Fresh herbs add flavour to summer salads

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I love my herb garden. This year I’m growing basil, parsley,lemon thyme, sage, oregano,coriander and even curry.
Next time you make a salad, try adding fresh parsley and basil to your salad greens. It will brighten things up.

Breakfast frittata with Pico de Gallo

Egg white frittata with fresh chives from the garden pico de gallo black beans for fibre and added protein and ripe avocado for healthy fat

#eatbreakfasteveryday#addherbsforflavour#keepitlite#deliciouslybalanced

Start with one whole egg and add 3 egg whites.
Scramble.
Chop fresh chives. Add to eggs
Heat virgin coconut oil in a fry pan.
Pour in egg mixture. Maybe just a pinch of salt.

Cook over medium high heat, fold in half until cooked through.
Serve with fresh avocado, black beans and Pico de Gallo, or salsa fresca.

PICO DE GALLO

1 large hot house tomato chopped
1 medium sweet onion chopped
1/2 chopped jalapeño
1 tbsp pickled chopped jalapeño
3 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
Juice of one lime
Pinch of salt

Soups on!

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I love soup! It’s so easy to make and now that it’s harvest time, there are so many vegetables to choose from. Just throw in your favourite, add liquid, simmer and you are done. Its really that easy.
I came up with this combo because I had these vegetables in my fridge.
This is also a great detox soup.

INGREDIENTS:

3 tbsp organic olive oil
4 leeks washed and chopped ( or 1 medium onion)
2 celery stalks chopped
4 medium carrots chopped
4 small zucchini chopped
3 litres chicken stock or broth or vegetable stock )
2 cups tomato purée
1 bunch lacinado kale ( any kale will do) stemmed and chopped
2 cups water ( if needed)*
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed chilli peppers to taste
Hemp hearts (optional BUT yummy so get some)

PREPARATION:

Heat oil in a heavy bottom stock pot. Add leeks and cook on medium heat 7-10 minutes. Add celery, carrots and zucchini.
I add a good tsp of chilli peppers to the vegetables because I like the heat. Cook on medium heat another 5-10 minutes to soften the vegetables and bring out their natural sugars. Add stock and tomato purée. Add chopped kale and enough water to completely cover the vegetables.
Cook on medium-high heat bringing it to a gentle boil then reduce to lowest heat, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle a few tbsp of hemp hearts on your soup*
Note: if you don’t have broth or stock, use water instead.

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NUTRITION FACTS:

CELERY contains bone-beneficial silicon and cancer-fighting phenolic acids and may even help reduce blood pressure.

KALE can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw kale still has cholesterol-lowering ability—just not as much.
Kale’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk-lowering benefits.
Kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system. New research has shown that the ITCs made from kale’s glucosinolates can help regulate detox at a genetic level.
Researchers can now identify over 45 different flavonoids in kale. With kaempferol and quercetin heading the list, kale’s flavonoids combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits in way that gives kale a leading dietary role with respect to avoidance of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

LEEKS, like garlic and onions, belong to a vegetable family called the Allium vegetables. Since leeks are related to garlic and onions, they contain many of the same beneficial compounds found in these well-researched, health-promoting vegetables.
Given their substantial polyphenol content, including their notable amounts of kaempferol, we would expect to see overlap with garlic and onions in terms of support for many health problems related to oxidative stress and chronic low-level inflammation. These health problems would include atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergic airway inflammation. We would also expect to see leeks providing measurable amounts of protection against several different types of cancer, mostly likely including colorectal cancer. It’s important to remember that even in the absence of research studies to confirm health benefits, leeks still belong to the same allium vegetable family as onions and garlic and contain many health-supportive substances that are similar to (or identical with) the substances in their fellow allium vegetables.

ZUCCHINI: Several recent studies have underscored the unique contribution made by summer squash to our antioxidant requirements. While not as rich in some of the more widely-publicized antioxidants like beta-carotene, summer squash is a very strong source of other key antioxidant nutrients, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Since the skin of this food is particularly antioxidant-rich, it’s worth leaving the skin intact and purchasing organic summer squash to help avoid potential unwanted contaminants.

ZUCCHINI is one of the very low calorie vegetables; provide only 17 calories per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Its peel is good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancers.
It is a very good source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte and helps bring the reduction in blood pressure and heart rates by countering pressure-effects of sodium.

TOMATOES are widely known for their outstanding antioxidant content, including, of course, their oftentimes-rich concentration of lycopene. Researchers have recently found an important connection between lycopene, its antioxidant properties, and bone health. A study was designed in which tomato and other dietary sources of lycopene were removed from the diets of postmenopausal women for a period of 4 weeks, to see what effect lycopene restriction would have on bone health. At the end of 4 weeks, women in the study started to show increased signs of oxidative stress in their bones and unwanted changes in their bone tissue. The study investigators concluded that removal of lycopene-containing foods (including tomatoes) from the diet was likely to put women at increased risk of osteoporosis. They also argued for the importance of tomatoes and other lycopene-containing foods in the diet. We don’t always think about antioxidant protection as being important for bone health, but it is, and tomato lycopene (and other tomato)

Much of the research on CARROTS has traditionally focused on carotenoids and their important antioxidant benefits. After all, carrots (along with pumpkin and spinach) rank high on the list of all commonly-consumed U.S. antioxidant vegetables in terms of their beta-carotene content. But recent research has turned the health spotlight onto another category of phytonutrients in carrots called polyacetylenes. In carrots, the most important polyacetylenes include falcarinol and falcarindiol. Several recent studies have identified these carrot polyacetylenes as phytonutrients that can help inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells, especially when these polyacetylenes are found in their reduced (versus oxidized) form. These new findings are exciting because they suggest a key interaction between the carotenoids and polyacetylenes in carrots. Apparently, the rich carotenoid content of carrots not only helps prevent oxidative damage inside our body, but it may also help prevent oxidative damage to the carrot polyacetylenes. In other words, these two amazing groups of phytonutrients in carrots may work together in a synergistic way to maximize our health benefits!antioxidants) may have a special role to play in this area.

HEMP contains:

* All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
* A high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.
* Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.3
* Nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil.
* A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid – for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system.
* A superior vegetarian source of protein considered easily digestible.
* A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants with benefits protecting your immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, skin, organs and mitochondria.
* The richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.

Nutrition facts from whfoods.org

Gazpacho

A tomato-based vegetable soup from the Andalusia region of Spain. GAZPACHO
is intended to be served cold and is especially good on hot summer days. Which of course were here a few days ago.

Ripe tomatoes are the key ingredient in this recipe. Most GAZPACHO recipes allow for raw ingredients so by all means try this recipe RAW.
I prefer the flavour that roasted red peppers impart and because I roast and freeze my peppers I always have some on hand. If you like you can use jarred roasted red peppers.
*stale bread is also traditionally used to add bulk to this soup, so if you choose you may remove the crust from 1/2 a baguette, soak the bread in a little water and add it to the vegetables in your blender

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs ripe tomatoes (6 medium)
1 cup roasted red peppers puréed (or 1 raw seeded and roughly chopped)
1 large cucumber seeded, peeled and roughly chopped
1/3 cup raw onion roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves pressed
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/2 cup really good olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 1/2 tsp sea salt

PREPARATION:

Start by scoring your tomatoes with an X, place them in a preheated oven 350′ for 30 minutes
Once cooled, the skin will peel off nicely.

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Then toss the tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, onion and garlic in a blender for about a minute. *add the soaked bread with the vegetables if you choose
The mixture will look a bit chunky. Empty the contents into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Add the olive oil in a steady stream, stirring to incorporate. Then chill for several hours and days. It tastes better several days later, so it’s perfect to make ahead.

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This soup is quite thick so I’ve used it as a salsa in shot glasses with grilled shrimp. Garnish with some finely chopped peppers and cucumber.
Or serve in soup bowls with sliced avocado.