I love popcorn as a great snack but did you know it's a great source of antioxidants? Sadly most popping corn is affected by Monsanto's genetically modified seed programs and so even though it may be organic, it's still genetically modified. I was so happy to find out that the brand NOW is distributing non-GMO, organic popping corn! Most people opt for popping in olive oil or canola oil neither of which can handle the heat of popping so they can actually be damaging to your health; and, canola oil (aka rapeseed oil) is all genetically modified. Olive oil is best as a finishing oil and not good for cooking. I opt for coconut oil when I want to make my popcorn sweeter or avocado oil when I want to go more savory.
Many people like microwave popcorn, but there's growing concern that it can be dangerous and there's even a condition called "popcorn lung". Air popping is an option, but I'm old fashioned -- I like mine popped on the stove top (here's my favorite popper) with healthy fats for added health benefits. Sometimes it's best to just used good old butter too! Sprinkle it all with Himalayan Sea Salt for added minerals and trace elements and you've actually got a great healthy snack that just that much better than the stuff in a bag.
BTW -- a lot of people are afraid of corn because it is high glycemic but my Native American family has always recognized corn as brain food, especially when it's paired with a healthy fat. I was really excited to see this article busting myths about corn. Remember though -- never use High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) or as it's being marketed now -- "corn sugar".
COFFEE -- BUT BETTER!
Every day it seems like a study comes out saying coffee is good for you or coffee is bad for you. The answer seems to be that while coffee does have some health risks, overall it's beneficial. I was thrilled when I found this recipe for making coffee that adds to the health benefits, makes it sweeter without sugar, and actually decreases inflammation. It's really tasty and even more so when you make it in a percolator. Here's my recipe for coffee but better:
Add 1/4 teaspoon of Ground Ginger
Add 1/4 teaspoon of Whole Ground Cloves
Add a big pinch of Hyssop
Crush up and sprinkle 2 blossoms of Red Clover over the grounds
Try to find herbs and spices that are organic!
SOAK YOUR BEANS....AND NUTS, SEEDS, AND GRAINS!
I regularly eat a handful of nuts at least three times a day and I believe whole grains and seeds are important carbohydrates that we need to include in our diets. But, you need to understand a little about Mother Nature to get the best nutrition from your beans, nuts, seeds, and grains. All of the "stuff" needed to create a thriving, healthy plant are locked inside seeds, grains, nuts, and beans -- that's one of the reason they are so good for us, they are highly compacted nutrition and energy. In order to protect the future of these plants, nature has created a protective coating of enzyme inhibitors and toxic substances that only breaks down when there is enough precipitation to nuture a new plant. Brilliant!
But, those same substances can cause us to have digestive problems; make us incapable of absorbing nutrients from the seeds, nuts, beans, or other grains when we eat them; and even cause irritable bowel syndrome. However by soaking, we can mimic Mother Nature and cause these toxins and inhibitors to be dissolved or at least minimized.
Here is a really great article with lots of details about soaking and sprouting and I think the chart below will help you too. Sprouted almonds are among my favorites and microgreens (aka sprouts) from corn are really delicious. If you've never sprouted before, here's a link to Sprout University which even includes sprout recommendations for your pets!
Do you have a favorite food made that much better? Share your ideas over at our forum!!