Friday, January 28, 2011

13 new superfoods

I love the lists of superfoods that nutritionists write up on and put on the internet to share with all of us. See note below Chatelaine heading encouraging you to post it for others to read. I wanted to diarize it on here so that I can refer to it and start using these foods on a more regular basis. #13 is already incorporated as I've been switching oatbran for oatmeal for some of my morning breakfast fare.  I'll be posting my favorite  recipe for  breakfast oatbran muffins later this week.  And in accordance with the listed superfoods I should probably be adding raspberries and/or prunes to these little gems.  A few omega-3 friendly walnuts and/or pecans would also boost the nutritional value. In the meantime peruse the list below and add some to your weekend shopping list.

13 new superfoods you should start eating now!

This year's hot list of nutritional powerhouses includes beets and prunes.

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Chatelaine - Wed, 26 Jan 7:00 PM
By Megan MacMillan, RHN
15 new superfoods you should start eating now

1. Raspberries Fresh raspberries rule for fibre, with twice as much (8 g per cup) as blueberries have, and frozen ones contain double the vitamin C of frozen blueberries. They score extra points as one of the best sources of ellagic acid, a powerful antioxidant thought to inhibit cancer-cell formation.
2. Beets A great source of folate, which guards against birth defects, beets may help detoxify carcinogens and relieve inflammation. The greens are rich in eyesight-saving lutein and zeaxanthin, so eat them too.
3. Safflower oil Olive oil gets the glory, yet safflower oil, a polyunsaturated fat, deserves praise too. A recent study found cooking with it increased lean muscle, stabilized blood sugar and torched belly fat - which could be promising news for people with diabetes and those battling the bulge.
4. Cabbage Like kale, its dark, leafy cruciferous cousin, cabbage deserves top billing as an excellent source of sulforaphane, which is known to boost production of enzymes that detoxify carcinogens and may also be particularly protective for those with colon cancer-susceptible genes.
5. Barley With a nutty taste and a chewy bite, this grain is great for people on wheat-free diets and boasts almost twice the fibre of brown rice. Both hulled and pearl barley contain hefty amounts of beta-glucans, hunger-busting fibres that have been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
6. Prunes Prunes, or dried plums, are not just good for relieving constipation. The phenols in prunes may preclude brain-cell damage, and clinical trials indicate that they may reverse bone loss. And there's another bonus: Prunes' fibre generates "friendly" gut bacteria - the kind that kill pathogens and aid digestion.
7. Cauliflower Don't let its lack of green fool you! The anti-carcinogens in cauliflower, such as isothiocyanates, may slow cancer-cell growth. Plus, a cup of cooked florets delivers over 90 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, an antiinflammatory.
8. Parsley More than a garnish, parsley is full of beta carotene, which may bolster immunity and alleviate arthritis. Just two fresh tablespoons provides 70 percent of the daily intake for vitamin K, low intake of which may be linked to weak bones.
9. Button mushrooms Contrary to its humble reputation, this mushroom is a health warrior, armed with cancer-fighting selenium and energy-boosting vitamin B12. Mushrooms may combat obesity, too: A recent study found that they satisfied hunger just as much as red meat, but for 65 calories and zero fat!
10. Sea veggies From dulse to kelp to nori, sea vegetables feature a full array of minerals, including iodine, which helps keep metabolism strong. They also supply lignans, compounds that may rid fat cells of excess estrogen, elevated levels of which raise breast-cancer risk.
11. Black beans Full of diabetes-fighting fibre, black beans are loaded with magnesium, which facilitates calcium absorption and supports a healthy immune system. What's more, they contain tons of antioxidants - on par with plums and 10 times the amount in tomatoes!
12. Rutabagas Sky-high amounts of potassium in this root veggie help sink blood pressure and ease muscle cramping after tough workouts. A dieter's dream, rutabagas also contain less than half the calories and carbohydrates of sweet potatoes, as well as a good dose of slimming fibre.
13. Oat bran Already love oatmeal for breakfast in the morning? Why not try oat bran instead? Culled from the husk of the oat, oat bran offers more soluble fibre, which soaks up and eliminates harmful LDL cholesterol. Lower in calories than regular oats, oat bran enjoys a slightly better nutrient profile too, with higher amounts of protein, iron, vitamin B and vitamin E.

Looking for recipe ideas that include these superfoods? Try these nutritious and delicious dishes.

More stories from Chatelaine

Sunday, January 23, 2011

3-Minute Veggie Meal

That's right -- it's a frozen box of veggies!  There's something to be said for having some easy items on hand in the freezer or on the shelf that are healthy and quick.  This one was tested and approved by daughter Nicole.  Only 60 calories per serving (about 125 for the entire box). Contains yummy sugar snap peas, roasted potatoes and red bell potatoes.  She paired this with ready to serve rice (pictured below)! Both were surprisingly tasty for fast food.  With respect to the rice you have a choice of regular white, brown or basmati. The two items together would make a quick take-along meal at the office and/or for those with limited time to devote to food prep. The rice would also work well as an "emergency food" box item.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Breakfast Cookies

Happy New Year everyone!  It's already near the middle of the month and now that all the chocolates and other sweets are devoured it's time to get serious! And since I don't want to give up cookies entirely I decided the only way was to seriously modify the ingredients .  Here's my starting cookie.  It may get more modified along the way but for right now this one is totally satisfactory and I am pleased that it's also gluten free. The only thing that concerns me is it's fairly high fat (but good fats - so great for growing kids).  However at my age I can stand to use less fat (even the good kind) so my next thought is to try another batch with no olive oil and perhaps 1/2 the peanut butter and subbing 1/4 cup of roasted, mashed sweet potato to take it's place!  It's a thought and I'll report back on that once I've tried it out!  I didn't know what to call this cookie but since I always say I'd love to just eat cookies for breakfast I decided to go with that!  In my opinion the ingredients make them healthy enough to use as a breakfast on the run.

1/4 cup oatbran
1/4 cup oat flour
1/4 cup ground golden flaxseed
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons soy milk
1/2 ripe banana
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup quick oats

Measure 1/2 cup oats into a small bowl. Whirl oil, agave nectar, soy milk, banana and vanilla in magic bullet (or blender).  Pour this over the 1/2 cup oats. Mix together and let sit while you measure the ingredients from oatbran to sea salt into a slightly larger bowl.  Add the 1/4 cup peanut butter to the soaked oat mixture.  Mix the wet and dry together well. Roll into balls using 1 tablespoon dough each. Press down with bottom of a glass to flatten. I used a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.  Makes 17 cookies.