Tag: natural

Lemon natural drug and ally of beauty – Italian Cuisine

Lemon natural drug and ally of beauty


Lemon is good for you. The doctors of ancient Greece had already discovered the benefits. But it was with the study of scurvy (a disease due to the deficiency of vitamin C), made in 1747 by James Lind, a Scottish doctor of the British navy, that his contribution became essential: stocks of lemons on the ships that sailed the oceans for long weeks they prevented the crews from getting sick.

It is precisely the high contribution of C vitamin which makes this fruit so important. But not only. Lemon is rich in flavonoids, substances that have an antioxidant and digestive action, improve circulation and protect the heart, eyes and eyesight.

Vitamin C (together with vitamin E) or ascorbic acid has several basic functions for the organism. Has strong antioxidant power, fights the free radicals responsible for aging, increases the bioavailability of iron. And most importantly, it helps boost the immune defenses that protect us from virus and bacteria.

The recommended dose of Vitamin C is 85 mg per day for women (rising to 100 in case of pregnancy) and 105 for men, an amount that can be quietly assimilate through nutrition and without the need for supplements. Also because an excessive dosage can be harmful for those who are subject to accumulations of oxalic acid and kidney stones.

Lemon is one of the best known sources of vitamin C and represents one good defense against the flu. A daily juice of an orange and two lemons defends against the symptoms of cooling. And the essential oils of the rind, infused with hot water and ginger, relieve respiratory problems.

Promotes digestion. The citric acid of the juice has an antacid effect in the stomach: a report prepared for the Consorzio Limone di Siracusa PGI reports the ancient Indian habit of mixing a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper with lemon juice. And, unlike what is often thought, lemon juice added to hot water promotes intestinal motility, because it stimulates the contractions of the walls of the intestine. It also has a disinfectant function against parasites, viruses and bacteria.

It is good for the skin. The vitamin C present in lemon juice is essential in the production of collagen, one of the most important proteins in the body. For this reason, lemon juice keeps the skin healthy. Thanks to the high percentage of α-hydroxy acids, which penetrate into the deep layers, it keeps the tissues firm, elastic and compact, leaving the face soft and hydrated. In addition, it has an antiseptic and purifying function for young and impure skin.

As Valeria Rizza, pharmacist, who has followed the research carried out for the Consortium of the lemon of Siracusa PGI, mixing in equal parts of water, lemon, honey and aloe obtains a detergent with which to wash your face daily. A jar of yogurt mixed with lemon juice and a spoonful of aloe is an excellent natural lightening mask: apply for 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week, rinse with warm water and complete with a moisturizing cream; during the day the skin should be protected with a sunscreen.

In short, a small Mediterranean fruit, often forgotten at the bottom of the refrigerator, is actually a delicious treasure trove of virtue.

For other natural beauty remedies click here.

Livia Fagetti
October 8, 2014
updated in February 2020
by Barbara Roncarolo

How are natural olives seasoned? – Italian Cuisine

How are natural olives seasoned?


Olives are an inevitable food in the pantry, an ingredient to enrich many dishes or the typical aperitif-saver. Here's how to prepare and season them at home

Let's face it: there cannot be an aperitif without it olives. One leads to another, like cherries. For this reason, it is good to always have them at home, to be served with chips, to whet the appetite.
And then an olive is never just an olive. The other day, in fact, I was at the market and there were so many varieties on the benches, and above all, all seasoned in a different and tasty way: spicy, garlic, parsley …
So, after buying some to have the stock in the pantry, I thought I'd make them at home. Here's how I did it. Below is the procedure for making the olives in brine and some advice on which ones aromas or spices use to dress them, while in our gallery I reveal some more curiosities about this fruit with a thousand beneficial nutritional properties.

Brine: debittering

If you buy or collect natural olives, you cannot eat them directly, as they have a bitter taste. So first go deamarizzate. There are two procedures. The first provides immersion in water: the olives must be covered completely and left in the liquid for two weeks, taking care to change the water twice a day. The second one instead, foresees the use of the sodium hydroxide: dip the olives, only after adding the soda to the water. Leave them covered with a cotton cloth for about 10 hours. Once ready, remove them and wash them at least 4 times with running water to remove the soda from the surface.

Brine: the process

After having oligarchized the olives, proceed with the brine, which includes 3 steps. The doses are intended for 1 kg of olives. Boil 1.5 liters of water with the addition of 120 grams of salt. Let the water cool, pour it into a container with a cap and immerse the olives. Close but without sealing, so as to let the fermentation gases out. Store the jar in the dark for a month. After a month, repeat the water boiling process, but this time adding 150 grams of salt. While the water is boiling, drain the olives from the first brine. Pour the second brine into the jar, dip the olives, close without sealing and place in the dark for another month. Finally, the third and last brine is identical as the procedure to the first two, only that it is less loaded with salt: only 90 g per 1.5 lt of water. The olives will be ready for consumption one month after this brine.

Seasoned olives: crushed Sicilian

Olives are good this way, natural, but they are even better seasoned. Such as? For example crushed, or rather large and fleshy olives crushed precisely with a meat tenderizer (or with a stone, according to the Sicilian tradition), first passed in brine and then rinsed, flavored with vinegar, garlic, chilli, oregano, parsley, bay leaves and fennel seeds and then preserved in oil, ready for use.

Olives seasoned with vegetables

Also from Sicily, this other seasoning variant arrives: after having passed the olives in brine, let them dry on a cloth for a few hours. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables with which to season them: cut the onions into small cubes, clean the celery of their filaments and cut them into slices and cut the carrots into slices. Take a glass jar, where you put the olives together with the vegetables, cover with plenty of olive oil and two tablespoons of white vinegar, then add salt and pepper to taste. Serve as an aperitif or appetizer.

Olives seasoned with Roman

For this version, you need black olives, olive oil, salt and orange peel. Pass the black olives under water, then let them dry on a cloth. Chop the orange peels and dip them in a bowl with extra virgin olive oil, to which the dry olives are added later. Season with salt, leave to rest in the fridge for 12 hours, then serve on the table.

Olives with herbs or chilli

Do you like the spicy taste? Season them with the chili pepper like this: wash the olives, put them in a baking dish and dress them with a little oil. Add a few cloves of garlic and a bit of crumbled pepper. Stir and set aside in the fridge. After a few hours, they will be ready to be served. Do you prefer a decidedly less strong flavor? Repeat the process, but add only the parsley or oregano, for a fresher taste.

The perfect cookie? Very few 100% natural ingredients – Italian Cuisine


Once upon a time there were good and simple things. The mothers and grandmothers used to cook them for a snack or for breakfast. The cakes, those soft and very good to bite still warm, because waiting for them to cool down was really impossible. The biscuits, the shortbread biscuits that were starting to be eaten raw even though we were told not to.

A few ingredients that we have all seen dirty the kitchens to turn into something that still today has an unmistakable flavor: that of things done with love. And with a few, simple ingredients. The flour that dirty hands and aprons, eggs, butter, milk and sugar. The oven lit and in a short time an inebriating and unmistakable perfume: that of homemade biscuits.

Once upon a time, but if we look carefully there are still. Even among the supermarket shelves, in the midst of dozens and dozens of eye-catching packaging that try to get our attention. The secret to recognizing them? Read the labels and the list of ingredients. With one major rule: choose biscuits with less ingredients. Flour, eggs, butter, milk and sugar. Just like those we ate as children and smelled good, at home and in love. Only natural ingredients, no aroma and no ingredients whose meaning we do not know.

The Doria Semplicissimi biscuits

Like the Simple Dorias. Cookies with 100% natural ingredients, without added flavorings. An example? Honey biscuits, as good as those made at home. Only wheat flour, sugar, butter, fresh eggs, honey and a pinch of salt. A unique taste, delicate and delicious, without the need to add aromas. No preservatives, no GMOs or hydrogenated fats.

Or the cocoa biscuits, the ones we loved the most when we were children. Precisely with the same intense and delicious taste, thanks to fresh milk and cocoa. And for those who love the delicious taste of mixed flour, there are the Semplicissimi Doria with cereals, with a mix of wheat, oats, barley and buckwheat for a daily supply of fiber.

The wellness line

Short and totally natural list of ingredients also for the biscuits in the wellness line, dedicated to those who want to pay even more attention to health but without losing taste and naturalness. This is how oatmeal and cocoa beans are made, made with whole wheat flour, raw cane sugar, sunflower oil, whole oatmeal flour, fresh Italian milk and cocoa beans. And they are also high in fiber.
They are perfect for those who are attentive to their well-being: spelled and hazelnut biscuits, with 50% less saturated fat than the average of the best-selling biscuits* and source of fibers, also in the buckwheat and red fruits version.

The Simplest Doria crackers

Very few 100% natural ingredients even for the crackers of the Semplicissimi Doria line: malted barley flour and flour, sunflower oil, brewer's yeast, salt and olive extract, without flavorings, without colorings, without preservatives, without GMOs and without fats hydrogenated. In three versions all tasty, a source of fiber and 30% less saturated fat than the average of the best-selling crackers *: buckwheat and chia seeds, corn and quinoa seeds, black rice and flaxseed.

Goodness is a very simple thing, and to find it just read the labels at the supermarket carefully.

*For more info: UnioneItalianaFood.it

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