Spring Detox

Detox Kale Salad

It’s Spring time! The snow is melting and warmer weather is just around the corner…it’s time to prepare for summer. Spring is the perfect time to detox and prepare for a hot wonderful summer. We can do this by eating more foods that support detoxification. This includes:

1. Fruits, especially lemons and the citrus fruits. Fruits contain high quantities of water which help flush out toxins from the body. In addition, they contain fiber which act as an “intestinal broom”. They also contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which support detoxification processes.

2. Cruciferous vegetables; the sulfur rich cruciferous vegetables contain sulforphane which support detoxification processes in the liver. These include broccoli, broccoli sprouts, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, bok choy, mustard greens, arugula, etc.

3. Other leafy greens such as spinach, swiss chard, cilantro, parsley, etc. contain a lot of chlorophyll and are packed with nutrients. These vegetables support anti-inflammatory pathways, help reduce blood sugar and are very low in calories.

4. Beans and bean sprouts such as mung bean sprouts are a great detox food, as they are high in protein and nutrients, and can support your detox program. They are easy to digest and are also very anti-inflammatory.

5. Onion and garlic are some of the best detoxing foods out there. They are sulfur containing alium vegetables which help stimulate the liver to produce detoxification enzymes that filter toxic residues from the digestive system. They are also antibiotic and help support germ fighting forces in your body. They also help lower cholesterol and are great herbs to prevent heart disease!

6. Seeds, Nuts and their oils: Omega 3 containing flax seed oil has so many healing properties and research is under way in their role in breast cancer prevention. In addition, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds are all excellent options while you are on a detox program. They contain easily digestible oils and are great sources of protein.

In addition, olive and avocado oils, and hemp seeds oil contains fatty acids that support anti-inflammatory processes and lubricate the intestinal walls enabling toxins to be absorbed by the oil and then eliminated from the body.

7. Raw vegetables including carrots, beets, artichoke, etc. are great when eaten raw and even juiced, as they are loaded with nutrients and fiber that support a detox program.

Here is recipe for a perfect detox salad! Everything in this salad is allowed on a detox program!

Kale Quinoa Detox Salad

Ingredients:
4-5 leaves of organic curly kale, washed and dried, stems and spines removed
1 organic raw carrot, washed and grated
1 cup cooked organic quinoa, cooled
½ cup organic currents
1 tbsp. chopped dried organic cranberries
1 tbsp. chopped organic dried apricots
Juice of one organic lemon
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Dash of Himalayan salt

Instructions:
Place cooked quinoa in a serving bowl.
Place leaves of kale in a food processor and pulse until all kale has been chopped finely.
Add chopped kale to the serving bowl with the quinoa and mix thoroughly. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
Garnish with sliced avocado and olives or to your taste, serves 4.

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts Picture

Brussel Sprouts are a fun and easy vegetable to prepare, as they don’t need too much chopping or cutting up. The bottom ends need to be trimmed and then they can be sliced in half or kept whole if you’d like, but generally, these are a wonderful tasty and quick vegetable to prepare!

Brussel sprouts came by their name very honestly, as they were eaten in the Brussels area of Belgium for hundreds of years. Knowledge of this great tasting vegetable spread across Europe after World War I, however, it’s said that Thomas Jefferson brought them to North America in 1812. I tried growing them in my garden last year but they did not do very well! Brussel sprouts grow like small buds along the long stem of the plant, between long large leaves that look a lot like collards. The plant also has a lovely canope of leaves at the very top. They require a cool climate to grow well, and mature in the fall. Some say they taste better when they are harvested after a couple of frosty nights!

Brussel Sprouts are part of the cruciferous vegetable family that are similar in nutritious value to broccoli, being an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin C, K and the beta-carotenes. They also provide high amounts of vitamin B6, thiamine, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc. Like the rest of their disease fighting cruciferous cousins, they also contain glucosinolates, and a small amount of short-chain omega 3 essential fatty acids.
Brussel sprouts store well in the fridge for a few days when they are loosely wrapped in a kitchen hand towel.

Here is a simple Brussel sprouts recipe that our family enjoys.

Brussel Sprouts with Cashews

1 lb brussel sprouts, washed and with bottom ends trimmed
1-3 clove garlic, chopped
2-3 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 c. raw cashews
Dried hot chili for a topping
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Wash and prepare brussel sprouts as directed. Blanch them by dipping them in boiling salted water for one minute. This makes the brussel sprouts turn a lovely green colour and helps to tenderize them somewhat.
Drain brussel sprouts and set a aside for later.
Heat coconut oil or olive oil with chopped garlic in a large pan and sauté on med/high heat for several minutes until browned, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add cashews to the pan and stir for several minutes until light brown.
Add the drained brussel sprouts to the pan, and sauté with the garlic and cashews, for about 5 minutes adding salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately and top with a sprinkling of hot pepper flakes. You can also add a splash of balsamic vinegar!
Serves 2-4 people. Enjoy!

Love your Cells with Cauliflower

Cauliflower SoupHi there! Here at Northern Organics, we’ve been thinking about a few things to support our February theme of loving your cells (yourselves).
As far as produce in concerned, you may have noticed that broccoli and cauliflower are very affordable right now! So now is the time to take advantage of these low prices and add these amazing vegies on to your shopping list!
Cauliflower – One of Many Healing Vegetables!
Winter is the perfect time for a deliciously warming bowl of hot soup and here is a recipe that will please the whole family! But before you start chopping up your onions, let’s delve in to the nutritional facts about cauliflower!
Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous vegetable family (in addition to broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, boy choy, cabbage, and several other brassica vegies). Cauliflower has a compact “head” called a “curd” which is actually composed of undeveloped flower buds. When compared to other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is slightly lower in nutrients but it is very big in taste!! Cauliflower is thought to originate in Asia but is now grown all over the world, however, California is currently the largest producer of cauliflower. Cauliflower is loaded with important nutrients including vitamin K, C and the B vitamins. In addition, this amazing vegetable contains potassium, phosphorus and boron. Cauliflower has cancer and disease-fighting phytonutrients, especially glucosinolates, including indole-3-carbinol, sulforaphane, di-indolmethane and isothiocyanate. These glucosinolates support anti-cancer processes in the body including colon, prostate, lung and breast cancers. All of these fancy words add up to eating cauliflower, broccoli and the other cruciferous vegetables as often as you can!
Simple and Quick Creamy Cauliflower Soup
1 head cauliflower, stem and leaves removed, chopped into small pieces
2 medium onions, diced
2-3 tablespoons butter, ghee, coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup whole milk or almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Nutmeg to garnish

1. Place finely chopped onions into a large pot and saute for about 10 minutes on med-med/high heat.
2. Add chopped cauliflower and saute for about 3 minutes.
3. Add 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth. If you have no broth on hand, you can use 4 cups water to 4 cubes of organic broth cubes in vegetable or chicken flavor.
4. Increase temperature to boiling for just a few seconds, then immediately turn down heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. Add a cup of organic dairy milk or your favourite non-dairy milk such as almond or cashew milk.
6. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes and blend with a hand blender or pour into a blender and blend.
7. Return to pot, reheat slightly and season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Garnish with a whisp of ground nutmeg.
Enjoy! Serves 4-6 persons.
How about you? What’s your favourite way to eat cauliflower! Drop us a note! We’d love to hear from you!

Happy Valentines Day….Love Your Cells.

valentinevegieValentine’s Day is a special day where we celebrate love and affection for family and friends. It’s a great time to renew a relationship, re-spark the romance in a marriage, seek forgiveness in a connection gone wrong, etc. But we must not forget to nourish the most important love relationship of all…the love affair with ourselves, or “our cells”… Are we loving ourselves enough to nourish ourselves with good nutrition? Do we reward ourselves with treats? Nice furniture? Nice clothes? A well-furnished home? Do we carefully budget to buy a nice car? But are these things the best way to love ourselves?We can truly love ourselves by nourishing our cells and eating more wholesome, organic vegetables and plant based food.
Studies show that a wholesome, plant-based diet supports disease prevention and is one of 3 key factors in recommendations for disease prevention, in addition to exercise and weight control*. But there are very good reasons in addition to this to eat healthy! Many of my friends tell me how well they sleep when they improve their diet to include more vegetables and leafy greens. In addition, weight loss becomes easier; cravings for salty, fatty and sugary foods decrease; skin tightens and looks clearer, wrinkles smooth out, supporting a younger appearance. Mental health improves: mental clarity improves, depression disappears, anxiety is reduced. A vegetable-based diet supports ideal alkalinity, thereby reducing acid-based disorders such as osteoporosis and arthritis. A diet rich in leafy greens supports good vision and bone health, good cholesterol levels, energy production in the mitochondria (the power house of cells), etc.
There are many reasons for children to eat better too, including improved achievement in school, better performance in athletics, and better relationships with siblings, etc.
When it comes to leafy greens, a little goes a long way. A few leaves of kale contain 9 essential amino acids, both omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids, numerous minerals including a whopping amount of calcium and magnesium, many nervous system supporting B vitamins and many important yellow-class antioxidants (the beta-carotenes) including kaempferol, quercetin, lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants support disease prevention, including cancer. Women should appreciate the sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinole in kale and cruciferous vegetables, which support estrogen regulation!
Does your kale tend to go a little yellow in the fridge after a few days? No worries, your bunch of kale is only showing off its abundance of beta-carotenes… it’s perfectly okay to continue to use and consume it even when it turns yellow!
So our love message to you this Valentine’s Day is: Love Your Cells and eat your veggies as a gift of love to yourself!
In Love and In Health,

Northern Organics Team
* American Institute for Cancer Research www.aicr.org