Food As Art~

Food As Art

Artful Food

Most famous works of art from nature, tend to be flowers…

Why not vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds…..for some reason that escapes me…food is something we take for granted…spending little to no time admiring the form, the characteristics, or the history.

A Rembrandt from my garden gallery~

Blooms No More~

Blooms No More~

The time is near…summer blooms will begin to fade, late summer early fall colors will take their place in colorful shrubs, trees and grasses.

Utilize the last of the floral beauty by mixing with grass blades, wild branches of green or color…from what is easily available…fill your surroundings with the last of the blooms.

Nothing say’s welcome like fresh nature!

Summer’s Best…

Summer's Best~

Even the best of things end, change direction or simply move on to better.
The summer gardens are proof of this….
Even though I’m a seasonal eater…I go through fresh tomato and cucumber withdrawal for 2 weeks after production stops.
Nature knows this will happen…so, look around your garden, your neighbors garden or the best local market you have…..pick from the veggies that are still producing and available to you.
This is true “Eating In Season.”

This transition allows our bodies to adjust to a little heavier diet with fall and winter looming around the corner.

Enjoy…

Sunday+National Ice Cream Day=My Bliss~

The heading says it all!! Well…not quite ….the real bliss comes when you can easily make and enjoy guilt free ice-cream…

If you are a family member deals with health issues such as diabetes…this method of a sweet treat is blissful for certain…

Makes about 1 quart…

Give it a try and share your thoughts.

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Raspberry/Banana

4 frozen bananas cut into pieces
1 cup fresh/frozen raspberries
4 Tbsp coconut milk
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Optional if more sweetness is desired.
(Agave Nectar, honey, Maple syrup or Stevia )

1 Tbsp if using agave, honey or syrup
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Stevia
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In a heavy duty blender or food processor…blend all ingredients until smooth.

Pour into a freezer container and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Enjoy!!

Note: Using the same ingredients you can pick your own fruits or combination of….

The Secret Life of the Coneflower…echinacea….

Echinacea

More than a pretty addition in the flower garden…echinacea is native to the USA, where it was a staple among the Native Americans as a medicinal/healing tool.
Modern research has confirmed echinacea’s immune -boosting properties and it is extensively used as an antiviral.

 

The flower petals make a lovely tea, but the medicinal power is found in the root(dried and powdered) containing inulin, polysaccharides, essential oil, resin
plant sterols, and fatty acids. ( proven to increase body resistance to infection.)

Used in the treatment of colds and influenza, as well as more chronic conditions such as glandular fever or ME/post-viral fatigue. It stimulates the production of white blood sells, which fight infection, and is therefore being used as a support for HIV/AIDS.
It is best used as a commercial prepared tincture and should always be sought out and used under the supervision of a qualified herbal/Holistic practitioner.

PS: Among the other colors of the coneflower, the purple purpurea is the only one with medicinal properties.

 

Splenda-a small dose of death!

Sweeteners

We all know or should…how the media and advertising heads can take any idea or thought and spin it quickly into a rave that runs viral through society for decades.

Artificial sweeteners are prime examples…

Splenda…..used by a vast numbers of people with expectations of avoiding calories and other fallout of sugar…..but do you know…

One small packet of Splenda instantly kills off 50% of the good microbes in the gut. Add to that all the other negatives from an unbalanced diet and the gut ends up totally sick and not working…Leaky gut , digestive issues, heartburn, acid reflux, low to no energy, bad complexion….most all the issues we see running rampant through the masses today are directly related to the diet.

There are alternatives to refined white sugar without opting for the artificial ones…Raw honey, agave, pure maple syrup, Black Molasses and Stevia.

The largest concentration of artificial sweeteners are found in pre-packaged processed foods, fast food, colas and commercial baked goods….bar candy of all description is loaded with a plethora of artificial ingredients, cereals are another heavy laden item …..read labels before purchasing!
Many of these items are marketed heavily to children…they deserve better…as we all do!!

 

A Cucumber is a Cucumber-waiting to be a Pickle~

 

Pickling CucumbersSweet Bread & Butter Pickles

Pickle relish is one of those items that must be carefully scrutinized when purchasing at the super-market…most have High Fructose Corn Syrup, and very high Sodium content…mine will have neither.
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Mothers Pickle Relish~no doubt my grandmother’s too~
( I’ve adjusted the amount to a smaller batch )
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5 pounds-small to medium size cucumbers
1 large sweet onion
1 Tbsp Pickling Salt
3 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups cider vinegar-5% acidity
1 Tbsp whole Allspice
1 Tbsp whole Cloves
1-3″ cinnamon stick
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Wash cucumbers and remove the darkest end of the cucumber( blossom end ) this is usually bitter.
Chop cucumbers and onion by hand or in a food processor-combine in a large -non reactive bowl-Sprinkle with pickling salt-mix well-cover and let stand overnight. ( refrigerate )

Next day…Drain well, tie all spices in a cheesecloth bag
In a 6/8 quart saucepan combine vegetable mix, spice bag, and all other ingredients.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat-stirring occasionally.

Boil for 10 minutes-stirring often to avoid sticking.
Remove from heat and remove spices.

Fill hot jars with mixture leaving 1/2 inch space between jar rim and lid.
Carefully run a non-reactive spatula around the inside of jar to release air bubbles. Wipe jar tops and threads clean.

Place hot lids on jars and screw bands on firmly.

Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.

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I use pint size jars and an open top canner…place jars in canner-cover with boiling water to just over the lids…this will assure sealing and the proper action to avoid spoilage….

TIP: Jars that do not seal in a few hours should be left in the frig to eat or thrown out…never store unsealed jars. The content will spoil.

Poison to Obsession~

tomato sandwichtomato sandwichtomato sandwich

Americans may be in love with tomatoes today, but history shows us that the relationship got off to a rocky start.

During Colonial Times, we wouldn’t put a tomato near our mouths, let alone try to eat one. Folklore had it that if you ate a tomato, its poison would turn your blood into acid. Instead, the colonists grew tomatoes purely for decoration.

Great history of the tomato here, it’s a lot!!

History of Tomatoes


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My brother and I just had a long conversation about…what else..Tomatoes!!

Today I celebrated the first tomato to ripen in the Sage Hill garden…this year..

That may not be exciting to some, but I’ve had a love affair with these “fruits” since I was a wee lass of 8/9 years old…my mother would save biscuits from breakfast, after school I would take one and head for the tomato patch..( we had a big tomato patch! Sitting in the sun, in the dirt, that was my after school snack!
So now you understand what this sandwich did for me today…brought back a flood of memories and helped we welcome the first day of the Summer Solstice,

It’s going to be a fabulous one!!! Lots more tomatoes to come…
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In case you would like to duplicate…

Choice of bread…I like an organic multi grain ( sourdough is good also)
(1) slice of Pepper-jack cheese ( place under broiler and slightly melt
Sliced spring onions-blades too
Thick slice the tomato
A sprinkling of fresh dill weed
Layer, a little sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

I add lettuce and sweet pickles to the side…you may layer them on the sandwich if you like.
You may also add Mayo…I use the cheese to replace the mayo.

Michael Pink…you were in my thoughts while happily consuming every bite!!

Bon Appetite ~

PS: Be aware, every part of the tomato plant except the fruit is toxic to humans and animals.

 

 

Accolades To Spinach~and good health~

Spinach

According to Sage Hill Farms and Popeye 🙂

Spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.

Spinach is native to ancient Persia (Iranian regions). Arab traders carried spinach into India and China. Traders also brought this green leafy vegetable to the Mediterranean regions of Europe and ultimately to the US. Today, there are three primary varieties of spinach available on the market. Typically the most popular is baby spinach, but you could also go for smooth-leaf or Savory (has curly leaves). ( Sage Hill grows and prefers the curly leaf…buttery and smooth.)

Powerful Plant-based Steroids
Spinach contains its own type of vegetable steroids called phytoecdysteroids. These are similar to insect molting hormones and have been proven to dramatically increase glucose metabolism. This keeps blood sugar levels stable and minimizes the requirement for the critical fat-storage hormone insulin.

Spinach is filled with blood purifying chlorophyll.
This chlorophyll is quickly metabolized and used to develop new red blood cells and pull out carcinogenic substances from the body. Chlorophyll has magnesium which acts to strengthen the blood-brain barrier and protect the neurological system from environmental toxins. Spinach is really an amazing source of glycoclycerolipids that protect the digestive tract from inflammatory damage. These are the main fatty acids that makeup the cell membranes of light-sensitive organs in chlorophyll containing plants.

Helps Boost Immunity
Spinach is also an important source of copper, zinc and selenium which help boost immunity. Spinach also contains some very newly studied carotenoid anti-oxidants called eposyxanthophylls. The epoxyxanthophylls that have been researched to show remarkable anti-cancer properties include neoxanthin and violaxanthin.

Vision and Brain Function
Spinach is also filled with the powerful carotenoid anti-oxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These phytonutrients are extremely important for healthy vision & brain function. The carotenoids act to protect chlorophyll from intense UV radiation. Under intense sunlight, chlorophyll can convert into an excited form called triplet chlorophyll along with singlet oxygen molecules which act as potent free radicals. The more carotenoids a plant maintains the greater the degree of survivability it has and the enhanced nutritional bio-availability provides.

Why Buy Organic?
When purchasing spinach be sure to choose organic, as the non-organic commercial varieties are considered the most heavily sprayed edible plants on earth. Also, look to buy it fresh to avoid chemical preservative agents and aluminum found in the cans. It’s also quite simple to grow in areas of mild temperatures–it grows beautifully for me in the spring and fall.

Spinach will also grow very well in a large/wide container.-you can grow enough in a old wash-tub or whiskey barrel for 2 to 4 people and if harvested about twice a week will give you an abundant crop all season.

Immune Building…key to a healthy body~

Herbs
Herbs to build a strong Immune system.

1. Honey

2. St.John’s Wort

3. Sage

4. Garlic
5. Shitake and Reishi mushrooms
6. Hyssop

7. Oregano

8. All the warm spices…cinnamon, clove, cayenne pepper, black pepper, Sea salts, cumin,ginger, etc.

Any tea/tisane herb can transformed to medicinal by steeping longer than for tea. (10 minutes at least)

A cup of warm/hot water with 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice daily will help balance the pH level of the body.

(Apple Cider Vinegar and 1/3 tsp of baking soda will work also)

Drinking Water is best at room temperature, cold water slows and can stop the digestive process .

Eating In Season is the what our body is designed to function best with.