Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mulberry Pie in the city

Yesterday, while on our running trail, my husband yells, "It's a mulberry tree" and screeches to a halt. Out of breath and sweaty, he starts picking the fruit off the tree and gobbling them down right there. A young, pretty black girl wearing headphones comes running by and my husband enthusiastically holds out his purple-stained hand and offers her a mulberry! Her face scrunches up and she shook her head NO, and she quickly picked up her pace! I said, 'Honey, that was weird'. His answer made me think. "Well, it shouldn't be weird. It's a beautiful tree, ripe with fruit and everyone is completely ignoring it. That should be weird." As I thought about it, he was right. How many times do we think only food in the grocery store can be harvested? On our running trail, there are at least 3 huge, mulberry trees ready for the picking and they are going to waste! How sad.
Today, he left to pick up some cow manure for our garden and came back with a huge, bag of mulberries from off the trail! I promptly went to work, soaking them in a solution of water with a 1/8 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/8 cup vinegar. After rinsing them thoroughly, I created this recipe.

Mulberry Crisp

2 1/2 cups mulberries
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lime juice
1 heaping TB brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Mix it all in the bowl, let it sit, while making the topping. Preheat oven to 375.

Crisp Topping

6 TB (real) butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

use your fingers and work the butter with the rest of the ingredients so that you have a coarse, crumbly mixture.

Place the fruit mixture in a 9x9 square dish, pour crumbles over the top. Pop in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

Some benefits of eating Mulberries:
improves wound healing, antioxidants prevent cellular damage, strengthens liver and kidney functioning! Information taken from http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/mulberries.html
Dandelion Opening to You!

analysis of nutrients:

Mulberry (Morus nigra .L), Fresh, raw,
Nutrition Value per 100 g,
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
PrincipleNutrient ValuePercentage of RDA
Energy43 Kcal2%
Carbohydrates9.80 g7.5%
Protein1.44 g2.5%
Total Fat0.39 g2%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Dietary Fiber1.7 g4.5%
Folates6 mcg1.5%
Niacin0.620 mg4%
Pyridoxine0.050 mg4%
Riboflavin0.101 mg8%
Vitamin A25 IU1%
Vitamin C36.4 mg61%
Vitamin E0.87 mg6%
Vitamin K7.8 mcg6.5%
Sodium10 mg0.75%
Potassium194 mg4%
Calcium39 mg4%
Copper60 mcg6.5%
Iron1.85 mg23%
Magnesium18 mg4.5%
Selenium0.6 mcg1%
Zinc0.12 mg1%
Carotene--ß9 mcg--
Carotene, α12 mcg--
Lutein-zeaxanthin136 mcg--

Coffee, Coffee...oh, how I love thee?

Today, I am in a detox-fog. I decided to try to, once again, to kick crack, I mean, coffee. Yes, it feels like I am giving myself a lobotomy. Why am I doing this? In a nutshell, I am trying to be healthier. I know, I know....there are many articles, official reports and charts to support the benefits of coffee drinking, and why I do not need to torture myself this way. But, today, I will not listen to the 'experts' and just listen to my body.
I started drinking coffee at 19, it was at a college-sponsored hayride. What can I say? I grew up in Oklahoma. Anyways, I was freezing and my boyfriend at the time brought me a cup of hot coffee loaded with cream and sugar. The first taste was awful, but the warm feeling that came over me pushed me along, 17 years later, coffee is now dropping me off the side of a cliff and I feel like I landed on my head.
I need it every morning before I can even begin to think. My sweet husband, a natural morning person, wakes up very early and brings me coffee in bed. Yes, IN BED, every morning, for the last 6 years of my life. I hit the button on the side of the bed and I hear a slight hum noise as the bed raises to sitting position...my hot cup of coffee sitting there on the bedside table.
After this initial HUGE cup of coffee, I slowly make my way to the kitchen, where I pull out my french press and continue to make another pot and promptly, drink it, until it is finished. My day continues until my 10:30 snack, which 99% of the time, is an organic apple and a large green tea. This will hold me over until I can reach my 1:00 Cup of LARGE coffee, and another cup of green tea around 3:00, and my caffeination for the day is complete! As you can tell, I am tweaking most of the time!
The first thing I noticed was the shakes and nervous energy. My ability to handle stress deteriorated over time. I could feel my heart racing and my mind spinning most days. I just contributed this to anxiety of life, not once, linking it to my coffee consumption!
One time, about 2 years ago, I had a caffeine overdose. http://www.drugs.com/enc/caffeine-overdose.html With all the classic symptoms: difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat and dizziness! My husband rushed me to the hospital thinking I might be poisoned by carbon monoxide! After waiting in the emergency room for two hours, I felt much better and they never found out the cause...HAH, if only I had heard of caffeine overdose! I must have drank 3 huge pots that day. Talk about an expensive habit!
Another reason, I am giving up caffeine is the effect is has on the adrenal gland. It produces cortisol in the body and reeks havoc on your central nervous system over time. Dr. Kaslow, in his report makes sense to me, since I have experienced it all firsthand. http://www.drkaslow.com/html/coffee-caffeine.html So, on my first day out of coffee-prison, my head is cracking wide-open and I started a blog. Hopefully, this will be the first of many entries on my pursuit of health!
DandelionHeart Opening for You.

“Mountain Rose Herbs Recipe Contest”

Dandelion Flower Cookies

1/2 cup oil (I used Safflower)
1/2 cup honey (dark wildflower honey)
1 egg
1 TB yogurt (greek yogurt)
1 TB milled flax seed
1/4 dandelion flowers (picked out of yard)
3/4 whole wheat flour
1/4 all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup walnuts (optional- can use any nut)
1/4 cup coconut shreds (optional- but sounded good)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (could use any fruit)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp clove

blend oil and honey, mix in egg and yogurt blend well. add flax seed, flours blend well. add in dandelion flowers, oatmeal, walnuts, coconut, cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves mix well. Drop onto a cookie sheet. cook 10 minutes in 375 oven. Enjoy!

flowers from my yard. soak in a bowl with teaspoon of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, rinse well.
pretty colors!
Dandelion Flower Cookies!