Thursday, January 30, 2014

Spice Spotlight: Siberian or Panax Ginseng?

Siberian Ginseng is found in my vegan protein shake...and I thought I would check out the benefits of this particular ginseng...and this is what I have learned...

"Eleuthero" (Siberian Ginseng) - is a full scale member of the Ginseng family. This particular ginseng packs with it even more of an energy factor then Panax (but with less of the useful digestive benefits of Panax). However, there are no down sides at all to this spice. The only "side effect" is that your pocket book may weigh a little more than it did after you bought Panax ginseng because Siberian Ginseng is much less expensive.

Mike Adams, the Heatlh Ranger of Natural News writes:  Siberian Ginseng is known all over the world now as one of the best adaptogenic agents ever used by man. There just isn't much else that can deliver so much wonderful raw working energy. It is truly the king of adaptogens. You can read more about Siberian Ginseng and its benefits at this link to Natural News.

Along with a number of anti oxidants and adaptogenic herbs, I am thrilled that my entire family loves our soy free vegan protein - whether it is blended in smoothies with fruit and vegis, or simply mixed with almond milk and/or water for a meal replacement shake with added fiber. Because there are absolutely NO artificial flavors, colors OR sweeteners, I have peace of mind.   It's our gluten free, whey/lactose free, and low glycemic go to when we are in a mad dash to get out the door in the morning.

I hope you have time to make a heatlhy, whole food breakfast for your family every morning, but if not... there is nothing wrong with an "easy button", right?  I know there are no hidden ingredients, or trace metals, that could compromise the long term healthy of my family.

To your health!
Rita S.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Improv Celery Cashew Soup

I call this soup “improv” because that is exactly what I did…improvised. A short while ago I had amazing Cashew Celeriac root soup at Crossroads, the local coffeehouse. It was DELISH and decided I would learn how to make it.

Well, celeriac root is not a produce aisle staple…yes, I am sure my husband could have found it at a Whole Foods or some place similar, but the produce manager at Copp’s said it did not sell fast enough so they stopped carrying it. (Can I grow celery in Wisconsin?)

So from my shopping list…he comes home with celery. I have to work with it, right?
I started soaking my whole, raw and organic cashews in water in the morning – even though I read they should be soaked overnight, I figured the Ninja could cream anything.

Another improvisation was my refusal to blend hot soup, as so many recipes read. To me, that is a burn mishap waiting to happen. Instead, I puree my ingredients until smooth, and then heat on the stove top. It also results in everyone being served at once, versus pureeing small batches of hot soup at a time and then ladling into bowls.

2 cups raw, whole cashews – soaked overnight in water, or 6 hour minimum

8 stalks of celery, washed, and quartered
Cover in soup pot with water and simmer until tender, drain and cool.

¾ cup diced onion, sautéed in EVOO with turmeric spice

1 quart organic vegetable broth (Pacific brand used in this recipe)

½ tsp. ginger
1½ tsp. allspice

Tip: cook up large batches of onion and refrigerated, use all week long in your recipes for awesome and healthful flavor.

Use a high powered blender (Ninja Pro used in this recipe) to puree the celery in half a quart of organic vegetable stock. Adding in the cooked onions, continue to puree until smooth. Add to soup pot, now drained and sitting empty. (Save celery water as a base for broth if desired.)
Drain the cashews and cream in the blender with the remaining 1.2 quart of broth. Pour into the soup pot and stir gently with a wooden spoon, stirring in ginger  and allspice, until cream is blended well for even consistency. Heat through and serve. 6 servings.

This soup is surprisingly quite filling.  Celery provides not only complex carbs, but beneficial cancer fighting anti-oxidants.  The cashews provide protein (not to mention a healthy dose of niacin - great for mood enhancement). Dr. Joe Fuhrman, who is successful in reversing arthritis in many, noted in one of his videos that a handful of cashews is equivalent to dose of Prozac. I have to chuckle at that...with this recipe we should all be pretty happy after dinner! 

Note: Pacific Broth ingredinets include: water, carrots, celery, tomatoes, onions, leeks, garlic, bay leaves, parsley and thyme.

To your health - may you feel, look and live great in 2014!
Rita S.