Spaghetti With Wilted Greens and Walnut-Parsley Pesto

spaghetti-walnut-parsely-pesto

This meal makes for excellent post-workout fuel (a great mix of whole grains and protein).
• It helps keep you energized, since it provides one-third of your daily iron needs.
• You get antioxidants from the veggies, herbs, and walnuts

1 (1-pound) box whole-wheat spaghetti

1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped

1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup packed fresh baby spinach

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted

1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

6 large eggs

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions; reserve 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water. Add chard after 5 minutes of cooking and drain; return pasta and greens to pot.

2. While pasta is cooking, combine parsley, spinach, walnuts, garlic, 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon water, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse until chunky.

3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, crack eggs into skillet. Cook until the whites are completely firm but the yolks are still soft (about 2 minutes). Season eggs with remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

4. Toss reserved pasta mixture with pesto and enough reserved cooking water to make a thin sauce. Divide pasta among 6 shallow bowls and top each with a fried egg.

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 439
Fat per serving: 14.8g
Saturated fat per serving: 2.9g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 6.8g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 4.1g
Protein per serving: 20g
Carbohydrates per serving: 62g
Fiber per serving: 11g
Cholesterol per serving: 186mg
Iron per serving: 6mg
Sodium per serving: 448mg
Calcium per serving: 128mg

Blueberries , an Antioxidant Superfood

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Blueberries are healthy and super sweet – we all know that, right? Plus, they make a killer pie. But it turns out these summer favorites are actually a superfruit packed with antioxidants that may fight disease and help with brain health. Read on to learn why this fruit easily earns the title of “super.”

 WHY THEY’RE SUPER

At 84 calories per cup, a serving of berries contains 14 percent of the suggested daily fiber and 24 percent of the suggested daily intake of Vitamin C. But it gets better. Research suggests blueberries deliver some even more powerful and long-lasting health benefits. One study found that consuming a cup of blueberries per week can lower blood pressure and perhaps speed up metabolism, due mostly to their high levels of anthocyanins (a type of antioxidant) . Another study suggests blueberries can lower levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol), potentially reducing the risk of coronary heart disease . Blueberries may also inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells .

So adding some baby blues to a fruit salad may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer – great news for your body. But what about your brain? Blueberries have that covered, too. Psychiatrists at the University of Cincinnati found that wild blueberry juice enhanced memory and learning function in older adults while reducing blood sugar and decreasing symptoms of depression . Because of these findings, some researchers suggest blueberries could potentially fight more serious memory problems like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s(though more research is needed) . The most recent research on this tiny superfood backs up that claim. Using a food-frequency questionnaire, scientists have been able to link a higher intake of flavonoids, particularly from berries, to reduced rates of cognitive decline in the elderly .

FEELING BLUE? YOUR ACTION PLAN

For the freshest in-season blueberries, buy or pick your own May to October. Craving these blue babies out of season? Most grocery stores sell them all year long, though these varieties tend to be more expensive (and come from further away). Don’t forget about dried and frozen alternatives, perfect for smoothies and baked goods any time of the year.

Is there such thing as eating too many blueberries? They do have a relatively high sugar content (especially in dried form), but when sticking to the suggested serving size of one cup of fresh berries, that’s nothing to worry about.

Blueberries are great washed and eaten by the handful, but don’t be afraid to be creative with these fruits. Toss ‘em in a yogurt parfait, add to whole-grain waffles topped with banana, cinnamon, and nut butter, or try them in a smoothie.

What’s your favorite way to eat blueberries? Share in the comments below!

 

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad With Seared Salmon

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Fatty acids from the walnuts and salmon, as well as monounsaturated fats from the avocado keep this dish heart-healthy.
• Grapefruit helps kick up fat-burning and stabilizes blood sugar.
• This salad nets you a good amount of the B vitamin niacin, which helps keep your skin, hair, and eyes healthy.

1 large grapefruit

2 large bunches arugula, stems removed (10 cups)

1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

Cooking spray

3 (5-ounce) wild salmon fillets (skin on)

1/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Peel and segment grapefruit with a sharp knife on a cutting board; reserve juice in a bowl. Toss grapefruit segments and juices with arugula and avocado; divide salad among 4 serving plates. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper over both sides of salmon. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add fish (skin-side down) to skillet, and cook until skin is golden and fish releases easily from pan (about 4 minutes). Using a spatula, gently flip fish and cook about 3 minutes more. Break each fillet into 4 pieces; top salads with 3 pieces fish. Drizzle salads with reserved dressing; sprinkle with walnuts.

Brown Rice Bowl With Turkey

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Very low in sugar—only 1 gram!
• This dish serves up about one-fourth your daily requirement of vitamin B6, which is crucial for a healthy immune system.
• It’s super lean, too, with just 1.2 grams of saturated fat.

1 1/3 cups dry short-grain brown rice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided

1 (2-pound) bone-in turkey breast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, divided

4 cups baby spinach

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 cups broth, and 1 cup water; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until rice is tender (about 45 minutes).

3. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil. Place turkey on sheet and coat with oil. Season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and brush with 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce. Roast, turning halfway through, until turkey is cooked and a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 165° (50-55 minutes). Remove from oven and transfer turkey to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest (about 5 minutes).

4. Stir spinach, scallions, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce into rice with remaining 1 cup warmed broth. Thinly slice turkey. Divide rice and sliced turkey among 4 bowls; drizzle each with sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

 

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 486
Fat per serving: 9g
Saturated fat per serving: 1.2g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 4g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 2g
Protein per serving: 42g
Carbohydrates per serving: 57g
Fiber per serving: 5g
Cholesterol per serving: 94mg
Iron per serving: 4mg
Sodium per serving: 528mg
Calcium per serving: 81mg

How To Make Sure Your Energy Bar Is ACTUALLY Healthy

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If you’re looking for an energy bar that truly provides energy instead of zapping it, you better plan on spending some time looking at the food labels on these products. Although granola and energy bars are often relied upon as a snack of choice, some bars are surrounded by health halos even when they’re actually full of unhealthy ingredients.

Not all bars are alike. The key is trying to choose a bar that adds value to your diet and contributes a balance of protein, fiber, whole grains, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. The right snacks keep blood-sugar levels and moods stable, and may help you stay alert and focused. In fact, some snacks can even help you lose or maintain weight if they satisfy your mind and mouth and they keep you from otherwise eating high-calorie foods that are devoid of value.

Here’s how to navigate the bar aisle to make a choice that best suits your needs:

1. Look for a bar that contains about 5 grams of protein.

There’s no need to go for bars that contain an overwhelming amount of protein. Excess protein doesn’t go directly to your muscles! Unless you’ve suffered an illness, where you had significant protein (muscle) loss or if you have increased needs for protein, much of the excess protein that is eaten is stored as body fat. Protein taken in greater quantities than needed, over extended periods of time, might result in bone thinning or perhaps impair kidney function.

Be sure to check to see that you’re getting protein from real, whole-food sources, like nuts, as opposed to highly processed ingredients mostly from isolates. A bar that contains around 5 grams of protein should do the trick, especially in the company of other nutrients below.

2. Make sure the main source of sugar comes from fruit.

Avoid sugar sources like added sugars, sweeteners, or sugar alcohols. Check to see how sugar is spelled — sometimes it’s not S-U-G-A-R! Sugar can appear as dextrose, maltose, organic can juice, rice syrup, and so on. Look for sugar in the form of real fruit, not pseudo-fruit-like substances.

3. Choose a bar that has healthy carbohydrates.

Look for whole grains on your ingredient list like oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa. Fiber provided by these grains will help move you — look for around 5 grams of fiber.

4. Don’t be fat phobic.

Helpful fats derived from nuts can be deliciously satisfying, and certain fats (like almonds and walnuts) have even been shown to help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood-sugar levels. Your best bet is when the source of fat is derived from nuts.

5. Be mindful of calories.

You want to keep your snack bar between 150 and 200 calories, especially if you’re trying to watch your weight.

6. Aim for transparency.

Pick a product that actually looks like the ingredients contained within. Instead of looking like a piece of pressed wood, your bar should proudly display the nuts, grains, and fruit that appear on its ingredient list.

Raise the bar by choosing one that your body will be happy to reach for when you need it.

Here are some healthy bar recipes  if you’re up for cooking your own:

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No Bake Granola Bars:

Healthy, no bake granola bars with just 5 ingredients and a sweet, crunchy texture. Peanut butter and honey complement each other perfectly in this ideal portable breakfast or snack.

1 cup packed dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)*
1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave for vegan option)
1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter (even better make your own!)
1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)
optional: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.(I add walnuts &/or pecans and dried cranberries)

5-Ingredient-Granola-Bars1

Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency.
**Optional:Toast your oats in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw (I just prefer mine toasted)
Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl – set aside.
Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily.
Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days or refrigerate.

PEANUT BUTTER & HONEY CHEWY GRANOLA BARS

Ingredients:

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter* (unsalted)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

*Peanuts are one of the crops most heavily sprayed with pesticides, so make sure to buy organic whenever possible.

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Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the honey to a boil. Set a timer, and allow the honey to continue boiling for 1 minute. In the meantime, place the oats in a large bowl and set aside. Remove from the pan of honey from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and salt. Immediately pour the warm mixture over the oats, and use a spatula to stir well, coating the oats evenly. As the mixture cools, it will become sticky and difficult to mix, so be sure to move quickly!

Transfer the mixture to the lined loaf pan, and press HARD to pack it into the pan. Pressing firmly will ensure that the bars stick together well later. Place the pan in the fridge or freezer to cool, then use a large knife to cut the bars. I like to store these bars in the freezer for best shelf life (up to 6 months) then pull them out as needed– they thaw in about an hour, which makes them perfect for a mid-morning snack. If you’d prefer to store these bars at room temperature, they should last for up to a week.

Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice is one of the alternative juices often called upon to treat medical conditions, which is popular today. It is quite tasty and has a number of benefits for the body that helps to treat various health issues. Selecting the right cherry is necessary for you to feel the full benefits for your health.

Below we have posted a video further explaining the benefits of cherries along with a delicious sparkling cherry juice recipe!

Sparkling Cherry Juice (from Sour/Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate)

Healthy Tart Cherry Juice

Tart Cherry Juice

I make tons of this concentrate every cherry season and it lasts me for the greater part of the year. The concentrate will easily freeze and if you like to make things simple (like I prefer) you can use your ice tray to make instant serves ready to go when you want. Just drop a cube into your glass and add your sparkling water and your all set. Easy & yum!

Ingredients
1 pound sour cherries, washed and pitted * see notes
2 pounds sugar
1/2 pint water
Sparkling water

Place the cherries in a saucepan off the stove, pour the sugar over the top and let them sit for 2 hours. Add the water, and stir to mix the cherries, sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves.

Bring the cherry mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain liquid into another pan, pressing cherries with a spoon to extract all the liquid, and discard the cherries. Simmer the liquid over low heat until it is syrupy and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour syrup in a jar and store in the refrigerator.

To serve, place 1 to 2 tablespoons of syrup in each glass, fill glasses with chilled sparkling water and stir to mix.

*note:
If you’re interested in trying cherry juice to help with your symptoms from gout, arthritis, or other ailments, you may be wondering what the difference is between sour (tart) cherry vs black cherry juice. The main compound in cherry juice that benefits us is made up of Anthocyanins. While present in all variety of cherries, Anthocyanins are more highly concentrated in the sour (tart) cherry and black cherry varieties.
There’s one camp that prefers black cherries and another that recommends sour (tart) cherries for their ability to reduce uric acid levels and lessen the pain and inflammation of gout. Both work, but it seems that sour cherries are more highly favored by natural health practitioners and slightly more effective. Expect to see results within less than 24 hours.

Cherry Recipes

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Wonderfully delicious, cherry fruit is packed with full of health-benefiting nutrients and unique antioxidants. Cherries are one of the very low calorie fruits; however, are rich source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Both sweet as well as tart cherries are packed with numerous health benefiting compounds that are essential for wellness. They are a healthy addition to many desserts and savory dishes alike.

Cherry Granola Breakfast Parfait

Cherry-Breakfast-Parfait

Don’t have time to make a healthy breakfast? There are no excuses now! You can make the granola & jam ahead of time and have it ready to make a delicious healthy meal that takes only minutes to put together.

2 c plain yogurt
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 c sliced almonds
4 tbsp maple syrup, divided
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix oats and almonds. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, oil, and salt. Stir the sugar mixture into the oat mixture until new mixture is uniformly wet. Spread in a single layer onto the baking sheet. Bake until granola is crispy (about 20-25 minutes), stirring occasionally. Pour 1/4 cup yogurt into a bowl or tall glass. Drizzle some maple syrup over the yogurt. Add a layer of granola, then a layer of cherries. Repeat until all yogurt, granola, and syrup are layered into the parfait.

No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars

These are easy to make, required no baking (hence the name) and are very tasty, especially if you like cherries and chocolate. Great combo!

2 cups oats
1 cup walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened dried cherries
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup (or more) homemade cherry jam**see recipe below

Line an 8 inch square pan with nonstick foil.  Combine the oats, walnuts and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.  Add the cherries and blend until they are well combined with the oat mixture and are small bits of dried cherry.  Add the coconut oil and honey and pulse to combine and mixture just starts to clump together.  Add the chocolate chips and pulse again a few times.  Sprinkle half the crumbly mixture evenly in the bottom of the square pan.  Spread the jam over the crumb layer.  Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the jam and press it down gently.  Cover the pan and refrigerator for an hour.  Remove bars from pan using the overhanging foil.  Cut into squares on a cutting board.  Keep bars in the refrigerator until serving.

**Homemade All Natural Cherry Jam

cherry-jam

2 cups cherries, pitted (if you do not have fresh available you can use frozen)
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed.  Put the mixture in a small saucepan and boil for 15-20 minutes until thickened.  Cool.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Use within 2 weeks.

Cherry Cornbread Mini Muffins

These cornbread-like muffins are not too sweet and manage to be both crispy and moist at the same time which makes them pretty near perfect.

These cornbread-like muffins are not too sweet and manage to be both crispy and moist at the same time which makes them pretty near perfect.

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cornmeal
1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 dozen fresh, pitted cherries, quartered (this makes approximately 1 heaping cup of fruit before cutting & pitting)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and mist your mini muffin pans with vegetable oil
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, b. powder, b soda & salt) in a bowl and mix them well.
Cut butter into pieces and use a pastry cutter to blend the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture will be clumpy and crumbly and the butter should be fairly evenly distributed into the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients and whisk well egg, milk, yogurt & vanilla extract.
Fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just blended but don’t overmix. Scoop batter into prepared mini muffin tin, sprinkling a few fresh, sliced cherries into each muffin as you go.
Divide cherries evenly amongst muffins (this recipe makes approximately 24 mini muffins)
Bake at 425 degrees until deeply golden on top (approximately 15-20 minutes)

Roasted Cherry Butternut Squash

Rehydrated dried cherries turn simple roasted butternut squash into a special side dish.

Rehydrated dried cherries turn simple roasted butternut squash into a special side dish.

4 cups (1 L) cubed (1-inch chunks) peeled butternut squash (1 small squash, about 1-1/4 lb.)
3/4 cup (190 mL) dried cherries
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt

Heat oven to 375F. Spread squash in a single layer on a greased or sprayed 15×10-inch jelly roll pan or shallow roasting pan. Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine cherries and boiling water; set aside to plump.
Add onion wedges to pan with squash. Drizzle butter over vegetables; toss well. Bake 10 minutes. Drain cherries; add to pan. Drizzle syrup over vegetables; toss well. Continue baking 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and glazed. Sprinkle with salt. Makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings.

Grilled Chicken with Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Chopped cherries combine with cherry preserves and smoky, hot chipotle peppers for an unusual & tasty marinade and sauce for grilled chicken.

Chopped cherries combine with cherry preserves and smoky, hot chipotle peppers for an unusual & tasty marinade and sauce for grilled chicken.

1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup cherry preserves
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce or more to taste
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

Stir cherries, broth, preserves, ketchup, vinegar, chipotle peppers, thyme and allspice in a small deep bowl. Transfer to a shallow nonreactive dish (see Note) large enough to hold chicken. Add chicken and turn to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat grill to high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Remove the chicken from the marinade. Transfer the marinade to a medium skillet.
Bring the marinade to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by about half, 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, reduce the grill heat to medium and grill the chicken until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 7 to 9 minutes per side. Let the chicken cool slightly; serve with the sauce.

Cornish Hens With Port-Cherry Sauce

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This delicious sauce is made from dried cherries, port, thyme, and cornstarch. While used to top Cornish game hens, it really can work with any protein source.
While it sounds relatively fancy, you need only 15 minutes of prep time and 45 to cook—quick enough for a weeknight dinner.

Ingredients
Hens:
2 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish hens
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (available at specialty-food shops)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
Cooking spray
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Sauce:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup port or other sweet red wine
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup dried cherries
Additional thyme sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Remove giblets and necks from hens. Rinse with cold water; pat dry. Remove skin; trim excess fat. Split hens in half lengthwise. Combine paprika, next 3 ingredients (through pepper), and 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme; rub on hens.
Place hen halves, breast sides up, in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place a thyme sprig in the cavity of each bird.
Insert a thermometer into meaty part of a thigh, avoiding the bone. Bake at hens at 400° for 35 minutes or until thermometer registers 165°. Transfer hens to a platter; cover with foil.
To prepare sauce, place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings from broiler pan into bag; let stand 10 minutes until fat rises to top. Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner. Drain drippings into a small bowl; discard fat. Set drippings aside.

Grilled Chicken with Cherries, Shallots, and Arugula
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Ingredients

1 small shallot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound (2 halves) boneless, skinless chicken breast
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces (2 cups) sweet cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup baby arugula

Combine shallot, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil and set aside.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Drizzle remaining oil over chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Toss shallot mixture, cherries, and arugula in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on top of chicken.

Sparkling Red Cherry Punch

For a festive garnish, add a pitted tart cherry and a quartered slice of orange on a cocktail pick to each glass.

For a festive garnish, add a pitted tart cherry and a quartered slice of orange on a cocktail pick to each glass.

Sweeten your parties with this festive punch made of cherry juice, orange juice and your favourite sparkling wine or champagne. Use sparkling water to make it alcohol free.

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) tart cherry juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Curaçao or Cointreau
1 bottle (750 mL) champagne or sparkling wine

In a large pitcher, combine cherry juice, orange juice and liqueur. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Just before serving, stir cherry mixture. Tilt pitcher; slowly pour in champagne. Stir gently. Serve in champagne flutes or wine glasses. Makes 8 servings.

Red Alert

This drink is a blend of lip-smacking cherry juice with another trendy ingredient, coconut water, which is gaining popularity as a cooking ingredient and sports drink (for its high potassium and mineral content). This blend is great for cooling off after a workout or as a morning wake-up drink.

This drink is a blend of lip-smacking cherry juice with another trendy ingredient, coconut water, which is gaining popularity as a cooking ingredient and sports drink (for its high potassium and mineral content). This blend is great for cooling off after a workout or as a morning wake-up drink.

60 mL tart cherry juice
120 mL coconut water
60 mL club soda or sparkling water

Pour ingredients into one 240 mL glass. Stir to combine and serve.

Common Bad Habits That Damage Your Kidneys

Have you ever wondered what causes kidney failure?

kidneys

The answer always lies in our bad habits and insufficient health care. We have listed the top bad habits that damage your kidneys:

– delayed emptying of the bladder
– insufficient consumption of water and fluids
– consuming too much salt
– improper and untimely treatment of infections
– consuming too much meat
– poor nutrition
– excessive use of analgesics
– untimely use of prescribed medicines to improve the function of the kidneys
– consuming large amounts of alcohol
– fatigue

Disruption of their function can cause a long list of visible symptoms such as:

– changes in the urine
– swelling
– dizziness and vomiting
– anemia and concentration problems
– feeling cold most of the time
– loss of breath
– fatigue
– itchy skin
– bad breath
– pain in the legs and waist

If you have any of these symptoms it is recommended you consult your doctor immediately.

Kidneys purify the blood from the waste material which is then discharged through the urethra. These organs are located along the posterior muscular wall of the abdominal cavity, or in the retroperitoneal space starting from the last thoracic vertebra to the second lumbar vertebra.

Kidneys are bean-shaped organs and their main function is to maintain the homeostasis or constancy in your body. They are the main executive organ in the body.

kidney_infection_symptoms_and_complications_456_x

The most common diseases associated with the kidneys are: disease of the urinary tract, urinary channels, crystals, inflammation of the kidneys, urethra, bladder, problems with urination, urinary tract problems, inflammation of the urinary tract, prostate, kidney stones, kidney sand, night urination, kidney failure, increased level of creatinine, uric acid (kidneys sand, renal stones, inflammation, sediment).

To help keep your kidneys healthy try this cleansing juice:

Parsley Juice Combination for Detoxification

Ingredients for 2

2 large or 3 medium organic carrots.
2 sticks of organic celery.
1 medium beetroot.
1 small or half a large organic cucumber with the peel (peel non-organic cucumbers).
The juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons (always discard citrus seeds).
1 ounce of organic parsley (roughly half an average sized bunch) soaked in warm water and a dash of apple cider vinegar.

Ways to Protect your Kidneys

fresh-berries

1. The salty taste can benefit kidneys, but too much salt can tighten them.
2. Avoid or modify your intake of coffee, chocolate, sugar and stimulants.
3. Avoid eating too many cold foods and iced drinks.
4. Reduce or eliminate pasteurized fruit juice, except unsweetened cranberry juice, which is beneficial for the kidneys and bladder.
5. Kidneys can be strengthened with homemade bone stocks from grass-fed animals.
6. Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day. This can be in the form of soup, tea, water, cooked grains and boiled vegetables.
7. In the winter months slightly increase your sea salt and oil intake.
8. Include sea vegetables and other ocean foods (sea salt, wild caught fish) in your diet.
9. Make sure to rest and get plenty of sleep.
10. Avoid overeating or eating late at night.
11. Have a daily balance of protein, carbohydrates and quality fats in moderation.
12. Eat a mineral rich diet by including sea vegetables and micro-algae.
13. Since the emotion for kidneys is fear, do something that frightens you and step out past your fears.
14. Use meditation as a way to see your fears and let them go.
15. Eat kidney-strengthening foods:
Grains: buckwheat, black rice, barley.
Beans: adzuki, black soybeans, black turtle, kidney.
Vegetables: beets, beet greens, burdock, radicchio, red cabbage, salsify, water chestnuts, parsley.
Fruits: blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, boysenberries, concord grapes, cranberries, watermelon.
Sea Vegetables: dulse, hiziki, Irish moss, kelp, kombu, nori, wakame.
Micro-algae: spirulina, chlorella.
Seeds: chia, black sesame, wild rice.
Nuts: walnuts, chestnuts.
Seafood: caviar, abalone, bluefish, catfish, clam, crab, cuttlefish, lobster, mussels, octopus, oyster, sardine, scallop, squid, turtle.
Condiments: sesame salt, miso, pickles (brine cured), sea salt, soy sauce, umeboshi plums, umeboshi vinegar, green tea.
Cooking Methods: steaming, salting, pickling.