August 2012

How To Freeze Vegetables And Fruits

Summer is almost over- say it isn’t so; but winter is coming and I have upped my produce freezing efforts. The way to enjoy flavorful summer produce is to freeze it now and enjoy it later. Understand how to freeze vegetables and fruits correctly and the method to freezing madness will make you life easier down the line; the secret is IQF or Individually Quick Frozen.

Before I knew how to freeze vegetables and fruits with IQF, I would toss fresh fruits into a freezer bag and put them into the freezer; then I would go to use what I had frozen to find a huge mass of frozen whatever- frustrating, as you can imagine. Enter IQF, which is a really simply process that requires nothing more than a freezer, parchment paper and the fruit or vegetable that is to be frozen.

To IQF your summer produce, line a baking tray with parchment paper, and add your produce in one layer; leaving a little room in between so that nothing sticks together. It’s important to remember that you should prep your fruit or vegetable prior to freezing; meaning, if you’re planning to make a marmalade or pie that demands nicely cut fruit, cut it nicely before you IQF, as you are most likely going to be cooking from frozen.

Not all fruits and vegetable can be cut and frozen; some require a few preparation steps. Here is the breakdown of what you need to do before freezing your favorite summer fruits and vegetables.


How To Freeze Vegetables and Fruits

How To Cook Summer Squash~ Roasted Pattypans

After months of piercing heat, it would appear as though Mother Nature has changed her tune; where once we were seeking cool refuge, we are now cozying up in comfy sweaters. Whether this is a short reprieve from the heat, for which I should be grateful, or a sign of the changing times remains a mystery; but I took this moment to become reacquainted with my oven and roast me some Patty Pans!

Before we get to the basics of how to cook summer squash, a nutrition AND history lesson!

Squash comes in two basic categories: winter and summer, with Pattypan summer squash being the most diminutive of both seasons; and in the land of folk and lore, it’s said that Christopher Columbus is responsible for spreading this South American delicacy throughout the rest of the Americas.

Raw Honey Health Benefits Video

Honey- what’s not to love! Honey is truly the nectar of the gods and made by one of the most valued members of agriculture, pollinators; also known as bee’s. Raw honey health benefits are vast and wonderful; but honey can either be a rich source of vitamins , minerals and carbohydrates or a heavily processed compatriot of sugar. Therefore it becomes essential to indulge in the right kind of honey in order to get the most from it.

Raw Honey Health Benefits…The Nectar of the Gods!

Herbal Medicine Guide To Essential Oils

I’ll start this post by saying that by no means do I claim to be an expert herbal medicine guide to essential oils or herbs; I will however claim to be an enthusiast.

herbal medicine guide to essential oils

If you’ve been following along for a while then you know that I recently made the decision to upgrade my education and become a nutritionist, which is the perfect complement to my culinary education. But there are days when I ask myself “Bianca why would you start school during the summer months”, it still escapes me, but I digress. I have loved the learning process, knowledge is power and I feel myself growing stronger by the day!

Every module has taught me something new; but my favorite so far has been botanical medicine. The idea that Mother Nature provides everything we need to be healthy certainly balks at big pharma- and I love that; but it’s also pretty amazing when you think about it, medicine is all around us.

Botanical medicine is the art of healing with plants and herbs; also known as phytotherapy (phyto is Greek for plants) or botanical medicine. And this blanket term encompasses homeopathy and aromatherapy (healing with essential oils). The herbs can be taken as tinctures, teas, baths, extracts, oils and juices to treat ailments, from coughs and cold to heart disease. But, and there is a but, it’s important to check with your primary caregiver before you embark on an herbal regimen, as herbs can interfere with other medications.

Healthy Summer Juicing Recipes~ The Red Sonja

Healthy Summer Juicing Recipes

I was recently going back through this summer on the Vitality Guide and it became very apparent that there haven’t been many meal-y posts; what can I say, it’s been hot and the very last thing I have wanted to do was fire up my oven. This summer many of my meals have either been eaten on a patio accompanied by good friends and good, but not so healthy food, or smoothies, juices and salads. I will freely admit that I look to my countless healthy summer juicing recipes to balance out my summertime indulgence. And seeing as August is the beginning of the end, at least around here, I cannot promise things are going to change anytime soon. Let’s just say this, when the leaves change hue, then I shall change my ways.