rebecca katz Transforming Health Through the Power of Food
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Believe it or not, great taste and nutrition can sit at the same table! See Rebecca unveil her culinary tips and tricks.

The Nourishing Properties of Cinnamon

I’ve been playing with cinnamon and ginger in its various forms for years. From an Ayurvedic (traditional eastern Indian medicine) perspective, ginger “fires” the body’s digestive hearth, to make the stomach and colon more efficient in metabolizing food. Here I’ve combined ginger with cinnamon’s round, sweet flavor to create a modified Chai tea with some great health benefits. Cinnamon regulates blood sugar, while both ginger and cinnamon contain tumor inhibitors. This tea is a great way to wake up both your taste buds and your tummy.

Cinnamon Ginger Tea
4 cups water
4 1/2-inch slices peeled fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons honey

Bring the water, ginger, and cinnamon stick to a boil in a saucepan, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the ginger and cinnamon stick, stir in the honey, and serve immediately.

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Storage: Store, covered, in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Per Serving: Calories: 13; Total Fat: 0 g (0 g saturated, 0 g monounsaturated);
Carbohydrates: 3 g; Protein: 0 g; Fiber: 0 g; Sodium: 0 mg

Culinary RX: Cinnamon: Appetite stimulant, digestion aid, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial.

One of my favorite spices for soothing the stomach, cinnamon—or more precisely one of its compounds, cinnamaldehyde—lessens inflammation associated with certain cancers. For those on steroids during chemotherapy, cinnamon also helps to keep blood sugar levels balanced, while its antioxidant and calcium/fiber combination lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of colon cancer.


The Enchanted Basil Forest

The herb box outside my kitchen window looks like the enchanted basil forest. Time to make Basil Lemon Drizzle, my favorite dollop. It’s the little black dress of condiments—appropriate in almost any situation. What it really comes down to is lemon zest, basil, and lemon juice, and zingo, you have a condiment that brightens and brings out the flavor in anything you put it on top of—veggies, chicken, fish, whatever. But it isn’t just packed with flavor, it’s also loaded with cancer-fighting properties, including anti-inflammatory agents in the basil and antioxidants in the lemon.

Basil Lemon Drizzle
makes 1/2 cup

1 cup loosely packed fresh
basil leaves
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed
lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until well

Variation: For a richer drizzle that’s more like pesto, add 1/4 cup
pecans or walnuts when you process the ingredients.

Prep Time: 5 minutes • Cook Time: Not applicable
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days or in the freezer for 2 months.

Per Serving: Calories: 125; Total Fat: 14.1 g (2 g saturated, 10 g monounsaturated);
Carbohydrates: 1 g; Protein: 0 g; Fiber: 0 g; Sodium: 150 mg

Culinary RX: Basil: Digestion aid, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, NF-kB regulator. Radiation destroys cancer cells but can also be harmful to healthy cells. Two flavonoids (chemicals that are part of a plant’s metabolism) in basil, orientin and vicenin, protect human cells from radiation damage, as well as oxygen damage (too much oxygen in the cells, also known as free radicals, can be harmful). Basil’s oils also have anti-inflammatory effects similar to those found in asparagus. If your taste buds are off, or a sore throat or irritated mouth is affecting taste, basil can have a corrective effect.


Copyright 2009 Rebecca Katz. All right reserved.

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