Easy Anti-Inflammatory Soup

Easy Anti-Inflammatory Soup

These past couple of months, my husband and I have been enjoying making a chicken soup that provides lots of health related benefits for us. Today I am going to share it with you all!

Lots of healthy goodies!

My husband has IBS so we try to make things that do not make his symptoms worse. He is also very sensitive to salt so we have to take that into consideration too.

All of the ingredients are very healthy and nourishing. The following is a list of some of them and their benefits:

  • Lemongrass- Lots of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, helps with GI distress
  • Ginger- Anti-inflammatory, helps with GI distress, immune system boosting
  • Turmeric- Anti-inflammatory, immune system boosting, pain relief, helps with GI distress
  • Cayenne pepper– Helps with GI distress/digestive health, pain relief, clearing congestion
  • Cumin- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Coriander- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Cilantro leaves- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Carrots- Higher in carbs than other vegetables but still provide lots of vitamin A and are great for the immune system.
  • Bell peppers- high in vitamin A, high in vitamin C, immune system boosting, high in antioxidants
  • Mushrooms- These are higher up on the FODMAP scale but if you one can handle them, they are worth eating (if you like the taste that is). They contain good sources of vitamin D, selenium and are great for the immune system.

Why are there no onions and garlic in the soup?

We do love onions but it unfortunately causes my husband to have what he calls, “dumping syndrome.”

He gets the shits. Other people with IBS can probably relate.

In terms of garlic-he is allergic to it. So, we definitely can not use that in the food we both want to eat.

If you like these two things, feel free to add them into the soup if you choose to make it! I am sure it will be absolutely delicious.

The recipe

Nothing about the seasonings is that exact because quite frankly, we really do not keep track of how much of what we put into it. We go by taste alone.

Here it is:

Ingredients-

  • 6-8 pounds of chicken, cut into small chunks
  • 3 liters of unsalted chicken stock
  • 3 pounds of carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large bell peppers, chopped
  • 16 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 2.5 cans of coconut milk
  • Seasonings- ginger powder, lemongrass powder (or paste), turmeric, garlic, cumin, coriander, cilantro (leaves), cayenne powder, onion powder and potassium salt (has less sodium).

Directions-

  1. Cook cut up chicken pieces in some oil. Set aside.
  2. Put the chicken stock, veggies and seasonings to taste into a large pot. Heat on low heat for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the chicken to the pot and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
  5. Serve with more cilantro on top, rice, naan or whatever you want!

This makes a good amount of soup so it can be frozen if you are not going to finish it in a reasonable amount of time.

Customize it any way you like!

Stay healthy everyone

We should all be putting healthy foods into our bodies at least once in a while- especially with this pandemic going on. This soup is just another one of the many meal ideas out there that will provide you with some great nutrients.

Thanks for reading!

#cooking #nutrition #soup #diet #health #covid19 #familylife #herbs

Oolong Tea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oolong Tea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay so I forgot to take a picture this time but I swear they looked a lot like this!

I really enjoyed baking the Matcha tea cookies and dropping some off at family member’s houses for them to try. Since I love to experiment in the kitchen (especially with tea), I decided to use up the rest of the Oolong tea bags I had left to make another cookie recipe.

Here is the recipe if any of you are interested!

First, why milk chocolate instead of white chocolate?

I chose to use milk chocolate chips for this recipe because they go better with the flavors of Oolong tea. This type of tea has a stronger taste than green tea so the stronger flavor of milk chocolate is necessary (in my opinion).

Dark chocolate would probably be even better. I will remember that for next time if I choose to make them again.

No eggs for these either

If you read my Matcha cookie recipe post, you would know that I have issues with eggs. They make me feel very sick and give me hives.

This means that I can not use them in anything I make.

For baking, I typically use unsweetened applesauce to replace the egg but for this recipe I tried out plain yogurt instead.

What is the flavor like?

These cookies have a chocolatey taste with the Oolong tea undertones. You can make the Oolong tea flavor stronger by steeping the tea bags longer and/or adding another tea bag full of dried leaves to the flour.

They are a bit different tasting but very good! Even my 5 year old son loved them.

The recipe

Here it is!

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 5 Oolong tea bags
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 tbsp oil, 1/2 tbsp water (egg and egg yolk replacements)
  • 1 1/2 cups of mini milk chocolate chips

Instructions-

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Either grease baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, salt and the tea leaves from one bag of Oolong tea together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Steep the four tea bags into the melted butter in a medium size bowl for four minutes. Take the tea bags out and squeeze the excess butter out of them in the bowl. Mix in the sugar, vanilla extract and egg/yolk substitutes until creamy.
  4. Mix the creamed butter in with the dry ingredients until just blended. Pour in the chocolate chips and use gloved hands to mix them into the dough.
  5. Drop 24 portions of the dough down onto the cookie sheets.
  6. Bake until edges are light brown-around 14 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a while after they are done.

Simple and easy treat

Treats are wonderful to have once in a while. You can still maintain a great figure with them in your diet.

These Oolong tea cookies are not your typical flavor but they will definitely satisfy a craving for something sweet.

Thanks for reading!

#baking #tea #cooking #chocolatechipcookes #cookies #recipes #cheatmeal #dessert

Pinterest Recipe Try-Out: Ice Cream Cake

Pinterest Recipe Try-Out: Ice Cream Cake

I believe in having treats every once in a while because um…why not? It is not going to send me immediately into obesity or anything like that.

When I saw this ice cream cake recipe on Pinterest, I knew right away that I had to make it.

Here is how it went as well as the taste verdict!

Why the ice cream cake?

I love to look at Pinterest for recipes but I usually do not try any of them out. The ones I have tried out previously were not good so I was leery of trying another one.

On a recent Pinterest scroll, I came across this Dairy Queen Copy Cat Ice Cream Cake. It was really “speaking” to me so clicked on the link for it. Since I have very fond memories of eating Dairy Queen cakes, I decided that I was going to make it for my family and I.

I felt that this recipe would have a lot higher chance of being edible due to the fact that it is mainly ice cream.

Making the cake

I decided to start making the cake in the morning so that it would be good and ready for dessert that evening. The recipe is easy but it does take a few hours.

First step: Line the pan (I used a springform) with parchment paper and make the oreo crumbles.

I could have eaten all of those crumbles!

I used more Oreos than the recipe called for-just because. It was hard to refrain from tasting some of the crumbles due to Oreos being my favorite junk food.

Second step: Spread softened chocolate ice cream in pan

I am sure people who are actually good in the kitchen made the ice cream all one level and flat in the pan, but I am not good in the kitchen at all! Oh well…

Into the freezer this went to firm up!

Third step: Assemble the fudge and Oreo crumble layer

Boiled heavy cream melting that chocolate!

Fudge and Oreos together? Yaaaaaaas! At this point, I already knew that it was going to be the best part of the cake.

Fourth step: Softened vanilla ice cream goes on top

Right by the peas that will never be eaten.

Into the freezer this goes to firm up once again. As you can see, I did not get this layer of ice cream level either. Whatevs.

Fifth step: Make and put on the frosting

Morning sickness puke-bowl turned into an important kitchen item!

Making the frosting was the most annoying part for me because it seemed to take a long time. It was very necessary though!

Sixth step: Frost and garnish the cake

The ugly!

I am really bad at frosting cakes and decorating them. In fact, no recipe I have ever made came out looking as nice as it did for the author. The above picture is the best I could do.

After this step, I put it back in the freezer for a couple hours.

How did it taste?

We were all really excited to try it. I decided to take the first bite because I do not want to let anyone have to eat something that tastes like trash.

That first bite and each subsequent one, were all amazing! It tasted just like the Dairy Queen cakes I remember. My husband and son loved it too.

This cake is definitely something I will make again in the future. Super easy and delicious! I would highly recommend it.

Everyone should have a treat once in a while!

I know that many people like to be strict with their diets but I believe it is perfectly fine to deviate from them a little bit. Like I said before, why not?

You work hard in life so treat yourself! Hell, I do not work half as hard as other people and I still do.

Do any of you make recipes you find on Pinterest? If so, which one has been your favorite?

Thanks for reading!

#pinterest #cooking #recipes #icecreamcake #dairyqueen #cheatmeal #dessert

What Is Up With That Cinnamon Chillin’ In Your Cabinet?!

What Is Up With That Cinnamon Chillin’ In Your Cabinet?!

I love spices and spice mixes. In our house, they are a must!

When I was searching through the spice cabinet the other day, I came across a container of cinnamon. I used to use cinnamon a lot back when I was eating oatmeal regularly. It has also been an ingredient in a couple skin care products I have bought and homemade face mask recipes I have made.

Since I love a good ole’ Google crawl, I decided to dig more into cinnamon and its uses for this post.

About cinnamon

Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees. There are four different types of cinnamon. Following is a list of their names and information about them:

  1. Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum)- This type of cinnamon is called, “true.” It is native to Sri Lanka and is more expensive than the other types. In ancient times it was considered to be very profitable and valuable. It is very fragrant with a mild spicy-sweet flavor.
  2. Chinese Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Cassia)- This type is native to China and is mainly used as medicine. It has a mildly bitter flavor.
  3. Saigon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Loureiroi)- This type is native to Southeast Asia. It has a very intense bitter and peppery flavor.
  4. Indonesian Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Burmannii)- This type is native to Indonesia and it is the most commonly sold one in stores. It has a mildly sweet  flavor to it.

Each type of cinnamon contains a substance called, coumarin. This is used as a flavoring agent and it also has anticoagulant(blood thinning) properties. Because of the coumarin content, it can be very dangerous if too much cinnamon is ingested.

The types of cinnamon contain different amounts of coumarin. Here are rough estimates of the percentage of the substance found in each type:

  • Ceylon Cinnamon- .004% coumarin
  • Chinese Cinnamon- .03% coumarin
  • Saigon Cinnamon- .7-1% coumarin
  • Indonesian Cinnamon- .2% coumarin

As you can see by the estimates, Saigon cinnamon contains a good amount more coumarin than the other types. This means you have to be careful how much you use of it if you decide to buy it.

It is recommended to not go above an intake of 1.5 teaspoons a day. Even just one teaspoon may cause some harm to your body.

Cinnamon also contains some trace nutrients. These include carbs, fiber, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium.

You can find cinnamon in the form of ground powder, sticks, capsules, essential oil and liquid extract.

The alleged benefits of cinnamon

There are some things that cinnamon is touted as being of use for when ingested on a daily basis. The following is a list of them:

  1. Inflammation- Could help with swelling and joint pain.
  2. Neurological issues- Could enhance cognition.
  3. Antioxidant
  4. Antidiabetic- Could help lower blood sugar.
  5. Anticancer
  6. Heart health
  7. Lower bad cholesterol levels.
  8. Boosting the immune system
  9. May help symptoms of colds and flu viruses
  10. PCOS management- Could help to decrease insulin resistance and regulate periods. The latter may be due to the possibility of it being able to stabilize estrogen.
  11. May ease IBS and GI issues. These include nausea, indigestion, gas, bloating and diarrhea.

Cinnamon is also said to be of benefit topically. The following is a list of what it may be able to do when used this way:

  1. Treat acne- It may have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.
  2. Add a glow to skin- It may be able to stimulate blood vessels which can lead to a healthy looking complexion.
  3. Hair growth- It may stimulate circulation of the scalp which in turn may cause growth of the hair.
  4. Treat scalp conditions- It may help for issues of the scalp due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  5. Lip plumping- It is said to help plump up lips due to the blood vessel stimulating properties it may have.

It is important to note that applying something with cinnamon in it topically, may cause irritation.

Another thing to remember is that the scientific research done on cinnamon is not showing definitive answers as to whether cinnamon has the benefits listed above. It does show some promise in these areas and there also is a lot of anecdotal evidence.  

Using cinnamon

  There are different ways that cinnamon can be used in your daily life. The following is a list of some of them:

  1. Taking it in capsule form: There are a supplement brands that sell capsules of cinnamon for an easy way to get benefits that cinnamon may have.
  2. In food: Of course! This is the way most people use cinnamon. It is put in lot of desserts, fruits, savory meals and ethnic cuisine (Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican, Indian and Middle Eastern). Here is an example of a great looking recipe using cinnamon: https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cinnamon-laced-chili
  3. Tea and other hot drinks: Cinnamon can be added to tea and other hot drinks (ex. hot cocoa) for a soothing, complex taste. It may help soothe cold and flu symptoms, too.
  4. Breathed in: Cinnamon can be bought in the form of essential oil. It could be added to a bowl of boiling water to put your head over or you can just breath it in straight from the bottle. This could soothe symptoms from colds/flus and could provide the cognition enhancing benefit (remember, the jury is out on these benefits!). Here is one cinnamon essential oil product: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DVSYCB5/ref=sspa_dk_detail_5?psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyUEtOQUJZMlBBMUs0JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMDY5Mjg3MzRQS0dGQlpMNzY2OCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTU1MDg5MVM0TTFXQlUwWFQ3MyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbDImYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl
  5. Hair care: Cinnamon may help with hair growth and the reduction of scalp conditions. You could apply a hair mask weekly that combines cinnamon (oil or powder), honey and oil. Cinnamon oil combines well with rosemary essential oil which also may help with hair growth.  Here is an example of a hair mask recipe using cinnamon: https://alluringsoul.com/cinnamon-hair-mask-strong-gorgeous-hair/
  6. Skin care: Cinnamon may help with acne and/or add a glow to your skin. If you are interested in seeing if it works, you could mix it with honey and use as a face mask. Here is an example of a product that has cinnamon in it already: https://www.makeupartistschoice.com/products/acne-pore-minimizer-w-sepicontrol-a5?_pos=2&_sid=98449476b&_ss=r  Here is a face mask recipe: https://stylesatlife.com/articles/cinnamon-face-mask/  
  7. Lip plumping: Some people have found that cinnamon can plump up their lips. If you are interested in seeing if this works, mix some cinnamon with Vaseline and apply it to your lips. Here is a lip scrub recipe that may have some plumping effect: https://sofabfood.com/diy-honey-and-cinnamon-plumping-lip-scrub/

I will be using it again!

I am not going to have high hopes that cinnamon will help with my health, but I do love the flavor of it. My plan is to use it regularly in my anti-inflammatory “hot toddies” and I also want to try out some recipes that have it as an ingredient (like this Little House On The Prairie recipe: https://www.food.com/recipe/cinnamon-chicken-183262).

I also might consider using cinnamon in my hair masks too. Since I am a PCOS sufferer, I get worried about the possibility of losing my hair or having it thin out. If cinnamon could possibly help prevent that from happening, then I am all for it as a hair care ingredient.

Do you have cinnamon in your cabinet, too?

If you are interested in the flavors cinnamon can bring to food/drinks and the possible health benefits it has, you should consider using that container you have of it up! Remember to make sure and not use too much as a little goes a long way.

What do you like to use cinnamon on/in? What is your favorite spice?

Thanks for reading!

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/plant/cinnamon

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/types-of-cinnamon

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4466762/

#cinnamon  #spices  #kitchen #cooking  #health  #supplements #skincare #haircare

Rosemary: Why It Should Be In Your Kitchen!

Rosemary: Why It Should Be In Your Kitchen!

I have always loved lots of flavor in my food. That means that having a full spice cabinet is a must in our household!

It is interesting to me that a lot of these things we use as flavoring have health benefits and have been used to treat certain things. I enjoy reading about them regardless if I will ever be using them.

I have done blog posts about herbs and spices in the past. Since rosemary is herb that I really like, I decided to make this post about it!

The what and why of rosemary

Rosemary is a wonderful plant that most people have heard of. Another name for it is Rosmarinus officinalis. It is pretty easy to grow and a great option for your home herb garden.

Native to the Mediterranean region, rosemary is recognized for its strong scent and the distinct flavoring it adds to foods. It is great for meats, soups, stews, potatoes, sauces, dips and breads.

Rosemary has also been used in traditional medicine since around 500 B.C. It is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, magnesium and potassium.

The alleged benefits of rosemary are as follows:

  • Cognitive performance- Some studies have shown that smelling rosemary’s strong scent can improve memory, reaction times and mental math skills. It has also been looked at for possible use in the treatment of dementia.
  • Mood improvement- Some studies have shown that smelling rosemary and applying it in oil form to wrists can improve one’s mood.
  • Inflammation- Some studies have shown that rosemary has anti-inflammatory benefits. It has been taken for things like osteoarthritis, muscle soreness, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and joint pain.
  • Boosts immune system
  • Antioxidant effects
  • Anti-cancer effects
  • Anti-microbial and anti-bacterial effects- Some studies have shown that rosemary oil can fight E.coli and salmonella in meats.
  • Blood circulation- Some studies have indicated that it has circulatory benefits that make it helpful when it comes to hair growth.
  • Color loss- Some studies have shown that it delays oxidation. People have used it to help darken grey hairs.

While there are seemingly some good benefits to rosemary, there are also some side effects that have been noted. When too much is consumed, vomiting and kidney issues can occur. Also, it can raise blood pressure, so people need to be cautious of this.

Rosemary can be found in the forms of fresh leaves (straight from the plant and cleaned), dried leaves, powder, essential oil, tea bags and capsules.

My use of rosemary

Back when I was in middle school, I was fascinated by herbs. We went to a garden center one day and my mother let me pick out some plants to take home. I randomly chose rosemary and basil.

While I loved the smell of both of them, rosemary’s scent was especially interesting to me. I would often go out on the deck where we had them and just breath deeply. It was so relaxing to me to be out there on a sunny day, among the plants.

I used to make tea out of the rosemary leaves as well. It is probably too strong for a lot of kids but for me, it tasted great. At that time, I didn’t know much about the benefits of plants but I did have a feeling that I was doing something good to my body when consuming it.

These days, I mainly just use rosemary in cooking instead of drinking the tea. On my high carb days, I add it into basmati rice and in biscuit recipes. I also use it for chicken and beef recipes. Soon, I plan is to make these low-carb rosemary crackers: https://simplysohealthy.com/low-carb-rosemary-parmesan-crackers/.

A while back I bought a box of rosemary tea but I have yet to drink it. Since I am all about anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting things, I might start drinking two cups a day.

I found out around a year ago that rosemary essential oil could help with hair growth. Since I do a hair mask before I wash my hair, I sometimes will add in drops of the oil into the mask. Being that PCOS can cause hair loss, I will be making sure to add it in every time from now on.

I also plan on using diluted rosemary essential oil on my eyebrows to see if I can make them grow. They used to be nice and full which required me to get them waxed once or twice a month. Since I got pregnant and gave birth, they have become sparse and will not grow at all unfortunately.

Rosemary is good to have around!

This plant is strong in smell and flavor which might turn people off from it. I would highly recommend always having it around if you do enjoy it though. You can combine it with other herbs/seasonings/spices to come up with a new dimension of flavor in your recipes.

You can also make tea out of it to get the health benefits it has. If you do not like drinking tea, you could make some anyway, cool it down and use it as an after-conditioning hair rinse. The latter can provide moisturizing and growth benefits for your hair!

Do you like using rosemary?

Thanks for reading!

#rosemary  #plants  #herbs  #gardening #supplements  #immunesystem  #health  #naturalmedicine