Top 10 Benefits of Lemons

Through deep breathing and consumption of alkaline forming foods, we create an optimal environment for cellular activity and nutrient assimilation and absorption. 

Lemons are acidic though, right?! Yes, but lemons are alkaline forming in the body, which helps restore pH in the body.

Would you like to know the top 10 benefits of lemons?

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Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

Last year, after moving into my condo, I had big plans to have a pretty little garden on my itsy-bitsy balcony. Inadvertently summer had come and gone before I got around to making my dream a reality. Sigh.

Sometimes perfect action is better than inaction.

This year I was determined! Sometimes perfect action is better than inaction. So, I set to it and bought a beautiful bounty of fresh herbs and plants from the local Parkdale Market on a sunny late-spring day. I eventually bought resin containers from Loblaws, keeping in mind that once the season comes to an end, I want to easily store them in my storage-locker until next spring. The idea of heavy, breakable planters did not seem viable for my current living situation. This is something you may want to keep in mind.

Edible Delights

I kept my garden theme quite simple - everything is edible: a plethora of herbs; curly-leaf kale; rainbow Swiss chard; and violas.

I wanted to grow kale and chard because I use these ingredients rather frequently whether or in juice, in salads, or as vegetable side-dishes. An awesome characteristic of growing kale and chard: it keeps growing and growing. Some lettuce, for example, is a one shot plant. You plant it and pick-it. And, it's done. With kale and chard, you pluck/harvest the outer leaves and the plant will grow more nutritious leaves. Kale has a long life and will grow through frost even - through to November in some cases. More yummy details on how to grow and harvest kale found here!

Herbs are full of antioxidant-rich and chlorophyll- rich sources making them a joy to use wherever and whenever possible. There truly is something magical about using homegrown herbs in cooking... Everything just tastes astronomically better.

The reason for which I chose violas is because they, like pansies, are full of colour and edible and they are cold-tolerant making them awesome from early-spring through to late fall. It's not often that I use ice in drinks, but when I do, I enjoy making decorative ice. Place half an ice-cube tray full of water with a single viola or pansy. Let it freeze and add more water. The viola or pansy will be frozen in the centre of the ice-cube. When I was a about nine years old, my mom taught me to do this and it has a way of always brings me back to childhood summers. This ice looks particularly beautiful in a pitcher of water that could be infused with garden basil and/or mint, cucumber, and lemon for a refreshing and aesthetically pleasing glass of water! The violas make a beautiful garnish on summer salads also. 

Perhaps you too are determined to have a plot of flowers and or veggies. If you have considered having a garden - big or small - there is still time this season. Most garden centres will taper their season before the beginning of July. Check with your local nurseries as they may have a prolonged season. This past weekend marked Summer Solstice with the longest day of the year... I trust that this infers that the sun and warmth are more decided on sticking around for a while; rather than repeatedly teasing us. So, why not make a go of it and treat yourself to the beauty of something that will grow and taste marvellous?

Next year: I will aspire to grow my veggies from organic, non-GMO seeds... 

Be good to you.

W xo

Nut Butter: How To.

Nut butter is easy to make. Really easy.

Nuts for nut butter!

Here's what you'll need:

  • A food processor (an ancient one will work just fine, trust me)
  • Nuts
  • Optional nut oil (I used Walnut Oil in this recipe to add an extra flavour profile)
  • Jar (or vessel of some kind to store your nut butter)
  • Oh, an love!
  • And, maybe a little Maldon Salt or Celtic Sea Salt®*

How to:

  1. Set up your food processor
  2. Select nuts of choice - I chose to use raw almonds and some pecans. Notice that I didn't use measurements either. Eyeball about 2 cups worth of nuts in whichever proportion you would like the taste to reflect (take into account the size of the food processor you are using).
  3. Place nuts into food processor.
  4. Add 1/2-1 TBSP of Walnut Oil to get extra creamy nut butter.
  5. Blend until your preferred consistency has been reached. Crunchy? Creamy? Oey-gooey?
  6. Scrape down sides of food processor's container and pulse a wee bit more to incorporate and crunchy bits (if you want it ultra-smooth).
  7. Store in a jar and keep in fridge for up to 1 month**.

Nut butter makes for an excellent blood-sugar-stabilizing snack. Spread onto a rice cracker, or slice up an apple, banana or pear and just dip it into your awesome, tasty creation!

Be good to you.

W xo

*Celtic Sea Salt® is awesome! There are so many benefits to this salt including: it has alkalizing properties, it helps balance electrolytes, and it improves brain function. For more interesting details on salt, following this link to Dr. Axe.

**If you do not plan to devour your nut butter within one month, seal it tightly in a container and freeze it. Bring it to the fridge to thaw a day before you plan to eat it all up.