Archive for February, 2010

Luo Han Guo: The “Longevity Fruit”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 7, 2010 by ecofrenfood

Luo Han Guo: The “Longevity Fruit”

Luohanguo is a cousin of the cucumber, and a member of the gourd family of fruits. It’s a round and smooth, dusty green-brown fruit that is covered with fine soft hairs, and a hard but thin shell.

The fruit is used only after it is dried, and can be processed into a powder that contains natural substances called mongrosides in it.

Luo Han Guo (luohanguo) refers to the fruit of Siraitia grosvenori, formerly called Momordica grosvenori, a member of the Curcubitaceae (1). The fruit is well-known for its sweet taste; this plant family (Gourd family) has other members that contain remarkable sweet components, including additional species of the genus Siraitia (e.g., S. siamensis, S. silomaradjae, S. sikkimensis, S. africana, S. borneensis, and S. taiwaniana 2) and the popular herb jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum).

Luohanguo is collected as a round green fruit that turns brown upon drying. The sweet taste of luohanguo comes primarily from mogrosides, a group of terpene glycosides, present at the level of about 1% of the fleshy part of the fruit.

There are several commercial preparations of luohanguo. One of the common ones is Luo Han Guo Chong Ji (chongji is an instant extract granule or dissolving block of extract; the product is shown here, made at the Youngfu Pharmaceutical Factory in Yongfu County of Guilin). It is widely distributed in China, Hong Kong, and via Chinese shops in the West.

Luo han guo is a very sweet fruit found in China. Extracts of luo han guo (also spelled Luo han kuo or lo han kuo) are now being marketed as a sweetener.

◆ 100% natural & GRAS

◆ Lower calories

◆ Lower blood glucose level

◆ Lower cholesterol

◆ Multiple health benefits

◆ Long history of use as a food and medicine

◆ Available Diabeticut formula for customers

Buddha’s Delight

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 7, 2010 by ecofrenfood

Buddha’s Delight

12 large dried black mushrooms (3 oz)
5 cups boiling-hot water plus additional for soaking bean curd skins
2 dried bean curd skins (2 oz total)
1/2 lb fresh or thawed frozen large bamboo shoots
2 to 3 oz very thin bean thread noodles (2 small skeins; also known as cellophane, glass, or mung bean noodles)
1 (1/2-lb) firm fresh tofu cake, or 1/2 cake from a 14- to 16-oz package, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup peeled shelled fresh or frozen ginkgo nuts
1/3 cup vegetarian oyster sauce
1/4 cup light soy sauce (preferably Pearl River Bridge brand)
1/4 cup Chinese rice wine (preferably Shaoxing) or medium-dry Sherry
3/4 teaspoon sugar
2 cups fresh soybean sprouts (1/4 lb)
2 romaine hearts, trimmed and quartered lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch pieces (6 cups)

Soak mushrooms in 5 cups boiling-hot water in a bowl, keeping them submerged with a small plate and turning mushrooms over occasionally, until softened and cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid from caps back into bowl and reserve liquid, then cut out and discard stems from mushrooms. Cut caps into 1-inch wedges.

While mushrooms soak, carefully break bean curd skins in half crosswise, then halve each portion crosswise again. Transfer to a bowl, then add enough boiling-hot water to cover and soak, turning occasionally, until softened, about 30 minutes.

If using fresh bamboo, trim bottoms of shoots, then halve shoots lengthwise with a sharp heavy knife. Pull off and discard leaves from shoots, then remove any blemishes with a sharp paring knife (don’t worry about natural dotted pattern along base of shoots).

Cover fresh or frozen bamboo with cold water by 1 inch in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, then drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Repeat boiling and rinsing, then arrange bamboo halves, cut sides down, on a cutting board and cut bamboo lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Soak noodles in cold water to cover until softened, about 5 minutes, then drain in colander and transfer to a bowl.

Drain bean curd skins in colander. When cool enough to handle, squeeze dry and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

Halve tofu lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart wide heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, bean curd skins, bamboo, and ginkgo nuts and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar and simmer 1 minute. Add reserved mushroom-soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Gently stir in tofu and soybean sprouts, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Gently stir in noodles and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Add romaine hearts (pot will be full) and turn to coat, then simmer, covered, until romaine is tender, about 5 minutes.

How To Make Ice Cream in a Bag in 5 Minutes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 7, 2010 by ecofrenfood

How To Make Ice Cream in a Bag in 5 Minutes

Here’s a pretty damned simple ice-cream recipe: combine ingredients in a baggie. Fill a bigger baggie with ice, salt and the baggie of ingredients. Shake for five minutes. Ice cream. Who knew?


The Good and Bad of Canola Oil

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 5, 2010 by ecofrenfood

The Good and Bad of Canola Oil

Recently I bought a cooking oil that’s new to our supermarkets, Canola oil. I tried it because the label assured me it was lowest in ‘bad’ fats. However, when I had used half the bottle, I concluded that the label told me surprisingly little else and I started to wonder: where does canola oil come from?

Olive oil comes from olives, peanut oil from peanuts, sunflower oil from sunflowers; but what is a canola? There was nothing on the label to enlighten me, which I thought odd. So, I did some investigating on the Internet. There are plenty of official Canola sites lauding this new ‘wonder’ oil with all its low-fat health benefits.. It takes a little longer to find sites that tell the less palatable details.

Here are just a few facts everyone should know before buying anything containing canola. Canola is not the name of a natural plant but a made-up word, from the words ‘ Canada ‘ and ‘oil’. Canola is a genetically engineered plant developed in Canada from the Rapeseed Plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants.

According to AgriAlternatives, The Online Innovation, and Technology Magazine for Farmers, ‘By nature, these rapeseed oils, which have long been used to produce oils for industrial purposes, are….. toxic to humans and other animals’. (This, by the way, is one of the websites singing the praises of the new canola Industry.)

Rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and is an excellent insect repellent. I have been using it (in very diluted form, as per instructions) to kill the aphids on my roses for the last two years. It works very well; it suffocates them. Ask for it at your nursery. Rape is an oil that is used as a lubricant, fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base and as a illuminate for color pages in magazines.

It is an industrial oil. It is not a food. Rape oil, it seems, causes emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness in animals and humans. Rape oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and Europe between 1986 and 1991, when it was thrown out. Remember the ‘Mad Cow disease’ scare, when millions of cattle in the UK were slaughtered in case of infecting humans? Cattle were being fed on a mixture containing material from dead sheep, and sheep suffer from a disease called ‘scrapie’.

It was thought this was how ‘Mad Cow’ began and started to infiltrate the human chain. What is interesting is that when rape oil was removed from animal feed, ‘scrapie’ disappeared. We also haven’t seen any further reports of ‘Mad Cow’ since rape oil was removed from the feed. Perhaps not scientifically proven, but Interesting all the same. US and Canadian farmers grow genetically engineered rapeseed and manufacturers use its oil (canola) in thousands of processed foods, with the blessings of Canadian and US government watchdog agencies. The canola supporting websites say that canola is safe to use. They admit it was developed from the rapeseed, but insist that through genetic engineering it is no longer rapeseed, but ‘canola’ instead.

Except canola means ‘Canadian oil’; and the plant is still a rape plant, albeit genetically modified. The new name provides perfect cover for commercial interests wanting to make millions. Look at the ingredients list on labels. Apparently peanut oil is being replaced with rape oil. You’ll find it in an alarming number of processed foods. There’s more, but to conclude: rape oil was the source of the chemical warfare agent mustard gas, which was banned after blistering the lungs and skins of hundred of thousands of soldiers and civilians during W.W.I. Recent French reports indicate that it was again in use during the Gulf War.

Check products for ingredients. If the label says, ‘may contain the following’ and lists canola oil, you know it contains canola oil because it is the cheapest oil and the Canadian government subsidizes it to industries involved in food processing.

I don’t know what you’ll be cooking with tonight, but I’ll be using olive oil and old-fashioned butter, from a genetically unmodified cow.

Here is more information. ..

Canola oil from the rape seed, referred to as the Canadian oil because Canada is mainly responsible for it being marketed in the USA . The Canadian government and Industry paid our Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) $50 million dollars to have canola oil placed on the (GRAS) List ‘Generally Recognized As Safe’. Thus a new industry was created. Laws were enacted affecting international trade, commerce, and traditional diets. Studies with lab animals were disastrous. Rats developed fatty degeneration of heart, kidney, adrenals, and thyroid gland. When canola oil was withdrawn from their diets, the deposits dissolved but scar tissue remained on all vital organs. No studies on humans were made before money was spent to promote Canola oil in the USA .

Adrenoleukodystroph y (ALD) is a rare fatal degenerative disease caused by a build up of long-chain fatty acids (c22 to c28) which destroys the myelin (protective sheath) of the nerves. Canola oil is a very long chain fatty acid oil (c22). Those who will defend canola oil say that the Chinese and Indians have used it for centuries with no effect, however it was in an unrefined form.* (* taken from FATS THAT HEAL AND FATS THAT KILL by Udo Erasmus.)

My cholesterol level was 150. After a year using Canola oil I tested 260. I switched back to pure olive oil and it has taken 5 years to get it down to 160. Thus began this project to find answers since most Doctors will say that Canola. Oil is O.K.

My sister spilled Canola oil on a piece of fabric, after 5 pre-treatings and harsh washings, the oil spot still showed. She stopped using Canola oil, wondering what it did to our insides if it could not be removed from cloth easily. Our Father bred birds, always checking labels to insure there was no rape seed In their food. He said, ‘The birds will eat it, but they do not live very long.’ A friend, who worked for only 9 months as a quality control taster at an apple-chip factory where Canola oil was used exclusively for frying, developed numerous health problems. These included loose teeth & gum disease; numb hands and feet; swollen arms and legs upon rising in the morning; extreme joint pain especially in hands, cloudy vision, constipation with stools like black marbles, hearing loss; skin tears from being bumped; lack of energy; hair loss and heart pains. It has been five years since she has worked there and still has some joint pain, gum disease, a nd numbness.

A fellow worker, about 30 years old, who ate very little product, had a routine check up and found that his blood vessels were like those of an 80 year old man. Two employees fed the waste product to baby calves and their hair fell out. After removing the fried apple chips from the diet their hair grew back in.

My daughter and her girls were telling jokes. Stephanie hit her mom’s arm with the back of a butter knife in a gesture, ‘Oh mom’, not hard enough to hurt. My daughters arm split open like it was rotten. She called me to ask what could have caused it. I said, ‘I’ll bet anything that you are using Canola oil’. Sure enough, there was a big gallon jug in the pantry.

Rape seed oil is a penetrating oil, to be used in light industry, not for human consumption. It contains a toxic substance. (from encyclopedia) . Even after the processing to reduce the erucic acid content, it is still a penetrating oil. We have found that it turns rancid very fast. Also it leaves a residual rancid odor on clothing.

Rape seed oil used for stir-frying in China found to emit cancer causing chemicals. (Rapeseed oil smoke causes lung cancer) Amal Kumar Maj.

The Wall Street Journal June 7, 1995 pB6 (W) pB6 (E) col 1(11 col in).
Compiled by Darleen Bradley.

Canola oil is a health hazard to use as a cooking oil or salad oil. It is not the healthy oil we thought it was. It is not fit for human consumption, do not eat canola oil, it can hurt you. Polyunsaturated or not, this is bad oil.

Source : email

How Ionized Water can help You

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 3, 2010 by ecofrenfood

How Ionized Water can help You Achieve better Heath

1. Ionized Water Is Nature’s Antioxidant

Alkaline, ionized water acts as a powerful and natural antioxidant.
Because 60% of our body weight consists of water it is important to look at what type of water will benefit you the most.
Ionized water through having a negative ORP (see below) and through producing hydroxyl ions helps with oxygen production, neutralizing harmful free radicals, increasing your energy level, correcting your body’s acid/alkaline balance, hydrating cells and in general reducing many of the symptoms of aging.

Millions of dollars are spent on the antioxidants vitamins A, C and E yet millions again are spent on buying bottled water that is over 100 times more acidic than regular water and which is unable to be ionized because all the essential alkalizing minerals have been taken out.

What vitamins A, C and E have in common with ionized water is they are capable of carrying oxygen with an extra electron attached. These hydroxyl ions in the ionized water seek out and neutralize free radicals. This is very important since free radicals are what cause damage to our cells and bring about disease and (premature) aging. When the hydroxyl ions as an antioxidant have neutralized the free radicals the result is a body rich in oxygen and energy.
In our modern world oxygen levels are depleted due to stress, environmental pollution, diet and lack of exercise. Oxygen helps to destroys cancer cells, removes waste, carries nutrients and also helps in resisting bacteria and viruses that invade your body. A glass of ionized water first thing in the morning is a wonderful way to greet every day.

A high positive ORP (such as found in most bottled and city water) creates oxidation and accelerates the aging process. In comparison, when you drink clean, ionized water you are drinking a powerful and natural antioxidant that renews us at the cellular level. How amazing that so much is spent on doctors, pills and cosmetics as our bodies dehydrate and acidify.
If you make fresh organic juice you will have an antioxidant with a -250 ORP. Yet Ionized water from a Jupiter Science ionizer will give this ORP and lower AND you will be able to drink and enjoy as much as you need throughout the day without any negative side effects.
If you are still addicted to coffee etc then try making it with ionized water. Not only will what you drink be so much healthier but the ionized water will also pull out the taste and flavor so much better than other water does.

When water is stored for over a day it becomes “dead”, By drinking your oxygen-rich, antioxidant ionized water straight from your alkaline ionizer you gain the most benefit.
If you slow the water flow down you will notice that your glass will have hundreds of very small bubbles floating in it. These bubbles are the hydroxyl ions and why your water now carries a negative ORP.

2. Ionized Water is Alkaline Water

Ionized Water helps to balance your body’s pH. In general, our bodies are out of balance and have become too acidic. Feeling over-tired, weak, restless, frustrated, stiff, overwhelmed, unfocused or confused are often early warning signs that our bodies are no longer able to cope with their toxic overload.

A body that is too acidic provides the ideal environment for diseases to manifest and thrive in. Our body tries to buffer (or reduce) the effect of this excess acid by taking calcium from the bones, and magnesium needed for heart health. It turns acidic wastes into solids and stores them in fatty tissues resulting in hardening of the arteries and excess weight. It stores crystalline deposits in joints that creates gout, inflammation and stiffness. As our body’s communication channels break down, cancerous cells may appear and organs will shrink and degenerate.
Because it is very alkaline, ionized water dissolves accumulated acid waste and helps to restore balance. Keeping yourself alkaline is your first line of defense in fighting any disease.

Ionized Water is up to Six Times more Hydrating
than Conventional Water
Ionized Water is very different from water that has been stored in dams and bottles. For many thousand of years, we have been genetically trained to drink water that has been moving (bouncing over rocks) and which is free from chemicals.
In a few places in the world you can still enjoy, in nature, the health benefits of clean, safe, ionized water. Now, we have alkaline water ionizers that bring this lost source to your kitchen sink. With ionized water the size and shape of the water molecule cluster is reduced in size and is changed in shape to hexagonal. This size and shape allows the water molecules to pass through your tissues more easily.
Also when the essential alkalizing minerals are ionized your body will be able to absorb and use them much more efficiently. In comparison, drinking reverse osmosis or distilled water will lead to mineral deficiencies and the ability of the body to absorb mineral supplements will be compromised if your body is already in an over-acidic state.

Ionized Water improves the Taste and Quality of Food

Because ionized water is able to hydrate food better, it is able to draw out its goodness and flavor better. It will also reduce the acidic level.

Acidic Ionized Water is great for the skin and itchy scalp..

The skin is naturally an acid organ. People who regularly use acidic water to wash their bodies tend to have a younger looking skin than those who use hard water. Hard water is water that is alkaline usually due to the presence of excess calcium. By applying acidic (soft) ionized water to the skin it will help to clear up excess bacteria (reduce acne and other blemishes) and will work like an astringent to tighten up the skin and remove wrinkles. In Japanese hospitals acidic water is used to help sterilize wounds, treat diabetic ulcers and keep hospitals clear of infectious bacteria and viruses. Acidic ionized water can also be used to reduce inflammation and itchiness caused by insect bites.


Iron Deficiency

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 3, 2010 by ecofrenfood

Iron helps the body in many important processes. For example, it is an essential part of haemoglobin, the red pigment in our blood that allows it to carry oxygen around the body.

Low iron levels
If iron levels are low, the amount of haemoglobin in our red blood cells, as well as the number of red blood cells, is reduced. This is called anaemia.
Symptoms include tiredness and lethargy, difficulty concentrating and a shortened attention span.

All the tissues and cells in the body depend on oxygen to function properly; if they receive less oxygen, they won’t work so well.

On average, adult men need 8.7mg of iron a day. For women the figure is 14.8mg.

Foods containing iron
Red meat is the richest source of iron. The iron in animal sources is absorbed easily by the body.
There is also iron in pulses (such as lentils and beans), dried fruit, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, and in fortified breakfast cereals. The iron in these foods is not so easily absorbed by the body

Liver is another rich source of iron, but it is also very high in vitamin A. So if you eat liver or liver products such as pâté every week, you might want to choose not to have it more often and you should avoid taking supplements containing vitamin A or fish liver oils (which are high in vitamin A).

People at a higher risk of osteoporosis, which includes women who have been through the menopause and older men, should also avoid having too much vitamin A.

If you’re pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant you should avoid eating liver and liver products because of the amount of vitamin A they contain.

Eating a balanced diet that includes food from the iron rich food list can help prevent iron deficiency.

Iron Deficiency Anemia is a condition where a person has inadequate amounts of iron to meet body demands. It is a decrease in the amount of red cells in the blood caused by having too little iron.
Excellent Sources
-Pork Liver
-Chicken Liver
-Beef Liver

Good Sources

Recommended daily intake of iron
-Children from birth to age 6 months – 10 mg daily
-Children from ages 6 months to 4 years – 15 mg daily
-Females ages 11 to 50 – 18 mg
-Females over age 50 – 10 mg
-Pregnant women – 30 to 60 mg
-Males ages 10 to 18 – 18 mg
-Males over age 19 – 10 mg

Iron Absorption Enhancers
-Fruits: Orange, Orange Juice, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapefruit etc
-Vegetables: Broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomato, tomato juice, potato, green & red peppers
-White wine


How Are Cheeses Selected for Royal Approval?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 3, 2010 by ecofrenfood

How Are Cheeses Selected for Royal Approval?

Grants for a Royal Warrant of Appointment may be awarded to individuals and companies by HM The Queen, HRH Prince Philip and HRH The Prince of Wales.

Many of those allowed to display the prestigious ‘By Appointment…’ are local to royal residences and are trades people who have provided services of a high standard-for at least five years. Some warrants have been held by the same company for over one hundred years.

The concept of this practice began way back, when the ruling monarch and his court had access to the best provisions in the land. By the fifteenth century, royal tradesmen were officially appointed in writing by the Lord Chamberlain. It remains the Lord Chamberlain’s duty to this day.

Royal Warrant
Each Royal Warrant is awarded for a period of five years; but can be revoked at any time during that period. All recipients of this honour are bound by the terms of their Royal assent not to divulge details of Royal purchases. It is possible for a company or individual (the grantee) to be given a Royal Warrant of Approval by more than one member of the royal family (the grantors.)

Grantees are entitled to display the Royal Arms-relevant to their grantor-and the legend: ‘By Appointment to…’ on product packaging, business premises and vehicles, as well as on stationery and advertising in recognition of their ‘credibility, dependability and loyalty.’

Printer, William Caxton, was an early recipient of a Royal Warrant; for the first dated book printed in the English tongue. Caxton was appointed King’s printer by King Edward IV in 1476.

When the demand for traditional farmhouse cheese lessened, in favour of Continental cheese, numerous hand-crafted cheeses disappeared from our villages forever. Factory-style production of cheese was responsible for some of that loss; as farmers sent their milk to the big industrial creameries.

Cheese Fit for Royalty
Paxton and Whitfield Ltd are cheesemongers with a long and distinctive history as suppliers to Royalty. HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales are both grantees to this particular business; which has been in business for more than 200 years. Sir Winston Churchill famously said of them: “…a gentleman only buys his cheese at Paxton and Whitfield.” Paxton and Whitfield have supplied cheese By Appointment to:

HM Queen Victoria
HM King Edward VII
HM King George V
HM King George VI
HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.
In the ancient Cotswold village of Tetbury is a tiny shop, called the House of Cheese, owned and run by Jenny and Philip Grant. HRH The Prince of Wales is Grantor to their Royal assent. Rick Stein mentions Jenny and Philip and their House of Cheese in his ‘Food Heroes’ book. They also started quite a trend with their ‘cheese cakes’ for weddings and parties, prompted by Richard and Judy. (They really do make wedding cakes from wheels of cheese! What a heavenly start to any cheese-lovers nuptials.)

When I visited the House of Cheese recently I left with some wonderful local cheeses, including a rather naughty little number called ‘Farm Hot Chilli Cheddar.’ Described as ‘the vindaloo of cheddars’ it is made within ten miles of the shop and is definitely worth a taste; if you love cheddar and chillies! I do. I do.

The House of Cheese is a traditional place with a warm welcome, and, as long as it doesn’t get too crowded (it’s only about 11’ square inside) you will be able to investigate local extra mature vintage farm cheddars, a broad selection of cheeses from further afield, home-made chutneys, and so much more…

So, for a cheese (and a cheese supplier) to be selected as worthy of Royal Appointment, it needs to be the best in the land. Consistently.