Avocados For Good Health


Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fibre. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw food eater seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet.

Beneficial Fats

Avocados provide the healthy kind of fat that your body needs. Like olive oil, avocados boost levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). HDL cholesterol can help protect against the damage caused by free radicals. This type of cholesterol also helps regulate triglyceride levels, preventing diabetes. A study published early this year in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that a vegetarian diet, which includes HDL fats, can reduce levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) as effectively as statin drugs.


Avocadoes are an excellent source of carotenoids. Although many people associate carotenoids only with red and orange produce, avocadoes are also an excellent source of this phytonutrient. Avocadoes, also known as alligator pears, offer a diverse range of carotenoids including not only the better known ones such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein, but also lesser known varieties of this type of phytonutrient such as neoxanthin, zeaxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, neochrome, beta-cryptoxanthin and violaxanthin. Every time you consume foods rich in carotenoids, you deliver high quality vitamin A to your body, thereby protecting eye health. Carotenoids also enhance the functioning of the immune system and promote healthy functioning of the reproductive system. Since carotenoids are fat soluble, eating avocados optimizes the absorption of these nutrients.


The combined effect of the deluxe package of nutrients contained in avocados offers powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Avocados’ unique combination of Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids helps guard against inflammation. This means avocados can help prevent or mitigate against both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis.

Heart Health

The fat content, which causes some uninformed health “experts” to deem avocados as unhealthy, actually provides protection against heart diseases. Studies have shown that oleic acid improves cardiovascular health. Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocados. Many people now take supplements in order to consume more omega-3 fatty acids to lower their risk of heart disease. Avocados are rich in omega-3, delivering 160 milligrams per cup of alpha-linolenic acid.

Spices For Your Metabolism


Not only can cinnamon temporarily raise your metabolism but it also has an impact on insulin sensitivity. This can improve the way your body uses glucose and can make fat cells more responsive which helps stabilize blood sugar.

Cayenne Pepper

Spicy peppers, such as cayenne pepper, increase metabolism by causing body temperature to rise. This burns calories as the body cools your temperature back down. As an added bonus, the same substance that gives cayenne pepper its heat, capsaicin, may also aid in digestion and help to ease pain.


Along with boosting metabolism, ginger is also thought to help enhance satiety and reduce hunger. This makes it an ideal spice for those trying to lose weight! Ginger is also known for its ability to help ease an upset stomach.


Like hot peppers, mustard increases your metabolism by raising your body temperature. Spicy or hot mustard will be more effect than regular yellow mustard. Add some to your next sandwich to give it a tasty kick and burn more calories at the same time!


Tumeric increases metabolism and also aids in digestion. A substance in tumeric called curcumin is thought to help break down fats in the body and help prevent weight gain.

Ike and Mamie’s Favorites

President Eisenhower’s favourite foods.

You can try them too!


• Roast Stuffed Breast of Veal
• Beef Stew
• Steak (rare)
• Quail Hash
• Trout


• Ike’s Vegetable Soup
• Chicken Noodle Soup


• Prune Whip
• English Rice Pudding
• Floating Island
• Frosted Mint Delight
• Mamie’s Deep Dish Apple Pie
• Mamie’s Million Dollar Fudge
• Mamie’s Sugar Cookies


• Fluffy Turnips
• President’s Corn Pudding
• String Beans Almondine

Recipes for these and many more can be found in his personal collection.

Ike’s Cookbook. This cookbook consists of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s personal collection of recipes. These were either typed by his staff or clipped from print sources and pasted into the cookbook. Some recipes include the name of person who gave him the recipe. Individual recipes include Eisenhower’s Vegetable Soup and Beef Stew; both were widely requested by the general public and reprinted in numerous newspapers.

You can download his cook book in .pdf format here. (6.5MB)

The Eisenhower family at dinner



The history of the marshmallow is rather interesting with this confection (in a very different form) dates back to Ancient times.

The very first “marsh mallows” were plants (Althaea officinalis) native to Europe and Asia. The flowers were favored by the Ancient Greeks and Romans because they were considered to be healthful. Platina in his De Honesta Voluptuate et Valetudine (an Italian cookery book from the 15th Century) devotes a section to “On the Seasoning of Mallow” in which he outlines the botanical history and healing properties of the plant. Marshmallows, forerunner of the fluffy  confection which we consume today (which contains no marsh mallow at all), originated in France around the middle of the nineteenth century.

“Marshmallows or Guimauves are a form of sweetmeat for which the confectioner is indebted to the pharmacist. The original Pate de Guimauve was a pectoral remedy. It was made, as the name implies, from a decoction of marshmallow root, with gum to bind the ingredients together, beaten egg white to give lightness and to act as a drying agent, while sugar was incorporated to make the whole palatable. Marshmallow has come down to us basically unchanged except that it no longer contains extract of marshmallow. The marjority of marshmallows are made with egg albumen and gelatin, some are made with all of one and none of the other…”
Skuse’s Complete Confectioner, 13th edition [W.J. Bush & Company:London] 1957

Modern marshmallow sweetss were first produced in France about 1850. The earliest method of manufacture was expensive and slow because it involved the casting and moulding of each individual marshmallow. French confectioners used the marsh mallow root sap as a binding agent for the egg whites, corn syrup, and water. The fluffy mixture was heated and poured into the corn starch in small moulds, forming the sweetmeats. At that time, marshmallows were not mass produced, but rather they were made by confectioners in small local stores.

By 1900, marshmallows were produced for mass consumption, and were sold in tins as penny candy. Mass production of marshmallows became possible with the invention of the starch mogul system of manufacture in the late 1800’s.

“Marshmallow water. A concoction of marshmallow is effacacious in the cure of severe coughs, catarrhs, &c. Cut the roots into thin slices, and pour over them boiling water (about a pint to an ounce of the root), cleansing and peeling off the outer skin before infusion. The water may be flavoured with the squeezed juice and grated rind of an orange, and sweetened with honey or brown sugar-candy. Marshmallow leaves are eaten dressed like lettuce, as a salad. Time, two hours to infuse.”
Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin:London]

Recipe for Marshmallow sweets

Make sure the mallow roots aren’t mouldy or too woody.
Marshmallow gives off almost twice its own weight of mucilaginous gel when placed in water.
4 tablespoons marshmallow roots
28 tablespoons refined sugar
20 tablespoons gum arabic
Water of orange flowers (for aroma or instead of plain water)
2 cups water
1-2 egg whites, well beaten
Make a tea of marshmallow roots by simmering in a pint of water for twenty to thirty minutes. Add additional water if it simmers down. Strain out the roots. Heat the gum and marshmallow decoction (water) in a double boiler until they are dissolved together. Strain with pressure. Stir in the sugar as quickly as possible. When dissolved, add the well beaten egg whites, stirring constantly, but take off the fire and continue to stir. Lay out on a flat surface. Let cool, and cut into smaller pieces.
(Recipe from Herbal Medicine by Diane Dincin Buchman, Ph.D.)

Testicle Festival

Tourism chiefs in Serbia are hoping their annual testicle cooking festival will do for the region what whiskey has done for Scotland.

The annual Testicle Cooking World Championship in Ozrem takes place for the 8th time this year and is open to cooks from anywhere in the world.

Dishes, claimed to have aphrodisiac qualities, include the testicles of many animals including bull, wild boar, horse, shark, ostrich, kangaroo, donkey, turkey, goat, reindeer and elk.

cooked testicles

Organisers confess that they rarely get any chefs from abroad – but they are hoping that the festival will begin to attract international visitors to sample the dishes.


The festival organiser Mr Ivo Mokovich says “the importance of a recognisable brand to sell a region cannot be underestimated – look at how many people go to Scotland because of the whiskey or how many people know Switzerland because of their fine cheeses and chocolate products.

“We are now hoping that the numerous famous and varied testicle dishes that we have created in the region will become world famous and attract people who appreciate good food from all over the world.”

The testicle cooking contest takes place in August with elimination heats over three days leading through to the final.

Mr Mokovich added: “This year the theme is let your imagination run free – we have allowed the entrants to submit dishes using any kind of testicles that they want – large or small – and we’re looking forward to seeing what the expert Serbian testicle cooks come up with.”

Wasp Cookies

Japanese rice cracker makers have created a buzz around their product by adding wasps to the recipe.

The jibachi senbei (digger wasp rice crackers) each contain about six black wasps which are clearly visible to the consumer.

The crackers are made in Omachi, around 120 miles northwest of Tokyo.

Wasp hunters from the local area, who are mostly in their 80′s, capture them in nearby forests.

The wasps are then boiled in water, before being dried and sprinkled over the cracker mix, which is then stamped by hot iron cracker cutters.

Crackers are available in bags of 20, but output is limited by insect availability as the wasps are caught in the wild for optimum flavour.

wasp cookies

Food Art in a Miniature World

Ready for some “miniature” stories? Using tiny model figures and food, Seattle-based artist Christopher Boffoli creates fantastic scenes that mimic everyday life! His collection, titled Disparity, is shown in galleries all across the United States.

Muniature Food Art

Why did the artist start down this creative path? “The hand-painted figures that I work with are made for HO scale model train sets,” he tells us. “It is probably no coincidence that around age ten I had a large, elaborate model train layout that my father built for my brother and me. Everything about it was meticulously detailed. Especially with this train set, there was an infinite number of people, cars and buildings one could arrange on the landscape of a perfect little world.


Muniature Food Art