miracle fruit? yes, please!

MiracleFrtLgLeaf05(photo source)

Synsepalum dulcificum……..yeah, it’s easier to call it Miracle Fruit.

This plant from West Africa has a berry that is completely organic, all natural, non-GMO and contains an active glycoprotein called miraculin. 

When you eat this little berry, the miraculin temporarily binds to your taste receptors (buds, I call ’em) to block the ability to taste sour flavors and even alters many other flavors in food like spicy, salty and bitter tastes!

The miraculin is considered to be a sugar substitute.  And this little berry, my friends, could change the way we look (and taste) our food!  Imagine…enjoying all kinds of ‘forbidden’ foods again!  It’s true!  Lemons taste like candyLimes taste like a sweet orange!  Can you imagine squeezing lemon juice into your coffee to sweeten it naturally?

WHERE CAN I GET IT?

If you are not going to wait and grow your own berries, then you can purchase it in a tablet form.  This is the most practical way because the berries are freeze dried and then formed into tablets, which give them a longer shelf life.  You can find them from www.mberry.us or even on Amazon HERE.  If you buy frozen berries, do not thaw them unless you are going to consume them right away.  Let them come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.  And if you get the whole berry, don’t eat the pit, of course.

Also keep in mind that the effects of the miracle berry last approximately 30 – 45 minutes and varies with each person.

Here is a simple recipe taken from the Miracle Berry Diet Cookbook that I highly recommend if you are going to try out this berry!

SWEET YOGURT PARFAIT

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries

1/4 cup granola

Combine the yogurt and lemon juice.  In a tall glass, layer half each of the yogurt, berries and granola.  Repeat.

When you are ready to eat, let the miracle berry tablet dissolve on your tongue and then enjoy the dish!

YOU JUST SAVED 144 CALORIES BY REPLACING 3 TBS. SUGAR!

miracle-berry-eating-lemon(photo source)

Cacao! Cacao! (not a bird call)

Ahhh….the lovely cacao nut.  It’s latin name, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods”.  And why shouldn’t it be called that!!  Did you know that all chocolate is made from cacao beans (aka Cocoa beans)?

Those crazy Mayans even used cacao for currency!  Crazy Mayans.

Cacao offers cardiovascular benefits and cancer protection, and also helps lower cholesterol.  Raw cacao has a higher antioxidant rating than blueberries, acai, and even goji berries. It really is a superfood! 

Here’s the cool part….there is no cacao season.  Chocolate is always in season!  Wooo hoooo!!  Cacao trees trees grow in the shade, mostly in Central  and South America and Southern Mexico.  Their flowers have five petals with a lightly scented, pale, mushroom like growths which grow straight out of the trunk or large branches.

Did you know that you can purchase cacao trees from the internet and place them in a greenhouse?  They’ll be lovin’ them some humidity….just like the crazy Mayans!

What’s in it for me?

  • antioxidants
  • magnesium
  • iron
  • chromium
  • manganese
  • zinc
  • copper
  • vitamin C
  • omega-6 fatty acids

How do I use it? (via)

  • Purchase raw cacao products (beans, nibs, powder, butter) and blend them into your favorite beverage.  One tablespoon of cacao powder per quart works great with any beverage.  Blend cacao into coffee for a special treat!
  • Sprinkle raw cacao beans (nibs) on your favorite dessert instead of chocolate chips.  They are the original chocolate chips!
  • Add to trailmix
  • If you love dark, bitter chocolate, eat the beans by themselves.

Know before you go: (via)

Raw cacao is just like most things in the world of health and nutrition- the information changes fast. You need to keep on top of the news. There are many that believe that chocolate, even in it’s purest form of raw cacao, is still not very good for you, perhaps even toxic. The stimulant quality may agitate kidney and liver functioning. Some tests find it to be addictive, leading to mood swings and other withdrawal symptoms when not consumed regularly. Sexual dysfunction has also been listed as a possible side effect of chocolate intake- yikes! Certainly you must never blindly trust the information given to you by someone who is selling the product. Conduct your own research and see what the experts are saying. Though chocolate may not be the knight in shining armor that so many of us wish it was, when eaten in moderation, it doesn’t seem to be causing too much harm either. To play it safe, consume chocolate on special occasions and look for your magnesium and antioxidants elsewhere.

put on your cape and try these superfoods!

Want vitality?  Need a little weight loss here and there?  Well,  climb aboard the Superfoods train!

Some foods can be described as healthy, then there are those that are super healthy Salmon can safegaurd the heart.  Avocados can lower cholesterol.  And berries?  They are loaded with antioxidants that fight cancer!  Now, that’s super!!

Superfoods can strengthen our immune systems and also prevent and combat disease, and the best part is that they are tasty!!

Check out these super recipes (turn your cape around and use as an apron)

OATS AND RASPBERRIES PANCAKES (via Ehren Litzenberger of BLD Restaurant)

Makes 12 servings

8 eggs

4 cups buttermilk

2 cups plain yogurt

2 sticks butter (melted)

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbls. baking powder

2 Tbls. baking soda

2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups rolled oats

1 pint fresh raspberries

Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, yogurt and butter.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and oats.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.  Fold in raspberries.  Cook pancakes on a large, non-stick pan or griddle over medium heat until done.

SIMPLE BROILED SALMON  (via Super FoodsRx Diet)

Makes 2 servings

2 (3-4 ounce raw) fresh salmon fillets, skinned

1 Tbls. low-sodium soy sauce

2 tsp. sesame oil

1 Tbls. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. black pepper

2 lemon wedges

Place the salmon in a shallow baking dish.  Combine the soy sauce, oil, lemon juice, chives and pepper.  Pour the mixture over the salmon and allow it to marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes.  During the last 5 minutes of marinating, preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Place the baking dish in the oven and broil for 5-7 minutes or until the salmon is golden.  When done, the salmon should flake with slight pressure from a fork.  Garnish each fillet with a lemon wedge.  Serve immediately.

RAW SUPER FUEL (via Richelle Melde of Naked Truth Nutrition)

Makes 1 serving

1 cup coconut milk

1/4 organic avocado

1/2 organic banana, frozen

1/4 cup organic frozen blueberries

1 Tbls. organic raw almond butter

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency.  Yummmmm.

a berry berry good idea…

 Once again, my friend, Rea, has stumbled upon genius.  I think she wakes up in the morning with a brilliant thought (or email)  and then shares it with other brilliant minds (i.e. me).  Here’s the dealio….vinegar….Yup, vinegar.

Berries are delicious, but they’re also kind of delicate. Raspberries in particular seem like they can mold before you even get them home from the market. There’s nothing more tragic than paying $4 for a pint of local raspberries, only to look in the fridge the next day and find that fuzzy mold growing on their insides.
Well,   we can tell you that how to keep them fresh! Here’s a tip I’m sharing on how to prevent them from getting there in the first place:
Wash them with vinegar.
When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider probably work best) and ten parts water. Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted you can’t taste the vinegar,) and pop in the fridge. The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and voila! Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft. So go forth and stock up on those pricey little gems, knowing they’ll stay fresh as long as it takes you to eat them.  
So take it from a berry good friend of mine…….and try it for yourself!