Did you know, the thousands of insects bats eat each night save farmers millions of dollars on insect control and crop damage. That makes bats the most organic form of insect control you can get. They readily devour the pests that eat our food crops and trees and spread disease.
Some bats have even been documented to have survived for over 30 years. Most bats are only able to produce one to two pups each year (some species may have up to 4 pups).
Unfortunately, right now bats have something to fear themselves – white-nose syndrome (WNS). WNS is a rapidly spreading fungal disease that has resulted in the catastrophic decline of bats throughout eastern North America. Over 5.7 million bats have already died, and because bats are long-lived and produce so few young, it will take many generations for populations to recover from this disease.
Read more information about bats, the white-nose syndrome and how you can help here.
If you're doing something in particular to help the bats, please share it with our Gratitude Gourmet Facebook Community. Thanks! :)
Tomorrow, October 16 is World Food Day, and the theme for 2013 is "Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition".
World Food Day (WFD) was established by FAO's Member Countries at the Organization's 20th General Conference in November 1945. The Hungarian Delegation, led by the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Dr. Pál Romány has played an active role at the 20th Session of the FAO Conference and suggested the idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide.
It has since been observed every year in more than 150 countries, raising awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger.
See the video on Hunger below, and here's an Events Page showing what you can do in your area.
Hailed as the first place winner for the “Best Health and Nutrition” cookbook at the 2012 annual Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, “Gluten Free Mediterranean Gourmet Cuisine", written by Aslihan Koruyan Sabanci, is the first book to offer gluten-free recipes based not only on delicious Turkish Cuisine but also on factual nutritional analysis. She also discusses How to have a Healthy Immune System. You can also find several vegetarian recipes and make many of these vegetarian or vegan if needed.
Following two years of extensive research, each recipe chosen for Sabanci’s book includes nutrition charts as well as vitamin and mineral values determined by medical specialists and nutritional scientists which include carbohydrates, fat, protein, fiber, folic acid, calcium, vitamins D, E, A, B1, B2, niacin, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. The finished product is a beautiful 320-page book enhanced with full color photographs of over 150 tried and tested, easy and tasty Mediterranean Cuisine recipes all made from accessible ingredients.
“While compiling my recipes into a book, I wanted to include useful information for food-sensitive people like myself,” says Sabanci. “I hope my book will be beneficial not only to people who are gluten-sensitive, Celiac Disease patients and their families, pediatricians and gastroenterologists, but to a global readership that is fond of Mediterranean and Aegean cuisines and want to eat healthfully and deliciously.”
Her nutrition tips to create a Healthy Immune System include:
- Eat regularly
- Eat a variety of foods
- Decrease the consumption of fat
- Consume Omega 3 fatty acids (I recommend flaxseed and walnuts)
- Consume less sugar and sweetened foods
- Avoid too much sodium
- Consume more liquids
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Consume more antioxidants
- Avoid processed foods
- Consume organically grown foods in their season
- Get Sun for Vitamin D
- Consume fermented products
Try this Recipe: Kabak Tatlisi (Pumpkin Dessert with Cream, Walnuts, and Strawberries)
Crunchies dried fruit and vegetable products are great because you're getting healthy and nutritious snack food.
Here's a great Crunchies Recipe for you, courtesy of Crunchies and Carol Kicinski.
Gluten Free Banana Berry Muffins with Raspberry Butter
Makes: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Gluten free, non-stick cooking spray
1 cup rice milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
¾ cup certified gluten free rolled oats
½ cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
2 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup grapeseed (or other neutral tasting) oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup superfine white or brown rice flour
½ cup tapioca starch
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 One ounce package Crunchies Freeze Dried Raspberries
1/3 cup dairy free butter, softened
1 tablespoon honey
Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a standard muffin pan with gluten free, non-stick cooking spray.
Heat the rice milk until hot but not boiling. Add the vinegar or lemon juice and stir to combine. Put the oats in a small bowl and cover with the hot rice milk. Let sit for at least 10 minutes or up 30 minutes to soften the oats. Add the sugar, bananas, oil and vanilla, stir to combine.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the rice flour, tapioca starch, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the banana/oatmeal mixture and stir to combine. Reserve ¼ cup of the freeze dried raspberries for the butter and stir the rest into the muffin batter. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until they are gold brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan.
Place the reserved freeze dried raspberries in a small plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Stir the crushed raspberries into the softened butter along with the honey and serve with the muffins.
Dr. Frank Sacks, Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health shares, “We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain, and since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with many health benefits, including protection against heart disease and possibly stroke."
I really enjoy Linwoods' Delicious Omega3-rich Flaxseed Superfood Blends and put them in my breakfast cereal or tea, especially the Ground Flaxseed, Cocoa, Strawberries & Blueberries Blend.
A Vegetarian Quinoa Recipe courtesy of Linwoods using their Flaxseed with Goji Berries Blend is here for your reference. Enjoy! :)
Need more Omega 3's and Fiber?
Check out this great Apple & Flax Seed Muffin recipe from Carrington Farms which features non-genetically modified 100% Organic Milled Flax Seeds and Flax Chia Blend.
Makes 12 to 24 muffins depending on your preference.
· 1 and 1/4 cup milled flax seed
· 2 teaspoons baking powder
· 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
· 1 teaspoon nutmeg
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 3/4 cup sugar or sweetener
· 4 large organic cage-free eggs (hopefully eggs from well-cared for chickens from your backyard or a friends) or egg substitute
· 1/4 cup oil
· 1/2 cup liquid (syrup or water)
· 1 Tablespoon vanilla
· 1 medium apple, chopped fairly finely
· 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 12-muffin tin very well.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the rest of them.
3. Let batter stand 10 minutes, then put into the muffin pan and bake for about 18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and muffins just barely start to pull away from the sides of the tin