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I’ve written about how iodine is necessary for your thyroid to function, but I may have missed mentioning another important nutrient. Selenium.  Selenium is necessary mineral, in trace amounts, to facilitate the uptake of iodine into your cells.  I used to worry that I wasn’t getting enough of this mineral to assist my iodine uptake, but as it turns out, I was probably getting enough of it, as the foods which are high in selenium content are frequently in my cupboards, and on my snacking list.

I’ve known since I was a child that parsley and Brazil nuts were suppliers of selenium (Yes. You Should eat the parsley garnish!) but I wasn’t sure about any other foods. As it turns out, other nuts that also make it into the list of good selenium suppliers are: black walnuts (which my daughter doesn’t like, but I do),cashews (which my Grandson can’t eat) tuna fish, which, as far as I can tell, we all can, and will eat, and some other fish (which may or may not be eaten by various members of the family), including: Halibut, Rockfish (Sea Bass), Tilapia, Mackerel, Swordfish (which I don’t see any of us eating, any time soon), and Snapper (Thanks Game Cube, and Animal Crossing for letting me know what that looks like 😉 .

Most of the Shellfish are also good sources of selenium (always cook those).  Octopus, and Squid also make it onto the list of selenium suppliers, but again, I don’t see any of us eating that anytime soon.  We are mostly land locked, and not too adventurous with marine life.  Fortunately, or  unfortunately, depending on how you view it, Wheat is a good source of selenium.  In my case, I may have to pass on it, as the gluten it supplies has a tendency to put me to sleep for excessive amounts of time. Fortunately, I can still get selenium from other grains as well, such as:  Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Rye, and Pearl Barley.

My frequent snack list has some good selenium suppliers on it. It turns out that the salted and roasted pumpkin seeds I like are a good source, and so are the sunflower seeds.  I could expand my snack sources to include squash seeds, if I remember to roast and salt them when I have a squash, and I could add flaxseed  (which I understand has several other health benefits as well), if I could figure out how to incorporate it into my meals…  I don’t see using that one as a “snack” item.  On the plus side, Sesame seeds, which I love in Thai cooking, are also good suppliers of selenium…. So,  I may get enough of this source of nutrient, after all.

In case these sources aren’t enough, you can also get selenium out of many of your meats, such as: chicken, pork, lamb, turkey, and venison.  If these suppliers of protein aren’t sufficient, or convenient, you can also get selenium in the more commonly eaten mushrooms, like Crimini, Portabella, and Shiitake.

If you combine these selenium rich foods with the iodine rich foods, Seaweed, whole dairy, whole eggs, whole potatoes, cranberries, any dark berry jams, you’ll get a pretty balanced diet.  ……I’m going to have sign off now…  I’ve been eating some wheat products because I sometimes can’t resist it…:(  and now.. I’m excessively sleepy…..  Catch you on the flip side;)

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2016.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Selenium Benefits, Signs of Deficiency, & Foods

Top 10 Foods Highest in Selenium

 

 

Mmmmmmmm….  the delicious smells of holiday baking.

Is there anything better?

I’ve been wanting to work on a healthy holiday cracker recipe for a while now,and I think I may just have come up with one.

It Isn’t Gluten free, though it can be dairy free if you use the coconut oil instead of butter or margarine.

If you  need a gluten free recipe, stay tuned, I’ll have one of those in here later, so check back.

 

Non-food items you will need include:

A one quart sauce pan

A three quart mixing bowl

Big wooden mixing spoon or a mixer with bread hooks.

Wax paper* ( to line a bread pan with And to line the baking sheet)

A bread pan

A baking sheet

 

Wet Ingredients to be combined in a saucepan on Low heat.

1/2 cup of butter, margarine or coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger**

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (a pinch)

1/2 teaspoon finely ground cinnamon***

1   1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup water

and

3/4  cup chopped pecans, or hazelnuts, or coconut flakes

Dry ingredients:

2  3/4  cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4  teaspoon salt

Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly in the three quart mixing bowl and make a well in the middle of the ingredients.

 

Combine the wet ingredients, minus the chopped nuts, into a small sauce pan on a low heat setting and slowly heat the ingredients together until the butter or the coconut oil is just melted and the sugar dissolves into the mixture.  (Don’t boil it)

Add the 1/3 cup chopped pecans, or hazelnuts at the very end and set aside to cool to luke-warm (if you put a drop of the liquid on the inside of your wrist it won’t be hot, just warm) might be anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on how hot you got the mix.

Make sure the liquid mixture is thoroughly mixed and dissolved when you take it up to pour into the well you made in the dry ingredients in the three quart bowl.

Mix rapidly and thoroughly until it’s a smooth cohesive lump. If you are using a wooden spoon, make sure that either the handle of the spoon is really thick or that you are holding the spoon handle down near the spoon head, as this mixture gets really heavy and thick.

Once you have achieved the desired consistency ( I knew when it was done when I wanted to eat the dough before cooking it) press the dough evenly into the wax paper lined bread pan and cover with the wax paper.  This can be a little tricky as the dough is sticky.  Refrigerate or freeze until stiff but not frozen.

Take out one of the oven racks.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare to use the lower part of the oven.

The baking pan will not be  on the very bottom rack, but the one just up from that when it’s time to bake the crackers.

When the dough is stiff, take it out of the pan and place it on a clean cutting board.  Slice the frozen dough lengthwise with a serrated bread knife.    If you like your crackers larger, slice it in half, if you like them smaller, slice it twice in thirds. Lay the sliced dough halves down on the cutting board and thinly slice the dough into individual cracker pieces and place on the wax paper in the baking pan about 1/4 inch apart from each other. If you want to save time and slice larger crackers, you can easily halve your crackers by using a fork to poke holes across the middle of each larger cracker shape. You can make the cracker pieces any size you want. The thicker crackers are more chewy and the thinner ones are crispier.  For a sweeter sparkly cracker, sprinkle Cinnamon Sugar over the crackers before they go into the oven.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool on a baking rack or on the other oven rack that you took out and placed on the counter before you baked the crackers.  When the crackers are thoroughly cooled, lift them from the wax paper and place in a tin for crackers, or seal-able sandwich bags.

These are sturdy crackers and are a pure luxury for having a small nibble between meals or when you’re on the go and can’t stop for a whole meal and need something to tide you over.  It makes a pretty good dessert substitute for school lunches as well, as they aren’t as sugary as cupcakes or brownies but they are still a small sweet treat.  They aren’t bad for dunking either, as they don’t fall apart easily in your milk or coffee or tea.

Note*

*  If you don’t have wax paper, you can use oil or butter to grease the baking pan so the cracker dough will come off the pan easily.

**  If you are pregnant and nausea is a problem, the ginger in this recipe may help settle your stomach.  Ginger helps settle upset stomachs.

*** If you don’t have these three spices separately, you can use 3/4 teaspoon of pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice instead.  This will be adding a little of the spice ingredient Ground Cloves to your mixture.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, llc 2012.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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