Eating fermented vegetables can be a life changing experience as you notice your moods, health and digestion improve. I remember in the past I suffered from severe hay fever and skin allergies. I was also told that I had candida which is the ‘not so good’ bacteria overpowering the good one in the gut. This was the time I knew I had to make some radical changes and take responsibility for my health and well-being.

 

Benefits of Eating Fermented Foods

Fermented foods like Kombucha, cultured vegetables, kefir and nut seed cheeses are extremely delicious and also rich in healthy bacteria that are necessary for good health. The benefits of eating fermented foods are endless but here are some important reasons to get you started.

1) Our gut has been named our second brain, when we eat fermented foods we can increase the good bacteria in our gut and start to trust our gut instincts more.

2) Our gut manufactures about 95% of our body’s serotonin which is known as the happiness hormone. If our gut lacks the good bacteria, we start experiencing depression and anxiety.

3) Fermented foods are also rich in enzymes and can increase the vitamin content of the vegetable. For example, Microbial cultures create B vitamins like folic acid, niacin, thiamine etc.

The best part about culturing your own vegetables is that it is inexpensive and so easy to do. All you need is a jar, a vegetable (i.e. cabbage), salt and clean water (spring, mineral, filtered, or distilled water). Always use organic vegetables when fermenting and unchlorinated water.

Fermented Butternut Squash Recipe

Ingredients:
:arrow: 1/2 butternut squash (shredded)
:arrow: 1 tablespoon sea salt
:arrow: 1/2 liter water (filtered, bottled water, distilled etc.) NO tap water

1)    Use a mandolin or knife to cut the pumpkin into thin long slices. Reserve two larger pieces to seal at the end.

2)    Soak the pumpkin slices along with the salt and water in a bowl for 10 mins. Massage the pumpkin with the salt water for about 5 mins to start the fermentation process. This step is optional.

3)    Put the pumpkin in a glass jar and keep pressing downward with your fist or a wooden tool so that no air enters between each layer

4)    Pour the salt water in the jar containing the pumpkin until it reaches the brim and covers the vegetables

5)    Place the two larger pumpkin pieces on top of the pressed down pumpkin but make sure they are soaked under the salt water.

6)    Seal tightly and place in a dark place between 3 to 7 days. Try the pumpkin after 3 days and continue to let it ferment until it reaches your desired acidity taste.

7)    I usually add a plastic bag underneath the jars because as the bacteria is growing in the vegetable, and the vegetables themselves are also producing water. It means that eventually it will create so much pressure that the water will start to seep out of the lid

To make sauerkraut, use a cabbage and follow the same steps as with the fermented pumpkin.  Enjoy!

 

DorothyMy name’s Dorothy.
I’m a qualified teacher, author, traveler, ‘nutrition nerd’, blogger, creator, knowledge seeker and dancer. I love sharing knowledge and inspiring others to thrive and be happy.

MY WEBSITE ADDRESS IS : www.naturalvita.net

 

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salad

Salads are a staple of a raw food diet.  They’re packed with things that are good for you, easy to put together, and portable.  You can prepare several salads at once and have access to them throughout the week, or you can prepare one in a hurry for a quick lunch or dinner.  If you’re just tossing together a basic salad or grabbing a bag of salad mix and tossing it onto a plate, however, you’re probably going to get bored in a hurry–so mix it up!  There are plenty of things that you can do to your salad to keep you from getting in a rut.

Start with the greens.  You have more “green” options than just the iceberg lettuce that typically comes in prepackaged salad bags.  Romaine lettuce is a rich green that has a heavier taste than iceberg lettuce.  One cup of romaine lettuce contains about 82% of your daily vitamin A needs and about 3% of the iron you need to consume.  Spinach fan?  Raw baby spinach on your salad has a little bit less vitamin A, but has a vitamin C bonus (14% of your daily needs) and about 4% of your daily iron requirements.  Kale has a little bit heavier taste, but it has the nutrients to compensate, with enough vitamin C in one cup to more than cover your daily needs and more vitamin A than any of your other leafy greens.

You don’t have to pack them all in one salad (though you certainly could).  Instead, mix and match so that you’re frequently changing the appearance and texture of what’s on vegetable saladyour plate.  It will help keep you from getting bored as well as providing a greater variety of nutrients.

Once you’ve built your salad base from one or a combination of leafy greens, it’s time to move on to your salad toppers.

Add a pop of color.  You’re more likely to eat food that appears attractive, and our brains tend to be attracted to color.  Try slices of red, yellow, and orange pepper; purple onions; red tomatoes; or bright orange carrots.  Adding color to your salad will add a nutrient boost to your food and make it prettier, so you’re more excited about eating it.  Remember your mom telling you to try to eat a rainbow of different foods?  That hasn’t changed just because you’re a grownup!  Foods of the same color tend to contain similar nutrients, and they’re all different.

Don’t forget your protein!  Leafy greens already contain some protein, but you’ll probably want to add in a 

Consider adding a fruit.  When you think of salads, you often think of vegetables, vegetables, and more vegetables, but a few pieces of fruit can add some much-needed flavor and variety to your salad.  Try an apple, a few strawberries or blueberries, or a couple of orange slices to mix it up and add a flavor punch that will have you looking forward to your next salad.

Don’t forget the dressing!  There are all sorts of dressings that are compatible with a raw foods diet.  Mashed avocado makes a great base for a creamy salad dressing, if you’re used to heavier dressings like ranch; if you prefer an oil-based dressing, a little olive oil mixed with some salt and pepper may be all you need.

For someone who want to start with a simple salad recipe click this article, my kids enjoyed it so much specially with the dressings. 

Salad doesn’t have to be boring, and it doesn’t have to be the same thing day after day.  By mixing it up a little and adding in things that you’ll look forward to eating, that quick salad that you grab at lunch could quickly become your favorite part of your day.

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March 3rd, 2015

Take Your Raw Food Breakfast To Go

Written by Ka Sundance

Raw food Breakfast

Raw food breakfast is better than sandwiches,  pancakes and processed food for breakfast won’t give you the energy you need for the day. Instead, it will bog you down because your body will need to devote extra energy into digestion. To rev up your metabolism and increase your energy throughout the day, try eating raw food for breakfast tomorrow morning. The good news is that you can tweak your favorite breakfast recipes to incorporate raw food, meaning you can still have pancakes! Fresh fruit and juices are good options for a raw food breakfast, but we’ve gathered up some alternatives that are just as easy to prepare and will keep you energized all week long. The best part is these can all be prepared ahead of time, say on a Sunday afternoon, so that you can take them with you to work or school without spending any time cooking on your busy weekday mornings!

 

Banana Pancakes (Adapted from The Best of Raw Food)

Make a batch of these on Sunday for an easy grab-and-go breakfast throughout the week! This recipe is for one pancake, so adjust accordingly to make a larger batch.

Serves 1

Ingredientsbananas-04

:arrow: 1 banana

:arrow:2 T coconut meal or dried coconut flakes

:arrow:1-2 t Cinnamon

Directions

Mash the banana until all the lumps are gone and the texture is smooth. Then add the coconut meal or dried coconut flakes and cinnamon. (Adjust the amount of cinnamon to your taste).

Flatten banana/coconut dough into pancakes.

Leave pancakes out in direct sunlight for about 1 hour. Then flip them over and leave for another hour. If you prefer, you can also cook these pancakes using a dehydrator or oven, but the drying process will take longer.

 

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oatmeal (Adapted from Rawmazing)

This is another great grab-and-go breakfast that can be made ahead of time and in larger batches if you want to have enough for the week. The ingredient list looks long, but this is comprised mainly of different delicious seasonings. It only takes a few minutes to throw this together for a tasty breakfast to rev you up on a busy weekday morning!

Serves 1

Ingredients

:arrow:1 cup raw oatsPumpkin oatmeal

:arrow:2 tablespoons chia seeds

:arrow:1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

:arrow:1/2 teaspoon ginger

:arrow:1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

:arrow:1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

:arrow:1 1/2  cups almond milk (or other favorite non-dairy milk)

:arrow:1/2 cup pumpkin purée (from a sugar pumpkin)

Directions:

1. Stir oats, chia seeds, and spices together in a medium sized bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together almond milk and pumpkin purée.

3. Stir almond milk mixture into oat mixture. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.

This tastes great cold, but if you prefer a hot breakfast you can cook the oat mixture on your stovetop on low in the morning.

 

Vanilla Yogurt (Adapted from The Best of Raw Food)

Eating a raw food diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a sweet treat like vanilla yogurt! Whip up a batch of this and then add in extras like your favorite fruit, chia seeds, and/or raw granola:

Serves 1

Ingredients

:arrow:1/2 C coconut water (from fresh coconut)

:arrow:1 C coconut meat (from same fresh coconut)

:arrow:1/2 t vanilla extract

Directions

Open coconut with a cleaver. Pour coconut water in the jar of a high speed blender and some or all of the coconut meat. Blend well until mixture reaches the consistency of yogurt. Add vanilla extract to sweeten your yogurt, or leave it plain if you prefer!

Note: While this makes a great option for breakfast, it can also be used to create raw ice cream as a sweet treat. Simply pour this into your ice cream maker and add some fruit for a delicious raw dessert!

We also want to share our Vegan pancake recipe for you, additional foods you can introduce to your family.
Click here for the article and video.

Raw food breakfast doesn’t need to be difficult to make or eat. The above delicious recipes will make it easy for you to enjoy a raw food breakfast any day of the week.

 

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February 28th, 2015

Stay Healthy with Vitamin C

Written by Ka Sundance

Vitamin C, Stay Healthy

Staying healthy through cold and flu season can feel like an impossible challenge.  As that season is finally nearing its end, you may nonetheless feel like you and your kids are walking through a world covered with nasty little germs that are out to get you.  You can’t wrap your kids in bubbles (as much as you might like to), and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to keep them inside at home until spring, but there are a few things that you can do to improve their odds of staying healthy–and adding vitamin C to your diet and theirs is at the top of the list.

Vitamin C has plenty of benefits.  In addition to being a wonderful cold and flu fighter that will help boost your immune system, preventing you from getting sick in the first place or reducing the length of your illness, vitamin C is also known to boost brain function, rebuild tissue and blood vessels, and increase your body’s ability to process calcium.

But where are you supposed to get it?  What foods are highest in vitamin C, and how do you add them into your diet successfully?

Berries, berries, berries.  Strawberries, in particular, are known to have high levels of vitamin C–one serving holds about half of your daily needs.  Of course, the amount you should be taking in increases if you are or have Berries been sick.

Citrus fruits.  Oranges are known for being high in vitamin C, but the rest of the citrus family isn’t exactly lacking–and in fact, grapefruits may actually contain more vitamin C than oranges!  Citrus juice like orange and grapefruit may also contain high levels of vitamin C, but make sure that you’re not getting more sugar than fruit in your juice.

Kiwi.  This tiny little fruit packs a heavy vitamin punch, with even more vitamin C than an orange!

Fruit is probably the easiest source of vitamin C to incorporate into your diet or your kids’.  It can be eaten just like it is or blended into a smoothie and enjoyed on the spot–no need to prep, season, or add anything!  However, there’s another source of vitamin C that you should consider in your balanced diet:

Vegetables!  You often don’t think of vegetables as being high in vitamin C, probably because your mind turns to fruits first, but there are plenty of vegetables that carry a vitamin C punch!  Peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower all carry high levels of vitamin C.  Enjoy them raw, on their own or with a homemade hummus or other dip.  Also, don’t forget about dark, leafy greens.  If you’re fighting a cold or flu bug, a big salad might be one of the best things you could do for yourself.

Staying healthy with Vitamin C is very helpful specially with the transition of  season. My kids and I get them from all the fruits and vegetables we eat everyday. Katie and I make sure we provide them with these healthy foods to boost their immune system.  If you want your kids to stay healthy, we want to share our tried and tested juice recipe which my kids enjoy everytime. Click here for the article and video.

Don’t forget to stay healthy with vitamin C.

 

 

 

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Healthy bacteria are important because they help us to digest & absorb nutrients, vitamins and minerals from our food properly. The beneficial bacteria live in our gut and ensure that we maintain a strong immune system.

If you suffer from problems like gas, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, skin rashes, headaches and other symptoms after eating a meal (apart from eating the wrong kind of food) you may also not be digesting your food properly. A fully functioning digestive system is very important if we want to break down our food properly and absorb the nutrients from it. This is where good bacteria come in! Probiotics are healthy bacteria that live and recreate themselves naturally in the intestines in healthy people. They help our digestive system function at its best.

Why is it that we lack good bacteria in your digestive system?

When we consume things like antibiotics, we kill the good bacteria as well as the pathogenic bacteria in our digestive system.

We have all been programmed to believe it’s safe to consume chlorinated tap water and this is by far the most popular method used to kill bacteria in water today. However, chlorinated water also destroys the normal gut flora in our intestines. This means that it destroys part of our immune system because 80% of our immune system is in our gut. It’s also been linked to clogged arteries and destroys vitamin E in the body. This is why it’s so important to eat foods which are rich in the good bacteria because our normal gut flora is constantly attacked by pollutants.

Our immune system

Our immune system is a key part of being healthy. The immune system can also be described as our army or defence system. It protects us against infections and toxins. A healthy immune system is a key part of well-being. 80% of our immune system is in our gut. If the healthy bacteria in our gut is not enough we will easily fall sick and have a host of other illnesses and allergies.

Our good bacteria today is continuously attacked by antibiotics, chlorinated water, sugar, stress, birth control pills and other environmental factors. It is for this reason that a lot of people today suffer from digestive issues. Adding good bacteria in our intestinal tract daily is absolutely essential for our health and well-being.

The benefits of fermented foods?

Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir & raw nut cheese are not only delicious and a wonderful addition to your diet; they’re also rich in probiotics that are necessary for our health. They are a very affordable way of getting the good bacteria in our system. Personally, I love fermenting pumpkin and cabbage. But you can ferment any kind of vegetable, from cauliflower to cucumbers and even yams. Coconut water is another delicious fermented drink that you can add to your diet and lifestyle and it is delicious too.

If you prefer to take probiotics in pill form, there are many options in your health food store.

 

DorothyMy name’s Dorothy.
I’m a qualified teacher, author, traveller, ‘nutrition nerd’, blogger, creator, knowledge seeker and dancer. I love sharing knowledge and inspiring others to thrive and be happy.

MY WEBSITE ADDRESS IS : www.naturalvita.net

 

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