14 Feb 2017
in Drinks, food, health, recipes
Tags: antibacterials, antioxidants, oregano, respiratory illness, sore throat
Oregano grows like crazy in my garden. I use it as an ornamental ground cover. Then I discovered you can make a tea from it that is useful in curing sore, bothersome throats. Since that is what I have, I’ve given this drink a shot. I love herbal teas and this is a pleasant one. Only time will tell as to whether it heals my sore throat.
Tea is always in fashion. Why not gives yours a little extra punch?
- 4-6 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon organic raw honey
- Cut the leaves to release the oil.
- Boil the water on the stove for 10 minutes.
- Add oregano leaves and allow to steep for five minutes.
- Strain and add the honey.
- Drink while hot to reap its maximum benefits.
Macbeth’s trio of witches likely used oregano in their many brews. Oregano has been around for thousands of years, popular in cooking and medicine.
Its potent antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties are said to be effective against respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract infections and even against dangerous microorganisms like Listeria and MRSA. Its very high concentrations of antioxidants have recently been reported in the Journal of Nutrition.
I don’t want to overwhelm you with details, but ongoing studies are continuing to verify the usefulness of oregano in treating a whole range of problems from diabetes 2 and cancer to dandruff and acne. Read this link to learn more. You will be amazed.
Always consult your doctor before trying things out on a serious ailment. But many believe a drop or two of oregano oil or a handful of its fresh leaves can be good for whatever ails you. Pip pip!
Oregano oil and kids
Use caution when using herbals on kids. Children under 5 years old shouldn’t have oregano oil by mouth. You can rub some oil on the soles of their feet, though. For further information, read this article, then talk to your doctor.
10 Jan 2017
in food, health, recipes, Soups
Tags: antioxidants, fermented foods, miso, phytonutrients, probiotics, salt, shrimp, vegetables
Miso’s Christmas toy
“Here, Miso,” called Vinny, holding out his hand to his fluffy caramel kitten, who gladly came over for a gentle rub behind the ears.
“Why did you call him Miso,” Isla asked as she threw a small toy mouse for the kitten to chase.
“I suppose it was because I like Asian food,” said Vinny, “and this little guy is the exact same color as miso, a food used in Asian cooking. More
23 Feb 2016
in Desserts, Drinks, food, health, Salads, Snacks
Tags: antioxidants, B vitamins, goat cheese, kale, magnesium, mood foods, nutrition, potassium, watermelon
Watermelon is a mood food
As most of my friends fly south for the winter, I thought I’d inject a little sun into my own life with watermelon. Deep into February as we are, a food to lift our spirits seems in order.
I’ve covered some of this before, but for newer readers, are you surprised to learn that watermelon is a good source of the mood vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B6 (pyridoxine)? I was. Turns out thiamine is important for maintaining electrolytes and transmitting nervous-system signals throughout the body. Pyridoxine works with enzymes that convert food into cellular energy.
Who needs warm weather… Let’s party!
Watermelon is a berry
Another surprising fact about watermelon… its fruit is a pepo, a special kind of berry with a thick rind and fleshy center.
Watermelon pepos offer the most nutrition per calorie of any common food.
Red is the give-away. Bright colors signal a big pay-off in lycopene, an antioxidant repeatedly studied in humans and found to protect against a whole slew of cancers… prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and colorectal, for starters.
Watermelon offers lots of beta-carotene and another antioxidant, vitamin C. Besides helping lycopene to ward off cancer, these vitamins also battle heart disease, arthritis, and asthma.
Then there is the mineral potassium, guardian of our cardiovascular system, brain, and kidneys.
Finally, watermelon provides lots of the master mineral magnesium. Magnesium is the big boss for over 300 cellular metabolic functions. Poor soils make magnesium scarce in today’s foods. Lack of magnesium is related to irritability, tension, sleep disorders, and muscular cramping, including the heart muscle (attack!).
How to enjoy watermelon
Watermelons retain most of their nutrition even after being cut and stored in the fridge. But watermelon is best eaten at room temperature when the flavor, plus the phytonutrient capacity, is at its best.
Just quarter a large watermelon berry and slice off slabs. Eat the flesh right off the rind and spit out the seeds.
- one cup watermelon cubes
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- one cup kale, ribs removed and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 1 ounce goat cheese
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Chop the flesh into bite-sized chunks.
- Drizzle them with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or vodka. Let them soak it up for a few minutes.
- Use them to top a plateful of greens, kale in my photo, which I drizzled with avocado oil and massaged well.
- Top with crumbled feta cheese or, my favorite, goat cheese.
Vinny’s pink watermelon cooler
- 2 cups watermelon cubes, frozen
- 4 ice cubes
- Juice of one fresh lemon (1/4 cup)
- Juice of one fresh lime (2 tablespoons)
- 2-4 tablespoons of any sugar syrup you have. I used home-made red-current couli, But any fruit syrup, even grenadine (from pomegranates) or maple syrup, will do. I use an equivalent amount of stevia unless it’s a special occasion.
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 pinches of black pepper
- 3-4 ounces raspberry vodka (optional)
- ¼ to 1/3 cup club soda, depending on whether you add alcohol or not and the size of your glass
- Blend the whole works except for the club soda for a few seconds.
- If you want to serve some of the cocktails without alcohol, leave the vodka out and add it back to the glasses of the folks who want it.
- Fill each glass about halfway with the watermelon fizz. Add 1 ounce alcohol to each glass if you didn’t include it in the mix. Top up with club soda. Adjust flavor with more lemon juice if needed.
- Spoon some of the pink foam into each glass and top with a raspberry or a mint leaf to garnish.
When the winter blahs get you down, break out some watermelon and smile :).
03 Nov 2015
in food, health, Main dishes, recipes
Tags: antioxidants, cancer, dairy, meat, meatballs, pork, red meat, turkey, WHO
Traditional cooking, with a healthier outlook
The WHO’s stand on meat
The World Health Organization (WHO) has just sent shock waves through the earth’s stratosphere. What they said was something that anybody who has been following nutrition news in the past few years already knew.
WHO news: Processed meats cause cancer. And red meats probably cause cancer.
But unless you are genetically predisposed to the disease, the increased risk according to most experts is relatively low. Nevertheless, it’s real. More
13 Oct 2015
in Desserts, food, health, Holiday foods, recipes
Tags: antioxidants, avoiding sugar, berries, halloween, nutrition, pie
“That’s scary!” Isla declared, her wide eyes shifting from the cooking pot to the finished product. I knew Halloween had been on her mind, now only a couple of weeks away.
“How so?” I asked. More
21 Jul 2015
in food, health, recipes, science
Tags: antiinflammatories, antioxidants, berries, cancer, garlic, tea, tomatoes, walnuts
Foods that are known cancer fighters
Berries, walnuts, garlic, tomatoes and tea. What do they have in common? They are all proven cancer fighters!
They work best as members of a team. For best health, join them up on your plate with other battle-scarred food heroes of the likes that are cited in this valuable article from the American Institute for Cancer Research.
26 May 2015
in Drinks, food, Holiday foods
Tags: antioxidants, chartreuse, cocktail, herbs
Cinque terre cocktail – chartreuse
Vinny is taking an extended break, now that summer is nearly upon us :). To celebrate, he’s sharing a drink with you from the World Heritage site Cinque Terre in Italy, which he hopes to visit some day soon.
28 Apr 2015
in food, health, recipes, Salads, stories
Tags: antioxidants, fruit, garlic, mango, peas, vinaigrette
“I love mangoes,” Isla said one day. “Can we grow some?”
Vinny sighed. “Not here in Canada, kiddo. Mango trees thrive in India, where people call mangoes the Food of the Gods. Mango trees live long and prosper there. Some specimens are over 300 years old and still going strong.”
Isla put on her sad face. More
21 Apr 2015
in food, recipes, Side dishes
Tags: antioxidants, baking, blood sugar, nutrition, sweet potato
Sweet potato fries, perfect in the oven
Sweet Patooty’s back! I raved about the fab qualities of sweet potatoes in an earlier post. But I’ve never posted a recipe for my favorite of all ways of having them… oven-baked fries. That’s because I never felt I’d gotten it quite right. But now, I think I can confidently tell you how to make these beauties come out delicious every time… crispy, not soggy, and definitely not burnt! More
16 Dec 2014
in food, Holiday foods, recipes, Side dishes
Tags: antioxidants, cheese, Christmas, lasagna maker, measuring, mushrooms, pastry, perogies, perogy, pierogies, potatoes, Ukrainian
New kitchen tools make it easier to cook perogies from scratch.
How perfect is this for Christmas? Everyone’s traditions are different, but for us, it isn’t Christmas without perogies. For a personal twist, I make mine green and red.
My natural food colors have been disappointingly dull. But Stefan’s Gourmet Blog has inspired me to make improvements. More
19 Aug 2014
in food, health, recipes, Salads
Tags: antioxidants, apples, avocados, cabbage, cauliflower, vinaigrette, walnuts
The magic word is SALADS
According to Dr. Li, we can start today, keeping cancer at bay. Just eat more foods that slow the growth of blood vessels.
While we’re stuffing our faces with these healthy foods, we’re starving cancer-cell invaders in their tracks.
The foods that do the job aren’t mysterious mumbo jumbo harvested at the ends of the earth. More
04 Mar 2014
in food, health, recipes, science, Side dishes
Tags: antioxidants, digestion, fennel, fiber, gourmet, heart, liver, nutrition, vegetables
Fennel makes a great side for barbecued chicken.
Fennel’s a bit of an odd vegetable. Although it turns up in the produce departments of most super markets, it’s not really a regular guest at most people’s tables. Fennel’s best pals with Celery, another kind-of-blah veggie that is often left languishing. These two veggies have the same pale greenish-white crisp flesh. And Fennel’s stalks grow around one another like Celery’s stalks do. Both veggies can be served raw or cooked. And both have a fibrous, mild flavor.
But Fennel deserves a closer look. Once you get to know it, you’ll see it’s loaded with character. More
19 Feb 2014
in food, health, recipes, Salads, Side dishes
Tags: antioxidants, apple cider vinegar, barley, brain, broccoli, cranberries, memory, nutrition, omega-3, party food, walnuts
Walnuts slash diabetic risk by a quarter. Click pic for more.
Continuing with walnuts…
Walnuts raw (see Verse 4 in my previous post) not only develop the jaw, they also strengthen teeth as well as bones in your whole body.
Then too, walnuts help you remember things… like the make-ahead party salad in last week’s blog entry I promised to post. That’s because of the huge amounts of the rarer fat component omega-3 that walnuts have. More
11 Feb 2014
in Appetizers, food, health, science, Snacks
Tags: antioxidants, brain, men's health, minerals, nutrition, nuts, omega-3, vitamin E, walnuts
Can you spot the walnut hiding among all these other tasty tree nuts?
Develop the jaw,
But walnuts, stewed,
Are more quietly chewed.
—with a gentle nod to Ogden Nash
I’m nuts for walnuts…
I lied, when I promised I’d stop waxing poetic about nuts. I forgot about the walnut, one of nature’s treasures! Carrying on with my nutty soliloquy, I present verse 4.
Crunchy or pureed, if we’re smart, walnuts will be found hiding on our plates in everything from soup to salads! I’m so impressed with walnuts’ healthy benefits, I hardly know where to begin… perhaps with the letter A. More
01 Oct 2013
in food, health, Main dishes, recipes, Side dishes, stories
Tags: antioxidants, beans, blood sugar, carbohydrates, eyes, nutrition, sweet potatoes, walnuts, yams
Sweet Patooty dresses for dinner
Sweet potato’s qualities
Our Sweet Patooty is not just another pretty face. There’s so much goodness under her skin, I hardly know where to start. She comes from a large family. There are at least 18 relatives you might meet at the supermarket. All of them bring great qualities to the table. Some have orange or reddish skins, while others are purple-skinned. The purple ones can have white or purple flesh. But we don’t discriminate based on the color of the skin… More
06 Aug 2013
in Drinks, food, health, recipes, Salads, Snacks
Tags: antioxidants, cancer, drinks, liquor, magnesium, nutrition, vitamins, watermelon
Cool off with fizzy watermelon
Click for an up-dated version, with more photos and a new recipe.
Who would have thought the common watermelon is a berry? Botanists call its fruit a pepo, a special kind of berry with a thick rind and fleshy center.
Like other berries we love, the watermelon is packed with goodness. It has the most nutrition per calorie of any common food. Click the link for the latest info. More
09 Jul 2013
in Drinks, food, health, recipes, stories
Tags: antioxidants, cancer, fruit, immunity, inflammation, men's health, pomegranates, tea
It’s summer time and love is in the air. Alas, humidity and heat are also abundant. What to do! We need ways to stay cool and fit. Enter Lady Pomegranate.
Pomegranates have played a role in both our spiritual and physical lives for thousands of years. The blood-red seeds spilling forth when you cut into the thick skin appeals to people on a primal level. More
25 Jun 2013
in Appetizers, Desserts, food, health, recipes, Side dishes, Snacks
Tags: antioxidants, bromelain, fruit, immunity, minerals, nutrition, pineapples, spices, vitamins
Pineapple wears a crown for a reason. It is royally healthy. In fact, it may be the healthiest fruit we can eat. More
12 Mar 2013
in food, health, recipes, Salads, Side dishes
Tags: antioxidants, bones, eyes, fiber, heart, minerals, nutrition, omega 3 fatty acids, squash, vitamins
- Squash-o-copia: butternut, acorn, and ambercup
“Simple!” Dr. Mike says. “Roasted squash is a delicious, low-fat side dish. Enjoy it on my 17-day diet, once you’ve completed the first cycle.”
So I decided to give it a try. The roasted butternut was so good, my friend ate the skin! I suppose that’s one way to boost your fiber – but not one I’d really recommend :). Squash tastes wonderful with lean poultry or pork.
Tip: to make the squash easier to cut, More
19 Feb 2013
in Appetizers, Dips, food, health, recipes, Salads, Snacks
Tags: antioxidants, beets, carbohydrates, chick peas, cumin, family, fiber, hummus recipes, minerals
Awhile back, we roasted up some tasty garbanzo beans to zap our good health with fiber and minerals. That bland little bean, which is part of the legume family… comes into its own, though, in the near Eastern dish known as hummus.
Let me introduce you to the Cinderella of the hummus crowd, a beet and garbanzo duo that knocks your slippers off! More
12 Feb 2013
in Drinks, food, health
Tags: antioxidants, balanced meals, drinks, family, green tea, heart, mood, tea, trivia, Valentine's day
Green Tea makes for strong hearts.
Green Tea comes with benefits
Host a green tea party for two and do your hearts a favor. A beautiful smile, fresh breath and glowing skin are some other ways green tea can improve your love life.
Even better is the boost it gives your memory, as well as your metabolic rate. All that should earn you some brownie points with your heart’s desire! More
05 Feb 2013
in food, health, Main dishes, recipes
Tags: antioxidants, balanced meals, carrots, chicken, family, oranges, protein
Take heart, boys and girls. The first meal in my 17-day-diet series is not a salad. Instead, it tells the tale of how the bland and boring Miss Chicken found her style.
We wanted her a little bolder. A little edgier. We also wanted her to have the power to keep you healthy. To do all that we partnered her with the color orange! More
18 Sep 2012
in food, health, recipes, science, Side dishes
Tags: anemia, antioxidants, brain, children, corn, digestion, fiber, nutrition, okra, prostate, seeds, stroke, vegetables
Annie Okra hits the target every time when it comes to scrubbing out our innards. Also known as “lady finger,” this nutritious green pod is rich in fiber as well as some other gluey stuff. This duo helps digest your dinner. More
11 Sep 2012
in food, health, recipes, science, Soups, stories
Tags: aging, antioxidants, carrots, color, fats, fruit, immunity, nutrition, nuts, seeds, squash, tomatoes, vegetables
A scoop o’ colorful puréed veggie soup helps the antioxidants go down.
Among scientists she goes by the name of antioxidant. But Vinny’s friends know her as Auntie Oxidant. By either name, she is a kid’s best friend. She is a powerful protector from degenerative disease. This fighter disarms invaders called free radicals, bent on destroying our cells. More
13 Aug 2012
in food, health, Snacks
Tags: anticeptic, antioxidants, children, currents, family, fiber, fruit, grains, grapes, nutrition, nuts, raisins, seeds, snacks, sugar, sultanas
A whole bunch of raisins!
Once upon a time there was a bunch of grapes. They spent way too long in the sun and ended up as raisins. Did you know? More
03 May 2012
in Breakfast foods, food, health, Main dishes, recipes, Soups, stories
Tags: antioxidants, blood, bones, broccoli, cancer, eggs, eyes, fast food, fiber, heart, immunity, minerals, nutrition, stir fry, vegetables
Brocky Lee’s Slaw fortifies a lunch-time soup
Brocky Lee is a fine fellow. He’s a member of a well-recognized vegetable family, the Cabbages. Many of Brocky’s famous cousins include such luminaries as Sir Cauliflower, Mr. Kale, the brothers Radish and Turnip, and the little Missies Brussels Sprouts and Arugula. More
27 Mar 2012
in food, health, Snacks
Tags: antioxidants, cactus fruit, children, dragon fruit, fiber, fruit, minerals, nutrition, presentation, tasting, vitamins
Great bowls of fire!
There’s a strange new animal stalking the aisles of the produce section of our grocery store these days. It’s beautiful and a little dangerous looking… with long, scales tipped in green overlying a glossy, red, leathery skin. It’s almost as if it’s breathing flames at you… or getting ready to stab you with poison darts!
Oh No! It’s Dragon Fruit… Hide!
Of course it’s not an animal at all. It’s a delicious but sinisterly attractive food called the Dragon Fruit. I say ‘sinister’ because you do have to be a little careful. More