Tag Archives: vegetables

Your Seasonal Guide to Food as Medicine: October Produce

King Estate winery pumpkin harvestIt’s no coincidence that the shift to shorter days and harsher conditions coincides with the emergence of hardier fruits and vegetables.  Thicker skin, more substantial leaves and, most relevant to this article, produce that is absolutely packed with health-promoting compounds is the feature of this month’s food as medicine post.  As a naturopathic doctor, I believe food is one of our most powerful medicines.  And what a treat October turns out to be, with some of the most impressive fruits and vegetables in season to enjoy.  If you’d like to start at the beginning, you can find my first food as medicine post here.

As I mentioned in my September food as medicine post, what’s in season will vary from state to state.  I recently discovered this great interactive map by Epicurious that allows you to see what’s in season where you live and I encourage you to check it out.

Broccoli – This hardy green is just one of six modern vegetables derived from the same wild plant, called colewort.  Collard, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale and cauliflower have also been selectively bred from colewort and it’s for this reason that these vegetables have a similar flavor profile and medicinal qualities. The Brassica vegetables have many nutrients and biochemical substances, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, carotenoids, bioflavonoids, sulfur, dithiolethiones, and glucosinolates. More importantly, these vegetables enhance the body’s cancer-fighting abilities, possess antioxidant effects, and remove harmful chemical additives, such as radiation.  According to the American Cancer Society and Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating, it is recommended to include the Brassica vegetables in the daily diet, especially in women, because of their nutritional value and medicinal properties.

Brussels sprouts – Although they look a bit different, Brussels sprouts are a sibling of broccoli and part of the same colewort family.  A more similar sibling, at least in appearance is cabbage.  In fact, Brussels sprouts are just the lateral buds of the same plant, where larger cabbage is the terminal bud.  Brussels sprouts contain more than 80 micronutrients and make a nice complement to the more traditional antioxidants (A, C and E) and phytochemicals found in fruit, as the compounds in Brussels sprouts have their greatest action in the liver, the body’s detoxification center.  From a preventative perspective, combining a spectrum of cellular antioxidants plus liver protective compounds is a powerful combination to any chronic disease pathway from cancer, to diabetes and aging.

Pomegranates – One pomegranate delivers approximately 40 percent of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement and is high in polyphenol compounds. These compounds are thought to reduce “silent inflammation,” which research has suggested is at the root of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.  Preliminary research also suggests that pomegranate may be beneficial as an antioxidant and as a treatment for atherosclerosis, erectile dysfunction, high cholesterol, and prostate cancer.   An interesting caution to keep in mind with this fruit is that, similar to grapefruit, pomegranate contains compounds that inhibit the CYP450 pathway in the liver.  This pathway is critical to the metabolism of many prescription drugs and for this reason, these fruits should be taken away from many prescription medications.

Pumpkins – A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, delivered in the form of beta-carotene, a compound that avoids the toxicity risks of vitamin A as a standalone compound. Another interesting fact about pumpkins: a cup of cooked pumpkin has more potassium than an equivalent cup of banana.  Potassium works in partnership with sodium as an important electrolyte in the body and is critical to maintaining healthy muscle and heart function.

Pumpkin seeds – If you’ve heard about the sleepy compound, l-tryptophan, found in turkey, beware of pumpkin seeds as well which also happen to be a significant source of this amino-acid.  L-tryptophan also happens to be a precursor to the hormone serotonin which is one of the major mood influencing chemicals in our brains.  Pumpkin seeds also provide significant levels of magnesium, vitally important for the creation of energy in the body and zinc, which supports immune system function, sleep, mood and insulin regulation.  Finally, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of the essential fatty acid ALA that promotes a healthy inflammatory response in the body.

Star fruit – This is a truly beautiful star-shaped fruit that makes a wonderfully crisp and visually appealing addition to any autumn-inspired salad.  And this fruit is not all about looks, a cup provides a full 62 percent of the daily value of vitamin C.  Interestingly, however, if you have impaired kidney function, take note.  High levels of a compound called oxalic acid in this fruit can accumulate in the kidneys and become toxic.  Star fruit intoxication can develop in patients with kidney failure after eating as little as one half of a fruit or drinking less than eight ounces of star fruit juice.  Symptoms of star fruit intoxication include persistent hiccups, nausea, vomiting, agitation, insomnia, mental confusion and convulsions that occur within one to five hours of eating the fruit.  Unfortunately, sometimes the medicine found in food is not always positive.

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photo by: Don Hankins

3 Soup Recipes to Warm Up Your Autumn

beet-soup1-1024x768With summer securely in our rearview mirrors, it’s time to start preparing for cooler temperatures. Get out your jackets and scarves, but what about when you’re home?

Soup! Whether you are battling one of those transitional season colds or just want an easy to warm you up as you watch the leaves fall outside. Soups are a simple and quick thing to make in the kitchen, and so easy to turn into your own recipes. And if you don’t finish all of it in one sitting you can always freeze the rest in a ziplock bag to be warmed up later.

Here are three of my favorite soup recipes, perfect for the fall season. Better yet, all of them can be made in 30 minutes or less for those that are always on the go.

1. Beet Fennel Soup


  • beet – 3 medium (about 3 cups)
  • garlic – 1 clove
  • ginger – 1 thumb-sized piece
  • fennel – 1 bulb
  • kombu – 2 strips
  • caraway seeds – 1 tsp
  • cumin – 1/2 tsp
  • tarragon – 1 tsp
  • ginger powder – 1/2 tsp
  • fennel powder – 1/2 tsp
  • onion – 1 medium (1 cup chopped)
  • chicken stock – 1 quart (may substitute vegetable)
  • ghee – 1 tbsp
  • coconut milk – 1/2 cup (may use soy milk or regular milk)
  • salt and pepper


Scrub the beets well and then chop into 1 inch cubes. Warning – this is a messy business! While your kids might love the mess, I would avoid wearing your favorite white shirt.

Chop fennel, garlic, ginger, and onion. I am pretty rough about it. No fine dicing for me..

Put the onion, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan with the ghee (or oil) and cook on medium-high, stirring often, until the onion is transluscent.

Turn the heat down to low.

Add caraway seeds, cumin, ginger powder, fennel powder, and tarragon and mix. Simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add beets and fennel and mix to coat. Let that cook for two to three minutes.

Add chicken or vegetable stock and kombu. Turn heat up to medium-high and cover until the soup starts a low boil.

Make sure to check the soup often so you don’t burn it.

When the soup starts to boil then turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for about a 1/2 an hour or until the beets are soft.

Take the kombu out.

With a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth.

Add coconut milk. Mix well.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Butternut Squash Soup

A bowl of butternut squash soup, which is packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, most notably C and the powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids, which protect against heart disease, make this soup incredibly good for you too.


  • 1 medium sized butternut squash peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  • 3 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth. If you make it if fresh, that is great. If not, Pacific Foods makes a nice organic one.
  • 1 piece of Khombu (optional)
  • Salt to taste


Put the broth, khombu and cubed squash in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium/low and let cook for 1/2 hour. Remove khombu. Blend with a hand blender until smooth. Add salt to taste.

I usually serve it with a hearty, whole-grain toast.  I like to cut it into strips for dipping. My older son was so excited he couldn’t wait for the toast to come out of the oven.

3. Creamy Dairy-Free Carrot Soup

This soup is a nutrient powerhouse that helps our family get through the colds and flus that often derail the holiday season.

The carrots are rich in Beta-Carotene which the liver converts to Vitamin A. This is important because Vitamin A helps to rid the body of the various toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis. If our livers are not functioning properly, we are more susceptible to the viruses and bacteria that make us sick. A healthy liver is needed for a healthy body, so helping it do its job is like a natural form of health insurance.


  • carrots – 4 cups, chopped
  • ginger – 1 thumb-sized piece
  • ghee – 1 tbsp (may use coconut oil)
  • onion – 1 large
  • apple – 1 large
  • garlic – 1 clove
  • coriander – 1 tsp
  • caraway seeds – 1 tsp
  • coconut milk – 3/4 cup
  • chicken stock – 4 cups (may substitute vegetable stock)
  • salt and pepper – to taste


Chop the carrots, onions, ginger, apple, and garlic.

Put the onion, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan with the ghee (or coconut oil) and cook on medium-high, stirring often, until the onion is transluscent.

Turn the heat down to low.

Add caraway seeds and coriander and mix. Simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add carrots and apple and mix to coat. Let that cook for two to three minutes.

Add chicken or vegetable stock. Turn heat up to medium-high and cover until the soup starts a low boil.

Stir every few minutes to keep it from burning.

When the soup starts to boil then turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for about a 1/2 an hour or until the carrots are soft.

With a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth.

Add coconut milk. Mix well.

Add salt and pepper to taste.


Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

5 Nutrient-Packed Foods for Healthy Hair

de5de856512394ea_shutterstock_96575575.previewMany of us assume that buying the best shampoos and conditioners will be enough to keep our hair looking healthy. These products do help to repair existing hair damage but don’t do much to promote new hair growth and cannot replace essential vitamins that we may be missing from our diet. There are certain essential vitamins and minerals that our hair relies upon, and a lack of these is often the source of many hair growth problems. Some simple changes to our diet can really make a big difference to the look of our hair.

Modern lifestyles can also have an impact – a busy lifestyle, lack of sleep, or even pregnancy can seriously make a difference in our hair health. Vitamin supplements have  been proven to help, but if you are looking for the most natural sources of these vitamins then here is a list of 5 food types foods that can help to provide those essential vitamins your hair needs.


Many sources site that salmon is the number 1 super food for healthy hair. This is because it contains a great combination of essential substances that our hair simply loves. Omega 3 oils help maintain a well hydrated scalp, and many believe this is essential to maintaining healthy hair growth. Oily fish such as herring, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3, and salmon is also rich in Vitamin D which is great for your hair follicles.

If you are someone who doesn’t like eating fish then certain vegetable sources can be a great way to get the omega-3 you need. Rapeseed, flaxseed, soya beans, walnuts, almond and even tofu are all good sources of Omega-3.

Vegetables with Beta-carotene

Beta carotene is present in many vegetables and provides us with a great source of Vitamin A. For many people who suffer from dandruff a simple addition of vitamin A to their diet can help solve the problem. Vitamin A helps to promote sebum oil which is our body’s natural conditioner for our scalp. It can also help with hair growth problems as it is said to assist with oxygenating our scalp. Sweet potatoes are known to be one of the best sources, and other vegetables such as carrots, spinach, and broccoli are also recommended.


Oysters are also recommended to help fight scalp problems such as dandruff. A lack of zinc in your diet may even be the cause of hair loss, and oysters have a particularly high zinc content. Zinc helps promote the level of androgens in our body, and for some people a low level of androgens has been directly linked to hair loss. Crab, liver and beef are also good sources of zinc.

Eggs and other biotin rich foods

Our hair is essentially built using protein, a nutrient that has been associated with speeding up hair growth. Protein can be found in many types of foods, but eggs are one of the best sources. Another important mineral in eggs is biotin, and those who have a biotin deficiency may suffer from brittle hair. To prevent this, biotin has been proven to be effective from both foods and supplements if needed. Kidney beans and nuts such as almonds and even peanuts are also good sources of biotin.

Fruit and vegetables with Vitamin C

Vitamin C is great for both our hair and skin. Vitamin C helps keep our blood vessels oxygenated, which in turn keeps our hair follicles healthy. Super fruits such as blueberries have a very high level of Vitamin C, and strawberries and citrus fruits are also good sources. Many vegetables such as green beans, spinach and broccoli are good sources, and the old-fashioned rule of eating colorful vegetables can give you a good indication of a high vitamin C content, as well.

You may have identified that one of these essential sources of vitamins is missing from your diet, and that may well be the cause of a particular problem. If you are concerned and believe you may have a nutrient deficiency then simple tests at your doctors can identify what vitamins and minerals you may be lacking. This Women’s Hair PDF can also help you to diagnose any hair health problems you may have!

3 Guilt-Free Steps to Satisfy Your Sugar Cravings

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 4.09.44 PMHumans love sweet things. It’s in our nature. Sweet tastes to the long-ago hunter gatherer meant safety. If a food was sweet, then it was safe to eat. It also meant a quick source of energy which we needed when we were running away from mountain lions, and foraging for our food.

Today we love sugar just as much but it means something else completely. In our food culture, it has become a toxin. Why? It comes down to two things. One, we have removed the fiber. And two, we eat way too much of it.

Sugar has become so pervasive in our society that the average American eats over 140 pounds a year or more than 20 teaspoons a day. This is more than twice what the USDA recommends. It’s in everything from hamburger buns to cereal, canned vegetables, peanut butter, baby foods, tomato sauce, and of course the obvious cookies, cakes and ice cream.

What is sugar?

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. When it is eaten in its whole form, such as in fruits, grains, beans and vegetables, the sugar is broken down by our systems and burned slowly and evenly for energy.

In nature, sugar comes in a fibrous package- like an apple, carrot, kidney bean, or rice kernel. The fiber is necessary to regulate the sugar that enters our system. Sugar raises our insulin levels while fiber brings it back down again. Basically, the sugars are the bad guys and the fiber is the police. You need the fiber to keep the sugar in check and to prevent sugar anarchy.

Why remove the fiber?

Fiber is the element in food that makes it take longer to cook, and to have a shorter shelf life. This does not jive with processed food. In order to make it quick, easy, and long lasting, the foods’ fibrous outer layer has to be stripped away. Essentially, fast food and processed foods are simply, food with the fiber removed.

So what’s the problem?

When we remove the fiber, the sugar is able to go on a rampage. First it pushes our blood sugar levels up, and then makes it come crashing down, sending us on a sugar-fueled roller coaster ride. Just think of what happens at a typical child’s birthday party. Pizza and cake send them running in crazy circles, followed by a flood of tears. When we get that spike and crash it also makes our organs work harder. Not only do these refined sugars and carbohydrates take an emotional toll, they take a physical one too.

So what do we do?

As I said at the beginning of this post, everybody loves sweet things. There is no need to eliminate the very things that we love. We just need to consume them in a more conscious way.

Here are three easy ways to cut out a big chunk of sugar from your diet without going crazy.

  1. Avoid the unnecessary added sugars in sweet snacks and drinks. Choose drinks and snack that contain fiber without added sugar. Don’t drink soda or sports drinks. Just don’t do it. There is nothing good about it. It is all caffeine, salt and sugar. They actually dehydrate you which is exactly the opposite of what drinking something is supposed to do.
  2. Eat your sugars with fiber. Preferably the one nature packed it with. The sweets that I make at home are as sweet as candy but packed with the dietary fiber that your body needs to police the sugar and keep it from flooding your system. My Vegan Chocolate Truffles are made with dates which are an excellent source of fiber. I make cookies, like my Jam Dots, and cakes, like my Vegan Chocolate Cake, using coconut, quinoa, millet and garbanzo bean flours. I usually stick in some spinach to drive that fiber up even further.
  3. Use unrefined sweeteners like maple syrup, honey and molasses. They all have vitamins and minerals that add to the nutritional content of the food as opposed to detracting from it. Also, they have the advantage of not being processed so are less likely to have preservatives and chemical additives.


Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

8 Ways to Beat June Gloom

Singin' in the rainOkay, so judging by this map “June gloom” is obviously only a reality for several parts of the country this weekend. But for those of you in Southern California, New England, and the Great Lakes regions, it may be hard to feel excited about summer when the sky is still so grey and some of those clouds are still a-storming. But guess what? It’s time to kick June gloom in the behind and forge ahead with full summery glory! ‘Cause we didn’t make it this far into the year for nothing, right?

Here are 8 fun, alternative summertime activities to indulge in this weekend – clouds, sunshine, rain, fog, or whatever the weather brings:

  1. Have a summer fruits and veggies feast! Regardless of the temperature outside, this season always packs a cornucopia of delicious, sweet, tangy delights, from berries to plums to avocados to corn on the cob. Summer can basically be summed up in the taste of biting into a big, juicy peach and letting your fingers get all sticky. After you finish devouring that peach, use the rest of your bounty for this decadent ginger peach pandowdy, courtesy of Witchin’ in the Kitchen.
  2. Drop in on your local weekend farmer’s market. Nearly every city has got one these days, and the farmer’s are always there – rain or shine! The overflowing tables of fruits, vegetables, juices, cheeses, and more will be like a colorful shot of energy to your senses. Here’s a guide on summer farmer’s market shopping to help you make the most of your visit.
  3. Eat something spicy to warm yourself inside out. This works on both sides of the spectrum, whether you’re in balmy south or the cool Northwest. Hot, spicy food can actually work to cool the body through perspiration and increased circulation – so add some chipotle to your pasta salad if you’re trying to counter hot weather. If your among the June gloom sufferers, though, then try a spicy chili or something equally warm and invigorating!
  4. Get some active outdoors time. No need to worry about the summer chill when you’re running around and having a good time! Get your friends together for a game of ultimate Frisbee, flag football, or even hide and seek – whatever will get you moving, laughing, and letting loose in true summer fashion.
  5. Plan a trip. Nothing says summer like a good adventure. Set some time aside – even just a long weekend – for a trip, near or far, to get out of your daily routine and explore. Take a road trip, visit relatives in a different state, go camping, go fishing, go abroad if you can! Indulge that summer wanderlust while the season’s still here.
  6. Go to the beach, have a picnic, turn on the barbeque. Do you think the Beach Boys never surfed when there a bit of mist in the air? Sometimes the best outdoor excursions are the ones that find you huddled in blankets, munching on sandy snacks, and cuddling with your loved ones. A bit of fog makes the scene all the more romantic.
  7. Blast summer music through your windows! This one might seem a bit cruel to the neighbors, but if you’re down from June gloom then they undoubtedly are, too. We already mentioned the Beach Boys, but whatever bands signify summer to you are the best ones to crank on days when you need a mood pick-me-up. What are your favorite summer songs?
  8. Do something creative. Similar to how spicy foods can warm you from the inside out, engaging in a creative project will get the good vibes flowing through your imagination-circulation. So while you’re blasting those summer tunes, spread out your art supplies and draw a picture, make a collage, or paint a picture of sunshine to hang over your bed.

Basically, whatever your child self would have gotten giddy over in anticipation of summer vacation, now is the time to indulge in those delights. Gloominess is a state of mind that you can overcome by doing the things you love and being your own source of warmth and sunshine, regardless of how the sky looks outside. Have a wonderful weekend, and don’t let the grey get you down!

What are your favorite summertime activities?

10 Reasons to Eat Fresh Produce Even if Scientists Promote Canned and Frozen

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 1.32.58 PMAccording to a new report published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture by researchers at UC Davis, canned and frozen produce may have as many, if not more, nutrients than fresh produce. How can this be?

This extremely misleading announcement draws on the fact that, by the time that cucumber or lettuce or broccoli makes it into your hands at the supermarket, fruits and vegetables often sit on trucks and in shelves for days after they were picked. Vitamin and other nutrient levels can drop dramatically in that brief interval, whereas the process of canning and freezing may better preserve these nutrients in the long-run.

The report, and other similar ones published over the years, may be intended to inspire more widespread acceptance of canned and frozen produce, and not to say that we should do away with fresh produce altogether. Obviously for those who can find farmer’s markets or other local sources of fresh-picked fruits and veggies, canned and frozen varieties will pale in comparison. The unfortunate reality, however, is that too many communities in this country have little to no access to fresh foods. If you’ve ever heard the term “food desert” then you know what we mean. Broader reform in that regard is certainly necessary, and if canned vegetables provide any temporary palliative then we should be no means shun them.

Food, of course, is a human right. And there are many reasons why fresh produce is essential to overall health and happiness. Here are 10 of our favorite reasons to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, even if canned produce can provide the same nutrients:

  1.  More opportunities for creative cooking. Did you know beets come attached to beautiful, iron-rich greens that can be sauteed and served alongside the roots?
  2. Shopping at the farmer’s market is super fun. Fruits, vegetables, sprouts, cheeses, and breads of every variety! Fresh eggs! Organic meat! Is that home-brewed kombucha?
  3. Have a more tactile experience with your food. There’s something wholly unromantic about ripping the top off a can of green beans… Handling roots, leaves, and washing dirt off is all part of the sensual process of food preparation.
  4. You can compost the stems and excess bits, make soil, and then grow your own produce on your porch, windowsill, or garden!
  5. No amount of re-hydrating and re-constituting can recover the crispy crunch so enjoyable about fresh veggies that gets lost in the freezer.
  6. The metallic aftertaste of a can? No thanks.
  7. No risk of botulism and other bacteria often carried in canned and preserved foods.
  8. If you have extra oranges, berries, or whatnot, you can always pass them out to neighbors and give them as little tokens to people who visit your abode. Can’t quite do the same with a bag of frozen peas…
  9. Eating fresh produce is what people have been doing for centuries. Shouldn’t that count for something?
  10. The golden rule in food consumption: Limit the number of steps it takes for your food to get from the farm to your kitchen as a way of ensuring freshness and healthiness.

What are your reasons for eating fresh produce? Or for eating canned or frozen produce, for that matter?

30 Days Of Healthy Indulgences: Raw Winter Salad (Råkost Salat) By Katrine J. van Wyk

By Katrine J. van Wyk , Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach

I love this bright, fresh and crispy salad!

It is packed with bright colors and sweet flavors. The C-vitamins from the orange and root vegetables are great for fending of the cold’s and flues of the season.

This salad is a staple on Norwegian dinner-tables, often accompanying pan fried fish and boiled potatoes.

Raw Winter Salad (Råkost Salat)

  • 1 rutabaga
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 stalks cellery
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • The juice of one orange
  • salt & pepper

Peel the rutabaga and carrots and cut into thin strips using a mandolin or vegetable peeler. You can also grind it more finely. Whatever rock’s your boat!

Mix in the raisins and finely chopped celery.

Add the orange juice.

Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste.


Katrine J. van Wyk is a holistic health and nutrition coach based in New York. To learn more about her and her services, visit her website here.

From November 15 through December 14, Intentblog is launching its first-ever 30 Days of Healthy Indulgences, where every day for 30 days we are inviting bloggers from all over the health and wellness space to contribute their favorite healthy indulgent recipe in time for the holiday season. Please keep checking back for more recipes!

What’s In Season: Artichokes

Spring is here and the steady stream of fresh produce arriving into your local market is about to begin.  Some of the first vegetables of spring include artichokes. Artichokes are very healthy and peeling off petals, dipping them and scraping them your teeth make artichokes fun to eat for the whole family. 

Artichokes are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium.  They are good source of folic acid. Here are a few pointers on picking, storing and preparing the freshest and the best tasting artichokes of the season: 

At the market:  Select compact, heavy artichokes with hard, tight leaves and good green color. Avoid an artichoke with discolored leaves, black spots at the tip, or that are open.

Storage: In the fridge for up to 4-5 days, unwashed, in a loosely open or perforated plastic bag

Preparation: Basic Steamed Artichokes

Cooking whole artichokes can take about an hour, but cutting them in half or quarters before cooking reduces the cooking time less than 20 minutes. Plus, the half or quarter is a perfect serving size. 

Directions: Wash artichokes under running water.  The pointed ends or the leaves can be removed by cutting off about ¼ inch with kitchen shears. Cut ¼ inch of the stem end of the artichoke off.  On a cutting board, hold the artichoke with the stem facing up and cut through the entire artichoke with a large knife.  Using a spoon scoop out the “choke” (fuzzy-looking part) and any sharp purple-ish petals. Set each half in a bowl of water with some lemon juice until you are ready to steam them.  Steam artichokes in a steamer basket by bringing the water to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Steam artichokes for 15-20 minutes until they are easily pierced at the stem end with a fork. 

Serving:  Artichokes are often served with a dipping sauce.  The sauce can be as simple as melted butter or mayonnaise.  You can also tray one of the dipping sauce recipes below. 

Eating artichokes: Simply peel off a petal, dip it in sauce and scrape the inside of the petal with your teeth.  Once scraped, discard the petal.  As you peel off the leaf, it will begin to reveal a culinary treat – the heart of the artichoke.  Once the petals are gone, cut the heart into pieces, dip and enjoy the final bites of your delicious artichoke!

Lemon Garlic Herb Butter

·    ½ cup butter

·    1 clove garlic

·    1 tsp. lemon zest

In a small saucepan, melt butter.  Add garlic and lemon zest.  Serve with artichokes

Herb Mayonnaise

·    ½ cup mayonnaise

·    1 tsp. parsley

·    1 tsp. green onions

·    1 tsp. fresh tarragon

Finely chop parsley, green onions, and tarragon.  Mix herbs with mayonnaise and serve with artichokes.

Pesto Mayonnaise

·    ½ cup Mayonnaise

·    1-2 Tbsp. store-bought pesto

Whisk together mayonnaise and pesto. Serve with artichokes.

Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week and So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years. Visit Cheryl online at www.FreshBaby.com for more delicious tips.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / magpie-moon

EWG’s 2010 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides – Excellent!

Dr. Andrew Weil, a renowned medical expert on natural health and wellness, speaks about the health effects of pesticides in a video interview with EWG.  He says we should all avoid our exposure to toxic pesticides in our food.

How do we reduce exposure? Try to buy certified organic crops when you can as chemical pesticides can’t be used.  There is research to show that when we eat organic, the measurable levels of pesticides in our tissues drop.

He goes on to say for those who don’t have access to organic or can’t afford it,  learn which varieties of  products are most likely to carry the most pesticide residue and try to buy those foods organic.

The EWG has put together the ‘Clean 15′ list of crops which are lowest in pesticides.  If you are on a tight budget, these are the conventionally grown foods you can concentrate on.

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ list are foods you should avoid if they are not organically grown.

A BIG thank you to the EWG for putting this information together!  You can view the short video and article here and download the printable Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides.

To your health,

Kim Duess


PHOTO (cc): Flickr / spisharam

Be Simply…Aluminum Free

I woke up this morning and was reminded again of why I am here. It is because I am head over heals IN LOVE with humanity and the entire ecosystem that supports life on this planet.

I have been researching and studying the global spray program, I have seen and read enough research to clearly state, “Metals are being sprayed into our stratosphere.” These metals include Aluminum and Barium to name a few. As far as I know, silence is the answer given when government agencies or pilots are asked about these programs. An alternate response is these are condensation trails and/or they are manipulating weather patterns. All of which is not a sufficient answer for me. Furthermore, none of the above appear to be a good idea and clearly do not add up.
Which has placed all of “US” in an interesting situation…we cannot avoid these metals. Since,” the people” in charge of these programs will not share with the public why they have been spraying for +/-50 years globally. I have decided to post these two links to give you some seed education and general awareness. I do not do share this to scare you but to help everyone start to ask the questions, empower all of US to start to make choices in our daily lives to help counter act the potential results from ingesting these metals. I believe we can choose an alternative path and do not have to be overwhelmed by the damage but commit to changing the future.
The solution in my mind involves simplicity, acceptance of our mortality and respect for all aspects of life. Our native fathers and mothers, are the keepers of this planet and they understood exactly how to live in harmony with our ecosystems. I am not a scientist but I have the intelligence to listen, research and ask questions. We can start taking action while the individuals and groups researching the mysterious jets that continue to fly during the day and night spraying unknown metal compounds into our stratosphore. Then, we can decide where we stand and help those who have already been investigating and asking the questions.

Simple Action Steps:

1. Watch the videos below and do your own research.
2. Look outside do you see the small planes fly by each day releasing a white jet trail? Do you see the “trails expand and the sky become white?
3. Bring awareness in: After days of witnessing the spraying do you notice or hear your family or children complain of respiratory problems, hearts hurting and do you notice your memory is not what is use to be?
4. An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Apples. Apples. Apples. Find organic apples and eat them in great bounty. The pectin binds with the metals and elector magnetic radiation and removes them from your body. Wash, then express gratitude for the apples for their many gifts it delivers.
5. Consume Green Leafy Vegetables, some Algae, Tumeric and Kelp. I will be doing more research in this arena.
6. Lemon in hot water also helps remove aluminum.
7. Consult a doctor and ask them how to remove metals from your body and determine if you are getting enough calcium, magnesium, and iron.
8. If your inspired, take peaceful Action. We can be the change agents and often times putting new systems in place without fighting “the unknown opposition” will possibly lead us to a faster solution. Bring consciousness, prayer, love and compassion into the heart to help lead us.
9. If you are a farmer or home gardner, stop spraying chemicals and remediate your soil. (more on this in future blogs and radio shows for solutions)
10. The power of consciousness and visualization: Take time to visualize our bodies, or planet and our ecosystems becoming whole and complete. Take deep breaths and breath in love and exhale love.

I welcome a dialogue, information and solutions. I am here to shine the light on the change on this planet. I am committed to helping it actualize.

Enjoy the movie below…gratitude to those who have risked their lives to help find the answers and educate the human race.

-Watch Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFL60wFIc_A&feature=player_embedded

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