Vegetarian Tamales

For Masa Dough:

4 cup masa harina
2 tsp baking powder
1 head garlic
¼ cup fresh cilantro (minced)
4 cup vegetable stock or half stock and half water
½ cup Sriracha or 1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin powder

For Filling:

1/2 cup coconut butter

1 red onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
8 oz button mushrooms (thinly sliced)
1 green bell pepper (diced)
1 small zucchini (diced)
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 cup fresh sweet corn (roasted)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 oz corn husks (soaked in warm water for at least 1 hour)

Procedure:

1. Cream butter in a stand mixer or using hand beater.
2. In a separate bowl combine masa harina, baking powder, cumin, chili powder.
3. Add stock to the mixture and stir well.
4. Now combine butter and masa mixture together and beat again to make smooth and fluffy mixture. Transfer this mixture into another bowl and leave it for few mins.
5. Meanwhile prepare filling, . saute garlic and onion till garlic is fragrant but not turn into brown.
6. Now add all the veggies including zucchini, bell pepper, mushroom, cilantro and corn along with seasoning of  pepper and cumin. Cook the mixture for a while until veggies get slightly soft.
7. After that take a large corn husk (soaked in water) spread 1-2 tbsp of masa mixture at the center (I found that spreading it around the husk turned out better- may need to use more than 2 TBL), put some veggies mixture and then seal the filling by folding the sides. Tie the wrapped tamale with another corn husk strip make sure that the filling has some space inside or should not be sealed tightly because masa dough would expand while cooking.
8. When all the tamales are ready, put them onto the large steamer basket and steam them until become firm and dough expands, it would take around 1 hour to cook. (I just placed them in my regular steamer)

Adapted from Recipe Dose

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Milk does the body NO good

This is such a hard thing to get into peoples heads.  I work in the “bone”field and I hear it daily how we need to drink our milk.  It is frustrating to be honest but what can you do but keep on keeping on. I try to promote calcium intake from other sources besides milk. See chart below.  I encourage eating a rainbow of foods and to just eat a variety.  In doing so we get a range of nutrients!
Sources of calcium:
Non dairy Calcium sources
(NaturalNews) If you want to increase your calcium intake, then drink milk. If you want to prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of fractures, then drink milk. Right? Research is telling us that we couldn’t be more wrong. Milk is mostly hype and hardly healthy. At least, not the milk we drink today, which is vastly different from what our ancestors used to drink.Time was when waking up to a glass of milk or drinking some before bed time was considered a healthy habit. That rule no longer holds good and here’s why: milk found on the supermarket shelf is highly processed. Milk is an extremely acidic or “acidifying” food to begin with, and the homogenization and pasteurization process makes it all the more so. The problem with consuming milk on the basis that it supplies the body with calcium is that, in order for calcium to be absorbed by the body, it needs to be given adequate magnesium and vitamin C as well. Interestingly too, calcium is the one mineral that is freely taken from the bones in order to neutralize blood acidity and restore blood pH. Hence, ironic though it may seem, milk can have the opposite effect to what is desired: deplete the body of calcium in order to render the blood acid-neutral. So drinking milk doesn’t really help your bones. You’d be better off eating vitamin D instead. The fact remains that osteoporosis cannot be prevented by high milk consumption. On the contrary, the animal protein found in milk could well be the cause of bone loss.

Another thing that we need to be wary of is the fact that the dairy industry is free to supply cows with growth hormones that increase the production of milk artificially. The laboratory made hormone, bovine growth hormone, or rBGH, is known to increase the levels if insulin growth factor (IGF) in the blood of those consuming it, linking it with the incidence of several types of cancer.

Milk politics

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has an “up-to-date” food pyramid that recommends drinking three glasses of milk per day. Critics of this pyramid say that it has not been created in an authentic way with the consumer’s best interest at heart. They say that the pyramid is a reflection of the dairy industry’s vested interests.

According to Harvard scientist Dr. Willet, one of the most vociferous critics of the USDA food pyramid, the USDA’s claims are ridiculous, because according to him, there is very little evidence that milk reduces fractures. What is more, milk is a proven source of saturated fat and is linked to heart disease, increases risk of prostrate cancer, aggravates irritable bowel syndrome and creates digestive ills in those with lactose intolerance, which is approximately 75% of adults on the planet. Those doctors and nutritionists who advise against adding any dairy to your diet at all say that, while raw organic milk can be taken without the burden of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and processing, the risks of dairy consumption outweigh the benefits anyway. Besides, there are other ways and dietary means to improve one’s health. The bottom line is simple: you don’t need milk to be healthy.

Yet, pro-milk propaganda is big. And the question that is being asked by the anti-dairy lobby is this: will authentic scientific evidence have any bearing on food policy and dietary guidelines that is simple to decipher or will consumers be fed with misinformation so the dairy industry will benefit?

Resources:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu

http://saveourbones.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

GMO and your gut

I found this article and just proves more and more how what we eat effects our organs is more ways than we may know.  It amazes me how disease progress along with the changes in our dietary habits (fast food, GMO, processed) over the years.  There is a high correlation between the two but still so many do not see it.

Many of our disease process start in our GI tract so keeping a health gut is key!  Here is just one article that show us this.

 

This article brings up a good point.  We should be eating organic foods to avoid contaminants.  I have several thoughts and conflicts in this area.  When I started I was totally organic.  To be honest I am not made of money and that was really expensive when all you eat are fruits and vegetables.  I did the dirty dozen but I found it difficult to find those things organically without paying an arm and a leg or some could only be found organically in season.  So currently I do not do organic food but I spray with vinegar water.  I would appreciate anyone’s thoughts or ideas on this.  In the back of my mind I keep thinking I need to do whatever gets me eating the most fruits and vegetables but on the other hand if I am eating more but those are contaminated and causing more organ damage.  Whats a girl to do??

 

If you are one of the approximately 70 million Americans who suffer from a chronic digestive issue, then you should know that the food you choose to consume could be carrying a gene that is designed to intentionally cause intestinal rupture. Genetically modified foods that contain Bt toxin, a built-in insecticide that inherently works by imploding the stomach of the creature that is feasting on it, could very well be contributing to your intestinal angst.

What exactly is Bt and how does it work?
Bacillus thuringiensis is a naturally occurring substance that is found in soil bacterium. Since the mid-nineties, some engineered crops have been modified to harbor this toxin within their genetic codes. The idea is to produce crops that have a built-in insecticide, in order to reduce the amount of food that is lost to insect invasion. As if this action alone wasn’t enough, these crops are also being sprayed with more pesticide that coats the outer area of the plant. This way, these particular crops are being protected against predators twice.

“So-called ‘Bt corn’ is equipped with a gene from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which produces Bt-toxin—a pesticide that breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them.”  – Dr. Mercola

Monsanto Corporation is the industrial giant that is responsible for most of our genetically modified foods, and for Bt being inserted into our food supply. Roundup, a plant pesticide, is Monsanto’s current, main product. This is the same company that has previously ensured the safety of other products, such as DDT and Agent Orange.  We now know that both of these substances are incredibly toxic to human health, despite being originally deemed safe just like genetically modified foods, Bt toxin, and glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) are now.

What are the studies saying?
In Jeffrey Smith’s Genetic Roulette, he documents 65 health risks associated with genetically modified foods, including the fact that rats that were fed genetically modified potatoes with Bt had evidence of intestinal rupture.  All 65 of the health risks can be found on the Institute for Responsible Technology’s website.

Despite what Monsanto has said about the safety of Bt, a recent study done by the Institute of Science in Society has concluded that Bt is indeed harmful to human health:
“Experiments were performed to assess both cell death and cell membrane integrity, as the pesticidal activity of Bt toxins results from creating pores in the membrane of cells in the insect gut… this study indicates that Bt toxins are not inert on human cells, and may indeed be toxic.”

 

Bt is also known to kill human kidney cells,  and, in a recent study, has been found in 93% of pregnant women’s unborn babies.  And yet, we’re still all adamantly being told that there is no way for humans to possibly experience any negative side effects from eating Bt crops. In fact, the University of California San Diego has said, “Bt products are found to be safe for use in the environment and with mammals.”  Two paragraphs down, they go on to say “Bt is found to be an eye irritant on test rabbits.”

Let’s take a look at the facts
Genetically modified foods that carry the Bt toxin first came to American households in 1996.  Between the years of 1979 and 1998, the number of Americans to suffer from Crohn’s Disease (a debilitating autoimmune disease of the large bowel) bounced back and forth between 225 per 100,000 people to 300 per 100,000 people.  In 2000, that number shot up to 375 per 100,000 people, and has been on the rise ever since. Ambulatory care visits from those who reported inflammatory bowel symptoms went from 275 per 100,000 people to 375 per 100,000 people between the years of 1994 and 1998.

Let’s do another. The number of Americans suffering from ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) hovered between 185 per 100,000 Americans to approximately 210 per 100,000 people between the years of 1979 and 2001.  In 2002, those numbers shot to 225 per 100,000 people and have been on the rise ever since. Ambulatory care visits went from approximately 190 per 100,000 people in 1995 to about 235 per 100,000 people in 1998.
Does GMO equal IBS?

These are significant changes in bowel health that occurred within approximately 5 years of Bt hitting the supermarket. This rise in altered bowel health does not follow the general population increase, but it does make sense when considering the fact that we are consuming more and more food that has been genetically encoded with this toxic pesticide.

How do we avoid exposure to Bt?
Although there are other crops that are being grown using Bt (such as potatoes), corn is generally the most worrisome. This is because corn (or maize) is in almost all processed foods (corn meal, corn syrup, corn starch, corn flour, etc.) Soy is also a concern, because as with corn, a lot of foods contain GMO soy
embedded within the list of ingredients, such as soy lecithin and soy starch.

For non-meat eaters, who generally tend to consume more soy products than meat-eaters, it is important to look for non-GMO, organic soy product foods when consuming tofu, tempeh, and any other soy derived-products.

Because genetically modified foods in the United States are not required to bear a label notifying the consumer that it is a “frankenfood”, the only real way to avoid it is to eat a very clean, mindful, organic, naked whole food diet. However, when buying packaged food, look for the NON-GMO label or NON-GMO PROJECT logo.
From:
http://www.jenniferbrowne.org/

 

http://nakedfoodmagazine.com/does-gmo-equal-ibs/

C.C. Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins
Source: adapted from Emily Bites.com

Ingredients:
3/4 c almond flour
3/4 c rice flour
1 t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ c unsweetened applesauce
¼ c almond milk
1 t vanilla extract
1 c shredded zucchini
¼ c miniature semisweet chocolate chips

A dash of flax or chia seeds (optional)

Directions:
1.    Preheat the oven to 350. Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners or lightly mist the muffin tin with cooking spray.
2.    In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and stir until mixed.
3.    In a medium bowl, combine the egg, applesauce, milk, and vanilla. Stir until mixed.
4.    Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until combined, forming a moist batter. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
5.    Spoon the batter evenly into the liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Yields 12 servings

Turning tide- Hypertension and Garlic

I was running the other day and started thinking about my blog.  I decided it was not exactly what I had intended it to be up to this point.  I have been focusing more on meals vs what the meals/food can do for our health.  So I decided to changes things up a little.  I am going to move away from our daily meals  (which is time consuming to post) to more of a “food root” focus.  With this I plan to still post recipes but limit it to or favorite from the week, breakfast and anything special otherwise.  In turn I plan to spend more time with research and posting about foods, diseases and how we can change our ailments through natural God created ways.  I hope you can all still enjoy and share in my passion to make this world a better and healthier place.

 

A recent research release on hypertension and the use of garlic vs prescription medication.  In summary from the article;

Hypertension is called a ‘silent killer,’ as it often goes completely unnoticed, along with the decades long subclinical march of atherosclerosis that is largely the cause of elevated blood pressure, often culminating suddenly in a deadly cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke.

Researchers at the Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia gave test subjects either, one of five doses of garlic (300/mg, 600/mg, 900/mg, 1200/mg, 1500/mg) in divided doses per day, a tablet of atenolol, or a placebo, for 24 weeks. Blood pressure readings were recorded at weeks 0, 12 and 24.

The study results showed significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in both dose and duration dependent manner in all the treatment groups. The results of the treatments on systolic blood pressure were reported as follows:

Citation: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/garlic-beats-best-selling-blood-pressure-drug-new-study

 

So we can either start to take another pill, what i’m trying to get people away from, or what about using the real deal.  I basically add garlic to most any dish I can.  That results in almost all!

Dosage and History as suggested by AAFP: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0701/p103.html

Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Sanskrit records show its medicinal used about 5,000 years ago, and it has been used for at least 3,000 years in Chinese medicine. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans used garlic for healing purposes.1 In 1858, Pasteur noted garlic’s antibacterial activity, and it was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II.2

The effective dosage of garlic has not been determined. Dosages generally recommended in the literature for adults are 4 g (one to two cloves) of raw garlic per day, one 300-mg dried garlic powder tablet (standardized to 1.3 percent alliin or 0.6 percent allicin yield) two to three times per day, or 7.2 g of aged garlic extract per day.

 

You can see your option is to take 1 tablet 2-3 times a day or just add in 2 cloves to your meals each day. I have taken a garlic supplement and let me tell you… it tastes terrible and you can not get the taste out!

Garlic is great for hypertension as well as many other things: antineoplastic, antihypertensive, and antimicrobial.