Yet ANOTHER Source of Cancer Prevention For You!

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Wild and crazy garden!

 

Hello, friends! Happy late summer to you! We had some MUCH NEEDED rain this week, and my garden is growing like crazy with the added moisture. The herbs, tomatoes, onions and peppers are even more plentiful than they were! Another thing in my garden that is exploding right now is my tomatillo plant. I’ve never grown tomatillos before, but we found a plant when we were looking at tomatoes. I decided to get one to see what I thought about it. Now, I’m so glad I did! They are a delicious change from tomatoes, and I’ve made some great meals including them. I want to share what I’ve learned about tomatillos, and two different ways to utilize them in dishes.

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My tomatillo plant, with little tomatillos on it!

 

The tomatillo is actually not a tomato, it is a vegetable from the nightshade family, and is actually related more closely to cape gooseberries. Their scientific name is Physalis philadelphica and they are a staple in Central and South America. They have a light brown husk that will eventually break off when the tomatillo is ripe. The tomatillo has a tart flavor, rather than a sweet flavor like tomatoes.

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Tomatillos in their husks!

 

Tomatillos have high levels of dietary fiber, very few calories (approximately 11), moderate levels of vitamin C, A, K, niacin, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. They also have withanolides and flavonoids like lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene.

Because tomatillos have high levels of fiber they are excellent for digestive health, as fiber can help add bulk to foods and speed their transit through the digestive tract, thereby eliminating constipation, excess gas, bloating, cramping, and even colon and gastric cancers. Fiber is also good at regulating the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, thereby regulating blood sugar levels, which is important for people with diabetes.

They also contain phytochemicals called withanolides, which have been directly linked to anti-cancer and antibacterial functions. Antioxidants help combat the effects of free radicals, which are the dangerous byproducts of cellular reproduction, that can kill or mutate healthy cells and turn them into cancerous cells. In addition, the vitamin A, C, and other flavonoids within tomatillos provide other cancer-protective effects, particularly lung and oral cancers.

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This is what they look like once they have been peeled!

 

The vitamin C in tomatillos is good for the immune system and collagen production, and the vitamin A and beta carotene helps with our vision and eye health. The high nutrient, low calorie and low fat in them also help with weight loss, because they help us feel full, acquire the necessary nutrients, and reduce the chances of overeating. The niacin helps us to increase energy, and the potassium is heart healthy. Did I convince you to try them?!!

I made two sauces with my tomatillos, one in which I roasted the tomatillos, and one with raw tomatillos. They’re both easy to make, but the raw tomatillos give the sauce a bright and vibrant flavor, and the roasted tomatillos make the sauce deeper and more intensely flavored. I loved them both, and I can’t decide which one I like better so I’m sharing them both with you.

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Roasted tomatillo Sauce- See the blackened bits in the sauce?! They add such a nice, smoky flavor!

 

Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

  • 10 tomatillos, peeled, rinsed and cut in half
  • 5 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed for a milder sauce
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat broiler in oven. Peel tomatillos and MAKE SURE TO RINSE THEM AFTER PEELING. Tomatillos are very sticky and must be rinsed to remove the stickiness.

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Make sure you rinse them, to remove the sticky film!

 

Chop them in half and put them on a baking sheet with the chiles. Roast them 4 inches below a very hot broiler until darkly roasted, even blackened, about 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast the other side, 4-5 minutes more. They will be splotchy and blistered, and that’s perfect.

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Looks wrong, but it’s oh so right!

 

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, chiles, juice from the baking sheet, cilantro, water, onion, and salt until it’s a rough puree. Serve immediately or store it in the fridge.

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I served the sauce over a pork tenderloin I made in the crockpot. I added shredded Mexican cheese, and served with corn tortillas. It was smoky and yummy!

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To make the sauce without roasting the tomatillos, just throw all the ingredients into the blender or food processor, and blend until coarsely pureed.

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Raw tomatillo sauce, brightly colored and flavored!

 

The sauce is a brighter green when the tomatillos are left raw, and it has a more tart, mild vinegar flavor, but it’s still really, really good. I served it over ribeyes we had made, and added black beans on the side.

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That’s all there is to it! It’s a versatile sauce, whether raw or roasted, and can be used on tacos, nachos, burritos or enchiladas, on pork, chicken, beef or seafood; really any way you can think to use it. It’s delicious and healthy too, what more could you want?!! Eating tomatillo sauce is so good for you, and will help you lead a life of vitality- with Valerie! 🙂

Holiday overeating/overdrinking? Healthy remedies for indigestion!

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Cooking at my sister's house over the weekend!

Cooking at my sister’s house over the weekend!

Whew, what a busy long holiday weekend! I had the kids come back from college, I hosted and cooked Thanksgiving on Thursday, and then went to my sister’s for a big family celebration over the weekend! I ate a lot of food and, by the time I returned home, ended up with a case of indigestion. I used my favorite remedies and feel better now, but then I thought, “Wait! I need to share these remedies with my wonderful readers!” So that’s what I’m going to do today. Especially with two more big “stomach ache” holidays coming up, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I thought it particularly timely to help you avoid stomach discomfort in a healthy way! These remedies are particularly helpful when we occasionally over imbibe in food and drink. So without further ado, here are my top 5 healthy stomachache remedies.

My favorite stomach remedy!

My favorite stomach remedy!

1. Nux Vomica- This is a homeopathic remedy made from the seeds of the strychnos tree and it’s mainly used for nausea, indigestion, and hangovers. It works really well for all of those digestive issues. Use as recommended on the package instructions and DON’T TAKE MORE THAN THE RECOMMENDED DOSAGE AS IT CAN BE TOXIC IF TAKEN AT EXTREMELY HIGH LEVELS. Nux Vomica can be purchased at any health food store. It’s my favorite stomach remedy and has saved my life a number of times! They are tiny pellets that are held under the tongue until dissolved, and they have no flavor which is very helpful when your stomach is upset.

My number 2 stomach remedy!

My number 2 stomach remedy!

2. Sunmark Anti-nausea liquid- The active ingredients in my second favorite stomach remedy are glucose, fructose and phosphoric acid, and it’s effective for “nausea due to stomach upset from flu, food or drink indiscretions”, according to the label and I agree with their assessment of that. You just take one to two tablespoons and don’t drink any liquids before or after because it could dilute the effectiveness of the medicine. It has a pleasant cherry flavor, which goes down well when you’re stomach hurts. I love this anti-nausea liquid and I find it very successful at eliminating my symptoms. This product can be purchased at health food stores.

Works on adults too- teehee! :)

Works on adults too- teehee! 🙂

3. Little Remedies Gripe Water- Don’t be fooled by the label, it’s not just for children but works on people of any age. One day I had a really bad case of indigestion and the only place we had time to stop at was a CVS because we were in a hurry to go somewhere, and there was no health food store near. So I ran in and looked at the stomach remedies and tried to find something that wasn’t full of chemicals, which was very difficult to be honest. I picked up this one on the advice of my significant other (who is a doctor).  I was doubtful since it’s for babies, but it REALLY WORKED WELL! It’s used for colicky babies, but it worked for my tummy too. It works by breaking down the bubbles that cause gas naturally. I have to admit I take a few swigs of it right out of the bottle instead of measuring when I need it so I’d say taking a tablespoon or two would be about right. It’s great!

Love me some peppermint capsules!

Love me some peppermint capsules!

4. Peppermint Capsules- This is one I particularly love and here’s why. These are pure peppermint capsules from Guyer Institute, however you can purchase other brands from health food stores. The EC stands for enteric coated, which is advisable because it helps keep the peppermint oil from being released in the stomach which could cause heartburn and indigestion. Instead it goes to the digestive system where it is released and helps relieve symptoms of gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, colds, and flu. This remedy works very well and as a pleasant side benefit it makes your bowel movements smell like peppermint. In other words you will have minty smelling doo doo! That’s definitely not a bad thing! Another way I like to use it is to break a capsule open, squeeze it into my water, and drink my peppermint water. It tastes really great and soothes my stomach too. Now don’t take it this way if you have reflux or esophagus issues because it could upset those conditions. A super healthy remedy!

Ginger gum!

Ginger gum!

5. Sea-Band Anti-Nausea Ginger Gum- Ginger is a long time remedy for gastrointestinal upset- I remember my Mama giving me ginger ale when I was a child with a flu bug. This ginger gum (can be purchased at health food stores) is a healthy way to deliver ginger in a more effective way than drinking an entire can of pop. It definitely has a strong ginger taste, so if you like ginger you’ll love this gum. I’m not a real fan of ginger so I only chew it for a few minutes before spitting it out, but it really helps calm the stomach in a natural way!

So these are some healthy remedies for overeating and overdrinking, which is very typical for this time of year. As always, please consult your physician before utilizing any of these products, especially if you are having severe symptoms for an extended period of time. Make sure to eat and drink safely, and use good judgment always! However, for the inevitable times when you aren’t feeling good, these natural products will definitely help. Using these tummy remedies will help you live a life of vitality- like Valerie!