June 27, 2017
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ROASTED TURKEY

Nov 26, 2014 0

Buy the best quality turkey available (organic, free-range, read the ingredients carefully if you buy Butterball all natural make
sure there are no natural flavorings or chicken stock listed. Cook it breast-side down. I never stuff the turkey –
stuffing is cooked separately.
Frozen turkeys take at least 3-4 days to defrost in the refrigerator. When turkey is thawed remove the neck and giblets
(heart, gizzard, liver). Place the heart, neck and gizzard in the bottom of the roasting pan.
The night before, I brine the turkey in a stockpot filled with 2Tbs. Salt dissolved in water. If your turkey is not completely
covered in water, in the morning turn the turkey upside for 2 hours. (This process is optional – but I noticed the turkey
retains the juices). Rinse turkey completely and pat dry.
* Note that if your turkey comes with a plastic piece holding the legs together, replace with kitchen string to tie the legs together.


Ingredients
• 1 (9-12 pound) whole turkey
• ½ stick butter softened
• olive oil to spread on turkey
• 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
• 2 tablespoons dried chopped onion
• 1 teaspoon ground sage
• 2 Bay leafs
• 3 celery sticks cut-up
• 6 carrots cut-up
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 cup orange juice
• 6 oz. orange marmalade
• 6 oz. Apricot preserves
• ½ cup water
• ½ cup liquid reserved from canned yams (optional)


Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
2. Clean turkey and place giblets and organs in a roasting pan.
3. Separate skin from turkey and spread the sage and butter and some of the chopped garlic under the skin, being careful not to puncture the skin. Spread any remaining butter on the turkey and in the cavity, season turkey with pepper and some paprika.
4. Combine orange marmalade, apricot preserves, chopped onion, orange juice, remainder of chopped garlic, ½ cup of liquid from canned yams, and water in 4 cup measuring cup. Mix well. Pour half of the mixture on the outside of the uncooked turkey. Pour ¼ cup of mixture and a cup of water into the bottom of the roasting pan, along with the hearts, gizzards and neck, celery and carrots. Add some water to pan.


Bake on 500 degrees F for ½ hour and then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. Baste turkey with remaining mixture every ½ hour. If the juice on the bottom of pan evaporates, add remaining juice and some water a little at a time in between basting.
Cover with tin foil if turkey gets too brown on the drumsticks. Turkey should be done in 2½ to 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh measures 180 degrees F. Remove bird from oven, and allow it to stand for about 10 minutes before carving.

Recipes For Your Allergies
By Dianne Gregg
www.recipesforyourallergies.com
facebook.com/recipesforyourallergies

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HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE, CORNBREAD, AND STUFFING

Nov 25, 2014 0

Ingredients
• ¾ cup water
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
• ¼ cup walnuts (optional)
Instructions
1. Combine the water, and sugar, in a medium saucepan. Stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add cranberries stir and let simmer slightly covered until the berries burst open and the cranberry sauce thickens slightly, stirring often, about 15 minutes.
2. Transfer sauce to a bowl, add walnuts and let cool. I make this the day before and store in the refrigerator.


CORNBREAD (Southern Style)

• 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
• 1/2 cup self-rising flour
• 3/4 cup buttermilk
• 2 eggs
• 2 tablespoons safflower oil
(Northern Style) cornbread add ¼ cup sugar
Instructions
I prepare this the night before.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image27559168


CORNBREAD STUFFING
• 2 cups celery, chopped
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)
• 1 cup chicken stock (Kitchen Basics Brand)
• 1 teaspoon sage (optional)
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/3 sweet potato juice
Instructions
1. Crumble cornbread in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium. Add the celery and onion and sauté about 5-10 minutes.
3. Add all the ingredients to cornbread, including 1/3 cup of sweet potato juice, mix well, and bake for 30-45 minutes.


BREAD STUFFING
Use 1 loaf of homemade bread (or gluten-free), sliced and toasted or baked, until dried.
Use food processor or coffee grinder to make breadcrumbs.
(I prepare this the night before and place crumbs in covered dish).
Follow the same instructions for the cornbread stuffing. Add more sweet potato juice if necessary.
Optional Additions:
• 1 apple cored, peeled and chopped
• ½ cup of raisins.
All remaining juices add to the roasting pan as necessary


Recipes For Your Allergies
By Dianne Gregg
www.recipesforyourallergies.com
facebook.com/recipesforyourallergies

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5 Things to Consider Before Signing an Independent Contractor Agreement

Nov 24, 2014 0

By Connie Alsobrook

There are some advantages working as an independent contractor, because it allows you the freedom to work on your own terms. However there are greater advantages for employers to classify you as a independent contractor. Only you can decide what the best decision is for you from your taxes to freedom.

 

1. Control. If you are told the time, place and how you work. If you are given a certain time to be at work and penalized for not adhering to it. Independent Contractors work when, where, and how they choose.

2. Financial Control. Employees are normally paid by the hour, day, or week. Contractors are usually paid by the job and invoices are submitted. A contractor has the room to make a profit or take a loss than an employee. If you employee is making a bigger profit than you are, then there is a great chance you are an employee.

3. Training. If the company pays for training or none paid training on how to do your job that is a clue you are an employee. Employees can give an independent contractor small instructions as to how the end job should be. Contractors are usually already having degrees, and the training to do the job ore they would not have been sought out.

4. Evaluations. If you are evaluated in any way about the process, methods, and details of how your job is being done, it’s a chance you are an employee. Contractors usually contact the company if they have concerns, question, or issues on how the process of the job if going.

5. Opportunity to work elsewhere. Contractors are free to take work from other companies and advertise as such. If you are banned from working for other companies or industries, it may be best to be a consultant and work as a contractor.

Just because you sign an Independent Contractor Agreement does not exclude the employer from being penalized by The Department of Labor and The Internal Revenue Service. If think you have been misclassified as independent contractor and want to take action contact The Department of Labor (DOL). DOL has an outline of determining if you were misclassified.

Source 1
Source 2


HoursKeeper – Hours Tracker Download Now

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Description

Hours Keeper is a well designed hours worked calculator that you can use to easily track your hours worked and calculate your earnings.Hours Keeper allows to record your daily working hours for each client, including your overtime and break time. After earnings been calculated, your can generate PDF timesheet invoices to sent to your clients and track all the billings and the payments.“Easy to use and simple. It’s very useful and is definitely worth every penny. Great customer service from developers!”“Very well executed app, nice clean interface with tones of useful features.”“A great app for those of us that do business on the go. It is packed full of great features that really help out. Great job.”Our Hours Keeper is one of the best tools to track down all the hours you have worked. Once you use the app you will want nothing else to make your hours and earnings tracking easier. It is the best hours tracker app for android users.

KEY FEATURES
– Well designed, easy to use, intuitive interface.
– Realtime hours/earning tracking for multiple clients.
– Weekly and monthly timesheet.
– PDF invoices to send to customers.
– Calculate overtime earnings.
– Earnings reports.

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Obtaining A Mortgage When You’re Self-Employed

Nov 20, 2014

By: Steph Medeiros

As intimidating as buying a home is to a traditional employee, to those who are self-employed, it can seem unattainable. However, with the proper knowledge and by following a few extra steps, a qualified self-employed buyer can become a home owner.

According to the United States Department of Labor, approximately 10,507,000 Americans are self-employed, with about 1 million more reporting self-employment as a secondary source of income. With the current economic climate, self-employment has boomed, rising along with corporate down sizing and telecommuting capabilities. While many mortgage lenders are aware of the increase in self-employed loan candidates, they still consider them to be higher risk borrowers.

Some Things You Might Encounter As A Self-Employed Borrower:

* Higher Interest Rates

* Reduced Ability To Negotiate

* Higher Down Payment Requirement

* More Paperwork

As someone who is self-employed, mortgage lenders may see you as a less-attractive loan candidate. Expect to be quoted higher interest rates than what you might see on the company’s website or advertisement. Those rates are typically for people who are considered ideal borrowers due to verifiable incomes and excellent credit scores.

Lenders may also want to see a lower loan-to-value ratio, which will require a larger down payment. As for the extra paperwork, you won’t be able to provide your lender with W2s for the past couple years like traditionally-employed borrowers. Instead, you’ll need to provide things like tax returns from the previous year, a current business license, a letter from your accountant, and financial statements showing the income and value of your business.

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GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

Nov 17, 2014 0

• 1/2 lbs Fresh green beans, picked over and trimmed,
• 1 Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped
• 1/2 lb baby bella mushrooms, sliced
• 1 1/2 cups organic milk
• 3 T Flour
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
• 1/2 tsp Thyme
• 1/2 stick Butter
• 1 Tablespoons chopped garlic
• 1/2 cup Bread crumbs (Chop toasted or baked to dry out) homemade bread, or gluten free bread, no soybean or vegetable oil) in food processor or coffee grinder.


Instructions
1. Place fresh slightly steamed green beans in baking dish, set aside.
2. In a large skillet heat 3 Tablespoons butter. Sauté mushrooms, garlic, and chopped onion. Sauté until cooked through.
3. In skillet add remaining butter and flour. Stir to make a roux. Add milk and bring to a boil. Stir to thicken. Add salt, pepper, and thyme. Add cream and stir to blend. Pour over green bean mixture and season to taste. Mix bread crumbs. Top casserole with bread crumbs. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


Recipes For Your Allergies
By Dianne Gregg
www.recipesforyourallergies.com
facebook.com/recipesforyourallergies


Recipe Apps

Culinary Notebook  Download Now
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Description
The main purpose of creation is editing and storing recipes.
• Working with recipes without internet connection.
• Search and import recipes from popular social sites, as LiveJournal and BlogSpot. The sites list will be updated.
• Supports creation and editing of any recipe with any number of photos and notes.
• Comfortable “live search” for recipes is integrated with the operating system and browsers.
• Import recipes from the corresponding site without main application.
• All recipes are stored in a single file, so they can be backed up in case of loss or damage.
• Extra bonus – Application for Windows directed to work with a recipe book. http://cybopob.com/culinarynotebook/CulinaryNotebook_en_1_1_4_194.zip
• Each workbook supports any number of subfolders named by the user.
• The ability to copy a recipe from any website by copying all the elements separately.
• The possibility of increasing the size of the font for the elderly.
• Dark and Light themes.
• The application is constantly evolving and updated with new features.


Recipe Box  Download Now  

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Description

This is a simple app for storing, and searching recipes.Includes the ability to search by title or ingredient or only view recipes within a certain category.

You can choose to browse recipes by Title or Category.

You can now backup and restore your recipes to keep them safe.

You can also customize categories (in-app purchase option).

You can choose to remove ads (in-app purchase option).


 

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Simple and Healthy Diabetic Dinners for the Whole Family

Nov 14, 2014 0

By: April Langdon

For families dinner is the central meal of the day. It’s the meal you are most often to partake together. Sharing not only the meal, but also the events of the day. Sharing the things that went well, as well as those that didn’t.

Making a diabetic dinner that everybody in the family wants to eat does not need to be a trial. If you follow some easy guidelines then you are most of the way there.

A dinner for diabetics does not need to be made out of any out of the ordinary ingredients or have anything other than the ingredients that are easily available at your local supermarket.

There is no need to prepare a different meal for the diabetic at the dinner table. In fact regardless of how many diabetics you may have in your family if everyone in the family eats using the strategy for a healthy diabetic dinner then everyone in the family is moving towards better health.

The basic guidelines for a diabetic dinner are also the guidelines for a healthy meal.

A diabetic dinner needs to be:

  • high in fiber
  • low in fat, sugar and salt
  • half full of vegetables

There may be some specific requirements for the diabetics in your family, taking into account what is required to balance their blood sugars that day. But in following these easy guidelines you are 80% of the way there.

Here are two swift, delicious meal ideas that everybody in the entire family will enjoy. They are both so easy that nearly anyone in the family can prepare them. They are suitable for all ages and are high in fiber, low in fat, sugar and salt and are half full of vegetables.

Ten Minute Tortillas

Take a tortilla (the better quality and more wholemeal the better) and line it with lettuce and sliced tomato, fill with a mix of heated canned beans and salsa, top with low-fat cheese and roll up. Serve with a salad (include as many different colored vegetables as you can) and brown rice.

Super Quick and Easy Chilli Beans

Brown 400g lean ground mince and pour off any excess fat, add 1 cup each of chopped or grated onion, celery, carrot, capsicum, 1 1/2 cans of low salt canned tomatoes, 1 can kidney beans, 1 t chilli powder, 1 t cumin, 1 t oregano (or have fun experimenting with some different spices) and cook until flavour has developed. Serve with some steamed broccoli and brown rice on the side.

www.whatcandiabeticseat.info is a site dedicated to simple guidelines for a healthy diabetic diet. It has specific guidelines on how to prepare a healthy diabetic dinner. www.whatcandiabeticseat.info/diabetic-dinnerArticle Source: http://www.ArticleBiz.com
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SWEET POTATOES W/PINEAPPLE

Nov 13, 2014 0

By Dianne Gregg

Ingredients
• 2 – 32 oz. cans of yams or fresh sweet potatoes
• 1 – 8 oz. can crushed pineapples in juice (reserve juice)
• 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar


Instructions
1. Mash sweet potatoes (reserve juice) add 1/3 cup of juice to sweet potatoes to keep moist.
2. Mix 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar and pineapple (reserve juice)
3. Place in casserole dish sprinkle remaining brown on top and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes.


Recipes For Your Allergies
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The Million Dollar Realtor

Nov 9, 2014 0

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa Bennett is a multi- million dollar real estate club holder, which means that she’s sold about $4 million dollars of real estate and has been recognized in the premium class of real estate agents by the Atlanta Board of Realtors. While she already holds a real estate license in Georgia, she’s studying for her license to sell in California. She said she has a network and family in California. Furthermore, she works with a well-known real estate company that has a presence in 54 different countries and which specializes in luxury homes. She wants to be sure she can serve clients very well, no matter where they want their property. She is looking for connections globally and has found that many of the people she meets in the higher echelons have property in different states. She commented,“I think that you have to be more versatile in business. You can’t limit yourself.”

Her Empowerment Workshops

Bennett said she meditates to concentrate and awaken her spiritual awareness, and that as a result she has developed a keen sense of discernment. She used to have a nail salon, which she expanded to offer meditation classes. The workshop facilitator said women gravitated to her, and she counseled and gave them awareness. She said she has seen women give their power away or shrink themselves so they don’t intimidate men. She believes in giving them tools to strengthen themselves and boost their self-esteem, set goals and be accountable to meet them. She explained that Dr. Barbara King asked her to facilitate a women’s summit, and then to put together church programs. “It led into me doing empowerment groups.” She said her topics included relationships, dating, handling one’s professional life and setting goals of various types.

She commented that the most popular are her relationship workshops for women.”I think, for the most part, that’s where women struggle the most and then it trickles over into their professional lives and they lose themselves in their relationships; which stifles their growth elsewhere.” She said she teaches women how to set boundaries in relationships with men, how not to just go along to get along. She touches upon how to be respectful to other women, as well.

Her observation has given her some insight. “In society men have a brotherhood, we’re supposed to have a sisterhood.” She said most women tear each other down because of self-esteem issues. “We are to uplift each other – everyone’s goals are attainable.

She mentioned that many women come to the workshops looking for answers, hungry for empowerment. She reported that participants share that having someone come in and give them perspective and help them navigate life uplifts their viewpoint and reference point. As she explains it, some women are ready to receive new knowledge and embrace it upon delivery, and then some grasp the teachings later. She said she strives to communicate hard truths with grace and love, rather than with an attacking stance. “But you’ve also gotta be truthful.”

One teaching point she shares is how a positive focus is a game-changer. “When you change your own energy, all energy around you will shift.”

Bennett added one hidden gem in giving herself away during the empowerment workshops.“I also found that empowering people empowers yourself.”

Giving Back To Her Community

She is also a 5-year board member at St. Jude’s Recovery Center (which mainly focuses on assisting alcohol/drug users). She said she has always been aware of community problems, and her mom made certain her children had open eyes to such issues. She had a beautiful cousin who was taken out by drugs, and the problem hit home. Regarding giving her time to this cause, she explained, “It just felt right.” This is one cause that she was passionate about, partly because she found that they work on several fronts to save families. The organization has been around for 40+ years and have a great track record and success rate, with aftercare services that help people integrate back into society.

Trip That Changed Everything

Bennett also has traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in order to learn their real estate selling techniques. She commented, “That was an awesome trip.” She said her goal was to explore the real estate market in Dubai and connect with some local real estate people, developers, etc. “I always wanted to go to Dubai to do business.” She described it as a place where people are known to think on the cutting edge.“Their mindset is very elevated. They see that certain lifestyles are possible for them.“

She described the people in Dubai as forward thinking risk-takers. She said the cultural norm is to discover what someone does over time, in the course of the conversation. “You don’t start off asking them what they do.”

Her trip was fruitful by all accounts. While there she met a local sheik who had a real estate/construction business and a demographics research information company that provides people with demographic real estate information and Visas. She saw some of his real estate listings and his developments during the trip.

“You can’t be in that country and not have a job.” She said people have two weeks after a job loss to find a job, or they have to leave that country. While they have laws that are rather strictly enforced, she said she didn’t have an awkward experience there. She also commented that she found men there very respectful. Recounting her own personal experience, she stated, “I felt no danger.”

She mentioned that she has met people from all over the world.

COMING SOON: Author Lisa Bennett

Bennett is working on her first book, which is dedicated to educating buyers who are purchasing real estate. She said it will detail what to look for and what to look out for in the marketplace. She said the yet untitled book will share buying/selling property experiences, and touch upon market transition. It will be a step-by-step guide outlining how to understand when buying or purchasing or selling.
Bennet predicted that it will be finished in early January or February of 2015.

“I am a workaholic. It’s kind of hard to turn work off.” She said she unwinds by traveling to spas to enjoy the luxury side of life, playing and hanging out with her two Yorkies and getting together with girlfriends. She described herself as a foodie who likes to stake out new restaurants. She said she finds that prayer and meditation takes a lot of her time each day.

Tips For Real Estate Newbies

1st – for someone wanting to get into real estate, you have to take the class, which prepares you to take the test. She said this will familiarize the student with the laws, how to govern oneself in real estate and what one can and can not do in the industry.

She cautioned that knowing how to sell a home is a whole different ball game from the coursework.

2nd – do due diligence. Find out movers and shakers in the industry and interview them.

3rd – get a mentor and shadow someone.

“You have to find out how to do this in the real world. You really want to learn your market, and about marketing. You want to stay abreast of everything you need to know about the industry. The more you know, the more successful you can become.”

“With real estate, you have to understand architectural design.” She said it’s important to familiarize oneself with architecture, fixtures, textures (such as for counter tops).

“You really need to know your craft. People can tell if you are knowledgeable about what you are talking about.”

“With real estate, you want to get with someone that you trust.” She said it needs to be someone who cares and to whom you are not just a commission.

Connecting with Lisa

She works under the umbrella of Atlanta Fine Homes Sothebys, an international realty company.

Direct line: 404- 941- 1550
Email: lisabennett@atlantafinehomes.com
www.lisabennett.atlantafinehomes.com

Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International REALTY
3290 Northside Parkway NW Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30327

404-941-1550 Office
404-941-1551 eFax

Multi-Mililon Dollar Sales Club Member, Atlanta Board of REALTORS

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10 Diabetes Superfoods

Nov 5, 2014 0

Ever see the top 10 lists for foods everyone should eat to superpower your diet? Ever wonder which will mesh with your diabetes meal plan? Wonder no more. Your list of the top 10 diabetes superfoods has arrived.

As with all foods, you need to work the diabetes superfoods into your individualized meal plan in appropriate portions.

All of the foods in our list have a low glycemic index or GI and provide key nutrients that are lacking in the typical western diet such as:

  • calcium
  • potassium
  • fiber
  • magnesium
  • vitamins A (as carotenoids), C, and E.

There isn’t research that clearly points to supplementation, so always think first about getting your nutrients from foods. Below is our list of superfoods to include in your diet.


 Beans

gnn anti-aging-red-kidney-beans

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you prefer kidney, pinto, navy, or black beans, you can’t find better nutrition than that provided by beans. They are very high in fiber, giving you about 1/3 of your daily requirement in just a ½ cup, and are also good sources of magnesium and potassium.

They are considered starchy vegetables, but ½ cup provides as much protein as an ounce of meat without the saturated fat. To save time you can use canned beans, but be sure to drain and rinse them to get rid of as much sodium as possible.


 Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

gnn green leafy veg.

 

 

 

 

Spinach, collards, kale – these powerhouse foods are so low in calories and carbohydrate. You can’t eat too much.


 Citrus Fruit

gnn citrus_fruits

 

 

 

 

Grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes. Pick your favorites and get part of your daily dose of soluble fiber and vitamin C.

 


 Sweet Potatoes

gnn sweet potatoes

 

 

 

 

 

A starchy vegetable packed full of vitamin A and fiber. Try in place of regular potatoes for a lower GI alternative.

 


 Berries

gnn blueberries

 

 

 

 

 

Which are your favorites: blueberries, strawberries or another variety? Regardless, they are all packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Make a parfait alternating the fruit with light, non-fat yogurt for a new favorite dessert. Try our Superfood Smoothie recipe.


 Tomatoes

gnn tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

An old standby where everyone can find a favorite. The good news is that no matter how you like your tomatoes, pureed, raw, or in a sauce, you’re eating vital nutrients like vitamin C, iron, vitamin E.


 Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

gnn salmon

 

 

 

 

Salmon is a favorite in this category. Stay away from the breaded and deep fat fried variety… they don’t count in your goal of 6-9 ounces of fish per week.

 


 Whole Grains

gnn wheat

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the germ and bran of the whole grain you’re after.  It contains all the nutrients a grain product has to offer. When you purchase processed grains like bread made from enriched wheat flour, you don’t get these. A few more of the nutrients these foods offer are magnesium, chromium, omega 3 fatty acids and folate.

Pearled barley and oatmeal are a source of fiber and potassium.

 


 Nuts

gnn walnuts

 

 

 

 

 

An ounce of nuts can go a long way in providing key healthy fats along with hunger management. Other benefits are a dose of magnesium and fiber.

Some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flax seeds, also contain omega-3 fatty acids.


 Fat-free Milk and Yogurt
gnn yogurt

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone knows dairy can help build strong bones and teeth. In addition to calcium, many fortified dairy products are a good source of vitamin D. More research is emerging on the connection between vitamin D and good health.


 

Some of the above list can be tough on the budget depending on the season and where you live. Look for lower cost options such as fruit and vegetables in season or frozen or canned fish.

Foods that every budget can live with year round are beans and rolled oats or barley that you cook from scratch

Source-  http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/diabetes-superfoods.html#sthash.TwRUyRpK.dpuf

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Tea the Real Story

Nov 1, 2014 0

By Chris Rawstern

Everyone knows what tea is, right? Tea, technically, comes from the leaves of one plant, camellia sinensis. Anything other than the leaves from this plant is not actually tea, although tea is often used as a catchall word to include all the different herbal beverages used these days.

Legend has it that tea was discovered long ago in China quite by accident. Some leaves from a nearby plant blew into a cup of hot water; a nice brown colored beverage resulted, was found to have a refreshing taste, and tea was born. However it was discovered, tea is very refreshing, whether it is black, green, oolong or white. Tea has been proven in more recent times to have wonderful health benefits. We have all heard of antioxidants in tea, helping to fight free radicals that can cause harm to the body. Tea is far lower in caffeine than coffee. It is refreshing, whether used hot or cold.

There are various types of tea, all beginning with the same leaves. Black tea is created by bruising or crushing the green leaves to expose them to oxidation and allowing them to ferment, then rolling the leaves and drying. This produces a beautifully colored beverage and has the strongest flavor of all the varieties of tea. Oolong tea (pronounced OH-long) is oxidized and fermented the same as black tea, but only for about half the amount of time and the resulting product is a lighter, more reddish beverage with a flavor all its own, somewhere in strength between black tea and green tea. For green tea, the leaves are heated immediately, stopping the fermentation process entirely, then dried and rolled. It produces a lovely light colored beverage, and is said to have the most health benefits. The processing of white tea is similar to that of green tea, but only the unopened buds of the leaves are used. It has the same health properties as green tea, but the flavor is the lightest and most delicate.

Good quality tea is a wonderful beverage. Whole rolled or twisted leaves are the best quality; the smaller the leaf, the higher the quality of the tea. The top grades are called Flowery, Golden Flowery or Tippy. Seconds, termed Choppy, are the leaves that have broken into smaller pieces. They brew a great tea, and are usually less expensive. The smallest particles leftover from the tea process, called Fannings, are what is used in tea bags. It brews tea of course, but once tasting a tea brewed from a wonderful full leaf Darjeeling Black Tea, for example, it is hard to return to a tea bag for optimal flavor.

Orange Pekoe (rhymes with gecko) is a western terminology applied to a grade of black tea; the word orange in the name has nothing to do with flavor, but could be a reference to the Dutch House of Orange using the name Orange as an implied sea” of some sort. Pekoe may be a westernized interpretation for a Chinese word meaning white hairs, referring to the fine white down on the tea leaves.

So, what are herbal beverages called? Herbal beverages are called tisanes, and may be prepared by different methods, usually infusion or decoction. It is incorrect to apply the term tea to anything infused or decocted, although tea is actually infused. Infusion is the preparation method of choice for leaves, flowers or buds; plant matter that will release its properties easily into a drinkable beverage. Placed into heated or boiled water and allowed to steep, the herbs release their goodness into the water, and then are strained out. Decoction is the method used for harder or denser plant materials, such as roots or barks that take longer to release their flavors or health benefits. With a decoction, the plant materials are brought to a boil, simmered gently for 15 minutes or more allowing the liquid to reduce, and then straining.

No matter which you prefer, tea or tisane, for pure enjoyment or for health benefits, look for the best quality. Discover your favorites among the different types of loose teas. Taste the different herbal tisanes and discover new flavors. Above all, enjoy.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey. You will find many more recipes and helpful tips on my web site. I am on Facebook at A Harmony of Flavors and share a recipe or tip each day to the fans that have liked my site. I hope to see you there soon.

My name is Chris Rawstern and I have been on a cooking and baking journey for 42 years. Many people have asked what “A Harmony of Flavors” means. Have you ever had a meal where the visual presentation was stunning, the smells were incredible, the taste was so remarkable that you ate slowly savoring every bite, wishing the experience would never end? Visit my Web site http://www.aharmonyofflavors.com, my Blog at http://www.aharmonyofflavors.blogspot.com or my Facebook page A Harmony of Flavors.
Article Source:
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