cleansing fresh mint tea

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in healthy food, healthy lifestyle, home remedies, nutrition, Recipes, seasonal, wellness | 0 comments

photo (18)Mint is refreshing and cleansing!

Not only does mint have a fantastic smell, it also has boundless beneficial properties like soothing the digestive tract, cleansing the skin, helping remove toxins from the body, freshening breath, and cleansing the blood.

Here’s an easy mint tea recipe using fresh mint leaves that you can place in your fridge for iced tea, or serve hot on cooler days. Your skin, blood, digestion and breath will thank you!

Prep time: 2 minutes Total time: 7 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Two handfuls of fresh mint leaves
  • Coffee grinder or food processor
  • Chemex and filter or a mesh loose leaf tea infuser
  • Water

Directions: 

1. Prep: Bring water to a boil. Rinse your fresh mint leaves. Place them in the grinder, and grind them up.

2. Brew: Place your mint leaves into your Chemex filter or your tea infuser. Pour your water over the leaves (if you are using Chemex, pour in a circular motion – if you are using an infuser, let it brew until the tea reaches a nice light brown color).

3. Drink hot or chilled: In the mood for warm? Sip slowly. In the mood for cold? Remove filter/infuser, and place in your fridge until cool. Serve with lemon wedges, and if you’d like a bit of sweetness add a bit of honey.

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cooking as beauty remedy

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in cooking with kids, Food for thought, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, home remedies, wellness | 4 comments

4361629413_9a561a3fcf_zCooking is a necessity, something we all have to do a few times a day to fuel our bodies.

Not only is cooking a method of fueling ourselves, it’s also a calming and centering activity, ultimately adding beauty to our lives.

Have you noticed that when you cook, you are in a constant flow of concentration? This feeling is often times called “flow,” a psychological theory coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who wrote a National Bestseller book on the topic.

According to Mihaly flow is defined as, “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”

So if cooking provides us with fuel, and allows us to engage in “flow,” can you think of another benefit cooking bestows?

How about soft hands…

If you’ve ever made kale chips, roasted veggies or baked scones, your hands would have undoubtedly come in contact with some olive, coconut or canola oil, resulting in some very soft and healthy hands.

No need for store bought moisturizers, just get in your kitchen and cook up some food with your own two hands!

Remember, cooking not only brings about soft hands, but also encourages a clear, calm and centered way of life, enabling us to give, share and indulge in many of life’s simple pleasures.

Photo courtesy of letorri

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Flora’s seasonal recipe: Vegetable soup

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in cooking with kids, families, healthy food, home remedies, nutrition, raising children, Recipes, seasonal, wellness | 0 comments

photo-6I am not a trained chef. My food intuition comes from my upbringing.

I spent countless hours in the kitchen with my mom who hailed from a small town outside of Florence, Italy. Like many mothers before her who cooked with their children, she bestowed her heritage onto me through her food.

There was never a lack of food options in our home. It seemed as though something was always on the stove, in the oven or already cooked, cooled and in the fridge.

Out of all occasions, feeling sick with the sniffles, cough, fever etc…always meant that I was in for some sort of homemade soup. After each spoonful I slurped down I started to feel better.

Here’s a recipe for a simple – no frills vegetable soup for when you or your loved ones are feeling under the weather. Hopefully this will bring some rosiness to your cheeks and some energy back into your body.

Serves 4 big bowls of soup

Ingredients: (use veggies that are lying around your fridge)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, cubed
  • 3 large garlic cloves, smashed and sliced
  • 1 medium beet, cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into rounds
  • 3 swiss chard leaves, stems separated from leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups water

Directions:

Prep your ingredients: cube onions, smash and slice garlic, cube your beet, slice your carrots into rounds, remove the stems from the leaves of your swiss chard then thickly chop the stems, roll the leaves then cut them into long ribbons.

Over medium heat add olive oil, then add garlic and onions, a pinch of salt. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the rest of your veggies, leaving the swiss chard leaves to the end. Stir it up so that all of the flavors mingle. Add water, another pinch of sea salt and your bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil, then down to a slow simmer with the lid slightly ajar. Let simmer for 1 hour, or until all veggies are cooked.

If you’re feeling like you can handle cheese (dairy can affect mucuous) then top off your soup bowl with freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano.

You will feel better with every spoonful!

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suggestions for picky eaters

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in cooking with kids, families, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, home remedies, lunch time, raising children, Recipes | 0 comments

Picky EatersFeeling defeated in trying to get your children to eat healthy?

Perhaps it’s the texture, color or consistency of a food that discourages them from eating it, or simply an aversion to specific foods?

Your children are not alone, picky eating is a very common phase for growing children. In fact, research has shown that the average child needs to be repeatedly exposed to new foods before forming an honest opinion on it.

When introducing your child to a new or healthy food, have patience. It may take more than a few times of trying the newly introduced food before your child accepts it. A great way to help children ease into the introduction is by working new food into your typical family meals. Some favorites of ours include:

Cannellini puree: Makes for a great addition to various kid-friendly foods such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, tomato sauce, or to thicken up soups. It will add in some extra protein and fiber into your everyday meals.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • herbs and spices of choice

Directions:

Blend until smooth.

Carrot puree: Add this puree to your favorite tomato sauce, mac and cheese, muffin or pancake recipe. A wonderful way to add more vitamin A and folate to your meals.

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrot stalks, peeled and diced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions:

Put sweet potatoes and carrots into a pot, add enough cold water to cover. Boil for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain, then add into your food processor with 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth.

What strategies have you come up with to add nutrients into the diets of your picky eaters?

Photo courtesy of CarbonNYC

Recipes adapted from Parenting.com

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suggestions for picky eaters

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in cooking with kids, families, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, home remedies, lunch time, raising children, Recipes | 0 comments

Picky EatersFeeling defeated in trying to get your children to eat healthy?

Perhaps it’s the texture, color or consistency of a food that discourages them from eating it, or simply an aversion to specific foods?

Your children are not alone, picky eating is a very common phase for growing children. In fact, research has shown that the average child needs to be repeatedly exposed to new foods before forming an honest opinion on it.

When introducing your child to a new or healthy food, have patience. It may take more than a few times of trying the newly introduced food before your child accepts it. A great way to help children ease into the introduction is by working new food into your typical family meals. Some favorites of ours include:

Cannellini puree: Makes for a great addition to various kid-friendly foods such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, tomato sauce, or to thicken up soups. It will add in some extra protein and fiber into your everyday meals.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • herbs and spices of choice

Directions:

Blend until smooth.

Carrot puree: Add this puree to your favorite tomato sauce, mac and cheese, muffin or pancake recipe. A wonderful way to add more vitamin A and folate to your meals.

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrot stalks, peeled and diced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions:

Put sweet potatoes and carrots into a pot, add enough cold water to cover. Boil for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain, then add into your food processor with 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth.

What strategies have you come up with to add nutrients into the diets of your picky eaters?

Photo courtesy of CarbonNYC

Recipes adapted from Parenting.com

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simply miso

Posted by on Jan 25, 2013 in healthy food, healthy lifestyle, home remedies, lunch time, nutrition, Recipes, seasonal, wellness | 0 comments

3323901811_7c96a70cdfThere are some days where nothing beats a warm miso soup. The flavor of fermented soybeans, and the feeling of warmth soothes all woes.

Known for it’s anti-aging, intestinal support, and immune boosting properties, miso soup is a wonderful tonic for our fast paced world. When sitting down to a bowl of miso soup, you just can’t help but slow down.

Here is a simple miso soup recipe adapted from both epicurious and naturalnews.com:

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dried wakame
  • 1/4 cup shiro miso (white fermented-soybean paste)
  • 6 cups filtered water, or you can make Dashi
  • 1/2 pound soft tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens

Directions:

Thinly slice scallions, and drain/cube tofu. Combine wakame with warm water to cover it by 1 inch, and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain. Place water, scallions and wakame in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add tofu cubes then simmer for 10-20 minutes until tender. Remove 1.5 cups of broth from saucepan and place in a bowl. Let broth cool a bit, then add in the miso and mix. Place the miso and water mixture back into your saucepan, let mingle, then serve right away!

Photo courtesy of Robert Banh

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