Filed Under: Health Foods,Teas at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
You certainly have heard of people cooking with wine and beer but how about cooking with tea? A very interesting cooking ingredient, tea contains distinctive flavors which can add herbal, sweet, and even smoky touches to your cooking repertoire. Let’s check out 5 ways to use tea when cooking.
Use tea as an herb. Tea leaves are essentially herbs and can be added directly to dishes while cooking. A mixture of green teas used as a seasoning works perfectly for stir-fries, particularly when added to vegetable dishes since it tastes similar to dark, leafy greens. Plus, you can use tea leaves like dried herbs such as oregano or thyme as well as add them to sauces and glazes.
How about cooking with tea instead of water? An easy way to add a little more flavor to your meals, just brew the tea and let it cool to room temperature. Then, use it in any recipe that calls for water. It works great to cook whole grains such as rice and quinoa and it can also be used for soups.
If you make your own pasta, here’s a great idea. Mix green tea powder to pasta dough, adding color and a delicious herbaceous flavor to your homemade pasta. Plus, rather than buying specialty noodles, just cook pasta in green tea to make a homemade green tea noodles.
4. Spice Rub
Tea leaves can also create a great spice rub. Grind tea leaves and add them to your favorite herbs and spices to use in a rub for tofu, tempeh or seitan. Choose teas such as earl gray and Darjeeling which go well with savory foods. A tea spice rub can be as simple as mixing ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper with 2 Tbs. of ground tea
Tea leaves make a great herb butter and it’s pretty easy to make. Just let unsalted butter sit at room temperature until very soft and then mix it with tea leaves, either whole or ground. Store in the refrigerator and use it for cooking or on freshly baked bread and biscuits.
Omega-3 supplements are very beneficial to your health but some people may find a little complicated to understand all the abbreviations used on the products’ ingredients list. EPA, DHA and ALA. What do they stand for? Which food sources can you get them from? How much do you actually need? Let’s have a quick look at DHA, EPA and ALA.
One of the two main types of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, Eicosapentaenoic Acid, or EPA, is found in fatty, cold-water fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon, herring, halibut, trout, anchovies, and tuna. There is no recommended standard dose of EPA’s but health organizations recommend a daily dose of 250 to 500 milligrams (mg) for healthy adults.
The other main type of omega-3 is Docosahexaenoic Acid, popular known as DHA. Plentiful in fish and shellfish, DHA is also found in algae. There is no set recommended standard dose of DHA as well but just like EPA’s a daily dose of 250 to 500 milligrams (mg) of DHA should be sufficient for healthy adults.
EPA to DHA Ratios
It’s important to check for the ratios of EPA and DHA since there is no standard daily dose set. According to the American Heart Association, a common ratio which can be used is 180 milligrams of EPA to 120 milligrams of DHA but some reports show that ratios of 2:1 or 1:2 EPA to DHA may be equally beneficial since both compounds seem to work together.
Alpha-linolenic Acids are short-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in plants, such as flax seeds, chia seeds, as well as oils such as flax oil and hemp oil. ALA omega-3 fatty acids have less potent health benefits than EPA and DHA and for the body to truly benefit from these fats, they must be converted into long-chain EFAs such as EPA and DHA first. There is no established dose of alpha-lipoic acid recommended, but studies have concluded that the use of 600 milligrams daily can provide health benefits.
THE VEGIDAY™ MOVEMENT: Making the right choice – for you, and for the planet
Everyone on our marvelous planet deserves to be well nourished. But as Earth’s population continues to grow, how will we feed everyone? The simplest – and most sustainable – route to nourishing the world is to produce food that uses less of the planet’s resources. A seed only requires water, some nutrients from the soil, and a whole lot of energy from the sun to become a nourishing plant that can sustain life. Producing animal protein uses far more resources to deliver an equivalent amount of protein. When we choose to replace animal protein with plant protein, even for just one meal a day, we save enough resources to give five more people a serving of plant protein. Plant protein is also better for our health, and better for the environment.
Plant protein is better for the planet
Large-scale industrial animal farming has a negative impact on the planet.
The livestock industry is responsible for approximately 15% of global carbon emissions
The average meat-eater is responsible for almost twice as much global warming as the average vegetarian
By reducing your meat intake by half, you could cut your carbon footprint by more than 35%
Natural Factors Raw Organic Plant-Based Protein
Doing the planet a favor has never tasted so good! These deliciously nutritious protein powders are 100% certified organic and contain a wholesome blend of seven raw, non-GMO plant proteins: pea, pumpkin, sacha inchi, quinoa, chia, spirulina, and chlorella. By combining various plant proteins, the full spectrum of essential amino acids, including the important branched-chain amino acids, are included. These easy-to-digest proteins are made to the highest quality standards.
Raw and certified organic
20 g of vegan protein per serving
Provides all the essential amino acids
Certified gluten-free and non-GMO
Easy-to-digest, soy free, and dairy free
Naturally sweetened and flavored
Supports healthy weight management
Helps build and maintain lean muscle mass
These delicious plant-based protein powders come in French Vanilla and Decadent Chocolate flavors, as well as an Unflavored option. Just mix one scoop with water, juice, or your preferred non-dairy beverage. For added variety try blending in fruit, berries, ginger, and greens or other powdered superfoods. Or just add a scoop to your favorite shake or smoothie!
Starting a plant-based diet? Get ready for the inevitable question: where are you going to get your protein? Don’t worry. With so many great sources available, it shouldn’t be a problem to find a few foods that can fit into your new diet. Let’s look at 7 protein sources for a plant-based diet.
This algae superfood is incredibly rich in protein and is a perfect ingredient for smoothies. With 40 grams of protein per serving, spirulina also contains the highest amount of glutamine found in a plant food.
2. Chia Seeds
No longer a strange superfood, chia seeds have become a stable of health food. Rich in protein and an excellent source of soluble fiber, you can sprinkle chia seeds on oatmeal, cereals, porridges or make a delicious chia seed pudding with almond milk.
3. Black Beans
An awesome source of protein, black beans contain 15 grams per serving and can be easily added to your diet. Used in salads and veggie burritos, black beans also contain lysine and leucine, two amino acids rarely found in plant-based foods.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
Perfect for baking, pumpkin seeds are also a great source of protein as a single cup contains up to 12 grams. Considered a complete protein, these seeds are also high in healthy fats and minerals such as zinc and magnesium.
Lentils are a great source of protein as well as fiber and carbohydrates. With 20 grams of protein per cup, lentils contain a ton of amino acids and can be easily added to your diet in salads, tacos, or mixed with rice or quinoa for a delicious meal.
6. Hemp Seeds
Hemp Seeds have 9 grams of protein per serving as well as healthy omega-3 fatty acids. A complete amino acid, hemp seeds have a deliciously sweet and nutty flavor that can be added to increase protein content to many recipes of smoothies, baked goods and desserts.
A gluten-free grain, quinoa is also a great source of protein with around 15 grams per cup of cooked quinoa. Considered a starchy protein, quinoa also contains carbohydrates and fiber and is widely used in hot or cold cereals, salads, or in meals instead of rice.
Everyone knows the health risks of regular table salt. For decades, the medical profession has urged us to limit our intake of the flavorful additive. But what you may not know is that all salt is not created equal.
Still not convinced why you should make the switch? Before you get all salty, read below…
Nutrients, nutrients, nutrients
Himalayan salt is so much more than its pretty pink hue. Packed with 84 minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron, it’ll make the transition away from standard table salt seamless. Plus, it’s naturally occurring without chemical processing or refinement. Due to the high mineral content, you actually get less sodium per serving, too. Wins all around.
It’s a culinary thing
Gourmet cooks recommend the exquisite taste of wholesome, natural, pink Himalayan crystal salt for cooking and curing. Compared to table salt, it’s more easily metabolized by your body. Ready to elevate your grilled veggies? Trying cooking on a Himalayan salt slab. Your taste buds will thank you!
Look at the source
Currently, our oceans and waterways are polluted with toxic chemicals. So it’s safe to say that Himalayan salt is a healthy alternative compared to sea salt. About 250 million years ago, the Himalayan mountain range was covered by a primordial ocean. When the ocean floor rose, it created a salt lake that evaporated and formed the salt range across most of Asia where one of our favorite Himalayan salt brands are from. Some believe it to one of the purest forms of salt around.
Remember, everything in moderation – even Himalayan salt. Before you go dousing your food with it, remember to limit your sodium consumption to no more than 2300 mg per day, and if you suffer from high blood pressure, keep it under 1500 mg.
Fermentation is essentially one of the oldest forms of food preservation but did you know that consuming fermented foods can provide a lot of health benefits? When you eat fermented foods you obtain probiotics known to promote a healthier digestive system as well as enhance your immunity. Even better, some of these foods are easy to ferment at home. So, let’s present you 7 fermented foods that are easy to make at home.
Make your own yogurt. Known for its probiotic content, yogurt is perhaps the most popular fermented food. Super easy to make, there are a lot of yogurt recipes available online from the conventional ones made with milk and acidophilus to the alternative ones such as soy or coconut yogurt.
Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage, caraway seeds, dill or other spices, and contains natural prebiotics as well as vitamins and is known to improve overall digestion. One of the easiest fermented foods to make, sauerkraut simply requires that you add the ingredients into a clean jar and ferment for a few days.
Another popular choice, kombucha can be easily made at home. Kombucha products can be pretty expensive but you can save money by making your own sugar-tea solution fermented by bacteria and yeast commonly known as SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).
A traditional Korean sauerkraut made through the process of lacto-fermentation, Kimchi is an easy-to-make great source of probiotics. It is made in a base of cabbage but contains peppers and a variety of vegetables rich in antioxidants
Kefir contains about 10 times more probiotics than yogurt as this ancient healing beverage is known to boost the immune system and regulate digestion. If you do not tolerate dairy, you can make an alternative version of water or coconut kefir.
6. Fermented Juice
Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make, fermented apple juice is a probiotic rich drink made from fresh apples. You can find several different recipes on how to make a probiotic sparkling apple juice loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Organic cucumbers, salt and water. Simple and easy-to-make, pickled cucumbers contain probiotics as well as gut healing properties along with sources of minerals like silica which aids the health of the hair, skin, and nails.
Cream butter and coconut sugar with a mixer. Add flax seed egg, protein powder, quinoa flakes, spelt flour, baking soda, and salt and stir by hand until a dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Form and flatten 3-inch diameter cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and bake at 375°F for 9 minutes. Cool and serve. Makes a dozen 3-inch small cookies or 6 large sized cookies.
Nut allergies are not to be taken lightly and these days many schools are not taking any chances. It’s becoming more and more common to see schools banning peanut products in response to the growing number of children affected by life-threatening allergies. Some schools even prohibit any products containing nuts in any form from the cafeteria (almonds, cashews, tree nuts etc). We’re used to PB&J as a foundational food in the childhood experience; a lot of parents are understandably stressed searching for alternatives for finicky children to eat. If your child is less-than-thrilled to part with the PB&J, it might be a great opportunity to introduce them to new foods and get creative when packing lunch.
Whether your child is allergic to peanuts or loves peanut butter but isn’t allowed bring it to school, the guide below will help you explore alternatives to the classic PB&J!
Rinse rice until the water runs clean. Let the rice soak in a bowl of clean water for 30 minutes. Bring 1 and 1/4 cups water and rice to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until water is almost absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 15 minutes.
Place rice in a large bowl. Add natural sweetener, coconut milk, and salt, stirring gently until well combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes.
Lightly coat hands with cooking spray. Divide rice mixture into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a ball (about 2 tablespoons of rice). Lightly press each rice ball into an oval between palms; place ovals on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Top each rice oval with one kiwi slice, one mandarin orange and one raspberry slice. If the fruit doesn’t readily stick to the rice you can brush the tops of the rice ovals with honey first. Cover and chill frushi for at least one hour, up to 8 hours.
This recipe is great because you can use whatever fresh fruit you like to top the rice! What are some of your go-to, peanut-free packed lunches?
Still getting that morning brain fog, no matter how much coffee you slug? You might need an AM nutrition boost when caffeine alone isn’t cutting it. This smoothie is packed with raspberries, blueberries and acai berries rich in antioxidants that support memory. Walnuts and almonds contain omega-3 fatty acids for improved learning. Bananas that help regulate mood and support cognitive function and raw honey reduces inflammation.
I recommend using Spiru-Tein as your protein source for this recipe because it contains Spirulina, a strong antioxidant packed with energy-boosting nutrients. I always notice improved focus when I start my day with a dose of spirulina!
Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth! Garnish with mint and chia seeds or drink as-is. For some added brain power and energy, I add Maca root powder to my smoothie and top with hemp seeds!
Give this recipe a try and let us know how it turns out below!
Performing regular body cleanses and detoxes are essential for good health and healing, but some people tend to think detoxing should be a one-time event, ranging from 24 hours to 2-weeks. Detoxification doesn’t always have to be a dramatic juice cleanse or intensive fasting. In fact, we should be making smaller lifestyle choices every day to continuously clear the body of toxins since we are often in contact with harmful organisms and pollutants. In order to prevent a buildup of these toxins, here are 10 easy ways to make every day a detox.
1. Natural, organic foods
Eating whole, organic foods is one of the best ways to improve your body’s detoxification process and reduce the intake of toxins. Choose fresh organic vegetables and fruits instead of fast food, processed food, GMO products and pesticide contaminated foods.
Exfoliating your skin is also a simple way to detox your body. Removing toxins present in your skin creates better circulation through daily oil massages and skin brushing. Before taking a shower, take a dry loofah sponge and brush your body to improve results.
3. Drinking water
You can purify your body by drinking lots of water. Staying hydrated all day and having adequate amounts of water is essential as your body needs water to produce saliva, help with perspiration and remove plenty of toxins each time you go to the bathroom.
Exercising helps you sweat and consequently release toxins through your skin. Sweating it out in the sauna can also help your body eliminate waste through increased body temperature and perspiration.
5. Herbal tea
Drinking herbal tea can offer different cleansing benefits as these infusions are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are high on health benefits. Look for ingredients such as ginseng, ginger, peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass and cinnamon.
6. Purify the air
Breathing clean air is another way to reduce your exposure to toxins. Clean up the air in your home and keep up a high-quality, toxin-free air by reducing smoke, fumes, mold, and microorganisms.
7. Vitamin C
Increasing vitamin C intake is especially helpful for detox since it induces the production of glutathione, which is a compound that flushes toxins out. Try to eat fruits high on vitamin C such as oranges, pineapples, and papayas regularly.
Probiotic supplements are one of the best ways to enhance detoxification. These products, as well as digestive enzymes, can help your body digest and process the food you’re eating.
Hydrotherapy is an effective way to detox the body. While hot water relaxes blood vessels and dilates them, cold water stimulates them, and this process may decrease inflammation and naturally remove toxins from tissues.
Increase fiber intake as the kidney and liver are crucial for the filtration of the toxins in the body and thus promote overall cleansing.
What are some little steps you take every day to keep your body as toxin-free as possible? Let us know in the comments.
Convenient and tasty, it’s no wonder meal replacement supplements are popular right now. They’re a great choice for people on weight-loss diets, and also help folks on a fitness program as well as those running on a tight schedule. With so many options flooding the shelves, it can be hard to choose the best for your needs.
The majority of top-quality meal replacements contain most if not all of these ingredients but some products may adjust the quantities to target a specific nutritional need. If you are interested in trying out a meal replacement and perhaps joining this eating trend, let’s look at 5 key ingredients to look for in a meal replacement.
Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and muscle repair but it also plays an important role on fat burning and metabolic rate. Every single meal replacement product contains protein but some of them may come from vegan sources.
2. Vitamins and Minerals
The importance of vitamins and minerals requires no explanation but its addition to meal replacement supplements ensures that you are not missing nutrition required to keep your body healthy. Low sugar carbs are a main source of vitamins and minerals.
3. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are extremely important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as they can improve joints, control inflammation, support brain health and maintain eyes and skin in great condition. Good sources of healthy fats include coconut oil, olive oil, flax seed oil, almond butter, almonds, and walnuts.
4. Low Sugar Carbohydrates
Low sugar carbohydrates provide sustained energy for your body as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Low sugar carbohydrates are broken down slowly to minimize peaks and troughs in blood glucose levels and are often a valuable source of fiber too.
Considered a plus in many meal replacement supplements, probiotics keep you healthy by topping up the bacteria in your gut. Adding probiotics to your meals can help minimize digestive upsets, weight gain and issues digesting food properly. Look for foods high in probiotics such as natural yogurt, Greek yogurt, raw cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and acidophilus.
This recipe is one of my all time favorites. Growing up I was a candy fiend and could never get enough of the gummy, chewy sweets. When I finally decided to cut out sweets and focus on healthier foods, I scoured the Internet in search of healthy ways to get a candy fix and keep my diet on track. Although the conventional, Fruit Roll-Up branded snacks invoke nostalgic memories of grade school cafeteria lunches, I knew the excess sugar and artificial flavors would only worsen my candy cravings!
Luckily, Alvita has provided an easy-to-make, healthy fruit roll-up recipe using their hibiscus tea! These roll-ups are fun to make and customizable depending on your fruit flavor preference. Bake up a batch on Sunday to keep the kid’s (or your own) lunches stocked for the whole week!
Can you think of a supplement which offers a variety of proven health benefits but it has yet to become popular in the United States? Hempseed oil comes to mind as this intriguing oil perfectly fits the label of a multi-purpose natural remedy.
Hemp oil is still considered sketchy to some as its association with cannabis has kept it from common use by many people. However, it’s important to understand that hemp is a health food and not marijuana. Hempseed oil contains virtually no THC, the psychoactive element in cannabis, and will not make you high!
Hemp seeds are rich in protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega 6, and omega 3 as well as tocopherols, and vitamin E antioxidants. Plus, hemp seeds are packed with minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus. A great source of high-quality nutrients, hemp can certainly provide a lot of health benefits. So, let’s look a 4 surprising health benefits of hempseed oil.
Considered a great product to promote proper cardiovascular function, hempseed oil can help lower cholesterol by accelerating metabolic processes as it contains an optimal 3:1 ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Higher metabolism ensures that fats burn at a quicker rate and are not deposited on the artery walls. An excellent vegetarian option for omega-3 and omega-6, hempseed oil is also a safer, mercury-free fatty acid supplement.
Hempseed oil is a great product to boost the immune system. The essential fatty acids in hempseed oil have been shown to promote and regulate healthy flora in the intestines and support immune system response and function, increasing the resilience of the body against the common cold and flu.
3. Healthy Skin
Hempseed oil can support healthy skin and promote beautiful hair and nails as it helps increase the skin elasticity and water retention capacity in tissues. Hemp oil has a composition similar to skin lipids, which makes it an excellent natural emollient and moisturizer. Plus, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties from hemp may protect against the aging process while soothing the skin, reducing skin dryness to alleviating itching and irritation.
4. Hormonal Balance
Hemp is the only edible seed that contains gamma-linolenic acid which can help regulate hormonal balance. Gamma-linolenic acid is eventually converted to the protective hormone prostaglandin PGE1 that regulates the hormonal balance and supports menopausal health.