Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

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    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘vitamin C’

Cauliflower Flavorless But Good

Posted by terrepruitt on March 23, 2016

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it is “of, relating to, or denoting plants of the cabbage family (Brassicaceae, formerly Cruciferae)” according to Google.  It is of the same species as kale, broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, and brussels sprouts and in the same family as daikon, arugula, rutabaga, and bok choy, to name a few.  It is also consider an anti-inflammatory which is good because many of the (overly) processed foods we eat are consider inflammatory.  And scientist are linking chronic inflammation with a whole list of diseases and ailments.  So, I am all for foods that will help with inflammation.  Although, I am not really a fan of cauliflower.  I don’t grab it off of a veggie tray at potlucks.  I don’t put it on my plate when it is offered as a cooked side.  I am not a fan.  Because I am not a fan I do want to try the myriad of recipes that include it and make it the star.  Like the cauliflower pizza crust or the version of macaroni and cheese made with cauliflower or the many recipes that used riced cauliflower.  I will get to some of those one of these days.  But first a little about cauliflower.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitTo me it is pretty tasteless.  It has no flavor really.  Not that I can remember . . . but then again I can’t remember the last time I ate just cauliflower.  I have cooked it and used it in this yummy stuffed portobello recipe.  It is one of those vegetables that can add substance but not really flavor.  That is probably why it goes so well as the base for some many things . . . you can make it taste like anything because it tastes like nothing.

But in addition to it being an anti-inflammatory it has a very low Glycemic Index.  The GI as you may know affects our blood sugar so  food low on the index help with keeping the blood sugar level even.  Also, it is high in vitamin C, giving you 75% of the DV% in a cup.  It also contains vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamins B6, B2, B1, and B3.  Also fiber, potassium, and protein.

It also comes in different colors.  There is white, orange, and purple.  There is green cauliflower with the normal  shape and the Romanesco Broccoli or Italian cauliflower kind.  I’ve had that before.  I roasted it (surprise!) and it was kind of sweet.  The texture was odd.

Recently my friend posted something about cauliflower on Facebook.  She had recently made a recipe that she had to explain to her child.  It got me curious and I ended up making it . . . hence the post on cauliflower.  I am in love with this recipe and it has cauliflower in it.  It is a really yummy way to eat cauliflower.  But I will save the recipe for another post.

For now you can tell me:  Do you like cauliflower?  How do you eat it?  Do you eat it raw?  Do you cook it?  How?  Have you tried any of those recipes like the cauliflower pizza crust?

 

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Cilantro Has Some Good Stuff

Posted by terrepruitt on June 18, 2013

I used to not like cilantro.  Or at least I thought I didn’t like it.  Funny how that happens, isn’t it?  I really thought I didn’t like it then one night I was at someone’s house and they had made a salad . . . a BEAN salad at that and I tried some and I liked it.  I don’t like beans and I don’t like cilantro and I don’t normally eat onions . . . . .well, that is what I would have said all that time, many months ago.  When I tried the salad I decided that I did like beans and cilantro, but only in that particular salad.  I figured it was the combination of all of the ingredients that made it acceptable.  You might have read in some of my other posts though that I will eat kidney beans in a recipe I make called Red Beans and Rice.  It is NOT the typical Red Beans and Rice recipe, click here to see.  Since I do make the bean salad recipe I find myself with left over cilantro.  And since I have discovered I like it, I put it in my green salad.  It is a nice addition to the salad to give it a different flavor.  I actually haven’t tried it in anything else I can think of.  It seems like people either LOVE cilantro or HATE it.  I like it.  I don’t LOVE it, but it is a nice change of flavor. Today while I was making the Bean Salad I decided to give a look at what cilantro has to offer.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaFirst of all cilantro is the leaves of the coriander plant.  Coriander is the little round pellet type seasoning.  Wiki states that all parts of the plant are edible, but it is the leaves and the dried seeds that are most commonly used.  That is cilantro and coriander.  Also, “the leaves are variously referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, Chinese parsley, or cilantro (particularly in North America).”

Cilantro contains antioxidants.  Coriander does too, but the leaves were found to have a stronger effect.

According an article on the Global Healing Center’s website, consuming large amounts of cilantro regularly can help clear the body of toxic metals.

Cilantro contains potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.  It also has many vitamins including vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. The website Power Your Diet states that there is 30% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, about 225% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A, and about 258% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K, but in 100 grams.  That seems like a lot of cilantro to eat.  When I put it in my green salads or bean salad I don’t think I put but a small fraction of that.  I think I put about a cup of cilantro in the bean salad today, but I don’t think it weighed near 100 grams.  I still think that health benefits can be received.  I don’t really need 200% of any recommend value.

I believe herbs are a good way to both flavor our food and get nutrients we need to assist our bodies in being healthy.  Do you like cilantro?  Do you cook with it?  

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Guess What I Did With Delicata Squash

Posted by terrepruitt on November 20, 2012

Ha, ha, ha, ha.  So I received another new thing in the organic produce box I have delivered, Delicata squash.  It was delivered on the day before I was going to go to a week long (53 hours) training for Nia Blue Belt.  The box came Friday morning and I had a lot to do so I put the veggies in the fridge.  I was hoping that I would get to cooking it during the week, but I didn’t really count on it.  The training was an hour away from 8:00 am to 6:00 or 7:00 pm. Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba I think I had seen the squash on the list that comes with the delivery and I was thinking comparable to a zucchini.  I didn’t get around to cooking with it until the week after it was delivered.  It was the Sunday of the following week.  Since I was thinking zucchini like consistency and cooking time, I was going to bread it and cook it in the oven.  When I cut it I laughed because it was HARD.  It was like a pumpkin.  I didn’t know if I could roast it.  I didn’t think it would cook in the time I had alloted.  And even after I cut the ends off I didn’t think about it being seedy like a pumpkin.  It was.  So switching gears, I didn’t know what to do with it.  I decided to slice it in half and roast it with olive oil and salt —- big surprise, huh?  Me ROASTING a vegetable.  I was going to FILL it with cheese and just bake it.  Well, I cooked it a bit then decided to taste it.  It was really good without the cheese.  It was also sweeter than I had thought it would be so I didn’t think the cheese I was going to use was the flavor combination I was after.  So I switched cheese and decided to just put a little bit of cheese on it instead of filling it.  Instead of a lot of parmesan, I used a little cheddar and gouda.

I had also peeled it.  I didn’t know if the outside would become edible during cooking.  In my quest to cut it up I had started cutting it in slices so I had ended up with one slice with the skin/outside.  I cooked it to see if the skin would be edible.  It was.  I was disappointed that I had peeled the rest of it.

Well, this turned out to be one of those surprise vegetables that was just delicious.  As I said it was very good without the cheese.  So I would definitely cook this squash up with just a salt, a little pepper, and olive oil.  Adding anything to it is not necessary but could end up being great.  Just like the cheese.  I am glad that I tasted it before just piling on the cheese on it because it had a delicate flavor and so I used a lot less cheese and didn’t add any other seasoning.

I am not sure that I have seen these in the store or anywhere before.  I probably have but didn’t know what they were so I didn’t pay attention.  Now I will purposeful look for them.  (I have been looking and I cannot find them.)

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaAccording to Wiki, this type of squash is a winter squash also know as the Bohemian, squash, peanut squash or the sweet potato squash.  Further info states it belongs to the same species as the zucchini.

The World’s Healthy Food lumps winter squash together, their site states that it has the following percentages of the RDA of the nutrients listed:

vitamin A 214.1%

vitamin C 32.8%

fiber 22.9% (5.74 grams)

manganese 19%

vitamin B6 16.5%

potassium 14.1%

vitamin K 11.2%

folate 10.2%, in just a cup of baked squash.  I think it is a great addition to a healthy diet.  It is really delicious.  And this is one of the reasons why I decided to get an organic produce box.  I never would have thought to buy this!

Are you familiar with the Delicata Squash?  How do you cook it?

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Fennel Another One Of THOSE Foods

Posted by terrepruitt on November 17, 2012

As you may have read, I recently received fennel in my organic produce box that I have delivered.  I was excited because I have heard of fennel, but never cooked with it.  I think I might not have even realized that I have had some before.  As I am thinking about it, I bet I had it put on my plate at a restaurant and assumed it was onion and didn’t eat it.  It looks like onion to me although it does not have an onion flavor at all.  The information I am seeing is that it is compared to anise.  Fennel is an herb that is used both as a flavor and a vegetable.  The bottom portion, the bulb is eaten as a vegetable.  It is related to carrots, parsley, dill, and coriander as it is a member of the family Apiaceae (formerly the Umbelliferae).  Its fronds remind me of the greenery on carrots, so it doesn’t surprise me that they are related.  Fennel is vegetation of which all of it can be eaten, the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds (I know I’ve had the seeds).  According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, this plant contains a unique combination of phytonutrients.

There is one, anethole, that has shown in animal studies to help with the reduction of inflammation and help prevent cancer.  Now, I have stated over and over that chronic inflammation is the body is not good.  Inflammation is an immune response in the body so having the body be in battle mode all the time is not a good thing.  The American lifestyle with its high stress and the average Western Diet which is full of food stuffs have been shown to CAUSE inflammation.  Having herbs and vegetables that can be easily added to the diet and might help with a chronic condition sounds good to me.  Anethole has also been found to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties according to Nutrition You Can.

Fennel also has vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.  Vitamin C is the antioxidant that helps fight against free radicals, the things, that in excess, can cause damage in the body.  Potassium is the electrolyte that is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system.  And dietary fiber is necessary to help with digestion and elimination, which when both are properly working systems tend to signify health.Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba

USDA National Nutrient database states the Nutrient value 1 cup of sliced fennel is as follows:

Energy kcal  27
Protein 1.08 g
Total lipid (fat)  0.17 g
Carbohydrate 6.35 g
Fiber, total dietary  2.7 g

Calcium, Ca mg 43 mg
Iron, Fe  0.64 mg
Magnesium 15 mg
Phosphorus, P 44 mg
Potassium, K 360 mg
Sodium, Na 45 mg

Vitamin C 10.4 mg
Vitamin A 117 AU

I am interested in foods that can help with chronic inflammation, I would like to have more of them in my diet.  At the same time I am interested in reducing the foods in my diet that cause inflammation.  How about you?  Are you interested in foods that might help with chronic inflammation?  Do you think you could add fennel to your diet?

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Zucchini Has Antioxidants and Vitamins

Posted by terrepruitt on June 23, 2012

I don’t think I really knew that the zucchini is a hybrid of the cucumber.  I do sometimes have trouble telling them apart when they are cut up in a salad, but I never really thought about their relation.  I guess I figured they were related somehow.  Since zucchini and cucumbers are related that makes zucchini a fruit.  Geez louise.  I would be in so much trouble if my life depended upon knowing the difference between what actually is a fruit and what isn’t.  Most of the vegetables I think of as vegetables are actually fruits.  The culinary world and the world of botany doesn’t always match up.  Wiki describes the zucchini in the following appetizing way:  “swollen ovary of the zucchini flower”.  Yeah thanks, I want to eat swollen ovaries. 🙂 I am mostly familiar with the green zucchini, however, it is called a summer squash.  I call yellow zucchini squash, not zucchini.

You might see recipes calling for courgettes . . . that is zucchini.

In regards to nutrition, zucchini are low in calories.  They are a great source of antioxidants.  In about 100 grams of zucchini there is 17 mg of vitamin C.    It seems the best way to get the most antioxidants out of the fruit is to steam them.  I am not sure I’ve tried them that way.  I like to roast them, but the time involved to get them the way I like them usually keeps me from making them that way.  As I mentioned in my Grated Zhuccini is GREAT post I actually like to grate them and mix them into other foods.  I think they go great with linguine and rice.  Not linquine and rice together, but one or the other.  A comment made on that post was asking if they are stringing when they are grated, but they are not, after it is cooked it has the consistency of cheese.  My last mix was turkey . . . . which is yummy too.  I also like them raw, sliced paper-thin, in green salads.

My mom makes them into cheese boats.  That’s a great way to cook them too.  Kind of like the eggplant I did, but she takes a little out from the middle and then puts cheese in them.  I only did that once.  That was really good.

Zucchini has a few of the B vitamins, as you can see below.

Also since the seeds contain Omega 3, zucchini might be one of those anti-inflammatory foods that can help with the inflammation of the body.  So many other foods (sugar, dairy, foods with transfat, refined grains) ADD to chronic inflammation it is always nice to get the foods into our diet that help combat it.  I say “might” because the information I read had said that studies have yet to prove . . . but if the seeds have Omega 3 the might help in the battle.

According to WHFoods, 1 cup (113 grams) of raw zucchini contains:

vitamin C 32%

molybdenum 18%

vitamin B6 12.5%

manganese 10%

vitamin B2 9.4%

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Niapotassium 8.4%

folate 8.1%

fiber 4.9%

magnesium 4.8%

vitamin A 4.5%

phosphorus 4.2%

vitamin K 4.2%

vitamin B1 3.3%

tryptophan3.1%

copper 3%

vitamin B 32.7%

protein 2.7%

omega-3 fats 2.5%

Calories (18) 1%

Since is it summer time here and they call zucchini a summer squash, it’s a good time to post about it.  Especially since I received some in my organic produce box.

How do you prepare zucchini?  Which color do you use?  Which is your favorite?

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Hmm, I Guess I DO Like Legumes

Posted by terrepruitt on June 9, 2012

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaBefore I started teaching Nia, I had always had corporate jobs.  I remember learning about jicama when I worked at my first “real” job. So that had to be between . . . . well, let’s just say it was a long time ago.  I remember being amazed at how it tasted like nothing, but had a little hint of sweet and dryness about it.  I love it.  When I see it on vegetable trays and in salad bars I always get some.  Even though I love it, I have only bought one once.  I don’t know how to pick it out and I always forget that is what the people who work in produce can help you do.  They can help with picking out produce. My dad always has jicama.  My dad always has a container of raw, cut and washed vegetables in the fridge and often jicama is in that container or one of its own.  Next time I go to the store I am going to buy one.  Jicama is considered a root vegetable, but is actually a legume.

It actually looks like root and tastes like a root.  Very plain, but with the slightest hint of sweetness.  I have always eaten it raw.  Cut into pieces and just eaten it raw, but in my quest for nutritional information on it I saw that people do cook with it.  I will have to write another post for that because I have never even thought of cooking it!

One suggestion I saw . . . and if you’ve eaten jicama you will agree . . . said that jicama can replace water chestnuts in recipes.  And, of course, they seem exactly the same!

It is pronounced HEcamuh.  I have always thought it was HICKamuh.  I will work on that!

Some nutritional information on jicama:

-low in calories; 38 calories per 100 grams
-high dietary fiber; 4 grams per 100 grams
-contains the anti-oxidant vitamin C; 33% of the RDA’s Daily Value (DV)
-contains vitamin B
-contains 1 gram of protein per 100 grams -contains 150 mg of Potassium (about 6% of the DV)
-no fat per 100 grams

Additional details (per 100 grams):

Cholesterol 0 mg  /  Sodium 4 mg  /  Total Carbohydrates 9 g

According to WiseGeek:

“When choosing jicama at the store, look for medium sized, firm tubers with dry roots. Do not purchase jicama that has wet or soft spots, which may indicate rot, and don’t be drawn to overlarge examples of the tuber, because they may not be as flavorful. Jicama will keep under refrigeration for up to two weeks.”

But information on Wiki says to never refrigerate.  So I guess you will have to decide that for yourself.  I guess if you refrigerate your other root veggies you might as well refrigerate this one too.  I think I might not refrigerate it until I cut it.

The outside skin needs to be peeled or cut off, then you can cut up the vegetable anyway you would like to eat it.  I tend to like it in long pieces of about an 1/2 inch around.  Usually you can only get that out of the middle as it is a round veggie so you end up with some odd shaped pieces.

Are you familiar with jicama?  Do you eat it?  Do you cook with it?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Healthful Teas Can Be Yummy

Posted by terrepruitt on March 13, 2012

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaI like tea.  Do you like tea?  I like to have tea to warm me up during the day when I don’t want to have caffeine or when I don’t want to just make a hot cup of spices.  I also drink it at night for the same reason.  Herb tea in itself is said to be good for you.  Green tea is supposed to have all kinds of benefits.  I like tea and I do believe that herbal tea has benefits depending on what herb you are drinking.  Echinacea tea would fall into that category. For instance I whole heartedly believe in Echinacea being helpful when you feel you might be catching a cold.  I believe it can help you not get the cold or help make it less severe.  In the same vein I think it can help you get better faster if you are sick.  Echinacea is one of those herbs that helps with immune systems.  Whenever my husband mumbles he is not feeling well, I make sure he has a cup of Echinacea tea. I also tend to believe in the teas that claim to help with certain things (help you sleep, boost your immue system, etc).

Last October we used up the last of our Echinacea tea.  Funny I remember when it was exactly because the studio I teach Nia at had just moved.  I found myself looking around the new area one day in November.  Normally I wouldn’t remember when I bought tea but this I remember.  I wandered into a health food store.  They had a large selection of herbal tea.  My friend and I had just been having a conversation about green teas so I was looking for green teas. I wanted something to replace my Echinacea tea.  There were two I could not decide between.  But then I spotted another one and wanted that.  So I ended up getting Green Tea Triple Echinacea and a Green Tea “Super Antioxidant”.  Not sure I believe that one, but I did believe it was green tea and thought, “Well, what the heck.”

Well, they taste green.  If you are conscious of green taste you know what I mean.  I don’t think my other Echinacea tea was green tea because it didn’t taste like green.  They are ok, I like them but I kind of just save them for when I think I need them.  When I want a yummy cup of tea they are not what I think of.  Plus they have caffeine.

Not all herb tea is decaffeinated.  Green tea has caffeine.  So if you are not drinking coffee because you don’t want the caffeine and you are drinking green tea instead, you you could still be getting caffeine.  Unless it says it is decaffeinated it has caffeine.  Sometimes I don’t mind the caffeine, in fact I will drink it because of the caffeine.  But lately it has been cold here at night and I don’t want the caffeine at night.  I wanted some decaffeinated tea.  While I was buying my calcium I clicked on their tea section and found some interesting looking tea.  It is Echinacea Immune Support.  It was on sale so I took a chance.  Ahhhhh!  I am so glad I did.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaIt has Echinacea root and Cinnamon Bark in it.  Also Cardamom Seed, Rose Hip, Ginger Root, and Elderberry Extract among other things.  This is not a green tea, but it has other things I like, for instance a yummy taste.  It is really good.  This tea is one that I think of drinking when I want to have a warm cozy cup of tea.  The moment I ripped open the little package I was intrigued by the delicious smell.

Echinacea is good for fighting colds.  Cinnamon and cardamom are anti-inflammatory spices.  Rose hips is high in Vitamin C so it has anti-oxidants.  Ginger can help with chronic inflammation and digestion.  And I just learned about Elderberry being an immune system boost.  So, with all the ingredients in here that I am familiar with I can concede its claim to be Immune Support.  Even if not, it is a good cup of tea.

Do you drink tea?  Do you drink herb tea?  Do you drink herb tea for health benefits?  What is your favorite tea? 

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

The USDA Makes the Elderberry and Elderflower Sound Miraculous

Posted by terrepruitt on March 1, 2012

In a post about an article I read about boosting your immune system I mentioned elderberries.  I think it is funny how things get brought to your conscious.  Last year I went to a Yelp Event where one of the vendors serving was St Germain.  St. Germain is a French liqueur made from elderflowers.  I had never heard of it, but when first hearing of the event my friend had told me it was her favorite.  After tasting it in their signature cocktail I understood why.  That was my first conscious memory of hearing about elderberries.  Then I read the article and it mentioned elderberries.  So I decided to do a few searches on Elderberries and as is the case with most things Wiki has a wealth of information.  First off the Elderberry is kind of the category of 5 to 30 shrubs or trees.

It seems as if most countries and peoples use the elderflowers to make syrups.  The syrups can be added to pancakes or diluted with water and used as a drink.  Or what the french had done and made a liqueur.  Seems as if the berries are used in the tradition of many berries, in wines, james, jellies, marmaldes, and fruit pies.  Every site I have seen says that the flowers are often dipped in batter and fried.  Elderberries.com states that they believe it is best not to eat them raw. 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture:  “Only the blue or purple berries of elderberry are edible. Edible berries and flower are used for medicine, dyes for basketry, arrow shafts, flute, whistles, clapper sticks, and folk medicine. The active alkaloids in elderberry plants are hydrocyanic acid and sambucine. Both alkaloids will cause nausea so care should be observed with this plant. Elderberries are high in Vitamin C. The red berries of other species are toxic and should not be gathered.”

The USDA site also states that folk medicine considered the elderberry a very valuable healing plant.  And it sounds like it could do almost anything.  The flowers have flavonoids which some say are thought to help prevent cancer and improve immune function.  The tannins are a help with reduction of bleeding, diarrhea, and congestions.

The flowers can also be made into a tea to aid in breaking “dry fevers and stimulate perspiration, aid headache, indigestion, twitching eyes, dropsy, rheumatism, appendix inflammation, bladder or kidney infections, colds, influenza, consumption (bleeding in lungs), and is helpful to newborn babies (Hutchens 1991). Used as a wash, the flowers or leaves are good for wounds, sprains, and bruises, as well as for sores on domestic animals. The leaves, which are stronger, have a slightly laxative property. Applied externally, leaves, flowers, bark and twigs are excellent as a poultice, mixed equally with chamomile, for soreness, inflammations, joint stiffness, and to reduce the swelling of bee stings. The flowers and berries, employed as a diuretic, can aid arthritis and rheumatism. Steeped in water, the flowers are used externally to aid in complexion beauty, tone and soften the skin, and lighten freckles or spots. The berry juice made into salve aids burns and scalds. The juice taken internally will act as a purgative.’

Wow, huh?  Sounds like the entire plant can pretty much do anything.  But I haven’t seen the berries sold anywhere, have you?  I have to admit I have not LOOKED for them, but since they sound like they can take care of some many things I would think they would be more popular.

Since the actual genus name is Sambucus, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that the Italian liqueur Sambucca is comprised of oil from the elderflower.  Aside from the liqueur versions and the jam versions, it really sounds as if the flowers and the berries are very good for you.  They have a lot of vitamin C and a good amount of vitamin A.  And according to folk medicine they do a heck of a lot.  I am going to look for them in September.  That seems to be the season for Elderberries. 

After reading they can help boost your immune system AND all the other stuff listed here, do they interest you?  Do elderberries sound like something you would like to add to your diet?  Do you want to try some elderflowers?

Posted in Food, Fruit | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Cucumber Uses

Posted by terrepruitt on July 5, 2011

Day flew by, even thought I didn’t teach a Nia class today, I am just now getting to my post.  I received this list a long time ago.  My plan was to research each fact to see if it was true. I realize that I could spend my time looking up each item and not really find out if it was true.  AND, I realized that my readers probably know better.  Some of you might have received this very same list.  Some of you might have tried some of these things.  And better yet, some of you might venture on this very post to comment on what you know.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

6. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

7. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

8. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

9. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

10. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

11. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

I am adding that a cucumber is mostly water.  And while their flavor is in their seeds, I have heard that it is the seeds that might also cause gas for some people.  In case you have received this list in an e-mail you may notice a couple missing, yeah, I removed them because I didn’t feel comfortable posting them.  I didn’t check on these except for the vitamins.  I wanted to give you an idea about that.

According to About.com a cup of sliced cucumbers contain the follow amounts of what is listed above:

•Calcium: 8 mg
•Iron: 0.15 mg
•Magnesium: 7 mg
•Phosphorus: 12 mg
•Potassium: 76 mg
•Zinc: 0.10 mg
•Vitamin C: 1.5 mg
•Thiamin (B1): 0.014 mg
•Riboflavin (B2): 0.017 mg
•Niacin (B3): 0.051 mg
•Pantothenic Acid (B5): 0.135 mg
•Vitamin B6: 0.021 mg
•Vitamin B12: 0 mg

As I typed this I made me want some cucumber water.

Have you tried any of these tips?  Do they work?  Let us know.

Posted in Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Celery

Posted by terrepruitt on May 14, 2011

After my Los Gatos Nia Class yesterday I went to the store.  I wanted to get some food to take to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life today.  I grabbed a bunch of celery for a snack.  I think people like celery.  I don’t.  But I didn’t realize how much I didn’t like it until I started cutting it and washing it.  I do not like celery.  As I was dealing with it I kept thinking, “What a useless vegetable.”  Well, I don’t really think that is true.  I mean it has to be good for something besides as a filler in casseroles, salads, and soups.  So . . . . to the cloud.  Ok not really because I don’t even know what that is, but I definitely decided to look it up.  Since I am going to be gone all day today at the walk, I thought I would jot down my celery education as my Saturday blog post.  Yay!

As I think back on so many things (soups, salads, and casseroles) that I didn’t like as a child I realize it is because they had celery in them.  I realize when I cook these things myself, I love them because I don’t put celery in them.  But, as I truly believed, celery is not useless.  The stalk, root, leaves, and seeds can all be used.

Celery (the stalk) is a great source of vitamin K and vitamin C.  A cup can provide you with 2.04 grams fiber.  Do people normally eat a cup of celery when they eat celery?

Celery contains nutrients that have been linked with lowering blood pressure, reducing high cholesterol, and helpful in preventing cancer.  The phthalides are the compounds that help with lowering blood pressure.  The vitamin C helps with the immune system.  I’ve posted before about how chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases, vitamin C help reduce inflammation by helping contain free radicals, so does the coumarins also found in celery.

According to Wiki celery is like peanuts in that people who are allergic to it can have a very bad reaction as people with peanuts do.  As with peanuts people who are allergic to celery can get a reaction from something that has been used to process it.  Stalks, seeds, and roots all have varying degrees of potency.

As I was cutting the celery, just the smell was bothering me.  And it is like an onion, not as strong, but once it gets your hands you can’t wash it off.  I probably washed my hands at least 10 times in the course of my preparation of snacks for the walk and it never came off.  As I was cutting it I kept thinking, “Peppery.”  Not sure why.  Since I was getting so disgusted while dealing with it, I thought, “Is it REALLY that bad?”  So I cut a small piece off to taste it.  I put it in my mouth and bit down.  Yup, it IS that bad.  I spit it out.  I just do not like celery.

I did have celery soup a couple of times and I did like that so I don’t know what that means.  Except that I WILL be trying my hand at making the soup but I will not be adding celery to anything I make.  Any fans out there?  Do you eat it raw?  Do you disguise the taste by filling it with cream cheese?  Or peanut butter?  Do you cook with it?

Thanks, as always, for letting me share.  And thanks, in advance, for sharing back.  🙂

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »