Hopping Jalapeno – They are good for you.

Healthy foods for J is Jalapeno
Healthy foods for J is Jalapeno

These mild peppers come with only 4 calories and just 0.91 gram of carbohydrates in a serving. If you looking for low-carb you can’t get any better. They also have less than a gram each of protein and fat.

What they do have is a rich amount of vitamin C and A. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that works to project cells from damage. Vitamin A is known for helping keep skin and eyes healthy.

Capsaicin is the stuff that makes your eyes water if you get too much. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
If you want the milder peppers avoid the older one with the white wrinkles. The older a pepper gets the hotter it gets. Just like us girls. ūüôā

Jalapeno Peppers are mild on the heat level.
Healthy foods for J is Jalapeno

At first I was just going to give you a pepper popper recipe, but I thought there has to be a way to add them to my smoothie list. I have to confess when it comes to heat I’m a baby.

Split open de-seed and scrape the ribs out. Stuff with cream cheese and shrimp then wrap in bacon.
Split open de-seed and scrape the ribs out. Stuff with cream cheese and shrimp then wrap in bacon.

But with yogurt, vanilla and a bunch of blackberries a touch of zap is fun and refreshing. If you have a problems with the all the seeds in blackberry switch them out with cherries.

Blackberry & Jalapeno Smoothie

Blackberries, jalapeno and Greek yogurt
Healthy foods for J is Jalapeno
  • 1 cup of frozen blackberries (or cherries)
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 jalapeno (scrape out insides and chop)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Vegan Smart Vanilla nutritional shake

 

 

 

I couldn’t think of any other J healthy foods. Can you and do you love jalapeno peppers or avoid them?

For my smoothie: Hemp, organic banana, organic kale, organic red and black grapes and organic frozen blueberries with unsweetened almond milk.

Health Benefits of Hemp

HFirst of all you can not get high from hemp. Even though hemp and marijuana are both made from the Cannabis plant, hemp seeds contains less than  a trace of THC which is the psychoactive substance in marijuana.

What hemp does have is a complete source of protein, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids. Complete protein sources are very rare in the plant kingdom. Quinoa is the only other example of a complete, plant-based protein I can think of. Hemp seeds are also rich in healthy fats. They have a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3  along with good amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium,  magnesium,  calcium, iron and zinc.

Hemp - an complete protien source and no, it can't make you high.
Hemp ‚Äď an complete protien source and no, it can‚Äôt make you high.

Whole hemp seeds are high in fiber, both soluble and insoluble. This is great stuff for your digestive health. I made the mistake of buying shelled hemp seeds. They have less than 1g of fiber, but all the other good stuff.

Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the gut. It is a valuable source of nutrients for the beneficial digestive bacteria, and may also reduce spikes in blood sugar and regulate cholesterol levels.

Insoluble fiber adds bulk to fecal matter and may help food and waste pass through the gut. Consuming insoluble fiber has also been linked with a reduced risk of diabetes.

This is great stuff for your digestive health. I made the mistake of buying shelled hemp seeds. They have less than 1g of fiber.

This week I will be adding three tbs of hemp seeds to one of my smoothies every day.

This is one I had today:

For my smoothie: Hemp, organic banana, organic kale, organic red and black grapes and organic frozen blueberries with unsweetened almond milk.
For my smoothie: Hemp, organic banana, organic kale, organic red and black grapes and organic frozen blueberries with unsweetened almond milk.
Smoothie with black & red grapes, kale, banana and unsweetened almond milk.
H in the A to Z Blogging Challenge

Three tbs of hemp

one cup  kale

one cup  red & black grapes

one cup frozen blueberries

one cup unsweetened almond milk

I threw it all in my Ninja for about 40 seconds. I like the bites of graped you can see in the smoothie.

 

I had a hard time finding healthy foods that start with H. Did I miss one? Do you know of any healthy H foods

 

Figs are full of vitamin A, C & K along with Fiber potassium and magnesium

Don’t Give a Fig About Flaxseeds?

FIf I hurry this post will be for April 7th, the day of F in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. For our healthy foods there is one that brings to mind sweet childhood memories and another that is all new to me.

When my parents moved us back to the Texas Hill Country the twenty-seven acre property they bought, included a fig and peach tree. I remember people coming to fill bags of fresh fruit. My mom would make preserves, but they still produced so  much fruit she was always giving it away. Along with their quarter acre garden and chickens we always had fresh food. Any heath issues I have now I can not blame on my childhood. Memories like these make me wish I could thank my parents for so many things I took for granted, but I digress.

Figs: These little fruits are high in vitamin A, K & C along with a gram of fiber in one fig. Just a few can  give you about 20% of the RDA. For their size, figs are one of the most nutritious fruits  you can eat. Not only are figs high in fiber, but they deliver potassium and magnesium also. Figs and fig leaves a have been shown to help prevent chronic diseases and help in weight management.  Be careful if you are on a low sugar or low carb diet.  To much of a good thing can be bad for you. You might need to limit their intake or you will lose the health benefits of eating figs. (Fig Newtons do not count as a health food. just FYI).

Figs are full of vitamin A, C & K along with Fiber potassium and magnesium
Figs are full of vitamin A, C & K along with Fiber potassium and magnesium

Oh, flaxseed. How did I not know about you? So so tiny yet so full of good stuff. The flaxseed has one of the largest nutrient payoff for it’s size. Did you know they have over 100 times more phytonutrients than oats, wheat bran, or buckwheat? What phytonutrients? ( I had to look it up).Low Carb Diets Expert, says, “Phytonutrients, also known as phytochemicals, are compounds found in plants (apart from vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients) that have a beneficial effect the body. There are over 30,000 of them, yet¬† only 100 have been analyzed and tested. Phytonutrients are what defend and protect our trillions of cells from disease. They have similar effects as an antioxidant, boosting the immune system, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and cellular repair. Along with flaxseed, highly colored vegetables and fruits tend to be highest in these chemicals, but tea, chocolate, nuts, and olive oil are also great sources of phytochemicals as well.”

So throw some in your smoothie! Make sure you blades chop them so they don’t wash straight through you. You can also grind them right before you eat them to make sure all the nutrients are easily available to your system.

While it‚Äôs not technically a grain, it hangs out well with them in the vitamin and mineral data, while the amount of fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids in flax well, doesn’t compare.

To make it even better, flax seed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars. All of this makes it a great food for weight loss and maintenance.

But wait there is more!  Flax Seed is Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

I add a couple of tablespoon to almost all of my smoothies. Here is one I tried with figs! It was delicious, maybe even one of my favorites.

spinach, flaxseed, triple zero Greek yogurt and unsweetened almond milk
Figs are full of vitamin A, C & K along with Fiber potassium and magnesium
  • 1.5 cops of fresh Spinach
  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 2 figs
  • 2 tablespoons Triple Zero Greek Yogurt
  • one cup of unsweetened almond milk

 

 

Okay, so bring on the F foods I forgot and if you have a favorite flaxseed or fig smoothie share please!

https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/southwestern-breakfast-tacos/

Eggs, that’s it. Just Eggs

Today in our A to Z blogging challenge we have E. EEggs come in a perfect package that can even help your garden grow (composting). Eggs have gotten a bad reputation for causing high cholesterol. It’s been claimed that because of the level of cholesterol in the egg, they must be bad for the heart.

There has been several research projects in recent years that examined the relationship between egg consumption and the risk of heart disease.

Guess what they found? Yep, they found no association between egg consumption and heart disease or stroke. Even with the yellow part. Go figure.

What we do know is that eggs are a high protein food and protein is the most fulfilling macro-nutrient.eggs

This little package has only 77 calories, but delivers 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of the good fats.

Eggs are the beginning of life and contain a little bit of almost every nutrient we need. This just might make them the perfect food.

Along with all that protein, a single  egg  contains

  • Vitamin A:¬†¬†¬† 6% of the RDA.
  • Folate:¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 5% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B5:¬† 7% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B12:¬†9% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B2:¬†¬† 15% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus:¬†9% of the RDA.
  • Selenium:¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 22% of the RDA.
  • Eggs also have decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.

Eggs contain all the essential amino acids in the right ratios, so our bodies are well equipped to make full use of the protein in them.

Getting enough protein in our diet is tough and there are some studies that indicate that the  current recommendation may be too low. Eating adequate protein can also help with weight loss, increase muscle mass, lower blood pressure, optimize bone health and keeping eyes healthy. Proteins are the main building blocks of the human body. So eat an egg.

Go ahead and get a couple of eggs, scramble, boil, poach or fry them. My favorite might be served in a breakfast taco (corn tortilla) turkey bacon and avocado.

https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/southwestern-breakfast-tacos/
https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/southwestern-breakfast-tacos/

How do you like your eggs?

 

 

 

 

 

A Texas Hill Country Thanksgiving

I thank my parents for raising me as a horse loving Texas Hill Country girl.   Nine Thanksgiving ago my sisters and I lost my mother. We lost our father nineteen years ago. They loved family and every holiday, plus some we were making the rounds to visit loved ones. We were shown through example that family matters.

A few years ago my sisters and I started a new tradition for Thanksgiving. We rented a cabin by the Frio River in Leakey, Texas. (our parents married in Leakey) A cousin from my family and a cousin from my brother-in-law’s joined in and we stay for four days.

The rest of my mother’s family, including her mother, join us. We bounce between 30 to 50 people on Thursday.¬† In a world that moves fast and people spend more time looking down at a screen than into the face of real people, personal connections with extended family gives¬† us roots and a healthier life. As humans, the need for relationships with others and nature is built into our DNA. To me Thanksgiving is not¬† about the food…it’s the people and getting away from the rush of daily life.

Old Giant Oak tree in Texas Hill Country. Leakey Texas.

These old trees make me think of how time moves and the world changes, but God is constant. We come and go but the world keeps turning. I love to take time and enjoy the peace these trees give me.

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Roads through the Texas Hill Country
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Taking time to walk off some of our Thanksgiving feast in the Texas Hill Country. Leakey Texas

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Enjoying the Frio River even in the rain. Two aunts and uncle and one of my sisters. Leakey Texas
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It helps if you have someone that plays the guitar and maracas.

Play some games! How to have fun at a Texas Hill Country Thanksgiving.

My Grandmother and seven (of ten)of her great-grandchildren from her oldest child, my mother, Cindy French Guinther. She has a total of thirty great-grandchildren.

Longhorn on a  Texas Hill Country Ranch Country
Longhorn on a Texas Hill Country Ranch Country

Since we are on a Texas Hill Country ranch we have to include a Longhorn.

Even thought we had rain we had fun. You have to set your mind to it sometimes but it can always be found. Play in the Rain!

Play in the Texas Rain with Jolene Navarro!
Play in the Texas Rain with Jolene Navarro!

Play in the Rain! Life is too short to wait around for the right time. Give thanks for the rain and the sun, the wind and the opportunity to experience it all.

What do you do to connect with people or nature?

 

 

What a fun year. Thanks for visiting. 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Fresh Homemade products at the Farmer’s Market at the Cibolo Nature Park

Fresh Homemade products at the Farmer's Market at the Cibolo Nature Park

The entry gate to the Farmers Market at the Cibolo
The entry gate to the Farmers Market at the Cibolo

The Texas Hill Country is full for fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables. You can also find homemade products made from this produce here in Boerne Texas at the Farmer’s Market at the Cibolo Nature Park.

The best tasting vegetable are the ones straight from the farm
The best tasting vegetable are the ones straight from the farm

I think we get so removed from our food, hows it’s grown and with so many perspectives and chemicals we forget what real food taste like.

Join me for a walk through the booths. The textures and aromas are inspiring and I know one of my characters has to grow their own foods and sell at market.

If you don’t live in the San Antonio area I know you can find a local market close to you. If you visit your local Farmers Market you are supporting your local growers that provided fresh, local, and seasonal products that they themselves planted, raised, and harvested. You can’t beat the flavor.

Mouth-watering fresh Texas berries
Mouth-watering fresh Texas berries
The hardest part with Handcrafted Harvest Jam is picking just one or two.
The hardest part with Handcrafted Harvest Jam is picking just one or two.
Fresh berries and cream for dessert in a jar.
Fresh berries and cream for dessert in a jar.
Fresh Texas peaches make some of the best jams
Fresh Texas peaches make some of the best jams
Organic fresh baked bread
Organic fresh baked bread
Farm fresh eggs from free range chickens
Farm fresh eggs from free range chickens
Happy chickens give you the best eggs!
Happy chickens give you the best eggs!

I love buying the locally grown flowers from the market – I know they’re from my area and ready for the flowerbeds around my house.

Local grown flowers you can take home and plant in your own flowerbeds.
Local grown flowers you can take home and plant in your own flowerbeds.

flowers

My hero and helper loading the truck with our finds
My hero and helper loading the truck with our finds

Don’t forget to give your helper a treat!

Organic cookies made with fresh ingredients.
Organic cookies made with fresh ingredients.

You can find more than food – crafts and home products

Colorful bird houses made from gourds
Colorful bird houses made from gourds
Homemade creams made from farm fresh produce.
Homemade creams made from farm fresh produce.

The Farmers Market at the Cibolo in Boerne Texas
The Farmers Market at the Cibolo in Boerne Texas

Vegetable & fruits picked right from the garden, products handmade from organic produce, bread, jams and creams are just a few of the items you can find in the early morning of the Farmer’s Market. Boerne’s Cibolo Farmer’s Market is young, only in its second year, but it is a true treasure. If you are in the area they need your support. There is also games, music and a beautiful community garden.

Schedule and Location:
Every Saturday, 8:30a-12:30p
33 Herff Road, Boerne, TX 78006

Do you have a local market you visit? Do you have a favorite recipe using fresh produce from your market?