Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Supplements Part 1

Walk into any pharmacy and you will see a shelves of vitamins, minerals, herbals, and specialty supplements.  Supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry.  A varied healthy diet is important in getting essential nutrients.  Just the vitamins today.

Vitamin A - immune system, skin, nails, mucous membranes, eyes.  It can be found in milk, eggs, yellow vegetables, tomatoes and fruits.

Beta-Carotene - a pre-Vitamin A compound which the body converts to Vitamin A. Maintains healthy vision and immune system.  It can be found in carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, spinach, kale, cantaloupe, and apricots.

Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine) - nervous system, muscles, heart, energy.  It can be found in beef, liver, dried milk, oats, nuts, oranges, pork, eggs, seeds, legumes, peas and yeast.

Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) - energy, mucous membrane linings, nervous system, skin and eyes.  It can be found in beef, liver, lamb, salmon, milk, natural yogurt, mushrooms, spinach, almonds, sun dried tomatoes, and eggs.

Vitamin B-3 (Niacin) - fat and tissue respiration, helps reduce blood cholesterol, skin, nerves and digestive system.  It can be found in peanuts, mushrooms, liver, tuna, green peas, grass fed beef, turkey and chicken breast.

Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid) - energy, hormones, bile, hemoglobin, nerves.  It can be found in chicken liver, salmon, sunflower seeds, sun dried tomatoes, avocados, corn broccoli, mushrooms, yogurt and cauliflower.

Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) - energy, stress, red blood cells and brain.  It can be found in legumes, nuts, seeds, lean meats, poultry, seafood and eggs.

Vitamin B-9 (Folic Acid) - red blood cells and nervous system.  It can be found in dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, peas, lentils, carrots, squash, avocados, brussel sprouts, okra, seeds, nuts, cauliflower, beets, corn and celery.

Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalamin) - red blood cells, bone marrow, nervous system.  It can be found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, shellfish and cheese.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) - immune system, iron absorption, collagen, hemoglobin, capillaries and red blood cells.  It can be found in pineapple, brussel sprouts, guava, black currants, red and green peppers, oranges, strawberries, papayas, broccoli, kale, mango, cauliflower, parsley and grapefruit.

Vitamin D - bone density and mineral absorption of Calcium and Phosphorus.  It can be found in tuna, mackerel, salmon, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks.

Vitamin E - is an antioxidant that helps fight against and free radicals.  It protects Vitamin A and C. It acts as an anti-blood clotting agent, prolongs the life of red blood cells.  It can be found in wheat germ, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazel nuts, spinach, avocado, turnip greens, butternut squash, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, palm oil, peanuts, and olive oil.

Vitamin H (Biotin) - B complex vitamin.  Metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, healthy skin and hair.  It can be found in liver, yeast, cheddar cheese, salmon, avocado, bananas, egg yolk, peanuts, whole wheat bread, pork, sardines, raspberries, cauliflower and egg yolk.

Vitamin K - production of coagulants, the blood clotting factors within the body.  It can be found in kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, green leaf lettuce, fish, liver, meat and eggs.

Do your vitamins look like this?

When they should look more like this:

Supplements Part 2

Sunday, June 24, 2018


I grew up in an industrial town.  My friend lived in a row of houses just past all the factories, the last factory was the bread stick factory.  The smell was wonderful and if you had a dollar and they weren't too busy they would give you a large bag full of warm, fresh bread sticks.  It was heaven!   When I was older, I tried to bake my own bread, it was awful.  Learning to cook was a dismal endeavor for me and anyone who happened to be around when I entered the kitchen.  I improved year by year cooking meals, but it took me much longer to be able to produce an edible loaf of bread.   I really couldn't tell you why, or even when it all started to come together.  A little more yeast, a lot more patience, maybe some praying, but it did finally come together.  I would love to tell you that I bake for our budget, or even that I wanted better nutritional value, but I would be lying.. I bake bread because I love the smell of bread baking, I enjoy the satisfaction of it coming out well and I like to eat it.

Basic Sandwich Loaf

3 cups of warm water
3 Tablespoons of yeast
1/4 cup sugar
9 cups of flour
5 teaspoons of salt
5 Tablespoons of oil

Pretty basic, what is good about this is you can substitute different flours.  If all purpose flour is what you have in bulk or budget, this will work.  I use a combination of wheat, all purpose, and bread flour. 
Add yeast and sugar to warm water and stir to dissolve.  Add half the flour and all of the salt, mix well then knead in the rest of the flour.  Place in bowl if mixing by hand and add oil, knead a few minutes then cover and let rise 45 minutes.  Punch down and shape and place into two greased loaves and cover. let rise 35-40 minutes, preheat oven to 400.
Bake for 30 minutes, check after 15 minutes and if getting too brown, tent some tin foil over the top and continue baking until finished.  Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack.

No matter how I bake it, a couple of the children will not eat loaf bread.  They just prefer store bought but all of them eat this:

Favorite Na an Bread

1 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1 egg beaten
2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup melted butter

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in water and wait 10 minutes until bubbly.  Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and flour.  Knead until smooth.  Knead into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.  About one hour.  Punch down dough and knead in garlic.  Pinch off small amounts, about the size of a golf ball.  I place them on a long sheet of wax paper and cover with plastic wrap sprayed lightly with cooking oil.  Let rise thirty minutes.  Roll out flat on a lightly floured surface.  You can use a flat cast iron griddle, or a nonstick frying pan.  Brown slightly on both sides, remove from heat and brush lightly with melted butter.

One of my favorites:

Baked Boston Brown Bread

2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
1 cup rye-wheat flour or 1/2 cup of all purpose flour and 1/2 cup of rye flour
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup dark molasses
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9X5 loaf pan.
Stir together cornmeal, rye-wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir in molasses, buttermilk, ginger and raisins until just mixed.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake on center rack of oven for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.  Cool in the pan for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire a rack to finish cooling.  This is a very dense, dark bread.