What’s your favorite Okra Recipe?

Do you have okra on your food list? Have you tried it yet? Or are you a bit unsure what to do with it!? Let us help! 

Okra is a plant from the mallow family (so it’s related to hibiscus!) and originally comes from Ethiopia. Okra is actually the edible green seed pods of the plant so technically it could be called a fruit! 100g okra contain only 0.2g of fat and only 20 calories. It’s rich in beta-carotene, vitamin B1, B2 & B3 (niacin), vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and phosphorus. One of Okra’s nutritional highlights is the high-quality gut-friendly mucilages, which are particularly valuable for healing our digestive tracts and supporting a healthy bacterial balance in the small intestine. They taste great in a ratatouille or a stir-fry where okra mixed with tomatoes, zucchini, parsley root, eggplants and carrots. 

Back to you – what do you think about Okra? What’s your favorite Okra recipe?

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Happy Halloween

Today it’s time to say “Trick or Treat” again. Have a spooky Halloween night with some creepy fun! To make Halloween a real treat, we recommend these pumpkin fries with blood orange dip.

Ingredients:
1 serving vegetables (pumpkin, avocado)
1 serving blood orange
olive oil
Spices: sea salt, paprika, curry, freshly ground pepper, freshly chopped rosemary, fresh parsley

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 250°C (480°F) for the pumpkin fries. Wash pumpkin, cut in half, remove seeds. Quarter the pumpkin and cut into fries shape. 

Season the fries with sea salt, rosemary, paprika and curry powder and mix with a tablespoon of oil. Place the fries on a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake on the top shelf for approx. 18 minutes until the fries are lightly browned. 

Blood orange dip:
Wash the blood orange in hot water and dry. Puree the avocado pulp with some freshly grated orange peel and orange juice.
Season to taste with salt, pepper and freshly chopped parsley.

MB 10-31 Halloween-Meal

Sourdough Rye Bread

We are often asked: Why does Metabolic Balance recommend sourdough rather than bread containing yeast? 

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The answer lies in the long fermentation process that happens with sourdough preparation. During this fermentation, the grain is properly broken down and the phytic acid effectively pre-digested. This is important as phytic acid is known to bind to the nutrients and minerals in the grain, thereby preventing us from absorbing them. Also reducing the phytic acid makes the bread lighter, healthier and easier to digest. Rye grains need a good long time to progress to it’s quality and be ready for baking. The sourdough method makes sure this happens naturally while boosting friendly bacteria in the dough which improves the shelf life of the rye bread. It also develops a wonderful taste and the delicious smell of fresh sourdough bread!

When yeast is added to bread dough, these natural processes are enormously accelerated, unfortunately to the detriment of the quality of the bread. This method of added yeast to bread baking makes it much harder for us to digest the bread and can cause digestive problems. 

Almonds – A Power House

Almonds are so much more than just a snack or baking ingredient – of course our Metabolic Balancers have known this for a long time. The tasty nuts are rich in protein, minerals and B vitamins. They protect against cardiovascular diseases and, according to some studies, even prevent diabetes. Their cholesterol-lowering effect is also well researched and documented. Thus, we can say, eating these tasty nuts regularly is one of your go-to foods. However, it is important to soak them for a few hours beforehand – preferably overnight. This reduces inhibitors and enables your digestion to break down and absorb nutrients much easier and better. By doing so, almonds are even tastier!

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Check out our Mandelade-Recipes (Almond-SunflowerSeed-Mix) on our Recipe Blog or watch this video!

An Organic Apple is a Class of it’s Own!

Did you know that an apple contains more than a million bacteria? Say … what?

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This was recently discovered by scientists at the Graz University of Technology in Austria. The researchers found that eating apples is not only healthy for us because of the abundance of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and other wonderful plant substances. We also get a great health boost to our gut flora from the different, beneficial bacteria found in an apple. Good bacteria is especially found in the core, the seeds and the pulp – less so on the peel, as one might think. In a recent study, it was also investigated whether there is a difference between apples from conventional cultivation and organic apples. The result was clear: The organic apples had much more diverse bacterial communities. In the case of organic apples, the pulp in particular showed the highest microbial diversity. The basic role of the pulp is to protect the seeds in the core and to enable their distribution for the successful propagation of the apple tree. A possible outcome of this study suggested it could be that the bacterial diversity in organic apples is similar to the effects of apple polyphenols on human health. Apple polyphenols are known not only to relieve allergic symptoms, but also to promote the growth of good bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium in our digestive tract.

Anthocyanins Protect Against Heart Attack!

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The Nurses’ Health Study was started in 1989 in Boston and followed the health of 93,600 nurses. It is one of the largest studies into the risk factors for major chronic diseases in women. One of the questions researchers posed was to look at heart attack risk among the group.  

Eric Rimm, a nutrition scientist from the Harvard School of Public Health, analyzed the data and was able to see a long-term trend that nurses in the study who ate at least three servings of blueberries or strawberries per week had a 32% reduced risk of a heart attack than the nurses who ate the berries less than once a month. It was concluded it was the presence of anthocyanins in the berries that was giving the nurses the great benefits for heart health. 

Anthocyanins are a natural groups of plant chemicals found in fruits such as berries, cherries, apples, but also eggplants. They give the fruits their rich, vibrant and dark color, and protect them from UV radiation and the oxygen in the air. It is now recognized that, when we eat these colorful foods containing anthocyanins, this protective effect is passed on to us!

Born to be an All-Round Star

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Green cabbage is now available all year round. Particularly in the winter months it is a real blessing for your health with its valuable nutrients. And in summer it cuts a good figure. Whether spherical or longish – the robust vegetable that drives its stalk deep into the soil is particularly rich in folic acid and vitamin C. While many vegetables lose vitamin C during cooking, this doesn’t happen with green cabbage! This is because it also contains a lot of ascorbigen, a precursor of vitamin C. It is only converted to vitamin C during cooking. In addition, it supplies an excellent amount potassium for heart health, calcium for the bones and iron for the blood. And it’s doing all this while being low in calories and rich in fiber! 

Born to be a Cardio Star – Brussels Sprouts!

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Brussels Sprouts: so often not the most popular in the room, but its taste is far better than its reputation. 

The florets are walnut-sized and light to dark green. Like green cabbage, Brussels sprouts taste best harvested after the first frost when their sugar content reduces their strong taste and makes their cell structure softer. Brussels sprouts are usually eaten cooked as a side dish, but they can also be added to casseroles and soups, baked in the oven or cut very thinly and lightly sautéed or even eaten raw. Brussels sprouts have a valuable 4.7% of plant protein with amino acids that the body can utilize well. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C in winter and also contains many nutrients, namely vitamins B1, B2, B6, folic acid, iron, potassium and plenty of fiber. Brussels sprouts are used in traditional folk medicine to reduce both conditions of muscle weakness and tension, they can assist weight loss, improve constipation and acidosis and prevent atherosclerosis.  They also have an impressive amount of a well recognized anti-cancer plant chemical, glucosinolate (237 mg per 100 g of vegetables). Thus, Brussels sprouts are a star in cancer prevention too! This is a real star among vegetables!

Born to be a Wonder Weapon: Yam

MB 09-01-2019

Have you tried yam root, which originates from North America and Mexico?  Not yet? Then you have to make up for it, because this special root is a real fountain of youth! The special power contained within the yam root has a name: Diosgenin. This substance has a structure very similar to progesterone and is the starting point for the production of our endogenous DHEA for the adrenal or stress glands. Endogenous, by the way, means what we make ourselves rather than what we get from our food. DHEA plays an important part of slowing down the aging process and helps our cells to stay young longer. DHEA also helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis. It stabilizes cholesterol levels and helps improve poor memory.

That’s why yam should be on our plates more often. It’s very easy to prepare and is very versatile. The roots can be cooked like potatoes, fried, mashed and served in soups and stews. Thus, remember to put yam on your next shopping list and enjoy all these wonderful benefits!

The Gender of Fennel

Visiting my mom I went to the farmer’s market for her to buy some fresh produce, including Fennel, which she likes to eat raw. On my way out she calls after me and says: “Watch out and get a female fennel!” – – –fennel-1614693_1920 (Pixaby by Peter-facebook)

After a long thinking pause … “Say whaaat???”. Needless to say: “Mama knows best!”

Back on my LapTop I researched the topic and found a really interesting article by Marissa from Sicily, Italy.
Find the article about male and female fennel on her blog All Things Sicilian
[ Picture by Peter-facebook on Pixaby ].

Having said that – and the discussion is still out if it is the female or the male fennel that tastes better – look for the round fennel, with thicker stalks. That fennel has less “threads” (filaments) and is overall more tasteful and delicious. Marissa also implies, that at the end of the season you rather find the flatter fennel.