Category: Health

Vibeke’s Simple Arugula Salad (that her kids love)

This recipe comes from Vibeke Weiland, the chair of our board and also a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner practicing at Santa Barbara Wellness for Life in Santa Barbara. This is a simple recipe that she and her kids love! With it’s simple ingredients and little-assembly-required technique, it’s the perfect way to add kid-friendly cruciferous veggies to any meal!

Ingredients:
• A bunch (or bag) of arugula
• As many crumbled walnuts as you like (can be toasted or not)
• As many halved cherry or grape tomatoes as you like
• As much shaved Romano cheese as you like
• Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• Salt & pepper
Method:
1. Throw everything except lemon juice, EVOO and S&P into a salad
bowl.
2. Dressing is 50/50 lemon juice and EVOO, plus as much salt & pepper
as you like. I throw them in a small jar and shake, then pour over
salad just before tossing & serving.
Inspired by Arnoldi’s Arugula Salad.

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Cruciferous Veggies and a Holiday Snack

Many traditional holiday snacks can be unhealthy, expensive, and difficult. Sugar cookies? Popcorn? Those carbs will leave you hungry. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Kale has an enormous number of health benefits, and it can also be turned into a healthy snack you’ll love to share with family during the holidays. Also, at approx. $2.99 a bag, kale is a cheap and healthy alternative to potato chips.

Sea Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips
Serves 1 compulsive snacker or 2 “normal” people.
Ingredients:
• 1 bunch kale
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt (more/less to taste)
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 135ºF (Dehydrate), or the lowest temperature it will
go. Can also use a dehydrator if you have one.
2. Wash and dry kale leaves. Strip the green kale leaves from the thick
ribs.
3. Save the ribs for something else
(https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/9-ways-to-cook-kale-stemsarticle).
4. Cut or tear the kale leaves into your desired size of chips, knowing
that they will shrink a bit while baking.
5. Combine the vinegar, oil and salt in a large bowl. Add the kale
leaves, then use your hands to toss and massage the kale for 1-2
minutes until it is soft and slightly darker.
6. Spread out the kale in a single layer on a dehydrator rack or two.
Dehydrate for 2 hours (if oven temp is higher than 135ºF you will
need to shorten this), or until the kale is crispy and no longer soft.
Remove and serve immediately, or store in a sealed container for up
to 1 week.

Sea Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

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Irina’s Sweet & Sticky Brussels Sprouts

Back to Crucifers!

We just can’t get enough of them. They’re so important for a healthy diet, AND extremely tasty and versatile. Check back for a new recipe each week!

Irina’s Sweet & Sticky Brussels Sprouts
Ingredients:
• 2 pounds cleaned Brussels sprouts, cut in half
• Olive oil or avocado oil
• salt to taste
• 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction
• 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
• 1/2 cup shaved toasted almonds (optional)
• 2 tablespoons honey
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Toss the halved Brussels sprouts with enough olive oil to lightly coat
and spread into a single layer on a baking sheet.
3. Bake at for 30 minutes, or until sprouts are a bit crunchy on the
outside and soft on the inside.
4. Once cooked, let the sprouts cool for 5-10 minutes. While still warm,
add balsamic reduction, salt, dates, lemon juice (if using), almonds (if
using) and honey. Mix until well combined.
5. Serve warm.
Irina Skoeries, www.catalystcuisine.com.

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Using Food Prep to Make Healthier Choices

I was talking to my dad about some barriers that are faced when it comes to eating healthy. We have access to an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes all packed with health-promoting nutrients and yet we opt for microwaveable meals and packaged foods. Making our own food is the best way to control the ingredients and know exactly what we are eating, but sometimes our busy schedules have a bigger say in what we are able to eat in a time-crunch. As much as I love looking at the food-bloggers post of colorful bowls of food and perfectly placed produce on the plate, I personally don’t have time to throw together extravagant meals. As someone working 40+ hours a week between 2 jobs, taking classes and finding as much time as I can to ride my bike, I am all for convenience without sacrificing my health, so here’s a few tips that I have picked up to make sure that I don’t have to spend a ton of time making food and have more time to do the things that I want to do.

1. Simplify your meals.

Eating healthy doesn’t need to mean outrageous salads with 25 ingredients and some fancy dressing. One of my go-to meals is a burrito bowl: the base of rice or quinoa, some greens like kale or spinach and then some legume like lentils or beans usually topped with avocado, nutritional yeast and salsa or hot sauce. That alone will cover most of your nutrient needs and is packed with fiber and a mix of carbs, fat and protein to keep you satisfied. If the rice or quinoa is made beforehand, it takes less than 5 minutes to throw it all in a bowl. I’ll do the same thing with cooked sweet potato; I’ll l just throw it in a bowl with some greens and some sort of sauce topping, and it’s good to go. These foods pack well too and can be taken to work.

2. Meal Prep. Meal Prep. Meal Prep.

This is something that I struggle with too but I am SO glad when I put aside an hour on Sunday and cook up a big pot of rice or quinoa and bake some sweet potatoes in the oven. Then, during the rest of the week, I can just toss them in the microwave, add beans, add greens and I’m good to go. This will save you time and money in the long run and prevents those hungry runs to costly and unhealthy fast food places.

3. Buy what you’re going to eat.

Make sure to have some staple foods that you buy and know you can make a meal with. For me that’s: oatmeal, frozen berries, rice, quinoa, potatoes, beans, spinach, kale, frozen veggies, avocado and, right now, apples. Once you have your staples, feel free to venture out and try some new foods and maybe challenge yourself to try cooking a new vegetable, but don’t continue buying romanesco broccoli or purple sweet potatoes every grocery visit if they’re just going to sit at the back of your fridge for 2 weeks then end up in the trash. This can take some trial and error. Personally for me I know I do not eat pears, chard, or beets regularly enough to keep them in my regular grocery haul. Sometimes I’ll throw them in my cart if I have a recipe in mind, otherwise I know I’m just wasting my money.

Written by Taylor Brower.

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Food as Medicine: Cruciferous Veggies

What’s a crucifer?!

It’s not as scary as it sounds, we promise. A crucifer is simply the name of a category of plants that have 4 leaves in an “X” shape. While they’re fairly common vegetables, like broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts, most people have no idea of the enormous health benefits that these veggies and greens contain.

This particular category of plant contains a chemical called sulforaphane, which has four main benefits for your health:

  1. It is essential for the liver to remove toxins from the body. Toxins in your body can be anything from pesticides on food to pollutants in the air to alcohol.
  2. Sulforaphane signals the body to make more of its own antioxidants. Antioxidants are extremely important for you body to fight off free radicals. Free radicals are destructive molecules that occur naturally as our cells burn fuel for energy and contribute to cancer, dementia, and aging. If someone you know is suffering from dementia check out these care agencies sheffield, that are specialized to help those with dementia.
  3. By doing both of the above, sulforaphane helps to activate genes that help fight cancer.
  4. Similarly, sulforaphane also makes sure our bodies are repairing the daily damage that happens to our DNA through sun exposure, smoking, and radiation.

If you’re like us, then after reading that, you’re super excited to eat some cruciferous veggies! But what are they, and how can we (tastily) eat more of them?

Cruciferous Vegetables  and Cruciferous Greens

  • Broccoli/Broccolini/Romanesco
  • Arugula
  • Brussels Sprouts 
  • Collard Greens
  • Cabbage (incl. Napa & Chinese) 
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Bok Choy
  • Horseradish / Wasabi 
  • Tat Soi
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mizuna
  • Maca
  • Mustard Greens
  • Radish/Daikon Radish
  • Shepherd’s Purse
  • Turnip
  • Watercress
  • Rutabaga
  • Land Cress

*** Includes sprouts or microgreens of any of the above.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Pre-cut crucifers like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, or cauliflower 40 minutes before cooking. This allows enough time for the myrosinase and glucoraphanin to comingle and create sulforaphane.
  2. If you don’t have time to wait 40 minutes for sulforaphane to form before cooking, simply add mustard powder or another raw crucifer to cooked crucifers when eating.
  3. If you’re using frozen vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, add mustard powder or another raw crucifer to the meal to activate the sulforaphane, as frozen veggies tend to be parboiled before packaging.
  1. Increase your daily sulforaphane intake by adding sprouts or microgreens to your meals.

 

Cauliflower Fritters

Makes about 20 fritters.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 8 pieces organic bacon (Applegate Sunday bacon or bacon from a farm that feeds their pigs well)
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 1 1/4 cup grated cheese (I prefer a sheep cheese like petit Basque orManchego but any melty cheese will work)
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I use gluten free bread crumbs or substitute chickpea flour)
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Lightly steam cauliflower. Let cool and rice it in a Cuisinart.
  2. In a bowl combine riced cauliflower and the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Fry in avocado or olive oil until dark brown on each side.
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What Can Chronically Ill Patients Do to Brace for Natural Disasters?

Data from the CDC External link  shows that people living with chronic conditions are among the most vulnerable communities, as they experience greater limitations with daily activities like walking or eating, and they are densely populated in many of the states that are most susceptible to natural disasters.

Read Full Article Here

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Easy Ways to Incorporate More Fruits and Vegetables Into Your Diet

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is healthy, but sometimes we end up thinking of it as a chore and it can become unappealing. But it doesn’t have to be! Although it can be daunting to try and tackle cooking a food that you’ve never eaten before, such as kale or Japanese sweet potatoes, I’m hoping that some of the tricks I use every single day to load my plate up with plants will help you out.

  1. Add greens to your smoothies. Putting in a handful of spinach is the best way to incorporate more greens into your diet. Spinach has a very mild taste and if you’re loading up your smoothing with bananas and berries and other fruit, the spinach taste will be easily masked. You’ll have a tasty, nutrient powerhouse of a smoothie.
  2. Keep it simple. We don’t need to be making kale-seaweed salad with a spirulina infused dressing to be eating more veggies. One of my favorite things to do is purchase the frozen bag of mixed vegetables and throw that over some cooked rice or sweet potatoes, making a big batch of baked sweet potatoes in the beginning of the week and then using it as the base for most of my meals. A big bowl filled with some salad greens, baked sweet potatoes, canned beans, and avocado is a healthy, cheap and delicious meal.
  3. Try something new. Sometimes it can be fun to try out a new recipe with an ingredient you’ve never used before. There are an unlimited amount of recipes for every kind of fruit or vegetable out there, so next time you’re stuck with a head of cauliflower and have no idea what to do with it, try and make some buffalo cauliflower wings. 

Vegetable Thai Curry Recipe

One of my favorite comfort foods is Thai Curry! It’s SO versatile, you can literally throw in whatever vegetables you have, add some coconut milk and curry powder and BOOM- Thai curry. All of these ingredients can be found at the grocery store for cheap and are full of nutrition to keep you healthy during these winter months.

1 onion- diced

6 small carrots, diced (I used organic multicolor carrots)

4 small potatoes- diced

1 head of broccoli

1 small carton of mushrooms

2 small zucchini

1 block tofu

1 jar of green curry paste*

2 cans of coconut milk

2 Cups Dry Jasmine Rice

Sautee the onions carrots and potatoes in a little oil or water and continually stir until soft

Add mushrooms and stir

Add broccoli and zucchini- add water as needed

Add jar of curry paste (* I had green curry paste on hand, but this would also be great with red paste too)

Add 2 cans of coconut milk and as much water as needed

Let simmer

While simmering- cube the tofu and sautée in a pan

Add tofu to curry pot.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes (*Option: Add some chopped up kale and purple cabbage for some extra greens and veggies)

Cook Jasmine rice (Rinse rice well before cooking)

 

Written by Taylor Brower.

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This week’s featured fruit is the persimmon! Seasonal to fall, persimmons usually abundant in our warehouses from September to October.

Persimmons are a delicious fall fruit and are a powerhouse of nutrients and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive substances found in fruits and vegetables that provide protective properties when consumed. Some of these phytochemicals include flavonoids, tannins, and carotenoids. Phytochemicals are becoming of great interest to researchers for their role in prevention and reversal of diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Consuming persimmon leaves has also been shown to have beneficial effects against oxidative stress, hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Butt, Masood Sadiq, et al. “Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) fruit: hidden phytochemicals and health claims.” EXCLI journal 14 (2015): 542.

Persimmon Bread:  From www.healthiersteps.com

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Line 9×3 loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly grease, set aside.

Mix water with flax seeds in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine gluten-free all purpose flour, almond flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt

In a small bowl mix coconut oil, vanilla, persimmon puree and flax seed mixture.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until fully combined. Stir in raisins and pecans.

Scoop batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Remove loaf from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the loaf pan before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Bread keeps for about 5 days in airtight container and freezes well.

 

Written by Taylor Brower.

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Pears

Pears are tasty fall fruit in Santa Barbara County, but did you know they are also a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals? They are packed with  vitamins C and K, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and folate. Pears also contain phytonutrients that protect against certain diseases and cancers.

For a quick, tasty treat, enjoy pears sliced on a cracker with honey and some cheese. This also makes a great appetizer at your next get-together!

Apple, Pear, Cranberry Cobbler

2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)

2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

1/2 C of coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel and core the pears and apples and cut them into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and toss with the cranberries, zests, juices, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish.

For the topping:

Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and coconut oil/margarine in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

Place the baking dish on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

 

Written by Taylor Brower.

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