January Newsletter

January 3rd, 2018

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

Spices

Most people are taught to “eat their vegetables” growing up, but what about eating spices? Spices are not nearly as emphasized, but can provide many of the same health benefits. Because spices are dried and ground up, they are highly concentrated with vitamins and antioxidants. Not only does this improve the body’s day to day functioning, but it can also help reduce our risk for chronic diseases, like diabetes or dementia, according to some recent studies.
Spices are also calorie free and, unless it’s been added, salt free. This makes them a great addition to any meal.
To use more spices in your diet, homemade salad dressing is a great start. And if making things from scratch isn’t your thing, you can always add spices to prepackaged foods, such as canned soups or frozen veggies.
Keep in mind, spices can lose their flavor and potency overtime. They should be replaced every two years in order to maintain maximum flavor and effectiveness.

Tips for using more spices:

  • -add cinnamon to oatmeal, cereal, or granola
  • -add ginger to stir fry dishes or frozen vegetables
  • -stir in cilantro and cumin to taco meat
  • -make colorful dishes you might not have tried before, such as coconut curry

Some commonly used spices and their benefits:

  • -Cinnamon: reduces inflammation, LDL cholesterol , and blood pressure.
  • -Oregano: exhibits antimicrobial properties, hinders the growth of tumors
  • -Rosemary: high amounts of calcium, iron, and B vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Improves digestion and neurological function.
  • -Parsley: relieves bloating, shows antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, is high in antioxidants.
  • -Basil: reduces the damage done by free radicals. High in vitamins A, K, and C.
  • -Cumin: rich source of iron, promotes digestion, reduces LDL cholesterol.

It’s best to consume spices and herbs as part of your diet; herbal supplements are not well-regulated and should be taken with caution.

December Newsletter

December 2nd, 2017

Root vegetables are a staple of many diets all over the world. Their interesting textures, hearty flavors, and bright colors make it easy to see why. They are versatile and fun, and almost always a crowd pleaser. Luckily for us, they are nutritious as well as tasty. Since root vegetables grow in the soil, they absorb a lot of nutrients from the ground. This means they are packed with vitamins and minerals. Also, they are wonderful natural sources of complex carbs and fiber. This means they can help keep us full longer.
Another great thing about root vegetables is they can be prepared in many different ways. Whether boiled, roasted, sauteed, or grilled, there are many exciting recipes and cooking methods.

Roasted Turnips

1 pound turnips, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 470 degrees
Toss cut turnips in olive oil and spices
Put in baking dish and bake for about 25 minutes or until soft

November Newsletter

November 1st, 2017

Everyone knows that leafy greens are important in our diets, but why? The US Department of Agriculture recommends that adults get three cups of dark green vegetables a week. Luckily there are many vegetable options to help us meet this goal.
By consuming leafy greens, we are increasing our intake of vitamins A, C, and K, along with folate and potassium. There is a also a lot of fiber packed into these amazing veggies, which can lower cholesterol and maintain healthy bowel movements. And, as far as vegetables go, leafy greens contain an impressive amount of calcium. This can contribute to bone health and maintenance.
Turnip greens, kale, swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, and cabbage are great examples of leafy greens. If you don’t consume these often or if you don’t like the texture of raw veggies, soups are a great way to add these to your diet. It’s fun to think of new ways to add leafy greens to your diet, and the reward is improved nutrition and tasty meals!

Leafy Green Soup

1 onion, chopped
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
3 (15-oz) cans canned navy beans (rinsed)
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
4 cups kale
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion, celery, and carrots in a large stockpot in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent (about seven minutes). Add broth, beans, and spices. Let simmer for 45 minutes. Add washed kale in the last five minutes of cooking. Enjoy!

October Newsletter

October 2nd, 2017

Monday, October 1st, 2017

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta!

Being a quick dinner and crowd pleaser, pasta is popular for many reasons. It comes in endless shapes, sizes, colors, and varieties. Recently, many stores and restaurants are experimenting with new pasta types. From “zoodles” made out of zucchini to spiralized spaghetti squash, many vegetables are masquerading as noodles. These can be a fun addition to recipes and pasta dishes that you already love. Another trend comes straight from stores and manufacturers themselves, who are finding creative ways to add more protein to pasta. From lentil pasta to garbanzo bean pasta, many beans and peas are being harnessed for their natural protein and vitamin content to up the nutritional value of traditional pasta. Both traditional pasta and these new pasta varieties can be healthy components of any diet; it’s certainly an exciting time for the world of pasta!

 

Sauteed Zoodles in Marinara Sauce

4-5 zucchini

1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes

1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)

1 jar marinara sauce

Parmesan cheese to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

5 basil leaves (sliced)

Using a spiralizer, cut 4-5 zucchini into strands (if you don’t have a spiralizer, you can cut zucchini into long, thin strips). Saute the zucchini in olive oil over medium heat, around 8 minutes. Add in the cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and salt and pepper, and cook an additional five minutes. Stir in your favorite marinara sauce and top with Parmesan cheese and basil.

Enjoy!

 

September Newsletter

September 1st, 2017

Eating Local

Food trends come and go, but one that seems to remain popular is eating local. A “locavore” is someone who eats foods derived from local sources. The idea is that food is fresher, more nutritionally valuable, and more environmentally friendly when is comes from five miles away, as opposed to 500 miles. Farmers markets are a great source for anyone trying to eat local. Recently, this trend has expanded from home cooking to restaurants. Many restaurants now make it a point to partner with local farmers to bring local foods into flavorful menus. A fun challenge is to try and only eat locally sourced foods or one week. Pay attention to seasonality, freshness, and use recipe apps to help you succeed!

App of the Month:
The Locavore App–this app helps you find farmers markets, growers, and CSA’s in your area. It also shows what’s in season at any given time.