Recipes

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Simply the best (and easiest) way to preserve your summer bounty! Thanks to Lynn for sharing this recipe years ago, and to Joyce for all your canning tips over the years! 1) Lightly grease a pan with olive oil, or if doing a large batch of tomatoes, grease several pans,

GF Peanut Butter Cookies

These gluten free, vegan peanut butter cookies make a healthy and high-protein treat! Be careful though- I promise you won't be able to eat just one!  ~Jenn Dry Ingredients: 1/3 cup blanched almond flour 1/3 cup brown rice flour 1/3 cup tapioca flour ¼ tsp sea salt ¼ tsp baking

Oatmeal Nut Bliss Balls

We featured this delectable little treat at our Holiday Open House! If you missed the chance to try it, you can make it at home! How often do you get treats that are healthy AND tasty? These make a great high protein snack or you can dress them up by

Garden Rhubarb & Okanagan Cherry Crisp

What to do with early season rhubarb? Make rhubarb crisp of course! Combining rhubarb with local cherries for sweetness allows you to cut back on sugar in this healthy, whole grain dessert. Living in Kelowna where cherries are plentiful and inexpensive, I always like to pit and freeze cherries in small freezer bags for jams, porridges, crisps in the winter months and even smoothies in the spring. An added bonus, cherries are a great source of healthy antioxidants!  This recipe is easy enough even for novice bakers, and always impresses the company! And yes, you can always use strawberries in place of the cherries. Enjoy!  ~Jenn

Filling:

6 cups chopped rhubarb (1" pieces)

3 cups pitted sweet cherries, cut in half (or strawberries!)

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp flour (whole wheat is fine)

1/16 tsp or a pinch salt

3/4 cup unrefined sugar

Mix the filling ingredients and pour into an 8x11 pyrex baking dish, or something of similar size.

Notes: Any less cherries (ie. full rhubarb) would probably require a full 1 cup sugar. I tend to bake on the less-sweet side so I wouldn't cut the sugar back any more, unless you increase the ratio of cherries to rhubarb. Those with a sweeter tooth than mine can always drizzle a bit of maple syrup on their crisp before eating!

Topping:

3/4 cups whole wheat flour (you could also use spelt flour or oat flour if you prefer)

3/4 cups old fashioned or quick oats (either is fine!)

1/4 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/2 cup unrefined sugar (if you are using a sugar that is fairly coarse, blend it into a finer powder in a food processor)

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup walnuts or almonds, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup cold butter

1/4 cup oil (I like grapeseed or canola)

Mix flour, oats, salt, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder in a bowl. Oil makes an easy replacement for half of the butter in this recipe, drizzle it over the mixture and work it into the flour with your hands or a fork until it is crumbly just like cutting in butter. Chop butter into smaller pieces (or even easier, keep your butter in the freezer and grate it in with a coarse grater when needed) and add to mixture, cutting in with knives or a pastry cutter. Mix in nuts. Spread topping over the fruit mixture.

Bake at 350F for one hour with a baking sheet underneath just in case. It's done when it's bubbling merrily and the topping has browned. Leave out to cool for about half an hour and then... dig in! If you find this a bit tart, drizzle with 1 tablespoon or so of maple syrup.

 

Ti Guan Yin: A Green Tea Super Power

Green tea is becoming increasingly popular not only as an alternative to coffee but also as a healthy addition to our daily diet. Green tea has an incredible list of health benefits, confirmed by thousands of research studies and it is a great source of antioxidants.

A particular favourite of ours here at Okanagan Acupuncture Centre is a type of oolong tea called Ti Guan Yin. Oolong teas are green teas that are specially processed to bring out unique flavours and properties. This process involves withering the green tea leaves under the strong sun and then tossing and drying the leaves to promote partial fermentation and oxidation. Finally, the leaves are hand-rolled and twisted into long, curly leaves or small beads.  Ti Guan Yin is a premium oolong tea and one of the most prized varieties in China, fetching some of the top prices. It has a bright green color, a strong natural aroma, and an unforgettable sweetness that is appealing even to those who do not normally prefer green tea.

This combination of delicate flavour and incredible health benefits makes Ti Guan Yin an excellent choice of green tea. As a premium tea, its high quality ensures that you are getting the best health benefits that oolong tea has to offer.  And those health benefits are numerous:

Cardiovascular health: Studies have shown that green tea may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, lowers blood pressure, and reduces cholesterol. Pretty amazing!

Fat burner: Green tea boosts our bodies’ fat oxidation ability. One study showed a 17% increase in fat oxidation! Green tea may also improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, making it useful for people dealing with diabetes or prediabetes.

Immune booster: Studies indicate that green tea can boost the immune system and suppress autoimmune disorders. Green tea also has an anti-bacterial effect that promotes fresh breath, healthy teeth, and prevents cavities. Furthermore, green tea's immune boosting abilities may have a wide range of benefit for everything from parasites to HIV.

Cancer Prevention: Various studies suggest that green tea may reduce the risk of certain cancers and block tumour growth. Green tea is also a powerful antioxidant, important in cancer and disease prevention and anti-aging.

Mental booster: Consuming green tea can help improve cognitive function and may help repair damaged neurons and prevent neurons from dying. Studies are exploring how these benefits may help those suffering from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

The list of health benefits is being added to all the time as research continues to validate green tea’s abilities to improve health and wellbeing. From glaucoma, allergies, and arthritis to stress, depression, skin conditions and radiation recovery, green tea’s benefits have far-reaching implications for our health!

James Kaufman is a Registered Acupuncturist at Okanagan Acupuncture Centre, 1625 Ellis St, downtown Kelowna. He may be reached at www.okanaganacupuncture.com.

TCM Dietary Recommendations

Chinese medicine (TCM) involves many aspects, not only acupuncture and herbal medicine. In fact, TCM considers diet the first line of defense and treatment in health matters, and acupuncture and herbal medicine are only considered if diet alone cannot resolve a condition.

A proper diet can improve the results of acupuncture treatment and medicinal herbs.  Here are some basic guidelines for a health-promoting diet from a TCM perspective.

Foods to Avoid:

Dairy products: (milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt) Dairy products are considered very damp, heavy, cold foods that slow and weaken digestion when eaten excessively. Dairy products have very concentrated properties, so a little bit goes a long way in their effect on the body. This is why Chinese medicine recommends they be eaten in small quantities. For people with damp or phlegm conditions such as allergies, asthma, and sinusitis, dairy foods are usually best avoided entirely.

Cold foods and liquids:  Cold foods are very hard on the stomach and they weaken the stomach’s ability to warm and cook the food to begin the process of digestion. Foods should be eaten warm or at room temperature, never cold straight out of the fridge.  Water, juices, and teas should be consumed warm or at room temperature, never cold. Think of the stomach as a hot pot cooking on the stove- dousing it with cold foods or liquids can put out the flame.

Greasy, oily, fatty, or deep-fried foods:  Excessively oily foods are very heavy and slow to digest, which can weaken digestion. Again, these are heavy foods that are very concentrated in their properties and effects on the body and a little bit can have a big effect on our health and digestion. Not only that, but a large quantity is just too difficult to digest at once.

Overly rich foods:  These foods tend to be too heavy and slow to digest properly.  Examples are creamy cheese pastas or butter sauces. Like fatty foods, large quantities are just too difficult for our digestive system to process.

Coffee:  Coffee can be very hard on the stomach as well as the liver.  It is also a stimulant and can throw off the body’s natural ability to regulate energy and metabolism.  Black or green tea is an appropriate substitute.

Dietary Guidelines:

A healthy diet is one that includes a variety of wholesome foods.  Variety is very important, as eating too much of one flavour or one food can lead to imbalances in the body.  Try to incorporate as much variety as possible in your choice of flavours, grains, vegetables, fruits, etc.

Incorporating a balance of all flavours into the diet is also important.  Food should be mainly quite neutral or bland in flavour with some spices and flavourings to add interest.  Avoid overly flavouring foods with condiments, salt, and spices.  Moderation is key! Anything in excess can be unhealthy.

Be sure to include plenty of fruits vegetables in your daily diet.  Fruits and vegetables have their own healing abilities, are rich in antioxidants, and help the body to detoxify.  Some amount of raw vegetables should be eaten daily, except when recovering from illness (including colds and flu) or if you have a weak or frail constitution.  In these cases, cooked foods and vegetables (soups, stews) help nourish the body back to health.

The body handles meat protein best in small quantities.  Begin to think of meat as an accent, not the centerpiece in any meal.

Eat seasonal.  Our bodies are attuned to seasonal changes and eating the foods that are naturally in season help us to transition with the changing seasons.  Salads and raw foods can be increased in the summer; in the winter, cooked foods and heartier stews and soups are appropriate.

Drink water! Water helps our body to function properly and to flush out toxins when healing. Our body can't perform or heal properly if we aren't properly hydrated.

Make Okanagan Acupuncture Centre a part of your health team! Call or visit our downtown Kelowna location for more information. Contact us.