Tag Archives: seeds

How To Get Iron Benefits Into Your Body

The iron mineral is essential to life. That’s because it helps to form the red blood cells that are essential to the functionality of our bodies.

Anemia is a common condition that indicates your body lacks enough iron. As a result, you’re tired and cold all the time because your body is not strong enough to function optimally.

Now, for some reason, plant-based people are more prone to anemia. There’s an assumption that because iron is a blood mineral, flesh and blood would need to be consumed to get iron.

Of course, that’s not true. The Earth has everything we need to be healthy!

As a matter of fact, carnivorous iron consumption is the least effective way to get a dose of iron.

The foods with the highest amounts of iron happen to be certain fruits and vegetables. Surprise surprise!

Some iron rich fruits include:

  • Apricots
  • Raisins
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Prunes
  • Blackberries

Dried fruits have a higher iron content because when the water level is reduced, the other components become more concentrated.

Iron heavy vegetables are easy to spot.

  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, beet greens)
  • Beets
  • Beans

Beets are definitely on this list. After all, they are the same color as our blood. Don’t think about it too hard!

Other honorable culinary mentions: sesame seeds, molasses, pecans, pumpkin seeds.

Keep this in mind:

To get the most benefits from the above iron sources, consume them with some vitamin C rich foods.

Why Vitamin C?

Vitamin C and Iron are like friends who want to see each other succeed. When a vitamin C molecule senses that an Iron mineral molecule is nearby, it is attracted to it like a magnet. And then once they’re together, the iron is amplified, in a good way.

The body accepts this amplified iron much easier, it’s like the vitamin C reduces any barrier that is up. It’s all good.

Something else about the iron mineral… although it is a mineral that strengthens, also really needs to be protected. Very easily, it seems, iron can be leeched from the body.

The sure way to ensure that iron stays where it’s supposed to be – in Red Blood Cells – is to fortify the cells against free radical attacks. We can do this with vitamin C & also vitamin E.

Free radicals enter the body in various ways, including some cooking techniques and through environmental pollutions.

Antioxidants are good for protecting iron and all of the other minerals that our bodies thrive on.

Trying Graze Snacks

My son and I had the pleasure to try these snacks!

Snacks are always a good idea to have near. That’s extra true when you really try to eat healthy.

I first heard about Graze snacks as a subscription box service a couple of years ago (I think!).

However, I don’t have a subscription. I saw some of these snacks on sale at CVS Pharmacy. I bought one sweet flavor and one savory.

Today, my son, Legend, and I tried them!

First, we had the sweet:

These oat squares had the texture of a chewy granola bar. The cacao flavor really came through strongly! As well as the cranberry and vanilla.

I loved it! Legend didn’t enjoy it as much. I think that he likes his treats sweeter. Because these were not very sweet, which is one thing I really loved about it.

I think we saved the best for last – a crunchy snack mix:

Legend and I both wanted more of these! It was so good, pleasantly crunchy and crisp. Although, not very spicy, I would have enjoyed a little more peppery kick. However, the makers know what they’re doing, flavor-wise. I could eat a 2 pound bag of this mix! 🙂

Over all, yes these are good and highly recommended.

Check out this video of us trying them ⬇️⬇️⬇️

https://youtu.be/AyjTbe_sgPU

Acorn Squash is Okay

Acorn squash is another one of those Earth Foods that scream “Fall Season!” just by their appearance 🍁 These fruits deeply resemble decorative gourds. The color is a lovely dark green with orange areas. The shape of an acorn squash is where is gets its name.

The ones I purchased sat on the table for about a week. “Ripening,” I said. In reality, I was just a bit lazy. But today was the day for these babies to get in my belly.

I stared thoughtfully at the Acorn Squash, thinking about the easiest way to prepare em for dinner.

Squash pie came to mind but as I said, I wasnt up for doing anything fancy. So, of course, I chose to roast them! But not chopped in cubes, oh no, these were getting 2-3 chops and that’s it!

And yes, they did chop easy. About 85% easier than a butternut squash (which is possibly the hardest fruit ever!). I’m thinking about keeping the seeds.

I scooped out the insides with a spoon. The seeds and guts came out so easy! One of the hollow holes turned out to be bigger than the other.

I chopped some a little further.

And then I placed on a clean, ugly, well-oiled cookie sheet.

I pricked a few holes in the green side and then roasted for about 50 minutes at 400°.

They came out nice! I let some Earth Balance melt on them and then I served the pretty squashes with coucous and some roasted broccoli/cauliflower. Drizzed with some brown sauce.

It was quite tasty!

Pie Pumpkin Cutting [video]

Peace you guys 🎃

Around this time of the year, pumpkins are all over the place. They’re in patches, in just about every department of the grocery store.. I think I even saw a gun with pumpkin spice bullets. No lie. Is it getting out of control?

No way! Pumpkins (and other squash) are good for us 🙂 make a meal of it and you’ll have a healthy dose of anti-oxidants to last through the week 🎃

Something else awesome about pumpkin season? We all have permission to over use this emoji 🎃🎃🎃

There’s a post coming up soon about some good fall recipes (plant-based, of course!)

To get properly ready for it, you gotta know how to cut a pumpkin. No canned stuff over here! (Well maybe a little because there was a can of organic pumpkin on sale for one dollar!) 🎃

Here’s a video I made showing how I slice a very manageable sized pie pumpkin.

And also with a bonus that no one asked for!: my thoughts on Halloween/All Hallows Eve :)🎃 enjoy ⬇⬇⬇

 

 

Nuts and Seeds

What is the difference between a seed and a nut? Some say that seeds grow on the outside of a fruit while nuts grow on the inside. Or, is it the other way around?

It’s a bit confusing!

Here at Easy Light Sources, nuts and seeds fall into the same category of being a nice plant-based source of protein.

Having one or two types of nuts and seeds available is a pantry staple for most vegans. They can be used creatively in a lot of ways or just eaten raw. Or roasted. Or whipped up into a nut butter (assuming you are the owner of a boss food processor).

We can talk about a few of them but usually they are interchangeable in recipes. There is a high risk of redundant information.

Commonly made into nut-milks: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts.

Commonly made into pie crusts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans

Commonly made into [raw] pie filling: Cashews, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts

Commonly made into something savory: Cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts

They are heavy in desserts and its easy to consume a lot of nuts when it is disguised as a slice of pie. Be conservative with the portions 🙂

Soak nuts before you use them to eliminate some phytic acid.

 

Papaya

 

Papaya’s have the reputation of being an acquired taste because every papaya is not delicious. Sure, they have the potential to be sweet and juicy and succulent but these flavors will not be experienced if the fruit is not given time to properly ripen. This can take a while but it’s worth the wait. They blend perfectly into all types of smoothies without altering the taste or consistency too dramatically.

(Author’s note: I have waited like 3 weeks for a Red papaya to go from green to orange. It’s worth the wait but if you have travel plans, it’s something to consider).

Choosing a papaya is easy; go with a heavy fruit that doesn’t have any ugly marks or blemishes. Color may vary. Price may also vary. As much as possible, PURCHASE BASED ON COST OF THE WHOLE FRUIT VS THE COST PER POUND.

Yes, the call caps was necessary because this is an important point. Papaya’s are heavy fruits and those pounds will add up. Buying from a store that charges the same price regardless of how heavy it is, that is the way to go! You can get really big papaya’s for less than $4!

This is also another good reason to not shop at Walmart. For some reason, papaya’s are horribly priced in Walmart. You could be paying $3.69 a pound at Walmart. Please don’t do it.

If you’ve never tasted a papaya, I suggest you get your hands on a sample before you invest in an entire fruit (it sucks to be stuck with a lot of something that you don’t enjoy the taste of).

Personal Sized Papayas

Just as the name implies, these are way smaller than regular papayas. You can usually get 1 or 2 servings out of them. The ripening process is exactly the same as with larger papayas.

How to Ripen a Papaya

Place it on your kitchen table and leave it there until it is 3 days from being over ripe.

You’ll know a papaya is perfectly ripe when the texture is buttery smooth. When it comes to smooth, the texture is second only to a hass avocado.

A Word About Papaya Seeds: They have a peppery taste and some people dry them and use as pepper. It’s time consuming but do-able, if you really want papaya seed pepper.

 

large papayas