Today the Power Foods blog group takes a look at berries. As a food group, berries are great for you. Berries contain anthocyanins, which help to reduce inflammation, and may help to prevent cancer. My favorite berry, the blueberry, provides more antioxidants than many other fruits. Blueberries rank low in on the glycemic index (GI) so they are a good fruit for people with type 2 diabetes. These berries also support memory, and they have cardiovascular and blood pressure benefits as well.
Don’t wash your blueberries when you bring them home from the market. Washing them will only make them spoil earlier. Wash before you plan on eating them. If you plan on freezing your fresh berries, then wash them, pat them dry, separate them out on a flat pan, and then flash freeze them for an hour. Once they are three-quarters frozen you can place them in a bag and return them to the freezer. By flash freezing before you put them in a bag, they will not freeze together and clump up.
Recipe Type: Beverage
I sometimes make the blueberry smoothie without banana and then just add a drop of sweetener, but banana helps to sweeten the drink and make it more filling. It’s a great drink for my healthy eating habits!
1/2 small banana (optional)
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1/2 cup ice
Place the ingredients in a blender and process until it is smooth and homogeneous.
My appreciation for Swiss chard began about 20 years ago when I bit into a Swiss chard pie, wow was that good! Since then, I’ve learned to eat it sautéed, in soups, bean stews, and burritos. This leafy green has an earthy, crisp and well-rounded flavor that not only tastes good, but it’s superb for your body. One cup of cook chard contains 715.9% daily nutritional value of vitamin K, and this vitamin seems to play an important role in the prevention or treatment of bone fracture. It’s also plays an important role for anticoagulant therapy, bone loss prevention, osteoporosis, and inflammatory bowel disease, to name a few. Are you listening Baby Boomers? Swiss chard is also high in vitamins A and C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and iron, and it’s loaded with antioxidants. Come on. Try it!
My kitchen turned into a science lab this week when I experimented with a new vegan dish. The principal ingredient was the chard, of course, which I dipped in hot water and then rolled with a filling of cooked buckwheat, sautéed onions, chopped dried tomatoes, and diced carrots. The dish was definitely for hard-core vegans—not for those trying to eat more vegetables and less meat, like many of my readers. Luckily I had a back-up plan. Some time back I posted a recipe for pH Green Drink and the feedback was very positive and I had a few requests for another healthy smoothie, so here is my Swiss chard smoothie. It’s quite delicious and has no added sugars. Add green smoothies to your healthy eating habits!
Servings: 1 to 2 Yield: 12 oz. Total Time: 5 minutes
1. Put a couple of cups of water on to boil. When it reaches a boil, turn off the water and dip the chard leaf in the water and leave it 15 seconds. (Blanching the chard will make the flavor more mild). Remove it and place it in a blender.
2. Add the other ingredients to the blender along with ¾ cup ice and ½ water. Process until smooth. Drink right away.
WAIT!! Don’t close this page! OK, So you’ve seen the picture of the green drink and you’re thinking… ”Forget it! I’m not going to drink any green slime.” Up until about a month ago, I would have thought the same thing if someone had offered me one of those…grassy looking drinks. But lately, there has been so much talk about the benefits of fresh green smoothies (here, here and here), that one day I just couldn’t resist any longer —I had to try. I threw some spinach, grapes and cucumber into the blender and mixed it on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. The result…nice surprise…I didn’t gag. The drink went down smoothly and had a pleasant sweet taste. I’m open for more experimentation and I think I’ll have some fun with it.
pH green smoothies started occupying space in my mind after reading a book called “The pH Miracle”, by Dr. Robert O. Young, known to many as the pH diet. In this book, Dr. Young explains that the body’s blood must maintain a neutral pH, not too much acid or alkalinity, in order to maintain good heath. When the body is too acidic, as in the case of many Americans, you’ll have health problems like: eczema, arthritis, diabetes, autoimmune related illnesses, cancer, and so on. For our bodies to become more alkaline we need to be eating more raw alkalizing vegetables and fruits. Enter the green smoothie. The pH green smoothie, made with alkalizing vegetables and fruits will help restore our bodies to the proper pH levels.
So go ahead and try one and do something good for yourself.
Total time: 5 minutes
1 handful of spinach
1-1/2 inch length cucumber, peeled
1) Throw the spinach, grapes, cucumber, 1/4 cup water, and 2-3 ice cubes onto a blender and mix on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, or until the juice is well blended.
Do you enjoy my recipes? SUBSCRIBE to receive them by email, or, by RSS
Mulled wine, or Glogg as it’s also called, has been around for a long time and everyone has their own version, myself included. At this time of the year when people in many homes are in a festive mood and serve alcohol, it’s nice to have a non-alcohol alternative (though the alcohol has evaporated, it’s not recommended for alcoholics). Mulled wine, if you’ve never tried it, is a warm drink that warms your body and your spirit and makes a merry alternative to alcohol. Another benefit is that the aroma of the wine and spice make the house seem cozy and warm. Mulled wine was Clarence the Angel’s choice drink in It’s a Wonderful Life. It was good enough for Clarence and it’s good enough for me, too!
1 bottle (750 ml.) red wine
1 bay leaf
Orange peel from ½ an orange
2 black peppercorns
8-10 whole cloves
4 tablespoons agave nectar
Use a potato peel to get the peel from ½ an orange.
Bring the wine just to a simmer; do not boil. Add the orange peel, the bay leaf, the peppercorns the cloves, and the agave. Simmer 15 minutes. Strain and serve.
Sodas should probably be one of the first items to give up if you want to have healthy eating habits. The reason is, they account for a large amount of a soda drinker’s sugar intake. Is soda your downfall? You’re not alone. Look at what they say at Fooducate, “Candy accounts for only 6% of the added sugar in the American diet. Soft drinks and juice account for 46%.”
You probably know that there are approximately eight teaspoons of sugar in most canned sodas. And you surely know that sodas are harmful to your health. You’ve considered quitting them, but you’re afraid of going cold turkey. Try my recipe for homemade ginger ale, or ginger beer, for two to three weeks to ease you into going cold turkey and soda free. It’s caffeine free and low in sugar.
Ginger Ale: 8 servings
Photo by Mia
4 oz. fresh ginger root
5 cups water
1 to 2 packets Truvía, or 1 to 2 teaspoons Agave syrup to sweeten
Optional: a couple sprigs of mint
Directions for Ginger Liquid:
Peel the ginger and cut slices across the grain of the ginger root, to 1/4 inch thick. Put the ginger and water into a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the water has reduced to 2 ½ cups. Strain and cool the liquid. You should have 2 cups liquid, which can be stored in the refrigerator for seven days. If you have less than 2 cups, add more water and bring back to a boil for 2 minutes, and then cool. Discard any remaining liquid on eighth day.
To Make Ginger Ale:
Pour ¼ cup liquid in a 10 to 12 oz. glass. Add 1 to 2 small packets Truvía (3.5 grams each), or 1 to 2 teaspoons Agave syrup. Add ice and soda water. Stir to mix.
To Make Ginger Beer:
For ginger beer, add an extra tablespoon to the glass for this stronger flavored drink. Adjust the sweetener.