Friday, January 8, 2016

Super Sauerkraut and a Yummy Recipe Too!

Sauerkraut is a great addition to have at any time of year as it gently cleanses the liver and provides an uplifting, clarifying energy. Here are some other benefits of this wonder food.

·      Immune booster – contains phytochemicals that are created during the fermentation process and help to boost the immune system.

·      Sauerkraut has cancer-fighting properties. The results of a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry concluded that sauerkraut is a cancer inhibitor. The study discovered that the fermentation of cabbage produced a substance called isothiocynates, which prevents cancer growth, particularly in the breast, colon, lung and liver.

·      Digestive Aid - Eating sauerkraut is a great way to protect the balance of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. Sauerkraut is one of the few foods that contain the bacterium Lactobacilli plantarum, a healthful bacteria, which helps your digestive system

·      Sauerkraut and its juice are traditional remedies for constipation.

·      Fermentation actually increases the nutrient values in the cabbage, especially vitamin C. Fermented foods can facilitate the breakdown and assimilation of proteins. They also have a soothing effect on the nervous system.

·      The high proportion of lactic acid in sauerkraut and sauerkraut juice naturally supports the digestive processes, maintains intestinal flora, and increases the feeling of well-being.

·      Sauerkraut has be used as a traditional European remedy to help heal peptic ulcers. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin U which aids in the healing process of ulcers.

·      The significant amount of vitamin A and carotenes in sauerkraut makes it beneficial for vision and skin health.

·      Sauerkraut is heart healthy and reduces overall cholesterol levels. The soluble fiber in cabbage binds with fats and cholesterol and carries them out of the body.

·      The wide range of minerals found in sauerkraut make it perfect for building strong bones and preventing osteoporosis.

Sauerkraut can be sautéed with other vegetables, mixed into a salad, steamed with cabbage, added to a sandwich or enjoyed on its own as a pickle. It was also traditionally served with a few drops of oil.

Sauerkraut is easy to find already prepared in natural foods stores or you can have a go at making it yourself.
If it tastes too salty, you can rinse it or soak in spring water for about 5 minutes, then discard the water and munch away.

 Please enjoy this delicious Tempeh recipe using sauerkaut. 

Love Chef Mel xx

Tempeh Wraps with Peanut Sauce

1 block tempeh cut into squares
4-6 spring green leaves rinsed
1tablespoon sauerkraut
1tablespoon grated carrot
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1-2 tablespoons shoyu
Safflower oil
1 inch strip kombu

Peanut Sauce

1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon mirin,
1-2 tablespoons shoyu
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1-2 tablespoons spring water

Place the water into a pan and bring to a boil on
a medium flame.
Turn the flame to high and lightly blanch the collard greens. Blanch for about 30 seconds and place on a plate.
Place the tempeh and kombu in a pan. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, add the shoyu and ginger. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove and spread one side with mustard
Place a generous amount of safflower oil into a skillet and warm. Add the tempeh and fry on each side until golden. About 3 minutes each side. Remove and cut into squares.
Place the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a suribachi. Blend to a smooth creamy texture.
Place the tempeh, sauerkraut and carrot in the middle of the collard leaf. Drizzle the peanut sauce on top.
Fold up the sides of the collard and roll to make a wrap.
Cut in half and serve.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Time to Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Happy 2016!!

Now is the perfect time to get outside and relish the wild side of life. Humans are built to move. Until recently we were much more active on a daily basis and had no need to go to the gym. Moving was part of life. The modern sedentary lifestyle doesn't do us any favors - physically, mentally or emotionally. Walking outdoors can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Although walking is popular for weight loss and fitness, there are many other benefits too.

Take a look....

·      More energy to enjoy life
·      Increased weight management with toned muscles and less body fat
·      Reduced stress
·      Enjoy a deeper, more restful sleep
·      Reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.
·      Prevent constipation, gallstones and impotence
·      Boost good cholesterol in the blood
·      Lengthen your life
·      Alleviate depression and negative thinking
·      Relieve arthritis and back pain
·      Strengthen muscles, bones, and joints
·      Improve lung capacity
·      Elevate overall mood and create a sense of well-being.
·      Increase feelings of peace, stability, and a sense of connection
·      Stimulate the brain and improve cognitive function
·      Harmonize all the systems in the body - digestion, circulation, immune, and nervous
·      Stimulate energy meridians through the soles of feet
·      Receive negative ions which helps to increase energy levels
·      Enjoy a greater sense of being in the body and grounded

Tips for Walking
While 30 to 60 minutes of walking per day is best, you can still benefit from two or more shorter walks of 10-15 minutes each.

A steady routine helps you to get the most out of your exercise program. Walking for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 or more days a week is ideal.

During your walks, you should be able to enjoy a conversation. If you're breathing too lightly, you can increase your pace. If you can't catch your breath, slow it down.

If you are pressed for time, walk around the local area after lunch and use the stairs instead of the elevator at work. At night, trade a half hour of TV for an enjoyable walk around the block. Take a friend, your dog or the whole family.

At weekends or in your free time, find places to walk in nature such as parks, preserves, gardens or arboretums.

The wilds of Wales
Have loads of fun out there. Love Chef Mel xx