Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Socca, the Versatile Flatbread

Socca originates from Nice in the south of France, but variations of it exist in northern Africa where a variation of it is called kalinti, karane or karantika in Morocco and garantita in Algeria. The kalinti popular as street food in Morocco gets its name from the Spanish word for hot, caliente, for it is usually served hot with the spices of cumin and harissa. Kalinti is more flan-like with egg and milk mixed in the batter than the thinner, crispier socca de Nice of France and farinata of Italy [farinata literally means "made of flour"], but all recipes rely on the key ingredient of garbanzo bean flour. That said, however, some garbanzo/chick pea flour is unroasted (as in this recipe) while others may use besan (or gram flour), which is made from roasted chickpeas. Chickpea or garbanzo bean flour is widely used in Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisines, not to mention northern Africa, and so can easily be found in many ethnic stores.

Chickpeas/garbanzo beans are gluten-free and chock full of fiber. In fact, between 65-75% of the fiber found in the beans is insoluable, which means they remain undigested down to the final segment of the large intestine. "Recent studies show that bacteria in the colon can metabolize garbanzo bean fiber and produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including acetic, propionic, and butyric acids. These SCFAs provide fuel to the cells that line your intestinal wall, lowering your risk of colon problems, including cancer." But because of their high fiber count, garbanzo beans may be too tough for some bodies to breakdown, and so it is recommended that the garbanzo bean flour be pre-mixed or at least allowed to sit for 30 or more minutes to assist the body in breaking down the complex starches and aid in mineral absorption.

The Versatility of Socca

Socca, as a gluten-free fibrous "bread" can be an excellent alternative to white flour tortillas, pizza dough, crepes or flatbreads. It can be folded over to make a sandwich wrap and stuffed with favorite ingredients, used as a foundation for a rustic pizza (see the Whole Daily Living recipe) and topped with avocado, olives, spring lettuce, zesty radish sprouts, a drizzle of olive oil and flaked dried tomatoes. And many different kinds of seasonings can be added to create a wide variety of flatbreads/wraps/chips/tortillas/pancakes/doughs. Here are some options:
savory Italian herbs - rosemary, thyme, marjoram
infused oils - sesame seed oil or olive oil with garlic
vegetables - tomatoes, onions, celery, peppers (well, not me)
onions and garlic and ginger for a real kick
seeds - dill seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
for breakfast or dessert - cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, cloves with coconut oil; topped with fresh fruit slices and a drizzle of raw honey (well, no sugary things for me ... yet)
Much of the above info was taken from Meatless Monday: Socca (highly interesting with very attractive pictures) and Kalinti, Moroccan Flour and Egg Tart.

My basic socca recipe (seen in a vegetarian cookbook)
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 cup water
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
One of my many socca recipes - with tomatoes and fresh garlic and basic on top! Notice how thin and crisp the socca came out - yum! Later I started adding Italian seasonings like rosemary, thyme, marjoram, basil and/or parsley to create a more flavorful gluten-free "bread" to accompany my many salads and vegie meals. Perfect because they aren't too high in carbs and they are so tasty!

Variation: We had a leftover raw broccoli, cauliflower and radish salad that needed to be eaten. I just added it to the original batter plus an egg or two, some seasonings and topped with tomatoes and this was one excellent delight! My brother couldn't keep his hands out of it until it was sadly ... gone!

And then here's one of my all-time favorites, not made in a hot skillet which makes the socca crispy, but on a flat baking sheet oiled with coconut oil. Socca seriously takes only 5 minutes to whip up! First, mix the 1 cup of garbanzo bean flour and 1 cup of water, the oil and salt. [Best to let sit for 30 minutes or make the night before and refrigerate ... just to help break down some of those heavy starches.] Then in an oiled cast iron fry pan, which is perfect for crispy socca, pour the batter and bake for 20-30 minutes (depends on thickness and volume) on 350F. And serve hot!

I served these with "Italian butter", a mixture of herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, garlic and sea salt) in olive oil for dipping. Scrumptious, and the Italian butter is now what we use on corn instead of butter ... well, I don't eat corn because it's highly moldy and almost always a starchy, sugary GMO, but I fix it for everyone else :)

Another variation: This one had an egg added and then chopped parsley and a lot of snippets of leek stems. I added some garlic of course and a dash or two of both thyme and rosemary powder. Socca goes really great with a leafy vegetable salad and a hydrating vegetable juice!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dehydrating Tomatoes

Much to my horror and my systemic candida bacteria's delight, the 'sun-dried' tomatoes in the store contain sulfites "for color retention". Well, those cancer causers and candida feeders should not pass my lips, but I do so love dehydrated tomatoes ... dehydrated tomato added to my lentils, to a simple salad dressing or even broken up in "chips" to make "fake bacon bits" for my salads. And so, with the market having lots of tomatoes at a more reasonable price right now, I'm prepping my cupboards for the winter. And the only ingredient in my 'sun-dried' tomatoes is "tomatoes" ... and that is as it should be!

First, wash and air-dry the tomatoes. Then sort through and eliminate any that are overly ripe. Next, de-stem them and cut away any abnormalities on the skin. And then they are sliced 1/3" thick. To cut them thicker would take a lot more time for them to dehydrate and to cut them thinner would result in a thin flake with no substance. I like something with body but I don't want to risk too much thickness so that they might contain a little moisture and spoil, like some of mine did from last year.

By the way, the dehydrate sheets must be dry ... or the water moisture could also causing molding.

I dry my tomatoes on no higher than 41C (about 115F). 115F is the highest produce can be dehydrated at and retain its natural enzymes. Higher temperatures destroy enzymes and temperatures lower than 105F can actually become breeding grounds for bacteria. These tomatoes dried for 3 days ... and then I put left them in for another day because I could detect a little moisture in a few that had been cut thicker than the others.

And 4 days later, my precious tomatoes had shrunk down to a bit of nothing, but they are bright, well-dehydrated and full of enzymes and FLAVOR!

Last year's tomatoes. If you look closely, they're a bit black from the slow growing bacteria. They were also vaguely sticky with one another which is a sign of not being completely dehydrated. Regretfully, I had to throw them out.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Gluten-free, Sugar-free Walnut Red-currant Zucchini Bread

Needing something to take with me on a trip this weekend, I thought zucchini bread would travel compactly and well. Unfortunately, my previous recipe Gluten-free Sugar-free Zucchini Bread calls for almond flour, but I'm out, so I peeked in the fridge to see what I do have ... quinoa and flax! Perfect!
Walnut Red-currant Zucchini Bread
1 1/2 cups quinoa
3/4 cup flax
3/4 cup almonds
3 tablespoons cinnamon
2-3 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons cloves
1 scant teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 eggs
2/3 cup coconut oil
2 cups water
3 cups zucchini
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup red currants (use a third for garnish)
1 cup pieces or whole washed walnuts

In a BlendTec, whiz the quinoa, flax and almonds to a coarse flour, then dump the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix. Then add the eggs, coconut oil and water, and mix. Next, stir in the zucchini, cabbage and walnuts, and finally fold in the red currants. Best to let the batter sit for 20 minutes so the quinoa and flax can soak up the water before baking. The bread will be moister that way. Adjust water if necessary.

Then, liberally coconut oil the loaf pans or muffin tins. This will make the outsides crusty so that they slide out of the pans but they will also have more flavor. Spoon the thick but somewhat drippy batter into the baking dishes and, if making small loaves, bake on 350F for 45 minutes. If baking muffins, bake for perhaps 35 minutes. Serve hot bread with solid coconut oil; it'll be like a butter.

BTW, I used the cabbage because I only had one zucchini and felt like I needed more. The bread ended up with white pieces throughout which made it more colorful, and, the flavor and chewiness was perhaps enhanced. Nice accident :) Cabbage is slightly sweet anyway so it was a good call.

Oops, realizing I'll need more zucchini ... hmmm, what to do?
Right! I'll just add a cup or two of shredded cabbage ... and some currants for color.
Before baking ... garnish with red currants.
Yummy right out of the oven with a little cold coconut oil on top as "butter"!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thyroid and Diet

What to Eat for Thyroid Health?

As with virtually every bodily function, your diet plays a role in the health of your thyroid. The thyroid relies on you to feed, nourish and maintain it so it can return the favor and keep your metabolism, nervous state and even some hormone functions up to par.
    Iodine: Your thyroid contains the only cells in your body that absorb iodine, which it uses to make the T3 and T4 hormones. Without sufficient iodine, your thyroid cannot produce adequate hormones to help your body function on an optimal level.

    Iodine deficiency is typically not widespread in the United States because of the prevalent use of iodized salt. However, according to a nutrition evaluation conducted by the CDC, up to 36% of women of childbearing age may not get enough iodine from their diets, and it’s thought that iodine deficiency is on a slow but steady rise.

    Because iodized salt is heavily processed, some recommend avoiding iodized salt and instead getting iodine naturally from sea vegetables (seaweed), such as hijiki, wakame, arame, dulse, nori, and kombu. It should be noted, however, that too much iodine can actually trigger thyroid problems and worsen symptoms, so it’s important to have a healthy balance.

    Selenium: Selenium is indispensable to the thyroid. What it does is regulate thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism. It converts T4 into the more accessible form of thyroid hormone T3; and maintains the right amount of thyroid hormones. Selenium can be found in foods such as shrimp, snapper, tuna, cod, halibut, beef, calf’s liver, button and shitake mushrooms, sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts.
    Zinc, Iron and Copper: These metals are needed in trace amounts for your healthy thyroid function. Low levels of zinc have been linked to low levels of TSH, whereas iron deficiency has been linked to decreased thyroid efficiency.  Zinc is found in oysters, sardines, beef, lamb, turkey, split peas, whole grains, pecans, almonds, and ginger.

    Iron deficiency is strongly linked to decreased thyroid efficiency. If you are both anemic and iodine-deficient you will have to get your iron levels up to resolve any thyroid imbalance. Iron is found in clams, oysters, organ meats, pumpkin seeds, blackstrap molasses, lentils, and spinach.

    Copper is needed in very small amounts by the thyroid so it can produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Cooper is needed for oxidizing iodine to T4, when you are deficient in copper your rate of T4 production will slow down. Since T4 keeps your body’s cholesterol synthesis working, hypothyroidism puts you at risk for developing high cholesterol and heart problems. Foods such as calf’s liver, spinach, mushrooms, tomato paste, turnip greens and Swiss chard can help provide these trace metals in your diet.

    Omega-3 Fats: These essential fats, which are found in fish or fish oil, play an important role in thyroid function, and many help your cells become sensitive to thyroid hormone.

    Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is made up of mostly medium-chain fatty acids, which may help to increase metabolism and promote weight loss, along with providing other thyroid benefits. This is especially beneficial for those with hypothyroidism.

    Antioxidants and B Vitamins: The antioxidant vitamins A, C and E can help your body neutralize oxidative stress that may damage the thyroid. In addition, B vitamins help to manufacture thyroid hormone and play an important role in healthy thyroid function.

What Should You Avoid Eating for Thyroid Health?
    Aspartame: There is concern that the artificial sweetener aspartame, sold under the brand name Nutrasweet, may trigger Graves’ disease and other autoimmune disorders in some people. The chemical may trigger an immune reaction that causes thyroid inflammation and thyroid autoantibody production.

    Non-fermented Soy: Soy is high in isoflavones, which are goitrogens, or foods that interfere with the function of your thyroid gland. Soy, including soybean oil, soy milk, soy burgers, tofu and other processed soy foods, may lead to decreased thyroid function.

    Fermented soy products, including miso, natto, tempeh and traditionally brewed soy sauce, are safe to eat, as the fermentation process reduces the goitrogenic activity of the isoflavones.

    Gluten: Gluten is a potential goitrogen and can also trigger autoimmune responses (including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) in people who are sensitive. Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley, along with most processed foods.
How Some Foods Interact with the Body

Foods that May Speed Up a Slow Thyroid

        1. Sea Weed

Naturally rich in iodine as well as trace minerals, sea weed has long been considered a food that supports thyroid function.   Indeed, native peoples subsisting on their traditional diets often went to very great lengths to obtain sea vegetables in effort to avoid goiter.   Iodine is critical to thyroid health and function.   Without adequate dietary iodine, your body is unable to manufacture the thyroid hormones.   Of course, excess intake of iodine-rich foods is also implicated in thyroid disease.   Remember: moderation is the key, not excess.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil also supports proper thyroid function as it slightly stimulates thyroid hormone production and the metabolism.   In this way, wise incorporation of coconut oil into the the diet is thought to support thyroid health and help sufferers of hypothyroidism to lose weight.   Coconut oil may also help to reduce cholesterol in hypothyroid patients as thyroid suppression in and of itself raises blood cholesterol levels.   Coconut oil is largely comprised of saturated fat and saturated fat promotes thyroid function.

        3. Shellfish

Shellfish, like sea vegetables, are naturally rich in iodine – the nutrient that is critically important to thyroid function as iodine molecules are used in the production of thyroid hormones.

4. Garlic, Onions, Ginger, Pepper
Garlic, onions, ginger, pepper are stimulating to the body and therefore have an effect on the metabolism. There might be some consideration on the effect of these and other stimulating foods in regard to thyroid function.

Foods that May Slow Down a Speedy Thyroid
1. Fermented Soy FoodsSoy is very goitrogenic. A strong suppressor of thyroid hormones, some research indicates that soy may even be more effective in thyroid suppression than anti-thyroid drugs. Don’t forget that soy is a potent food, and that while sufferers of hyperthyroidism might welcome soy’s thyroid-suppressing effects, take care to eat soy in its fermented state in foods like tempeh and miso as soy also contains antinutrients like phytic acid which impair the body’s overall ability to absorb many nutrients.

2. Raw Cruciferous VegetablesRaw cruciferous vegetables also suppress thyroid function. Cruciferous vegetables like kohlrabi, cabbage, cauliflower, rapini, turnips and brussels sprouts contain goitrogens that interfere with iodine uptake and, in that way, also interfere with production of thyroid hormones.

3. MilletMillet, like cruciferous vegetables, contains goitrogens and interferes with iodine uptake. Cooking millet, as well as goitrogen-rich cruciferous vegetables, may mitigate its antithyroid effects to some degree.
Foods Not Favoring the Thyroid
1. Gluten-containing GrainsRecent research into autoimmune diseases and autoimmune thyroid disease in particular indicates that there’s a strong connection between celiac disease and thyroid disease. Indeed, study published in Digestive Diseases & Science indicates that sufferers of autoimmune thyroid disease have roughly a 400% greater chance of also suffering from celiac disease than control groups. Moreover, some research indicates that after 3-6 months on a gluten-free diet, those pesky anti-thyroid antibodies virtually disappear. That’s a poweful case to remove wheat, barley and other gluten-containing grains from your diet if you suffer from any form of autoimmune thyroid disease.

2. Unfermented SoyUnfermented soy foods – particularly those rich in concentrated isoflavones and genistien – contribute to autoimmune thyroid disease. Research into soy formula and its effects on babies indicates that babies fed soy formula are more likely to develop autoimmune thyroid disease and large concentrations of unfermented soy may adversely thyroid function in adults. If you eat soy, keep to small amounts and always choose fermented forms. (Learn more about the nastiness of too much soy consumption in my post about the Soy and Illinois Prisoner Case.)

3. CoffeeCoffee is simultaneously stimulating and goitrogenic which spell trouble for both hypo- and hyperthyroid sufferers. As a strong stimulant, it can wreak havoc on those suffering from hyperthyroidism as that added stimulation is the very last thing they need. Moreover, for those suffering from hyperthyroidism, coffee also interferes with iodine uptake and thus may inhibit the formation of thyroid hormones. Bad news for everyone.
Other Considerations for Benefiting the Thyroid
1. Whole Grains - rich in B vitamins
Whole grains and whole-grain foods are natural sources of vitamins and minerals. B vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin and thiamine help support thyroid function, as well as selenium, iron and magnesium. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center or UMMC, a regular intake of whole grains is advisable for those with thyroid conditions unless there is an allergy to particular grains. Whole wheat, long-grain brown rice, popcorn, steel-cut oats, quinoa and bulgur are examples of whole grains rich in nutrients. Eating whole grains can only support optimal thyroid function. This doesn't "speed up" your thyroid unless you have a nutritional deficiency.

2. Fruits and Vegetables - antioxidants and immune system buildersFruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They help build a strong immune system and shield the body from diseases and viruses. According to the UMMC, fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants such as squash, bell peppers, raspberries, tomatoes and cherries are effective in managing hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Thyroid function is also supported by B vitamins abundantly found in watermelon, avocados, sweet potatoes, dates, oranges, grapes, pineapple, mangoes and sea vegetables.

3. Foods with L-TyrosineThe amino acid L-tyrosine supports optimal thyroid function. Your thyroid combines with tyrosine to make thyroid hormone. The Franklin Institute reports that almonds, avocados, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, bananas, dairy products and sesame seeds are abundant sources of L-tyrosine.

4. Fish, Seeds and Nuts - omega-3 rich foods
According to the UMMC, omega-3 fatty acids can help support optimal thyroid function and ease inflammation that may be present from thyroid dysfunction. Coldwater fish, seeds and nuts are sources rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods also contain zinc, iron and magnesium to help support thyroid health. Tufts University reports that coldwater fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are among the best sources of omega-3. Walnuts and flaxseed also have among the highest concentrations in omega-3 fatty acids.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Iodine Test for Thyroid Function

The iodine paint test is a very controversial measurement for testing and identifying thyroid dysfunction. Biomedical practitioners may use the diagnostic procedure, but this informal test is principally administered by holistic practitioners who are knowledgeable about the micro- and macronutrients on the body and its function as opposed to biomedical practitioners who place their trust predominantly is pharmaceutical and, it must be said, invasive measurements for identifying a diseased state.

The iodine patch test, nevertheless, is said to be able to reliably test the uptake of iodine from an iodine tincture painted on the skin. The iodine must be the tinted 100% solution in order to ascertain how quickly it is absorbed, and the interpretation is based on how quickly the iodine is absorbed into the skin. Rapid absorption indicated iodine deficiency, and a slower rate indicates the thyroid functioning under more optimum conditions. For a thyroid to be functioning in an efficient state, iodine absorption should take between 24-48 hours. The amount less than 24 hours indicates the extent of the deficiency.

My mom and I both had this iodine paint test done at our holistic chiropractor's office. She painted an inch swath on both Mom's and my forearms, my swath was definitely darker as the chiropractor liberally triple painted it. In any regards, 6 hours later my mom's tinted tincture had disappeared. Mine disappeared 9-10 hours later. The chiropractor's interpretation of both of our thyroid functions was pretty much, not desirable functioning but certainly nothing to be concerned about at this stage. I wasn't really concerned, but when she tested our thyroid function with kinesthesiology, both of our thyroids demonstrated weakness, and with both of us having a history of impaired thyroid function, getting not too bad results on this test - albeit somewhat of an informal test as no actual numbers or percentages of TSH, T3 and T4 were proven to be impaired - was positive and yet mildly eye-opening in regard to awareness of an underlying problem. And so now we will look for foods that support thyroid function.

The flip side of the coin in regard to the actual reliability of the iodine skin test is given by a physician, David Derry. In determining the efficacy of a treatment, all sides need to be considered to make informed decisions about the test measurement procedure. Here is his medical opinion:
The "test" of putting iodine on the skin to watch how fast it disappears is not an indicator of anything. The iodine disappearance rate is unrelated to thyroid disease or even iodine content of the body. Meticulous research by Nyiri and Jannitti in 1932 showed clearly when iodine is applied to the skin in almost any form, 50% evaporates into the air within 2 hours and between 75 - 80 percent evaporates into the air within 24 hours. A total of 88 percent evaporates within 3 days and it is at this point that the evaporation stops. The remaining 12 percent that is absorbed into the skin has several fates. Only 1-4% of the total iodine applied to the skin is absorbed into the blood stream within the first few hours. The rest of the iodine within the skin (8-11%) is slowly released from the skin into the blood stream.

Other alternative testing for thyroid function include:  

Saliva Testing Saliva testing is growing in popularity with complementary and integrative practitioners. There are a number of companies claiming to provide saliva testing for thyroid function, but only one company seems to be used frequently by complementary practitioners: Diagnos-Techs. You can find out more about saliva testing in this article from Drs. Richard and Karilee Shames.  

Urinary Testing Urinary testing for thyroid dysfunction is not in wide use, and is rarely done in the U.S. It’s primarily performed by physicians in in Europe. Typically, doctors in the U.S. who are familiar with the work of the late Dr. Broda Barnes are more likely to use this test as part of the diagnostic process. Currently, the tests are being processed in Europe, and are fairly costly. More information.  

Basal Body Temperature Testing Typically, basal body temperature (BBT) testing involves measuring the early morning temperature, before movement, over time. In Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness , Dr. Broda Barnes’ groundbreaking book on thyroid disease, Barnes advocated use of this test as a diagnostic tool. According to Dr. Barnes, a basal temperatures consistently below 97.8 was a possible indicator of low thyroid function. A small percentage of alternative practitioners rely on basal body temperature results as their primary means of diagnosis. Other alternative practitioners feel that it may be one criterion among several to consider in diagnosis. Most conventional practitioners do not consider the test useful in thyroid diagnosis.

Most of the information has been borrowed from the following two sites:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Papaya Dessert Balls

Papaya that is still firm and slightly green supposedly isn't that glycemic, so once in an eon I like to get a papaya and nibble at it. It's delicious with Chia Seed Pudding, in a salad, and it makes absolutely fantastic muffins! I made some muffins a while back with a rather ripe papaya and the muffins turned out custard-like - such a totally amazing muffin for having absolutely no sugar! I tried to replicate those muffins today, but since I always pretty much dump ingredients and don't measure but eyeball, every time the results are a wee bit different. This time they were a lot different ... the "muffins" stayed formed into balls very easily so I thought I'd bake them that way and see what would happen. Dessert balls! Fairly moist too.

Papaya is known for its digestive properties (although it digests best at 109 or 110F and so our bodies never can fully utilize its great digestive enzymes). We could all use some help with our digestion though, so I made these for me and of course my dad who is wild about papaya. The recipe pretty much follows the Nutty Spicy Muffin recipe, and this was the recipe I used when making the custard-like papaya muffins ages ago. However, a couple variations in this recipe are (1) this time I used no oats but stuck with freshly ground quinoa and millet flours, and (2) I no longer use nutmeg. Nutmeg has been directly linked with causing liver cancer and the person with systemic candida already has a toxic liver, so it's wise of me to avoid it.


Mix the dough until it holds firmly together so balls can easily be formed. Alternatively, pour a gooier batter-dough into muffin tins and make muffins. No matter what the consistency of the batter is, if the salt-to-dough ratio is right, these should taste just fine.

Bake them 25-30 minutes at 350F and then enjoy!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Adlay & Lentils

Adlay - so gluten-free and so loaded with nutrition. This large grain is known throughout the world, but as it is not mass produced, it's known in smaller circles ... as food mostly, but also in art circles for it's beadable shape. Other names of adlay around the world are:

Job's tears, according to Wikipedia, are known by many different names across the world:
They are sometimes also referred to as Coix Seeds.

For centuries in China and Korea, Adlay or Job's Tears has been used for medicinal purposes like for treating arthritis and small pox. Currently, scientific research shows that adlay may treat allergies, boost the immune system, help balance the endocrine system by more effectively relieving menstrual cramps than prescription medicine, inhibit gastric cancer cells, and possible help with reversing osteoporosis. It's also been tested and found helpful in achieving weight loss, which probably appeals to people as much as adlay's supposed ability to reduce levels of total cholesterol and harmful low-density lipoprotein. Sounds impressive, huh?! However, research does show that there might be an alarming side effect to adlay and that is in rats there was an alarming high rate of spontaneous abortions and some kind of poisoning to the embryos ... but my take on this latter is that in laboratory situations EVERYONE knows that in testing extremely high amounts of a substance are used in order to get some of kind of recordable results. I rather doubt that eating adlay a couple of times a week would result in markedly high numbers of abortions ... but now I'd like to see the chemical breakdown of adlay, and then I think I can make an informed decision to eat it or not. Until I see the breakdown, I will continue to enjoy my Adlay :)

I would eat adlay a lot more than I do, but it is very expensive in Korea. To extend my diet, I buy it and probably eat it 2-3 times a month. It tosses well in salads, in mock "chicken" salad, in stir-fries, blended into a breakfast gruel, served with side dishes. It is an incredibly versatile grain, and so wonderfully non-glutinous and a bit nutty in flavor :)

Haha - reminds me of the Yin and Yang symbol, rather appropriate for this Asian grain!

Adlay with spiced lentils flavored with home sun-dried tomatoes!