image_pdfimage_print

Maria Faires’ Lemon Farro and Brussels Sprouts


 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Farro and Brussels Sprouts

Farro is a variety of wheat and similar to wheat berries, farro is still a bit chewy when cooked, rather than soft and mushy. Farro is still a bit chewy when cooked, rather than soft and mushy. If you don’t have access to a Trader Joe’s, use wheat berries.

In the spring when asparagus is in season, try substituting asparagus for the Brussels sprouts.

·      1 c. Farro Ten Minute Trader Joe’s or Wheat Berries (Adjust cooking time)

·      2 or 3 c. chicken or vegetable broth (Adjust amount depending on if you are using Ten Minute Farro or Wheat Berries)

·      1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered

·      1 large shallot, chopped

·      2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

·      1/4 c. chopped walnuts

·      1 tbsp. lemon juice

·      zest from 1 well-washed lemon, I like to use a microplane to zest the lemon

·      Salt + pepper to taste

1.    Combine 1 cup wheat berries and 3 cups broth OR 1 cup Ten Minute Farro and 2 cups broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until tender, if using wheat berries about 50 minutes or if using Trader Joe’s Farro Ten Minute, 10 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid. Set aside.

2.    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

3.    While wheat berries are cooking, start Brussels sprouts. Toss Brussels sprouts, shallots, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Transfer to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and stir in walnut pieces.

4.    Whisk together lemon juice, zest, remaining 1 Tbsp oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add wheat berries and roasted vegetables; toss to combine, then serve.

 

 

Share

Damaging Free Radicals and Super Hero Antioxidants

In cells, oxygen is constantly involved in chemical reactions in which electrons are shifted around. This is called oxidation. In an oxidation reaction, one atom or compound will steal electrons from another atom or compound. This process creates highly reactive, unstable, harmful particles known as free radicals.  Free radicals cause damage and many experts believe damage from free radicals is a factor in the development of  blood vessel disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and many chronic diseases. Free radicals can cause LDL cholesterol to oxidize, increasing cardiovascular risk. They can also damage genes in ways that contribute to the aging process. The damage to cells caused by free radicals, especially the damage to DNA, may play a role in the development of cancer and other health conditions.

We are exposed to free radicals through normal cellular processes, the effects of ultraviolet light and sun exposure, air pollution, trauma, excess heat, and smoking or when the body breaks down certain medicines. Our bodies also produce free radicals during exercise because we inhale more oxygen and use more energy and through by-products of normal processes that take place in your body (such as the burning of sugars for energy and the release of digestive enzymes to break down food). To generate energy, our cells remove electrons from sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids and add them to other molecules, especially oxygen. All this creates free radicals.

Antioxidants to the rescue. Antioxidants are the superheroes of the complex world of biochemistry because they provide an electron that the free radical is missing and neutralize it, ending the chain of destruction. Antioxidants thus protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants play a role in the management or prevention of some medical conditions and aging. 

It takes a variety of antioxidants and lots of them to help successfully deactivate the different kinds of free radicals. The body’s natural antioxidant defense system is partly fueled by the antioxidants we consume. Antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein, lignan, lycopene, and other carotenoids, and selenium. In general, the best dietary sources of antioxidants are vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, seeds and other plant-derived foods.

Share

Cherry, Cinnamon and Seeds Oatmeal

oat

This recipe spotlights delicious Morello sour cherries that are packed with nutrition.

Beta carotene, linked with cancer prevention particularly lung cancer and reduction in the risk of heart disease. Beta carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A, a vitamin that prevents night blindness, needed for growth and cell development, maintains healthy skin, hair, and nails as well as gums, glands, bones, and teeth. May prevent lung cancer.

Pectin, a soluble fiber makes you feel full which may lessen appetite. Also, it lowers LDL cholesterol which helps reduce the risk of heart disease, regulates blood sugar which may reduce the onset risk or symptoms of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and may cut the risk of colorectal cancer.

Quercetin, a flavonoid and antioxidant that may help avoid heart disease, lessen risk of cancer and coronary artery disease.

Potassium, which gives a helpful effect in lowering blood pressure. Also helps maintain fluid balance, and helps proper metabolism.

Vitamin C, vitamin that fortifies blood vessel walls, encourages wound curing, promotes iron absorption, helps avoid atherosclerosis, defends against cell damage by free radicals, may diminish risk of certain cancers, heart attacks, strokes, and other diseases. The anthocyanidins found in the cherries have anti-inflammatory properties.

Cinnamon is also featured in this recipe.  I recommend eating a teaspoon a day of the true cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon, since it so health promoting, and has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, cardiovascular-friendly, cholesterol-lowering, blood sugar regulating effects. If cinnamon isn’t labeled Ceylon you’re most likely eating a cheaper, less liver-safe cinnamon variety called cassia. It can be hard to find so I buy this one from Amazon.  

WARNING to those who are taking blood thinners. Cassia cinnamon contains high levels (0.45%) of natural chemicals called coumarin. When taking anti-coagulants, its important to avoid any products with coumarin. This interacts with blood thinners – especially warfarin (Coumadin) and increases the risk of bleeding. 

 ½ cup raw oats

1 cup milk or water

½ tbsp. Ceylon Cinnamon

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 Tbs hemp seeds

1 Tbs. pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup Morella Cherries (from Trader Joe’s) or Costco Frozen

cherriPrepare oatmeal as per package instructions. I like to do mine in a large glass microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. I use a too-large because cooking oats in the microwave in a too-small bowl can create the dreaded “volcano effect”.

Top with cinnamon, brown sugar, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and cherries and enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 406
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g 20 %
Saturated Fat 3 g 14 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 4 mg 0 %
Potassium 23 mg 1 %
Total Carbohydrate 59 g 20 %
Dietary Fiber 8 g 33 %
Sugars 26 g
Protein 18 g 37 %
Vitamin A 1 %
Vitamin C 1 %
Calcium 2 %
Iron 23 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
Share