The Power of Mustard Greens

Amazing Mustard Greens

The Powers of Mustard Greens are endless.  If you haven’t tried them yet or just haven’t seen or heard about them you may want to explore the unknown and bring them straight to your plate.  They are much like spinach, kale and or collards in that they have a bite and are most oftenly prepared steamed or sauteed.  You can enjoy them many ways including raw in a salad or incorporated into a dish.  Below we will discuss the healing powers of healthy mustard greens. We will also have some recipes coming up using these powerful cruciferous greens.

The Antioxidant Benefits of Mustard Greens

As an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and manganese, mustard greens give us highest level support for four conventional antioxidant nutrients. But the antioxidant support provided by mustard greens extends far beyond these conventional nutrients and into the realm of phytonutrients. Hydroxycinnamic acid, quercetin, isorhamnetin, and kaempferol are among the key antioxidant phytonutrients provided by mustard greens. This broad spectrum antioxidant support helps lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells. Chronic oxidative stress—meaning chronic presence of overly reactive oxygen-containing molecules and cumulative damage to our cells by these molecules—is a risk factor for development of most cancer types. By providing us with a diverse array of antioxidant nutrients, mustard greens help lower our cancer risk by helping us avoid chronic and unwanted oxidative stress.

Mustard Greens’ Anti-inflammatory Benefits

As an excellent source of vitamin K and a smaller but reliable source of omega-3 fatty acids (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), mustard greens provide us with two hallmark anti-inflammatory nutrients. Vitamin K acts as a direct regulator of our inflammatory response, and ALA is the building block for several of the body’s most widely used families of anti-inflammatory messaging molecules. While glucobrassicin (a glucosinolate found in many cruciferous vegetables, and the precursor for the anti-inflammatory molecule indole-3-carbinol) does not appear to be present in mustard greens in significant amounts, other glucosinolates present in mustard greens may provide important anti-inflammatory benefits and are the subject of current research.

Like chronic oxidative stress and chronic weakened detox ability, chronic unwanted inflammation can significantly increase our risk of cancers and other chronic diseases (especially cardiovascular diseases).

Mustard Greens and Cardiovascular Support

Researchers have looked at a variety of cardiovascular problems—including heart attack, ischemic heart disease, and atherosclerosis—and found preliminary evidence of an ability on the part of cruciferous vegetables to lower our risk of these health problems. Yet regardless of the specific cardiovascular problem, it is one particular type of cardiovascular benefit that has most interested researchers, and that benefit is the anti-inflammatory nature of mustard greens and their fellow cruciferous vegetables. Scientists have not always viewed cardiovascular problems as having a central inflammatory component, but the role of unwanted inflammation in creating problems for our blood vessels and circulation has become increasingly fundamental to an understanding of cardiovascular diseases. While glucoraphanin (a glucosinolate found in many cruciferous vegetables, and the precursor for sulforaphane, an isothiocyanate with important anti-inflammatory properties) does not appear to be present in mustard greens in significant amounts, other glucosinolates present in mustard greens may provide important anti-inflammatory benefits and are the subject of current research.

A second area you can count on mustard greens for cardiovascular support involves their cholesterol-lowering ability. Our liver uses cholesterol as a basic building block to product bile acids. Bile acids are specialized molecules that aid in the digestion and absorption of fat through a process called emulsification. These molecules are typically stored in fluid form in our gall bladder, and when we eat a fat-containing meal, they get released into the intestine where they help ready the fat for interaction with enzymes and eventual absorption up into the body. When we eat mustard greens, fiber-related nutrients in this cruciferous vegetable bind together with some of the bile acids in the intestine in such a way that they simply stay inside the intestine and pass out of our body in a bowel movement, rather than getting absorbed along with the fat they have emulsified. When this happens, our liver needs to replace the lost bile acids by drawing upon our existing supply of cholesterol, and as a result, our cholesterol level drops down. Mustard greens provide us with this cholesterol-lowering benefit whether they are raw or cooked. However, a recent study has shown that the cholesterol-lowering ability of raw mustard greens improves significantly when they are steamed. In fact, when the cholesterol-lowering ability of steamed mustard greens was compared with the cholesterol-lowering ability of the prescription drug cholestyramine (a medication that is taken for the purpose of lowering cholesterol), mustard greens bound 34% as many bile acids (based on a standard of comparison involving total dietary fiber).

In addition to the support factors described above, it’s impossible to talk about the cardiovascular benefits of mustard greens without mentioning their exceptional folate content. Although this cruciferous vegetable scores a rating of “excellent” in our food rating system, we would like to point out just how “excellent” excellent is when you’re talking about mustard greens. These greens provide just over 500 micrograms of folate in every hundred calories. That’s a nearly unsurpassed amount amongst the most commonly eaten cruciferous vegetables. (Only turnip greens score higher among the World’s Healthiest Foods.) Folate is a critical B-vitamin for support of cardiovascular health, including its key role in prevention of homocysteine build-up (called hyperhomocysteinemia).

February is Heart Awareness Month


IMG_6220This month February is Heart Awareness Month, which gives us the perfect opportunity to discuss many foods as well as lifestyle and living habits that contribute to heart health. We will also be talking about heart disease, what it means, how it is affecting the United States, and what we can do to keep our loved ones protected.  In this article we will guide you through simple and easy steps to better care for your hearts.

Facts to Know:

Cardiovascular disease, including,  heart disease and stroke is currently the leading cause of death in the United States.   The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports over 2,000 Americans die each day from cardiovascular disease.  The best way to reduce your risk and not be a statistic is to empower yourself with the proper preventative steps keeping your heart as healthy as possible.

Million Hearts – a fabulous organization focused on enhancing cardiovascular disease prevention – MH has established a national initiative working with communities, health systems, federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, as well as private-sector partners, preventing one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Million Hearts plans to do this by:

  • Improving access to effective care
  • Improving the quality of care for ABCS
  • Focusing clinical attention on the prevention of heart attack and stroke
  • Educating the public in leading a heart-healthy lifestyle – and what that looks like
  • Improving prescription and adherence to appropriate medications for the ABCS

Knowing Your ABCs Will help Improve your Heart Health

A – Appropriate aspirin use – Ask your doctor anout aspirin regimens to reduce your risk for heart attacks.
B Blood pressure control – Controlling your blood pressure will reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.
C – Cholesterol management – Improving your diet to aid in reduced fat and cholesterol intake. If it is high Working with your healthcare professional for  guidance In  lowering your cholesterol levels.
S – Smoking cessation – Talking to your healthcare professional to connect you with painless tools to help you quit smoking.

Foods That Are Great For Your Heart

It’s not hard to follow a heart-healthy diet. Here are some satisfying foods that are also good for your heart.


Avocados are packed with heart-healthy fat and allow for the absorption of carotenoids. According to the American Heart Association, good fats can lower bad cholesterol levels and are healthy when consumed in moderation. Avocados contribute good fats to your diet, providing 3 grams of monounsaturated fat and 0.5 polyunsaturated grams fat per 1-oz. serving. Avocados are the only fruit that contains monounsaturated fat to help lower LDL levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels. They are also a cholesterol and sodium free food.


Berries – including blueberries, raspberries and strawberries – are all great for vascular health packed with anti-inflammatories to reduce cancer and heart disease risks. A most recentstudy – published in Circulation – reports that young women that consume blueberries and strawberries may have a reduced risk of heart attack. Eat your berries!


Broccoli is high in vitamin C and fiber, it contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties. It is also rich in lutein and a good amount of beta-carotene. A few years ago researchers in the United Kingdom stated in a study for the journal Diabetes that eating broccoli could reverse the damage done to heart blood vessels by diabetes because the vegetable contains a compound called sulforaphane and that it increased enzymes to protect heart blood vessels and reduced molecules that damage them. Broccoli is such an important vegetable to be consuming due to it endless health benefits.


Fatty fish – salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, halibut, Lake Trout and Albacore Tuna – are heart healthy because of their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids – these reduce blood pressure and the risk of developing blood clots.


Information provided by the National Institutes of Health, states that flaxseed and its components may improve cardiovascular health because of its wonderful health attributes. Ground flaxseed is loaded with fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is great when used as a topping for oatmeal and whole-grain cereal. It also contains soluble and insoluble fiber, log and, which have plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. There is evidence that flaxseed may help reduce risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease.


Legumes – such as chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and lentils – are loaded with calcium, soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure as  well as lose weight. The Cleveland Clinic lists legumes as a great healthy addition to your diet for boosting heart health and reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.


Nuts – such as almond, macadamia and walnut –  are considered a great source of healthy fat and fiber in the diet. The Mayo Clinic states that eating nuts as part of a healthy diet can be good for your heart lowering the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol levels in the blood, while reducing the risk of developing blood clots that can cause fatal heart attacks. Eating nuts can also greatly improve the health of the lining of your arteries. Most nuts contain at least some heart-healthy substances including unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, plant sterols and L-arginine.


Oatmeal is a fiber-rich superfood that is loaded with folate, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. It  is also good for your arteries and lowers levels of LDL cholesterol. Coarse or steel-cut oatmeal is recommended over the instant variety because they contain more fiber. The Mayo Clinic also states that oatmeal contains soluble fiber which reduces the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream and reduce LDL. Oatmeal is a great healthy breakfast or snack. If you have a busy schedule it’s great to make ahead of time and have it ready for your week. We love to top it with some berries for a fast, healthy and delicious fix.


This power packed leafy green is wonderful for eye health, as well as prevention of cancer. Spinach also promotes cardiovascular heath, states SuperFoodsRx. The vitamin C, beta-carotene and other nutrients rich in spinach work together to prevent oxidized cholesterol from building up in the blood vessel walls. Folate is also an important contributor to the health of the heart, as it works, along with B6 and betaine, to lower serum levels of the dangerous amino acid homocysteine. The potassium and magnesium in spinach also make significant aids to heart health and both work to lower blood pressure and risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Pumpkin Maple Bites – Gluten-Free


We took this beautiful pumpkin cheesecake from the Shape Magazine article and made it over.

This is a delicious recipe and wonderful and yummy treat for this season.

The fresh and delicious pumpkin squash combined with the richness of maple combines for a sweet and delicious treat.

For the original article and recipe in the magazine go here:

Ingredients For the Pecan Crust:
2 cups pecans pureed to a dust/flour consistency
3 tablespoons coconut oil
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the Cheesecake Filling:
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 cup plain greek yogurt
3 eggs
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon sea salt

Pecan Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 8” round cake pan, or 8” x 8” square baking pan with non stick spray. Next take all the crust ingredients and put in a bowl. Stirring until well distributed.

Pour the crust mix into baking pan.  Next press it into the bottom and sides of the dish with your hands.  Be sure to do this even so that the thickness is the same throughout.  Bake crust for 8 minutes, until edges become golden.  Remove and cool.

Cheesecake Filing:
In a blender add all ingredients for cheesecake. Blend until mixed evenly.  Pour the cheesecake filling into the pan with the crust.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until center is set up. It shouldn’t jiggle when you shake the pan, it should be firm.

Cool for 30 minutes, then chill in refrigerator for 2 hours allowing to set and firm up. Goes well served with plain greek yogurt, maple drizzled, whipped cream, and or nuts.

Fall Favorite Soup- Carrot Sweet Potato Soup


As the weather begins to chill warm soup becomes our household favorites.  Make thick, hearty and filling healthy soups quickly to keep your whole family warm this season.  Here is one of our favorite fall soups we serve regularly.

Carrot Sweet Potato Soup


1 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. plus 1 pinch sea salt
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch rounds
1 can light coconut milk, divided
2 ½ Tbs. lemon juice


In large saucepan on medium, heat up oil.  Add onion and sea salt, cooking for 5 minutes. Next add ginger, cooking 1 to 2 minutes. Now add cayenne, and 1/4 cup water. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring.

Add carrots, 1 tsp. sea salt, and 4 cups water, to a rapid boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer on medium, uncovered.
You will cook this down for 25 minutes.

Now puree soup in food processor in batches.  Be sure not to overfill as the heat can make it spill over. Take pureed soup back to pot, add in 1 cup coconut milk and lemon juice, stirring. Dependent on the desired level of thickness you can add purified water to thin the soup out, or keep it thick like a stew as needed.

Simmer remaining 3/4 cup coconut milk in small saucepan on medium for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.

Plate soup, and incorporate 2 tablespoons of hot coconut milk into each serving.  Swirl will create a nice design with your spoon.  Let your creativity take flight coming up with neat creative shapes an designs with the hot coconut milk.

Delicious & Nutritious Dates!


Dates are an amazingly nutritious fruit enjoyed all over the world. They are also very healthy loaded with vitamins and minerals, including potassium, and fiber.  In fact one  date fruit has 25% more potassium than a banana.  Dates are also naturally fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free and make an incredible way to naturally sweeten things without the high calories and fat found in other sugary and sweet foods.  Dates have been known to aid blood sugar keeping it balanced.

If you are looking for a natural alternative to other sweeteners like sugar, agave, honey, or stevia, you may really love date paste.  You can make it fresh anytime, simply by adding hot water and soaking them.  I use 1/2 cup of warm water to 1 cup of dates. Once soaked and softened you can remove the pits, and puree the dates until a nice paste forms.  This paste can be used in anything you would typically use sugar or natural sweeteners. By removing the white sugar from your diet and incorporating this natural fruit sugar you will be helping your body, while also reducing your risk for obesity.  Dates are naturally rich in pectin, a fiber found in the sticky syrup of dates.  Date Paste can be used for a number of culinary uses besides a sweetener, including a natural thickener, and gelling agent, which works great in baked goods, cookies, cakes, pastries, breads jams, jellies, smoothies and more.

Dates  are a fruit of the date palm tree, and have been consumed for thousands of years. They are most oftenly grown in dry subtropical conditions. Typically dates are dark reddish brown, oval in size, and about 1 1/2 inches long. The date skin is wrinkled and coated with a sticky and waxy film. This soft, syrupy and extremely sweet fruit is consumed raw and does not need to be heated or cooked. When dates grow they are in large clusters found low beneath the fronds of the date palm tree.

Dates  are a wonderfully rich and sweet fruit with all the taste of sugar, without the harmful effects of it. They are also a delicious and nourishing, and a super healthy food snack.  These are perfect to carry for kids, and adults on the go, and transport very well. I love using pureed dates or date paste in salad dressings, sauces, smoothies and so much more. Be creative and see how you can incorporate dates into your life.

Fresh Apple Blueberry & Peach Pies – Coming Soon!


Quinoa & Black Bean Sprouted Grain Enchiladas


Quinoa & Black Bean Sprouted Grain Enchiladas

 Time: 30 Minutes or less
Servings: 3-4
Ingredient Recipe: 5


7 Organic Sprouted Grain Tortillas (small Ones) – We used Ezekial Brand yum!
2 cups Organic Quinoa cooked
2 cups Organic Black Beans drained
Frontera Enchilada Sauce Pack
2 Cups Mozzarella Part Skim Shredded Cheese


Preheat oven to 400.  Cook the quinoa, or have it cooked and on hand.  Drain your black beans.  Get out a baking dish – We used glass pyrex that worked perfect.  Take tortillas and fill with quinoa and black beans enough to stuff them full but still able to roll them.  Proceed until all are rolled.  You can use large or small tortillas depending on what you have on hand.  Once rolled pour Frontera Enchilada sauce on top then top with Mozzarella part skim cheese.  If you are vegetarian simply swap out mozzarella for vegetarian cheese. Cook for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden.  If using vegetarian cheese be sure to watch it as it may need less time and you don’t want to burn it. Oven times may vary so keep an eye on it.


I cooked the quinoa in advance and had it on hand which made the Enchiladas take only 15 minutes.  This is an incredibly fast, fresh & healthy meal if you are short on time.  You can even make it in advance and have it ready in the fridge. Then you can just pop it in the oven when your home from work.  It made a wonderful lunch the next day also,  and all in all it is a win.  Typically when we have made Enchiladas in the test kitchen before we have had a lot of ingredients.  This time we were short on everything and they were just as delicious and super natural tasting. You can add fresh salsa with them for a bit more flavor.  We combined the Enchiladas with a quick baby greens salad, some gluten free blue corn chips and fresh guacamole for a wonderfully quick and delicious meal that the whole family could enjoy.  Yum!



Seasonal Berries & Salad Yum!


Next time your out be sure to pick up some delicious seasonal berries.  They are sweet and delicious this time of year.  They make a wonderful treat  to eat alone or to top on a salad.  We picked up fresh organic baby mixed greens and sliced up some yummy strawberries with a light drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, and WOW was it great.  Its a super tasty snack or lunch when your in a rush.  When your short on time, top your salad with some nuts like raw sunflower seeds to pack in a bit of nutrition, while adding some lovely taste and texture to your delicious and yummy salad.

Have a wonderful day and make it GREAT!

Be sure to remember to choose food that will put you in a good mood!



Chocolate Nutty Bites – Gluten-Free


Nutty Bites

Naturally Gluten-Free
Time:  15 Minutes
Ingredient Recipe:  8


1 Cup Organic all natural Peanut Butter (You can also use any nut butter on hand)
3/4 Cup Agave or other favorite sugar substitute
1 large cage free Egg or for vegetarians use 1tbsp of ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp. of water
1/2 tsp. gluten-free baking soda
1/8 Cup Organic Chia Seeds
1/8 Cup Organic Ground Flaxseed
1/4 Cup chocolate chips (we used vegan, gluten-free chips)
1/4 cup favorite nuts (I used what I had on hand raw sunflower seeds, raw cashews, and raw pecans)


Preheat oven to 350.  Combine all but nuts.  Stir until well mixed.


Use non stick cooking spray for mini muffin pan.  We used coconut oil spray but you can use any that you have.  Drop 1 tbsp. into mini muffin cups.  Top the muffin cups with a sprinkle of nuts.
Any nuts you like can be used.  Bake 10-12 minutes until firm.  You may need more or less time depending on your oven.  Cool & Enjoy!


Be sure if you use peanut butter that you find an all natural one that has nothing but peanuts in it.  You don’t want the added sugar type.  We used the crunchy style peanut butter that made it a delicious treat.  You can also use any type of nut butter in its place and it is just as delicious. For our vegetarians substitute the flaxseed egg for the egg.  You can top it with nuts as we did here or make it without.  Both ways works great but we do think they make super exciting little bites when topped with nuts.  You can also make them with or without chocolate chips.  Sometimes when we don’t have chips on hand we make them without which makes a delicious peanut butter cookie taste.