How do you feed a dog zucchini? Or how necessity is the mother of invention that created a recipe for good health.
Two of the greatest things about living on a farm in summer are the garden and the chickens. Each morning I walk out the kitchen door with an empty basket, hear the soft sigh of the creek, feel the cool cleansing of mountain mists and smell freshness from dew laden trees and grass.
Ambling to the barn I stop and pick a few fresh raspberries and strawberries, eat them sweet off the vine and watch the morning sun rising over the ridge. What a morning start! The chickens come running (I am their best friend at this time of the day) and in their nests I find a clutch of brown and speckled, eggs. Some are still warm. Heading back to the kitchen I pick vegetables for the day. Along with the berries, the garden bristles with onions, potatoes, sweet peppers, tomatoes, beans, peas, corn, several kinds of lettuce and greens, spinach, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, sunflowers, cucumbers, zucchini, gourds, numerous squashes and a variety of pumpkins from pie makers to large French ridges that will make humongous Jack O Lanterns this fall.
One can hardly go wrong with a three season diet plan when eating from a garden like this! (See my two recent messages – see https://www.garyascott.com/health/587/ – about the three season diet).
Yet here is the crunch. When the vegetables ripen, they all seem to make themselves ready to eat at once! I space my planting time in the hopes that the crops will mature over a longer period but, we still end up with a huge pile of fresh vegetables.
So right now Merri and I are in a zucchini crunch with dozens of fat, ripe zucchini laying in the garden.
Since we get nearly a dozen eggs a day so we have perfected the art of bestowing food gifts on our neighbors and friends, but one of our mainstays in this field is our friend who has a dog kennel. Eggs are great in a canine diet. But how do you feed a dog zucchini?
We had to find some other way. Enter necessity as the mother of invention and three aspects of good nutrition: alkalinity, seasonal eating and protein-carbohydrate-fat balance.
We learned over the years the importance of keeping our protein-carbohydrate-fat balance at about 3 grams of carbohydrate to two grams of protein to one gram of fat. (a good book on this subject is “Mastering the Zone” by Barry Sears Ph.D. – see see this link
Then we learn in the three season diet developed by Dr. John Douillard, (see see this link ) to modify this balance having less fat in spring, more carbs in summer and more protein during winter.
Yet there is a third aspect we were taught while living with the Shamans and their apprentices in the Andes. Our diets should promote alkalinity in our bodies.
The modern Western diet is far too acid and excess acidity can create a list of ailments that are almost bewildering. Acidity allows bacteria, yeast (Candida), fungus and mold to thrive in our systems. Acidity sets the stage for chaos opening the door to sickness and disease. Over acidification of body fluids and tissue underlies all disease. The body is only vulnerable to germs when in an acidic state. Acid imbalance creates health problems including skin eruptions and moles, headaches, allergies, colds and flu, sinus problems, fatigue, mental confusion, depression, muscle cramps, inflammation of the joints, irritability and lung congestion, plus urinary infections and frequent and urgent urination. In addition (as if this is not enough) excessive acidity is a key factor in early aging. In fact according to the book, “The pH Miracle” written by Robert Young Ph.D. and Shelly Young – see see this link acid waste and disposal could also be called the aging process.” In other words the more acidic we are the faster -old we get!
Enter zucchini! One of the greatest ways to reduce acidity is by eating large amounts of greens and some of the best sources are, lettuce, greens, mustard, turnip and collard greens, spinach and zucchini.
Add these together, an overload of zucchini, our desire to eat right, all we have learned from the three books mentioned above and our years of living with health experts, mix in a bit of the mother of invention, get us in the kitchen and presto a new, fast, easy to prepare, healthy, delicious recipe is born.
Before sharing this recipe, let me introduce some secrets from our kitchen. Merri is an incredible cook who loves preparing delicious but healthy meals. She is a long haul food preparer loving the process of cranking out breakfast, lunch and a light dinner every day. This is not work for her and as you can see this from the raves about food at the postscript to this message below, she is good. So she gets and deserves almost all the credit for our meals here at the farm.
Yet it is little known fact that I am also a bit of a closet cook, especially when it comes to the sauce. In fact you could even say I am a bit saucy!
So when Merri told me about the curative alkaline value of zucchini and I looked at our growing supply in the garden, my mind went to work keeping protein balance and seasonal eating in mind. Merri was serving us a meal with cucumbers and quinoa, so I thought about creating a zucchini sauce. Here is what I chose to prepare for the two of us…and I must admit it was delicious!
1 cup Cottage cheese for protein.1/2 cup milk for liquidity in the blenderHalf a medium, washed, unpeeled, raw zucchini as an alkaline cleanser. Salt and pepper to taste.
Throw the ingredients in the blender and whip it up. Mine was medium thick sauce and it was delicious and creamy, though it only took me about five minutes to prepare. This consistency is perfect for pouring over pasta, barley, rice, in a baked potato as well as over other grains such as quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, and teff. We use quinoa often as it’s the only grain that is a complete protein (more on this in moment). However thinned down just a bit this blend also makes a delicious chilled soup! You can reduce the milk to thicken the blend a bit and it becomes a wonderful summer dip for serving with vegetables or (naughty – naughty) potato chips and such.
This blend is a protein balanced, alkaline inducing, summer combination. Dr. Douillard in his book describes all the ingredients as summer foods when he writes.
“Zucchini (or summer squash) is a sweet and cooling vegetable harvested in midsummer that is a blood purifier and a mild diuretic and refrigerant, making both the yellow and green varieties great anti-heat summer vegetables. In spring and winter they should be well cooked.
“Cheeses are sweet and somewhat cooling. Cottage cheese is the best cheese in the summer.”
“Milk is sweet, cool and heavy, good in summer.”
We used Quinoa for the protein in this case but this was prepared before I thought of the sauce. With the cottage cheese this may have been a bit of protein overkill, plus the three season diet says that this is a sweet, astringent high protein grain source but in summer, summer types should eat it in moderation.
We may get away with a bit more fire living high in the mountains where it remains cool. If we were in Florida or in an area where temperatures really rise, barley may be a better grain in summer. Barley is a wheat alternative that is sweet and cool and is best as a cooling antidote to the heat of summer.
So this summer when the days grow hot, you can use this simple recipe to get lots of taste compliments, but know that you are helping those you love with their health as well as their taste buds.
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Until next message, may your good health be no secret!