January 20, 2017

Why Everyone Should Eat More Avocados

by Jessica Thiefels

They’re creamy, they’re fatty, and the best part: they’re good for you.

Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. They are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados can act as a “nutrient booster” by helping increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like Vitamins A, D, K and E.

Health professionals have known for a long time that avocados fit within a balanced diet, but their naturally high fat content may have you wondering whether they are in fact healthy.

Luckily, that high fat content, along with a variety of other attributes, make avocados a great food to consume regularly. Here’s the proof that you need, along with a few fun recipes, to buy a few avocados on your next trip to the grocery store.

Types of Avocados

Avocados come in many shapes and sizes, the most common of which is the Hass.

Different varieties are best for different uses:

  • Hass is a creamy, nutty-flavored avocado that has become the standard by which most Americans now judge avocados.
  • Gwen is slightly larger than the Hass, but shares many of the same texture and taste qualities. However, it has a slightly smoky flavor, somewhat akin to that of chipotle chiles. It has a silky flesh and is delicious on its own or spread on bread like butter.
  • The Pinkerton has a longer, thinner “neck” and high oil content. It also has a richer, fuller flavor than the Hass. Unlike a Hass avocado, the Pinkerton skin does not turn black when ripe!
  • The Reed has firmer flesh, making it better for cutting. Its flesh has a good quality with a nutty taste. All you need is a sprinkle of sea salt and a spoon to scoop out its creamy goodness.

The Benefits of Avocado

These days, the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health conscious individuals. It is often referred to as a superfood… which is not surprising given its health properties.

1. High Fat Content

Yes, this is a benefit. Fat is necessary for the body. Fat helps protect organs, keep your body warm, increase energy, and support cell growth. In fact, fat provides more ATP (energy) for your body than proteins or carbohydrates.

In fact, 75%-80% of the calories in avocados come from fat. The bulk of these fats are healthy and what your body needs more of. More than two-thirds of the fats found in avocados are monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fat helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Fear not the fat in avocados!

2. Naturally Sodium and Cholesterol Free

It seems as though these two things—sodium and cholesterol—are a constant topic of conversation in the health world, and for good reason: high levels of sodium can be found in even the healthiest foods, like nut butter or pre-made soup. But avocados are sodium-free.

Avocados contain cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol that reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. The combination of beta-sitosterol and monounsaturated fat makes the avocado an excellent cholesterol buster.

Swap your peanut butter for avocado on your toast one day a week to reduce sodium intake. Top your toast with tomato slices or salt and pepper for a bigger flavor punch and even more healthy nutrients.

3. High Potassium Levels

Potassium is a crucial nutrient, playing key roles in muscle strength, nerve function and heart health. And if you don’t get enough—4,700 mg a day—it could lead to a deficiency, complete with fatigue, muscle cramps, heart palpitations and dizzy spells.

The banana has been king of potassium for a long time, but not anymore. A single avocado has 975 milligrams of potassium, while a large banana offers 487 milligrams. Even if you only eat half an avocado, you’re still getting the equivalent potassium of a whole banana. Avocados offer a good way to give your body a different, and significant, source of potassium.

4. High Protein Levels

Avocados are technically a fruit. But as such, they have the highest protein content of any fruit—4 grams. In comparison to chicken or fish, this may be a small amount of protein per serving. But avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult to digest, the body readily absorbs avocado protein because it contains fiber.

Protein is a critical macronutrient for repairing muscles and helping you focus, among other things. Thus, getting a little protein with every meal and snack is important. For a protein-packed breakfast, make a smoothie made from avocado, blueberries and sunflower seeds.

As with anything, it’s important to eat avocados in moderation. While they have a variety of amazing health benefits, they are high in calories. Stick with a 1/2-avocado serving size to reap the benefits without loading on the calories.

It’s time to start thinking of avocados as a regular diet supplement. Get them into your daily diet in salads, on sandwiches or just plain guacamole. Here are a few ways you can get more avocados in your diet.

Deconstructed Guacamole

Deconstructed GuacamoleServes 5-10 people

Ingredients:

  • 5 small avocados
  • 2 medium-sized roma tomatoes, chopped small
  • 1 red onion, chopped small
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice (add more as needed)

Directions:

  1. Cut all avocados in half and remove seed.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, gently mix all other ingredients together.
  3. Situate avocados on a tray, and fill seed holes with the tomato mixture.

Creamy Asparagus Soup

Serves 2-4 people

Adapted from CookEatPaleo.com.

Creamy Asparagus SoupIngredients:

  • 6 large bunches of asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups broth (chicken, vegetable)
  • 1 medium-ripe avocado, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prep asparagus, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic, and place on a sheet pan.
  2. Roast at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Blend finished asparagus with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  4. Add water or more broth if needed, and heat over stove before serving.

Farro Salad With Avocado Dressing

Serves 1

Farro Salad With Avocado DressingFarro salad ingredients:

  • 1 cup farro
  • 3 cups broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, cumin
  • 3 cups kale, ripped into large pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1/4 medium avocado
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Add raw farro to 3 cups water or broth adding half the salt and pepper, and all of the cumin. Cook uncovered, over medium heat for 30 minutes.
  2. While that cooks, add kale to a sauté pan, toss with olive oil and the rest of the salt and pepper, cooking until kale leaves have wilted.
  3. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas. Remove when tomatoes have blistered slightly.
  4. Put all dressing ingredients into a food process and blend until smooth.
  5. Add 1 cup of cooked farro to a bowl or plate, top with the kale mixture, and drizzle with the creamy dressing.

Avocado is not only good for you, but has seemingly endless applications in the kitchen. Try a few of these recipes and experiment to see where avocados fit into your daily diet. With extra protein, healthy fat and plenty of potassium, you’ll love these little creamy treasures of nature.

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Jessica Thief's v2

Jessica Thiefels is the head trainer and owner of HonestBodyFitness. When she’s not teaching group classes or working one-on-one with clients, she’s writing and marketing for various businesses. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram

A Surprising Connection: Food and Asthma

by Amanda Box, N.D.

Nearly everyone has been in this situation. You’re crunched for time and your kids are starving, so you pull into the nearest drive-thru. As you hand those “Happy Meals” to your kids, you sigh in relief as they slurp their sodas and stuff French fries into their mouth. You know it isn’t the healthiest meal, but at least they’re fed. Right?

What if I told you that every time you gave your children fast food you were increasing their risk of acquiring asthma? Click to Tweet.

Would you still do it? Most people equate unhealthy fast food with obesity. However, the toxin-filled processed ingredients found in fast food cause far more than just weight gain. A recent study showed that just three fast food meals a week increased the risk of asthma in teens by 39% and younger children by 27%!

Even though adults weren’t tested in the study, I would assume that fast food also increases asthma risk in adults. Fast food is full of chemicals, artificial ingredients, and allergy-inducing substances that compromise the immune system. What you breathe into your lungs may seem to be the obvious contributor to asthma and its dreaded attacks. However, the food you put into your mouth can truly be your ally or your enemy. The choice is up to you.

Immunity and Asthma

foods with asthma healing propertiesHealthy immunity is essential in the prevention of all diseases, including asthma. One of the easiest and most efficient ways to maintain a strong immune system is through healthy eating. Research demonstrates that the link between food and asthma couldn’t be clearer.

Truly, the foods that you put into your body directly impact your health and the severity of your asthma symptoms! Click to Tweet.

Eating a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits is extremely important. The antioxidants and vitamins contained in fruits and veggies help to lower inflammation, boost the immune system, and rejuvenate lung tissue. Studies have even shown that children who eat fruits and vegetables regularly have a decreased risk of asthma!

Increasing the amounts of fruits and vegetables will help protect against asthma. But there are certain foods that contain “anti-asthma” properties. They are well-suited for preventing and alleviating symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness in asthma sufferers. Enjoy these common foods with wonderful asthma healing properties.

Avocado

Avocados contain high levels of the powerful antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione is often referred to as the “master antioxidant”. Its distinguishing quality is that it is the only antioxidant that resides inside the human cell. Glutathione’s job is to act as a security guard and protect each cell. It also roams the body neutralizing free radicals to lower inflammation. Reducing inflammation is crucial for preventing and reducing asthma symptoms.

I prefer to eat my avocados with a little salt, a sprinkle of herbs, and a dash of balsamic vinegar. However, avocados can be made into everything from guacamole to chocolate pudding!

Garlic

This pungent spice is packed full of medicinal attributes. Garlic is:

  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-fungal
  • And antibacterial

This makes garlic highly beneficial for preventing lung infections like pneumonia. Click to Tweet.

It also contains mucus-thinning properties, which alleviate congestion from the lungs. But, that’s not all! Garlic is also anti-inflammatory, helping to extinguish swelling in the bronchial airways. Garlic truly has a trifecta effect against asthma! Garlic can be added to nearly every dish, from veggies to main course meats!

Spinach

Spinach is high in magnesium, a mineral that has a profound effect on asthma. Magnesium is essential for the relaxation of lung tissue. Its relaxation properties help prevent the severity and frequency of asthma attacks by minimizing the constriction of airways.

Researchers think that magnesium works by calming asthma’s characteristic spasms in the smooth muscles of the upper respiratory tract and it also appears to have a mild antihistamine effect.

Magnesium has become so favorable in the treatment of asthma that it is often prescribed in the form of a pill, intravenous therapy, or nebulized for immediate contact with the lungs.

Improve your asthma symptoms with spinach! Also, spinach is high in B vitamins and may help reduce stress-related asthma attacks. Spinach is great in salads and soups and can also be added to smoothies.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin contains high levels of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin for the respiratory system. Vitamin A lowers inflammation in the lung tissue and prevents respiratory infections.

Pumpkins are one of the foods least likely to cause allergic reactions, which is great news if your asthma is linked to allergies. Try pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, or the recipe below for ginger pumpkin cookies for your fall pumpkin fix and beta-carotene boost! Also, indulge in some pumpkin seeds for another magnesium rich food!

Ginger

Ginger is a very powerful spice in combating asthma symptoms. It contains all-natural, anti-inflammatory properties that mimic NSAIDS in the body. Ginger also enhances bronchodilation, or opening restricted airways. Furthermore, ginger heightens the effects of bronchodilator medications in certain studies.

Its ability to inhibit airway constriction and reduce airway inflammation makes it a perfect remedy for asthma sufferers. Ginger is a great addition to curries and baked goods. Try the recipe below for gingersnap pumpkin cookies!

Low-Mucus Foods

Controlling mucus levels is a crucial part of preventing asthma attacks. People with asthma should avoid milk and other dairy products because they promote mucus production in the lungs, which trigger asthma attacks.

Dairy alternatives are more popular than ever before. There are many fabulous milk alternatives on the market today. Coconut milk, almond milk, and hemp milk are just a few of the hundreds of dairy-free alternatives. I have personally tasted dairy-free cheeses, whipped cream, coffee creamer, and yogurt and have found them all to be delicious and comparable to the dairy-based originals. These products are easily found at your local natural grocery or health food store.

Drinking enough water is also essential in thinning mucus secretions. One theory is the lack of water causes the airways to constrict. Another researcher believes dehydration causes mucus to thicken, which can lead to asthma attacks.

Interestingly enough, folk remedies for asthma and allergies bear out the water theory as well. Home cures include drinking hot water and inhaling steam from a bowl or kettle to get quick relief.

Drinking around eight cups of water a day should provide enough hydration to keep mucus secretions thin and lubricated.

Asthma Prevention Recipes

I love it when the weather allows me to incorporate warm and nourishing soups back into our meal plans. Cream-based soups are some of my favorite, but with the cream comes dairy…and therefore mucus! Luckily, adding coconut milk can add the same creaminess without the mucus-producing dairy! This recipe for creamy ham and sweet potato soup is a great dairy-free cream soup alternative!

Creamy Ham and Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • Creamy-Ham-and-Sweet-Potato-Soup1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped, cooked ham
  • 1 giant sweet potato or 2-3 medium sweet potatoes (4-5 cups chopped into 1/2″ cubes)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Combine onion, celery, ham, sweet potatoes, chicken stock, water, salt & pepper in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil and turn down heat to low or medium/low to keep soup at a low simmer. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
  3. Add the coconut milk to the soup (after the sweet potatoes are tender) and stir until well incorporated.

This recipe for gingerbread snaps with pumpkin butter incorporates the asthma reducing power of both pumpkin and ginger. Not to mention that these cookies are absolutely delicious! An added bonus is that these cookies are also gluten and dairy-free!

Gingerbread Snap Pumpkin Butter Cookies

Gingerbread snap pumpkin butter cookiesCookie ingredients:

  • 2½ cups almond flour, plus more for the work surface
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tablespoons coconut sugar or sucanat
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, whisked

Pumpkin butter ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (for the topping)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together to evenly distribute the ingredients. Add the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla, and eggs and beat or mix until dough has formed.
  3. Dust work surface with almond flour and lay the dough out, pressing it down until it is about ½ inch thick.
  4. Using a cookie cutter or lid from a spice jar or small Mason jar, cut the dough into circles. This should create around 40 small cookies.
  5. Place about 20 of the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, about ½ inch apart and bake for 5 minutes. Immediately remove the cookies and place on a rack to cool. Repeat with another batch of 20 cookies.
  6. While the cookies cool, make the pumpkin butter. Place the pecans in a food processor and puree until smooth. Then add pumpkin puree and maple syrup and puree until well combined.
  7. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat.
  8. Assemble the sandwiches: Spread about 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin butter onto a cookie and top it off with another cookie. Then use a spoon to drizzle a bit of chocolate over each cookie sandwich. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. These will keep for about 3 to 4 days.

Making a conscious effort to eat a healthy and nourishing diet greatly reduces your asthma symptoms. Incorporating asthma reducing foods, avoiding dairy products, and staying hydrated are lifestyle choices that can change your asthma for the better. Make a commitment to yourself and to your kids to no longer hit up the drive-thru for fast food. What you eat can make all difference in the severity and frequency of your asthma symptoms.

If you suffer from asthma, then you can feel better in just one week by cutting out dairy.  What else has saved your life from asthma?

 

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Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

 

 

Sources:
www.unrefinedkitchen.com
www.thenourishinggourmet.com

Foods That Boost Sexual Performance In Both Males and Females

Top 10 Grocery Store Items For Improving Couple’s Libidos

Spanish fly. Rhinoceros horn. Phallic-looking foods. Throughout history, people have gone to a lot of trouble—not to mention in some cases putting their health in danger—trying to find libido boosters to improve their sex lives. Today, pleasure seekers have it easier because, as it turns out, the grocery store is the perfect place to find natural aphrodisiacs.

Bonus: In addition to making sex a little steamier, nearly all these foods have health benefits beyond the bedroom.

1. Chocolate

This dark, delicious dessert has long been associated with indulgence, but that’s not the only reason chocolate puts you and your guy in a sensual mood. The treat contains caffeine, which helps perk you up and also boosts serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness.

Chocolate brings on feelings of euphoria because it is a psycho-stimulant so it has an arousal effect.  This is caused by phenylethylamine, a chemical with an amphetamine-like affect that temporarily mimics feelings of falling in love. In fact, a 2007 British study found that letting chocolate melt in your mouth is more stimulating and raised heart rates more than kissing. Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is also loaded with antioxidants that improve circulation and lower cholesterol.

2. Pumpkin Pie

The next time you want to seduce a guy, bake a pumpkin pie. A study that measured blood flow south of the border in men ages 18 to 64 found that the scent of pumpkin pie rated the highest response—a 40% increase. Romantic lavender rated equally high, while close runners-up included donuts and black licorice, which boosted blood flow to men’s nether regions by more than 31 percent. As surprising as it may seem, when it comes to sex, scent offers a greater libido lift than ingestion: 90% of what people call taste is actually smell.   The scent of these foods may reduce anxiety, which helps remove inhibitions.

3. Licorice

You probably won’t look at the candy counter at the movies the same way after reading this: Smelling and tasting licorice-flavored candy caused a 13% increase in vaginal blood flow, according to recent research. Why? The scent may trigger olfactory nostalgia, such as positive memories from childhood as well as feelings of security and safety—a state of mind that helps make sex more relaxing and enjoyable. Oddly enough, the smell of cherries had the opposite effect on women, causing an 18% reduction of vaginal blood flow (in other words, a real turn-off).

4. Oatmeal

You may not have heard of L-arginine, but this common amino acid is a precursor to nitric oxide, a substance that “enhances the arousal response.” Good food sources of L-arginine include oatmeal and granola as well as nuts, seeds, dairy, and seafood.  So the next time you’re on a date at a romantic restaurant, suggest the pasta with pine nuts or salmon. Sexy, mutually beneficial menu options such as these will ensure your evening ends on a high note!

5.[am4show guest_error=’noaccess’ ] Oysters

.

Sea vegetables such as kelp, dulse and nori contain calcium, iodine and iron, and are also thought to boost libido.

It is a sensual experience to eat oysters, but these delicacies from the sea are natural aphrodisiacs for another reason, too. Oysters are bursting with zinc, a mineral used in the production of testosterone (and sperm), which plays a role in fueling the sex drive of both men and women. American and Italian chemists who looked at oysters, mussels and clams found the shellfish were packed with rare amino acids that triggered increased levels of sexhormones in animals. What’s more, oysters contain taurine, an amino acid with a caffeine-like effect (used in most energy drinks) for alertness and physical endurance.

6. Fish

It may sound a bit fishy and not so sexy, but foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as mackerel, wild salmon, halibut, and sardine, as well as flaxseed, nuts and oils (think olive and soybean) can take your sex life from lukewarm to hot. Here’s how: essential fatty acids are the building blocks of sexhormones in men and women and help fight the buildup of plaque in the arteries, thereby improving circulation and increasing sensation. Omega-3 fatty acids help with sexual response, by helping to raise dopamine levels in the brain that trigger arousal.  They are important for energy, memory, mood, and libido.  Not a fan of fish? Try taking 1,000 milligrams (or 1 gram) of fish oil supplements daily and be sure the supplement includes the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

7. Avocados

The deep green fruit contain vitamin B6, which helps produce serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Another bonus for you and your partner: avocados are also loaded with vitamin E, which enhances circulation and is believed to stimulate the production of passion-stimulating testosterone.  Recent research showed that vitamin E helps improve semen quality and motility.

8. Garlic

Although you’d think garlic would ruin, rather than improve, your love-making sessions, it turns out that it contains allicin, an ingredient that increases circulation, including down south, which “helps improve sensation.”   The action of finely chopping garlic releases allicin, so be sure to crush the garlic first and then add it to pasta sauce or garlic bread. The key to not getting knocked out by garlic breath? Level the playing field by eating a garlic-heavy meal with the object of your affection.

9. Seeds and Nuts

Like oysters, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts are rich in zinc, which help the body produce testosterone—and, in your man’s case, sperm. Added attraction: nuts, including almonds, are also good sources of the aforementioned omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent plaque accumulation in the arteries and improve blood flow throughout the body (including to the genitals). What’s more, nuts and seeds are powerhouse foods, full of protein and healthy fats, which give you a boost of energy both in and out of the bedroom.

10. Mint

Popping a mint before kissing your partner is not only courteous; it’s also a turn-on.   Married couples, as well as single men and women, have agreed on what they want kisses to taste like in a mate or a date. The overall sensual conclusion: the scent of mint makes people makeout-worthy, fresh, clean, and minty, like toothpaste.

Spice Up Your Night

You do not need to go to the ends of the earth to find solutions to improve your sex life. The all natural aphrodisiacs you need to improve your libido is found in a grocery store near you.  So grab a bottle of wine, your loved one and try the romantic dinner menu below. Then, retire to the bedroom!

Romantic Dinner Recipes

  • Appetizer:Oysters Rockefeller
  • Salad: Tossed greens with avocado and pumpkin seeds
  • Entrée: Pasta with salmon, garlic, pine nuts and creamy Alfredo sauce
  • Dessert:ChocolateMint ice cream

Oyster Rockefeller

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 dozen oysters in their shells, freshly shucked and drained, the deeper bottom shell rinsed and reserved for baking

Sauce

  • 6 ounces spinach, stems removed and rinsed
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 3/4 cups finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Herbsaint or other anise-flavored liqueur, such as Pernod or Pastis
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cracker meal or cracker crumbs

Directions for Sauce

  1. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the spinach and cook until very tender and the water is green, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the spinach in a colander set over a large bowl and reserve 2 3/4 cups of the cooking liquid. Let the spinach sit until cool enough to handle, then finely chop, and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium pot over moderately high heat. When the butter is foamy, add the onions, celery and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved spinach water, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped spinach, liqueur, salt and pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the cracker meal and food coloring, and stir well to combine. Cool completely before using.

Directions for Oyster Rockefeller

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread a 1/2-inch-thick layer of rock salt on a large baking sheet and across the bottoms of 6 large plates.
  2. Arrange the reserved oyster shells on the baking sheet. Put 1 oyster in each shell and top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the sauce, spreading the sauce evenly out to the edge of the shell to completely cover the oyster. (Alternatively, transfer the sauce to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe the sauce over the oysters.)
  3. Bake until the sauce is lightly browned and the oysters begin to curl around the edges, about 20 minutes.
  4. Using tongs or a spatula, carefully transfer the hot shells to the salt-covered plates and serve immediately.

Tossed Greens With Avocado And Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

  • Baby greens
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbls pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbls feta
  • Balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Slice avocado
  2. Place greens in a bowel and toss in pumpkin seeds, feta and vinegar.
  3. Serve and place avocado slices on top of salad.

Pasta With Salmon, Garlic And Pine Nuts With Creamy Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients

  • Salmon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pine nuts
  • Alfredo pasta

Sauce

  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • Garlic, fresh crushed to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Place fillets in aluminum foil, brush with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, then seal. Place sealed salmon in the glass dish, and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork.
  3. While the salmon is backing, prepare pasta noodles as directed on package.
  4. Soften cream cheese and butter. Add cheese and milk and garlic over low heat. Serve over 8 ounces cooked thin spaghetti noodles.
  5. Soften cream cheese and butter. Add cheese and milk and fresh garlic over low heat.
  6. To serve. Mix pasta and sauce, place a piece of salmon over pasta and garnish with pine nuts.
David Randall, diagnosed at the age of 15 with type 1 Diabetes, started to learn everything he could about living healthy. With a love for cooking, he made his way through college teaching young diabetics how to manage the disease. He then turned his ambitions towards spreading what he knows and loves to others, having ghost written for over 10 years on nutrition, vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as cooking and healthy lifestyle. David spends his free time with his family in Northern Michigan sailing, cooking and volunteering.

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