Natural Foods Guides

Loving Your Lentils: How to Cook and Use Them

Brown lentils

Long considered a “poor man’s food,” lentils are actually a rich source of protein and nutrients and are easily digested. Best known as a main component of thick, filling soups, lentils are an important staple in Indian cuisine. Small and rather flat, lentils cook quickly and are highly flavored and aromatic.  more→

Amaranth, an Underused Ancient Grain

Grain amaranth

Amazing amaranth, once a revered drop of the ancient Aztecs, is now coming back into use via the natural-food market. Native to Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, and Bolivia, grain amaranth (as it is often called, to distinguish it from vegetable amaranth, a closely related plant) is a tiny, round seed, about half the size of a millet seed. 
more→

Avocado Oil: Expeller-Pressed, Naturally Refined

With so many choices in cooking oil, its hard to know if you’re using the right thing. Most people are unaware of the dangers that come from conventional and over-processed vegetable oil. Even good olive oil isn’t suitable for all cooking purposes – especially high heat cooking. Chosen Foods avocado oil is the perfect, healthy, all-purpose cooking oil, but is especially suited for higher temperatures. more→

Chia Seeds

Chia is taking the health world by storm, and for good reason. Packed full of nutrients, versatile, easy to use, shelf stable and almost flavorless, chia should be in your diet too. more→

Buckwheat Groats (Kasha): How to Cook and Use

Buckwheat groats

Toasty, brown buckwheat groats may either be passionately disliked for their strong, distinct flavor and aroma or greatly savored for the same reasons. An oddity among grains, buckwheat is not a cereal grain in the botanical sense, but a beautiful pink-flowered plant related to rhubarb. The soft, pyramid seeds, when hulled and cracker, are known as buckwheat groats. Further milling produces buckwheat flour. 
more→

Chia Seeds: Frequently Asked Questions

Flaxseeds

Chia seeds are known as a great plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to a host of other nutrients, and an abundance of calcium, protein, and fiber.  These frequently asked questions are excerpted from Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood* by Wayne Coates, PhD.

Chia Green SmoothieIf you like chia seeds, you’ll love 6 Fabulous Recipes for Chia Seeds here on VegKitchen.

Q. Can I eat too much chia?

A. Not really. If you eat more than your body can handle, you may find yourself feeling a bit bloated, or you may experience mild diarrhea, though this is rare.

Q. Is it possible to be allergic to chia?

A. It is very rare, but the possibility does exist. Those most likely to have a reaction to chia are individuals who areallergic to sesame or mustard seed, or to other members of the salvia family, such as sage.

Q. What else does chia contain?

A. The main vitamins are: A, B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), C (ascorbic acid), E, choline, and Folate (folic acid). Chia also contains vitamins B3, B5, B6, B15, B17, D, K, inositol and PABA. The main Minerals are Boron, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, strontium, sulfur, and zinc. It also has amylose and plenty of electrolytes. And they also contain 18 of the 22 amino acids, including all nine essential amino acids.

 

Q. I’m on medication. Can I take chia?

A. It depends on the medication. Your best bet is to talk with your healthcare provider before taking chia.

Q. My personal trainer said I should have chia daily between weight lifting workouts. Why?

A. Chia is believed to decrease recovery time and fatigue in cardiovascular workouts by encouraging muscle tissue repair.

Chia-Crusted Tofu CutletsQ. What happens after I’ve swallowed chia?

A. When chia reaches the digestive liquids of your stomach, it swells and forms a gel. This gel slows down the rate at which digestive enzymes turn carbohydrates into sugar.

Q. I understand I should drink plenty of liquids when eating chia. Why?

A. Since chia absorbs a lot of liquid, it can lead to stomach cramps. Hence the need to consume sufficient liquid when consuming chia.

Q. I’ve heard chia can make my nails healthier and grow faster. Is it true?

A. Chia is rich in omega-3, as well as calcium, boron, and many antioxidants that help create healthy, moist, disease-free skin.

Q. Is it necessary to grind the seed?

A. Chia seeds do not need to be ground for absorption, unlike flax, which must be ground before eating it.

Chia Pudding with blackberriesQ. Should chia seeds be washed?

A. Chia seeds do not need to be washed.

Q. How should chia seeds be stored?

A. Whole chia seeds will stay in good condition at room temperature for several years. There is no need to keep the seeds in the refrigerator, whether it’s kept in sealed bags or not. The seed’s natural antioxidants provide this stability. Storing chia in a closed container will help extend its shelf life.

Q. What’s the difference between the colors of chia seed.

A. There are two chia seed colors, white and black. The difference between the two colors, however, is negligible. Both contain essentially the same amount of omega-3, protein, fiber, and other nutrients.

Here are two recipes from Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood:

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Oats: Making Good Use of a Versatile Grain

Ultimate oatmeal

Their mild, pleasantly nutty flavor and the variety of ways in which they can be processed make them a good, all-around grain whose uses go far beyond that of the familiar breakfast cereal. Here are ways to make the most of this familiar and comforting grain. more→

Chestnuts: A Brief Guide to Preparing and Using

How to roast chestnuts

Evoking nostalgic images or roasting on an open fire, chestnuts are one of the winter’s most delightful seasonal traditions. Their slightly sweet, soft, and mealy meat is a departure from the usual crunch of nuts. more→

A Guide to Salt Varieties

Salt varieties

Salt comes in all colors, shapes and sizes; as well as pure white, salt may be pink, grey, black or green. Salt truly is a rainbow-hued rock. Here’s a guide to many of the salt varieties available. You might also enjoy Pink Himalayan Salt: 5 Reasons to Ditch Regular Table Salt.

more→

Sea Vegetables—Varieties and Best Uses

chuka seaweed salad

Sea vegetables are getting more attention now that sushi is so popular. For thousands of years, cooks on every continent have made flavorful meals from sea vegetables—soup, stews, garnishes, condiments, and even desserts. Sea vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins and low in calories. You may also find that eating sea vegetables satisfies your need for salt. (Rinse sea vegetables before cooking them to reduce their sodium content.) more→

Vinegar Varieties, from Apple Cider to Umeboshi

Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar, from the French words vin (“wine”) and aigre (“sour”), has been made since ancient times by fermenting various liquids. There are numerous types of vinegar, from the cheap, harsh white distilled vinegar to precious varieties, such as well-aged balsamic vinegar that can cost up to one hundred dollars a bottle. Here’s a brief overview of just a handful of vinegars—those most commonly found in natural-food stores or those that are common to ethnic cuisines popular in the wholefoods realm. more→

Brown Rice: Cooking Tips and Varieties

Gingery rice with sweet potatoes and peas

Here’s a quick guide on how to cook brown rice as well and how to use some of the varieties. With its nutty taste and chewy texture, brown rice doesn’t fade into the background of dishes like white rice does. Once you switch to brown rice, there’s no going back! Nutritionally, brown rice is far superior to white, which has had its valuable hull and germ removed.

For a wide range of delicious and easy brown rice recipes, visit our Brown Rice Recipes page. Learn more by going to Top 10 Health Benefits of Brown Rice.  more→

VegKitchen  

Vegan Dinner Recipes   Vegan Recipes   Recipes Galore   Vegan Living   Nutrition   Vegan Summer Recipes

VegKitchen