Friday, March 23, 2012

Growing Grass

I finally achieved my goal of growing wheatgrass!! For the past two years I had set the same goal: To learn how to grow my own wheatgrass and then actually DO IT!
I purchased the best book possible for learning how to do it. If you want to learn how to grow wheatgrass who better to learn from than Ann Wigmore. She is the wheatgrass queen. When her book was written, in 1985, she had been using wheatgrass for three decades, on a daily basis! Get the point?! I personally would not want to learn this process from anyone else but her.
Her book is titled, The Wheatgrass Book.
The most important component to growing wheatgrass is the seed. You must buy good quality organic seeds. Only purchase them from a supplier you can trust. Good seed = great grass! I am fortunate enough to have a local organic market that I trust but if you prefer to order online I suggest you try Got Sprouts.


After reading Ann's book I got busy soaking. The seeds need to be soaked in filtered or spring water for 12 hours.



Next they need to sprout for an additional 12 hours.

They will grow little white tails.


Now they are ready to plant. I have two sizes of trays that I like to use. One is rectangular and the other is square. My rectangular tray has no holes in the bottom while the square one does. You just have to be careful not to over water when using the trays with no drainage holes.
Ann's book explains in a very simple and clear manner exactly how to do everything. That is what I love about her book, it is straight to the point with no unnecessary information to confuse you.

I evenly spread out the seeds over the soil mixture that she suggests.



I lightly watered the seeds, covered them with another black tray and let them grow for two days undisturbed.
After two days short blades of yellowish grass will be pushing the tray cover up. Now I again lightly watered the grass and let it continue to grow.


 It is amazing how quickly it grows and how beautiful it is once it greens up with chlorophyll.

I keep mine in a sunny windowsill on top of the homeschool book shelves...it works fine for me but some people prefer sprouting racks. I do have a rack but it is quite tall so I keep it on the upper deck outside for my sunflower greens and buckwheat greens.

Once the grass reaches 7-10 inches in height it's time to harvest and juice. I have three little guys just begging to help me with the juicer.


 I ordered the Healthy Juicer by Lexen and I love it! Super simple to assembly and a breeze to clean. It does an amazing job juicing.


The pulp that is left behind is squeezed dry!


The pulp goes into the compost bin along with the root mat once all the grass is cut.
I have been eating a raw, living foods diet for over two years now and this is the first time I have tried fresh wheatgrass! I just really wanted to try it for the first time after having grown it myself. I don't know why but that is just how I felt. Well, I was definitely stunned when I tasted it. No one had ever given me a good description of what it tastes like so I had no idea what to expect. I thought it would be a lot like my dark green juices that I make. But oh no, wheatgrass juice is SWEET! SO sweet that I compare it to steevia but with absolutely no bitter aftertaste. Wheatgrass will be sweet and good only if you have good seed. If you have ever tasted wheatgrass and thought it tasted bad, it was grown with bad seed or the grower exposed it to direct sunlight or harvested it too late--or so I've been told. Also if it was improperly stored or too old it can taste bad. It should always taste sweet and smooth.
The three little boys drank it with me and liked it. I drank 2 oz and they each tried about 1 tablespoon. I will slowly build them up to 1 oz.
So achieving my goal feels pretty great, even if it took me two years to finally accomplish it--hey it's just important that I reached my goal and that our family can now benefit from this amazing, healing food. I won't list all of the extraordinary things wheatgrass can do and be used for; that is something you can research and get excited about like we did.

+JMJ+Today I am grateful for achieving goals.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Green St. Patrick's Feast Day

St. Patrick is one of the world's most popular saints. In our home we celebrate this saint's feast day and thank him for his good example. He was a pious, humble and gentle man. He loved and trusted God, fearing nothing not even death.
You may be surprised to know that he was not born in Ireland and his parents were Romans.
My prayer today is that I can be as fearless, humble and trusting as St. Patrick!
Here is the history of this great saint taken from www.catholic.org


"Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.
Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, the secular world shares our love of these saints. This is also a day when everyone's Irish.
There are many legends and stories of St. Patrick, but this is his story.
Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.
As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.
During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote
"The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."
Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britian, where he reunited with his family.
He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."
He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.
Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.
Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.
Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well).
Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.
He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.
Why a shamrock?
Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time."

Since everything seems to be green on St. Patrick's Day, here is how my green day unfolded.
It began with a killer green smoothie loaded with spirulina and moringa powder among other good things.
For lunch I had 2 of the juice!! It was just that good!


Here is my green juice recipe:

Parsley Cucumber Apple Lemonade
by Elizabeth @rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com

4 large cucumbers
2 Meyers lemons
6 small organic green apples
1 large bunch of parsley
Juice all of the ingredients and enjoy!

Could that be wheat grass growing??? Yes I finally achieved my goal--been working on it for the past two years. That will be the focus of my next post. So excited!!!

+JMJ+Today I am grateful for new accomplishments.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Moringa Mango Smoothie

Here in SW Florida we are fortunate enough to be able to grow this miracle tree (I bet Mr. H could grow some in his greenhouse). If you are able to grow some and want to make your own powder learn how here. The flowers are beautiful and edible. Check out the moringa water purification process. I first learned of this tree years ago on a field trip to ECHO. You can check their store for books and even moringa spices. I plan to plant at least 2 trees in the yard. If your climate does not allow you to grow this tree you can still benefit from all of its nutritional and medicinal uses by getting some moringa powder, oil or tea. Right now we are using moringa powder in our green smoothies. I share one of my fantastic recipes below using this miracle food! Want even more moringa recipes?? Check out this recipe page. Take the time to read the informative article below by Patty Donovan so you too can be educated about the many uses of the moringa tree. You will be truly amazed! I found a site that grows this wonderful tree and makes several products from it. You can check that out here. It is a bit pricey but she does have some unique products if you feel like splurging.


MORINGA BENEFITS

Moringa is a vegetable tree that is extremely nutritious and has many potential and healthy uses. The

Moringa tree is believed by many to be the most giving plant in all of nature. It is loaded with

nutrients, antioxidants and healthy proteins. Moringa is quite possibly the most amazing plant that

anyone has ever studied.
Moringa Oleifera (Moringa) is called the Tree of Life because it is one a nature’s most nutritious

foods. The powder in the Moringa leaf is containing over 90 nutrients and 46 antioxidants along with

all of the essential amino acids.
(Source: www.moringa.com)

Dehydrated Moringa Leaves Contain:

4 x the potassium of bananas
4 x the fiber of oats
14 x the calcium of cow's milk
9 x the iron of spinach
2 x the Vit. A of carrots
2 x the protein of yogurt

Moringa Oleifera: The Miracle Tree

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 by: Patty Donovan
See all articles by this author


Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/022272.html#ixzz1pCJ9iOYD
Here is an article by Patty Donovan.
At the end of the article you can read a little bit about her and what she overcame.

(NaturalNews) Imagine a tree in your backyard that will meet all your nutritional needs, take care of you medicinally, and purify your water for you. This tree actually exists. For centuries, the natives of northern India and many parts of Africa have known of the many benefits of Moringa oleifera. Its uses are as unique as the names it is known by, such as clarifier tree, horseradish tree and drumstick tree (referring to the large drumstick shaped pods) and in East Africa it is called "mother's best friend”. Virtually every part of the tree can be used. Native only to the foothills of the Himalayas, it is now widely cultivated in Africa, Central and South America, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and the Philippines. This tree, though little known in the Western world, is nutritional dynamite. There are literally hundreds of uses for this tree.

The immature pods are the most valued and widely used of all the tree parts. The pods are extremely nutritious, containing all the essential amino acids along with many vitamins and other nutrients. The immature pod can be eaten raw or prepared like green peas or green beans, while the mature pods are usually fried and possess a peanut-like flavor. The pods also yield 38 - 40% of non-drying, edible oil known as Ben Oil. This oil is clear, sweet and odorless, and never becomes rancid. Overall, its nutritional value most closely resembles olive oil. The thickened root is used as a substitute for horseradish although this is now discouraged as it contains alkaloids, especially moriginine, and a bacteriocide, spirochin, both of which can prove fatal following ingestion. The leaves are eaten as greens, in salads, in vegetable curries, as pickles and for seasoning. They can be pounded up and used for scrubbing utensils and for cleaning walls. Leaves and young branches are relished by livestock. The Bark can be used for tanning and also yields a coarse fiber. The flowers, which must be cooked, are eaten either mixed with other foods or fried in batter and have been shown to be rich in potassium and calcium.

In developing tropical countries, Moringa trees have been used to combat malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers. Three non-governmental organizations in particular - Trees for Life, Church World Service and Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization - advocate Moringa as natural nutrition for the tropics.” Leaves can be eaten fresh, cooked, or stored as dried powder for many months without refrigeration, and without loss of nutritional value. Moringa is especially promising as a food source in the tropics because the tree is in full leaf at the end of the dry season when other foods are typically scarce. Analyses of the leaf composition have revealed them to have significant quantities of vitamins A, B and C, calcium, iron and protein. According to Optima of Africa, Ltd., a group that has been working with the tree in Tanzania, "25 grams daily of Moringa Leaf Powder will give a child" the following recommended daily allowances:

Protein 42%, Calcium 125%, Magnesium 61%, Potassium 41%, Iron 71%, Vitamin A 272%, and Vitamin C 22%. These numbers are particularly astounding; considering this nutrition is available when other food sources may be scarce.

Scientific research confirms that these humble leaves are a powerhouse of nutritional value. Gram for gram, Moringa leaves contain: SEVEN times the vitamin C in oranges, FOUR times the Calcium in milk, FOUR times the vitamin A in carrots, TWO times the protein in milk and THREE times the Potassium in bananas.

The Moringa tree has great use medicinally both as preventative and treatment. Much of the evidence is anecdotal as there has been little actual scientific research done to support these claims. India's ancient tradition of ayurveda says the leaves of the Moringa tree prevent 300 diseases. One area in which there has been significant scientific research is the reported antibiotic activity of this tree.

This is clearly the area in which the preponderance of evidence - both classical scientific and anecdotal evidence - is overwhelming. The scientific evidence has now been available for over 50 years, although much of it is completely unknown to western scientists. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s a team from India identified a compound they called pterygospermin. This group was also able to demonstrate its mode of antimicrobial action in the mid 1950’s. Field reports and ecological studies form part of a rich traditional medicine history claiming efficacy of leaf, seed, root, bark, and flowers against a variety of dermal and internal infections. In 1964 other active compounds were isolated and tested in-vitro, and these studies, along with observational studies provide a very plausible mechanism of action for the centuries of claims of efficacy. Unfortunately, because many of the reports of antibiotic efficacy in humans are not supported by placebo controlled, randomized clinical trials, Western medical prejudice leaves the Western world ignorant of Moringa’s antibiotic properties.

Another area of folklore which research supports is in cancer treatment. Moringa species have long been recognized by folk medicine practitioners as having value in the treatment of tumors. Studies examined certain compounds for their cancer preventive potential. Recently two of these compounds were shown to be potent inhibitors of activation of lymphoblastoid (Burkitt’s lymphoma) cells. One of these compounds also inhibited tumors in mice bred to be prone to tumors. In another study, Bharali and colleagues examined skin tumor prevention following ingestion of drumstick (Moringa seedpod) extracts. In this mouse model, which included appropriate positive and negative controls, a dramatic reduction in skin tumors was demonstrated. More rigorous study is required in order to achieve a level of proof required for full medical endorsement of Moringa as, in this case, a cancer preventative plant.

After the oil is extracted from the pods, the seed-cake remaining contains the active components for removing turbidity (solid particles) from water. Because bacteria adhere to the solids, this seed-cake also effectively removes bacteria. At the Thyolo Water Treatment Works in Malawi, Africa, two researchers from the University of Leicester, England, have worked on substituting moringa seeds for alum to remove solids in water for drinking. Not only were the tests successful in removing as much solid material as alum, but the seeds used were "purchased from enthusiastic villagers in Nsanje Region in Malawi" (Folkard and Sutherland, 1996. Not only is Moringa oleifera as effective as aluminum sulphate (alum) in removing suspended solids from turbid water, it has a major advantage. Because it can be produced locally, "using Moringa rather than alum would save foreign exchange and generate farm and employment income." The potential for Moringa to create a new market for a community is there, and studies and projects are taking place examining this potential. Use of this natural substance would also remove a source of aluminum contamination.

This tree is truly a “miracle” tree offering hope; nutritionally, medicinally and economically to devastatingly poor 3rd world countries. It has just recently begun being used as a supplement in a juice form and in powdered leaf tablets.

Sources:

Ramachandran,C., Peter,K.V. and Gopalakrishnan,P.K., 1980, Drumstick (Moringa oleifera): A multipurpose Indian Vegetable. Economic Botany, 34 (3) pp276-283.

http://peacecorps.mtu.edu/resources/studentprojects/moringa.htm

http://www.tfljournal.org/article.php/20051201124931586

Meitzner and Price (Amaranth to Zai Holes: Ideas for Growing Food Under Difficult Conditions, ECHO, 1996),

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/cv/wedc/papers/20/sessioni/sutherla.pdf


About the author

Patty Donovan was in a wheelchair and could only walk around her house with a cane. She was on over 20 medications. When told to "take the morphine, get in the wheelchair and learn to live with it" by a neurosurgeon, she knew her life had to change. She is now almost a fanatic when it comes to healing through the use of "whole foods" and and natural remedies. Since that time, she has spent countless hours researching nutrtion and alternative health. After spending 30 years in the allopathic health care industry in both pharmacy and as an RN, she brings a unique perspective to Natural News readers. Since committing to this new life style, she no longer uses even a cane, has gotten off over 20 medications, lost over 50lbs and returned to work.


Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/022272.html#ixzz1pCIWeaPI



Moringa Mango Smoothie
by Elizabeth @rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com

4-5 ripe bananas (I used 8 small bananas from our tree)
1 C ice
1 C sunflower greens (I grow them)
4 T raw sunflower seeds
4 T hemp seeds
2 T moringa powder
juice of 5 oranges
1/2 C water
16 oz frozen mango
1/2 of a small, ripe avocado
Blend till creamy smooth. Enjoy!

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for God's healing plants.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blended Melon Juice


Melons have been my fruit of choice lately. I eat an entire melon as my meal. As I type this I have 3 melons ripening on the counter top! There were 4 but I cut one up for  two of the boys--they are melon heads too :)
 I will usually have one for my lunch but today I wanted something icy cold and truly refreshing in the form of a drink. This was definitely a winner!! SO delicious. Melons are everywhere right now in the markets, so why not give this blended juice a try?!


Blended Melon Juice
(serves one)

1/2 of a large yellow melon (I ate the other half)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1/2 C ice

Peel the melon, dice into large cubes. Add the melon, cilantro and ice to your high speed blender. Blend until icy smooth. Enjoy!

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for new discoveries.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Berry Salad Lunch

Today began with a large glass of filtered lemon water followed by a monster green smoothie packed with goodness.
Lunch today, as I continue to experiment with my version of 80-10-10 was a giant berry salad. If you aren't familiar with 80-10-10 you'll look at my lunch and think, "Man, she's a pig". But eating this way requires high caloric intake and low fat intake. This salad gives me the carbohydrates and calories I need to keep me going. My photos don't show just how large this plate full of fruit really was--it was gigantic! I actually had a hard time eating it all. But boy was it good.



Berry Salad
3 organic bananas
16 oz organic strawberries
3 organic Bosc pears
1/2 of a Meyer lemon
cinnamon

In a food processor process 1/2 of the strawberries, 1 banana, and the juice from 1/2 a Meyer lemon. Next, slice the remaining strawberries, 2 bananas, and the 3 pears. Plate the sliced fruit, top with the pureed berry sauce and sprinkle on cinnamon to taste. Enjoy!

+JMJ+ Today I am thankful for a kiddo who recovered from a rough morning the other day.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Maca Mesquite Pudding

Maca Mesquite Pudding
by Elizabeth @ rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com

4 T chia seeds
1 C or more of fresh almond milk
2 T hemp seeds
1 T Maca powder
1/2 tsp Mesquite powder
pinch of raw vanilla powder
drizzle of Agave or use some date paste

Pour almond milk into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Next stir in the remaining ingredients and stir well. Allow to rest for an additional 5 minutes. If pudding is too thick add some more almond milk. Enjoy!

What I adore about this pudding is the nutritional kick in the behind that it gives!! Check out what you will be consuming in this powerhouse pudding:
MACA (raw) is an adaptogenic root that helps to nourish the endocrine system and it also enhances the ability to deal with stress (just what I need on a busy, crazy home schooling day) and it boosts energy, endurance, strength and performance (I also need these). WOW, how's that for only 1 tablespoon??!!
Maca has a wonderful malt-like nutty flavor. Add it to smoothies or make a hot drink with it to replace the morning java! The Peruvian culture has researched Maca and have found that it improves memory, increases oxygen in the blood, improves the functions of neurotransmitters and increases libido.

MESQUITE (raw)  has 257mg of potassium, 6 g dietary fiber, 3 g protein, 8% calcium, 15% iron, 5 % zinc, 18 % manganese, 3 % phosphorus and 6 % copper in just 1 tablespoon. The total fat in 1 tablespoon is less than 1 g and it has 0 % cholesterol of course since it is a plant source of all this nutrition! The Indigenous people in the Americas have used mesquite as a food source. They traditionally gathered the pods, dried them and then ground them into flours or used as a food sweetener, sweet beverage, or fermented into an alcoholic beverage. Studies have shown that mesquite is highly effective in controlling and stabilizing blood sugar levels. The soluble fibers in the powder slow the absorption of nutrients. TIP: Mesquite can be blended with other flours using about 30% Mesquite to 70% flour of choice.


My favorite brand of raw Maca and raw Mesquite is "Foods Alive". All of the nutritional info I just gave is from the packaging of these two amazing super foods.

HEMP SEEDS (organic and raw) pack the following in just 3 tablespoons:
174 calories
13.5 g fat
0mg cholesterol
0mg sodium
2 g total carbs
1 g dietary fiber
11 g protein
16% iron
23% zinc
48% phosphorus
48% magnesium

Hemp is a great plant source for vegans or raw foodists to obtain their healthy fats and loads of protein. You DO NOT need to consume animal products to get usable protein!! That is a big lie.

CHIA (organic) seeds provide the following in just 1 tablespoon:
5 g fiber
3 g protein
2 g Omega-3
60 calories
0 g saturated fat
0 g trans fat fat
2.5g polyunsaturated fat
0 g cholesterol
0 mg sodium
60 mg potassium
5 g carbs
0 g sugar
8% calcium
10% magnesium
6% iron
My favorite brand of Hemp and Chia is "Nutiva".




Check out my new, groovy bamboo spoon!! I LOVE it. I bought a set that includes a spoon, knife and fork. They are from "Totally Bamboo". I do not like the feel of metal in my mouth so when I discovered these I was very happy.
Here is what the package says, "Bamboo is a grass that grows to maturity in 5 years. It does not need to be replanted, artificially irrigated or fertilized, making it one of the world's most renewable resources."
"DO THE EARTH A FAVOR...DO BAMBOO!"

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for my bamboo utensils.

Banana Cream Pie Smoothie Lately I've been blessed with fresh, green, Florida coconuts from my neighbor's trees. We enjoy drinking...