Pretty little priority conflict

Pros: Lutein content of cooked tomatoes, vit C, fiber, yummy, pretty, excited cause I got them to grow and harvest despite all the odds against me in garden including predators, weather, water, etc etc. yellow_pear_and_cherry_tomatoes_on_yellow_paint2014__©_Linda_Enger_Photography_web#2

Cons: Darn it I have known this for decades but it is a really hard one to deal with. Tomatoes … ah a great one ( which is hard to find in a store) can bring me back to fond childhood memories of buying tomatoes in the midwest from a stand by the side of the road… yep they existed. Those precious juicy , drippy red gems with salt and pepper could be a meal in itself. GRRRR they are one of the nightshade family of veggies, also called  the Solanaceae family . Sadly this also includes  potatoes, all types of peppers, and eggplant.  After 4 years of finally trying to grow big tomatoes I was successful with small  cherry and pear shaped ones, and very small “big version” one. Now dare I put any plants in the ground before my window of spring planting opportunity is over? I am trying not to . I already have 3 tomato plants that are still producing since put in my garden in Oct. Will it last? And what about the yellow pepper plant that is putting out tiny fruit still. And the several pots of 2 kinds of eggplant that held up through the frost and are putting out flowers  and the 2 hot pepper plants?  So which is more important to me? Growing organic veggies that I love to eat or trying to see if I can do a 3 month diet without 4 things I love organic Peppers of all kinds, all tomatoes and sauces, eggplant and potatoes, and then what about what I eat out? OR the quick thrown together pizza ( ugh, not going into the gluten or cheese conversation here )… dare I see if I can not consume ANY Of these veggies for 3 months to see if it helps with my headaches, stiffness, aches and pains and spinal  arthritis ? HMMM what to do ?  GRRRRR….too many foods to eliminate to be “healthy” and live in a sustainable world. GRRRR.

Power greens aka Dandelion Greens aka more weeds

Just a sampling of the mature dandelions pulled in our yard….

Dandlion_greens-mature

  • It is great I like dandelion greens but must say this time of year I am overwhelmed with my home grown wild greens. They are in my garden plots and EVERYWHERE else 🙂 I must say the younger the better . This batch was not tough when cooked properly but the mustard bite is stronger the larger, and older the leaves are. MAJOR Vitamin K  and I am not sure but some research I am seeing lately shows it a dietary player with Alzheimer patients. ( which is a major concern in my life now as co care giver for my father in law. Big hit of Vitamin A .
  •  If you want more than my opinion on RDA % on this  go to  http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/dandelion-herb.html.  Trust me. Eat your greens. The bitters  may be hard to like but great for you! The more uncomfortable you are with the bitter taste the more your body likely needs the liver cleanse that spring greens are notorious for accomplishing.
  • I like the young small greens (sparingly ) in salad with goat cheese. I find these much more mustardy  than Arugula . Funny before I gardened I found the overpriced dandelion greens in store to be much more mild!
  • So with ALL greens they cook down LOTS which is great, cause I have LOTS.  A quick blanch in boiling water for a minute and cooled immediately by a cold shower  reduces a good deal of bitterness.

ok so you want the full data? thank you to http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/dandelion-herb.html  for making this easier for me 🙂

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:Dandelion herb greens (Taraxacum officinale), Fresh,
Nutrition value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 45 Kcal 2%
Carbohydrates 9.20 g 7%
Protein 2.70 g 5%
Total Fat 0.70 g 3%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 3.50 g 9%
Vitamins
Folates 27 µg 7%
Niacin 0.806 mg 5%
Pantothenic acid 0.084 mg 1.5%
Pyridoxine 0.251 mg 19%
Riboflavin 0.260 mg 20%
Thiamin 0.190 mg 17%
Vitamin A 10161 IU 338%
Vitamin C 35 mg 58%
Vitamin E 3.44 mg 23%
Vitamin K 778.4 µg 649%
Electrolytes
Sodium 76 mg 5%
Potassium 397 mg 8%
Minerals
Calcium 187 mg 19%
Iron 3.10 mg 39%
Magnesium 36 mg 9%
Manganese 0.342 mg 15%
Phosphorus 66 mg 9%
Selenium 0.5 mg 1%
Zinc 0.41 mg 4%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-α 363 µg
Carotene-β 5854 µg
Crypto-xanthin-β 121 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 13610 µg

Ignorance is bliss when it comes to chocolate

Arizona_Chocolate_Power_Balls©_2015_Copyright_Linda_Enger_Photography

I like to try and help others get off their sugar and other food addictions.(disclaimer I think for now I am still  kind of addicted to dark chocolate, but within reason and without the sugar I feel so much  better.)

My history with sugar is similar and yet different than many people I know and will share more on that later. But for sometime I have been very aware that I function much better when my sugar is at a minimum. I also am very involved with care giving for my father in law who is both diabetic and has alzhiemers. So with food, it  is kind of a fusion of a junkie, and a toddler . More on that later.

We have found the Sugar Busters diet to make a huge difference vs more traditional diabetic oriented diet.

One of the many treats I have created is a  Paleo Chocolate power brownie balls that are sweetened only with Dates and stevia and LOADED with ground chia seeds, almonds and walnuts.

Sure enough our subscription to computerlab.com pops up with the nasty reminder that it is a REALLY bad idea for me to indulge like I have been in my naturally sweetened (without sugar or honey) , not too sweet( just how I like it ) , VERY chocolatey , High protein, chocolate fix ! UGH. What a downer. Here is the link to all their ” good News”

https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Cocoa_Powders_and_Chocolates_Sources_of_Flavanols/cocoa-flavanols/

Well anyway those with a  cup of yummy Earl Grey my way, which is a cup of  Paul Newmans’ Organic black tea with one drop of Doterra Bergamot oil per cup of tea = yummy strong Earl Grey tea! Also I make my version  sweetened with  stevia and coconut milk instead of  milk or cream. I personally do not think the English understand lactose intolerance 😉

I will be sharing more internal and external uses and recipes with Doterra oils in future blogs. LOVE this stuff! If you want to buy Doterra oils from my  Doterra web site I would greatly appreciate it.

Shop at http://www.mydoterra.com/lindaenger

 

Back to sugar and chocolate…when it comes to finding the right product to balance my priorities  between the healthy flavanols, low or no cadmium and/or  lead content , sugar content along with the $ factor  it is kind of frustrating ( to say the least ). Of course if moderation is taken into account and chocolate is very “special ” in one’s diet…. then enjoy! How well we know moderation is essential with splurges of all kinds .  I guess with all the chocolate I have eaten with my home made creations over the past week I will not show any weight gain but scary to think what I would find if my lead or cadmium was measured … hmmm…. drat.

Note to self… once again. Moderation is everything. blah blah blah.

Looks like I am going back to Bakers baking bars for baking and for my chocolate bar fix keep with   Endangered Species which is a brand I LOVE … but moderation is the hard part .

Considering I just finished my container of Hershey’s Cocoa Powder in this batch of yummy  brownie power  balls…. here is my  disclaimer to all . You choose your  your own pleasure /poison /  and moderation path.

https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Cocoa_Powders_and_Chocolates_Sources_of_Flavanols/cocoa-flavanols/

I will write up my “recipe” and get it here soon. Promise  but these yummy  moist chocolate brownie power balls are intentionally  hi protein  with no processed sugar . They are LOADED with Ground almonds, chia seeds, walnuts ,coconut oil  and enough dates and stevia to be sweet enough for those of us that do not like being assaulted by sugar ( all too prevalent in any store bought mix I have ever tasted  for gluten free brownies)

The only negative to them is I can eat way too many of them, not feel bad physically from the sugar but know I am consuming too much chocolate for one day 😉