Holistic dispensary

Holistic dispensary

By
Kimberly Parsons
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
978 184949 775 6
Photographer
Lisa Cohen

Buckwheat

Despite it’s name, buckwheat is unrelated to wheat. It is a gluten-free seed that is inexpensive to buy and versatile to use. Often known as ‘kasha’ the raw whole seed ‘groats’ are perfect for making porridge (oatmeal), granola, risotto or salads and the flour can be used in gluten-free baking. Buckwheat is mild in flavour and great if you want to add a crunch factor. It is also high in protein, manganese and copper levels and can stabilise blood sugar levels so is good for diabetics.

Millet

Another gluten-free seed, millet is creamy in texture and fluffy like rice. It feeds pathogenic yeast (candida), acts as a probiotic to feed important microflora in your inner-ecosystem, provides serotonin to calm and soothe your moods as well as helps you to hydrate your colon.

Oats

Oats gain part of their distinctive flavour from the roasting process that they undergo after being harvested and cleaned. Although oats are then hulled, this process does not strip away their bran and germ allowing them to retain a concentrated source of their fibre and nutrients. Oats also contain avenin, which is a protein similar to gluten. However, research has shown that most people with coeliac disease can safely eat avenin. Oats, via their high fibre content, are known to help remove cholesterol from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the bloodstream, therefore being cardio-protective.

Quinoa

Available in white, black or red seeds, quinoa is a naturally gluten-free seed and contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fibre. It is also one of a few plant foods that contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Available in various forms such as puffed, flaked, ground flour or the seed, this versatile ingredient can be used to make granola, risotto, porridge (oatmeal), baked dishes, salads, or as a starch substitute. Please rinse well before use as its saponin coating can be an irritant to the gut and creates a bitter flavour.

Chickpeas

They have a delicious nut-like taste and a texture that is buttery, yet somewhat starchy and pasty. A very versatile legume, chickpeas are high in fibre and protein and can boost your energy because of their high iron content. Also known as gram or besan, the flour can be used to make flatbreads or crackers.

Cold-pressed coconut oil

Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of medium-chain fatty acids. By contrast, most common vegetables or seed oils are comprised of long-chain fatty acids, also known as triglycerides or bad fats. Triglycerides are large molecules, so they are difficult for our body to break down and are predominantly stored as fat. But medium-chain fats, are smaller, and therefore easily digested and immediately burned by your liver for energy – like carbohydrates, but without the insulin spike. Coconut oil actually boosts your metabolism and helps your body use fat for energy. It is primarily a saturated fat, meaning when it is cooked it does not create a free-radical soup like it does with other vegetable oils. Coconut oil is the most stable of any known oils and is my preferred oil to cook with. Only buy extra-virgin varieties and ensure it has been cold-pressed.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, however don’t confuse this with other cheaper fats that have been saturated artificially through hydrogenation. True natural saturation of bonds encase the structure of coconut oil, which allows for the transport and delivery of the substance lauric acid which make up 50% of coconut oil. Lauric acid is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and also helps reverse the damage caused to blood viscosity by the multitude of polyunsaturated fats found in so many processed foods.

Extra-virgin olive oil

Olive oil is a monounsaturated oil, which helps lower cholesterol by blocking cholesterol absorption from food. It has been proven to improve cardiovascular function, digestion by improving liver and gall bladder function and increases bile flow and stimulates pancreatic enzyme production. It also acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and stabilises essential fatty acids against deterioration. Important in brain health, extra-virgin olive oil protects visual functions and improves overall brain function. When cooking with olive oil only heat up to 130°C. Only buy the extra-virgin varieties and ensure it has been cold-pressed.

Flaxseed-oil

Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its primary healthy reputation to its high Omega-3 essential fatty acids content. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8g of plant Omega-3s. It also contains lignans, which have both plant oestrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flax is also high in fibre and contains both the soluble and insoluble types. Flax, also known as linseed, is best used as an oil (which should never be heated) or as the seed. The seed in its complete form cannot be digested by the body and should always be ground before eaten. The high mucilage content of flax also makes it a good binding or drawing agent.

Hemp powder/oil/seeds

A seed with an earthy-nutty flavour that is full of Omega-3’s, protein, carbohydrates and free of any allergens.

Ginger

Fiery in its flavour, ginger is an incredible immune-boosting plant which helps to fight colds and flu. Anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial in its properties, it works well for headaches, sleepiness, indigestion, stomach upsets, nausea and motion sickness due to its anti-emetic properties. Also a good hormonal regulator, ginger really is a wonder drug which can be used in its fresh or juiced form or as a powder.

Sage

Calming sage helps to prime digestion and is the perfect pairing with roasted vegetables such as squash. Antiseptic and antispasmodic in its actions, sage is useful for sore throats, mouth ulcers, and nasal catarrhal conditions. It’s my go-to herb for when a gargle is needed to get rid of that sore throat.

Onion

Onions can be used either cooked or raw and act as anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral agents within the body. Prized as a respiratory antiseptic it helps to break down mucous. A warming expectorant, it also expels the mucous from the body by stimulating circulation. High in sulphur containing amino acids, onions are very good at detoxifying the body from heavy metals.

Molasses

Rich in zinc, this thick syrup is actually made from the sugar cane plant to make sugar white. It is rich in flavour and often mixed with other sweeteners so please read the label to ensure you are buying the pure product.

Cacao

Available as a powder, butter, paste, beans and nibs, this is raw, real and unroasted chocolate. Full of antioxidants and magnesium, all cacao products come from a bean. When cracked it produces cacao nibs and when stone-ground produces cacao paste (or liquor). When the fat is extracted and then solidified, cacao butter is produced and what is left is the cacao powder. One of the most antioxidant rich foods known to us, it is also high in magnesium and is the perfect calming stimulant. Don’t we all love it!

Bee pollen

Although a raw product, bee pollen isn’t considered vegan. Prized for its ability to promote endurance and vitality it is used to treat allergies, boost your immune system and slow the ageing process, it is considered one of the worlds most complete foods with an abundance of nutrients.

Chia seeds

A tiny but mighty seed, I am so glad these have been popularised. High in amino acids Omega-3’s, fibre, calcium and antioxidants, these little seeds are also a complete protein. In cooking processes these seeds are used to absorb liquid and can be a good egg substitute in baking.

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