A wellness-packed simple and delicious salad vinaigrette. A wonderful balance of probiotics, heart-healthy oils and anti-inflammatories. Ready in minutes, this dressing will have your taste buds tingling and your friends and family asking for an extra serving. Go ahead and give them one and know that they are getting the benefits of Naturally Complex Nutrition™
Recipe - Golden Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
Prep Time : 3 Minutes | Cooking Time: 0 Minutes | Servings: 6
Calories approx 35 per serving
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Turmeric Infused Honey brings a bright yellow color and anti-inflammatory power.
Recipe - Sparkling - Turmeric Dusted Baby Ginger
Choose your favorite bubbly mixer - Champagne, Cremant, Cava, Sparkling Water...
Prep Time : 2 Minutes | Cooking Time: 0 Minutes | Servings: 1
Calories: varies based on choice of mixer
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Turmeric Dusted Baby Ginger brings the bright earthy palette of USDA Organic Turmeric to warm peppery early season preserved Ginger.
Recipe - Peanut Butter Turmeric Energy Balls
Prep Time : 10 Minutes | Cooking Time: 0 Minutes | Servings: 16
Calories: approx 80 each
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Turmeric Infused Honey brings a bright yellow color and is packed with Turmeric anti-inflammatory power.
The days get warmer, the trees bloom, and with that comes a deluge of pollen that can often make us miserable with allergies. There are natural foods, however, that can help reduce the impact of these allergies and the need to reach for synthetic drugs with their many unwanted side effects.
To better understand what is happening in our bodies, and how we can help, let's look at how our immune system works and responds.
The National Institutes of Health has an excellent publication (NIH Publication No. 03-5423) that provides a clear explanation of how our immune system works.
"The most common type of allergic disease occurs when the immune system responds to a false alarm. A normally harmless material such as grass pollen or house dust is mistaken for a threat and attacked. Allergies such as pollen allergy are related to an antibody known as IgE. Like other antibodies, each IgE antibody is specific; one acts against oak pollen and another ragweed."
Our amazing immune systems have fast response mechanisms. Once we encounter an allergen such as a pollen, our B cells make specific IgE antibodies. These antibodies attached to mast cell. These mast cells are the bodies fast allergy storm troopers. Inside them they have granules of histamine and heparin - chemicals that the body uses to speed the diffusion of white blood cells into muscle to help fight against infection. The next time these primed mast cells encounter the same pollen, they release their payload of histamine. When this happens in a cascading way, we can suffer from a major allergic response out of balance with the threat.
There are a wide range of chemicals both artificial and natural that can mediate the action of these mast cells to reduce over-reactions to common allergens. Nature has produced broad classes of chemicals that are particularly effective at stabilizing the mast cells.
Foods high in flavonoids and polyphenols are of special interest. These are some of our favorite brightly colored foods. They include Quercetin, which is found in high levels in the skin of apples, berries and capers; Resveratrol found in grapes, red wine and raspberries; and Curcumin, one key active ingredient in Turmeric.
A lot of study has focused on the role Turmeric can play in the mediation of allergies and inflammation. In recent studies, Curcumin has been found to suppress the IgE-mediated allergic response. It appears that Curcumin has anti-allergic activity - it significantly inhibited antigen-induced degranulation of the mast cells and the release of their histamine.
The effect of Curcumin appears to function to mediate the Mast cell at low concentrations. The Curcumin is naturally manufactured in the rhizome of our organically grown Turmeric and provides its bright orange color.
With this knowledge, we can create allergy-fighting menus that can keep levels of naturally occurring Quercetin, Resveratrol and Curcumin in our blood stream while enjoying delicious, nutritious and healthful foods. Our suggested menu is enhanced for spring with the addition of Turmeric Capsules. It includes allergy-fighting raspberries, ginger, turmeric, onions, capers and apples that will keep you satisfied and ready to face these spring days.
A Daily Menu Packed with Allergy-Fighting Natural Goodness
Lunch - Lox and Bagels with onions and capers
Snack - Red Apple + Ginger Turmeric Green Tea
I wish we had the ability to share aromas online. Today we are fresh grinding our USDA Organic, USA Grown Ginger and Turmeric from our Savannah Organic farm for a batch of Ginger Turmeric Green Tea that will be produced this week in our Organic kitchens in Atlanta, GA.
But back to how it smells. I can't share the aroma, but let me try and describe it.
Our USDA Organic spices, including Ginger and Turmeric, are grown in sandy loams near the coast. They have that terroir. We grow over nine varieties of Ginger and four varieties of Turmeric (and several varieties of Galangal) and each has a unique flavor profile.
Careful processing does not mean low tech. Once harvested and washed, the spices are sliced and carefully raw food dehydrated in atmospheric-controlled rooms. They are then ground in air flow, all designed to minimize heat and maximize the existing essential oils, polyphenols, phytochemicals and other nutrients and functional products. The assault on your senses comes in no small part due to the careful way we prepare the ingredients. At Verdant Kitchen® we believe strongly that the end product can never be better than the ingredients used to make it. Take this concept and walk backward through the process. You come back to the soil, the farm, the seedlings, the irrigation, the harvest, and worry and work to make it the best it can be at every step.
The Ginger - intense citrus, but much more complex. Perhaps a reminder of Bergamot in a morning cup of Earl Grey. Sweet like a Hungarian Pepper. Something complex underneath, something that makes you feel happy, but what is it? Your mouth waters, ginger has that effect. Suddenly you feel it more than smell it. The essential oils are being absorbed and connecting with your brain. You almost sneeze and smile.
The Turmeric - carrots, is it carrots? No not carrots, but perhaps carrots mixed with butternut squash and something else. Savory, similar to the sea breeze from the marsh near the fields. Fresh pepper, a hint of camphor like your Grandma's old cupboard. Something familiar and friendly.
The Green Tea - grassy, fresh a little bitter. We speak a lot about the benefits of Ginger and Turmeric, but Green Tea especially when consumed several times a day has well proven positive impact including clinical research on the reduction of the development of Prostate Cancer. Here is a link to our blog and video on Green Tea and Prostate Cancer.
Together they are a potent blend of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and polyphenols that can provide joy and wellness benefits across a broad range of critical body functions.
Making a cup of this tea could not be simpler. Here is a video where I have used our office Keurig. Use really hot water and let it steep for a few minutes. Some of the active ingredients, especially in the Turmeric, have limited solubility in cold water. The hot water will extract the oils and essential chemicals and provide you with enhanced bioavailability.
Ginger and Turmeric under the Live Oaks - Verdant Kitchen USDA Organic Farm Savannah, GA.
The hands down favorite from a recent Manhattan NY product tasting, this simple heart-health combination is delicious, nutritious and packed with energy.
Energy + boosted anti-inflammatory and antioxidant bioavailability. Three simple ingredients combine to provide four wellness advantages in every serving.
We often get questions about the sugar content of preserved ginger. When we grow and harvest Ginger, it is not naturally high in simple sugars. Unlike many fresh fruits that average around 10% sugar, ginger naturally has only a few percent. When we dry fruit, we remove the water and concentrate the sugars. This gives dried fruit both its delicious sweet concentrated flavor, but most importantly also acts as a natural preservative. To provide the same level of natural preservation, fresh early season ginger is steeped in a cane sugar solution. Some of the water is replaced by the cane sugar. The result is a product very similar to dried fruit. You should enjoy preserved ginger as you would dried fruit. Be mindful that they contain sugar and combine them with healthy fiber for slow and steady glycemic release.
Enjoy the mix as a snack, or my favorite, sprinkled over a salad.
Prep Time : 1 Minutes | Cooking Time: 0 Minutes | Servings: 12
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Fast, no-fuss, delicious and packed full of heart- and liver- healthy antioxidants (ginger) and beta-glucan (oats). This simple breakfast is a perfect way to start the day and help undo the free radical damage from last night's excess.
Ginger and oats are a liver-healthy power couple. See our Blog for more information on what the research shows on the role they play in reducing liver damage.
Prep Time : 1 Minute | Cooking Time: 5 Minutes | Servings: 1
Calories approx 300
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We all enjoy a glass of wine or a delicious cocktail, but spare a thought for your liver health and make sure your diet is full of liver healthy natural antioxidants. When we overdo it, we turn to our liver to help us clean up after the party. A simple breakfast of oats and ginger can make a world of difference. See video at the end of this blog and click here for the recipe.
Oxidants and Free Radicals
We hear a lot about "free radicals," but what are they?
A wide range of chemicals can cause a series of reaction in our bodies promoted by oxygen. The result in electrical charged elements called free radicals that can damage of bodies cells, DNA. This damage in turn leads to inflammation, cancer and other diseases. Stress, alcohol and smoking are major causes of what is known as oxidative stress.
The work of cleaning the toxins from our body fall on the liver.
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Our liver is an amazing organ, one of the largest in our body, it is responsible for over 500 separate functions. It does the heavy lifting in our body of dealing with the breakdown of toxins, alcohol and many other substances. When we overwhelm our liver with too much partying and oxidative stress, we can cause damage that leads to fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and scar tissue. These rob us of vital liver functions that are so critical for a healthy, active life.
To combat the effect of the oxidants and free radicals our bodies use antioxidants. These elements are a broad class of chemicals often found in herbs, fruits, nuts and vegetables that can react with and remove the oxidants and free radicals. Filling our bodies with these in our diet reduces oxidative stress damage.
A Simple Recipe with a powerful result.
A simple and delicious breakfast, made in 5 minutes, can help manage that oxidative stress. Oats, ginger, and fresh and dried fruits are satisfying, nutritional, and full of heart-healthy and cancer-fighting goodness.
I love this with fresh seasonal berries. The Ginger Bites add small explosions of sweet, warm ginger flavor. Try it with a splash of your favorite nut milk for a sub-400 calorie start to your post-party day.
So why does this simple combination of foods work so well?
Let’s look at the key ingredients. Recent double blind placebo-controlled studies show that oats, rich in beta-glucan, had a metabolic-regulating and liver-protecting effect. The data showed that consumption reduced body weight and body fat. Profiles of liver function as measured by enzymes that indicate liver damage AST and ALT, both showed reductions in people consuming oats.
When you combine the liver-healthy benefits of oats with the anti-oxidant benefits of ginger you have a powerful combination. In studies, ginger continues to show its broad positive impact. The rich phytochemicals of ginger include components that scavenge free radicals produced in biological systems. Ginger has several main phytochemicals. 6-Shogol has exhibited the most potent antioxidant properties. More on this in later blogs and videos.
Not only does a diet including ginger offer benefits to the liver but the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory natural elements also offer positive impacts on cancer and inflammatory diseases.
A lot has been said about the trend in warming weather. You can choose to call it climate change or not, but what is fact is that we have seen warming average temperatures for the last 30 years.
Looking across the US we can see this trend as increases in average mean temperatures by state.
You can customize you information at this NOAA site
If seems like every other person I have met in the last week has a cold of some sort. Changing temperature profiles changes disease spread. To focus on immunity and recovery, see FightBack5
We will hear a lot more about climate change and sometimes it seems a bit abstract and difficult to apply to your daily lives. On the farm it is only too obvious. Planting and harvest times are keyed to last frost, first frost and average temperatures. The temperatures and associated rainfall drives insect emergence, which has a very direct impact on quality and yield. Crops that have never been grown in a region suddenly become possible, while long-term staple crops become uneconomic.
Last week in mid-February on the farms at Verdant Kitchen in Savannah GA, the camellias were finishing their flowering. The azaleas were finishing a big bloom. It was 79 F. The weed seeds had shot and clover was 6 inches high and lush.
Farms worry about lots of things, but above all they worry about uncertainty. Uncertainty generally means reduced yields and increased costs. These are costs that in the end are borne by the consumer. We should understand climate change and all do our part to reduce the impact. The consequences of changing climate will hit our pockets and our environment.
We can watch our graphs and first and last frost almanac dates - but just go stand by a flowering shrub. The bees will tell you when it's spring.
Green Tea contains high levels of polyphenols that have been shown in research to contribute to anti-cancer impacts. Prostate Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in the USA, and up to 30% of men 30-40 years show precancerous lesions. Can Green Tea help to reduce rates of death from Prostate Cancer? We will look to see what the research shows. Click here for products included.