clearly Identified

With an alarming increase in gluten intolerance and allergies, we feel identifying this on our skin and body products is important. If you are in...

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From the Blog

Simple Habits to Protect Your Eyesight

September 04, 2017

DID YOU KNOW?! "Orange (as in carrots) isn’t the only color that helps support the eyes; eating a variety of...

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10 BEST CANCER KILLING PHYTONUTRIENTS

September 04, 2017

DID YOU KNOW!?  You will often see me mention cancer "cures" - yes, it can be cured and you certainly...

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GINGER FOR MIGRAINES!

September 04, 2017

DID YOU  KNOW!?  Ginger as Effective as Synthetic Drug in Migraine, but Without the Side Effects! I love ginger, both...

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