Recipe: Apple Caramel

apple-caramelRecipe of the Month – June
Apple Caramel

Pure vanilla and artificial vanilla are listed as high in histamine, so people with histamine intolerance have to look for substitutes.

Nothing is ever going to taste like vanilla, but there are condiments that can add a sweet ‘zing’ to dishes without the histamine.  Apple caramel is one of these.

Ingredients:

1 liter (approx. 4 cups) of pure, fresh apple juice

Instructions:

  • Pour apple juice into a large saucepan. Place pan over a high heat and bring it to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until the liquid decreases in quantity and turns a darker color. This could take between 30-60 minutes depending on the saucepan’s size and how hot it gets.
  • After the first 10 minutes of simmering, make certain you check it frequently to ensure it does not scorch or burn.
    To find out how thick it’s getting, simply stir it with a wooden spoon. The longer it cooks, the thicker the apple caramel will become.
  • When you think it is ready, test it by scooping out a small spoonful, dropping it into a small, chilled bowl or saucer and waiting until it cools down. If it has ‘syrupy’ qualities, it’s ready.  If you want it thicker, cook a little longer.
  • Wearing protective oven mitts, carefully pour this very hot mixture gradually into a ceramic jar or bowl, cover with a lid and  store in the refrigerator.
  • It may have hardened by the time you wish to use it, but if you leave it at room temperature for a while, or place the jar inside a bowl of boiling water, it will melt rapidly.

Use apple caramel as a natural food coloring and flavoring.

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Stress and Histamine Part 3

Oriental disciplines can relieve stressOriental disciplines can relieve stress

Oriental physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines such as yoga, t’ai chi, and qigong, which combine exercise with meditation and mindfulness, can trigger the release of beneficial hormones and other body-chemicals. Reducing stress can help people with histamine intolerance.

Evidence shows that such oriental disciplines can lower cortisol levels and encourage cell-healing. In fact, studies have found that when used to supplement traditional forms of treatment, regular practice of such techniques can:

  • reduce stress levels
  • combat depression
  • improve the quality of sleep
  • keep the body flexible
  • improve the sense of balance
  • help maintain bone density
  • decrease the pain of arthritis
  • improve heart health
  • reduce hypertension

Yoga

Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual disciplines that began in ancient India. There is a broad variety of Yoga schools, practices, and goals.
Types of yoga include Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram,  Kundalini and Yin. “How to Do Yoga for Absolute Beginners” can be found here.

T‘ai-chi

T‘ai-chi is a Chinese discipline. Though originally conceived as a martial art and used for defense training, it is frequently practiced for a variety of health reasons. It has become popular worldwide. Most modern styles of t‘ai-chi trace their origins back to one or other of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu (Hao), Wu, and Sun.
“How to do Tai Chi” can be found here.

Qigong

“Qigong is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training. With roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi), translated as ‘life energy’.[Cohen, 1999]

“Qigong practice typically involves moving meditation, coordinating slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and calm meditative state of mind. Qigong is now practiced throughout China and worldwide for recreation, exercise and relaxation, preventive medicine and self-healing, alternative medicine, meditation and self-cultivation, and training for martial arts.”How to Practice Qigong” here.
[Wikipedia]

You don’t need expensive equipment or even expensive classes to practice these methods. Classes are recommended, because of the social benefit of exercising in groups, and the value of a good teacher. However if you’re really hard up and cannot afford classes, once you have learned some moves from books or YouTube, you can practice yoga, t’ai chi, or qigong for free at home.


Reference:
Cohen, K. S. (1999). The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing. Random House of Canada. ISBN 0-345-42109-4.

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