Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pink Lemonade Popsicles!

With the heat wave passing through the Eastern United States, everyone is looking for ways to cool off. So I came up with this homemade popsicle that is great for anytime of the day!

My family is working on being careful with food combinations so that we can have prime digestion after each meal. One of the things we look out for is combining fruits with vegetables. It is alright to have citrus fruits with veggie meals (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kumquats, etc.); but eating other fruits with vegetables can cause fermentation and prolonged digestion. This is because fruits digest rather quickly, compared to vegetables; and the broken down sugars will begin to ferment if it sits in the stomach acid for too long.

Enough with the yucky A&P stuff (anatomy and physiology). 

For the stated reasons, this recipe uses... BEETS! Hint to the chef: don't tell anyone until after they are done and they want to know. My brothers loved it when they ate it; but when I was informing them of how I intended to make it, they asked me to keep the recipe to myself. =)

Beets strengthen  and purify the blood -- which explains their deep red color. Most people cook them because it tastes better. The sugar in the beets is more pronounced when you bake the beets in their skins, and then peel after cooking. It is delicious; but the nutritional content is higher when you eat them raw. 

As for me, I have bad memories of my mom juicing beets. The taste is okay; but it has a strong flavor. But blend it raw with lemons -- and yippee! Nutrition you can swallow.




Pink Lemonade Popsicle

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest (optional and adjustable)
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of raw beet
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon kuzu powder
  • Sliver of ginger (optional)
  • 2 cups of ice


Directions:

  1. Zest the lemon, then cut, and squeeze juice into measuring cup; place in blender.
  2. Peel and chop the beet(s); place in blender.
  3. Add the other ingredients, excluding the ice. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add ice, and blend on high for about two minutes.
  5. Pour into molds, and freeze for a full twenty-four hours.
  6. Enjoy!


Friday, July 27, 2012

God is Not Exclusive.

As I was doing my devotion, I came across this passage:
"In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction. In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. 
And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them. 
In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. 
In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance."
I was amazed as I read and watched God engendering Himself to a "foreign people". After all, was not Israel His chosen generation and royal priesthood? (Exodus 19.) Yet God desires to take unto Himself all people.

When a group of Greeks came to the disciples with the great desire to see the Master, Jesus took the opportunity to explain the great plan of salvation -- that He must die, and be raised; that He must regain possession of this earth; and that by doing all this, He would gain the victory for Himself and for humanity. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32, emphasis added).

So here are some facts about Christ's true church:
God has made the way -- He has paved the path -- for all people to be His people. Will you accept the mercy of God, and enter the city of refuge?

That Leftover Cereal

My family has been eating a lot of hot cereals lately. Barley, oats, kamut, rye, millet, amaranth -- you name it, we had it. When you top a bowl with molasses and homemade hazelnut-maple cream, hot cereals make a delicious and nutritious breakfast!

The trouble comes when there are leftovers. It is never enough for the whole family again; and no one person remembers (or wants) to eat it. Sometimes, we use leftovers to make creamy grain milk for smoothies; one time, I even put the leftovers in the blender with some milk, and made pancakes!

Today, I tried a new thing: cake. It actually came out really well.





I took the leftover nut cream from breakfast (this time, it was almond sweetened with agave), and I added to it a dash of cardamon, a dash or so of pumpkin spice, and a few anise seeds. I also added some more agave for sweetness. We no longer use a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg because of their medicinal properties. That would be like taking antibiotics for pain: after a while, you need a higher dosage to meet a real need. The pumpkin spice has some nutmeg and cinnamon, though.

I heated about two cups of milk (Westsoy, in this case) and placed a 1-inch piece of vanilla bean. I put the cereal and the milk in the blender, and whizzed it on high for two to three minutes until it was smooth. Then I poured it into a bowl, added some oil and baking powder, and mixed in some all-purpose flour. Usually, we would use whole wheat pastry flour; but it was a new pack, and I did not want to open it. =)

As you can see, I did not follow a recipe; I did not even measure. =P So sharing is a bit awkward. Try to follow the ratio and hope for the best.

A word on baking time: it varies. Depending on the cereal you use and the temperament (not temperature) of your oven, you will need to adjust the time; so have your cake tester handy! In my case, I used leftover stovetop oatmeal, about one cup, and leftover crockpot millet-amaranth cereal, about one cup. We baked the cake in the toaster oven (long story); and it took approximately fifty minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The cereal will cause the texture to be moist; but fear not, because it was precooked. I would say that forty-five minutes on 350 degrees will bake it well.

Leftover Cereal Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of very warm milk
  • 2 cups of cooked cereal
  • 1/4 cup of agave (or 1/3 cup of other sweeteners)
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • Spices of choice
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
Directions:
  1. Blend the first five ingredients, working up to high, for 2-3 minutes, or until very smooth.
  2. Pour contents into a large mixing bowl. With a whisk or large fork, quickly stir in baking powder. 
  3. Using a spatula or a large, flat spoon, stir in enough flour to make a cake batter.
  4. Oil and flour a baking pan. Pour in batter, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Let cool thoroughly before serving or storing.
  6. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Search the Scriptures: The Importance of Daniel and the Revelation


     "In the past teachers have declared Daniel and the Revelation to be sealed books, and the people have turned from them. The veil whose apparent mystery has kept many from lifting it, God’s own hand has withdrawn from these portions of His Word. The very name “Revelation” contradicts the statement that it is a sealed book. Revelation means that something of importance is revealed. The truths of this book are addressed to those living in these last days. We are standing with the veil removed in the holy place of sacred things. We are not to stand without, we are to enter; not with careless, irreverent thoughts, not with impetuous footsteps, but with reverence and godly fear. We are nearing the time when the prophecies of the book of Revelation are to be fulfilled.

     "This book opens with the words, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John; who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand.”

     "This book demands close, prayerful study, lest it be interpreted according to the ideas of men, and false construction be given to the sacred word of the Lord, which in its symbols and figures means so much to us. There is so much that we positively must understand in order that we may shape our course of action so that we shall not receive the plagues which are coming upon the world. In the Revelation the deep things of God are portrayed. Those whose hearts are wholly sanctified to God will be brought nigh to see priceless gems through the telescope of faith. And as they apply the truth to practice, the still deeper mysteries are stamped on the soul. Those thus honored are to communicate to others that which they have received. And as they do this, angels make the impression on hearts. ...

     "Let none think, because they cannot explain the meaning of every symbol in the Revelation, that it is of no use for them to search this book with deep, earnest longing and intense desire to know the meaning of the truth it contains. The One who revealed these mysteries to John can and will give the diligent searcher for truth a foretaste of heavenly things, hereafter to be realized. Rich blessings will come to him who reads and hears the words of this prophecy, and keeps those things which are written therein.

     "We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the Spirit of prophecy. Priceless gems are to be found in the Word of God. Those who search this Word should keep the mind clear. Never should they indulge perverted appetite in eating and drinking. If they do this, the brain will be confused; they will be unable to bear the strain of digging deep to find out the meaning of those things which relate to the closing scenes of this earth’s history.

     "When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed in regard to the character all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart. The Lord will bless all who will seek humbly and meekly to understand that which is revealed in the Revelation. This book contains so much that is large with immortality and full of glory that all who read and search it earnestly receive the blessing to those 'that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.' "

This quote is taken from a letter written January 27, 1900 to F. E. Belden. Read the full passage in Manuscript Releases, volume 18, pp. 22-24: https://egwwritings.org/?ref=18MR.22.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Health! - Water

I am starting a new series on my blog entitled "Health!". Catchy, right?

This particular entry is...

Water: The Fountain of Life
Most people know and understand that we need water to live. We know that our bodies are made of sixty to seventy percent water. Doctors tell us to drink a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Some health professionals even suggest that any beverage counts so long as it is not high in fat.

I am going to give a new spin on the subject. A multi-functional view. What if, in drinking the right amount of liquids, you could skip the colonoscopy? Or ward off that annoying cough? Or kiss flu season goodbye? What if using water was easy because you were doing it to help YOU, and not simply on "doctor's orders"?

I am going to present a number of ways water can be an active member of your life and living.

Squeaky Clean - Inside and Out

Back in the days when running hot water was a luxury of the upper class, people typically bathed approximately once per week -- usually on Saturday night in preparation for church (though Adventists may have down it on Friday night =] ).

Most people would not willingly do that today -- or, at least would not admit to it. But the fact is, bathing regularly (as in, at least once per day) is a hygienic practice that should not be neglected.

Everyday, in work and play, billions of skins cells all over our body die. The process of running water over your skin, lathering soap, and scrubbing gets rid of those skin cells, allowing the new ones to shine forth in radiance. In other words, bathing gives you a youthful appearance.


The life cycle of cells -- death and regeneration -- also occurs internally. The liver, the colon, the kidneys, and the bladder all help to be rid the body of both toxins and waste. Obviously, drinking pure soft water is beneficial. My formula is to drink  half of your body weight in ounces. Example: I am about 110 pounds. Half of my body weight is 55lbs. Fifty-five ounces is about seven cups of water, shy of one ounce. Here are some other tips:
  • Lemon Water: An easy way to ensure water intake, and a great way to start your day. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a 16 oz. glass; or a quarter of a lemon to and 8 oz. glass. Lemon is a natural cleansing agent, and is alkaline forming. Cleans you out, and even helps you to lose weight.
  • Charcoal Water: Great for when you have a bacteria or virus, but also works as a great immune booster. Charcoal comes in tablets or in loose, bulk form. Combine two tablets or one to two teaspoons of charcoal with at least eight ounces of water. The charcoal acts as a magnet to anything (so do not have it right before or right after meals). Drink plenty of water through out the day.
  • Herbal Tea: For those who need to become accustomed to water-consumption, lightly brewed, unsweetened tea. Herbal is best, since black, green, and white teas contain caffeine.
  • Water (or any liquid really) is most beneficial when it is consumed no later than thirty minutes before a meal and no earlier than ninety minutes after a meal. Drinking with meals or close to meal time inhibits digestion by diluting the stomach acids. If you find that your water intake is low, you may need to space out your eating time.

Fight The Cough: Hydrotherapy

Externally, water can also be used to fight pathogens that threaten to weaken our immune system and ruin our day. The science of healing with water is referred to as hydrotherapy.
  • When my brothers and I have a sore throat, my mom "wraps our neck". You take a light hand towel and run it under cold (not cool) water until it is saturated. (When we were younger and smaller, we used washcloths). Fold, and wrap the cloth around the neck. Then, you take a bulkier hand towel, leave it dry, and wrap it around the neck over the wet towel, using pins to secure. Sleep with it overnight. Remove in the morning. Repeat each day until cold as passed (for us, no more that three days).
  • Sometimes, we get serious congestion in the chest area (we all used to have asthma). Stuff just builds up in there. In that case, get a clean rag or washcloth of sorts, secure a bowl of hot water, and sit next to the "patient". They should be lying in a bed with easy access to the covers. Dip the rag in the hot water, ring it out, and place the tolerably hot rag on the patient's chest. Do not let the rag get cold on him. Repeat three to four times; immediately following each application, cover the patient with the covers (regardless of the weather). Let the patient rest under the covers for at least thirty minutes.
  • A steam bath is particularly helpful in all scenarios. My mom turns on the hot water in the shower, adds a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil, and closes the door. My brothers and I just sit there, practically sweating to death -- but it really clears the chest and the sinuses. Then, after about ten to fifteen minutes, she comes back, quickly bundles us in a blanket, and leads us to our bed, where we must stay -- under the covers -- for thirty minutes. I recommend taking a robe into the bathroom with you so you can walk to your bed without tripping on yourself. =)
  • The Neti pot is the new thing in town, but the principle is very simple: rinse out your sinuses. More info here.