SafetyNEST: Healthier Babies

 Here is SafetyNEST’s Mission:

Please peruse everything this wonderful group of women are doing, and then join me on April 5th at The Commonwealth in San Francisco, to meet them in person and to hear more.

Here is the link to the Program:https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2019-04-05/prenatal-care-healthier-toxic-free-babies

SafetyNEST:

OUR MISSION

To educate the medical community and families about the health risks associated with exposures to toxic chemicals, particularly during vulnerable periods of development.

SafetyNEST’s vision is simple: we want every pregnant woman to have easy access to clear, credible information to keep your pregnancy and your baby healthy. We provide the support and tools to prevent diseases linked to toxic chemical exposure. We help you make your NEST safe.

Every day, we are awash in chemicals. There are 85,000 of them surrounding us in everything from our bed mattress to our hand lotion. But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires toxicity testing on just 200. That leaves 99% to do their thing. And evidence increasingly shows that exposure to these chemicals, particularly during vulnerable periods of development, can cause problems from preterm birth, birth defects, childhood asthma and obesity to a range of cancers.

You might wonder, if this situation is really so bad, why hasn’t my doctor told me, my friends, my sister, my daughter? Turns out, only 1 in 15 doctors has been trained in toxic chemicals, and only 1 in 5 say they talk to you about it. It’s just not top of their list – yet. But, it’s top of ours.

SafetyNEST Science reinforces its sister organization, mySafetyNEST, Inc., which delivers digital tools that educate and empower moms-to-be to make safer choices to safeguard her pregnancy. All the tips and recommendations you will find on mySafetyNEST.com (our sister organization’s digital health platform launching soon) come from the most credible research centers in the United States, including University of California San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health and Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center.

SafetyNEST Science and mySafetyNEST, Inc. were created by Alexandra Destler, a mom of two who was struck by how hard it was to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals – even in her own home. Interested in learning about more, from Alexandra and the team?

Kids Love to Make Soup

Wintertime and soup just go together. A nice bowl of steaming soup to warm and nourish you is perfect on a cold day. Good soup begins with homemade stock. We have found that kids of all ages love the process of making soup. They get to use knives a lot (which they love!) and soup allows you some creativity with ingredients. Have fun!

Stock and Broth:

What is the difference between a stock and a broth? Stock is made from simmering vegetables, meat or fish, mostly the bones with little flesh, in water and straining. With a browned stock, the vegetables or meat are browned first. When you simmer just the bones from meat, the subsequent stock has more gelee, the jelly-like substance you’ll see when the stock has cooled, which binds nicely when making sauces. With broth, more meat is used, so the broth is generally richer than stocks and ready to use as is. Most home cooks, we have discovered do not want to spend the time making broths and stocks, so this recipe is more like a broth because you’ll use the whole chicken, which you can then use for something else. We never add sea salt to stock or broth as it reduces slightly and can become too salty. Salt the broth, if necessary, after you make your soup or sauce.

Perhaps we should call it Brock?

Chicken Stock

Makes: 2 quart

1 whole free range chicken, about 3 1/2 lbs, rinsed, giblets discarded

2 whole carrots, cut in large chunks

3 stalks celery, cut in large chunks

1 medium white onion, quartered

1 small potato, halved

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 whole bay leaf

6 sprigs parsley

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 4 quarts). Add the thyme, bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns and allow it to slowly come to a boil.

Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. As it cooks, skim any impurities that come to the surface.

Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When it is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand shred the meat into a storage container.

Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids and peppercorns. Use the stock immediately or if you plan on storing it, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool down the stock. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze.

Vegetable Broth

Makes: 2 quarts

4 quarts water

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

1 medium potato, or parsnip, optional

3 large carrots, cut into chunks

4 ribs celery, with tops, cut into chunks

2 whole bay leaves

1/2 cup parsley, stems and leaves

2 sprigs thyme, about 1 tablespoon

2 inches seaweed, such as Kombu

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

In a large pot, place the vegetables and the cold water.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add herbs and simmer (partly covered) for 60 minutes

Allow to cool, strain and put in containers. You may keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze.

For a richer flavor you may roast the vegetables in a bit of olive oil in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes before you simmer with water and herbs if you like.

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Noodles

Serves 4

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 Cloves garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2″ thick slices

2 ribs celery, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2″ thick slices

1 cup broccoli, cut into small pieces

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 1/2 quarts chicken broth

4 ounces dried wide egg noodles

1 whole bay leaf

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

1 large tomato, chopped

1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, finely chopped

Sea salt and pepper

Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, broccoli, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken broth and bring the liquid to a boil.

Add the noodles and let simmer for about 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken and fresh tomatoes and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Variations for eating seasonally:

Spring: Peas, asparagus, beet greens, carrots, celery, collard greens, chives, parsley, green garlic

Summer: Tomatoes, green beans, corn, red pepper (not too much,) summer squashes, basil

Autumn: Potatoes, corn, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, broccoli, pumpkin, shallots, turnips, parsnips

Winter: Broccoli, cabbage, chard, kale, parsnips, winter squashes, turnips, yams

 

An easy task for kids to help with Global Warming

These handy tips are from One Million Women:

https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/

1. Kitchen sponges

When plastic sponges begin to fall apart, little bits of them go down the drain. I use cellulose sponges. When they break down, I compost them.

2. Homemade dishcloths

knit these out of natural fibers a couple of years ago so their vivid colours have faded but they still work well. Of course, you can just buy dishcloths but I do enjoy making stuff. Knit dishcloths make a great project for children or adults learning to knit. The texture of the checkerboard pattern scrubs more effectively than a smooth stockinette pattern. If enough people want the pattern for this, I can write a future post on it.

3. Loofah sponges

My daughter bought one of these a couple of years ago and it worked like magic at scrubbing dishes. I would love to grow my own loofah but I have such a shady yard and loofah requires full sun. Find instructions on growing your own here.

4. Natural bristle brushes

If you have reduced plastic in your kitchen already, then you may have developed a glass jar addiction similar to mine. Because I have no dishwasher, I use natural bristle bottle brushes to clean my bottles and narrow-neck jars.

5. Rags

My mother—who, at 83, grew up without paper towels—wonders how I live without them. Let me preface the following rant with the admission that my research into paper towel manufacture comes from the saw mill and paper mill passages of Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day? However, I think I can safely claim that just some of the steps in the life-cycle of a paper towel include:

  • Chop down trees
  • Transport logs to the saw mill
  • Harvest scrap lumber from logs cut into rough boards
  • Transport scrap lumber to the paper mill
  • Run scrap lumber through the chipper
  • Add a bunch of water and chemicals to the wood chips to make wood pulp
  • Run the pulp across a bunch of screens to form paper towels
  • Bundle the long sheets into rolls of paper towels
  • Shrink wrap the rolls of paper towels in plastic
  • Transport the paper towels to the warehouse
  • Transport the paper towels to the store
  • Drive to the store to buy paper towels
  • Unwrap the plastic and throw it out or into the recycling bin because you’re in denial that that kind of flimsy plastic can actually be recycled
  • Use the paper towel once
  • Toss the soiled paper towel into the garbage
  • Argue with your partner or kids about who should take out the garbage
  • Lug your garbage to the curb because you lost
  • Repeat until the last tree falls

Rather than wipe up messes with paper towels, I use my lifetime supply of cotton rags I cut out of my kids’ old t-shirts. Yes some nasty manufacturing processes went into the production of said t-shirts but I will use these rags for years.

Read more: 12 ways to recycle your t-shirts

6. Dish gloves

I have given up on using dish gloves because I find they always spring leaks too soon. And I’m actually rather proud of my somewhat rough hands—I have worked hard to get them. If you want to protect your hands, we have tried this brand of plastic-free, 100 percent latex gloves lined with cotton.

Opt for more natural cleaners

7. Vinegar or vodka diluted with water

My daughter likes to combine one part vodka to one part water to clean counters, tables and appliances. I also use diluted homemade scrap vinegar to clean. Use a one-to-one ratio for that also, depending on what you need to clean.

8. Baking soda

I use baking soda to wash pots and pans and to scour my sink. It cuts through grease much better than dish soap and rinses off more easily. You can also use it in combination with vinegar to creating an effective paste cleaner.

Read more: How to use bicarb soda for just about anything around the house

9. Homemade dish soap

My kids dislike my homemade dish soap. Accustomed to the super soapy dyed and scented commercial stuff—I didn’t go plastic-free until they were 10 and 16—they claim my homemade stuff doesn’t suds up. As evidence that my homemade soap does indeed create some lather, I submit the photo below. You can find the recipe for homemade dish soap here.

10. Bulk dish soap

Sometimes, however, you must compromise with your loved ones. Yes, when you buy dish soap in bulk, you do contribute to the plastic problem as the giant bulk container you drew your dish soap from will eventually hit landfill. But by buying bulk dish soap rather than all those small plastic bottles of the stuff, you do reduce your plastic footprint greatly.

Read more: Why you should make the switch to castile soap

11. Homemade dishwasher detergent

I don’t have a dishwasher, so I cannot vouch for the efficacy of these recipes but they look good. This one contains controversial boraxThis one does not.

12. Lemon and salt for copper pots

Copper shines beautifully, cooks wonderfully but tarnishes quickly. To clean my copper pot, I sprinkle the outside with salt and then rub it with half a lemon. It removes tarnish almost instantaneously. Rinse the copper very well after cleaning to avoid corrosion.

Look for alternatives before buying consumer products packaged in–or made of—plastic

13. Window cleaner

Use a rag to clean your windows with vinegar and water and dry with crumpled newspaper. Works better than Windex and you won’t inhale nasty chemicals while you clean.

Read more: DIY glass cleaner with natural ingredients

14. Garbage disposal freshener

You can shell out your hard-earned cash for plastic-wrapped garbage disposal cleaning pods filled with God-knows-what or you can simply toss a couple of lemon quarters in the garbage disposal and run it.

Read more: How to make cleaning spray from citrus peels

15. Air freshener

Like many soft plastics, most commercial air fresheners contain phthalates, “hazardous chemicals known to cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects, and reproductive problems.” The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that 86 percent of the common commercial air fresheners it tested contain phthalates. I find that a slow cooker filled with water and a few tablespoons of baking soda works well to freshen the air. A few drops of essential oil in a spray bottle filled with water also does the trick. You can burn incense too. Or open a window…

Read more: How to make natural air freshener

16. Garbage bags

Certain people I live with—and do not wish to mortify—demand a trash can in the bathroom. I can control my teen and adult child only so much (okay, very little), as I mention in the post “7 Tactics to Counter Zero-Waste Sabotage in Your Home.” But rather than lining the bathroom trash can with a plastic bag, I line it with the tissue paper wrapping from our toilet paper rolls. Newspaper also works. If you compost, you can pretty easily keep your kitchen garbage dry and thus eliminate the need for a plastic trash bag.

Read more: Do biodegradable rubbish bags work?

Bonus tip: Don’t be so picky about cleanliness

I’m not advocating for filth here. However, our war on bacteria has contributed to the mass extinction that our gut microbiota now face. “So what?” you may say, “Germs must die.” Well, it turns out that your gut plays a huge roll in your health, your weight, even your mood. You can find out why in The Good Gut(Read my review of the book here.)

Many household cleaners like bleach kill not only bad bacteria but good bacteria as well. As a result, our guts come into contact with fewer good microbes. The authors of The Good Gut, pioneers into research on the microbiome, advise us to clean our homes with less toxic ingredients, such as vinegar, castile soap and lemon juice.

Find out what essentials you need to create a zero-waste shopping kit!

Read this next: How to get rid of mould the natural way

Anne Marie Bonneau writes the blog The Zero-Waste Chef. She runs her kitchen following three simple rules: no packaging; nothing processed; no waste. Anne Marie lives in Northern California, where she teaches fermentation workshops, speaks on zero-waste and plastic-free living and hosts webinars on these topics. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @ZeroWasteChef.

Your Kid’s Jaws, Teeth and Health..

Last evening’s program that I had the pleasure to chair at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco was truly eye-opening. Very brief summary: breastfeeding is more work for a baby than feeding from a bottle, so if at all possible nurse your baby as it strengthens his or her jaws which leads to aligned teeth, and a more open air passage—kids should never snore. When your baby starts to eat food, don’t have them suck it out of a package for ease. Again, make them work for it a little. When they start to eat real food sitting up at a table, have them chew well and take their time. There is so much more, but please do purchase and read the fascinating book and listen to the Podcast when it’s live—-link below.

Some basics on the program, the book authors and the book, Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic. (by the way, all proceeds go to charity)

Here is the link to the program. Check back end of the week as the podcast should be live by then. https://tinyurl.com/y9q87r59

JAWS: THE STORY OF A HIDDEN EPIDEMIC

There is a serious hidden epidemic just now being discovered by the public health community. It’s most obvious symptom is the growing frequency of children with crooked teeth wearing braces, but it includes children snoring, keeping their jaws hanging open, frequently afflicted with stuffy noses, children and adults with disturbed sleeping at night (sleep apnea) often unrecognized, attention and behavioral problems, and a general decline of physical appearance. Those symptoms indicate a building medical emergency that lies in the collection of serious diseases connected mouth breathing and disturbed sleep — a collection that includes heart disease, cancer, ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, suicide, asthma and perhaps Alzheimer’s disease. Disturbed sleep is an extremely serious stressor of the human mind and body; among other things, it tends to depress the immune system, making an individual much more vulnerable to a wide variety of diseases, and modifications of the brain that are manifest in many ways only partially understood. Add to this the large contributions of sleep deprivation to highway accidents, medical mistakes and poor performance at work and in school, and it’s easy to see how important this unrecognized public health emergency is. Come learn what causes this problem and many solutions. ‘Forwardontics’ will be discussed with clear explanations.

Sandra Kahn, D.D.S., M.S.D., is a graduate from the University of Mexico and the University of the Pacific. She has 25 years of clinical experience in orthodontics and is part of craniofacial anomalies teams at the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University.

Paul R. Ehrlich, Ph.D., has been a household name since the publication of his 1968 bestseller, The Population Bomb. He is Bing Professor of Population Studies Emeritus and President of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University. Ehrlich is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of the Crafoord Prize, the Blue Planet Prize, and numerous other international honors. He investigates a wide range of topics in population biology, ecology, evolution, human ecology, and environmental science.

Explaining Global Warming to Little Kids

Here is some basic information that might help when children ask what global warming is and what to do to help.

Weather vs. Climate

Weather includes lots of things that should be familiar – temperature, rain, snow, wind speeds, or wind direction. Climate refers to the average weather conditions in a certain place over many years. For example, the climate in Minnesota is cold and snowy in the winter, and the climate in Hawaii is warm and humid all year long. The climate in one area, like the Midwest or Hawaii, is called a regional climate. The average climate around the world is called global climate.

The Earth is wrapped in a blanket of air called the ‘atmosphere’, which is made up of several layers of gases, such as carbon dioxide. The sun is much hotter than the Earth and it gives off rays of heat (radiation) that travel through the atmosphere and reach the Earth. The rays of the sun warm the Earth, and heat from the Earth then travels back into the atmosphere. The gases in the atmosphere stop some of the heat from escaping into space. These gases are called greenhouse gases and the natural process between the sun, the atmosphere and the Earth is called the ‘Greenhouse Effect’, because it works the same way as a greenhouse. The windows of a greenhouse play the same role as the gases in the atmosphere, keeping some of the heat inside the greenhouse.

The Natural Greenhouse Effect

The atmosphere has a number of gases, often in tiny amounts, which trap the heat given out by the Earth. To make sure that the Earth’s temperature remains constant, the balance of these gases in the atmosphere must not be upset.

The Enhanced Greenhouse Effect

Some of the activities of humans also produce greenhouse gases. These gases keep increasing in the atmosphere. The balance of the greenhouse gases changes and this has effects on the whole of the planet.

Burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Cutting down and burning trees also produces a lot of carbon dioxide. Cows flatulence -ask your parent what that means -produce methane which is linked to global warming.

Because there are more and more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, more heat is trapped which makes the Earth warmer. This is known as GLOBAL WARMING.

A lot of scientists agree that humans activities are making the natural greenhouse effect stronger. If we carry on polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, it will have very dangerous effects on the Earth.

The Effects

With more heat trapped on Earth, the planet will become warmer, which means the weather all over Earth will change. For example, summers will get hotter, and winters too. This may seem a good idea, but the conditions we are living in are perfect for life, and a large rise in temperature could be terrible for us and for any other living thing on Earth.

All over the world, these weather changes will affect the kind of crop that can be grown and even the nutrients in that crop. Plants, animals and even people may find it difficult to survive in different conditions.
Sea Levels

Higher temperatures will make the water of the seas and oceans expand. Ice melting in the Antarctic and Greenland will flow into the sea.

Higher sea levels will threaten the low-lying coastal areas of the world, such as the Netherlands and Bangladesh, and closer to home, New York City, Florida and parts of California. Throughout the world, millions of people and areas of land will be at danger from flooding.

Farming

The changes in the weather will affect the types of crops grown in different parts of the world. Some crops, such as wheat and rice grow better in higher temperatures, but other plants, such as corn and sugarcane do not. Changes in the amount of rainfall will also affect how many plants grow.

The effect of a change in the weather on plant growth may lead to some countries not having enough food. Brazil, parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and China will be affected the most and many people could suffer from hunger.

Water

Everywhere in the world, there is a big demand for water and in many regions, such as the Sahara in Africa; there is not enough water for the people. Changes in the weather will bring more rain in some countries, but others will have less rain.

In Danger!

Plants & Animals

It has taken million of years for life to become used to the conditions on Earth. As weather and temperature changes, the homes of plants and animals will be affected all over the world. For example, polar bears and seals will have to find new land for hunting and living, if the ice in the Arctic melts.

What can you do?

Reduce, reuse, recycle, repair: Remember your four R’s!

Reducethe most important. If you don’t buy so much stuff in the first place, then you don’t need to reuse or recycle it.

Reuse whatever you can (like plastic supermarket bags). If you can’t reuse something,

Recycle it! means that something is used again by converting it into something else. Broken class can be made into new glass!

Repair it! Do you know how to sew on a new button?- as just one example.

If you can’t do any of those things, the waste you generate ends up in huge landfills. Much of what you find in these stinking dumps is plastic waste.

Make your own climate… in your home or your room!

Turn off things that use electricity when nobody’s using them

Leaving lights, heating, air conditioning, computers, TVs and other electronics on when you don’t need them wastes a lot of energy.

If it’s warm in one room and cold in another, close the door. The door helps keep heat in.

Leaving things on standby (like TVs, computers and stuff) also uses a surprising amount of energy. Newer models mostly use much less standby power but if you’re away for a few days, it still makes sense to turn stuff off.

Make your own climate… around you!

When it’s hot, dress cool

When it’s cold, dress warm

Every little thing helps! You can make a difference.

Pine Ridge Reservation Kids

Some Native American Reservations are wealthy present day because they offer gaming and if they’re lucky they also have fertile land on which to grow crops. Others, like the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, have neither of the aforementioned.

I was fortunate enough to spend a few days on the reservation and to interview kids there as the basis for DirectionFive. I had been in Harlem and  in South Chicago–places that are familiar to most as areas of poverty and crime. Pine Ridge was worse and left me mentally and physically ill.

At this time of year, they’re preparing for a brutal winter and often parents need to decide between the electric bill and food.

If anyone could help, please do so. It’s a shameful part of our history, which you and I can’t change, but today we can try to make a difference. Please give what you can.

From the Friends of Pine Ride reservation website:

Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation

Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota is home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe with an estimated population of close to 40,000. The reservation is large, and its needs immense, commensurate with grinding poverty.

 

The Importance of Snacks

According to one study of 31,337 children and adolescents, snacking can contribute up to 600 calories per day, mostly from high-fat, high-salt, high-sugar foods. Three snacks per day are common and more than 27 percent of children’s daily caloric intake is coming from snacks. These snack habits are eroding mealtime where healthier food is generally served. My guess is that adults aren’t too far behind in these statistics.

Snacks can be a healthy part of food intake, but should be eaten only when hungry, not as habit or from boredom.  Here are some healthy snack tips:

  • Choose snacks for variety and select foods from different food groups.
  • Snack only when you are hungry.
  • Eat snack size portions.
  • Plan ahead and bring snacks with you.
  • Read labels for serving sizes and portion control.
  • Drink water.  At least 8 eight-ounce glasses are recommended each day, unless you have kidney problems.
  • When you are snacking be sure you are only eating.  Snacking while studying or watching TV usually means you will eat more than you intended!
  • Plan snacks as a part of the day’s food plan.
  • When shopping, let children help pick out fruits, vegetables and cheeses, they will be more interested in eating them.
  • Set aside a “snack spot” in the refrigerator and cupboard; keep it stocked with nutritious ready-to-eat snacks.  Teach kids to only eat when hungry.
  • Offer snacks at regular times, such as midmorning and mid afternoon. Don’t let children nibble constantly during the day.
  • Avoid high sugar, fatty (the ‘wrong’ kind of fats like potato chips which have been fried in who-know-what kinds of unhealthy fat) and salty snacks, such as candy and soda pop.
  • Snacks are a good way to introduce new foods. Include a game or activity to learn about the new food; let the child help fix it.
  • Never offer food as a reward for good behavior.

Here are a few healthy snacking ideas:

  • Fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables provides a feeling of fullness and only a small amount of calories. They also provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients.
  • Ants on a log — Spread peanut or almond butter on celery sticks and top with raisins.
  • Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein and healthy fats, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer. Nuts and seeds are high in calories, however; so don’t eat them in large quantities. Buy and eat raw nuts and seeds.
  • Pita and hummus — Cut whole-grain pita bread, non-gluten if desired)  into triangles and bake in the oven until crispy. Serve with carrot and celery sticks and dip in hummus. At our non-profit DirectionFive-a culinary and nutrition program for kids-this recipes is a favorite of the kids we teach. Try it!

Hummus

Serves 6

Yield: 2 cups

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans or 1-15 ounce can*

1 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons tahini

2 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Rinse and drain garbanzos and place them in a food processor. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper, tahini, garlic, cumin and cayenne. Turn on the processor and slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream until the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Place in a bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.

Variation: Sometimes we add a handful of spinach and some fresh parsley to this. It’s delicious and adds more nutrients.

It’s Zucchini Pizza Season!

Zucchini everywhere! Try this delicious pizza recipe–it’s always a favorite!

Zucchini Pizza

Serves 6

4 cups zucchini, grated

2 cups brown rice, cooked

1 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese, or mozzarella, grated

2 eggs, beaten

 

1 pound ground turkey, optional

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

1 teaspoon oregano, or 3 tablespoons fresh, washed and chopped

1 teaspoon basil, or 3 tablespoons fresh, washed and chopped

1 ½-2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

Combine the grated zucchini, brown rice, jack cheese and the eggs. Press into a greased 15X11X1″ jelly roll pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

In medium skillet, brown ground turkey with onion and herbs. Set aside.

Pour marinara over crust, sprinkle with turkey mixture and top with cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Note: If you have leftover pizza, try it for breakfast with a poached egg on top. Yum!

Recipe by:

Patty James www.pattyjames.com

Garden Cake–A Favorite!

Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s still cake and you need to watch your portion size and limit how often you make this. That said, it’s chock-full of veggies and is moist and absolutely delicious!

Garden Cake

This delicious cake is full of vegetables.

Serves 12

1/2 cup walnut oil

1/2 cup applesauce

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup raw grated carrots

1 cup raw grated zucchini

1/2 cup raw grated beets

1 cup chocolate chips, optional

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13″ pan.

In a large bowl mix the oil, eggs and sugar, beating well with a hand mixer or whisk for 3-4 minutes.

Wash the vegetables well, but there is no need to peel any of them. Grate all the vegetables and set aside. Place the beets in a separate bowl so the other veggies don’t turn pink.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir into wet ingredients.

Add shredded carrots, zucchini, beets, chocolate chips and walnuts. Stir until blended and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.