Uncategorized

Why do we green juice every day?

Every morning Paul and I (and Mabel when she is here) drink a full glass of green juice before we put anything else in our bodies, we wait anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour to allow all the nutrition to digest and absorb, then we continue as normal with our day… it is such a great way to start the day, well that’s once you get used to the taste, which believe me takes a while.

Why I hear you all ask do we drink green juice, well according to research we should always start our day with some kind of citrus fruit to balance our PH levels after sleeping all night, also it’s an optimum time after we have fasted all night for our body to effectively absorb this power house of nutrition… I started it after I joined a group on Facebook for natural healing for psoriasis, everyone was raving about how celery juice had helped to clear the psoriasis patches they had on their bodies, so me being me, thought ‘why not give this a try’… and so my not so original green juice recipe came about.

I have been making and drinking green juice for about 4 months now, I have noticed a few things, my digestion works much better, the fiber from the juice helps to keep everything running regular, I know, I know… TMI, my skin looks and feels better, I feel so much better in myself after I’ve drunk it and I have noticed an improvement in my psoriasis patches.

SO WHAT GOES INTO THIS MAGIC GREEN NECTAR?

The first ingredient is CELERY… The benefits of celery are all right here in this link. Very low in carbs, but very high in fiber, making it perfect for those of us who are on a low carb diet for whatever reason we have. It is also a fat free food, which is always a plus in my book and it has very minimal protein value, And to top everything off, celery packs a punch with vital micro nutrients, vitamin K, vitamin A, potassium, and folate 2´╗┐… a very under rated superfood.

My second ingredient is KALE… The benefits of kale can be found right here. For a vegetable kale is protein rich 3 grams to be exact, it is great on the fiber front which really helps to control your blood sugar levels. It is full of vitamin, minerals and even contains omega 3, which is most definitely important if you are managing auto immune disorders.

Last but not least, my third ingredient is LEMON… Lemons what can I say, a great way to start our day, balance our PH levels, fantastic if you are on an alkaline diet, full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamin C and folate. When life gives you lemons jump for joy and enjoy everything about them.

Of course this is just my basic recipe, ingredients I always make sure I have in, but of course green juice can be made with anything, Trader Joe’s have a fantastic bag of greens made for juicing, when the farmer market is in full swing I have been known to add some chard leaves, radish leaves and of course fresh spinach is a power house of nutrition. Apples, clementines, pomegranate seeds, the list is endless, they add a nice sweetness, I’ve added carrots, broccoli, even a little baby cauliflower… but when it comes to green juicing my basic recipe is always the same, healthy, nutritious and after a while it actually tastes delicious.

So for anyone who is interested in green juicing this is my recipe for two people…

4 to 6 sticks of celery washed and chopped into approximately 1 inch pieces

2 cups of chopped kale, stalks included.

1 whole lemon, I roughly take off the skin, don’t worry too much, then I add the whole lemon, seeds included.

2 cups of water and ice cubes, ice cubes are optional but I really like my juice on the colder side.

Place all the ingredients in your blender jug, blitz on medium for a couple of minutes, time will vary depending on the type of blender you have. Now you can drink this with the pulp if you like, personally I sieve my juice through a strainer, of course I never throw anything away, so I keep the pulp and use it in other recipes, I have been known to make an awesome green egg white frittata for breakfast, my secret ingredient in my bolognese is green juice pulp, it adds flavor and nutrition to casseroles and it’s delicious added into a homemade broth, so never throw away that pulp, you can use it in so many things and no one will ever know it’s in there… shhh, what they don’t know will never hurt them, it will serve to make them feel better.

I always try to buy organic fresh ingredients when I can, the farmers market is my happy place, but I know it’s not always possible so here is a little tip if your fruit and vegetables are not organic, try soaking them in a solution of water and apple cider vinegar for about 10 to 15 minutes, alternatively scrub the veggies and fruit with a vegetable scrub, I use one from Trader Joe’s when I need to.

Now green juicing is an acquired taste, believe me when you first taste that juice you will think am I completely mad to be doing this, Mabel described it like salad in juice form, and not the good kind either, but the more you do it, the more your tastebuds will become accustomed to it, you might even think it is delicious one day… but there is one thing that will happen for sure… your body will most definitely thank you for it, your skin will glow, your joints will feel more supple, and your digestive system will be so very happy… so go give it a try, what do you have to lose?

Oh and don’t throw your lemon peels away, always leave a bit of flesh on them and add them to your water, you will be surprised what wonderful flavor and value it adds to your plain old water.

Since writing this a week ago, I have added in a couple more ingredients to my basic recipe, half a thumbs worth of ginger, don’t bother peeling it just throw it into the blender the way it is and then add about 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric dissolved in a tablespoon of boiling water, if you can get the whole root definitely use that, but if not powdered turmeric will work fine… the zing these ingredients give the juice is amazing… there is a little story behind these two new ingredients and they include Mabel and a visit to Trader Joe’s recently, she bought a little healthy power shot of juice, the ingredients were like my green juice recipe but added in were ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper, you drink it like a shot, it is meant to help boost your immune system, well it got me thinking, I have turmeric in my cupboards and a large container of organic ginger root in the refrigerator, maybe I should add this into my recipe, and so my new new recipe is born, I’m yet to be brave enough to add a little pinch of cayenne… maybe one day... Happy juicing everyone.

Uncategorized

Freezer love

I love my freezer, I love to freeze leftovers, I love to freeze an abundance of fruit and vegetables… I just love to have a freezer full of produce, but of course the trick is not to overfill your freezer so much that you never get to use the produce at the back or stored deeply below the current food in there, I love to virtually empty my freezer before restocking it, it gives me real pleasure to see an empty freezer just before I do my weekly grocery trip, of course my children are never too thrilled by this, but personally I love that feeling that I have used wisely all of my groceries before I restock… I just hate waste!

So, on the subject of freezers, I was thrilled this week whilst I was on my weekly trip to Costco, the fruit and vegetables in there looked so enticing and abundant I had to stock up, now I know everything in Costco comes in huge sizes and even for our larger than average family, when it comes to fruit and vegetables, we cannot get through the package sizes either, so with that in mind I still filled my cart with cherries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, asparagus and so on, I think my cart was mainly healthy fruit and vegetables this week, but I had a plan… Now this is where my freezer comes in, I bagged half of each container into ziplock bags and placed them into my freezer… Genius, right? I can hear you all saying but the fruit just does not taste the same after it is frozen and you are right, but it is perfect for smoothies, homemade ice cream, muffins, cheesecake, sauces, juicing, the list is endless… Of course it is great for adding to cocktails too! So now I not only have a refrigerator full of healthy fruit and vegetables but a freezer well stocked for all our summer favorites too… Not only healthy but budget friendly too!

Still on the subject of freezers, my new plan is to cook and freeze batches of beans, pulses and lentils… I love, love, love these ingredients but more often than not I find I just don’t have the time to cook them along with dinner or I just simply forget to, so after a little research I have discovered that all of these ingredients freeze and reheat well… So batch cooking these ingredients will mean I can always have them on hand in my beloved freezer, meaning that we will be eating much healthier too!

Recipe for chocolate covered strawberries

1 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (I used Kirkland semi sweet)
1 1/2tablespoon of coconut oil ( I used Trader Joes)
20 fresh strawberries

There are two ways of melting your chocolate with the coconut oil, the first is taking a great amount of care in your microwave, they burn easily so melt them in 30 second bursts until they are smooth and melted, the other way, which is the method I used is to take about an inch of boiling water in a pan, place your bowl of chocolate and coconut oil over the water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water and then let your boiling water slowly melt your chocolate for a few minutes, once it is smooth and melted take it off the heat and wash and pat dry your strawberries, then coat each strawberry with the chocolate mixture, taking care not to cover the green leafy part, place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, then place in refrigerator to chill then serve with anything you like… Delicious!

20130705-093009.jpg

Uncategorized

Juice with me…

Organizing tip number 1… Do not pick up your crochet hook and begin another granny square… Bad, bad idea as you really don’t get a lot of organizing actually done, but your granny square pile grows nearer to becoming an actual blanket!
Organizing tip number 2… Stick to your list… Your plan of action is your key to all things organized!
And finally, organizing tip number 3…actually start your week with a positive attitude and the thought in your mind that your Mum will be arriving one week from tomorrow… Ahhhhhhh!

Guess what I am going to be doing this week?

Several weeks ago I bought a set of new plates and bowls, it’s time to get rid of all those chipped, mismatching plates that I have hanging around, so with that thought in mind, I decided it was time to do exactly the same with all our odd, well dishwashed glasses, so I bought a sparkling set of 10 tall and 10 short matching glasses from Costco last week! Finally my cupboards will have sets of nice new china and glassware sitting on the shelves!

Spring arrived here over this past weekend, things are changing today again, but I think it’s definitely time to give my closet a spring makeover… Time to put away all my grey winter clothes and bring forward the bright colors of summer!

As far as food goes, we have already been in the salad mode for a while, my fridge remains ultra organized, clean and healthy, my pantry is exactly the same… So no organizing required there! But my actual kitchen is in need of a spring clean and re-organizing, so I’m onto that this week, I am definitely the type of person that does not cope well in a messy kitchen, I also have a brand new juicer to fit into a cupboard somewhere so that I can free up my kitchen side where it is currently residing!

Super Healthy Smoothie Recipe
Serves 2

Freshly juiced fruit and veggies (I used a handful of spinach, 3 strawberries, a few slices of pineapple, 3 satsumas, an apple and 1 orange)
2 Activia yogurt
2 teaspoons of chia seeds

Freshly juice your fruit and veggies, then add two yogurts, flavor of your choice to the blender, add your freshly pressed juice and blend together… Serve in a tall glass then stir in your chia seeds! (Super tip of the week, chia seeds are the best value in Costco $14.99 for a huge bag… So for someone like me who uses them all the time, it’s a bargain!)

I have bought some preserving jars to store my juice in, and also to make up smoothies for Paul to take to work with him… A quick shake and his smoothie will be ready to drink!

20130429-085213.jpg

Uncategorized

Warm flat bread sandwiches

My new favorite healthy things this week are chia seeds, ultra healthy, gluten free, lots of fibre and so easy to add into everyday cooking and eating… Love them, $4.99 for a 150g bag from my favorite store Trader Joes! Probiotic yogurts… Loving them, and so are all of my children, $2.99 for 4 yogurts in stop and shop, but the real bargain is to be found in Costco, $8.99 for 24 yogurts, that’s double the amount of yogurts you would get in stop and shop for your money… It’s so great that I bought so many as I have discovered everyone eating my yogurts! I have also found that they are very tasty in smoothies too!

My last rave about all things healthy this week is almond milk, I bought it weeks ago and it has sat in my fridge waiting to be opened, now I’ve used it I love it, it’s so healthy, delicious and of course gluten free, for all those people trying to lessen the gluten we have in our lives, it’s definitely worth a try!

Now I have discussed before my interest in juicing, well I decided to go ahead with my new plan, so armed with my research I headed to Costco on Saturday and bought a Ninja blender, it said it was a complete juicer, so I thought I would give it a try, I stocked up on lots of fruit and veggies, not a lot of organics though, Costco really need to start stocking more organic produce, and came home ready to start juicing my way to a healthier lifestyle! Some might say a blender is a good way to juice but I was not so impressed, yes, you do drink all of the produce compared to juicing but the juice has the texture of apple sauce, which I did not like and I was also bloated from drinking/eating so many fruit and vegetables… Thankfully Costco has an excellent policy for returns, but for anyone that cannot afford a Vitamix blender, the Ninja is an excellent choice, it was a very powerful easy to clean alternative that has me wondering whether I should keep it… Anyway back to juicing, I love Costco’s return policy so I was disappointed they did not have any actual juicers in stock, so I headed straight to their website and yay, they had a choice of juicers, I read all the reviews and chose the one that got the best ones… So my produce is patiently waiting to be juiced in my refrigerator, hopefully I will be juicing away by the end of this week!

Recipe of the week

1 packet of tandoori naan bread (I used one from Costco)
1 jar of pesto
Thin slices of salami
Any salad items you would like (I used red onion finely sliced and diced, thin slices of tomato, pea shoots, pickled jalape├▒os and mixed olives… But your choice is endless)
On my flatbread I put crumbled feta cheese, but everyone else had pepper jack shredded

Place naan bread on your board, spread approximately 1 tablespoon of pesto onto the bread evenly. Then top with sliced salami and salad items, for mine I went for the Greek style, red onion, olives, tomato pea shoots and feta cheese, but you can just have anything you want! Heat in a 400f oven for 6 minutes… Top with spring mix leaves and serve!

I forgot to mention I added chia seeds for added nutrition, lightly sprinkled with the cheese… Yummy and so healthy!

20130422-081250.jpg