Foods

Crockpot Minestrone

springminestrone-3

Crockpot Minestrone

Yield: serves about 6-8

Total Time: 6-8 hours

Ingredients:

1 sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
3 cups water
8 ounces of uncooked ditalini pasta
12 thin asparagus spears, stems removed and cut into thirds
1 cup of frozen sweet peas
1 (6 ounce) bag of fresh spinach
1/3 cup freshly grated romano cheese + more for topping
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add diced onions, garlic, carrots, the whole can of diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, stock and water to your crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring once or twice if you can.

About 10-15 minutes before serving, add in asparagus (I like mine with some crunch, add it earlier if you want it softer), spinach, peas and pasta. Cook on low for another 10-15 minutes then stir in grated cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. I used about a 1/2 teaspoon of each, but it will depend on the sodium levels in your stock, tomatoes, etc. Serve immediately with additional cheese on top!

Foods, Health and Disease

Things You Need to Know about Arsenic in Rice

Arsenic-in-Rice

Things You Need to Know About Arsenic in Rice

Now that millions of Americans are avoiding gluten in wheat products, they are increasingly turning to rice products, which are free of protein that causes digestive stress in some people. What they may not now is that rice contains shocking amounts of one of the worlds most insidious toxins: ARSENIC.

We have written about this several times before, but it is important enough to write about it again.

  1. White basmati and sushi rice contain the least arsenic. They contain only about half as much arsenic per serving as most other types of rice. If these were the only rice products consumed in a household, an adult could safely eat up to 4 ½ servings per week while a child could safely eat up to 2 ¾ servings per week. White basmati rice from California, India and Pakistan at the healthiest choices.
  1. Beware of basmati rice from the U.S. that is not from California.

Texmati rice from the southern states is very high in arsenic. These are rices from Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

  1. Brown rice contains the most Arsenic!

It contains 80% more arsenic than the white basmati rice has. Arsenic accumulates in the grains brown outer layer. This is frustrating when you are trying to eat so healthy. Remember, it is only the marketing skills of television and radio who have said brown rice is healthy.

  1. Some rice products are washed in arsenic.

One serving of hot rice cereal ( ¼ c uncooked) and one serving of rice pasta ( 2 ounces) are loaded with arsenic. Just a single serving of either food accounts for about half of the recommended weekly maximum amount of rice for adults.

  1. Other grains contain only minimal amounts of arsenic.

Other grains have only minimal amounts of arsenic, such as quinoa, buckwheat, polenta, barley, faro or bulgar.

  1. Cook rice like pasta to reduce arsenic.

You can remove 30 – 50 percent of the arsenic in rice by cooking it like pasta. Thoroughly rinse raw rice before cooking it, boil it in a mixture of six cups of water to every one cup of rice and then drain the excess water. Brown rice does hold up to this method better than white rice, but you have to remove more arsenic. Some people are soaking their rice in water for several hours before cooking it.