I think chickpeas are underestimated – I have been eating them since I was a little girl, I didn’t actually know what they were but they were always put into my Mother’s winter stew or they were blended and made into hummus. When I ask my clients if they eat chickpeas, most of them say ‘no’ because they don’t like the texture of hummus – is this all what people think you can use chickpeas for?
So, I made sure there was more awareness of the healthy and tasty chickpea!
Known as chickpea or chick pea (cicer arietinum) and is a legume of the family Fabaceae. It is known around the world as gram, Bengal gram, garbanzo, garbanzo bean or Egyptian pea. It is very high in protein and has been around for 7500 years.
Top 5 Benefits of Chickpeas
- Suffering from constipation? Because of its high content of insoluble fibre, regular consumption of chickpeas will help keep the bowels moving
- High in protein – chickpeas if mixed with wholegrains, eggs, vegetables are a complete protein which is important if you are vegetarian. Protein helps build and repair cells
- Bone health – due to its iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphate content, it helps build and maintain bone structure and strength
- Pre & post pregnancy support – chickpeas contain folate which is important in DNA synthesis and repair, encouraging cell and tissue growth
Helps regulate blood sugar levels – their high fibre content helps to regulate blood sugar levels which also helps with satiety
Cooking With Chickpeas
(Always make sure you read the packet as fresh raw chickpeas need soaking)
What can you do with chickpeas apart from making hummus? Well, here are a few ideas to try out – and yes, I have tried them all through my CHICKPEA awareness campaign!
- Spicy Roasted chickpeas – so easy, add cooked chickpeas to a roasting tin, sprinkle with your favourite spices, pour some olive oil over the chickpeas and roast on low for 45 mins – serve cold as a snack.
- Lemon & Garlic Dip – add chickpeas, lemon zest, garlic (as much as you like of all the ingredients), pepper, rock or sea salt to a blender and blend until smooth, serve with crudités.
- Pancakes – you can make fabulous pancakes using the garbanzo flour!
- Stews – add soaked chickpeas to any stew, add them at the end so they are cooked but crunchy.
- Bean Burgers – mix them with other pulses to make a great texture bean burger.
- Curries – I always add chickpeas to vegetable or meat curries.
- Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille – delicious!
- Sweet Potato & Chickpea Fitters – great for a snack or breakfast.
- Chickpea Salad – just add a tin of chickpeas to any salad of your choice along with lentils, seeds and some olive oil and serve.
- Soups – add whole chickpeas or blended to give a creamy texture.
- Sweets! Yes, I use chickpeas to make healthy biscuits and cakes.
Next time you see chickpeas at the supermarket – Please buy them and try something new, you won’t regret it!------------Written by Claire JohnsonI'm a qualified Nutritional & Sports Nutritional Therapist. I am passionate about the relationship between food and a healthy body - how certain foods can make a difference to the body, both physically and emotionally. I am particularly interested in the management Diabetes through food.------------
All I keep hearing, reading and seeing is Turmeric! And how important it is for your health and we should be consuming it daily.....But why does it have so much media at the minute?
My earliest memory of turmeric (although I don’t remember it as turmeric!), was being given a bright orange tea by my grandmother, she always gave us this as soon as there were any signs of a cold, sneezing, sniffles or lacking of energy, we were given ‘granny’s go-away tea! It was quite sweet but this was from her love of raw honey that she used a lot.
We happily drank this potion, sometimes staining our lips orange not really knowing what it was for, apart from making us better. Sadly I never got to ask her where she got the recipe from or why it was so important to her, but all I know is she said it kept the bugs away......and she did live until she was 96!
The Turmeric Tale
So, I went on a mission to find out as much as I could about this super spice, although I have to confess I am a lover of this spice and try to use it as much as possible...oh and I still have my granny’s go-away tea, when needed! Although I was very surprised by my findings.
What exactly is turmeric?
Turmeric is a ‘rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant (Curcuma Longa), it’s from the ginger family and is native to southern Asia and has been used for thousands of years. If you buy it fresh it comes in little roots, when peeled reveals a beautiful orange inside, which smells woody.
When not used fresh, they are boiled for approximately 40 minutes then dried in hot ovens, once cool they are ground into a deep orange yellow powder which is commonly used in curries or for dyeing.
Its taste is peppery and warm with a bitter undertone.
Top 5 Benefits of Turmeric
- Immunity booster - the main ingredient in turmeric is Curcumin which has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, helping to fight off free radicals in the body and preventing colds and flu
- Aids digestion – due to its natural antispasmodic benefits it helps to reduce digestive cramping, aiding smooth digestion
- Relieves arthritis – studies have shown patients with arthritis have benefited from adding turmeric to their diet, this may be due to the ingredient curcumin which is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reducing benefits
- Anti-depressant – studies have shown curcumin regulating levels of the brains neurotransmitters (i.e. dopamine, serotonin) helping alleviate depressive symptoms
- Antiseptic – turmeric acts as a natural plaster on wounds. Applying a small amount of turmeric paste to the wound helps speed up the healing process and prevents a scar, this is due to its antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory benefits
New to it?
Now I know why this ‘super spice’ is the forefront of the world’s media......although there are many countries that already know it’s benefits and have been using them throughout their families for thousands of years. I think turmeric deserves to spoken about.
If you are new to turmeric, it’s time to make it your next best friend and start adding a little each day to your diet – you might want to start off with my ‘granny’s go-away tea below! But please remember to consult your medical advisor when starting any new herb or spice.
Granny’s Go-Away Tea
- 2 ½ cups water
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric (if using raw a tablespoon of peeled & grated turmeric)
- ½ teaspoon ground or grated cinnamon
- ½ fresh lemon
- Optional; ½ teaspoon of honey
Add the water and turmeric to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling add the cinnamon, honey and squeeze the lemon juice into the saucepan then add the squashed lemon and simmer for 10 minutes.
I like to pour it into a warmed teapot so I can then strain into my favourite cups, and then sit back, enjoy and think of fond memories with granny!Written by Claire JohnsonI'm a qualified Nutritional & Sports Nutritional Therapist. I am passionate about the relationship between food and a healthy body - how certain foods can make a difference to the body, both physically and emotionally. I am particularly interested in the management Diabetes through food.------------
It's that time!
Everyone around you seems to be coughing, or sneezing or both. Whilst some believe it due to the rainy season that's taken hold of Singapore as the month with the highest rainfall and humidity all year, doctors believe it to be just due to good ol' bacteria and viruses.
While I know that illnesses are caused by bacteria and viruses, I believe that often, yes, the bacteria/ virus has already invaded my body, but my body is still strong enough to fight it from taking over (okay, I sound like I'm describing a zombie apocalypse here and not a simple cold) if I'm not subject to extreme weather and if I don't become too tired.
However, all too often, once my kids are too exerted by playing around in the harsh, hot sun or get cold because of hanging out too long in the cold, cold malls of Singapore, or sleeping in my air-conditioned room without any socks on, I have a predictable outcome on my hands. They fall sick. They start to get sore throats, coughs or start to sneeze. It is quite a direct correlation in my experience. To me, it's because of the extreme temperature and level of exertion affecting their bodies' immunity, causing it unable to fight off the bacteria or virus effectively if it's already inside their body.
So here's my Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Happy & Healthy This Cold, Wet Season-
1. 100% Pure Organic Honey
Prevention is better than cure. Although this item cures just as well! So the #1 thing that we do to keep our kids' (and for ourselves) immunity up is to mix our top 3 items into a nice "Ribena"-like flavoured concoction to drink every day or every other day:
Sharing with you my highly-prized recipe :)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 Tablespoon of Certified Organic honey
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of 100% Pure Organic Black Seed Oil (ours is COAE Certified Organic) depending on how tolerant your child is of its strong taste ;)
- some concentrated 100% Pure Organic Pomegranate Juice (til it kind of tastes like Ribena!)
My kids love it especially with pomegranate juice as that's what makes it all come together to taste like the famous blackcurrent drink. Except that it's actually made with healthy and medicinal ingredients! Here's what a Canadian doctor had to say about honey:
Honey is recommended by one Canadian physician for children over the age of one for the treatment of coughs, as it is deemed as effective as dextromethorphan and more effective than diphenhydramine. (Wikipedia)
Do note however that no honey should be given to babies because of the risk of infant botulism.
2. 100% Pure Organic Egyptian Black Seed Oil (Cold-Pressed)
See recipe above. Cold-pressed quality is so very important,people.
Black Seed Oil is good for
- Over reactive Immune System (allergies, rheumatism, M.S., leukaemia, hayfever and asthma)
- Assists Blood Sugar Regulation – High blood sugar level is one of the major cause of many illnesses
- Hormone System (P.M.S.) (inflammations, edemas, nettle rash, acne & eczema)
- Digestive Problems
- Cough, Colds & Flu
- Intestinal Parasites (worms; amoeba)
- Liver and Gall bladder complaints
- Kidney and Bladder problems
- Rheumatic and Arthritic pain
- Bruises and injuries
- Weak concentration, mental exhaustion, lethargy, confusion
- Helps Lower Blood Pressure
- Colic in babies
"Always start slowly with herbal home remedies on a low dose and gradually build up the dose" (The Blessed Seed)
3. 100% Pure Organic Pomegranate Juice
See recipe above.
An ancient remedy used by ancient civilisations such as Rome, Persian, Egyptian and Indian, it destroys bacterial infections, is anti-carcinogenic (so important these modern days), remedies digestive problems (kids so often suffer from constipation or diarrhoea), cures muscle aches, REGULATES fever (this is a big hit with me, pardon the Caps, heh) AND is anti-inflammatory! One should see pomegranate similar to (or even better than) a throat lozenge!
4. Brown Rice (Heavenly Grade A Thai Hom Mali Brown Rice)
We've tried several brown rice brands, including Australia's Organic Brown Rice and found this to be the best for our family. It is soft, instead of crunchy and hard, easy to cook, is very clean (rarely any unwanted bugs found!) and goes with many of our dishes. Just be sure to store it in the fridge to keep it fresh. My kids even lament about the white rice they were served whenever we run out! Here's its description, doesn't that sound yummy?
"Heavenly Grade A Brown Rice is a Hom Mali or fragrant brown rice. It is unmilled and unpolished, with its nutrient-rich coating of bran intact. It is a nutritious choice, with more calcium, iron, protein, fibre, and B vitamins than fragrant white rice. Picked from the freshest harvests, Heavenly Brown Rice has a particularly sweet nutty taste and distinctively chewy texture that imparts a more satisfying flavour." (Redmart)
It is also very low in acidity according to Greenopedia. However, we've experienced that starting out slow and steady is best. Start with 10% brown rice, 90% white, then 30/70, then 50/50, 80/20, then 100 hopefully!
5. All Things Berries: Blueberries, Raspberries & Blackberries
Such ideal finger-foods, your kids will gobble it up (provided you get the sweet ones)! Far from being acidic, blueberries (very low alkaline), blackberries (low alkaline) and raspberries (highly alkaline) will help alkalinise your kid's body, amidst all the acidic sweet treats that they tend to ask for. Having even subtle fluctuations of pH outside the normal range is enough to trigger some problems. Some diseases due to an acidic body includes obesity, yeast infections and even cancer.
And if they aren't drinking enough water? Also a good option to take! Blueberries are about 85% water according to the facts by Authority Nutrition:"Blueberries are among the most nutrient dense berries. A 1 cup serving (148 grams) of blueberries contains (1):
They are also about 85% water, and an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates." (Authority Nutrition)
- Fiber: 4 grams.
- Vitamin C: 24% of the RDA.
- Vitamin K: 36% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 25% of the RDA.
- Then it contains small amounts of various other nutrients.
I can keep on going, there are so many healthier options out there to create our most favourite dishes with and to replace our unhealthy snacks which will in turn help keep us and our family's health in tip-top shape (or at least be able to cure naturally)! Hope you've found our family favourites and special concoction useful! However, do consult your doctor first if you have any concerns regarding the recommendations before having a go. Do email us at email@example.com or just comment below to tell us how it goes!Have a great, healthy & happy day!
We all have off days with our body, but most of the time it is our diet that's majorly the blame. Are you eating too much junk food? Too much processed and sugary foods may result in a body that is much tooo acidic. Cool it down, people, with these anti-inflammatory foods:
Oats with milk and raisins is a sweet warm treat that is perfect as a breakfast dish but for all its goodness, can be taken at any time of the day.
2. Goat's Milk
Did we mention that oats can be taken with milk as a perfect match? Well, why not try it with goat's milk instead? It is so much more gentle on the stomach with its smaller fat molecules (1/9th of a cow's fat molecule), many people who are lactose-intolerant does well with goat's milk, it does not trigger mucous, and is good for inflammatory conditions. You can feel it being so 'alkaline' as it goes into your body!
From plants, this component is green and typically, green things are cooling and good for you, as mom always had said! It even helps with constipation!
It is a real cooling factor in soothing sore throats and coughs, get a bottle or a freshly pressed or blended starfruit drink, and try it for yourself!
What are other foods that you find to be cooling and anti-inflammatory? Do share in the comments section below! Sharing is caring! :)
So... we've been busy.
Busy as bees, updating our shop with our new products and brands that are currently shipping in.
In the mean time, I've been trying my best to be a good girl, not munching on everything, or rather, every tidbit in town.
It's an old habit, see, I've always been bringing home a packet of (spicy hot) potato chips, a chocolate bar and lastly, a packet of sour strings. Salty, sweet and sour, all there ready in my room, for me to binge on, if I'm sad or having a particularly bad day, in secondary school. So it started from there, and kind of never went away, especially when I'm having big hunger pangs during my breastfeeding journey(s). So here I am, a nursing mother of a third one, and am happy to announce that I am finally taking control of my mouth. I mean, of my diet. So here's to waving meals like the ones below, goodbye! (So tempting I know!)
And say hello to my new (very tasty and hearty) best friends!
You should really give brown rice a try! I know it has a bad rep, but ever since I bought the organic brown rice, I've never looked back. Can start by having 1/2 brown rice and 1/2 white rice (or whatever fractions you prefer) and slowly let the brown take over. It tastes so multi-dimensional, so hearty, love the nice slightly crunchy texture, and not bland at all! Not a chore for me to eat. Just don't stock up those processed foods in the house, they have always gotten the wistful looks from me! But once they're gone, it's so much easier. Hopefully there's a slimming perk in all this, too!
Have a great diet!