Jackfruit Taco Recipe: Healthy & Yummy!

JACKFRUIT

The first time I had something similar to Jackfruit was in Jamaica, about 13 years ago. A street vendor in Kingston sold yummy Breadfruit plates for about $2.00. Although it didn’t taste like bread to me, it was starchy, unique and delicious.

Jackfruit is actually bigger than Breadfruit, is the largest fruit produced on trees and can keep us healthy in so many ways!

•Jackfruit is filled with Vitamin C and can help fight against viral and bacterial infections. In fact, one cup of jackfruit supplies our body with enough Vitamin C to support the function of our white blood cells, resulting in a stronger immune system and overall greater health.

•Jackfruit’s phytonutrients and antioxidants can help rid your body of cancer-causing free radicals, which can treat cell damage and build a resistance against different types of cancers.

•Jackfruit’s high fiber can soothe digestive disorders including constipation and ulcers. Every hundred grams of jackfruit is about four grams of fiber, so eating jackfruit can protect the colon by removing carcinogenic chemicals found in your large intestine.

•Jackfruit can also help you keep great skin, great eyesight, good blood pressure and healthy bones!

And as if all these amazing health benefits were not enough, jackfruit is also low in calories and free of fat! Yes, that’s right, you can eat a ton of sweet jackfruit without gaining a ton of weight!

The next time you have a hankering for something healthy and delicious, consider Darshana Thacker’s healthy jackfruit recipe!

CHIPOTLE JACKFRUIT TACOS:

INGREDIENTS:

🌮1 medium potato, cut into ½-inch dice (2 cups)

🌮1 medium onion, cut into ¼-inch dice (2 cups)

🌮2 cloves fresh garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)

🌮1½ cups of diced tomatoes with juice

🌮1½ cups fresh cut jackfruit or one 14 oz can.

🌮3 tablespoons taco seasoning

🌮1 tablespoon smoked paprika

🌮¼ teaspoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce

🌮2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

🌮2 tablespoons lemon juice

JACKFRUIT TACO TOPPINGS:

🌮12 corn tortillas

🌮2 cups shredded lettuce

🌮1 medium tomato, cut into ½-inch dice (1 cup)

🌮2 stalks scallions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)

🌮1 avocado, cut into ¾-inch diced

PREPARATION:

1. In a skillet over medium-low heat, sauté the potatoes, onions, and garlic in ¼ cup water for 10 minutes or until the onions are tender.

2. Add the diced tomatoes, jackfruit, taco seasoning, paprika, and chipotle in adobo sauce, and continue cooking for 10 minutes until the juice from the tomatoes is absorbed.

3. Using the back of the spatula, break the jackfruit into smaller pieces. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice.

4. Place half of the tortillas in a stack on a heated non-stick skillet. Cook each side of the stack on medium-low heat, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the tortillas in the middle are heated through. Wrap warmed tortillas in a damp cloth to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

5. To assemble the tacos, place the filling in the center of each, and top with the lettuce, tomatoes, scallions, and avocado, then serve immediately!

Doesn’t this Forks Over Knives recipe sound so Yummy Yummy Baby?!?

There are so many ways to eat Jackfruit, explore and let me know what you come up with!

Thank you to Forks Over Knives and Health Team Trista for the awesome recipe, pics and info!

🍈~ Dr. Desy


Food Allergies & Children: Why Fresh is Best!

Why Fresh Food is Best! Part I

bodhi eating bowl of frui

Babies deserve the best of everything that can be offered. The first year of life is the most critical for a child, particularly from a nutritional standpoint. Since parents are primarily responsible for their baby’s health, it is extremely important for them to understand Allergies and the unique nutritional requirements of infants & children.

During this period, an infant experiences the most rapid growth and development period in their entire lifetime. Nutrition is critical at this time, as the baby’s diet must support this rapid growth rate by getting adequate Phytonutrients and Complete Nutrition.

For at least the first year of life, Breast Milk is essential for a babies complete nutrition to be met. Nursing moms are giving their baby essential phytonutrients through their own diet and breast milk.

Healthy pregnancy eating saladSome women have been told that their baby is allergic to their milk, when 99% of the time they were actually allergic to the food mommy was eating while pregnant & breastfeeding, as opposed to the breast milk itself.  If a mommy removes the top allergens from her own diet, chances are, the baby will begin to tolerate her milk, colic will stop and eczema and rashes will likely disappear.  If not, it is important to have baby checked for inborn genetic errors.

If you have adopted your baby or have some other reason why breast milk is not available, please consider making homemade Coconut Milk Formula, instead of synthetic store bought formula. Please see my recipes page.

Bodhi holding mixed fruit

The most common allergies in babies are dairy, eggs, citrus, gluten, soy and nuts.  Allergies are common in babies who have parents or relatives with allergies, so if you or a close relative has food allergies, skin disorders, auto-immune diseases,  environmental or pet allergies, please observe your baby closely and do an elimination diet.

According to BabyCentre Medical Advisory Board and The Department of Health, although many people start feeding babies food at 4 months of age, the majority of baby’s digestive systems are immature and may not be ready for solid foods. Babies usually still lack digestive enzymes and early solid foods may actually induce allergies.  In addition, if they get food poisoning or a food born illness, their immune system may not be ready to handle it, especially if they are a preemie baby.

*Unless your baby has started losing weight and seems very very hungry after a good good milk feeding, then consider waiting until 6months before adding solid foods.  Age 6-8 months old may be a more appropriate time to start introducing foods, ONE FOOD AT A TIME- ONE WEEK AT A TIME!  It is essential that you don’t get too excited and give your baby another food, drink, oil, herb or spice, without truly observing him/her for a week.

guacamole in colorful blue bowl with tortilla chips

A great Starter Food is Avocado. Avoacado is a complete protein and has a mild taste. Simply mash a tiny sliver of Avocado… Wait 3 days, Observe for the following symptoms:

  • rash, hives, diarrhea, pain, vomiting, hiccups, constipation
  • personality changes, drastic mood swings, colic
  • If no reaction, proceed with 2 more slivers of Avocado, wait 3 more days.

Do this ELIMINATION DIET WITH EVERY SINGLE FOOD AND DRINK YOU INTRODUCE TO YOUR INFANT or CHILD.  If you do this with every food and drink you give your child, then you will most likely save your baby the pain of being poked and you the heartache, time & money of having to go to the doctor and have his blood tested. This method increases the likelihood of you just figuring it out yourself.

Many Doctors & Allergist forget to tell you:

  • Allergies can present as a psychological/behavioral reaction
  • ADHD, Tantrums, Brain Fog, Psychosis, can be food related.
  • Some allergies do not appear for days
  • Skin Disorders like Eczema & Psoriasis are Food Allergies.
  • Many allergies do not show up on standard allergy testing.
  • Some allergies do not show up unless they are repeatedly eaten

mixed whole carrots

According to a study by Aristo Vojdani, based on clinical presentation and antibody response, immune-mediated adverse reactions to foods can be divided into immediate and delayed hypersensitivity reactions.

Vojdani stated that immediate reactions to food antigens are IgE-mediated and dependent on activation of mast cells in specific tissues, including the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal, mucosal, and cardiovascular system.  Vojdani concluded that the delayed immune reaction to food antigens are mediated by IgG, IgA and IgM. Unlike the immediate effects of IgE-mediated allergy, the IgG, IgM and IgA-mediated food allergy and intolerance reactions can take several days to appear.

Vojdani also reported that levels of IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies in the blood can be measured against different food antigens for demonstration of delayed food allergy and intolerance reactions.

If you suspect a child or anyone in your life has allergies, make sure you stand up and advocate for your right to have a complete allergy panel of the most accurate testing, such as, IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE and also DNA testing for Microdeletions and MTHFR polymorphisms that may impact what a person should eat.

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Mixed Carrots, Coconut Oil, Cinnamon

Why is Fresh Food Best? From a Nutritional & Whole Food Vitamin standpoint, store bought food, does not even begin to compare to real fresh food.

  • Harmful Ingredients banned in many countries are still used in the U.S.
  • Store Food has additives & preservatives not always listed on labels.
  • Organic Label does not always mean 100% Organic.
  • Synthetic ingredients allow Processed Food to sit on shelves for years.
  • Child may be allergic to additives & preservatives, not the actual food.
  • Nutrients are pretty dead by the time they are processed & put in a jar.
  • Baby kidneys & liver have a hard time metabolizing these preservatives.
  • Food processing includes thermal & non-thermal treatments,
  • Food Processing has a different effect on a Child’s Allergen Reactions.

Home-cooked meals and fresh Yummy Yummy Baby food has the real Phytonutrients your child’s brain and body requires and will thrive on!

  • If it’s impossible to prepare meals, please choose organic baby foods.
  • Organic store bought food still contains additives & preservatives!
  • Freeze a portion of family meals you cook in glass containers for baby.
  • Make sure to feed your baby & loved ones, every color of the rainbow.
  • Go easy on meat protein, there are many ways to give your baby protein.

Meat is only one source of Protein!  Remember, ounce for ounce and calorie for calorie, Broccoli and Kale provide more Protein than Porterhouse Steak!

I will be sharing more kid-friendly foods in the future, but here are a few simple Yummy Yummy Baby Recipes:

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Sweet Potato Delight

Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Bananas, Coconut Butter, Cinnamon!

  1. Cut & Slice veggies, Steam 8-12 minutes (medium heat)
  2. Mash Veggies & Bananas all together
  3. Mix with Coconut Butter or Coconut Oil
  4. Mix in a dash of Cinnamon
  5. Remember to TEST EACH FOOD INGREDIENT first, one at a time.
  6. Buy only Organic Ingredients for Baby Food

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Here is a toddler version she can eat with her fingers. Great thing is, you can make this as a side dish for your own meal!

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Strawberry Deelight

Yummy Yummy Baby Breakfast:

  1. Coconut Yogurt (Homemade or Store bought)
  2. Honey Dew Melon
  3. Strawberries
  4. Persimmon
  5. Sliced Walnuts (Wait one year)
  6. Sliced Bananas
  7. For an infant- Puree all together (except nuts)

Have fun, go very very slowly with each food and remember it takes only a couple of minutes to prepare.

You will spend more time & money taking care of a sick or allergenic child, so put the time in at the front end to prepare your baby a Real Fresh Organic Yummy Yummy Baby meal!

Stay Healthy & Happy ~ Dr. Dee


HEAL YOUR LIFE

HEAL YOUR LIFE

Thanks for visiting and welcome to my Blog about the Recipes, Remedies and reflections that have been tools in our quest for Healthy Living.

Its important to share how everything led me to this very moment…

The majority of my life I have been involved in sports, working out, eating right and overall healthy living. I thought I was a healthy person who would live long and have healthy children…

Although I have been into fitness and healthy eating since I was a teenager, I experienced a rude awakening when in 1998, my 3 year old baby boy was diagnosed with leukemia and struggled for his life.

After two casts on each of his UNBROKEN but severely swollen arms, after bruising all over his body, after his legs went almost completely paralyzed, after drinking and peeing excessively 30 times a day… Several different emergency rooms and doctors continued to tell me that he was just a little boy growing and was very accident prone and faking his severe pain.

On the final day that permanently changed our lives, we were at a VERY FUN AND SPECIAL BIRTHDAY PARTY for a 4 year old. There were yummy appetizers, Clowns everywhere, real mini trains to ride, games and Magicians in every room… My son could not be any more excited!

As I held a camera to capture him running to jump on one of the trains, his legs gave out and my camera and heart sunk… I ran to scoop him up as he frowned with shock and confusion. He didn’t care about the pain, he had learned to live with pain, he was just so darn sad about not getting on the train… HE WAS NOT FAKING IT!

I rushed him to the ER once again. This time his legs didn’t work, his face was covered in red splotches, his hand was swollen, especially his pinky finger… They kept us there for 3 days, they had 8 doctors and specialist examine him from every department, but none of them had a definitive diagnoses… they said it was probably a rare disease that had not been discovered… and tried to send us home with a, “We will call you”.

I had just finished receiving my Doctoral training and Childhood Leukemia was a big subject matter that stood out for me… I told them he had all of the symptoms of leukemia. They said leukemia was an impossible diagnoses and they refused to do a lumbar puncture because his blood work continued to be in the “normal range” and the insurance company would not approve it.

Needless to say, I learned there is no “Normal”, we are all unique, we don’t all fit in a nice little box!
I LITERALLY REFUSED TO LEAVE THE HOSPITAL with my baby who looked like he was on his death bed. Again, the doctors said without a solid diagnoses the insurance would not pay for our hospital stay. I felt as if I was in some kind of Twi-light Zone.  How was this happening, I had top of the line insurance?!?

I put up the fight of my life and what turned out to be the fight that saved my son’s life.  After I agreed to sign a hundred documents of liability and promised to pay for all of the costs involved, I was able to finally convince them to reluctantly perform the lumbar puncture.

They tried to force me to wait outside during the procedure, but I refused to leave my baby boy alone… I was a single mom who lives far from family so it was just me and my Pookie Bear at the time. I had never been so scared to be a single mommy as I was in this very moment. :-/

The Hematologist who performed the lumbar puncture was supposed to be the best pediatric hematologist in the West Coast. As she tried to insert the long device in his spine, it would not give… it was stuck. She kept shoving the device, she began to sweat, she kept trying different spots on his spine, and then she finally had to practically hammer it in him. I thought she was a quack.  Why did my little baby boy have to go through this?

Pookie was only semi-sedated so he was whaling and aching with pain as he arched his back with every poke.  His eyes rolled behind his head and he kept gasping… They assured me he would not remember a thing, but this brought no comfort to a frightened mommy watching her baby being jabbed by a doctor who said the procedure would be an easy in and out.  I had flashes of me yanking him off the table, running to the elevator and getting away from these crazy people…

I will never forget the look of terror on that physician’s face… she looked at me with a look of complete and utter disbelief and fear. After about 30 minutes- swarms of people started to surround me and offer me food and water, holding my hand and asking if I had family nearby.  All I could do was my baby really closely!

I had that sinking feeling inside but nobody was saying a thing… nobody! Later I learned they were all waiting for the official laboratory results to come in to confirm his leukemia.  The Hematologist knew he had A.L.L. when the device would not go in his spine… 

My son was so completely impacted with leukemia , the doctors had no idea how he was still alive. His poor little spine and bones were so brittle and his condition was so fragile that they immediately began emergency surgery.  They said if I had not brought him in, he probably would not have made it much longer…

Remember this is after several rounds of Emergency Room visits and about 20 doctors office visits who all said for about a year that he was a PERFECTLY HEALTHY boy… They kept saying boys who truly feel sick don’t smile so much and that everything was just fine! Over and over they kept saying that I was just a first time mommy who worried too much and he was just an active toddler with bruises and bumps. No big deal .  :-/

All of a sudden the room started to spin, they had me sign about 50 forms and started hooking him up to an IV. Before I could blink… my Pookie Bear was rushed into heart surgery to have have a Port attached to his heart valve.  I remember the heart surgeon came in to sit with me, he held my hand and he slowly, calmly explained to me exactly where he was going to cut, and assured me he was going to be just fine.

I don’t know if my memory is accurate- but I could swear he was dressed in all white, that his hair was white and his teeth were the whitest I had ever seen… He looked and spoke softly like an angel. I think he walked on clouds and I even heard harps playing in the room… lol 🙂

As I sat there on pins and needles, I spoke to all the angels and begged that my little baby would be ok.  After what seemed like an eternity, he came through the surgery with flying colors! He asked for the food and ice cream I promised him and wanted to know when he could get up and play! He never complained… NOT ONCE! He was the strongest person I had ever met and I finally started to breath again!

I asked the doctors what caused this, what could I do to help him heal, what could I do??? What could I do??? Over and over I was told by the doctors that he had Cancer for so long that there was nothing I could do for him but make sure he receives his chemotherapy and radiation- and to never miss an appointment for the next three years.  I was told he needed so much chemotherapy and radiation that if he was to survive, he probably would never write, draw or learn appropriately…

I refused to believe there was nothing I could do for my baby… I started to read and read and read… research research research! In addition, I started to read to HIM even more, we started practicing drawing, counting… I was not giving up on him.  I live an hour away from my parents and due to his fragile state and suppressed immune system, only doctors, nurses and myself could be in his room, so 90% of the time it was just me and my baby. While he slept, I read, studied and learned about Natural Solutions.

I learned so much about how other countries were using Nature, such as fresh juicing, organic eating and healthy living to help cure Diseases of all types.  I immediately started juicing for my baby boy.  I immediately removed all toxins from his environment… When we were not at the hospital, he was getting tons of Sunshine and fresh Beach Air.  We went completely Organic and removed all pesticides, hormones and antibiotics from our diet.  Our life style dramatically changed.  Although they convinced me that I had to give him chemotherapy for the next three years, I elected to not give him radiation so he could have a chance at having children.

They warned me that it would take forever to get the cancer out of his system, that he would test positive many times before he would be clear… but instead of more bad news, I was told that something INCREDIBLE happened- he went from having a poor prognosis for survival to having no sign of Cancer. WHAT???

Was it the chemotherapy, was the intense juicing and healthy smoothies, was it the Organic eating, natural remedies, was it the positive affirmations and his positive attitude or was it the millions of prayer he was receiving? Honestly, I think it was all of the above.

We lived in the hospital for the next three years… For the first year, at least 5 to 7 days of the week we lived at the hospital or the Ronald McDonald House.
His struggle touched so many people, he received hundreds of food casseroles, cards, drawings, prayers and love from so many people. I am so thankful for my incredible boss who gave me the time off, who never complained… and my mom who would come when she could…

We had to live in a bubble for so long… every time he was exposed to family or the public he contracted a virus or illness and became very sick. He constantly had a fever, and almost died twice… I had just moved from Los Angeles County so everyone was so far away… it was a dark time in our lives, but searching for cures and treatments inspired me and kept me going.

All the parents in the Cancer ward lived in a state of anxiety and fear… Kids silently disappeared in the wee hours of the night- some were his roommates, some were the kids he played with a couple of days before… Code Blue Code Blue, Nurses running, Doctors running… a sudden silence, but nobody said a word!  Everybody praying for that baby, everybody praying that their baby was not next.

My son never complained about the chemo, about throwing up, about the large shots, about the lumbar punctures… he just wanted yummy food and wanted to know why his hospital friends kept disappearing? 😦

I was determined from that moment forward to learn how to help these kids and their parents… How are Food, Nature and Healthy Living Skills capable of helping kids? Why are we not applying these natural remedies in this country?  I learned how genetics play a role in diseases, how genes combined with our partners genes play a role.  I learned so much about Food and what a gamble it is to just buy food off the shelf with out knowing or understanding what is in the ingredient list.. Pharmaceuticals do have a place in our world, but not always the big role they have created!

Fast forward, My son is now 18 years old and has never tested positive for leukemia again. His treatment protocol lasted about 5 years instead of three years, but he can read, write, count and is very articulate and an extremely intelligent young man.  I cried the first time he drew a picture, the first time he did a math problem and when he learned how to read. 

It turns out that the original hematologist who diagnosed my son was a wonderful and compassionate woman. She and all of the other Oncologists, Nurses and Volunteers have one of the toughest jobs in the world.  They all were doing their best with the information they had been taught in their traditional schools. Nobody had taken the time to tell them that there are things we can do to make the Chemo treatment plan more effective and that food can play an active role in healing.  

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I have since continued my educational training and I became a Holistic Nutritionist. I have another baby boy who is now approaching 3 years old. He has had his own struggles with health… various gastro-intestinal issues that I had never even heard of before he was born.  This time I thought I was ready to take anything on, this time I was prepared… Again, I continue to learn that I don’t know what I don’t know.

So what are the Genetics involved with leukemia and other diseases? What is the real Prenatal care you can do that doctors are too busy to tell you about? Why are some healthy Foods a Medicine for you but a Poison to others?  How are Allergies related to Disease? Are eczema and Psoriasis just no big deal?

Most of all, I have learned to trust myself as a mommy… to tell every parent I know to trust those natural parent instincts… they are powerful and they were given to you to protect our young! Every child is different, if you feel something is amiss… Check it out! Do the research! Get a 2nd and 3rd opinion until you feel at total peace!

Im looking forward to sharing my recipes, remedies and reflections. Thank you to all the parents who have confided their painful and happy baby stories and pregnancy experiences. I can tell you that hearing your voice transform from fear and confusion to peace and understanding has made this long journey worth while! 

Thanks again, see you soon and please feel free to request a topic of interest! Dr. D

Recipes, Remedies and Reflections: How Leukemia changed our lives