Hawthorn Tea Recipe

Hawthorn (Greek Crataegus) is a beautiful plant that grows in all continents now. The leaves, flowers and berries have health benefits and they are used to produce medicine for heart diseases.

The British Homeopathic Review revealed of Dr. Green (Ireland):
“… For many years had a reputation for the cure of heart disease that caused patients to flock to him from all parts of the United Kingdom. He cured the most of them and amassed considerable wealth by means of his secret. 

For, contrary to the code, he, though a physician in good standing, refused to reveal the remedy to his professional brethren. After his death … (in 1894), his daughter, a Mrs. Graham, revealed the name of the remedy her father had used so successfully. It is Crataegus oxycanthus …”

The health qualities of Hawthorn are still being researched:
‘This study was to investigate the anticancer effects of the peel polyphenolic extract (HPP) and flesh polyphenolic extract (HFP) from hawthorn fruit in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. It was found that the polyphenol and flavonoid contents of HPP were significant higher than that of HFP. Both HPP and HFP inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner with …, suggesting that HPP was more effective against MCF-7 cells than HFP. … All these findings indicate that hawthorn fruit, especially its peel, is an excellent source of natural chemopreventive agents in the treatment of breast cancer.” (Food Chemistry, Volume 141, Issue 2, 15 November 2013, Pages 1008-1018)

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Hawthorn tree, Daylesford

In autumn (April for Australia) the berries can be picked and dried. Alternatively, the flesh of berries can be preserved with the inner pips removed. The berries are best brewed in a teapot fresh or dried.

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Hawthorn Berries

To make hawthorn berry tea take one tablespoon of fresh berries for one cup of tea, crush them between two spoons and cover with boiling water in a pot. Fresh berries will brew in 10 minutes. Dried berries need to be boiled first and simmered for about 20 minutes.

This tea is only for leisure, if you need to use Hawthorn as medicine please talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Pumpkin Soup Recipe

The pumpkin is a large fruit that is so versatile that it can be used in many sweet and savoury dishes. Pumpkin is packed with vitamins and minerals. Of note, it is very high in vitamin A and C, potassium and the minerals copper and phosphorous. Pumpkin is also very low in calories.

NPK fertilizer is often used to grow pumpkin. NPK stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. One study from 2012 evaluated the influence of NPK fertilizer on protein, fibre, fat and carbohydrates, which collectively are called proximate content. The main focus of the study was to assess the effect of NPK fertiliser on antioxidant activities and antioxidant phenolic compounds in immature and mature fruits of pumpkin. It was found that ‘Between the control and the highest fertilizer rate, proximate compositions decreased by 7–62% while the antioxidant profile decreased by 13–79% for both immature and mature fruits. Across all the measured parameters, mature fruit had higher proximate contents and higher antioxidant concentrations.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 135, Issue 2, 15 November 2012, Pages 460-463)  It seems like buying very ripe pumpkin is a good idea. The conclusion made was ‘ For the high health value of pumpkin fruits to be maintained, little or no NPK fertilizer should be applied.’ Unfortunately, considering NPK can be organic fertilizer, how do we know how much of it was used in the pumpkin we buy?

Here it is my version of pumpkin soup that can convert anyone into becoming a pumpkin soup lover.

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Pumpkin Soup

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Avocado Breakfast Recipe

Avocados

Avocado is an amazing fruit. It’s been very popular amongst healthy eaters for years now. No wonder why we have this sudden wave of avocado popularity. Any cafe you come in for a breakfast will have an avocado dish, I could say it is basic now.

Avocados are very healthy. Mostly for two important things: antioxidants and phytosterols. Phytosterols are plant cholesterols, they compete with cholesterol and get absorbed in our body. So, eating more avocados will protect your heart and brain.

If you wonder why the avocados are sometimes stone-hard on the shelfs of the retail shops, the following could be an answer for you. There is an effect of harvest date on the nutritional compounds and antioxidant activity in avocado. You can ripen avocados at +25C for the best effect of the fruit’s health benefits. Antioxidant activity in avocados harvested earlier then stored at cold temperatures was much higher than in the later harvested fruit according to this research. It was concluded, ‘Therefore, avocado can be harvested earlier for economic benefits according to the market and can keep high nutritional value for human health benefits.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 135, Issue 2, 15 November 2012, Pages 694-698)

According to another scientific research, avocado oil is richer than olive oil in total phytosterols, although olive oil has higher in vitamin E and retains it for longer during the heating (180 °C). (Food Chemistry, Volume 132, Issue 1, 1 May 2012, Pages 439-446)

Another interesting fact, ‘For all varieties, seeds contained the highest antioxidant capacities, phenolic content, and procyanidins, whereas the pulp had the lowest.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 122, Issue 4, 15 October 2010, Pages 1193-1198)

I am very curious now, about the avocado seeds 🙂

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Avocado Breakfast

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Trout and Beetroot Salad Recipe

Enjoy this divine salad. It’s a perfect entrée for any occasion and season. Dairy free and gluten free, but it had to have leek, my apologies to those with fructose intolerance.

Trout and Beetroot Salad

Ingredients:

1 tainbow trout
Cooking salt
15 cm white leek
500g white sweet potato, purple skin
800g beetroot
1/2 cup mayonnaise
*1-2 days required to cure the
fish.
* Springform (~20cm)

Cooking:

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BBQ Ocean Trout Recipe

The great Aussie Barbie is an important part of the leisure time for Australians. We are proud of our outdoor lifestyle. Many of us have family recipes for the best chops, steaks, sausages, ribs…

This simple recipe below is for the Ocean Trout and it is perfect for a summary weekend lunch. If you buy a fresh beautiful fish on Saturday morning it will take you less than 20 minutes to surprise your family or guests. It goes well with any light salad or just cut vegetables and it is always a success! Baking this trout in the oven produces very similar result in case you feel like a tender juicy fish on a rainy winter Sunday.

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BBQ Ocean Trout

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Brown Lentil Hummus Recipe

I had a few posts on legumes previously, please search ‘legumes’ to access them. Lentils are a high protein, high fibre member of the legume family.

Traditional hummus is made of chickpeas, and chickpea hummus is a very smart food.

Here is a comparison of the brown lentil and the chickpea for your review:

One cup of cooked  brown lentils contains: Sugar 4g, Fiber 16g, Protein 18g, and Iron 37%. Total 230 Calories.

One cup of cooked chickpeas contains: Sugar 8g, Fiber 12g, Protein 15g, and Iron 26%. Total 269 Calories.

(http://nutritiondata.self.com)

So, I’ve just experimented with hummus made of brown lentils, and I love it!

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Brown Lentil Hummus

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Fish Stew Recipe

Fish

Fish is a healthy protein. It is a good source of Phosphorus, which is needed to build strong bones and teeth, and also filters out waste in your kidneys. Loads of information on the health benefits of fish is available now.

What I find amazing about the fish it is how it impacts blood sugar levels. I experimented with this with one of my family members who is 73 years old and has diabetes. The blood sugar levels in the morning were constantly showing between 9 and 11, and an opinion was formed that this health condition of 20 years cannot be improved due to age. I convinced them to eat fish and vegetables for lunch and dinner just for one week. Fortunately, the schedule was followed and after a few days the morning blood sugar levels showed 5.5, which is better than mine! (The same medication was taken.)

I know this diet is not the most convenient one as it is not easy to buy fresh fish every day and find different ways of cooking it.

Check out my Coconut Fish post, that recipe is very simple and meal portions can be frozen too. The below recipe has more ingredients but it is still simple and can be also frozen.

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Fish Stew

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