Making Herbal Powders

Hello! This week, I made my own herbal powders from whole, organic, recently harvested herbs for the first time! Once I opened the packages with the Motherwort leaves and Hawthorn berries, the inspiring process of creation has started!

I used a mortar and pestle and Vitamix blender to crush and pulverize all components of these herbs into a fine powder. Both of these herbal powders smelled and tasted so fresh and looked so bright!

 

 

The Hawthorn Berries powder and capsules:

Modern herbal therapy implements Hawthorn berries, leaves, and flowers. The Hawthorn plant has beneficial cardiovascular effects* (Holubarsch, Colucci, & Eha, 2018).

 

 

 

The Motherwort powder and capsules: The Motherwort plant has anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antimicrobial, tissue-protective, and sedative effects* (Fierascu et al., 2019).

I used to take herbal powders prepared by the Ayurvedic practitioners as a Complementary and Alternative Medical (CAM) approach for different purposes: to relieve stomach discomfort, alleviate muscle pain, improve digestion and elimination, decrease stress, and reduce congestion* (Patwardhan, 2014). I loved Ayurvedic herbal preparations! Each one smelled and tasted differently and affected my body and mind in a positive way.

The herbal powders can be taken in a powdered form or as capsules. The herbal powders made at home can be the purest and the freshest ones, as you can select the best quality herbs (organic, wild-crafted, or even home-grown) and the best quality capsules while avoiding any other ingredients that seem unnecessary (fillers, pesticides, additives, preservatives, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the Apothecary Shoppe listed the date of the harvest on each package with whole herbs. You can make the herbal powders in small batches to ensure freshness and maximum potency and prevent rancidity. Each batch can be stored in a refrigerator with a moisture absorbent packets.

It is best to contact a Certified Herbalist, an Ayurvedic Practitioner, or Naturopathic Doctor to inquire which herbs can be a good fit for your body as a part of the CAM approach to healing and wellness. In the United States, about 38% of adults (every 4 in 10) and  12% of children (every 1 in 9) are using some type of CAM.

The most common forms of CAM used in the U.S. include nutrition and diet-based therapy, herbs, Yoga, Pilates, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, energy healing/Reiki, and many others (John Hopkins Medicine, 2019; NIH, 2017).  The CAM approaches are non-mainstream and can be used together with conventional mainstream medicine (NIH, 2019).

Contact me today to discuss your nutrition goals! Our initial  20-minute discussion is free of charge. To help you succeed with your health and wellness goals, I offer holistic nutrition consultations as well as wellness coaching.

References:

Fierascu, R. C., Fierascu, I., Ortan, A., Fierascu, I. C., Anuta, V., Velescu, B. S., … Dinu-Pirvu, C. E. (2019). Leonurus cardiaca L. as a Source of Bioactive Compounds: An Update of the European Medicines Agency Assessment Report (2010). BioMed Research International2019, 4303215. doi:10.1155/2019/4303215

Holubarsch, C., Colucci, W. S., & Eha, J. (2018). Benefit-Risk Assessment of Crataegus Extract WS 1442: An Evidence-Based Review. American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs : Drugs, Devices, and Other Interventions18(1), 25–36. doi:10.1007/s40256-017-0249-9

John Hopkins Medicine. (2019). Types of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/types-of-complementary-and-alternative-medicine

NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2017). The use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States. Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/2007/camsurvey_fs1.htm

NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2019). Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s in a Name? Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/integrative-health

Patwardhan, B. (2014). Bridging Ayurveda with evidence-based scientific approaches in medicine. The EPMA Journal5(1), 19. doi:10.1186/1878-5085-5-19

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is for educational purposes only.

Quinoa Pancakes

Happy Independence Day weekend to everybody! It is a middle of the year and almost a middle of the summer. What is your favorite summer-time activity? For me, it is the appreciation of the long days filled with the sunshine and the delicious and colorful summer foods. 

Today, I’m sharing with you one of my favorite recipes – the quinoa pancakes.

It needs just a few ingredients, is easy to make, and tastes very good. Actually, both the sweet and savory versions of this recipe can be enjoyed year-round. 

 

 

 

You will need the following ingredients:

  • Quinoa (white, red, or multicolored),
  • ripe banana,
  • flax seeds, 
  • water.

That’s it. You may use a little bit of coconut oil, however, it is optional if you use a non-stick skillet.

You will need this equipment: a bowl, blender, and non-stick skillet. The amount of preparation time can be reduced if you have more than one skillet. I typically use 3 small non-stick skillets, and in this case, the total preparation time takes about 5-7 minutes. 

What I love about this recipe is that the pancakes have a neutral taste and can be enjoyed with both sweet and savory meals or snacks. As a sweet version, I like to serve them with berries, fruits, and coconut yogurt. For a savory twist, I serve them with veggies, salads, and dressings (taco-like style). On this image below, you can see 3 pancakes, each served with the arugula leaves, slices of tomato and red onion, and avocado cubes. In this version, the pancakes work as flatbreads or soft tacos. 

Additionally, I soaked and sprouted the quinoa seeds, which is an easy step that can improve the digestibility and nutrient availability. Moreover, soaked and sprouted quinoa gives you more pancakes if compared with those made from the unsoaked quinoa. Note that this recipe does not need any flour; the whole quinoa seeds were soaked and sprouted and blended together with banana, flax seeds, and water. Here is a full recipe, enjoy!

Download the recipe: Quinoa Pancakes

By the way, it is the middle of the year, and I’m wondering how are your new year resolution goals doing? How successful have you been so far? Which obstacles came your way?

Let’s discuss how I can help you to get back on track during the next 6 months.

Our first 20-minute discovery session is free of charge, and I can work with you as a wellness coach or/and a nutrition consultant, depending on your needs. Contact me today, I’m happy to see how I can help!

In best health,

Nataliya.

“Burgers”! Vegan and Raw

I’m excited to finally share with you a very delicious recipe: Raw Vegan “Burgers”!

I made them for the first time around Thanksgiving holiday, and later I experimented with the recipe and tried a few different versions of it.

The bottom line: these “burgers” do not have any animal ingredients, so please do not expect that the taste and texture will be just as it usually is in an animal-based product.

However, these vegan “burgers” are still super delicious, satisfying, filling, and quite addictive in a good way (meaning that it could be difficult to stop after eating just one “burger”). The recommended serving size for this recipe is about 2 or 3 “burgers”, depending on their size, so it means you can eat more than one!

I just wanted to mentioned one more thing: some people pay attention to the color of the vegan “burger”, and, as I learned, it mostly depends on the ingredients that you use.

This recipe will have a brownish-reddish-purple color because of the beets, and if you decided to replace the beets with a green vegetable (such as celery), the color of your product will be brownish-green. As you can see on this picture, the colors are different, but the taste and texture will be similar.

What you will need:

  • Ingredients:
    • nuts, seeds, vegetables, herbs, and spices.
  • Equipment:
    • a knife, cutting board, food processor (I like Cuisinart), a large mixing bowl.

Method of preparation:

  • Process the nuts and seeds into a fine powder.
  • Process the vegetables and herbs into a smooth mass.
  • Combine the dry and wet ingredients, form patties, and assemble them into a “burger” meal.
  • The whole process takes about 15-20 minutes.

Download a full recipe here: Burgers raw and vegan

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups sunflower seeds
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 small beet, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 carrot, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 small handful parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbs ground flax seeds
  • 3 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbs dried herbs (Italian seasoning)
  • Optional: 1/16 tsp sea salt

Yield: 5 cups or 9 burgers, Serving size: 2-3 “burgers”

Method of preparation:

  1. Process spices, nuts, and seeds in a food processor into a powder and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Process all vegetables and fresh herbs in food processor into a smooth mass.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine processed dried and wet ingredients using a large spoon or your hands, until it becomes a homogenous mass (if it is too wet, add more of the dried ingredients such as extra powdered nuts or seeds). The final texture should be not too soft or too wet.
  4. Measure about 1/2 cup of the mixture to make one patty.
  5. To serve, place a patty on a lettuce or cabbage leaf, and decorate with slices of bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and parsley.
  6. Store in a refrigerator for up to 3 days, freeze up to 2 weeks, or serve immediately and enjoy!

Finally, I’m including my quick video with some ideas on how to make a “burger” meal and serve it in a beautiful and delicious way. Hope you find it helpful.

The inspiration for this recipe came from the book by Baird and Rodwell (referenced below).

Bon appetit and happy holidays!

Nataliya.

References:

Baird, L. & Rodwel, J. (2005). The Complete Book of Raw Food. Healthy Living Books: New York, NY

Pomegranate Seeds

Do you like pomegranate seeds? They are available only once a year, usually around the holiday season, in November and December.

Tasting delicious and looking gorgeous, they can add beautiful decor to any dish (think about a salad, dessert, main dish, or a breakfast smoothie bowl). But this is not all – pomegranate seeds have many health benefits!

They are rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, antioxidants, anthocyanins, tannins, alkaloids, simple organic acids, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Pomegranate seeds are small but mighty inhibitors of inflammation and have anti-atherogenic and anti-hypertensive qualities (Zarfeshany, Asgary, & Javanmard, 2014; Shahindokht, 2018).

Do you know how to get the pomegranate seeds out in a fast and non-messy way? I can show you one idea; it takes slightly more than a minute to get all the seeds out from a pomegranate.

You will need the following equipment:

  • a bowl
  • a cutting board
  • a knife
  • a ladle or an oversized spoon

 

 

 

The steps:

  1. Wash the pomegranate and cut it in half (or quarters, if it is a big fruit).
  2. Put a bowl into a sink, take a piece of a pomegranate in your hand, and turn it upside down so that the seeds are facing the bowl.
  3. Start tapping on a pomegranate using a ladle, until all seeds come out into a bowl. One fruit can yield about 1/2 cup or more of the seeds.
  4. Use immediately or store the seeds in a glass jar in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  5. Add to your salads, smoothie bowls, desserts, or main dishes.

Here is a quick video that explains all the steps:

If you know a better way to remove the pomegranate seeds, let us hear from you! 🙂

Enjoy!

Nataliya