Tip of The Week

ST JOHN’S WORT ( HYPERICUM PERFORATUM )

I often use herbal medication instead of conventional, because I have found there are less side affects.

Three years ago I contracted shingles it was vast from my back under my arm and across my chest. The pain was intense I had the antibiotics etc from the Doctor but 8 weeks after I was still in a lot of pain which the described as postherpetic neuralgia, in other words nerve pain. I was given pain killers which did not work, then anti convulsive drugs which made no difference then they prescribed anti depressants which made me feel spaced out but did help with the pain. I only took them for 5 or 6 days because I was really frightened I would become addicted. I decided I would look for some natural remedy so tried homeopathic medication but it did not work either, then I came across St John’s Wort which is herbal and often used for depression, I started taking 400g twice a day and after a few months cut it down to 400g which I took for a year, it made a big difference the pain was at least bearable. Even today I still have pain but it is not debilitating.

Like all herbal medication be careful if you are taking other meds.

Tip of the Week

KOHLRABI

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This vegetable is native to Europe, it comes in white or purple, and is part of the same family as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Kohlrabi tastes like cabbage or broccoli stems.

When I lived in Scotland I successfully grew kohlrabi from seed in my greenhouse. I have been unable to find seeds here, but it is readily available in the fruit and veg shop.

Facts about Kohlrabi

  1. Only 27 calories per 100g.
  2. zero cholesterol.
  3. rich in vit C
  4. contains vit B complex.
  5. negligible fat.
  6. contains minerals, potassium, copper, manganese, iron and phosphorus.

There are many ways to eat Kohlrabi, some I have tried are pickled, steamed , rosti, raw in salads.

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You can grate the Kohlrabi, you have to dry it out in kitchen paper first as it is very wet, when fried it tastes a bit like bubble and squeak, but still has a bit crunch.

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Pickled Kohlrabi

chop into squares, add some olive oil, vinegar, I used white wine vinegar, sweet soya sauce. Put into container with lid shake and leave for 2 to 3 hours to marinate, then ready to eat. Great snack.

My favourite way to cook kohlrabi is to steam it, and have it as a vegetable , I like the way it stays whole and is still firm.

You can also eat the leaves or tops, use chopped up in a salad. The leaves contain carotenes, vit A, C and B complex.

Tip of the Week

Growing vegetables in pots

When I lived in the UK , I had a garden for vegetables and one for herbs. Now I am in Tenerife I have a balcony, because I still like to grow some of my own vegetables and herbs I do so now in pots. Over the years I have grown potatoes, carrots, courgettes, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and this year I am going to try and grow sweet potatoes.

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The sweet potatoes are already on the go, will let you know how they fair.

It is fairly easy to grow in pots, most of what I grow come from seeds, except the potatoes. I plant maybe 3 potatoes that are going to seed in one pot, cover and leave to grow, they only need a little water to begin with until the leaves appear, and even then do not over water them as they will rot.

I sow  my seeds in small pots to start with then transplant into bigger ones when they have about 4 leaves.

It is such a joy to eat something you have grown yourself.

Tip of the week

Lemons

Lemons are very versatile here are some of the things I use lemons for

  • My morning drink – hot water, slice lemon and honey, kick starts your digestive system.
  • cleaning my chopping board – eliminates smells
  • insect repellant – put 20 drops of lemon oil to 250ml water in a spray bottle and spray the room. 10 drops of oil to 1 oz sunflower oil and rub onto exposed skin, helps keep insects at bay.
  • gargle – juice of 1 lemon,1 tsp salt,add to a cup of warm water, gargle a few times, this helps a sore throat.
  • add a cup of lemon juice to your laundry for a boost, helps with stains .
  • use instead of bleach, add lemon juice and baking soda to water and soak your delicates.
  • highlight your hair – rinse your hair with 1/2 cup of lemon juice to 3/4 cup water. let dry in the sun repeat every day for a week.
  • salad dressing – lemon juice, olive oil crushed garlic and pepper.
  • lemon juice added to curry, gives it a lift.
  • marinade meat especially turkey or chicken in lemon juice – tenderizes the meat.
  • add lemon juice to your oil burner – helps concentration.
  • lemons contain anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, as well as being a liver cleanser.

Tip of the Week

CARROTS

Carrots have been proven to be good for you. They contain Vitamin A, K, E, B6, B2, B1, Potassium, Magnesium, antioxidant nutrients like Vitamin C, phytonutrient antioxidants like beta-carotene.

Good for the heart and vascular system and the skin.

There are many ways you can have carrots, and cooking them does not destroy the goodness.

If you are not a lover of carrots, why not grate them into your mince , then cook as normal you will never know they are there.

Carrot cake is another good way of eating carrots, and again you would not know it was made of carrots.

Great for juicing. Best way to cook then is steaming, they taste better somehow.

Sometimes I cook them in a little water, some olive oil and garlic, if you cut the carrots small it works better, because they cook quicker, just cover the carrots with the liquid no more, and once cooked there is very little liquid left, then mash them.

It is best to keep carrots in the coolest part of the  fridge, away from other veg and fruit. Wrap in damp paper and put in an airtight container, should keep for up to 2 weeks.

 

Tip of the week

Sweet potato ” The worlds healthiest food”.

Lately I have become fed up with the quality of potatoes I have been buying, not all the same type in the bag, most rotten inside when you cut them, so decided I needed a change.

Over the years I have used sweet potatoes, in soups and curries, but not really as a vegetable or substitute for potatoes, I like rosti potatoes so thought I would give sweet potato a try and it was really good, kinda replaces toast for me for breakfast as I am wheat intolerant and this is great to dip in your soft poached egg.

There are many health benefits, loads of vitamin A which is good for your skin, vitamin C  which helps boost your immunity, beta-carotene, calcium and potassium. Also sweet potato has a low GI rating, which helps balance your sugar levels.

There are many different varieties of sweet potato available, white ,orange, and purple , at the moment I have tried the white and the orange, I found the orange sweeter but the white creamier when mashed.

To make the rosti I just took the skin off the sweet potato and grated it with a fine grater onto kitchen roll patted to remove excess water then fried in olive oil.

 

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Tip of the week

Why not try to pickle your own beetroot, it is easy and so much better for you than bought ones.

Beetroot has many health benefits, contains dietary fibre which helps promote stable blood sugar levels.

High in vitamin A, good source of Magnesium and Potassium.

Here is how I pickle mine, not difficult at all.

It is better if you can buy organic beetroot. I usually make enough for to fill 2 kilner jars.

Recipe

7 or 8 beetroot ( about tennis ball size)

1 cup cider or apple vinegar

1 desert spoonful of honey

2 star anise

1/2 tsp mixed spice.

Method

  • place whole beetroot into pot cover with cold water, bring to the boil and then turn heat down to a simmer , let simmer for about 1 hour. ( do not take skin or stalk off beetroot at this stage )

 

 

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  • Put vinegar, water, honey, star anise and mixed spice into a small pot and bring to the boil then stir and take off heat.

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  • When beetroot is cooked and cooled, take stalk and skin off.

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  • Cut into bite sized pieces and put into kilner jar, then cover with vinegar, and close jar.

 

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  • When cool I store in cupboard in the dark
  • Once opened I store in the fridge

These jars unopened will keep for months.If you prefer you can eat cold cooked beetroot in a salad, the only thing is it does not keep long.

I usually cook my beetroot at night , let it cool overnight in pot then drain and pickle the next day.