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Health Benefits of Garlic

The Pungent Bulb Proves Its Potency

Regular consumption of garlic can reduce the risk of stroke and thrombosis by lowering blood pressure and decreasing platelet aggregation

For nearly four decades, garlic has been touted by the scientific community as a natural remedy for elevated LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Yet the results of the most rigorous garlic study ever — funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted at Stanford University — reveal that previous studies were likely wrong. Whether consumed fresh or in powdered pill form, garlic did not lower cholesterol in the study’s participants, adults (average age 50) with moderately elevated LDL. The experiment’s findings, published in the February 2007 Archives of Internal Medicine, are thought to supersede those of previous studies, which typically tested only one garlic type and did not maintain potency consistency. Stanford researchers looked at two top-selling garlic supplements as well as fresh garlic; they also monitored the exact chemical composition of the preparations for the duration of the study.

Garlic contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that reduce the symptoms associated with a host of inflammatory conditions

Now that the verdict is in on garlic’s ineffectiveness for cholesterol, should we throw out the cloves with their paper-thin casings? Hardly. The Stanford study didn’t rule out garlic’s other potential benefits for cardiovascular health. Various studies have shown that regular consumption of garlic can lower blood pressure, inhibit coronary artery calcification and decrease platelet aggregation, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and thrombosis. Though garlic may not lower cholesterol, it can prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood stream and inhibit the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, which lead to heart disease.

Garlic owes its reputation as a folk remedy — and as a breath killer — to its variety of organosulfur compounds.  Allicin and dialyl disulphide are thought to relax and enlarge blood vessels, promoting better blood flow.  Allicin is also a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal capable of killing harmful microbes — even those that have become resistant to pharmaceuticals — making garlic a natural antidote to colds, flu and infections. Ajoene has been shown to shrink the tumors of skin cancer patients. Garlic’s stink may even make you smarter: researchers in China demonstrated that the sulfur compound sallylcystein prevents degeneration of the brain’s frontal lobes.

In addition to these odiferous compounds, garlic is chock full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C teams up with allicin to protect against cholesterol oxidation, bad bacteria, and colon cancer. In fact, research has shown that eating as few as two servings of garlic a week reduces the risk of colon cancer significantly. Garlic is also a good source of selenium, which guards against heavy metal toxicity, and manganese, an antioxidant defense enzyme.

Health Benefits:

– can lower blood pressure
– can reduce risk of stroke and thrombosis
– may reduce risk of colon cancer
– antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal
– contains Vitamin C, allicin, selenium and manganese
– anti-inflammatory

It is believed that the Egyptians gave garlic to the slaves who built the pyramids to fortify their strength and endurance. Greek and Roman athletes ate garlic before competitions, while soldiers consumed it before battle. No wonder:  garlic contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that reduce the symptoms associated with a host of inflammatory conditions, from arthritis to asthma — not to mention the pain and swelling that might result from hurling a javelin or carrying blocks of limestone up the face of a pyramid.

From the reign of the Pharaohs to the present, cooks have savored garlic as a marinade for meat. Beyond the sweet-hot flavor it imparts, garlic may also make grilled meats healthier by reducing the carcinogens produced as a result of exposing meat to high temperatures. Perhaps this is part of why regular garlic consumption is correlated with a reduced risk of a range of cancers, including oral, ovarian, breast, prostate and renal. Garlic also promotes healthy digestion by warding off intestinal worms and parasites and stopping the H. pylori bacterium, which causes ulcers, from doing excessive damage. Though garlic did not prevail in cholesterol cross-examination, the mighty cloves have certainly won their case.

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Loaded Zucchini Skins
TOTAL TIME: 
PREP: 
LEVEL: EASY
YIELD: 16

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 lb. bacon
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 c. shredded Cheddar
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 2 green onions, sliced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cook bacon until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and chop into small pieces.
  2. Cut zucchinis in half lengthwise. Using a large metal spoon, scoop out seeds from the insides, then cut each half into three to four pieces.
  3. Transfer zucchini to a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bake until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Top each piece of zucchini with cheese and bacon.
  5. Return to oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes more. Garnish with sour cream and green onions.

recipe courtesy of DELISH

Chicken Stroganoff

Active Time
40 Mins
Total Time
40 Mins
Yield
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)
If stroganoff could restore its Russian creators 200 years ago, this chicken version will restore you on any winter weeknight.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes or until done, turning once. Remove from pan.

Step 2

Combine 1 tablespoon stock and flour in a small bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan over medium-high. Add mushrooms; cook 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme; cook 1 minute. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until reduced by half, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in remaining 2 cups and 7 tablespoons stock; bring to a simmer. Add noodles; cook, uncovered, 8 minutes or until done. Stir in flour mixture; cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; stir in chicken, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and sour cream. Sprinkle with parsley.

 

Nutritional Information 

  • Calories 443
  • Fat 12.8g
  • Satfat 3.3g
  • Monofat 6.3g
  • Polyfat 1.8g
  • Protein 39g
  • Carbohydrate 39g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Cholesterol 111mg
  • Iron 3mg
  • Sodium 681mg
  • Calcium 35mg
  • Sugars 5g

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple

Forget carb-heavy pasta! This creative twist brings you fresh Italian flavor without any of the guilt.  Enjoy oodles of noodles plus all your favorite pasta fixings —guilt-free! The secret? Subbing in spiralized veggies.   This is from Good Hosekeeping.

SERVES: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 lb.  zucchini (spiralized)
  • 12 oz. ripe tomatoes
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella
  • ½ c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • 2 clove garlic
  • ¼ c. roasted salted almonds

Directions

  1. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil on medium until hot. Add zucchini. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until just beginning to soften, stirring. Remove from heat; transfer to large bowl.
  2. To bowl with zucchini, add tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gently toss to combine. Serve immediately, topped with almonds.

sausage-cauliflower-kale-potpie

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  2. pound sweet Italian sausage links, (Johnsonville Sweet Italian)
  3. casings removed and meat broken into 3/4-inch pieces
  4. medium onions, chopped
  5. 1  tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  6. kosher salt and black pepper
  7. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  8. cups low-sodium chicken broth
  9. bunch kale, torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)
  10. 2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  11. small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets
  12.  1 large shredded fresh carrot (about 1/4 cup)
  13.  1/4 cup finely chopped turnip
  14. sheets puff pastry (one 17.3-ounce package), each cut into 4 rectangles

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, tossing occasionally, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl.
  2. Add the onions, rosemary, carrots, turnips ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the drippings in the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the kale, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing, until the kale is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the kale mixture and cauliflower to the sausage and toss to combine. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch or some other 3-quart baking dish and top with the puff pastry, overlapping the rectangles slightly.
  4. Bake until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving

  • Calories 443 calories
  • Fat24 g
  • Sat Fat7 g
  • Cholesterol19 mg
  • Sodium901 mg
  • Protein19 g
  • Carbohydrate39 g
  • Sugar4 g
  • Fiber4 g
  • Iron4 mg
  • Calcium143 mg

 

mushroom-kale-cheddar-frittata

  • Serves 6
  • Hands-On Time 15 min
  • Total Time 40 min

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1/4 cup olive oil
  2. ounces mushrooms (such as cremini and shiitake), halved or sliced if large
  3. Kosher salt and black pepper
  4. small shallots, chopped
  5. large eggs
  6. 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  7. ounces Cheddar, shredded (1 cup)
  8. ounces Parmesan, shredded (½ cup)
  9. 1/2 small bunch lacinato kale, stems discarded and leaves sliced (about 4 cups)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the shallots. Cook, tossing frequently, until the shallots are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reserve the skillet.
  2. Whisk the eggs, crème fraîche, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper until combined. Whisk in the Cheddar and half the Parmesan. Toss the kale with 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the reserved skillet over medium heat. Add the egg mixture to the skillet, followed by the mushrooms, the kale, and the remaining Parmesan. Cook until the frittata is set just around the edge, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Transfer the skillet to oven and bake until the frittata is just set, 20 to 24 minutes. Slide onto a plate to serve.

Courtsey of Real Simple, Justin Chapple

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving

  • Calories390 calories
  • Fat31 g
  • Sat Fat13 g
  • Cholesterol295 mg
  • Sodium640 mg
  • Protein20 g
  • Carbohydrate8 g
  • Sugar1 g
  • Fiber1 g
  • Iron2 mg
  • Calcium361 mg

 

Korean Kimichi

Courtsey of Melissa Souza and Mother Earth Magazine she also has page on facebook

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Ingredients

• 1 large cabbage head
• 1 pound daikon root
• 8 green onion
• 8 cloves garlic (grated)
• ginger root (grated)
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 1/2 cup water
• 8 tbsp Korean red pepper flakes or red pepper paste
• 3 tbsp sugar
• 1/2 cup sea salt

Directions

1. Cut cabbage in 2 inch sections, sprinkle with salt, cover with water, and let sit 2 hours.

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3. Drain and rinse 3 times, and allow to dry.

4. Chop daicon into matchstick sized pieces.

5. Chop green onion into 1 inch sections.

6. Add cabbage to diacon and green onion, and toss.

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Prepare brine:

1. Add sugar, water, garlic, and ginger. Mix and add Korean red pepper.

2. Add brine to veggies and stir until fully coated.

3. Pack tightly into jars, and seal.

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4. Leave at room temp 2-5 days.

5. Each day push cabbage below brine surface to release gases.

6. Taste each day until satisfied.

7. Store in fridge. The full flavor is best after a week or two in the fridge. This will keep up to 6 months or more in the fridge.

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Melissa Souza lives on a 1-acre, organically managed homestead property in rural Washington State where she raises backyard chickens and meat rabbits and grows plums, apples, pears, a variety of berries, and all the produce her family needs. She loves to inspire other families to save money, be together, and take steps toward self-reliance no matter where they live. Connect with her on Facebook.

Oven Baked Zucchini Fritters

MAKES: 12    PREP: 20 min  COOK: 25 min

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lb. zucchini (about 3), grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 cup. almond flour
  • 3 tbsp. fresh chives, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp. garlic powder
  • Cooking fat
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Squeeze any extra moisture out the shredded zucchini and pat it try – really try to get as much liquid out as possible.

To make sure the fritters get properly crispy, be very aggressive about squeezing water out of the zucchini. Often it helps to shred them, sprinkle them with salt, and then let them sit for a minute or two to draw the water out. Then you can squeeze the shreds with your hands or in a cheesecloth (you might be surprised at the amount of water one zucchini can produce!). This helps avoid any potential sogginess and give you that nice crispy edge to the tops.

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, season to taste, and stir until everything is well combined.
  2. Grease each muffin tin, and fill each cup with an equal amount of the zucchini mixture.
  3. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
  4. Serve warm with your favorite topping: pulled pork, shredded beef, pulled chicken, or even beef patties.

Fritters preparation

 

 

Serves 2 generously

8 ounces slender asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 strips bacon
olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
fresh Parmesan, either shaved or grated

8 ounces uncooked pasta, such as fettuccine

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Before adding pasta, add asparagus and cook for about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook pasta for a little less time than package directions call for, until almost al dente.

2. Meanwhile, lay the bacon in a large cold skillet. Set flame to medium and cook until just crisp, turning occasionally. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Empty bacon grease from skillet, but don’t wipe it clean. Turn off flame if pasta is still cooking. Crumble the bacon.

4. Plate pasta in individual shallow bowls. Top with some Parmesan. Don’t go crazy here – there are plenty of flavors going on. Serve.

 

Source: Christian Monitor

 

 

 

 

chicken-kale-croutons

Courtesy of Real Simple

  • Serves 4
  • Hands-On Time 20 min
  • Total Time 1 hr

INGREDIENTS

  1. pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
  2. cloves garlic, finely chopped
  3. tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  4. tablespoons olive oil
  5. teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 2 whole lemons, quartered
  6. kosher salt and black pepper
  7. thick slices country bread, torn into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  8. cups baby kale

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Toss the chicken, garlic, rosemary, oil, lemon zest, lemon quarters, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Roast, skin-side up, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken (avoiding the bone) registers 165° F, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the chicken and lemons to a serving dish. Reserve the baking sheet.
  3. Toss the bread in the drippings on the reserved baking sheet. Toast until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the kale and toss to combine.
  4. Serve the chicken with the kale, croutons, and lemons for squeezing.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving

  • Calories 623 calories
  • Fat 30 g
  • Sat Fat 7 g
  • Cholesterol 161 mg
  • Sodium 733 mg
  • Protein 57 g30 g
  • Sugar 4 g
  • Fiber 5 g
  • Iron 5 mg
  • Calcium175 mg

Spinach, Chicken, and Wild Rice Soup

makes about 6 1 1/2 cup servings. and  it uses your slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 –14  ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-10 3/4 – ounce can reduced-fat and reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2/3 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon purslane
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 4 large cloves of fresh crushed garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken (you can even use chicken pulled off bone of roasted chicken  (remove skin) bought at the store– about 1 pound)
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded fresh kale (tear leaves off stems and cut into thing thing strips, young tender fresh kale is the best )
  • Directions

    1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine the water, broth, cream of chicken soup, uncooked wild rice, thyme, garlic, cumin.
    2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours.
    3. To serve, stir in chicken, kale, chives,  purslane and let sit for about 15 minutes, stir again then serve.
  • Makes 6 (1-1/2-cup) servings.
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