Passion Fruit and Ginger Iced-Tea

passion fruit and ginger iced teaHere’s a great refreshing drink for those hot, sunny days.

Not too sweet with just the right bite with ginger, this one is sure to please.

ENJOY!

Passion Fruit and Ginger Iced-Tea Recipe:

1 14oz. pack Passion Fruit Puree (frozen) click here to see where to buy

2 packs Ginger Tea (No Sugar Added) click here to see where to buy

4 cups water

1 ½ cups brown sugar

METHOD:

– In a saucepan, bring to boil passion fruit puree and water.  When this has begun to boil turn off heat

– Add sugar and ginger tea, stir well

– Let cool completely

– Once the mixture has cooled, strain into serving jug

– Serve with crushed ice and enjoy!

Super Simple Pineapple Salsa (a.k.a Pineapple Chow)

pineapple salsa aka chowTrinidadians are famous for making a chow (salsa) out of almost any fruit – Plum Chow, Mango Chow, and now a recent favorite – Pineapple Chow.

Now I have to admit,  even though Pineapple is my favorite fruit I was a little bit skeptical when I saw that it met its ultimate fate in the Trini palate as a Chow.  But, as they say, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, right?

So, I decided to make my own version, without the heavy dose of pepper sauce.

The result?

I was wowed!  I couldn’t believe it tasted so good.

So, without further ado, here’s my super simple (and super mild) Pineapple Chow recipe.

RECIPE

1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 pimento pepper, seeded and minced

1 clove garlic, grated

METHOD:

– Add all ingredients to a small bowl

– Stir well to combine

– Serve and enjoy!

TIP: This salsa/chow could also work well as a topping to your favorite

burger recipe.

Comparison Shopping – Where to Buy?

Generally, one may think of comparison shopping as going from store to store to see which items are cheaper and then making a purchase.  Proper comparison shopping, however, goes way deeper than that.  It serves to inform the consumer where to go to get the most out of their money by taking into consideration several factors.

Here are some comparison shopping tips to help you get the most out of your shopping experience and your wallet!

1. Affordability – after all, you wouldn’t want to have to break the bank in order to shop at that store.  Ask yourself “Can I really afford this”, “Would I be breaking my budget”

2.  Location – if the money you think you’re saving is heading straight into the gas tank then you will probably have to reconsider if that supermarket, grocery store or shopper’s club is right for you.  Let’s say you live in Diego Martin but heard about this really cheap store in San Fernando, would this really be cost effective on a regular basis?  I don’t think so.

3.  Convenience – “is it close to work”, “Can I get to this store on the way to pick up the kids from school”,  “Can I get there easily if I don’t have access to a vehicle”.  Let’s say I live in Diego Martin but work in San Fernando and that really cheap store my friend was telling me about is a short distance away from work.  I can stop at that store after work before heading home.  Now that’s convenient!  Also, if you’ve made a purchase and discover you have a faulty product then it will be nice to know that they’re about 20 minutes away from where you live or a place you frequent and not one hour and a half.  If the store is not a convenient place to shop then it will most likely discourage you from going back to get an exchange or refund.

4.  Varietyhow many of your shopping items can you find in that store?  Even if you only have a few items on your list, if you wish to try something new can that store offer you that variety?  

5.  Membership or Shopper’s card – this helps you to save money in the long run.  Hi-Lo Foodstores, for example, is famous for their Smart Shopper’s Card where a consumer can rack up points (double points on Wednesdays) and be rewarded in the end.  However, while TruValu does not have a direct shopper’s card (anymore), having a MAGNA rewards card also allows you to rack up points at participating grocery stores including TruValu.  And get this, because TruValu is more affordable than Hi-Lo, when you use your MAGNA rewards card you can get even more savings.  

6.  Overall Shopping Experience – Do you feel welcome at that particular store?  Are the staff members friendly or polite?  If there is a problem, is it easy to contact the floor manager, etc.?  Is the store generally clean?  Do they make attempts to enhance the shopping experience for the customer?

Shopping – even for groceries – ought to be a pleasurable experience, not a headache.

So the next time you’re out shopping, take these tips into consideration to ensure you have the best shopping experience possible.

3 Essential Tips – How to Make Your Vegetables Flavorful

Tired of bland, boring, mushy vegetables?

Discover these 3 Essential Tips on how to make your vegetables flavorful.

1. Seasonings – like you would your meat

I’m serious.  You wouldn’t just throw a slab of steak on the grill and cook it without seasoning it, right?  Exactly!  You don’t want to cook your vegetables without at least adding some type of seasoning to it.

What type of herbs to use?

The great thing about vegetables is that it works well with almost any type of seasoning whether fresh or dried.

Here in the Caribbean, we have an abundance of rich spices and fresh herbs to choose from.

2. Variety – the more the merrier

Bell Peppers, Carrots, Broccoli, Celery, Eggplant all have distinct flavours.  When combined, it’s a mouthful of flavours.

3. Light cooking – it’s no rump roast

No one likes soggy or mushy vegetables, unless you’re a baby.

When cooking, roasting or grilling your vegetables, one thing to remember is that while you can season it like you would your meats, you don’t have to cook it like meats.  Meats tend to take a longer time on the grill, in the pan or in the oven because of the muscle fibres that have to be broken down and fully cooked.  Unlike meats, vegetables are best when cooked just long enough to enrich the colour and have a nice ‘soft’ crunch.

Tip: Variety Makes the Meal

Let’s face it; a Vegan can’t survive on broccoli and carrots alone.

The benefit of a Vegan diet, when properly followed, is that the nutrient-rich foods provide the body with what it needs to function.

However, if the fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains that you consume are very limited then you could just be doing yourself in.

Always remember the secret to a balanced vegan meal is Variety!

Eat what’s in season!  God has blessed us with a variety of fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat each season.  Some foods can even be found all year round.  Try to incorporate seasonal fruits and vegetables into your salads, Smoothies, main course or appetizer.

Wellness Makes the Vegan

Researchers from the Loma Linda University in California found that there is a link between lifestyle, diet and disease.  They studied a group of more than 58,000 persons over a long term period and unveiled the following:

–          Vegetarians were at a lower risk for Cancers

–          Consuming nuts and whole wheat bread may lower your risk for Coronary heart disease

However, while a plant-based diet just may help you lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, it is not meant to be taken in isolation.  Findings from the study also showed that there were 7 other basic practices or principles, along with nutrition, that may help you live a longer, healthier and happier life when properly followed.  These 8 principles, when combined, form a balanced vegan lifestyle and contribute to the overall wellness of the Vegan.

 

1. Nutrition

Let’s face it; your body will not get the proper nourishment it needs if you only eat corn.  The full benefits of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains are derived when we eat from a wide variety of them.

Proper nutrition serves as a building block for total wellness.

So, how can I be sure that I’m getting the best nutrition?

Check out your Vegan Plate at http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/MyVeganPlate.pdf

 

 2. Exercise

Exercise has been found to positively contribute to health of body, mind and spirit.

In addition to proper nutrition, exercise helps to boost the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues of the body.

Regular physical activity can also boost your energy, improve your mood and is a great sleep aid.

Talk to your doctor today to find the best exercise plan for you.

3. Water

Our bodies are made up of about 70% water.  Isn’t that amazing?

Humans can survive about 3 weeks without food but can’t survive more than 3 days without water!

So, just why is water so important?

In our bodies water functions as a cleanser; flushing wastes and toxins from the body.

Water also facilitates the successful operation of digestion and absorption.

Here in the Caribbean, and other hotter climates, we tend to lose more water through sweating, etc.  It’s therefore important to ensure that we are replacing what we have lost.

Are you getting enough water?

 

4. Sunshine

Overexposure to sunlight can cause skin cancer.  However, a lack of outdoor sun exposure can also be been linked to Vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D aids in Calcium absorption which is beneficial for bone health.

What do scientists recommend?

Small, gradual doses of sunlight are deemed sufficient for healthy vitamin D production.

So go on, get out there!  Don’t forget your sunscreen!

 

5. Temperance

Practicing temperance is simply abstaining from those things which are bad for you and using in moderation those that are good.

For example, did you know that consuming too much water at one time can kill you?

Also, over-exercising can lead to muscle fatigue and muscle injuries.

Overeating, even in a plant based diet is not recommended either.

Why?

Some of the effects of overeating or that all too popular habit of constantly snacking between meals can lead to blood sugar spikes and bloating.

If this habit is not overcome it can lead to long term effects as well.

 

6. Air

“Air, air, the precious boon of heaven, which all may have, will bless you with its invigorating influence, if you will not refuse it entrance. Welcome it, cultivate a love for it, and it will prove a precious soother of the nerves.

It excites the appetite, and renders the digestion of food more perfect, and induces sound and sweet sleep.” (Counsels on Health pg. 60)

To reduce the incidences of indoor air pollution, it is recommended that windows and doors be open, as far as possible, to keep the air in constant circulation.

7. Rest 

Your body needs it!

Rest is rejuvenating for the mind, body and spirit.  Mental alertness and memory are both negatively affected when we skimp on rest.

Are you skimping on rest?  Take this fun sleep quiz to find out. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/rm-quiz-sleep

8. Trust in God

Persons who expressed faith in God benefitted from the following:

–          Less worry (“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3)

–          An increase of vigor (“A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which, through the grace of Christ, the soul becomes a conquering power”. Ministry of Healing pg 62)

Try asking God today for wisdom how to make healthier choices and to help you stave off those cravings.

 

References:

Adventist Health Studies: Findings for Coronary heart disease – http://www.llu.edu/public-health/health/heart.page?

http://www.llu.edu/public-health/health/fact_sheets.page?

Air – http://newstartclub.com/resources/detail/air

Benefits of Sunlight – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/

Counsels on Health – “The Influence of Fresh Air”, page 60

Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity – http://www.mayoclinic.org/exercise/ART-20048389

Meatless Meals: The Benefits of Eating Less meat – http://www.mayoclinic.org/meatless-meals/ART-20048193

Ministry of Healing – “The Touch of Faith”, page 62

Newstart – http://newstart.com/what-is-newstart/

Plant-Based Diet for Heart-Health – http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/plant-based-diet-for-heart-health