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Umeboshi and kuzu good for the stomach and hangover remedy – Italian Cuisine


Here is the umeboshi and kuzu drink. Simple and extraordinary remedies which, using the macrobiotic principles of yin and yang, are able to rebalance a number of ailments, in particular those related to the digestive system

Ever since I was little, my mother has always been clear: whatever your tummy problem is, I'll prepare you there drink of umeboshi and kuzu. And actually I must admit that these two ingredients, of oriental origin, really have miraculous effects, both for the stomach and for general well-being. This is why they are always also an excellent remedy to combat thehangover.

What is umeboshi

The word "ume" has always been translated with "plum", but in reality it is more than a 'dried apricot (boshi in fact means dry). Uum never reaches maturity on the tree: the fruits detach themselves from the plant when they are still green, usually in the month of May, but they cannot be eaten like this because they have a very acid taste, and could even be toxic. . Thus, in some countries such as Japan, China and Korea, they have found a system to recover these fruits, using ancient processing techniques. And in this way, they not only avoided wasting a product, but also transformed it into an effective remedy for the treatment of various ailments. The process that transforms these green apricots into “umeboshi” is the following: as soon as they are picked they are washed and dried on rice straw mats in the sun; then they are left out also at night, to make the dew soften them and so also the whole next day. This process is repeated for days, until the apricots shrink and take on a shriveled appearance. At this point the fruits are placed in barrels together with the red leaves of the shiso plant and the raw sea salt, with weights placed on top. The salt and the pressure cause the fruits, albeit already dry, to produce a liquid that collects at the bottom of the barrel (hence the juice), while the shiso leaves give the fruits their color and flavor. This marinade must last at least six months, but umeboshi are marinated for six or seven years.

The characteristics of umeboshi

This particular process determines the characteristics and healing effects of umeboshi, also recognized by scientists, doctors and nutritionists. Primarily it contains large amounts of alkaline mineral salts such as iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium which can be absorbed thanks to the presence of citric acid, which breaks down the lactic acid present in our blood and tissues. Then he has thepicric acid, which stimulates and ensures the functioning of the liver and helps it to expel chemicals from the body (therefore perfect after an excess of alcohol), together with pectin (natural laxative) and to the catechin, which accelerates the peristaltic movements of the intestine and promotes the digestion of proteins. All these properties make umeboshi an extraordinary remedy for intestinal constipation, dysentery, food poisoning, hangover, morning sickness, lack of appetite, but also motion sickness or seasickness. It can be consumed directly as it is bought; or as a condiment, given its strong, savory and sour taste (there is also umeboshi sauce). Alternatively, for therapeutic purposes, there are various ways of taking. There is the umeboshi juice, which comes diluted with bancha tea, and is very useful in cases of indigestion, intoxication or dysentery; then there is theume-sho-ban, a drink of umeboshi, shoyu, bancha tea and ginger juice, excellent for stomach upset, nausea, loss of appetite and hangover headaches; or, again, the umeboshi broth, with nori and shoyu seaweed, also a valid antidote against fatigue. It can also be eaten in the oven, with a fairly complex process, especially in cases of more serious problems, such as gastric ulcer. And finally there is our umeboshi and kuzu drink.

On the cover the umeboshi. Above the kuzu.
At the beginning, the umeboshi. Above, the kuzu.

What is kuzu

Kuzu is a kind of vine (pueraria lobata, pueraria irsuta) native to the mountains of Japan, but now also cultivated in other countries. In particular, it is starch that, through an elaborate process, is obtained from the root of the plant, which is very wild and has great strength, as it can grow in rocks. The kuzu looks like one very thin white powder (in small pieces), very useful in case of intestinal weakness, chronic disorders such as colitis, digestive problems; but also general fatigue, as it relieves tiredness and stimulates vitality. Moreover, it is absorbed very quickly, so it is extremely effective, in a short time. Kuzu can be prepared in various ways, alone or together with other ingredients, such as umeboshi. In this case the result is a real cure-all for the entire digestive system, but also for colds and fever because, as macrobiotic philosophy teaches us, man must be looked at holistically, as a whole, in his psychophysical entirety. For this, the influences depend much more often than we think also on other factors, such as a weakness of the stomach.

How to make umeboshi and kuzu drink

The kuzu and umeboshi drink is extremely simple to make and incredibly effective. Moreover, it is now also very easy to find the ingredients, since they are found in almost all the shops that are oriental products. Once found, proceed as follows: dissolve a teaspoon of kuzu powder in a glass of cold water, which you will continue to add until the pieces of kuzu have completely dissolved. In this way you will get a white liquid similar to milk. Add a little more water, a small piece of umeboshi and shiso leaf and, always continuing to mix, heat everything over low heat in a saucepan. When the water starts to heat up, add a teaspoon of soy sauce. Once the water is no longer white but transparent, before boiling, your kuzu and umeboshi drink will be ready.
Try not to consume this panacea only in an emergency, in case of discomfort, but periodically, in a preventive way: you will see how your digestive system will come out healthy, strengthened and completely regenerated!

Adopt a vineyard and make it grow well (so your wine will be good) – Italian Cuisine

Adopt a vineyard and make it grow well (so your wine will be good)


An original initiative to help the environment and give enthusiasts the opportunity to create their own wine: 'Adopt a Cru', launched by the famous Grosjean winery, allows you to discover the heroic viticulture, typical of the Aosta Valley.

It is the time of sharing and, more than ever, of the search for nature. Among the most original and deserving ideas is certainly that of the Grosjeans, one of the great families of Valle d'Aosta winemaking: 16 hectares cultivated between Quart and Saint Christophe; about 140 thousand the bottles produced annually; 50 years of passion from a family whose origins date back to 1700. The initiative is called Adopt a Cru and allows you to experience firsthand the experience of cultivating, growing and producing excellent wines, from the grapes to the bottle. For a year, all wine and grape lovers heroic – which are the characteristic of the Aosta Valley – could be the protagonists of the everyday life of a historic winery, the first to choose organic in the region and always appreciated by the public and critics. In the latest edition of the Gambero Rosso wine guide, Grosjean won three Due Bicchieri with the red Fumin Vigna Rovettaz 2016, the Montmary Extra Brut Rosè Metodo Classico and the white Petit Arvine Vigna Rovettaz 2018.

Curiosity revealed

"We had been planning for some time to seal this adoption pact," they explain Hervé and Simon Grosjean, third generation of the family and creators of the project. "Many of our customers were curious to learn about the mysterious cellar operations behind a bottle: with this initiative they will finally have the opportunity to witness the birth and maturation of the wine, to arrive at the final glass". The adoption can also be made as a gift, so much so that a visit to the cellar and the vineyard adopted is offered at any time of the year, accompanied by a tasting of various types of wines.

Various stages

The adoption process is divided into several stages that correspond to the production and processing phases. The first step consists in choosing the cru between the Rovettaz and Tzeriat vineyards, which have the characteristic of being among the best terroirs in the center of the valley and give life to some of the best known indigenous vines of the region. This is followed by the certificate of adoption and the immediate receipt of an old vintage bottle out of the market. From here on it will be possible to follow the production in the vineyard and in the cellar, participating with the Grosjean family in the most important moments of the wine season: pruning (from January to March), tying (in March and April), the September harvest. and all other cellar operations. Respect for the environment is the basis of the initiative. «Our idea is to make known how wines are born in our mountains, underline the Grosjeans. "But also to safeguard the landscape, creating a new form of green, conscious and eco-sustainable tourism". Well said.

Good proteins, what they are and where to find them – Italian Cuisine

Good proteins, what they are and where to find them


They are essential for the body. If they are of quality they are excellent allies of the figure and health. Here's why and what foods to eat

The World Health Organization recommends to hire every day at least one gram per pound of body weight of protein. Yet our diets are sometimes lacking in them because they are often demonized. Other times, on the other hand, at the table, priority is given to protein sources that are unfavorable to health, rich in saturated fats and cholesterol, such as meat (especially beef and pork), cold cuts and cheeses, eggs which should instead be consumed in adequate quantities. The result? Either we eat a few or we choose the wrong ones. Yet bringing good proteins of animal and vegetable origin to the table is essential for staying fit and healthy. "Proteins are, together with" good "carbohydrates and fats, the body's essential macronutrients", explains the nutritionist Nicoletta Bocchino. "They are involved in the metabolic processes that allow you to get energy." They are also indispensable for building and maintaining lean mass. «The essential amino acids they contain, in fact, are the fundamental component of muscles, cells and tissues, including skin and hair. They also have a good satiating effect. "If consumed in adequate quantities they modulate blood sugar, blood sugar levels and give satiety." Finally, they have a mood-booster effect. “Many essential amino acids they are rich in are precursors of feel-good hormones. Tryptophan, for example, promotes the production of serotonin, the so-called happiness hormone. Tyrosine, on the other hand, is involved in the synthesis of dopamine, which favors motivation . The advice "is to give priority at the table to those that have a reduced content of saturated fats and alternate those of animal origin with those of vegetable origin to ensure a varied and complete diet. Furthermore, it is necessary never to associate them with each other in the same meal and eat them for lunch and dinner in combination with vegetables that facilitate digestion . So here are the good proteins and in which foods to find them.

Lean white meat

Chicken and turkey meat are a good source of noble proteins, complete with all essential amino acids. «Compared to red meat that should be eaten once or twice a week, it has less fat. It ensures vitamin B12 and iron, essential for the production of red blood cells whose deficiency can cause fatigue and weakness , says nutritionist Nicoletta Bocchino.

eggs

Eggs are a food that is often excluded from the diet, due to the mistaken belief that their consumption is harmful. In reality, consumed in the right quantity (2-4 eggs per week) hard-boiled or soft-boiled, they are friends of health. «They contain proteins rich in essential amino acids that favor the production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant. They also provide Omega 3 and minerals such as copper and zinc, essential for the correct functioning of the nervous system .

Fish

«Fish is a good source of noble proteins that can be consumed even 4 times a week. The blue one (sardines, herring, anchovies) and salmon are also particularly rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which thanks to their anti-inflammatory action are excellent allies for brain and heart health .

legumes

Beans, chickpeas, lentils, broad beans, peas associated in the same meal with the essential amino acids present in whole grains or their derivatives such as pasta provide complete proteins. They are also low in fat and cholesterol-free, for the benefit of the figure and health , concludes nutritionist Nicoletta Bocchino.

Discover in the gallery the other foods that are a source of good proteins

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