Mahlabi-Healthy Style

Last Updated on Tuesday, 4 December 2012 12:59 Written by Flax Tuesday, 4 December 2012 12:37

While the ingredients in this recipe, might be more appropriate for Tu Be’Shvat then for Hanukkah, this is an excellent dessert to eat post latkes and sufganiot.  This delicious, light, and creamy dessert, is  both egg free and gluten free, and it will also help you to metabolize the fatty foods that we so lovingly consume on this holiday of oil.  Whoops, I meant holiday of light,  not holiday of oil, then again…   Anyway, eating agar (seaweed gelatine), with your holiday meals,  can help you to incorporate both the elements of the light and the oil into your festivities.

Those of you who prefer ingredients that they know, simply replace the agar and kudzu with  five tablespoons of cornstarch.  In my opinion, if your weight, health, and appearance matter to you, it’s worth making a trip to the health food store to pick up these “exotic” ingredients.   Agar, like all seaweeds is used to help digestion and to help with weight loss, it also helps to remove toxic wastes from your body (ie. rancid oils used in deep-frying your latkes and sufganiot).   Other benefits to using agar- it is a great source of calcium and iron, and besides that it is anti-aging, it will give you great skin and hair as well.

While you are in the health food buying your agar-agar, pick up some kudzu (arrowroot) as well.  Kudzu is an excellent addition to any meal involving fried foods.  When consumed, some of kudzu’s complex starch molecules enter the intestines and relieve the discomfort caused by over-acidity and bacterial infection. Medical research has shown kudzu to be helpful in connection to, indigestion and heart burn, as well as numerous health conditions such as, high blood pressure, blood sugar regulation, chronic migraine headaches, shoulder and neck pain, high cholesterol, blood clots, sinus troubles, acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn, stomach ulcers, colitis, hangovers, allergies, alcohol addiction, bronchial asthma, skin rashes, heart disease and neurological disorders.

Women however have a special place in their heart for kudzu as it has been shown to have a strong effect on the body’s hormonal system and can help regulate estrogen levels – of primary importance to post menopausal women to help in preventing bone loss,  estrogen related disorders, and cancer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 liter (4 cups) almond milk (I used the organic Adama brand, which like most brands,  has some sugar in it)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp rose water OR orange blossom water
  • 3 1/2 tbsp kudzu
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 4 tbsp agar-agar
  • 1/4 cup shelled and coarsely chopped unsalted pistachio nuts (for garnish)
  • pomegranate concentrate

Dissolve the kudzu in cold water and allow to sit for five minutes.

Heat the almond milk in a saucepan over a low flame.  When the liquid reaches a slow boil, add the honey and the orange blossom/rose water.  Slowly sprinkle in the agar and stir continuously until the agar flakes have completely dissolved (approximately five minutes).  Stir in the kudzu and continue mixing for one minute more.

Pour half a cup of the mixture  into eight wine glasses or ice cream cups.  Allow to cool slightly, and then refrigerate for one hour.

To serve, garnish with the pistachio nuts and drizzle with the pomegranate concentrate.

Serves 8

Enjoy!

Sima Herzfeld Navon is a Nutritional Healer and a Wellness Counselor.  For individual or group classes contact her at Sima@JustAddFlax.com

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Preventing Cancer Through Diet

Last Updated on Tuesday, 1 November 2011 10:05 Written by Flax Monday, 31 October 2011 02:12

As October becomes November the Cancer Awareness society moves their focus from Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) to Lung and Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (November).   While the Breast Cancer Awareness society has brought home the  “one in nine”  the more correct statistic for Jewish Ashkenzi women is “one in eight”.  The high rate is attributed to the “Jewish gene” – three mutations in the genes BRACA1 and BRACA2 – which raise the likelihood of breast cancer by 60-80 percent.  4,000 Israeli women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and 900 die of the disease.  Lung cancer however, is the most dangerous of all cancers and is responsible for 29% of all cancer related deaths.

The cancer society has acknowledged a link between unhealthy lifestyle choices and higher cancer risk.  Two significant ways to reduce the risk of cancer are through exercise and diet.  Healthy dietary choices include eating a plant based diet,  eating whole grains, reducing saturated fats (animal products), reducing trans fat omega-6 oils (hydrogenated vegetable oils) and instead, using oils that are high in omega-3.  The two foods that I consider to be the most beneficial to both preventing and curing cancer are flax seed and seaweed.

Flax, high in omega-3 is also one of the best sources of vegetable lignins, compounds that have anti-tumor, anti-estrogenic, and anti-oxidant properties.  While flax appears to have value in treating all cancers, it is of extra value in treating both colon and breast cancers as the cells of these cancers have estrogen receptors and can be inhibited by the anti-estrogenic compounds in lignins.

Seaweeds are vegetables that are  easily digested, contain ten to twenty times the amount of minerals as regular (land) vegetables and have an abundance of vitamins and minerals.  Seaweeds detoxify the body, remove residues of radiation, are beneficial to the thyroid, and improve liver function.  Seaweeds ability to help reduce growths and tumors is noted in ancient Chinese texts which claim “there is no swelling that is not relieved by seaweed”.

To mark the occasion of October and November Cancer awareness months, I offer a recipe which uses both flax-seed and seaweed.  Satisfyingly enough, no-one, other than yourself, will  know that they are eating seaweed, or flax-seed for that matter. I served this dish for Shabbat lunch (when we had company),  I didn’t get a single seaweed comment, and there were no left overs.

This recipe has two parts but it’s not complicated. If making the crust is overwhelming, then buy a frozen ready-made whole wheat crust and just enjoy the health benefits of the filling. I promise you though, the crust isn’t hard to make, and from beginning to end, it adds only 5 minutes of work and one mixing bowl. If you are up to it, it’s worth the effort because while my recipe calls for olive oil and flax-seed, you know that they what you are buying contains  margarine galore and not even a single, solitary, flax-seed.

Wishing everyone good health and happiness ad meah ve’esrim.

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup whole flour (spelt or wheat)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ground flax-seed
  • 1/2 tsp Atlantic grey sea salt
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  • 1/2 cup water (apx.)

Preheat oven to 180 c (350 f)

Allow the the flax-seed and the salt to soak  in the hot water for 5 minutes. Pour the dissolved salt flax mixture into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.  knead the dough until it is smooth. Roll out the dough into a thin layer and place in either a pie dish or a baking pan (any size or shape will work). Prick with a fork and bake at 180c (350f) for 10 minutes, until it is partially baked. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Wakame Filling

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2″ (1 cm) ginger, grated
  • 1 bunch beet leaves (mangold or kale), coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp wakame
  • 1 tbsp ground flax-seed, soaked in 4 tbsp water for 5 minutes
  • 1 small kohlrabi, slice into thin roundels
  • 1 thinly sliced carrot roundel

Soak the wakame in cold water for ten minutes.  Squeeze out the excess water and set aside.

Preheat oven to 180 c (350 f).

Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger and spices and saute for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the beet leaves and the carrots and saute until the beet leaves are limp.   Remove from the flame and stir in the wakame and the the flax-seed. Spoon onto the half-baked pie crust.
Spread the kohlrabi roundels in a circle over the top of the pie to form a flower shape. Place the carrot roundel in the center of the circle. Carefully brush the kohlrabi flower with olive oil.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden.

Serve hot.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

Enjoy!

Sima Herzfeld Navon has a clinic for holistic medicine and nutritional healing.  She also teaches healthy cooking.

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AAA Healthy Dessert to the Rescue

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 July 2011 08:44 Written by Flax Wednesday, 27 July 2011 08:38

AAA

Healthy Dessert to the Rescue

Let’s be honest, healthy and dessert are oxymorons.  There are no really good desserts that are truly healthy.  On the other hand, sometimes all we need is a little taste of something sweet at the end of a meal in order to feel completely satisfied.  This is especially true after eating a heavy meat meal.  While those rich, creamy, and sugary desserts always look attractive, many of us often regret that short moment of pleasure.  I recommend trying a lighter dessert which also has wonderful health benefits.

The AAA in the title stands for Apple Agar-Agar.   Agar-Agar, also known as kanten,  is a gelatine made from seaweed.  Besides having all  of the wonderful health benefits of seaweed, it is also an excellent kosher gelatine option.  More and more badatz products in Israel that use gelatine are switching to seaweed gelatine.  Seaweed gelatine  is also preferable to animal gelatine  from a culinary point of view as unlike beef or fish gelatine it doesn’t melt at room temperature.

All seaweeds are known to be high in vitamins and minerals.  They are especially high in  iodine, calcium, and iron.  Some seaweeds have up to ten times more calcium than milk and up to twenty-five times more iron than beef.  All sea vegetables (a fancier way of saying seaweed) help to lower cholesterol, are beneficial to the thyroid, and they help to detoxify the body.  Seaweed is so healthy and it makes me feel so alive that I have made it a habit to eat  five to fifteen grams of seaweed every single day.  Not everyone however likes the taste of seaweed (that was an understatement) and they avoid eating it.  Since agar-agar is tasteless, odorless, and  invisible when cooked, no-one has to actually know what it is that they eating.

However, my favorite feature of agar-agar is that it helps to promotes digestion and weight loss.  Yes, that is correct, a dessert that will actually help you to lose weight!  So, now you can eat your dessert and enjoy it too.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 5 tablespoons agar-agar flakes
  • 1 tablespoons rice malt (a healthy sweetener)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 golden apple, peeled, cored, and chopped

Bring the apple cider, agar flakes, rice malt, and spices to a boil over a medium flame while stirring frequently.  Simmer for three minutes .  Add the apple pieces and simmer for two minutes more.  Remove the cinnamon stick and pour into individual molds.  Allow to cool and then refrigerate for one hour.

Serves 6-8.  Serve chilled

Note:  The correct amount of agar-agar to use fluctuates in accordance to the acidity of the dish.  To check if you are using the correct amount of agar-agar, remove one tablespoon of the mixture and pour onto a flat surface.  After five minutes you will be able to see if it holds.

Enjoy!

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