Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Peel for You! Healing eczema with tangerine peel.

As I mentioned in a recent posting, we're working on developing a nutritional healing report for eczema at  Already we've come up with all sorts of amazing information on how to heal and prevent eczema.  Our information is mostly coming from our NASA developed deep Net search engine that scours the internet finding all kinds of mostly unknown information that is published in obscure places in university studies, hospital studies, government studies, doctor and dietitian studies, etc.  It's very exciting!

However, one of the interesting things we're also doing is working with a Chinese Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor (TCM) to development supplemental information on Eastern healing with foods.  For eczema, one food that was recommended was pearl barley.  I've already written about barley, here.  Plus, I've put together a wonderful pin board of some great barley recipes, here.

Now I'm doing the same for tangerine peel, another healing ingredient recommended in TCM for healing and preventing eczema.

Dried Tangerine Peel

In China, dried tangerine has been used as a cooking and healing ingredient for thousands of years.  It has a subtle flavor and lovely fragrance that helps to create the complex flavors Chinese cooking is known for.  In China, it is used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Tangerines are in season from October to April.  You can make your own dried tangerine peel simply by peeling a tangerine and letting the peel air dry in the sun for several days.  Once dried, it can be stored for several years in an airtight container along with your other herbs and spices.  Over time the peel will turn dark but that does not adversely affect the taste or potency.

Store dried tangerine in an air-tight container.

Sooooo, how do you get tangerine peel into your diet?  You can use fresh grated tangerine peel when tangerines are in season or dried peel that you have saved when they're not.  For fresh peel, use a fine grater and then fine chop with a large chef's knife.  For dried peel, take a large chef's knife and chop as fine as you can manage.  (By the way, I tried to do this in the food processor with little success.  I also tried a mortar and pestle which  really didn't produce results either.  The quickest easiest approach is the large chef's knife by hand.)

A classic chef's knife.

Add the grated or chopped peel to soups, homemade breads, jams, fruity desserts and any other foods you think it might be compatible with.  Add it to meals as frequently as you can.

In salads--   One easy way to use tangerine peel is in any homemade vinaigrette.  The following recipe is for a tangerine salad with a tangerine-juice-based dressing, but you could just sprinkle a little peel into any basic vinaigrette recipe, too.

Fresh, tangy and delicious!

Tangerine Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette

For vinaigrette:
1/4 t finely chopped minced dried tangerine peel
fresh grated peel from 1 tangerine
2 T tangerine juice
1 T white wine vinegar
1/2 t Dijon mustard
1 t honey or more to taste
1/4 t fresh ground medium coarse pepper
1/4 t sea salt
1 t Italian herb mix
1/2 t freeze dried red onion or chopped fresh shallot
1 T flax oil
2 T olive oil

Stir together all ingredients except oil.  Drizzle in oil slowly while whisking vigorously.

For salad:
lettuce or baby kale
2 tangerines peeled and sliced
2 avocados  peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 cucumber peeled and sliced

Arrange tangerines, avocados and cucumbers on lettuce.  Dress with vinaigrette.

By the way, I love fresh chopped shallots in vinaigrettes.  However, for those times when I'm out of shallots, I use this freeze dried red onion product as a substitute:

Works great when you don't have fresh shallots!

And for breakfast--   At NutritionScienceRx, we're all hooked on morning super green smoothies...

Super Green Smoothie with Tangerine Peel

Perhaps the easiest, healthiest way to get tangerine peel into your diet is to add it to your morning green  smoothie.  I've found that you can add a piece of fresh peel about the size of a quarter to your Super Green Smoothie without disturbing the taste.  Go ahead and throw in the rest of the fresh tangerine.  It's delicious!  Here's our favorite Super Green Smoothie recipe.

Add tangerine peel about the size of a quarter per smoothie serving.

And with chicken--   My kids have always loved any recipe that involves pounded chicken breasts.  I know that just hearing the word "pounded" seems overwhelming, but this is actually a quick and easy way to prepare chicken.  Once the chicken has been pounded, it cooks in minutes.  Then you can remove the breasts, deglaze the pan with wine, stock, lemon juice or in this case tangerine juice, stir in a little butter and you have a dish that really knocks everyone out.  I often add capers to pounded chicken breasts, but in this case I used shallots to compliment the tangerine flavor.

Pounded Chicken Breasts in Tangerine Sauce

3 T olive oil
2 organic chicken breasts pounded
3 T flour
sea salt and white pepper
1 chopped shallot
grated peel from one tangerine
1/3 cup tangerine juice
1 cup organic chicken broth
2 T grass fed butter

To pound the breasts, put them in a plastic supermarket bag and pound them with a meat pounder until they are tenderized on both sides and flattened to about 1/2" thick.  Put the flour, salt and white pepper on a dinner plate and mix well.  Put the olive oil in a frying pan and heat on medium high.  Dredge the chicken breasts in the mixture and put them the heated frying pan.  Cook the breasts, watching carefully, until they are starting to get golden and are just barely cooked through.  Remove the breasts from the pan and add the shallots.  Watch closely and stir regularly.  When shallots are softened add tangerine juice and chicken stock.  Cook the juice down to about 1/2 cup.  Turn the heat off and add the butter, stirring gently until just melted.  Spoon the sauce immediately over the chicken breasts and serve.

For a pin board loaded with delicious and healthy eczema healing tangerine recipes, see here.


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