A Guide To Grilling Food


 Grilling or barbecuing meat at high temperatures leads to the production of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), compounds known as “mutagens” which damage DNA and may increase risk for developing cancer. HCAs are formed when amino acids and sugars present in meat react under high temperatures. Additionally, liquid fat drips into the flame of a barbeque and creates smoke filled with PAHs, coating the surface of the meat. While the best solution is to use other cooking methods when possible, there are several simple ways to balance the effects of grilling your favorite foods.

Choose meat wisely
Emphasize leaner cuts of meat. Less fat drippings means less smoke and less exposure to PAHs. Further, removing the skin from poultry before cooking will reduce HCA formation.

Marinate
Not only does marinating meat impart more flavor, it can also be protective against carcinogenic compounds. Acid-containing marinades (e.g., those containing vinegar or lemon/lime juice) are best to reduce formation of HCAs. It is also important to note that traditional barbeque sauces, which tend to have a high sugar content, can increase formation of HCAs. If using these sauces, they should be added to foods after they have been cooked.

Add herbs and spices
Herbs and spices have been shown to reduce formation of HCAs when meats are grilled. Mint, onion, turmeric, garlic, rosemary, ginger, thyme, and red chili pepper are all great choices. These herbs can be used in marinades, mixed into ground meats, or used as a dry rub.

Avoid over-cooking or charring
The amount of time your meat contacts the grill makes a difference. Try quicker -cooking proteins like fish or shrimp, or cut your meats into smaller pieces to reduce cooking time (meat and vegetable kebabs are a great solution). Rotate meat frequently to allow the center to fully cook without overheating the surface. Blackened or charred areas of meat can be removed to reduce exposure to HCAs and PAHs.

Try grilling other food groups
Fruits and vegetables have been shown to inhibit activity of HCAs and reduce DNA damage caused by these compounds. Fortunately, antioxidant rich produce can also be delicious when grilled. Try zucchini, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, apples, peaches, pineapple, or even watermelon for a unique addition to your meal.
 
Your Partner in Health!
Clarissa Kussin, FMHC, RYT 500, ND


 

 

HOW TO PROPERLY PREPARE NUTS & SEEDS IN 3 SIMPLE STEPS

Make sure you are soaking RAW Nuts and Seeds.

All you need to do is mimic nature’s germination system and give those nuts & seeds a good soak to deactivate the phytic acid, giotrogens and enzyme inhibitors.

You can make sure those natural components get properly minimized or eliminated by following these 3 simple steps:

1. Add your nuts/seeds to a glass jar or bowl and mix warm water & sea salt (make sure there’s enough water to cover the nuts completely). Soak them for the time required.

2. When done soaking, drain out the soak water and thoroughly rinse the nuts.

3. You can do one of two things: refrigerate the soaked nuts and consume within 24 hours OR dry in a dehydrator (or in oven set on the lowest temperature). Store in an airtight container.

Important note: The soak water should always be discarded and never used as water in a recipe or given to your animals.

Required Soaking Times for Nuts and Seeds

Pumpkin seeds-Pepitas

4 cups of raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
filtered water

Soaking Time: At least 7 hours, or overnight
Dehydrating time: 12-24 hours, until dry and crisp

Pecans or Walnuts

4 cups of nuts
2 teaspoons sea salt
filtered water

Soaking time: 7 or more hours (can do overnight)
Dehydrating time: 12-24 hours, until completely dry and crisp.

Pecans can be stored in an airtight container, but walnuts are more susceptible to become rancid so should always be stored in the refrigerator.

Peanuts (skinless), Pine nuts, or Hazelnuts (skinless)

4 cups of raw nuts
1 tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

Soaking time: at least 7 hours or overnight
Dehydrating time:12-24 hours, until completely dry and crisp

Store in an airtight container

Almonds

4 cups almonds, preferably skinless- SF notes “Skinless almonds will still sprout, indicating that the process of removing their skins has not destroyed the enzymes [they] are easier to digest and more satisfactory in many recipes. However, you may also use almonds with the skins on. “
1 tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

Soaking time: At least 7 hours, or overnight
Dehydrating Time:12 -24 hours, until completely dry and crisp

* You can also use almond slivers

Cashews

4 cups of “raw” cashews
1 tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

“Some care must be taken in preparing cashews. They will become slimy and develop a disagreeable taste if allowed to soak too long or dry out too slowly, perhaps because they come to us not truly raw but having already undergone two separate heatings. You may dry them in a 200 to 250 degree oven-the enzymes have already been destroyed during processing. “

Soaking time: 6 hours, no longer
Dehydrate at 200 degrees F: 12-24 hours
Store in an airtight container

Macadamia nuts

4 cups of raw macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

Soaking time: At least 7 hours or overnight
Dehydrating time: 12-24 hours, until dry and crisp.

KNOW YOUR NUTS AND SEEDS

Did you know that raw nuts and seeds have defense mechanisms made up of enzyme inhibitors, toxic substances (tannic acid & goitrogens) and phytic acid?

Yep, these natural components are there for their protection. Nature doesn’t want the seed to germinate prematurely or predators to consume them to the point where they become extinct. Those natural components can be removed naturally only when there is enough moisture to sustain a new plant after the nut or seed germinates.

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT PHYTIC ACID, GOITROGENS & ENZYME INHIBITORS?

The biggest defense mechanism in nuts & seeds is the phytic acid. Every nut and seed has different levels of phytic acid with almonds, brazil nuts and sesame seeds having the highest percentage.  When something that contains phytic acid is eaten, the acid binds itself to minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, manganese and chromium in the gut, which prevents the digestive system’s ability to break the nut or seed or grain down properly (that’s why, often, when you eat nuts or seeds… you see undigested bits in your stool the very next day).

If you struggle with anemia, low zinc levels, osteoporosis and other illness related to low mineral absorption… you should not be eating un-soaked nuts, especially walnuts, almonds & peanuts.

Even though phytic acid is the big, bad guy in nuts and seeds… goitrogens & enzyme inhibitors should not be overlooked either.

Goitrogens is are known to suppress the function of the thyroid gland by interfering with iodine uptake, which can cause a goiter (enlargement of the thyroid), slow down the thyroid, hypothyroidism and other autoimmune thread disorders. Soaking helps reduces goitrogens and actually increases the necessary minerals needed for a healthy thyroid.

Enzyme inhibitors neutralizes vital enzymes that your body naturally produces and can lead to many illnesses that results of an unhealthy, enzyme-depleted gut. Signs that your body is lacking enzymes are bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, irritable bowels and gas. A lack of just one enzyme in the body can lead to many problems and you will only live as long as your body has enzymes… which is why it is important to neutralize the enzyme inhibitors to keep them from decreasing your body of its natural enzymes. Soaking increases the natural enzymes within the nuts & seeds, helps provide greater absorption of the its’ nutrients and increases digestibility.

Basically, when you eat raw nuts or seeds or grains that have not be properly prepared… those “healthy” morsels are actually robbing you of vital minerals, vitamins and enzymes needed to sustain a healthy body.

Golden Milk: Ancient Remedy

By: Clarissa A. Kussin, N.D., FMHC

Turmeric may not be the first thing you think about putting in tea, but with the right mixture of spices, it is a delicious soothing remedy. This tuber is a well-known remedy for its benefits including digestion, immune function, the liver and even possible protection from some types of cancer.

What is Golden Milk?

Turmeric Tea or Golden Milk is a great way to get the benefits of Turmeric daily. It’s great to drink this before bed because it aids relaxation and helps boost the immune system while sleeping.

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that it is safe to cook with Turmeric while pregnant and nursing but that turmeric supplements should not be taken without a doctor’s advice. Since this tea contains Turmeric, consult with a doctor or midwife before consuming this if you are pregnant, nursing or have a medical condition.

Turmeric Tea/ Golden Milk Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups of milk of choice (almond, pecan, coconut and dairy all work in this recipe)

1 teaspoon Turmeric or Turmeric Spice Mix

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup or to taste (optional)

Pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)

  • Tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions:

First, blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.

Then, Pour into a small sauce pan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.

How to Make a Dry Turmeric Tea Mix:

If you’d rather not mix up the spices each time, you can easily make a mixture of the spices and just add to warmed milk when ready.

Mix up:

1/2 cup turmeric powder

1/4 cup cinnamon powder

1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper

1-2 Tablespoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne (optional)

Then, just add 2 teaspoons of this mix to 2 cups of milk of choice for a faster recipe.

 

Or, Make Turmeric Paste

Golden Paste:
1/2 cup organic turmeric powder
1/2 cup clean water (no fluoride)
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil


In a stainless steel pot cook together: Water, turmeric and black pepper until it forms a thick paste, stir and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add virgin coconut oil, using a whisk to fully mix in the coconut oil. Finally, transfer to a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.

Golden Milk:
1 tsp. Golden Paste
2 cups Almond Milk or Coconut Milk
1/8 teaspoon Vanilla (Optional)
Molasses to taste.
Pinch cinnamon (Optional)
In a stainless steel pot-gently heat, but do not boil, milk with 1 teaspoon paste. Use whisk
Add molasses and vanilla and cinnamon to taste.

Notes:

This may stain blenders and counter tops. The color isn’t harmful and will eventually fade. Recipe can be halved or doubled if needed.

Curcumin:

This bright yellow spice contains Curcumin (up to 3% by weight), which has been well studied for its benefits. It is believed to halt an enzyme that may be responsible for turning environmental toxins into carcinogens in the body. Turmeric is a folk remedy for helping protect the body from the affects of smoking or chewing tobacco.

Curcumin may also improve digestion of fats and sugars and help alleviate inflammation in the digestive system. It is an age-old skin remedy and is even used in the mouth to help alleviate gum problems.

Of course, Turmeric can be added to foods and is a great base for many spice blends, but those who want to consume it as a remedy often turn to turmeric tea.

Golden Milk: Ancient Remedy

Turmeric may not be the first thing you think about putting in tea, but with the right mixture of spices, it is a delicious soothing remedy. This tuber is a well-known remedy for its benefits including digestion, immune function, the liver and even possible protection from some types of cancer.

What is Golden Milk?

Turmeric Tea or Golden Milk is a great way to get the benefits of Turmeric daily. It’s great to drink this before bed because it aids relaxation and helps boost the immune system while sleeping.

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that it is safe to cook with Turmeric while pregnant and nursing but that turmeric supplements should not be taken without a doctor’s advice. Since this tea contains Turmeric, consult with a doctor or midwife before consuming this if you are pregnant, nursing or have a medical condition.

Turmeric Tea/ Golden Milk Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups of milk of choice (almond, pecan, coconut and dairy all work in this recipe)

1 teaspoon Turmeric or Turmeric Spice Mix

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup or to taste (optional)

Pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)

  • Tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions:

First, blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.

Then, Pour into a small sauce pan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.

How to Make a Dry Turmeric Tea Mix:

If you’d rather not mix up the spices each time, you can easily make a mixture of the spices and just add to warmed milk when ready.

 

Mix up:

1/2 cup turmeric powder

1/4 cup cinnamon powder

1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper

1-2 Tablespoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne (optional)

Then, just add 2 teaspoons of this mix to 2 cups of milk of choice for a faster recipe.

Or, Make Turmeric Paste

Golden Paste:
1/2 cup organic turmeric powder
1/2 cup clean water (no fluoride)
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil

In a stainless steel pot cook together: Water, turmeric and black pepper until it forms a thick paste, stir and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add virgin coconut oil, using a whisk to fully mix in the coconut oil. Finally, transfer to a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.

Golden Milk:
1 tsp. Golden Paste
2 cups Almond Milk or Coconut Milk
1/8 teaspoon Vanilla (Optional)
Molasses to taste.
Pinch cinnamon (Optional)
In a stainless steel pot-gently heat, but do not boil, milk with 1 teaspoon paste. Use whisk
Add molasses and vanilla and cinnamon to taste.

Notes:

This may stain blenders and counter tops. The color isn’t harmful and will eventually fade. Recipe can be halved or doubled if needed.

Curcumin:

This bright yellow spice contains Curcumin (up to 3% by weight), which has been well studied for its benefits. It is believed to halt an enzyme that may be responsible for turning environmental toxins into carcinogens in the body. Turmeric is a folk remedy for helping protect the body from the affects of smoking or chewing tobacco.

Curcumin may also improve digestion of fats and sugars and help alleviate inflammation in the digestive system. It is an age-old skin remedy and is even used in the mouth to help alleviate gum problems.

Of course, Turmeric can be added to foods and is a great base for many spice blends, but those who want to consume it as a remedy often turn to turmeric tea.

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Makes 4 servings | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 10 minutes

Ingredients:
4 cups chopped organic cauliflower
1/2 tablespoon cooking fat
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup cream, coconut or dairy
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Fresh parsley, minced

Directions:
Steam the cauliflower in a medium pot for 5 to 7 minutes until tender enough to easily pierce with a fork. Drain and discard the water. Warm cooking fat on a skillet and sauté garlic over low heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Blend the cauliflower with the garlic and all other ingredients, reserve the parsley. Continue on high speed until the sauce is completely smooth. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm

Peppermint Panna Cotta

Serves 4  if you’re lucky…

INGREDIENTS

1 can full fat coconut milk

4 Tbsp raw cacao powder

1 Tbsp Gelatin

2 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)

1 tsp peppermint extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Blend all ingredients until smooth and well combined.

Then let rest in blender for 5 minutes to allow gelatin to activate.

After 5 minutes blend on high for 1 minute and distribute into ramekins.

Place in fridge to set for 3-4 hours.

 

If desired, top with whipped cream or whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of crushed organic candy cane.