Category: Uncategorized

Eating with Medicine – Salmon n herbs

Turmeric Citrus Salmon

Turmeric Citrus Salmon
Turmeric Citrus Salmon

Have you ever considered the relationship of food, eating, and cooking to personal health and wellness?

“Though there are few peer-reviewed publications, grant monies, books, or biomedical journals entitled “culinary medicine,” there are thousands of peer-reviewed publications, found mainly in mainstream medical journals that form its published research base.

Culinary Medicine, what is it in the modern sense?

Culinary medicine is not nutrition, dietetics, or preventive, integrative, or internal medicine, nor is it the culinary arts or food science. It does not have a single dietary philosophy; it does not reject prescription medication; it is not simply about good cooking, flavors or aromas; nor is it solely about the food matrices in which micronutrients, phytonutrients, and macronutrients are found.

Instead, culinary medicine is a new evidence-based field in medicine that blends the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine. Culinary medicine is aimed at helping people reach good personal medical decisions about accessing and eating high-quality meals that help prevent and treat disease and restore well-being.

A practical discipline, culinary medicine is unconcerned with the hypothetical case, and instead concerned with the patient in immediate need, who asks, “What do I eat for my condition?” As food is condition-specific, the same diet does not work for everyone. Different clinical conditions require different meals, foods, and beverages.

Culinary medicine attempts to improve the patient’s condition with what she or he regularly eats and drinks. Special attention is given to how food works in the body as well as to the sociocultural and pleasurable aspects of eating and cooking. The objective of culinary medicine is to attempt to empower the patient to care for herself or himself safely, effectively, and happily with food and beverage as a primary care technique.” … Excerpt taken from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4739343/

Our desire and need for more healthy food options and choices collide as we battle an unknown and unseen disease globally. As such we believe it is an opportune time to share some knowledge passed down in our family and that exists in varying forms the world over of how we can use medicinal herbs in our cooking to help maintain good health while giving our bodies needed elements to do its work.

I must say that I am loving this new trend as revives our enthusiasm for additive-free organic food, home gardening, supporting local agriculture, buying and supporting local economies including farmers’ markets while ensuring wealth gets to stay among the general populace.

Dried herbs
Dry herbs

Today while working with Salmon, we share how we use herbs that boost immunity, helps the body fight viral infections, neutralize acid among other benefits.

Poaching is considered to be one of the most healthy ways to prepare salmon, one of the most delicate, omega-rich fish, as it guarantees moist, tender flesh. This method is ideal for fillets.

Salmon can also be broiled, baked, smoked, fried, roasted or grilled. If you are unfamiliar with preparing salmon we have answered some frequently asked questions below.

How do we know when Salmon is finished cooking?

It will change from translucent (red or raw) to opaque (pink) as it cooks. After 6-8 minutes of cooking, check for doneness, by taking a sharp knife to peek into the thickest part. If the meat is beginning to flake, but still has a little translucency in the middle, it is done. It should not however, look raw.

Should you wash salmon before prepping for cooking?

Yes, or at least usually. I recommend quickly rinsing salmon fillets in cold running fresh water just before cooking. Then pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Very fresh salmon fillets do not benefit from a rinse, but salmon with a little, or a lot of age such as what you would get in the supermarket will benefit.

What is the white gunk that oozes out of salmon as it cooks?

The totally harmless, but wholly unappetizing white gunk that seeps out of salmon filets as they cook is just coagulated protein — also known as albumin. (Not to be confused with albumen from egg whites).

Some of the herbs and ingredients we will be using include turmeric, plantain peel powder, ginger, dried lime and lemon, sea salt, coriander, cumin, dried celery, oregano.

Turmeric Citrus Sweet Chili Salmon

Ingredients –

Produce:
2 tbsp Green onions

Condiments:
5/8 cup Flauriel sweet chili sauce

Baking & Spices:
1 Pinch Salt/black pepper/dried plantain peel powder
Orange peel powder

Turmeric n ginger blend

Oils:
Cooking spray/olive oil

Other
salmon fillets, skin on or off

Directions:
In a baking dish, lay down salmon fillets in a row.

Herb Marinade
Marinade

Combine the pinch of salt, black pepper, plantain peel powder and orange, turmeric ginger blend top with 2 tbsp Flauriel Sweet chili sauce.

For each fillet brush or rub with your fingers to coat fish with sauce evenly on top, bottom and sides.

Cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight is the best (up to 24 hours).

Turn on oven’s broiler on High and position top oven rack 5″ – 6″ below the heat source.

Line large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, spray with cooking spray or brush parchment with oil and place salmon fillets skin side down (if any). Coat with remaining marinade from the dish (if any).

Broil for 8 minutes, rotating baking sheet once. Remove from the oven and brush top of each fillet with 2 tsp of Flauriel’s sweet chili sauce.
Return to the oven and broil for another 5 minutes or until salmon has caramelized.

Serve hot garnished with green onions, extra sauce (if desired) with your choice of starch and vegetables on the side.

Homemade Bread with a plant twist

I love homemade fresh bread right out the oven! My preference is to multi grain, dried fruits and basically whatever else I fancy. I do love to experiment. Now don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with a good ole plain white bread. I also avoid using milk as I don’t tolerate it well, but feel free to use milk if you prefer.

Today as you’ve guessed it, we will be showing you how we make homemade fresh, soft bread with a twist. We will be incorporating dried plant material such as powdered herbs, whole fruit, fruit peels/skin, fruit pulpd and medicinal plants for some downright healthy options.

Dried herb powders

Over the last few weeks we have been drying and powdering a variety of plant matter from fruits, to leaves, peels/fruit skins, seeds and leaves. We started doing this to produce raw material for our sister brands Yaphene and Marapa. However in light of covid-19 and the increased need for more immune boosting foods and also the congestion at the bakeries and supermarkets we’ve decide to retool some of our powders for dietary needs.

As disclaimer i’ll say that making your own bread is actually very simple, and not nearly as complex as you would think. In just over 2 hours you can have your very own bread fresh out of the oven and that’s with 1 hour and 30 minutes of just waiting for it to rise. We live in the tropics where the days can get pretty warm and that helps us

Home made bread recipe:

475g Water
30g Yeast
30g Sugar
160g Butter
10g Salt optional
950g flour
50g plant powder
Chopped dried fruit (I used mango, apples, cranberry that I had on hand.

Directions:

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam, this takes about 5 minutes.

If using oil mix into the yeast. Combine the flour, your choice of plant powder and salt. Fruit powder, powdered leaves and powdered seeds can be used.

Add the dry mix and combine. Knead dough until a smooth ball is formed. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk. This should take about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Cut and shape into rolls and place into two greased cookie pans. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F or 175°C. Butter or oil the tops of the rolls. Add sesame seeds if desired. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes.

A trick i have learned is to tap bread top, if they sound hollow they are done. Cool baked bread in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then overturn pan and turn loaf out onto a cooling rack or folded towel to finish cooling.

Enjoy! Seal left over bread in an airtight container. I never bother with this step as it is rare that we have left overs.

Note: You can substitute the sugar for honey and the butter for and oil. I like sunflower oil.

INSTANT OR ACTIVE DRY YEAST FOR MAKING BREAD

If you use instant yeast, you can add it directly to your other dry ingredients when making bread. If you use active dry yeast, you’ll need to first dissolve it in warm water before using it in a recipe. For the sake of ease, I just always buy instant yeast. BUT, this recipe works for both!

Earthing

Meditation helps to calm the mind, body and spirit. As a plus, if you have the yard space go on out and lay flat on the ground. This helps with pain after thirty minutes or so. As a migraine sufferer this is one trick I learned early on thanks to my mom. Laying on the ground outside also helps align your spine reducing that back pain, reduce stress, corrects your posture and some say the earth helps the cleansing process of the body. When your bare feet or skin comes in contact with the earth, free electrons are taken up into the body.  These electrons referred to as nature’s biggest antioxidants help neutralise damaging excess free radicals that can lead to inflammation and disease in the body.

Below we’ve listed some benefits of earthing


  • Improve Sleep and promote a deeper sleep
  • Increase energy and vitality
  • Lower stress and promote calmness in the body by cooling down the nervous system and stress hormones
  • Normalize the body’s biological rhythms
  • Thin the blood and improve blood pressure and flow
  • Relieve muscle tension and headaches
  • Lessen hormonal and menstrual symptoms
  • Dramatically speeds healing time and can help prevent bedsores
  • Reduce or eliminate jet lag
  • Protect the body against potentially health disturbing environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
  • Accelerate recovery from intense athletic activity

Our connection to nature is vital, however, with rapid advances in technology and our modern fast-paced lifestyles, many of us have become separated from our basic bond with the Earth. today, we have become increasingly disconnected from nature by our modern lifestyle.  Conductive leather-soled shoes of our ancestors have been replaced with insulated rubber and plastics.  We sleep in beds and homes off the ground. Plastics, synthetic fabrics, asphalt, tar, carpets, vinyl have all been introduced and block this natural connection. To add to this we are also bathed in a sea of unnatural man-made electronic radiation from household appliances, mobile phones, wi-fi, microwaves and cell towers, which bombard us continuously with excess free radical damage to our tissues and cells.  The Earth’s energy helps to knock these excess free radicals down so that your body can heal and repair naturally, as it is meant to.  Therefore, to remain in good health, it is imperative that we re-connect with this natural energy daily to counteract the damaging effects of our modern lifestyle.

Handmade Soap vs Store Bought

Do you know why store bought “soap” or body cleansers are actually called beauty bars, body bars, deodorant soap, body washes or moisturizing bars and handmade soap is called ‘soap’?

This is because they are detergents or rather chemical cocktails made of detergents and synthetic ingredients.  Legally, they cannot be sold as “soap”.

It is known that some of the chemicals found in the beauty bars at the store havr been linked to various forms of cancer, reproduction disorders, dehydrate the skin, cause allergic reactions, irritate the skin and cause aging.

If the chemicals in beauty bars are bad for us individually, imagine how they affect the planet on a large-scale.

If you live in a Caribbean country like we do where our waste water sometimes runs off into your yard where you have your tea herbs growing, food planted or heads down to a beach, or gets soaked into the ground making its way to the water table. The potential effects to the land, sea life, coral reef, food, etc is exponential.

Handmade soaps are made using ingredients that you know, consume and that are chock full of beneficial nutrients. Glycerin a precious emollient that softens and maintains water balance by attracting moisture to your skin is formed naturally in handmade soaps and retained. In commercial soaps glycerin is extracted and reserved for higher priced body care.

Vegetable Glycerin

Also, often plant material that offer additional benefits are added in the handmade soap making process offering aid for minor skin associated ailments. These ingredients are also environmentally friendly, not tested on animals and good for you.

Now if variety is important to you and you believe it is the spice of life then handmade soap won’t disappoint! No matter your skin type or personal preferences, there is a soapmaker out there who is creating just what your skin and senses crave at bath time. Not all handmade soap is alike and there are an infinite number of recipes and flavors for you to choose from. Handmade soap can run the gamot of naturea offerings so have fun shopping around or chatting it up with a soapmaker next time you visit to make a purchase. We are dedicated to helping you discover the joy of happy and healthy skin just the way nature intended and you like it!

Click the image below to see what soaps we have in stock

Handmade soap by Yaphene

Self Care

Self Care – I’ve been staying put to adhere to the tenets of social distancing, a public health measure that has been undertaken by many countries to reduce the spread of the virus. Social distancing is something we all should be doing. I do understand the impossibility of doing so with your immediate family living in the same house. While at home, particularly if you are not working from home it is quite easy to become a little stir crazy. Facebook and other social outlets and rven the radio more often than not can help rise anxiety levels as you are bombarded by the heartbreaking stories coming out of patients and countries suffering through this outbreak.

What can you do to stay sane while keeping yourself and others safe during the virus outbreak? Here are a couple suggestions about how to stay occupied.

Exercise

There is an entire universe of free exercise classes on YouTube (I’m partial to yoga, and some instructors are live-streaming their classes from home. If you are not in actual quarantine, go for a walk or run laps in your yard or start a home garden. Trust me you will get plenty exercise from that activity.

Meditate

Meditation helps to calm the mind, body and spirit. As a plus, if you have the yard space go on out and lay flat on the ground. This helps with pain after thirty minutes or so. As a migraine sufferer this is one trick I learned early on thanks to my mom. Laying on the ground outside also helps align your spine reducing that back pain, reduce stress, corrects your posture and some say the earth helps the cleansing process of the body. When your bare feet or skin comes in contact with the earth, free electrons are taken up into the body.  These electrons referred to as nature’s biggest antioxidants help neutralise damaging excess free radicals that can lead to inflammation and disease in the body. (Read more on this in a follow up post)

Limit your time online

If you are having trouble doing so on your own then installing a website blocker will temporarily force you offline. I’ve found engaging in activities with the family to be a great distraction. Play games, tell stories, remember events that happened long ago that makes everyone laugh, teach a new disk. There is so much that as families we can engage in to keep ourselves busy and connected to each other.

Take a bath/shower

A relaxing bath can made better with bubbles, salts, oils, candles, scrubs and face masks. This routine can also be done in absence of a bathtub. Simply light your favourite scented candle, face mask, body scrub, bath oil and enjoy. There is more inspiration for such small luxuries on pinterest many of which you can do at home. If you have any of our skin care produfts and aroma mood setting candles then you have the basics to get started. Don’t neglect your skin and hair care needs during this time.

Think about what you’re grateful for

You can do this in a journal, writing down one gratitude a day, or doodling out people, pets, shapes and other things you’re grateful for in a sketchbook.

Embrace a hobby

Partake in a hobby that you really do just for fun. Do something with your hands: crocheting, beading, embroidery, farming, play a game, woodworking can provide great release.

Read out loud

With our children at home with plwnty work to do this may be an opportune time tp time them onto reading by reading with them. For the little ones make it fun, act out the characters with them. Also for yourself just read, period.

Cook and bake

I know, for many, cooking at home is and/or can be intimidating—and nobody wants a recipe to go wrong when they’re already managing the stress of the world beyond their front doors. But instead of being an added source of stress, in a time of self-imposed isolation, cooking can be an act of self-care, relaxation, adventure and discovery not just for you but your entire family. Remember eat healthy during this period, fresh fruits and vegetables are still a must and an ideal source of vitamins and minerals our bodies need to remain healthy.

De-clutter

Organize the drawer that has been begging for order, rearrange the living room furniture, or finally get your filing cabinet in order. This is a perfect time to get your spring cleaning done and has the added bonus of helping you cleanse your space.

Watch something upbeat

It’s highly tempting to catch up on prestige TV right now, but a lot of current critically-acclaimed shows tend to be depressing or stressful. So throw in something fun, like a musical or a comedy. Some of my girlfriends have been catching up on their favorite TV series or re-watching an old show.

Learn something new

There’s a nearly unlimited number of online classes that are actually free right now. From art to dance, to cooking to coding, to formulating a new skin care product, you can take a free class and add to your skill set.

Remember that you’re not alone

These tips are about self-care, but humans generally need community to be happy. My daughter and her friends do a joint whatsapp call nightly where they talk school work, school, tease each other and generally stay ip to date on how each person is coping. If you have great relationships with your co-workers jump on Google hangout or FaceTime your friends and family abroad. Also: if you’re still able to go outside help the elderly in your neighbourhood with grocery shopping.

Check out the bingo chart below for a fun game to do with friends. You can change up the tasks to suit. Be sure to set a winning gift 🙂

Making your own liquid handsoap at home

As our prime minister declared a state of emergency implementing a national curfew I decided to create some nifty products for my home.

First up was some liquid hand soap. You see as our economies shrink I determined that spending cash on something that could be made affordably was not wise. Instead I decided to re-use old pump containers to make liquid soap for the children to use. Even at home good hygiene is still very very important.

Bamboo Charcoal Soap

We have an abundance of charcoal soap and so this is what was used to create this homemade soap. You can be as creative as you would like using any bar soap available. I prefer to use natural soap because of course I make them.

Charcoal soap cut into chunks

For this batch we only use half of the soap. I cut the halved bar into smaller pieces to make it easier to insert into the bottle. After adding the cut pieces of the charcoal soap to the bottle I filled to the top with water and left it over night.

Soap chunks being dissolved in distilled water.

The following morning I check the bottle and saw that the soap was pretty much dissolved. Give your bottle a quick shake and voila you have a liquid soap. Pretty easy 🙂

Soap bar dissolved!

There was a small bit of soap mush on the bottom of the bottle. However I noted that another day and this too disappeared. I added a small amount of sunflower oil, vitamin E essential oils of grapefruit and tangerine to my soap to make it just a bit extra. Soft hands are after all important as well.

Liquid soap made at home ready to use.

 

Now for the lather test!

It lathers up quite nicely 🙂

Be sure to use moisturizer after washing your hands to protect your hands. Taking care of your skin is still very important. At Yaphene we offer a nourishing Mango Spice Lotion with a convenient pump top that works perfect to moisturize your hands after washing. Shop for it by clicking the link below.

Moisturizing Hand and Body Mango Spice Lotion. Click to purchase!

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Foraging for food and medicine

As our world narrows as Covid-19 sweeps through our nations, those of us with still relative free movement are in preparation mode as we try to safe guard our families, communities and countries against this virus and put in place protocols to limit it’s effects on our economies and overall lives.  As many run to the supermarkets to stock up on food, I found myself instead heading out on a foraging trek for fresh fruits that are now in season. You see medicine is also necessary and what better place to find medicine than out in nature.

Rough lemon blossoms

A trek that started out as a search for rough lemons turned into a general hunt for cooling, purifying and filtering plants. Lucky for us they also look fantastic when in bloom.

Ylang-ylang

They were several great finds this journey as I netted the beloved ylang-ylang tree which I had thought was almost extinct from the island as well as the cinnamon leave tree. Trumpet leaves made up our medicinal. wonder cache.

Trumpet leaf

Trumpet leaves (they may be known by other names on other parts of the world) are used to treat bad colds that seat themselves in the lungs and sit on the chest. Grandma’s wisdom as it comes to herbs is becoming quote handy. It is believed that the leaves are only effective if picked dried from the tree.

In these uncertain times I would encourage you to stock up on your herbal medicine, include your natural and medicinal juices in your dietary regime so that we can build our immune defense in this time where diseases are becoming more prolific and travel the globe at a swift pace. Staring a back yard garden where you grow a mix of food crops and medicinal and cooking herbs is a great way to ensure we have access to some of these ingredients without having to travel too far.

Coconut Challenge and the Culinary Experience

St. Kitts & Nevis Restaurant Week is always a time for us to showcase limited edition innovative products that may or may not be added to our product line. It is a time when our twin island home shows up and off their innovation when it comes to food production and crafting with local ingredients.

Now in its 5th year the St. Kitts Nevis Restaurant Week, happening July 18th to 28th features ‘Coconut’ and so the many products that can be made with or using coconut. Most of the restaurants around the island will be hosting ‘Special Menu’ dinners, lunch, breakfast where at a special rate you can enjoy coconut inspired dishes. Some may even boast their award winning dishes having been adjudged winners during the pre-event Restaurant Week Cook Off Challenge.

We have held such a prestigious honor in the past having won in year two with the Pumpkin Wine produced under our Flauriel brand in the drink category and year three with our Yam Health Bar. This year we did not participate in the challenge due to timing conflicts however we were able to craft three beverages that showcases the versatility of coconut in healthy drinks.

Fusion Beverages

Coco Mango Nectar, made with fresh coconut water and mango pulp.
Coconut n Soursop Juice that features a low sugar formula. The sweeteners are produced by the coconut milk and fresh soursop.
Sea Moss (Irish Moss) Coconut Punch, an alcoholic beverage featuring local rum Caramay.
Our Coconut n Lime Jam and Coconut Vinaigrette will also be available for purchase.

Coconut n Lime Jam

Our food brand is not the only place you will find coconut! Within our cosmetic line coconut also features. The herbal soaps all uses coconut oil. We produce a Coconut Soap made using coconut oil, milk, water, dried shredded coconut and extract. The Nettle Hair Growth Serum also uses coconut oil as well as the Clarifying Shampoo.


The next tasting showcase will be held in Nevis the following Saturday and you do not want to miss it! So if you are in St. Kitts Nevis be sure to stop by The Artisan Village between 2pm to 5pm to taste what Nevis has to offer! We will definitely be there!
Shop the products mentioned on our website www.sugartownorganics.com …

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