What’s raw honey? Why isn’t all honey raw?
It’s probably not too difficult to remember well what “raw” means when you associate it with uncooked vegetables and meat whereby any form of heating is avoided so as to ensure all the natural vitamins and living enzymes and other nutritional elements are preserved.
1. Why Raw Honey is Special and The Best
Raw honey is the most original sweet liquid that honeybees produce from the concentrated nectar of flowers. Collected straight from the honey extractor; it is totally unheated, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey.
An alkaline-forming food, this type of honey contains ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn’t ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion. When mixed with ginger and lemon juices, it effectively relieves nausea and supplies energy. Raw foodists loves honey for its exceptional nutritional value and its amylase, an enzyme concentrated in flower pollen which helps predigest starchy foods like breads.
2. Most Supermarket Honey is Not Raw
A lot of honey found in the supermarket is not raw honey but “commercial” regular honey, some of which has been pasteurized (heated at 70 degrees Celsius or more, followed by rapid cooling) for easy filtering and bottling so that it looks cleaner and smoother, more appealing on the shelf, and easier to handle and package.
Pasteurization kills any yeast cell in the honey and prevents fermentation, which is a concern for storing honey with high moisture content over a long period especially in warm weather. While fermentation does not pose a health danger (mead is fermented honey), it does affect the taste of honey. Heating also slows down the speed of crystallization in liquid honey. On the downside, when honey is heated, its delicate aromas, yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body system are partially destroyed.
Among manufacturers there exists no uniform code of using the term “raw honey”. There are no strict legal requirements for claiming and labelling honey as “raw”. Nevertheless, suppliers who understand that honey that has undergone heat treatment would not be as nutritious and have the consumers’ health in mind would ensure their honey is only slightly warmed (not pasteurized), just enough to allow the honey to flow for bottling. Thus, you may also find raw honey that are unprocessed but slightly warmed to retard granulation for a short period of time and allow light straining and packing into containers for sale. Using as little heat as possible is a sign of careful handling by honey suppliers.
3. Raw Honey Granulates Over Time and is Not Crystal Clear
Usually raw, unfiltered raw honey can only be purchased directly from the bee farm. Characterised by fine textured crystals, it looks cloudier and contains particles and flecks made of bee pollen, honeycomb bits, propolis, and even broken bee wing fragments. Raw and unfiltered honey and has a high antioxidant level and will usually granulate and crystallize to a thick consistency after a few months. It is usually preferred as a spread on bread and waffles, or dissolved in hot coffee or tea. However, as most consumers are naturally attracted to buying and eating crystal clear and clean honey, unfiltered honey which looks cloudy and unappealing, is not commercially available on supermarket shelves.
Forms of Honey
Honey comes in different forms – comb, liquid, cream.
Color and Flavor of Honey
Color is used in the honey industry as a convenient measure of honey flavor and aroma. Generally, lighter honeys have a milder flavor and darker honeys have a more robust flavor. The color and flavor of honey is largely determined by the floral source of the nectar. However, exposure to heat and storage time may affect honey’s quality and color. Normally, the darkening of honey occurs more rapidly when honey is stored at high temperatures. Also, honey appears lighter in color after it has granulated, which is why most creamed honeys are opaque and light in color.
Honey is much more than just a sweetener. It has been used for centuries for healing and rejuvenation. Most of the honey sold in stores has been heated and pasturized. This processing destroys many of the enzymes and beneficial compounds that make raw honey so nutritious. Regular honey often looks clear and syrupy. Raw honey has not been treated with heat; it is often more buttery, solid and opaque than pasteurized honey and often contains “cappings,” or small pieces of beeswax. It is completely left in its natural state and therefore contains pollen, enzymes, antioxidants and many other beneficial compounds that researchers are just beginning to learn about. Be sure not to give any honey, either raw or treated, to a child under the age of 12 months.
Some research supports the theory that local honey– obtained as close as possible to where you live–may help build an immunity to some seasonal allergies. There is not much research to support this idea, yet many people claim that using honey in this way provides allergy relief. Allergies are triggered by continuous exposure to the same allergen over time. Even if a particular plant is not allergenic initally, it can potentially become very allergenic if you spend much time in the same environment as the plant. Honey made by bees in the vicinity of the allergenic plant will contain tiny amounts of pollen from that plant. This honey will act as a sort of vaccine if taken in small amounts–a few teaspoons per day–for several months, and can provide relief from seasonal pollen-related allergies.
Note, however, that MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, warns against the consumption of raw honey because, like other raw foods, it may be a potential source of food poisoning.
Antioxidants and Phytonutrients
Honey is also rich in powerful antioxidants and cancer-fighting phytonutrients, which can be found in the propolis, or “honey glue” that the bees use to sterilize the beehive. Raw honey contains some of these compounds while pasteurized honey does not.
In its natural, raw state, honey contains many enzymes that can help some people digest food more easily so it may also help treat ulcers and diarrhea.
Vitamins and Minerals
The nutrient content of raw honey varies, but a 1-ounce serving contains very small amounts of folate as well as vitamins B2, C, B6, B5 and B3. Minerals including calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc can also be found in raw honey in small amounts.
Honey can be used as medicine. It has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. For this reason it can be applied topically to treat burns, as researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand describe in a 2008 study.
Honey has also been found to be especially useful in treating upper respiratory infections. A study at Penn State College of Medicine in 2007 found that a small dose of buckwheat honey was more effective than an over-the-counter cough treatment for children.
Livestrong – article/266247-benefits-of-local-raw-honey/
Local honey for allergies – does it work?
Aside from raw honey, the most misunderstood beehive product is the concept of local honey. Vague rumors about its possible allergy-prevention virtues are becoming more prevalent, prompting people to seek honey that is “local”, thinking that it might be good for allergies.
But what does “local” mean? How is honey qualified and identified as local? Is non-local honey bad or useless?
What does “local honey” mean?
The one aspect that’s confusing people is the word itself: local. The popular belief is that “local” honey must mean it comes from somewhere within fifteen or twenty miles of their residential neighborhood. Can it be within thirty miles? Or maybe it’s that many miles from where they work? How about a Venn diagram of sorts and the honey should come from the place where the fields of home of work overlap?
However the understanding of local honey has evolved, it has been seriously misdirected because it has far less to do with distance, and almost all to do with floral source. In other words, while distance does somewhat factor into the making of local honey, it doesn’t work the way people think it does. Geography, in this sense, has to do with the physical features of the land – and while we measure land by distance – we should really be measuring the efficacy of honey by its profile, which is determined by what flowers were pollinated in the production of the honey.
The characteristics of a honey’s benefits comes from the plants. For example, buckwheat honey is extremely effective in improving blood circulation. That’s because the buckwheat plant has medicinal properties that can heal capillary walls. Even if said buckwheat honey comes from far away, it will still carry those benefits (as well as many others) as long as it is raw.
Therein lies the potential problem of seeking only geographically local honey. Because some flowers only grow in certain places, there are so many that people will naturally never hear about. This has contributed to the idea of “local”, that it has to be a recognizable name, or it won’t work. But what exactly is the thing that “works” in local honey? To understand that, we first need to understand pollen.
The role of pollen in allergies
Pollen deserves its own article, but in the context of raw or local honey, it’s essentially the key ingredient to allergy immunity.
When honeybees are collecting nectar (which is what turns into honey), they are also collecting pollen from the same flowers. The pollen is packed onto the bees legs (in their pollen baskets), and these pellets are taken back to the hive and stored inside the honeycomb. But bees have hairy bodies, and they move around a lot – and pollen is a powder – so the bees are covered in pollen by the time they go home. That means, as bees move around inside the hive, pollen is spread all over inside, including the honey. Therefore, as long as honey is raw, there will be traces of pollen mixed in.
This is good news, even though it may take some convincing for people to see it that way. Pollen has somehow become Public Enemy #1 because it is the source of seasonal allergies. What people are allergic to is pollen, flying around in the air when flowers start blooming, and it causes some confusion as to how pollen can be a good thing. (Some people would say they are allergic to honey, which I suspect has more to do with the pollen that’s lurking about inside the honey.)
For one thing, pollen is a really powerful protein. Without it, bees could not survive. Everyone thinks, because they’re called honeybees, that bees live off honey (or nectar), but it’s really the pollen that sustains them. That’s why inexperienced beekeepers, who provide lots of nectar or nectar-like substitutes – but no pollen – will inevitably have dead hives because they were too focused on the wrong food source.
Each flower produces a different type of pollen, so while the numbers are slightly different, it’s a safe average to say that a quarter-cup of pollen provides similar amounts of protein as an 8-oz steak. Horse farmers often buy pollen as supplemental feed. Pollen, as a protein source, is that powerful.
Unfortunately, it’s what many bodies can’t tolerate.
How can honey help pollen allergies?
honeycomb Pollen can be inflammatory, but honey has anti-inflammatory properties. Given the right proportions, the degree of inflammation caused by pollen can be overcome by the honey. Therefore, assuming that the body is reacting to a specific pollen (and developing an allergy), the presence of honey may be inhibiting the reaction to the point where the person doesn’t realize there is any allergic reaction going on.
If everything goes right, the honeys defenses against pollen will eventually become a “command” within the body to not go nuts when it detects the pollen. In other words, we can harness the body’s power to heal itself by training the body to react to irritants the way we want it to (with the aid of other substances).
Not all honey is equal; some are more potent in their anti-inflammatory properties than others. But if the honey comes from the same place as the pollen, it’s safe to assume that because they are parts of the same whole (flower), they can work together to balance each other out. That’s really the only geographical-nearness factor that applies to the concept of local honey.
For example, if someone is allergic to alfalfa pollen, it makes sense to consume alfalfa honey. Does it matter if the alfalfa honey is from within a certain number of miles radius? No, it really doesn’t. It could be alfalfa honey from another state or another country, and it should work fine.
People so often want “regular” honey (which I think is a disgrace of name), or some name/taste they can recognize – so they buy clover honey. Is that effective? My answer would be a mixed no: a) if it was mass produced, which is a big likelihood, it’s no longer raw, b) for various reasons, clover pollen is not really that prevalent, so clover pollen allergies aren’t that serious, c) clover honey is not a particularly high performer in the beneficial scope, and d) there are so many more honeys to choose from! If there is nothing else available, then yes, buy clover honey. But other honeys are so worth the consideration.
But what if I want to buy raw honey?
Then buy raw honey… that is local. This is another major misunderstanding of honey – that it’s an either/or choice between raw or local. Raw just means the temperature hasn’t climbed to a point where enzymes (and pollen) have been killed off. Local means identification of where the nectar and pollen came from.
In no way would “raw” or “local” contradict each other. For people who have little or not allergies to pollen, there’s no need to buy local honey. Buy any honey from anywhere, and simply enjoy honey for the wholesome natural sweetener that it is.
Don’t get too hung up on geographical location of honey
And that’s the overriding concept: honey (whether it’s local or from afar) has unique properties that makes it an extremely beneficial food. There are so many ways to categorize it (by floral source, color, taste, medicinal properties, and even geographical location), but in the end, it’s simply nature’s wholesome sweetener.
“Birch pollen honey for birch pollen allergy,” “Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial properties,” “The use of bee pollen as a superfood.”
YES you can make our soups in your slow cooker
All slow cookers are a little different, this is the process we found to work best. If you need to cook on Medium or High settings depending on the time when you need it to be done. For example, if you are gone all day you might leave it on Medium, but if you need dinner ready in four or five hours you might go with High.
1. Add all ingredients except Dairy or noodles
2. Cook for 4 or more hours
3. Add noodles, cheese, or other dairy 30 to 45 minutes before serving
For Bean Soups: You can choose not to soak overnight as long as you cook on High all day (High takes the place of soaking). But be sure to rinse beans either way. Meats can be added in the beginning to the slow cooker as long as they are lean. Meats that are high in fat, we suggest you cook before adding to slow cooker in order to drain off the excess grease.
*All items should reach 165⁰
The Technical Reason:
Extra Virgin Olive oil is an important source of antioxidants. The most important are polyphenols, antioxidants, and tocopherols (vitamin E). There are as many as 5.5 mg of polyphenols antioxidant in every tablespoon of olive oil (15 ml) and 1.6 mg of Vitamin E per tablespoon of olive oil. Total proximate of antioxidants: 7 mg in every 15 ml of olive oil. The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of antioxidents (vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, etc.) for a 25-year old male for Antioxidants is 120 mg/day. That means that extra virgin olive oil could be 12 % of the daily source of antioxidants in your diet if you just use two tablespoon of EVOO in your salads. And it could be almost 30 % if you drizzled it over fish/meat or roast vegetables or used it for bread dipping.
Why it’s important to consume antioxidants? Because they are associated with several healthful effects in humans:
- ATHEROSCLEROSIS. Oxidized low-density lipoproteins (LDL) contribute to the progression of human atherosclerosis. Antioxidants have been shown to prevent LDL modification caused by oxidation. The beneficial effects of a Mediterranean-type diet may be defined by the unique antioxidant properties of its phenolic compounds.
- ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY. Olive polyphenols have been demonstrated to inhibit or delay the rate of growth bacteria such as Salmonella, Cholera, Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, and Influenza in vitro. These data suggest a potential role of olive polyphenol antioxidants in promoting intestinal and respiratory human and animal wellness, and as an antimicrobial food additive in pest management programs.
- HEART DISEASE. Researchers are fairly certain that oxidative modification of LDL-cholesterol (sometimes called “bad” cholesterol) promotes blockages in coronary arteries that may lead to atherosclerosis and possible heart attacks. Vitamin E may help prevent or delay coronary heart disease by limiting the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol. Research suggests that olive oil helps reduce inflammation throughout the human body.
- CANCER. Recent studies have shown that the abundant phenolic antioxidant properties of olive oil have a potent effect on reactive oxygen species associated with colon and breast pathologies. Some polyphenol antioxidants, such as resveratrol, inhibit occurrence and/or growth of mammalian tumors.
- SKIN DAMAGE AND PHOTOPROTECTION. The skin damage produced by overexposure to sunrays and environmental stress is related to the destructive activity of free oxygen related radicals produced by skin cells. Polyphenolic components of olive oil have been compared to traditional antioxidants used by the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry to prevent skin damage. Results show polyphenols as having the highest activity as radical scavengers A variety of other beneficial health effects have been attributed to consumption of foods rich in polyphenolic antioxidants. Among these effects discussed are anti-aging consequences such as slowing the process of skin wrinkling.
Aren’t we lucky to have something that tastes so good also contributing to our health? The father of modern medicine noted its importance to good health and recommended “a spoonful a day” to aid in digestion — a suggestion still offered today.
The Simple Reason:
Olive Oil is good for you because it:
- Tastes Good
- Is an excellent source of monounsaturated dietary fat
- Contains potent antioxidants
- Improves your LDL blood serum component
- Adds natural luster to hair
- Strengthens fingernails
- Adds oil to dry skin
- Aids in digestion and regularity
- High vitamin A, D, K and E content
- Stimulates bone growth and absorption of calcium
That spicy, peppery feeling you get at the end of your tasting is a direct indicator of fresh cold-pressed olive oil, which comes from capsaicin. Capsaicin is a chemical known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, especially in rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular health.
There are three enemies of good olive oil: Light, heat, and hungry friends!
We don’t mind sharing our good oil with the third enemy, but we’re careful to keep oil away from the first two. .
Our oils are stored in a cool, dry room away from sunlight, So we’d suggest that you do something similar: store in the coolest part of the kitchen.
The worst thing you can do is keep your container of oil on a window sill, on the back ledge of your stove, or even in a cabinet right over the stove. You might be surprised at how often we see oil stored in those ways. It does not take long for the oil to turn rancid when it is exposed repeatedly to light and heat.
Olive oils may be cloudy for several reasons:
If the EVOO is cloudy it may simply be unfiltered oil and what you are seeing is olive pulp that has not had time to settle. Over time, this pulp will settle to the bottom of the bottle. If it an unfiltered oil and the cloudy bottom is nothing to worry about. Of course, if it is filtered, it could be an indication of going or gone bad, but giving it a quick sip to figure that out.
If your oil has solidified during shipping in cold weather, allowing it rise to room temperature will generally clear up the cloudiness. If after coming up to room temperature there is still some residual discoloration, you may warm the oil in a warm temperature water bath to completely clarify it. Use caution and do not use hot water, as this could affect the quality of your oil. Your oil is not harmed by cold or freezing.
Cool temperatures cause the waxy esters in extra virgin olive oil to solidify. This often happens in the winter, in cool stores or after refrigeration. To return the olive oil to its clear state, place bottle in warm water leave the olive oil at room temperature.
We get many questions about freezing olive oil, such as: what are the clouds in my olive oil, will olive oil freeze in the refrigerator, is freezing olive oil good or bad for it, and does the way it freezes say anything about its quality? We have attempted to clarify the issues below.
Most manufacturers preset refrigerator temperatures to around 37°F. Chemistry texts list the freezing point of pure oleic acid at around 39°F. Olive oil manufacturers don’t generally list a freezing temperature because it is quite variable depending on the olive variety and ripeness of the olive at processing. Unlike the properties of an element or simple compound like water, olive oil is made up of hundreds of chemicals, many of which change with every extraction.
Like most fruit, olives have waxes on their epidermis (epicarp) to protect them from insects, desiccation, and the elements. These natural waxes are what allow an apple to be shined, for instance. If an oil is sent to a cold climate, or if it will be used in a product like salad dressing where it will be stored in the refrigerator, it is often “winterized” (chilled and filtered) to remove the waxes and stearates. A standard test to determine if olive oil has been sufficiently winterized is to put it in an ice water bath (32°F) for 5 hours. No clouding or crystals should occur.
CONGEALED AND PARTIALLY SOLID REFRIGERATED OLIVE OIL
Oil that has not been winterized will clump and form needle-like crystals at refrigerator temperatures as the longer chain fats and waxes in the oil congeal, but the oil will not usually harden completely unless chilled further. Some olive varieties form waxes that produce long thin crystals, others form waxes that congeal into rosettes, slimy clumps, clouds, a swirl of egg white like material, or white sediment that the consumer may fear represents spoilage. These visual imperfections also may form outside the refrigerator during the winter when oil is exposed to cold temperatures during transport. The white color in the hardened oil does not indicate spoilage.
Chilling or freezing olive oil does not harm it, and the oil will return to its normal consistency when it is warmed. The ideal temperature to store olive oil to reduce oxidation but to avoid clouding is around 50°F.
Have you ever seen the ingredients list on your daily facial cleanser? I’ll bet you can’t pronounce more than half of the harsh chemicals that you wash your face with every day, sometimes even twice a day. Is this really what you want you to be exposing your delicate skin to on a daily basis? Probably not.
We’ve said good-bye to commercial facial cleansers and turned to an alternative, more natural way to keep our skin clean – Extra virgin Olive Oil [EVOO]. EVOO is packed with antioxidants which naturally gives it anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-aging properties. Vitamins A, D, K and E protect against the free radicals that produce cell oxidation, making it effective in treating common skin disorders like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and diaper rash. Squalene is another component found in EVOO. It promotes skin elasticity, diminishes age spots, and boots cell regeneration and oxygenation. This keeps our skin smooth and youthful.
We recommend this routine once a day, preferably before bed.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Hot, running water
Step 1: Pour a quarter size amount of extra virgin olive oil into the palm of your hand and rub together until oil becomes warm.
Step 2: Gently, but firmly massage oil into your entire face for about 30 seconds.
This action removes make-up, dirt and other impurities collected throughout your day. No need to use a makeup remover at all. During this step, be sure to focus on massaging problem areas – this will help relieve stress from the skin.
Step 3: Run washcloth under hot water, ring out and place over entire face.
This acts as a facial steam allowing your pores to open and the oils to penetrate deeper than the skin’s surface. Keep washcloth over face until it becomes cool.
Step 4: Wipe off remaining oil with washcloth.
The oil acts as a moisturizer so it’s unnecessary to moisturize after this method. If your skin feels dry or tight, you can always take a drop of the oil and use it as moisturizer.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4. (Optional)
For a deeper cleanse, you may repeat the process again. If your skin has been through a lot that day, we recommend two washes.
There is nothing butter can do that EVOO can’t do better. Get rid of it, all of it. The tub of butter, the sticks of butter, even the I-Cant-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter…Butter. Use EVOO when a recipe calls for butter or margarine to sauté, fry (yes, you can fry with olive oil), and bake. It’s an easy substitution, and the results are healthful and utterly delicious. If you need some help with conversion rates, check out our awesome Butter to Olive Oil Conversion Chart.
- Vegetable Oil
If you don’t know how bad vegetable oil is for you, then read this article. To become edible, Vegetable oil must go through intense processes involving pressing and heating, with the addition of various industrial chemicals and highly toxic solvents. Most vegetable oils are extremely high in saturated fats (the fats to stay away from) as opposed to olive oil which is high in monounsaturated fat (the fat your body needs).
- Face Wash
Did you know you could wash your face with EVOO? And it’s actually better and safer for your skin than a commercial face wash? EVOO is packed with antioxidants which naturally gives it anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-aging properties. If you have EVOO in your kitchen, don’t take our word for it, check out this How To: Wash Your Face With Olive Oil and feel the difference.
- Makeup Remover
Do your face a favor and remove mascara, eyeliner and foundation with EVOO – a gentle, yet effective way to take off your makeup. Take a quarter size amount of oil into your hand and rub it over your eyes, cheeks, etc. Wet a washcloth with water and dab the area with the oil until all the makeup is removed. This method is also much safer than the chemically induced commercial makeup removers.
- Bottled Dressings
Ranch, 1000 Island, Creamy Italian….have you looked at those Nutrition Fact label? It’s frightening. Dressing a delicious salad with a store bought vinaigrette is the saddest thing you can do to your salad. What if I told you that you could have a much healthier (and much better tasting) salad by using EVOO instead? It’s true. Our secret to a simple salad dressing is 2 parts EVOO, 1 part Balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and a crack of fresh ground pepper. Try it next time you make a salad!
Oil pulling, by Wikipedia definition, is a traditional Indian folk remedy that involves swishing oil in the mouth. Ayurvedic literature describes oil pulling as capable of both improving oral health and treating various ailments. While no medical research can solidify these claims, the amount of information available online definitely supports it. Here are a few of the numerous claimed benefits of oil pulling:
- Strengthening of teeth, gums and jaw
- Whitening of teeth
- Oral problem prevention—cavities and gingivitis
- Prevention of bad breath
- Relief of migraines and headaches
- Reduction of inflammation of arthritis
- Normal kidney function support
- Potential improved vision
- Relief from sinus congestion
- Increase in energy
- Clear skin
- Regulated menstrual cycles
- Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms
- Reduced hangover symptoms
- Helps with better sleep quality/reducing insomnia
- Choose an oil. Olive Oil is very popular, because of its tolerable taste. However, lots of people suggest that Avocado and Sesame have been shown to be effective. One tablespoon of oil is recommended, however I suggest starting with a teaspoon and working your way up to a tablespoon.
- Swish the oil. Slosh it around your mouth, through your teeth, aiming to reach all areas. One thing I found helpful was to floss my teeth beforehand. This made it easier to “suck” the oil between my teeth. You’ll find that this is quite a jaw/neck workout, and it takes some getting used to. Swish for up to 20 minutes, but again, building up time is almost necessary. I found that I could only last for 3-5 minutes for the first few times I tried it.
- Spit. It’s important that you spit the oil into the toilet or trash, as it can clog drains in the shower or sink. I like to spit mine into a small cup and dump it in the trash. I found it most comfortable to rinse my mouth out with warm water afterwards, and then brush my teeth shortly after.
Oil Pulling Tips:
- Research suggests that oil pulling be done in the morning, on an empty stomach. This creates a more thorough detox.
- Some people suggest oil pulling while you’re in the shower. This is when I found it to be easiest, as it fits into my schedule. You could also do it while watching TV, making breakfast or really any time you see fit.
- If the taste is what’s keeping you from oil pulling, try adding some mint extract to the oil. I put 2-3 drops of peppermint extract in ½ tablespoon, and it was a much more pleasant experience.
If you go to any grocery store or drug store and go to the hair care aisle, you will find countless choices for hair treatments and conditioners. Consumers spent money on products designed for healing damaged hair, products designed to moisturize hair, products designed to protect hair, and products designed for split ends but what the companies who manufacture hair care products do not want you to know is that the answer to all of those problems can be found in your kitchen.
What they do not want you to know is that high quality olive oil on your hair will work just as well, or better. That is right. Olive oil, its uses go far beyond simple using as cooking oil. If you use high quality olive oil as a hair treatment, you will not have need for expensive hair care products.
A Healthier Solution
Have you ever looked at the back of any bottle of conditioner? There are ingredients that you cannot pronounce let alone identify. We are exposed to enough chemicals daily and we just increase our exposure to them when using conditioners and hair care products. Olive oil is the all-natural solution to your hair care needs it has no harsh chemicals to irritate your skin.
Why Olive Oil Helps
The fatty acids that olive oil is made up of will coat the shaft of your hair, helping to keep it healthy and protected. Using hair dye, flat irons and even using hair dryers can damage the outer layer of your hair. Olive oil will coat the damaged outer layers of your hair, giving them a sleeker, smoother, and healthier appearance.
Hair care products are full of chemicals, which actually can damage your hair more in the long run. Using a high quality olive oil as a hair treatment will give your hair back its health appearance, naturally. Using a high quality olive oil means that you will be using olive oil that is pure, with no impurities, which is the best that your hair deserves.
Benefits of Using Olive Oil on your Hair
- Dandruff treatments – Dandruff is usually caused when the scalp becomes dry and flaky, causing those unsightly white flakes. Olive oil is a natural moisturizer. When massaged into the scalp it will moisturize your scalp, reducing the appearance of your dandruff naturally, with no chemically laden shampoos. Use the treatment as often as needed until the problem fades and then just once or twice a week to keep it from reoccurring.
- Frizzy hair tamer – Dry hair is brittle hair and even just brushing your hair can cause split ends that turn your hair into a frizzy mess. Using olive oil on just the ends of your hair moisturizes those brittle ends, and will help smooth down the split ends, taming the frizz and the flyaway hairs. Use it after styling on just the ends of your hair to tame your hair. This works great in the winter when hair tends to be dryer and this solution is perfect for those who routinely flat iron their hair. When used after straightening your hair, olive oil will hold give moisture and a bit of weight to the ends, keeping your hair looking smooth.
- Adds Shine – Healthy hair has a natural shine. Damaged and dry hair looks dull and lifeless but you can bring your hair back to life with olive oil. When used as a conditioner olive oil infuses your hair with moisture, restoring it to a healthy and beautiful looking shine.
- Easier to Manage – Unhealthy hair is not easy to style; it is either limp or frizzy. Using olive oil as a hot oil treatment will make your hair healthy and manageable once again.
- Softens Hair – Some people have hair that is rough and course. Weekly olive oil treatments are a natural way to soften your hair because it will saturate your hair with moisture.
Once a Week is all you Need!
With regular conditioner, you use it every time you wash your hair. When you use olive oil as a treatment, you will find that you will likely only need to condition your hair once a week. Damaged or course hair might do best with two treatments a week but you will not have to do it daily. Typically, once a week for about half an hour, always before you wash your hair, will usually be enough.
How to Apply Olive Oil as a Treatment
You will need to start off with your hair unwashed but brushed. Wear an old t-shirt and you might want to stand on an old towel or sheet because it will probably drip. Do NOT do this in your shower; it will turn the floor of your shower into a slippery mess.
In a microwave safe bowl, pour about ½ cup of olive oil and microwave for just about thirty seconds. You want it to be warm but not hot.
Use your fingertips to massage olive oil into your scalp so that your entire scalp is covered and then use a comb dipped in the olive oil to coat the rest of your hair. Tuck your hair into a plastic shower cap or wrap your head in a towel. Leave the olive oil on for half an hour and then wash your hair in the sink. After you shampoo your hair, rinse with cold water but there will be no need to use a separate conditioner.
Suggested Olive Oil – Olive Oil Marketplace House Blend
Nutritionists will continue to tout olive oil for its high content of healthful, monounsaturated fats, like oleic acid, and polyphenols. The fruit oil practically propelled the entire Western world in antiquity, and is mentioned in nearly every sacred text this side of the Tigris and Euphrates.
Olive oil also has plenty of uses around your home, outside of the sauté pan. There’s no need to waste your expensive Greek or Spanish Extra Virgin for these tasks, just grab a bottle of inexpensive, domestic olive oil for around-the-house use. You can cut down on excess oil by investing in a refillable spray can, such as the Misto.
- Shave. Olive oil can provide a safe and natural lubricant for a close shave. Rub in an extra teaspoon after washing your body or face once finished.
- Wood Furniture Polish. Wipe with a teaspoon of olive oil and a soft rag. Add a bit of vinegar of citrus juice to bulk up the cleaning power, and add a fresh scent.
- Fingernails. Use a bit of olive oil to moisturize cuticles, or mix oil and water and soak your hands before a manicure.
- Lubricate Measuring Cups and Spoons. Rub or spray olive oil on your measuring tools for easy clean-up of sticky substances like honey, grain mustards, and sugar syrups,
- Control hair frizz. Comb a bit of olive oil through dry hair to tame the frizz and flyaways on humid days or in the winter. Benifits of using Olive Oil for Hair
- Free a stuck zipper. Use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the teeth of a zipper, then gently ease the tab down.
- Care for your kitty. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to your cat’s food to help prevent hairballs, and provide a shiny coat.
- DIY Lip balm. Mix olive oil and melted beeswax in a 1:1 ratio, with an essential oil for fragrance, and say goodbye to dry and chapped lips.
- Stop Snoring. Take a sip of olive oil before heading to bed. It might lubricate your throat muscles, and stop yourself, or your partner, from snoring.
- Shine stainless steel and brass. Rub a bit of olive oil on a clean rag to prevent streaks, corrosion, and tarnish.
- Exfoliate your face and hands. Rub your skin with olive oil, then scrub with sugar or coarse salt, and rinse.
- As you bathe. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your running bath water. You’ll be amazed when you towel off.
- Remove makeup. Dab a bit under your eyes, on your cheeks and forehead, then wipe with a damp cloth.
- Cure an earache. Very carefully, use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the outside ear cavity to help with earaches and excess wax.
- Remove paint from your skin. Rub on olive oil onto messy hand and arms (or faces) and allow the oil to soak into the skin for five minutes, then rinse with soap and water.
- Treat lice. Apply olive oil to your youngster’s hair, and leave on for at least 40 minutes. Shampoo twice, then apply a preventative.
- Stop a throat tickle. Take a sip of olive oil to stop the itchy flicker that is making you cough.
- Fix a squeaky door. Use a rag or cotton swab to apply olive oil to the top of a problematic hinge in your home or automobile.
- Shoe polish. Rub down your shoes with just a spray of olive oil to maintain their shine.
- Personal Lubricant. It works…
- Soften your skin. Rub olive oil daily on notoriously dry areas, such as your feet or elbows, especially after a shower, shaving, or waxing.
- Easy clean up of garden tools. Spritz some olive oil on your tools to cut down on dirt buildup. Read more here!
- Condition leather. Rub olive oil into worn leather, such as a baseball glove, and let set for 30 minutes, then wipe away any excess.
- As a hair tonic. Comb some olive oil through your hair for the vintage look of pomade without the build-up, or add a bit to wet hair for grungy, but clean, look.
- Cure diaper rash. Gently wipe on olive oil to your baby’s bottom to help with the irritation of diaper rash.
Olive oil is an essential component of a Mediterranean diet, which has been linked to heart health and longevity. When you buy a bottle of oil oil, you may notice the label states the following:
Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about two tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.
The coronary arteries provide blood to your heart muscle. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil help to keep those arteries clear so your heart can get enough oxygen and nutrients to keep pumping.
Olive oil is good for your heart and keeps your cholesterol levels healthy, but that’s not all it can do. Extra virgin olive oil contains polyphenols that can reduce inflammation and may help to prevent some forms of cancer.
Here are some ideas for including more olive oil in your diet:
- Use an olive oil dressing on your favorite salad.
- Dip pieces of 100-percent whole grain bread in a dish of olive oil that has been dusted with pepper and oregano.
- Sprinkle green vegetables with olive oil instead of margarine or butter.
- Make pesto and serve with your favorite pasta.
- Prepare your own cranberry vinaigrette for salads.
- Add flavor to olive oil by infusing the oil with a sprigs of rosemary or other dried herbs.
- Store olive oil in a dark cool spot in a tightly covered container. You can keep olive oil in the refrigerator, however it will get thick and cloudy. That’s OK, the olive oil will return to normal when it stands at room temperature.
Keep in mind that while olive oil is rich in monounsatrauted fats, it’s still high in calories. If you need to watch your weight, you’ll need to watch your intake of olive oil — one serving is two tablespoons and that’s all you need per day.
Covas MI, Nyyssonen K, Poulsen HE, Kaikkonen J, Zunft HJ, Kiesewetter H, Gaddi A, de la Torre R, Mursu J, Baumler H, Nascetti S, Salonen JT, Fito M, Virtanen J, Marrugat J, EUROLIVE Study Group. “The effect of polyphenols in olive oil on heart disease risk factors: a randomized trial.” Ann Intern Med. 2006 Sep 5;145(5):333-41.
United States Food and Drug Administration. “FDA Allows Qualified Health Claim to Decrease Risk of Coronary Heart Disease.” Accessed October 5, 2007.
Everybody has their favorite memory of a perfect pasta dish. Despite its ubiquity, however, there is something about a beautifully prepared pasta dish that is very hard to beat.
Pasta is such a familiar ingredient in the United States that it is often all too easy to take it for granted. There are few people who don’t have at least one type of pasta in their store cupboard and if you were to walk down the aisles of any supermarket, you would have to take off your shoes and socks to help you count the fresh and dried varieties now offered.
Given that pasta is, I suspect, so familiar to everyone who will read this, I thought I would stray from the normal format for these features and instead give you 10 interesting things you may not know about pasta
- The Italian word pasta comes from the same Latin word, which means “dough.” It also has the same root as the word pastry and in fact, it was Italian pastry makers who first spread the art of edible pastry making to the rest of Europe, where previously it had been a protective casing for the contents to be discarded after cooking.
- The story of Marco Polo discovering rice noodles in China and bringing them back to Italy is only a little more than a popular myth, as there are records of pasta being made dating back to 400 BC and there are carvings on the wall of Etruscan tombs of that time showing all the tools for making pasta were already available. Marco Polo did indeed mention noodles from China, but described them as being similar to “Lagana,” a baked noodle that was already known in Italy.
- The first mention of pasta in what is now Italy comes from the Arabian geographer, Muhammad Al Idrisi in 1154 who wrote about it in the “Tabula Rogeriana,” referring to the town of Trabia in Sicily, where they made long strands of dried noodles from the local hard wheat.
- Pasta was originally made by hand and it wasn’t until the 18th century that the first pasta making machine was designed by Cesare Spadacinni, at the request of Ferdinando II, The King of Naples. It was made of bronze and attempted to replicate the kneading movements of the human pasta makers.
- When one thinks of pasta and Italian cuisine, one almost immediately thinks of tomatoes. Tomatoes, however, did not become part of the Italian cook’s larder until the late 1600s. Before that they were actually considered a poisonous ornamental plant. The first mention of tomatoes in Italian cooking comes from Antonio Lantini who gave a recipe for cooking them with oil and spices in his book, Lo Scallo All A Moderna. The first recipes using tomato sauce with pasta came nearly a century later in 1790 in L’Apicio Moderno, a recipe book written by Francesco Leonardi.
- It is Thomas Jefferson who is credited with bringing the first macaroni making machine to the United States following his return from an ambassadorship in France. He actually made designs for a pasta machine based on the incredibly fashionable machines he saw during his time in Paris.
- The first pasta making company in the United States was created in 1848 by a Frenchman named Antoine Zerega, in Brooklyn, New York. The company still exists today.
- Perhaps the most popular pasta recipe in the United States today is macaroni and cheese and, once again much of the credit for its introduction goes to Thomas Jefferson who is said to have served it at a presidential dinner in 1802. The stove-top versions, which are still popular, originated during the great depression when Kraft began selling boxes that could feed four people for under a nickel in 1937.
- There are over 600 types of pasta available and they come in two forms: either fresh (e.g. ravioli and cannelloni) or dried (e.g. spaghetti, penne). Dried pasta is usually made with just flour, water and salt and was created to allow for storage and for transportation. Fresh pasta contains eggs and has a higher water content and therefore cannot be stored, other than by freezing. Southern Italy is well known for its dried pasta, while the finest fresh pasta in Italy is said to come from the Emilia-Romagna region
- According to the International Pasta Organization (yes, there is an International Pasta Organization) the average American eats nearly 20 pounds of pasta a year. A significant amount, but it trails behind the Italians who eat a whopping 60 pounds of the stuff every twelve months. The Italians also make the most pasta in the world producing nearly 3.5 million tons a year, while the United States is in second place producing a not inconsiderable 2 million tons.
Source: Food Network – Simon Majumdar
Kale is being called “the new beef”, “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse.” Here are ten great benefits of adding more kale to your diet:
- Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.
- Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
- Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
- Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
- Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
- Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
- Kale is high in Vitamin A.Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
- Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility
- Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.
Did you know?
- “Every leaf of kale your chew adds another stem to your tree of life.” Ancient Turkish Saying
- Kale was once called the ‘poor people food’ but now it’s the new trend.
- Kale plants continue to produce late into winter. It is the perfect green for seasonal eating in fall or winter.
- Kale needs a frost to become sweeter. The frost converts some of plant’s starch into sugar.
- “Kale is the one of the oldest forms of cabbage, originating in the eastern Mediterranean. Kale is thought to have been used as a food crop as early as 2000 B. C.” Laurie Hodges, Ph. D. Extension Specialist
- Kale originated in Asia Minor and by the 5th century B.C., the preference was for the larger leaf that developed into the vegetable we now know as kale.
- The plant was brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by groups of Celtic wanderers. Early historic records on the Romans called it Sabelline Cabbage.
- Kale was a staple crop in the Scottish Islands because of its hardiness; the Scots grew it in kale yards. Almost every house had a kale yard and preserved kale in barrels of salt.
- English settlers brought kale to the United States in the 17th century.
- Russian kale was introduced into Canada (and then into the U.S.) by Russian traders in the 19th century.
How to Buy and Store Kale:
- Always buy organic kale; The kale should be firm with fresh, with deeply colored leaves and hardy stems.
- Kale with smaller leaves will be tenderer and have a milder flavor than larger leaves.
- Put kale in a plastic storage bag removing as much of the air from the bag as possible. Keep in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. The longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes. Do not wash kale before storing because the water encourages spoilage.
- Too much vitamin K can cause problems for anyone taking anticoagulants such as warfarin because the high level of vitamin K may interfere with the drugs. Consult your doctor before adding kale to your diet if you are on this type of medication.
Tips for eating or cooking:
- You can eat kale raw when it is young and tender – almost like lettuce.
- The kale you eat at the store will probably be mature which means it will probably be too tough and fibrous to digest easy.
- Blending mature kale will help but the easiest way is to cook it.
- Kale is so nutritious even cooked kale is loaded with vitamins and minerals.
- Many people enjoy kale chips. The health results will depend on the quality of kale and oils, plus the preparation methods.
It’s about Focus, Taste, Tools & Try Again!!
It happens every year about this time. We are all stuffed from great holiday feasts, full of the kind of hopeful ambition that a new calendar brings, and finally this is going to be the year when they learn to cook better.
And so they run out and buy the hottest cookbook from some celebrity chef, try two recipes and quit in disgust.
That’s a shame because cooking for yourself — really cooking, not just throwing the occasional fancy dinner party — is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do. It’s pleasurable and it’s healthful, and how many things can you say that about?
And folks, it’s just not that hard. Or, at least, it doesn’t have to be. Here are seven steps that will make you a better cook, whether you’re someone just starting out or you’re a little farther down the road.
1. Pay attention. This is rule No. 1, particularly when you’re just starting. Put away your cellphone. Turn off the TV. Facebook will wait. Focus on what you’re doing. Be aware. What does the food look like? What does it smell like? How does it sound? These are all important hints the dish is giving you — the way bubbles change size when a sauce is being reduced; the smell of a pie shell when the flour begins to brown; the sound a roasting chicken makes when it’s nearly done. File the information away, and remember it next time.
2. Keep it simple. You don’t learn to drive by entering the Grand Prix, and you don’t learn to cook by starting with some complex, multi-element dish. Begin by learning a few basics: a vegetable soup, an omelet, a salad dressing. Repeat them until you’re satisfied with the result. It won’t take long (perfecting them, on the other hand, can take a lifetime). Move on to another dish only after you’ve mastered the first ones. Only by this kind of repetition will you come to understand what is going on during cooking, rather than simply obeying recipe commands.
3. Shop carefully. You can always spot good cooks because they take their time choosing ingredients. Beginners rush through, thinking cooking only begins once they get in the kitchen. Really, it starts in the market: Choose the ripest pieces of fruit, the most deeply colored vegetables, the crispest greens, even if you have to sort one piece at a time. Spend an extra 10 minutes choosing the best ingredients and it will save you hours of time cooking. Shop wisely and the simplest dishes will be delicious; hurry through and you’ll have to work some kind of crazy kitchen magic just to make something decent enough to eat.
4.Taste. Taste. Taste. Taste early and taste often. Don’t wait until a dish is almost finished. Not only might it be too late — flavor is built up in layers — but you’ll miss some important learning opportunities. Notice how the flavor of a tomato sauce deepens as it cooks. Watch how the taste of a carrot goes from simple and one-dimensional to rich and sweet. And when it comes to seasoning, remember that there’s more to it than sweet and salty. Many otherwise dull dishes can be fixed quite easily with a jolt of acidity — lemon juice or vinegar.
5. Organize. Read the recipe. Now read it again. To the end! Figure out which utensils you’re going to need and which ingredients. But — and I know this is a heresy — in most cases you can forget about having everything prepped and chopped before you begin (the hallowed mis en place). Cooking at home is different than in a restaurant, and unless you’re making a stir-fry or something that needs to be cooked bang-bang, it’s more efficient to slot in some tasks during the dead time when you’d otherwise be standing around watching water come to a boil.
6. Tools, not gadgets. Tools are what you turn to every day; gadgets have specific uses. Buy what’s most necessary in the best quality you can afford. Start with a chef’s knife, a paring knife, a sauté pan and a large saucepan. Later you can add specific tools and gadgets to help make the preparation easier. Remember that while the most expensive brand isn’t necessarily the best, it’s worthwhile to spend a little more to get better quality. After all, if you’ve shopped well, these are tools you’ll be using almost every day for the rest of your life.
7. Make a commitment. Learning is a process, not a single step. Becoming a good cook is going to take a little time. There’s more to it than reading a recipe and following a set of instructions. Don’t become discouraged if your first — or even fourth or fifth — effort isn’t as perfect as you’d like. Figure out what went wrong, remember it and move along. It’ll be better the next time.
Submitted By My Aunt Debbie
(as told by Rod Jackson)
I am who I am, and I don’t pretend to be anything I am not. I am Metis (mixed blood) Cherokee and Scots-Irish, and look more like I should be wearing kilts rather than a ribbon shirt, but my heart tells me otherwise.
My Dad, my Grandpa, and all of my uncles had coal black hair which turned white as they aged, and my hair was brown and curly. I say WAS brown, because it, too, is now white. I don’t dye my hair black, don’t straighten it, and I don’t put on tanning creams to make myself more “native looking”.
I am not full-blood (hey, look at my picture!) I just know when my Grandpa told me (Boy, do you know that you are an Indian? Those are your People…), that it resonated with my heart and how I have always felt in my soul. I was naturally drawn to the culture, the Ceremonies, and the Spirituality.
I know that I am doing what Great Mystery put me here to do, and I pray every day that I inspire the spirits of all my ancestors.
I do not call myself a shaman or Medicine Man. What would be the point of that? I am just a man doing what he is supposed to do. I strive every day to Walk in Balance on My Path, as it has been set down for me by Great Mystery, and to always be there for The People.
Despite my ancestry, Nuwati Herbal products are not represented to be ‘Indian Products’ as defined by law.
Nuwati Herbals began in August 2002, at a small show in St. Louis, Missouri. At least that was the first public display of the Nuwati products. The idea and the premise was established over 50 years ago when my Grandma would send me out, at the age of 5, to gather herbs, bark, roots, flowers, and leaves, from which she would make Medicine. She taught me the proper way to gather, so that there would always be plants for future generations. I developed a special connection with Nature, and required close contact and frequent encounters with the woods and Mother Earth.
As the years went on, I attended Jefferson College, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, earning Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Speech and Language Pathology. During my college years, I always maintained my strong connection with Mother Earth. After graduation I specialized in rehabilitating stroke patients and continued my exploration ofNative American Spirituality. I started studying alternative or complementary healing practices and became a Reiki Master. I did an extended internship with Dr. Thomas Sachs, a Naturopathic Doctor, and 8th generation Cherokee Medicine Man. I then bought a Health Food store, calling it The Medicine Wheel. People would come to my store and ask for help with their health, telling me that they had tried Western Medicine to no avail. I would call upon the Plant People (herbs), and make teas and balms for them. I never made any medical claims. I would just say, “Try this and see what it does for you.” I began hearing comments like, “I haven’t slept this well in years,” or “Your tea is the only thing I have found that calmed the storm in my stomach.” The word of my teas and balms spread and I found myself helping more and more people. Over time my ‘remedies’ became a major part of my business. But, to quote the great philosopher Harry Callahan, “Every man’s got to know his limitations,” and I knew mine. In one word, Retail. I could only help as many people as I could get to enter my store. Unfortunately, I lacked the marketing background necessary to wholesale my products. In March of 2002, I attended a Holistic Expo at Webster University in St. Louis, MO. There were numerous products promoting health and wellness, and I couldn’t help but think how my own products would fit in. As I walked around, I noticed a small redheaded woman with the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. I vowed if I saw her one more time I would talk to her. Later that day while leaving a seminar, as Creator would have it, I ran right into her and that is how I met my partner, Kimberly.
The Nuwati Story
(as told by Kimberly Stauder)
After a thirty year marketing and management career in the commercial insurance business, I found myself burnt out. The job had ceased to challenge me and I was constantly frustrated that I couldn’t make a more positive difference in people’s lives. I knew that something else in life was trying to find me and that if I didn’t make a space for it, it never would. So I walked in and resigned.
The next year found me pursuing writing courses (I have since written many short stories and articles in addition to a monthly pet column in a local magazine). I also took a part-time job, that quickly became a full-time job, with a national health and beauty chain. The pay was minimal and most of my friends thought I had lost my good sense. But I felt a strong draw to learn retail merchandising and promotion. The reason for my detour into retail sales became apparent when I met Rod Jackson. In addition to my business and marketing background, I would need a merchandising background to pursue our mutual venture.
The day we met at the Holistic Expo (March 2002) a positive force was put in motion. We started a friendship, a relationship and a business in a matter of a few short months. We both wanted to have a positive influence in the lives of others. Rod had the ability to do just that with his superior and unique products. And I had the ability to tell the world about them.
We want to thank the many people who have influenced and supported the efforts of Nuwati Herbals from the day we glued our first label on a jar of tea in August 2002. A special thank you goes to our many friends who have helped us with art and logo design, label design, insurance programs, reviewing contracts, setting up our credit card services, finding our trailer to haul Nuwati Herbals around the country…and most importantly of all…the manual labor it takes to setup and tear down all our shows!
The mission of Nuwati Herbals is to help people restore Balance to their lives. We thank the Creator every day for the opportunity to be part of this process.
And so, it is good…
Rod Jackson & Kimberly Stauder (now Jackson as of May 19, 2013!)
And the story continues…
The Nuwati Story
(as told by Eunice Jackson – Rod’s mother)
In 2002 a new baby was born. The baby’s name was Nuwati. The two proud people of Nuwati are Rod and Kimberly. They dreamed of a business that would help people. Nuwati is a dream come true!
They work day and night to make sure everything goes just right!
They travel around many states for their shows…Just how many people they help only God knows!
As the years went by and the business grew they had another dream come true!
On January 1, 2010, they got a new warehouse to put their herbs in. “The Plant” as they call it, is an appropriate name…for their herbs are plants, one and the same!
The rest of the story:
Thirteen years have now gone by. There are many products on the market going out of “The Plant” daily all over the United States, Canada, Bermuda and France.
These ten years have been very busy and profitable.
Yes, they had a dream, that dream became a reality.
That dream is Nuwati Herbals!”
Balsamic vinegar has become all the rage in America, thanks to creative chefs at upscale restaurants. It is difficult to believe that this robust product of the vine has only come to be appreciated within the last two decades in America, when Italians have been enjoying it for centuries.
The rich, slightly sweet flavor of balsamic vinegar readily lends itself to vinaigrette dressings, gourmet sauces, and brings out the sweetness of fresh fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, and peaches.
How does a lowly vinegar come to reap such praise? As far back as 900 years ago, vintners in the Modena, Italy region were making balsamic vinegar which was taken as a tonic and bestowed as a mark of favor to those of importance.
Although it is considered a wine vinegar, it is not a wine vinegar at all. It is not made from wine, but from grape pressings that have never been permitted to ferment into wine.
Sweet white Trebbiano grape pressings are boiled down to a dark syrup and then aged under rigid restrictions. The syrup is placed into oaken kegs, along with a vinegar “mother,” and begins the aging process. Over the years it graduates to smaller and smaller ONLY APPROVED WOODEN kegs made of chestnut, cherry wood, ash, mulberry, and juniper until it is ready for sale. All of these woods progressively add character to the vinegar. As it ages, moisture evaporates out, further thickening the vinegar and concentrating the flavor. The age of the vinegar is divided into young – from 3 to 5 years maturation; middle aged 6 to 12 years and the highly prized very old which is at least 12 years and up to 150 years old.
White balsamic vinegar, however, blends white grape must with white wine vinegar and is cooked at a low temperature to avoid any darkening. Some manufacturers age the vinegar in oak barrels, while other use stainless steel.
The flavors of the two are very similar, although the dark balsamic is slightly sweeter and tends to be a little more syrupy. The white has more of a clean aftertaste. The main reason one would use white balsamic, rather than regular, is mostly aesthetic. It can be used with lighter colored foods, dressings, or sauces without any discoloring. If that sort of thing matters to you.
It is this aging process that makes true balsamic vinegar from Modena in Northern Italy so expensive. Luckily, a little balsamic vinegar goes a long way.
According to the Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, March 1, 2007:
Tasted straight from the bottle, there was no contest between supermarket and traditional balsamic vinegars. Even the best of the commercial bunch – while similarly sweet, brown, and viscous – couldn’t compete with the complex, rich flavor of true balsamic vinegar. With notes of honey, fig, raisin, caramel, and wood; a smooth, lingering taste; and an aroma like fine port, traditional balsamic is good enough to sip like liqueur.
Though originating from Italy, balsamic vinegar is popular throughout the world and is regularly used in salad dressings. Here are some of its health benefits.
Health Benefits of Balsamic
Vinegars have been used for thousands of years for their astringent and disinfectant properties as well as being used as a preservative and flavoring in prepared food. Balsamic vinegar, however, has a wealth of benefits beyond those early uses of vinegar.
In historical texts balsamic vinegar was said to be a miracle cure. It is believed that the word originated from the Italian word for balm, meaning an aromatic resin as well as a soothing and healing agent. Balsamic vinegar was used to treat everything from a mild headache to labor pains. It’s antibacterial and antiviral properties make it ideal for disinfecting wounds and infections. A tonic mixture of balsamic can be used on nail infections and even acne!
Antioxidants – Improves Immunity System – Helps Blood Circulation
Polyphenol is an antioxidant found in grapes and is therefore present in balsamic vinegar. Antioxidants improve the immune system and they guard against harmful free radicals which can damage cells in the body. Balsamic vinegar can also help protect against heart disease and cancer thanks to these antioxidants. Another element found in balsamic vinegar is a bioflovanoid, called quercetin, which also has antioxidant properties and helps fight immunity deficiencies.
Digestion and Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Balsamic vinegar can suppress appetite and also increases the amount of time it takes for the stomach to empty. This helps prevent overeating and ensures the body will digest food properly. Balsamic vinegar is a rich source of potassium, manganese, calcium and iron. These minerals are vital for the body’s functioning and contribute to the maintaining of a healthy body weight. The acetic acid present in balsamic vinegar helps to absorb these and other minerals into the body and can improve calcium intake to help strengthen bone. Balsamic vinegar is low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium making it a healthy alternative for dressings and marinades. Compared to a mayonnaise based dressing balsamic vinegar can have a fifth of the calories for the same size serving. Some studies have shown that balsamic vinegar can reduce appetite and prevent frequent hunger pangs.
Diabetes & Helps Digestion
Balsamic vinegar improves insulin sensitivity which promotes blood sugar regulation. This can often reduce unpleasant side effects associated with diabetes. The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar also boost the effect of pepsin which is an enzyme that breaks protein into smaller amino acids. This means that the amino acids are more easily absorbed into the body improving metabolism.
Pepsin and acetic acid both help improve absorption of crucial minerals into the body such as calcium and magnesium. Both of this minerals are abundant in balsamic vinegar and are vital for healthy and strong bones.
Taking a minute to understand how to pick a vinegar might just help you to find a bottle you are going to love, that is going to become a regular staple in your kitchen and is going to feature regularly on simply dressed but delicious salads. For a great balsamic, it’s worth doing your homework.
Artificial balsamics can be cloying, one dimensional and harsh – a far cry from the subtly sweet complexity of a true Modena Balsamic. You may not be in the market for a Modena Consortium (a council of Italian vinegar experts that approves each batch of real balsamic) vinegar, but you at the very least want a balsamic that is produced in the traditional way. You do not want a “fake”!