The Sweet Thing about Bitters

Why we need them back in our Diet

Bitter flavors tend to deliver the strongest response by the body. Many of us even react  with a shudder when something bitter hits our tongue. Our tongue is loaded with taste receptors designed to analyze the nutrients in food, including those called T2Rs which detect the bitter taste. When these receptors in your mouth are stimulated, a cascade of nerve signals reaches areas in the brain which prepare a plan of action for how the body should respond.

Information travels to our salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, liver and gallbladder, encouraging the production and release of digestive juices and enzymes. This obviously has beneficial effects, helping your body fully go into digestion mode and make more of its own digestive enzymes thus increasing your ability to get more nutrients from the food you eat. This means not only more saliva breaking down your food in the mouth, but also better breakdown of proteins in the stomach from the proper amount of stomach acid, restored regulation of muscles closing off the acid in your stomach, good breakdown of all foods by your pancreatic enzymes, and better-lubricated bowel movements from proper bile flow. Eventually, the tissues in your gut may be restored, so no more leaky gut!

Down along the gut, we find more T2Rs. Here, when stimulated by bitter compounds, cells studded with T2Rs directly stimulate tissues to secrete hormones into our bloodstream that contribute to feelings of fullness and satiety*. In fact, feeling satisfied though eating less is a huge benefit from including bitters in your lifestyle. This also tends to curb the cravings for carbs.

In nature most sweet things have had a bitter component balancing the metabolic reaction to sugars. Think wild apples and oranges, concord grapes, carrots that aren’t orange-colored, unrefined stevia and licorice. The problem is that in the last 100 years or so, agricultural companies have hybridized crops to breed the bitterness out of our foods to make them sell better. Also, food processing companies routinely reduce any bitterness, and add excess sugars and salt, substituting these more acceptable flavors.

Adding bitters back into our life can aid our digestion and elimination, lessen heartburn and nausea, restore the leaky gut, and help break the hold sugars and carbs have on our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

How best to add Bitters to your Diet

One way would be to add bitter greens into your salads, organic chicory, dandelion, arugula, radicchio.  Bitter tasting roots, such as dandelion or burdock, can also be included in stir-fries or soups.  But in today’s busy life the most convenient way is to use a bitters tincture –  several sprays into your mouth, or a dropperful right under your tongue or in in a little water.

At Southern Botanicals we stock the finest specialty  organic bitters. The product line has several flavors: Original, Maple, Citrus, Healthy Liver, and Apple Cider Vinegar (with no alcohol or glycerin). All are certified organic with ingredients sourced domestically, from small farms whenever possible. Some of the extract ingredients include the following:

Dandelion Root and Leaf (Taraxacum officinale), Artichoke leaf, Angelica Root (Angelica archangelica), Burdock Root (Arctium lappa), Yellow Dock Root (Rumex crispus), Gentian Root (Gentiana lutea), Orange Peel (Citrus aurantium), Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare), Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale), Organic Essential Oils

Best of all – they are on sale!   Check our website  to see all ingredients and choose a formula that suits you.

 

Note: Taste receptors are the target of current research seeking new discoveries about how they work and benefit the human body. For example, bitter receptors, T2Rs, have been found in other tissues in the body, including the lungs and upper airways, where  recent studies have shown they seem to be involved in immune response and also create a surprising relaxation of the airway muscles.*  Some studies to start with follow:

Gut. 2014 Jan;63(1):179-90. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2013-305112. Epub 2013 Oct 16.  Taste receptors of the gut: emerging roles in health and disease. Depoortere I.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2016 Aug;77(Pt B):197-204. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2016.03.011. Epub 2016 Mar 23.Bitter taste receptors: Extraoral roles in pathophysiology. Shaik FA1Singh N1Arakawa M2Duan K1Bhullar RP2Chelikani P3.

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Feb;24(2):92-100. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2012.11.006. Epub 2012  Nutrient sensing in the gut: new roads to therapeutics? Janssen S1Depoortere I. Dec 21.

Nutrient sensing and signalling by the gut.  Rasoamanana R1Darcel NFromentin GTomé DProc Nutr Soc. 2012 Nov;71(4):446-55. doi: 10.1017/S0029665112000110. Epub 2012 Mar 27.

How Much Sugar Is In Your Food? Artificial Sweeteners and 3 Good Sweeteners

Is Sugar to blame for how you feel?

Yes, sugar is often primarily to blame for the lack of energy, hunger, stupor, illnesses, and pain.  We, unfortunately, have  gradually acclimated ourselves, to having low energy and pain. We accept it as normal and for a quick fix we take medicine or over-the-counter drugs, rather than looking for the real answers, like detoxifying foods and herbal solutions. Our society is addicted to sugar; it slowly and silently crept up on us.

How much sugar is in your food and drink?

Here is the truth. Remember that one teaspoon of granulated white sugar is equal to 4.2 grams. For comparison, there are 42 grams of sugar in a can of coke. That comes to 10 teaspoons of sugar per can of coke.

Fruit Drinks:  4 teaspoons (15 grams) of added sugar in 1 cup

100% fruit juice is a very concentrated source of fructose (naturally occurring fruit sugar). Fruit drinks, on the other hand, are often packaged and marketed to look like “wholesome” fruit juice but are mostly a mixture of added sugar and water. While 100% fruit juice does contain some vitamins and minerals, fruit drinks usually don’t. To avoid these hidden sugars, read the ingredients label. Anything other than “100% fruit juice” is likely to include added sweeteners.

Flavored yogurt: 5 teaspoons (19 grams) of added sugar in 6 oz.

Yogurt might be synonymous with “health food” for many, it’s a great source of protein, calcium, and cultures–but unless you’re buying “plain” yogurt, that dose of dairy may contain 20 grams of added sugar or more!

Spaghetti Sauce: 2 teaspoons (7 grams) of added sugar in 1/2 cup

Sure, the bulk of a pasta sauce’s ingredients are tomatoes and other veggies, but did you know that various forms of sugar (or corn syrup) are often added to your favorite red sauce? Manufacturers add sweeteners to tomato-based sauces to help cut down on the acidity of the tomatoes for a more widely appealing taste. But not all spaghetti sauces are created equal–some brands have 2-3 times the sugar of others!

Sports Drinks: 3.5 teaspoons (14 grams) of added sugar in 8 oz.

Many people turn to sports drinks during the hot summer months to stay hydrated or replace lost electrolytes from sweating. There are definitely some situations in which sports drinks are warranted: running a marathon or prolonged athletic training, to name a couple. Going for a brisk walk or a leisurely bike ride on a hot summer day is not one of these situations. Sports drinks pack in as much sugar as soda and essentially contribute empty calories that wreak havoc on our blood sugar and waistlines.

Chocolate Milk: 1.5 teaspoons (6 grams) of added sugar in 8 oz.

Chocolate milk and other flavored milk get their sweetness from 6 grams of added sugar.

Coffee Drinks: 8-15 teaspoons (30-60 grams) of added sugar per 16 oz.

Black coffee by itself is naturally sugar-free, but some flavored coffee drinks can pack more than 60 grams per 16-ounce serving. When shopping for your morning cup of Joe, avoid flavored or mixed coffee drinks that add in the sweeteners, flavored syrups, whipped (sweetened) creams, and other sweeteners.

Ketchup: 1.5 teaspoons (6 grams) of added sugar in 1 oz.

One of America’s favorite condiments, this seemingly innocent tomato-based sauce can pack as much as 6 grams of added sugar in a single ounce. High fructose corn syrup is usually added to ketchup to give it its sweet and savory flavor.

Sweetened Teas: 12 teaspoons (48 grams) of added sugar in 16 oz.

Like coffee, tea is naturally sugar-free. However, in some regions, tea comes sweetened with (lots of) sugar unless you specifically ask for unsweetened tea. This added sugar can rack up to over 48 grams for 16 ounces of tea.

Instant Oatmeal: 3 teaspoons (12 grams) of added sugar in 1 packet

Oatmeal has long been praised as a healthy breakfast of whole grains and fiber, which may help to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, aid in weight loss, and keep you full.  While oats themselves are free of added sugar, the instant, flavored oatmeal that you buy in individual packages have 10-12 grams of sugar per packet. We have to read labels.

Protein Bars: 4 teaspoons (15 grams) of added sugar in 1 bar

Protein bars certainly sound healthy and many people choose them as an afternoon snack, post-workout recovery meal, or on-the-go meal replacement. Of course, these bars run the gamut when it comes to actual ingredients and nutrition profile, but one thing is for sure: They tend to be heavily sweetened. While they may have some protein, most of these bars have enough sugar to make a candy bar look like health food.

Coleslaw: 14 grams = 3.5 teaspoons per cup

Coleslaw can vary widely in its added sugar content, depending on the ingredients used. Some recipes actually call for adding up to one full cup of sugar…

Artificial Sweeteners

These mimic the flavor of sugar with virtually no useful energy. There are five dangerous sugar substitutes approved for consumer use: saccharin, neotame, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose. Of these, the really dangerous ones are sucralose and aspartame. While they are not generically sugar, they are chemically created artificial substances to replace it. There is a lot of talk about them. What is true?

The real badass pair, Sucralose, and Aspartame

Sucralose is marketed under the name Splenda. To make it, they chlorinate sucrose, changing the structure of sugar molecules in it. Yes, I said “chlorinate,” adding chlorine atoms. Chlorine is a known carcinogen. Even so it has been approved by the FDA in 1999 for human consumption there are recently concerns about it’s safety.

Aspartame is marketed under the names Equal and Nutrasweet. There are over 6000 products using it, including yogurt, sodas, pudding, tabletop sugar substitutes, chewing gum, to name a few. Searle Company falsified reports of its danger, and lawsuits were delayed by clever legal maneuvering. When the statute of limitations ran out and the product was up again for the review, many discrepancies came to light between reported and actual findings.

How toxic is it? Flying Safety, an official United States Air Force publication reported that US Air Force pilots were warned not to consume Aspartame in any amounts at all. Why? Because it is being investigated for having caused brain tumors, mental retardation, birth defects, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes. The FDA has made no move to regulate this toxic substance.

Saccharine: Sweet and Low, Some reported side effects, for those with sulfa allergies, saccharin may cause nausea, diarrhea, skin problems or other allergy-related symptoms. Some concerns are: Early safety studies of saccharin caused bladder cancer in rats. The FDA recently lifted the requirement that saccharin is labeled as a probable carcinogen on food packaging. On the birth of Aspartame, there was a war between the two and Aspartame out-politicked saccharin, which had been investigated more than any other sweetener, and saccharin lost. To date, there is no connection between saccharin and bladder cancer in humans. Aspartame just ran roughshod over saccharin back in the eighties when Aspartame backers used every tool they had to destroy saccharin so Aspartame could take a foothold in the sweetener business.

Acesulfame Potassium is found in many products in protein powders and “reduced-sugar products.” These sweeteners have reduced calories but there is evidence they promote hunger, just as sugar and HFCS do in suppressing the hormone that tells you have had enough to eat. They cause headaches, weight gain, and more cravings, gastrointestinal problems, toxicity to liver and kidneys.

Dr. Oz says Aspartame and Sucralose create what is called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of factors that multiply a person’s risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Almost 35% of American adults are affected, which is now epidemic, causing high blood pressure, excess belly fat and insulin resistance. Natural health solutions would solve many of these problems in short order.

Truvia: This is NOT stevia-based as marketed. The name Truvia suggests truth, but it is just the opposite, it is a lie. The ingredients are Erythritol, Rebiana and Natural Flavors. 99.95% of Erythritol is a sugar alcohol made by processing genetically modified (GMO)) corn, the rest is Rebiana, a laboratory-produced extract of one-half of 1% of the Stevia plant, just enough to say it is a stevia product. Truvia is just another product, which  mainly consists of  sugar alcohol made from GMO corn!

Xylitol is another favorite of the food industry.  It is made primarily from GMO corn. Commercially available xylitol is produced by the industrialized process of sugar hydrogenation. In order to hydrogenate anything, a catalyst is needed, and in this case, Raney nickel is used which is a powdered nickel-aluminum alloy.

On being asked if he considered Xylitol a “natural product”, Shane Ellison, Organic Chemist, says: “I don’t consider anything natural if it’s processed with man-made chemicals.” He said, “Xylitol will rip up your insides, namely the digestive tract. It’s being touted as a natural product, most likely so that it can bypass regulation. Thus, very little studies exist on its side effects.” He further said it is a “Franken-chemical.”

What is a good sweetener?

Fresh fruit of all sorts makes the best sweeteners to add to your food, snack, drink. Dates are also often used.

The only truly raw and unprocessed plant-based sweetener on the market is Stevia, a natural product made of leaves of a South American plant that is 400% sweeter than sugar. It has all of the good sweetening properties that provide a sweet taste with none of the dire effects caused by any of the others. Sweetleaf Stevia is the only product that has pure stevia at this writing. Check the ingredients of other “stevia” products, and you will see they have other sweeteners in them. There are many products calling themselves stevia when they are actually sweetened by other sugar alcohol-based chemicals such as maltitol, sorbitol, isomalt, and xylitol. When you see these in the ingredients, you know you are still looking at sugar. For example, the ingredients of some of these fake stevia products contain maltitol which has high glycemic qualities and causes major intestinal difficulties.

Unprocessed stevia, the green or brown leaf or liquid  retains the healthy properties of the plant: it feeds the pancreas, and actually aids in keeping blood sugar balanced.

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Organic Dark Robust Maple Syrup, Maple Valley

Another good plant sweetener choice is Maple syrup, rich Dark Robust variety. Dark Robust is the term for what used to be called Grade B, and before that, Grade C Maple Syrup. But the industry decided that all of its product should really be called Grade A, so now the term Dark Robust is used onstead, for late season maple syrup which has more minerals and is darker in color and richer in flavor.   Our Maple Valley Maple Syrup is 100% pure and organically produced Dark Robust.

Finally, unheated, unfiltered pure raw honey, like our Stakich Raw Honey,  is unprocessed, not blended with syrups as most commercial honey is to get the water content specified by the FDA.–>
How can you avoid sugar? It’s easy to say “stop eating it “,which is true but sugars are hidden in many packaged food products. To avoid sugars and their artificial counterparts, start reading labels!

Even more, start eating whole unprocessed nutritious foods. Once you switch over and your body get used to getting real nutrition, you will find your taste buds change and you  the sugar-laden foods you used to eat don’t even taste good anymore!

Eat foods that give you sustained energy, detoxifying foods, exercise, drinking lots of water, and discovering herbal nutrition will help you find your way back from sugar addiction.

Easy Healthy Chocolate Balls

Carob or chocolate balls can be made quickly.

In a food processor, grind fine:
1 1/4 cup raw unsoaked walnuts
A dash of Celtic sea salt (most flavorful and nutritious)

Add 10 pitted soft soaked Medjool dates (the sweetener) and grind in food processor until the nut-date mixture sticks together well.

Optional: Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, mint or cherry extract and a little water as needed for processing.

Add 1/3 cup carob powder or raw cacao powder and blend in processor until formed.

By hand make balls an inch or so round and chill in the refrigerator.

Optional: mix 1/4 cup chopped dried bing cherries into the mixture by hand before you roll the balls.

Optional: roll in sesame seeds, flax seeds, ground almonds or walnuts, or shredded coconut for decoration and extra flavor.

Enjoy!

Chia Seed Superfood

A True SuperFood to Lift Your Mood and Energy Level

Recently I needed more strength and stamina to make through all I had to do in a day and a week. I was already tired, and I was going to be away from home more than I liked. I was tired of eating nuts and berries on the go, or a yogurt for quick protein. I wanted something even simpler and cleaner to eat.

Chia to the Rescue!

I found and tucked a small bag of whole Chia seeds into my purse – no refrigeration needed. I added these little seeds to everything all day, liquid or solid, and also took them dry by the spoonful at times when I desperately needed more energy fast to keep going. It worked! I had the strength and stamina to work from 7:30 am to 10:30 pm, with a smile and a clear head.

Chia seeds not only give energy, but they are a mood enhancer due to their excellent Omega 3 fatty acid profile and high mineral content. In fact, I felt better than I had in quite a while! I was amazed that I could keep going, relaxed despite the emotional and physical stresses I was experiencing for several long days. Now I won’t go anywhere without taking my bag of Chia.

Once a staple food of the ancient American traditional cultures, Chia seeds are becoming immensely popular once again due to their incredible nutritional profile and easy assimilation.

Here are some facts:

Chia Seeds are power-packed with superior nutrition!

* 2x the Protein of any other seed or grain

* 5x the Calcium of milk, plus trace mineral Boron that helps move calcium into your bones

* 2x the amount of potassium in bananas

* 3x more iron than spinach

* 3x the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries

* Richest natural plant source of Omega 3 – just 2 Tb contain 4000 mg of Omega 3 (ALA)

* Good source of fiber – has both soluble and insoluble fiber

Chia seeds are richer in Omega 3 fatty acids than flax seed and are more stable than flax. In fact, whole Chia seeds can be stored unrefrigerated for two years without loss of its vital nutrients and oils!

Our modern diet is generally deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids. Almost all of our foods have less Omega 3’s and more Omega 6’s than in the past when foods were raised better without chemicals and processed less. The ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids is supposed to be 2:1 or 1:1. But today most people are eating a 20:1 ratio of these fats – a huge imbalance! Too much Omega 6 is inflammatory to the body and has been linked to higher rates of obesity, heart disease, arthritis, and other ills of modern society.To restore the Omega 6/ Omega 3 balance missing in our diet, Chia is a potent, safe, non-toxic plant alternative to fish oils.

Chia is beneficial for:

  • Energy – Cholesterol free
  • Endurance – Does not need antioxidants/stabilizers
  • Anti-Stress Mood Enhancer – No toxic or anti-nutritional factors
  • Intestinal Regularity
  • Sustainable and environmentally friendly
  • Assisting Appetite Control
  • Assisting Blood Sugar Control

Chia is cholesterol free, needs no stabilizers to keep fresh, no toxic or anti-nutritional properties, and is very sustainable and environmentally friendly.

How do you use Chia?

A great way to eat chia is to first soak the seeds. They can very rapidly absorb a large amount of liquid, between 9-12 times their volume, in under 10 minutes. The best way to use the seeds is to take the seeds already hydrated so they will not absorb your own body fluids to hydrate. The seeds may be added to anything from water to juice and any food and will not change the taste.

You can also take a spoonful of gel straight for nutrition.

When soaked or put in any liquid food, the soluble fiber in the gel formed creates a wall between carbohydrates and the body, releasing them slowly into the body and giving a feeling of fullness. This, together with the dense nutrition, cuts cravings. Wonderful, versatile whole superfood!

See other Super Nutrition foods….

Company President, Ron Radstrom

Fermenting Vegetables at Home with Celtic Sea Salt

With all of the information on the health benefits of probiotics, you may be wondering how best to get them into your system.

Did you know that it’s possible to make your own at home?

We’re here to give you the scoop on how to do it. We’ve got some background and “how to’s” to make it easier.  You won’t need many things to get started either.  In fact, there are only three ingredients necessary in vegetable ferments: vegetables, good salt, and water.

Fermenting foods is a traditional way of preparing them which both enhances their nutritional value and preserves the foods for longer safe storage. The results were healthy and yummy fermented foods that were usually eaten daily!

Lacto-fermentation. The name comes from the good bacteria, Lactobacillus, which are present in the environment and on the surface of most plants. The process involves getting these natural probiotics to multiply in foods, including vegetables like cabbage to make sauerkraut and kimchee, as well as cucumbers to make naturally fermented pickles.

Lactobacillus converts sugars into lactic acid which is a natural preservative for the foods that also inhibits bad bacteria from taking over in the body. The process of fermenting and using salty brine allows the good guys to grow and starves off bad bacteria.

Benefits of Fermenting Vegetables

  • Supports the immune system
  • Aids in digestion
  • Produces digestive enzymes
  • Produces B vitamins (folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and biotin)
  • Fights off the bad bacteria in your body and helps with intestinal issues like diarrhea
  • Breaks down anti-nutritional substances: mycotoxins and phytic acid

Getting Started

Ingredients

Buy Celtic Sea Salt

1) Salt is an important part of fermentation. Salt mixed with water creates the brine needed to ferment the vegetables. Salt prevents bad bacteria from forming and also keeps the vegetables crisp while preserving vitamin content. Adding too much salt can kill all the bacteria, Lactobacillus included, so stick with the suggested amount.

Celtic Sea Salt is the best choice in our opinion because it is unrefined and known for its richness of taste and excellent trace mineral content. Regular table salt is not the right choice because it contains additives like anti-caking agents and iodine that can make the ferment go bad. In addition, table salt is totally refined, has been processed with chemicals and has had all its trace mineral content removed (they sell the trace minerals for more money!).

2) Vegetables undergo Lacto-fermentation, preserving them and enhancing the nutrients for absorption. The bacteria cultivated also aid in digestion by producing vitamins and enzymes. Pick your preferred veggies and don’t be afraid to spice it up with your own herbs.

3) Water can be spring water or filtered water. You want to use water with mineral content, definitely not tap water that contains microorganism-killing chlorine and fluoride.

Fermentation Supplies

1) Wide Mouth Mason Jars or a Ceramic Crock

Don’t use metal pots or bowls because some metals can react with salt or produce acids during fermentation. Also avoid using plastic containers, as they contain toxic chemicals that will leach into anything put in them. Fermented foods produce acids, and these will further break down the plastic.

Also avoid using plastic containers, as they contain toxic chemicals that will leach into anything put in them. Fermented foods produce acids, and these will further break down the plastic.

2) Lid for the Mason Jar

You can either cover it with a towel or use a special unreactive silicone top with a vent to cover the jar opening that screws on with the Mason top metal rim.

If you don’t use a vented plug but have the regular Mason jar lid, you’ll need to unscrew it throughout the fermenting process to ventilate it.

3) Weight

You’ll need a weight such as a heavy plate, a round glass weight made for this purpose, or a water-filled container that fits inside the jar or crock to keep the vegetables submerged under the brine.

4) Masher or Mallet

This is used for compressing the vegetables in the Mason jar or crock and pushing them under the brine, often made of wood.

5) Knife or Food Processor for grating, chopping, or slicing the vegetables.

Preparing for Fermentation

It’s up to you how you’d like to prepare the vegetables.

You can prepare them the following ways:

  • Chopping – Chopping vegetables to the desired size. Larger chunks take longer to culture.
  • Grating – You can use this method for the hard or crunchy veggies making it easier for the salt to penetrate. This will come out more like a relish.
  • Slicing – Slice softer vegetables into thicker pieces to keep their shape. Slice harder ones into thinner pieces.
  • Leaving Whole – This is an option for the smaller veggies.

Making the Brine

Brine is simply your water and salt combined.

Dissolve the salt in water to make the brine. The suggested amount of salt is 1-3 tablespoons per quart of water. This can vary somewhat by a recipe. Remember you want enough brine to cover the vegetables. The size of the Mason jar or crock will help you determine how much water/salt to use.

You can also use a brine calculator on the internet if you desire more precise, vegetable-specific calculations.

Putting It All Together

  1. Cut or slice your vegetables of choice.
  2. Mix the water and salt until the salt is dissolved. Put your vegetables in the Mason jar or crock. Pour the brine over.
  3. Push down the vegetables with your masher so that they are submerged completely below the brine.
  4. Place your weight on top of the vegetables to keep them under the brine throughout fermentation.
  5. Screw the lid onto the Mason jar or cover it to keep air out as much as possible while allowing fermentation gases to escape. If you use a crock, make sure to cover it so that debris or critters don’t find their way into it.
  6. Store the container somewhere at room temperature.
  7. This only applies if you are using the traditional screw on lid of the Mason jar. Every day, open the lid to let the carbon dioxide escape. Carbon dioxide is naturally produced by fermentation. The buildup of carbon dioxide can cause the container to become highly pressurized.
  8. Continually check to make sure the veggies stay under the brine and push them down if they are not.

How Do You Know If The Fermentation Process Is Working?

Lactic acid fermentation produces gases which are visible as bubbles. You should start to see those after the first few days.

The second way to find out is by opening the container after a few days. If a sour smell like vinegar is present, that’s a good sign. If the aroma smells rancid – something has gone wrong and needs to be discarded. You should have a properly fermented culture in about a week.

Remember that fermentation is a process and longer fermentation will alter the flavors. After the first several days, you could start tasting it on a daily basis. When you achieve your desired taste, then it’s okay to refrigerate. However, refrigeration is not recommended from the start because it will slow and inhibit the good bacteria growth.

Experiment with different vegetables and flavors, and have fun fermenting!

Basic Kimchi Recipe

Timeframe: 1 week or longer

Ingredients:

Celtic Sea Salt

1 pound/500 grams Chinese cabbage (Napa or bok choy)

1 Daikon Radish or a few red radishes

1-2 carrots

1-2 onions and/or leeks and/or a few scallions and/or shallots (or more)

3-4 garlic cloves (more or less for the desired flavor)

3-4 hot chilies or a hot pepper of your choice (optional)

3 Tablespoons/45 milliliters (or more) fresh grated ginger root

Directions:

  1. Mix a brine of about 4 cups (1 liter) of water and 4 tbsp salt (60 milliliters). Stir until the salt is dissolved.
  2. Coarsely chop the cabbage, slice the carrots and let the vegetables soak in the brine covered by a weight until they are soft. This may take a few hours or can be done overnight.
  3. Prepare spices by grating the ginger, chopping the garlic and onion. Remove the seeds from the chilies and chop, crush, or add them whole.
  4. Once the veggies are soft, drain the brine off into a bowl and put it to the side. Taste the vegetables and if they’re too salty, rinse them. If they’re not salty enough you can sprinkle them with a couple teaspoons of salt and mix.
  5. Mix the vegetables with the spice paste. Once it’s all mixed thoroughly put them into a clean quart size (liter) jar. Press it down until the brine rises. If there’s not enough to cover, add some of the reserved brine used to soak the vegetables. Weigh the vegetables down with the chosen weight.
  6. Ferment in the kitchen or another warm place. Keep it covered so mold or debris can’t get into it. Remember to loosen the cover once daily to let the gases out, if you don’t have a cover with its own vent. You can taste it daily to get it desired flavor. After about a week it can be moved to the refrigerator.

Best Salt to Use: Celtic Sea Salt

We just started carrying this fermentation kit. It’s not in our shopping cart yet, but if you’re local, you can stop by at our store at 611 S. Myrtle Ave Suite D, Clearwater, Florida, 33756 and purchase it here.

Easy Tip to Add Flavor and Nutrition To Your Diet

easy tip to add flavor and nutrition to your diet

Easy Tip to Add Flaovr and Nutrition to Your Diet

Whether you eat paleo, vegan or somewhere in between, you can find ways to add more spark, flavor, and nutrition to your foods here with Tonic Supreme.

For an incredible boost in flavor, use our apple cider vinegar/ garlic/ onion/ ginger/ cayenne/ horseradish alkalizing tonic liquid, Tonic Supremeinstead of salt or soy sauce for a delicious savory, spicy taste on anything!

Veggies: Jazz up your broccoli, green beans or other veggies by sprinkling a little over the vegetables after cooking, or raw.

Veggies: Mix a tablespoon into salad dressing, or just sprinkle over a salad along with olive oil

Put by the spoonful to taste in any soup before serving. Yum, adds savory flavor!

Add a couple of tablespoons to any tomato sauce for a richer flavor with just a hint of spice.

Paleo: Tonic Supreme makes a great condiment for meats, either by itself or added to sauces. It helps to add an alkalizing element as well as perfect taste!

tonic supreme

Paleo: Love deviled eggs but looking for a healthier version without processed mayonnaise? Use Tonic Supreme instead, our apple cider vinegar/ garlic/ onion/ ginger/ cayenne/ horseradish alkalizing tonic liquid! Tonic Supreme helps create a smooth texture while adding a full savory, spicy flavor.  See Recipe for Deviled Eggs

Deviled Egg Recipe
Hard boil the desired number of eggs.
Once cooled, cut in half and scoop out the yolks.
Add 1/2 tbsp. Tonic Supreme per egg for small batches,
or 1/3 to ½ cup for a dozen eggs, mashing and mixing together until it reaches the proper texture.
Spoon a mound of the mixture back to into each egg white half.
Garnish: Sprinkle some paprika or cayenne on top for color. Or garnish with cut parsley or cilantro.
Serve chilled

More Than Potatoes: What’s Really in Your French Fries?

I used to absolutely love McDonald’s French fries. Whether it was the salt they used or the type of oil, I will never know; but what I do know is that every time I ate them, I always wanted more. Even if I got a burger somewhere else, I would still swing by McDonald’s on the way to get my fries.

Read moreMore Than Potatoes: What’s Really in Your French Fries?

Foods that are Good for Your Kidneys

kidney

Kidney function is improved by eating foods that are free of toxins, excess sugar, chemical sweeteners, contaminants, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, antibiotics, hormones or additives. So processed foods should be minimized. And you need to read labels with care.

kidney

Use organic foods when possible. If your produce is not organic, you can spray it with a non- toxic fruit and vegetable wash and rinse thoroughly to remove surface chemicals. For meats, poultry, eggs, dairy and fish, local farm-raised where you can meet the farmer, organic or wild caught are recommended.

Adding plenty of fruits, vegetables and herbs to your diet and reducing animal proteins makes it easier for the kidneys to detoxify. Animal proteins produce a waste product called uric acid. This can put an extra burden on the kidneys. If your kidneys aren’t functioning well and are unable to remove this waste, it can be harmful.

A plant-based diet allows your body to alkalize via the kidneys. This lowers blood pressure and promotes a healthy body pH, renewed energy and a feeling of well being. Recipes featuring a lot of vegetables and smaller amounts of meat, chicken or fish such as Asian foods or a Mediterranean diet with fruits, vegetables and some chicken or fish are very healthful. for kidneys. Taking enzymes if needed to improve digestion of animal proteins is also helpful.

Some fruits that are recommended for kidney detoxification are grapes, blueberries and cranberries. All three help flush uric acid from your body. Cranberries also eliminate infection causing bacteria from the urinary tract. Blueberries boost immunity.

Dandelion, parsley and asparagus flush out uric acid and are natural diuretics. Barley and millet cleanse the kidneys and lower inflammation. These foods are easy to add to any meal. If you have serious kidney problems or have been diagnosed with kidney disease, you should consult with your doctor or dietician and work with him to find a diet protocol tailored to your needs.

Insights on Processed Foods From a Formerly Toxic Individual

My grandfather Roman was a Russian coal miner in NE Pennsylvania from 1913 until the 1960s. This man ate bacon and eggs each morning, white bread with butter each meal, had a shot of whiskey and a beer every evening while smoking just about anything that burned.

Read moreInsights on Processed Foods From a Formerly Toxic Individual

Canola Oil: Canada’s Dirty Little Secret

In the last 5-10 years canola oil has practically taken over as the food processing industry’s oil of choice. One can hardly find granola in a health food store without Canola Oil as an ingredient. The same is true for salad dressings and snack foods. Why is this? Is it so superior in health qualities to say, extra virgin, cold pressed Olive Oil? Not on your life – all the natural health pundits will point to any number of alternatives but never praise Canola as health promoting.

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What to eat? The big question in healthy dieting

Is the key keeping things out?

If I were a betting man, I’d be willing to bet that all Americans at one point in their lives have considered “going on a diet.”  How could you not?  We live in a world that loves beauty, embraces the idea of living longer, and craves the perfect body. Yet, in spite of all of the commercials, products, gimmicks, and advice, America is still a leader in obesity rates the world over.  So, why is that? 

Read moreWhat to eat? The big question in healthy dieting

Are You Dumping Your Food Down the Toilet? Why You Need Good Bacteria for Healthy Digestion

So many people walk around tired and exhausted. Everything from super-caffeine drinks to taking more vitamin B-12 are tried just so they can function. Even if you eat well, there are other factors that can keep you from getting the most nutrition from your food.

Read moreAre You Dumping Your Food Down the Toilet? Why You Need Good Bacteria for Healthy Digestion