Eating Acorns… Are There Any Benefits? In the Bedroom?

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When autumn comes along and pretty brown acorns are lying on the ground one should wonder… why bother to collect them? Why not leave the acorns for the squirrels? Unfortunately, acorns can get messy so folks usually rake them up and the wildlife has to do without. But if you were to gather them, what is the benefit? Similar to nuts, acorns have oils in them that are beneficial, they also contain a little protein and small amounts of phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium and calcium. But the best benefit of all is getting outside and gathering them. Another benefit is how pretty they look in a basket on the kitchen table. And they don’t look too bad in a jar leaching in the fridge. They look fantastic in cookies, they give them a pretty brown color. And there’s always that old book that said that acorns and oats were good to eat for “sexual strength.” Whether or not that’s true has to be decided by those who eat acorns. Although it’s a lot easier to cook up a bowl of oats, there’s nothing like dipping a corn chip into a delicious bowl of acorn dip, knowing it just might have… benefits. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

 

What I Have Learned About Cooking With Spices

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I have been cooking for forty years. I use a lot of spices and half the time when I do, I think about all the wars that have ensued because of them. As much as I hate war, I have to admit that when I open up my spice jars, I get it.

In my earliest days of cooking, I used way too much spice. I had to learn how to use each one and that has only come from years of experience. What I’ve learned is that you don’t need much. I’ve never used too much marjoram, but I’ve ruined dishes with too much rosemary, thyme and even basil.

Even after all these years, I still like to take a sniff when I open the jar, right before I spice. It tunes me into the art of spicing.

Another important aspect I’ve learned is that you don’t have to simmer spices to develop full flavor. I’ve cooked the flavor of spices out of my food, enough times to know… use a little and don’t cook it too long or it will dissipate.

And I always get the freshest spices I can and that means heading to my local natural foods store. I have my own little jars with tight fitting lids and I write the name of them with a black marker on the lid and on the jar.

And though I love fresh spices, another thing I’ve learned is that if I keep a spice in a small plastic bag, twist tied and then put into an air tight jar, it will keep for years. My first preference is for fresh spices, but I must confess that I have used spices as old as twenty years and they worked. They weren’t as potent so I used more.

Don’t be afraid to spice it up but the best tip I can give is start with a pinch until you get to know the spice and then you can use two, three or four pinches.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

Vegetarian Cooking… Try Something New for Breakfast

Next time you’re putting together a tofu scramble, try using soy flour instead of tofu. One-quarter cup of the dry flour has 10 grams of protein, 10 % of the daily requirement for calcium, 25% for iron, 14% for phosphorus and 30% for magnesium. I find that very impressive for something that is also quite tasty.

In a small cereal bowl, take a couple tablespoons of soy flour and add equal parts water. Mix it well with a fork. Add two raw eggs and mix well. Add a tablespoon of salsa and scramble that in. Cover the bowl with a small plate and microwave it for three-and-a-half minutes. When done, drizzle soy sauce on it. Serve with whole-wheat toast and fresh avocado slices. Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Better Start Now… Otherwise You’ll be Bored and Depressed

There is no better time than today to check in with yourself and what you do with your “spare” time. Benjamin Franklin once said that the three grand essentials to life are… something to do, something to love and something to hope for. If we don’t keep these three things in mind, we could be in for some rough times as we age. It doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone needs to fulfill these essentials. Plan ahead for the days when you are too old to ride a bike or live alone and there’s no one to cook and bake for. In the old days it was called having a hobby. It’s more important than just a hobby, it’s having a life. Tap into what has always interested you and no matter how old (or young) you are, take the steps necessary to do it. Have it become your lifestyle. You’ll live a long and happy life if you do.

Suellen Ocean has developed the lifestyle of an author. You can find her books here: https://www.amazon.com/author/suellenocean

Losing Pounds – Go With the Flow

Why do those extra pounds cling to our bodies? Almost everyone I know can tell you how hard it is to lose even a few of those unwanted pounds. Everyone is also familiar with carbohydrates and many of us are used to eating them… to feel full. I’d be hungry all day if I didn’t eat bread, rice, cornmeal and pasta. But carbohydrates can take up to four hours to digest. We should be conscious of foods that digest quicker and run through and out of our bodies faster, like fresh fruits and vegetables and digestive stimulants like fresh, hot peppers. Maybe those extra pounds will go with the flow. Better energy comes with better digestion and even our brains are connected to our digestion. Strong body… strong mind. How about lively body… lively mind.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Why Don’t Women Sew Any More?

It’s a sexist question to ask, “Why don’t women sew anymore?” Men sew too. I met a man who had a sewing machine and made sports clothes and I know men who are bikers and pull out needle and thread to stitch their leathers when they need repair. Men have been sewing probably as long as women have, tailors are evidence of that. However… many more women throughout history have enjoyed sewing their own clothes. Not so much anymore and why is that? One reason might be because third world countries did it so much cheaper and the industrial age sent women to work, right alongside men. Nevertheless, I think the main reason women don’t sew much anymore is because the sewing machines made it a pain in the &%$#. The first day of sewing class, I ran the sewing machine needle right through my finger. For years, I have persevered through bundled, knotted thread that stops the machine and God forbid… uneven tension. Then there are the broken needles and the year that stretch knits came out and we had to learn to sew on that fabric for the first time. The “new” sewing machines were fine when they were simple but the more advanced they got, fewer women wanted to torture themselves with it. Forget it already! “I am a lousy seamstress,” they told everyone. The sad part of that is that they weren’t lousy; the machines were just NOT user friendly.

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I have been sewing for decades. How do I do it and still enjoy it? It happened quite by accident. I lived in the mountains and we had no electricity so I had to sew on a treadle machine. All it does is sew, forward and backwards. That’s it! And guess what? I have no problems with it. I never mess with the tension, I know better than to touch it. My treadle machine was manufactured in the 1980’s in China and is called a “Butterfly.” What happened was, communist China bought out an old Singer sewing machine factory and continued making the machines but made them to run as treadles without electricity. I have had my treadle for about twenty-eight years. I love it and I love to sew! Just thought some of you might like to know.

Suellen Ocean is the author of numerous books on various topics. You can seem them at her website http://www.oceanhose.com.

Don’t Be Afraid of Turmeric… Spice it Up!

Turmeric has been across the news for several years. It is purported to be useful in cases of inflammation and heart disease and there are reports it is good for the brain and may fend off Alzheimer’s. I heard someone on the radio last weekend, touting its liver cleansing properties. I heard a report a couple of years ago that cultures who cook with turmeric (sometimes included in curry) have less incidence of Alzheimer’s. What’s not to like? I was already using curry powder but when I heard that not all curry powders include turmeric, I decided to add turmeric to my soups, stews and stir-fried vegetables. I was quite pleased. I buy the turmeric in bulk at a natural foods store. I use it sparingly but if I accidently use too much, I have found it is not offensive. If I make a pot of vegetable soup, suitable for four people, I would probably use no more than one teaspoon of turmeric powder. It has a wonderful bright yellow-orange color. Another idea is to sprinkle a pinch on brown rice, add some sweet red peppers for color, a spoonful of raw sunflower seeds and a dash of olive oil, maybe a sprig of parsley and you have yourself a dish that fulfills many of the day’s nutritional requirements.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Using Acorns to Teach Your Kids About Ecology

The earlier you teach your children to enjoy nature, the more likely they are to embrace and understand it. That is what I believe. One of the fun things about nature is that it is free, or should be. Take the time for nature walks with your children and make it clear to them how they fit into the ecosystem. Acorns are an excellent way to show kids how everything connects. The sun brings life to the oak tree and the rain brings water. The oak tree grows big enough to provide shade for animals and the acorns provide food. The large animals eat the acorns and the smaller animals eat the crumbs. The birds swoop in for crumbs too while larger birds, like woodpeckers, take the whole acorn and stuff it in the holes they’ve drilled into trees. Even worms get in on the act. Little tiny worms invade the acorn and when they do, birds swoop in again and eat the worms. The droppings left by the birds and animals nourish the tree. The rains return and the ecological cycle repeats. It’s a circle that goes round and round.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Our Lives Are Surrounded by War

In America, it’s easy to think that there is no war but I hear the sound of war when a fighter jet takes off from the nearby air force base. I’m very grateful for the peaceful existence I have in America and for those who “fought for our country,” but I see the damage done to our young soldiers when we watch the evening news and see how ill- treated many Vets are in hospitals created to take optimum care of them. We hear stories about friends and neighbors and how their lives were altered by war. And then I see it when I’m researching. Whether I’m researching genealogy or for a fiction I’m writing. Yesterday and today are surrounded by war. Can’t we get past it?

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

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The Love of Gold Goes Back to the Stone Age

People love gold. I know because I live in the Sierras and I’ve met many modern-day gold miners. They will stand in the hot sun all day with their primitive picks and pans, happy with the thought that maybe they’ll find a nugget or at least enough gold “fines” to make the day worthwhile. Stone Age tools embedded with gold tell us that early man learned how to melt gold and craft with it. The Egyptians became highly skilled gold jewelers by about 5000 B.C.E. Fine specimens can be found in museums. You’ve heard of King Solomon’s mines? Those gold mines brought Solomon great wealth. The precious metal was pounded then stretched and worked into fine jewelry and maybe to decorate military armaments. The gold was used to reward his best soldiers and for the purchase of food and goods for the well-being of his people.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Prince-Before-After/dp/1484086392

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/celtic-prince-suellen-ocean/1102338307?ean=2940016618968

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