All Posts By Dana Angelo White

Homemade Holiday Gift: Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie Jar

by in Healthy Holidays, December 20, 2012

oatmeal cookie gift
Instead of passing out cookies this year, try gifting a DIY cookie kit. Pre-measured dry ingredients, plus a few extras make baking a batch of oatmeal cookies a cinch.

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Ask the Experts: Healthy Holiday Gifts

by in Healthy Holidays, December 19, 2012

immersion blender
‘Tis the season for gift-giving! Some of my go-to holidays gifts are homemade vanilla extract, dark chocolate bark, perfectly-portioned wine glasses (like these from Olive & Cocoa), and a CareRing ring cover (wonderful when doing all those dishes). I hit up some of my favorite fellow dietitians to find out what kind of healthy, smart and sensible gifts they like to give for the holidays.

In the Kitchen
These gadgets help facilitate all kinds of healthy cooking. Best of all, they’re budget-friendly, too.

Marlene Koch, RD, author of the New York Times bestseller Eat More of What You Love: Over 200 Brand-New Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories, suggests an immersion blender for the foodies you love. “I keep my immersion blender on-hand at all times. It’s great for blending everything from eggs to cottage cheese; I also use it for making cream-less creamy soups and creamy skinny smoothies and shakes that can be enjoyed guilt-free all year long.”

Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD says “SodaStream machine is one of my favorite gifts.  I love helping people make their own sparking beverages so that they don’t drink as many sugary beverages and because there’s no empties, it’s environmentally-friendly too.”

Healthy Eats contributor Jason Machowsky opts for a sturdy, basic mandoline. “it works wonders in the kitchen … I use the OXO Good Grips line, good stuff for around $30-40.”

Janel Orvut Funk, resident vegetarian expert at Healthy Eats told me, “one of my favorite kitchen tools is the non-stick baking mat, Silpat. It truly is non-stick, prevents burned cookie bottoms and reduces waste, since you don’t need to rely on aluminum foil or parchment paper.”

Healthy Eats expert Toby Amidor wants to get the kiddies cooking. “It’s fun to have kids help in the kitchen. Little hands are more comfy with smaller handles. Curious Chef provides cooking tools perfectly sized for your young ones.”

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Prebiotics and Probiotics

by in Healthy Tips, December 18, 2012

yogurt
Want to keep your digestive system healthy and happy? Make sure you’re getting enough of these important tummy pleasers.

What are they?
It may sound icky but it’s a good thing that our digestive tracks are populated with bacteria. Many of these buggers are there to protect the digestive tracts and fend off potentially harmful germs. Probiotics are microorganisms that live (yes, they’re alive) to provide such protection. The more probiotics hanging out in your digestive tract, the healthier and more balanced it remains. This type of balance means better digestion and less stomach issues like gas, bloating and diarrhea, especially when traveling or taking antibiotics.

Prebiotics are non-digestible components of certain types of carbohydrates. They act as food for healthy probiotic bacteria, fueling the production of more.

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Homemade Holiday Gift: Lovely Lemons

by in Healthy Holidays, December 15, 2012

lemon gifts
Brighten someone’s day with these sweet and savory treats. Pack up in reusable glass jars for your favorite food lover.

Preserved Lemons
We’ve got two versions of this recipe so no matter what, it’s ready time for the holidays. One bakes in the oven to speed up the preservation process (see the video here), the other will do all the work itself sitting in a jar for a couple of weeks. Enjoy this Moroccan delicacy by rinsing well and adding to tagine and couscous recipes like this one from Tyler Florence.

Recipes:

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Food Fight: Eggnog vs. Hot Cocoa

by in Food Fight, Healthy Holidays, December 11, 2012

egg nog and hot cocoa
Are these sippers on your holiday hit list? Find out which is the most sensible choice – it all comes down to how you make it.

Eggnog
A frothy combo of egg, cream and sugar, this classic libation is a gut-buster. Add a jolly splash (or two) of booze and the calories only get worse.

Homemade and lightened-up versions can dial back the fat and calories and highlight the healthy attributes of this seasonal treat. Use lower fat ingredients and eggnog has a lot to offer – namely good-for-you nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin D.

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14 Healthy, Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Holidays, December 6, 2012

gluten-free cake
Planning a holiday menu is stressful enough without having to worry about the special dietary needs of your guests. Choose from any of these holiday recipes and put any fears about gluten to rest*.

Appetizers
•    Edamame Hummus
•    Mini Pizzas made with Gluten Free Pizza Dough
•    The Shrimp Cocktail
•    Spiced Pecans

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Brussels Sprouts, 5 Ways

by in 1 Food, 5 Ways, December 2, 2012

Brussels sprouts
Seasonal, delicious and oh so good for you. My holiday table wouldn’t be complete without this cruciferous super food.

Roasted
The simplest side dish imaginable – roasted and done!
Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts (pictured above)

Sautéed
Shred and sauté with crunchy walnuts and a hint of smoky bacon.
Recipe: Brussels Sprouts With Bacon and Walnuts

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5 Simple Ways to Cut Calories

by in Healthy Tips, November 30, 2012

olive oil
Calories can be sneaky, finding their way into your diet when you aren’t looking. Too many of them make it hard to maintain a healthy weight. Try these 5 simple things to save calories throughout the day — we promise you won’t miss them.

1. Measure Oil
It’s really easy to misjudge how much oil you use when cooking. When every tablespoon has 120 calories (and 14 grams of fat), you can unknowingly rack up some serious calories by adding an extra splash here and there. Keep a measuring spoon handy  – a teaspoon or two is really all you need.

2. Downsize Bread
Trade large slices of bread and gigantic wraps for English muffins, rolls and flatbreads to save hundreds of calories at each meal. Always choose whole grain versions for more hunger fighting fiber.

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Nuts About Pecans

by in Healthy Recipes, November 29, 2012

pecans
Buttery, crunchy, plus full of flavor and healthy fats — so many reasons to go nuts over pecans!

Pecan Basics
Dating back to the 16th century, pecans are the only tree nut native to North America. The name “pecan” comes from the Native American term used to explain “nuts requiring a stone to crack.”

Wide-scale propagation of this nut began in the late 1880s and today 80 percent of the world’s crop is grown in southern states like Texas, Louisiana and Georgia. The National Pecan Shellers Association list of fun facts includes that it would take 144 million pecans to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

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Monk Fruit Sweeteners

by in Food News, November 26, 2012

monk fruit
Sugary goodness, but no calories in sight. Is the newest no-calorie sweetener made from the ancient Monk fruit too good to be true? Find out.

What is Monk Fruit?
This ancient Chinese fruit is also known as luo han guo. According to my go-to Chinese medicine expert (a close friend), traditionally this fruit is used for building immunity and fighting sugar cravings.

The Monk fruit is similar in size and shape to a lemon; its color is somewhere between Kelly and lime green, with pale green streaks. The inner pulp is used to create a super-sweet product that (in small portions) contains very little calories.

Manufactures of monk fruit sweeteners report that it’s 300 times sweeter than sugar, which allows it to be used in small quantities.

A few years back, the FDA gave some products derived from monk fruit the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) designation, which has allowed food companies to process and incorporate it into powders and extracts. This means you can find it on ingredient lists as well as standalone packets and canisters. This sweetener is relatively new on the scene; if you haven’t seen it in your local grocery store, you will soon.

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