Be Natural

Natural and healthy living tips

Author: Ineke Junge (page 1 of 3)

Easy and quick home-made mayonnaise

My first attempt at making mayonnaise and the result is great except for a tweak next time with regard to the oil I used. A combination of olive and omega oils is very healthy but the flavours are a little overpowering.  A gentler oil like a plain organic cold pressed sunflower seed oil will be more suitable with possibly a dash of olive oil for just a little excitement.

The process, using a blender, is easy enough and without fuss. This mayo took me less then 10 minutes to make.

 

Home-made mayonnaise

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1teaspoon mustard powder
  • 3teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon hot water (optional)

Tools:

  • Blender
  • Spoon
  • Container to store mayonnaise

How to:

Whizz 1/4 of the vegetable oil, egg,  apple cider vinegar,  mustard powder, salt in the blender for a few seconds. Slowly drizzle the remaining 3/4 cup of vegetable oil into the mixture (through the top hatch) while the blender is running. Finally blend in the hot water. The last is something I will probably omit next time for a firmer consistency.

Wild plums

 

Wild plums collected in the forest

Small jar: Wild fermentation with only water and sugar Tall jar: Lacto fermentation with whey and brine

I found and picked some wild plums that are to be fermented. It’s about 1 kg of gratis pesticide-free fruit. It shows you once again that pesticides are an evil that could be done without as these plums have no worms and are untouched by bugs. The natural selection of companion planting if left to nature is just perfect. I picked up some over-ripe plums that had fallen on the ground (birds) and are subsequently much sweeter. These do show some damage but they will provide the natural sugars for the ferment.

After 48 hours

I halved /quartered the plums and kept the pits hoping for a little extra zing and additional almond flavour due to B17 in the kernels.

I am looking forward to the end result and how both methods will compare and the final taste test!

Kombucha – finally – the first attempt

5 Litre glass container in basket

After making fermented vegetables for a year I have been wanting to make my own kombucha as well. Somehow I never got around to doing it but since my son started his ‘hard cider’ project, I thought that it was now or never. Subsequently looked on online brewing accessories shops and found a half price 5 Litre glass jar in plastic container, kind of like a washing basket. It comes as a full starter kit except for the scoby, which I got from an acquaintance.

Well, I am still waiting (for hours by now) for the temperature of the tea/sugar mix to drop to 25 degrees Celsius! Beginners teething problems I suppose.  Next time I start earlier OR as some sources mention, just make a 1/4 amount of hot tea mixture and add 3/4 cold water. I took the middle road and did 1/2 – 1/2.

GASP!

The process was started in the early hours of 14 July. We are now 4 days down the line and a thin film is covering the top. I kind of regret having started this project with a 5 L container in a basket as I cannot see what is happening inside!!!

Easy fish dish

Quick to make as usual! This cooked dish will take about 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 of a medium cauliflower
    (preferably organic – I use leaves and
    stems as well)
  • 1 piece of white frozen fish –
    about 100g
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 tablespoons chick peas 3 tablespoons of grated cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  •  Cumin, salt, pepper, arrow root (or other thickener)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  •  Water

Tools:

  • Cutting knife
  • cutting board
  • spoon
  • frying pan
  • pot
  • spatula
  • cup
  • extra plate

How to:

Fill the bottom of a pot with about 1 cm of water and put on heat, cut cauliflower into pieces of about 1 cm – put in pot together with the piece of frozen fish – add a teaspoon of cumin and bring to the boil, turning fish a few times – turn down heat

Meanwhile put frying pan on heat, melt butter and slice tomato into round slices. Immediately put into hot butter and cover but leave heat between medium and high for a short while. You want to create an orange/brown sediment in the pan (not black). Add a dash of salt and pepper. After 2 minutes or so take tomato mix out of pan and set aside. Take just-cooked fish from pot and put into pan covering with a tiny pinch of salt, to brown by turning over and moving around pan.  Leave on low heat.

Cauliflower should now be al dente. Quickly mix 1 teaspoon of arrowroot with a tiny bit of water, add the milk and mix with cauliflower and remaining water. Turn down heat, add grated cheese and mix into cauliflower  sauce mix, add chick peas, give it a stir and turn off heat source. Leave to stand.

Quickly reheat tomato in frying pan whilst fish is moved to the side.

Dish up cauliflower with cheese sauce mix, top with tomato and fish and serve.

Health benefits:

Tea and its relaxing properties

Warming tea

I came across a short article on tea and whilst reading it, it immediately threw me back in time by about 50 years. My mom used to talk about ‘theanine’ in tea and I thought as a child that this made sense as you had caffeine in coffee and thus theanine in tea.

Tea seems to give you solace and a feeling of well-being. So called ‘old wives’ tales’ often are the bearers of truths and all these old aunties who used to make a cup of tea for you were quite right!

I have added two links at the end of the article for detailed information.

L-Theanine: Tea’s Relaxation Effect

An important distinction has been made between caffeine in tea and caffeine in coffee. Tea has been observed to create a calming effect on the drinker, as opposed to coffee which tends to raise anxiety.  These contraindications piques the interest of researchers who have been studying caffeine’s effects on the body for over 100 years.

Studies have found that tea contains an anxiety reducer called L-theanine, which acts “antagonistically against the stimulatory effects of caffeine,” producing a calming effect 30-40 minutes after ingestion. It does this by stimulating alpha brainwaves, which calms the mind in a way similar to meditation, and by ticking up the body’s production of dopamine and serotonin (yes please), resulting in improved memory and learning ability in addition to relaxation.

Further studies show that  when taken together L-theanine and caffeine improved “cognitive performance and mood”. It is also speculated that poly-phenols present in the tea not only deliver health benefits but mitigate negative effects that caffeine may have when consumed alone.

 

www.infolanka.com/org/srilanka/food/4.htm
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18641209

 

Easy 5-minute-salad: Blue cheese; chick peas; apple; fermented celery

This salad can be made in 5 minutes! No extra salt, pepper or other spices are used.

Ingredients:
– 2 tablespoons of organic chick peas (from a jar) *
– 3 tablespoons of fermented celery **
– 50g of blue cheese
– 1/2 a large apple or 1 small apple
– About 2 tablespoons of chives
– Good couple of dashes of organic raw apple cider vinegar and omega or olive oil

(Note: *or home-made and stored in fridge; **see article on fermented vegetables)

Tools:
Cutting knife, cutting board, spoon

How to:
Easy – just chop everything on a cutting board, move onto plate, drizzle with vinegar and oil and give it a good toss before serving!

Health benefits:


Blue cheese; chick peas; apple; fermented celery and chives salad

Easy and quick 8-minutes oyster mushroom-onion soup – recipe

This is super fast to make and a great starter or lunch meal if you add a slice of home-made bread.

Ingredients:
– Butter
– Grated cheese as topping,
– 1 clove of garlic
– 1 medium onion
– Approximately 70g of oyster mushrooms
– 1 Teaspoon of organic (vegan) stock*
– Water (soup bowl measure)
(*Note to self: Make own organic stock)

Tools:
Frying pan with lid, wooden spoon, teaspoon, cutting knife, cutting board

How to:
Heat up frying pan with butter. Whilst pan is heating up, peel onion and chop into pieces of about 1-2 cm long. Add to pan, spread onions and put lid on top and keep on moderate heat. It will give you about 2 minutes to cut up oyster mushrooms into pieces of about 1 cm. Onions should be browned by now and subsequently stir in chopped oyster mushrooms, Keep on moderate heat and put lid back on. Chop clove of garlic into tiny pieces as small as you can get it. Add that to the mix and stir whilst quickly for about 20 seconds whilst adding some extra heat, turn down heat. Then add the measure of water and stir and loosen all stickiness from the bottom of the pan in about a minute. Turn off and add 1 teaspoon of stock, stir and pour into soup bowl. Top with cheese and enjoy! This soup takes about 8 minutes to make.

Health benefits:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy oat flour pancake with a twist – recipe

Ingredients:

2 heaped tablespoons of oats flour, 1 banana, 1 egg, 1 medium tomato, pinch of salt, blob of butter
Toppings of pancake are optional and to one’s liking. The photo shows a big table spoon of cream cheese and apple syrup

Tools:
Blender, frying pan, spatula or egg flip, spoon

How to:
Put all ingredients in blender except the blob of butter – start the blender

Put frying pan on stove with blob of butter, heat till butter just starting to brown. Moderate temperature and spoon mousse-like mixture from blender to pan, spreading evenly. Wait till mostly solid and turn pancake. Because of the tomato it has the tendency to burn easily, so keep an eye on the temperature. Cooking time around 4, 5 minutes.

When ready to serve, put on plate, add topping and enjoy!

About:
Please note that for optimal health benefits mainly organic produce, where possible, is used.

2 heaped tablespoons of oats flour, 1 banana, 1 egg, 1 medium tomato, pinch of salt, blob of butter

Mousse-like slighty pink batter

 

 

Simple leeks – recipe

 

4 Ingredients:
1 or 2 Leeks; Himalaya/Celtic salt; cheese; +/- 1 tablespoon of Nigella seeds (or Cumin)

6 Tools:
Range; grill; pot/pan with lid; spoon; oven dish; grater

Leeks are just so easy and quick to prepare. Add them to soups, stews, broths; cook them, fry them, bake them. It’s all possible. One of simplest ways to prepare them as a stand-alone veg is as follows:

The way I prepare them is by cutting off 1 cm at the (dark) top, rinse the sand off as well as possible and cut the leek(s) up into rings (discard the bit with the roots at the other end). If the outer leaves are damaged or look gross or sad, remove and discard. Some sand may remain after cutting (particularly in the darker part of the leek), if so, rinse off in colander.

Use any pot or pan with a lid, put on the heat and bring to the boil about a quarter cup of water with some salt to taste (I use about half a teaspoon of Himalaya salt per leek). Add the leek rings and ‘stir-fry’ on medium to high heat in the small amount of water for a couple of minutes. The leeks should start getting soft whilst most of the water has evaporated. Put the lid on and leave for a few more minutes on very low heat or even no heat if the bottom of your pot/pan is very thick. The aim is not to have to throw away any water as it contains vitamins and minerals, yet you also don’t want the leeks to burn.

Whilst the leeks are doing their thing, you turn on the grill element in the oven, grate some/or generous amount of cheese and measure the amount of Nigella seeds.

Take the leeks off the heat source, spoon into oven dish (with all the juices should there be any left), top with cheese and sprinkle Nigella seeds on top. Put under grill about 2, 3 trays below. Leave to brown and dish up!


This leeks dish will be great with mashed potatoes!

 

Leeks at-a-glance

  • Like onions and garlic, leeks have sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin that fight dangerous free radicals in your body
  • Leeks contain kaempferol, a flavonol that may help fight cancer and lower your risk of chronic diseases including heart disease
  • Leeks contain notable quantities of antioxidants and vitamins A and K, along with healthy amounts of folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, magnesium and thiamin
  • Leeks likely share many of the same health-supportive properties of garlic and onions, including benefits for your heart and anti-cancer and anti-diabetes properties

    (Source: Mercola website)

 

 

 

 

Grated whole lemons

Following is a quotation from the TopFit Lifestyle blog, which I found apt to copy and paste. The flavour of grated lemon, including skin, takes me back to my youth and Italian lemon ice cream! (I would suggest to use organic /non-sprayed lemons though)

Saying that lemons are a superfood is an understatement. Not only do they add abundant flavor to a variety of dishes, but they also boast a ton of health benefits.

The flavonoids within the juice are said to contain antioxidants, which is why lemons are useful in treating so many ailments and conditions.

Juicing your lemons only will not give you the maximum of their benefits, so we suggest that you freeze them. This article will help you understand why this method is so great for you.

Lemon peels contain tons of great stuff. Compounds found in lemon peels have the power to boost the immune system, normalize cholesterol levels and even prevent the development of cancer.

The peels of this citrus fruit provide strong anti-microbial effect, and are believed to prevent bacterial and fungal infections. This is of great importance in the removing process of internal parasites and worms.

As you well know, lemons are an essential part of every detox method, regardless of whether you are preparing lemonade, lemon water or lemon tea.

Health Benefits

Experts have associated the consumption of fresh fruits and veggies with a decreased risk of many lifestyle-related ailments. We give you the greatest powers of lemon:

Cancer prevention
Reduced risk of stroke
Excellent treatment of inflammation
Immunity boost
Prevention against asthma symptoms
Effective against dangerous bacteria
Prevention and treatment of depression and stress
Kidney and liver cleanse

Lemons and Cancer

Lemons are usually used for their vitamin C content that is mostly concentrated in their juice. But, the latest research has shown that lemon peels provide great nutrients as well.

Lemon peels have shown a huge potential in destroying and removing toxic waste from the body. This is the top reason why lemons are often used in the treatment of cancer patients.

There is a strong relation between lemons and cancer. Scientists spent decades in wondering and testing whether lemons can destroy abnormal cancer cells. And yes, many studies have confirmed this possibility.

 After more than 20 laboratory tests since 1970, the extracts revealed that frozen lemons destroy the malignant cells in 12 cancers, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreas.

Some research studies have shown that frozen lemons can be more effective in destroying cancer when compared to chemotherapy.

Plus, they are a lot healthier and safer solution than chemo drugs. These studies also proved that lemon extract destroys cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells intact.

Get the Most from Your Lemons

Lemon peels have 5-10 more vitamins than their juice.

Dr. Marilyn Glenville, a nutritionist and expert on women’s health, explains that the combination of healthy peels can do good to the overall health. Here is what she said for BBC food:

“Most of the antioxidants included in fruit are included in the peel or the pith rather than in the pulp.”

Dr. Glenville also suggested:

“Smoothie is far better than a juice, since you can consume the whole fruit including the peel, and you will not throw away a single nutrient from the fruit.”

Citrus fruits are not quite favorite, mostly due to the bitter taste of their skin. But, we give you a recipe that will help you pull out the maximum of your lemons of course, without the bitter flavor.

Freeze your lemons

Wash and disinfect your lemons with organic apple cider vinegar or baking soda.
Rinse them well using water, and pat them dry using a towel.
Freeze your lemons overnight.
Once you notice they are completely frozen, grate the whole lemon. Yes, pulp, peel, seeds and all.
Transfer your grated lemons into ice cube trays, and store them in the freezer. In this way you can use them whenever you need a hint of citrus fruit. (I prefer to store in glass bottles.)

Then, use it on whatever you are eating. Lemon peels will give a stronger taste to your dishes. Add some grated lemon peels to your salads, soups, yoghurt, pasta sauces or homemade ice cream.

Add a tablespoon of your grated lemons to your smoothie, juice or tea. They go well in baked goods as well. Trust your imagination, there are millions of ways to use grated lemon
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