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by Anna Hunt, Contributing Writer

If you ask your friends if an avocado is a fruit or vegetable they may not know, but they’ll probably be able to tell you that avocados are high in fat. This fact about the mild-flavored green fruit (yes, avocados are fruits, or more specifically large berries) has given avocados a bad rap as a contributor to obesity, but is this really the case?

Avocados are a very healthy and nutritious food. They are rich in 13 vitamins (A, C, D, E, K, E and 8 types of B vitamins including B-6, B-12 and folate), and are packed full of other nutrients such as potassium, lutein, monosaturated fats and antioxidants. And since avocados can be eaten raw, baked, made into delicious dips and soups, or even blended into your morning green smoothie, avocados really are a tasty and versatile way to boost your health.

Here is a short list of just some of the benefits of regularly including avocados in your diet:

The abundance of monounsaturated fats in avocados help lower cholesterol. This is the ‘good kind of fat.’With 30% more potassium than bananas, avocados help regulate blood pressure and prevent circulatory disease.Avocadoes are high in florine, which is used by the body to create hard surfaces on teeth and in bones. Florine also helps protect the body from viruses and germs.The lutein content of avocados will aid in eye health, protecting the eyes from oxidative stress, macular degeneration (loss of central vision) and cataracts.Studies have shown that eating avocados can inhibit growth of cancerous cells, such as ones leading to oral cancer. Avocados contain phytonutrients that are beneficial in preventing prostate cancer, as well as oleic acid that is effective in preventing breast cancer.Avocados are effective in stopping bad breath!Rich in antioxidants such as glutathione, avocadoes encourage a healthy nervous system and boost the immune support system.The high folate content of avocadoes aids in brain and tissue development, especially during stages of rapid cell growth. This makes them an ideal food for pregnant women. Being high in folate but low in complex carbohydrates makes avocados also good for infants 6 months or older.Vitamin E in avocados helps protect the skin from free radicals.The nutrients and enzymes of avocados ease digestion issues by soothing the lining of the stomach and small intestines, and thus allowing the body to absorb carotenoids and nutrients from our food.Avocado is a yin fruit. It helps build red-blood cells as it is rich in copper. It also harmonizes several organs, including the liver, lungs and intestines.
So what about this business avocados being fattening?

Yes, it is true that avocados have a high fat content of about 30 grams of fat in a medium size avocado (similar fat content to a regular fast food burger). But there’s good news! Avocados contain the “good” monounsaturated fat that is easily digested and assimilated into the human body. Since our bodies know what to do with monounsaturated fat, it is quickly turned into raw energy and used efficiently by the body. And for a touch of irony, avocados also contain the enzyme lipase, which is complimentary to weight loss because it breaks down fat that is already stored in the body.

So next time someone mentions to you that avocados are fattening, share what you know about this magical fruit. Enjoy tasty avocado meals often, and your body will thank you for it.

Also, have a look at some of these fantastic avocado products!

Avocado oil
Avocado oil potato chips
California avocados gift box


Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods – Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. 2002.

Ginger Destroys Cancer More Effectively than Death-Linked Cancer Drugs

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Ginger Destroys Cancer More Effectively than Death-Linked Cancer Drugs

Anthony Gucciardiby 
March 27th, 2012 | Updated 11/03/2012 at 12:30 am

foodginger 220x137 Ginger Destroys Cancer More Effectively than Death Linked Cancer Drugs

Ginger, a cousin spice of super anti-cancer substance turmeric, is known for its ability to shrink tumors. Astoundingly, it is even more effective than many cancer drugs, which have been shown to be completely ineffective and actually accelerate the death of cancer patients. Commonly consumed across the world in small doses among food and beverage products, the medicinal properties of ginger far surpass even advanced pharmaceutical inventions.

The subject of one study based out of Georgia State University, whole ginger extract was revealed to shrink prostate tumor size by a whopping 56% in mice. The anticancer properties were observed in addition to ginger’s role in reducing inflammation as well as being a rich source of life-enhancing antioxidants. But what about cancer drugs? Could this simple spice really topple the advanced pharmaceuticals that are often touted as the ‘only option’ for cancer patients by medical doctors?

It turns out that cancer drugs are not only severely ineffective at permanently shrinking tumors, but they actually make tumors larger and kill the patient more quickly. More specifically, the tumors have beenfound to ‘metasize’, meaning they come back bigger and more stronger than their original size. What’s more, the ‘metasizing’ was found to be very aggressive. According to scientists Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the premium priced drugs were little more than death sentences for many patients.

“Whatever manipulations we’re doing to tumors can inadvertently do something to increase the tumor numbers to become more metastatic, which is what kills patients at the end of the day,” said study author Dr. Raghu Kalluri.

These are the very drugs considered to be the scientifically proven solution by mainstream health officials.

Meanwhile, ginger presents virtually no side effects and has been used as a food product by many cultures for countless centuries. Instead of creating super tumors, whole ginger extract was shown to exert significant growth-inhibiting and death-inductory effects in a spectrum of prostate cancer cells. Over 17 other studies have also reached similar conclusions on ginger’s anticancer benefits, with the spice beingshown by peer-reviewed research to positively impact beyond 101 diseases.

About Anthony Gucciardi:
1.thumbnail Ginger Destroys Cancer More Effectively than Death Linked Cancer DrugsGoogle Plus Profile Anthony is an accomplished investigative journalist whose articles have appeared on top news sites and have been read by millions worldwide. Anthony’s articles have been featured on top health & political websites read by millions worldwide such as Reuters, Yahoo News, MSNBC, and Bloomberg. Anthony is also a founding member of Natural Attitude, a leading developer of super high quality spagyric formulations.


Eco News and Gadgets

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I ofttimes find interesting articles on eco – gadgets that excite or interest me. I thought to share a few.


A Waterless Dishwasher You’ll Never Have To Empty

There are some chores I’ve just never stopped hating. Dishes are one of them, making the bed is another. Although we’ve got a fairly new dishwasher it still takes some doing to get me motivated enough to start the process. We have to be down to our last couple of forks. Even after they’re clean, there’s still the task of taking everything out, making sure it’s really dry, and putting it away.

Although using a dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand, it’s still a major consumer of both water and electrical energy in the household. But what can we do? Dishes have to be clean, and the only way to do that is with hot, soapy water, right? Wrong. The DualWash Bipartite Dishwasher is a complete reinvention of the humble dishwasher. Not only does it operate without water, it doubles as the cabinet so once it’s loaded, the dishes are already put away.


Image via Gökçe Altun, Nagihan Tuna, Pınar Şimşek, and Halit Sancar/Tuvie

I know you’re desperate to know how it works (I was too), so here it is: Instead of hot water, the dualWash would use carbon dioxide. When the washing cycle starts, the carbon-dioxide cycle is activated, and supercritical carbon-dioxide  (liquid CO2) is pumped to the cleaning chamber. “Supercritical carbon-dioxide has a very low surface tension, meaning instead of beading up into a ball like water, it spreads out widely covering all surfaces,” explain the designers. As this review points out, should there be solid particles, the supercritical carbon dioxide is returned to carbon dioxide’s gas phase, and forces and stubborn particles into the filter. When full, just remove the filter and clean it.


Image via Gökçe Altun, Nagihan Tuna, Pınar Şimşek, and Halit Sancar/Tuvie

The great part is that this futuristic dishwasher has not one but two cabinet areas. Simply slide the door over the side that’s due for cleaning, while the clean dishes in the other side are on display. This concept is perfect for single individuals or couples, because it allows you to wash just a few dishes without the guilt of wasting water and energy.

DualWash uses the Carbon-dioxide cleaning rather than water-based cleaning as a reaction to the water shortages of coming decades. When the washing cycle is started, Carbon-dioxide cycle is activated, and Supercritical Carbon-dioxide is pumped to the cleaning chamber. Supercritical Carbon-dioxide has a very low surface tension, meaning instead of beading up into a ball like water, it spreads out widely covering all surfaces.

During the washing cycle, Carbon-dioxide flows around the machine and cleans it. For solid particles, Supercritical Carbon-dioxide is turned to gas phase and food particle filter holds contaminates. The filter can be removed and cleaned.


Environmental concerns drive innovation

zeolite technology;

Revolutionary new developments are rare in the home appliances sector, which makes the BSH dishwasher with Zeolith® Drying System all the more remarkable. The zeolite dishwasher won the inaugural German Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment (IKU) awarded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) in February 2010. This innovation promises to change the market altogether.


Award-winning zeolite technology

Our novel drying technology uses zeolite minerals to reduce dishwasher electricity consumption by 20 percent as compared with what were previously the most efficient appliances in the top efficiency class. All in all, our engineers have managed to halve the electricity consumption of our dishwashers over the last 20 years. Zeolite, a substance formerly used only in industry, adsorbs moisture and releases heat in the process, making it ideal for use inside our dishwashers. The hot air produced dries the load after the rinse cycle without any additional energy input.

Food Waste – a particularly Irish Problem?

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We all like to eat out – and we rarely finish all on the plate (it grieves me to say I was taught to always leave something behind – “or they’ll think you were never fed”) – the indication being that by leaving some behind one is rich enough to do so and one doesn’t starve at home.

Ironically it’s a fashion that is relatively new to the Irish. In tales of old the idea of wasting food was seen as something almost criminal – and I don’t mean in famine-times. In an old tale I read once someone threw away a crust of bread and s/he was told that one day ”you’ll follow a crow for just such a piece of bread” !

Personally I hate waste and would eat all before me even if I knew I really didn’t need it – just to avoid waste. Fortunately now we have 5 hens and as we’re vegetarians (though we eat a little fish sometimes) we can feed them all out ‘scraps’ – though they do have to be sharp if the dogs are about. Generally all but Trix, who was twice molested by (strangers) dogs, are well able to fight (nose-peck) their own corner.   To see two hens fight over a length of spaghetti is worth a tonic.

Do you have worms Mister?? We have a vermiculture unit or simply a wormery. I looked at various options and at the time I could only buy kit (expensive) and worms via UK and I really didn’t want to be importing anything as sensitive as worms from a different country. Anyway it meant ‘importing’ to an address in N. Ireland and then driving up and collecting – too much hassle. I got some used shuttering from a building site and cut panels to make a ‘box’ 61cm x 122cm and about 61cm high I lined it with plaster’s gause – used to make rounded ‘corners’ (as anti-vermin shield) and set it on ‘legs to keep it up off the ground – this way I can also keep old oven rays under it to catch the ”worm-tea” that drips out. This needs to be diluted 1:10 or more before feeding to plants. The worms I simply collected as I did a bit gardening and simply popped them in with vegetable waste and garden clippings etc. Any chicken poop found on pavements or car area goes in too as does some of our food-waste – usually after it’s been in a brown(wheelie) bin for a few months and I need to make space. The worms are – usually the stripped-red ones no matter how many earth-worms I put in but they are great for fishing and sometimes when I clear out some of the ”waste” from the bottom of the unit it’s amazing to see huge bundles of worms gathered around something ‘tasty’ – easy way to gather them too. I fork out some of the bottom and put that with fresh waste in one of our 3 compost ‘bins’ these are in fact open at the bottom and two are actually IN the raised beds so at some date when I move them the ground should be very rich.

Article HERE on food recycling – but I prefer THIS one as it first takes off the gas from decomposing food. This gas can in turn power the lorries that collect the waste as well as heating it to the right temps for the enzymes to do their thing. This gas is normally released into the atmosphere as one of the worst pollutants of all – methane.

Lots of figures relating to all waste matters HERE.

Collection of waste veg. oil Europe HERE

Study done on waste veg. oil Algoma HERE.

Waste oil (non-food) collection HERE.


Restaurant Waste Costs €8,840 pa Print E-mail
Written by Frank Corr
Thursday, 29 September 2011 08:51
Since the introduction of new Food Waste Regulations in Ireland last summer, food waste remains a hot topic among restaurateurs. Unilever Food Solutions Ireland commissioned research among 100 Irish chefs and operators via the Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) which shows that Irish restaurants each throw out on average 4.5 tonnes of food waste a year, at a cost per establishment of €8,840. Portion sizing has been identified both by diners and chefs as a serious problem, with 34% of diners saying the reason they last left food behind them when eating out was because the portion was too big. This compares with 27% of diners who left food behind because they weren’t happy with the food.The majority (85%) of Irish chefs and operators are concerned about the amount of food wasted by their business with 71% willing to avail of an expert food waste audit to learn how to manage food waste more efficiently.
Portioning and plate waste is the No. 1 area that chefs and operators want to improve on with 57% of those polled strongly welcoming expert training in this area. 35% of restaurant owners and chefs admit they need to improve in creative cheffing, training staff to be more resourceful when it comes to prepping food and using ingredients so as to reduce avoidable waste.Unilever Food Solutions’ managing director Tracey Rogers delved into the findings: “The phrase waste not want not comes to mind. We know that the Irish Government is committed to moving toward a zero waste society and our actions in foodservice are going to be under the spotlight. We have the opportunity to take the initiative to be ‘United Against Waste’ and with small everyday steps we can reduce waste, respond to consumers concerns, improve kitchen efficiency and also help caterers to save money.“Some caterers are already reducing avoidable food waste very effectively and we have also launched a toolkit for reducing food waste, Wise up on Waste, which will help caterers to make their businesses more efficient. Together we must be united and share best practice so we can tackle the issues head on,” Rogers added. ?

At the event, Unilever Food Solutions launched a waste reduction toolkit, ‘Wise up on Waste’, offering simple solutions for Irish restaurants and foodservice outlets who can monitor and measure food waste and ensure the whole team, both back and front of house, are aligned. It includes a manual waste audit that only takes 10 to 15 minutes a day to complete and is expected to reduce food waste by at least 20% if implemented.

Other research highlights:
The top 5 ‘hot zones’ of food waste in Irish commercial kitchens are:
1.     Customer plates (65%)
2.     Preparation waste (53%)
3.     Bones/fat trimmings that can’t be recycled (40%)
4.     Food that gets prepared but not served (27%)
5.     Food that has been stored in the fridge or cupboard for too long (15%)

–        58% of Irish restaurants currently provide training to their staff on food waste management
–        Almost one in three restaurants (30%) would embrace the new Food Waste Regulations (SI 508 of 2009) more if better tax breaks were linked to the regulations-        41% of chefs and operators believe the introduction of brown bin legislation was a positive initiative to reduce the environmental impact of food waste in commercial outlets –        21% said they are confident the new regulations will leave to cost savings for their business, with 22% saying that the new legislation has already helped reduce the cost of waste disposal in their business Consumer worry

To download the full World Menu Report please go

Healthy Living

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Foods to be healthy by.
Missing a few – such as garlic and wine and beer  … but I’m being picky – read on  ….
leafy greensPOWER PLANTS: Vitamin-rich greens like bok choy can help prevent illness. (Photo: Philippe Put/Flickr)
Woman's Day logo
Did you know that falling asleep easier, preventing PMS and easing the aches and pains of arthritis could be as easy as stocking your kitchen with the right foods?
Take 47-year-old Sarah. When I first met her, she was 50 pounds overweight and had high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Together we created a plan that incorporated the best foods into her diet. After just three months, Sarah’s cholesterol dropped by 60 points and she had lost 30 pounds. Even better, she was able to say goodbye to her diabetes and blood pressure meds!
Another client, Eleanor, had long suffered from debilitating migraines. But within two weeks of adding 1 to 2 cups of spinach to her diet daily and eliminating trigger foods (like cheese and wine), she saw a dramatic improvement.
These are just two stories that inspired my book, “Joy Bauer’s Food Cures,” which shows how you can radically improve your health with some simple nutrition upgrades. Obviously food can’t always take the place of medication, but it can be a part of your better-health solution. Here, some of my best findings. Dig in!
What’s ailing you: Arthritis
Why it’s good: This spicy root contains compounds that work similarly to some anti-inflammatory medications. However, ginger can also act as a blood thinner, so if you’re taking a blood-thinning medication, ask your doctor if it’s safe to eat ginger.
Eat up! Ideally you want to get a hit of ginger every single day. Steep a few slices of the root in hot water to make tea, grate it into stir-fries or add ground ginger to smoothies.
Why it’s good: Research has shown that certain antioxidants may help prevent arthritis, slow its progression and relieve pain by reducing inflammation associated with this condition. And pumpkin’s bright-orange hue is a clue that it’s rich in two of these antioxidants: beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. In fact, researchers from the UK found that people whose diets were high in beta-cryptoxanthin were half as likely to develop a form of inflammatory arthritis as those who ate very foods containing it.
Eat up! Try to eat one can of 100 percent pure pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling!) every week. I make a “pudding” by stirring a dollop of pumpkin purée into vanilla yogurt along with a dash of cinnamon. You can also add a scoop of the puree to ground turkey meat sauce, taco filling or chili (the puree doesn’t altar the taste).
Red bell pepper
Why it’s good: Red bell peppers contain an impressive amount of inflammation-fighting carotenoids, but they also have more than 250 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Research suggest that people who eat a diet low in vitamin C may be at greater risk for developing certain kinds of arthritis.
Eat up! Aim to have three red bell peppers a week. Mix pepper with cucumber, chickpeas and feta for a quick and easy lunch.
What’s ailing you: Type 2 diabetes
Why they’re good: Whether they’re kidney, pinto or navy, beans provide a winning combination of high-quality carbohydrates, protein and fiber that helps stabilize your body’s blood sugar levels and keeps hunger in check. (People with type 2 diabetes have trouble keeping their blood sugar levels stable because their bodies can’t produce or properly use insulin, which helps move glucose from your bloodstream into your cells.)
Eat up! Have beans as often as you can. Protein-rich beans and lentils are a smarter side dish than carb-filled pasta, rice or potatoes. Turn chickpeas (garbanzo beans) into a crunchy snack. Pat cooked beans dry, sprinkle with paprika, cumin or other spices, and roast in a 400°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned and crunchy.
Egg whites
Why they’re good: Egg whites are the perfect base for a diabetes-friendly meal because they’re low-calorie (17 calories apiece) and rich in high-quality protein, so they can help keep your weight and blood sugar level on an even keel. And they’re cholesterol-free, since all the cholesterol is in the yolk.
Eat up! Aim to have at least three or four egg-based meals a week. An omelet with 4 egg whites (or 1 whole egg plus 2 or 3 egg whites), plenty of vegetables and some reduced-fat cheese for breakfast will set you up for a day of even-keeled blood sugar.
Why they’re good: Nuts — all types, including peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, pecans and cashews — are primarily composed of heart-healthy fats and protein, two ingredients that keep blood sugar stable by slowing down the rate at which your body absorbs carbohydrates. Nuts also contain monounsaturated fat and, in some cases, omega-3s, both of which improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Since having type 2 diabetes also puts you at a higher risk for heart disease, nuts are a win-win.
Eat up! Snack on an ounce (one small handful) of your favorite nut daily — they all contain healthy fats.
What’s ailing you: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Why it’s good: Studies have found that women with PMS have lower levels of calcium around ovulation than women who don’t experience PMS symptoms, so amping up your intake of cheese and other dairy products is worth a shot if you’re prone to cramps and mood swings.
Eat up! Make sure you’re getting at least the recommended amount of calcium daily — experts say only 10 percent of us are getting it through diet alone! Women younger than 50 need 1,000 mg; if you’re 50 or older, 1,200 mg. Aim for three servings of calcium-rich foods like cheese and yogurt daily; women older than 50 should tack on a fourth serving. If you don’t think that’s possible, talk to your doctor about taking a calcium supplement.
Why it’s good: This fruit has three things going for it. First, it’s one of the best sources of manganese, and one study found that women with low manganese intakes were more likely to experience premenstrual mood swings, breast tenderness and cramping. Second, pineapple and other water-rich fruits and vegetables (think berries, citrus fruits, melon, cucumbers, bell peppers) can help banish bloat associated with your monthly cycle because their high water content helps flush out excess fluid. Lastly, deliciously sweet pineapple is a healthy way to indulge sugar cravings, which often intensify as your period approaches.
Eat up! In the seven to 10 days leading up to your period, have 1 cup of fresh pineapple daily. If it’s too expensive or underripe, see if your store carries frozen chunks or canned pineapple packed in 100 percent juice.
Why they’re good: Almonds are an excellent source of magnesium, another mineral that may provide some PMS relief. Studies have found that magnesium — in addition to helping relieve PMS headaches — can improve mood and lessen water retention in the week or two before you get your period.
Eat up! Enjoy an ounce of almonds (about 22 nuts) a day, and enrich your diet with other magnesium-rich foods like quinoa, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dark leafy greens, edamame and green beans.
What’s ailing you: Osteoporosis
Why it’s good: Broccoli gives you four bone-building nutrients in one convenient package: vitamins C and K, potassium and some calcium. Studies have found that getting enough of vitamins C and K is linked to having high bone density. Potassium (and other compounds found in produce) may reduce bone loss by acting as a buffer against metabolic acids, which some studies suggest contribute to the breakdown of bone tissue.
Eat up! Serve broccoli at least three times a week, and if you need extra incentive to dig in, sprinkle your florets with a bit of grated cheese (which adds more calcium!).
Skim milk
Why it’s good: Skim milk is an obvious choice for strong bones, since 1 cup contains 300 mg of calcium — about a third of the daily recommended amount.
Eat up! Work it into your daily diet by making oatmeal with a cup of skim milk instead of water, including 1 cup in a fruit smoothie, or having a mug of low-fat cocoa made with 1 cup of nonfat milk. Feel free to substitute soy or almond milk (as long as the carton says it’s fortified with calcium).
Why it’s good: If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet your body will start “borrowing” what it needs from the calcium stored in your bones. What’s great about yogurt is that it’s a good source of calcium and protein — and both are necessary for bone strength. Studies show that people who don’t get enough protein have lower bone density.
Eat up! Opt for Greek varieties over traditional yogurt to get twice as much protein (and go for non-fat).
What’s ailing you: Heart disease
Why it’s good: It’s rich in soluble fiber, which latches on to cholesterol compounds and helps carry them out of your body. Research shows that people who eat an average of 2.5 servings of whole grains (like oats) daily have a 21 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke than people who hardly eat any.
Eat up! Enjoy oatmeal at least three times a week, and spruce it up with berries, nuts, dried apricots, even peanut butter.
Sweet potato
Why it’s good: Sweet potatoes deliver more heart-healthy fiber than their white cousins, along with a hefty dose of potassium, a mineral that helps offset sodium’s negative effect on blood pressure.
Eat up! Try to eat at least two of these spuds a week. I like to mash them with a drop of skim milk, a pat of whipped butter and a bit of cinnamon.
Wild salmon
Why it’s good: Wild salmon is one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 fats, which can help lower triglycerides, raise levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and help reduce inflammation in the body — a factor that’s been linked to an increased risk of diabetes as well as heart disease. What’s more, numerous studies have found that people whose diets are high in omega-3s have a substantially lower risk of coronary heart disease, as well as sudden death from arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat).
Eat up! Aim to eat salmon at least twice a week. Although wild and farmed salmon contain similar levels of omega-3s, wild is lower in contaminants and has as much as four times the amount of vitamin D. But wild salmon is more expensive and not as widely available as farmed. If you can’t make room for it in your budget, you’re better off eating farmed salmon than going without it completely.
What’s ailing you: Migraine headaches
Why it’s good: Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraines, and 1 cup of whole grain quinoa, a protein-rich seed, provides 30 percent of the daily recommended amount of magnesium. Getting enough of this mineral seems to be particularly helpful in preventing menstrual migraines.
Eat up! Have a helping at least three times a week in place of rice, pasta or other starches. Turn quinoa into a pilaf with chopped carrots, enjoy it as a hot cereal (like oatmeal), or use it as a base for a stir-fry or chili.
Ground flaxseed
Why it’s good: Studies have shown that omega-3s — found in high amounts in flaxseeds — can help reduce the frequency, duration and severity of headaches, probably by reducing inflammation.
Eat up! Add a tablespoon a day to yogurt, oatmeal, cereal or smoothies. You can also mix ground flaxseed into meatballs or combine with whole-wheat bread crumbs for a crispy coating for baked chicken tenders.
Why it’s good: Spinach contains a good amount of magnesium as well as riboflavin, a B vitamin that may help reduce headache frequency and severity.
Eat up! Squeeze in at least three servings of spinach a week, and try to get more of other riboflavin-rich foods like lean beef, whole-grain cereals, mushrooms and asparagus. Also, speak to your doctor about whether riboflavin supplements might help.
This article is reprinted with permission from
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Summer recipes.

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Something very Different – Carrot Top (the green bit) Pesto.

Carrot top pesto ingredients

This made about 750ml of pesto, feel free to scale the recipe to suit what you have available.

  • 5 litres (a carrier bag full) of carrot tops
  • 1 bulb of garlic, split into cloves, peeled and loosly chopped
  • 75g whole almonds (it doesn’t matter whether they are blanched or not) Hazelnuts would work well too.
  • 75g parmesan, finely grated
  • 300ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Wash the leaves to get rid of any mud and grit. Pop them in a big saucepan and boil for 2-3 minutes until the leaves are just wilted. Strain in a colander and refresh with cold water to stop them cooking. Drain completely and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  2. Dry roast the whole almonds in a heavy based pan or in the microwave until they are nicely browned.
  3. Put the almonds, garlic and a small amount of the carrot leaves into a blender. The carrot leaves help the other ingredients process well. Blitz until the almonds and garlic are finely chopped.
  4. Add the rest of the carrot leaves and process until they are puréed. You’ll probably need to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times to ensure even processing. Add the parmesan cheese and process until well mixed, scraping down if needed.
  5. What you’re going to do next is to add the olive oil to make a fluid paste. Add it gradually, stopping to test consistency and scraping down the sides. You will get it to a point I call ‘falling over’, this is when the pesto gently falls into the blades of the processor as it turns.
  6. Season to taste and that’s it.

The pesto will keep for a few days in the fridge. I’ve frozen some in ice cube trays for a winter treat.

Easy Pezzy Recipe – Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a classic summer dish that makes great use of veggie patch “gluts”. It can fairly be described as “fiddly”, but I think it’s worth it. This serves four. I never like to freeze tomato-dishes for long – or for that matter potato dishes as they ‘break-down’ and get watery. (I call it the Deadly Nightshade Dribbles)   However this stays good for a few days in the coldest compartment of the refrigerator. Meat and/or croutons can be added later but remember the secret to goor ratatouille is to cook all ingredients separately.


• 5 super ripe tomatoes
• 3 courgettes – cut in to slices
• 2 aubergines – cut in to chunks
• 2 red or yellow peppers – sliced
• 1 onion, peeled and sliced
• 2 garlic cloves , peeled and crushed
• 5 tbsp olive oil
• bunch of basil
• 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 tsp sugar

Start by doing all your choppin’ and slicin’. Score a cross on the base of each tomato, then put them into a bowl. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and leave for half a minute, then pour off the water. Cover them with cold water and leave to cool – the skin should come off easily now. Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and roughly chop.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a sauté pan and brown the aubergines on each side, then set aside. Next up brown the courgettes in a little more oil and set aside. Then do the same with the peppers. Cook the onion for 5 minutes, add the garlic and fry for a further min. Stir in the red wine vinegar and sugar, then tip in the tomatoes and half the basil. Return the vegetables to the pan with some salt and pepper and cook for 5 mins. Garnish with the rest of the basil and serve with some crusty bread.

And to Follow;-

 Frozen Yogurt. So easy the kids can do it. I suppose any fruit can be used. I used to love frozen citroen yogurt.


Makes about 4 1/2 cups

This simple homemade cherry frozen yogurt is made with fresh cherries and rich (yet non-fat) Greek yogurt, and no ice-cream maker is required.


1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
2 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Place cherries, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and purée. Transfer to a freezer-safe bowl and cover. Whisk mixture vigorously every 30 minutes until just frozen throughout, about 2 to 3 hours. (Whisking helps to break up the ice that forms when freezing.) The frozen yogurt is ready when it’s too thick to whisk. Stir with a spatula and store in an airtight container. This homemade frozen yogurt is best enjoyed the same day you make it.


Per serving (based on 4 servings): 200 calories (0 from fat), 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 45mg sodium, 42g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 37g sugar), 11g protein

Recipe of the Week  2nd Aug ’11 – Broad Bean Hummus

I’ve spoken to quite a few GIYers this year about broad beans and many of them don’t seem to like the taste very much – I have to admit that this year, I’ve wondered whether it’s a good idea to grow so many of them (they have a tendency to be bitter).  BUT, here’s a great recipe from the latest series of River Cottage Every Day for broad bean hummus – tastes amazing and can be frozen.  I plan to process all of my remaining crop of broad beans in to this wonderful dip.


  • 400g shelled broad beans
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed with a little salt
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed or extra virgin olive oil
  • lemon juice

Bring the broad beans to the boil in a large pan of water.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes until tender, then drain. Set aside to cool, then slip the beans out of their skins.  Whiz in a blender with the garlic, oil, a good squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Process to a thick, slightly coarse purée, adding more oil if it seems too thick and dry. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed.

Pee Your Way to Greenery.

Posted on

Public Urinal Feeds Plants With Pee

by Sami Grover, Carrboro, NC, USA  on 06.20.11

when nature calls urinal image
Image credit: Tuvie/Eddie Gandelman

The idea of urine separation to ward off peak fertilizer is not exactly new. But while some of us get to pee on our garden mulch, or urinate on our compost heaps, infrastructure for large-scale urine collection in an urban environment still seems a ways off. But here’s a more decentralized option from designer Eddie Gandelman in the form of a public urinal that filters pee on site, and uses it to feed plants.

Posted over at design site Tuvie, the When Nature Calls urinal is in the concepting stages right now. While us TreeHuggers may focus on the tantalizing idea of resource efficiency and offsetting fertilizer needs, the primary motivation of the designer seems to be making public toilets a more pleasant place to be, and pee:

By setting up the restroom in pod format with 4 urinals on every pod, the users can enjoy more space and privacy. This system as well paves way for both peeing and watering the plants. Approved by a professor of toxicology, the project employs 3 processes. The urine thus collected is filtered, which is then used for the plants. Peeing, besides being a waste process becomes a nurturing one, which appears to be a great advantage here. This idea will certainly make the very notion of urination a better experience.

We’re not the only ones to wonder if this could be taken a step further though. Michael Hines over at Trend Hunter writes about When Nature Calls, suggesting that restaurants and bars could could grow vegetables or fruits, cutting “costs and carbon at the same time.” Of course some fairly careful monitoring would need to be done to ensure that the systems’ filter mechanisms can get rid of potential pathogens or medications. And whether or not the public would be ready to accept such a direct and immediate connection between human waste and food remains to be seen—however safe it proved to be.

4 X Harvest of Tomatoes.

Tomatoes Love Urine: 4x increase in Yield!

Research shows a huge benefit from using urine as fertilizer.

Sami Grover

By Sami Grover
Fri Sep 18, 2009 15:55

tomato plants photoSami Grover

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It looks like my DIY biochar/urine experiment may have been a good idea. A very good idea. According to, researchers from Finland are claiming that tomatoes fertilized with urine show a four-fold increase in crop yields. And it doesn’t end there – the same tomatoes also showed higher beta-carotene than unfertilized ones, and much more protein than traditionally fertilized plants. A panel of (presumably unsqueamish) blind tasters also attested to the fact that the flavor was just as good too.

In a way it’s no surprise – studies have already shown that urine in the garden is a good thing, and Josh has given us some guidance on how to garden with pee. But a four-fold increase in fruits?! That’s huge.

And for those wondering why I’m mixing urine with charcoal – there’s some evidence to suggest thatDIY biochar can help retain nutrients for longer, and it can also provide a habitat for important microorganisms. I’ll let you know if it works out for me.