Smoothie of the Month: Apricot with Oats and Yogurt

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, August 5, 2014

apricot smoothie
When apricots are ripe and at their peak, they have an irresistible tart, tangy and almost floral flavor. And because the flesh of an apricot is quite thick, the fruit makes a great addition to smoothies, requiring little more to achieve a velvety consistency.

To make this particular smoothie substantial enough for breakfast, I also like to add in oats and yogurt. Rolled oats may seem like an odd ingredient to use in smoothies, but when soaked and blended, they deliver creamy texture and earthy flavor — plus added fiber. The result is a smoothie that will keep you going until lunch.

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How High is “High-Fiber”? (Nutrition Buzzwords, Demystified)

by in Label Decoder, August 4, 2014

cereal
Ever wondered what that “high-fiber” cereal is actually providing in the way of fiber? (And is it less impressive than the box labeled “fiber-rich”?) Or ever considered how many calories are in a “low-calorie” sports drink?

In order for a food company to splash words like “high in fiber” across its packaging, the product must adhere to specific guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA also regulates claims at the other end of the spectrum: Foods that boast being “low in” or “free” of something (such as sodium), must also meet requirements. Here’s a cheat sheet of what’s behind the buzzwords.

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How to Make Deliciously Crunchy Faux-Fried Chicken

by in Healthy Recipes, August 3, 2014

oven-fried chicken
As much as we’d all love to dive into a bucket of glistening fried chicken on the regular, we know that eating the bird in other forms is generally a healthier bet. But not all hope is lost: With the right recipe, baking can elicit the same desirable crunch as the deep fryer. Here are four.

Oven Fried Chicken (above)
Marinate a mess of chicken legs and thighs in an uplifting blend of lemon zest, milk, sugar, cayenne, rosemary and garlic cloves. When the pieces are nice and chilled from a two-hour refrigerator session, shroud them in a mix of baked whole-wheat breadcrumbs and yellow cornmeal. Then, for a savory finish, get some Parmesan and chopped rosemary up in there.

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, August 2, 2014

roasted kale
In this week’s news: Nouveau fast-food franchises flaunt their healthy sides; coconut water claims get a reality check; rumors of kale’s demise turn out to be greatly exaggerated — and more.

Want That Salad Super-Sized?
Watch out Chipotle, a bevy of smaller fast food chains with a healthy bent may soon be nipping at your heels. Tender Greens, LYFE Kitchen, SweetGreen and Native Foods are all among this new crop of health-conscious regional restaurant franchises luring customers with words like “grass-fed,” “seasonal,’ “sustainable” and “organic.” All are reportedly flourishing, so much so that they’ve already garnered a nickname: “farm-to-counter” eateries. The vegan chain Veggie Grill, for example, hit No. 7 on Restaurant Business magazine’s yearly list of the fastest-growing small chains, while Tender Greens (which took in over $40 million in revenue from only 12 stores) came close behind, at No. 10. Also among those to watch may be LYFE (acronym for Love Your Food Every Day) Kitchen, founded by two former McDonald’s bigwigs. Each restaurant grows herbs, uses china instead of plastic and holds its entrees to a 600 calorie maximum.

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9 Frozen Desserts with a Healthy Side

by in Healthy Recipes, August 1, 2014

strawberry frozen yogurt

Grab a spoon. With these guilt-free desserts, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is staving off brain freeze.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Greek yogurt plus a boatload of fresh strawberries are the basis of this homemade fro-yo, which is perked up by lemon (both the zest and juice) and a splash of rum.

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How to Create a BPA-Free Kitchen

by in Food Safety, July 31, 2014

canned good
The industrial chemical Bisephenol A (BPA) has gotten increasingly negative attention in recent years. So much so, that congressional legislation was recently introduced to ban food packaging containing BPA. But it’s not necessary to wait for the government to take steps in order to scale back at home on products that contain BPA.

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The Many, Many Ways to Go Zucchini Crazy

by in Healthy Recipes, July 30, 2014

zucchini rolls
Ready to get your zucchini on? Here are seven inventive ways to cook it up now.

Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Herbs and Cheese
Attention, goat cheese fans! Here, the creamy spread, plus parsley and lemon juice, is topped with spinach and basil leaves before being rolled up in slices of grilled zucchini.

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3 Simple Chilled Summer Soups

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, July 29, 2014

blended soups

When summer produce is at its peak, it needs little more than the addition of a few seasonings for the flavors to really shine. Here, cucumbers, summer squash and tomatoes are blended into three simple soups accented with herbs and enriched with avocados and nuts.

Chilled soups are not only the ideal starter for a summer dinner party, but they’re also perfect for sipping as a healthy snack on hot days, offering a savory change of pace to the usual fruit smoothies. These chilled soups are best made ahead so they can thoroughly chill in the fridge. They will keep well for up to up to 4 days.

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Ask a Dietitian: Does It Matter How Much You Chew Your Food?

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, July 28, 2014

almonds
Many of us are guilty, at least on occasion, of scarfing down food and swallowing large mouthfuls. Beyond that, who hasn’t heard some variation of the chew-your-food-X-number-of-times counsel? Such advice may sound like dietary superstition, but how well a person chomps actually matters. Chewing rate can have a significant impact on digestion of nutrients and may also affect hunger levels.

The Tooth of the Matter
In recent years, several studies have determined that chewing food thoroughly makes more nutrients available for absorption. Extra chewing allows compound within the food an additional opportunity to combine before they make it further down the digestive tract, which may have a positive influence on health. According to some studies, taking more time to chew also promotes a slower rate of eating, which can help with better appetite control and (in the long run) improved weight management.

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7 Salads That Know How to Celebrate Summer Fruit

by in Healthy Recipes, July 27, 2014

arugula and strawberry salad
Sweet strawberries. Juicy peaches. Luscious mango. If you’re looking for ways to upgrade a salad, fruits in their prime are an excellent place to start.

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