Sweet Vegetables

roots-as-vegetables

Almost everyone craves sweets. Rather than depending on processed sugar to satisfy cravings, add naturally sweet foods to your daily diet to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

                                                            Sweet Vegetables Semi-sweet vegetables Other Vegetables
Examples corn, carrots, onions, beets, winter squashes, sweet potatoes and yams turnips, parsnips and rutabagas red radishes, daikon, green cabbage and burdock
Flavor sweet when cooked subtly sweet don’t taste sweet, but have a similar effect on the body in that they maintain blood sugar levels, reduce sweet cravings and break down animal foods in the body

Red beet

Sweet vegetables soothe the internal organs of the body and energize the mind. And because many of these vegetables are root vegetables, they are energetically grounding, which helps to balance out the spaciness people often feel after eating other kinds of sweet foods. Adding in sweet vegetables helps to crowd out less healthy foods in the diet.

A simple way to cook these vegetables is to follow the recipe below that we call Sweet Sensation. It has few ingredients and preparation time is minimal.

sweet corn

Sweet Sensation Recipe

  • Use one, two, three, four or five of the sweet vegetables mentioned above.
  • Chop the hardest ones, like carrots and beets, into smaller pieces.
  • Softer vegetables, like onions and cabbage, can be cut into larger chunks.
  • Use a medium-sized pot and add enough water to barely cover the vegetables. You may want to check the water level while cooking and add more water if needed. Remember, vegetables on the bottom will get cooked more than the ones on the top. Cook until desired softness. The softer the vegetables get, the sweeter they become.
  • You may also add any of the following ingredients: spices, salt, seaweed. You can add a can of beans for extra protein.
  • When the vegetable cooked to your satisfaction, empty the ingredients into a large bowl, flavor as desired and eat. The leftover cooking water makes a delicious, sweet sauce, and is a healing, soothing tonic to drink by itself.

Other cooking methods include steaming, roasting, stir-frying. They can also be simmered and pureed to create a soup, or you can simply eat them raw, grated in a salad. Be creative!

rutabaga n turnip

Resources:

Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Food Focus: Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are on everyone’s mind this season. (Ok, maybe not everyone… as some do not enjoy the delicacy of a delicious sweet potato melting in your mouth…)  But they seem to go hand in hand with the family gatherings, and fortunately, eating these and other sweet vegetables needn’t be limited to this time of year. As soon as it frosts, then it is time to dig sweet potatoes! Store them in a cool, dark place and eat them roasted, steamed, or baked like a white potato. They are even good grilled! 😀

Cravings for sweets can be greatly reduced by adding sweet vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, beets, squash, turnips and rutabagas to your daily diet. Sweet potatoes elevate blood sugar gently rather than with the jolt delivered by simple refined carbohydrates, so there’s no energy crash after you eat them. This makes them an ideal vegetable or side dish for diabetics! :)  Much higher in nutrients than white potatoes and especially rich in vitamin A, sweet potatoes offer a creamy consistency that is satisfying and soothing.

They are healing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and help to remove toxins from the body. They can increase the quantity of milk in lactating women and can lessen cramps and premenstrual symptoms. If you don’t have any sweet potatoes in your kitchen, go out and buy some (organic and local if possible) and make the recipe below. (I am trying not to drool… because anything with lime and cilantro is bound to taste yummy! :) )

Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro

This recipe is an eye-opener for those who find sweet potatoes sweet or those who are tired of eating them smothered in marshmallows and brown sugar (NOT healthy!!) . Japanese sweet potatoes, with their pale flesh and delicate flavor, are a treat if you can find them.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

4 sweet potatoes

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

2-3 limes

butter or olive oil, salt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash the sweet potatoes and bake them whole, in their skins, at 375 degrees until tender, about 40 minutes.
  2. Wash and chop cilantro leaves.
  3. When sweet potatoes are done, slit open the skin and place on serving plate. Season with salt and dots of butter or a sprinkle of oil, if you like, then squeeze fresh lime juice all over, and shower with cilantro leaves.

Anything is better with cilantro, right? 😀

Enjoy! ~Coach Shannon

Resources:

  1. Institute for Integrative Nutrition
  2. Mannafold Blessings In Health

Benefits of Calendula

Calendula
Calendula

What is Calendula besides a cute yellow flower? It is part of the marigold family of flowers and the botanical name is Calendula officinalis.  The picture above is some of the cute yellow flowers I picked from my flower bed. :) The stems are a little sticky, but the flowers are cute enough, I don’t mind. :) Yes, I like yellow flowers… especially sunflowers, but maybe I am biased to the Kansas state flower! 😀

Shannon's sunflower
Shannon’s sunflower

Calendula flowers have been known for their antiseptic properties. They can be used to treat thrush, candida, skin problems, eczema, wounds, rashes, diaper rash, acne, fungal issues, sore nipples, burns, cancer, ulcers, varicose veins, toothaches, cradle cap on infants, bruises, sprains, as a deodorant, improve lymphatic flow, headaches and many many other things. Mrs. Weaver has many good testimonies in her book Back Yard Pharmacy. I highly recommend her book! Click the link under resources for more information.

The petals can be used and you can make salve, tinctures, tea, oil, lip balm, shampoo and I am sure there are more uses! :)

Here is a link to some recipes you can make with calendula. I have the ingredients for the salve and dried some petals from my flowers I grew last year.  I plan to make this salve next week! :)

Shalom,

~Coach Shannon

 

Resources:

  1. Back Yard Pharmacy by Rachel Weaver, M.H. (Dr Mom)

2) Herb Wisdom

3) The Mountain Rose Blog

Italian Dressing

By: Shannon Beeghley, LPN, NS, CHHC

1 & 1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 TBSP honey

2 tsp. dry mustard (can use prepared mustard too)

1 1/2 tsp. minced onion

1 tsp dried dill weed

1 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp paprika

Mix dressing together in a blender; cover and blend until smooth. Makes approximately 1 3/4 cups.  Drizzle on lettuce salad, cooked quinoa or rice, or on a pasta salad.

Italian Chicken

Shannon's Italian Chicken
Shannon’s Italian Chicken

Put approximately 5-10 pieces of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts (or can use other pieces) in a 9×13 (or other baking dish)  and drizzle the Italian dressing over it. Chicken does not need to be submerged in the dressing. Bake uncovered for one hour at 300 degrees.  Serve hot. Leftovers make a really good cold chicken sandwich or a good chicken salad mixed with mayo, cheese, pickles etc.

Note: I just made this for a group of 40 people. I had 30 large and small pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a large foil roaster pan. I made a double recipe of the Italian Dressing and drizzled it over all. It was baked, uncovered, at 350-375 degrees for 2 1/2  hours and was very tender and moist. (I did move the chicken around in the pan a couple times while it was baking since the chicken was overlapping.)

If you have leftover broth, drain it off and bring to a boil in a pan. Add rice or quinoa and cook till the grain is tender.  This is good in any side dish with vegetables!