Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).
Garlic powder is ground, dehydrated garlic. Where possible purchase an organic brand that doesn't contain anti-caking agents or fillers. I use the 'Simply Organics' brand.
Ensure you use unflavoured grass-fed gelatin in my recipes. ‘Great Lakes’ is a good brand, it's made from Kosher grass-fed beef. When using gelatin to thicken desserts, use the Great Lakes red carton. The green carton (which is cold water-soluble and does not thicken) I use to add to smoothies and drinks for extra protein. Another brand I like is Zint which I purchase online from iherb. Gelatin is pure collagen protein, which is good for bone and joint care. It is also excellent for skin, hair and nails (helps the wrinkles from the inside).
Ghee is a lactose-free ancient superfood. It is made by slow cooking and clarifying butter to remove the milk solids and lactose, it's pure butter fat. You can get the flavour of butter in your cooking without the dairy (please don't consume if you have an allergy to ghee). My favourite brands are Organic Valley Purity Farms or Puresoul grass-fed. It is also very easy to make yourself. Ghee has a high smoke point 485F/250C.
Ginger root is widely used as a spice but also for medicinal purposes. It is a hot spice which you will find in many commercial curry powders. It's often used to prevent motion sickness and nausea. Some studies have shown joint swelling in people suffering with arthritis experience less pain and swelling when taken daily. I like to use fresh minced ginger in my meals and dry ground ginger in baked goods.
Goji berries are a traditional Chinese fruit that belongs to the nightshade family. They are a small bright orange-red berry that are usually eaten dried. It has been reported, that goji berries have been used in Traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. These little berries are loaded with beta-carotene which helps promote healthy skin, they are also known to help boost the immune system and protect the eyes. Purchase organic berries that contain no preservatives.
Golden flaxseed meal is finely ground linseed. You will find it in many of my recipes. It is also a great egg substitute when mixed with water. Flaxseed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of carbs. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is the key force against inflammation in our bodies. Flaxseed must be stored in the fridge. I like to use golden flaxseed as it is lighter in colour, than the brown variety and produces a nicer colour to your baking.
There are many different kinds of cabbage, green is the most common cabbage, it has a mild flavour that can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Cabbage is very high in fibre and very low in kilojoules, it contains twice as much folate as the red variety and a source of vitamin C.
It's always best to choose locally grown mangoes. Mango has been named the most widely consumed fruit in the world. Green (raw) mango is perfect for salads as they are easy to slice or grate, their flesh can vary from a very pale colour to a deeper yellow and aren't sweet. They contain over 20 vitamins and minerals. Some of the possible health benefits include a decreased risk of macular degeneration, decreased risk of colon cancer, improvement in digestion and bone health, plus skin and hair. The green mango contains pectin which is different to the ripe mango. Pectin is fibre and is also used in making some medicines.
Green runner beans are also know as string beans or green beans. This variety of green beans are mostly plant matter (the pod), with only tiny, immature seeds. They are eaten all around the world and can be purchased fresh, frozen or canned. The fibre content in green beans is very high and because of their rich green colour they provide us with chlorophyll. They are a good source of vitamin K and manganese.
There are many brands of super greens powder on the market, it is best to choose an organic brand. This is a convenient way to get your greens into your smoothies, like chlorophyll, chlorella and spirulina, plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals. It's also perfect for when a green colour is needed in a recipe, like my Peppermint Slice.
Choose grass-fed ham that is nitrate free to avoid added chemicals and additives.
Hazelnut meal is made from pure ground hazelnuts. The meal has a sweet, nutty flavour and adds a delicious rich flavour to baked goods. Hazelnuts are rich in protein, monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, manganese and other essential nutrients. They are a good source of dietary fibre and are low in carbohydrates. My brand of choice is Bob's Red Mill finely ground Hazelnut Meal.
Use hemp oil in smoothies and over salads. Use an unrefined cold-pressed, certified organic brand. Hemp is one of the best omega 3 oils you can consume, it is also know to help metabolize fat. To conserve the essential fatty acids, don't fry with hemp oil.
Use unrefined or raw honey. It is the most common natural sweetener in my recipes. It's best to buy local unprocessed honey as it has wonderful health benefits and can help with allergies. Generally honey sold in supermarkets has been processed. Honey possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Use filtered water to make your ice.
There are many varieties of lettuce but iceberg has large rounder leaves, which makes them perfect as a cup to hold or wrap other foods in. Lettuce is most often used for salads, sandwiches and for wraps (in the place of grain and high carb wraps). Lettuce is a rich source of vitamin K and A, it is a moderate source of folate and iron. Purchase organic where possible, as they are sprayed with herbicides. Wash well as lettuce and be contaminated with bacteria.
Italian herbs is a blend of dried oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary and sage. A classic combination of lovely fresh herbs that you will find in many Mediterranean dishes. Mix into a tomato paste or puree to make a flavourful pizza sauce or add to roast chicken or fish. I use the brand 'Simply Organic' which I purchase online from iherb.
The Kalamata olive is a large dark purple olive, almond shaped with a plump smooth flesh. Kalamata trees are grown in southern Greece and primarily used for eating and not as much for their oil. Olives are high in good heart healthy fats and disease-fighting phytochemicals (antioxidants). Kalamata are my favourite olives due to their flavour and plumpness. Purchase organic if possible in glass jars, read labels as many brands contain caramel colour and preservatives (I purchase macro Organic Kalamata olives, which are reasonably priced).
Kale is in the cabbage family but doesn't form a head like regular cabbage. English curly leaf kale is only one of the many varieties but is the most common sold locally here in Australia. Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K and rich in vitamin A, C, B6, folate and manganese. Kale is a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.