Saturday, June 26, 2010

Plant A Seed or Many Seeds~

Seeds are a great way to add more nutrients to a gluten-free diet..or any diet really. Seeds are not common allergens, so people who are nut sensitive can eat them and be safe.

There are several seeds that are rich in hard to get nutrients...such as omega-3 essential fatty acids. Flax seeds are well known for this benefit. It's best to grind whole flax seed to get the best of what they offer.

Hemp and chia have a good balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and one of few sources of gamma-linolenic acid, an anti-inflammatory fat that many take in supplement form. Hemp is also rich in fiber and have complete protein with all the essential amino acids.

Chia seeds are a member of the mint family. They are easily digested, have high fiber levels, and can absorb so much water that they help release carbohydrates slowly into the bloodstream; this can help reduce food cravings.

Seeds are delicious sprinkled on cereal, salads, yogurt, and the comfort food...mac and cheese.
Also great as a hand to mouth snack.

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of many vitamins and being L-tryptophan...which has been shown to alleviate depression.

So...introduce seeds into your family's daily intake and know you are giving them a good dose of health.

Sage Hill has an awesome salad/vegetable/mac&cheese sprinkler.

Salad Mix contains: dried chives, sunflower seeds and a bit of seas salt.

Yummy good~

Thanks for reading~

Bea Kunz

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Reaching A New Generation

Parents worry about it, teachers plan for it, Michael Pollan writes about it......regardless the debate about it, food is the utmost important ingredient we should all be concerned about with our children.

This is why Pollen's words get my vote, he has written much on the subject of our food, it's safety, and our responsibility to get aware and act accordingly.

His latest book: ' The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat, Young Readers Edition. Is a book everyone should read with their children.

It will be a gift of living knowledge, something a child will remember always.

I just read that Monsanto is suing yet another small dairy, Oakhurst...simply because they don't like the fact that Oakhurst advertises on their label that they "don't" use growth hormones in their cows...hence none in the milk.
Monsanto of course thinks this is saying that their milk is superior to Monsanto's that is infused with growth hormones.

Rest assured....we are living in a time when companies like Monsanto has way too much control over what we consume in our foods, and whether or not we have the right to know about the ingredients.

One way to help change the food system's workings is to keep in touch with our representatives and let them know that we are paying attention.

Get on an email list like Organic Consumers, Slow Food USA, American Farmland Trust or Environmental Working Group. These groups are watchdogs in Washington and will alert us when a flood of emails will make a difference. I have been involved in this type activity for years and it does work. Votes are worth everything in the political world.....get the idea.

Pollan's food rules for kids; Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't have recognized as food.

Don't eat anything with more than 5 ingredients or ingredients you can't pronounce.

Don't eat anything with high-fructose corn syrup.

Children love being involved in their food choices, give them something to work with and they will change the food habits of their generation. It has to start with us, the parent, the adult, the teacher and the law makers.

Most parents will do anything for their children, this is something big we can do...educate them on how to be healthy, without good health everything else is really a waste of time and effort. Pick your spot, take a stand, make very loud noise until you know you have been heard.

Herbs and essential oils are a very interesting topic for an ongoing learning experience with your child/children.

Happy Fathers Day to all our dads...

Bea Kunz

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Eating organic~

An undertaking to consider with considerations....when we enter the area of how to eat for better health, well, it's a bumpy road to travel at times.

What is organic food anyway ?

Organic food is produced by farmers who practice the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.

Transitioning to organic can be daunting at can also be enlightening, educational, and eye-opening to what one has been eating in the past....not a pretty picture for most.

If you need a starting place, the summer season is perfect. We all tend to eat lighter, less, and more local.

Consider starting with these 12 foods to eat from the organic list...these are foods that have the highest absorption rate of pesticides/herbicides.

3...sweet bell peppers
4...leafy greens

As you can see most are the summer fruits that we all love and consume with delight during the fresh season.

When we eat as many of our foods as possible from the organic list and balance the rest from the local and fresh market.....well, only good things can be the reward.

Remember, Rome was not built in a day...we can't change a lifetime of habits overnight...take time, make a plan, and do what is right and best for your personal needs and desires. One lesson, one step, one food at a time.

Welcome to Organic~

Bea Kunz

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Herbs-Fresh and Aromatic=Parsley

Parsley Potatoes~

Who doesn't love potatoes? Add parsley and your palette will thank you.


•3 large Russet potatoes, unpeeled
•3 tablespoons olive oil
•1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
•1 teaspoon cumin
•1 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
•3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
•1/4 cup chopped yellow onion


Boil potatoes with skins on until soft and can be penetrated with a fork. Drain from water and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Peel skin from potatoes and discard. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Set aside.

Heat oil to medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions and allow to saute on medium heat for about 2 minutes, just until onions begin to soften. Add potatoes and gently mix together.

Add cumin, parsley, and lemon juice. Mix well and allow to cook on low heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Parsley is easy to grow and so under-estimated for it's health benefits.

We often see it used on the side of a plate as a garnish...when in truth it can easily be the most nutritious item on the menu.

Parsley derives its name from a Greek word meaning "rock celery."

Promote Optimal Health

Parsley's volatile oils-particularly myristicin-have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, and particularly, tumor formation in the lungs. Myristicin has also been shown to activate the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that would otherwise do damage in the body. The activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food, and in particular, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke).

A Rich Source of Anti-Oxidant Nutrients

The flavonoids in parsley-especially luteolin-have been shown to function as antioxidants that combine with highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules (called oxygen radicals) and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. In addition, extracts from parsley have been used in animal studies to help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood.

In addition to its volatile oils and flavonoids, parsley is an excellent source of two vital nutrients that are also important for the prevention of many diseases: vitamin C and vitamin A (notably through its concentration of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid, beta-carotene).

Vitamin C has many different functions. It is the body's primary water-soluble antioxidant, rendering harmless otherwise dangerous free radicals in all water-soluble areas of the body. High levels of free radicals contribute to the development and progression of a wide variety of diseases, including atherosclerosis, colon cancer, diabetes, and asthma. This may explain why people who consume healthy amounts of vitamin C-containing foods have reduced risks for all these conditions. Vitamin C is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which explains its usefulness in conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. And since vitamin C is needed for the healthy function of the immune system, it can also be helpful for preventing recurrent ear infections or colds.

Beta-carotene, another important antioxidant, works in the fat-soluble areas of the body. Diets with beta-carotene-rich foods are also associated with a reduced risk for the development and progression of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetes, and colon cancer. Like vitamin C, beta-carotene may also be helpful in reducing the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. And beta-carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A, a nutrient so important to a strong immune system that its nickname is the "anti-infective vitamin."

Parsley For A Healthy Heart~

Parsley is a good source of folic acid, one of the most important B vitamins. While it plays numerous roles in the body, one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is its necessary participation in the process through which the body converts homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at high levels, can directly damage blood vessels, and high levels of homocysteine are associated with a significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Enjoying foods rich in folic acid, like parsley, is an especially good idea for individuals who either have, or wish to prevent, these diseases. Folic acid is also a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells-the colon, and in women, the cervix.

Protection Against Rheumatoid Arthritis~

So, next time parsley appears on your plate as a garnish, recognize its true worth and partake of its abilities to improve your health. As an added bonus, you'll also enjoy parsley's legendary ability to cleanse your palate and your breath at the end of your meal.

Dried parsley is just as nutritious as fresh, will last for a year in tightly closed container and kept in a pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Juicy June~

I think this is going to be a very abundant year in the gardens.

The plants are beautiful and healthy-

Herbs are flowing from the beds into the walking paths. I gathered a large basket of Apricots from our own tree !

This is the first year for any of the fruit trees to bear ...peaches are plentiful, slower in growing than the apricots.

The June apple tree is over-loaded....I dry these little goodies for my grandsons to snack on. And, they make awesome apple-sauce.

So far, no pest....I'm grateful~