By Mary Skinner, Contributing Writer
On the road to improved health, we are always looking for that magic pill. A magic pill doesn’t exist, but these 11 staples can help:
Chia Seeds: Great plant source for essential fatty acids, perfect for porridge or as addition to smoothies.
Flax Seeds: Grind and sprinkle on oatmeal or add to smoothies.
Raw almonds: Toast raw almonds in oven on low temperature for about 15 minutes to reduce phytates and bring out the delicious nutty taste. Blanch and blend with
water, vanilla and a pinch of sea salt to make almond milk; or use milling blade on blender to make gluten-free flour.
Brown Rice Bread Crumbs: Gluten-free substitute for breadcrumbs, and helps thicken soups and sauces.
Dulse: Toast and grind this North Atlantic seaweed and use as a flavor enhancer or as a crunchy snack.
Coconut Sugar or Maple Crystals: Teaspoon for teaspoon, either can substitute for white sugar. Both help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Dried Beans: Great source of dietary fiber. Soak for 24 hours, then rinse to reduce natural occurring phytates.
Rolled Oats: Instant oatmeal products are filled with sugars and preservatives. Buy rolled oats instead, and prepare just as quickly adding only wholesome ingredients.
Unrefined Organic Virgin Coconut Oil: This medium chain fatty acid won’t break down into free radicals at higher temperatures. Great for baking!
Kombu: Sea vegetables bond to the heavy metals and toxins in the digestive tract and help detox the body. Kombu added to beans while cooking aids in digestion.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: Helps maintain proper pH in body, which can help reduce inflammation.
Personal chef Mary Skinner is founder of Fine Dine Organic Cuisine in Tampa. Her website is FineDineOrganicCuisine.com.
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