Winter Nourish Bowl
— July 23, 2015
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup green lentils
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 head broccoli broken roughly into florets
- 1-2 medium carrots chopped
- Juice of ½ lemon or lime
- Drizzle of cold-pressed olive oil
- Combine rice and lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water and sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook covered until water has been absorbed and rice and lentils are cooked through (about 30-45 minutes).
- Boil another smaller saucepan of water and 5 minutes before the rice and lentils are done, blanch the broccoli and carrots.
- To assemble, fill the bottom of the bowl with some leafy greens, then simply spoon in the cooked rice and lentils with the steamed vegetables.
- Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Optional- add sauerkraut and your favorite dip or dressing.
Spotlight on carrots-
The commonality of carrots does not mean that these tasty crunchy root vegetables are void of health-promoting properties! Its not wives tale that carrots are good for improving vision. Carrots are very rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for healthy eyes and night vision.
Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts. A study found that people who eat the most beta-carotene had 40 percent lower risk of macular degeneration than those who consumed little.
The high level of beta-carotene also acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help slows down the aging of cells, as well as protect the central nervous system against aging and assist with cognitive decline.
Both the Vitamin A and antioxidants in carrots help to protect the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.
The alphacarotene and bioflavonoids in carrots have been associated with lower risks of cancer, particularly lung cancer but also breast and colon cancer.
Studies also show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Carrots contain high amounts of soluble fiber, largely from pectin, meaning the regular consumption of carrots been shown to lower cholesterol and ease digestion. The high levels of fiber and Vitamin A also helps the liver to flush toxins from the body, reduce bile and fat in the liver and clean out the colon.
Carrots can be enjoyed raw or cooked. They have a sweet flavor but can be bitter when they are not in season. Always choose fresh, whole carrots and enjoy them added to salads, casseroles, soups or eaten whole with dips!