Posts Tagged ‘walnuts’

Heart Matters: February 2018

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

January is almost over, so I have stopped saying Happy New Year to people I meet.
Now I can start saying Happy Valentine’s Day or Happy Healthy Heart Month!

February is also still cold in the Northeast, so I will be posting a couple of winter poems by my virtual poet-in-residence, Mary Lou Meyers. And the snowy photo below is from my friend Hope. It is the creek next to her farmhouse when we had a snowstorm in January. The beauty of winter, especially after a storm, is something we don’t rave about, but I do love the snowy landscape in winter, especially before the snow is trod upon.


Winter also means more soups, stews, root veggies, and darker greens, so I plan to feature some hearty/hardy dishes.  When I Googled the difference between these two words, here’s what came up (direct quote):

These two words overlap somewhat, but usually the word you want is “hearty.” The standard expressions are “a hearty appetite,” “a hearty meal,” a “hearty handshake,” “a hearty welcome,” and “hearty applause.” “Hardy” turns up in “hale and hardy,” but should not be substituted for “hearty” in the other expressions. May 19, 2016 hardy / hearty | Common Errors in English Usage and More …https://brians.wsu.edu/2016/05/19/hardy-hearty/

(I think both words can apply to heart-warming, heart-healthy, and hardy dishes.)

Since I will be away for one week in February, I may repost some of my favorite soups or stews, with special emphasis on foods good for the heart. Speaking of which, in globalhealthcenter.com, Dr. Edward Group writes:

Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. If it’s weak, you’re weak. There are a few things you can do to provide your heart with what it needs to be at its best. The first is to get plenty of exercise. Your heart is a muscle, it needs to be worked. Second, avoid toxins that damage your cardiovascular system — don’t smoke, avoid high fat foods, and limit (eliminate?) your refined sugar intake.* Here are ten foods you can add to your diet to increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants necessary to maintain a healthy heart. And they’re delicious too.
(Photo also from same website.)

  1. Salmon
  2. Broccoli
  3. Asparagus
  4. Chickpeas
  5. Spinach
  6. Almonds
  7. Olives
  8. Red Wine
  9. Avocado
  10. Walnuts

I plan to feature some of these foods in my recipes. Except for salmon and red wine, they are all perfect for my meatless recipes.
*I will also write about the link between sugar and heart health.

February is also Black History Month or African-American History Month.  If you type ibn Celebrating Black History Month, you will be led to this website: www.poetryfoundation.org.  You can click on several poems by African-Americans such as Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Frederick Douglass or type in the poet’s name. Here is an excerpt from one of the poems on this site, written by Elizabeth Alexander, entitled Praise Song for the Day (A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration). I chose it because it speaks of love, and February seems to be the perfect time to post it. Go to the website to read the entire poem, since I do not have permission to do so.

…..Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance…..

Apropos to love in all its forms is Valentine’s Day on February 14th. No sooner have retail stores packed away the paraphernalia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. then do all the trimmings of Valentine’s Day appear. Since I met my husband Alan 15 years ago right before Valentine’s Day, I feel quite sentimental about it, so I will post something about this day, maybe how it can be used as a day for showing love to family, friends, Mother Earth, as well as partners, spouses, and significant others, as Elizabeth Alexander writes so eloquently above.

Here’s wishing you a heart-healthy attitude about your own health
and those you love.

Winter Solstice Soiree*

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
*I lookled up the definition of soiree and found that it is derived from the French word for evening (soir) and means an evening party or gathering, typically in a private house for conversation or music. Perfect description for our party, except no mention of food!

snowtree

(The little red car is actually our car that happened to be parked near the tree. A fitting snow covered tree for a winter solstice.)

Since today is also the first day of winter, I took a picture of the tree outside our living room window, which was snow covered from the brief snow we had last Saturday morning.

Inside we were warm, enjoying the conversation and the food. Here are some photos of the items we served: Hoomus from sprouted chick peas (recipe when I do sprouts again), guacamole, salsa, raw veggies, cheese & crackers, shrimp, tortilla chips, pita bread made into pita chips in the oven, plus beverages, melted chocolate fondue with fresh, organic strawberries for dipping, and cookies (My thanks to my daughter Basha for the recipe at the end of the photos below.)

flowerscandles1

~A perfect night for candles~

solsticefood

~Organic raw veggies & dips~

chocfondue

~Chocolate Fondue with Red, Ripe Organic Strawberries~

straw-1

cranberry-cookies
Recipe below for my daughter’s Cranberry Cookies (pretzel stars were a house gift.)

~Sweet & Tart Crunchy Cookies~ 
by Basha Starr

My mother always made too much oatmeal. She would make either oatmeal pancakes or oatmeal cookies from the leftover oatmeal. I loved these cookies and decided to give them a festive flavor by adding cranberries and walnuts. The unique combination of maple syrup with cranberries and walnuts results in a delicious blend of pleasantly sweet, crunchy and tart cookies. The whole cranberries make each bite have a little burst of tartness and the red from the cranberries gives these cookies a distinctive holiday look. 

Ingredients (I made some alternate or updated suggestions in italics.)

one egg
1/4 cup Land ‘O Lakes butter (or coconut oil)
3/4 cups maple syrup (1/2 cup)
1 cup cooked oatmeal (I used regular, not quick oats. es)
1 cup dry, rolled oats (same as above)
1 cup unbleached white flour (I used organic flour)
1 Tbl. double-acting baking powder
1 1/4 cups raw, whole cranberries, rinsed with stems removed
(Since I cut back on the maple syrup I reduced the amount here to one cup. es)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix egg, melted butter (or coconut oil) and maple syrup.
  3. In a larger bowl, combine cooked oatmeal, uncooked oatmeal, and baking powder.
  4. Pour egg mixture from smaller bowl into oat mixture into larger bowl and mix well.
  5. Finally, gently stir in rinsed cranberries and chopped walnuts. Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet sprayed with a no-stick spray (I used silicon liners on my cookie sheets) and bake 20-25 minutes, until tops and bottoms are slightly golden.

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen sweet ‘n tart crunchy cookies

 

solsticetree1Enjoy the solstice. Now the days will get longer!!!