Super Inexpensive Super Foods!

superfoods

tamarindTamarind -Tamarindo=]

Not so easy to plant, trees take ten years to grow… BUT, they are super cheap to buy, either in the actual pod form which are fun to pull apart or the pre-separated tamarind pulp.  Taste is nice and sweet, but not overly sweet, loaded with vitamins and nutrients, considered medicinal.

Great with lime juice and some cayenne.  This is one of the primary ingredients for the sauce in Pad Thai!

quinoaQuinoa –

Grows like a weed, seriously, it grows so easily, try some in your backyard, you cold be pleasantly surprised!  Young plants, from 2 to 8 inches can be used whole in smoothies as a super food.

As they get larger, use the leaves and compost the stem, once they start to seed, all the ninja vibe has gone to that part of the plant so wait till they are ready to harvest and eat.

Once harvested, clean them, or buy store bought and then cook as you would rice, but they take about half the time!

Considered a complete protein, meaning it has all the necessary amino acids, alkaline, no one really has an allergy to it that I know of, chap to buy and again, easy to grow!

amaranthAmaranth –

Again, grows like a weed, young plants, from 2 to 8 inches can be used in smoothies as a super food.  as they get larger, use the leaves in salads or as a steamed dish which tastes great with a little tamari/soy/braggs and pepper, or whatever you would normally season your steamed veggies with, once they start to seed, all the ninja vibe has gone to that part of the plant so wait till they are ready to harvest and eat.

The seeds can most effectively be eaten by popping them.  They will resemble tiny popcorns but are spheres.  hey have little to no taste and can therefore be added to ANYTHING you wish to supercharge with vitamins, minerals and protein.

Allow your skillet to get very hot, add a few hand fulls of seeds, they will be tiny, cover and check often.  Add to anything.  Depending on the country, you can buy pre-popped amaranth extremely inexpensively.

Parasite Cleanse Tea

amoebas

046   042

Here is our Parasite Cleanse tea.  You can make as much or as little as you want per day and it keeps well over night, just re-heat in the morning.

Make new batch every two days.

Do not use for more than 5 days at a stretch, give 5-7 days in-between uses as it contains wormwood family and is POTENT.  Take an equal amount of leaves, allow to simmer for a bit, then yum it down…..tastes like serious medicine.

Left is EPAZOTE

And the ESTAFIOTE

050Himalayan Basil – from the Himalayan Mountains, hence the name

051

Leaves from Clove tree

neem

To the left is NEEM, cure all plant from India, good for everything, seriously, grows fairly easily, put one in your yard if you have one, if you dont, ‘start one out from seed in a pot, when big enough – put one in a local park, no one will know…

I didnt add a picture of garlic as I assumed you would have that one covered, put in some cloves…042 043 044 neem 046 047 048 049 050 051 052

Papaya Breakfast Bowl

papaya bowlYou know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?:)
What you consume in the few hours after you wake up regulates a bunch of your bodily functions so you can help boost your metabolism, increase your stamina, promote a good hormonal balance, strengthen your immune system, etc, etc by making the right choices… or complicate stuff by making the not-so-right ones.

Today I’m having a papaya bowl, it reminds me of having breakfast with Tina in Mysore, India, after an intense yoga class. We all end up so tired that passing the jaggery across the table feels like such an effort! All happy to be there, making friends, deepening our practice, but Oh-My-God!! you end up tired!! Much more the reason for breakfast being so important=] in circumstances like that, after a hard workout your body is really depending on some good fuel for replenishing and rebuilding.

2 cups fresh ripe papaya in cubes
1 heaping teaspoon Vitamineral Green
2 teaspoons bee pollen
2 teaspoons hemp seeds
1 handfull Goji berries

It’s that simple!! Fresh fruit is always good. Some people worry about the sugar content in fruits and limit their intake for this reason. If you have any medical condition like diabetes, some hormonal unbalances, etc, you might need to regulate your diet and learn about some fruits being better than others for you to eat and which quantities, but if everything is good, you’re healthy and stuff, then go for it!! Fruits are HEALTHY, filled with tons of nutrients. And for the sugar, just try to eat them whole or in a smoothie so you keep their fiber giving time for your body to digest them and absorb the sugar little by little. Avoid drinking fruit juices, without the fiber the sugar goes straight to your blood stream and that’s when you could be submitting your body to an unnecessary and not so healthy effort.

Plus, if you add some more fiber and some protein like seeds and green powders like on this papaya bowl to your plate you transform healthy fruit into a SUPER healthy food=] Today I used Vitamineral Green from Health Force Nutritionals.. we have written about them in the past, they are THE PEOPLE when it comes to raw, vegan, super nutrition. I love their stuff and as far as I know there’s nothing better out there, but you can use any other green powder in hand or sprinkle some spirulina.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Nuts…

roasted brussel sproutsBrussel sprouts are one of the healthiest veggies you can eat. I love green food and if it has leaves even more!
Rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, brussel sprouts belong to the same family as cabbage, broccoli and kale, all of which are veggies that are low-glycemic, highly nutritious and because of their high antioxidant content can offer protection from colon, prostate and endometrial cancer. Plus, they are so versatile and easy to prepare, like this recipe that can be done in 10 minutes!

To prepare about four servings…
About 16 brussel sprouts, little more, little less depend how much you eat=]
1/2 cup pecan nuts chopped in rough chunks
1/2 cup dried cranberries, you can also use other berries if you like
2 tablespoons homemade pesto (you can use your own or try the one below!)

Simple…
Cut the brussel sprouts in half and marinate with the pesto for about two hours… if you’re in a hurry you can skip the marinating and go straight to the roasting, but if you have the time it definitely makes a difference. Roast on the grill or in a roasting pan placing the open half down first until slightly golden, turn to the other side and add the pecans and cranberries to roast with the sprouts just for a few seconds. You want the flavors to blend but don’t over cook the berries and nuts for they can taste bitter! and that’s it! serve them as a side with other roasted veggies, maybe some quinoa or what ever or by themselves, they are that nutritious and tasty can be a meal on it’s own!

For the pesto I usually keep it simple and fast by filling about half of the blender with basil, four to six garlic cloves, little sea salt, little pepper and about two cups of virgin olive oil. Once blended you may add more basil or oil until you get the consistency you like… mine is always thick and super green!! if you want to vary a bit you can always add cilantro, parsley or other herbs and get creative=]

Blueberry Ginger Smoothie…

The Holiday season is here!! 🙂
I love Christmas… I think I already told you that like 20 times before!! well, it’s my favorite time of the year so I’ll probably tell you again a few more times.

Another good way of adding heating foods in your diet this cold season is using spices in your smoothies, so easy! and that will help keep your internal fire going, that energy responsible for the strength of your immune system, for the power of assimilation and transformation of your metabolism, for keeping your spirit and energy high even during these times of coziness and over indulging.
This morning I’m using ginger and cinnamon, warming, sweet, detoxifying and stimulating spices that also add some added sweetness.

1 pear
1 cup blueberries
1 cup ginger tea
1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 tablespoon almond butter

We like to make our own ginger tea by cutting two to three inches of ginger root into thin slices and let it simmer in one liter of water for 10 to 15 minutes, also whenever possible, ground our own cinnamon and spices for they conserve their medicinal properties better whole. When you think of your food as your stronger medicine you start to take care of preserving it’s nutrients and components: fresh is always better, avoid oxidation, humidity, sunlight…  AND!!!  I’ve been into nut butters lately, preparing some super fresh totally homemade, natural, delicious, indulging and healthy butters, keeping up with our Chihuahua Gourmet preserves. We’ll sell them in some local markets trying to make a little extra cash for the road so if you’re around stop by!!

Goji berries – Pedaling for Peace Super Foods Series

pedaling for peace - superfoods goji berries fructus lyciium   Goji berries Lycii fructus, is the comercial name of wolfberries, the fruit of two species: Lysium barbarum and L. chinense. Very rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin A, C and E, they have been used by asian herbalists since over six thousands years ago, they have powerful medicinal properties such as:

* Boost immune functions and increases metabolic activity.

* Protect and detoxify the liver and supports kindney function.

* Natural anti-immflamatory, anti-bacterial and antifungal.

* Improve eyesight due to it’s high contents of the carotenoid zeaxanthin that protects the retina of the eye and prevents age-related macular degeneration, the lead cause of blindness for eldery people.

* Improve sexual function and promote fertility.

* Increase longevity mainly because of their high content of antioxidants that slow the aging process by minimizing the damage of free radicals in the body to a cellular level.

* Improve circulation and overall toning of the cardovascular system.

* Prevents the grow of cancer cells.

* Reduces blood glucose and cholesterol.

Some of the nutrients you can get from goji berries are essential fatty acids, protein, vitamin C, 19 different amino acids 8 of which are essential amino acids, B vitamins, carotenoids, 21 different trace minerals incluiding copper, zinc, calcium, iron, selenium, potassium and phosphorus. Like any fruit, goji berries contain sugar but in the form of polysaccharides, log-chain sugar molecules considered as complex carbohydrates and a primary source of dietary fiber that may help to strengthen the immune system, promote a healthy intestinal mucosal lining, enhace mineral uptake and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer .

You can consume your goji berries raw, dried, cooked, juiced or made into tea. We prefer to keep them raw or dried to preserve their nutrients intact, they are a great addition to trail mixes, granola and cereals, sprinkled over your fruit salad or even in your smoothie. Goji berrie tea is also a great way to get it’s nutrients but for us the flavor is not so appealing :-/  Is very important that you always search for organic goji berries, particularly if grown in China where large amounts of pesticides are used for their production.

Bee pollen – Pedaling for Peace Super Foods Series

pedaling for peace - bee pollen superfood    Bee pollen contains the male germ cells produced by plants through their flowers and blossoms, carefully selected by bees that separate only the grains that are richest in nutrients. Because of this, some people don’t consider this a vegan food, but it is definitely a powerful addition to you diet if you decide to consume it.

Most of the vitamins and nutrients found in bee pollen come in perfect proportions, which makes them more easily assimilated by the body respecting nature’s synergy.

Bee pollen is high in active carotenoids that are later turn into vitamin A in the body, vitamin B1, B2, B6, nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, 59 different trace minerals, 22 amino acids and various enzymes. Keep in mind when consuming bee pollen as well as most other superfoods, this enzymes and many of it’s nutrients are destroyed by heat, so keep it raw and fresh always.

Some of the effects of bee pollen in the body are:

* Higher performance levels with increased stamina, strength and endurance.

* Stimulation of the metabolism that results in a healthy weight and strengthening of the cell tissues.

* Increased vitality and longevity.

* Increased mental focus and alertness. Overall toning of the nervous system.

* Better assimilation of nutrients and better elimination of toxins.

* Higher resistance to external aggression – bee pollen has natural antibiotic substances and stimulates a faster regeneration of tissues.

* Toning of the intestinal tissues and restoration of healthy intestinal flora.

However, please be grateful for the hard work of our tiny flying friends since it takes a bee eight hours of work per day for a month to gather one teaspoon of bee pollen! and be always conscious of the origin of your bee pollen, nowadays many types of bees around the world are struggling for survival. Yes, bees ARE in danger amongst other reasons, for the dirty battle of chemical farming practices and genetic modifications, so be kind and always grateful.