Foods, Uncategorized

Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding

Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding

 

Every time I make bread pudding, I chastise myself for not making it more often! Maybe it’s because I don’t always have extra bread around, or perhaps it’s because I’m never quite sure if bread pudding is supposed to be for breakfast or dessert. The last time I made this fall-flavored Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding, I realized something: I don’t have to have a plan for it! It’s delicious hot out of the oven for breakfast, and the leftovers can be served for dessert later in the day.

This hearty dish is perfect for cold fall and winter days. When the days start to get shorter and the air crisps up a bit, I find myself craving sweet, rich food. That doesn’t always work out too well for my waistline, though. Luckily, with recipes like this Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding, I can have my cake and eat it, too! You see, most bread pudding recipes are loaded up with excess sugars. It takes a lot of sugar to sweeten something as savory as whole-wheat bread. But, we found a brilliant workaround. Want to know how we did it?

You might be surprised to learn that cinnamon and cardamom aren’t exactly sweet on their own. They sort-of trick our taste buds into thinking they’re a sweet spice. That’s because baking recipes almost always pair them with sugar. If you were to taste a pinch of them on their own, you’d find that they’re super pungent, slightly spicy, and a touch earthy.

But, when you combine them with something sweet, these spices really bloom. They actually help fill out our palates, allowing us to really taste any sweetness in the dish. Using these spices is part-one of our super-secret hack to make this Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding recipe more healthy. Part two: applesauce!

Instead of using a ton of processed sugar, we swapped in applesauce instead. It gives the bread pudding extra body while allowing the naturally sweet apples to shine.

Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 6 slices whole-wheat bread , using gluten free works too
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat coconut milk (or, milk of your choice)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup peeled, cored, and chopped apples

options:  raisins, cranberries, nuts all work well

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Cut your bread into 1-inch cubes and place them in the prepared baking dish.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, eggs, applesauce, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat the mixture with a whisk until everything is well combined.
  4. Fold the apples into the mixture before pouring the contents over the bread cubes. Press the cubes down into the mixture to make sure each one soaks up the liquid.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, until the pudding is set and no longer jiggles when you shake the pan. You can also insert a knife into the middle of the pudding to make sure it comes out clean.
  6. Allow the pan to cool on a baking rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
  7. This pudding can be served hot or cold. Store it in the refrigerator (covered) for up to two days.

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Uncategorized

Ten Spices for Weight Loss

10spicesforweight

Top 10 Herbs and Spices to Help You Lose Weight

 

  1. Ginseng

 

Ginseng is valued for its ability to boost energy levels and speed metabolism. Panax ginseng, in particular, has been linked to weight loss benefits, with one study showing obese, diabetic mice given panax ginseng extracts not only had improvements in insulin sensitivity, but also lost a significant amount of weight after 12 days.1

 

  1. Cayenne Pepper

 

Capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their heat, may help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering blood fat levels, as well as fight fat buildup by triggering beneficial protein changes in your body.2

 

Part of the benefit may be due to capsaicin’s heat potential, as it is a thermogenic substance that may temporarily increase thermogenesis in your body, where your body burns fuel such as fat to create heat, with beneficial impacts on metabolism and fat storage. Research suggests that consuming thermogenic ingredients may boost your metabolism by up to 5 percent, and increase fat burning by up to 16 percent.3 It may even help counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that often occurs during weight loss.

 

  1. Cinnamon

 

This spice may help to boost your metabolism, and it also has impressive benefits for blood sugar regulation, making it an ideal seasoning for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Cinnamon has been found to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, as well as increase glucose metabolism by about 20 times, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate blood sugar.4

 

  1. Black Pepper

 

Black pepper contains a substance called piperine, which not only gives it its pungent flavor, but also blocks the formation of new fat cells.5 When combined with capsaicin and other substances, black pepper was also found to burn as many calories as taking a 20-minute walk.6 As an aside, black pepper also increases the bioavailability of just about all other foods — herbs and other compounds – making it a healthy choice for virtually any meal.

 

  1. Dandelions

 

Every part of the dandelion is edible and full of nutrition. And because they help slow your digestion, they can make you feel full longer, helping you maintain a healthy weight. Dandelions have antioxidant properties and contain bitter crystalline compounds called Taraxacin and Taracerin, along with inulin and levulin, compounds thought to explain some of its therapeutic properties. Along with being full of dietary fiber, dandelions also contain beta carotene, vitamin K1, vitamins and minerals, and are known for being beneficial for normalizing blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as cleansing your liver.

 

  1. Mustard

 

The mustard plant is actually in the cruciferous family of vegetables (along with broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, for instance). Mustard seeds have been shown to boost metabolic rate by 25 percent, which means you’ll burn calories more efficiently. In fact, just 3/5 teaspoon of mustard seeds daily may help you burn an extra 45 calories an hour.7

 

  1. Turmeric

 

If you’re a fan of curry, you’re probably also a fan of turmeric, as this is the yellow-orange spice that makes the foundation of many curry dishes. Curcumin, one of turmeric’s most thoroughly studied active ingredients, reduces the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it, and therefore may contribute to lower body fat and body weight gain.8

 

Curcumin may also be useful for the treatment and prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases, as the interactions of curcumin with several key signal transduction pathways in the body result in improvements in insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and other inflammatory symptoms associated with obesity and metabolic disorders.9

 

  1. Ginger

 

Ginger is another warming spice that has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help soothe and relax your intestinal tract. Research also suggests that ginger may have thermogenic properties that help boost your metabolism, as well as have an appetite-suppressant effect when consumed, suggesting a “potential role of ginger in weight management.”10

 

  1. Cardamom

 

Cardamom, an aromatic spice with a spicy-sweet flavor, is another thermogenic herb that helps boost your metabolism and may boost your body’s ability to burn fat. Cardamom is a popular herb used in Ayurveda, an ancient holistic system of medicine and natural healing from India. It is also used to lift the blues.  Many of our Scandinavian countries have been using it for years for Seasonal Depression.

 

  1. Cumin

 

Cumin is useful for digestion and energy production, and may improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. The spice has a long history of medicinal use, and has also been found to enhance memory and provide potent anti-stress benefits.

 

What Else are Spices Good For?

 

Far more than you might imagine …Herbs and spices are actually some of the most potent antioxidants in your food supply; in many instances surpassing other more well-known sources of antioxidants. For example, spices such as cloves and cinnamon have phenol levels that are 30 percent and 18 percent of dry weight, respectively. Compare that to blueberries, which are widely touted for their antioxidant capabilities; they contain roughly 5 percent phenol by dry weight…

 

Another example is oregano, which has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and four times more than blueberries! One tablespoon of fresh oregano contains the same antioxidant activity as one medium-sized apple.

 

While each spice has a unique set of health benefits to offer, one study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods,11 found a direct correlation between the antioxidant phenol content and the spice’s ability to inhibit glycation and the formation of toxic advanced glycation end products, making them potent preventers of heart disease and premature aging. According to this study, the top 10 most potent herbs and spices are:

 

  1. Cloves (ground) 2.   Cinnamon (ground)Saigon or Thailand only
  2. Jamaican allspice (ground) 4.   Apple pie spice (mixture)
  3. Oregano (ground) 6.   Pumpkin pie spice (mixture)
  4. Marjoram 8.   Sage
  5. Thyme 10. Gourmet Italian spice

Rounding Out Your Comprehensive Weight Loss Plan

 

Always remember to buy certified organic spices, as most conventional ones are irradiated, resulting in the formation of harmful radiolytic byproducts, including formaldehyde. For most people, simply adding spices to your meals will not be enough to trigger significant weight loss, although this will certainly support and help you achieve your weight loss goals. If you are serious about losing weight, you’ll need a more comprehensive plan that includes:

 

Eliminating or strictly limiting fructose in your diet, and following the healthy eating program in my comprehensive nutrition plan. You can also use intermittent fasting strategically with this program to greatly boost your body’s fat-burning potential.

Engaging in high-intensity Peak Fitness exercise to burn fat and increase muscle mass (a natural fat burner).

Addressing the emotional component of eating. For this I highly recommend the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which helps eliminate your food cravings naturally.

 

If you are having problems with your weight loss plan, or you notice weight gain in certain areas, it is usually not how much you are eating, but what you are eating.

Please share with family and loved ones.  Call us for an appointment to help in all your healthcare plans.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: 16

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Cardamon Seed Oil

cardamon

 

Cardamom Seed Oil: The Warming Spice Oil

 

Popularly used as an aromatic spice in Indian and European cuisine, cardamom is famously added to baked breads, mixed in coffee and tea, and even used to season biryani and rice dishes. It is one of the most expensive spices in the world (only saffron and vanilla are sold at a higher price1).

But aside from its pungent aroma and enticing flavor, cardamom, particularly its seeds, are also known for producing a potent medicinal oil with plenty of uses. Discover the uses and benefits of cardamom seed oil in this article.

What Is Cardamom Seed Oil?

Cardamom seed oil is made from two genera of cardamom plants: Ellataria and Amomum. Ellataria, which mostly grows in India, is commonly known as green or true cardamom, while Amomum, found in certain parts of Asia, is known as Java cardamom, Bengal cardamom, white cardamom, brown cardamom, red cardamom, and Siamese cardamom. Both of these cardamom species are part of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae).

A perennial herb, cardamom can be identified by its large leaves and seeds, green and white flowers, and slightly bitter but edible fruits. It is farmed only in a few places around the world, such as Sri Lanka, Laos, China, Nepal, Guatemala, and India.

Cardamom seeds are loaded with important minerals, such as sulfur, calcium, and phosphorus. They also have volatile oils, which make up about five percent of the seed’s mass, composed of beneficial formic and acetic acids – this is what makes cardamom seed oil so aromatic and beneficial.2

Cardamom seed oil has a sweet, spicy fragrance that is reminiscent of balsamic vinegar. It has a clear to pale yellow color and a slightly watery viscosity.

Uses of Cardamom Seed Oil

Before becoming a popular spice, cardamom was actually used during the ancient times. The Romans used it to soothe their stomachs whenever they overindulged, while the Egyptians added it to perfumes and incense. Meanwhile, the Arabs loved mixing it into their coffee for added flavor.

Today, cardamom seed oil is widely used for curing muscular and respiratory spasms, providing relief for pulled muscles and cramps, and even alleviating the symptoms of whooping cough  and asthma.

Cardamom seed oil can also be used to promote healthy skin, working as a natural cleanser to disinfect skin and give it a natural radiance. It also works as a skin toner that helps fight the signs of aging.

Cardamom seed oil can also be used to promote healthy hair,  such as treating scalp infections and dandruff.3

Composition of Cardamom Seed Oil

Cardamom seed oil’s main chemical components include a-pinene, b-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, limonene, a-phellandrene, y-terpinene, 1,8-cineole, p-cymene, linalool, p-cymene, linalyl acetate, a-terpineol, terpinen-4-oil, a-terpineol acetate, citronellol, geraniol, nerol, methyl eugenol, and trans-nerolidol.4

Benefits of Cardamom Seed Oil

The healing properties of cardamom seed oil can be attributed to its qualities as an antimicrobial, antiseptic, diuretic, aphrodisiac, digestive, stomachic, and stimulant. If used properly and in appropriate doses, it can be an effective way to help maintain your health. This essential oil can:5

  • Promote oral health – Adding a few drops of cardamom seed oil in water and using it as a mouthwash can disinfect the oral cavity, killing germs and eliminating bad breath.
  • Stimulate the entire digestive system –It helps maintain proper secretion of gastric juices, bile, and acids in the stomach so that it will function properly.
  • Help dispel toxins from your body– It stimulates urination, which also helps promote weight loss, lowers blood pressure, and extracts calcium and urea deposits from the kidney.

Cardamom seed oil also has a warming effect that helps heat the body, clears congestion and coughs, promotes sweating, and even helps relieve symptoms of the common cold.

How to Make Cardamom Seed Oil

Cardamom seed oil is extracted through steam distillation. The seeds of the fruit are harvested just before they ripen. This produces a one to five percent yield. Cardamom seed oil can be quite expensive, though. An alternative would be to extract your own cardamom seed oil at home. Here’s how you do it:6

What You’ll Need:

·               Half a cup of cardamom seeds

·               Mortar and pestle

·               Cheesecloth

·               String or twine

·               Distilled water

·               Saucepan

·               Cotton balls

·               Small dark glass jar with lid

Procedure:

1.              Use the mortar and pestle to grind the cardamom until it’s coarsely ground.

2.              Fold the cheesecloth into three layers, putting the cardamom in the middle. Tie the top portion using the string or twine, sealing it, creating a pouch.

3.              Place a pot filled with distilled water on a stove over medium high heat. Put the sachet in the water, and let it come into a boil.

4.              Let the water simmer for at least 24 hours, or until the water is only about a half-inch layer in the saucepan.

5.              During the boiling process, skim any oil that rises to the top, swiping a cotton ball over it. Squeeze the moisture into the small glass bottle.

6.              Cover the pot with a cheesecloth and put it on a sunny windowsill. Allow the water to evaporate completely.

7.              At this point, the only remaining liquid in the pot should be the oil. Pour it into the small jar.

How Does Cardamom Seed Oil Work?

Even if it has a strong and pungent aroma, cardamom oil is actually a gentle and non-toxic oil. It is said to have an effect on neurotransmitters, making it effective against vomiting and nausea (especially those caused by chemotherapy or pregnancy). It also has relaxant effects that make it useful for managing strong intestinal cramps, bronchial ailments, and the common cold.7

Cardamom oil is best used when diffused in a safe carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil. It blends well with orange, rose, cinnamon, clove, caraway , and cedarwood oil.

Is Cardamom Seed Oil Safe?

Cardamom seed oil is generally safe and non-toxic, and can be inhaled or used topically, diluted with a safe oil. However, I advise you to do a skin patch test first to determine your sensitivity to this oil. Simply apply a diluted drop on your arm and see if any reactions occur.

I do not advise pregnant women and nursing mothers to use cardamom seed oil without the advice of their physician, as this oil can cause irritation, and its warming effect may harm the baby.

Side Effects of Cardamom Seed Oil

Use cardamom seed oil wisely. I do not advise using it in excessive amounts, as it can lead to overdose. Symptoms of excessive cardamom seed oil use include unrest and extra heating up of the body and the digestive system, which causes loose bowels and irritation.

 

Please share with family and friends, and always talk to a health care provider, or give us a call, before using this with other medications and supplements.

 

Health and Wellness Assoicates

Archived Article – JM

312-972-Well

 

 

Foods

Cardamon

cardamon

Cardamom is a wonderful medicinal spice that has similar health properties as those of cinnamon and ginger. Cardamom is rich in minerals such as iron, manganese, calcium, and magnesium. It also contains antiseptic, anesthetic, antispasmodic, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. Cardamom is an excellent spice for the respiratory system and works as a natural expectorant in relieving congestion and phlegm from the lungs and sinus passages. Cardamom is also great for the digestive system and stimulates the appetite as well as ease gas, nausea, indigestion, and cramping. It also helps to kill off any food borne bacteria in the digestive tract which helps to protect against food poisoning and gastric distress. Cardamom pods contain a compound called limonene which is usually found in citrus peels and is known to dissolve cholesterol containing gallstones, relive heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), and prevent against breast, colon, liver, and stomach cancer. Cardamom also contains several compounds that helps to prevent blood clots from forming in the blood stream, making is an important medicinal for those concerned with deep vein thrombosis, lupus, strokes, or pregnancy. It is also a highly beneficial spice for cardiomyopathy, fibromyalgia, vertigo, tinnitus, halitosis, asthma, urinary tract infections, and spasms or convulsions. Cardamom works well as a diuretic and can reduce bloating, water retention, swelling, and edema. Cardamom pods can be chewed on in order to relieve tooth and gum pain and prevent infection. Cardamom is often used in sweet and savory dishes and can be prepared as a delicious, warming tea by placing 4 cardamom pods in 2 cups of water and simmer for 30 minutes, sweeten with raw honey if desired. Cinnamon, ginger, or cloves can be added to the tea for additional health benefits. Cardamom can be found as whole pods or powdered online or at your local health food or grocery store.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

312-972-WELL (9355)