Blog : Nutrition
More than just an old-fashioned way to preserve food, pickled veggies are a delicious way to help your digestion. Most of the time, people think of this as a labor-intensive process and think they're too busy to make it for themselves. It doesn't have to be that way! You can make pickles at home, it's super easy and gives you more control over what goes in your body.
Here's a recipe featuring the most popular pickled veggie, the one that we all think of when we hear pickles- the cucumber.
My teacher, Iwashina Sensei, would always teach his students: regulate the digestive system and 80% of the time 80% of the problems get better. Every treatment we give at Red Earth has a portion dedicated to improving, restoring, and optimizing your digestive system - that’s one of the reasons why the pain starts to go away so fast.
In December, we had several new patients begin treatment where the digestive system needed a complete “overhaul”. One patient was recovering from cancer treatments; another was diagnosed by their MD with Gastroparesis and another with severe gallstones. In each case, they needed to do more than just take the pressure off the digestive system, which we do by having patients avoid the “SCR” — sweet cold and raw. Check out our short e-book that delves into the how’s and why’s of “SCR” and the importance of a healthy, functioning digestive system. In the aforementioned cases, people have to go further than just drinking warm drinks, eating cooked foods, and cutting down on sweets.
So what is the next step and how do we take it to the next level?
BEHOLD, the Great Fire Chicken!
The mild-mannered broccoli, cancer-fighting kale, and flavorful cauliflower. All are part of the healthy-sounding group known as Cruciferous Veggies. They sit in many fridge crispers and are the staple of many holiday veggie trays. You may even be about to dip one in ranch as you read this newsletter. Yes, they are in almost every household waiting… FOR REVENGE!!!
Animal and vegetable sources of fat provide a concentrated source of energy in the diet and also provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances. Fats as part of a meal slow down absorption so that we can go longer without feeling hungry. They act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K as well. Dietary fats are necessary for converting carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption and for a host of other important bodily processes.
Potatoes are an important food staple and the number one vegetable crop in the world. There are more than 5000 varieties potatoes around the world that range in size, shape, color, starch content and flavor. The potato belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family whose other members include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tomatillos. Potatoes are technically tubers and not root vegetables. Essentially, they are enlarged stems that are higher in starch and complex carbohydrates.
From Smashed, Mashed, Boiled and Baked by Raghavan Iyer.
For the Salad
- 1½ pounds new red potatoes
- 6 medium-size to large red radishes, scrubbed, trimmed, and thinly sliced
- 4 ribs celery, leaves discarded, thinly sliced
- 1 large English cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeds discarded, and thinly sliced
- 4 scallions, beards trimmed, green tops and white bulbs thinly sliced
- ¼ cup baby capers, drained
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh chives
For the Dressing
- 6 anchovy fillets
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon coarsely cracked black peppercorns
- To make the salad, scrub the potatoes well under running water, cut them in half, and place them in a medium-size saucepan. Cover them with cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Briskly boil the potatoes, uncovered, until they are just tender but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Take care not to overcook the potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander and rinse them under cold running water to cool them down. Give the colander a few good shakes to rid the potatoes of excess water, and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the radishes, celery, cucumber, scallions, capers, dill, and chives to the potatoes.
- To make the dressing, place the anchovy fillets, egg yolks, mustard, and garlic in a blender jar and puree, turning off the blender and scraping the inside of the jar as needed, until smooth. Combine the two oils together in a small bowl. With the blender on low speed, drizzle the oils through the hole in the cover in a steady stream. Once the oils are added, you will have a thick emulsion, which is your own homemade mayonnaise. Add the Worcestershire, lemon juice, cayenne, salt, and peppercorns and pulse the dressing to ensure a smooth mix.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and give it all a good toss. Serve at room temperature, but because this is a mayonnaise-based salad, do not leave it at room temperature for long periods of time.
Indian Spiced Eggplant
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 25 min
2 1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 cups water
2 tblsp coconut or other sugar
2 tblsp red wine vinegar
2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup unsalted butter or Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- In a small bowl combine the garam masala, coriander and turmeric. In a measuring cup combine water, sugar and vinegar.
- Cut eggplant into 2 inch peices.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over med. heat. Add the spices and cook, stirring until fragrant - about 1 minute. Add eggplant and salt and toss to coat with the spice mixture.
- Stir in vinegar mixture and simmer covered, without stirring, for 10 minutes or until eggplant is just tender.
- Uncover skillet and cook at a rapid simmer, without stirring, until most of the liquid is evaporated - about 15 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve over basmati rice and sprinkle with cilantro.
Vegetables & Preparation Methods
By now everyone knows that eating more vegetables and fruits is beneficial for our health. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly three million lives would be saved each year if more were eaten, and that low intakes may cause nearly 20% of gastrointestinal cancers, 31% of heart disease, and 11% of strokes. Most “standard” dietary recommendations suggest at least five servings of vegetables and fruits daily, however many studies show that more is better. The benefits of eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits are many, including:
- Reduced obesity and hypertension
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes
- Improved mental/cognitive performance
- Improved lung function, particularly those with COPD
- Reduced adverse effects of environmental pollutants
- Reduced risk of cancer
What to look for
Continuing with “What to Eat” as a part of a healthy diet, we look at legumes. Beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts are a source of high quality nourishment, and have often been called the poor man's meat. When served with whole grains and a small amount of animal protein with good quality animal fat, we are talking about an ideal, low-cost diet.
Legumes contain protein, fiber, with boatloads of minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and molybdenum, as well as B vitamins such as folate and thiamine. Legumes also contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, with kidney and pinto beans particularly high in omega-3. They are particularly good for the heart given the soluable and insoluable fiber that helps keep artery clogging cholesterol in check, and the magnesium and potassium that are frequently lacking in the American diet yet are vital for the normal functioning of the heart and circulatory system. These minerals help to regulate blood pressure as well as electrical impulses of nerves and muscle (including heart) contraction. Legumes, particularly lentils, contain high amounts of B vitamins which convert homocysteine in the bloodstream to a form that is not harmful. Homocysteine which is a byproduct of protein metabolism can damage arterial walls and is a very predictive marker of heart disease.
So why do we hear that legumes are bad? Well, if you go back to our article on grains, some of the same caveats apply. Like grains, legumes contain anti-nutrients such as phytates and trypsin inhibitors, and some have specialized complex sugars that can wreak havoc on our gut without proper preparation. Phytic acid also prevents the proper absorption of some minerals, especially iron and zinc. The good news is that we clever humans devised ways to prepare legumes so they are safe, savory and nutritious.