Healthy Spring Fruit Salad

Healthy Fruit SaladAre you one of those people that are constantly grabbing a sweet treat in place of fresh fruit?  Are you the same person that claims that preparing fruit is too time consuming?  Well, I may have just the answer . . .

Your best bet is to buy a small variety of several fruits when you are doing your weekly shopping.  Try picking out a selection of colors to make it not only flavorful but appealing to the eye.  Good choices are granny smith apples which are less sweet than regular apples, pears, tangerines, grapefruits, melons (when in season), kiwi and all types of berries.

All fruit should be purchased organic and rinsed well before slicing.  All pieces should be cut uniform in size.  Mix them together in a mixing bowl, add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime and top with fresh sliced mint or basil or a combination of both.

The orange colored fruit in the photo is a kumquot.  It is a more exotic fruit and a bit hard to come by.  If you see them, I highly suggest you invest in buying a few.  They have a unique and pungent but satisfying flavor.

Enjoy creating your own recipe!

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist, health supportive chef, culinary instructor, writer, blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.

http://www.healthynourishedbody.com

http://www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63

e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

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Khorasan Flour Crepes with Bosc Pear Filling

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Khorasan Flour Crepes with Bosc Pear Filling

It was Sunday morning and I woke up with a voracious appetite for crepes.  When I was a child, my mom would prepare them frequently on the weekend.  What a treat!  I looked into my freezer (where I keep my flours so they stay fresh) and decided to use Khorasan flour.  If you have celiac disease or have an allergy to wheat, do not use this flour!  It, like its cousin, spelt, is an ancient form of wheat.  Khorasan flour is better known as Kamut flour.  The word Khorasan refers to the area where the wheat is grown in modern day Iran.  Kamut or Khorasan is more easily digested than regular wheat flour.  It grows twice the height of modern day wheat and as a result, contains higher levels of protein, lipids, amino acids and vitamins.  The grain is amber in color and has a rich, nutty flavor.

Please keep in mind that gluten free is not necessarily healthier for everyone.  People who have celiac disease or a wheat allergy do not have a choice.  If they are interested in consuming baked goods, they must consume products that are prepared with a gluten free flour.  If you do not have either of these conditions, you may benefit more (nutritionally speaking) from an ancient form of wheat that is rich in nutrients.

Recipe:  (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

2/3 cup flour of choice

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 pastured eggs

1 1/2 cups milk or milk substitute

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

buffalo or goat butter or coconut butter for frying

1 bosc pear thinly sliced

coconut nectar (optional)

Procedure:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ingredients and whisk until creamy and blended.

Prepare a small crepe pan with a 1/2 teaspoon of butter of choice.  Heat the butter and tilt the pan so the surface area is coated.  Pour in 1/4 cup batter and tilt the pan until bottom is covered in batter.  Heat on medium and cook until the edges start to form small bubbles.  At this point, using a spatula, try to scoop under the crepe.  If it comes off easily, then flip if over and cook the other side for about a minute longer.  If it does not come off easily, let it stay in the pan until it comes off easily.

Place on a plate.  Insert the slices of pear on one half and cover with the other half of the crepe.   Drizzle a little coconut nectar over the top if you wish.  Enjoy!

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khorasan_wheat

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist, health supportive chef, culinary instructor, writer, blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.

http://www.healthynourishedbody.com

http://www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63

e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

 

Beet Kvass

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Beet greens alongside beet chunks in glass container ready to make beet kvass

As a healing through food specialist and health supportive chef, I have been hearing about the wonderful health benefits that are derived from raw beet juice consumption.  The word “kvass” is a Russian word that means a lacto-fermented beverage made from sourdough rye or beets.  With its Russian origin, it originated in the Ukraine and has been consumed for over 1000 years by people living in that part of the world.  Now, it finally is making its way to the USA.

The benefits of this beverage are numerous.  As a lacto-fermented beverage, it contains beneficial bacteria (probiotics) which helps rebuild immunity and helps strengthen the gut.  This process allows key nutrients to be absorbed more readily into the body.

It helps with the digestive process, cleanses the liver, the gallbladder, improves bile flow, removes toxins from the body and fights free radical damage at the cellular level.  The red staining color in beets is derived from a set of phytonutrients known as betalains.  The betalains are responsible for the creation of red blood cells which alkalize the blood.

Inflammation can occur in an over-acidic body.  Due to maintaining balance among the pH level, it robs the body of calcium.  We all need to alkalize the body and beet kvass is an alkaline promoting beverage.

Beets are an excellent source of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, folic acid, manganese and vitamins A and C.  It is a rich potpourri of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

The beet kvass when ready to consume can be drunk as is or added to soups and salad dressings.

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Bowl of raw beets and the glass container of beet kvass

Recipe:

Beet Kvass 

(Serves:  8 cups)

Ingredients:

1 (2 quart) glass bottle or jar with tight fitting lid

4-5 small beets scrubbed, rinsed and diced

1 tablespoon sea salt

Filtered water

Procedure:

Put the diced beet chunks into the glass container.  Add the salt and proceed to fill the jar with water leaving about an inch or two of space from the top.  Close securely with a lid and keep it away from direct sunlight in a room temperature environment for 3 days.

At the end of the 3 days, it can be moved to refrigeration.  It is now ready to consume.  It is suggested to have 1/4 cup in the morning and 1/4 cup in the evening.

Experiment with added ginger root and carrots for a variation.

Note:  When following the GAPS Diet protocol, Stage I, the beet kvass can be consumed along with the gelatinous meat stock for additional digestive benefits.  Stage I excludes fiber but the juice from lacto-fermented beets is highly encouraged for healing of the gut lining.

Sources:

Axe, Dr. J. “The Beverage with Probiotic & Cancer Fighting Benefits”  September 16, 2015.  http://www.draxe.com/kvass/

Goldberg, Max. “Beet Kvass- What is it and Why am I drinking it?”  January 24, 2012.  http://www.livingmaxwell.com/beet-kvass

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist, health supportive chef, culinary instructor, writer, blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.

http://www.healthynourishedbody.com

http://www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63

e:  healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free Sugar Free Buckwheat Granola

20170830_090127After having scanned the shelves of some of the best health food stores for a quality homemade granola that is both gluten free and sugar free and coming up empty handed, I decided to invent my own.

My homemade granola not only has a superior flavor, but in addition, it is super rich in nutrients, easy to prepare and fits the criteria for a healthy breakfast solution for a number of the healing through food dietary protocols.

The interesting part about this recipe is that many of the ingredients can be swapped out for similar ingredients if there is one that is not to your liking.

The main grain that I use is the much forgotten buckwheat groat.  This versatile grain is roasted in the oven along with a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruits and spices.  I use a non scented and neutral oil such as coconut oil to moisten the grain, seed and nut mixture.  This mixture is then spread out on a parchment lined baking dish and baked in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.  As soon as it cools, it is ready to eat.

This recipe is appropriate for the following diets:  Gluten free Diet, Vegan Diet and Vegetarian Diet

Note:  For the Candida Diet, leave out the raisins and add dried mulberries or aronia berries which are low glycemic fruits.  For the Low FODMAPS Diet, leave out the raisins and cocoa powder.  For the Low Histamine Diet, leave out the nuts, raisins and cocoa powder.

20170830_092619.jpgIngredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup ground pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup Thompson black raisins or dried mulberries or aronia berries
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup powdered organic cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

Procedure:

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well so all pieces are coated with the oil.

Spread the mixture on a baking pan lined with a Silt Pat or parchment paper.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.

Note:  This is a gluten free version of the traditional granola made with rolled oats.  It should be used as a topping for yogurt, fruit or apple sauce and not eaten in a large portion as a cereal substitute.  It is too rich in nutrients and needs to be consumed in smaller amounts.

20170830_095232Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/writer/blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.   http://www.healthynourishedbody.com  www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63 e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

 

 

11 Foods that Promote Healing Candida in the Body

 

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with Candida Albicans, Invasive Candidiasis, Candidemia, Systemic Fungal Infection or a Parasite Infection?  I, myself, have struggled off and on with this over the years.  There are now over 46,000 new cases per year.    It has been determined that 75% of all people are affected to some degree by this systemic fungal infection which can colonize in the intestines or other areas of the body.

Modern medicine has determined that uncontrolled fungus in the body may be the root cause of various chronic diseases/illnesses.  With an unbalanced microbiome, your immune system weakens and can open the door to an entire host of medical complications.

So why is this on the rise?  One of the main reasons is due to diet.  People are too busy to think about what they are consuming.  High carbohydrate diets proliferate and not only cause an acidic environment but the starches break down into sugar and feed the fungus.  A vicious on-going cycle is created.  In addition, food is now grown in mineral depleted soil which also creates acidity in the body.  Being super stressed day in and day out also takes its toll and weakens the adrenals.

So, what can you do about it?  The number one thing you need to do is curtail your consumption of all sugar and limit the amounts of starch.  My next post will be discussing foods you can eat and foods you need to steer clear of.  Once you eliminate the sugar, start adding in as many of the following ingredients as you can.

  • Cayenne Pepper – Increases circulation (Do not use if following the Autoimmune Paleo Diet)
  • Coconut Oil – Is an anti-fungal and strengthens immunity.
  • Garlic – Is an anti-fungal, boosts good bacteria, stimulates the liver and colon.  (Do not use is following the Low FODMAPS Diet)
  • Ginger – Has anti-inflammatory properties, a detoxifying effect in the body, increases circulation
  • Lemon + Lime – Increases alkalinity in the body (Do not use if following the Low Histamine Diet)
  • Olive Oil – Is an anti-fungal, helps stabilize blood sugar levels. (Use only a good quality oil that is greenish in color)
  • Onions – Are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic  (Do not use if following the Low FODMAPS Diet)
  • Pumpkin Seeds – Are anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitic and high in the omega 3 fatty acids.  (Do not use if following the Autoimmune Paleo Diet)
  • Rutabagas – Are considered one of the most potent antifungal foods  (Do not use if following the Paleo Ketogenic Diet)
  • Seaweed – Rich source of iodine, helps balance the thyroid gland, flushes heavy metals out of the body
  • Turmeric – Contains the natural anti-inflammatory compound, curcumin  (Do not use if taking anticoagulants which can interfere and cause blood clotting)

Sources:

Richards, Lisa  “10 Foods That Will Fight Your Candida”  www.thecandidadiet.com/candida-fighting-foods.htm

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/writer/blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.  www.healthynourishedbody.com  www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63 e:healthynourishedbody63@gmail.com

 

 

Vegetable Soup for Breakfast?

20170703_143424Cereal, bread, muffins, pastries, pancakes and omelettes are fine choices if you are well and don’t need to boost your nutrition.  However, if you are like most people, you will do anything to rake in more nutrients.  If you have an autoimmune disease, it is important to consume a nutrient dense breakfast free of grain.

Many Asian countries begin their breaking of the nightly fast with a steamy bowl of soup rich in vitamins and minerals.

In this day and age, so many people are suffering from a myriad of mysterious chronic health problems that include auto-immune illnesses such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Lupus, Hashimotos’s as well as Candidiasis, Diabetes, Cancer and the Neurological illnesses that include MS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to name a few.

Many of the specialized healing food diets that are being prescribed by Integrative Health Practitioners, Functional Medicine and Naturopathic Doctors exclude the consumption of sugar and starches due to its breaking down into simple sugar in the body.  This leaves us with the question, “What is one to consume for breakfast?”  Good question.  Why not a healthy vegetable soup that is chock full of vegetables super rich in nutrients? If that is not filling enough, add some kelp noodles which are grain free and some chicken chunks for protein.

The main reason that most people cannot seem to adjust to this idea is simply because certain foods are associated with breakfast and soup is not one of them.  You need to break out of this way of thinking.  There are many people in various countries around the world that do not eat the standard American breakfast and many of them are quite healthy.

I am including a simple recipe for a healing soup that includes what I call the magic healing trio of garlic, ginger and turmeric as well as burdock root, shiitakes, bok choy, watercress and kelp noodles which are not made of starch and are a good source of iodine.  This soup is a rich potpourri of nutrients.  It is easy to assemble.  If you cannot commit to having it every day, at least try consuming it 2-3 times per week.

Let’s get serious about healing our illnesses and enjoy a healthy body once again!

Healing Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced turmeric
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium burdock root peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 cups shiitakes sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups bok choy chopped (whites and greens)
  • 1 cup watercress
  • 10 cups filtered water
  • 8 ounce bag kelp noodles (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1-3 tablespoons Coconut Aminos
  • 1/2 pound chicken cubed (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste

Procedure:

In a large pot, add the oil, garlic, ginger and turmeric and let it cook on medium heat until slightly golden in color.  Add the onions, followed by the vegetables and filtered water and the optional kelp noodles and chicken, if using.  If you desire a thicker soup, add less water and if you want a thinner one, add more.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Note:  For the Candida Diet, leave out the shiitake mushrooms.  For the GAPS Diet, leave out the burdock.  For the Low FODMAPS Diet, leave out the garlic, onion and shiitake mushrooms.

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/writer/blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.  www.healthynourishedbody.com  www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63  e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

Food Trends for 2017

Since I am in the healthy end of the food business, my job is to keep abreast of the healthy food trends and here are my predictions for 2017.

More and more people are discovering the benefits of avocado with its rich source of monounsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, potassium and copper.  It is being consumed by spreading it on toast, not just any old toast, but a sprouted grain style bread such as Ezekial or Manna.  A little olive oil is drizzled over the top with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.  It makes a nice savory breakfast option.

Root vegetables are making a nice comeback and can be found as accompaniments to a protein meal in place of pasta or rice.  Since flour based products break down into sugar, many individuals are steering clear or them.  The root vegetables of choice are rutabagas, turnips, parnsips, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash including winter squash and Jerusalem artichokes.  They are good sources of vitamins A + C, potassium and magnesium as well as dietary fiber.

Another breakfast food that is replacing the health food granola trend, is porridge prepared with ancient gluten free grains such as amaranth and teff.  Amaranth is a light colored tiny grain that was cultivated by the Aztecs and is a good source of protein and B vitamins.  It is rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium.  Teff, on the other hand, is also a tiny grain, brown in color, that originated in Ethiopia.  Like amaranth, it is a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals.  The two grains can be combined or used separately.

Since the advent of the spiralizer, so called “zucchini spaghetti” also known as zoodles, are being cranked out to replace the flour based ones.  They are consumed raw in a salad or sautéed with a light tomato or mushroom sauce with vegetable or ground meat “meatballs.”  They are a good source of vitamin A, potassium and manganese.

Spaghetti squash has also made a nice resurgence.  It is that yellow, hard skinned squash that resembles a football.  It is used to replace the flour based spaghetti.  It is best roasted in a 425 degree oven sliced in half lengthwise with seeds removed for about 25-30 minutes or until squash is fork tender.

Finally, for those of you who love pizza but cannot eat the wheat floured crust, it is cauliflower to the rescue!  Cauliflower pizza is the latest gluten free trend for pizza lovers!  The crust is prepared with steamed cauliflower along with egg and cheese.  This cruciferous vegetable supplies good amounts of vitamins C + K along with folate.

So, there you have it!  Start off the new year right by experimenting with one or all of these foods!

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/writer/blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.  www.healthynourishedbody.com  www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63  e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com