Skip to main content

freevector-honey-bee1-vector

Sugar. Baked inside a gooey-chewy, chocolate chip cookie, in your fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, or hidden in seemingly healthy salad dressing, it’s in our lives for the long-haul.

At 15 calories per teaspoon, it’s easy to over indulge—especially when sugar hides in so many foods and drinks. If you’re counting calories or limiting carbs these natural sugar substitutes will satisfy your sweet tooth while providing additional nutritional value.

1. Coconut Palm Sugar

Coconut palm sugar is made from the sap extracted from coconut trees then boiled and dehydrated into fine sugar crystals. It has the appearance and taste of brown sugar. Coconut palm sugar has the same amount of carbs and calories as regular sugar (sorry, no way around that), but because of the refining process, the sap retains several of its key vitamins including Potassium, Zinc, and Vitamin C; making coconut palm sugar a more nutrient-rich option than the empty calories of white sugar.

You can use coconut palm sugar in just about anything. It’s a good substitute when baking, and tastes amazing in cookies, sweet breads, and pies.

2. Agave Syrup

Agave syrup comes from the agave plant, a succulent related to the yucca. Agave’s been harvested for centuries. Its syrup has a low-glycemic index, which means it won’t cause a sharp spike in your body’s blood sugar levels.

Agave can be substituted for sugar in most recipes. It’s exceptionally sweet, so you won’t need as much to achieve to same level of sweetness as you would with sugar. In recipes, substitute about 1/3 of a cup of agave syrup for every one cup of sugar. It also goes well in tea and coffee—and, you’ll only need a small drop.

3. Raw Honey

To achieve its beautiful, Winnie the Pooh-approved golden radiance and smooth texture, most honey is processed. Nutritionally, it’s not much different than regular sugar.

Raw honey hasn’t been pasteurized and maintains a variety of health benefits including antioxidants, immune support, and phytonutrients.

Raw honey is raw for a reason—it loses many of its health benefits when heated. While raw honey is deliciously perfectly on toast, pita chips, or as an accompaniment on a cheese platter, it’s not ideal for baking with or sweetening hot tea.

4. Pureed Dates

Dates are sticky and sweet—a perfect swap for sugar. Dates are a whole food, so they’re full of nutrients including iron, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. They’re also full of fiber, meaning your body will absorb the sugar more slowly—so no blood sugar spike. Dates are the perfect all-natural sugar substitution for feeling good about eating sweets.

To make a pureed date paste: Add one cup of pitted Medjool dates (or substitute any other type of date) to 1/4 cup of hot water. Blend in a food processor until a thick paste forms. Add more water if necessary for a smoother paste. Use date paste like you’d use honey or any other sweet spread. Oh! And it’s paleo-friendly, perfect for baked goods.

5. Stevia

Zero calories and all-natural. Seems too good to be true, right? Stevia, a plant native to South America, has been cultivated for centuries for its sweet flavor and medicinal properties. It’s much sweeter than sugar, so when replacing it you don’t need nearly as much. In fact, for every one cup of sugar, the stevia equivalent is approximately one teaspoon of liquid or powder extract.

Replacing stevia with sugar requires some finagling. Because you don’t need as much, when used for baking you’ll need a bulking agent—like eggs, applesauce, or plant protein powder—to give your recipe volume. Until you’re really comfortable with this substitution process, try following a specific recipe instead of doing it on the fly.

Whether you’ve got a hankering for a late-night snack or want to sweeten your morning coffee, if you’re trying to limit your sugar intake, make those choices healthier with one of these natural sugar substitutes. Of course this is on top of already balancing your blood sugars with our amazing Pink Drink!

https://www.facebook.com/tracie.gawlik?fref=nf

Vitamin A

If you add a cup of chopped green cabbage to your diet, you’ll get 3 percent of your daily value of vitamin A. But if you opt for a cup of chopped red cabbage, you’ll add 19 percent of your daily value of vitamin A to your diet for. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that helps maintain your teeth, skeletal tissue, skin and mucous membranes.

red cabbageVitamin C

Vitamin C is a necessary vitamin that your body needs to promote new tissue growth. Your body uses vitamin C to repair wounds and to keep your bones, cartilage and teeth healthy. Both red and green cabbage are good sources of vitamin C, but you’ll get a super boost from adding red cabbage to your diet. While a cup of chopped green cabbage contains 47 percent of your daily value of vitamin C, eating a cup of chopped red cabbage will get you 84 percent of your daily value.

Iron

Vegetables aren’t the best sources of iron, but cabbage does offer a small amount of this essential mineral. Eating a cup of shredded green cabbage will add 2 percent of your daily value of iron to your diet, while a cup of shredded red cabbage contains 3 percent. Your body needs iron to keep your red blood cells functioning properly, carrying oxygen to all of your cells. If you don’t get enough iron in your diet, you could suffer from anemia, which can lead to fatigue.

Anthocyanins

Red cabbage boasts an extra nutrient not found in green cabbage. Anthocyanins are the antioxidants that give red cabbage its purple color. These flavonoids are known for their health-boosting benefits including cancer-fighting and memory improvement. Anthocyanins may contribute to healthy weight loss by helping your body release hormones that metabolize fat and suppress your appetite.

 

What are Capers?

CapersCapers are the un-ripened flower buds of Capparis spinosa, a prickly, perennial plant.

Capers probably originated from dry regions in west or central Asia. Known and used for millennia, capers were mentioned by Dioscorides as being a marketable product of the ancient Greeks. Capers are also mentioned by the Roman scholar, Pliny the Elder.The relationship between capers and human beings can be traced back to the stone age.

Remains of C. spinosa were unearthed in archaeological sites as early as the lower Mesolithic. (Cultural period between paleolithic and Neolithic)

CapersAfter the buds are harvested and dried, the pungent, almost peppery, lemony taste… is brought out by the pickling process in vinegar, brine, salt or wine.

Being a desert plant, the caper bush needs very little water or nutrients.

The earliest known mention of the caper bush is in a Sumerian epic of 2000 BC. … Besides its value as food and medicine, the plant is highly ornamental .

001Food, as we know good food to be, is/or should be, a high “bliss” moment of any day.

Whether one is dining alone, a cozy setting for two, or a festive dinner for six, make it special, and….

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.~ Hebrews 13:2

God Bless~

EatWell-BeWell

Our health is most often a direct result of what we eat, breathe and lavish upon ourselves.

Now please don’t go for the clicker, I’m not going to pound you with what you should be doing…..my belief is if you don’t like where you are, you will find a better place.

I’m here to guide and help you if you so desire.I hear folks say so often that making changes to a healthier way of eating is too expensive…….well, let me tell you, it is a lot less expensive than the doctor bills and the funeral cost.

Eat HealthyEating and living healthy is so simple and so much fun, once you commit. Granted you have to be willing to cut back (way back) on a few major items in your diet. Those being: refined sugar, bad fats, processed foods and colas. Aim for eating as much home-grown/locally grown foods as possible. Stay away from GM foods (genetically modified) and high fructose corn syrup.

Now just a little hint on how to start. Don’t buy or bake anything with refined sugar for 2 weeks. Instead eat fruit and drink plenty of water. By the end of the second week, your taste for sweets will have changed completely (if you don’t cheat). Once you get the refined sugar out of your system, it will react to it as an invader, you simply will not want it. In some cases it will take longer and some never are able to break the habit (and it is a habit) completely. But at least you can downgrade to a few well made goodies a week, versus sugar laden junk.

When excess salt is removed from our food and we get a taste of the real food underneath, ahh.. the pleasure of eating has only just begun.

Seasoning with herbs and herb blends can help you do that.
The same herbs can take the place of fatty seasonings as well.

I’m well aware that some foods just have to have some flavor from a good type seasoning other than herbs.. My favorites are; olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, and a good grape-seed oil for high heat cooking.

Please be aware that olive oil turns rancid when it reaches a certain high heat…so it isn’t good for frying. You know, frying isn’t all bad, it’s what you fry in and how you fry that makes the difference.
(When heating oil for frying…never allow it to smoke, if it does, toss it and start over.)
(Never allow the food to sit in excess oil and soak it up.)
(Never re-heat fried foods.)

So, do you agree that the simple changes could put you on the road to a better life with your health.

And if you really think about it, our health is all we have…once that’s gone, everything else really doesn’t matter. You can’t have a joyful, fun filled, satisfying life if you’re unhealthy.

Once you start and discover the good side……it will become a passion, and that is worth having!

Please feel free to ask questions or make donations of your own ideas. I’m a very receptive lady to others opinions.
I may not always like or use them, but I will take them and consider them carefully.

 

Tablescape

Simple greenery is one of my favorite Table-scapes for the summer.

Rosemary is also one of my favorite herbs for the summer usage…as you see-makes a lovey table piece, a small jar filled with the heady stems on the kitchen just speaks “home.”

How many households doesn’t look to the grill for easy and delicious summer foods. Vegetables on the grill is my best loved way of eating and serving them…squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and white corn…any and all take to the grilling like a June-bug on the rosemary.

Soak a few sprigs in clean water and toss onto the veggies or meat( rosemary, not the Junebug )…keep the rosemary soaked to impart the full flavor.

Good and good for us…

EatWell-BeWell

Bea Rigsby Kunz
32 Old Petersburg Pike
Petersburg, TN 37144
931-438-8328
https://sagehillgardens.com

Fresh rosemary for sale…as well as basil, fennel, oregano, peppermint, stevia, sage, tarragon, and thyme .

Finding Your Balance

The total surface area of land cultivated to grow genetically modified crops increased from 4.2 million acres in 1997 to 331 million acres in 2009. As of today, the United States is the largest producer of GM foods, accounting for 45 percent of the world production, followed by Brazil and Argentina, with 16 and 15 percent of the world share respectively.
**This data is at least 10 years old…with the most recent government move to allow, encourage  with   our presidents blessing…MORE GMO foods into our farming industry.

Keep in mind….NO long term research or Testing on any genetically modified foods prior to releasing into the mainstream food chain.

Advantages of Eating Locally and In Season~

Most foods on average travel 1,500 miles before it lands on our dinner table. Globalization of the food supply has dealt the environment, our communities, our health and our taste buds a very serious blow.

Air pollution and global warming, loss of family farms and local community dollars are just a few of the negative consequences of food globalization.

We, our children, and our grand children need to understand how our food system works.

When we know and understand the process only then can we act effectively for change.

It’s not always easy to find local and fresh foods, but it is worth whatever effort we have to put out to do so.

For those who can’t grow their own food, and there are many, search out any farms or farmers markets in your area. Be willing to eat whatever is in season in your area. This will make the search much easier and our bodies much healthier.

Many places are starting to offer fresh food co-ops, and while these may not be today’s harvest they are still fresher and safer than the local supermarket.

All across the USA, thousands upon thousands are seeking better food options.

Many of the large brands are now offering organic. Be aware that everything that reads organic…isn’t. There are many, many loop-holes that allow big companies to cheat, and cheat they do.

Companies and brands that are really organic will make it clear and easy to understand their product and packaging. There are many foods on the market now that are organic, we just have to be selective and not as trusting as we would like to be. We also have the option of internet shopping; this gives us access to many natural and organic foods that we might not find locally.

Read labels, understand the ingredients and what they mean.

Sugar is a good example of how misleading words can be. Any word on food packaging that ends in “ose” is a sugar. And the word “sugar” may not be on the ingredient listing at all.

Happy cooking!

Bea Kunz

NOTICE: You may reprint this article by giving credit back to the author and by using it as written.

The Dill of Scandinavia and Sage Hill Gardens

Anethum graveolens or Fern Leaf dill is an ancient herb. Mentions can be traced to early Egyptian writings some 5,000 years ago.

It is the most important culinary herb in Scandinavia-used much the same way as parsley in other parts of the world.

The word “dill” comes from the Old Norse word “dilla” meaning “to lull.”

In the kitchen, dill is delicious in cabbage, carrots, turnips, sauces and dips,and stews.

A light sprinkling of dill the last few seconds before serving chops, steaks, and /or fish/seafood adds a flair of excellence.

Happy growing!

Bea Kunz

dill

NOTICE: You may reprint this article by giving credit back to the author and by using it as written.

Tea Facts Worth Knowing

Infusion: Tea made from leaves, flowers and light material. Put 1-2 teaspoons of herbal tea material into a brewing utensil of your choice and place in a 6-8 oz size cup. Add lightly boiled water and allow it to steep for 3-5 minutes. For a more “medicinal” effect steep 15-30 minutes. Will keep refrigerated for 24 hours

Decoction: Tea made from bark, roots, seeds, twigs and berries. Put 1-3 tablespoons of cut herb, seed, root, bark, etc into a pot of 16-32 oz of water and allow to sit in non-boiled water for at least 5-10 minutes. Set on stove and bring to a slow boil then turn down to a simmer for 10-30 minutes. Strain and drink. Will keep about 72 hours if kept refrigerated.

Much of the research on green tea has focused on its polyphenol content. Many different kinds of polyphenols are found in green tea, and these polyphenols will become increasingly present in the tea water the longer a tea is steeped. (This principle holds true for green tea, white tea, black tea, and oolong tea.) Catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins are among the best studied of the green tea polyphenols that are known to increase in the tea water as steeping times increase.

When you brew tea yourself, you can control this steeping process in a way that will maximize the polyphenol content of your tea. When you buy a bottled tea, however, you may or may not get a tea that has been carefully brewed. In addition, you are likely to get a tea that includes other ingredients and is not simply 100% brewed tea.

According to a 2005 study, Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University issued a report showing that many bottled teas contained polyphenol content 10 to 100 times lower than freshly and carefully brewed teas. Differences between bottled tea and freshly brewed tea were attributed to steeping process, amount of actual tea found in the bottled products, and presence of non-tea ingredients in the bottled teas, including sugar. In addition, bottled tea companies were sometimes found to use powdered rather than brewed tea in their products.

Happy cooking!

Bea Kunz

NOTICE: You may reprint this article by giving credit back to the author and by using it as written.

The benefits of culinary herbs and spices are primarily due to their antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiviral effects.

Herbs and spices should be used to enhance and balance, not over-power a foods flavor.

Emperor Charlemagne of the 9th Century wrote: “An herb is a friend of physicians and the praise of cooks.”

Of the 9 most popular herbs, 6 of them are from the Family Lamiacea – more commonly known as the Mint Family.

Those six are: Basil, Peppermint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme.

Adding these 6 herbs to your daily diet will in fact be adding a large dose of good health to your life. It will also allow you to reduce salt, fat, and sugars from your foods. These three ingredients are used to give dead and bland foods taste/flavor. When you can put back or draw from the food itself, the natural flavoring, and the need for artificial additions isn’t necessary.

Fresh from your garden is of course the most beneficial method of using herbs. When this isn’t an option, the next best method is fresh dried; this is accomplished by hanging in a clean, cool, and dark place where dust and bugs do not have access. Remove from hanging as soon as they are dry and strip from the stalk, storing in glass or the proper type paper containers until ready for use. Never store in plastic, it will absorb the oils and the herbs will go stale very easily.

The finer the leaf is crushed, the quicker the oils are lost. The oils are the life of the herb.

To test your herbs for life, between your fingers, crush a small amount, if the aroma is strong and pleasant-the herbs are still good for using. If however, the aroma is slight and musty-it’s time to toss and start with fresh.

For stove-top cooking, add herbs the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking time.

Baking does not destroy the oils as quickly as stove-top heat.

Fresh or dried can be sprinkled into foods just before serving for a very delicious and healthy addition to your dining experience.

There are no hard and fast rules when using herbs and spices……with the exception of a few, they can be crossed used.

So get creative, try different blends, find your own signature flavor and then share it with those around you.

Happy cooking!

Bea Kunz

NOTICE: You may reprint this article by giving credit back to the author and by using it as written.