Simplifying nutrition and using food as medicine - one bite at a time.

My goal with this blog is to set folks straight about what good nutrition really is! Starting by discarding the info we get every day from 'sponsors' that do not really have our best interests at heart, I want to inspire you to eat better AND realize it is much easier than you thought it would be!

Just about any health issues can be addressed with nutrition (and meditation), from mild to chronic to acute. We truly have the ability to heal ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually...

And you can use your daily routine as your vehicle to drive that change :)


Join me...

Quote of the Month

"When food, in the minds of eaters, is no longer associated with farming and with the land, then the eaters are suffering a kind of cultural amnesia that is misleading and dangerous"
~Wendell Berry

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Raspberry

These berries are the 3rd in my berry series and definitely in my top 3 favourite berries, partly because they are fairly low-maintenance to grow and overall an easy berry to incorporate into many a great baked goodie. I certainly wouldn’t turn down a fresh one (and thanks to my neighbors’ sky-high groves of them I have been enjoying them for several weeks now! They are velvety, luscious berries that are best when a deep pink/red, almost purple colour. This hue indicated its rich nutrient content. One of those notable nutrients is ellagic acid which is present in many red fruits and berries, including raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, pomegranate and some nuts including pecans and walnuts. The highest levels of ellagic acid are found in raspberries however. So if you’re looking for a source of antioxidant, anti-mutagen and anti-cancer properties, they are your berries! Studies have shown their anti-cancer activity on cancer cells of the breast, esophagus, skin, colon, prostate and pancreas.* And it’s never too early to start prevention of the rising incidence of cancer.

As an antioxidant food containing ellagic acid, raspberries help prevent unwanted damage to cell membranes and other structures in the body by neutralizing free radicals. Ellagic acid is not the only well-researched phytonutrient component of raspberry, however. Raspberry's flavanoid content is also well documented. These flavanoid molecules are also classified as anthocyanins, and they belong to the group of substances that give raspberries their rich red color. Raspberries' anthocyanins also give these delectable berries unique antioxidant properties, as well as some antimicrobial ones, including the ability to prevent overgrowth of certain bacteria and fungi in the body (for example, the yeast Candida albicans, which is a frequent culprit in vaginal infections and can be a contributing cause in irritable bowel syndrome).

This is not a berry to pass up. So get out there and get your hands on some soon before they are gone and reap their multitude of benefits!

*Note: Frozen berries are still a great option and you’ll still reap the nutritional benefits (wash, if necessary, and dry before freezing).

Creative ways to use raspberries:

1.) Add raspberries to your apple crumble recipe.

2.) Add fresh or crushed with honey if tart to fresh ice cream

3.) Make an instant jam by simply crushing them with a fork and adding raw honey (as with strawberries)

3.) Awesome enhancement to salad dressing!

4.) One of the best berries for using in pies. Here is my recipe:

Crust:
2.5 cups fine-ground spelt flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. unrefined sugar
Put these 3 ingredients into a food processor and pulse a few times.
Add 1 cup of cold, unsalted butter, chopped into tbsp. sized cubes.
¼-1/2 cup ice-cold water

Process butter into mixture about 10 seconds (using pulse) until it becomes a coarse meal consistency.
Have water ready (1/2 cup) and add in slow steady stream while blending just until it holds together.
(*Note: You may not need the full ½ cup of water).
Now it’s ready to roll!
*Fork the bottom of the crust if you are baking it empty.
Freeze for an hour or so before putting in filling.

Berry/fruit pie contents:
¾ - 1 cup unrefined sugar
¼ sifted spelt flour
1 tsp.cinnamon and ¼ tsp. nutmeg
Add all above ingredients together, then add 4 cups of chosen berries (I like a mixture of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and huckleberries)
*If your berries are frozen you may want to defrost somewhat and drain excess water to avoid an overly juicy pie.
1 ½ tbsp. lemon juice + ½ tbsp zest
1-2 tbsp butter cut into pieces
Put fruit mixture into pre-frozen pie shell with butter pieces scattered over top.
*If very juicy add egg yolk to bind.

Preheat oven to 450 then reduce to 350 and put pie in oven. Bake 40-50 minutes, check after about 35 minutes. It’s done when the crust starts to brown slightly at the edges.

Sources used for article:
http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/ellagic-acid.php

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the pie recipe. We still are harvesting our raspberries, lots of them this year. I guess all this warm weather has given us a bumper crop.

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