Monday, March 12, 2012

The grain of the month is Quinoa

Tonight somewhere after putting the groceries away and making dinner, I made a fabulous little discovery. There is a grain of the month calendar!!! I ask you, how incredibly cool is that?

The whole grains council has created a calendar celebrating one or two grains per month. From my blog title, you probably figured out Quinoa is March's grain of the month.

Here is a teaser about this super little pseudo grain:

"It's not surprising that quinoa supports good health, as it's one of the only plant foods that is a complete protein, offering all the essential amino acids in a healthy balance. Not only is the protein complete, but quinoa grains have an unusually high ratio of protein to carbohydrate, since the germ makes up about 60% of the grain. ( For comparison, wheat germ comprises less than 3% of a wheat kernel.) Quinoa is also highest of all the whole grains in potassium, which helps control blood pressure."

The site is a gold mine of grain info.

Each month the council lists a new grain. Since we are already into March I will catch you up.
January is Oats
February is Barley
March is Quinoa

Tonight we had sprouted brown rice for dinner...apparently, I was out of season:)

As always, wishing you a healthy and happy home,
Denise Frakes

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cocunut Sugar - keeps the sugar blues away

Coconut Sugar, it looks like dull brown sugar sugar. I first heard about it last year at a sprouting class. Shortly after that my sister told me about coconut sugar. She had heard about it from one of her student's moms.

I tried it, my sister tried it. We liked it. This week I dug a bit deeper into this new ingredient. It turns out, coconut sugar has some powerful friends. Here is a video by Dr. Oz. He likes it.

Specifically this is what I like about coconut sugar:
It is natural
It has a glycemic index of 35
It doesn't make my blood sugar jump and dive after eating
It tastes good
It can be substituted for regular sugar 1:1 ratio

Have I ever mentioned diabetes runs in my family? Did you know I have troubles with hypoglycemia ( low blood sugar)? And although this is rare.... sometimes I get blood sugar spikes and drops causing me to be less than charming.

To find an ingredient where I can enjoy foods that are not only yummy but safe is a good find.

Last night I made homemade whipped cream:
Whipping cream
Coconut sugar
Real Vanilla extract

This morning I mixed plain yogurt, frozen blueberries, a bit of coconut sugar and a splash of lemon extract for my breakfast- way good.

My sister and I have been playing around with coconut sugar for about 6 months. So far we give it a thumbs up. Anything that keeps me healthy and smiling is a good thing!

As always, wishing you a healthy and happy home,
Denise Frakes
Co-Owner of Blue Sky Services
Certified Healthy Home Specialist