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  • Fabulous Fenugreek

     

    Fenugreek, or 'trigonella foenum graecum' is, for our purposes, a fabulous galactagogue - that is, it boosts breastmilk production!

    And, humanity appears to have been harnessing the benefits of this spicy legume for some time. Charred fenugreek seeds have been unearthed in ancient Iraq dated to circa 4000 B.C., and desiccated seeds found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Cultivation of fenugreek began in the Near East, with all parts of the plant being used - the leaves as a herb, the seeds as a spice, and the sprouts and micro-greens constituting a vegetable. Our fascination with fenugreek need not stop at tisanes.

     

    For, fenugreek has featured as the key ingredient in many cultural dishes throughout history, and herbal medicines have lauded its various benefits, claiming to aid a myriad ills from digestion to diabetes.

    Remedies using fenugreek included those for bronchial ailments, tuberculosis, swollen glands, cuts, and sores, and fenugreek was added to unguents for its role as skin softener.

    The ancient Greeks knew the herb as 'telis'. Hippocrates, Cato and Pliny all list fenugreek as an ingredient in varying prescriptions and remedies intended for everything from dyspepsia to cattle fodder. Roman garum, the much-beloved pungent fish sauce, was laced with fenugreek pulp as it was believed to be effective against headaches, and potent as an aphrodisiac!

    When its herbaceous elements are not being employed within a farrago of far-flung cuisine, fenugreek seed wields its ribald allure flavouring sauces, condiments, and relish.

    But, the farthermost fenugreek delight is bestowed upon us in the form of something called 'hilbe'. Hilbe is made by soaking, rinsing, and processing fenugreek in various stages for several days - protracted, but worthwhile.

    Once achieved, hilbe is incredibly versatile, and can be used as a spread, a flavouring in soups, or as a base within which to make a fiery sauce. Hilbe ubiquitously bedecks flatbreads, falafel, and any fried vegetables or fish, and is used with 'zhug', a Yemeni hot sauce to make countless dishes. This fabulous fenugreek concoction can also be used in sweet baking to flavour cakes, pastries, and biscuits.

    Making Hilbe

    If you would like to make hilbe you need to soak around three or four tablespoons of fenugreek for three days in a jar or bottle, and change the water several times a day.

    Twice daily, rinse and refresh the seeds under running water in a colander or sieve, and return to soaking. At the end of the three days, the fenugreek seeds puff up and lose much of their darker colour and raw bitterness.

    To the swelled seeds then add approximately one cup of water and blitz the soaked fenugreek for a couple of minutes in a food processor, to produce a thick paste, and follow by sitting in the fridge for three hours.

    This process needs repeating once or twice more, before the fenugreek becomes frothy and consistent with egg-white.

    Store your hilbe in a jar, chilled, or freeze it until you need it.

    Ancient lore is borne out by modern science - fenugreek is indeed fantastic!

    A nutritional breakdown shows the remarkable nutritional content of this legume, which boasts a rich store of minerals including iron, calcium, copper, selenium, and is incredibly vitamin-dense, containing a host of B vitamins, folic acid, A and C.

     

    Fenugreek's polysaccharides, saponins, tannin and pectin all work together to keep our cholesterol levels where we would like them, and amino acid 4-hydroxy isoleucine benefits those with diabetes; mucilage aids digestion, and Not stopping at that, the choline in fenugreek will keep your mind sharp, and ease symptoms of PMS and menopause, and the compound diosgenin increases milk flow. Wilder rumours claim fenugreek can promote breast growth.

    It is a good job that fenugreek features in recipes, sweet and savoury, in teas, spreads. And spice mixes. For now, I think I will have a cup of tea.

     

     

     

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    Neuner's Organic Nursing Tea Joins Forces With 'Peak Health Food' Store To Show Support For Breastfeeding Mothers in Rugeley

     

    Neuner's UK have joined forces with an independent health food shop, in support of a campaign to raise awareness and acceptance of breastfeeding.

    Recent controversy erupted after an unknowing breastfeeding mum was blasted with derogatory comments after being secretly photographed breastfeeding her 8 months old baby in public. The image went viral after being published on social media website, facebook, yet received a deluge of support which became the catalyst for a pro-breastfeeding campaign in Rugeley.

    To show their support for the rights of breastfeeding mums, 'Neuner's' are showing a united front with one of their stockists, Peak Health Food, by supplying the Rugeley store with hundreds of free samples of their award winning tea. 'Neuner's Organic Nursing tea' is the UK's most popular breastfeeding tea with mums of all ages and are looking to positively support the rights of mums.

    Marie Longman, owner of 'Peak Health Food' commented " We're thrilled to be showing our full support for breastfeeding and would like to invite all breastfeeding mums to drop in, take the weight of their feet and enjoy a complimentary cup of Neuner's Organic Nursing Tea, courtesy of the company! There's no catches, customer or not, all breastfeeding women are very welcome."

     

     

     

     

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    Tips to encourage your child to eat more vegetables

       

    In the last couple of weeks there has been a lot of talk about how bad too much sugar and salt intake especially for children really is. So every parent has a desire for their child to eat a nutritious diet. After all, it’s what will help them to grow into the strong and healthy human that will be one of the goals of good parents.

    The trouble comes when the toddler years arrive and parents may not have quite so much control over what their child is eating. Other children in nursery are allowed crisps, grandparents who spoil them…your little cutie has tried a few unhealthy treats, and now they want more of ice cream, fried chicken and cheese cra
    ckers. But their interest in green vegetables may be regrettably non-existent.

    Fruits and vegetables contain the vitamins and nutrients that will provide your child with a protective immune system and will also help them to grow as they should. But how do parents encourage their toddlers to chow down on those vegetables? Here are some tips to encourage more eating of the green stuff for even the pickiest of eaters:

     
    • Presentation goes a long way. Children are more likely to eat plates of food that look fun and exciting, so therefore present fruits and vegetables in that way. You can arrange the foods in an arty way- for example, create images of faces, vehicles, butterflies, dogs etc. Anything that will grab the attention of the children.

       
    • Hide vegetables in the food. You can put grated carrots into Shepherd’s Pie or other minced meat dishes and they will be practically undetectable. Quite often, just cutting up vegetables into small pieces can make them look all that more approachable, whether you hide them or not.
       
    • Explain to them why vegetables and fruit are so important. Children understand more than we think. It might be difficult to reason with a toddler but the more often you repeat that this is really good and healthy and makes you strong.. the more likely it is that the message will be heard (one day).
       
    • Give a reward. Give them a ‘carrot’ for eating that carrot. You can offer a little reward in exchange for a clean plate. Once they build a habit to eat their vegetables then it will become easier. They will then eat them whether there is a special reward to look forward to or not.
       
    • Set a good example. Show them that you eat vegetables and that it’s so that you can remain strong and healthy. You could also explain how it helps you to feel good, helps you to look good and be strong.
       
    • Humans are born with a natural suspicion towards foods that they are not familiar with. Scientist say that it can take up to 5 presentations of vegetables for children to get familiar with them, so just keep trying. It’s best to start early by offering vegetables to your baby. In that they get familiar with the different tastes early on.
       

    By using these tips, you should be able to encourage your toddler to eat more vegetables.

     

     

     

     

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    Tips to Reduce Stress During Pregnancy

    It’s easy to get upset about the smallest things when we’re under too much stress. A friend of mine related to me recently how she had spent all day thinking about going home to eat her mashed potatoes. When she got home, it became apparent that there wasn’t any milk to add to the potatoes. This piece of unwelcome news reduced her to tears almost instantly.

    For the expectant mother, it’s crucial to reduce stress. When you’re doing something as important as growing a new human life inside you, you shouldn’t feel so uptight that potatoes send you over the edge. Here are some tips to keep you on the pathway to less stress:

     

    Don’t take on too much. Pregnancy isn’t an easy time. Not only do you feel tired, but there are a lot of hormones, and therefore, emotions to cope with. It’s not the time to volunteer for extra assignments in the office or to start hosting social engagements. Your responsibility is to cut back so that you can get extra rest. You can let friends know that you feel tired and need to take it easy. Good friends will understand and will want the best for both you and baby.

     

    Don’t be concerned about the thoughts of others. You’ve got other things to be working on. Being a mother is the most important position you’ll ever hold and don’t make others make you feel bad for putting your pregnancy first. You are not being selfish by doing this, you’re putting your baby first. Remember the happier and healthier you are, the more likely your baby will be the same.

     

    Don’t do too much pregnancy related research. It’s fine to read about the development of your baby but you don’t want to start getting panicked by mentions of very rare conditions that may affect pregnant ladies. It can just put you under pressure that you don’t need. It’s very unlikely that you’ll be a sufferer of complications as most babies are very healthy. They are remote possibilities, and keep them that way. However, if you have a legitimate concern, ask your doctor.

     

    Try to meditate, do yoga or simply relax with a nice cup of tea. Anything that works for you and is relaxing is fine. It's not helpful if you have stress getting to yoga class on time.

    Expecting a baby is a time to relax and allow nature to take its course. Reduce your stress and both you and the baby will benefit from it.

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