A Guide to Feeding our Future

Archive for the ‘Feature Food of the Month’ Category

FEBRUARY Feature Food: Sprouts

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

sprouts for Feb

Many of you may be questioning my knowledge about seasonal foods about now.  Sprouts?  Gardens aren’t sprouting yet!?   It’s still cold outside!   You’re correct.  Most soil in N America is NOT pushing out little green shoots at this point in the year, what I’m referring to are sprouting sprouts and microgreens, from sprouting seeds.

As mentioned in last month’s article, these cooler months do not provide us with many fresh fruits or veggies.  Sprouts are an easy and efficient way to ensure we are still getting enzymatic and nutrient dense foods that still taste crispy and fresh through the winter.  The best part is, we can make this happen in our own homes no matter what the temperature is outside AND kids love it.  Yay!  There are 2 simple methods to sprouting that I will include at the end of this post, so stay tuned.

Most of you may be familiar with the more common sprouts that we buy already sprouted, these are usually alfalfa, clover and bean sprouts.  Although, specific sprouting seeds come in many varieties, any beans, nuts and seeds can and SHOULD also be soaked and sprouted for proper digestion and nutrient absorption.  Sprouting seeds, in particular, are available in many health food and garden supply stores.  Daikon and white radish, mung beans, lentils, quinoa, broccoli, mizuna and kohlrabi are just some of the options available.

Copyright 2010 http://vegrecipesofindia.com

Sprouting is a great way to ensure that we get the most out of our foods.  Sprouts contain an amazingly high nutrient content, especially if eaten raw.  They are known for being cleansing (particularly for the liver and colon), hydrating, and full of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as amino acids and Omegas 3 and 6.  Sprouts have a great cancer fighting ability (especially radish sprouts), they are great for supporting weight-loss and for increasing the body’s fat-burning ability.   They are also very supportive for the cardiovascular system due to the high folate and B6 content.  Sprouts are a great supporter for neurological support due to the high levels of thiamine (B1) and fatty acids.  They are amazing throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding by ensuring a high nutrient content for energy production and supporting a balanced hormonal system.  The more pungent sprouts, like daikon radish, kohlrabi and mizuna, are great for moving stagnant energy (qi) and for clearing the lungs and mucous.  Almost all sprouts are very high in Vitamin C, iron, and protein, making them an excellent immune strengthening food.  Some sprouts are high in Vit K and, with the combination of the rich water content and high Vit C, these sprouts are excellent for improving the function of the eyes, hair, nails and skin – especially for improving elasticity and development of collagen.

Just as an example, lentil sprouts alone are very high in protein, iron, Vit C, manganese, phosphorus , copper, flolate (B6), thiamine (B1), Fiber, Omega 6 and 3 and amino acids.  Add mung bean sprouts to the mix and you have more folate, Vit C, manganese, Omega’s AND Vit K.  If you add in some cleansing and clearing radish sprouts you have yourself a beautifully supportive and yummy salad, that is fresh and hydrating.

To try sprouting at home…first, if you have kids, get them involved.  They tend to get super excited about planting and especially sprouting, thus are more likely to EAT the delicious sprouts if they’re involved in the process.

There are 2 methods:

THE JAR:

sprouts in jars

1. Rinse and soak 2 tsp of seeds in a 1 L mason jar for aprox 6-8 hours, in about 1 cup of cool water, to begin the germination process.   Cover the jar with a sprouting lid.  If you don’t have one you can use a steel screen or mesh and an elastic band to secure it.  Drain.

2. Continue rinsing and refilling 2x a day for 3-6 days.  Place the jar on an angle, lid facing into a bowl or sink.

3.  Watch them grow!  Once sprouts have fully formed and the jar is full of tails, drain well and place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

sprout

THE SPROUTING TRAY:

A proper sprouting tray is great, but if you don’t have one, a garden starter pan with a cookie sheet underneath will also work, so long as it has proper drainage holes on the bottom.

  1. Rinse and soak ½ cup of seeds in a bowl for 6-8 hours. Drain.  Sprinkle seeds onto the bottom of the tray and cover with a sprouting tray lid, plastic bag/wrap or cheesecloth.
  2. Rinse the seeds 2x a day for 3-6 days under the tap or with a mister, draining them properly and replacing the cover.
  3. Once sprouts have fully formed and the tray is full of tails, drain well and place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

Note: For micro greens, use the tray method and sow seeds into a veggie soil as if making starter plants but sprinkling seeds much more freely.  Water 1x/day for 8-12 days.  Once sprouted, use small kitchen scissors to trim greens directly from the tray.

TO EAT:

For maximum nutritional value, I recommend eating sprouts raw – although many can be cooked.  Raw sprouts can be made into sandwiches, wraps, spreads/pates, placed on top of stirfrys, soups, curries, crackers, stews or made into fresh salads.  Get creative and share your sprouting experiences with us here anytime!  We love to hear how you enjoy your healthy foods!

JANUARY Feature Food: Millet

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

In the cool month of January, we’re all ready to wind down after the holiday hustle and we’re in need of warming nourishing foods.  It’s that time when we tend to begin thinking about our health and energy levels after all those holiday meals and sweets.   Potatoes and other starchy foods might not be what we’re craving this time of year, but healthy whole grains are a great energy source and are one of those foods that are available to nourish us during the winter months.  So, without further ado, let me introduce millet as a restorative and healthy alternative to many other grains and starchy vegetables.

Millet-rainbow

Millet is usually a small, pale-yellow, ancient grain that looks similar to couscous or corn and is somewhere in between in size.  Although there are other varieties that are less common and are a more reddish-brown or black in colour.  This grain’s origin is primarily Africa where they harvest it, grind it into flour and make that delicious roti flat bread that helps us shovel yummy spicy curries into our mouths.  Mmmmm…

bajra roti

Millet is a great gluten-free alternative, it’s generally not a reactive food as it contains few oxalates and it contains many health promoting properties.  Millet is one of the few grains that is considered alkaline forming, meaning its PH level after digestion has a more alkaline effect on the body than acidic, as opposed to many other grains that show up on the acidic side of the chart.

Like many other grains, Millet is a great source of lignans.  Lignans are also found in berries, nuts, seeds, teas and many whole grains.  Lignans are known to be protective against hormone-related cancers, and heart disease.

This brilliant grain holds a significant amount of Magnesium, which is proven to be quite effective in regulating blood pressure and insulin/glucose levels for those with Type 2 diabetes.  Magnesium is also a co-factor in regulating metabolism and, along with the great amounts of copper in Millet, it helps create healthy cellular function, thus providing us with a lively energy that keeps our fires aflame for 2015!  Copper is also an anti-oxidant which can prove to be most useful this time of year when we need to begin thinking about detoxifying all those harmful holiday chemicals.


How to cook Millet:
millet-measuring cup

Millet is as easy to cook as any other grain.  It needs 2 cups of water to 1 cup of grains, just like rice or quinoa.  If you prefer to use it as a porridge in the morning, you could add 2 cups of fruit juice as well as the 2 cups of water to get a sweeter and more porridge-like consistency.  Millet takes about 20-30 minutes to cook.

millet-cooked

My favorite way of eating millet is to toast it in a dry pan on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until it begins to become golden and THEN transferring it into a pot or grain cooker with 1 cup water and 1 cup bone broth.   This fashion makes the grain taste a bit more nutty and toasty and adds more minerals and restorative nutrients from the broth for that winter comforting feeling.  I usually serve it with fried tempeh and steamed greens, drizzled with a tad of tamari, sesame oil and a few pumpkin seeds.  Very simple, quick and satiating.

I hope you enjoy your new-found love of Millet and kick your New Year off with an excellent start by making great healthy food choices and visiting us at the Educated Eater often for many more health and lifestyle tips.

DECEMBER Feature Food: Onions

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

December Feature Food

Never fear onions are always here!  With winter upon us, all the trees are bare, all the colours have left us and few fruits and veggies are left.  Depending on where you are, you may have ice, frost and snow in your gardens.  This cold may have brought most of your veggies to hibernation or death.  The onion family are among the few who can survive the winter.  If planted late summer or early fall, by December or January they are ripe for the picking!

During your seasonal celebrations, I expect that most of you will enjoy a beautiful spread of delicious food made with love and attention.  In doing so, there are almost always onions involved.  In fact, I know that in our house, all I have to do is heat onions and butter in a pan and my man always says “dinner smells great, whatever it is!”  So whether it be for your celebratory feast or an everyday meal, let me introduce you to a few things about onions that can make you feel clean and fresh, from the inside out, even at a time when you may feel as though fresh local food is scarce.

Green onions, yellow onions, red onions and chives…

Cry your heart out!  Lachrymatory-factor gas, a sulphuric based compound will help.  This dreaded gas is actually essential for maintaining the many healthful properties of the onion. Without it, there would be very few.

The most effective nutrients in the onion and the whole allium family, that I adore, are the sulphurs themselves.  The sulphurs in onions are what makes them so great for detoxification.  They’re very effective for binding to toxins and helping prepare us for clearing them out.  By being a pungent food, onions are also great for getting down deep into our lungs and clearing out congested breathing pathways. Onions are also a great antibacterial food.  Thus also helpful for daily cleaning of the gut during cleansing.

The following are among the enormous array of vitamins, minerals, flavanoids and phytonutrients that onions contain:
Biotin, manganese, copper, Vit C, quercetin, phosphorus, B6, potassium.  These Vitamins and minerals all play a part in blood sugar balancing, heart health, skin health, respiratory support, tissue and bone formation, immunity and hormone balancing.  They are also great cancer preventers and will always stand by you to help decrease inflammation in the body.

Onions are a sufficient source of folate, which is a bio-available source of folic-acid and therefore very useful in supporting the nervous system and the brain.  Folate is also a necessary nutrient for preventing birth defects in women who expect to get pregnant or who are in their first trimester.

I hope I’ve given you a lot to think about while preparing your holiday meals, and for all your everyday cooking.

The following is a bit of advice on how to cook and prepare onions that some may not be aware of:

In order to maintain all of these amazing nutrients and apply the health impacts of onions, it is best to leave them to sit for at least 5 minutes after chopping them.  Also, be sure not to cook them any longer than 10-15 minutes on low-med heat only.  It’s a good idea to add them close to last in any dish.  Or in the case of green onions or chives, use them as a garnish.  Red onions are also great if sliced thin and eaten raw.

NOVEMBER Feature Food: Mushrooms

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

mushrooms for Novemeber

Let me introduce you to my friend fungus, the good kind, not the kind that grows in between your toes!

Mushrooms are bountiful in the fall and especially here on the west coast where mushroom foraging is an activity that many people take part in.  By this time of year, plenty of mushrooms have been collected from our forests and there are still many more to grow.  Now, before you get excited and start frolicking into the forest looking for your dinner.  Remember that there are also many poisonous mushrooms too.  Know your mushrooms well, forage with a professional/experienced forager or pick up a good mushroom identifying book and get educated.

There are many ways in which we can discuss mushrooms, the growth patterns, planting, production, oriental medicine, sustainable agriculture, harvesting methods, varieties and the seemingly everlasting life force that they thrive upon.   For the sake of this article and this website, though, we must discuss mushrooms based upon their medicinal and nutritional values.  Don’t worry, mushrooms have a plethora of these too.

Let’s first clarify the variety of mushrooms I will be referring to.  Most mushrooms found in your grocery stores and the most commonly used mushrooms are button/white/field mushrooms.  These are NOT a great source of any nutrients.  In fact they contain, little to no nutrient value.  The mushrooms that I mean to award for excellent nutrient value and support for great health are: Maitake, Reishi, Shitake, Crimini, Lobster and Chantrelle mushrooms. (Round of applause!)

If mushrooms are grown in a forest or area with good quality soil, all of these mushrooms will include high amounts of potassium, folate, selenium, zinc and B vitamins.   These vitamins and minerals alone make mushrooms a great support for the immune system, the cardiovascular system, for anemia, vegans/vegetarians and for diabetics and hypoglycemics.

Mushrooms contain a very bio-available form of iron (ferrous gluconate), making it much easier on our systems to assimilate this vascular oxygenating nutrient.  So, forget your constipating iron supplements and eat crimini mushrooms instead!  (please don’t take that statement too seriously…always see your health practitioner for advice before making drastic changes to your health plans)

All of our white blood cells are positively impacted by the phytonutrients in mushrooms; particularly the crimini, who have a lengthily range of components that deliver amazing nutrient support on a cellular level.  It’s these great nutrients that have the ability to deactivate some forms of cancer cells, especially those that are hormone related ie: breast and prostate.

For our immune systems and for our vegan/vegetarian friends shitakes are my favorite.  They are composed of all 8 essential amino acids and are therefore considered a whole source of protein.  The shitake is the meat of the plant world.  A lot of these other mushrooms contain many amino acids as well and are therefore higher on the protein list for plant sources.  When paired with another high source of amino acids ie: corn, millet, black beans, we are able to create a full vegetarian protein.

Mushrooms are known to be generally cleansing and inflammation reducing by increasing our oxidative metabolism.  Also, due to the high amounts of B3, B6, B12 they are great support for the digestive/intestinal system, the nervous system and the hormonal system.  They are an amazing food source for supporting individuals with diabetes, cardiovascular issues and again cancer.

These super-heroes have the nutrient composition to decrease overall cholesterol levels (total cholesterol, LDL and TG’s).  They are a great antioxidant and impact our metabolism directly by increasing enzyme activity, thus AGAIN improving overall digestion and therefore assimilation of nutrients.  It amazes me time and time again how whole foods naturally contain all that we need to obtain all of it’s nutritious glory!  It’s like they’re placed here just for our bodies to thrive!

Often the nutritional research shows the value of mushrooms medicinally by discussing the mushroom extractions ie: tinctures, teas and extracts.  These are also great options for using mushrooms to heal, protect and strengthen our systems for many different chronic and deep ailments.

I hope you now have a short glimpse of why I and many other health practitioners believe mushrooms to be so deserving of all 5 gold stars.

5 gold stars

**Do note that if you are experiencing intestinal yeast overgrowth, that mushrooms can have adverse effects for you.  Please do not consume mushrooms of any variety until you have (re-) established homeostasis in your gut. If you are unaware of how to do this, or identify this please see you Holistic health professional.  Or contact any one of us on here anytime, we would be happy to guide you in the right direction!

Let me now share with you my favorite mushroom recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Marinated Imperial Mushrooms

quatrered mushrooms
Ingredients:

  • 15-20 mushrooms (shitake, maitake, lobster, crimini, chantrelle…)
  • 1 tsp of each:
    Cinnamon, cumin, fresh grated ginger, fresh grated turmeric, coriander sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  • ½ tsp of each:
    Nutmeg, clove, cardamom and anise.
  • 5 cloves of garlic (chopped in half, lengthwise)
  • 4 shallots (chopped in half, lengthwise)
  • 1 small bundle of fresh thyme, stems removed
  • 1 small bundle of fresh cilantro, stems removed
  • 2 TBSP butter or coconut oil
  • juice of 1 whole lemon

Directions:

  1. Chop mushrooms into chunks/quartered.
  2. Slice garlic and shallots in halves.
  3. Mix all spices together with mushrooms, garlic, shallots and thyme Squeeze lemon juice over top and let marinate in a sealed container in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  4. Once ready to cook, turn a frying pan onto medium heat.
  5. Put butter or coconut oil in pan.
  6. Toss marinated mushrooms into the frying pan, ensuring mushrooms are well saturated.
  7. Cook for 10-12 minutes, serve and top with chopped cilantro.

OCTOBER Feature Food: Broccoli

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

broccoli for ot

I’m sure you all thought that I would write about pumpkins this month.  Well, as much as I love squash, I love broccoli even more.  And really, who doesn’t?  If you are one of the few people who doesn’t like broccoli, or cannot tolerate it for digestive reasons…. Maybe I can change your mind?  Just maaayyybe?

Broccoli’s nutrient profile is very high.  It contains oh, so many amazing vitamins and minerals that our body’s crave through the fall and winter months.  Just after the decline of the abundant September harvests, broccoli thrives.

As mentioned in last month’s post about Basil and it’s high amounts of Vitamin K and it’s ability to promote cancer prevention.  Broccoli too, is a higher source of Vitamin K and A, which has been proven to help in the absorption of Vitamin D.  Thus particularly important for some of us in the cooler climates over the Winter.  Without that precious sunshine, we have few options for Vitamin D sources which, in some of us can cause S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Broccoli also contains many powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients that help our detoxification systems and lowering our cholesterol levels.
Broccoli is a part of the cruciferous family.  Among my top 4 favourite food groups.  Some of it’s cousins are cabbage, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, radish…   The thing about cruciferous vegetables that most people don’t know about, is that most of them contain higher amounts of oxalic acid and other digestive blockers.  These acids are naturally occurring in the plants and can be easily removed in the cooking or food preparation process.  For some, eating these cruciferous vegetables raw, or too lightly cooked is part of the reason that they may be experiencing digestive dysfunctions (ie: gas, bloating or distended tummies) post consumption of these delicious plants. These acids can prevent the nutrients in these foods to be effectively absorbed in some of us, and it’s those nutrients that are needed in order to digest the food itself.

In order to ensure that we can digest broccoli and other cruciferous plants with ease, we cook them, steam them, stew them, roast them or marinate them in alkaline forming acids like citrus or cider vinegars. This process helps break down the nutrient blocking acids like oxalic acid and can help promote production of our bile acids which stimulates our digestive system increasing our ability to absorb nutrients.  Cooking broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables is especially important for individuals who have hormonal difficulties particularly of the thyroid.  Oxalic acid acts directly as a thyroid function disturber, directly impacting our mood, energy, immunity and sleep patterns.

Due to the huge array of nutrients that broccoli can provide us, it can offer many benefits to our health.  These nutrients are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, cancer fighting, cholesterol lowering, blood-sugar balancing and so on.

So, as you can see if any of you have had difficulty with broccoli before, try it again, using the proper cooking methods below and maaaayyyybe, just maaaayyyybe you’ll enjoy it as well as be able to increase your nutrient absorption.

If you need another reason to like broccoli… Usually most fruits and vegetables loose their Vitamin C content after prolonged storage, being cooked or heavily processed.  Luckily for all you broccoli lovers out there, the Vitamin C content in broccoli survives strong after following this cooking process.

Cooking cruciferous veggies and leafies

cooking cruciferous image

Effectively cooking cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens to make them more digestible by breaking down nutrient blocking chemicals and maintaining nutrients:

Cooking times vary depending on the variety of vegetable or size.  Generally, the vegetable should maintain it’s colour or become slightly more vibrant and should still be slightly crunchy, never soft but forkable.  Ie: greens = 3-5 minutes steaming, kohlrabi = 15-20 minutes roasting.

Lightly steam in a steamer or in a pan/pot with a bit of water.
Roast/bake in the oven at 300 – 350°C
Throw into a soup or stew blended or in the last 10 minutes.
Marinate in olive oil, lemon/lime juice and/or apple cider vinegar for a 18-24 hrs and massage the marinade into the vegetable as much as possible.
Braise greens in a pan with a cooking fat/oil or water for 3-5 minutes.

SEPTEMBER Feature Food: Basil

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

basil for sept

Herbage!  This might be the first time that I write about an herb as the food of the month, but it likely won‘t be the last.  This is your lucky month, because every time I write about herbs I get happy and that means the article reads happy.  Herbs are such amazing nutrient boosters and so, so essential for providing health promoting properties and preventing disease.

This summer, for some amazing reason, my basil was shooting up into the sky very early in the summer.  Although, for most, NOW is the time for basil; after it’s absorbed so much of the summer sun.  As I walk through and past all the gardens in Victoria, I’m noticing more and more basil in September.

So, for those of you who have basil flourishing in your gardens currently and aren’t using it, here’s why you should start today… and for those of you without basil or any other herbs, I strongly recommend you consider planting some for next year and borrow some from your neighbour this year.

1. Basil is used throughout the Mediterranean and Asia in many of our favorite dishes.  It compliments both the spicy Asian foods and the rich Italian foods really well. It has a fragrant and full flavour that is very versatile.  It’s what makes cooking a simple dinner easy.  Just add basil, good quality oil, garlic and you’re rockin’!

2.  It provides a very large amount of Vitamin K.  What is Vitamin K for, you ask?  Well, many qualities come to mind, although most importantly; research shows that in some cases Vitamin K is proven to be even more beneficial than Vitamin D is in cancer prevention.  Particularly for protecting our cells from free-radical damage due to chemical exposure, pollution, radiation and poor quality foods among many other things.

3. Basil is also high in Magnesium, a mineral essential in cardiovascular care and maintenance.  It’s part of the reason our hearts beat normally, providing oxygenated clean blood into the rest of our systems and producing energy.  That’s pretty crucial, is it not?

4.  It is also quite high in Vitamin A (beta-carotene) which is a powerful antioxidant, therefore adding an extra benefit to basil for cancer protection, more specifically, cellular tissue; the precious protective lining around all of our mighty special cells.

5. Among all of these essential nutrients that basil provides, it also contains an array of spectacular healing benefits.  Basil contains anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.  Therefore it can help in the event that you’re suffering from any inflammatory conditions, allergies, arthritis, stress disorders and then also bacterial infections, due to parasites, the flu, gut imbalances and skin conditions.

The easiest way to consume basil is by breaking it up with your fingers over a dish after it’s been plated.  Not only is this the easiest way, it’s also one of the best ways of preserving all of those powerful and health promoting properties, by not cutting them away into the cutting board.
The next best way, is to make a big jar of pesto, and keep it in the fridge or freezer for adding that quick flavor punch to any meal.

Eaten raw – mixed in with your salad greens, sprinkled on dishes, in a pesto, salad dressing etc. – is the best way of preserving these nutrients and properties that are oh- so-valuable.  Another way is by cooking it into dishes in the last 5 minutes.  Stir-fry’s, pastas, fish, meat and baked casseroles, vegetables etc.

Here’s my pesto recipe for you to try!

Basic Basil Pesto

basil pesto for sept

Ingredients:

          • 3-4 cups (packed) fresh basil
          • 1/3 cup olive oil
          • 1 cup pine nuts (almonds,walnuts or pumpkin seeds may be substituted)
          • 5 cloves garlic (if using to cook or marinade) 3 cloves (if using raw, in a dressing or dip)
          • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
          • 3/4 teaspoon salt
          • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:

      1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, until nuts are ground. Pesto should still have texture and not be completely smooth.
      2. Add more salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
      3. For variety, you can add 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

AUGUST Feature Food: Figs

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

figs for august

Figs are an amazingly luscious fruit that grows bountifully across the Mediterranean and California.  Although, much to our advantage, there are surprisingly many trees planted in N. America as well. The last place I lived, in Vancouver, had four fig trees between us and our neighbors, and the harvest was overwhelming. We ate, dried, jarred, jammed and shared with plenty of friends, family and birds.

There are over 154 varieties of figs. Many different colors; ranging from light green to dark purple skins and light pink to deep purple flesh. Among the most common varieties are: kalamata, vista, dessert king, negretta, red Lebanese, black mission, flanders and monstreuse.

figs

Figs are known as the fertile fruit. This may have something to do with the resemblance they have to a specific part of men’s privates. Although it is also talked about that they create bio-chemical reactions that support our bodies’ reproductive systems. For women, they help provide a cozy uterine lining and fertile egg production. In men, they help with sperm production, count and efficacy. The fact that figs contain a vast amount of B6, may also have something to do with their use for fertility support. Vitamin B6 is very helpful for balancing the reproductive system, PMS, and other hormonal symptoms/conditions.

figs and sperm

They are also very high in fiber and potassium which makes figs a great snack for anyone with cardiovascular issues, problems with constipation or just generally low fiber diets. Research has shown that they’re great support for people with heart conditions, high sodium diets or for preventing post menopausal breast cancer.

For diabetics, the fig leaves have been proven to help rebalance insulin levels. They are anti-oxidant rich, meaning they’ll help restore cellular health and combat free-radical damage with anyone concerned about cancer prevention

My favorite way to eat figs is fresh off the tree. There’s nothing like a big juicy fresh fig that‘s just barely dangling from the branch! If you haven’t previously been a fan or are skeptical about them at all, I suggest first having them on a salad with your favorite balsamic dressing or try my fig jam recipe below. If you jar them you can save them for the winter….what a lovely winter surprise!

fig jam for august

Fresh Fig Jam

Ingredients:

    • 1lb. figs (about 10-12 figs)
    • 1 lrg sprig of fresh rosemary (about 6” long)
    • ½ cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 tsp lemon  zest, from 1 lrg lemon
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 TBSP fresh grated ginger
    • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
    • ¼ cup raw sugar (or coconut sugar, stevia…)
    • 1-2 whole vanilla beans, scraped

making fig jam

Directions:

  1. Wash and trim stems from the figs.
  2. Add all ingredients into a large crock pot and simmer on low-med heat.
  3. Once sugar has dissolved and figs have released their juices, turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir periodically.
  5. Once fully thickened (the syrup should be slowly dripping off your spoon, or sticking to it), remove from heat.
  6. Spoon jam into glass jam jars and let cool.
  7. Cover with lids and place in fridge for consumption within 10-14 days OR properly can/preserve them and store for later use.