Traditional recipes

Inflammation-Busting Pineapple Slushy

Inflammation-Busting Pineapple Slushy

This slushy is an anti-inflammatory triple-threat thanks to the tart pineapple, spicy turmeric, and zippy ginger. It's also part of the Healthyish slushy trifecta. Check out the other two here and here.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups frozen pineapple chunks (about 22 oz.)
  • 1 1½" piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • ¾ tsp. ground turmeric, plus more for serving

Recipe Preparation

  • Blend pineapple, coconut water, ginger, salt, ¾ tsp. turmeric, and 2 cups ice in a blender until smooth. Divide among glasses, then sprinkle with more turmeric.

  • Do Ahead: Slushy can be made 1 hour ahead. Store in blender jar in freezer, then reblend on high speed to reincorporate.

Reviews Section

10 Desserts That Are Sure To Blow Everyone Away This Canada Day

One cannot think of a Canada day picnic or potluck without the traditional red and white desserts featuring seasonal fresh berries, a golden sponge cake and fluffy whipped cream. Instead, try shaking things up this year with something new and fun or a classic with a twist! Here are 10 desserts that are sure to blow everyone away this Canada Day (and keep them raving all summer long).


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There are few fruits that can transport you to a sunnier, more tropical locale like pineapple. Their sweet aroma evokes visions of palm trees and waves crashing onto a white sandy beach.

While you may not get that experience here in Washington, biting into perfectly ripe pineapple is a good way to treat yourself to the taste of paradise.

Pineapples are absolutely delicious on their own, but if you’re looking for adventure in the kitchen, check out some of our favorite pineapple-centric recipes.

Udon Noodle Salad with Pineapple

Pineapple adds a pop of sweetness to Asian flavors like tamari, sesame, and ginger in this udon noodle salad.

Serve it hot with grilled chicken or enjoy it cold for a quick and easy lunch.

Ingredients

  • 8-ounce package udon noodles
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 tablespoons Mirin (rice wine)
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice (if using fresh pineapple)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and thinly-sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced (about 2–3 cloves)
  • 1–2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed, minced
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas (fresh or frozen), cut into
  • 1-inch pieces 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple (or one 20-ounce can diced pineapple, drained, juice reserved)
  • 4 ounces of cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the udon noodles until just tender. Drain, rinse and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, Mirin, pineapple juice, and cornstarch and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the carrots for a minute or two, then add the ginger, garlic, and jalapeños. Sauté another 2 minutes, then add the snap peas and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the sauce and cook until thickened. Toss the vegetables and sauce with the noodles, green onions, pineapple and chicken. Serve warm or cold, garnished with sesame seeds.

Jerk Tofu with Pineapple

The key to perfectly crispy jerk tofu is to let it dry out entirely before adding the jerk sauce. If you want to make this dish extra saucy, double the sauce recipe and serve your tofu and pineapple over rice with the extra sauce drizzled on top.

Ingredients

For the Jerk Sauce

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce or habañero sauce
  • 2 tablespoon fresh chives, minced (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

  1. To press tofu: wrap it in a clean, lint-free towel or place it between two plates, then add a 2 to 3 pound weight on top (a cookbook works well) and let it sit for 15 minutes or more to remove excess water.
  2. In medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the jerk sauce ingredients. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the sauce for dressing the tofu when cooked.
  3. Marinate the pressed, cubed tofu in the jerk sauce for 30-60 minutes or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Place the tofu and marinade onto an oiled sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes then gently stir or flip the tofu and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the tofu is firm and the sauce is absorbed. On a separate oiled sheet pan, bake the pineapple cubes for 20 – 25 minutes until they just start to brown.
  6. Toss the pineapple and tofu together. Drizzle with the remaining 4 tablespoons of jerk sauce and garnish with chives and diced red pepper. Serve over a bed of greens or crisp lettuce.

Pineapple Green Smoothie

With its sweet tropical flavor, of course, pineapple is a perfect ingredient for smoothies. This recipe is super simple, but totally delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 cups spinach leaves, washed
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 medium frozen banana, sliced

Directions

  1. Place ingredients in a blender in the following order: milk, yogurt, spinach, pineapple and banana, and secure the lid. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Grilled Pork Chops with Pineapple-Turmeric Glaze

Pineapples aren’t reserved just for desserts or sweet treats!

Here, pineapple and turmeric come together to create a sweet, tropical glaze for grilled pork chops.

If pork chops aren’t your thing, this glaze would also be delicious on chicken breasts or shrimp.

Pineapple Fruit Pizza

Here’s a quick and easy way to fill that sweet tooth without resorting to busting out a bag of candy.

Pineapple is sliced and topped with yogurt, blueberries, macadamia nuts, and coconut flakes before being drizzled with honey.

Enjoy these as a healthy dessert or a midday snack for the kids while they are doing online classes.

Weeknight Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls

Whether you prefer to use an Instant Pot, a slow cooker, or the stovetop, this recipe has instructions for each method.

In this recipe, shredded chicken is combined with either homemade or store-bought sweet BBQ sauce and topped with all your favorite taco toppings.

Serve these bowls as is or top them with crushed tortilla chips for a little extra crunch.

Vegan Pineapple Teriyaki Burgers

Featuring a homemade plant-based burger and quick pickled carrots, these pineapple teriyaki burgers are full of flavor without the use of animal-based ingredients.

The burgers themselves arem made out of a combination of mushrooms, panko breadcrumbs, rice, walnuts, flaxseed meal, and soy.

That said, if you want to make this recipe a bit quicker to toss together, you could always sub in your favorite plant-based patty from Field Roast or Beyond Meat.

Pineapple with Toasted Coconut and Pink Peppercorns

If you’re a big fan of pineapple and usually just enjoy it all on its own, consider switching it up just a bit with the addition of toasted coconut and pink peppercorns.

Toasted coconut adds even more tropical flair to pineapple, while pink peppercorns add a contrasting salty element that’s quite satisfying.

Enjoy this pineapple all on its own, or serve it as a side to grilled chicken.

Pineapple-Ginger Brown Sugar Crisp

If you’ve had one too many icky pineapple upside down cakes made out of syrupy canned pineapples, don’t think that all pineapple desserts have to be like that!

Instead, consider this brown sugar crisp that’s made out of fresh pineapple and ginger.

As it cooks, the pineapple releases a lot of moisture, resulting in a super juicy crisp that will definitely rival a more traditional apple version.

Orange Teriyaki Beef with Pineapple Edamame Fried Rice

Here’s a teriyaki beef recipe that’s going to rival your favorite take-out restaurant.

Flank steak is combined with orange juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, Chinese five spice, and a number of other ingredients before being served on a bed of homemade pineapple fried rice.

Fresh sliced tangerines add a nice citrusy flavor to balance out the salty steak marinade.

Even More Pineapple Recipes To Try

    from Half Baked Harvest from Food & Wine from Gimme Some Oven and fresh Pineapple Salsa From Feasting at Home from Fine Cooking from Bon Appetit from Meiko and the Dish from Bon Appetit from Feasting at Home from Food & Wine
By: Leigha

Leigha is the Marketing Assistant at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op.


10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. Many high-quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain.

Here are the top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric.

1. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow colour. It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. Recently, science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time — it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties (1Trusted Source).

These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high. It’s around 3%, by weight (2Trusted Source).

Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day. It would be exceedingly difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods. Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, you need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin.

Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000% (3Trusted Source).

The best curcumin supplements contain piperine, substantially increasing their effectiveness. Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.

Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.

2. Curcumin Is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound

Inflammation is incredibly important. It helps your body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage. Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over your body and kill you. Although acute, short-term inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it becomes chronic and inappropriately attacks your body’s own tissues.

Scientists now believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases. Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory. In fact, it’s so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source ). It blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases (10, 11Trusted Source).

Without getting into the details (inflammation is extremely complicated), the key takeaway is that curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level (12Trusted Source, 13, 14).

Chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.

3. Turmeric Dramatically Increases the Antioxidant Capacity of the Body

Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases. It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins, or DNA. The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect your body from free radicals.

Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).

In addition, curcumin boosts the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes (17, 18, 19Trusted Source). In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates your body’s own antioxidant defences.

Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own but also stimulates your body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

4. Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases

Back in the day, it was believed that neurons weren’t able to divide and multiply after early childhood. However, it’s now known that this does happen.

Neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain they can also multiply and increase in number. One of the main drivers of this process is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in your brain (20Trusted Source).

Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease (21, 22). Interestingly, curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF (23, 24).

By doing this, it may be effective in delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function (25Trusted Source).

It may also improve memory and make you smarter, which seems logical given its effects on BDNF levels. However, controlled studies in people are needed to confirm this (26).

Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain.

5. Curcumin Should Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the world (27Trusted Source).

Researchers have studied it for many decades and learned a lot about why it happens. Unsurprisingly, heart disease is incredibly complicated and various things contribute to it. Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process (28Trusted Source).

Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels. It’s well known that endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and involves an inability of your endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors (29Trusted Source).

Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study found that it’s as effective as exercise while another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source).

In addition, curcumin reduces inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above), which play a role in heart disease as well. One study randomly assigned 121 people, who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery, either a placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery.

The curcumin group had a 65% decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital (32Trusted Source).

Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.

6. Turmeric Can Help Prevent (And Perhaps Even Treat) Cancer

Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. There are many different forms of cancer, which still have several things in common. Some of them appear to be affected by curcumin supplements (33Trusted Source).

Curcumin has been studied as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and been found to affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level (34Trusted Source).

Studies have shown that it can contribute to the death of cancerous cells and reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumours) and metastasis (spread of cancer) (35Trusted Source).

Multiple studies indicate that curcumin can reduce the growth of cancerous cells in the laboratory and inhibit the growth of tumours in test animals (36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).

Whether high-dose curcumin (preferably with an absorption enhancer like piperine) can help treat cancer in humans has yet to be studied properly. However, there is evidence that it may prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system like colorectal cancer.

In a 30-day study in 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day reduced the number of lesions by 40% (38Trusted Source). Maybe curcumin will be used along with conventional cancer treatment one day. It’s too early to say for sure, but it looks promising and is being intensively studied.

Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.

7. Curcumin May Be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia. Unfortunately, no good treatment is available for Alzheimer’s yet.

Therefore, preventing it from occurring in the first place is of utmost importance. There may be good news on the horizon because curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier (39Trusted Source).

It’s known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, and curcumin has beneficial effects on both (40). In addition, a key feature of Alzheimer’s disease is a build-up of protein tangles called amyloid plaques. Studies show that curcumin can help clear these plaques (41Trusted Source).

Whether curcumin can really slow down or even reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in people is currently unknown and needs to be studied properly.

Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.

8. Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplements

Arthritis is a common problem in Western countries. There are several different types, most of which involve inflammation in the joints. Given that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory compound, it makes sense that it may help with arthritis.

Several studies show this to be true.

In a study in people with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was even more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug (42Trusted Source).

Many other studies have looked at the effects of curcumin on arthritis and noted improvements in various symptoms (43Trusted Source, 44Trusted Source).

Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.

9. Studies Show That Curcumin Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression

Curcumin has shown some promise in treating depression. In a controlled trial, 60 people with depression were randomized into three groups (45Trusted Source).

One group took Prozac, another group one gram of curcumin and the third group both Prozac and curcumin. After 6 weeks, curcumin had led to improvements that were similar to Prozac. The group that took both Prozac and curcumin fared best (45Trusted Source). According to this small study, curcumin is as effective as an antidepressant.

Depression is also linked to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory. Curcumin boosts BDNF levels, potentially reversing some of these changes (46).

There is also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (47, 48).

A study in 60 people with depression showed that curcumin was as effective as Prozac in alleviating symptoms of the condition.

10. Curcumin May Help Delay Aging and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases

If curcumin can really help prevent heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, it would have obvious benefits for longevity.

For this reason, curcumin has become very popular as an anti-aging supplement (49Trusted Source).

But given that oxidation and inflammation are believed to play a role in aging, curcumin may have effects that go way beyond just preventing disease (50Trusted Source).

Due to its many positive health effects, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer, curcumin may aid longevity.

The Bottom Line

Turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.


Written By

Gargi Bisht is an event copywriter/conceptualizer turned writer currently working with EazyDiner Pvt. Ltd. Compulsive eater, book hoarder, dog lover and pop culture enthusiast with an innate love for storytelling. Usually the quietest person in the room, Gargi is an introvert who loves her own company. When not eating, can be found in front of her laptop watching movies. Knows a thing or two about art and literature.


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