4 Steps to Making a Homemade Veggie Burger

200280983-001When veggie burgers first became a popular food item, their taste often left much to be desired. Now, however, gourmet chefs have learned how to cook veggie burgers that are savory and able to maintain the appropriate texture. You don’t have to go out to a restaurant to get a great veggie burger, though. With this recipe, you can make them in your own kitchen. You don’t need many ingredients to make a great tasting veggie burger, and you’ll save a lot of money.

Step 1

Dry and mash lentils or chickpeas as a base. Separate chickpeas into two batches. Puree one half with a little flour and baking powder. Roughly chop the second batch. This process helps the veggie burgers from becoming mushy.

Many recipes call for black beans, but the lentils and chickpeas have a milder flavor that won’t overpower the burger as a whole.

Step 2

Sauté leeks and garlic in oil. You can also sauté and add celery. Roast eggplant and mushrooms until deeply browned. Chop all ingredients from Step 2 in a food processor.

Leeks are preferable to other types of onions, and they provide a mild flavor that blends well into the background. Eggplant is a surprise vegetable that helps hold the patty together, and mushrooms add a punch of flavor in a very similar manner as meat.

Step 2

Add cashews and pine nuts to the food processor for extra texture and flavor. For even more flavor, add some marmite to the mix. Marmite has a very strong flavor, so only a little bit is needed.

Step 3

Add barley and breadcrumbs to help the mixture stay together. Cook immediately after adding the breadcrumbs.

Step 4

Divide mixture into about four patties. Grill patties on foil for about eight minutes. Flip the patties and grill for eight more minutes. To bake the patties, place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes on each side.

Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, have health restrictions or just plain like veggie burgers, this recipe is bound to make them a popular meal in your home.

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8 Foods that Help Soothe Heartburn

163910797If you feel a burning pain in your chest, it’s probably heartburn, especially if the pain worsens when you lie down or bend over. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid builds up in the esophagus and is often related to eating and drinking certain types of foods. While heartburn can be very uncomfortable, some everyday foods can provide relief.

  1. Bananas

Bananas are a low-acid fruit that coats the esophageal lining. This coating can soothe irritation by acting as a protective film.

  1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal contains healthy fiber, which aids in digestion. Just like bananas, oatmeal also coats the esophageal lining and thus reduces irritation.

  1. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is a natural anti-inflammatory. You can either buy it over the counter, or cut or peel some ginger root and boil it in a small pot of water. After letting it steep, you’ll have excellent homemade tea, to which you can add some honey and lemon juice.

  1. Almond Milk

Drink almond milk either by itself or in a smoothie. The alkaline helps neutralize acids found in many foods.

  1. Licorice

Pure licorice provides a dual benefit for anyone experiencing heartburn. Like many of the other foods listed, it coats the esophageal lining. Additionally, the chewing action helps get rid of acid by making you salivate.

  1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens can work wonders when they aren’t paired with ranch dressing or cheese. Instead, steam your vegetables with olive oil and a little lemon, or use Italian dressing on your salad instead.

  1. Fennel

Chew fennel seeds throughout the day, or make your own fennel tea. To make the tea, put about two teaspoons of fennel in boiling water with a bit of honey. After the tea has steeped, strain it and put it in a large container for half an hour. Drink it right away or save some for later.

  1. Green Veggies

There are a number of green vegetables that are low in acid, like broccoli, green beans, asparagus, celery and cauliflower. Serve with non-acidic spices like basil and oregano, instead of spicy ones like black pepper or chili powder.

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Organic Grocery Shopping Tips

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Many people would like to buy and eat organic food for its health and environmental benefits, but they rarely purchase it because of the prices. Fortunately, it is possible to minimize the cost by following these helpful organic grocery shopping tips. This advice can also reduce consumption of excess packaging materials.

1. Buy produce during the right season and look for it at a local farmer’s market. In-season fruits and vegetables cost considerably less. Organic products are sometimes even less expensive than the alternatives. Produce is often most costly in the winter; try to cook and freeze some vegetables beforehand.

2. It frequently costs less to purchase organic foods in large packages at wholesale clubs, such as BJ’s or Costco. It is true that this option does not benefit local shops and remains less likely to support nearby farms. However, it does make healthy meals more accessible to people with limited incomes.

3. Another way to reduce food expenses is to organically grow vegetables in a garden. Some of the easier options include cucumbers, squash, kale and green beans. People in apartments or condominium units can still benefit from growing edible indoor plants, such as herbs or mung bean sprouts.

4. Create meals or mixes by putting together separate natural ingredients. For example, it costs much less to make things like muffins or granola from scratch. Look for an organic cookbook. Another possibility is to put together a delicious party mix by combining separate chips, pretzels, nuts and similar items.

5. When following tip #4, purchase the ingredients in bulk. Things like oats, flour and rice cost considerably less if people buy them this way. Manufacturers can cut prices because they do not have to use as many packaging materials when they distribute these goods. Less excess material also enables shoppers to use fewer trash bags.

Hopefully, these organic grocery shopping tips will help people enjoy more natural meals without overspending. This healthy eating choice not only prevents medical problems but improves the taste of food and reduces harm to the ecosystem.

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Natural Foods That Fight Inflammation

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Many people are unaware that inflammation is the cause of most health problems. Inflammation is an immune response to fungi, viruses, bacteria, foods you are allergic to, chemicals, radiation and injury. The most common symptoms of inflammation are loss of function, swelling, pain, redness and heat. Physicians often prescribe medications to treat symptoms but drugs rarely address the root cause. One way to combat this common health problem is to consume natural foods that fight inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids are among nature’s best ant-inflammatory substances and there are plenty of them found in fatty fish, including salmon. DHA and EPA are the two types of omega-3s found in fish that the body uses. Because the body does not need to expend energy to convert them to a usable form, they are easy to digest and beneficial to health right away.

Kale, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin E, a nutrient that protects tissue from cytokines, which cause inflammation. These foods contain other nutrients that promote good health, including fiber, phytochemicals, iron and calcium.

Tumeric is a spice used often in Indian cuisine. It gets its golden-orange color from curcumin, which is helpful in blocking certain enzymes that cause inflammation. Curcumin offers the same benefits as many drugs, including non-prescription pain medications, phenylbutazone and hydrocortisone with none of the unwanted side effects.

Almonds are a great source of vitamin E. When compared to other nuts, they provide more of this healthy nutrient in addition to niacin, riboflavin, calcium and fiber. Vitamin E offers protection against the damage to tissues caused by inflammation. Fiber can help reduce C-reactive protein in the body. C-reactive protein is a protein produced by the liver that is released into the circulatory system in response to inflammation, infection and tissue injury.

Most people suffer with inflammation in one form or another. If you are among them, the nutrients found in the foods listed above can provide relief. To get the full benefits it is important to add these to your daily diet because the healing effects will not be noticeable overnight.

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Health Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet

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What are the benefits of a Healthy Mediterranean Diet? Well, it was already known that a healthy Mediterranean diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts and legumes as well as other staples of healthy eating is able to drastically reduce the number of heart attacks in individuals. Existing studies have shown that people following a Mediterranean diet are 30% less likely to fall victims of strokes or heart attacks or other heart-related diseases.

However, a new study has shown that the diet is also capable of sharply reducing chances of breast cancer in women—especially a Mediterranean diet which is rich in olive oil. This study evolved out of PREDIMED, a landmark clinical trial in Spain, tells us that women who follow an olive oil-rich Mediterranean diet stand at far lesser risks of contacting breast cancer than women following simply a low-fat diet.

Let us look a bit closer at this. The trial was carried out with three groups of women aged 60 to 80 and there were in all 4,300 women who participated in the trial. The first group was put on an olive oil-rich diet, the second group again on a Mediterranean diet but with extra servings of megs and nuts and third group simply on a low-fat diet.

At the end of the trial, 35 women were found with breast cancer and it was shown that those in the olive oil diet had 62% lesser chances of breast cancer. There was not much of a difference when it came to the other groups.

As it happens though, we cannot say that these findings are definitive since other factors besides diet could have led to the disease, too, and at any rate, no definite conclusion can be drawn on the basis of a paltry number of 35 cases.

However, according to the physicians working in the field, it should be little surprise if it is really found that an olive-oil rich healthy Mediterranean diet succeeds in bringing down the chances of breast cancer. At any rate, they opine, that the upsides of such a diet are huge compared to almost no downside.

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What Are The Healthiest Types Of Rice?

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A familiar staple of many civilizations, rice is a versatile source of energy and nutrition. Many fad diets vilify rice because of its reputation for having a high carbohydrate content, but it can provide valuable nourishment to an active body. The key is to choose healthy types of rice that meet each person’s specific nutritional needs. Dietary requirements can vary, just as many types of rice and their health benefits can vary.

White rice, for example, has little nutritional value because the nutrients have been removed in processing. Its primary value is in its fast-digesting carbohydrates after a vigorous workout. The blood sugar spike from white rice can otherwise result in fat gain. Brown rice varieties such as basmati or jasmine, though, still have their bran and germ layers. This means they contain B vitamins, magnesium and phosphorus. Brown rice also offers the benefit of containing enough dietary fiber to slow digestion and satisfy hunger for longer periods of time.

Wild rice is another that offers a number of health benefits. Technically, wild rice is an aquatic grass seed. Its rich, nutty flavor and chewy texture, however, make it a delicious option that is also nutritious. Wild rice boasts of nutrients such as zinc, phosphorus, B vitamins, folate and magnesium. Sprouted rice provides even more nutrition. With this variety, the grains have begun to germinate. This means they are starting to sprout into a new plant, a process that boosts the nutritional value of the rice. Because the shell is softened during the sprouting process, this type of rice is also easy to digest.

An heirloom rice, Wehani is another healthy option. With its buttery aroma and russet color, this whole-grain rice has complex carbohydrates that are slow to digest and beneficial to hard-working muscles. Loaded with dietary fiber, this rice can cause tummy discomfort if eaten shortly before a heavy workout.

For an interesting selection of types and flavors of rice, consider browsing an ethnic market or health food store. Look for types that will curb hunger, taste great and provide sufficient nutritional value.

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Healthiest Indian Food Dishes

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Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice on taste. There is a wide range of Indian cuisines that are both rich in nutrients and tasty. If bland foods like corn flakes and oats is not your thing, here is an overview of some healthy Indian food dishes that you can try out:

Idli

Idlis are great source of proteins and carbohydrates. The fermentation process that it goes enhances its vitamin B content and generally increases the bioavailability of the proteins. What’s more, its fat content reduces as it is steamed and becomes more digestible. Combining Idli with rice is great as amino acids in them complement.

Sattu

This North Sattu staple was originally made of roasted gram flour. Today, however, it includes other nutritious flours such as wheat and barley. It can be prepared in a myriad ways including laddoos, parathas, litti chokhas and many other variations.

Dhokla

Dhokla is mainly made with gram flour and is steamed. It has low glycemic index (meaning it releases glucose at a considerably sustainable rate) making it good for diabetics. The fermentation process that the flour goes also boosts its nutritive value.

Bajra

Bajra or pearl millet is popular in Rajasthan and has been used by Indians since the pre-historic times. Bajra is majorly eaten in rotis or khichgis form, especially during winter.

Daliya

Daliya is made with broken wheat or whole wheat grits and is very popular in North India. It can be consumed as savory daliya, sweet daliya, or kheer. It is a complex carbohydrate, so the rate at which it gets digested is a bit slow and hence releases glucose at a slow and sustained rate. Like Dhokla, it is ideal for the diabetics and people who want to lose weight or those with high cholesterol levels.

Sprouts

Although not an Indian traditional favorite, its health benefits are immense. During the germination process, all their nutrients are broken down into simplest components making them easily absorbable by the body. They are rich source of minerals, proteins, vitamins and fiber.

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