Onions – things I never knew before

Red onion slices

Red onion slices (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu…
Many of the farmers and their families had contracted it and many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn’t believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser. She said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with the flu, and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

Now there is a P. S. To this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:

Thanks for the reminder. I don’t know about the farmer’s story…but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia, and, needless to say, I was very ill… I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, and place the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs…sure enough it happened just like that…the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

This is the other note. Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don’t know what to blame. Maybe it’s the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu and is the very reason we shouldn’t eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open.

LEFT OVER ONIONS ARE POISONOUS

I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise. Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.

Ed, who was our tour guide, is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed’s answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially-made Mayo is completely safe.

“It doesn’t even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it’s not really necessary.” He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the summer picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table, and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

Ed says that, when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the ‘victim’ last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it’s not the mayonnaise (as long as it’s not homemade Mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It’s probably the ONIONS, and if not the onions, it’s the POTATOES.

He explained onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it’s not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

It’s already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!). Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you’ll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you’re asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.

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Easy Organic Vanilla Gluten-Free Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup soy free earth balance
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar or honey
  • 4 organic free range eggs
  • 2 tsp. organic vanilla
  • 1/2 cup organic almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut flour
  • 2 tsp. organic baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan Salt

Cream the shortening and sugar until smooth. One at a time add the eggs until each is fully blended with the sugar mixture. Add Almond Milk and Vanilla and blend a bit more.

In a separate bowl combine flours, baking powder and salt and gently fold together.

While liquid mixture is on low speed slowly add large heaping spoonfuls of flour. Mix each spoonful thoroughly before adding the next, this ensure a lighter fluffier cake! Without the gluten proper mixing has a huge impact on helping with the heaviness of the flours used.

Grease and flour a 13 x 9 pan. Spread cake mixture evenly. This is a thin cake kind of like a brownie. The flavor can accommodate any topping of your choice, I prefer fruit with melted cacao or you could use cashew cream and strawberries.

Chocolate Drizzle

  • 1 – 2 chunks raw cacao
  • 1 chunk raw cacao butter
  • 1 handful chocolate chips (with at least 50% cacao)
  • Sliced fruit of season right now its bananasImage

Your VOTE matters, your HEALTH matters

I have never had a post come up as unauthorized so this means something new to me. Does Monsanto now control what we can publish in our blogs? And my last post simply disappeared.

Fellow Californians I am writing to you to encourage you to vote YES on Proposition 37 this November 6th.  I believe this is the most important item on our ballot and understanding what you are eating is your right. This whole issue about raising your food prices is absurd, all that will be changing is showing the ingredients on the label and that foods that contain GMO ingredients will no longer be able to sell them as “Natural”.

It makes sense to me and should to you too because if you had a choice between chemically laden foods or truly natural foods I’m guessing you would probably choose the natural option for you and your family.

So take a moment at the polls and please vote YES on prop 37!!!!!

Delish Cashew Cheese for Organic Kale Chips

3 bunches kale ( I prefer to mix the different types)
4 cups raw cashews soaked overnight
2 cups chopped red pepper
1 Cup Nutritional Yeast or more to your taste
1 tsp. Sea Salt or more if needed
1 tsp + to taste Black Pepper
Juice of 2 lemons
Cayenne pepper to taste
Water around a 1/4 cup – enough to make it a nice creamy cheese

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Cut stalks from 3 bunches of kale and set aside
Put all of the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend to a cheese consistency – 4 – 5 minutes. I add the water last and adjust until I think its the right consistency to schmeer on the kale. I taste as I go to determine the final amount of spices needed. If it tastes bland add more nutritional  yeast, salt, pepper or cayenne.  (I also add turmeric) It should be a nice nutty rich thick cheesy sauce and will fill the whole food processor!

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In a separate bowl place 1/4 of the kale halves and add 1/4 of the cheese mixture. To mix this is not a dainty job you must really mix and squeeze the kale and cheese mixture. You want to thickly coat the kale with a good layer of the mix. The more you squeeze it together the better your chips will be. Don’t worry you will not damage the kale!
Spread fully loaded kale gently on your dehydrator sheets and repeat the processes 3 more times until all your kale is used and your dehydrator shelves are full. I fill all 5 shelves with the chips. I put it on medium heat for about 6 hours and check on their crispiness. Then turn it down on low for a few more hours to ensure they are truly dried.Image
Then I proceed to pig out and enjoy the bags of goodness. Make sure not to close them in a baggie until they have cooled.

10 Ways to save money and eat healthy organic foods!

1) Go with home-made.  Americans today spend 49% of their food budget on eating out at restaurants.  When you make it yourself, you know what’s in it – and you can save a lot of money, too.

2) Use bulk bins. Buying beans, whole grains, and other non-perishables from bulk bins will save you an average of 56% over buying the same items pre-packaged.

3) Cook in quantity.  Whether you live alone or are part of a big family, making big sauces, pots of soup, casseroles and other meals saves time in the long run.  You can freeze extras for convenient instant meals, or create meal-sharing arrangements with friends or co-workers.

4) Grow food. It takes time, but gardening is the most economical way to enjoy the freshest possible food.  In urban neighborhoods, community gardens are a great way to grow food and build community at the same time.  There are an estimated 18,000 community gardens in the US and Canada.   For resources to help you start one, visit this the American Community Gardening Association.

5) Buy direct from farmers.  When you join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you enter into a direct win-win partnership with local farmers.  Farmer’s Markets are a fantastic way to support farmers while enjoying fresh food straight from the source.  In the US, the number of farmer’s markets has more than doubled in the last decade.  Click here for more info on Farmer’s Market and CSA opportunities near you.

6) Use what’s in season, economical and nutritious.  Some of the most budget-conscious starches include beans, whole grains, and potatoes.  Some of the most affordable and nutritionally potent vegetables often include cabbage, carrots, and onions.

7) Use – and stick with – shopping lists.  Maintain an ongoing shopping list.  Conduct a quick inventory of your kitchen before you shop to see if you’re missing anything important.  By thinking your shopping through in advance, you’re more likely to get what you actually need, and less likely to waste money on impulse buying that you’ll later regret.

8) Cut down on animal products.  As Dr. John McDougall has pointed out, approximately one-third of the calories consumed by people living in developed nations are from animal sources.  Animal foods — like meat, poultry, fish, milk, and cheese, are usually an expensive source of protein and nutrients.

9) Eat before shopping.  Grocery stores know the power of delectable smells. Everything looks good when our stomachs are screaming, “feed me!”, and that can lead to more impulse buying.

10) Join Green Polka Dot Box.  This is a natural and organic buyers collective that makes healthy ad GMO-free foods available for great prices, delivered straight to your door, anywhere in the United States.  Find out more and sign up here.

Healthy food is a fundamental building block to a healthy life.  It’s an investment worth making.  And in many cases, we can even save money in the process.

And most importantly and always love life, yourself and remember

EAT……HEAL…….LIVE!

 

 

Scrummy Organic Quinoa Burgers

Healthy and awesome lunch

 

This recipe can definitely make most people re-think vegan burgers because it is really satisfying and has so many delicious things you don’t miss the meat! Great for entertaining and you can cook a big batch and eat them cold the next day too.

Organic Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (2 cups water and 1 cup quinoa= extra quinoa for salad tomorrow, bring to boil and simmer for about 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork )
  • 2 large sweet potatoes or yams cubed and cooked ( 3 cups cooked is what you want)
  • 1 can no salt added black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 (heaping) cup quinoa flour or other gluten-free flour like garbanzo bean or almond
  • 1 ear of fresh corn cut from cob
  • 1/2 large red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne (or more if you like it hot!)
  • Salt and Pepper to your liking

Preparation:

  1. Peel and cube your sweet potatoes or yams and place gently in large pot of boiling water. Cook until tender (about 20 minutes) Drain and put in a bowl to let cool.
  2. Cook your quinoa next so they can cool together.
  3. While those are cooking preheat your over to 400 – 425 (adjust according to your oven) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. ( I used oil and they do stick so choose your non stick weapon of choice)
  4. In a large bowl put 1/2 can of beans and mash those puppies with a fork.
  5. When the potatoes have cooled, roughly mash them with a fork.
  6. Add potatoes, quinoa, corn, the rest of the beans, flour, onion and spices. Stir together until just combined. (If your mixture seems too moist I adjust with a little more flour)
  7. This mixture makes between 10 – 14 burgers depending on the size you make. Gather handfuls of the “burger” mix and shape into patties. Place directly on baking sheet.
  8. Cook each side for 20-25 minutes. They can be tricky to turn because they do not have gluten (glue) to hold them together, do not let this discourage you! If they are too squishy leave them in for another 10 minutes per side.
  9. I broil mine for the last few minutes to give them a little crispy edge on both sides and find this really helps with the end result.

Notes:

These burgers are wonderful on gluten-free buns with lettuce, red onion and a bit of veganaise/aioli and mustard! They are also great cold the next day with a salad and no bun.

Gluten free cooking is tricky and often frustrating. You are not alone when you go to flip the burgers and they are mushy and lose their shape! Don’t worry they are completely re-shape-able and the longer they cook, the more manageable they become and you will have a quinoa burger that you can proudly serve to your friends and family!

Hope you enjoy them and remember…….EAT…..HEAL…..LIVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Important GMO links

This is from the Institute for Responsible Technology – the most comprehensive source of GMO health risk information on the web. Please share and realize how important your purchasing power truly is.Image

Links

GMO Awareness – GMO Awareness is uniting everyone in the United States who cares about food quality. We have a unique strategy in place that will empower you to take simple and effective action. “Everyone who cares taking the most effective action”—that’s the winning formula that will bring about labeling.

Organic Consumers Association – A grassroots non-profit public interest organization which deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, corporate accountability, and environmental sustainability.

True Food Network – A resource that you can come to for information and, most importantly, a place you can come to take action regarding GE foods.

GE Food Alert – A coalition of seven organizations united in their commitment to testing and labeling genetically engineered food.

Genetic Engineering Action Network – A diverse network of grassroots activists, national and community non-governmental organizations (NGOs), farmer and farm advocacy groups, academics and scientists who have come together to work on the myriad of issues surrounding biotechnology.

Say No to GMOs! – This site offers extensive information on the complex and controversial issue of genetic engineering.

Organic Trade Association – The membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America. OTA’s mission is to encourage global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade.

Cooperative Research – A searchable database of events concerning the seed industry, farmers’ rights, GM crops, and other related issues

Greenpeace – Say No to Genetic Engineering

Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (cban)

 

Farmers on GM crops
The following list of resources was compiled by South African activist Andrew Taynton.

Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering (USA)
http://www.nffc.net/Issues/Farmer%20to%20Farmer/page-farmertofarmer.htm

Network of Concerned Farmers (Australia)
http://www.non-gm-farmers.com

Indian farmers burn GM cotton seeds – picture
http://www.krrsbtcottonsetafire.8m.com/

Canadian farmers call for moratorium
http://www.nfu.ca/gmfood-ban.htm

Argentina’s GM woes
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/AGMW.php

Will GM crops deliver benefits to farmers? http://www.nlpwessex.org/docs/gmagric.htm

The Organic & Non-GMO Report provides information and resources to help farmers and food manufacturers respond to the challenges of genetically modified foods. The Non-GMO Sourcebook is the world’s only “farm to fork” directory of suppliers of non-GMO seed, grains, food ingredients, and foods.

Friends of the Earth– is the U.S. voice of an influential, international network of grassroots groups in 70 countries. Friends of the Earth has for decades been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world. (search on genetic engineering)

Healthy Schools
(NOTE: Unless indicated, these organizations have not yet taken a position against GM foods.)

Model School Wellness Policies – A sample set of model wellness policies for local school districts affected by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, which states that all school districts with a federally funded school meals program develop and implement wellness policies that address, among other things, nutrition and nutrition education by the start of the 2006-07 school year. Developed by a work group convened by the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity.

Community Food Security Coalition – Information on Farm to School programs.

Action for Healthy Kids – A public-private partnership of more than 40 national organizations and government agencies set up to address the “epidemic of overweight, sedentary, and undernourished youth” by focusing on changes in schools.

Center for Science in the Public Interest’s School Foods Tool Kit

Gardening is my Religion

The word gardening for me does not simply apply to working in my “garden” it is a term I use loosely for any yard work I am doing. There are days when I cannot wait to get outside and grab a pair of clippers or a shovel and get to work. As I walk through the farm to the back to feed my animals first thing in the morning I take an assessment of what project I might be able to get done today either before or after work. Now the funny thing about that is by the time I finish feeding and tending the critters then find my gloves and tools I have often found yet another “project” that I wind up doing instead! I always have a “wish” list of things I really want to do and sometimes when I think about them all I can get a bit overwhelmed and then I put on my gloves and grab my tool of choice and like listening to the choir sing my attention becomes focused to one task and becomes a job of pure delight. The world around me disappears as I listen to the birds chirping, see the kitties playing all around me and I joyously trim, weed or plant.

Multitasking is greatly over-rated in my opinion; when one uni-tasks the mind becomes quiet, the world is manageable and you are able to let stress dissipate  because the job in front of you if your only focus. When approaching my ever-growing to-do list and pick just one thing and make that one thing impeccable, I feel accomplished and good. I feel whole and worthy. Then when I walk through my yard later on I see that one improvement that looks amazing and it makes me want to do the next little item.  My gardening is my meditation and my ME time. I believe that gardening is my grounding force and by nurturing and tending my land I absorb the good strong and earthy energy it provides and in return I put my love, sweat and happiness into it and viola! The creation is a relaxed, centered and earthy Jen (me) and a piece of property that exudes love, happiness and beauty.

One of my projects that really must get handled soon is to tie up the long new growth on the grape arbor. I planted these little tiny plants 3 years ago with dreams of producing a shady spot to sit under in the heat of the day. I had no idea how to grow grapes or prune them nor did I realize how much I would enjoy the enchanted grape arbor. This is my outdoor classroom and I take my iPad and books under here and study! I must say it is the best classroom to relax and learn in that I have ever experienced and to see the hundreds of bunches forming this spring is such a treat!