Is Cabbage a Superfood?

Cabbage can increase the immunity level of our body, help us to prevent anemia and swelling; it can cure hangovers, some joints diseases and even provide healthy beautiful nails, hair and skin.

Cabbage can increase the immunity level of our body, help us to prevent anemia and swelling; it can cure hangovers, some joints diseases and even provide healthy beautiful nails, hair and skin. Most people hate cabbage. Most people think it’s boring, hard to digest and generally a bad tasting vegetable when in fact the humble cabbage is full of wonders! Ancient Greeks used it as an antidote for mushroom poisoning, to heal bruises or as a laxative; ancient Romans used it to cure hangovers… as the years were passing by we discovered more and more about the health benefits of cabbage.

Cabbage is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals including a high content of vitamin K and C, folate, iron and vitamin B6 to name just a few of the common ones. It’s a perfect weight loss food – low in calories, high in fiber and packed with necessary nutrients. Eating cabbage can help detox our body, lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar; cabbage has anti-inflammatory, probiotic and antioxidant properties; it promotes brain health and can improve our defenses against neural degenerative conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Ideally, cabbage should be eaten as close to a raw state as possible. Cabbage juice can truly work wonders (you will need about 2kg of cabbage for 1l of juice) and our body assimilates it within minutes. It’s advised to drink 200ml of cabbage juice about 30 minutes before a meal three times a day (if we feel bloated adding carrot or spinach juice can help to relieve this discomfort). The juice must be fresh so making a large amount in advance isn’t advised. Also, the cabbage itself must be “as healthy” as possible, so go organic.

Eating and drinking cabbage juice is one thing but there are also many benefits from using raw cabbage on its own in a different way. Cabbage leaves can help to relieve pain from our body, they work as an antiseptic removing toxins from the skin. They can treat joint pains, burns, frostbites, ulcers, blisters, cold sores, insect bites or hard healing wounds. To prepare a cabbage compress, take a few large, fresh cabbage leaves and gently crush them with a rolling pin until you can smell it (I know it might sound weird but once you do it, you will know exactly what I mean at that precise moment). Then apply it to the affected area. Heating up the leaves before application can intensified the effect – you can heat them up by placing the leaves on a warm radiator or if you’re lucky in some direct sun for a few minutes.

Another use for cabbage is a beauty mask – it has anti-aging properties and if used regularly can really benefit our skin. To prepare a cabbage beauty mask mix 2 tablespoons of fresh cabbage juice with 2 tablespoons of apple juice, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of fresh yeast. Apply to your face and neck and leave on for 20-25 minutes.

I don’t know about you but I am totally sold on cabbage!

Are you a cabbage lover?

 

For some more cabbage related inspiration check out:

Superfood – All Things Coconut!

Who would have guessed that this rather sad looking hairy brown fruit or that a bold green one, when talking about a young one, is in fact a superfood.

Coconut has it all.

According to nutritionist Zoë Harcombe ‘coconuts are a perfect example of a natural, real food. They contain all the macronutrients – carbohydrate, fat and protein. As well as being absolutely delicious and full of natural fat, coconuts are a rich source of minerals, including copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and selenium.’

Who would have guessed that this rather sad looking hairy brown fruit or that a bold green one, when talking about a young one, is in fact a superfood. Coconut has it all. According to nutritionist Zoë Harcombe ‘coconuts are a perfect example of a natural, real food. They contain all the macronutrients – carbohydrate, fat and protein. As well as being absolutely delicious and full of natural fat, coconuts are a rich source of minerals, including copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and selenium.’Lately I’ve been obsessed with coconuts, which is reflected in my recipes… I bake with it, I cook with it and I eat it raw 🙂 So imagine my surprise when one day a giant parcel arrived at my door step full of coconut goodies! A box full of totally different products with one thing in common… they were all made entirely from 100% coconut and absolutely nothing else!

The parcel was from Coconut Merchant, they stock all things coconut and I simply love their selection from such common products as desiccated coconut through items such as coconut oils, flour, milk, water, chips, syrup, sugar all the way to jam, yes that’s right coconut jam!

When you Google “benefits of coconut” you will be hit with 1000+ articles claiming lots of wonders:

  • It helps prevent obesity
  • It helps your immune system
  • It improves heart health
  • It improves digestion
  • It’s high in dietary fiber
  • It has low GI index
  • It’s gluten-free
  • It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-parasitic properties

I don’t know if they are all true, I am not a scientist, but I am sure at least some, if not all of them, are.

For all I know from my own experience coconut products helped me to care for my two dogs… coconut oil, despite being an oil and full of fat has helped Lilly with her weight loss and only recently I cured Bunk’s giant hot spot only with coconut oil (it was a bit tricky as he wanted to lick it all the time but it worked without the need of a vet visit, antibiotics or other manmade gimmicks). After using it for over a year for the dogs I did a bit of research and decided that coconut products are obviously not only for dogs and we should benefit from it too… this is how my coconut obsession began.

Cooking with coconut based ingredients is tricky at times, especially when we are talking about coconut flour; it really likes moisture so it can’t be substituted 1:1 with regular flour… developing new recipes with it takes a bit of thinking, time and countless trial and error attempts but I think it’s worth it as the results are mouth-watering to say the least.

Now, I want to experiment with coconut sugar, which to be honest I didn’t even know existed. I use coconut flower nectar which has a liquid form but now I actually have a solid sugar. Yes, it’s still a sugar so it can’t be used in sugar free cooking but it’s unrefined, without artificial additives and it has a much lower GI index… I am looking forward to actually trying it in my cooking.

Do you love coconut?

Have you ever used anything besides desiccated coconut in cooking or baking?

Aronia Muffins – Gluten & Sugar Free

Aronia Muffins – Gluten & Sugar FreeThese gluten, wheat and sugar free muffins with added antioxidants rich aronia berries, called by some the healthiest fruit in the world, are a perfect home baked healthy treat. Packed with good ingredients they offer a guilt free treat whilst improving your health through better nutrition.

Aronia, or so called chokeberries, come in several different varieties – red, black and purple – but they all offer a long, long list of health benefits and well deserve being labelled a superfood.

If you have never tried aronia berries before you should give them a go. There are like no other fruits; their flavour is complex and quite hard to describe. They aren’t sweet, yet they aren’t sour either; they are moist and juicy yet they leave your mouth dry just like after eating a lemon… they are truly one of a kind.

If you fancy gluten and sugar free muffins and don’t have a pack of aronia berries to hand, simple replace them with any other barriers that you love.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 100g coconut flour
  • 65g organic, virgin cold pressed coconut oil
  • 5tbsp raw natural honey
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 150g aronia berries
  • Stevia sweetener (or icing sugar) for decoration (optional)

 

Aronia Muffins – Gluten & Sugar FreeMethod:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare 12 piece muffin tray by lining it with paper or silicone muffin casings.

Measure the coconut oil and put it in a small bowl and place in the microwave. Microwave for 10 seconds, than rest for 30 seconds; then microwave again for 10 seconds… after two sessions the oil should be almost melted (depending on the power of your microwave, alternatively melt on a very low heat in a small saucepan)… use a fork to move it around to assure it is entirely melted.

In another small bowl mix the coconut flour, salt and baking powder.

Place the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk until blended, then add all the other ingredients – wet and dry, except for the berries and whisk again until everything is well combined.

Gently fold in the berries and spoon your mixture into the pre-prepared cases. The batter will be extremely runny almost like a liquid but don’t worry it should be like this. You will have enough mixture for 10 large muffins or 12 medium ones, more of a cupcake shape… the choice is yours.

Bake in the earlier preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick pushed in to the middle comes out clean and dry.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes before moving them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Aronia Muffins - Gluten & Sugar FreeOnce cooled completely sprinkle with dusting sugar – either processed or a stevia based sweetener – serve and enjoy!

Have you ever baked with aronia before?

These gluten, wheat and sugar free muffins with added antioxidants rich aronia berries, called by some the healthiest fruit in the world, are a perfect home baked healthy treat. Packed with good ingredients they offer a guilt free treat whilst improving your health through better nutrition.

Discover the power of honey & #win with Love Marlenka

Discover the power of honeyLast month I shared with you my thoughts on healthy sweets (if you missed it, you can read it here); we covered sugar intake and the importance of natural ingredients but we didn’t really go into any details regarding the power of honey… well today I want to talk about honey!

Discover the power of honeyWe have no interest in a sweet substance that is similar to honey; no we want the real deal we want real honey. You would be surprised at what some people / companies will do to benefit from honey. Some types of honey are extremely valuable and have many great benefits as you probably know… so surprise surprise some people fake it! Yes that’s right, not only are Nike trainers or boutique perfumes getting their “aftermarket” copies… apparently honey is too. If you want to know more about choosing the right high value honey for yourself you might want to read: Manuka Honey – How to buy a real deal.

But back to my main topic… honey… this natural super-food made by bees has an awful lot to offer. To start with natural honey is… well, natural! There are no weird E number additions, no fake colorants; nothing manmade should ever be found inside natural wild honey.

Honey is a great source of carbs, which are necessary in every diet. As a natural sugar it is absorbed quickly and offers an almost immediate energy boost enhancing our performance and reducing any muscle fatigue.

It is also a natural sweetener. It can be used as a sugar replacement, which will provide our body with greater benefits than any processed white sugar.

Honey also works wonders in the world of skin care. As it attracts and retains moisture exceptionally well it makes a perfect ingredient for any moisturizing product. But that’s not all; you actually don’t have to buy honey based products to benefit from it; just use some pure honey. For example have you ever experienced dry chapped lips, redundant question I know… well next time you do, simply massage some honey into them and you will see great results in no time at all.

Last but not least honey can be helpful as a medicine as it has antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. For centuries our ancestors were using it as a home remedy to “fix” many problems. Are you suffering from a sore throat? Honey to the rescue! Got a cut or burn? Treat it with honey to speed up the natural healing process. Can’t sleep? Drink a cup of milk with added honey and your times of counting endless sheep will be over.

Honey really is wonderful! And to add to all its other great benefits it also taste great 🙂

Love Marlenka is embracing the power of honey by using it to create 100% natural – no preservatives, synthetic colouring or thickeners – delicious tasting sweet treats.

Discover the power of honey & #win with Love MarlenkaIn celebration of the launch of Napoleonky, which are the newest addition to their treat range, Love Marlenka kindly offered a selection of their honey based treats to one of my readers.

To enter the giveaway and be in with a chance of winning selection of Love Marlenka sweets including their new Napoleonky simply complete the Gleam below.

#win a selection of Love Marlenka honey treats

T&C:
1. Open to UK readers only.
2. This giveaway is sponsored by Love Marlenka.
3. There will be 1 winner chosen at random from all valid entries by Gleam.
4. The winner will receive a selection of Love Marlenka 100% natural treats including the new Napoleonky. The prize will only be fulfilled by Love Marlenka.
5. The winner will have 7 working days to claim the prize, after this time, a new winner will be selected.
6. Closing date for the giveaway is Sunday 07/06/2015 at 23:59pm, any entry made after this time will not be counted.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions
Loquax – Home of The Lucky Duck
SuperLucky Blog Giveaways Linky
Competition Hunter – UK Competitions Community

What’s Cooking – Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Today I would love to share with you a recipe for Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup. This recipe comes from “The Superfood Kitchen” cookbook by Parragon Books.

What’s Cooking – Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

What are superfoods you might ask?

Well, superfoods are nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for your health and well-being.

“The Superfood Kitchen” cookbook is packed full of recipes helping you get the most out of your food. You can pick from breakfast, lunch and snacks, main courses as well as the essential desserts and baking selection. Each one of the 50 recipes included in the book have clear indications of its calories and other nutritional values.

I started my discovery of this cookbook with their Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup recipe. We totally loved this soup and I am confident you will enjoy it as well.

So, let’s get cooking 🙂

This recipe will serve 4. You will need 10 minutes to get things ready plus an additional 35 minutes of cooking time.

Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup - Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 red peppers; deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 onion; finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove; finely chopped
  • 300g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp cold water
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock (homemade obviously the preferred option)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh Basil (optional)
  • 250g fresh tomatoes; finely chopped (optional)

Method:

Put the oil, water, peppers, garlic and onion in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

If you are using fresh tomatoes this would be the perfect time to add them then cover with a lid and simmer for additional 10 minutes.

If not… Then still just cover with a lid and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Add tinned tomatoes and stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Serve garnished with fresh basil if you choose to use it.

Optionally you can add the fresh basil into the soup together with the tinned tomatoes and stock; it will change the final taste of the soup (not sure if it will make it better… I would guess the basil taste to be more pronounced, we didn’t cook it this way so I can’t comment with authority).

What’s Cooking - Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

So, why this soup is so special?

All peppers are rich in vitamins A, C and k, but red peppers are simply bursting with them. Antioxidant vitamin A and C help to prevent cell damage, cancer and diseases related to aging and they support the immune function. And best of all one serving is less than 100calories 😉

What are your favourite superfoods?

***
The Superfood Kitchen
ISBN 978-1-4723-6454-8
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2014
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 128
RRP: £8
Paperback; perfect bound

*I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.