Sunday, February 21, 2010

Avocado-the green goodness

Very few items in your organic box can lend themselves to both sweet and savory, like the humble avocado. Made up of good monosaturated fats, the avocado can be sometimes incorrectly thought of as fattening, the truth of the matter is that humans need fat, but good fats, and avocado are full of them. One of the monosaturated fats oleic acid may help lower cholesterol levels…

Loaded with vital nutrients, namely Vitamin C, vitamin A, E, B and K, and potassium (there is more potassium than in a banana) high in dietary fibre and antioxidants, especially Glutathione. Studies have shown that this antioxidant can help slow down the process of ageing. If that's not enough to get eating them, how about the fact that they are a great source of zinc, making them great for your skin and sexual health.

There are so many ways to use an avocado, fresh in salads, as a spread instead of butter, as a face mask but did you know that avocado's can be made into chocolate pudding, don't be scared, it tastes delicious, why not give it a try.

Chocolate Pudding

1 organic avocado, diced

1/2 c organic raw agave nectar

1/4 c organic raw cocoa powder

1/4 c water

2 t organic vanilla extract

1/4 t sea salt

Put the avocado, agave nectar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and sea salt in a blender. Gradually add 1 tablespoon of water at a time to achieve a creamy consistency. You can then refrigerate to make it a little firmer or eat it straight out of the bowl… serve with some raw grated chocolate or berries.mmmm

Or maybe try some easy peasy guacamole

4 organic avocados, peeled and diced
2 organic tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 organic red onion, or two spring onions finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
juice of one lemon

Add the tomatoes, red onion/spring onion into a bowl. Squeeze the lime juice and sprinkle sea salt and let them sit till ready to serve, when ready to serve, mash the avocado in a bowl and add it to the tomato mix and enjoy.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Shrove Tuesday

Pancakes is the name of today, so lets get straight to it, could these possibly be the worlds best pancakes, both raw and cooked...give them a go


Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, whisk, set aside:
2 cups organic flour
2 tbsp organic raw sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp himalayan fine salt
Combine the wet ingredients in a second bowl, whisk:
2 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp organic melted butter
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
2 organic free range beaten eggs
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until just combined. Fry in a pan with butter. Top with organic maple syrup and devour. Sensational.....

RAW PANCAKE MIX , this recipe was taken from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen" by Ani Phyo

2 cups organic whole flax seeds or 3 cups flax seed meal
2 Tbsp. organic liquid coconut oil
1/2 cup organic agave or maple syrup
1/2 tsp. himalayan sea salt
1/4 cup water
Combine flax, oil, agave, salt and water in a large bowl and mix well. Form 4 balls and flatten into a pancake shape, about 1/4 to 1/2" thick. Top with sliced fruit (bananas) and/or chopped nuts like walnuts or almonds. Drizzle with syrup
Optional: Mix blueberries or walnuts into cake batter. Batter will last 4-5 days in the fridge.

Pear and Rocket Salad

1organic pear of choice, finely sliced
2 cups rocket lettuce
Parmesan cheese, shaved

1 clove garlic
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts
Salt and pepper
Crush garlic in a bowl, add balsamic, oil, walnuts and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.Pour dressing over pears, rocket and Parmesan and toss to combine.YUMMO


High in complex carbohydrates, vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C, folic acid, calcium, Chlorine,copper, Iron, magnesium, sodium, sulphur and pectin.

Packed with antioxidants protecting the body from free radical damage, they are also a hypoallergenic fruit (one that's not likely to cause an allergic reaction) and they are generally one of the the best fruit to give infants when they are starting out on solids.

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Varieties of Pears

Pears are a member of the Rose family, they generally have a round bottom and taper at the top. Seasonally they are available from late February till October.

There are so many varieties of pears, around 3000. So to make it easier, let's look at the ones that are coming off the tree now.

Buerre Bosc: They have a cinnamon brown colour. They have a honey-sweet flesh with a smooth texture. Great to eat fresh as well as cooking

Howell: it's a large fruit; the skin is yellow on one side and red on the other. A heirloom variety with a delicious sweet taste

Williams: also known as a Bartlett pear has a traditional pear shape, and the green skin turns yellow when it's ripe. Sweet taste

Nashi: Super juicy pear, shaped like an apple. A refreshing pear.

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Apple and pear juice

If you going to drink juice, why not try making it yourself? The juice that you purchase in the supermarket has been pasteruised, which means that it's been heated. In this process the oxygen is stripped off in a process called Deaeration, they do this so it doesn't oxidize. This means that it can be stored for extended periods of time, this destroys most of the nutritional properties in the juice and leaves us with some sweet carbohydrate drink, which the producers then add vitamin C to; this gives it a nutritional property.

Juice is meant to be pressed and drunk fresh, so get to it, the new season apples and pears mean that it's a great time to make some fresh juice for the morning, a nutrient blast in a glass.

2 apples

1 pear

And juice, it doesn't get much easier than that, if you have excess apples and pears at the end of the week, press them and freeze them in icy pole containers and give them to the kids as a treat on a warm day. Easy peesy.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

The Magnificent the 11 - SuperFoods

Wouldn't you love to access your fridge at home, like a mechanic accesses his toolbox, to heal yourself, as he would 'heal' his car? Sounds impossible right? Well it's not.

Through today's research a lot of the old anecdotes are now confirmed if not exceeded in their validity. We all heard the sayings "Eat your vegetables they will make grow big and strong" or even "It'll put hair on your chest!" (Though that latter one I still have my doubts on).

Through scientific research they have confirmed certain foods are in fact higher pound for pound in their nutritional and phytochemical content, thus making them 'SuperFoods', or foods that give you more bang for your buck.

What are phytochemicals? Phytochemicals are naturally occurring compounds that plants produce to protect themselves (against bacteria, viruses and fungi), improve their structure or even act as chemical messengers within the plant. Once eaten by humans however, they (phytochemicals) take on a new role turning into some of the most potent health enhancing substances known to man.

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food"

(Hippocrates –AKA: 'the father of medicine' 460BC – 370BC)

So where to start and what are the best superfoods?

In the media there seems to be more and more foods being labelled 'SuperFoods' in a bid to cash in on this new catch term, unfortunately this is causing confusion within the public. So I have selected my best of the best, to get you kicked started quickly to optimum wellness. To begin your journey to optimum wellness it only takes one serve a day from the selection of SuperFoods below. Add more if you desire, though rotation is the key.

So here are my magnificent 11:

  1. Turmeric: Anti-oxidant, brain health, digestive health, anti-inflammatory, liver tonic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial
  2. Garlic: Anti-microbial, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, assists weight loss, digestive health, anti-carcinogenic
  3. Cinnamon: Blood sugar lowering, digestive tonic, anti-microbial
  4. Blueberries: Anti-oxidant, assists weight loss, anti-carcinogenic, diabetic protective, vision health
  5. Quinoa: High (complete) protein grain, low allergenic, low GI, high fibre
  6. Walnuts: healthy heart & brain, high in EFA's
  7. Flaxseeds: healthy heart, joints & skin, anti-inflammatory, high in Omega 3's
  8. Red Grapes: Anti-oxidant, antiaging, heart health, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic
  9. Broccoli: Liver detoxifier, anti-carcinogenic
  10. Green Tea: are fantastic anti-oxidant, helps weight loss & anti-carcinogenic
  11. Salmon: Anti-inflammatory, healthy heart, joints & brain, protein rich

Other notable mentions include:
Maca (Peruvian vegetable), Noni juice, Pomegranates, Rooibos Tea, Goji Berries, Spirulina, & Avocados.

You won't find vitamin enriched Cereals (or the like) in the SuperFood group, every SuperFood is a 'whole' (unprocessed) food.

Bringing it all together...

No food is 'Super' on its own, so you can't get away with one 'SuperFood' in your diet and all the rest garbage (I know, I am sorry it doesn't work like that), it involves a balanced diet as well.

All the principles of a healthy diet apply. Though by adding these "bad boys" to the mix, unlimited health can be yours.

For Duncan Naturopathy and health runs in his blood, being a second generational Naturopath, Duncan has long known the benefits of living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Duncan regularly presents to the community on a variety of health topics, and is in the middle of writing his first book on Anti-Aging & Natural Medicine.

Duncan is a scientific naturopath, meaning that diagnostic testing like food sensitivity testing, lactose intolerance, candida, celiac disease and many more tests are performed in his clinic. This ensures the best results for clients and gives a great way for both Duncan and his clients to monitor their progress. Because of this extensive research Duncan has seen firsthand the benefits that a healthy diet and lifestyle have on health and wellbeing.

For more information about Duncan please visit his web site

Monday, February 8, 2010

Here’s to our local farmers

Regional or local food production is imperative collaborative efforts to build more self reliant food economies that are sustainable, require little transportation, and provide the freshest produce. They provide a somewhat ideal system of food production and serves as an alternative to the many big corporate companies that provide food to the masses but also serve to separate the consumer from the farmer, resulting in food travelling many miles to reach you!!!

So what is local, everyone has their own definition of what local is, but when we use the term local, we refer to a 100 mile radius, but more than likely less than 50 miles. The basic concept is simple; we predominately support producers/farmers who grow close to us.

So imagine if you could source your produce that was not only local, but sustainable. The majority of our fresh produce is local, at the moment it's around 87%......and all of our produce is sustainable, grown organically… it really doesn't get much better than that, supporting our local farmers and nourishing your body with the freshest organic produce.

Essentially, local sustainable farming benefits the local community in so many ways,

  • Supporting the environment that we live in, thus ensuring that we have a clean healthy environment for our children and ourselves.
  • Enriching the soil and protecting water and air quality

  • Massive reduction in fossil fuel use, through transportation and also conventional farming uses as much as 40% of the fossil fuels used in food production. Another reason to go organic.
  • Massive difference in taste, local food is harvested when it's ripe. So this means that the flavours have developed naturally
  • Increased health and nutrition
  • Reduction in food miles

WE are not all fortunate enough to live amongst farming districts, hence the development of the Organic Empire, serving you with local organic fare from farm gate to your door, it really doesn't get much better or fresher than that…. Check out the price list, and look for the logo below next to the item to see if it's coming locally.

Get healthier, get more sustainable, get local and GO ORGANIC EMPIRE.

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Whats in Season

Berries beans corn

Figs capsicums tomatoes

Table grapes celery zucchini

Melons cucumber zucchini flowers

Passion fruit lettuce herbs

Stone fruits onions

Pears peas

ORGANIC EMPIRE, organic home delivery melbourne, local organic foods

Monday, February 1, 2010

Green Bean Salad

500g fresh organic green beans, trimmed
1/2 organic chopped red onion
2 tablespoons organic chopped garlic
4 tablespoons organic balsamic vinegar
2 to 4 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil

Steam beans for 5 mins, place on a plate, add the onion, vinegar, oil , sprinkle with salt and serve.

Oils aint oils

The oil tree originated in the Mediterranean countries, but is widely cultivated all over the world now. The tree yields fragrant white flowers and an oblong nearly round fruit called a drupe that becomes shiny black when ripe. When call this drupe an 'olive'.

Olives have been pressed for thousands of years to produce the oil we know as olive oil. The health benefits of olive oil have been documented for hundreds of years, and this golden oil to reputed to be one of the secrets of a long healthy life. It's been found that people who consume extra virgin olive oil regularly have much lower rates of heart disease, heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and asthma. Studies have shown that diabetics who consume healthy meals that contained some olive oil had better effects on blood sugar even than healthy meals that were low in fat. And if that isn't enough, it helps reduce blood pressure, combats disease, provides the body with essential fats and is a contributing factor to overall health and wellness. Science daily just published a report just recently on Extra Virgin Olive oil and its ability to combat breast cancer, go here to read it.

This all said, not all oils are created equally. There are basically four different grading's of olive oils:

'Light' Olive oil: is filtered and refined olive oil, often bleached and the term 'light' refers to the colouring, not the content. The considerable processing that it goes through means that it only retains very little of the olive flavour. Very little if any nutritional properties.

Pure Olive oil: Undergoes processing such as filtering and refining, and then a small amount of the virgin olive oil is added to give it colour, otherwise it would be very light in colour. Again not much nutritional value.

Virgin Olive oil: Comes from the second pressing, so a majority of the vitamins and minerals, the goodness is taken out in the first pressing and this is the product that remains.

The big daddy of Olive oils is the Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive oil, this is pure gold, cold pressed to retain the integrity of the oil. This is made without the use of chemicals, no refining no bleaching. Just pure olive oil. This is in its most natural state, housed in dark bottles to protect the oil from light.

WE have just started stocking a Victorian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, made in Laharum, which is in the Grampians in Victoria. Toscana is the brand and these guys make an incredible olive oil, don't just take my word for it though, they were awarded the champions trophy at the 2008 Royal Melbourne Show for the 2008 harvest of their Grampians Olive Estate Australia. They only do the first cold pressing they don't do a second pressing. The flavour is sensational. Contact us to get some. They grow and press all their own olives, so the integrity of the product is assured.

This olive grove has been around since 1943, making it one of the oldest in Australia. They have around 27 different varieties, of some which are heirloom varieties. The farm is watered only with natural rainfall, so these guys are not only making great olive oil but looking after our environment at the same time. This combination makes the olives and the oil the best.

Why go organic?

Well need we discuss, but apart the pesticide residues, artificial fertilisers and chemicals used, but did you know that toxins accumulate and are stored in fat….always enjoy your oils organically.

Storage: Keep olive oil in a cool and dark place, tightly sealed. Oxygen promotes rancidity. Olive oil is like other oils and can easily go rancid when exposed to air, light or high temperatures.

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