Let’s Talk Chickpeas

This friday I want to talk to you about chickpeas (a.k.a garbanzo beans). They’re loved all across the world and should have a place in everybody’s cupboards! A cup of raw chickpeas contains the following:

  • Potassium: 50% RDA
  • Vitamin B-6: 55% RDA
  • Magnesium: 57% RDA
  • Iron: 69% RDA
  • Many other vitamins!

They also make a great source of protein and fiber. Chickpeas, aside from nutritional facts, have been known to give us many health benefits. It can help support our bone health, decrease the risk of heart disease, decrease the risk of cancer, prevent constipation, and many other benefits.

 

HOW TO INCORPORATE MORE CHICKPEAS INTO YOUR FOOD:

Chickpeas are available year round and can usually be found packaged or canned.

NOTE: When buying canned chickpeas, try to buy organic and non-BPA lined cans.

They have a nutty flavor and are delicious in pretty much anything. Their use is universal, and the dishes that can made with them ends only at how far our imaginations can go. Some examples to use them include:

  • Sprinkling them raw on top of salads
  • Making hummus
  • Adding them to soups
  • Using them for a substitute for mayonnaise or other spreads

One of my favorite ways to use them that I haven’t mentioned is roasting them. Their crunchy, delicious, and can be snacked on just like popcorn!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • One can of organic chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp. oil or broth (I like to use coconut oil)
  • Spices of your choice ( I like to use cayenne and turmeric )

 

STEPS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Drain your chickpeas and blot them dry with a paper towel.
  3. Toss them in your oil or broth and sprinkle on your desired spices.
  4. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  5. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until they reach your desired crunch

 

IMG_3766

 

Go Gaga for Goji Berries

Goji berries are a type of fruit that we can use to boost our health. They are said to help stimulate the immune system, give us energy, and help us fight off diseases. These berries have a great nutritional content and bright red-orange pigments, the Chinese have been growing the goji plant for about five thousand years.

 

WHAT DO THEY HELP WITH?

Goji berries are said to help with many things regarding our health, including:

  • Promotion of weight loss
  • Strengthening eyesight
  • Fighting and preventing cancer
  • Helping our mood
  • Helping increase longevity

Health expert David Wolfe talks about goji berries in his book Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future.

He calls them one of the best antioxidants on the planet. And he’s right!

These small berries are PACKED with a protein source, nineteen amino acids (eight of which are essential to the body), zinc, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin E. However, dried goji berries are not a rich source for vitamin C.

 

HOW DO I USE GOJI BERRIES?

A reasonable amount of goji berries to consume is about a handful (0.5 ounces). People have used these throughout history to make soups and teas. You can easily snack on them like raisins or mix them into your recipes.

 

HOW DO THEY TASTE?

When dried, they have a soft and chewy texture. Their taste is like a cross between a cherry, a cranberry and a raisin. The taste is pleasant and is slightly bitter. I like the taste and I hope that you will too!

 

WHAT DO I LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING GOJI BERRIES?

  1. You should try to make sure that you buy your goji berries from an organic brand. As nonorganic berries are often sprayed with pesticides and are sometimes dyed to have a richer shade of red. And that’s not good!

2. When it comes to these berries, size does not matter. There isn’t a link between the size of them and their quality.

3. This is what your selected goji berries should look like:

IMG_3740

They should also be moist but not too moist, as some companies soak their goji berries in sugar waters to rehydrate them!

 

In conclusion, goji berries, among other superfoods, are a great way to improve our health. If not this berry, than any organic berry is a great source of antioxidants. Try goji berries today, your body will thank you!

10 Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar

For centuries, vinegar has been claimed to help with many different health problems. In 400 B.C, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing qualities. His words “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” still stands today. One of the most popular kind in the health world however is apple cider vinegar (ACV). It’s claimed to have all sorts of health benefits anywhere from healing a cut to the common cold.

The only brand of ACV our family keeps in the house is Bragg’s.

IMG_3735

Their vinegar is organic, unfiltered, and contains “mother”. Mother is practically another way of saying a friendly bacteria that gives it a cloudy appearance. Bragg also has a variety of organic ACV drinks that come in flavors like limeade and ginger spice.

Continue reading 10 Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Food Friday: Air Popped Popcorn

I love snacks! Who doesn’t? But we need to make sure that our snacks are good for us. I used to be in love with the snack that were bad for me. But I learned there were better ones out there that not only were healthier, but also delicious!

This Food Friday, I want to share with you one of my favorite snacks, air popped popcorn. Mmmm! My mouth waters just telling you about it! 

Whether you’re enjoying a movie or just craving a good snack, this popcorn is for you. You can enjoy a nice bowl with only 31 calories a serving! Not only that, but it also has 1.2 grams of fiber and high levels of antioxidants. Research shows, when prepared properly (keep that word in mind), popcorn can contain a higher level of antioxidant substances than some fruits out there!

Air popping is one of the best ways to make popcorn compared to other ways of making it. Prepackaged microwavable ones out there are loaded with tons of bad things. Heck, a Pop-Secret popcorn has 4.5 grams of trans fat in four cups popped! A chemical coating known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is usually lined in the bags. This chemical is known to last in the body for a long time. So keep in mind next time you’re craving something crunchy, make yourself a nice big bowl of healthy air popped popcorn.

IMG_3729

 

MY FAVORITE WAY TO ENJOY AIR POP:

INGREDIENTS:

  • An organic popcorn seed of your choice (I prefer Arrowhead Mills)
  • Melted coconut oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Pepper
  1. Pop your seeds
  2. Melt your coconut oil
  3. Pour melted oil and apple cider vinegar on top of your prepared popcorn
  4. Season with salt and pepper

Voila! You’ve got an amazing healthy and tasty snack!

 

Why Eat Organic? This Study Shows A Good Reason

It’s no secret that organic beats conventional practice when it comes to the environment. But what about when it comes to our bodies? An amazing Swedish experiment really gives us something to think about. In the first week  of a 21-day experiment, a family of five ate their standard diet of conventional foods. Then urine samples were taken by each of the family members, where analysts found a large number of pesticides and fungicides. The family was then placed on organic food for the remaining two weeks. Samples were taken again, and dramatic results were seen. Very little proof of pesticides were visible in their follow-up samples! Pesticide levels in the family dropped in ways that could be observed even after one day, according to the research.

Click here to view the video!

 

WHY YOU SHOULD EAT ORGANIC TOO:

When you by organic food, it means there are no harmful chemicals sprayed unto the crop that produced the food. There are 600 chemical used on our crops, many of which are approved before dietary testing. In fact, reports show that 90% of the chemicals we put on our food have not been tested for any long-term effects on our health. And only 1% of food is tested by the FDA for pesticide residue. Not only do we avoid the bad stuff, but organic food tastes better. Previous research also shows us that organic produce has more nutrients in it than conventionally grown produce.

 

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:

Just look for this seal on a product, if you see it on the front or back it’s approved organic.

IMG_3722

I know not everyone can afford to eat all organic, but there are many stores that are carrying healthy, organic options at a cheap price. For instance, Aldi’s carries a line of certified products for a very reasonable price. The more we demand for organic food, the more are voices are heard.

Happy eating!