7 Ways to Fire Up Summer Vegetables

by in Healthy Recipes, July 13, 2014

grilled ratatouille
Just a few minutes of scorching heat will transform any farmers market find into charred, perfectly smoky bliss.

Grilled Ratatouille Salad (above, from Food Network Magazine)
A swirl of eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and rings of red bell pepper and red onion —  combined with olive oil, red wine vinegar and fresh basil — turn this dish into a colorful, barbecue-perfect side salad. Read more

Can Butter Be Part of a Healthy Diet? (Seriously, Now.)

by in Healthy Tips, July 12, 2014

butter curls
The old butter-versus-margarine controversy has been thrust back in the spotlight. With more consumers favoring wholesome, natural foods, margarine has taken a backseat to butter. But can the full-fat delight actually be part of a healthy diet?

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, July 11, 2014

mixed fruit
In this week’s news: Rappers delight in healthy eating; Alice Waters predicts a farmers markets bonanza; and scientists do the important work of building a healthier hot dog.

That’s Doug E. Fresh — As In, Fresh Salad
Recently, the Future Leaders Institute charter school in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood hosted a rap performance by Adrian Harris, a member of the pioneering hip-hop group the Cold Crush Brothers. For those familiar with the group’s work, it might be surprising to hear that the artist is focusing his lyrics these days on fruits, vegetables and how to stay healthy. It wasn’t an isolated event. Along with hip-hop artists like Doug E. Fresh, Chuck D and DMC , Harris is part of a movement developed by Hip Hop Public Health that has musicians working with doctors and nutritionists. With songs, videos and games, the artists and health care professionals encourage audience members to become “hip hop public health ambassadors” to their families. Interesting bonus: Some genre purists have heralded the initiative as a chance for hip-hop to return to its roots as a medium for talking about issues of local and social concern.

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Can Hypoallergenic Peanuts Live Up to the Hype?

by in Food News, Food Safety, July 10, 2014

traditional peanuts
Researchers claim they have a solution for those suffering from peanut allergies. But is a hypoallergenic peanut all it’s cracked up to be?

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Spreading the Joy: Halva Gets a Healthier Makeover

by in Grocery Shopping, Trends, July 9, 2014

halva
Halva, the Middle Eastern sesame candy, is a dessert favorite. Dense and rich, it tastes like peanut buttery fudge and is often layered with ribbons of chocolate. What could be better? Just one problem: It’s traditionally loaded with sugar. Israeli native Shahar Shamir was a huge halva fan too, but as a former dancer keen on keeping healthy, he was hesitant to dig in.

A home cook since the age of eight (his mother taught him everything he knows), Shamir decided to fiddle with a recipe of his own, grinding sesame seeds with honey and roasted nuts, and making something that more closely resembled a nut butter than a candy. His rendition also dispensed with the usual hydrogenated oils and artificial flavors. He served his new-fangled halva spreads to friends at dinner parties. They went wild.

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Salad of the Month: Greek Chickpea

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, July 8, 2014

greek salad

Summer days (and nights) call for refreshing, light meals that require little or no advance planning. Much of the time, a salad of the leafy variety will hit the spot, but it might not be substantial enough to get you through to the next meal. Here, chickpeas replace the lettuce in this Greek salad, transforming the dish into a meal that’s ideal for lunch or dinner.

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How to Make Your Own (Deliciously Healthy) Sports Drink

by in Fitness, July 7, 2014

homemade sports drinks
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a dedicated athlete, sometimes you need a sports drink for longer bouts of physical activity — generally exercise sessions lasting longer than 60 minutes. While there are many products on the market that can take care of this need, you may prefer to make your own so you can create your own flavors and control which ingredients are used.

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5 Ways to Prevent Summer Weight Gain in Children

by in Healthy Tips, July 6, 2014

ice pops
A Harvard University study released last month found that kids gain weight more quickly over the summer than during the school year. With the warm weather and more opportunities to play outdoors, one might think the opposite is true. But it turns out there are several factors at play.

The study, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Preventing Chronic Disease, compiled and analyzed the results of seven studies published since 1990. The studies were conducted among children ages 5 to 17. The researchers found that black, Hispanic and overweight children and adolescents were at highest risk of gaining weight quickly over the summer. The study determined that these adolescents gained weight because they spent more time in front of TV and computer screens and were more likely to eat unhealthy snacks. These children also may have slept less, as their summer days were less structured compared with those during the school year.

What Parents Can Do
There are several basic strategies that can help keep kids from gaining weight during summer vacation. Here are five.

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Three Cheers For the Healthiest Berry Desserts

by in In Season, July 5, 2014

raspberry sherbet

Independence Day may be over, but the summer berry season is just hitting its stride. If your kitchen is bursting with all kinds of juicy gems, here’s a collection of red and blue berry desserts fit for any summer celebration.

Raspberries
Super-high in fiber (one cup provides more than 30 percent of the daily recommended value), these delicate berries can be found in various shades — including red white, black and purple – at farmers markets. Make homemade sherbet better than anything out of the freezer aisle or layer raspberries with other summer fruits in a cool and colorful terrine.

Raspberry-Buttermilk Sherbet (above, from Food Network Magazine)

Raspberry-Watermelon Terrine with Blueberry Sauce
summer fruit terrine

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This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, July 4, 2014

gummy bears

In this week’s news: Imagining the coffee-pod version of Soylent; sizing up gummy bears as body-builder food; and creating a non-profit supermarket in a low-income suburb.

Make Mine a Decaf — with Extra Vitamin D
Nestle researchers have announced they are developing tools to analyze an individual’s levels of essential nutrients such that they can offer custom-blended drinks tailored to a person’s specific dietary needs. The end goal, they say, is to create a Nespresso-like machine to brew it all up just like your morning joe. Comparisons to Soylent, the Silicon Valley–born meal substitute promising to forevermore eliminate your need to chew, have already been made. That said, don’t hold your breath for the coffeemaker version. The kinds of workups Nestle is talking about currently cost around $2,000 per person.

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