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Friday, February 15, 2013

Super Foods Lemons, Avocado, Ginger, Coconut.....You Know Their Value now Learn How to Use Them


 Earth Diet
Based on the beliefs of Hippocrates, "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food."

These four foods are popping up again and again for both nutrition and cosmetic purposes. Many people are aware of their benefits but don't utilize them very often because they just don't know how. We think lemons and we get lemonade, avocados and guacamole comes to mind, ginger is ginger-ale. When we see coconut in our diets it is usually in granola or a candy bar. Using them on a regular basis as part of our diets hasn't really been all that common.
Hopefully, these ideas will encourage you to add these superfoods to your family's diet.


 The following is the original lemonade recipe but we stretch it by using  five lemons which make about one cup juice to 2 cups sugar and 4 quarts or one gallon water.
 
Enough lemons to made 1 cup juice (about five large)
1 cup sugar
2 quarts water

The amount of water or sugar can be adjusted to your liking


This recipe for an herbal rub is a good way to use those lemon rinds.

From Jenn's Gardening Spot
                                                                                         
1/4 Cup Fresh Rosemary Chopped (dry it out for a couple of days)

2 Tbls. of dried Oregano

2 Tbls. dried Sage

2 Tbls. dried Garlic Flakes

1/4 cup Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

2 Tbls Red Pepper Flakes (add extra Tbls. for a bit of kick or pinch of Cayenne)

4 to 6 Tbls. of Lemon Zest

Mix Herb mixture well. Put all the contents of your mixture into a jar.



This recipe is enough for one batch or small jar shown above. 
This amount can be used for one whole chicken.
Also good on fish .


Did you know that the lemon peels contain 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the juice?
Below is a great tip to using the whole lemon without any waste.

Use organic lemons if possible to avoid ingesting pesticides which may be in the peel.
Place the lemons in the freezer. When you have a need for lemon, get your grater and shred the whole lemon, peel and all. Use these shreds to top your food or drinks. You'll discover a new taste for lemon, as well as increase the nutritional value of your food or drink. Are you aware that lemon peels help to eliminate toxic elements from the body in addition to the boost in Vitamin C?


When we hear avocado we usually think guacamole. Here is a very healthy, meatless pita pocket sandwich, full of antioxidants, B vitamins and protein. 
This recipe came from the May 1998 issue of Vegetarian Times

Brain Power Pita Pockets

Tahini Sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp. sesame tahini
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
salt to taste

Pita Pockets:
4 large whole wheat pita breads
8 oz. soft tofu, drained and cubed
4 plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup torn spinach leaves
1 cup sprouts (alfalfa, sunflower or mung bean)
1 large ripe avocado, pitted, pealed and cut into pieces

In a small bowl, mix the sauce.
In another bowl, mix tofu, tomatoes and spinach.
Add 1/4 cup of the sauce and mix.
Spoon the mixture into the pocket breads.
Top with sprouts and avocado and drizzle with sauce.

This dip recipe comes from "The Natural Healing Cookbook" by Bessie Jo Tillman, 

Black Bean and Avocado Dip

2 ripe avocados
1 cup cooked black beans
1 cup cooked brown rice or cooked millet
1 - 2 tbsp. minced onion
salt and pepper to taste

Place beans in a bowl. Chop the peeled avocados and with a wooden spoon, mash it into the beans. Mix in the rice or millet, onion and seasoning.
Serve chilled or at room temperature


Ginger is actually a root, the rhizome of the plant Zingiber Officinale.
Ground ginger is used in baking but for stir-fry or Asian cooking the taste of fresh ginger is no comparison to the dried. Being a spice, I figured rather than have a few recipes I just give a few tips on how to use this funky shaped root.
These tips came from The Steamy Kitchen
The best way to store ginger is to place the root in a paper bag and keep in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.
To use as needed, get yourself a microplane grater. Using such a fine grater eliminates the frustration of trying to peel the root and then dealing with stringy pieces of ginger. For a recipe you want it smooth and fine, not in pieces large enough to actually bite into while eating the dish. Any pieces of fiber will cling to the microplane grater. Another option is to peel it first using a spoon. 
The skin will come right off when scraped with a spoon.
If you doubt you'll use the whole root on a regular enough basis or for convenience, you may want to freeze it. The easiest way to do this is to microplane the whole root onto a piece of plastic wrap. Spread it into a nice line and twist up the ends. When you need a piece, just snap off. It defrosts quickly or can be regrated. Just remember that things like minced garlic, ginger or sesame seeds burn very easily, so don't leave unattended while sauteing.


Coconut oil has gone from a no no for our health to a superfood. Go figure.
A great site for information and a source for purchasing good quality coconut oil is:

If you love to bake or saute with vegetable shortening but would prefer to avoid the hydrogenated fats, then using coconut oil as a substitute would be a healthy decision.
 Coconut oil contains no water, therefore when substituting the measurement for shortening it isn't exactly a 1:1 ratio. Use slightly less coconut oil, about 25% less. So if the recipe calls for one cup of shortening you would use 3/4 cup coconut oil.

To substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil, the ratio would be 1:1 but melt the coconut oil first to get that same measurement. Be sure that the other ingredients, such as milk or eggs, are at room temperature so that they do not cool down the coconut oil enough to make it solidify.

Coconut oil solidifies at temperatures below 76 degrees F. It is much harder to scoop than vegetable shortening, so the easiest way is to take a large metal spoon and scrape across the surface. Those shavings will make it a lot easier to measure in a cup and cream together with perhaps sugar or butter.


Enjoy!