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Monday, March 27, 2017

Flax

Flax:

About:

Flax (Linum Usitatissium) , also known as "common flax" or "linseed", is a food and fiber crop cultivated in cooler regions of the world.  
Canada is the world's largest producer of oilseed flax followed by Russia, France, and Argentina. 
In the U.S. and Canada most commercial flax production involves oilseed varieties of flax in which the seeds will eventually be dried and crushed and used to produce different grades of oil.  Flax seeds are small brown, tan, or golden colored seeds that are the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids known.

History:

Sometime between 4000 and 2000 BC flax cultivation became common practice in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and in regions of the Middle East.  From the very beginning the value of flax was both culinary and domestic since flax could be spun into linen     to provide clothing and other textile related products.  
The earliest evidence of humans using flax was as a textile from the present day Republic of Georgia dating back 30000years.  Evidence exists of a domesticated oilseed flax with increased seed size by 9000 years ago in Syria.  Use of the crop had spread reaching Switzerland and Germany by 5000 years ago.  In China and India domesticated flax was cultivated by at least 5000 years ago.  Flax was extensively cultivated in ancient Egypt, where the temple walls had pictures of flowering flax, and mummies were entombed in linen..  Egyptian priests only wore linen as flax was considered a symbol of purity.

Uses: 

Flax is grown for its oil, used as a nutritional supplement, and as an ingredient in many wood finishing products.  Flax is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens.  Flax fibers are used to make linen.  Flax fibers are taken from the stem of the plant and are 2 - 3 times as strong as cotton.   Flax is grown on the Canadian prairies for linseed oil which is used as a drying agent in paints and varnishes and in products such as linoleum and printing ink.



Flax seed Benefits:

  1. High in fiber, low in carbs
  2. Healthy skin and hair - can improve symptoms of acne, rosacea, eczema , and dry eye syndrome
  3. Weight loss - full of healthy fat and fiber
  4. Lower cholesterol  also gluten free 
  5. Anti inflammatory
  6. High in antioxidants (Lignans) Lignans are known for their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
  7. Digestive health
  8. Anti - Cancer - proven fighter of breast, prostate, ovarian, and colon cancers
  9. High in Omega-3 fatty acids
  10. Menopausal symptoms 
2 to 3 tablespoons of flax seeds per day are enough to be beneficial.

Flax seeds are best consumed ground as our bodies cannot digest the seeds whole to access the  nutrients.

Adding Flax seeds in your Diet:

  • Add 1 to 3 TBS to a morning smoothie
  • Mix a TBS in with yogurt and raw honey
  • Bake into muffins, cookies and breads
  • Add to granola
  • Can be mixed with water and used as an egg substitute
  • Sprinkle on hot or cold cereal
  • Sprinkle on vegetables

So..... East up !  Enjoy !  I'll show you how.


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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Quinoa

Quinoa:

About:

Quinoa (pronounced: keen - wah) is the common name for Chenopodium quinoa of the flowering plant family Amaranthiceae.  It is grown as a grain crop primarily for its edible seeds.  It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal due to its not being a grass.  Quinoa is closely related to the edible plants beetroot, spinach, and amaranth.
When cooked the nutrient composition is comparable to common cereals like wheat and rice supplying a moderate amount of dietary fiber and minerals.  Quinoa is gluten free and considered easy to digest.  2013 was declared the International Year of Quinoa
There are 3 main types of quinoa: white, red, and black.

History:

Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia,m and Chile.  The Incas, who considered the crop to be sacred called the crop "Mother of all grain."  It was domesticated 3000 to 4000 years ago for human consumption.  It has become increasingly popular in the U.S. , Canada, Europe, Australia, China, and Japan.  Quinoa has become popular in the Jewish community as a substitute for the leavened grains that are forbidden during the Passover.  In 2013 the "Orthodox Union", the world's largest kosher certification agency announced it would begin certifying quinoa as kosher for Passover. 

Nutrition:

Quinoa is one of the few plant foods that contain all nine amino acids of protein.  It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and various beneficial antioxidants.  Quinoa is gluten free. 

Health Benefits:

  1.  Protein - 8 grams                                                                                                                              Fiber - 5 grams                                                                                                                                Manganese - 58% RDA                                                                                                                  Magnesium - 30% RDA                                                                                                                  Phosphorus - 28% RDA                                                                                                                  Folate - 19% RDA                                                                                                                            Copper - 18% RDA                                                                                                                          Iron - 15% RDA                                                                                                                              Zinc - 15% RDA                                                                                                                              Potassium - 9% RDA 
           Over 10% Vitamins B1, B2, B6                                                                                                                Small amounts calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E                                                                                  Total 222 calories with 39 grams of carbs and 4 grams fat, and a small amount of omega3                     fatty acids.  No GMO, gluten free.

      2.  Contains the plant compounds quercetin and kaempferol which are flavonoids, which are plant antioxidants that have been shown to have all sorts of beneficial effects on health.  Quercetin and kaempferol have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects in animals.

     3.  Quinoa is much higher in fiber than most grains
    
     4.  Very high in protein with all the essential amino acids  

     5.  Has a low glycemic index , however is relatively high in carbohydrates

     6.  High in important minerals like iron and magnesium

     7.  Has beneficial effects on metabolic health.  Studies found quinoa significantly reduced blood                 sugar, insulin, and triglyceride levels

     8.  Very high in antioxidants

     9.  May help you loose weight because it is high in protein which can increase metabolism and                 reduce appetite.

Preparation:

Put 2 cups of water or broth in a pot.

Add 1 cup raw, rinsed quinoa, with a dash of salt.

Boil for 15 - 20 minutes until water absorbed 

Eat.

Eating Ideas:

  • Combine cooked chilled quinoa with pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, scallions and coriander.  Season to taste.  eat as a salad. 
  • Add nuts and fruits to cooked quinoa and serve as a breakfast porridge. 
  • Add quinoa to vegetable soup.
  • Use quinoa as a substitute for bulgar wheat when making tabbouleh.

So..... East up !  Enjoy !  I'll show you how.


Simple but Good:

Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion chopped
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup raw quinoa rinsed with cold water
1 1/2 c vegetable broth 
1 tsp cumin 
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste 
1 c cooked kernel corn 
2 cans black beans drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat and saute onion and garlic until lightly brown (about 10 
minutes).
Mix quinoa into onion mixture and cover with broth.  Add cumin,  cayenne, pepper, and salt.  Bring to a boil Cover and  simmer until broth is absorbed (about 20 minutes.
Stir in corn and cook about 5 minutes.  Add black beans and cilantro.. 


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