• Tomatoes Keep Your Heart Healthy

    This month we celebrated Valentine’s Day, and while that’s really just a chocolate, Hallmark Holiday, let’s talk about keeping your real heart healthy. Most folks have heard that tomatoes are a great source of lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful anti-oxidant that can protect against degenerative diseases. It can prevent damage in cells and help them function better. High levels of lycopene in your system can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease & macular degeneration.

    The is one super food that actually gets better with cooking. They lose a bit of their vitamin C, but the lycopene is much more available for the body to use & the antioxidants aren’t diminished by cooking.

    I tend to look at study’s done with a bit of skepticism, but it’s hard to argue with the positive health effects of tomatoes. However, in order to gain these benefits, you have have a consistent diet of super foods. Ketchup on your fries at the Friday night fish fry isn’t a healthy source for a serving a tomatoes. Shoot for 10 good servings a week of tomatoes to protect your body against cancer, promote eye health and keep your heart strong by lowering your LDL cholesterol.


    Fresh Tomato Salsa


    • 2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes, stems removed
    • 1/2 red onion
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 serrano chiles or 1 jalapeño chile (stems, ribs, seeds removed), less or more to taste
    • Juice of one lime
    • Chopped cilantro
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Pinch of dried oregano (crumble in your fingers before adding), more to taste
    • Pinch of ground cumin, more to taste


    1 Start by roughly chopping the tomatoes, chiles, and onions. Be very careful while handling the chile peppers. If you can, avoid touching the cut peppers with your hands. (I often use disposable gloves or hold the peppers with a plastic sandwich bag.) Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling and avoid touching your eyes for several hours. Set aside some of the seeds from the peppers. If the salsa isn’t hot enough, you can add a few for more heat.

    2 Place all of the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse only a few times, just enough to finely dice the ingredients, not enough to purée. If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely dice by hand.

    3 Place in a serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the chilies make the salsa too hot, add some more chopped tomato. If not hot enough, carefully add a few of the seeds from the chilies, or add a little more ground cumin.

    Let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine.

  • We Got The Beets!

    You’re either going to love ’em or hate ’em. Originally, just the leaves or beet greens were eaten. And when I say originally, I’m talking way back before the Roman empire. It was the Romans who dug up the sweet red root & cooked it.

    From a super food standpoint, beets are great source of a phytonutrient called betalains.  Many of the betalains in beets function as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Though it is interesting to note, that we humans vary greatly in our response to betalains. Some folks have a higher capacity for absorbing and metabolizing betalains in beets than others. Another benefit is the support of detoxing. The betalains in beets have been found to ‘hook up’ with the toxic cells, neutralize them and them make them water soluble so they can easily find their way out of the body. It’s like match.com for good cells and bad cells.

    But the beets don’t stop there. They’re also high in fiber, Beetsimmune-boosting vitamin C and essential minerals. Drinking beet juice can help lower your blood pressure and boost your stamina when working out.

    Beets are actually two great super veggies in one. The root, that we already covered & the beet leaves. The greens on younger plants are among the healthiest part of the plant. They’re loaded in nutrients and even have more iron than Spinach. They can boost bone strength and strengthen your immune system. They can be easily eaten raw as part of a salad or lightly sauteed with other greens like spinach or swiss chard.

    Best way to cook or eat beets?

    • Grate them raw into your salad
    • Juice them raw
    • Lightly  steam them
    • My personal favorite – Roasted. Cut into smaller chunks, tossed in olive oil, lightly salted & placed on a cookie sheet & roasted in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes until they’re soft.
  • Super Foods – Asparagus

    Super Foods is a fancy buzzword for food that contains extraordinary nutritional potency and health forming benefits far beyond normal food. Or in other words, real food, not that processed stuff. Each week we’re going to talk about a “super food” that we grow here. What it is, why it’s so good and how to cook it. But not some fancy recipe that takes 20 other ingredients. I’m all about simple, healthy & FAST.

    We’re stasparagusarting with Asparagus. It’s one of the first foods of spring, and packed with nutrients. It’s a good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E & K as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream to the cells.

    It’s packed with antioxidants, and glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens. It also contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which is a natural diuretic. And yes, eating asparagus makes your pee smell.

    While I’ve eaten asparagus raw, there are ways to cook it to maximize the benefits of all it’s nutrients. You can roast, grill or stir-fry it – simply lightly coat it in olive oil, season with sea salt & pepper & grill for 2-3 minutes, roast for about 5 or stir-fry until it’s al dente, but not soft.

    For grilling, I prefer the larger spears, for roasting or stir-fry, the thinner ones work better.

    Here’s a few other quick serving ideas to add asparagus to your meal:

    • Add chopped cold asparagus to your salad
    • Chop & add to your omelet or eggs. (I usually fry the asparagus up for a minute & then add the eggs for a colorful scrambled eggs)
    • Toss freshly cooked pasta with roasted asparagus and olive oil. Add in some of your favorite spices like thyme or rosemary.

    In Spring, there’s nothing is better than adding fresh asparagus to any meal. This year, we’ll be adding another 1,000 crowns to our asparagus patch to keep up with the demand for this super food.