What is Alkaline Food?
Alkaline food and drinks sound poison to you? The other day I spotted a case of alkaline water bottles at Costco. My husband said “Who wants to drink alkaline added water?” Many people think of batteries when it comes to alkaline, but it is totally different!
Actually alkaline food is very good for you. There are many ways to indicate characteristic of food and pH is one of them. Food is divided into two categories, alkaline and acid. The pH level range is between 0 and 14. 0 means the strongest acid and 14 means the strongest alkaline. Your body performs best when your blood is kept at a pH level of 7.4. You can maintain healthy digestive organs and physical strength. It lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetics, obesity, liver disease, arthritis, immunodeficiency, and premature aging. It sounds like alkaline food is very important to us.
Acid Food Is Bad For You
Unfortunately, people tend to eat acid food. Processed food is not alkaline food. Acid food includes snacks, soda, juice, bleached flower, refined sugar, cereals, milk, and meat. Even your favorite chocolate! If you keep eating acid food, your body try to supply minerals from tissues and steal calcium from the bone in order to maintain a proper pH balance. You don’t have to give it up. But try to minimize the consumption. It means that you can’t eat a bag of potato chips every day!
Eat More Alkaline Food!
How do you eat to have the best pH balance? It is recommended that 80% of your diet be alkaline food. The best alkaline food is whole food such as green vegetables. Just so you know, in the modern world food is not the only factor that can harm you. Air, pollution, soap, detergent, clothes and anything your body touches that contains some chemical components. In order to eliminate those toxins from your body, you will need to eat plenty of alkaline food and drink. It is not so hard because whole food tastes much better when you prepare it in a proper way.
Here are some example of strong alkaline food.
Replace acid food with alkaline food as much as you can. Use cold pressed olive oil instead of chemically produced vegetable oil. Use raw sugar instead of refined sugar. Eat almonds instead of peanuts.
The 500 calories set meal use so many alkaline food. Let’s cook 500 calories set meal: Ginger Garlic Chicken!
Total 440 calories
Main: Ginger Garlic Chicken
Side 1: Sautéed Kale
Side 2: Cabbage Kombu Asazuke (Cabbage Pickles)
Soup: Miso Soup with Lemon Zest
Steamed White Rice with Lemon Oil
All recipes are made for 2 servings. This printable recipe box will allow you to change the serving size to adjust the recipe.
Main: Ginger Garlic Chicken 169 calories
Even though I like to eat healthy food, I never want to be a vegetarian. Because I enjoy eating meat! Unfortunately, fresh meat is acid food. That is why it is important to keep it to a small portion. The 500 calories set meal provides good balance of pH level. Chicken and turkey are less acid than beef or pork. It sounds like pH level measurement is very similar to the calorie level.
This recipe is simple yet is loaded with alkaline ingredients. They are garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds. These are also magic spices. It works the same as all-purpose spice. It will let you use less sodium. Cold pressed sesame oil is also alkaline food.
- 200 g chicken thigh
- salt & pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon sake
- 1 teaspoon mirin Japanese seasoning sake
- 1 teaspoon ground sesame seed
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic grated
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 40 g lettuce
- Cut chicken into bite sizes. Salt & pepper the meat.
- Make sauce by mixing soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar and ground sesame.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a pan. Place the meat and cook until both side becomes brown.
- Remove extra liquid with a piece of paper towel.
- Add the sauce into the pan.
- Cook for a few minutes until meat get coated with sauce.
- Turn off heat, leave the meat in the pan. Mix gently again as the sauce thickens after cooling down.
Side 1: Sautéed Kale 55 calories
Kale originated in southern Europe. It is the root from which cabbage and broccoli were grown. Kale has strong vitality and can grow many places all year round. It is not so common to see kale in grocery stores in Japan. Maybe because kale is too bitter to eat and too hard to chew. Instead, kale is sold as a form of green juice, known as Aojiru. Japanese people purchase it as a dietary supplement. Kale is rich in allyl isothiocyanate and melatonin. It also contains vitamins, minerals, protein, potassium, chlorophyll, folic, acid, GABA and dietary fiber. Literally, kale is the king of all vegetables!
Kale is one of the popular vegetables and available to purchase in the US. You will find a variety of kale products. Kale salad, kale smoothie, kale chips and many more. Green leafy vegetables such as kale represents strong alkaline food. This recipe is a good example to eat 80 % of alkaline food.
When you purchase kale, it normally comes with 5 or more large leaves. Probably, you are like me, you need to rearrange contents in the refrigerator to make a room for leftover kale. Believe me, it is difficult to eat 100g of raw kale! Raw kale is kind of biter and has a hard texture. Then, why don’t we cook before the nutrient escapes?
- Tear Kale from the stem with hand. Tear into bite sizes. Mince garlic. Cut bacon into small pieces.
- Cook garlic and bacon until they become lightly brown.
- Add Kale and stir and cook for 3 minutes.
Side 2: Cabbage Kombu Asazuke (Cabbage Pickles) 15 calories
Cabbage is Natural Medicine
Cabbage is very versatile just like Kale. And yes, cabbage is also an alkaline food. Cabbage is an everyday vegetable for Japanese people. Then I thought about the popular Japanese digestive medicine, called Cabagin. It pronounces “cabbage-in“. Why did they name it? Because Cabagin contains vitamin U that was discovered in cabbage juice. It is supposed to maintain stomach health. Especially your stomach is exhausted from over eating and drinking. Anyway cabbage is good for you. My mom never runs out of it!
This recipe is one of the Japanese cooking methods that I mentioned on the last post. It is Asazuke (salt rubbed vegetables). I used salted sea kelp, called Shio-Kombu. Kombu is very healthy food AND is one of the strongest alkaline food. Add Shio-Kombu to cabbage and massage. The liquid comes out of the vegetables due to the salt content. The process makes vegetables absorb the flavor of Kombu and makes them crunchy. Shio-Kombu can be used for stir-fry, salad, and soup. Japanese people like to put in a rice ball. Shio-Kombu can be purchased in a Japanese store.
- Tear cabbage into bite sizes. Remove stems and set aside. Thin slice cucumber.
- Place vegetables in a bowl. Add Shio Kombu.
- Hand mix well and squeeze like massaging. Leave it for up to 30 minutes.
Soup: Miso Soup with Lemon Zest 23 calories
Ok. You used kale leaves and cabbage leaves without the hard stem for above recipes, right? Do not toss the hard stem. It is rich in dietary fiber and vitamins. If you cook correctly, such as in soup, you will enjoy it. You can also drink the nutrients from the vegetable that run out into the soup! And remember this is my No Wasting Policy! If you find organic lemon, don’t just squeeze it. Use the skin for any soup. Remember lemon skin has more vitamin C than lemon juice. Lemon zest enhances the flavor of miso soup. You will like it!
- Cut kale stem, cabbage stem and carrot into medium chunks.
- Bring to boil dashi in pot.
- Add vegetables and cook until they become tender.
- Add miso and turn off heat right before boiling.
- Sprinkle lemon zest when serve.
Steamed White Rice with Lemon Oil 178 calories
Let’s Make Lemon Oil!
If you live in Japan, there are so many media that talks about food. There is always a hot topic related to food. Lemon oil was introduced this year. It sounds like lemon oil came from Italy where people use as seasoning. It brings good aroma to salad, stir-fry, and sweets. Making lemon oil is quite simple just like salted lemon.
Step 1: Slice lemon or cut into small chunks.
Step 2: Place in a mason jar.
Step 3: Pour olive oil until it covers lemon.
Step 4: Wait for a day in room temperature.
Lemon Oil Is Healthy Oil
Lemon oil is rich in linoletic and oleic acid. It contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals. Both lemon and olive oil are strong antioxidant. Lemon oil will smooth out blood flow, lower blood pressure, and work for cardiovascular disease. It prevents constipation and works for detox. Lemon oil is also used as an ingredient for cosmetics. You get pretty inside and out!
Direction: Mix 100 g of steamed rice and 1 teaspoon of lemon oil with lemon chunks while rice is still warm.
Each 500 calories set meal comes with 100g of steamed rice. You will need to cook rice in a rice cooker or in a heavy gage pot. And measure cooked rice for 100 grams. I will show you how to make your cooking life easier. Read more How To Cook And Store Japanese Rice.