Clean Greens of Wisdom

April 2016 Issue 1

Tips to practice 5 day!

The previous time we gave you a jist about what is 'Five a day', this time it is all about, how to put this into practice. Here are a few tips to practice the '5 a day' challenge;

> Add fruit if you'd like to either your cereal, oatmeal or even to your payasam or custard for a sumptuous healthy dessert.

> Snack on raw fruits/ vegetables like; cucumber, onion and tomato salsa etc. Replace all those chips and all kinds of junk with raisins/ carrot/ sweet potato etc.

> Have a chunky salsa instead of a dip to go with your nachos or even your dosa.

> Make a paste of almost everything that your kids wouldn't like to swallow but should still have them because it is crucial. Anything creamy with a bit of cheese or crisp, kids would gobble it up. For instance; broccoli is something kids would totally keep an arm's length away from, so you could make the broccoli into a paste and make it all crispy by coating them with breadcrumbs. Still interested in this recipe? - Check out the recipe toward the end of this newsletter.

> Finding it hard to sit up or stay active at work/ class? Drink fresh juice instead of coffee or any aerated drink.

> Forget to have a fruit a day? Have a fruit basket at your table, filled with colorful fruits; banana, oranges, apples, pomegranate etc. This way you would always remember and end up picking up one when lazing around or walking up and down your house.

> Have a Salad or sub once a week to give your stomach a break from the usual and the high calorie food.

The sole purpose behind Organic Farming

To understand the purpose of organic farming, we must first look into how this term was coined. Most of us tend to believe that organic farming is a recent trend, in India especially. For those of us who have lived off direct farm produce know the value and importance of such produce. Well, the following is just a history lesson in order to keep you more well informed and also as to why must you want the organic produce when compared to what’s being offered today. ‘Organic food movement’ was a response to the Green revolution back in the 1940’s. The whole spurt in growth of vegetables, fruits etc, during the green revolution due to the use of highly toxic pesticides, better management techniques and not to forget the high-yielding varieties actually kicked some people’s conscience to feed the world with healthy produce and thus, ‘Organic farming’. The soil’s health and vitality were believed to be embodied in its biology and in the organic soil fraction called ‘humus’. Since the crux of healthy crops relied on the soil’s status, farmer’s task shifted to actually feeding the soil. The soil food web constitutes the bacteria, fungi, earthworms, insects and a whole lot of other organisms that digest organic matter and impart nutrition to the plants This is in total contrast to the process of using soluble fertilizers which bypass the aforementioned organisms and fertilize the plant directly. So the one's conscious of such an impact, kept those toxic chemical/ synthetic fertilizers aside to a certain extent since they couldn't hold themselves back from seeking to achieve the status of 'luxurious production to luxury consumption'.

However, a few farmers recognized that even the 'once in a blue moon' use of these synthetic fertilizers would lead to the elimination of several soil pest control and building benefits that good crop rotations would confer. Also, the use of nitrogen fertilizer would deplete the perennial legume forages like, clovers, Vetch, herbs and spices etc, and green manure crops like millet, fenugreek, buckwheat, soybeans, etc, in cropping sequences. These crops not only released nitrogen to the crops following right after in rotation, but helped sustain biology and organic matter levels as well. Commonly regarded to be organic farming today, is in stark contrast to the farming that was practiced before the advent of synthetic chemicals. With today's scenario on earth; the global warming, population rise, etc, it is impossible to switch back to what farming was when such problems were absent. Thus, the apt definition to Organic farming today would be, 'Organic food is the food that has grown or processed without synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers/ food additives and industrial solvents but organic pesticides instead.

Organic produce is preferred to the conventional produce not just because it possess more number of antioxidants when compared to the other or just because the conventional produce produces higher amounts of non-protein nitrogen levels that lead to the formation of nitrosamines in the digestive tract but also because, since the green revolution, people have been more concerned about the level of poisoning that happens overtime within, the bioaccumulation overtime. This has been confirmed by a study in the year 2002, that organic produce had just one third the amount of pesticide residue when compared to conventional fruits. One third is a huge difference and poses to be much less of a threat in the long run especially with kids to feed. So, the reason we buy organic produce is not to feed just yourselves but to show the world your right to healthy food. If this were a case of a few bad apples in a basket, it would have been fine by most people but it shouldn’t be so when the entire basket is actually filled with rotten apples coated in wax. When you choose to buy organic produce, it is not to show the world that you have money to do so/ you want to be healthy but to actually show the people around you that you are entitled to such produce.

When recently in talks with a farmer along the outskirts of Salem, she said that she would never eat what her husband takes to the market. When a man who has to feed a family of four, lives on a land with a thatched roof put up in the corner of that land, knows what to eat and what not to, we being educated ten times more should stand up for it and do the same. I ain’t telling you to fast/ start a strike but to do your bit if you feel the same. As a wise man once quoted, “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” - Voltaire.

References; The research paper, A brief overview of the History and Philosophy or Organic Agriculture by George Keupper, 2010.

Organic Quickies

Some Green Fun!

Remember I promised you something yummy with Broccoli?

Generally most of us who decide to purchase organic fruits and vegetables, we opt for the rare kind like avocado, berries, broccoli etc. When it comes to broccoli, most us wind up cooking up a soup or using it in curry and for the ones who have kids at home, that’s a bad choice, so you wind up not buying broccoli again. Well here is a reason why you must stick to Greenbox’s freshly grown broccoli;

Broccoli Balls

Ingredients required;

1 large floret of broccoli cut into fine pieces - 1 cup

1 cup grated cheese of your choice

1 cup minced onions

4 tbsp coriander leaves

1 egg

1 cup bread crumbs

Oil for fry (depends on your need)

Method :

So you grind the minced broccoli such that it becomes like a powdery paste. Put this into a bowl, mix the onions, coriander leaves and grated cheese to this mix. If you are lactose intolerant by any chance, not a problem you can substitute cheese with mashed potato with salt. Now mix and press this mixture really well, add pepper if you want some spice and flavor to it. Now, make balls and keep them aside. Beat the egg and dip these balls into them, so as to coat them well in order keep the juices in broccoli fresh when you fry them. Once coated in egg, rub them well the bread crumbs and begin to deep fry in oil. You can plate this with a bit of ketchup on the side as well, i.e for those who miss the tangy tomato flavor at times.

Well! I hope you and your family enjoy this tasty treat! Stay tuned to more appetizing out of the box recipes.

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Washed and it still ain't polish ?

Washing fruits and vegetables can get the dirt and a little residue from pesticides off the skin but not completely. Here are a few ways in which you could eliminate the residue of pesticides;


Well, I don't mean that you should take your veggies to the beach and give them a soak while you get that summer tan but there are a few farms across the world that make use of seawater and it has definitely proved to be effective as well. By Port Augusta, South Australia, the Sun drop farms makes use of sunlight and seawater that in turn behaves as fresh water to feed the plants in the greenhouse. They make use of the concept that turns seawater and sunlight into pure water, food and energy. The sunlight is used to desalinate the seawater and thereby, supply clean water to the greenhouse. What an idea right?

Well, this could be incorporated in farms on a large scale since this is tiresome for households to fetch seawater, get back home, place the bowl under the heat over the terrace/ veranda, it just gets too strenuous. However, this would be ideal for the ones by the coast and the ones who practice farming on daily basis.

Let's Peel with Zeal

It's obvious that this tip is to do with peeling but why? doesn't the skin hold a lot of nutrition value? Well, that is true but for the ones for which you could spare the skin, go ahead and do so. Potatoes for instance; you can spare some skin. Apples which are tinted blood red at the commercial markets or amongst conventional produce can be peeled as well.

Soak in Salt and Vinegar

This is said to be ‘the’ most effective method to get rid of the pesticide residue off fruits and vegetables. Fruits like grapes, berries, strawberries, prunes etc, should be handled with care and timed as well, since reverse osmosis takes place when soaked in the solution for too long. White vinegar is all the more effective, it is said to get rid of 98% pesticide residue and if you decide to go ahead with this; 3 part vinegar and 1 part water is the most effective way to plunge into it.

Wash it right!

Washing isn't the solution but washing it right could result in a good amount of residue from dripping down that sink. Washing your fruits and vegetables with saline water works even better. For fruits and vegetables like grapes, watermelons, apples, pears, guavas, okra, brinjal, bitter gourd etc, they are likely to carry more pesticide residue in their crevices.

These are a few tips to handle your fruits and vegetables and I sincerely hope they are of use to you. If you are a lazy person or tired since you already have too much on your plate, here is an even better tip; You could opt for organic and save time scrubbing!


Paper by Jennifer Lyall

Veggie Buddies !

Just like you and I have someone out there be it friendship or life long commitment, we have this one special person with whom we complete a puzzle. It’s just the same with vegetables and fruits. Here is a list of a few duos;

Vitamin C and Iron combos

By pairing up iron-rich vegetables like leafy greens, artichokes, legumes and dried fruit with those packed with Vitamin C like citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes etc; this will help your body absorb the nutrients more efficiently and effectively.

So when you mom squeezes that lemon all over your bhaji in in pav bhaji, it is not just for that zesty flavor but despite being acidic, it turns alkaline in our digestive system and in turn aids in digestion.

Green Tea with Lemon

The reason we squeeze lemon in our green tea is because it aids in the increase of powerful DNA repairing catechins contained in green tea. It is like how they say, 'Behind every successful man there is a woman', in this case the secret behind the success of green tea is lime.

Also, consuming green tea before you eat fish, helps prevent mercury from entering your bloodstream and for those on a fitness regime or a weightloss goal, green tea when consumed on daily basis helps lose more than ten pounds in a year.

Avocados and Tomatoes

Research states that the mono unsaturated fat in avocados boosts the cancer fighting properties in tomatoes- lycopene. Thus, causing tomatoes to unleash their true nutrients, thereby, making them more effective.

Dark Chocolate and Apples

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away", to be more specific, an apple a day keeps heart problems at bay!. Apples are rich in Quercetin which is an anti-inflammatory crucial to a heart's health. Dark chocolate on the other hand comprises of powerful antioxidants called flavonoids. health. The due helps fight against any internal blood clots thereby improving circulation and thus, reducing the chances for any sort of heart problems/ diseases.

Bananas and Yogurt

This duo increases the rate of absorption of muscle-repairing glucose and amino acids. After an intense workout, this would be a great combo to binge on since this instantaneously helps your muscles recover and strengthen themselves as well.

Salads and egg

According to a research by the American Egg board's Egg nutrition Center and Purdue University as well, a research that included three bowls of salad, one with three eggs, one egg and none. The absorption of carotenoids was 3.8 fold higher when consumed from the bowl of salad with three eggs, rather than the one with no eggs. It is because of the fat in the egg yolk that aids in the absorption of nutrients.

Black pepper and Turmeric

Thought not based on fruits or vegetables, this is a tip that could be used in our curries. According to research by Drew Ramsey; Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties which makes it easier to access when mixed with black pepper. The alkaloid in black pepper boosts the availability of curcumin in turmeric by 2,000 percent.

Omega-3 Fish and Broccoli

The Vitamin C and carotenoids in Broccoli when combined with fish like tuna, salmon etc, create a brain booster. Although both of them, individually contribute to the cells of the brain, improvisation of memory and a good cognitive ability. When combined, they help in the advancement of each other. So, the next time you have an exam, you know what to have for breakfast!

Well, I sure hope you found this helpful and I hope you remember these combos while cooking as well. If you want to remember them well, you know that the broccoli and fish are waiting for you!

References: Research article by Danica Collins.

I sure hope after all the aforesaid, you are thinking what I am thinking. Well off course, we can be buddies too!

P.s The information provided in this newsletter has been prepared with care, but no warranty, express or implied, is given in connection with this newsletter.

Feel free to reach out to us anytime;

Greenbox Direct

We help you switch to organic, pesticide free foods. We are committed to providing you with organic produce throughout all the days of the year, unlike other online baskets. We hope to help improve your health. Please check out our webpage online and help us, help you and your children to have a healthier future.

Greenbox Direct is FSSAI Registered and also, a Member of Campden BRI (Leading Food Research Institute in UK).