Category Archives: Food

Crazy Sexy Guide to Beans

Does this charming chant ring a bell? Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat, the more you… toot! Whether this tune gives you the giggles or makes you blush, you get the point: beans wake up your gut!

Beans are an essential component to any plant-based diet. They’re loaded with protein and fiber and add heft and heartiness to any meal. Did you know that there are more than 800 varieties of beans? Holy abundance!

What you may not realise is that the more you eat beans, the better you feel. And there are many things you can do to make friends with this fibrous food if you find that they cause some digestive discomfort. Since I’m such a huge fan of these thrifty, nourishing and tasty members of the plant family, I feel a little education on this pantry staple is in order.

Let’s start with the basics. How do you choose the best beans?

Dried or canned? I buy dried beans in bulk (saves money!) and store them in mason jars. But it’s always good to have a few cans around for those times when you haven’t soaked your beans and are in a rush. When buying canned beans look for BPA-free products without preservatives, such as calcium disodium EDTA. Also, try to use low-sodium varieties and make sure to rinse them well (no need to pickle yourself!).

How to prep for ultimate pep!

First, let’s learn about enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. Beans, seeds, and legumes contain enzyme inhibitors, which delay germination (when a plant emerges from its seed and sings, “Hello, world!”). In nature, rain triggers germination. If we eat these foods before soaking, then it hasn’t “rained” yet and the enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid are still intact. Who cares? Your belly!

Enzyme inhibitors block and bind with our digestive and metabolic enzymes. What are they? Digestive enzymes help to break down our food, while metabolic enzymes support every amazing function in our bodies. Bottom line, we don’t want to mess with them. Soaking beans triggers germination which neutralises enzyme inhibitors.

Phytic acid in the body decreases our ability to absorb key minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. These minerals are crucial for peppy health. Soaking our beans until they germinate activates the chemical phytase, which is an enzyme that neutralises phytic acid. Voilà!

How to cook your beans

Step 1: Draw Your Beans A Bath

Place them into a bowl filled with water. Swish the little suckers around, strain, and repeat until the water is clear. This helps to remove dusty residue and the occasional dead bug (ew!), not to mention stones. Yup, from time to time you might find a little rock in your batch. Protect your choppers with a quick sift.

Step 2: Soak, Soak, Soak!

As we just mentioned, soaking your beans overnight will greatly reduce enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, making them easier to digest (less toots!). Just be sure to use fresh water for cooking. Even if you can only soak them for a few hours, it helps and your body will thank you. And get this: soaking beans for around 18 hours can reduce phytic acid by 50 to 70 percent. Dang! Plus, soaking your beans first will reduce cooking time.

Bean Bonus: Adding a piece of kombu (seaweed) increases the effectiveness of this process.

Step 3: Boil, Baby!

Just about all dry beans have a similar cooking method. Start with cold water and beans in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cover the pot, leaving the lid tilted just enough to allow some steam to escape. Beans are done when they are tender and the skin is still intact.

Tip time: What’s Up With Salt?

Salt pulls moisture from beans, so wait until they’re almost tender then add salt to the cooking water. You’ll avoid adding too much sodium, which would just get lost during the cooking process.

Your Ultimate Bean Chart

Get your bean facts at a glance, plus cooking tips with your fun and fabulous Crazy Sexy Guide to Beans!

CrazySexyGuidetoBeans-Infographic

Source Crazy Sexy Guide to Beans

The Awakening of Gaia

The Awakening of Gaia is a film meant to widen the perspective of the viewer in such a way that it may inspire the will to change. It covers how our civilization is lost in apathy and material greed, cut off from spirit, cut off from the Earth . It shows how the Earth is a living organism and how we are all connected to it and every living thing. 

Highly recommended… enjoy :)

 

Some life changes

I have been quiet for a while… but have not gone away ;)

I have moved houses and got a new plot for food growing…. this time much closer to the house which is a real bonus :)

Quite challenging at first:

Plot 1

All covered in couch grass… ouch!! Continue reading

New recipe – Runner beans stew

Very much in season and extremely easy to grow – Runner Beans.

runner beans

Runner beans need to be topped and tailed and may also need stringing before use. They should be sliced lengthways before cooking and plunged into boiling salted water and cooked until al dente. Runner beans are used in salads (young can be eaten raw) as well as added to stews, casseroles, soups and broths. They are also served as a vegetable side dish or mixed with other beans. Flavours and ingredients that go well with runner beans include tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and chillies.

One of most popular runner beans recipes can be found in Your Instinct‘s Recipes section under:

Runner beans stew

Runner beans are a good source of Vitamins A and C and folic acid. 

What is your favourite recipe including runner beans?

Best Speech You Will Ever Hear – Gary Yourofsky TheAnimalHolocaust

Gary Yourofsky’s entire inspirational speech on animal rights and veganism held at Georgia Tech in summer of 2010. Listen to this amazing speaker who will blow away the myths, fill your mind with interesting facts, and help you make ethical choices for a healthy heart and soul. His charismatic preachy style is one of a kind – a must-see for anyone who cares about nonhuman animals or wishes to make the world a better place.

The Top 10 Teas for Your Herbal Medicine Cabinet

herbal teasWhen you’re sick, little is more comforting than holding a steaming mug of fragrant tea in both hands, warming your face with the hot steam. Somehow, no matter how rotten you felt before, you instantly feel just a tiny bit better.

Whether you are lucky enough to grow your own tea herbs, you purchase loose teas or you use tea bags, your cabinet is not complete without the following ingredients. These teas are delicious and beneficial, with many different healing qualities. Considering that we most often turn to herbal teas for healing purposes, it’s especially important to purchase or grow organic herbs for this purpose. If your leaves are bathed in pesticide and then you add them to boiling water, instead of healing goodness, you are steeping toxins. Continue reading

BPA dangers in tinned food

tinsCanned foods are convenient; they are cheap, and they can last a really long time. They are great if you are stocking up for a breakdown of the system as we know it or the zombie apocalypse. However, many tinned goods carry a dangerous secret, Bisphenol-A (BPA). While it isn’t much of a secret anymore, the U.S. government would have you think there’s nothing to worry about, ‘nothing to see here’. While other governments have labelled this chemical compound a ‘toxic substance’, the FDA simply says they ‘need more research’. Continue reading

Food growing – another update

The summer in England has been very unusual this year, with the temperatures reaching numbers haven’t seen for decades. It is all good news for vegetable growing, with a small exception of perhaps lettuces which prefer slightly cooler conditions.

It looks like tomatoes will be ready for picking any day now, there are a lot of courgettes, cucumbers, potatoes, peas and french beans ready to eat! :)

20130728_144556 Continue reading

Why 80% of People Worldwide Will Soon Stop Eating Wheat

The future of wheat is certain, and it’s toxic. There are as many health risks associated with the consumption of wheat as there are nutritional benefits claimed by the wheat industry. Why is there such a strong emphasis on the development of wheat products all over the world when there are so many adverse and crippling effects such as neurological impairment, dementia, heart disease, cataracts, diabetes, arthritis and visceral fat accumulation, not to mention the full range of intolerances and bloating now experienced by millions of people?

gmo wheatApproximately 700 million tons of wheat are now cultivated worldwide making it the second most-produced grain after maize. It is grown on more land area than any other commercial crop and is considered a staple food for humans. Continue reading

New recipe – quick Thai curry

Definitely looks very summery and perfect for our sunny mood, when it gets a bit colder in the evenings :-)

Vegetable Thai yellow curry.

yellow curry

The ingeredients list looks a bit long, but it is extemaly easy recipe and you can be flexible with the ingredients and use subsitutes when necesary.

Can be served either with rice or naan bread.

Full recipe can be found in the Recipes section of Your Instinct.

Enjoy!!