Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake
Photo and Recipe From Joanne Choi of the Week of Menus Blog

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Ingredients
(serves 16)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line two round 8-inch pans with parchment paper and grease well.
  2. Combine the milk, eggs, quinoa, and espresso powder in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth. Add the butter and continue to blend until smooth.
  3. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl or in a mixer. Add the contents of the blender and mix well.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake on the center oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely in the pan.
  5. Once cake is fully cooled, turn out of pan.  Dust with powdered sugar and serve with berries on its own.
Chocolate Quinoa Cake
 
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, any color (cook ⅔ cup uncooked quinoa in 1 ⅓ cup of water)
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs. espresso powder
  • ¾ cup (12 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two round 8-inch pans with parchment paper and grease well.
  2. Combine the milk, eggs, quinoa, and espresso powder in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the butter and continue to blend until smooth.
  3. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl or in a mixer. Add the contents of the blender and mix well.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake on the center oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely in the pan.
  5. Once cake is fully cooled, turn out of pan. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with berries on its own.

 

iHerb sells thousands of natural food items, everything from stevia to gluten free flours to much more!  Click here to take a look at our product offerings.  If  you’re new to iHerb, you can use Coupon Code WOW123 to get $10 off your first order with a minimum $40 purchase or $5 off orders less than $40.

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The Antifungal Properties of Garlic

National Garlic Month

April is National Garlic Month and while it’s one strong-smelling and pungent-tasting bulb, it has many uses. First, it can be used as flavoring or as an ingredient in cooking. Second, there are also health benefits to supplementing with garlic. For example, did you know that garlic has antifungal properties? To learn more, read on.

The Antifungal Properties of Garlic

Garlic has been used in food for years as a flavor enhancer. Historically, it has also been used as a folk remedy for many types of ailments. For example, there’s been some success with the use of garlic to lower blood pressure and reduce plaque in blood vessels. While studies have shown mixed results, Louis Pasteur showed many years ago that a compound of garlic is clearly able to kill bacteria.

In addition to killing bacteria, garlic also has antifungal properties, especially on fungal infections that attack the skin, such as athlete’s foot. For athlete’s foot and similar tough to treat skin infections, a 1 percent solution of ajoene (an active ingredient in garlic that kills fungus) is as effective as Lamosil, a popular treatment for this condition. A 0.6 percent solution applied to the skin may wipe out jock itch and ringworm.

Garlic has some limitations: Topical use of garlic can burn the skin. Garlic also has a blood thinning effect, so you need to be careful when taking garlic if you are on any blood-thinning compounds or medications. This effect is lessened if you are only using garlic on the skin’s surface, but some take garlic powder or supplements as well.

Products can be made “odorless” by aging the garlic, but this process may make the garlic less effective. For some conditions, it’s a good idea to look for supplements that are covered in an enteric coating — so they will dissolve in the intestine rather than stomach.

Click here to see iHerb’s selection of Garlic Products! New to iHerb? Use Coupon Code WOW123 to get $10 off any first time order with a minimum $40 purchase or $5 off for orders less than $40.

Resources

Ledezma E, DeSousa L, Jorquera A, et al; Efficacy of ajoene, an organosulphur derived from garlic, in the short-term therapy of tinea pedis; National Center for Biotechnology Information; accessed April 2, 2014

Ledezma E, Marcano K, Jorquera A, et al; Efficacy of ajoene in the treatment of tinea pedis: a double-blind and comparative study with terbinafine; National Center for Biotechnology Information; accessed April 2, 2014

Web MD staff; Garlic; WebMD; accessed April 2, 2014

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Filed under Herbs and Supplements, Skin Health

How to Get Older Kids to Eat Healthier

How to Get Older Kids to Eat Healthier

Feeding our families nutritious meals after a long, hectic day can seem like an impossible task. But, there are ways that we can ensure that our children, especially our busy adolescents, are getting the vitamins and minerals they need.

In order to foster a love of healthful foods in our children and teens, it helps to include them in meal planning, ingredient shopping and recipe preparation. Speaking with our older children to find out what their favorite meals are and how those meals can be made healthier, will encourage them to think about their food choices and options.

When cooking with kids, it is important to engage them in the preparation of their food by asking them to read the recipes and peel, chop and measure ingredients.

If one of your child’s favorite meals is pasta, you can easily boost the nutrition of the dish by adding a variety of chopped, sauteed vegetables to the sauce. Good additions to pasta sauce include: mushrooms, bell peppers, peeled zucchini and summer squash. Substitute whole-grain pasta noodles for those made with refined flour to further improve the nutrition of the dish.

Most people are aware that darker varieties of rice are more nutritious than white or parboiled rice but do not care for the flavor or texture. By cooking rice in broth or stock, rather than plain water, you enhance the flavor of the rice while adding trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. You can then use this rice as a base for a multitude of entrees from chickpea and tomato curry to stir-fried chicken or tofu with vegetables.

Encourage your child to think of colors on their plate rather than food. Ask them to prepare a dinner menu that involves specific colors and give choices for each color such as sweet potatoes, carrots or salmon for orange; broccoli, green beans or chard for green; red cabbage, beets or blue potatoes for purple, etc.

With practice, your children will learn that a beautifully colorful plate equals a nutritious meal. Encourage healthful attitudes toward whole foods for the best nutrition your child can get.

iHerb sells thousands of natural food items, everything from stevia to gluten free flours to much more!  Click here to take a look at our product offerings.  If  you’re new to iHerb, you can use Coupon Code WOW123 to get $10 off your first order with a minimum $40 purchase or $5 off orders less than $40.

Reference

Mayo Clinic; Vitamin Deficiency Anemia; Accessed September 26, 2013

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Filed under Children's and Teen Health, Food (Benefits, Cooking and Nutrition)

Got Kelp? All About Kelp Noodles

All About Kelp Noodles

Kelp noodles seem to be popping up on restaurant menus and in shops that sell natural products everywhere. For many people, however, kelp noodles are still a new concept. While kelp noodles might not initially sound appealing, they actually have a variety of health benefits that could make them worth your while.

The Raw Food Craze

Literally made from natural and cultivated kelp (just like the stuff found in the ocean), kelp noodles are commonly used as a substitute for pasta. Unlike regular pasta, kelp noodles are gluten free, which means they’re popular among people who are avoiding gluten for health reasons or who have gluten intolerances. Kelp noodles are also a popular substitute for pasta among individuals on a raw food diet — consuming only items that haven’t been cooked or heated.

Low Calorie Pasta Substitute

One of the biggest reasons people choose to eat kelp pasta is because it’s very low in calories. A whole serving of kelp noodles is so low in calories that it’s pretty much a “worry-free” food. In fact, a single serving of about 4 ounces of kelp noodles contains only 5 to 10 calories. Kelp noodles are also a low-carbohydrate food ideal for people on diets to lose weight. Despite their low calorie content, kelp noodles tend to make people feel full, potentially helping to boost weight loss.

High Nutrient Content

Kelp noodles might be low in calories but they do contain considerable nutrients. A serving of kelp noodles contains about 70 minerals, including iron, calcium, iodine, magnesium and potassium. One serving of kelp noodles provides about 4 percent of your daily iron needs, which is very high considering the incredibly low calorie content.

Click here to see iHerb’s selection of  Kelp Noodles! New to iHerb? Use Coupon Code WOW123 to get $10 off any first time order with a minimum $40 purchase or $5 off for orders less than $40.

References

Briggs, Allison; What Are the Health Properties of Kelp Noodles: Livestrong; accessed March 16, 2014

Wong, Cathy ND; Kelp Noodles: What You Need to Know About Kelp Noodles; About Alternative Medicine; accessed March 16, 2014

Catanese, Nicole; Should You Dive Into Kelp Noodles?; Refinery 29; accessed March 16, 2014

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What About the “Five Second Rule?”

5 Second Rule

The “five second rule for dropped food” is an interesting myth. No one is sure where it originated or why the rule is five seconds and not say, four seconds. However, studies have been undertaken to check out this myth.

Naturally, the studies yield conflicting information.

The first study was done by Jillian Clarke during her internship at the University of Illinois in 2003. She found that bacteria does attach to food immediately. She also found out that women are more likely to eat fallen food than men (perhaps they are the experts on floor cleanliness,) and that sweets were more likely to be saved than vegetables.

In 2007, a group of scientists at Clemson University decided to look at this issue again. First, they looked at how long bacteria that can make you sick can stay on a surface. They also looked at the various types of surfaces. They found, similarly, that bacteria are transferred immediately. However, surface made a difference. Carpets transferred less bacteria to the food, while other types of flooring such as tile, hardwood and linoleum all transferred bacteria in significant numbers. Also, the type of food made a difference. The more moist the food, the more bacteria were transferred. Also, the longer the item was in contact with the surface, the more bacteria were transferred.

However, in 2014, researchers at Aston University in Birmingham, England, essentially found the same results, yet stated that the chances of getting infected from foods exposed to the floor five seconds or less was negligible. While they found that moist foods pick up 20 times more bacteria, the scientists involved in this study feel the amount of bacteria picked up will not harm most people. So these two sets of researchers agree on the result, but disagree on their meaning and effect.

Where does that leave you, the consumer? Clearly, the safest bet is to throw the food out. You really can’t know what is on the floor. At home, you may feel safer, but do you know what bacteria you have brought into the house?

If you have a problem with your immune system or are dealing with a very young child, it is best not to take a chance. Further, most bacteria or viruses that will infect you can stand up to your stomach and enter the intestine intact. If your concern is whether or not infective bacteria can be transferred to the food, then the answer is yes, if the floor was contaminated. This happens the moment the food contacts the surface. The choice is yours. How well do you know your flooring?

Looking for vitamins, herbal supplements and other alternatives to help you keep a healthy balance in your life? Check out the thousands of products we sell at iHerb.com. Use Coupon Code WOW123 to get  you $10 off any first time order with a $40 minimum purchase or $5 off any first time order less than $40.

References

Whitman-Salkin, Sarah; Scientists Study What To Do If You Drop A Cookie On the Floor; National Geographic; accessed on March 20, 2014.

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Stress-Busting Supplements to the Rescue!

Stress Awareness Month

The month of April is Stress Awareness Month, so iHerb would like to take this opportunity to help spread awareness by providing information and lifestyle suggestions that could be helpful towards managing your day to day stress. For this article, let’s learn more about supplements could be beneficial in your stress management practices.

Stress-Busting Supplements to the Rescue!

Stress is something everybody deals with in their lives. In many cases, stress is a beneficial signal that lets you know a situation needs your attention. However, when stress becomes too frequent it can be difficult to deal with and take a toll on your mental and physical health, especially over prolonged periods of time.

If you feel like you have too much stress in your life, adding one of the five top supplements for fighting stress could be beneficial.

1. Vitamin B6

B vitamins are often depleted when you’re under stress, so taking a supplement can help you boost your intake. Another beneficial part of taking B vitamins is that they can give you more energy, which is one of the first things to go for many stressed-out individuals. B6 is the most effective, but a B-complex supplement can work as well.

2. Holy Basil

Holy basil might be new to you, but it’s been around for quite a while in natural food and medicine circles. Typically used for its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, holy basil also helps to reduce cortisol levels in the body. Lower cortisol levels equal fewer side effects of stress.

3. Melatonin

One you’ve probably seen before, this natural cure-all has a variety of different uses. However, its main use by most Westerners is for getting a bit more sleep at night when feeling stressed and keyed up. It works because it naturally helps to shift the body’s clock back, making it ideal for shift workers and insomniacs. Follow dosage instructions properly when taking this supplement.

4. L-Theanine

An amino acid found in green tea, L-Theanine can help to reduce mental and physical stress while promoting relaxation. The supplement works by increasing GABA production, serotonin and dopamine in the body.

5. Rhodiola

Rhodiola is a natural herbal supplement that can help fight fatigue, boost your energy level and decrease your overall stress level.

 Click here to see iHerb’s selection of Stress and Mood Support Products! New to iHerb? Use Coupon Code WOW123 to get $5 off any first time order of $40 or less or $10 off any first time order of over $40.

References

Bhatia, Tasneem, M.D.; Supplements That Fight Stress; The Dr. Oz Show; accessed March 22, 2014

Borboa, Michele; Top 5 Stress-Busting Supplements; SheKnows; accessed March 22, 2014

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A New Device Offers Promise to Migraine Sufferers

A New Device Offers Promise to Migraine Sufferers

If you have ever suffered from migraines, you need relief as soon as possible from the pain and suffering they can cause. A headband that stimulates nerves is now an option in America to reduce the pain from migraines.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved a product that uses nerve stimulation, called Cefaly, made by a Blegian company, STX-MED, to aid in the relief of migraines. This device is a plastic headband that is battery operated. It may reduce the pain of severe headaches and make downtime more manageable.

While nothing has been proven to prevent migraines completely, the headband may offer a new, medication-free solution to the user. The unit has been sold to more than 50,000 people in Europe already.

Low electric current is sent through the head to help reduce the severity of migraines. The cranial nerves are literally tingled to a place of relief. According to health professionals, patients may notice a reduction in migraines and in the amount of recovery time after a migraine.

One study conducted in Belgium looked at 67 migraines sufferers. Those who used Cefaly experienced “significantly fewer” headaches and far outnumbered the people who were using a placebo. The Cefaly group used less medication to treat the headaches that did occur. Unfortunately, the device did not get rid of migraines completely.

Over 50 percent of participants stated that they would buy a similar unit. However, some of the participants complained that the units did not feel comfortable, and there were some instances of fatigue after wearing Cefaly for extended amounts of time.

The nerve stimulation device may offer promise of relief to many people who suffer from migraines on a regular basis. It also points to potential causes of reoccurring migraines.

Click here to see iHerb’s selection of  Headache and Migraine Products! New to iHerb? Use Coupon Code WOW123 to get $10 off any first time order with a minimum $40 purchase or $5 off for orders less than $40.

Resources

Delphine Magis; Safety and patients’ satisfaction of transcutaneous Supraorbital NeuroStimulation (tSNS) with the Cefaly® device in headache treatment: a survey of 2,313 headache sufferers in the general population; The Journal of Headache and Pain; accessed April 7, 2014

U.S. Food and Drug Administration; FDA allows marketing of first medical device to prevent migraine headaches; accessed April 7, 2014

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Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

National Garlic Month

April is National Garlic Month and while it’s one strong-smelling and pungent-tasting bulb, it has many uses. First, it can be used as flavoring or as an ingredient in cooking. Second, there are also health benefits to supplementing with garlic. For this article, here’s a recipe for a lemon garlic vinaigrette that you can enjoy with your favorite salad greens or pasta.

Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
Photo and Recipe From Erin of the Dinners, Dishes and Desserts Blog

Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar or plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Shake well for 30 seconds. Serve.
  2. Store in fridge for up to a week.
  3. If the dressing gets solid in the fridge, just let it come to room temperature, and shake before serving.
Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. honey
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar or plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Shake well for 30 seconds. Serve.
  2. Store in fridge for up to a week.
  3. If the dressing gets solid in the fridge, just let it come to room temperature, and shake before serving.

 

iHerb sells thousands of natural food items, everything from stevia to gluten free flours to much more!  Click here to take a look at our product offerings.  If  you’re new to iHerb, you can use Coupon Code WOW123 to get $10 off your first order with a minimum $40 purchase or $5 off orders less than $40.

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How to Choose the Best and the Ripest Melons

Child having picnic in park

Whether choosing a cantaloupe, a watermelon or honeydew, there are a few things to know before making a purchase. To ensure delectable taste and high nutrition, it is important to be able to tell when a melon is at its edible best. The following pointers will help in choosing a melon wisely.

What the clever purchaser looks for is a melon that is firm but not hard and not spongy. In all melons, the heavier they are, the better. Heaviness indicates the amount of water inside. Pressing a finger where the stem joined the rind can tell the buyer much about the ripeness of the melon. The stem, like the rind, should be firm.

Many purchasers are aware of the knocking or thumping method to tell if a melon is ripe. What to listen for in a watermelon is different from cantaloupes and honeydews. When thumping on honeydew or a cantaloupe, a hollow sound means the fruit will not be sweet. If there is a deep sound of substance inside, then these melons have adequate moisture to sweeten their fruit. On the other hand, a watermelon is supposed to sound hollow when it’s ripe.

Ripened cantaloupe or honeydew melons should smell sweet, and their rinds ought to have a base color with an overlap of netting. The base or ground color varies from yellow to gold. The base of ripened honeydew often includes brown spots or freckles. The netting of both melons should be light green. Avoid dark green or over ripened fruit. Both of these varieties continue to ripen after harvesting. Therefore, it is fine to purchase either of these melons prior to their full ripening.

Ripe watermelons are dark green, firm and very heavy for their size. They should have a light color in a shade of yellow to their bottom or their ground spot. Because watermelons will not continue to ripen off the vine, the purchaser should check the stripes. The stripes should not continue around the rind. If they do, that indicates they are not yet ripe.

iHerb sells thousands of natural food items, everything from stevia to gluten free flours to much more!  Click here to take a look at our product offerings.  If  you’re new to iHerb, you can use Coupon Code WOW123 to get $10 off your first order with a minimum $40 purchase or $5 off orders less than $40.

References

Shannon Marks; List of Vitamins & Minerals in Melons; Livestrong; accessed on July 25, 2013

How to Know When a Honeydew Melon is Ripe; eHow; accessed on July 25, 2013

How to Choose the “Right” Watermelon (and Why Tapping Doesn’t Work); accessed on July 25, 2013

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5 Surprising Benefits of Garlic

National Garlic Month

April is National Garlic Month and while it’s one strong-smelling and pungent-tasting bulb, it has many uses. First, it can be used as flavoring or as an ingredient in cooking. Second, there are also health benefits to supplementing with garlic which you can learn more about below with links to articles with more information.

5 Surprising Benefits of Garlic

By Assia Mortensen

Garlic is unique, with its white compound bulb encasing many small cloves in papery sheathes. Garlic has a distinctively pungent taste and smell, and may come fresh, dried; or as an extract, powder, oil, or tablet.

Immune Booster

Garlic is rich in manganese, vitamin B1, B6 and C; as well as phosphorus, selenium, calcium, potassium, iron and copper. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), Garlic may help the immune system function better, especially during times of stress. In a study of 50 people with colorectal, liver, or pancreatic cancer, immune activity improved after they took aged garlic extract for 6 months.

Fungi Killer

Garlic appears toxic to several species of fungi such as those in the Candida and Tinea families. Candida fungi, such as Candida albicans, are responsible for yeast infections; Fungi belonging to the Tinea family cause many common skin infections, including athlete’s foot and ringworm, according to the UMMC.

Heart Helper

Some evidence suggests that garlic may help prevent heart disease. Garlic is thought to slow the hardening of arteries and may act as an anticoagulant – a blood thinner – which may help prevent such conditions as stroke and heart attack.

Insect Repellent

Many insects are repelled by garlic. One double-blind study followed the number of tick bites soldiers received during either garlic or placebo treatments. A significant reduction of bites was indicated after 8 – 10 weeks of taking garlic supplements.

Recipe Enhancer

Not only is garlic beneficial to health, it can add zest to a variety of foods. Try baked garlic spinach chips or healthy coconut garlic kale chips for a delicious substitute for potato chips. Roasted acorn squash is piquant and delightful with just a bit of spice.

Click here to see iHerb’s selection of Garlic Products! New to iHerb? Use Coupon Code WOW123 to get $10 off any first time order with a minimum $40 purchase or $5 off for orders less than $40.

References

University of Maryland Medical Center; Garlic, an Overview; Accessed Nov. 20, 2012

Livestrong; What are the Benefits of Raw Garlic for Fungus; Accessed Nov. 20, 2012

iHerb Health Library / EBSCO Publishing; Garlic; Accessed Nov. 20, 2012

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