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Olives, oil and leaves: A Natural Way to Have Good Health

Anyone who has read any of my health articles will tell you one of my main cures is with olive leaves. They are natural anti-biotics and will knock out a flu or the cold in only a few hours when you catch the illness at the onset.  I grow, harvest and dry the leaves yearly and there is always a bag, a jar or capsules sitting around my home.  This is another one of my home grown articles with my tried and true remedies.

Fresh olive oil is ideal for internal cleansings and for use as a natural health tool. What better way to start than with some freshly pressed olive oil? Olive oil has been used for centuries for its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties and for its many vitamins and nutrients. Olive oil is used to treat candida albicans, flu, and viruses. It is also helpful in treating patients with cardiovascular problems. It is commonly used in liver and colon detox protocols.

The Olives are Ready to be Picked:

When creating olive oil, the olives are picked and shortly thereafter, the fresh olives are pressed to extract the oil. The olives are cold pressed to retain the photochemicals that are normally lost in the regular refinement process. Before using freshly pressed olive oil, it must be allowed to age for three weeks in a dark location such as a cabinet. Once the olive oil is ready to use, remember to store the olive oil in the dark. Olive oil must be kept away from the light so it does not turn rancid. Olive oil will last for six months once opened or up to two years in an unopened bottle.


Extra virgin olive oil is pressed once and is used for salads, dipping and very light sauteing. It turns rancid at 320 degrees, so extra virgin olive oil should not be used for cooking. Virgin olive oil, which is created by pressing the olives twice, may be used for cooking. It is essential that both types of olive oil are cold pressed. There are many oils on the market and prices can vary significantly depending on quality, so seek the best quality oil that you can afford.

How to Prepare the Olive Leaves:

After you have picked your olives, it is time to prepare the leaves. Remove all the leaves from the trees and place them in the shade to allow the leaves to dry. The dried leaves will store for up to two years in a glass container. If you do not have a glass container, a plastic jar will suffice. When the leaves are needed, grind them and use as an ingredient in a healthy smoothie or place olive leaves in vegetarian capsules.

How to cure olives:

http://www.wikihow.com/Cure-Olives


Heart Healthy Recipe: Delicious Fat Free Barley Soup

Barley soup is famous for being a soup fed to those who are sick.  Even Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, instructed his followers to eat barley soup when sick.  In fact it is also recorded that barley and Swiss chard soup is the best medicine for anyone.  You may have
seen many barley soups on the web and in cookbooks, but this soup is not like any you have seen.  It is so delicious that you will wonder why I did not think of this before.

Recently I learned that barley is best cracked to receive the full nutrition opposed to the whole grain that will go quickly go through your system. So before you begin to cook the barley, place the whole grain in a coffee grinder and grind slightly to open all the hulls.

Another main part of this very wonderful soup is pinto beans.  It is best to prepare this ahead of time and freeze individual packages in the freezer for later use.  You will be smashing the beans into a potato like consistency which can also be used for tostadas or Mexican taco salads later.  Pinto beans are full of protein and very delicious.


Pinto Beans

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups of dry beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Baking soda

Directions;
  1. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with water, double the size of the beans.  Add in one tablespoon of baking soda.  
  2. Let the beans soak overnight for at least 24 hours.  The next day drain the water off and rinse the beans thoroughly.
  3. Place in a pressure cooker and cover with water by 3 inches.  Add in the chopped onion and seasoning.
  4. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the stove and once the steam has evaporated, remove the lid.
  5. Drain all the liquid off of the beans and place the beans in a food processor.  Pulse slowly until the beans are a mashed potato-like consistency.
  6. Place 1 cup of mashed beans in each plastic bag and freeze for later use.

Barley Soup

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup chopped barley
  • 1 cup of mashed pinto beans
  • 1 small potato,diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small handful of parsley, chopped

Directions:
  1. Cook the barley in 3/4 liter of water with 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook the barley until the water is reduced several inches.  Remove from the stove.
  2. In a medium size pan place the potato, onion and the broth of the barley soup (use a strainer and only the broth is used).  Bring to boil and cook until the potato is cooked and soft. 
  3. Add in the carrots, seasoning and the mashed pinto beans.  Stir well and cook the soup until the carrots are slightly soft, but still crisp.  Add in the chopped parsley and cook an additional one minute.
  4. Serve in soup bowls and enjoy. 

Heart Healthy Recipe: Scrumptious Brown Rice and Spinanch

This is another one of my heart healthy recipes dedicated to my mom.  It has been ever evident that there is a huge need for delicious heart healthy recipes.  When diagnosed with heart disease or heart failure it is imperative to cut the fat, cut the sugar and and cut the dairy. So can anyone live happily on a diet void of some of the most desired foods? Yes, they can.  This recipes is so delicious you will want to make it again and again.  It is very simple to make too.

Brown Rice and Spinach

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups of brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups of boiling water
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped (frozen can be used also0
  • 2 teaspoons of virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Directions:
  1. Place the rice, one green onion, boiling water and salt and pepper in a baking dish.  Cover it with foil and bake for one hour in a very hot oven (450 degrees F.).
  2. After the rice is cooked, remove the foil and fluff with a fork. Set Aside.
  3. In a skillet add in the oil and heat.  Add in the two chopped green onions and spinach and saute for a free minutes until the spinach is slightly wilted.
  4. Add in the broth, salt and pepper and cook for one minute.  Add in the rice now and cook the rice until the liquid is all removed.  
  5. Serve on a plate with a scoop of raw goat yogurt.  Hmmmm yummy!