Tag : organic

trail-mix-chocolate-bark-1-of-1

Chocolate Trail Mix

200 grams dark chocolate, melted
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 cup cranberries
3 cups puffed rice / gluten free rice bubbles*
Line a large tray with baking paper.
Mix the dried fruits and seeds through the melted chocolate until they are well coated.
Spread the mixture evenly over your lined tray and place the tray into the fridge.
Once set break up, eat and enjoy!
*to make this grain free use puffed quinoa.

Sourced from: Wholefood Simply

organicfood5

Simple steps for growing your own Organic food

There are a lot of good reasons to grow your own organic food. In fact, there is a lot of increasingly disturbing evidence that presents equally good reasons not to buy non-organic supermarket produce. For example, one recent study of pesticide exposure in children in a major area found that traces of garden chemicals were found in 99 percent of the 110 children who were tested. Further, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, 90% of fungicides, 60% of herbicides and 30% of insecticides are considered carcinogenic.

Growing your own organic food is not only healthier, but it can save you a lot of money. Produce departments are taking full advantage of an educated public’s desire for organic food, a fact reflected in the huge difference in price. In addition to reducing your grocery bill, by transforming your lawn into a garden, you’ll also save money on your water bill. Trees and shrubs require anywhere from two and a half to four times less water than maintaining a lawn.

Simple Tricks to Start Off
As the person in charge of production of your own herbs, fruits and vegetables, you can replace chemical pesticides with natural alternatives. One such alternative is a little cayenne pepper or horseradish mixed with garlic paste added to a gallon of water. It’s important to test the strength on a leaf or two because if it’s too strong, it can burn the plant. However, it’s remarkably effective as a pest repellent.
You’ll also be able to decide what kind of soil you want to use to grow your food. Different plants thrive in different types of soil. For example, some, such as flowers and annual vegetables prefer peat-free soil, while blueberries require lime-free compost. Fruit trees benefit most from a soil based mix that releases nutrients slowly due to their long lives.

Mulching
No matter what kind of soil composition you choose, mulching is an important factor in preparing it for planting. Mulching is the process of enriching the soil. Two benefits of mulching are weed reduction and water conservation. Organic mulches are commonly made from decomposing plant materials. Many people set up a worm farm to provide natural compost for mulching. Worms are also able to detoxify soil of due to their ability to break down substances, including heavy metals like cadmium and lead.

Experts recommend not using live green materials rather than those already in an advanced state of decomposition because they can leach needed nitrogen from the soil. Proper mulching requires the soil to be covered with up to three inches of material to achieve the maximum benefits. However, the mulch should not cover the plant’s base, but only the root zones.

Methods
Depending on what kinds of vegetables you want to grow and how long your local growing season is, you can begin growing seedlings indoors, and then transplant them into your garden. It can take between four and twelve weeks for seedlings to sprout. The benefit is that you can then harvest your vegetables four to six weeks earlier than if you had planted the seeds directly into the ground.
This method is great for plants that are slow to mature or sensitive to weather conditions. Plants that do well with this method include peppers, melons, eggplants and tomatoes. However, some plants, such as root vegetables like beets and carrots, or that grow on stalks like corn and peas or vines, like zucchini, can’t be transplanted well.

Many websites offer tips about how to maximize your organic garden harvest, as well as how to preserve your fruits and vegetables to enjoy year round. With a bit of research, good will and patience, you too can be well on your way of growing your own healthy food.

Sourced from: http://www.organicangels.com/blog/4-simple-steps-for-growing-your-own-organic-food/

cookie-dough-bliss-balls-1-of-1

Cookie Dough Bliss Balls

– 4 tablespoons peanut butter
– 3 tablespoons honey*
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– pinch of salt
– 1 1/4 cups almond meal
– 40 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped

Place the peanut butter, honey, vanilla and salt into a bowl and mix to combine. Add the almond meal and mix to combine, work the mixture with your hands until it forms a dough. Add the chocolate and mix to combine.

Use your hands to press and shape the mixture into balls. Place the balls into the fridge to set.

*you can use rice malt syrup if you prefer.

Sourced from Wholefood Simply

Heal your gut naturally

How to heal your gut…naturally

There are many contributing factors that affect your gut health. Factors such as diet, food intolerances, lifestyle, hormones, sleep and medications will affect the state of how your body digests and eliminates what you eat and drink.

Your gut is the gateway to better health. This is because its primary role is to break down and absorb your food, providing your body with the nutrients and fuel to function at its best.
Feed your gut well, and your health will thrive, but feed it with the wrong types of foods and you compromise your body’s ability to promote growth and repair, support your immune system and keep your muscles and organs healthy.
While everyone has their own distinct genetic makeup and exposure to different environmental factors that influence their gut health, there are a few common factors that can trigger digestive issues.
Our bodies – specifically, our guts – are full of bacteria. In fact, there is more bacteria in the human body than there are cells, with approximately 100 trillion microorganisms inhabiting the bowel alone.
Thankfully, the vast majority of these bugs are good – or at least they should be, if we’re talking about an ideal gut. And that’s the key to gut health – ensuring that we have more of the ‘good’ bacteria than the ‘bad’.
These beneficial microorganisms are known as ‘probiotics’ They help us:
• digest food
• absorb nutrients
• break down some medications
• kill some of the bad bacteria that lead to infections

So, let’s learn how to heal out gut and get the most out of life!
Eat Probiotic Rich Foods
Since ancient times people have used probiotic rich foods, which have been naturally fermented, to provide the good bacteria needed for a healthy gut and overall health.
Kimchi, kombucha, kefir, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, natural yogurt and apple cider vinegar are all examples of fermented foods you can eat for a healthier gut. In fact, some of these couldn’t be simpler to make.
Don’t Forget The Prebiotics
You can elevate the effectiveness of your probiotic rich foods by consuming some prebiotic foods too. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that ‘feed’ the probiotics, encouraging them grow and multiply in your gut.
Prebiotic rich foods include artichoke, asparagus, bananas, chicory, garlic, onions, tomatoes and whole grains.
Use Probiotic Supplements
While fermented foods are the best and most natural way to get a healthy dose of probiotic bacteria, some people simply can’t stand the thought of consuming these cultures. In this case, probiotic supplements can be a good alternative.
It’s very important to choose a high-quality supplement from a reputable brand. Make sure it contains live strains of bacteria – which need to be kept refrigerated.
Cut Out Sugar & Processed Foods
The bad bacteria in our guts go into overdrive when we eat too much sugar! They are also quite partial to the fats found in processed foods – including cookies, cakes, chips, fries and pastries.
Consider if Antibiotics are Always Necessary
Some estimate that half of the antibiotics we are prescribed are unnecessary. We already know that this over-prescription leads to drug resistant bacteria, but it may also be seriously impacting the health of our guts in the long-term.
Following a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics, it can take weeks, months or even years for the gut’s microbes to get back into balance.
Shockingly, some researchers believe that antibiotics may even be causing permanent changes to the microflora of all people from generation to generation – passed on from mother to child.

The below Bone Broth recipe comes from Tiarna here in the EverEscents head office – wonderful for this time of the year – Be sure to let us know if you make it!
Ingredients:
• 8 Organic chicken drumsticks
• 4 cloves garlic (finely diced)
• 1 onion (roughly chopped)
• 1 inch of ginger root (roughly chopped)
• 1 medium carrot (diced)
• 1 parsnip (diced)
• 1 turnip (diced)
• 2 sticks of celery (diced)
• 4-6 cups of Organic chicken stock
• 2-4 cups of water
Preparation:
• Fill your pot full with water and stock, and add the herbs and vegetables.
• Cook on medium-high until bubbling, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer covered, at least 8 hours, up to 48 hours, to taste.
• ENJOY 😊

Organic Orange Cake

Caramelised Orange Flourless Cake

Ingredients

Caramelised Oranges

  • 3/4 cups Organic Times Rapadura Sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 oranges

Cake

  • 175g Organic Times Salted Butter, room temperature, chopped into cubes
  • 3/4 cups Organic Times Rapadura Sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups Organic Times Almond Meal
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp Organic Times Baking Powder

Method

Caramelised Oranges

  • Slice oranges into 2.5mm-thick slices, set aside.
  • In a large fry pan, combine sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Stirring occasionally.
  • Bring to the boil and add oranges slices in two batches. Gently boil slices over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until candied and translucent, turning slices halfway through cooking.
  • Remove slices and set aside on a clean plate to cool slightly.
  • Preheat oven to 160ºC (320ºF). Grease and line a 23cm round springform tin with a large sheet of parchment paper. Press paper into base of tin and pleat and press paper round the sides.
  • Place oranges onto base of tin, slightly overlapping slices to cover base. Place extra slices halfway up sides of tin.

Cake

  • Place butter and sugar into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until pale and creamy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add almond meal and buttermilk, beat until well combined.
  • Sift flour and baking powder over batter, fold through until just combined and smooth.
  • Gently pour batter into tin over orange slices.
  • Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour or until cake springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool in pan for 30 minutes.
  • Gently remove cake from pan by releasing the sides and turning it over onto a wire cooling rack.
  • Drizzle over remaining syrup and let set.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Recipe from our friends at Organic Times  

chocolate

Organic Chocolate vs Conventional Chocolate

Many chocolate lovers consume and enjoy chocolate without ever thinking about where it comes from or how it was produced. However, there are many issues surrounding the production of chocolate that are important for consumers to be aware of. With Easter only days away and people starting to purchase their loved one’s chocolate we explore the benefits of Organic chocolate and compare it to conventional chocolate. Read on to see what we found!

One of the main differences is that organic chocolate is created using cocoa beans which have not been treated with synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. True organic chocolate should not stop at the cocoa bean—any other ingredients included in the blend (sugar, milk, nuts, fruit, spices, etc.) should be organic as well. Of course, just because the label reads organic does not mean that it is totally organic; check the labels closely—your chocolate’s organic percentage could be anywhere from 70% to 98%.

How is conventional chocolate produced?

Conventionally farmed cacao is awful for the environment. Second only to cotton, cacao farming uses the highest volume of synthetic and toxic pesticides. Synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers affect the environment, the crop, and workers. As of today, there has been research into creating genetically-modified cacao, but there has not been any produced.

How is organic chocolate produced?

For a chocolate (or any food product) to be considered “organic” it must contain at least 95% organic ingredients. To make organic cacao, the farm replaces conventional fertilizers and soil conditioners with crop rotation practices and all-natural fertilisers (manure). Synthetic and toxic pesticides are never used, replaced with all-natural alternatives. These organic practices create a more sustainable crop, have a lower environmental impact, and are better for the workers who will not be exposed to the synthetic chemicals. On the manufacturing end, USDA Certified Organic chocolate also guarantees that no artificial flavours, dyes, or GMOs (genetically modified organisms) find their way into your chocolate.

So, there you have it. A great insight into the difference between Organic and conventional chocolates, If you are looking for an Organic chocolate this Easter my personal favourites are the following:

Pana – http://www.panachocolate.com/
Loving Earth – https://lovingearth.net/
Alter Eco – http://www.alterecofoods.com/

Click the links to check them out!

Have a wonderful and safe Easter and until next time,
Tiarna 😊

Health Ambition Ginger Blog

Health Benefits of Ginger and a Homemade Spiced Ginger Tea Recipe

Check out this awesome blog we found today from www.healthambition.com. A great little story about the health benefits of ginger and an awesome recipe for homemade spiced ginger tea!

Fresh ginger is a pungent and powerful herb with many health benefits, particularly for your digestion. Here’s a look at what are what makes it so good for you and a cinnamon, honey and ginger tea recipe for an simple way to make it at home.

Health Benefits of Ginger
From the moment you first taste it on your tongue, ginger has a beneficial effect on your digestive system. Phenolic compounds like gingerol help to stimulate saliva in your mouth and then bile and gastric juices in your stomach to improve your digestion.

Ginger’s volatile oils have muscle relaxant properties which can help to ease bloating, spasms and cramps in your gastrointestinal tract. For this reason, strong ginger tea is often used to help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Those suffering from IBS may find making up this ginger tea at home can be an effective natural remedy, especially if you drink it just before eating.

Ginger is also a useful treatment for those who experience heartburn after a big meal. Compounds in the herb have been shown to improve the function of the lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle, that blocks off your stomach and its acids from your esophagus, is supposed to close tightly when you are digesting food.

However certain chemicals in processed foods and the caffeine in coffee in particular can interfere with this. For heartburn sufferers, it’s definitely worth considering replacing coffee and other high caffeine drinks like cola with more natural options like ginger tea.

A powerful anti-inflammatory, ginger is often reported to be a beneficial treatment for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. While regular cups can be effective, those on prescription medicines would be advised to check with a doctor before having more than a couple of cups a day of ginger tea in case it interferes with their medication.

Ginger is a natural treatment for various types of nausea and motion sickness and the tea is particularly fast acting. In fact, a study in the Lancet medical journal showed it to be more effective for motion sickness than popular drugs for the condition.

It’s very soothing to drink ginger tea if you have a sore throat and the recipe ahead, with the addition of honey and cinnamon, is even helpful for reducing cold symptoms.
In fact, if you were to make up a strong cup of it at the first hint of a sore throat, it may well never develop into anything more.

How to Make Cinnamon, Honey and Fresh Ginger Tea
Ingredients
Fresh ginger
Half a teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon
Half a teaspoon of honey
Method
Start with a ginger rhizome that is firm and relatively blemish free. Give it a good scrub under hot water and then, with a sharp knife, carefully cut off between five and 10 very thin slices. Put these in a mug with half a teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon and half a teaspoon of honey.
Boil the water in your kettle but let it sit for a minute after it is boiled to let any sediment settle before you pour it. It’s also worth cleaning out your kettle with vinegar regularly to minimize those crusty deposits, particularly if you live in a hard water area.
While the kettle is boiling, mix up your ginger slices, cinnamon and honey in your cup. Try and crush up the ginger a little with your spoon to release even more of the beneficial oils.
To make the tea, simply pour hot water into your mug and stir it up well. Allow it to steep for a couple of minutes and then you can remove any floating pieces of ginger with a spoon, strain it if you like or simply blow them to the other side before you drink it as I do.

True Ceylon cinnamon is superior to the more common Cassia cinnamon in both taste and health benefits. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties, regulates your blood sugar and appetite and can even help reduce elevated LDL cholesterol levels. Like ginger, cinnamon is definitely a herb worth getting more of in your diet.

Activated Nuts

Everything you need to know about “Activated Nuts”

What are activated nuts?
Activated nuts have been soaked in water and salt for a period of time, which starts off the germination or sprouting process, then dehydrated at a low temperature. Soaking increases the nutrient value of the nuts along with breaking down the problematic compounds that help enhance their digestibility.

The Process of Activating Nuts

Here are some tips on how the process of activating nuts:
• Place the nuts in a large bowl and then proceed to put in salted water.
• Let the nuts soak in salt water for the needed number of hours.
• When the soaking time is over, the nuts should be strained and rinsed.
• Use a baking tray or a dehydrator rack to spread the nuts.
• Dry in either the dehydrator (12-24 hours) or the oven (less than 65C).
• The nuts need to be stirred and turned during the course of the drying time.
• Ensure that the nuts are dry and crispy.
• All steps completed and what’s left are the kind of nuts that the digestive system will welcome.

Why go through the process of activating nuts?

Depending on how you know your way around the kitchen, the process of activating nuts might sound like a hard task to achieve. There’s always the option of going out and buying activated nuts, only if you have the kind of budget that allows you to do so every time. For others, the process of activating nuts might be the easiest sacrifice they have to undertake to ensure that their digestive systems don’t suffer and they don’t end up with digestive issues. Having issues with your digestive systems might bring so much pain that investing in a dehydrator to make the activating process easier might seem like the most sane thing to do. Raw nuts are good for us, but activated raw nuts will prove incredible for us in the long run.

Source:
http://www.organicangels.com/blog/organic-nuts-and-the-importance-of-activating-them/
http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition-tips/what-are-activated-nuts/news-story/d918e3bfc0ef73393509aceb311f81bd

Raw Dessets 2

Raw Desserts – are they actually good for you?

Ever wondered if those Raw desserts you are eating are actually good for you? We found this great blog from “Food to Love”  that explains everything we’ve all been wondering!

It’s almost too good to be true – a thick slice of cheesecake, a slab of creamy chocolate or an oozy piece of caramel slice, minus the sugar, dairy and gluten.

Over the past year or two, there has been a huge increase in both the popularity and availability of raw desserts. The concept is simple – ditch refined, modified ingredients and replace with wholesome ones in their original state to change desserts from mouthfuls of empty calories to nutritionally dense sweet treats.

Initially, raw desserts started out as part of the vegan health food scene, with individuals wanting to recreate their favourite desserts that are often loaded with dairy and refined flours and sugars. Now raw treats have become a popular trend, popping up everywhere from regular neighbourhood cafes to health food stores and hipster hangouts. They are often clearly advertised, boasting a (refined) sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free dessert that you can enjoy minus the guilt.

Raw foods by definition are unheated or cooked at less than 40 to 45 degrees to maintain higher nutrient values, antioxidant levels and to aid digestion.

The base of the dessert is usually made from a combination of ground nuts and seeds, with a filling created from soaked cashew nuts or some form of nut butter with a blend of coconut oil. They are naturally sweetened with dried fruits such as dates, apricots and prunes, or some form of natural plant-based sweetener in the form of coconut nectar, agave nectar or maple syrup.

Aside from raw cheesecakes, slices and various bliss balls, one of the more mainstream trends is health-ified chocolate bars, made without sugar, gluten or dairy.

Finally, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too!

 

Blog sourced from: www.foodtolove.com.au

 

http://www.foodtolove.com.au/raw-desserts-a-healthy-guilt-free-treat-16569

 

 

 

 

 

CHOOSING FOODS THAT SUPPORT A HEALTHY METABOLISM

Ever wondered what foods you should be eating in aid to support a healthy metabolism? I found this list the other day and thought I’d share it with you….

 

  • Organic Fruit– watermelons, papaya, lychee, cherries, grapes, RIPE/cooked apples, RIPE/cooked pears, peaches, kiwis, orange/orange juice, etc. are packed with good sugars (fructose and glucose), antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  • Organic RAW Carrots– Raw carrots act like a natural antibiotic to aid your gut. They help decrease bacteria, endotoxins and estrogens in the gut, which will help increase metabolism.

 

  • Organic Expeller Pressed Coconut oil – A healthy saturated fat consisting primarily of medium chain tryglicerides (MCT). The MCT’s in coconut oil are proven anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents.

 

  • Organic Pastured Eggs– Eggs are loaded with vitamin B12, Vit D, Vit A, choline and leucine all of which are what your body utilizes to help metabolize fat.

 

  • Organic Dairy – and milk and other dairy contain tons of calcium. Calcium has shown to help decrease blood pressure and decrease abdominal fat.

 

  • Organic Fruit Vegetables– Squash, zucchini, tomatoes, pumpkin, etc. They contain high levels of folate, Vitamin C and fructose along with glucose.

 

  • Organic Russet Potatoes – rich in protein, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C. Always eat potatoes with a fat and protein and some fruit (you want the fructose). The fat, protein and fructose will help regulate your BS when consumed with the starch.

 

  • Organic Coffee– Coffee increases glucose uptake (increases metabolism) and provides the body with the minerals Mg, K, and the vitamins B1 and B3.

 

  • Wild Shell fish–Oysters, clams, muscles, shrimp, lobster, scallops and crab are all good sources of high quality protein. Shellfish contain vitamins A, C, D and E, and the B vitamins. Shellfish are an exceptional source of vitamin B12, which is required for every metabolic process in the body.

 

  • Salt–it’s natures diuretic and is necessary to mobilize glucose (sugar). The right white, clean source of salt actually increases your metabolism, decreases endema and helps muscles recover.

 

  • Organic chocolate — Chocolate contain not only a healthy level of antioxidants but it also contains stearic acid, a saturated fat that has been found to boost your metabolism.

 

  • Bone broth and Gelatin. — Bone broth and gelatin are an amazing protein source free of the inflammatory amino acids, cysteine, methionine and tryptophan.*Of course, if organic foods are not available to you, do the best you can. You can still get lots of benefits using the non-organic options.

 

So as you can see there are a few awesome things on this list that we all love to eat (chocolate!!). Till next time….Tiarna :)

 

Sourced from:

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20746339,00.html

http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/18-metabolism-boosting-foods/slide/1

http://www.organicauthority.com/mojo-foods/no-more-diets-16-foods-that-naturally-boost-your-metabolism.html