Tea Types and their Benefits

A Natural Approach with Cheryl - www.cobornsblog.com
Cheryl

That first sip of hot, freshly brewed Earl Grey tea is what awakens my taste buds and opens my eyes every morning. I love tea, and so do over 158 million Americans. Tea is the most consumed beverage (besides water) in the world. However, it is also a very misunderstood drink. Continue reading “Tea Types and their Benefits”

Slow Cooker Quinoa

Slow Cooker Quinoa - cobornsblog.com/cheryl

A Natural Approach with Cheryl - www.cobornsblog.com
Cheryl

I’ve thought a lot about this blog. Slow Cooker Quinoa has kind of had me stumped.

Quinoa was the subject of my first blog over two years ago. I didn’t want to go down that same research based path again. I’ve already told you about its origins and stellar nutritious powers. Also, I don’t do a whole lot of crock pot cooking anymore. Crock pots and slow cookers are a great appliance when preparing food for families and pot lucks. Cooking for one and crock pots don’t really go together.

I have a small 1.5 quart crock pot that is a pretty, bright yellow, so I pulled it out and set it on my kitchen counter hoping its cheery look would inspire me. It didn’t. So I left. It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday in October with temperatures hitting the low seventies, not a day to be inside making up recipes. Also it was a perfect day to work on my biggest project.

Continue reading “Slow Cooker Quinoa”

Hummus: A Healthy Snack for a Busy Life

Hummus: A Healthy Snack for a Busy Life

A Natural Approach with Cheryl - www.cobornsblog.com
Cheryl

As my son, Alex, and I sat in a bustling auditorium waiting for my granddaughter’s spring program to begin, I mentioned that I needed a subject for this blog. His immediate response, “Hummus! I eat it every day, it’s an easy go-to snack.”

Alex’s life is one of the busiest I know of. He goes to school in St. Paul during the day, works as a bartender in a high end restaurant downtown Minneapolis at night, drives his daughter to school in Roseville, plays Lego’s with his son at home in Lino Lakes and his wife is exactly nine months pregnant with their third child. If he finds hummus an easy, go-to snack I believe him! Continue reading “Hummus: A Healthy Snack for a Busy Life”

Natural Cold Remedies

Natural Cold Remedies

A Natural Approach with Cheryl - www.cobornsblog.com
Cheryl

Feed a cold, starve a fever. According to the Scientific American this saying is attributed to John Withal’s dictionary dated 1574. The belief was that eating would warm the body up to help overcome the cold and starving the body would aid in cooling it down during a fever. Neither is actually correct.

The number one defense in fighting these common illnesses is to have a strong immune system and the first thing one can do for their immune system is to eat right—before the cold or flu strikes.
But this winter if you should find yourself getting that all too common cold there are some great and easy ways to nip that bug in the bud.

When my sons were younger and the cold season was hitting in school, the first things I would do would be to put a pot of homemade chicken soup on the stove, make them a warm cup of echinacea tea with honey in it and have them suck on zinc lozenges. It sure seemed to ward off the sneezing, sniffling, runny nose symptoms. I honestly cannot remember a time my boys had to miss school because of a cold. Now that they are older I will give them a cold fighter gift pack in the fall, a box of echinacea tea, a little bear full of honey, zinc and elderberry lozenges, vitamin D and some essential oils. It’s up to them to use it before the cold takes hold!

Why Zinc, Echinacea & Elderberry?

Zinc is believed to work for both colds and flu, a study at the Cleveland Clinic found that people who sucked on 6-8 lozenges a day reduced the duration of their cold by over three days. Echinacea works to help cut the risk of catching a cold as well as reducing the length of the cold. The flavonoids in elderberry extract (not jam or wine) stimulate the immune system.
Hot drinks and honey are soothing ways to relieve congestion and the inflammation in the lining of your throat and nose. I have always used echinacea tea with a squirt or two of honey in it, but have found that even just putting the tea kettle on with water and drinking just the water with honey is soothing too. We all know that drinking plenty of liquids is a golden rule, and these warm drinks are comforting.

Chicken Soup

Speaking of comfort, what is more comforting than a nice steaming bowl of homemade chicken soup? A study at the Nebraska Chicken SoupMedical Center in Omaha proved that this isn’t just an old wives tale. The soup contains an amino acid that acts like acetylcysteine, a drug prescribed to help clear the mucus, but without the long list of side effects. The steaming liquid of the soup helps to not just give us comfort but helps to boost the liquid intake we need to increase during a cold. I know that lots of us don’t have time to just whip up a big ol’ pot of homemade soup especially when we’re not feeling the best, that’s okay because a good quality can of chicken soup will work too—sadly though, they are loaded with sodium which hinders the hydration we need when a cold is trying to take over. So drink extra-extra water along with the canned soup.

Vitamin C & Vitamin D

When autumn comes around I start taking Vitamin C and increase my dose of Vitamin D to aid in bolstering my immune system. Vitamin C works to knock out free radicals so that the immune system can work better. Vitamin D, a.k.a. the sunshine vitamin, is made in our body through the skin when exposed to sunshine. Well who here in Minnesota gets to expose their skin to the sun in the cold months? Nobody that I know! Add to that, most of us are in school or at work if the sun is shining during the winter. Therefore, supplementation is helpful. Few foods contain Vitamin D, but the best sources are the flesh of fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, small amounts are found in foods like egg yolks and beef liver. Next time you’re at the doctor ask to have your level of Vitamin D tested; chances are you may be a little low. There is an increased risk of infections in the body when it is deficient in Vitamin D.

Essential OilsEssential Oils

Using a diffuser for essential oils, or putting a few drops in a pot of simmering water helps to deter the growth of viruses. Simmering the water or using the diffuser also helps to put moisture into the dry winter air. Eucalyptus, lavender, clove, and cinnamon bark are among the best essential oils for colds.

Natural cold remedies? Eat right, drink plenty of liquids, and get plenty of sleep and exercise. Easier said than done, right? I hope that when you cannot avoid the germs or life is too hectic to take care of yourself properly you will find some relief in the bug fighters I talked about in this blog.

Cheryl
Coborn’s Natural Foods Manager
Clearwater, MNC

Click Here for more articles written by Cheryl

A Natural Approach with Cheryl - www.cobornsblog.com

Vegan Lasagna

Vegan Lasagna

A Natural Approach with Cheryl - www.cobornsblog.com
Cheryl

First off I should begin by telling you that I am not a vegan. I am not even a vegetarian. We’re talking full on carnivore over here. So when I was first given this assignment I thought I should beg off and let someone else tackle this subject. But then again I am always up for a challenge. I have several vegan friends and have made more than a few vegan dishes in my life. Plus, I respect the vegan choice.

Within days of being given this assignment three people shared their Vegan Lasagna recipes, along with offers to make them and take pictures. So here I am writing for the challenge and the learning and teaching experience it provides.

Veganism and vegetarianism are different in many ways. Simply put, the vegan follows a more strict diet by choosing only plant-based foods, whereas a vegetarian might be a consumer of some animal-based products. I will attempt to define a vegan for you all—hoping that while it may not be a complete encyclopedic definition, it will at least be a street level accurate one.

Donald and Dorothy Watson coined the term “vegan” in 1944 when they, among others, co-founded the “Vegan Society”. A registered charity, “The Vegan Society” continues to this day to, “advance veganism in a positive and significant way”.

A Harris Interactive telephone survey conducted in 2011 concluded that approximately 5% of the U.S. adult population is vegetarian, and only about half of that 5% are vegans. To celebrate this minuscule population, World Vegan Day is celebrated every year on November 1.

There are different levels of veganism. A dietary vegan chooses to refrain from eating animal products, not just meat, but also all animal derived products such as eggs and milk. An ethical vegan not only abstains from eating animal products but also from the use of animal products in any way, such as leather or wool clothing, animal derived vitamin supplements (like fish oil) & bee products (like beeswax), to name a few. An ethical vegan would also reject the use of products that use animals for testing.

Often a person would choose to be a vegan for health choices, to avoid chronic disease like cancer, heart disease or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Sometimes the choice is made for them as their own bodies have issues with certain products. This creates problems such as allergies or inflammation. Other times a person may choose to avoid eating animal products because they don’t like the taste. But I think most often the choice is a highly personal and ethical one. As one friend of mine put it, “I would never eat or use anything that is derived from something that has a face.”

All of us eat vegan dishes with most meals and find them quite tasty. Who doesn’t love a baked potato? Or a carrot? Especially when it is fresh from the ground. A vegan simply chooses not to eat all the things that surround these great garden side dishes.

I have never met a vegan whose life isn’t full of strong and educated conviction. Whether their diet is dictated by choice or need, the vegan is a very aware consumer and I have high regard and much respect for the person that lives this lifestyle.

If you are interested in learning more about the vegan lifestyle I would suggest the following websites to get you started:
www.vegansociety.com
www.vegan.org
www.vrg.org

Now for some awesome Vegan Lasagna Recipes!

WandasGlutenFreeVeganLasagna

Wanda's Gluten Free Vegan Lasagna
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Shredded Daiya Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) Package Rice Lasagna Noodles, uncooked
  • ½ Cup Soy or Rice Milk
  • 2 (12 ounce) Vegan Sour Cream
  • 2 (8 ounce) Vegan Cream Cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) Package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed
  • 8 Ounces Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Cup chopped Zucchini
  • 1 Cup chopped Yellow Squash
  • ½ Cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Coat a 9x13 inch lasagna pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a large sauce pan heat milk, sour cream and cream cheese. Add in spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots.
  4. Mix and heat until milk and cheeses are well blended.
  5. Place a thin layer of sauce mix on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Place one layer uncooked noodles.
  7. Layer the sauce, sprinkle ½ cup of daiya mozzarella cheese.
  8. Repeat 2 more times.
  9. On the 4th and final layer, put noddles on and top with remaining daiya cheese. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray side down.
  10. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven, uncover, and sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.
  12. Place the uncovered dish back into the oven for 15 more minutes.
  13. Let cool 15 minutes or until ready to serve.

 
Cara's Grandma's Vegan Lasagna
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • Zucchini Mixture
  • 4 Cups thin sliced Zucchini
  • 1 Cup chopped Onion
  • ¼-1/2 Cup Vegan Butter, such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • Spices
  • 2 Tbsp. Dried Parsley
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Basil
  • ¼ tsp. Oregano
  • Other Ingredients
  • 3 tsp. EnerG Egg Replacer
  • 4 Tbsp. Water
  • 8 oz. Vegan Shredded Cheese, such as Daiya Mozzarella Styles Shreds
Instructions
  1. Add the ingredients from the Zucchini Mixture Ingredients section together (Zucchini, Onion & Vegan Butter.)
  2. Cook Zucchini Mixture over medium heat on the stove for 10 minutes.
  3. Next, add the Spices Ingredients together and stir them to be sure they blend well.
  4. Mix the Spices into the Zucchini Mixture.
  5. Then, combine the EnerG Egg Replacer, cheese and water together.
  6. Add the EnerG Egg Replacer, Cheese and water mixture to the Zucchini Mixture that now has the Spices included.
  7. Pour mix into a 12x8 Baking Pan.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  9. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

 

And for some other truly tasty Vegan Recipes you can check out these links below:
www.ohsheglows.com
www.vegweb.com

Cheryl
Coborn’s Natural Foods Manager
Clearwater, MN

Click Here for more articles written by Cheryl

A Natural Approach with Cheryl - www.cobornsblog.com