A Garden for the Bees

I use to be so afraid of getting a bee sting since I have a pretty adverse reaction. My Mom carries an epi-pen since she has an even worse reaction, so I learned to fear these little bugs early on. Needless to say I would swing and bat at the bees when I would garden.

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Three bees are in this flower!

Flash forward to now many years later and in the middle of our bee crisis (thank you Monsanto) I have developed a much different relationship with these creatures. It began with sitting at my pond and watching my turtles and fish. I guess because I was in observer mode I wasn’t fearful of being stung and I watched just how many bees came to drink from our pond. Hundreds of them come at the end of the day and if can be scary if you let yourself go there. We made our pond for turtles from the pound and its very natural, murky, full of plants and logs and things turtles like. The plants make it safe for the bees to land and drink. They actually drink the water from the roots of the plants that are above the water level. They are not interested in people, they are bees and have a mission and usually it does not involve you!

At about 6:00 if you are lucky enough to be sitting at the pond you can watch the bees one and two at a time fly off in the same direction home. Within 30 minutes hundreds of bees fly home and they are all from the same hive. I totally understand the meaning of bee line, until I witnessed this I never really knew what that expression meant! These bees have become dependent on my pond and since I know that without bees we would starve to death I have changed how I garden and plant many extra bee-liscious things to keep them near by.

This year purely from my compost I have begun to grow pumpkins I think. I composted so many different kinds of squash, pumpkins and gourds that I’m now sure yet just what is growing but I tell you what the bees love these! I am fascinated and more in awe each day and have pretty much lost my fear of getting stung.

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Down under the leaves its cool and there are so many bees flying from flower to flower

 

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Pomegranate and Rice Medley Stuffing

Makes 8 half-cup servings.
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Ingredients

• 2 tsp extra virgin olive oilfarro
• 1 cup chopped celery
• ½ cup orange pepper, chopped (can substitute red or yellow pepper)
• ½ cup uncooked brown rice
• ½ cup uncooked wild rice
• ½ cup dried pomegranate seeds
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley OR 1 tsp dried parsley
• 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
• ½ cup chopped roasted almonds
• Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions
Heat olive oil in a roasting pan (4 qt or larger) over medium heat. Add chopped celery and chopped orange pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened (3 to 5 minutes). Add brown rice and wild rice, stir until coated with olive oil, just 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat, simmer and cook covered, 35 minutes.

At 35 minutes, remove lid and stir in basil and dried pomegranates. Simmer, covered, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 more minutes. Add black pepper to taste. Fluff with a fork and sprinkle chopped roasted almonds on top, or allow guests to sprinkle almonds per serving.

Note: May be made two days ahead and stored in sealed container in the refrigerator. Reheat by placing Pomegranate and Rice Medley Stuffing in lightly-oiled glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, and warm at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through.

The REAL Breakfast of Champions!

Today is a brand new day! I know we have all heard this before and yet we often keep repeating the same way of doing our life including what we eat. In order to feel our BEST I believe alternating what we eat makes a huge difference in not only how we feel internally but in how our bodies PERFORM.  If we eat the same thing, day in day out we will often find it to be boring and more often than not our body will eventually build up a bit of an intolerance for the same thing. This is especially true with wheat and gluten products. Introducing new foods to rotate in is a very good way to take notice of how your food makes you feel.

So to start my week of with a new twist, and I highly recommend you give this a try,  I dressed up my gluten free oatmeal a bit differently. Not only is it DELISH, it is soothing and loaded with lots of minerals and nutrients your body needs to perform well.

Gluten Free Oatmeal cooked with organic raisins, organic cranberries and organic cherries. I then add some organic almond milk and a very small amount of raw organic honey after it is cooked but while still on the stove to warm the milk and make it creamy. Also while still on the stove I put in a teaspoon of organic raw unprocessed coconut oil, sprinkle liberally with organic cinnamon and today I am trying a new super food product by Spectrum Essentials called Decadent Blend! This has Flax and Chia seeds ground together with coconut and cocoa. OMG off the charts wonderful and this should keep me satisfied until well, I am hungry again.  Image

Cherries and Antioxidants:

Did you know that cherries rank among the top 20 foods with the highest concentration of antioxidants. In fact, the standard one-cup serving of cherries has the capacity to carry 4,873 antioxidants!

  • Antioxidants are substances found in foods that may protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules, known as free radicals.
  • Cherries are especially rich in a phytochemical called anthocyanin which may reduce a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Anthocyanins give cherries their deep red color and also protect cells from damage during an interaction with oxygen. This important process also serves to protect the heart and surrounding tissue, inhibit plaque formation and reduce inflammation. Research also suggests that the anthocyanins found in cherries further protect neural cells and promote brain health .
  • They also contain melatonin which is an important antioxidant that helps maintain optimum brain functioning and may deter the onset of age-related chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Raisins

  • Raisins also contain quercetin a type of polyphenol that acts as an antioxidant that protects the cells in your body from free radical damage. raisins also contain phytochemical compound resveratrol. Resveratrol, a polyphenol anti-oxidant, has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, blood cholesterol lowering activities.
  • Studies suggest that resveratrol has been found to have protective action against cancers like melanoma, colon and prostate, and diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD), degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease and viral/ fungal infections.

Cinnamon

  • The active principles in the cinnamon spice are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.

  • Cinnamon has the highest anti-oxidant strength of all the food sources in nature.

Oatmeal

  • Oatmeal is appealing to health experts because it actually reduces your craving for foods that are not good for you. oatmeal provides you with high levels of fiber and very low levels of fat.
  • A fiber known as beta-glucan seems to be the all-star compound in oatmeal. There have been hundreds of studies published on beta-glucan.One study published in Vascular Health Risk Management concluded, “Dietary intake of beta-glucans has been shown to reduce risk factors to benefit the treatment of diabetes and associated complications. In addition, beta-glucans also promote wound healing and alleviate ischemic heart injury.
  • There is absolutely no cholesterol in oatmeal, so you will never have to worry about it clogging your arteries.
  • The minerals that you absorb from oatmeal make this a more healthy option than taking them in supplement form.
  • A word of caution, Oatmeal is also rich in omega-6 fatty acids, containing almost 2 grams per half-cup serving. Omega-6s seem to be a mixed bag, providing some health benefits, yet too much of them — combined with too little omega-3 fatty acid sources — can cause inflammation and other problems.

 

I hope this will give you some inspiration for switching your breakfast foods to help change your outcome for the day!

As with all days EAT, HEAL and LIVE!!!!

Quick Gluten-Free Vegan Pizza

This is a quick and easy way to make use of what you have in your garden or your fridge. Pizzas are the most forgiving thing because most things taste great heated together with a bit of cheese (Diaya not dairy) and bread! When I’m in a pinch and do not feel like making everything from scratch I use Almond Glory pizza crust. They are in the frozen gluten-free section at my local whole foods. What I like most about these crusts they can handle some serious weight and you cook them in the little black plates they come in so clean up is very easy.

On this pizza I put a bit of organic marinara sauce and then two flavors of Diaya Cheese (Mozzarella and Pepper-jack shreds) Then from my garden I cut up a sweet onion and a hippy looking heirloom roma tomato that is green and red and from my fridge some crimini mushrooms. That’s all! Prep time 5 minutes 10 if you have to pick your veggies from out back.

Toss this little baby in the oven at 425 for 20 – 30 minutes depending how crispy you like your crust and viola gluten-free vegan goodness! While in the oven you have time to whip up a little salad and dinner is delish, healthy and no animals products were used!As with all things in life go easy on yourself, the planet and don’t forget my mantra

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yummy Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

Oct 25, 2011   //   by myrakelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  No Comments

Mango season is upon us! Let the celebrations begin! Mangoes are up there with bananas as a staple food for me. They make a great base for smoothies and can hang out with both the sweet and the savoury crowd. In this recipe we are replacing the tomatoes that are commonly used in salsa for delicious ripe mangoes. You can use this how you might use a traditional fruit chutney. It’s sweet and sour and tangy and goes fabulously with savoury dishes. I like to scoop it up in fresh crunchy cos leaves but you could just as easily mix it into a salad or serve with a cooked lentil curry or gluten-free vegan pie.

Measurements are very rough, just use what suits your tastebuds. Unlike baking & other cooked recipes, the flavour of raw food dishes will vary depending on the produce that you use. So always taste your food as you are preparing it!

Mango Salsa

1 mango, cubed
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup diced red onion
finely diced red chilli to taste (seeds removed)
juice of half a lemon
tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
tbsp chopped fresh mint
salt & pepper to taste

Red onion can be replaced with spring onions if that’s what you have, red bell pepper would also be a nice addition.

Facts about Avocado: 1. Protein

Facts about Avocado: 1. Protein.

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Facts about Avocado: 1. Protein Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet. 2. Beneficial Fats Avocados provide the healthy kind of fat that your body needs. Like olive oil, avocados boost levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). HDL cholesterol can help protect against the damage caused by free radicals. This type of cholesterol also helps regulate triglyceride levels, preventing diabetes. A study published early this year in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that a vegetarian diet, which includes HDL fats, can reduce levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) as effectively as statin drugs. 3. Carotenoids Avocados are an excellent source of carotenoids. Although many people associate carotenoids only with red and orange produce, avocados are also an excellent source of this phytonutrient. Avocados, also known as alligator pears, offer a diverse range of carotenoids including not only the better known ones such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein, but also lesser known varieties of this type of phytonutrient such as neoxanthin, zeaxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, neochrome, beta-cryptoxanthin and violaxanthin. Every time you consume foods rich in carotenoids, you deliver high quality vitamin A to your body, thereby protecting eye health. Carotenoids also enhance the functioning of the immune system and promote healthy functioning of the reproductive system. Since carotenoids are fat soluble, eating avocados optimizes the absorption of these nutrients. 4.Anti-Inflammatory The combined effect of the deluxe package of nutrients contained in avocados offers powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Avocados’ unique combination of Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids helps guard against inflammation. This means avocados can help prevent or mitigate against both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. 5. Heart Health The fat content, which causes some uninformed health “experts” to deem avocados as unhealthy, actually provides protection against heart diseases. Studies have shown that oleic acid improves cardiovascular health. Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocados. Many people now take supplements in order to consume more omega-3 fatty acids to lower their risk of heart disease. Avocados are rich in omega-3, delivering 160 milligrams per cup of alpha-linolenic acid. 6. Choosing and Eating To get the most nutritional value from avocados, avoid those which have become over-ripe. You can identify these at the store because they will have dents and feel overly soft when you hold them. A ripe avocado should have no dents in its skin and will feel slightly soft when squeezed. You can also buy unripe avocados, which feel very hard when gripped, and permit them to ripen at home. The portion of the avocado closest to the skin is the most dense in nutrients, so be sure to scrape the skin clean before discarding it. Thanks@Growing Organic, Eating Organic