Food Pharmacy, Recipes

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Party Piece: How to Eat a Whole Garlic Bulb in Less Than One Minute

It’s time for something incredibly exciting: roasted garlic. It’s exciting for two reasons: a) roasted garlic is sweeter and therefore perfect as spread, dip or in a soup, and b) it’s so mild you could eat the whole thing at once (your dear partner would like you to open a window before bedtime tonight).

Here’s a step-by-step guide.

1. Preheat the oven to 212° Fahrenheit (or 100° Celsius).

2. Remove the outer layer of the garlic bulb and cut the top off the bulb.

3. Drizzle some olive oil and place the bulb on a piece of aluminum foil (or parchment paper – better for the environment), large enough to wrap it completely.

4. Like this. Roast in the oven for 30-60 minutes.

5. Set the timer.

6. Voilà. Remove from the oven and let cool until safe to touch. With a little help, the cloves should pop out from their shells. Time for the party piece (optional): eat them all in less than one minute.

7. If you didn’t eat them all, you now have plenty of options. Since roasted garlic is so sweet, it will add delicious flavour to almost any meal. Try roasting 1 cauliflower, 1 chopped yellow onion and 2 carrots, together with the garlic. Remove from the oven and let cook in 4 cups of vegetable broth for a couple of minutes (not the garlic). Add the cauliflower, the onion, the carrots, and the whole garlic (yup, the entire thing) to a blender. Add fresh thyme, 1/2 cup plant-based milk and press start. Delish? Yes.

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Food Pharmacy

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Does Heat Destroy the Health Properties of Turmeric?

The most commonly asked question here on the blog is without a doubt what kind of blender we use. The runner up is about turmeric and how it’s affected by cooking and heat. According to some studies, heating turmeric will increase its solubility and enhance absorption. But what about the health properties? Will heating destroy the nutrients?

We asked nutritional therapist Maria Berglund Rantén.

– Yes, heating destroys some of the benefits of turmeric. When heated, the effect of curcumin – the bright yellow pigment and active ingredient in turmeric, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties – is destroyed. After 10 minutes of cooking, around 25-30% of the curcumin is lost. And within 20-30 minutes of cooking, the number increases to 85%. Consequently, if used in cooked dishes, add turmeric last and try to avoid heating it too much in order to preserve all the benefits.

Let’s keep this in the back of our heads and continue to have our turmeric shots chilled. And from now on, we will heat our golden milk gently and not too much, in order to fully get the benefits from the turmeric.

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Food Pharmacy

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Bad News: Beware of the Toast

A while ago, the British authorities warned that toast can cause health problems. Ten years ago we would have sighed and said to ourselves, “But seriously, how dangerous can it be? No one has ever died from eating a piece of toast!”. But today, we now know that approximately 100 years ago a French scientist by the name of Mailliard discovered that food could become toxic, if heated too much too quickly.

In our book we give you six keys to a stronger gut flora and immune system. As a matter of fact, one of the keys is about lowering the temperature when cooking food (more about that here). We’re not saying that you have to adopt a full time raw food diet. Our best tip is that you cook food gently in the oven, or steam instead of frying, stir-frying or using the grill. Why? Well, when food reaches temperatures over 170-212° Fahrenheit (80-100° Celsius), poisonous substances are released, such as acrylamide, one of the more known toxics.

As early as 2002, The Swedish National Food Administration warned about an increased cancer risk among people who consume too much acrylamide, as a result of cooking at high temperatures. During the past 15 years, the link between acrylamide and cancer has grown stronger. The British equivalent to the Swedish National Food Administration, the Food Standards Agency, has actually launched a campaign to warn the British people, since they consume too much acrylamide. The warning relates to foods such as toast that is a bit too brown, breakfast cereal, cookies, coffee and crackers, but above all, foods that are high in starch, like fried potatoes, chips and fries. The FSA says you could reduce the levels of acrylamide by boiling or steaming your food.    

The good news is that it’s sooo much easier than you would think to lower the temperature a few degrees. On the contrary, every time we set the oven to 212°F (100°C), and remove the fish from the heat at 125°F (52°C), we feel like we are Gordon Ramsay.

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Food Pharmacy, Recipes

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Lentil Stew with Coconut and Curry

Today’s dinner is similar to the all-inclusive soup found in our book, and you can vary it in infinite ways. But since this recipe contains less water, we think it qualifies as a stew, and not a soup. Eat it as it is, or serve with quinoa or sorghum grains. Or with fish, as seen in one of the pictures. 

Lentil Stew with Coconut and Curry
(serves 2)

1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup water
1 leek, with roots
4 Tbsp coconut milk
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
fresh cilantro

Start by rinsing the lentils thoroughly, and boil them with the leek (according to the package). Let cool slightly. Add coconut milk, coconut oil and curry powder. If you’re in the mood, feel free to add some raw vegetables of your choice as well, for example chopped broccoli or kale (for a smoother consistency, use an immersion blender). Then add sorghum to a bowl, and spoon the lentil stew on top (and fish, baked in 158°F (70°C) oven with salt, pepper and lemon for about 1 hour). Sprinkle some cilantro over the stew before serving.

Half n’ half – our very own cooking technique!
We love mixing warm and cold foods. To appreciate using less heat fully, you’ll have to try it yourself. Start with the above recipe or attempt your own variations. The key is to mix something warm (lentils, leek, sorghum) with something cold (coconut milk, spices, raw vegetables). Follow this link for more information about our very own cooking technique. 

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