tag: forgotten ingredients

lentils

i love lentils by geninne

lentils. delicious, nutritious and oh, so colorful! lentils are extremely rich in fiber, folate, magnesium and lean protein. not only are they a great source for cholesterol-lowering fiber, but they also help in managing blood sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after a meal. they are also an excellent source of thiamine, vitamin b-6 and six important minerals. with 17 grams of lean protein in just one cup, 90% of our daily recommendation for folate and virtually no fat, lentils may just be the perfect addition to your meal!

how to cook: black and green lentils keep their shape better when cooked; red and yellow lentils cook faster and break down more. to cook, give them a thorough rinse and put in a pot with one part lentils to two parts water (you can also add in a chopped onion, bay leaf, garlic or carrot if you like!). bring to a boil, then simmer until tender 20-40 minutes (depending on variety). below are a few of my favorite lentil recipes, do you have any you would like to share?

a few favorite lentil recipes:

forgotten ingredients
 

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forgotten ingredients: pumpkin

November 16, 2011


{pumpkin patch}

the pumpkin. we often decorate with them, pick them out at the local punkin’ patch or grab a can of it at the store for making pies. but how often do we grab a whole pumpkin and use it in our recipes? turns out, we should probably be doing it more than we actually do (especially since pumpkins are only in season during the fall!).

the nutritionally robust pumpkin boasts loads of fiber, potassium and iron. the pumpkins bright orange color is also a giveaway that it’s loaded with beta-carotene, a very important antioxidant. studies show that a diet rich in beta-carotene reduces the risk of developing certain types of cancer and protects against heart disease.

pumpkins are also very low in calories, so let’s get to cookin’! here are a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes. do you have any? please share!

pumpkin recipes

 

leaf learn how to roast a pumpkin and toast their seeds

leaf pumpkin pizza wreath

leaf cashew, coconut and pumpkin curry

leaf pumpkin pasta sauce

leaf pumpkin spiced latte

leaf roasted pumpkin with sage

leaf homemade knekkebrød (crackers)

and make sure to keep you pumpkin seeds, they are full of health benefits as well!

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forgotten ingredients pumpkin seeds

{pumpkin patch 6×6 photo}

who knew, pumpkin seeds aren’t just for halloween! turns out, we should be trying to incorporate them into our diet more and more. they contain zinc, iron and healthy omega-3s and omega-6’s.

zinc is a trace mineral that affects our immune function and acts upon more than 200 enzymes involved in metabolism, building cells and transporting carbon dioxide among other functions.

iron is needed to carry oxygen in the blood, and a low iron intake can lead to anemia. pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of iron, as 1 oz provides ever 4 mg (the daily recommendation for iron is 18 mg).

omega-3s and omega-6s: pumpkin seeds contain both of the ‘good’ fats which researches believe are important to consume together. for those of us who don’t eat fish, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts and pine nuts are an excellent way to reach our omega-3s and omega-6s needs.

for ideas on how to consume more pumpkin seeds, try these recipes!

– make your own knekkebrød crackers, perfect for dipping into hummus!

– roast the pumpkin, then roast the pumpkin seeds as a healthy snack or salad topping

– try making a pumpkin pizza wreath

– bake up some homemade granola

what are your favorite ways to eat pumpkin seeds?

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wheat feild

sunlit wheat field

ok, you caught me on this one. i haven’t thought about wheat germ in a long time. but, apparently we should start! wheat germ is a concentrated source of several essential nutrients including vitamin e, vitamin b, iron, selenium, folate (folic acid), phosphorus, thiamine, magnesium, immune boosting zinc and is also a good source of fiber. and, with 7 grams of protein per 1/4 cup serving, it’s also an incredible source protein. who knew!

basically, things like white bread are made with white flour that has had the germ and brand removed (who’s idea was that?). the good news is we can easily start adding wheat germ back into our diets. look for it in your health food store’s refrigerated department and start adding into your protein shakes, casseroles, muffins, pancakes, cereals, yogurt, cookies and other baked goods. just substitute 1/4 of the flour with wheat germ in batters and doughs or swap in wheat germ for half of the breadcrumbs in casseroles or the like.

resources: vegetarian times (spring 2011), wheat germ on wiki

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forgotten ingredients: chia seeds
 
have you ever heard of chia seeds? yes, they are the same seeds that grow on our friendly clay pets, but come to find out they pack immense health benefits! i found my first package while roaming the isles of a local farmers market a few years ago, and after inquiring about their health benefits, decided to give them a try. they have a very mild taste and so are an easy additive to just about any dish. i use them in breads, salads, baked goods, soups and smoothies. you can also use them as a thickening agent (for soups and sauces) by cooking them with a little water for just a few mintues.

*just one note- don’t eat the seeds that actually come with a chia pet! instead, head to your local health food store and buy them in bulk.

here are just a few of their power-house benefits:

omega-3s: chia seeds are the richest plant source of omega-3s, containing more omega-3’s than salmon or flax seed.

fiber: chia seeds are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, as a 25-gram portion contains 7 grams of fiber.

minerals: chia offers a variety of minerals, including iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, molybdenum and magnesium, and also contain niacin and folic acid.

protein: chia seeds contain 20% more protein than other grains or seeds (wheat has 14%) and the protein is of higher quality.

do you already use chia? share with us all the ways that you put in your diet!

picture via green-lemonade. resources: livestrong & wikipedia

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hello lovelies! today i’m starting a new column called the forgotten ingredient. so often i find myself not only discovering new ingredients, but also discovering the health benefits to some more common ingredients that i just never knew about. are you with me? sound interesting? feel free to share you thoughts in the comment section, add any knowledge you may have or even suggest ingredients for future posts!

on today’s menu? turmeric.

forgotten ingredient: turmeric {organic ground turmeric} (on etsy!)

wh foods describes turmeric as has having a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger. to me, turmeric has a very light and agreeable flavor, one that you might be surprised at given the intensity of it’s color. you’ll often find it in indian dishes and curries, as the ingredient that gives them that vibrant yellow color. turmeric has quite a long list of health benefits, among them are an immense amount of anti-cancer properties and anti-alzheimers preventers. in fact, over a billion people eat turmeric in india every day, and they have one of the lowest rates of alzheimers in the world!

turmeric and its active component, curcumin, are useful for treating indigestion, ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, uveitis, and bacterial and viral infections. it is a natural liver detoxifier, anti-inflammatory agent, pain killer and may aid in helping fat metabolism. click through the following articles to find even more of turmeric’s benefits and read the details of each:

- university of maryland medical center on turmeric

- 20 health benefits of turmeric

wh foods on turmeric

so the next question is, just how much should we be eating a day? the recommendation for adults are:

– cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day
– dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day
– standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day
– fluid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops a day
– tincture (1:2): 15 – 30 drops, 4 times per day

that’s roughly about 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric a day (anyone have some turmeric and a gram scale??)

so the next question might be, what do you do it with it?

– add it to curries, stir fries and any indian dishes
– toss it with vegetables before roasting
– make turmeric tea (and read about the benefits)
– add 1 tsp (or more) to rice, quinoa, bulgar or any rice-y dish
– add it to potato or egg salad
– add it to soups

any other ways in which you use turmeric? please share!

 

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