Thursday, March 31, 2011

10 Things You Can Do to Prepare For a Blackout


What are some things you can do before a blackout?

1. Store Food Away

Dried Fruit

Store away a supply of food now. Keep canned meat, bread, nut butter spread, nuts, crackers, dried fruit and other non-perishables in your pantry. Keeping at least 3 days for each person should be adequate for short blackouts. Remember to rotate the food out and keep accurate records of expiration dates.

2. Keep a Source of Water

You will need a gallon of water for each person per day. So if you have a family of four you will need 3 gallons each for a minimum of 3 days. If you have bottled water delivered, you can rotate out a 5 gallon bottle in your pantry every quarter. For a safe clean water supply purchase gallon water bottles and store in your pantry rotating them out as needed.

You may also use 2-liter soda bottles that have been thoroughly washed with soap and water. Sanitize the bottle with a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented chlorine bleach to 1 quart of water. Swish this around to make sure it touches all surfaces and then rinse out completely with clean water. Fill with tap water and close with cap making sure not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside. Mark the bottle with the date you stored it and it should last 6 months.

3. Use Alternate Forms of Energy

During a blackout you will need to turn off all appliances. Unplug anything that is connected to outlets. If using a generator do not use it in the house or the garage. Be extra careful when using candles as they pose a high risk for fire. Always keep batteries and flashlights available.

My husband and I found a solar flashlight that can also be wound up in case there is a lack of solar energy. It is small and has a led light but it serves its purpose.

4. Communication

Cell phones and land lines will most likely be available but only use these in case of an emergency. If you have a cordless phone or cable phone you will not be able to use it. Get into the habit of charging your Cell phone regularly. Keep a portable Television and/or radio as well as plenty of batteries or the generator to operate it. Do not call 9-1-1 unless it is a life threatening emergency as these lines need to stay open.

5. Preparing Financially

Remember that ATMs require electricity and will be out-of-service during a blackout. This will also mean no access to credit cards or point of sale purchases. Keep an emergency stash of cash in a home safe.

6. Transportation

During a blackout traffic lights will be out and you will not be able to pump gasoline. This will most likely cause confusion, frustration, and traffic jams. Stay home if possible and if you must go out use a bike or walk instead of using your vehicle.

7. Special Preparations for the Disabled

Before a blackout even begins you will need to contact your local electrical company and register so they know where you are located. They keep records of your address as well as the power operated equipment that you use. Keep an extra battery charged for your scooter or wheel chair. If you are hearing or visually impaired keep a portable television or radio handy.

8. Accessing Your Home

This might seem silly but always keep a key to your house on you. If you normally enter your home via the electric garage, you will need to know how to manually operate the garage door.

9. Safety Considerations

Keep all your emergency preparation supplies in one location. Unplug all appliances and any electrical devices. Keep one light on so you will know when electricity returns. Never attach a generator to the home or the garage. Avoid opening your refrigerator or freezer. Avoid, if possible, using candles. Keep informed by listening to the radio or television.

10. Prepare an Emergency Contact List

Keep a list of contacts available for your family, friends, neighbors, schools, and places of employment. Make sure your children know what to do in a blackout. Prepare in advance who will pick your children up during an emergency. Know your schools policy about non-family members picking up your children. If you care for an elderly relative or a disabled relative know how to get appropriate services for them.

Doing these simple things now will save a lot of stress and confusion during a blackout. Sure, one might not happen but these things will prepare you for other types of emergencies. It will also enable you to assist others during times of emergency.

10 Things You Can Do to Prepare For a Blackout

Sara enjoys spending time with her family, crocheting, and writing her snailmail friends. She shares snippets of her life, craft, and interests by blogging at and

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Constipation Remedy Using Citrus Juice


Here's another group of fruits that you can use to get constipation relief. Use these every day for desert or in between meal. Use more than normal to get rid of constipation.

Figs and Dates

Dried Fruit

Figs are high in fiber and can provide a gentle action on your colon when you have been constipated. This action can take about 24 hours before it takes place. Figs aid in digestion and provide a high level of fiber and minerals, They also provide a natural source of serotonin.

The use of figs and dates combined can have a stronger action on your colon. Here's a source for fig syrup that I found:


Grapes have a good laxative action. Eat 1-2 lbs of grapes though out the day and reduce the amount of food you eat during the day. Eat more vegetables and other fruits. Reduce the amount of processed foods you eat.

Grapes are high in vitamins and minerals. They have good fiber content and are especially high in manganese.

Since they are high in sugar, bugs are attracted to them. This causes farmers to spray them with pesticides. Try to find them at the farmers market as organic or not sprayed.


Papaya is well known for its enzyme papain. Its minerals help reduce cell waste and eliminate stomach and colon mucus. You can add papaya to your smoothies or eat them in between meals.


Persimmons are as good as apples and maybe even better for your heart. They are high in fiber, minerals - sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese - and phenolic compounds, which are anti-oxidants. The persimmon skin is also high in fiber but I find the skin hard to eat. You may like it.

Eat 2-3 persimmons each day, if they are available. They help to keep you get constipation relief.


Fresh plums are filled with minerals and have a mild laxative effect. They can relieve gas and have a cleansing effect on your intestines.


Prunes are dried plums. Eat both for their natural laxative effect. Prunes are more effective than plums for constipation. Buy a bag of dried prunes and eat them throughout the day. Aside from this laxative effect, prunes are high in iron.


Raspberries are high in vitamins A and C. They are high in magnesium, calcium, and iron. They are helpful in clearing constipation.

Experiment with the different fruits listed here. Eat them at different times and eat different quantities. Prepare them in different ways or buy them in different forms. Using these fruits consistently will give you constipation relief.

Constipation Remedy Using Citrus Juice

Rudy Silva gives you more free constipation information. Go get his free "Constipation Secrets 10 Week Course" to discover how to get rid of Constipation: Constipation Remedies Go here for more free tips: Constipation Tips

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fruits For Diabetics to Eat - What Are the Best Ones?


The simplest answer for this question is rather easy. Though there are many fruits for diabetics to eat, some are not strongly recommended fruits for diabetes. The recommended fruits for diabetics are fresh and frozen. Be sure, the worst of the fruits restricted or even forbidden to eat when diabetic are canned and contain added sugar. Fruit is usually delicious and sweet to taste as it is available in nature. So, it is not supported not to add extra sugar when consuming fruits.

Dried fruits are not good for diabetics to eat as they contain compressed sugar component. When a fruit is fresh, one cannot eat always a whole fruit. You consume a few cut pieces of a fruit means you are taking in a portion of the sugar contain of the fruit. If the fruit is dried the size shrinks in volume and you may probably have an easy 'chew and swallow' of the whole fruit. What does it mean? Is't not bad you are taking the whole sugar portion to your blood stream? So, dried fruits with more calories and concentrated sugar content are not good fruits for diabetics to eat.

Dried Fruit

The best fruits for diabetes:

A diabetic can eat fruits that are low in sugar - probably those fruits that contain less than 50 percent of glucose content. In this list, you have the following:

Apple fruit: Apple is one of the best fruits for diabetics to eat as there is the saying "eating an apple a day keeps your doctor off the door step". The contribution of apple fruit to reduce blood sugar is amazingly great.

Grape fruit: Grape fruit is another delicious fruit that has been proven to be potent to lower blood glucose level in the blood stream. You can consume grapes just before or after a regular meal to help your pancreas secrete sufficient insulin.

Orange: You are directed to eat daily one orange for control of blood sugar. It is not recommended to consume orange in juice form as the potential of fiber component is reduced. Peeled slices can be good to eat rather than sugar added juice.

Other fruits for diabetes: Blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, cherries, peas, and water melon are also good fruits for diabetics. A diabetic will be free from risks of diabetes complications if these fruits are consumed in moderation.

Fruits to avoid for diabetes: A diabetic will be safe if any fruits high in sugar are avoided. In this list you have mango, papaya, pine apple, dried figs, and raisins.

Fruits For Diabetics to Eat - What Are the Best Ones?

Controlling blood sugar is really an art. If you want to be safe against any warning signs of diabetes, you should keep up with diabetes foods to eat AND diabetes foods to avoid.

Varadharajan R is the author of this article. This article can be used for reprint on your website provided all the links in the article should be complete and active.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

A Vegan Thanksgiving: Cornbread Stuffed Apples


Stuffing may be my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner, so much so, that I am often compelled to make two or three different kinds just to satisfy my craving. At the top of my stuffing list though, is cornbread stuffing. I love the lightness alongside the grittiness of the cornbread, and I think it stands up better to the potentially overwhelming flavors of sage and thyme than your average white bread. Cornbread stuffing usually goes hand in hand with sausage. I greatly appreciated this pairing in my former omnivorous life, but it wouldn't do for a vegan Thanksgiving.

As you can probably tell from my recipes, I am not a big fan of "faux" meat products. I get more excited about the flavors of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and hearty legumes than I ever could about "Soy-rizo!" So, instead of bowing to tradition and adulterating my stuffing with a strange vegan approximation of sausage, I decided to augment the crumbly cornbread with toasted pecans, dried apricots and dried cranberries. The pecans give this dish a meatiness, something to bite your teeth into, and the dried fruit lends sweetness to this savory dish. Stuffing this into apples adds a bit of charm, everyone getting their own apple half to cut into, filled with the crunchy and moist cornbread filling.

Dried Fruit

For a good, vegan cornbread, use the recipe from my Cornbread Chili Pie.

1 8" x 8" pan of cornbread cooled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion diced
1 carrot diced finely
1 shallot diced
1 tablespoon thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons sage minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup pecans toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots diced
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (see here for the recipe)
6 apples

After the cornbread has cooled completely, cut it into 1" cubes. Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake at 350º for 10 minutes. Flip the cubes over and bake for another 10 minutes. The cornbread should be dry and slightly crispy at the edges. Allow to cool.

Prepare the apples. Slice apples in half through the stem. Scoop the inside out so that the edges are 1/4" thick.

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion, carrot, and shallot. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme and sage and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cornbread to the pot with the pecans, cranberries, and apricots, and stir. Taste for salt and pepper. Add the vegetable stock to the mixture and stir gently.

Heat the oven to 350º. Spoon 1/2 cup of the cornbread into the apple halves. Place the apple halves into an oven proof dish, and add 3/4 cup of water to the bottom of the dish. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 50 minutes. Broil on high for remaining 5 minutes, until the top of the stuffing is crispy and golden.

*You can also make this stuffing without the apples. Just spoon the cornbread mixture into an oven proof dish and bake, covered, for 1 hour; then broil, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

A Vegan Thanksgiving: Cornbread Stuffed Apples

Colleen Boucher is the creator and writer of the blog Dinner Peace ( ). She is an evolving vegan eater, and recipe creator, health advocate, and wellness specialist. Dinner Peace is a blog for current vegans, vegetarians, and anyone interested in occasionally trying to go meatless, lose weight, or just get healthy.

Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle can be intimidating, and Dinner Peace was founded to combat that apprehension with numerous examples of delicious, plant based, healthful, compassionate, cruelty-free and animal-free dishes, ranging from breakfast to lunch to snacks, dinners, and desserts. The vegan lifestyle is also an effective tool for weight loss, or just to achieve your optimum level of health. If you are looking to make a positive change in your life, or just get a sense of the reality of a vegan diet, check out Dinner Peace!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fruit Leather - Tips and a Recipe


Fruit leathers, also known as fruit rolls, are home made dried food snacks. Fruit leathers are made from pureed fresh produce which has been dried in a food dehydrator and then rolled into healthy snack sized pieces. Fruit leathers are easy to make and will cost less, and be better for you, than sugar laden imitators bought at the store.

Here are some tips to follow when making fruit leather:

Dried Fruit

Almost any produce will make an excellent roll. In particular, apples, apricots, peaches and nectarines are great fruits to dry. Many fruits can be pureed and combined together. Citrus fruits, which have a lot of juice, and smaller seedy fruits, like raspberries and blackberries, are best used in combinations with other fruits. Fruits high in fiber and pectin, such as apples or plums, have great textures when dried. Use fruits that are in season to obtain the best taste. Fruits that are over ripe, slightly bruised, or otherwise less than perfect are great for roll ups. Dehydrate fruit that will otherwise spoil. Apples or applesauce are excellent to combine with just about any other fruit Canned fruits can be used instead of fresh fruit. Make sure any liquids are completely drained before pureeing and dehydrating.

Try this recipe that mixes applesauce and strawberries:


In a bowl combine 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce, 2 cups of strawberries and 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice. Puree the strawberries and applesauce mixture. If desired, you can add some sugar and sweeten to taste. You may want to taste the strawberry apple puree before sweetening. Mix together thoroughly.


Line a food dehydrator drying rack with parchment paper or non-stick dehydrator sheets. Pour the strawberry apple puree onto the drying tray and spread until about 1/4 inch thick. Dry at 130° Fahrenheit for 6 to 8 hours. You may want to flip the leather over half way through the drying process. Dry until no moist spots are visible.

Fruit Leather - Tips and a Recipe

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

How To Make Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie


This is a delicious twist on the classic pumpkin pie recipe, and even easier to make. The only baking in this recipe is for the crust. This is a great dessert to serve at a Halloween party, as dessert (or one of the desserts) at Thanksgiving dinner, or for any other time that you have a taste for pumpkin.


Dried Fruit


1 ½ cups ginger cookie crumbs
½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
1 quart vanilla bean ice cream
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
(optional) assorted dried fruit for decoration

1. Heat the oven to 350ºF. In a 9 inch pie plate, combine the ginger cookie crumbs and melted butter. Once the butter is evenly distributed throughout the cookie crumbs, press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a ½ cup measuring cup to press into the cookie crumb crust to even out the thickness of the bottom and sides of the crust.

2. Bake the ginger cookie crust for 5 minutes at 350ºF. After the 5 minutes, remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

3. While the crust is cooling, take the ice cream out of the freezer and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Once the ice cream has become softened from sitting out, scoop it into a large mixing bowl. Stir the ice cream with a spoon until it becomes broken up, then add the pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices. Stir the the mixture until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the ice cream.

4. Pour the pumpkin ice cream mixture into the cooled crust. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.

5. If you are making this pie for a Halloween party or gathering, decorate the pie with a variety of dried fruits to create a jack-o'-lantern face. Let the pie sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes prior to slicing, so it will be easier to slice.

6. Serve and enjoy this delicious pumpkin ice cream pie!

Makes 8 servings.

How To Make Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

James Crocker is the Owner and CEO of Casual Robot Media, LLC. He currently writes articles relating to how to tips, what is information, why is information, and best information articles for

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Friday, March 25, 2011

ORAC Values and Antioxidants - Don't Get Fooled by the Numbers Game


ORAC Values are a measure of the antioxidant capacity of fruits and vegetables. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity. This standard was developed by Brunswick Labs and adopted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

ORAC values indicate antioxidant capacity of a food by measuring how long it takes an antioxidant to react to free radicals, as well as the amount of antioxidants within the specific food. It combines these elements into one measurement that is commonly expressed in terms of a 100-gram serving.

Dried Fruit

Foods with a higher ORAC value have a greater antioxidant potential than those with low values. The foods that tend to rank the highest in ORAC values are fruits with bright colors, such as berries, red grapes, cherries.

Interpreting ORAC Values

Some question remains about whether or not ORAC values are actually the best way to determine the most beneficial antioxidant foods. For example, the methods used to obtain values listed in the ORAC tables only apply to water-soluble antioxidants, not fat-soluble ones, like the carotenoids. So, you won't find some carotene-rich foods high on the list, even though they may be more beneficial. Other labs have also designed their own standards for measuring antioxidant capacity, using different criteria. This raises another question about which method is more accurate and useful.

Some antioxidants can't be measured. You also have to keep in mind that there are thousands of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that scientists have not yet been able to identify or isolate, and can't be measured by any standard. This means that there is no way to completely assess the full nutritional and antioxidant benefit of any given fruit or vegetable using the ORAC table. In general, though, there's no reason to doubt that foods high on the ORAC list should be considered a valuable source of antioxidants.

Retailers play the numbers game. Another problem with the ORAC table is that the numbers can be manipulated to make one nutritional product look more powerful than any other. Companies will use different sets of measurements--either dry weight, liquid measures, or typical serving sizes; they also will not include other foods that might compete with their numbers and make them look less impressive. This is common practice among the producers of various antioxidant juices on the market, such as acai and goji berries.

Using different types of measurements, different foods can appear to have higher ORAC scores than others. For example, prunes have an ORAC value of 5570, considerably higher than plums, which measure out at 949. The truth is that they're the same fruit, and a prune has no more antioxidant potential than the plum from which it was dried. It's just missing the water content, which makes up most of the weight. So do yourself a favor and don't worry about the numbers too much, just eat whichever fruits on the list you like.

ORAC Values don't account for the many different types of antioxidants. Most people don't realize how many different antioxidants there are. Some foods, such as onions, have dozens of known phytonutrients and an unknown number that have never been isolated and studied. Antioxidants found in carrots aren't the same as those found in tomatoes, or leafy greens, or broccoli.

Even among similar antioxidant fruits, the specific types of antioxidants differ. The antioxidants found in acai berries are different from those in mangosteen or goji berries. Ideally, you want many different types of antioxidants as much as you want a huge quantity of any particular one. Your body wants all of the different types, because antioxidants work together as a team, producing more effective results together than they can by themselves.

When it comes to antioxidant nutrition, variety counts as much as quantity. It's important to eat a variety of healthy foods, not only for their antioxidant levels, but for their other nutritional properties as well. So don't get hooked into the ORAC table numbers. Just eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to get most of what you need. Food especially rich in antioxidants include any type of berry, dried fruits such as prunes or raisins, dark-green leafy vegetables, and beans. There are numerous supplemental products that incorporate antioxidant-rich fruits such as acai and goji berries, or green powders such as chlorella and spirulina.

ORAC Values and Antioxidants - Don't Get Fooled by the Numbers Game

Stan Mrak has had a passion for antiaging nutrition for over 30 years. Visit his website at for the most practical and useful information on antioxidants anywhere. Discover how antioxidants hold the secret for staying young and avoiding degenerative diseases.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Grape Growing Information - Overview


Grapes offer many different uses, and they are also the basis to making wine. Out of all the grapes in the world, 71% of them are used to make wine, 27% is used as fresh fruit and the other 2% is used to make dried fruit.

Grapes aren't the only fruit that is used in wine-making, but grapes are the ideal fruit when it comes to making wine. They contain everything needed to make wine and have the right properties needed as well. These include fermentable sugar, flavors that are strong, and the skin's colors. Grapes can also deliver the aroma and flavor. Vitis labrusca are the grapes used to make grape juices, which are a species of grapes that are natives to the Americas. This is because the skin on these grapes is loose and it can be easily taken off the grape. Another species of grapes is known as the Vitis vinifera, and these are the grapes that are native to both Central Asian and Europe. It's planted just about everywhere, and these types of grapes have skin that is a bit tighter and can also be used for wine production. This fruit has a high nutritional level and they are also rich in protein, carbohydrates, fats that are healthy, and they are cholesterol free.

Dried Fruit

There have been many people who have a high success rate of growing vines; however they are not as big as vines that are productive. Some people even have the ability to make their own wine. Tending to a small vineyard can take some time; however keeping them healthy requires minimal time. For people who grow smaller vineyards, they begin by finding a spot in their yard that contains the ideal conditions to help ensure healthy vines and grapes.

You need to have an area of your yard that has a good amount of sunlight and also have good drainage. You can determine this after a heavy rainfall. You should examine the area to see if there is standing water or not. If there is standing water, this is a sure way to tell if it's a good area or not. Areas with standing water are not ideal for growing grapes. You may want to consider planting it on a slope as this gives adequate drainage to your vineyard. Slopes can also give your vineyard proper exposure to either hot or cold temperatures and all depends on the orientation. For example, in areas that are cooler, such as the Northern Hemisphere, the vines can benefit if they are planted on slopes as they get exposed to heat and sunlight.

Daily care is needed to upkeep a vineyard. You should make sure that your vineyard is easily accessible in order to allow pruning, pest control, and weeding. Also keep all the tools and water for your vineyards accessible.

Once you have determined exactly where you are going to place your vineyard, the soil and trellis will need to be prepared. Grapevines are so large that they have a hard time sustaining all of the weight of grape clusters that grow. Grapevines can be seen growing on poles as well as fences in the wild. Grapes are perennial, meaning that your first crop won't be able to be harvested for about 3 years. This is why it's important to make sure your trellis is sturdy enough.

After you have harvested your first crop, you can then move on to making your own wine. One of the great things about growing your own grapes is that the area and soil they are grown in can make the wine you make a truly unique taste of your own.

Grape Growing Information - Overview

Want to learn more about grape growing guide?

Visit my site for more information and helpful tips on how to grow a successful vineyard at home. - Sebastien Hebert is the owner of Growing Grapes Center.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum)


Goji berry refers to the Chinese name for the bright orange-red fruit of the woody and thorny plant (shrub) Lycium babarum. In English, it is commonly known by the name wolfberry. L. barbarum is one of the 90 species of the genus Boxthorn (Lycium in latin) in the Solanaceae family (other plants in this family being tomato, potato, eggplant, chili pepper, tobacco, etc.). It is believed to have originated somewhere in the regions of southeast Europe and southwest Asia, but is now grown all over the world - China being the largest producer.

Goji berry is also known by other names like Chinese wolfberry, matrimony vine and Duke of Argyll's tea tree; in herbal health care stores the dried form of the fruit is marketed as Tibetan or Himalayan Goji berry. The majority of the commercially produced Goji berry comes from the Ningxia and Xinjiang regions in China.

Dried Fruit

Celebrated in Asia as one of Nature's most nutrient-rich health foods since thousands of years, the legendary health benefits that Goji berry is claimed to confer are eyesight improvement, boosting immunity, liver protection, longevity, etc. The presence of a large number of micronutrients and phytochemicals in this fruit has been corrobarated by scientific studies.

It is perhaps the presence of large amounts of phytochemicals like polysaccharides, sterols and zeaxanthin and antioxidants like beta carotene, lutein, lycopene and vitamin C, in addtion to loads of minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and selenium, that lend the legendary health-giving properties to Goji berry.

As a food, Goji berry can be eaten either raw or brewed into a tea. It tastes similar to raisins, though less sweet and more dry. Commercially, it is available as dried fruit or in the form of juice or powder. Goji berry is often used in China as an ingredient in soups, too. Its leaves and young shoots are consumed as a leafy vegetable in China. In fact, even a Chinese wine is produced from Goji berry.

Maybe you can use your own culinary imagination to savor the taste and discover the health benefits of this exotic superfruit in numerous other ways.

Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum)

Get the goodness of the goji berry in FreeLife's Himalayan Goji Juice - or learn more about the story of goji.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Taking The Health Out Of Health Food



So you thought your health food was healthy? Think again, it is not as healthy as you were let on to believe. So let's take a look at some of these so called health foods and look at how you can determine if you food is healthy.

Dried Fruit


I used to think peanuts (actually legumes) were healthy, but when I went healthy and stopped eating processed foods to reduce my Omega-6 exposure, I found that peanuts are very high in Omega-6. So now I feed my peanuts to my dog Merlot, she loves them.

So what is wrong with Omega-6? For over 100 years we have been consuming processed foods, which is rich in Omega-6, in fact we have so much Omega-6 we are at risk of autoimmune disease. It is recommended that we decrease our Omega-6 and increase our Omega-3 to where here is a ratio of one Omega-6 for every one Omega-3.

Dried Fruit

Lots of people think dried fruit is good for you, well it is and it isn't. Small amounts of dried fruit are good, but remember that dried fruit is just the same fruit without any water. What is left in is the sugar. So if you eat small quantities, no problem, large quantities you will pack on the calories.

Veggie Chips

Always thought vegetables and vegetable chips were good for you, think again. Vegetables are good in their raw or cooked state, but when you take vegetables and turn them into chips, they become unhealthy because they are fried in oil. This action puts lots of fat in them.

Finding What Is Healthy

Finding what is healthy is easy. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables are one direction to turn to. Plus most packaged foods have nutrients listed on their packages. When you look at the nutrition facts look at the following information:

Saturated Fat and Trans Fat- The less of this the better. In fact you want trans fat at zero grams because of the health problems they can give you. Even if it is listed as zero grams trans fat, food processors are allowed to say this even if they have up to.5 grams of trans fats. Sodium- You do not want too much of this either. Total sodium per day is recommended to be less than 2300 milligrams per day. Sugar- This can turn to fat in your body, so you want to minimize the amount you consume. Carbohydrates- These can also turn to fat in your body, so do not consume too much of this.


Not all health foods you think are healthy. In order to determine if the food is healthy, read the labeling on the package.

Taking The Health Out Of Health Food

Walter Chase made a life style change when he was 35. When that happened he started taking supplements, exercising, which included weight lifting and running. Walter started taking Omega - 3 supplements five years ago and has seen many positive benefit. Receive a free e-book all about the benefits of Omega-3, at his web site

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Preserving Fruit


Your grandmother did it and maybe your mother. You may have sampled some of the best tasting preserves ever made. When it comes to preserving fruit it may be time consuming but you can do it. Generations ago preserving foods, including fruit was not only a way of life it was also a necessity in order to survive throughout the winter when fruits were not available any more. Because of the many different fruits to preserve you can offer your family the same way of life as your grandmother offered hers.

Sometimes when you have too many good quality fresh fruits, the only way to keep them from spoiling without having to consume them all at once is by preserving. There are different ways to do this - freezing, drying, and making jams are the most common. You can experiment and decide on the method that works best for you. Whatever form of preserving you choose, it is always best to use the freshest fruit, as that will affect the overall quality of your finished product.

Dried Fruit

Fruit contains a natural substance called pectin. As fruit boils during the jam-making process, the pectin in the fruit thickens the preserves. Usually, though, putting in additional, separately-packaged pectin is necessary in order to arrive at the right texture. Added pectin also allows the jam to finish cooking faster. Another thing to keep in mind when making jellies and jams is to use lemon juice; the acid in it will keep harmful bacteria from developing. Of course, it's important to use all ingredients in the right proportion; for this, it's best to find a good recipe and follow it. To store the jam after it is finished you need to pour it into jars that have been washed in hot water, seal them tightly, and boil the filled jars in water. This will keep the preserves from going bad. When cooled, keep them tightly sealed and store in a dark, cool area.

Freezing is the one preservation method that involves the least amount of preparation. All you have to do is separate the fruits into freezer bags and keep them in the freezer. Small fruits such as berries can be frozen whole, and larger fruits can be cut into smaller pieces or pureed before storing.

Dehydrating fruit is a good option if you're trying to save space, and it is also fairly uncomplicated. Fruits can be dried in the sun, in the oven, or in a dehydrator. Specific drying procedures depend on the type of fruit being used, but there are general rules that should be followed for all fruits. Prior to drying, you should always cover fruits with an acidic mixture, such as lemon juice. This will keep it from discoloring during the dehydration process. You can cut or slice them in almost any way you like, but remember that the smaller the pieces you cut, the faster they will dry. Once dried, the fruit should have a rough texture and bend easily. You can then store it in containers someplace dark and cool.

Preserving Fruit

For some different preserving ideas take a look at slow cooker sweets recipes and in particular the recipe for slow cooker pumpkin butter.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Powdered Vegetables And Interesting Ways With Dried Fruit


Owning a food dehydrator is not just about drying apple slices, though it does do that exceptionally well! To own a dehydrator, you don’t have to be someone who lives on a farm and who has a surplus crop of fruits and vegetables. There are so many more things you can do that you may not have dreamed of!

Vegetable Powders

Did you know you can easily make your own fruit and vegetable powders for use as flavor boosters, stock powders and garnishes? Even top-notch restaurants have been onto this clever little trick and you’ll find “red onion dust” garnishing raclette-covered brioche, as well as goat’s fetta dusted with pistachio powder in clever establishments. Très chic indeed.

Dried Fruit

Make your own garlic salt, celery salt, onion powder and celery or carrot powder, simply by finely chopping the individual vegetable in a food processor and laying out on the trays in the dehydrator; then, when dried to a crisp, pulverize in a blender. Add salt or just store in airtight containers to be used however you like. Dried red peppers can be added to bread mixes, and other powders can lift any salad dressing, pasta sauce or fresh dip. Even dried spinach is a wonderful thing to have in your pantry and can be added to soups, casseroles and pasta sauces.

As for fruits, tamarind powder has a wonderful color when stirred through dishes, or try guava, green mango or figs.


Fruit makes a healthy snack for adults and kids and is particularly good for people who are diabetic. Dried fruits are arguable more tasty than their fresh counterparts because with much of the water content removed, the flavor is more concentrated. Apples don’t always have to be dried in rings. Try using a potato peeler to cut potato crisp-like slices, or cut into wedges.Bananas can be sliced or cut into sticks.Homemade muesli is easy and entirely healthy when you add dehydrated papaya, apple, banana, grapes, cherries or any other fruit that takes your fancy.Dried apricots make a delicious snack as they are but try chopping and soaking them in brandy and serving with cream and chocolate sauce.Mango slices are one of the most wonderful fruits to dry because when you munch on them for a snack, they are sweet, delectable and able to be enjoyed year round.Try canned fruits if what you want to dry is not in season. Pineapple, peaches and apricots are all excellent examples.Dried cherries (after removing stones) are a fantastic substitute for sultanas in recipes. They’re slightly tart and have a chewy texture.You’ve seen dried fruit medley in the stores and it usually consists of apple, banana and papaya. Can you imagine making your own medley with mango, pineapple, cherries, peaches, strawberries and blueberries? Totally decadent!Go for something really unusual and dry some persimmons. If you can’t find them in the shops, ask your friendly Italian neighbors who will either have a tree in their yard or know someone who does! Same goes with figs, which are divine when dehydrated.Fruit leathers (fruit roll-ups) are incredibly easy to make. It’s unfathomable that the shop-bought ones have to contain a lot of sugar when you can prepare homemade fruit roll-ups without any at all. It’s just a matter of pureeing fruits – made easier with the help of a multi-function juicer – spreading the puree on the solid sheet that comes with your dehydrator, and turning the unit on! You can add all kinds of flavorings to enhance or fill the fruit further, as shown below.Flavourings: essences such as vanilla, orange or lemon, citrus zest and almond extract. Use about 1/8 of a teaspoon per 2 cups of puree.

Herbs/Spices: cinnamon, clove, mint nutmeg, coriander and ginger. Use around 1/8 of a teaspoon for every 2 cups of puree.

Crunchy additions: dessicated or shredded coconut, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, chopped dates or prunes and crushed nuts.

Fillings: peanut butter, cream cheese, ricotta, melted chocolate, jam and Nutella. Simply spread with your choice of fillings, roll, cut into cylinders and refrigerate.

Dehydrating fruits and vegetables, especially when they are in abundant supply, is not only a great way of saving money, but also a way to express your creativity, pass some time in a relaxing way and feed your family with healthy foods, even at snack time.

Powdered Vegetables And Interesting Ways With Dried Fruit

Gina Lofaro is the owner of online retail store, Live It Up Lifestyle Products ( she also runs her own successful copywriting business ([]).

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review of the Excalibur Food Dehydrator

1 comments is a site dedicated to helping people create a healthy lifestyle primarily through a raw or living foods vegetarian diet. As such, we offer several kitchen appliances that greatly aid those who seek to prepare raw living foods.

Once such appliance is a food dehydrator. With a food dehydrator, you can create a myriad of healthy snacks and recipes that still retain most of the live enzymes found in fresh food. For example, you can crate dried fruit snacks with practically any kind of fresh fruit or vegetable. You can create vegetable chips, crackers and fruit rolls. You can also dry nuts, legumes and herbs & spices. Many people also make all kinds of meat jerky with various spices and meat types such as beef, venison, chicken, ostrich and fish.

Dried Fruit

Food dehydrators are also great for people who like to hike or camp and want to make their own dehydrated food to carry with them.

In this article, we will review the Excalibur Food Dehydrator.

The Excalibur dehydrator has three primary models: The Excalibur Model 2400, the Model 2500 and the Model 2900. The main difference between the three models is their size and tray capacity.

The Excalibur Model 2400 has four drying trays and has 4 square feet of drying area. The outside dimensions are 13 inches wide x 17 inches deep x 7 inches high and weighas about 16 lbs. The unit has a 4 inch fan and 220 watts of drying power. At the time if this writing, prices range from about 5-5 for the Model 2400.

The Excalibur Model 2500 has five drying trays and has 8 square feet of drying area. The outside dimensions are 17 inches wide x 19 inches deep x 9 inches high and weighs about 18 lbs. The unit has a 5 inch fan and 400 watts of drying power. At the time of this writing, prices range from about 0-0 for the Model 2500.

The Excalibur Model 2900 has nine drying trays and has 15 square feet of drying area. The outside dimensions are 17 inches wide x 19 inches deep x 13 inches high and weighs about 20 lbs. The unit has a 7 inch fan and 600 watts of drying power. At the time of this writing, prices range from about 0-5 for the Model 2900.

All three units are equipped with an adjustable thermostat and they include drying trays with screens. It is important for your food dehydrator to have an adjustable thermostat so that you can regulate the temperature inside the unit. If the temperature exceeds about 105-107 degrees Fahrenheit, the live enzymes in the food will perish and the nutritional content of the food will be depleted dramatically.

When drying liquids such as yogurt or fruit purees, optional flexible Excalibur ParaFlexx® 14x14 Teflex(TM) Sheets can be purchased to line the trays to prevent spills and allow for the dried product to easily peel from the sheets.

The units and trays are constructed of heavy-gauge black plastic, with the back and bottom of metal. The bottom of the unit has four plastic feet. The 3-prong power cord is about 2 feet long.

The front of the unit has a lift-off face that allows easy access to the trays and shelves. Trays slide easily in and out of the unit on evenly spaced grooves.

One of the unique features of the Excalibur dehydrator is that the placement of the fan is on the back of the unit. This has several advantages compared to competitive units that have the fan placed on the top or bottom of the unit. The first advantage is that the airflow within the unit can flow evenly across the trays allowing for the food on the trays to dry evenly. In practice, however, I have found that the unit has a few hot spots and it helps to rotate the trays during the drying process so that all the food dries evenly. Because the trays are easily pulled out from the front of the unit, it is very easy to rotate trays if necessary.

The second advantage is that if drips and spills occur within the unit, they fall harmlessly onto the smooth metal bottom which can be wiped clean after use. Competitive units that have the fan located on the bottom can be much more difficult to clean in the event of drips and spills.

Drying times for fruits and vegetables will vary greatly depending on the volume of food being dried, the type of food being dried, and the temperature setting of the unit. I typically use a lower temperature and let the unit run longer in order to maintain the most nutritional value of the food. I have made fruit rolls in as little as an hour or two. I've also dried a large quantity of bananas that took over 24 hours on a low setting.

Overall, the units are well constructed, are easy to clean and have good capacity. Because the trays are square, there is about 25% more capacity compared to round models that take up the same counter space. The units are quiet and efficient in their drying, and we recommend them to anyone who wants to expand their options of healthy food choices.

Review of the Excalibur Food Dehydrator

In addition to being involved in Marathons, Triathlons and Internet Marketing, Doug Wilson is an avid proponent of raw foods and juicing.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Improve Your Diet - Add Dried Fruit


Fruit should be part of everyone's diet. It is a super food that can keep you healthy, will not make you gain weight, and will keep you regular. Without fruits, such as apples, oranges, strawberries, pineapples and kiwis, a lot of dishes would also taste a lot blander.

It is a fact that the human body needs fruit. Regrettably, it is not always possible to go to the store to pick out a few fresh pieces every day. While this is frustrating, it should not make your life miserable, as you have another option to get your daily dose of fiber. Simply order a few batches of dried fruit online.

Dried Fruit

Although doctors will recommend fresh fruit first, they will not object to dried fruit. Dehydrated cranberries, blueberries or cherries have wonderful qualities, which are good for us. Kids love it often better than the real deal. They think it is candy, which they can also take to school without getting in trouble.

Aside from promoting good digestive health, dried fruit has a number of distinct advantages:
• Fiber - We all need fiber in our diet for good digestive health and regularity. Fiber also benefits those who are trying to lose weight.
• Carbohydrates - We need carbohydrates to give us energy. It is jam-packed with them. They can be eaten as a snack or pick-me-upper.
• Vitamin C - It is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which will improve your immune system. It will also help wounds heal quicker, encourage connective tissue health, and alleviate the symptoms of health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
• Antioxidants - It is loaded with antioxidants, which will among others, fight cancer and promote cardiovascular health.

As the studies into the benefits of regular and sugar-free dried fruit continue, more advantages will come to light.

Improve Your Diet - Add Dried Fruit

Sunrise Dried Fruit Co of Northport, MI provides quality dried fruit. Because their fruit is all natural and subject to naturally occurring conditions, slight variations do occur from year to year, but all products are guaranteed or your money back. ( )

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dried Fruit Baskets


Drying fruit in the sun is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. The first mention of raisins (dried grapes) dates back over six thousand years. Shortly thereafter, people started drying plums, apricots, figs and dates. Many discovered that they actually preferred dried fruits to their fresh counterparts because the flavor and sweetness was more intense.

In modern times, dried fruit baskets have become an increasingly popular gift. Often combined with nuts and other goodies, these baskets are offered by most online fruit sellers. What is the appeal? As we mentioned, drying fruit preserves it, which means that it doesn't go bad. By comparison, fresh fruit only remains edible for five to seven days after delivery.

Dried Fruit

Another reason why consumers enjoy dried fruit baskets as an alternative to fresh ones is that the average basket contains a much larger selection of fruits. For example, the standard fruit basket includes only three or four different kinds of fruits like apples, oranges, pears, etc. But a dried fruit basket includes a colorful selection of half a dozen to a dozen different fruits. The baskets that we reviewed contained the following dried fruits: sweet pears, apricots, prunes, cherries, dates, pears, figs, apples and pineapple slices. They are, in effect, sample baskets with something for everyone in them.

What should you look for? When ordering dried fruit on the internet, it is important to take heed of the preservation process. To save time, some grows use chemical agents and even add sugar. As you might expect, this is not the healthiest method. Rather, the best way to dry fruit is to do it like they did six thousand years ago, out in the sun. Sun dried fruit not only tastes fresher, but it is also the most reliable way to ensure that the fruit adheres to religious food preparation standards. That is why theses items are a popular gift on holidays like Ramadan and Passover.

Buying dried fruit baskets online is also much easier than buying fresh fruit. As you know, fruits are seasonal and they cannot be purchases year-round. In fact, there are some fruits that are only available for four or five months of the year. But because this product is preserved, baskets can be ordered anytime. So, if you want to send fruit in the dead of winter when certain fruits are out of season, you can simply place your order online.

And of course, fruit baskets make a perfect gift!

Dried Fruit Baskets

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Can Fruit Low in Oxalate Can Help Prevent Kidney Stones?


Since about 70 % of all kidney stones are made up by calcium oxalate, avoiding fruit and vegetables that contain a high amount of oxalate might be part of any strategy to avoid the build up of further stones. It doesn't mean however, that you have to avoid them altogether, as you will see later on.

What exactly is oxalate? It is a substance that occurs naturally in plants, animals and the human body. Chemically speaking it belongs to the organic acids, the exact formula being C2O42−. There are two sources of oxalate for the human body. First of all it is produced within human cells, the body converts certain substances (like Vitamin C for example) to oxalate. The second source are oxalate rich foods, like certain fruit and vegetable. Recent research has shown, that the oxalate intake has a relatively small impact, other factors, like intake of water, protein and calcium also play and important role. Rather than strict diets doctors tend to recommend a diet reduced in oxalate, with "as little oxalate as can be tolerated" without compromising too much quality of day to day life.

Dried Fruit

So if your doctor told you to avoid high oxalate food, here is a small list of some of the groceries that you should use with moderation: rhubarb, buckwheat, black pepper, parsley, poppy seed, eggplant, green beans, amaranth, spinach, chard, beets, cacao, chocolate (sad, but true), some nuts like almonds and soy products.

What about fruit? First some fruit containing a lot of oxalate, that should better be avoided: Kiwis, black- and blueberries, star fruit, the peel of citrus fruit, grapes, gooseberries, dried figs, raspberries, tangerines and red currants. You see, the list is not too long, there is quite a lot left to get your five a day!

Here a list of fruit low in oxalate: peeled apples, avocado, canned cranberries, green seedless grapes, lemon or lime juice, mangoes melons, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, nectarines, papaya and raisins.

Fruit that contains a medium level of oxalate: apples with their peel, apricots, black currants, cherries, dried cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, oranges, peaches, pears, plums and prunes.

Whenever you eat something and get this funny furry feeling in your mouth (think of rhubarb or raw blackthorn fruit) there is a good chance it has to do with the oxalate in the fruit.

Following a diet low in oxalate is one stone in the mosaic that can help you prevent the development of new kidney stones. You should see your doctor though before going on a special diet in order to determine if your kidney stones are actually caused by too much oxalate in the urine. He also will tell you what to do about your protein and calcium intake, which are two other factors of significance. Eating more fruit with a low oxalate content might help you in your quest to avoid kidney stones, but they are just one part of the puzzle!

Can Fruit Low in Oxalate Can Help Prevent Kidney Stones?

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Monday, March 14, 2011

The Benefits of Dried Fruit Baskets


Usually combined with varieties of nuts, dried fruit baskets have become the second most popular version of the original fresh fruit basket today. According to growers and manufacturers, dried fruit baskets have soared in recent years due to the amount of time one can take to consume the dried product and still have it taste as delicious as the day it arrived.

The most popular dried fruit baskets are composed of dried Mediterranean apricots, California pears, Middle Eastern dates and figs, as well as combinations of dried fruits such as coconut/date rolls and dried pineapple rings with a dried cherry in the middle. Another factor that has aided the dried fruit basket reach the lofty heights of success is the healthy aspect of dried fruits. The healthiest ones are sun dried, without the aid of chemical agents to speed the process or preserve the flavor and contain little or no added sugar. In addition, many distributors of dried fruit baskets follow religious food preparation mandates to make their products acceptable for use as a gift on popular religious holidays such as Passover and Ramadan.

Dried Fruit

The key to producing a quality dried fruit basket is much the same as for a fresh fruit basket. Begin with high quality fruits, grown under strict organic guidelines, picked at the peak of freshness and rushed into the drying process as quickly as possible to preserve their flavor. The additional factor, the drying process itself, must be done in a similar high quality manner to produce a finished product. If you visit a farm that specializes in high quality dried fruits, you'll learn that each fruit has its own, specific drying formula handed down from generation to generation.

When the sun is used to dry most of the fruit, not much has changed from the way it was done back in Biblical times. The changes have to do with mass production of products that stress quantity over quality. Cherries have to be pitted before they're dried so the finished product can be eaten like a raisin. Pineapples need a sugary glaze so the acidic component of the fruit does not hasten decomposition. Apricots, pears, apples and even banana slices are the driest of the dried fruits, needing no sugary coating, but must be properly ventilated during drying to remove all of the moisture. Drying fruit is an art more than a science, especially when quality is the desired result.

The Benefits of Dried Fruit Baskets

Fruit Baskets Info provides detailed information about gourmet fruit gift baskets, edible, dried and fresh fruit baskets, fruit baskets delivery, and more. Fruit Baskets Info is the sister site of Picnic Baskets Web.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

5 Super Foods For a Healthy, Energetic Body


Would you like to know about some super foods that will get you healthy and your body energized? That's what I thought. Some of these foods you may already eat and that's great. It's not hard getting healthy. What makes getting healthy difficult is the motivation factor and making eating healthy a lifestyle.
Are we relying too much on vitamin supplements rather than the real thing? Did you know that many of the nutrients we receive from the foods we eat come from raw fruits and vegetables? This is why it is very important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in our diet to ensure nutritional balance.
Mega Vitamins From Food and The Sun

* Grow your own sprouts /wheat grass - alfalfa sprouts are super foods. They are packed with life-giving nutrients. Alfalfa sprouts taste good in salads and sandwiches. Some sprouts such as the wheat berry sprout can be mixed with dried fruit, and because of their nutty flavor, make it a perfect nutritious, energy filled snack.
Tip: There is strong evidence to support that wheat grass juice (sprouts that have grown into grass) eaten daily while on a macrobiotic diet can prevent disease and heal certain cancers.
* Eat a dark leafy green salad once a day - whether you eat spinach greens, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli, and mustard greens it doesn't matter. What matters is the greens are raw or only lightly steamed. Never boil greens! Once you boil greens I would compare it to taking a vitamin supplement. Dark greens are best for health when eaten raw. They have vitamins A, C, and K, iron, calcium, and folate. They are also great sources of fiber.
* Juice fruits and vegetables - juicing fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to get mega amounts of antioxidants. Investing in a good juicer is well worth the money and I highly recommend anyone who is interested in taking care of his or her health to buy a juicer. If your budget is not ready to buy a brand new one then you can find a used juicer at thrift stores for around bucks.
Tip: add a couple of cloves of garlic to the juicer and you will prevent sickness. (Garlic is a natural antibiotic)
* Eat a handful of nuts and seeds daily - raw almonds, coconuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are nutritionally packed with goodness. These nuts are very nutritious and have good fat (monosaturated) the body needs for lowering cholesterol. 
Tip: Pairing nuts with dried fruits such as raisins, figs, prunes and dates, make a delicious energy based snack for anyone on the go. Vitamin supplements? Who needs those?
* Eat two or three pieces of whole, organic raw fruit a day - this isn't really as hard to do as you might think. Bring fruit with you to work. First thing in the morning eat a piece of fruit or a handful of grapes or other berry. At midday have another piece of fruit and right before bed.
Tip: Always eat fruit on an empty stomach. Pomegranates, berries, grapes, apricots and the seeds of these fruits are full of antioxidants and disease prevention properties. Juice the seeds right along with the skins.
Get plenty of sunshine on your skin - This is the best way, and in my opinion, the only way to receive Vitamin D into our system properly. Why are we so afraid of the sun? Because people have abused it, and now we're afraid of it. We absolutely NEED sunshine on our skin. Stop wearing sunscreen if you can voluntarily get out of the sun! Not getting enough sun is making people sick!
When you first go out into the sun for the season, don't sit or lay in it for three hours and burn. Work your skin up to getting used to the suns rays. Only bathe for 15 minutes for the first week. Then on the second week bathe for ½ hour. The third week bathe for a little bit longer.
Skin cancer is caused from abuse of the sun. Just like all illness and disease is caused from abuse of something. If we take too many vitamins we'll get sick from them. Everything that we do in life, even if it is good for us, should be done in moderation.
Tip: Being in the sun is how the body absorbs calcium in the body properly, so in actuality, it is two vitamins that we receive from getting adequate amounts of sun on our skin. Incorporate the above list into your lifestyle and have a healthy, energetic body!

Dried Fruit

5 Super Foods For a Healthy, Energetic Body

Find out more about super foods and health:

Sugar Overload Syndrome. This book provides simple, proven techniques incorporating a whole foods diet, cleansing, sprouting, juicing, exercise and herbs to treat illness. Includes wholesome recipes, two free cleanses and age reducing and skin enhancing chapters.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Quinoa - Whole Grain Foods


Super Food Quinoa = Whole Grain = Complete Protein

The old world grain, quinoa, is a complete protein. It is a grain that has all of the essential amino acids that are usually contained in animal proteins. A healthy diet always includes whole grains. Few people think of whole grain as being anything but wheat. A healthy whole grain diet is more than just whole wheat. The ancient grain and super food, quinoa, was believed by the South American Indians to give them superhuman powers. Quinoa is as easy to cook as rice, as this recipe demonstrates.

Dried Fruit

Quinoa-Dried Fruit and Nuts
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup pine nuts (or any nut)
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
2 Tbs. olive oil
½ cup chopped dry apricots (or any dried fruit)
1 bunch green onions sliced end to end
½ red pepper-diced

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in quinoa, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Dump into large bowl and fluff with a fork periodically until cool. Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet until golden brown. Add all ingredients to fluffed quinoa, toss and serve warm or chilled.

Quinoa = Vegetarian/Vegan Protein Source

When this recipe is used for 4 servings, each serving has the protein content of 10 grams. Vegetarians or vegans should include quinoa and other ancient grains in their diet to ensure that they are getting all their essential amino acid needs. Not only is quinoa a terrific source of protein, it also is cholesterol-free, unlike the animal protein counterparts, and is rich in immune-boosting properties. Quinoa is therefore frequently classified as one of the superfoods.

(Feel free to be creative and substitute other nuts or fruits for a variety of flavors.)

Quinoa - Whole Grain Foods

Deb Bixler is a health and wellness educator who teaches people how to maintain a life long good health through skill-power as opposed to willpower. Her Wow! Diet is a natural way of life that teaches you how to make small day-by-day changes in that you can maintain forever.

Learn About Deb Bixler at the healthy living resource center.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Raw Fruit and Vegetable Diet - The Top 5 List


Choosing to go on a raw fruit and vegetable diet opens up so many wonderfully nutritious and colourful foods and combinations. Not only will you experience an immediate detox, your health, skin, hair and complexion will all improve. Your weight will fall off as will your cholesterol. Most fruit and vegetables will give you this benefit. We will countdown the top five which are easy to eat at any time of the day.

5th. Tomatoes

Dried Fruit

What could be easier to eat than a handful of baby tomatoes? So convenient and nutritious. They are perfect for dieters as they are actually made up of 90% water so are very hydrating which improves your digestive system. If that isn't enough, they contain all the antioxidant vitamins - C and E and beta-carotine.

4th. Cherries

Did you ever watch the Jack Nicholson film, The Witches of Eastwick? They must've been on the WC all day after eating all those cherries! With superb powers of detoxification to clear out your digestive system, cherries are also a really low-calorie healthy fruit. They contain ellagic acid, a kind of supernutrient that fights cancer as well as antioxidants that fend off infection.

3rd. Apples

There are so many different varieties to select from and part of the enjoyment of apples is trying them all out. Apples are high in pectin that encourages good digestion - important for boosting your energy levels instead of diverting them to digestion duties. They are packed with vitamins and minerals and help to clear up skin blemishes.

2nd. Celery

Celery makes it into second place as it is so low in calories and wonderful for cleansing the body. It has a lovely salty taste and can be added to dishes or eaten with other fruit and vegetables instead of adding salt. Celery goes well with so many other things but especially watercress.

1st. Watercress

The best diet food for eating raw, anywhere, anytime. It possess potent health benefits, being a strong antioxidant that cleanses the bladder and kidneys, purifies the blood and boosts energy levels. It's high iodine content aids thyroid function and aids metabolism.

It has a delicious peppery taste and can be combined in with celery and tomatoes in salad and eaten on its own.

So there you have it - the authors' top five raw fruit and vegetables. Perhaps it may be useful to get some expert advice on how to prepare this food in a raw fruit and vegetable diet? My favourites are Tuscan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake!

Raw Fruit and Vegetable Diet - The Top 5 List

About the Author

Christine Delareya is keenly embracing the Raw Food lifestyle. She has been vegetarian for many years and several years ago was introduced to Raw and Vegan food. The greatest benefit it brings is no longer having to worry about her weight or cholesterol levels.

She has written articles on subjects which interest her for many years. Visit a site she contributes to which helps you to get started on a Raw Food diet

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to Make Fruit Leather


Fruit leathers or fruit roll ups are homemade fruit rolls. Fruit leathers are made from pureed fruit that is dried on a flat surface. After the fruit is dry, it is pulled from the drying surface and rolled into small tubes. Fruit roll ups get their name from the look and texture of the dried, pureed fruit which is shiny and leathery.

Homemade fruit roll ups are a great tasty, nutritious snack that children especially love. Homemade fruit leather can be made from many different fruit combinations and spices and are substantially less expensive and more wholesome than the store bought kind. Store bought fruit roll ups are really over processed candy and contain heavy sugars or corn syrup and are partially made from fruit juice. Thus, store bought fruit roll ups are not one hundred percent fruit.

Dried Fruit

Making roll ups requires the following utensils:

Knives, a double boiler or steamer (optional), a food processor or blender, or alternatively strong arms and forearms for mashing and blending and plastic wrap or non-stick dehydrator sheets

Fruit Leather steps:

Use ripe or slightly overripe fruit Wash, remove stems and seeds, remove peels (some peel can be left on oranges, lemons, limes and other similar food) Cut the food into slices or chunks Steam it for 10-15 minutes (optional) Puree it in a blender or food processor Add juice or spices as flavoring (pineapple, lemon, lime), if desired add sugar or honey as a sweetener, and or add chopped nuts or coconut to create different textures To prevent food discoloration and flavor loss, add 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid crystals or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for every 2 cups of fruit. Lightly coat the food dehydrator plastic sheets or wrap with a cooking spray Pour the puree to create an even depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch Maintain a food dehydrator temperature of 115 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, or 46 to 54 degrees Celsius, and dry for up to 10 hours. The fruit leather is ready if it peels readily at the edges and if you cannot see any indentations after you touch it in several places. Roll your strips of fruit leather and wrap them in plastic wrap. Fruit leather can be stored for a year in the freezer, several months in the refrigerator and a month or two at room temperature.

Fruit leather can also be made via an uncooked method. After slicing the fruit into chunks (step 3), skip step 4 (steaming) and proceed to step 5 and puree the fruit.Other tips:

Fruits suitable for fruit leather include apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, oranges, pears, pineapples, plums, strawberries, tangerines, and tomatoes Draining excess juice from the fruit will speed up the drying time Applesauce can be dried alone or added to any fresh puree. Applesauce will add sweetness and make the fruit leather smoother and more pliable. Spices to add: Sparingly use cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice

How to Make Fruit Leather

Visit Food Dehydrator to learn how to dehydrate food and make beef jerky and dried fruit. Use our food dehydrator content and calculators to discover the benefits of food dehydrators and dried food.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Weight Loss Strategies - Don't Eat Bad Carbohydrates


Carbohydrates are the foundation of diets world wide. Most of your calories come from carbohydrates. Some nutrition plans "demonize" carbohydrates. They blame carbs for the obesity epidemic. Carbs have been falsely accused. While some carbs are "bad" for you, there are just as many that are "good" for you. To lose weight and keep it off you should eat more "good" carbs than "bad". The "bad" carbohydrates are sugars, fruit juices, dried fruits, refined grains, and baked goods.

Added Sugars

Dried Fruit

Carbohydrates are made from sugar molecules, so you cannot and should not avoid them. However, you should avoid adding sugars to your foods and eating foods with sugars added to them. Sugar molecules by themselves function mainly to provide energy to your body. Eating too much sugar will only cause you to gain weight.

The sugars typically added to foods are sucrose (table sugar), high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, dextrose (glucose), maltose, and maltodextrin. These sugars have no nutritional benefit. In moderation, your body will use them for energy, but in excess they will cause insulin spikes and weight gain.

You will get plenty of energy from vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. There is no need to add sugars to anything you are preparing, or eat anything prepared by adding sugars.

Fruit Juices

Simply drinking the juice of a fruit eliminates many of the nutritional benefits of the fruit. The fiber in fruits keeps you satiated and prevents insulin spikes. Fruit juices do not have this fiber. Most fruit juices also have added sugars and you already know why those are bad. Limit your fruit juice consumption. If you do drink fruit juices, drink 100% unsweetened fruit juices.

Dried Fruits

The dehydration process used to create dried fruits, removes some of the nutrients from the fruits. The water removed also makes the fruit less filling. The dehydration process increases the glycemic index of the fruit. Some dehydrated fruits are also sprinkled with added sugars. Limit your dried fruit consumption. If you do eat dried fruits, eat unsweetened dried fruits.

Refined Grains

Refining grains eliminates all the benefits of eating whole grains. Refining the grains removes nutrients and increases the glycemic index. A good rule of thumb is: Stay away from white foods: white bread, white flour, white pasta, white potatoes, and white sugar.

Baked Goods

Baked goods, such as cookies and cakes, are typically made from white flour, white sugar, and trans fats. Enough said. If you eat baked goods, eat those made with whole wheat flour, Splenda, and healthy fats.

There are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. However, in order to lose weight and keep it off, stay away from the bad ones. These are your sugars, fruit juices, dried fruits, refined grains, and baked goods.

Weight Loss Strategies - Don't Eat Bad Carbohydrates

About The Author:

Kalvin Chinyere, M.D. is a physician who understands obesity from both ends because he was an overweight child, an obese teen, and a morbidly obese adult. Before losing 140 pounds, he tipped the scale at almost 340 pounds. At his Weight Loss Tips website he provides weight loss tips and product reviews, such as this one on his favorite product, the Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells.

(c) Copyright - Kalvin Chinyere. All Right Reserved Worldwide

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Good Organic Diet


Fresh fruits, sprouts, legumes, beans, dried fruit, seaweed, nuts, coconut milk, and grains are rich in nutrients and can make a good organic diet. Organic diet refers to raw foods or unprocessed foods-completely uncooked foods.

Cooking food is sure way to kill nutrients in the foods we eat. Enzymes are also known to be affected by heat. The sure way to retain the food's best quality is by using them raw.

Dried Fruit

You may be surprised when one tells you that the food you so much enjoy eating is poisonous or toxic. This could be true if the food in question is cooked. Heat has been confirmed as the major cause of nutrients destruction in the food.

Toxins in the body can be removed through the consumption of raw or uncooked foods. Eating cooked foods harms the body more since more toxins is added in the body which may tamper with the total functioning of the body.

Cooked foods are known to be fatty and are not good for total functioning of the body. On the other hand, raw foods have low sodium content and a good percentage of potassium, magnesium and fiber which the body needs in order to work well.

Many people are nowadays shifting the gear from cooked foods to raw ones. They have discovered numerous benefits associated with this practice. Many have sighted healthy benefits or improvements as they embarked on raw food consumption. Testimonies from such people indicate improved physical as well as mental relaxation.

Uncooked foods play a great place in making the body more exuberant. They support weight loss while increasing the immunity of the body. The good news is that no artificial flavors needs to be added since raw foods are naturally flavored.Artificial flavors interfere with normal body functioning.

Raw dairy products like unpasteurized milk and raw cheese have more benefits in the body compared to processed milk. Carrot juice and dates help quench the desire for sweet items such as sweets etc.Almonds are great in lowering cholesterol while hone is good in increasing body performance.

A Good Organic Diet

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Monday, March 7, 2011

8 Irresistible Ways To Eat Cherries


Luscious red cherries are more than just another berry. Containing among the highest antioxidant levels compared to most other fruits, its no wonder tart cherries are considered today's hottest antioxidant superfruit. They also contain 19 times as much beta carotene as strawberries and blueberries and are a good source of vitamins E and C, iron, folate, magnesium, potassium and fiber.

Delicious cherries are versatile and can form a part of any meal including breakfast, soups, salads& sandwiches, entrees, side dishes and desserts. Freeze a batch of cherries and tuck into this delicious super-fruit anytime you fancy.

Dried Fruit

Make yours a power breakfast: Drop your regular morning berries and swap them with a cup of dried tart cherries. Add them to oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt or whole-grain cereal to give your day a powerful boost.

Cherries on the run: Grab a mix of dried cherries and assorted dried fruit to get your necessary antioxidants on-the-run.

Sensational salads & Super Sandwiches: Dried cherries add irresistible tang and zest to fruit salads, tossed salads, chicken salads and just about any kind of sandwich.

Cherries n Grains: A handful of dried cherries can liven up your pasta, rice pilaf, couscous and risotto.

Fizz up the fruit: Beat the heat on a hot summer's day with a refreshing glass of cherry spritzer, made by combining ice cold seltzer water with cherry juice concentrate.

Cherry parfait: A bowl of low-fat vanilla yogurt mixed with handful of frozen cherries and a spoonful of granola is the perfect emergency snack to keep hunger at bay.

Cherry smoothie: Blend cherry juice concentrate and frozen cherries with low-fat yogurt or skim milk for a sensational cherry smoothie that can be had any time of the day.

Baked cherries: Cherry cookies, cherry cheesecakes, cherry muffins and cherry cakes - the list is endless. Substitute strawberries and blackberries with luscious red cherries for a new twist on an old recipe.

8 Irresistible Ways To Eat Cherries

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Burn Fat and Lose Weight With the Help of Some Tasty Trail Mix


Trail mix is a great snack to mix into your daily diet to aid in burning fat and losing weight. Nearly any type of trail mix makes a fantastic snack in the middle of the day. You can either pick a store bought brand or conveniently make your own just the way you like it. The types of trail mix I usually get contain just nuts, fruit such as raisins, and some type of chocolate candy. Although, I occasionally enjoy a bag with nuts, sunflower seeds or other seeds, and several types of dried fruit with no chocolate candy.

So what makes trail mix a great snack? Well, the variety of nutrients from all the different types of foods mixed in. Not to mention it makes for a good energy boost right in the middle of the day. Also, if you love chocolate like I do, then a trail mix with chocolate candies in it is a great way to indulge that craving without over-doing it. The great thing is that the chocolate will help with more than just adding some sweetness. In fact, it gives you with a quick energy boost from the sugar. Furthermore, there is no real worry about a crash (or sugar-low) to follow because it is not a huge amount of sugar and the nuts and seeds give the protein essential for keeping your energy levels up until your next meal! On the other hand, trail mixes with different types of fruits will also provide the sweet flavor and the same energy boost along with the lasting energy from the nuts. Even better, the different fruits provide you with more nutrients, like potassium, than the chocolate does, but either type of trail mix is much better for burning fat and losing weight than just a candy bar in the middle of the day.

Dried Fruit

You can easily find a bag of trail mix that indulges your cravings while giving you lasting energy and healthy nutrients. However, be sure it doesn't contain too many unhealthy sweets like chocolate. In general, you shouldn't pick up a bag that has more than one type of chocolate candy or similar sweets. Alternatively, if you dislike the kinds you see in stores, you can easily make your own! Simply buy several of your favorite kinds of dried fruits, nuts, and a small amount of chocolate or peanut butter candies and mix them together in a ziploc bag. That way, instead of picking up a candy bar to munch on, grab some trail mix with fruit, nuts, and small candy pieces in it. That way you can still get the sugary sweetness you desire, but in much smaller portions and with much more of the healthy and helpful nutrients you need to help you burn fat and lose weight.

Burn Fat and Lose Weight With the Help of Some Tasty Trail Mix

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bread Pudding Recipe For the Slow Cooker


If you have been looking for an easy dessert to prepare and serve for a special meal, you have found it. Making bread pudding in a slow cooker couldn't be easier. It also turns out just as delicious as the traditional way of preparing it. You can use any type of dried fruit in this recipe. Mixed fruits, raisins, dried apricots, and dates all work well.

Slow Cooker Bread Pudding Makes 6 to 8 servings

Dried Fruit

1 16 ounce loaf of day old white bread
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup dried fruit, chopped small
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Tear the bread slices into pieces about 1 to 2 inches in size. Place bread into the slow cooker. Pour milk over the pieces of bread, covering as much surface of the bread as you can. Let the bread soak for 20 to 30 minutes. (I like to let the bread soak while I am chopping the dried fruit.)

Stir the dried fruit, chopped apple and nuts into the bread mixture in the slow cooker.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, melted butter, egg and spices. Mix very well. Pour over bread mixture and mix until spice mixture is blended throughout the bread.

Cover and cook on LOW setting for 3 to 4 hours. A knife blade inserted in the center will come out clean when bread pudding is done. If you aren't ready to serve the pudding immediately, it holds its texture well when turned to WARM setting for up to an hour.

Hint: You can also substitute a fresh pear in place of the apple for a subtle difference in taste.

Bread Pudding Recipe For the Slow Cooker

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Foods That Will Help You Fight the Fat


Almost everyone is interested in losing at least a few pounds, but of course, we all like to eat! No one wants to feel tired and hungry when they are trying to lose weight? When you make food your enemy your diet is sure to end up in disaster. If you want full control of your weight loss, you should make food work with you, not do battle with it. The good news is, there are a lot of delicious foods that will please your taste buds and your waistline at the same time. Go for those fat fighting foods with a diet that will make the pounds slide away, even while you feel full.

So, what makes a good fat fighting food: foods that will help you fight fat are usually those foods that make you stay full longer, while eating fewer calories. They usually are high in fiber or have some good fat in them. They may also be packed with nutrients that will make your body work a little bit better, burning away all that excess fat you have stored up.

Dried Fruit

The best fat burning food has got to be oatmeal. This rich and hearty breakfast will stick to your ribs like nothing else, thanks to its high complex carbohydrate content. It will keep your blood sugar levels on a nice balance, so you don't end up reaching for those high calorie donuts mid morning. Of course, in order to get the best benefits from oatmeal, you should eat the plain, unsweetened variety and flavor it yourself. Some artificial sweetener and maybe some dried fruit will give it your wanted flavor.

When you don't have oatmeal for breakfast, have some egg whites. While eggs are a nutrition powerhouse, too many egg yolks will stress your calorie load. Egg whites on the other hand are full of protein and will help you feel full. Egg white omelets filled with veggies and sprinkle of cheese will keep you feeling satisfied until lunch.

Whole grain breads are another smart choice if you are dieting. The fiber in the bread will help keep you feeling full and your system working well, while also keeping your cholesterol in check. Try not eating thick slices of bread every meal, change it up by adding whole grain wraps and crackers. You can also expand on this theme by using whole grain pasta with a meal. Top it of with veggies and a little protein, and you have yourself a fat fighting super meal.

Craving sweets gets nearly every dieter in trouble at one time or another. When your sweet cravings are demanding satisfaction, instead of reaching for the chocolate, reach for fruit. Fruit tastes sweeter than your favorite candy bar, and yet it comes packed with nutrients and fiber that make its impact on your blood sugar less disastrous than the hard stuff. Dried fruit is a great alternative if you are tired of the same old apple/orange/banana routine, or try switching things up by freezing grapes or other small chunks of fruit for an icy treat. When you eat fruit, don't forget to make sure berries are well represented. Berries are the nutrient power house of the fruit world - delicious and with more nutrients per square inch than would
seem possible.

Last but not least, go dairy. Sometimes dairy foods get a bad rap in the dieting world, but statistics show that calcium helps keep the metabolic fire burning. Skim milk, low fat cheese, low fat yogurt - the possibilities are endless and delicious.

Foods That Will Help You Fight the Fat

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Methods of Food Preservation


Preservation of food can done in many ways other than using a refrigerator and here we will look at some of these options. First let's ask ourselves a question. Why do need to preserve food? Well simply put food is essentially biological and was at one point alive and just like us when we die we start to degrade or rot. Some foodstuffs are seasonal so if we did not preserve them the majority of food would be wasted as most of it would become ripe to eat at the same time resulting in too much food at this point and none at others. Preservation processes must be non damaging to the food and non toxic to us so this narrows down the options.

Drying works on the principle that bacteria needs water to grow so by removing the water the growth of bacteria which rots the food is slowed or even stopped. This is a long established method of preservation involving drying out the food using the sun, wind or possibly smoking. An added benefit of drying is that it hardens the surface or skin of the food which stops dirt and other bacteria from contaminating the food. Dried or smoked fish has been a popular preserved food for hundreds of years and still regarded by many today as tastier than fresh fish. Meat is another product that can be dried although in many cases it is salted first, all red meats are able to be preserved in this manner. Fruits are also dried but undergo changes in texture and taste during this process some examples are drying a plum produces a prune and drying a grape produces a raisin. Vegetables are rarely dried as it takes all the flavor and vitamins out of them.

Dried Fruit

Pickling is a method of preserving food by creating a chemical reaction which is safe to us but which bacteria are unable to survive in. There are various ways in which this can be done with the most common ones being the use of vinegar or brine. Brine is produced when fermentation of salted water produces an acid solution. As this is more a chemical system the method tends to change between different foods as foods with more moisture can produce brine much easier than dryer foods. Food can last for many months using this process which doesn't require a heat source like the sun or fire unlike the drying method of preservation.

Sugaring is a method used to preserve fruit where the fruit is placed into a sugar based syrup this is popular with apples, pears, apricots and many other fruits. Sometimes the fruit is cooked in this syrup and then dried and stored and in some instances the fruit skins are used as dried fruit skins are popular as a delicacy in some countries.

Freezing is the method that most of us use as most people have home freezers that are cheap to run. An advantage of frozen food is that many products can now be bought ready frozen to go straight into your freezer. Even foods that are unsuitable for freezing can be cooked and then frozen and many are prepared so that that defrosting before cooking is also not required.

Methods of Food Preservation

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