7 Tips for Cleaning Fruits, Vegetables

How to Wash Produce

A note from a Health Coach, this came from the United States Food and Drug Administration website. So my issue with this is that if you are buying your food in a store, first of all, you don’t know how many hands have touched the produce. So I recommend washing it with baking soda and vinegar. Just sprinkle with baking soda and splash with vinegar or you can spray with a tea tree cleaner and then pour clean water over it to soak for a few minutes and then rinse and in a clean colander.

Why wash Produce?

Please remember that you don’t know if somebody accidentally sneezed on the food or didn’t wash their hands so that’s why it’s really important to wash your hands and produce. I published this article by the FDA so you can see their guidelines and then see how a health coach does it to compare and then you get the wonderful choice of choosing what you want to do. Also please buy organic produce because the pesticides are killing bees and we need bees to continue with our food supply.

Since I am self funded, I can speak the truth and don’t have to be approved by anyone. This is what I do and just want you all to be safe. Also washing with baking soda is also very eco friendly and vinegar is eco friendly too. Did you know you can make vinegar? Here’s how you make it.

Originally published on fda.gov on June 10, 2018

7 Tips for Cleaning Fruits Vegetables

Federal health officials estimate that nearly 48 million people are sickened by food contaminated with harmful germs each year, and some of the causes might surprise you.

Although most people know animal products must be handled carefully to prevent illness, produce, too, can be the culprit in outbreaks of foodborne illness. In recent years, the United States has had several large outbreaks of illness caused by contaminated fruits and vegetables—including spinach, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and lettuce.

Glenda Lewis, an expert on foodborne illness with the Food and Drug Administration, says fresh produce can become contaminated in many ways. During the growing phase, produce may be contaminated by animals, harmful substances in the soil or water, and poor hygiene among workers. After produce is harvested, it passes through many hands, increasing the contamination risk. Contamination can even occur after the produce has been purchased, during food preparation, or through inadequate storage.

If possible, FDA says to choose produce that isn’t bruised or damaged, and make sure that pre-cut items—such as bags of lettuce or watermelon slices—are either refrigerated or on ice both in the store and at home. In addition, follow these recommendations:

  1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
  2. If damage or bruising occurs before eating or handling, cut away the damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.
  3. Rinse produce BEFORE you peel it, so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable.
  4. Gently rub produce while holding under plain running water. There’s no need to use soap or a produce wash.
  5. Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers.
  6. Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
  7. Remove the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.

Lewis says consumers should store perishable produce in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees.

Subscribe: FDA Consumer Health Information

10 Minute Skinny Lemonade

Originally published on amyshealthybaking.com By Amy

10 Minute Skinny Lemonade

An easy 3-ingredient recipe for sweet and refreshing lemonade. Made healthier with absolutely no sugar, it’s perfect for cooling off on hot summer days!

When I was 6 or 7 years old, my family flew to Colorado for our summer vacation. With lots of my mom’s relatives scattered throughout the state (one in Denver and the rest out towards the rural countryside), we spent a little time with each of them: my mom’s sister, cousin, aunt, and grandma.

Despite being in her 90s, Great-Grandma still lived alone in the same house from my mom’s childhood, located a short distance away from the neighborhood park. With her living room slightly too small for two very energetic children, she and Mom drove us over to the park, where we could soar high on the swing set and dig castles in the sand.

But the best attraction at the park was a gigantic 30-foot long slide built into the side of a hill. Made of metal with a few fun bumps in the middle, it was the perfect entertainment for lazy summer mornings. My brother and I would dash up the steep wooden steps hammered into the hillside and take turns flying down the slide, only to repeat the process as soon as our feet hit the sand at the bottom.

After our tiresome morning of swinging and sliding, we headed back to Great-Grandma’s for lunch. As a treat, she pulled out a few tall glasses and her container of powdered lemonade. My brother and I had never seen that before, so she explained how to spoon a little into each glass, fill it with water, and stir to create the sweet drink.

When we returned home from vacation, we begged Mom to buy the same powdered lemonade for our house—we loved it that much! Once Mom left the kitchen, we started making ours a little differently: we would only pretend to stir the powder in the bottom of the glass. After drinking most of the water, we were left with a few lemony, overly sugary tablespoons… And to kids, that was pure summer bliss.

With temperatures skyrocketing into the 110°s this week, we were desperate for something—anything—sweet and refreshing to cool off. When those Colorado memories resurfaced, lemonade immediately sounded like the most appealing option, but not the powdered kind… This super easy 10-Minute Lemonade!

That’s right, super easy. As in 3 ingredients. Summers are meant to be lazy and low-maintenance, so this recipe simply follows suit! But unlike regular lemonade recipes, this one contains absolutely no sugar, so it’s actually healthy and still lets you fit into that swimsuit!

10 Minute Skinny Lemonade_2

The recipe starts with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Skip the bottled stuff! That may be fine for sprinkling on apple slices to prevent browning, but not our healthy lemonade. Juice straight from the lemons tastes much brighter and purer, and it’s worth spending 9 minutes slicing juicing them.

I highly recommend a juicer like in the photo below! (I own this one.) It makes squeezing every last drop of juice out of the lemons so much easier than doing it by hand. Plus it catches the seeds so you don’t have to fish them out yourself! They’re really inexpensive, and they’re great for freshly squeezed orange juice too. And limes. And grapefruit. And… Well, you get the picture!

And now, simply mix that lemon juice with cold water and sweetener! I used powdered stevia, a no-calorie plant-based sweetener. You can find it in most health-oriented grocery stores, although the regular Safeways and Targets near my house have started stocking it too.

Because its sweetness is significantly more concentrated than granulated sugar, we only need 1 tablespoon of stevia for this entire recipe. That small amount makes the lemonade taste pleasingly sweet with a subtle tang—a way more realistic flavor compared to that powdered stuff!

I shared this lemonade with my brother, and he and his friends gulped down the entire batch. That’s quite a compliment coming from a lemon lover like him! And now… I think it’s time to make more!

10 Minute Skinny Lemonade

Sweet with a slight tang, this lemonade is perfect for cooling off on hot summer days!
    • 1 cup (240mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6-7 medium lemons)


    • 4 cups (960mL) cold water



Add all of the ingredients to a pitcher or large bowl, and stir until the stevia has completely dissolved. Serve immediately over ice, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Notes: I recommend a juicer like this one. It makes squeezing the juice out of the lemons much easier than doing it by hand! 

Any sweetener may be substituted for the stevia. Feel free to adjust the amount to suit your tastes.

{gluten-free, vegan, clean eating, low fat, low calorie, sugar-free, low carb}


Los 7 mejores beneficios para la salud y la nutrición del caqui

Originally Published on Healthline.com

Los 7 mejores beneficios para la salud y la nutrición del caqui
Originarios de China, los árboles de caqui se han cultivado durante miles de años por su deliciosa fruta y hermosa madera.

Sus frutas de color naranja llamadas caquis son conocidas por su sabor dulce y parecido al de la miel.

Si bien existen cientos de tipos, las variedades Hachiya y Fuyu se encuentran entre las más populares.

Los caquis Hachiya en forma de corazón son astringentes, lo que significa que son muy ricos en productos químicos de las plantas llamados taninos que dan a la fruta verde un sabor seco y amargo.

Este tipo de caqui necesita estar completamente maduro antes de comer.

Los caquis Fuyu también contienen taninos, pero se consideran no astringentes. A diferencia de los caquis Hachiya, la variedad Fuyu crujiente en forma de tomate se puede disfrutar incluso cuando no está completamente madura.

Los caquis se pueden comer frescos, secos o cocidos, y se usan comúnmente en todo el mundo en jaleas, bebidas, pasteles, curris y pudines.

Los caquis no solo son sabrosos, sino que están llenos de nutrientes que pueden beneficiar su salud de varias maneras.

Aquí hay 7 beneficios de los caquis, que incluyen cómo incorporarlos a su dieta.

1. Cargado Con Nutrientes

Aunque son pequeños en tamaño, los caquis están llenos de una impresionante cantidad de nutrientes.

De hecho, un caqui (168 gramos) contiene (1):

  • Calorías: 118
  • Carbohidratos: 31 gramos
  • Proteína: 1 gramo
  • Grasa: 0.3 gramos
  • Fibra: 6 gramos
  • Vitamina A: 55% de la RDI.
  • Vitamina C: 22% de la RDI.
  • Vitamina E: 6% de la RDI.
  • Vitamina K: 5% de la RDI.
  • Vitamina B6 (piridoxina): 8% de la RDI
  • Potasio: 8% de la RDI.
  • Cobre: ​​9% de la RDI.
  • Manganeso: 30% de la RDI.

Los caquis también son una buena fuente de tiamina (B1), riboflavina (B2), ácido fólico, magnesio y fósforo.

Estas coloridas frutas tienen pocas calorías y están cargadas de fibra, lo que las convierte en un alimento que ayuda a perder peso.

Solo un caqui contiene más de la mitad de la ingesta recomendada de vitamina A, una vitamina soluble en grasa que es crítica para la función inmunológica, la visión y el desarrollo fetal (2).

Aparte de las vitaminas y los minerales, los caquis contienen una amplia gama de compuestos vegetales, incluidos los taninos, flavonoides y carotenoides, que pueden afectar su salud de manera positiva (3).

Las hojas de la fruta de caqui también tienen un alto contenido de vitamina C, taninos y fibra, así como un ingrediente común en los tés terapéuticos.

2. Excelente fuente de poderosos antioxidantes

Los caquis contienen compuestos vegetales beneficiosos que tienen cualidades antioxidantes.

Los antioxidantes ayudan a prevenir o retardar el daño celular al contrarrestar el estrés oxidativo, un proceso desencadenado por moléculas inestables llamadas radicales libres.

El estrés oxidativo se ha relacionado con ciertas enfermedades crónicas, como las enfermedades cardíacas, la diabetes, el cáncer y las afecciones neurológicas como el Alzheimer (5).

Afortunadamente, consumir alimentos ricos en antioxidantes como los caquis puede ayudar a combatir el estrés oxidativo y puede disminuir el riesgo de ciertas enfermedades crónicas.

Las dietas ricas en flavonoides, que son potentes antioxidantes que se encuentran en altas concentraciones en la piel y la carne de los caquis, se han relacionado con tasas más bajas de enfermedad cardíaca, deterioro mental relacionado con la edad y cáncer de pulmón (6).

Los caquis también son ricos en antioxidantes carotenoides como el betacaroteno, un pigmento que se encuentra en muchas frutas y verduras de colores brillantes.

Los estudios han relacionado las dietas ricas en betacaroteno con un menor riesgo de enfermedad cardíaca, cáncer de pulmón, cáncer colorrectal y enfermedad metabólica (7).

Además, un estudio en más de 37,000 personas encontró que las personas con una alta ingesta dietética de betacaroteno tenían un riesgo significativamente menor de desarrollar diabetes tipo 2.

3. Puede beneficiar la salud del corazón

La enfermedad cardíaca es la principal causa de muerte en todo el mundo y tiene un impacto negativo en la vida de millones de personas (9).

Afortunadamente, la mayoría de los tipos de enfermedades cardíacas se pueden prevenir reduciendo los factores de riesgo, como una dieta poco saludable.

La poderosa combinación de nutrientes que se encuentra en los caquis los convierte en una excelente opción para mejorar la salud del corazón.

Los caquis contienen antioxidantes flavonoides, que incluyen quercetina y kaempferol.

El consumo de una dieta rica en flavonoides se ha relacionado con un riesgo reducido de enfermedad cardíaca en varios estudios.

Por ejemplo, un estudio en más de 98,000 personas encontró que las personas con la ingesta más alta de flavonoides tuvieron un 18% menos de muertes por problemas relacionados con el corazón, en comparación con las que tenían la ingesta más baja (10).

Las dietas ricas en alimentos ricos en flavonoides pueden ayudar a la salud del corazón al disminuir la presión arterial, reducir el colesterol “malo” LDL y disminuir la inflamación (11).

Lo que es más, los taninos que le dan amargura a los caquis maduros pueden reducir la presión arterial.

Muchos estudios en animales han demostrado que el ácido tánico y el ácido gálico, ambos encontrados en los caquis, son efectivos para reducir la presión arterial alta, un factor de riesgo importante para las enfermedades cardíacas.

4. Puede ayudar a reducir la inflamación

Las condiciones como la enfermedad cardíaca, la artritis, la diabetes, el cáncer y la obesidad están relacionadas con la inflamación crónica.

Afortunadamente, la elección de alimentos con alto contenido de compuestos antiinflamatorios puede ayudar a reducir la inflamación y disminuir el riesgo de enfermedad.

Los caquis son una excelente fuente de la potente vitamina antioxidante C. De hecho, un caqui contiene el 20% de la ingesta diaria recomendada.

La vitamina C ayuda a proteger las células del daño causado por los radicales libres y combate la inflamación en el cuerpo.

La vitamina C reduce el daño de los radicales libres donando un electrón a estas moléculas inestables, neutralizándolas y evitando que causen más daños.

La proteína C reactiva y la interleucina-6 son sustancias producidas por el cuerpo en reacción a la inflamación.

Un estudio de ocho semanas en 64 personas obesas encontró que la suplementación con 500 mg de vitamina C dos veces al día redujo significativamente los niveles de proteína C reactiva e interleucina-6 (15).

Además, grandes estudios han relacionado una mayor ingesta dietética de vitamina C con un riesgo reducido de afecciones inflamatorias como enfermedades del corazón, cáncer de próstata y diabetes (16, 17, 18).

Los caquis también contienen carotenoides, flavonoides y vitamina E, todos los cuales son potentes antioxidantes que combaten la inflamación en el cuerpo.

5. Rico en fibra

Tener demasiado colesterol, especialmente el colesterol LDL “malo”, puede aumentar el riesgo de enfermedad cardíaca, accidente cerebrovascular y ataque cardíaco.

Los alimentos ricos en fibra soluble, como las frutas y verduras, pueden ayudar a reducir los niveles altos de colesterol al ayudar al cuerpo a excretar cantidades excesivas.

Los caquis son una fruta con alto contenido de fibra que ha demostrado reducir los niveles de colesterol LDL.

Un estudio encontró que los adultos que consumían barras de galletas que contenían fibra de caqui tres veces al día durante 12 semanas experimentaron una disminución significativa en el colesterol LDL, en comparación con los que comían barras que no contenían fibra de caqui (22).

La fibra también es importante para los movimientos intestinales regulares y puede ayudar a reducir los niveles altos de azúcar en la sangre.

Los alimentos ricos en fibra soluble, como los caquis, reducen la digestión de carbohidratos y la absorción de azúcar, lo que ayuda a prevenir los picos de azúcar en la sangre.

Un estudio en 117 personas con diabetes mostró que el aumento del consumo de fibra dietética soluble llevó a mejoras significativas en los niveles de azúcar en la sangre (23).

Además, la fibra ayuda a alimentar las bacterias “buenas” en sus intestinos, lo que puede impactar positivamente su salud digestiva y general.

6. Apoyar la visión saludable

Los caquis proporcionan gran cantidad de vitamina A y antioxidantes que son críticos para la salud ocular.

De hecho, un caqui entrega el 55% de la ingesta recomendada de vitamina A.

La vitamina A apoya el funcionamiento de las membranas conjuntivales y la córnea. Además, es un componente esencial de la rodopsina, una proteína necesaria para la visión normal (25).

Los caquis también contienen luteína y zeaxantina, que son antioxidantes carotenoides que promueven una visión saludable.

Estas sustancias se encuentran en niveles altos en la retina, una capa de tejido sensible a la luz en la parte posterior del ojo.

Las dietas ricas en luteína y zeaxantina pueden reducir el riesgo de ciertas enfermedades oculares, incluida la degeneración macular relacionada con la edad, una enfermedad que afecta la retina y puede causar pérdida de la visión (26).

De hecho, un estudio en más de 100,000 personas encontró que aquellos que consumían las mayores cantidades de luteína y zeaxantina tenían un riesgo 40% menor de desarrollar degeneración macular relacionada con la edad que aquellos que consumían las menores cantidades.

7. Delicioso y fácil de agregar a su dieta

Los caquis se pueden agregar a una variedad de platos para brindar un impulso adicional de nutrición.

Estas frutas se pueden disfrutar frescas como un simple refrigerio o en deliciosas recetas. De hecho, se combinan de manera excelente con alimentos dulces y salados.

Aquí hay algunas maneras de agregar caquis a su dieta:

  • Cortar los caquis en una ensalada para una adición sabrosa.
  • Cubra su yogur o avena de la mañana con caqui fresco o cocido para una explosión de dulzura natural.
  • Asar los caquis en el horno y rociar con miel para un postre sabroso y saludable.
  • Mezcle el caqui seco o fresco en la mezcla para panecillos, pan o pasteles.
  • Combine con bayas y frutas cítricas para una deliciosa ensalada de frutas.
    Ase el caqui y sirva con Brie al horno para un sabroso aperitivo.
  • Hornee los caquis con pollo o carne para una combinación de sabor única.
    Lance los caquis congelados en su receta favorita de batidos para obtener nutrientes adicionales.
  • Cortar y secar los caquis en el horno para hacer tiras de fruta natural.

La línea de fondo

Los caquis son frutas dulces y versátiles llenas de vitaminas, minerales, fibra y compuestos beneficiosos de plantas.

Además, pueden promover la salud del corazón, reducir la inflamación, apoyar la visión saludable y mantener saludable el sistema digestivo.

Además, son sabrosos y combinan bien con muchos alimentos.

Con todos los beneficios que los caquis tienen para ofrecer, agregar estas sabrosas frutas a su dieta debería ser una obviedad.

Top 7 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Persimmon

Originally published on Healthline.com

Top 7 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Persimmon

Originally from China, persimmon trees have been grown for thousands of years for their delicious fruit and beautiful wood.

Their orange-colored fruits called persimmons are known for their sweet, honey-like flavor.

While hundreds of types exist, the Hachiya and Fuyu varieties are among the most popular.

The heart-shaped Hachiya persimmons are astringent, meaning they are very high in plant chemicals called tannins that give the unripe fruit a dry, bitter taste.

This type of persimmon needs to be fully ripe before eating.

Fuyu persimmons also contain tannins, but they are considered non-astringent. Unlike Hachiya persimmons, the crisp, tomato-shaped Fuyu variety can be enjoyed even when not completely ripe.

Persimmons can be eaten fresh, dried or cooked and are commonly used around the world in jellies, drinks, pies, curries and puddings.

Not only are persimmons tasty, they’re packed with nutrients that can benefit your health in several ways.

Here are 7 benefits of persimmons, including how to incorporate them into your diet.

1. Loaded With Nutrients

Though small in size, persimmons are packed with an impressive amount of nutrients.

In fact, one persimmon (168 grams) contains (1):

  • Calories: 118
  • Carbs: 31 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Vitamin A: 55% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 22% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 6% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 8% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 8% of the RDI
  • Copper: 9% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDI

Persimmons are also a good source of thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), folate, magnesium and phosphorus.

These colorful fruits are low in calories and loaded with fiber, making them a weight loss-friendly food.

Just one persimmon contains over half the recommended intake of vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin critical for immune function, vision and fetal development (2).

Aside from vitamins and minerals, persimmons contain a wide array of plant compounds, including tannins, flavonoids and carotenoids, which can positively impact your health (3).

The leaves of the persimmon fruit are also high in vitamin C, tannins and fiber, as well as a common ingredient in therapeutic teas.

2. Excellent Source of Powerful Antioxidants

Persimmons contain beneficial plant compounds that have antioxidant qualities.

Antioxidants help prevent or slow cell damage by counteracting oxidative stress, a process triggered by unstable molecules called free radicals.

Oxidative stress has been linked to certain chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s (5).

Fortunately, consuming antioxidant-rich foods like persimmons can help fight oxidative stress and may decrease the risk of certain chronic diseases.

Diets high in flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants found in high concentrations in the skin and flesh of persimmons, have been linked to lower rates of heart disease, age-related mental decline and lung cancer (6).

Persimmons are also rich in carotenoid antioxidants like beta-carotene, a pigment found in many brightly colored fruits and vegetables.

Studies have linked diets high in beta-carotene to a lower risk of heart disease, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and metabolic disease (7).

Additionally, a study in over 37,000 people found that those with a high dietary intake of beta-carotene had a significantly reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

3. May Benefit Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and negatively impacts the lives of millions of people (9).

Fortunately, most types of heart disease can be prevented by reducing risk factors, such as an unhealthy diet.

The powerful combination of nutrients found in persimmons makes them an excellent choice for boosting heart health.

Persimmons contain flavonoid antioxidants, including quercetin and kaempferol.

Consuming a diet high in flavonoids has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease in several studies.

For example, a study in over 98,000 people found those with the highest intake of flavonoids had 18% fewer deaths from heart-related issues, compared to those with the lowest intake (10).

Diets high in flavonoid-rich foods can support heart health by lowering blood pressure, reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol and decreasing inflammation (11).

What’s more, the tannins that give unripe persimmons their mouth-puckering bitterness may lower blood pressure.

Many animal studies have shown that tannic acid and gallic acid, both found in persimmons, are effective at lowering high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.

4. May Help Reduce Inflammation

Conditions like heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and obesity are all linked to chronic inflammation.

Luckily, choosing foods that are high in anti-inflammatory compounds can help reduce inflammation and lower disease risk.

Persimmons are an excellent source of the potent antioxidant vitamin C. In fact, one persimmon contains 20% of the recommended daily intake.

Vitamin C helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and combats inflammation in the body.

Vitamin C reduces free radical damage by donating an electron to these unstable molecules, thus neutralizing them and preventing them from causing further harm.

C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 are substances produced by the body in reaction to inflammation.

An eight-week study in 64 obese people found that supplementing with 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily significantly reduced levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 (15).

Plus, large studies have linked higher dietary intake of vitamin C to a reduced risk of inflammatory conditions like heart disease, prostate cancer and diabetes (16, 17, 18).

Persimmons also contain carotenoids, flavonoids and vitamin E, all of which are potent antioxidants that fight inflammation in the body.

5. Rich in Fiber

Having too much cholesterol, especially “bad” LDL cholesterol, can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attack.

Foods high in soluble fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, can help lower high cholesterol levels by helping the body excrete excess amounts of it.

Persimmons are a high-fiber fruit that has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

One study found that adults who consumed cookie bars containing persimmon fiber three times a day for 12 weeks experienced a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol, compared to those who ate bars that did not contain persimmon fiber (22).

Fiber is also important for regular bowel movements and can help reduce high blood sugar levels.

Soluble fiber-rich foods like persimmons slow carbohydrate digestion and sugar absorption, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes.

A study in 117 people with diabetes showed that increased consumption of soluble dietary fiber led to significant improvements in blood sugar levels (23).

Plus, fiber helps fuel the “good” bacteria in your intestines, which can positively impact your digestive and overall health.

6. Support Healthy Vision

Persimmons provide lots of vitamin A and antioxidants that are critical for eye health.

In fact, one persimmon delivers 55% of the recommended intake of vitamin A.

Vitamin A supports the functioning of the conjunctival membranes and cornea. Moreover, it is an essential component of rhodopsin, a protein necessary for normal vision (25).

Persimmons also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoid antioxidants that promote healthy vision.

These substances are found in high levels in the retina, a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of the eye.

Diets rich in lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce the risk of certain eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, a disease that impacts the retina and can cause vision loss (26).

In fact, a study in over 100,000 people found that those who consumed the highest amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin had a 40% lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration than those who consumed the least amounts.

7. Delicious and Easy to Add to Your Diet

Persimmons can be added to a variety of dishes to provide an extra boost of nutrition.

These fruits can be enjoyed fresh as a simple snack or used in delicious recipes. In fact, they pair excellently with both sweet and savory foods.

Here are some ways to add persimmons to your diet:

  • Slice persimmons onto a salad for a flavorful addition.
  • Top your morning yogurt or oatmeal with fresh or cooked persimmon for a burst of natural sweetness.
  • Roast persimmons in the oven and drizzle with honey for a tasty and healthy dessert.
  • Mix dried or fresh persimmon into muffin, bread or cake mix.
    Combine with berries and citrus fruits for a delicious fruit salad.
  • Broil persimmon and serve with baked Brie for a tasty appetizer.
  • Bake persimmons with chicken or meat for a unique flavor combination.
  • Throw frozen persimmons into your favorite smoothie recipe for extra nutrients.
  • Slice and dry persimmons in the oven to make natural fruit strips.

The Bottom Line

Persimmons are sweet, versatile fruits full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and beneficial plant compounds.

What’s more, they may promote heart health, reduce inflammation, support healthy vision and keep your digestive system healthy.

Plus, they are tasty and pair well with many foods.

With all the benefits that persimmons have to offer, adding these tasty fruits to your diet should be a no-brainer.

Delusions of Organic Tamales in California/Delirios de tamales orgánicos en California

Olive Oil TamalesIt’s Christmas Time and I’m thinking about some vegan tamales and how good they will be.  I had it all figured out with a recipe I found in Decolonize Your Diet.  I was ready to make these heavenly treats.  So I did the normal thing most people do is go to the store and get the ingredients.  No problem or so I thought.

I live in Northern California close to Napa in Solano County.  I went to Nugget market to get some of the ingredients.  I wanted Organic as a Study shows that Organic food has more antioxidants and less pesticides.  I also went to see what kind of corn flour was available.  Of course they had the evil Maseca which has tested positive for glycophosphate.  The same ingredient as in Round Up Pesticides.  The only organic corn I can find was organic polenta. So I thought OK I can get that and then grind it down into a flour with a grinder.  So I bought a grinder.  Cool I’m one step closer to making them.

Es Navidad y estoy pensando en algunos tamales veganos y en lo buenos que serán. Lo tenía todo resuelto con una receta que encontré en Decolonize Your Diet. Estaba listo para hacer estas delicias celestiales. Así que hice lo normal que la mayoría de la gente hace es ir a la tienda y obtener los ingredientes. No hay problema o eso pensé.

Vivo en el norte de California cerca de Napa en el condado de Solano. Fui al mercado de Nugget para obtener algunos de los ingredientes. Quería que lo orgánico, como un estudio, muestra que los alimentos orgánicos tienen más antioxidantes y menos pesticidas. También fui a ver qué tipo de harina de maíz estaba disponible. Por supuesto que tenían la malvada Maseca, que dio positivo por glicofosfato. El mismo ingrediente que en Round Up Pesticides. El único maíz orgánico que pude encontrar fue la polenta orgánica. Así que pensé bien, puedo obtener eso y luego molerlo en una harina con un molinillo. Así que compré un molinillo. Genial, estoy un paso más cerca de hacerlos.

agriculture bright cereal close up

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

Then the date to make them is tomorrow.  So I said hey let’s go get the ingredients.  I bought some corn husks and pasilla peppers, I had the corn and everything else.  I was ready to roll.


Valerie Estrella and Veronica Gonzalez-Bryan have been friends since 1988 when they met at Una clase de Espanol.  This was at Valerie’s Retirement Party in 2017.

So my friend from college, Veronica Gonzalez-Bryan a Information Technology Specialist with the State of California at the Employment Development Department, had made some tamales so I called her up to see how it went.  I also wanted to tell Veronica what I had learned about the Maseca brand.  I was very upset about the choice of options available.  So she asked me the dreaded question.  “Did you get organic corn husks?”  The answer was a big fat no.  How could I have forgotten?  Then I remembered the peppers I bought were not organic either.  I was getting more disappointed by the second.

Entonces la fecha para hacerlos es mañana. Así que dije hey, vamos a buscar los ingredientes. Compré algunas cáscaras de maíz y pasilla, tuve el maíz y todo lo demás. Estaba listo para rodar.

Así que mi amiga de la universidad, Veronica Gonzalez-Bryan, especialista en tecnología de la información del Estado de California en el
 Departamento de Desarrollo de Empleo,hecho algunos tamales, así que la llamé para ver cómo había ido. También quería contarle lo que había aprendido sobre la marca Maseca. Estaba muy molesto por la elección de opciones disponibles. Así que ella me hizo la temida pregunta. "¿Conseguiste cáscaras de maíz orgánico?" La respuesta fue un gran gordo no. ¿Cómo pude haberlo olvidado? Entonces recordé que los pimientos que compré tampoco eran orgánicos. Me estaba decepcionando más por el segundo.


It’s really sad the condition of the food that is available in the richest nation in the world.  I guess that’s how they got so rich was by feeding the most basic of food and turned it into frankenfood.  So now I had no organic corn husks, no organic peppers therefore no organic tamales.  And to top it all off after going over all of this situation, I realized that I have to make the tamales from the actual corn.  It’s not corn flour, it’s ground up corn from the inside of the kernels.  So I am so far removed from the process that I have no idea where the actual masa actually comes from.  I am completely ignorant in making tamales and although I am a little embarrassed, it is what it is.  That means I must learn from a master and quit trying to do it myself.  But I want organic corn and I do know of a place in Los Angeles that has organic masa.  It’s time to plant some corn with the quickness!!

But guess what?  Now I am on a mission to make organic vegan tamales.This is for Mis Abuelitas.  This is no longer a joke and let me tell you something.   Give me organic corn or give me death.  That’s how I feel right now about this.  It shouldn’t be that difficult.  It’s corn not freaking oil.  But I guess they don’t care about little Corn Women now do they?  Well guess what?  I care and this ends now.

Es realmente triste la condición de los alimentos disponibles en la nación más rica del mundo. Supongo que así es como se enriquecieron al alimentar la comida más básica y convertirla en comida franken. Así que ahora no tenía cáscaras de maíz orgánicas, ni pimientos orgánicos, por lo tanto, no tamales orgánicos. Y para colmo, después de repasar toda esta situación, me di cuenta de que tengo que hacer los tamales del maíz real. No es harina de maíz, está molida de maíz desde el interior de los granos. Así que estoy tan alejado del proceso que no tengo idea de dónde proviene realmente la masa real. Soy completamente ignorante en la fabricación de tamales y aunque estoy un poco avergonzado, es lo que es. Eso significa que debo aprender de un maestro y dejar de intentar hacerlo yo mismo. Pero quiero maíz orgánico y sé de un lugar en Los Ángeles que tiene masa orgánica. ¡Es hora de plantar un poco de maíz con la rapidez!

¿Pero adivina que? Ahora estoy en una misión para hacer tamales veganos orgánicos. Esto es para Mis Abuelitas. Esto ya no es una broma y déjame decirte algo. Dame maíz orgánico o dame muerte. Así es como me siento ahora con respecto a esto. No debería ser tan difícil. Es el maíz no el aceite maldito. Pero supongo que no les importan las pequeñas mujeres de maíz, ¿verdad? ¿Bien adivina que? Me importa y esto termina ahora.

tee pee


Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach trying to make organic Vegan Tamales.  It’s not as easy as she thought but she will keep researching to find some organic corn.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and puppy.

Valerie es una entrenadora de salud y bienestar que intenta hacer tamales veganos orgánicos. No es tan fácil como pensó, pero seguirá investigando para encontrar algo de maíz orgánico. Ella vive en el norte de California con su hija y su cachorro.


22 Healthy Foods to Always Have in Your Fridge

Originally Published on ForksOverKnives.com on April 20, 2015 By Darshana Thacker

22 Healthy Foods to Always Have in Your Fridge_5
Here’s a master list to use when you’re stocking up on healthy ingredients and essentials. Filling your kitchen with healthy foods makes cooking delicious dishes a pleasure, not a chore. Although it looks like a long list, it’s worth it to stock up on condiments and frozen goods, since they will last for a long time.

1. Staple Vegetables

For vegetables, stock up on carrots, celery, beets, and bell peppers, because they have a better shelf life than other vegetables. You can use them in stews, for making stock, with dips as a snack, and in a lot of other types of recipes.

2. Staple Fruits

For fruit, stock up on apples, grapes, berries, and pears. These last a long time in your fridge, and are good for snacking or in oatmeal and baked goods.

3. Greens Like Lettuce, Spinach, and Kale

Fresh greens are always good for making a quick salad or for steaming or sautéing. You can also throw them in stews, soups, and healthy scrambles.

22 Healthy Foods to Always Have in Your Fridge_1

4. Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs add flavor and freshness to almost any recipe you’ll make. My favorites are cilantro, parsley, thyme, sage, dill, and rosemary. If the herbs are damp, then wrap them in a dry paper towel before storing; if dry, wrap them in a damp paper towel before storing.

date paste recipe

5. Dates and Dried Fruit

It’s always a good idea to have dates and other dried fruits in your fridge. Keep your favorites on hand, whether they’re raisins, dried figs, dried apricots, currants, or cranberries. You will get a lot of use out of a small amount in place of sweeteners and in baking.

6. Nuts and Seeds

We use them sparingly at Forks Over Knives, but nuts are good to have in case you don’t have nut milk—you can quickly make some nut milk at home. You can also use nuts and seeds to garnish your salads or main dishes.

7. Plant-Based Milks

Stock up on any plant-based milk that you like, whether it’s almond, soy, rice, cashew, hemp, or rice milk. You can always use it in breakfast cereals, for making baked goods, and in any dish that requires a creamy texture. Just like with nuts and seeds, please use sparingly.

8. Salsa

Good quality store-bought salsa makes cooking easier, as you can use it in main dishes and as a dip or a dip ingredient.

9. Mustard

Always have some mustard you like in the fridge, whether it’s Dijon, yellow, spicy brown, or another variety. You can use it on sandwiches and in dressings and sauces.

10. Hummushomemade-hummus

Some good hummus is always useful to have in your kitchen, since you can use it as a dip or as a sandwich spread. Try this delicious low-fat hummus recipe.

11. Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor to food, so it’s a good vegan ingredient to have on hand. You can use it in pasta, in dips, and in other savory dishes.

12. Miso Paste

Miso is a flavoring agent that’s great for cooking, and along with nutritional yeast, adds a good cheesy flavor to dishes.

13. Tahini or Peanut/Nut Butters

Tahini, peanut butter, and other nut butters are good for making sandwiches, dressings, and baked goods.

22 Healthy Foods to Always Have in Your Fridge_3

14. Tamari or Soy Sauce

Tamari or regular soy sauce is useful for making Asian dishes, for overall flavor, and in dressings.

15. Hot Sauce

I love hot sauce because it adds spice and kick to dishes. When you buy it at the store, try to find an oil-free brand with just a few ingredients.

16. Cacao Powder

Keep some cacao powder in your kitchen to make any dessert that requires chocolate.
For the Freezer…

17. Cooked Beans

Whenever you make a batch of beans, double the recipe so that you have extra to freeze. This cuts down a lot of prep time during the week.

To thaw: remove from the freezer and thaw in the fridge overnight, or run under hot water to use them immediately.

18. Cooked Grains

Just as with beans, grains freeze and reheat beautifully. Store extra cooked rice and quinoa in your fridge and quick meals will be a breeze.

To thaw: remove from the freezer and thaw in the fridge overnight, or steam them to use them immediately. Or place the frozen grains in a bowl, and set into a larger bowl partially filled with very hot water.

19. Frozen Vegetables

Stock up on frozen vegetables like corn, vegetable medleys, edamame, and green peas, and you will always have healthy options when you’re cooking.

20. Frozen Fruit

When your grocery store is having a sale, stock up on frozen bananas, frozen berries, and other frozen fruits. You can use them when baking, snacking, or in smoothies.

21. Garlic and Ginger

Garlic and ginger are excellent to have for flavoring savory dishes, so I store minced garlic and grated ginger in small freezer bags when I have extra. There’s no need to defrost it before using.

22. Corn, Rice, and Wheat Tortillas

These freeze well, and tortillas are endlessly useful when making tacos, wraps, quesadillas, and other handheld meals.

Ready to cook?

Check out our recipe database of delicious, gorgeous, and healthy dishes.

22 Healthy Foods to Always Have in Your Fridge_4

By Darshana Thacker

Darshana Thacker is chef and culinary project manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she’s known for her hearty and distinctly flavorful creations, which draw inspiration from a wide range of ethnic traditions. Chef Darshana was the recipe author of Forks Over Knives Family and a lead recipe contributor for the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Chef Darshana has catered numerous events, served as a private chef and regularly holds individual and group cooking classes. Visit DarshanasKitchen.com for more.

DIY Wine Vinegar

Originally Published on TheSpruceEats.com on By Danette St. Onge

DIY Wine Vinegar

It tastes much better than store-bought

Wine vinegars, whether red or white, are a ubiquitous ingredient in salad dressings, sauces, stews, and slow-roasted dishes. And, it is easy enough to pick up a bottle at your supermarket, but, as with most food products, a homemade version tastes better than a mass-produced, store-bought. Homemade wine vinegar will be stronger and more concentrated, with a more delicate, but complex flavor. This will not only improve the taste of your recipes, but homemade wine vinegar also makes a nice gift.

And it’s quite simple to make. (You may have even accidentally made wine vinegar in the past by leaving out an opened bottle of wine too long!) To start, you will need a good-quality wine (red or white) that’s not too strong (about 10 to 11 percent ABV); too much alcohol inhibits the activity of the bacteria that transform the wine into vinegar. On the other hand, if the alcohol content is too low, the vinegar won’t keep well. Depending on how much wine vinegar you’d like to make will determine the method you use.

Make 1 Bottle

The easiest way to make your own wine vinegar is to leave an open, 3/4-full bottle of wine in a warm place for a couple of weeks. It’s really that simple—the natural oxidation process will do all of the work. The only issue you may encounter is fruit flies. To avoid this, place a small piece of cheesecloth over the opening of the bottle.

 Make a Steady Supply

To make larger amounts of wine vinegar you will need what is called a “mother” vinegar. This fermenting bacteria culture turns alcohol into acetic acid (in combination with oxygen) and can be purchased as “live” or “mother” vinegar or simply as an unpasteurized vinegar. You can also make your own mother vinegar by combining wine and vinegar and leaving it to ferment.

For a constant supply of vinegar, pour 1 quart (4 cups) of wine and 1 cup of the mother vinegar into a wide-mouthed glass jug with at least 1-gallon capacity. Cover the container with a piece of cheesecloth secured with a rubber band. In a couple of weeks, the live vinegar will have settled to the bottom of the jug, while the vinegar above it will be ready for use. Add more wine as you remove vinegar for use, to keep the level in the jug constant.

DIY Wine Vinegar

Make Large Batches

If you want to make wine vinegar in larger batches, you will need a 1-gallon glass or ceramic cask that has a spigot at one end. If it’s new, rinse it with vinegar and let it dry. Next, fill it to within a couple of inches of the top with wine and place it, covered with cheesecloth, in a location that’s about 68 F (20 C). In a couple of weeks, the wine will be vinegar. Drain it from the cask using the spigot. Replace the vinegar used with more wine, adding it into the cask through a hose or a funnel, so as to leave the mother undisturbed.


Quick Vegan Pho

PHO! Is there anything better than slurping up a big bowl of delicious brothy noodles? The answer is no. Soupy, slurpy, full of gorgeous flavours from star anise, cloves, cinnamon, garlic and ginger, topped with basil, mint, cilantro, and all sorts of other goodness. A total bowl of health. This baby will make colds run away in horror.


Traditional pho is supposed to take several hours to make, but let’s be honest, I ain’t got time for that.


So I figured out a cheaters way (aka brilliant way) to make it in just 30 minutes. Not only that but you get to be all sorts of lazy and just toss everything in a pot and let it simmer.

I totally have time for that!Pho is all about the broth, and the broth is all about the right flavours. Pho’s unique flavours can be attributed to the spices: star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Often used as a sweet combination, but pair them with onion, garlic, and soy sauce, and oooeeee is that the yummiest savoury, aromatic soup ever!

Then just decorate your pho with an endless combination of toppings. I love serving all the toppings on a large cutting board or in individual pretty little bowls, and then letting everyone top their pho to their own taste preferences. It makes for a great dinner party or just an easy weeknight meal.


To make quick vegan pho, just quarter an onion, roughly chop the garlic, and slice the ginger into coins. Add the broth, onion, garlic, star anise, whole cloves, ginger, and cinnamon to a large pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Yes, you will have large chunks of stuff floating around, thats how it should be.

In the meantime bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook your rice noodles. Follow the package directions or if there are none, cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles cooking.

Chop up your toppings, and sauté the mushrooms or tofu if you are using either. Now I am pretty sure you know how to fill a bowl of soup, so I really don’t need to do a step by step photo guide on this one, but just look how pretty it is…Ahhhhhhhh…. This is the stuff of love.


Feature Ingredient: Star Anise! 188 days, 69 Recipes to go.

Bon Appetegan!


Liberation From The Kitchen

How would you feel with some extra free time?  It’s easier than you think.

Let’s look at the current situation.  Many men and women work full time jobs.  After they get off work, they have to get home and figure out dinner for themselves and maybe their families.  Not sure about how many people feel about cooking dinner after working at least 8 hours, but it can be exhausting and that’s not exactly the first thing you feel like doing.

So how do you deal with this feeling of not wanting to cook?  Many people decide not to cook and instead go to their favorite take out or restaurant and buy dinner.  Not only is this pricey but most of the packaging comes in plastic.  Hopefully you grab something healthy for your body.  But if not then you bought something bad for one’s body and is bad for the planet as well.

How about thinking about a new solution?  I know this is not a new idea but actually a very old idea.  So maybe you have a good friend that is in the same situation as you.  So before you cook dinner you give them a quick call and say, “Hey friend, I’m making some mushroom soup and salad.  I cannot eat it all.  Would you like to stop by on your way home from work and pick some up on your way home?  Bring your own container and we’ll save the planet.”  Your friend is not only grateful but she replies, “Thanks so much!! I made some almond meal cookies and I’ll bring you some.”

The next night the cookie making friend calls her making friend and says, ” I made some quinoa with pesto sauce would you like me to bring some over?”  And they were both fed happy and they had the strength to carry on another day.

So if everyone started to do this, it would just create a world where people are sharing, caring and being fed.  It would be really great for the planet, families wallets and it would allow people to share some time together instead of being in the kitchen.

You can also try new and different food and if you like to cook, then someone to tell you how awesome your food is.  Also there’s nothing wrong with just giving food to someone with no expectation in return.  As you give, so shall you receive.  This is how we will transform our planet.  One small gesture of sharing at a time.  Let’s start the cycle of giving and receiving.

About the Author:  Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor.  Her dream is to see all people healthy and happy.  She shares with you healthy recipes, Anything good for Mother Earth as Mother Earth is in need of healing. As you Heal Yourself, You heal the planet.

Reasons why Smoothies Are Awesome

blue-1326154__480One of the main reasons I love smoothies is that they are so easy to make.  You just put all of the awesome ingredients in the blender, turn it on and then you have an awesome drink within seconds.

In order to make a good smoothie, it’s important to make sure you have the proper equipment.  Personally, I feel the “>Vitamix is the best blender.  It is a little pricey but it has an awesome warranty and it just really blends things superbly.  I’ve had many other blenders and it’s frustrating when you end up with a watery drink and lots of unblended ingredients at the bottom (yuck) of the blender that didn’t get blended.  The Vitamix does not have that issue.  Plus you can make soup and so many other amazing things with them.

With smoothies you can put all of these highly nutritious ingredients that maybe you wouldn’t normally eat such as beets or kale and whip them up with almond milk and drink it and you get healthy food into you fast with minimal effort on your part.

The other thing I recently discovered is that I used to make a smoothie everyday.  Then one day I said to myself, “Self why don’t you make a double batch and then tomorrow you won’t have to make a smoothie?”  A huge light bulb went off and it literally saved a ton of time.  The next day all I had to do was go to the refrigerator and grab my smoothie, shake it up and drink.  It was like someone gave me some extra free time.  I now regularly make a double batch.  I’m all about making things easy.

Also with smoothies, you can eat them on the go.  On your way to work or after you get there, you can drink it at your desk and nobody is going to say, “Eat your breakfast on your own time?” or anything about why you’re eating at work because it looks like you are just drinking water.  So it’s really portable and highly digestible.

girl drinking smoothie

The recipe for the attached smoothie for a double batch is the following:

  • 2 cups Almond Milk, coconut milk, flax milk (Or whatever kind of milk you want although I do not recommend cows milk but obviously use whatever kind you like)
  • 2 Cups Frozen Organic Blue Berries or Cherries
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 4 Scoops “>Orgain Organic Protein chocolate (you can also mix up your own powders which I do in the video.)
  • Water (after you add all the ingredients, fill up until you get to 6 cups
  • (If you are feeling adventurous you can throw in a couple of handfuls of kale or spinach

It’s really easy now, turn the blender on and blend it until mixed up and pour into your favorite glass and enjoy

Now if you want to know what those powders are that I put in my smoothie in the video, here they are.  Note that this may not be palatable to everyone but the powders are highly nutritious.

It may take you a minute to get used to the taste but I guarantee it won’t take you long to get used to feeling alert and energized and clear-headed with good digestion.  Enjoy and let me know your thoughts on smoothies.

Valerie is a Yoga Instructor and  Health and Wellness Coach.  She recently retired from a 26 year career in law enforcement.  It’s her hope that people follow their dreams and passions and live a healthy lifestyle.  You can reach here at :estrella.valerie@yahoo.com.

PS:Please subscribe to my Youtube channel.  XOXO