Do You Know This Fruit?

Do You Know This Fruit?

  Comes in its own protective shell

The other day while helping serve Thanksgiving meals at the church daycare I will soon be working at, I tasted a fruit salad containing an unknown fruit. It was delicious, but we could not figure out who brought it, therefore, I didn’t learn until later what it was.

That same afternoon I visited my friend Stephanie and her caregiver Stephanie did a quick web search and we discovered what the mystery fruit was, it’s called Physalis-also known as the Ground Cherry, or Cape Gooseberry. (Not to be confused with true gooseberries)

Physalis peruviana-Wikipedia

The fruit, for those of you who have never seen or tasted it, is the same size as cherry tomatoes yet orange. It is covered by a papery greenish brown husk that is NOT EDIBLE, in fact, it’s poisonous.

I found some good info on packaging and recipes at Nature’s Pride and did further research on Wikipedia and other sites to learn more about this yummy, beneficial fruit.

A note to those on Keto like me, the fruit is considered a berry but is higher in carbs than most. One cup has 11.2g carbs per 3.5oz. so enjoy in small settings because it would be a shame not to reap it’s many benefits:

  • Good source of Vitamin C
  • Moderate levels of thiamin and niacin
  • Contains linoleic and oleic fatty acids
  • Good source of Calcium, iron, and phosphorus
  • Rich in Vitamin A

The fruit can be used in a variety of ways, in salads, raw, canned, made into preserves, sauce, jam, or chutneys. In Columbia, it is stewed with honey and eaten like a dessert.

In the salad that I tasted, it was mixed with cranberries and pecans, later I added some coconut (unsweetened) and it enhanced it’s flavor (to me anyway).

It has been known as an alternative method for treating many disorders in traditional medicine by several different cultures and countries.

In South Africa for instance, it was found to inhibit both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, is a good source of carotene, and it’s also used as a diuretic and anthelmintic. (destroys parasitic worms)

There are at least 46 different species and the only one I looked up is the Peruviana! Not all the species bear fruit and some species can taste more savory than sweet.

They can also be dried and used the same way as raisins.

Well, I hope you learned a little and also decided to try this delicious little fruit sometime! I am eager to find it, buy some, and make some new recipes with it myself!

Grown on bushes in Central and South America

 

 

Finally, A Porridge I Can Love!

Baby, it’s cold outside and that calls for a nice, hot bowl of tasty, low-carb porridge to warm you from the inside out! Finally, I have stumbled on one that I can love, made from almond flour, flax, egg, butter, and cream, with the texture I’ve been missing from cream of wheat.

Photo credit: Deryn Macey for Unsplash

I was searching through my Pinterest board, looking for a warm bowl of something tasty to make for breakfast, since it’s 29 degrees here in Texas this morning, when I saw it. A post from The Low Carb Maven about a porridge that’s simple, quick, and tastes just like the cream of wheat I used to eat back in the pre-Paleo, pre-Keto days.

She calls it just what it is, Almond Flour Porridge Breakfast Cereal (Low Carb, Keto, Paleo) and I was in such a rush to eat it, I totally forgot to take a picture of it! I’m a terrible blogger! (Just click the link for a photo.)

Since I can no longer eat oatmeal (and never was a fan anyway), I love the thought of a warm, buttery bowl of goodness like this here porridge provides. It is also important that it has the same mouth feel as cream of wheat, or malt-o-meal like I used to eat as a kid.

The recipe comes together quick, I opted for a mix it-microwave it til it’s ready version, but you can make it on the stove as well. I was in a rush. It still turned out perfect! It looked a little different in the bowl, yet tasted perfectly fine on my tongue.

Photo credit: Pixabay

My sweeteners were the only change to her recipe, as I don’t have any of the kind she mentioned. I always use Pyure brand Stevia and/or coconut sugar, in this case I used a little of both. She didn’t say, but I use Kerrygold grass-fed butter also. (Always!)

The link above will take you to the recipe, or my Pinterest board would, but if you’re in a rush and want it now, here it is:

Almond Flour Porridge

Ingredients:

3 T Sukrin Defatted Almond Flour

1T ground golden flax

pinch salt

3/4 C water

1 lg beaten egg

1T Sukrin Gold (or your favorite sweetener to taste)

1T heavy cream

(She added berries but I did not, totally up to you, just figure in the added carbs)

She also gives on the stove instructions, but I mixed everything into the beaten egg except the cream which I added later as the cereal started to thicken in the microwave. I cooked it in 45 second bursts until it was thick and hot.

Let me know your thoughts if you try it, oh, and one more thing of note; I used the almond flour I had on hand, and the flax too, which was brown…it turned out just as good. 😉

The Great (Grate) Cinnamon Debate

Cinnamon lovers like me have heard about the differences in the two main cinnamon types for years (Ceylon and Saigon), were you aware of the great cinnamon debate?

Questions arise such as:

  • How do the differ?
  • Which one tastes best?
  • What are the health benefits of each?
  • Which is the “true” cinnamon
  • Is store bought ok, or should you grind your own?
  • How is cinnamon farmed, where does it come from?

All great questions and even I thought I knew all the answers…until I did more research. Boy, was I surprised! Turns out, fresh is best-in other words, grate your own at home.

I love cinnamon and I use it every day! I had been told years ago when I started studying different diets that Ceylon cinnamon was the best and only cinnamon one should use.

First off, there is no nutritional difference in the two, yet when buying store bought ground or powdered cinnamon, one can’t know where it was sourced. Were pesticides used? Flour or God forbid, sawdust added? (Yes, some manufacturers do that for added filler!!)

So, the best method to ensure one is getting real, fresh cinnamon, is to buy from trusted sources and grate it yourself. That way, you are guaranteed the harvest date, where in the world it came from, and the method of farming used.

I need to buy a grater!

A wonderful blog I follow called Food Renegade is run by a passionate advocate for real food, Kristen Michaelis who suggests this site for buying the best cinnamon and graters.

A starter kit of 2 fresh cinnamon sticks of each type, individually wrapped, plus a grater is $25. That would also make a cinnamon lover like me a great gift!

Do you know everything there is to know about cinnamon? Me neither, yet I can answer some of the most asked questions like the ones I listed above.

What’s the difference?

Saigon cinnamon is native to Vietnam but trees are also grown in Japan and China. Ceylon cinnamon is grown in Brazil and Chinese cinnamon (also called cassia) is found in southeast Asia.

How does each one taste?

Ceylon cinnamon is subtle, warm, and has a citrusy aroma.

Saigon cinnamon is hot and sweet.

They both come from the bark of the tree and are ground for use or sold as sticks for flavoring drinks, gravies, or to be ground fresh by the consumer.

Wrapped cinnamon sticks stay fresh about a year, of course, once unwrapped they lose that freshness. Cinnamon loses the precious essential oils and nutrients in the manufacturing process, so it’s best to grind your own.

However, if you do choose to buy ground cinnamon, be sure to get Organic, preferably from Amazon, or your favorite health food store.

Photo credit: Monika Grabkowsky for Unsplash

What are the health benefits?

  • reduces blood sugar -good for type2 diabetics-lowers bad cholesterol
  • alternative sweetener
  • great source of calcium, manganese, iron, and fiber
  • has an anti-clotting effect on the blood
  • helps digestion
  • improves skin
  • inhibits bacterial growth
  • stops some medication-resistant yeast infections

Some other claims are that it aids in pain reduction, acts as an inflammatory, and boosts cognitive function and memory. Some studies suggest cinnamon and honey together help one lose weight.

The fresher the spice is, the greater the benefits will be. Obviously, if your cinnamon is old and stale, it won’t taste good or work as well.

Much has been discussed on the accuracy of studies on cinnamon being able to reduce blood glucose in type 2 diabetics since no one knows how the tested cinnamon was sourced, if it was on pills, extracts, powder or freshly grated.

Keep taking your medication by all means, yet try an experiment and see if adding freshly grated cinnamon to your daily diet helps lower your blood glucose.

Which cinnamon contains the most Coumarin?

Saigon cinnamon has a higher concentration of the natural flavoring coumarin, which in 2006 claims were made by German health authorities could cause liver damage to sensitive people. You would have to eat lots of cinnamon to worry though.

Is cinnamon an aphrodisiac?

According to the Bible, ancient Chinese medicine, and even 17th century witchcraft, cinnamon heats up your body, turns on your sex drive, and strengthens the heart. Hmmmm. Pumpkin pie sir? 😉

Photo credit: Deryn Macey for Unsplash

How is cinnamon used?

I can’t think of too many ways cinnamon couldn’t be used! I take it in my coffee every single day, shake it in smoothies, on my porridge and in my home made keto granola.

Think how much better freshly ground would taste!!!

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought, a source for fresh cinnamon and graters, and a new appreciation for this ancient spice. Let me know if you need clarification on anything by comments in the box.

Have a great Wednesday and spice up your life!

Keto Oaxacan Hot Chocolate

Happy Day Of The Dead or Dia de los Muertos! One of the popular foods or drinks to celebrate this ancient Mexican holiday is Oaxacan Hot Chocolate which leans more to spicy than sweet.

Since the weather is beginning to get cooler, hot drinks become the popular thing to drink, not only in Mexico but here as well. Chocolate is native to Mesoamerica and the ancients actually ground the beans on a grinding stone to make the delicious beverage.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Today we are lucky enough to have cocoa powder which makes the job much easier. To make your own spicy hot chocolate, (keto approved) just follow this easy recipe.

Ingredients: 2T Organic Cocoa powder

1/2 tsp Organic Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp Organic Ceylon Cinnamon

1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt

1/8 tsp Organic Ground Cayenne Chili pepper

1 Cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1pkt Pyure brand Stevia

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a Ninja Blender and blend for 10 seconds. Pour into a mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of cayenne. Enjoy!

You could also top your yummy hot, spicy chocolate with some home made coconut whipped cream!

Meet JUUL-The Better Vaping Alternative

Meet JUUL, the Better Vaping Alternative

Small, compact, light and thin…fits anywhere!

Hey Everybody! What a great day this has been! Back from my 7-day cruise and I just have to say, without this little jewel (JUUL) I would have not been a happy vaper.

In fact, I turned someone else on to JUUL that has never smoked anything in his life!! He had so much fun vaping with me one night on the ship, I don’t know if he will ever do it again, but he liked it that night. 😉

Most of you who follow me, know that I used to smoke several years ago, switched to vaping and normally use a tank and ejuice. Sometimes I vape CBD also. JUUL is such a better vaping alternative, with its slim design you can vape discreetly just about anywhere!

I had a little two zipper purse/pouch like thing I bought on the ship to take my cards, money, and phone everywhere. JUUL fit in the smallest pouch and was so great instead of lugging around a big tank and battery mod. At the pool, in y room, at the bars and lounges…I took it every place I went.

You can check it out yourself at JUUL to see all the ins and outs, how its made, all the flavors, their mission statement and more. You can even shop for your starter kit there. It’s a much less expensive vape system too!

Your starter kit look a like this: 

Your refill pods look like this:

I have tobacco and mango flavors left.

Your charger looks like this:

It has magnetic points your JUUL attaches to

Each pod holds about 200 puffs depending on how you vape. When you empty a pod, just take it off the top of the holder and snap in a new one.

Just follow the directions in your starter kit and you’ll be a pro in no time! Good luck and happy vaping!