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Roasted lotus seeds: medicinal, healthy, snack recipe

September 17, 2018

Lotus seeds roasted in a pan with a wee bit of ghee, cinnamon, salt and ground Nigella sativa and fennel seeds. That’s a tasty crunchy medicinal snack. Food is good. This is a recipe  that would have made my friend Yasmina proud. (the photo, not so much – she would have made it stunningly beautiful!) This recipe is,  in fact, inspired by Yasmina. I have been thinking a lot about my friend and colleague since she passed. Her work was truly sublime and her generosity knew no bounds. I really miss her in that painful way that only happens when someone dies. Grieving allows us to see how we missed opportunities so that we can practice stepping more fully into our present moment now as we move forward into the ever-present now.

This recipe (experimentation) came about because since her premature passing, I’ve been hanging out a bit on Yasmina’s site, Healing Histamine a little more than usual while remembering and revisiting her. I reread old correspondence and found bits of wisdom I need now. She remains present in a big way through her work.

Anyway, back to the post at hand. I’ve been intending on adding lotus seeds and roots to my diet  for some years. The inspiration has always been Yasmina since she mentioned the roots in one of her early books with a recipe included. Finding the lotus seed and or roots has been a bit more challenging. Lately however I’ve been using a Chinese Medicine framework to better understand my body and that’s led me to find more herbs from the chinese apothecary. Long story short, I finally got a hold of a large bag of dried lotus seeds. Yasmina’s recipe calls for fresh frozen lotus root which I’ve not found. She does refer to using the dried lotus for tea but the fact is the roots and seeds can be cooked with and there are now lots of various asian recipes online.

From Healing Histamine:

selective focus photography of pink flowerMore than just a beautiful adornment, Asia’s revered lotus flower offers up several compounds with antihistamine, mast cell stabilising and anti-inflammatory properties. Best of all, the lotus is highly edible, tasty and fairly easy to find frozen or as a tea. 

Lotus seed is often used in Chinese Formulas for calming shen. It’s also eaten as a food in many Asian cultures. The root is likely to have somewhat different but also similar properties or ways of supporting the body from what I can gather. Whatever the case, trust your body whenever trying something new. It knows best and better than anything we can talk about. I didn’t tolerate most of the most important foods and herbs in my diet right now for many years as a result of the psych drug withdrawal syndrome etc. Learning to listen to the body remains part of my healing process.

I have found in my forays with Chinese medicine that it seems that a lot of the “shen calming” herbs are, indeed, also natural antihistamines. This is based on my own experience using them and feeling how my body responds to them. Chinese herbs are often in formulas with many herbs and they’re carefully balanced so that I’ve found I tolerate herbs in these formulas that I’ve not tolerated alone. Chinese medicine is great in that it’s got a sense of how plants work together in profound synergistic ways, hence the complex formulas with many herbs included.

I never found frozen lotus root available in our local Asian markets. I did find dried lotus seeds, however. They can also be found online sometimes.  I’m still learning about where to get the best and how to find about about growing practices etc. I try to buy all my food organic. So if anyone can recommend a really good and consistent brand, please do so in the comments.

This recipe is a variation on plain pan roasted lotus seeds. The spice mix can vary to your whim and pleasure. You can mix up all manner of other herbs and spice combinations and make both savory and sweet varieties…

I made a small amount as a experiment. Apparently a lot can be made at once and they can be kept in a jar as a snack. I will be doing that shortly because they’re DELISH.

1 cup lotus seed

1 tsp ghee (if you prefer a vegan option use coconut oil also more or less to taste)

1/2 tsp ground nigella sativa seed (an anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory herb and herb oil I’ve been using for many years now in my food as medicine collection)

1/2 tsp fennel seed  (an anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, analgesic and antioxidant herb and food)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (cinnamon is high histamine and I use it in both small and occasional doses because it’s also really good for all sorts of things and I now tolerate it in that way….you may not and I certainly haven’t always. If you have sensitivities proceed with caution or replace it with another lower histamine herb or spice … dried ginger and/or turmeric might be good, for example … I will be doing that at some point for sure)

roast on medium heat while stirring constantly. They will brown a bit. Experiment for your favorite crunch and texture. The texture is a bit hard and may not be good for very delicate teeth. My husband found them a bit too hard. I enjoyed them. Ideally something a little bit lighter would be nice…but chewing them well was indeed a nice crunchy snack too. ENJOY!

lotus

More posts on histamine issues at Everything Matters

This post first posted at Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

 

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Wild food harvest: dandelion flowers

May 16, 2016

Not sure what I’ll do with today’s harvest of dandelion flowers.

Yesterday I made dandelion flower risotto: RICE with dandelion flowers sautéed in ghee with onion, fresh parsley, fresh oregano and tossed with hemp seeds too…

Today's harvest of dandelion flowers

Today’s harvest of dandelion flowers

More dandelion posts:

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

Pickled onions: fermentation is a way to get probiotics naturally

May 15, 2016

first published on Beyond Meds in 2014

pickles

Pickling red onions

Today I’m pickling sliced onions. Not only do I get yummy probiotics, I also get a quercetin rich food with enhanced vitamin C from the fermentation process. I don’t tolerate quercetin supplements but do very well with naturally rich foods high in quercetin. I’ve also had difficulty in tolerating probiotic supplements the last couple of years, but lately can again eat carefully fermented foods and kefir. Many good healing substances in natural food products made in my own home. I’m profoundly grateful for natural whole food in my healing process.

(note: for anyone dealing with histamine issues, I couldn’t tolerate any cultured or fermented foods for several years. This capacity is a new one that I’m thrilled about. As we heal, we can add more foods. I didn’t actually expect to ever tolerate fermented foods again given what we’re often told in histamine intolerance circles, but many of us are finding out that as we heal the sky is the limit. Trust your body always, above and beyond what anyone tells you. We are resilient healing machines)

See also: Histamine intolerance round-up

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

Homemade ghee (clarified butter)

May 14, 2016

GHEE

It’s been a long time since I did a  post.

I didn’t tolerate any dairy for several years. During that time I learned that many people who don’t tolerate dairy can tolerate ghee because there are no milk solids in ghee. I found that I could, indeed, eat ghee without any reactions. I also discovered that ghee made from grass-fed cow milk actually is high in vitamin K and other nutrients and so it’s actually a healthy and nutrient dense fat. Healthy fats are very good for the healing brain. My nervous system and brain were severely injured by the psych drug use and withdrawal: this is healing medicine food.  I continue to enjoy ghee and make it regularly even though I can now tolerate raw goats milk kefir which I also very much enjoy now. I choose not to eat other dairy now simply because pasteurized cow’s milk is a dead food with little going for it. It’s truly not a healthy food.

I process three pounds of ghee at a time since the finished product is shelf stable for up to 6 months and often more depending on where you live and the temperature of the environment. Kept in the fridge or freezer it will keep even longer than that.

From Wikipedia: “Ghee, although a type of clarified butter, differs slightly in its production. The process of creating traditional clarified butter is complete once the water is evaporated and the fat (clarified butter) is separated from the milk solids. However, the production of ghee includes simmering the butter along with the milk solids so that they caramelize, which makes it nutty-tasting and aromatic.”

 

The ghee turned out lovely and clear. The light coming through actually makes it look cloudy in the picture. During the cooler months it does go a bit solid once it cools.

Ghee is easy to make. First make sure the butter is from grass-fed cows and that it’s unsalted. I get Kerry Gold a brand from Ireland’s grass-fed cows. It’s available at Trader Joe’s for a good price.

I make it in the oven. I melt the butter on the stove-top first at high heat and then I put it in the oven in a deep pot at 250 degrees F and let it simmer for about three or four hours … I make a lot at one time that way and I barely have to tend to it until it’s done. When it’s all separated I use cheese cloth to strain out the milk solids and put it into mason jars as the photo above shows.

Here is a post from Judith Tsafrir MD that gives a crock pot recipe for those who might prefer that. Liquid Gold

You can check you-tube and google for more examples on how to make ghee if you need them.

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

 

Wild dandelion and radicchio salad

October 4, 2014

My breakfast this morning.

I went out and harvested the “weeds” from my garden. Dandelion is good food and grows abundantly in my part of the world and many other parts too. I’ve been eating wild dandelion since I was a child.

The radicchio I bought at the grocery store.

I dressed the salad simply with olive oil and salt. Both the dandelion and the radicchio are bitter greens and so I like them dressed really simply like this. You can certainly add lemon or vinegar or any other salad dressing you like.

See from Treehugger: Please eat the dandelions: 9 edible weeds

Two more recipes from Beyond Meds with dandelion greens:

Wild dandelion and radicchio salad

Wild dandelion and radicchio salad

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

The Secrets of Food Marketing

October 3, 2014

The power of willful ignorance. You think you’re immune? Think again.

Think you aren’t being fooled by advertising tricks?

Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing’s secret weapon.

It’s really easy to always blame others about the ills in the world. The fact is we’re complicit in hundreds of ways. As we become conscious we feel the pain and spread ideas and the hope for a better way.

Some related posts:

Mango cheese cake (raw, vegan, paleo and OMG yummy)

October 2, 2014

As much as it seems to annoy some people, I do like tweeting what I’m up to in the kitchen. Sometimes people ask me for recipes. I generally don’t use recipes. I throw things together on the fly based on whims. Sometimes that works out real well. It did this time. So I patched together a recipe of sorts below. Clearly it’s not totally precise but if you like to experiment in the kitchen it’s enough to do that with.

So, a twitter recipe:

First the crust:

I suggest also putting about 1/2 tsp of salt in the crust.

Make sure the mango is really ripe. If it is you really don’t need to add any sweetener at all. The dates in the crust and the mango is really plenty. Though adding sweeteners and sugar is always an option if that’s what you prefer.

It’s best when just partially frozen. It was incredibly creamy and ice-cream like. Very delicious.

mango cheese cake

 

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

 

 

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