Buckwheat Kasha, Those WOW Mushrooms & Brussels Sprouts

Kasha (aka buckwheat) is not related to wheat, is gluten-free, and come from the sorrel and rhubarb family (it’s not even a grass). Rich in the B vitamins, which nourishes our adrenals, buckwheat is hearty, filling, and great survival food. It has been said that those who ate buckwheat after the Chernobyl incident fared much better because buckwheat supposedly pulls excess radiation out of the body.

Don’t like mushrooms? You might fall in love with them here because they taste so great! These medicinal mushrooms are said to enhance the immune system, regulate blood pressure, glucose, insulin, and more. The Chinese revere shiitakes and maitakes as nourishing and increasing vitality. Maitakes are said to be redeemed their weight in silver.

Cranberry Maple Fig Filling

This makes a great pie or tart filling (for a raw or prebaked crust).  I love it alongside my Walnut Surprise Cookies too (see this recipe and some of the variations on this theme in our Blue Ribbon Cookbook: From Our Kitchen to Yours!) It’s also a wonderful chutney-like “compote” served with a dollop of whipped cream, ice cream, coconut ice cream, etc. Easy, breezy to make. Minutes….

Just three figs are said to provide a whopping 30 grams of good carbs along with B vitamins, calcium and potassium. They’re good for muscle function and bone health, and a rich source of soluble pectin fiber.

L-Theanine from Green Tea Helps Eight-Year-Olds Sleep, College Students Focus, Grown Men Relax

L-theanine has been a "big deal" in the natural health world for a number of years now, as a nutraceutical "chill pill" that calms you down without making you drowsy.  It helps you relax, but leaves you alert. Unlike a lot of pharmaceutical calmatives, it also appears to help learning, and protects the brain.

Despite all that, I never wanted to write about theanine until recently. I just wasn't ready to jump on the bandwagon of yet another new thing, largely because I already had my herbs, and I trusted my herbs. And why would I want to mess around with this newfangled nutrient if my herbs already worked?

Well, it's time to jump on the bandwagon. For one, theanine really does work, quite well in fact… Not only do I hear it from customers and other healthcare practitioners, but every few months, it seems, there's another clinical trial.

And it has side benefits, as you'll read below. 

Remembering Summer: Corn, Bean and Cucumber “Ceviche”

Ceviche typically means raw seafood pickled or marinated in lime or lemon juice with olive oil and hot peppers. Here, we’re marinating veggies and stealing the word because we like the concept, the way it sounds!

Make sure your corn is organic, or make sure your favorite farmer has not used genetically-modified (GM) seed. GM food is being linked, more and more, to illnesses, allergies and digestive disorders. Nor do you want the pesticides used on GM crops, glyphosates. Why not make sure all your ingredients are organic?

Science Fiction and GMOs

In March of this year, Whole Foods Market announced a commitment to full GMO transparency by giving their suppliers five years to source non-GMO ingredients, or to clearly label products with ingredients containing GMOs.

Well, that’s good for the rest of us because Whole Foods has clout. As a national, natural products supermarket chain, when Whole Foods says something, many manufacturers jump.

What are GMOs anyway? They’re Genetically Modified Organisms that result when genes from one species of bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or even humans, is forced into the DNA of another species. This does not occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. GMOs are like science fiction!

Health Myth: I Can’t Take Vitamin K if I’m on Coumadin

Probably the number one safety concern I hear from customers is the one where you're supposed to strictly avoid vitamin K – and especially supplements containing vitamin K – if you're also taking the drug Warfarin (Coumadin). As with many misunderstandings, there's a kernel of truth here. But it's still a misunderstanding! Not only is it okay to get a little vitamin K every day from a multivitamin or other supplement, it actually helps the Warfarin work better.  

Let me explain.

Vitamin K, among the many things it does, helps blood to clot.[1] Warfarin, on the other hand, interferes with vitamin K with the intention of keeping blood from clotting. So, at first glance, it certainly looks like a bad idea to combine the two! 

Bear with me.

Kelp Fettuccine with Nori Cashews & Broccoli

Kelp noodles are a gluten-free, guilt-free “pasta.” Here’s what Sea Tangle, the company which makes kelp noodles under their name and under the Goldmine name, says:“Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, they are fat-free, gluten-free, very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles…. Best of all, no cooking is required. Rinse and add to any dish. They are ready to eat!”

How many calories do these puppies contain? The entire 12 ounce bag contains only 18 calories. Wow.