The Cherry on Top
Modern lifestyle advice with a Traditional Chinese Medicine twist
Avocado, thought to write about something green that wasn't a brussel sprout before Christmas. Avocado is a fruit with many benefits. Firstly, high in potassium which is hard to find in most fruits, they contain good fat containing oleic acid much like olive oil. The fibre of an ava is soluble vs. in-soluble. Soluble fibre supports good gut flora. They increase good fat 'HDL' which helps lower cholesterol which has been shown to lower risk of heart disease. Due to being high in anti oxidants they support eye health which lowers risk of cataracts & macular degeneration. Oh so many benefits!
From a chinese med view they are cool in nature and sweet in flavour. Supporting liver, lungs and intestines. They support blood and yin. One other interesting point; if someone struggles with fats being reactive with liver and gall bladder avocado is a great healthy fat source.
One cant think of ava without thinking guacamole!
Here's my recipe:
2 large ripe avacadoes
Juice of one lime or two
Handful of coriander
1/2 a red onion finely chopped
6 to 10 vine tomatoes cut in quarters
Dig out the avocado with a spoon into a bowl, mash with fork. Squeeze lime juice in, add 5 drops of tobacco, add red onion, tomatoes and coriander. Taste! add more tobacco or lime depending on your preference. Complete by adding some salt & pepper.
If you don't eat all the guacamole, reserve the large pit from the fruit and put it into the bowl and cover tightly in the fridge.
Pomegranate... not just for cocktails!
Pomegranate are a fruit which happen to have a super amount of antioxidants, in fact three time greater than red wine or green tea. They also have amazing anti -inflammatory properties, from a western medicine point of view they are attributed to helping heart disease, cancer, diabetes type 2 and Alzheimer's disease! As well as lowering blood pressure. In good health, they are shown to boost memory and exercise performance. So an excellent choice to add to your daily meals.
From a TCM view they regulate heart energy (qi) and nourish Yin. The temperature is 'neutral' and have a flavour of sour & sweet. So some similarities between the western model and traditional chinese medicine information.
How do you get into one? I simply cut the pom in half and start to pick the seeds out over a bowl, wear an apron if you are wearing anything white or nice, the juice does stain.
The seeds are great dazzled over a salad, orzo, bulgar wheat, roasted veggies and really taste wonderful with a bit of feta cheese. You can also drink Pom juice which is available at the grocery store. Far more versatile than just in a vodka cocktail indeed!
The weather seems cold enough to roast chestnuts on the fire (or in the oven). Not just a nut to eat, they are very versatile for baking and day today eats.
Chestnuts have warming action in the body (yang) and taste sweet. They support the kidneys, stomach and spleen. With the action of warming they support 'yang' and which promotes blood circulation. Unlike other nuts, chestnuts are low in fat. Store them in fridge to keep them fresh.
Try this yummy Apple & Chestnut tart:
One 9 inch pastry case
1 pound of chestnut puree
Peel of 1 lemon
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp of date syrup
1 large cooking apple
1/2 cup of flaked almonds
juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp of lemon
1 tbsp of brown sugar
Boil and puree the chestnuts of use toned puree. Grate or zest the lemon peel, and add it to the puree together with the 1 tsp of cinnamon and the date syrup. Press the mixture into the pastry case.
Cover the surface with thinly sliced apple and the flaked almonds. Pour the lemon juice over the top, sprinkle with a mixture of the sugar and the remaining cinnamon. Bake at 400'/ Gas mark 6 for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Prep time: 45 min
Serves 6 - 8
From: Daverick Leggett, Recipes for Self-healing
It's that time of year when we start to see nuts and dried fruit in produce section in the grocery store in the UK for the upcoming holiday season. Why not consider dates if you need a snack? They are naturally sweet and high in fibre.
From a chinese nutrition aspect they are sweet in flavour and have a warming action. They nourish energy (qi) and build blood.
This flapjack recipe takes a bit of chopping but its a great treat!
6 ounces of walnuts
8 ounces of dates
A little hot water
1 handful of sesame seeds
1 cup of sunflower oil
2 eggs beaten
2 tbsp of molasses
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of ginger
20 ounces of oatflakes
Crush walnuts and chop the dates finely. Add a small amount of hot water to the dates, leave for a few minutes then mash until the dates dissolve a little. Add the molasses, crushed walnuts, sesame seeds, oil, spices and eggs. Stir well. Gradually add the oats until the mixture is thick and moist. Push it into a shallow baking tray and bake at 400'F, gas mark 6 for about 30 minutes, cut when still warm.
From Maverick Leggett's book Recipes for Self Healing
Pumpkins! some of you may wonder what to do with your jack o lantern from last night. Pumpkin is considered a fruit not a vegetable, in North America during thanksgiving, pumpkin is made into pies and sweet treats.
In TCM terms it is warm in temperature and has sweet flavour. Overall pumpkin supports our digestive system (stomach & spleen) it can help clear 'damp', 'phlegm' as well as creating warmth which supports blood circulation and provide essential energy (qi)
Try this smooth yummy soup;
Pumpkin & Chestnut Soup
1 cup of dried chestnuts (soaked)
3 table spoons of olive oil
1 medium pumpkin
2 pints of veggie stock
2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tsp of rosemary
A splash of cider vinegar
Parsley to garnish
Pinch of paprika
Pre soak chestnuts overnight or use fresh if available, Chop onions roughly and fry in olive oil until soft. Chop pumpkin, removing the skin and seeds, and sweat with the onions, turning occasionally until softens.
Add the vegetable stock, chestnuts, crushed garlic, bayleaf and rosemary. Simmer for 40 minutes, remove the bayleaf and liquidise adding a splash of cider vinegar and a goos twist of freshly ground pepper. Serve garnished with parsley and a sprinkle of paprika.
Source: Daverick Leggett, Recipes for Self- Healing