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Archive for August, 2011

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Continuing with the Culinary Herbs Useful to Diabetics series, here are some more recipes! Food IS Medicine, just as Hippocrates, the father of western medicine said. Indian Ayurveda – humanity’s oldest medical system, which birthed all the rest – uses food as medicine, too. Join a long lineage of healing with foods for diabetic treatment.

Here are 3 sweet potato recipes today. This food is a nutritional powerhouse and can fulfill important fiber requirements, as well as boosting Vitamin A nourishment critical for diabetes — by helping to support your eyes’ and skin’s Health with the vitamin’s building block: beta-carotene.

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MASHED SWEET POTATOES WITH LAVENDER AND LIME
from the Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley

2 lbs organic sweet potatoes
1 stick organic, unsalted butter, melted (or equivalent of organic coconut oil)
1/4 C fresh lime juice
1/2 t crushed Certified Organic Jardin du Soleil Culinary Lavender*
Celtic or other sea salt and freshly ground pepper
minced fresh cilantro leaves (do not cut ahead of time)
grated zest of one lime
cayenne pepper, to taste — start with 1/8t and work upwards

This food may be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Then, rewarm it to serve. Sweet potatoes are an excellent alkaline pH food!

___   Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
___   Prick the sweet potatoes several times with a fork, and then place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until very soft. Set them aside until cool enough to handle. Be careful, as they retain their heat.
___   Scoop the flesh right up to the skin’s border. Discard the skins.
___   Using a blender or food processor, pulse until a smooth mixture forms.
___   Stir in the butter, lime juice and lavender.
___   Next, season with salt, fresh pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
___   Just at serving time, top with cilantro and lime zest, and serve. Do not cut the cilantro ahead of time, as it can impair the flavor.

*Lavender can be finely ground in a spice grinder, a mortar and pestle or in a thoroughly-cleaned coffee grinder (least recommended).

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EM’S SWEET POTATO HUMMUS SPREAD

Because sweet potatoes and coconut are excellent pH alkaline foods, I added, the following to offset the acidic pH of the beans:

___   steamed sweet potatoes (about 2 cups, cubed small) to 1 tub of Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (10 oz. size)

___    add a dash of Coconut Secret’s Coconut Aminos (from Whole Foods or coconutsecret.com)

___   Spread it on NO Thiamin Mononitrate crackers or breads! Check the labels, as this synthetic B vitamin flour additive is harmful. Natural, whole-grain breads from health stores are less likely to have it at all.

For those who do not have a Trader Joe’s nearby, the ingredients listed are: 

___   ground chickpeas (you can use healthier cooked black-eye peas or dal)

___   tahini (sesame seed paste) – from health stores or Mid-East markets

___   fresh puree of organic red bell pepper or bottled pimento

___   (canola) oil – use extra-virgin olive oil instead

___   sea salt, lemon juice, garlic powder

If you make this at home, using a standard recipe like the one below, then you will not have the stabilizers in commercial hummus, either (which I did not show here), and you will be making a better pH alkaline food.

This would be great in children’s school lunches! And, it’s a perfect after school snack, too, as well as hors d’ouvre.

Home-made can always be healthier with the right recipe. Next time, I’ll make mine, but in a pinch, combining better ingredients into the Trader Joe’s product made it healthier.

Original recipe

SWEET POTATO HUMMUS
From Jaclyn Enchin ~ http://www.sketch-freeveganeating.blogspot.com

Makes 6 servings

1 medium sweet potato, cooked
1 C  cooked chickpeas
2 T tahini (unsweetened sesame seed paste)
1 T  olive oil
1 T   lemon juice
2-3 t  coconut aminos (a protein source, salty-perky taste)
1 sm  garlic clove, fresh
1 t   cumin
1/2 t  cinnamon
1 t  coriander, fresh
Pinch of sea salt
black pepper, to taste
diced or sliced organic almonds, for topping

Combine all above ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

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MAKING THE PERFECT OMELET

Eggs are nutritious for diabetics, but there are some guidelines to have them be the healthiest.

Firstly, they should be organic, vegetarian fed, free-range animals producing the eggs. Next, the eggs should never be whisked together as breaking the yolks exposes them to oxygen which is when the oxidized yolks become unhealthy, engendering heart disease.

Unbroken yolks have natural balancers (lecithin +) and are heart-healthy.

So, only cook intact eggs – either boiling, coddling, poaching (my favorite) or making the unique omelet technique I explain below but separating the eggs first.

In my method, the egg whites are beaten as directed. The unbroken egg yolks are added later as filling. Add the diabetic herbs at the same time as the yolks — desired savory combinations of turmeric (which will help color the eggs to the usual more yellow look; garlic, fresh onion (minced small), rosemary (ground fine),  cayenne pepper, fresh basil, parsley, ginger. For a sweet-oriented omelet, use diabetic-friendly lavender (grind finely), ginger or cinnamon. Disperse the herbs well over the entire surface.

America’s Test Kitchen explains why this recipe works:

“In contrast to half-moon diner-style omelets, the French omelet is a pristine rolled affair.”  Critically, the temperature of the pan must be just right, the eggs beaten just so (NO, as explained above — I adapt this part!), and hand movements must be swift. This usually intimidates home cooks, but it need not.

In their experiments, America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) (a PBS TV show) ditched the stuffy attitude and came up with a foolproof method for making the ideal French omelet — unblemished outer surface with an ultra-creamy texture, rolled around minimal filling (the diabetic herbs are perfect, along with some cheese, or not).

The classic French method requires a black carbon steel omelet pan and a fork. A nonstick skillet worked fine here (but I am NOT a fan of these pans which always must be used a medium or lower heat ranges).

Instead of a fork, which will scrape nonstick pans (also hazardous to ingest the coating), ATK used bamboo skewers and wooden chopsticks which made small curds with a silky texture. They tested various pans and the Kitchenaaid non-stick at about $20 was fine, if pre-warmed as directed. The Julia Child and Calaphon pans were expensive and excellent.

Adding a little oil, and then preheating the pan for 10 minutes over low heat eliminated any hot spots. For creaminess, very cold butter was added just after the egg (whites) were in the pan. The cold butter dispersed evenly and fused with the eggs for a moist, rich omelet.

To keep the omelet light, ATK found the perfect number of strokes — and, as it’s the egg whites which hold the “loftiness”, my changes should not affect this much, if at all. They used precisely 80 strokes with a classic metal hand-whisk, not one stroke less or more. Be exact here! Copper bowls also help to add lightness to egg whites, so I suggest a copper bowl for my version technique, if you have one. Make sure to keep a copper utensil well-cleaned, as the copper-oxide coating is not healthy.

Excessive beating physically unravels egg proteins, leading to denseness!

For cooking temperature, they tried different heat levels, but even at medium heat, the omelet cooked so quickly it was hard to judge when it was done.  Therefore, turn off the heat when it is still runny (add the egg yolks and herbs) and cover it to finish cooking!

Finally, for an easy rolling method, which mirrors a classic French presentation, slide the newly-cooked omelet onto paper towel. Then, use the towel to start to roll the omelet into the sought-after cigar-shape cylinder.

Because making omelets is such a quick process, make sure to have all your ingredients and equipment at the ready — this is called “mise en place”.

If you don’t have skewers or chopsticks to stir the egg whites, then use the handle of a wooden spoon.

Warm the plates in a 200-degree oven. Serve on the warmed plates.

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Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:
Diabetes Recipes – Lavender
Diabetes – Herbs that Help — Lavender
Diabetes Recipes – Herb List
Diabetes Medicine Alert
Diabetic Concerns – marjoram and nutmeg
Diabetes – Low Thyroid Connection
Thyroid Connections to Diabetes
Herbal Help Diabetic GI Problems

Diabetics and Essential Fatty Acid Omega-3

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website address shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Continuing our series with recipes using diabetes-friendly herbs which diabetics should be paying attention to! Diabetes does not mean unimaginative food, at all. Look at these great recipes to help prevent diabetes and to improve it, if you are dealing with the condition.

In the Reference section, please find the previous parts of this series.

Now I continue with more recipes using the herbs best for pre-diabetes, Type 1 diabetics and Type 2 diabetics: Turmeric, Garlic, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Chili, Cinnamon, Ginger, Basil and Lavender!

(Dill seed is also good, as are organic maple syrup in moderation, organic coconut products and organic dark chocolate, in moderation.) Now, back to Lavender, the least known of the group of herbs.

Lavender is part of the  same botanical family as many of our most popular herbs – the Mint family — a cousin of mints, sage, rosemary and thyme. So, it is not surprising that lavender is edible and that its use in food preparation is also returning, as a refreshing “new” flavor, even though it’s been used in food for centuries (especially in European Medieval cookery)!

Lavender’s flowers and leaves can be used fresh, and both buds and stems can be used dried for cooking purposes. The stalks are much more concentrated flavor and should be used in soups and sauces (don’t overcook, as they can become bitter), whereas the fresh flowers give an ambrosial and delicate palate delight. The potency of even the lavender flowers increases with drying.

Lavender is best used alongside fennel, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and savory.

And, as I noted last time, English Lavender (l. angustifolia and munstead) has the sweetest fragrance of all, and is the one preferred in cooking as it has a sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes.

Cooking with Lavender:
In cooking, use only 1/3 the quantity of dried flowers if you do not have fresh, if the recipe calls for fresh blooms.

Harvesting Lavender:
Harvest flowers only from organic, unsprayed plants.  Select only those stems that look most perfectly ready, with the fullest color. The fresher the flower, the more flavorful its taste, so pick your flowers as close as possible to food preparation time and one’s picked in the morning will be better than those picked on a hot afternoon — so gather in the moring and place in water, in a cool place, until using later that day for cooking.

All blooms should be thoroughly rinsed as little critters may hide. Immerse the stems in water. Then lay the flowers gently on paper or cloth towels, dab dry, or gently spin dry in a salad spinner; then place vertically in shallow water until using. You can also, layer the blooms carefully between moist paper towels in the refrigerator until meal time.

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LAVENDER OATMEAL

This is a tasty way to add oatmeal and an extra dimension to your diet, especially if you eat oatmeal most days, as you physician likely recommends.

2 servings

2 C      boiling filtered water
1/2 t  crushed lavender buds
1/8 t  Celtic or other sea salt
1 C    organic  oatmeal

Cook as directed on package and remove from heat.

Stir in:
1 t organic cinnamon
equivalent amount of Stevia to 1T of sugar or to taste

Other variations-
Cut up half an organic banana or organic apple (with its skin — which contains chromium — a vital mineral for diabetics).
Add organic walnuts (excellent for Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids) or organic raisins once it’s cooked.

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HERBED CHEVRE WITH CROSTINI

8 oz. mild chevre (goat cheese), crumbled
2 T  Herbs de Provence  (which already contains lavender)
8 cloves garlic, peeled and thickly sliced
1 t pepper flakes
1 T cracked peppercorns
3/4-1 C extra virgin olive oil

Taste the mix by making about 1 Tablespoon sample. Add more lavender if needed (and make sure your Herbes de Provence actually contained it!).

Then, prepare the rest as follows, in a glass serving dish, to accent the colors and the layering effect.

Begin layering one third of the crumbled chevre, then one third each: Herbs de Provence, garlic slices, pepper flakes and cracked peppercorns.

Continue to create the three layers until all ingredients are utilized.

Pour a layer of oil ton top, to dip through or get onto the spreader.

It is best prepared ahead of time so all the flavors can blend. Refrigerate, and then bring it to room temp one hour before serving.

For Crostini: Slice crispy crusted French bread thinly, brush with olive oil. toast in 350F degree oven until light brown and crisp. Let your guests apply the chevre mix or do it for them ahead of time.

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SCRUMPTIOUS SINGLE SALAD

makes 1 serving

1 organic nectarine – pitted and sliced
a large handful of organic baby lettuce leaves
a few fresh basil leaves – slice rolled-up into spaghetti chiffonade
thinly sliced red onion, to taste
2 – 4 thin slices of a hard goat cheese (approx. 2 oz. of cheese)

Dressing:
2 t  organic apple-cider vinegar
1 t organic grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
a pinch of minced Culinary Lavender Flowers
a pinch of Succanat, natural sugar
chopped mint leaf to taste

Make the dressing and let it sit out at room temperature while you prep the greens, plate them and then drizzle on at the last moment.

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HERBAL RUB

Use for sustainable-fishery seafood and fish OR for organic poultry. It can also be applied to grass-fed meats – bison and lamb being best.

1 t crushed Certified Organic Jardin du Soleil Culinary Lavender
3 t chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 t chopped fresh thyme
4 t minced garlic
4 t minced, fresh onion
2 t Celtic or other sea salt
1/2 t crushed black pepper OR a little organic cayenne pepper
1/4 C white wine Worcestershire sauce OR Coconut Secret’s Aminos
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil

1)  Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and pulse well until blended.
2)  Cover, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before rubbing onto flesh or injecting it into the meat, as desired.
3) Marinate the protein at least an hour in the refrigerator, or even overnight, before cooking.
4) If desired and appropriate, consider serving with the potato recipe which follows.

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HERBES DE PROVENCE ROAST POTATOES

10-15 med organic red potatoes, whole (MUST be organic!), washed and dried
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
2 T  Herbs de Provence (check label that it contains lavender) or add a pinch
1-2 T Celtic or other sea salt

1) Preheat your oven to 400F.
2) Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and then toss to coat the potatoes.
3) Place all into a  9×9 oven-safe glass baking dish.
4) Bake 40-45 minutes, or to desired tenderness.

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MARCIA’S GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES

6 T unsweetened organic cocoa
3 T organic coconut oil *
6 T unsalted organic butter *
2 organic, free-range eggs, room temperature (cold eggs harden the oil)
1 t organic pure vanilla extract
¼ C + 2 T Nutiva’s organic coconut nectar
¾ C  Coconut Secret’s  coconut crystals (a low glycemic sweetener)
1/8 t Celtic or other sea salt
½ C  sifted organic, fine-grind coconut flour (measure after sifting)

*You can use 9 T of Coconut Oil in place of 6 T butter for a dairy free version.

— Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Prepare your 8×8 baking pan.

In a medium pan on very low heat, melt the butter and coconut oil together, stirring constantly. Remove from heat as soon as mixture is melted.

Add the organic cocoa and mix until thoroughly blended to a paste.

Add Coconut Crystals, Coconut Nectar and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

Add eggs and mix well until they are thoroughly blended into mixture.

Next,  add sea salt and coconut flour and blend until all dry ingredients are incorporated.

Pour this batter into well-greased 8×8 glass pan. Bake in the preheated 350F degree oven for 28-30 minutes or until top looks evenly baked and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.

Cool and cut into 16 squares. Can be frozen. If not used within 2 days, please refrigerate well-wrapped.

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LAVENDER CHAI

3 organic black tea bags (orange pekoe or Assam)
1 stick of cinnamon          (make sure it’s not cassia)
around 8 allspice berries
2 t organic Cook’s vanilla extract
2 C filtered water
about 1/4 cup* organic honey
Stevia or Coconut Secret’s crystals = to 3/4C sugar*
1 t Jardin du Soleil Culinary Lavender**
1 t + fresh grated ginger
dash nutmeg

*total sweetener equals taste of about 1 cup of sugar, more or less to taste.
**Lavender can be finely ground in a spice grinder or in a throughly cleaned coffee grinder.

Drop the tea bags, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, ginger and nutmeg into the 2 cups of boiling water.

Simmer until the mixture is a rich reddish brown. Take off the heat. Mix in the sweeteners; and strain out all large ingredients.

Pour this Chai concentrate into a  heat-safe glass or mug — making 1/3 full.

Fill the remainder of the glass with warm milk or warm water …  serve hot.

Or, for cold Chai, after the concentrate is cold, then add 2/3 cold milk, non-dairy milk, cold spring water — or a combo into your mug or glass.

Refrigerate the brewed Lavender Chai Tea Concentrate  for later use.

This stores for up to seven days and makes 3 – 5 servings, depending on the size of the mugs / glasses used.

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If changing a rosemary recipe to a lavender one, then use 3 times as much lavender as the rosemary.

If using fresh lavender buds in place of dried asked for in a recipe, use half-again the amount of fresh.

Enjoy making the recipes.

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:
Diabetes – Herbs that Help — Lavender
Diabetes Recipes – Herb List
Diabetes Medicine Alert
Diabetic Concerns – marjoram and nutmeg
Diabetes – Low Thyroid Connection
Thyroid Connections to Diabetes
Herbal Help Diabetic GI Problems

Diabetics and Essential Fatty Acid Omega-3

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Last time you learned that certain herbs can be helpful for diabetics when using them directly for the condition or for likely companion concerns. Today, here’s some recipes to help with the fabulous 10 – Turmeric, Garlic, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Chili, Cinnamon, Ginger, Basil and Lavender!

After visiting beautiful lavender fields in California and Oregon, I have to say that I want to speak about this time-honored herb first, as it is the one which you are least likely to be familiar with (although you may already have some in the famous herb mix called Herbes de Provence).

The owners of Hood River Lavender Farm provide some great recipes for their Organic Lavender as well as a place to purchase it dried.  The link is in the Reference section.

Every time I have tasted lavender in food, I have been intrigued. As with all food-stuffs, I recommend only organic produce, so if you are just grabbing lavender at the nursery or from a friend’s garden, please be sure that it has not been chemically-sprayed (as outside France or England, it’s not likely to have been regarded as a food plant).

The Farm site gives a little history of the herb:

” While most of us know about the beauty and fragrance of Lavender, somehow we have forgotten that it is indeed an herb. An herb that may not be common place in American spice cabinets, it has been in use as a culinary herb for centuries … One’s imagination is the only limit when cooking with this varable herb.

Lavender varies in taste just as it varies in appearance and aroma. The English Lavenders (angustifolia) are the prefered lavenders to use as culinary as they are milder, sweeter, and do not over-power the dish. Within these varieties there is still more variation when used as a culinary herb. Provence lavender, a hybrid known as a lavandin, is an exception to the rule. Because of it’s milder flavor it is often used when English Lavender is not available, and some cooks even prefer it above angustifolia.

Our personal favorite is a pink-flowered English lavender known as Melissa. It has a sweet, yet floral note, and enhances dishes from soups, to meat, and even drinks and deserts.

All culinary lavender blends very well with citrus, mint, rosemary, sage, berries, fruit, meats, drinks, and one should use some caution to not use too much.

Lavender should be a background flavor, not in the forefront, and when used in proportion enhances foods with a distinctive and mysterious flavor, while adding a lovely color to your dish.”

Here are some Lavender recipes to try!
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Honey Lavender Shake – Rockin’ Raw-style Vegan

2 T Raw almond butter
2 T Raw honey (not for use for children under 3 years old) *
3 vanilla beans (use vanilla extract, if more flavor desired; less expensive, too)

1 t organic Lavender – minced

1 tray of small ice cubes
1/2C spring water (to desired thickness for the shake)

Blend until smooth. Serve in tall glass and garnish with a little of the Lavender

Variation: Almond milk can be made with soaked almonds and
water in a blender. Then strain it through a nut milk bag. Omit the 1/2 cup of water in recipe above if using almond milk.

You can also purchase almond milk in cartons (and the protein content of this recipe will be better than when just using water).

This is a useful recipe for those with sensitivities to dairy.

* Raw honey is not acceptable for the immune systems of children under 3, so use pasteurized honey in this case.

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Lavender Grilled Salmon or Steelhead

3 pounds of wild salmon (filet)*
4 T raw honey
6 T organic extra-virgin or virgin olive oil
1 T organic Lavender, crushed or run through a spice grinder
1/4C white wine
1 T Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 T lime or lemon juice

* do NOT use farmed fish!

Place all ingredients, except salmon, in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring with a wire whisk at all times until the ingredients are reduced by 1/3, to create a sauce.

When sauce has cooled slightly, divide the sauce into halves. With one portion, baste the raw salmon filet.

Grill or bake salmon until flaky (don’t overcook), about 10 minutes, basting with the same portion of sauce, if desired.

Use the second sauce portion to pour on salmon just before serving, as it has not been in contact with the raw fish at all.

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Sweet Potato Pie with Lavender

This recipe also uses Cinnamon, another one of your diabetic-friendly herbs and spices. I did not use the sugary topping in the original recipe, but rather added the lavender into the pie itself. Sweet potatoes are also a fabulous food for diabetics!

2 medium, organic  sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
4 T unsalted organic butter, melted
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt or other sea salt
3 lg free-range, vegetarian-fed, eggs, separated
1/2C sugar (better: use the equivalent of Stevia! Check the box for the amount.)
2 T all-purpose whole-grain flour OR ground quinoa
3/4C organic buttermilk

1/2t organic lavender, minced (or use a spice grinder)

1. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Pour 1 1/2″ of water into a medium stockpot (with a strainer basket) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Next, add the sweet potatoes to the basket, cover, and steam until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the sweet potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Let them cool to near room temperature, covered with paper towel to absorb the steam.

Mash the potatoes to a smooth puree, (about 1 1/4 cups). Add the organic butter, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; mix after each addition.

2. Then, in a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a whisk for about 30 seconds. Add sugar/ Stevia and beat until they’re a creamy lemon-yellow color, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Add egg mixture to sweet potato mixture and then stir until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated and filling is consistently bright-orange in color.

Next, add flour a little at a time, stirring after each addition, until thoroughly incorporated.

Finally, add the buttermilk and lavender. Stir until mixed in.

3. With a clean, dry whisk and in a clean, dry, separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, about 1 1/2 minutes or use your mixer until results are achieved.

Gently fold egg whites into sweet potato-buttermilk mixture until blended, using a vertical figure-8 motion with a spatula.

Pour the mixture into a prepared piecrust. Bake on the middle rack of your oven until the center is firm and set, about 35-40 minutes.

4. Remove pie from oven and cool completely on a rack. Enjoy!

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Lavender Infusion

This can be used in other recipes — as varied as cheescake, sorbets, ice-cream, lemonade and more.

Measure 2T Lavender buds for each cup boiling temperature liquid (water) or (organic milk // organic cream).

Steep for 30 minutes.  Strain the lavender from the liquid.

———————————————-

Lavender Tea

Steep 1 t lavender in 1 cup of water for 3-5 minutes.
This is a good recipe for insomnia, or when relaxation is the goal.

———————————————–
Lavender Lemonade

1 quart fresh squeezed or pre-made lemonade
1 t to 1T culinary lavender
1C boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the lavender in a heat-proof bowl and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the lavender and add to the lemonade. Serve well chilled.

————————————————
Lavender-Ginger Apple Cider

This recipe includes Ginger — another one of our 10 helpful-to-diabetics herbs and spices!

1 gallon organic apple cider
6 T organic Culinary Lavender “Signature Blend” (Hood River Lavender Farm)
2 t fresh grated ginger
1 med. culinary muslin bag or some cheese cloth

Bring the apple cider to a simmer, and then turn heat to low. Add the muslin bag filled with culinary lavender and ginger (or several layers of cheesecloth and some thread). Cover, and simmer 15 minutes to infuse. Remove the spice bag. Serve warm.

You can use this as a cool drink, too. The recipe makes 16 cups.

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Lavender, Rosemary, Garlic, Black Olive Foccacia Bread

You struck the Mother-Lode. This recipe includes Lavender, Rosemary, and Garlic and Black Pepper or Chili Pepper — more of those diabetic friendly herbs and spices as well as heart-healthy olives!

Prep time: 20 min.
Cooking time: 12-15 min.
Servings: 6

1 lb fast pizza dough OR 1 pound frozen bread or pizza dough, thawed
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
¼ C pitted, chopped imported black olives – like Kalamata
2t chopped lavender buds
1 – 2T chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t coarse Celtic sea salt or other sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste OR a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (better)

Lightly oil a large baking sheet. On a work surface, roll pizza dough out into an 8 x 14 rectangle. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean dish towel, let rise at room temperature for 20 min.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450F.

After this final rising on the baking sheet, gently make dimples into the  dough with finger tips.

Brush on 2 Tp olive oil; then add herb mixture, pressing it gently into the top of the dough.

Herb Mix is:  1 -2t chopped lavender, 2T rosemary, 2 cloves minced garlic and the chopped olives.

Sprinkle with 1 t coarse sea salt and a little fresh black pepper or cayenne. Bake 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack, then cut into pieces to serve.

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====================

REFERENCE:
Enjoy the recipes and be sure to check out Hood River Lavender Farm.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

Read Full Post »

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Here’s some of the advice that Hippocrates would give for at least a partial prescription for treating diabetes, as he always said “Let food be thy Medicine!”, and these foods are particularly useful for diabetics.

Lavender helps alleviate stress for diabetics.   Lavender

 

 

 

Registered dieticians Patricia Partain, RD and Jamie McDermott, RD list 10 herbs and spices below as some of the healthiest to incorporate into your diet, and many of these are especially helpful for diabetics.

Turmeric

Health benefits: The active ingredient is curcumin. It’s found in most curry mixes (it’s what makes them look so yellow). Turmeric is a calming spice and aids digestion. A 2006 study at Johns Hopkins University suggested that curcumin may also be helpful in reducing colon cancer.

How to use it: Add to curry mixes when making your own, otherwise, use a pre-made mix (check it’s in there on the label). You can also buy it as a single spice (when it is not a hot spice).

Mix it into any curry recipe, soup, or use with scrambled tofu or eggs.  You can also stir it into the water being used for quinoa, rice or couscous – and it will color them yellow as well as be more healthy.

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Garlic

Many people have learned about the amazing “stinking rose’s” health benefits: possibly lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, being a natural anti-viral and more. Holistic physicians use it to prevent onset of heart disease.

How to use it: It is most beneficial when it is raw. You must use it immediately after chopping or mashing withing 10 minutes or coat it in olive oil to give yourself a bit more time. Use in savory smoothies, dips, salad dressings, compound butters and spreads.

People suggest cooking it, but that does compromise it.

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Peppermint

Many diabetics have digestive issues as your overworked pancreas may not be supplying enough alkaline buffers needed for complete digestion.

Mint’s health benefits include:  relieving indigestion and nausea, as well as symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  But Partain and McDermott say peppermint is not recomm-ended for people with acid-reflux disease.

Peppermint also has some energy stimulation components.

How to use it:  Most people use Peppermint as herbal tea by steeping it in hot water for a few minutes.

For a summer drink: crush the mint along with some lemon juice as a base for lemonade. Then to sweeten, add diabetic-friendly Truvia or other stevia powder to taste. If you crush or shave the ice, it becomes a cooling granita.

Mint can be used as an edible garnish, mixed in with lamb, added to feta cheese, salt and pepper to use as a dip or spread and more!

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Parsley

This herb is a cleanser. It helps to clean the GI tract and thereby “sweeten” breath. But, it is much more!

Health benefits: Parsley is high in potassium – a critical mineral which can help control high blood pressure and fluid retention. It is also high in vitamins K, C and A (which helps to keep skin healthy — which is also vital for diabetics).

How to use it: Add to basil pesto or tabouli.  You can even make a completely parsley pesto! Sprinkle it over potatoes, quinoa or brown rice. Add to fresh tomato sauces and finely chop into dressings. Use in savory smoothies. Juice it! Make a Mediterranean-style salad with lemon juice, tomatoes, chopped fresh onions and feta cheese. Add it to soup just as you take it off the burner, as long as it is minced (be sure to use the stems, too). Mix into meatloaf or hamburgers (this is a good place to use finely-minced stems as these dishes cook longer).

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Rosemary

This is an herb used in classic European cuisines, as the Simon & Garfunkle song implies “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme”.

Health benefits:  rosemary may reduce potentially carcinogenic HCA levels when mixed with meat before cooking — HCAs are produced during barbequing, especially.

This herb has also been used to cure indigestion.

But, be aware that it can act as a natural diuretic (as can lemons), so keep your fluid levels up by drinking at least 64 ozs. of pure water a day (unless you have kidney disease — in which case, follow your urologist’s recommendation). If you are taking diuretics, you need to make sure that all your liquid intake is water. Other “liquids” will dehydrate you, in varying amounts..

How to use it:  rub rosemary extract or ground rosemary over meat before grilling (it goes particularly well with lamb). Sprinkle this herb over potatoes before roasting. Add it the water when poaching salmon. Bake it into breads (along with some garlic and black, Greek olives). Add rosemary to tomato sauce as you heat it, but be sure you have ground the leaves in a mortar and pestle, as the leaves don’t soften in cooking, easily, whether fresh or dried versions.

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Chili Pepper

Chilis, especially the smallest Asian ones, along with jalapenos, are very good sources of anti-oxidants, and are  nerve pain relievers (usually as a pharmaceutical cream — not as food).

Health benefits:  the component called capsaicin is an anti-inflammatory. This can also temporarily increase heat production in the body, so it helps cool you in hot weather and helps burn more calories for revved-up metabolism and weight-loss. Capsaicin has also been used to help with circulatory problems, which is an issue that many sedentary diabetics have.

However, if you have a sensitive stomach and colon already, use this with great care. Maybe start with small amounts of dried chili powder or a Japanese 7-spice powder, instead of any of the hot, fresh chili peppers.

I would not give this to most children. For diabetic kids, use alternatives.

How to use it: Mix tiny amounts of chilis into mashed potatoes or eggs. Stir it into softened butter, along with a tiny bit of lime, then spread on corn on the cob. Stir a tiny bit in to make Mexican hot chocolate.

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Cinnamon

The word has been out for quite a while about cinnamon’s ability to help diabetics, but actually quite a bit is needed, more than people think. Plus, some things labeled as “cinnamon” are actually “cassia” which is not helpful for this purpose.

Health benefits: real cinnamon has an anti-inflammatory effect and it can lower blood sugar. Cinnamon can also have an anti-cancer effect.

There has been some indication that cinnamon can increase metabolism, but exercise and diet are what’s really needed to make the difference.

How to use it: as a sweeter spice, people are more willing to use it. So, sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal, sweet potatoes and into applesauce. Even though you can, I don’t recommend eating cookies and pies, but if you do, then be sure to add cinnamon!. Use it to spice meatballs and in drinks when they will be well-mixed.

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Ginger

Ginger is in the same botanical family as Turmeric, so it has many of the same properties. The main one, apart from fabulous flavor (fresh or dried) is that it is a well regarded anti-inflammatory, so it helps to lessen pain, especially for those with osetoarthritis.

Health benefits: Ginger helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting, and is very useful for children on car trips or for sea-sickness!

It also helps nausea when related to pregnancy.

For the rest of us, ginger is good for digestion.

How to use it: Grate it and add to broths or to stir-fry dishes. If you steep ginger in hot water and add lemon and honey this will make a soothing digestive tea. Bake gingersnaps or gingerbread as a way for diabetic kids to enjoy this spice as long as you use a diabetic-friendly natural sweetener like a tiny bit of organic maple syrup or stevia. Personally, I like undyed sushi ginger to chop-up into dressings, smoothies, popsicles and more.

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Basil

Basil is a cousin of mint. Most people only think of it in terms of pesto — an Italian sauce for pasta, but Basil is quite versatile. Thai food uses it to good advantage and the Holy Basil of India is used in Tulsi — an important herbal tea.

Health benefits: Like mint, basil also freshens breath. It is also an anti-inflammatory, and it has an alkaline pH. Basil is a  good source of magnesium and vitamin A — both of which are needed in potent doses for diabetics.

How to use it: of course, we’ll mention pesto sauce, and you can pair fresh leaves with tomatoes and mozzarella in a Caprese salad (which I personally find hard-to-eat and suggest you dice everything up and eat it on a plate instead of how it’s usually presented). Finely mince and immediately sprinkle over fish just after cooking. Add it to lemonade. Make holy basil into Tulsi tea or buy the tea directly (at Whole Foods).

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Lavender

Ah, this is another French secret! They will have the best lavender recipes, and lavender honey is incredible (use just tiny amounts, but you don’t need much as it has wonderful flavor!).

Diabetes is very stressful on your body and psyche, so lavender can be very beneficial to help bring calmness, allowing your body to rest and also have a better chance to rejuvenate.

Health benefits: Lavender is very calming and can aid with sleep.

How to use it: The flowers can be used in a tea (for sleeping, add a few lavender buds into chamomille tea — unless you are sensitive to daisies or other aster flowers. Otherwise, just brew a purely lavender tea.).  Lavender can be baked into cookies – with stevia as sweetener.

In the famed herb mix, Herbes de Provence, is a mix of fennel, basil, thyme and lavender which is used with meat, fish, quinoa or brown rice.

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Fresh herbs may seem expensive, but they are not when you think of the benefits they bring — and with less liklihood of side-effects. They are also easy to grown in your garden, or on a patio or balcony or on a windowsill in winter. You can always benefit from many of these listed above, all year, for reasonable cost. See the Titles Archive tab above for my excellent posts on container and indoor gardening!

Enjoy these useful herbs and see if your Health also improves as you incorporate them daily.

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:

Sources: Patricia Partain, RD; Jamie McDermott, RD; University of Maryland Medical Center; American Cancer Society; whfoods.com; Prevention Magazine; Memorial Sloan Kettering; Food Network.
(c)2011 Chatanooga Times http://www.timesfreepress.com

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