Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut Skillet Cake

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, Vegan, September 28, 2016

Fall is in the air! And what better way to celebrate than with a slice of healthy and delicious Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut Skillet Cake?

Start by choosing your favorite variety of in-season fresh apples. I’m partial to “sweet-with-a-hint-of-tang” Honeycrisp apples, but it’s always fun to see what new varieties are popping up in grocery stores, farmers markets and CSA boxes this time of year.

In addition to naturally sweet apples, other nourishing ingredients in this Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut Skillet Cake include Omega-3-rich walnuts, along with a duo of fiber-rich flours: whole-grain buckwheat and brown rice. Cinnamon takes the flavor up a notch, and with no eggs or dairy, this cake is perfect for anyone following a vegan diet.

Even better? It’s totally acceptable to pair a slice of this Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut Skillet Cake with some protein-rich Greek yogurt and happily declare “Breakfast is served!” Read more

Easy Weeknight Bibimbap

by in Healthy Recipes, September 26, 2016

Bibimbap, the flavorful and vibrant Korean rice bowl meal, gets its alluring sweet-and-sour flavor from a sauce called gochujang. The vinegary, mildly spicy sauce can now be found on many grocery store shelves, where it is positioned to become the new hot-sauce darling. (Look out, Sriracha!)

(Note: If your market does not yet carry gochujang, you can make a tasty substitute by combining 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian chili garlic paste and 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar.)

To make bibimbap, you don’t need a lot of time — but you do need lots of small bowls! It is beautifully served as a composition of the separate ingredients, which are balanced to lend an assortment of flavors and textures, from grassy to sweet and chewy to crisp. The runny yolk on top, when pierced, serves as a rich sauce that unites the entire dish.

Bibimbap is healthful, satisfying and beautiful — a triple dinner winner. Read more

Healthy Rosh Hashana Menu Planner

by in Healthy Holidays, September 25, 2016

The Jewish New Year is a two-day celebration where it’s customary to dip apples in honey to symbolize a sweet new year. The evening feast includes delicious foods such as pomegranate to represent fruitfulness and a round challah to signify the cycle of the year. Here are several dishes you can make for a healthy, delicious holiday.

Planning Your Menu
With back-to-school in full swing and work commitments, it’s a busy time to prepare a holiday menu. Proper planning, however, can help you have a delicious holiday meal. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

• Select one or two healthy recipes and start preparing a few days in advance so you don’t get stuck in the kitchen pulling an all-nighter.
• Make a grocery list according to the flow of the market, which will help you save time when food shopping.
• If soup is on the menu, prepare it a few days in advance. If you prepare it a week or more in advance, store it in the freezer.
• Prep vegetables the night before. If you can recruit a few helpers to assist with the prep, that’s even better!
• If you still feel overwhelmed, ask each family attending to bring a dish. To ensure they bring a healthy dish, send them a preselected recipe (like one from the list below!). Read more

Think Following the “5-Second Rule” Keeps Food Safe? Think Again!

by in Food Safety, September 24, 2016

When food falls on the floor, it’s always a judgment call as to whether that food goes into your mouth or into the trash. And many of us, when making that call, defer to the so-called “five-second rule” — that long-standing and widely accepted notion that if food spends five seconds or less on the floor it hasn’t had enough time to be contaminated by whatever bacteria is on the floor. But is the five-second rule based on any actual facts, or is it just a myth that we perpetuate every time we let our kids pick up and keep sucking on that lollipop they dropped?

Turns out, scientific research on the topic has been pretty limited … until now, that is. A team of researchers at Rutgers University’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences put a variety of foods — watermelon, bread, bread with butter, and gummy candy — through their paces. They dropped them onto four different surfaces — carpet, stainless steel, ceramic tile and wood — and left them for less than one second, five seconds, 30 seconds and 300 seconds. All of the 128 possible scenarios were repeated 20 times; in the end, the researchers had a total of 2,560 data points to analyze. Read more

Nutrition News: Sparkling Water Safety, Parsing Probiotics, Eating and Reading

by in Food News, September 23, 2016

Eating and reading
You want your kids to eat healthy for all sorts of reasons. Here’s a new one: It may make them better readers. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyvaskyla found that students’ reading skills showed greater improvement between first and third grade if they ate a diet composed primarily of vegetables and fruits (especially berries), along with fish, whole grains and unsaturated fats, and ate very few sugary treats and red meats, HealthDay News reports. “The associations of diet quality with reading skills were … independent of many confounding factors, such as socioeconomic status, physical activity, body adiposity [fat] and physical fitness,” study author Eero Haapala said in a study news release. But don’t worry too much if your kid is a picky eater — the study showed only a correlation, not cause and effect.

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6 Lighter Ways to Cook and Bake with Apples

by in Healthy Recipes, September 22, 2016

Ready your wicker baskets: It’s apple-picking season. If you’re planning a trip to your local orchard, you’re probably already dreaming about the wonderfully sweet, tart and spicy dishes you can make once you get your apples home. Maybe they’re destined for a rustic galette — or maybe you’ll bake them whole with a medley of warming spices. Of course, the butter and brown sugar used in many apple dishes are just as craveable as the fruit itself. But even if you’re using the new season as an opportunity to get back into good eating habits, you don’t have to miss out on this fun autumn pastime. With a few simple modifications, you can make your favorite apple dishes a healthy staple rather than a once-in-a-while indulgence. From firm and tart Granny Smiths to sweet and tender McIntoshes, here are six lighter ways to use your freshly picked apples this fall.

Baked Apples with Oatmeal and Yogurt
When it comes to baking apples whole, Bobby Flay opts for sweet Galas, which he dresses up with fragrant spices and light brown sugar. Top each one with high-fiber oatmeal, low-fat Greek yogurt and a drizzle of apple cider reduction.

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Have You Tried: Coffee Flour?

by in Food News, Trends, September 21, 2016

The hottest new trend in coffee couldn’t be farther from a cup of joe. It’s overflowing with nutrients, is gluten-free and helps to reduce food waste. Should you get your hands on some coffee flour?

What Is Coffee Flour?
Coffee flour is derived from the byproducts of coffee production. Coffee beans are encased within a small fruit. Once the beans are removed, the remaining fruit is typically discarded as waste. But now, this fruit pulp is getting salvaged, dried and ground into flour. Recommended uses include baking as well as incorporation into soups, sauces and beverages.

Coffee flour does not possess a strong coffee flavor but does have similarly deep and earthy characteristics. There is a floral undertone that resembles tea more than coffee. It also has a little bit of caffeine; according to Marx Pantry, each tablespoon of coffee flour contains roughly the same amount of caffeine as a third a cup of black coffee (they sell coffee flour for $9/pound).

Healthy Attributes
A small amount of coffee flour contains a huge amount of nutrients. One tablespoon holds almost 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of potassium and nearly 13 percent of daily iron. This plant-based flour is also gluten-free and an excellent source of fiber. Similar to coffee, coffee flour is also rich in cell-protecting antioxidants. Read more

Everything’s Coming Up Algae

by in Food News, Trends, September 20, 2016

Certain kinds of algae are already commonplace in our diets. For example, your sushi rolls and musubi are wrapped in seaweed (a marine algae), the food additive carrageenan is derived from seaweed, and algae-derived Omega-3s are used in supplements for those who shun fish oil. But this humble sea plant suddenly seems poised for its superfood moment. “Algae is earth’s original superfood,” says Mark Brooks, senior vice president of food ingredients at TerraVia, makers of Thrive algae oil. “Before kale, chia, acai and quinoa, there was algae.”

There are plenty of good reasons to eat more algae, in terms of both nutrition and sustainability. On the sustainability front, algae, which can grow up to 30 times faster than corn, doesn’t require a lot of space to produce. “Algae doesn’t require fertile soil, fossil fuels, inorganic fertilizers or pesticides in order to grow,” says Mark R. Edwards, an agribusiness professor emeritus at Arizona State University. “Algae can deliver superior nutrition without pollution or waste.” Read more

10 Healthy Game-Day Snacks

by in Healthy Recipes, September 18, 2016

If you’re a sports fan, you are revving up for the fall season. This year, instead of busting a gut at your next hours-long game-day extravaganza, prepare some of these 10 healthy, mouthwatering snacks.

Chili Chips

Make a batch of Ellie Krieger’s Chili Chips and dip them in a tasty, homemade guac or mango salsa (pictured above).

Prosciutto-Wrapped Crudite

Add a little zing to your vegetables by wrapping them in thin slices of prosciutto.

Smoky Kale Chips

At 60 calories per two cups of chips, you can eat away without the guilt.

Pizza Pockets

For a more filling snack, wrap turkey sausage, arugula and cheese in store-bought pizza dough. To up your intake of whole grains, use whole-wheat dough.

Ham, Swiss and Apple Wraps

Half a wrap is a perfect snack made up of three food groups. Read more

Nutrition News: Exercise and Brain Hunger, Vitamin D and Asthma, and Mediterranean Diet Tips

by in Food News, September 16, 2016

Brain hunger

You know how, sometimes, after you’ve completed a big, stressful, mentally taxing assignment — a college term paper, say, or a complex work project — you suddenly feel ravenous? That may be because your brain, depleted of energy after working hard, signals you to eat more calories in order to fuel further efforts (thus explaining the much-feared Freshman 15). However, exercise may subvert this mental-stress-induced craving for calories, a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, noted in The New York Times, indicates, because it increases the amount of blood sugar and lactate in the blood and increases blood flow to the head. Worth a try.

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