It’s always so fun to see new produce in the markets that you just don’t quite expect to see when you go in. That’s how I felt when I eyed blood oranges in the store this week! I love blood oranges for so many reasons. Particularly for their striated skin and their sweet crimson flesh inside.
From a health standpoint, blood oranges levels of vitamin C are higher on these oranges compared to regular oranges. They also a great source of folic acid, calcium and Vitamin A, among other minerals and vitamins. What blood oranges contain that really no other citrus fruit does are anthocyanins, which are powerful flavonoid pigments that exist in red and purple fruits and vegetables. These flavonoid pigments protect the human body from many diseases and are very good for overall human health.
What can you do with blood oranges? First off, you can buy them while they’re in season. And then just use them they way you would with regular oranges. If I’m having people over, I’ll generally use them in a citrus salad because everyone always oooohs and ahhhhhs.
Here’s a simple citrus salad recipe below:
2 grapefruits (red grapefruits make for a particularly pretty salad)
3 blood oranges
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 fresh mint leaves
Peel and section the grapefruits and oranges. Combine sections and any juice in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Cut mint leaves into ribbons and sprinkle them on top. Serve immediately
Last night we had such a great class! We made foods that are great for our gut health and keeps it all in balance so we don’t experience all the maladies that come when our systems are in a state of disharmony — like weight gain, headaches, SIBO, Leaky Gut, IBS, depression, etc. We started with a Fermented Red Pepper Sauce, then moved on to a Seaweed Kraut and ended with making Ginger Bugs for a Ginger Soda. Recipes are HERE. And a picture is below of the product, along with other great moments from the class!
Come to our next class – Sunday, March 15th at 3 pm. We’ll be making Natural Hangover Fixer Elixirs — just in time for St. Paddy’s Day! You can sign up here
In my Organics to you Box, I received a pumpkin, amongst many other vegetables. Full disclosure: I don’t really cook with pumpkin that much even though it’s a nutritional powerhouse. I generally will reach for a winter squash of some sort to work with if it calls for pumpkin. But this time, I was decided to make a pumpkin soup from scratch using beautifully rich bone broth that had been simmering in my crock put for the past 72 hours.
I should mention that I had been at my friend Rama’s house the day before and coincidentally she was making butternut squash soup that I ended trying and it was out of this world! I saw that she simply roasted her squash with some sliced onions, put some EVOO over the veggies and sprinkled it with sea salt, pepper and rosemary. Once the veggies were all caramelized to a soft, rich, buttery state, she simply blended them up with the bone broth. It was that simple!
I went home and decided to make my soup, with said pumpkin, the exact the same way. And guess what? It was that simple and was out of this world too!
Let’s review why pumpkin rocks!
It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins.
Pumpkin is a powerhouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.
It is extremely high in vitamin-Am which is powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight.
The fruit is a good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Pumpkin seeds indeed are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. In addition, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals and health-benefiting vitamins. . Further, the seeds are an excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin in the brain, which makes us happy. 🙂
RECIPE FOR EASY PUMPKIN SOUP
1 3 lb pumpkin
2 sweet onions
2 T of extra virgin olive oil
1 T of fresh rosemary
celtic sea salt
fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice pumpkin up (you can keep the skin on for now) and rinse out all the seeds. Save them to roast later!
Slice the onions up into medium size pieces. Dice is not necessary.
Spread the veggies out on a baking pan and sprinkle with EVOO, salt, pepper and chopped rosemary.
After about 40 minutes, take the veggies out. Make sure they are nice and soft!
Let them cool.
Once cooled, peel the skin off the pumpkin. Put the pumpkin and onions in the blender.
Put some broth (homemade is the best but any low sodium, organic broth will do) or water in the blender. About 4 cups.
Blend and add broth or water to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When Smart Balance and Earth’s Best came on the scene it touted itself as the savior to the other alternative spreads that were not as healthy. They were most likely including ‘real butter’ in this equation to continue to promote the alarmist myth that butter is full of fat, unhealthy for the heart, promotes high cholesterol, etc. (Full disclosure, I bought this message for years and used the stuff religiously before I became educated about the topic!)
Their catchy marketing slogan said it all. “The buttery taste you crave in a delicious spread that supports healthy cholesterol levels.” Hmmm. “Healthy” cholesterol levels. Let’s unpack that a bit.
Let’s take a look at Smart Balance ingredients
“Natural oil blend (soybean, palm fruit, canola, and olive oils), water, contains less than 2% of whey (from milk), salt, natural and artificial flavor, vegetable monoglycerides and sorbitan ester of fatty acids (emulsifiers), soy lecithin, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, Vitamin D, dl-a-tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), lactic acid, beta carotene color, and potassium sorbate, and calcium disodium EDTA (to preserve freshness)”.
The soybean and canola oils are almost certainly genetically modified and have been shown to wreak havoc on the body after extensive use.
Beta carotene is added for color to change the the product from a scary looking gray color to a more amenable pale yellow.
The olive oil isn’t even extra virgin olive oil and is likely cut with cheap vegetable oils like most olive oil on the market.
Natural and artificial flavor – this must be where that “buttery taste you crave” part comes in. But that taste is strictly a figment of imagination. It has no basis on any real ingredients.
The real truth is that nothing manufactured in a factory can ever beat the simple, natural, whole nutrition and taste of plain BUTTER and other whole traditional fats. No genetically modified, artificial flavors or preservatives needed. Loads of natural vitamin A, D, and E that really will boost your immune system unlike the synthetic versions in margarine spreads like Smart Balance.
Benefits of FULL-FAT Butter
Butter, particularly grass fed butter, is one of the richest sources of vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is the prime factor written about by Dr. Weston A. Price which is known to prevent arterial calcification which is a very strong (if not the strongest) predictor of cardiovascular disease risk, NOT cholesterol levels.
Some other benefits of real butter are that it is a very rich source of the vital mineral selenium; contains lecithin, which essential for cholesterol metabolism; has anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries; the saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties. The list goes on and on…
For great cow butters, Kerry’s Gold is grass-fed and ubiquitous in markets nation-wide. Even Land-o-Lakes makes a butter that is only cream though beware Land-o-Lakes makes a fake butter that is made out of soy oil and canola oil.
If you have no milk allergy? Just buy real butter! Real butter ingredients are just cream and optional sea salt that’s it! No other funky ingredients!