MY ANTIOXIDANT RICH DINNER PARTY
Hi there! From time to time I’ve told you about my “Healthy Cooking Group”. We are 6 girlfriends that once a month get together for a healthy dinner. The hostess picks the theme, makes the main course and provides the wine. Wine is healthy, right? Everyone else brings a dish that they have made which is in keeping with the healthy theme of the month. This month it was my turn to host and I chose “antioxidants” as my theme. The idea is for everyone to then contribute a dish that is high in antioxidants. We share our recipe and come prepared to discuss what we know about the theme. So today I thought I’d invite you to join me for my antioxidant rich dinner party.
I studied up on Antioxidants so that I could share with my healthy girlfriends some important facts on the subject. In a nutshell here is what I learned…
The cells in our bodies are exposed to oxygen which is important to our health. However, oxygen also causes “oxidation” where chemicals in our bodies become “oxidized” and form “free radicals”. Over time these free radicals can damage our cells and may contribute to aging and disease. The body uses “anti-oxidants” to stabilize the free radicals and keep them from causing damage to cells. Dietary research findings suggest that consuming antioxidant-rich foods might help protect against diseases. So, by eating foods rich in antioxidants you will help your body fight off the damaging effects of oxidation. Here’s a list of some foods high in antioxidants:
- Vitamin A found in milk, butter and eggs
- Vitamin C found in fruits like papayas, strawberries, oranges, cantaloup and kiwi. Vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale & cauliflower are also high in vitamin C
- Vitamin E found in almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts & peanuts. Also found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach & kale
- Beta-carotene found in carrots, peas, mangoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and beet greens.
- Lutein found in dark green leafy vegetables, papayas and oranges
- Lycopene found in pink and red fruits and vegetables such as pink grapefruit, watermelon. apricots & tomatoes
- Selenium found in cereals, nuts, legumes, eggs, bread, pasta and meats such as fish, beef, turkey & chicken
I should also point out that according to research sponsored by the National Institute of Health, there are no known benefits derived from taking antioxidant “supplements”. In fact, these supplements taken in high doses can actually increase your risk for certain diseases. The one exception relates to Vitamin C, E & beta-carotene supplements which have been shown to reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. So it is best to get your antioxidants by eating lots of antioxidant rich foods.
Another great source of antioxidants is Green Tea which is due to its high “catechin” content. Among antioxidants, catechins are considered to be one of the most potent.
I’ve been hearing a great deal about “Matcha” lately. Matcha is pulverized green tea leaves that are made into an antioxidant rich powder which packs a punch when it comes to healthy benefits. So, I decided that everything I prepared for the evening would include a healthy dose of Matcha. My local grocery store does not carry Matcha so I visited Amazon and studied the many different brands of Matcha they offer on their site. The cost varied dramatically so I was really pleased when I found this CCnature brand that had tons of great reviews and was one of the most affordable. Here is a link to their Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder.
For starters I made a Green Matcha Smoothie. The recipe was one I adapted from Bon Appetit. I gathered the girls together in our bar where everyone enjoyed this Vegan Cocktail, minus the booze but with the buzz from the Matcha, which does have about 1/4 the amount of caffeine found in coffee.
Image Via | Photograph by Peden + Munk
- 2 Frozen Bananas, Cut into 1” Pieces
- 2 Cups Frozen Pineapple, Cut into 1" Pieces
- 2 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach, Packed
- 2 Cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 2 Teaspoons Toasted Flax Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Agave Syrup
- 2 Teaspoons Matcha (green tea powder)
- 1 Teaspoon Finely Grated Fresh Ginger
- Place all of the ingredients in a powerful blender on high speed and blend until smooth.
For my Main Course I prepared a Vegetarian recipe I found on Blue Apron called Miso-Glazed Eggplant with Green Tea Rice. It was the perfect thing for my antioxidant rich dinner party. Plus, my husband isn’t a fan of eggplant (I love it!) so this was a good excuse to make it when I wasn’t cooking for him. You can get the yummy and healthy recipe by clicking here.
While the first day of fall is today, the temperatures here in Lake Arrowhead have still been warm enough to dine outdoors. So, I took what I’m sure will be one of the last opportunities this year to serve dinner outdoors on my covered terrace.
I used green hued roses and green striped napkins for my tablescape which were in keeping with my Matcha Green Tea theme.
I also decided to whip up some Matcha Green Tea Sugar Body Scrub as party favors.
Stay tuned and in my next post I’ll show you how to prepare this soothing yet invigorating body scrub that makes an easy and much appreciated gift from the kitchen.
So there you have it: MY ANTIOXIDANT RICH DINNER PARTY
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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. All photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission. This post contains affiliate links that help to make this blog possible.