I'm sure you've seen stories about crazy detox protocols. We all live in an environment where the air, water, and food are not super clean. We are exposed to materials, chemicals, radiation, etc. We are also getting into the ozone alert season. Our bodies take in a lot of toxins that can compromise our immune systems, increase inflammation, change cells, and speed up aging. So,what can you do about it? Nature has the remedy. Today we will look at the foods that naturally purge these toxins.
Sauerkraut is one of the best things you can add to your diet. This fermented cabbage is full of probiotics that keep a healthy gut. Healthy gut, healthy you. Eating as little as 1/4 cup a day will give you benefits. Want to know how to make sauerkraut? see https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-193124
THAI CHILI SAUERKRAUT
1 head of cabbage
1 pound of carrots
6 Thai chilis
salt at a ratio of 1 tablespoon salt to 1¾ pounds cabbage
Remove the outer leaves of cabbage and set aside
Cut the cabbage into quarters
Remove the core and set aside
Shred the cabbage
Trim ends off of the carrots and peel
Shred the carrots
Trim the ends of the Thai chilis and cut in half
Place half of the cabbage in a large bowl and add half of the salt
Massage the cabbage until it begins to sweat
Add the remaining cabbage and salt repeat the massage process
Add the shredded carrots to the shredded cabbage and combine
Put a layer of cabbage and carrots in the jar and pack down
Add a couple of Thai chili pepper pieces
Repeat steps 12 and 13 until the jar is nearly full, being mindful to pack down each layer
Cover vegetable mixture with a layer of cabbage leaves (the outer pieces that you set aside)
Then place pieces of the core on top to keep the vegetable mixture submerged in brine
Cap the jar and let sit for approximately 1 month
Move to cold storage
For more recipes see: https://www.makesauerkraut.com/sauerkraut-recipes-roundup/#spicy
I've recently started drinking dandelion root tea. It is an acquired taste, but I know the benefits are huge. It can also be used as a coffee substitute. Dandelion greens are super nutritious and are usually available in your yard or you can buy them in the produce section.
DANDELION PUMPKIN SEED PESTO
3/4 cup unsalted hulled (green) pumpkin seeds
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 bunch dandelion greens (about 2 cups, loosely packed)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the pumpkin seeds onto a shallow-rimmed baking sheet and roast until just fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Pulse the garlic and pumpkin seeds together in the bowl of a food processor until very finely chopped.
Add Parmesan cheese, dandelion greens, and lemon juice and process continuously until combined. Stop the processor every now and again to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The pesto will be very thick and difficult to process after a while — that's ok.
With the blade running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until the pesto is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Eggs contain a nutrient called sulfur. Sulfur supports your liver. Make sure to find organic eggs, preferably free-range. Factory eggs may have growth hormones and antibiotics which will only increase the toxin load in your body.
EGGS IN SQUASH RINGS
1 carnival or acorn squash
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 eggs (depending on how many squash rings you make)
2-4 slices of bacon (one for each ring)
crushed red pepper
a couple thyme twigs
Preheat your oven to 425°F/220°C
Cut off both ends of the squash and discard. Cut the remaining middle part of the squash into 1 inch thick slices and scoop out the seeds.
Brush both sides of the squash with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and place the squash on a baking sheet in the oven and roast for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the squash from the oven, crack an egg in the middle of each ring. Sprinkle over the squash rings with a bit of the crushed red pepper, oregano, and thyme. Lower the oven heat to 350°F/180°C and bake the squash rings for an additional 10 minutes.
While the eggs are baking cook your bacon until crispy.
Remove the eggs from the oven after 10 minutes, crumble one slice of bacon over the top of each ring, sprinkle with additional oregano and thyme if you like and enjoy!
The best way to get the most nutrients out of cruciferous veggies is to lightly steam them. That will make them easier to digest.
WARM KOHLRABI SALAD
3 pounds kohlrabi peeled and quartered (about 4 kohlrabi)
4 medium carrots
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 quart cherry tomatoes (multi-color if available)
4 scallions, sliced thin
2 packed cups parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Shred the kohlrabi, carrots and garlic in a food processor fitted with the shredder attachment.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the tomatoes, followed by the shredded vegetables. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and then add the scallions, parsley and lemon juice, stirring until incorporated. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Drink lemon juice in hot water in the morning. The citric acid will stimulate stomach acid production, which will lead to better digestion that will purge toxins.
SIMPLE LEMON VINAIGRETTE
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, mustard, and fine sea salt, whisking until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
Add 3 tablespoons of the oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until the dressing is well blended.
Season with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. If desired, whisk in the remaining oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly. DO AHEAD: The vinaigrette can be prepared ahead and refrigerated, in an airtight container, up to 3 days.
NUTS AND SEEDS
Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, pistachios, pecans, and pine nuts all contain nutrients like omega 3 essential fatty acids which keep the liver healthy. They also contain vitamin E which protects the body from oxidative stress.
SUPER SEED CHOCOLATE BAR
1 Tbsp solid coconut oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp almond milk or other nondairy milk.
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate or cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
2 Tbsp Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp Chia seeds
2 Tbsp flax seeds
2 Tbsp Hemp seeds or sunflower or almond meal or other seeds
1/4 cup Sesame seeds or use hemp seeds for more protein
4 tbsp or more protein powder of choice optional, add more seeds if omitting protein powder to get thicker bars
For variations: Use spices like cinnamon ginger, cloves, chili
In a pan, heat the coconut oil, maple and almond milk. Switch off heat once it starts to bubble.
Add the chocolate and mix. Let sit for 2 minute and then whisk until melted and smooth.
Add the vanilla and salt and mix in.
Pulse the pumpkin, chia, flax and hemp in a blender to make a coarse meal.
Add the seed mixture and sesame seeds to the melted chocolate. Mix to combine.
Add protein powder if using and mix.
Spread on parchment using a spatula. Chill until set. slice and keep refrigerated for weeks.
Or wrap individually and carry.
Turmeric contains curcumin and powerful antioxidant. Keep your liver healthy by adding turmeric to you diet. Don't forget about the black pepper. You'll need the combo to gain the detox benefits.
TURMERIC GINGER TONIC
1 (4-inch) piece peeled ginger, coarsely chopped
1 4-inch piece peeled turmeric, coarsely chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Club soda (for serving)
Thyme sprigs (for serving; optional)
Blend ginger, turmeric, honey, lime juice, black peppercorns, and 3 cups water in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in chia seeds and let sit until seeds begin to swell, 8–10 minutes.
Divide tonic among ice-filled glasses. Top off with club soda and garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
Tonic can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Stir vigorously before topping off with club soda.
Garlic is a natural antimicrobial. Compounds in garlic can enhance antioxidant and detox activity in the body.
10 WAYS to USE ROASTED GARLIC
Spread on toasted bread.
Spread on baked potato instead of butter.
Place garlic in a saucepan with some olive oil, diced onion and thyme. Sauté and then cover with chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Purée and add a splash of cream. Makes a delicious soup.
Serve 2 to 3 heads of garlic as a veggie. The kids will have fun fishing the cloves out of their skins.
Toss cloves of roasted garlic with baby spinach, parmesan cheese and warm pasta for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Mash the roasted garlic and combine with some mayo. Spread on bread and top with turkey, lettuce, avocado and swiss cheese for an open-faced sandwich.
Combine roasted garlic cloves with chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil and dill for a rustic hummus spread. Serve with assorted veggies.
Combine roasted garlic cloves and olive oil and spread on pizza dough in place of traditional tomato sauce.
Make a salsa with mashed roasted garlic, diced red pepper, feta cheese, green onion, oregano and olive oil. Serve with assorted crisps and crackers.
Sauté roasted garlic cloves with any of the following: bok choy, asparagus, broccoli, green beans or snow peas
There are lots of things in your life you cannot control so, make wise decisions on those things you can. Feed your body good foods like the ones listed today and you'll feel your best.
Here's to your health! Happy Cooking!