Thursday, July 17, 2014

THE Food For Your Body's Nutritional ZEN

The Sweet & Sensual, Nutrient-Dense Mango

Legend has it that when the Buddha sought peace, he took refuge in mango groves among their pendulous green globular drops of sweet, golden flesh.

And the enlightened one likely got more than peaceful repose from the shaded grove, as the fruit itself provides a stunning trove of healthful properties for your body’s nutritional Zen.

Your Body's Nutritional ZEN

Even a single mango, for example, provides a quarter of the vitamin C you need in a day, and nearly two thirds of your vitamin A. Add in its vitamin E, ample fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, and you have perhaps the most delicious one-a-day multi-vitamin imaginable.

Keep in mind, too, that the vitamin content evolves as the fruit ripens. Interestingly, a young, green mango has a higher amount of vitamin C, whereas ripened maturity brings greater levels of vitamin A (specifically, beta carotene).

The outcomes of this nutritional super food amount to a yin/yang duality of healthful benefits. While the yin of potassium calms and balances blood pressure, the powerful yang antioxidants attack and neutralize the oxidative stress caused by free radicals that can lead to premature aging, heart disease, and cancer.

Mango, Also The Perfect Portion Food

In the end, the magnificence of the mango lies not just in its zen-like nutritional balance, but also in the fact that it is a perfect porch food for summer.

When choosing your mangoes, keep in mind that the many varieties do not all ripen by turning shades of red or orange. So the best fail safe method for choosing deliciously ripened mangos is to rely on its touch and aroma. A ripe mango will give slightly to a light squeeze in your palm. Even better, it will emit a subtle sweet fragrance that reminds you of honeysuckle.

Once you get your mango home, and are ready to linger over this luscious fruit on some late summer evening, try the salsa below. It’s life changing, and can be eaten alone or as a sidecar to any fish. Salmon, lightly done, forms a particularly nice pairing.

The Amazing Saturday Morning Mango Salsa

Saturday mornings are also ideal for the mango. While finishing your morning paper, top garlic-rubbed toasted bread with a thin slice of well ripened brie cheese. Follow this layer with a long slice of mango, cut parallel from its oblong seed. The flavor marriage of mango and brie is a beautiful coupling that you will renew throughout the summer.

Avocado Mango Salsa Zen
You’ll Need:
  • 2 cups diced fresh mango
  • 1 cup chopped avocado
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
  • 1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded, de-ribbed, and minced

This is so easy to do that it will never disturb your WA. Mix all this together. Throw in a pinch of salt. Then? Enjoy! 

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Summer Sweet Tooth and Healthy Peaches

This is my segment, recorded on KDKA-TV. I explain WHY excess sugar is a problem, what to be concerned about, and what is really not a problem at all. 

One of the items that is just not a problem? Fruit. 

I mean, I know people who won't eat a banana or a peach because they're afraid of the sugar and carbs. If you know anyone who is like this, you have to have them check this video out, because peaches are in-season, right now, and so very incredibly wonderfully deliciously healthy for you. 

Let me know your thoughts!!
 Will Clower Recipes For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Growing Gazpacho

Growing Gazpacho

Gazpacho = Brilliant Flavor + Amazing Health Benefits
Summer is perfect for the newest foodie ideal currently returning to our culture of health – that we take ownership over our own health through foods grown close to home. This “farm to table” concept already has a media presence: US News and World Report reported the number one consumer trend to be vegetable gardening, and the mantra to “eat local” is even finding its way into conventional grocery stores.

A perfect everyday example for our own personal farm to table experience is to grow our own gazpacho. In case you don’t know, gazpacho is a cool summer soup, which is basically a delicious liquid salad of Andalusian (Spanish) origins. The ancient version of this soup included only stale bread, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar (the tomato base came later … about 400 years ago), and served as an everyday poor man’s food made of common garden staples and leftover bread.

Today though, gazpacho still includes bread and garlic, olive oil and vinegar, but a garden of gracious flavors have since been added: tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers at the very least. Obviously, the best gazpacho on planet Earth will come from the vegetables we grow with our own hands, in our own earth, in our own gardens.

So, how can we do that?

Getting the ingredients: Finding good quality vegetable plants is just like finding good quality vegetables themselves. You can get them from large retail outlets that have gardening sections, but the best quality will be found at your local farmers’ markets. Big retail locations, like conventional grocery stores, purchase in the massive quantities that basically “dumbs down” the quality to the lowest common denominator. They’re not bad, but certainly not the best.

A better source of vegetable plants comes from the farmers themselves. The advantage of purchasing your plants directly from them is that you can get the heirloom varieties that have not been bred and cross-bred and cross-cross-bred, just to produce some uniform trait and homogenized flavor. That’s how to get a tomato that has not yet been turned into a widget.

Few items are easier to grow than the basic three vegetables in gazpacho – tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers – with just a couple of pointers to remember. 

Planting Your Gazpacho: All of these vegetables grow wonderfully in porch pots or in an outdoor bed, and each requires the same basic conditions: plenty of sun along with well drained, moist earth beneath them. When you’re ready to plant your ingredients, first turn some organic compost (found in any garden section) and mulch (such as wood chips or bark) into the soil. Then set the plants about two feet apart from each other.

Growing Your Gazpacho: Tomatoes need to be tied to a stake or set inside a wire cage to keep the heavy fruit from pulling its limbs to the ground. Cucumbers are vines and will run either along the ground or up a trellis (if you need to conserve space). Peppers are small bushes, and so can stand alone. But all of these succulent plants love their sun and love their water, so make sure the soil stays moist, by just giving them a drink each day. Harvest your fruit as it ripens, and set on the kitchen counter. It’s really that easy.

Preparing Your Gazpacho: This amazing soup is as easy to throw together as it is delicious to eat. From your gazpacho garden, you’ll need 4 large ripe tomatoes, 1 red bell pepper, and 2 cucumbers. Then, to spice it up, you’ll also need 1 clove of garlic (minced), about 2 Tbsp each of minced basil and rosemary, 3 Tbsp lime juice, some Tobasco, salt and pepper to taste.

First, score the skins of the tomatoes and put them in a pot of boiling water for about 15 seconds or so. Pull them out, slide the skins off, cut into quarters to remove the seeds, and then coarsely chop. You’ll also chop the bell pepper and peeled cucumber. Soak 2-3 slices of stale bread in water for a couple of minutes, and then squeeze out the excess.

Put the bread and chopped vegetables in a food processor with 2 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. If you like your gazpacho with more body, keep out a handful of the veggies, mince them, and add back to the soup at the end. Otherwise, puree the entre mixture until smooth. Leave the machine running and slowly add 2 cups of tomato juice along with 1 ½ cups of organic stock (organic vegetable, chicken, or beef), and ½ cup of olive oil.

Salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. The flavors will marry and improve over time, so taste for the salt, pepper, and vinegar after a while. You can thin this soup, if you like it more brothy, with stock.

Eating the gazpacho: At the end of a hot summer day, you’ll welcome the crisp coolness of this refreshing meal, especially when you’re eating it outside. Plus, you made this delicious dinner for yourself without ever turning on the stove! To make your gazpacho a complete meal, head out to your porch and start with a little ripened melon, rolled prosciutto, a few olives, and a crisp white wine of your choosing.

The gazpacho itself can then be served, garnished with a drizzle of your best olive oil, or even sour cream, to your tastes. Be sure to sample the aroma as you taste, and include a lighter red wine with this course. You want this portion of the meal last as long as possible, so don’t rush through it.

Finish with a few slices of well aged cheddar and dried cherries to cap the perfect end to the perfect summer meal. Take enough time with your gracious gazpacho evening to recognize what you’ve accomplished by putting nutritious food on your table, with your own hands.

Now relax, exhale, and let yourself enjoy the ebbing day.

 For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

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