Posts Tagged ‘healthy food’

Cooking and baking from scratch can offer savings on everything from dessert to salad dressing. Below are some ways to make your money go further in the kitchen:

• Homemade muffins and cakes are healthier, cheaper alternatives. They are usually half to one third the cost of the bought ones. Children usually enjoy cooking so involve them in the preparation and baking.

• Use skim milk powder for cooking.

• Make your own low fat salad dressings. Homemade dressings are cheaper than bought ones. They offer the opportunity to produce a wide variety of flavors with only a few basic ingredients such as olive oil, vinegar, garlic and fresh homegrown herbs.

• Buy bread on special and freeze for later use. If a loaf of bread cannot be used within a day or two, slice and freeze half the loaf for later use.

• Choose a high fiber, low sugar breakfast cereal. Generally, the less refined and cheaper the product – the more nutritious. Some cereals advertised for children can be up to four times the cost of healthy choices. They also contain a lot of sugar and if toasted, a lot of fat.

 Source:  www.education.qld.gov.au/schools/healthy


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Tips for getting more value for your money from the meat and beans group:

• Dried peas, beans and lentils are inexpensive, low in fat and high in fiber. They can be the basis of a meal or used to extend a meat meal. Try adding cooked, mashed lentils to make healthy hamburgers.

• Meat that requires long, slow cooking is often cheap, nutritious and flavorful.

• Buying lean meat without bones may be more economical than buying a large amount of cheaper meat with fat and bones – it is pointless paying for something you won’t eat. If you do have meat bones, use them to make stock.

 Source:  www.education.qld.gov.au/schools/healthy

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corn on the cobDo you find yourself only making corn and potatoes as the vegetable part of your family’s five-a-day intake?  Do you wonder if corn offers any nutritional value to your family’s diet?  Well, it is true that corn does not offer a lot of vitamins and minerals.  In fact if offers just a small amount of vitamins A and C and some iron.  It also offers a small amount of protein.  But, new research has shown that corn offers a large amount of antioxidants that are essential for your family’s health!  Remember antioxidants – the compounds in fruits and vegetables that fight off diseases like heart disease and cancer?

Well, corn is full of them. Specifically lutein and zeaxanthin which eye doctors are raving about. In fact, corn is one of the best non-green sources of these antioxidants. Fresh corn is best, although canned corn also offers these important disease fighting compounds. In addition to warding off heart disease and cancer, these specific antioxidants may help protect against the sun damage that leads to skin cancer and colon cancer! 


So pick up some corn on the cob from your local farmer’s market or grocery for dinner tonight! 


Ever tried to grill corn? Grilling is a great way to prepare your corn and keep from adding heat to your kitchen. 


Grilled Corn on the Cob


6 ears corn

6 sheets aluminum foil

6 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate.

Peel back corn husks and remove silk. Place 1 tablespoon butter, salt and pepper on each piece of corn. Close husks.

Wrap each ear of corn tightly in aluminum foil. Place on the prepared grill. Cook approximately 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until corn is tender.


Nutrition info Source:  Giant Book of Kitchen Counter Cures; Karen Cicero and Colleen Pierre, M.S., R.D.

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Meatless Monday is a national public health campaign encouraging Americans to move the meat off their plate one day a week to make room for healthier alternatives. Many Americans eat a diet high in meat and low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This puts us at higher risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. The main goal of this campaign is consistent with the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, U.S Department of Agriculture, and the American Heart Association. The goal is to help Americans reduce their consumption of saturated fat 15% by 2010. “Going meatless” is defined by the campaign as staying away from red meat, poultry and high fat dairy products. Fish and seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids are highly encouraged. Practicing meatless Mondays is a great way for children to learn simple and healthy eating habits.

Try your Monday dinner, meatless with this recipe:

Grilled Veggie Sandwich

meatless-mondays1Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 cup olive oil

1 cup red bell peppers, sliced

1 small zucchini, sliced

1 small red onion, sliced

1 small yellow squash, sliced

2 (4-x6-inch) focaccia, sourdough or Italian bread pieces, split horizontally

Freshly ground black pepper

Stir In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, minced garlic, and lemon juice. Set aside in the refrigerator. Preheat the grill for high heat. Brush vegetables with olive oil on each side. Brush grate with oil. Place bell peppers and zucchini closest to the middle of the grill, and set onion and squash pieces around them. Cook for about 3 minutes, turn, and cook for another 3 minutes. The peppers may take a bit longer. Remove from grill, and set aside. Spread some of the mayonnaise mixture on the cut sides of the bread. Place on the grill mayonnaise side up, and cover with lid for 2 to 3 minutes. This will warm the bread, and slightly melt the mayo mixture. Watch carefully so the bottoms don’t burn. Remove from grill, and layer with vegetables. Sprinkle with black pepper. Enjoy as open faced grilled sandwiches.

Source: http://www.meatlessmonday.com/site/PageServer?pagename=a_index

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asparagus2Asparagus belongs to the lily family which also includes onions, leeks, and garlic. Its name is Greek and means “sprout” or “shoot”. Asparagus grows in three different colors; green, white, and purple. The green and most common type is slightly sweet in flavor with a tender and crisp texture. It is grown in sunlight where photosynthesis makes its color green. White asparagus is grown in the dark, thus requires specific procedure to yield its white color. Purple asparagus is deeply fruity flavored with 20% more sugar than the green.

Asparagus has many health benefits. It is helpful in reducing constipation, bowel disorders, and symptoms of diabetes. The vegetable contains glutathione, an antioxidant which is believed to prevent some forms of cancer. Asparagus is rich in vitamin A, C, and E, and fiber.  It is the leading vegetable source of folic acid or folate.

Keep fresh asparagus clean, cold and covered. Trim the stem end about 1/4 inch and wash in warm water several times. Pat dry and place in moisture-proof wrapping. Refrigerate and use within 2 or 3 days for best quality. To maintain freshness, wrap a moist paper towel around the stem ends, or stand upright in two inches of cold water.

Mexican Asparagus and Cheese Tortillas

4 yellow corn tortillas.
16 pieces of asparagus, grilled.
¼ cup of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded.
¼ cup of white Cheddar cheese, shredded.
Salt and pepper, to taste.
Olive oil, for brushing.

Prepare grill.
For each taco, spread one quarter of the cheeses and 4 pieces of the asparagus on each tortilla, then season with salt and pepper. Fold in half and lightly brush the outside with olive oil.
Grill for 3 minutes on each side or until the tortilla is crispy and cheese has melted.

For this and more recipes check out: http://www.asparagusrecipes.net/

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pears4Hands down, the healthiest thing about pears is their high fiber content.  A medium-size Bartlett pear has about 4 grams of fiber.  Better yet, pears pack a 50-50 blend of the two main types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.  The soluble fiber in pears, called pectin, may help lower cholesterol levels by removing cholesterol out of your blood.  It also helps block the fat and cholesterol in your foods from getting to the inside wall of the intestine where it would be absorbed into the blood stream.  Lignin, the insoluble fiber in pears helps bulk up the stools and makes them pass through the intestines faster, possibly reducing the risk of colon cancer. 


And please don’t peel your pear!  Almost all of the important antioxidants that pears have to offer are in the skin. 


Here are the five most common pears:

  • Anjou – Egg-shaped and green when ripe.
  • Yellow Bartlett – Sweet and aromatic, turns from green to yellow when ripe.
  • Red Bartlett – Dark red to bright red when ripe and very sweet.
  • Bosc – Ideal for cooking and baking, it is an earthy brown color
  • Seckel – Maroon and olive green – it is about half the size of an Anjou.


A pear is ripe when you can press your thumb into the pear and it yields slightly to the pressure.  Most supermarket pears are about 1 to 3 days from being ripe. 


Try these ways to include pears into your diet!

  • Add sliced pears to your salad.  Drizzling pears with lemon juice will keep them from browning.
  • Add slices of pears to your vegetable tray.
  • Top a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and pear slices.
  • Bake pear halves with ham or pork during the last 15 minutes of cooking, basting them with juices from the meat.  Serve as a side dish. 


Taken from:  The Giant Book of Kitchen Counter Cures;  Karen Cicero and Colleen Pierre, M.S., R.D.

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blueberry-muffinsAnthocyanin is a powerful antioxidant that is responsible for the blue color of blueberries.  Research studies show that blueberries have the ability to fight signs of aging, increase mental clarity, and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.  Increase your consumption of blueberries by adding a handful to your yogurt or cereal, or throw some in with your next batch of pancakes!  Try this blueberry muffin recipe that also includes whole wheat flour.


Blueberry Muffins


The secret to good muffins is to not overmix the batter.  Lumps are fine.


Makes 16

1 stick butter, melted

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cups buttermilk

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup fresh or dried blueberries


Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Grease a 12 hole muffin pan or line with paper liners.  Mix together both types of flour with the sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Beat the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter together in a separate bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Gently fold in the blueberries.  Spoon the mixture into the muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes until risen and golden.

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