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Chia Seeds + Chocolate = Deliciousness

by in Uncategorized, August 25, 2013

chia seeds

We can all use another healthy dessert option, and this recipe for chocolate chia-seed pudding is so healthy you don’t even have to think of it as a treat. (Another huge plus: The recipe is extremely simple.) By combining chia seeds, almond milk (coconut milk will work well also), maple syrup and cocoa powder, you create a sweet snack that is loaded with good-for-you nutrients, including antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, fiber, calcium, iron and potassium. You can eat the pudding alone or top it with chopped nuts, dark chocolate shavings or fresh berries. It’s filling, nutritious and delicious!

Chocolate Chia Pudding
4-6 servings

• 2 cups almond milk
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
• 2/3 cup chia seeds

In a medium bowl combine the milk, maple and cocoa. Whisk to combine. Whisk in the chia seeds. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours. Stir before serving (add extra milk to thin to desired consistency).

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie’s full bio »

10+ Ways to Cook with Sesame Seeds

by in Uncategorized, August 11, 2013

sesame rice

Although small, sesame seeds are packed with nutrients such as healthy fats, protein, calcium, antioxidants and dietary fiber. The primary fats in the seeds are monounsaturated fatty acids called oleic acid. Oleic acid has been shown to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase the HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

The seeds — which are available in a range of colors, including white, black, red and yellow — are sources of essential minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium and copper. Did you know that ¼ cup of sesame seeds has more calcium (350mg) than an 8-ounce cup of milk (300mg)?

The nutrients in sesame seeds are better absorbed if they are pulverized, but eating them whole is by no means unhealthy.

Here are some simple ways to incorporate sesame seeds into your diet:

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The Health Powers of Poppy Seeds (Who Knew?)

by in Uncategorized, July 30, 2013

poppy seeds
Most often associated with bagels and breads, poppy seeds tend to be forgotten among the other seeds we use when cooking. But not only do poppy seeds add great flavor and crunch to foods, they also provide some respectable health benefits.

1. One teaspoon of poppy seeds has enough calcium and phosphorus to meet 4% of your daily needs. These minerals work together to build strong bones. (Because our bones are constantly replacing old or injured bone with new bone, adults need a consistent supply of these minerals.)

2. Poppy seeds also provide the body with 2% to 4% of the daily needs for iron in one teaspoon. Iron is important for carrying oxygen throughout the body and helps us have a healthy immune system.

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Gardening For Beginners

by in Uncategorized, May 26, 2013

gardening
Looking to save money, eat clean, and do something good for the environment? You can do it all by just getting your hands dirty – and it all starts in your own backyard.

Getting Started
It’s easy to get intimidated if you’re a gardening neophyte, but there’s really nothing to fear. Scout out a sunny spot in the yard and make sure there’s a water source in the vicinity.

Visit your local garden center for pots, potting mix, seeds or starter plants, and a few pots, plus a shovel and watering can.

It’s time to plant once you know there’s no longer a risk of overnight frost. In the northeast where I live, that’s around mid-May.

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Lactose Free vs Dairy Free

by in Uncategorized, May 19, 2013

milk
There are a variety of non-dairy “milks” and products ranging from “cheese” to “ice cream” to “yogurt” available at most mainstream supermarkets. Depending on your reasons for choosing them in place of conventional cow’s milk, you may need a refresher on the difference between dairy-free and lactose-free products.

Lactose-free milk and milk products are beneficial for people suffering from lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is very common, especially in adults. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, about 30 million Americans have some degree of lactose intolerance by the age of 20. Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk products. In order to digest lactose properly, the body produces an enzyme called lactase. In people with lactose intolerance, the body stops producing adequate amounts of lactase, causing symptoms such as bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea and nausea. Individuals with lactose intolerance may find that they are able to eat small amounts of products that contain lactose without experiencing symptoms. Sometimes they may be able to tolerate products such as yogurt or goat’s milk more easily than cow’s milk. Lactase tablets are also available for lactose intolerant individuals to help them digest lactose.

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Organizing Your Spice Cabinet

by in Uncategorized, April 18, 2013

spices
Ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of spices spilling from your cupboard? It seems that whenever you need a particular seasoning—from cumin to cardamom and basil to bay leaf—it finds its way to the far back, leaving you sorting through scores of jars and bottles for that certain one.

When working with clients they often ask me how I know which herbs and spices work together and how to go about building flavor.  This is no small task and something even the best chefs are constantly trying to master.  I’ve put together this fun little guide to help you navigate the spice aisle and your cabinet so the next time you’re craving a certain cuisine or just looking to get creative with flavors you will have some guidelines.

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All About Sprouts

by in Uncategorized, September 27, 2012

sprouts
Sprinkled on a salad, tossed in a stir-fry or stuffed in a sandwich, sprouts are tasty seeds that pack a nutritional punch. There is a sprout for every taste preference, including bean, alfalfa, pea, clover and broccoli sprouts, to name a few, as well as a variety of sprouted grain products. Sprouts are simply germinated seeds. Some types are eaten raw, while others must be cooked before eating. However, foodsafety.gov, which is managed by the US Department of Health and Human Services, recommends cooking all sprouts before eating, especially for pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems, as sprouts have been linked to more than 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness since 1996.

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Mini Quinoa and Rice Stuffed Mushrooms

by in Uncategorized, September 10, 2012

stuffed mushrooms
These tender mushrooms and their protein-packed quinoa stuffing aren’t just for grown ups, kids will love them too — those with adventurous palates anyway.  They’re the perfect on-the-go snack for when you’re stuck on the soccer field watching games or running errands. And the best part? They’ll last up to 4 days in your fridge in a sealed container so make a batch early in the week and keep them on-hand for busy times when you need a snack. Either way your family is sure to enjoy these bite-sized nibbles.

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Summer Fest: Going Meatless With Eggplant

by in Uncategorized, August 29, 2012

I was vegetarian for about 16 years of my life. It was the lifestyle my parents were used to, so that was just the way they raised me. While I was vegetarian, I operated primarily on the Indian lentils-rice-vegetable diet. In other words, whatever my mother fed me was what I ate. Unfortunately, the one vegetable my mother hated was eggplant, so I went the majority of my childhood and young adult life unexposed to what I later realized was a truly fabulous vegetable. These babies are actually a vegetarian’s best friend. They are hearty, flavorful and actually filling on their own in a way that few other vegetables are. They are also currently in season. Take advantage of this tasty vegetable by trying it as a substitute for meat in some classic dishes – whether or not you are vegetarian, you won’t miss the meat with these healthy and flavorful recipes!

Love Chicken Parmesan? Make Eggplant Parmesan instead

This one may be the most obvious, but Robin’s version is lightened up and given a kick of chili pepper.

Recipe: Robin’s Neapolitan Eggplant Parmesan

Craving a Ham and Cheese Tortilla? Try a Vegetable Tortilla instead

Eggplant, along with onions, tomatoes, zucchini and green bell pepper give this frittata loads of interesting texture and flavor.

Recipe: Vegetable Tortilla (above)

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Summer Fest: Melon Refreshers

by in Uncategorized, August 22, 2012

Oftentimes, we go to great caloric lengths to cool down, whether it’s slurping down a fluorescent margarita by the pool or downing a teetering ice cream cone. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

If there’s anything that melon’s good for, it’s cooling you down. And the refreshing capabilities of cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon go far beyond the category’s prominent presence in fruit salad. On the contrary, melon does wonders in a salad, adds creaminess to a cool soup or can be transformed into something entirely unexpected. Melon fettuccini, anyone? Unlike other ultra-tangy, sugary fruits, melon serves as a foundation for bigger things. Seriously, the options are endless.

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