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December 29, 2018

 I hear many times the answer to 'what is Canadian food" to be Canadian bacon, maple syrup, poutine and beaver tails.  Being a history major and a chef for many years, I can tell you that Canadian food is more than that.  It is interesting to know that every province has its own traditional Thanksgiving dinner that consists of foods that are natural and plentiful to each province, as it is a celebration feast for a good harvest.  During the medieval period in rural England is where this tradition among the farmers began.  The celebration in Canada began way before the official day was declared.  When Europeans arrived in Canada, they witnessed First Nations giving thanks to to their Sacred Mother for their harvest.  The Iroquois' feast lasted 3 days where they honoured the three sisters.  Three sisters soup was one of their feast items that consisted of corn, beans and squash.  This is definitely a soup worth trying or making for your feast.  Not only is this soup a taste bud sensation...

October 7, 2018

 What can legumes do for you?

1.  They are a soluble fibre that helps keep LDL blood levels down, glucose levels in    check and help lower blood pressure. 

2.  Legumes are an insoluble fibre too, which means better bowel function, helps with some digestive issues and can possibly prevent colon cancer.  

3.  They are loaded with complex carbohydrates that keep energy levels up.  

4.  Provide ample supply of B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and magnesium.

5.  They are only short one or two amino acids of being a complete protein.  Just couple them with rice, nuts or grains to make a complete protein.  Essential amino acids are the build blocks for muscles and for repair.

6.  They contain phytochemicals, which are health benefits to slow tumor growth (phytosterols), lower breast and ovarian cancer risk (isoflavones) and stop cancer cells from multiplying (saponins).

Key nutrients in different legumes:

1.  Cranberry bean - protein...

September 7, 2018

 You have all heard that a normal blood pressure is 120/80.  what exactly does this mean? The top number is systolic the measure of pressure on your arteries when the heart is contracting.  The bottom number is called diastolic, which is measured pressure in-between beats of your heart pumping blood.  With high blood pressure, the systolic number being higher than 120 and diastolic being higher than 80 you risk hypertension.  An elevated blood pressure is 120-129 over 80 or lower.

Mild hypertension =130-139 over 80-89  

Moderate hypertension =140 - 159 over 90 or higher 

Severe hypertension = 160 or higher over 115 or higher

To lower blood pressure naturally, here are a few things that should be on your "to do" list:

1.  Eliminate sodium chloride intake (salt) to a maximum 1500mg which is 1/4 teaspoon.

2.  Follow a high potassium diet with 3500-4700mg of potassium per day.

3.  Your diet should be high fibre with complex carbohydrates.

4.  Include a celery, fr...

August 3, 2018

Pickling vegetables is a great way to preserve and get the benefits from fermented food.  Good bacteria changes a cucumber into a pickle, and other vegetables can be pickled too.  My boys love dill picked beans and carrots.  

Dill Brine:

2 cups of water

2 1/2 cups of distilled white vinegar

3 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup salt

1 tsp dry dill

Sterilize jars and lids by boiling in hot water or steaming for 10 minutes.  Pack jars with fresh dill sprig and vegetable of choice (onions, cauliflower, asparagus, cucumber, beans, carrots, zucchini).  Make sure they are packed tight, so the vegetables don't float to the top and risk being exposed to the air gap at the top of the jar.  Bring brine to a boil and add to jars (1/8 of an inch from the top).  Your pickled vegetables should be ready in 4-6 weeks.  Make sure you place them in a cool, dark place.

A complete protein contains 9 essential amino acids, which animal meat, eggs, soybean and dairy provides. What if you are vegetarian, vegan or reducing your meat consumption? Vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds contain protein, but enough to be complete. In order to get all 9 essential amino acids, you need to food combine. Legumes, lentils, peas or corn combined with brown rice, quinoa or other grains. For example, peanut butter (legume) on whole wheat bread or rice and black beans.

I have created a beautiful combination of quinoa and peas in a mushroom broth. Mushrooms have great immune boosting properties. Quarter mushrooms and cook at medium heat in butter and coconut oil. It'll take 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a pot (everything in the pan) and add 2 litres of water. Use a hand blender to blend them. Bring to a boil and add 1 cup of quinoa, then put on medium heat for a simmer.  After 6 minutes, add 1 cup of peas, chopped onions and fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley and lemon t...

March 17, 2018

Homemade doesn't take as much time as you think. Natural, whole foods made at home taste so much better and you can control what goes into your body.

Peel up lots of sweet potato and rough cut them into long strips. Put them into a mixing bowl. Chop up 2 tbsp of fresh rosemary. Add it to the bowl of potato along with a pinch of Himalayan salt and olive oil. Toss everything together and put on a baking sheet. Any extra can go in the fridge, up to 5 days, for another meal. Cook in the oven 300F for 50 minutes or until done. Don't forget to turn them over after 25 minutes.

Sweet potato is low on the glycemic index, full of soluble fibre and minerals. Rosemary is a great liver detoxer. Olive oil is an essential fatty acid and antioxidant

 Make sure you don't hear it over 300F or it will change the composition of the oil to not being beneficial. 

January 23, 2018

I was never a fan of stuffed peppers until I changed the rules. Changing the rules is fun and super tasty! I used a mix of ground chicken and pork. I try to only have beef once a week, so I substituted.  I had lots of green tomatoes this year because of the cold growing season, so why not utilize them.

Things I added to the meat mixture:

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup sliced fennel

1 cup green tomatoes

1 cup chopped herbs (lovage, Greek oregano, purple basil and cliantro)

1 small onion

1 egg

4 cloves minced garlic

3/4 tsp Himalayan salt

1tsp smoked paprika

After mixing the ingredients, I stuffed the half peppers with the meat mixture.  Each half pepper got 1 tbsp of sunflower oil on top and sprinkled with diced red tomatoes.  

You can put these in the freezer uncooked, provided the meat wasn't previously frozen or cook them up right away.  Make sure the peppers are covered when cooking, so they don't burn. 350F in the in the oven for 40 minutes or until cooked.

You can try this recipe or find...

December 22, 2017

This is the perfect way to incorporate whole wheat into a snack without picky eaters noticing. Eggs are like having a multivitamin because they contain so many vitamins and minerals. Onions have antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Ingredients

1/2 cup cooked whole wheat couscous

6 eggs

1/4 cream or homo milk

1/2 onion diced

1/2 tomato diced

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dill

Optional - 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs

Grease muffin pan that has 6 muffin cups with coconut oil. Add couscous, tomato and onion into each cup. Beat eggs, cream, smoked paprika and dill. Pour into muffin cups (divide evenly).

Bake at 350F for 6-8 minutes.

These are great warm or cold!

December 20, 2017

Kale is full of minerals and vitamins, making this meal nutrient dense. It is a good source for vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, C, E, K, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein and fibre (insoluble).

Apple is a good source of soluble fibre. 

Ingredients

2 cups organic kale

1 organic apple with skin

4 oz chicken

Dressing

1 tbsp sunflower oil

2 tbsps rice wine vinegar

1 tsp soy sauce 

Optional - Fresh chopped cilantro, parsley and lemon thyme

November 12, 2017

My son described this soup as sweet, salty, rich and creamy.  Also, it should be enjoyed only once a month and the green tomatoes were really yummy.  I make him my official taste tester because his honesty helps me perfect all my recipes.  I created this recipe because we experienced a cold summer and the tomatoes didn't ripen.

Green tomatoes are loaded in vitamin B, vitamin K and antioxidants.  B vitamins help your body produce energy from protein, carbohydrates and fats.  Vitamin K helps your blood clot properly.  Vitamin A and C are antioxidants found in green tomatoes that help support your immune system.  Don't forget the minerals.  Although the mineral content is low in one tomato, there are getting 5-10% of your daily requirements of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese and potassium.  These minerals have a specific function for your bones, muscles, nerves and in your blood.  With 2 grams of protein and fibre, you can help control your hunger and blood sugar.  Let's g...

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Janette de Vries, RHN, B.ed, (Hons) B.A

Registered Holistic  Nutritionist

© 2017 and beyond 

 

Orillia, Ontario

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