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Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Power of Kombucha

Uniquely flavored, strangely made, and full of benefits, Kombucha is looking to set new standards on what a healthy drink should be. This fermented tea is said to be able to nourish the body in tremendous and unique ways, which is why people have employed the benefits for thousands of years.

But what really is Kombucha and why is it so healthy? Let’s start at the beginning:
An Elixir of Immortality

Kombucha is rumored to have first been created in 212 B.C., with specific roots in Asia during the Chinese Tsin dynasty. It rapidly became known as the tea of immortality because of the astonishing health benefits those who drank it would notice. Some rumor that the name comes from Kombu, a Korean physician who introduce the drink in Japan around 414 AD.

More recently, Kombucha showed up in Russia during the 19th century as a folk remedy. Heading into the 20th century, Kombucha became popular with German immigrants. By 1927, many people were coming to the same conclusions as before. Some likened to a “miracle mushroom” because of the shape the bacteria and yeast took as the symbiotic colony grew.

It should be noted, however, that the history of Kombucha is in a bit of a dispute.

Whatever the case, it remains to be known that Kombucha has a great set of benefits to its consumption. Warriors felt stronger on the battle field, some felt that their lives grew longer because of it, and others simply felt that the drink improved their overall well being.
The Health Behind It

With Kombucha, one can experience a number of health benefits. What it largely comes down to are the pro-biotics found in the drink. Of course, though, many argue a more holistic set of benefits are in play. For more information about probiotics and health, check out this resource from Simmons College. Here are some of the argued benefits of Kombucha specifically:

Improves digestive health by inhibiting bad bacteria and promoting growth of good bacteria
Improves cholesterol levels, as well as obesity and diabetes
Aids children with ADD
May support healthy weight loss
Helps with healthy detoxification
Improves cardiovascular system
Promotes improved mental balance through physical balance

With all of these benefits, giving Kombucha a shot is definitely worthwhile. I can honestly say that after my first Kombucha drink, I felt revitalized, reawakened, and energized. The taste is unique, no doubt, but it is refreshing in a very poignant way. Making Kombucha a part of your everyday really may make you immortal after all!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Julia will be Volunteering at Alex's Lemonade Stand in LA

Here is a little bit about the organization and what they do.

Mission and History

To raise money and awareness of childhood    cancer causes, primarily research into new treatments and cures.

To encourage and empower others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) shares the vision of our founder and creator, Alexandra “Alex” Scott—a cure for all children with cancer.

When Alex, who was diagnosed with childhood cancer just before her first birthday, was four, she told her parents she wanted to set up a front-yard lemonade stand. Her plan: to give the money to doctors to help them find a cure. Her first “Alex’s Lemonade Stand”, held with the help of her older brother Patrick, raised an astonishing $2,000 in one day. While bravely fighting her own cancer, Alex continued to set up lemonade stands every year. As news spread of the remarkable girl so dedicated to helping other sick children, people everywhere were inspired to start their own lemonade stands—donating the proceeds to her cause.

In 2004 when Alex passed away at the age of eight—her stand and inspiration had raised more than $1 million towards finding a cure for the disease that took her life. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was started by her parents in 2005 to continue the work that Alex began. Our mission is simple: to raise money for and awareness of childhood cancer causes—especially research into new treatments and cures—and to encourage and empower others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer.

Since Alex set up her first lemonade stand in 2000—truly exemplifying the saying “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”—we have raised more than $55 million. That money has helped to:

• Fund more than 250 cutting-edge research projects

• Create a travel program to help support families of children receiving treatment

• Develop resources to help people everywhere affected by childhood cancer

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is the living embodiment of Alex’s spirit of determination and hope. Like Alex, we believe that every person can make a difference. Together, we can bring about a cure. Please join us in “making lemonade” today!Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why Eat Watermelon Rind

Article From

One of the most frequent questions submitted to our web editor, usually asks if it is ok to eat watermelon rind, regardless of whether or not it is fresh or prepared. The answer is yes, yes, and yes. It is safe to eat watermelon rind, it is safe to pickle watermelon rind, and in fact it is more nutritious than the pink flesh of the watermelon. Obviously as is the case with all fruits and vegetables, only eat as much as your stomach can handle, and don't go out of your way to just consume the watermelon rind, eat both the flesh and rind. Rind aside, you do not want to eat the green outer watermelon skin, that can upset your stomach, and it also contain pesticides, dirt, and other bacteria. So you heard it here, and it is official, by all means eat your watermelon rind. You can even eat watermelon seeds. If you chew the seeds up well enough for your stomach to digest, they too also contain many vitamins and nutrients.

I personally remember my parents, as well as the parents of other friends and relatives, always stepping in when they seen us chewing away on the watermelon rind, saying don't eat that, get another fresh piece of watermelon instead. Their reasoning was always the same, that eating watermelon rind will give you an upset stomach. It must have started out as an old wives' tale way back when, as almost all parents I can remember seemed to have the same position on it. The fact is that it will not hurt your stomach, not any more than eating too many green apples would, or eating too many fresh cherries. The key with all vegetables and fruits, is to eat them in moderation, and also to make sure you have a healthy diversity in the fruits and veggies you choose to eat.

If you don't like to eat the watermelon rind simply because it doesn't taste as good as the pink flesh, then juice it and add a little sugar. Or you can even blend it up with other fruits in a watermelon rind smoothie. If you add other sweeter fruits to help balance out the flavor, you can really consume a ton of nutrients in doing so. If those two options aren't enough, then choose from one of many of our other watermelon rind recipes. Our website it the largest watermelon rind based recipe collection in the English speaking world. We have recipes for watermelon rind jams, jellies, salads, candy, Asian watermelon rind chow chow, and even Indian watermelon rind chutney. Many of these recipes are extremely easy to make, and after doing so you will be happy that you finally decided to stop wasting all of that watermelon rind.

With regard to the nutrition of watermelon rind, there are many benefits to eating it. It contains large amounts of citrulline, an amino acid that has many health benefits. Watermelon rind is also rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, and lycopene. The rind also contains smaller amounts of vitamin A, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and even Zinc. It is also known that the more yellow the inside of the watermelon flesh and rind are, the more nutritious it is. So if you can, go out of your way to buy yellow flesh watermelon, as you will be getting the most nutrients and vitamins for your money's worth. We hope that our website will help dispel some of the false rumors about watermelon rind, and that more people will enjoy all of the benefits gained by eating it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Old becomes new again

It has been said that what is old becomes new again. The ancient wisdom of lacto-fermentation has truly proven itself through time and cultures as an invaluable artisanal craft with far-reaching nutritional benefits to the health of modern man. Got culture? If not, then investigate the health benefits of fermentation and fermented foods.

Jalapeños and Dilly Bëans

Today we did a couple of small batches.

Gold Rush string beans with dill and garlic. And also a few jars with Jalapeño strips for heat. These Kult Dilly Beans will be ready in a couple weeks.

Next we canned  pure Jalapeños. Julia seeded and half seeded a couple jars to give us three grades of heat. Kult Peños will also be ready in about two weeks.

Nacho time!

As always our farm (Rio Gozo) grew these for us. Organic and pesticide free.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rio Gozo Farm: Tomatillos Two Ways

Rio Gozo Farm: Tomatillos Two Ways: OH MAN, this was good.  A smoky salsa and a bright tomatillo salad make this a phenomenal addition to your dinner.    Smoky Tomatillo Sal...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kimchi Health benefits

Potential health benefits

Koreans eat approximately 40 lbs. of kimchi per person each year, downing it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Korean astronauts even eat a special kind of kimchi to prevent constipation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Kimchi was originally fermented as a preservation technique for food during the winter, according to Livestrong. It turns out the fermentation has more benefits than just preservation: It also promotes the growth of healthy probiotic bacteria along the intestinal tract. In fact, kimchi is higher in lactobacilli — one of the probiotics that can help alleviate digestive problems, such as an upset stomach — than yogurt.

Kimchi is extremely low in calories, fat and sugar; high in fiber; and packed with vitamin A, vitamin C and iron. Some studies have reported a connection between kimchi consumption and weight loss, as well as a lowering of blood cholesterol levels. At least one study has suggested the food has the ability to cure birds infected with bird flu, and many believe it can prevent SARS, though not enough research has been conducted to confirm this.


Health benefits of taking probiotics

Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem — literally and figuratively — hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern Europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning “for life”), because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as
 yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in Japan.

Enthusiasm for such foods has lagged in the United States, but interest in probiotic supplements is on the rise. Some digestive disease specialists are recommending them for 
disorders that frustrate conventional medicine, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies have established that probiotic therapy can help 
treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.

Self-dosing with bacteria isn’t as outlandish as it might seem. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy
bowel. These microorganisms (or microflora) generally don’t make us sick; most are helpful. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid digestion
and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.