T’was a Superfood Christmas, and all through the house,
The decorations complete, even tea towels with Mickey Mouse.
Some snacks before dinner, cinnamon coated walnuts with care.
Saving the dark chocolate for dessert, with almonds to spare.
There was spinach and roasted pumpkin salad,
Garlic & Lemon dressing made it more superfood valid.
Took the bottle of red wine out of the gift wrap,
Steamed the broccoli, peas and beans – no time for a nap.
Tarts with cranberries and cherries adorned the Christmas platter,
Saving the blueberries for the morning, for pancake batter.
That was my version of the traditional Christmas poem that I’m sure you’ve heard more than a few times before. Just because it was Christmas, it was not a reason to overindulge. The superfoods were in abundance in our home.
Superfoods contribute to a healthy body and mind. Our Christmas Eve menu consisted of almonds and walnuts as snacks. The sparkling shiraz was the start of the red wine health benefits, and red wine to accompany the meal.
Christmas morning started with an early swim at the beach, to get our exercise to start the day. Then we came back and had pancakes for breakfast. The pancake batter was wheat-free and dairy-free with blueberry superfood benefits.
Wishing you a very healthy start to the new year – all the best to you and yours for a fabulous 2010!
As an American living in Australia, I have seen the American holiday creep into Australia over the years. Now more than ever, there are decorations, costumes, party favours, candy/lollies to get into the Halloween spirit. I must admit that it was one of my favourite holidays as a child. I cherish those memories and really enjoyed celebrating the holiday with other fellow Americans when my daughter was little. The American Women’s Club of Perth was so influential in facilitating the American holidays, as well as an excellent way to mingle with other Americans living in Perth. This year I will be celebrating with some American friends, but not necessarily traditionally. I had some Halloween decorations to use on a pumpkin cake recipe that I modified to call my own. Celebrating with the superfood-pumpkin we will have Pumpkin Spice Cake and Pumpkin Spinach Salad.
Pumpkin Spice Cake (serves 8-10)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
180g peeled pumpkin, steamed and mashed
2 cups sifted plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1-1/2teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup buttermilk
Pre-heat oven to 180C. I used a fan forced oven.
Cream the butter, then add the sugar and beat till fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.
Slowly beat in the pumpkin.
Sift all the dry ingredients together, then add some buttermilk, alternating until all mixed in.
Pour the cake batter into the Tupperware Kugelhopf and bake for about 40-45 minutes. Remember, every oven is different so time will vary. Test with cake tester or knife. It should spring back when pressed lightly.
Cool cake in tin on a rack for 5 minutes -this allows for air to circulate around the base of the tin too. Turn onto rack gently to cool completely.
Decorate as desired. I frosted and decorated with Halloween sprinkles. It can be used anytime of year, just sprinkle with icing sugar.
Have a Happy Halloween! Try the cake recipe even if it’s not for Halloween. It’s great all year round, let me know how it turns out:-)
Walnuts are superfoods for many reasons. Eating walnuts regularly provides the body with essential omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Walnuts have the highest antioxidant content of the tree nuts.
Research suggests that walnuts can be a healthy part of the diet for the prevention of not only breast and other cancers, but also diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Walnuts – “The King of Nuts”
Walnuts are considered by many as the “king of nuts” from a nutritional perspective. Walnuts, like other nuts are high in monounsaturated fats. These are the same type of health-promoting fats that are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. Therefore, to get the health benefits of walnuts, a moderate handful is sufficient.
Other health benefits of walnuts include:
Prevent Gallstones – as little as 1 ounce per week has been shown to reduce the risk of gallstones.
Source of Bioavailable Melatonin – improves the quality of sleep.
Controls High Blood Pressure – omega 3 fatty acids help to regulate the blood pressure.
Antioxidant King – one of the highest antioxidant levels of all superfoods.
Promotes Heart Health – reduces overall cholesterol, reduces LDL’s (bad cholesterol), increases artery elasticity, antioxidant activity reduces heart disease risk by protecting the blood vessels from free radical damage.
Regulates Type II Diabetes – improved overall cholesterol profile, which helps to regulate the effects of the disease.
Protects Bone Health – supports bone health and prevents excessive bone turnover with the bioactivity of alpha linolenic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid found specifically in walnuts.
Enhances Brain Activity – omega 3 fatty acid content helps to sustain a clear, healthy brain by supporting the cellular function via the fatty brain cell membranes.
Walnuts are a fantastic source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have been found to not only protect the heart and promote better cognitive function, but also provide anti-inflammatory benefits for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and psoriasis.
Walnuts also contain the antioxidant compound ellagic acid, which is known to fight cancer and support the immune system. Studies have shown approximately 16 polyphenols in walnuts, including three new tannins, with antioxidant activity so powerful it was described as “remarkable.”
I remember watching Popeye cartoons and finding it rather interesting how he just ate spinach out of a can….I believe that a modern day Popeye would be eating it “organically fresh” straight from the garden to get the maximum health benefits of spinach!
Spinach as a superfood is based on solid research and should be considered seriously for almost anyone’s diet (always exceptions to the rule).
Spinach in the raw
Spinach is low in calories, yet extremely high in vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients – there’s that word again! In case you forgot: natural plant chemicals with human nutritional value. Spinach has more than 100% of vitamins K and A just for starters. It is an excellent source of vitamins B2 and B6, magnesium, iron (non-heme), calcium, and potassium as well. It contains more than half the daily requirements for folate and manganese. Spinach has a special concoction of flavonoids, 13 to be exact, which all work together to help slow a number of cancers including colon, bladder, prostate, liver, breast, stomach, ovarian and smoking related lung cancer. Spinach is not only a superfood, but a brain food; more health benefits of spinach include: improved brain function, improved eyesight, macular degeneration prevention, increased energy, improved gastrointestinal function.
Spinach is also a very good source of dietary fibre, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E. If that’s not enough health benefits, spinach is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and niacin.
Spinach is readily accessible to all and available almost everywhere in the world today as a whole food, affordable and if the climate is right, you could even grow spinach in your own backyard.
It is not just a coincidence that with our modern day changed diets, the rise of different diseases go hand in hand. One of those changes has been that grain products have become one of the dominant sources of caloric intake today, despite being relatively low in nutrient value.
On the other side of the coin, the western diet today contains only 40% volume of vegetables, such as spinach, than it did a century ago.
Spinach is versatile – my personal favourite is baby spinach leaves raw in salads (a superior alternative to low nutrient iceberg lettuce) or it can be eaten cooked as a side vegetable, or mixed in things such as quiche muffins, or lasagne.
Incorporate spinach or a spinach recipe in your daily diet (eating plan), starting now. Your body will thank you for all those health benefits associated with it!
Chiropractic is an art, science and philosophy focusing on a nervous system free from interference to allow the body to reach it’s optimum potential, naturally.
Chiropractic is a main passion and interest in my life. Not only is it my profession, but a way to connect the mind and body; a lifestyle - a natural way to allow your body to heal itself, and so much more. It is about looking at the entire body. Our bodies act as a whole unit - from Above, Down, Inside, Out! I love serving the community and being pro-active in making a difference…both individually and collectively as a whole.