All Posts In Have You Tried

Have You Tried Pinole?

by in Have You Tried, February 23, 2017

Have you heard of pinole (pih-nole)? It may soon be giving quinoa a run for its money.  While this trendy superfood may be new to America, it has been around for centuries. Pinole is a grain mixture, made predominantly of heirloom blue and purple maize that’s roasted with raw cacao beans, then ground into a fine mixture. Served a multitude of ways, it’s most commonly combined with milk to form a thick, warm porridge. Similar in texture to oatmeal or grits, it’s a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.  Just two ounces of pinole provides 7 grams of fiber, 40 grams of complex carbohydrates, and 100 milligrams of anthocyanins; a specific antioxidant that may help reduce rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer and boost cognitive function.

In addition to being a great breakfast choice, pinole has historically been used as a source of fuel for endurance athletes. The Tarahumara Indians of northwestern Mexico, known for long-distance running, consume pinole as their daily staple. These native people, whose lives are highlighted in the book Born to Run, relied on two things to fuel their hundred mile journeys: chia seeds and pinole. Read more

Is Sweet Potato Toast the New Avocado Toast?

by in Food News, Have You Tried, Trends, February 5, 2017

Thanks to the social mediasphere, sweet potato toast has emerged as one of the biggest food fads of the last several months. The concept of simply toasting a sliced sweet potato intrigued me, so I had to check out what the frenzy is all about. While I wouldn’t say sweet potato toast resembles toasted bread, it is an easy and delicious way to add more vegetables to your day, especially if you love sweet potatoes like I do. Plus, that vibrant color is sure to bring joy to mealtime. Here is what you need to know about sweet potato toast.

Nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes

Beta-carotene, the nutrient that the body converts into vitamin A, reigns as the nutritional crown jewel of sweet potatoes, providing more than 230% of the daily value in just one small tater. For the sake of this post, I’m using one small, 60-gram sweet potato, which is closest to the weight of a slice of bread that weighs in at 43 grams.

What’s better for you: sweet potato toast or whole-wheat toast?

Sweet potatoes count as a vegetable, and whole-wheat toast provides you with a serving of whole grains. Therefore, we’re not comparing apples to apples. Your body benefits from both whole grains and vegetables, since they provide different ranges of nutrients. Read more

Have You Tried Teff?

by in Gluten-Free, Have You Tried, Uncategorized, September 1, 2016

You know you should get a variety of whole grains in your diet. But it’s easy to get stuck in a quinoa rut if you don’t make an effort to seek out new-to-you whole grains. This article tells you everything you need to know about teff, a tiny whole grain that’s popular in Ethiopian cuisine.

What Is It?

Teff is a small, gluten-free grain, about the size of a poppy seed. It comes in different colors and has a mild, nutty flavor. It’s a staple grain in Ethiopia, where it’s ground into flour to make injera, a spongy, pancake-like fermented bread.

What Are Its Nutritional Benefits?

Teff is a really nutritious whole grain. A cup of cooked teff has 7 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein and the following vitamins and minerals:

Magnesium, 32% DV
Thiamine, 31% DV
Phosphorus, 30% DV
Iron, 28% DV Read more

Have You Tried Kaniwa?

by in Have You Tried, June 20, 2016

This high-protein cousin of quinoa is native to Peru and Bolivia. It’s gluten-free, with a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Check out its superfood qualities and learn where you can get your hands on some.

 

Nutrition Info

Kaniwa (pronounced ka-nyi-wa) is actually a seed, though nutritionally it’s categorized as a whole grain. It’s a good source of protein, with one serving providing 15 to 19 percent of the daily recommended amount. It is also loaded with dietary fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. According to Manuel Villacorta, M.S., R.D., author and founder of Whole Body Reboot, “Kaniwa is composed of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that have been proven to prevent cardiovascular disease, inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and viruses, reduces the risk of anti-inflammatory disease, and has anti-aging benefits.” Read more

Baobab: The Superfruit with the Silly Name

by in Have You Tried, June 7, 2016

It looks and sounds like something out a Dr. Seuss book, but the baobab is as serious as it gets when it comes to health benefits and nutritional bang. Native to the African savannah, the baobab tree is often called “the tree of life” because for centuries locals utilized all of its parts to create food, beverages, medicines, and fibers to weave ropes and mats. But the baobab had become undervalued by Africans who saw it as a famine food, and the fruit was virtually unknown to the rest of the world. Read more

6 Foods to Try This Year

by in Grocery Shopping, Have You Tried, February 8, 2015


Is eating healthier on your list of New Year’s resolutions? These six foods are on this year’s must-try list because they pack a nutritional punch. Dig into these better-for-you foods and make your 2015 resolution a reality. Read more

Turn Over a New (Broccoli) Leaf

by in Grocery Shopping, Have You Tried, February 7, 2015


Looks like Tuscan kale, tastes sweet like sugar snap peas, and offers 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin C and calcium per serving. What is this miracle food? It’s broccoli leaves. No, not those little delicate fronds that you find on the crowns of broccoli (though those, too, are edible); these larger leaves grow around the stalk of the broccoli plant. Farmers previously used them just for cultivating the soil, but now they are being recognized for their nutritional power. Read more

Got Coconut Water? Our Guide to the Latest and Greatest

by in Grocery Shopping, Have You Tried, January 11, 2015


Coconut water used to be that fun drink you had on vacation — down at the beach, the hot sun on your back, a big bowling ball-sized coconut between your hands, a straw in your mouth. Nowadays, it’s in stock at virtually every deli, grocery and specialty food market. And it only continues to gain popularity. Here’s the skinny on its nutritional value, and our favorite brands to drink right now.

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Meet Yogurt’s Cousin, Kefir

by in Grocery Shopping, Have You Tried, January 9, 2015


Kefir, pronounced just like the first name of actor Kiefer Sutherland and not to be confused with kaffir, a type of lime, is a cultured milk. “So many people don’t know what it is,” says Jennifer Lynn Bice, owner of Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics, who starting making kefir on her family farm back in 1978. “It’s like a sister or cousin to yogurt in that it starts out with milk and we add beneficial bacteria or cultures.” Bice says the process leaves kefir liquidy and drinkable, whereas yogurt remains spoonable. The differences don’t stop there.

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Baby it’s Cold Outside! Make a Great Cup of Hot Cocoa

by in Have You Tried, December 25, 2014


Sipping a mug of hot chocolate after sledding and snowman building is one of the great joys of the season. But an envelope of powdered hot chocolate zapped in the microwave isn’t what we’re talking about. Sure the instant version is simple, but the list of ingredients generally includes hydrogenated oil, corn syrup, artificial flavors, preservatives, and mono- and diglycerides — none of which are necessary to make a great-tasting hot chocolate. Real cocoa powder contains copper, potassium and iron. In addition, it’s rich in fiber, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine, which helps manage stress. So ditch the packets and try these from-scratch versions with festive peppermint, healing ginger and soothing cardamom.

Basic Classic Cocoa
Serves 1

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch processed)
Pinch salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons hot water
1 cup reduced-fat milk
2 teaspoons sugar, agave or maple syrup

Microwave: In a microwave-safe mug, combine cocoa, salt and vanilla. Add 2 tablespoons hot water and combine until it forms a paste. Add the milk, leaving an inch from the rim. Microwave on high for 1 minute, being careful the milk does not boil over. Stir in sweetener and serve.

Stovetop: Heat milk, salt, vanilla and sugar in a small saucepan over medium to low temperature until scalding. Watch the milk so that it does not reach a boil. Combine cocoa and water in a mug and carefully add hot milk. Stir until blended.

Healing additions:

Peppermint
Mint is a therapeutic herb believed to alleviate colic and digestive, gall bladder  and stomach problems. The truth is, only peppermint, which is 92 percent menthol, has these medicinal properties. Spearmint does not contain menthol and offers no digestive benefits. Before adding cocoa, steep fresh peppermint leaves in the hot milk. Remove after 10 minutes and pour according to directions.

Cinnamon and Cardamom
The Aztecs used spices in their chocolatl, and today traditional Mexican hot chocolate has a spicy kick. Cinnamon may soothe digestive problems and is considered an antispasmodic and antiseptic. Cardamom offers the same digestive benefits and acts to decrease gas. Sprinkle in cinnamon and cardamom to your liking.

Ginger
Peel fresh ginger and add a few slices to hot milk, then steep for 10 minutes. Remove from milk before adding to cocoa mixture. Not only will you get a spicy kick, but the ginger’s qualities can reduce fever, gas and pain, and aid in digestion. It’s also believed ginger helps combat winter’s many coughs and colds.

Kiri Tannenbaum is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris and holds an M.A. in food studies from New York University where she is currently an adjunct professor. When her schedule allows, she leads culinary walking tours in New York City and is currently at work on her first book.