Category Archives: Eats

Eating Whole Grains Is Great For Your Health

I’ve long been a fan of whole grains.  Eating whole grains helps you stay fuller longer making you significantly less likely to constantly eat.  Your body takes longer to digest the whole grains.  Look for the whole grain seal on bread, cereal, oats, etc. and make sure you are eating your whole grains!

Whole Grains Each Day Linked to Longer Life

Eating a diet rich in whole grains may reduce your risk of dying early, a new meta-analysis finds.

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People who reported eating at least three servings of whole grains daily were 20 percent less likely to die early from any cause compared with people who reported eating less than one serving a day, the researchers found. The analysis included 14 previous studies; all of the studies were at least six years long, and many were more than 10 years long.

The researchers also looked at specific causes of death. They found that eating three servings of whole grains a day was associated with a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, and a 14 percent lower risk of death from cancer, compared with eating one serving or less of whole grains daily. 

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend eating three or more servings of whole grains each day.  However, Americans eat, on average, less than one serving a day, according to the study, published today (June 13) in the journal Circulation.

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Indeed, “these findings lend further support to the U.S. government’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which suggest high consumption of whole grains to facilitate disease prevention,” Dr. Qi Sun, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and the senior author on the study, said in a statement.

The studies in the meta-analysis included a total of more than 786,000 people. There were nearly 98,000 deaths in all of the studies, including more than 23,000 from heart disease and more than 37,000 from cancer.

“Multiple individual studies consistently revealed a reduced risk of death among people who consumed more whole grains,” Sun told Live Science.

Moreover, each serving, or 0.5 ounces (16 grams), of whole grains a day was associated with a 7 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from any cause, a 9 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from heart disease and a 5 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from cancer, the meta-analysis found.

The researchers noted that the types of whole grains people ate varied from study to study. However, in the U.S., more than 70 percent of whole grains that people eat come from breads and cereal grains, which include oatmeal, rice and barley, according to the study. 

This is not the first study to suggest whole grains have health benefits, nor is it the first meta-analysis to do so.

Two previous meta-analyses, for example, found that whole grains were associated with lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels and lower amounts of body fat, the researchers wrote.

A number of compounds found in whole grains could contribute to the foods’ effects on health, the researchers wrote. Fiber, for example, may lower cholesterol and help people feel fuller so they eat fewer calories. Magnesium may help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure. And other minerals and antioxidants may help fight oxidative stress, they said.

Based on the new findings, “health care providers should unanimously recommend whole grain consumption to the general population, as well as patients with certain diseases, to help achieve better health and perhaps reduce death,” Sun said.

In addition, whole grains should replace refined carbohydrates in a person’s diet, because these carbohydrates have been shown to have negative health effects, the researchers wrote.

(via Live Science via Yahoo! News)

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Cinco de Mayo 2-Layer Nachos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce

 

Who doesn’t love nachos?  Enjoy Cinco de Mayo!

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Nachos

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients
  • 1 14 ounce bag tortilla chips
  • 1 pound ground meat (turkey or beef)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 handful kale
  • 1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 10 ounce bag of shredded cheese (taco or mexican blend)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Avocado Cilantro Sauce

  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado
  • 8 ounces sour cream
Directions
  1. Chop onions and saute in olive oil.
  2. Add meat, stir.  Once meat is brown add water and taco seasoning. Remove from heat once cooked.
  3. Place tortilla chips on a cooking sheet, making sure the bottom of the pan is completely covered.
  4. Add a layer of seasoned meat followed by tomatoes, and cheese.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4.
  6. Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for ~20 minutes.
  7. While nachos are baking, peel and pit avocado, then place cilantro, sour cream and juice from 1 lime into a blender.  Blend until smooth.
  8. Remove foil and place kale over nachos and drizzle avocado cilantro sauce over.
  9. Enjoy!

This is a really easy recipe to make!  You can add or take away ingredients as you please.  For example, add black beans, jalepenos, mushrooms, corn, etc.  You can serve with basic sour cream and/or salsa, or eat as is.  Wash it down with your favorite beverage!

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Flourless Fudge Cookies (Gluten-Free, Fat-Free)

Looking for a dessert recipe to wow your family with for the upcoming holiday?  Look no further!  These cookies are SURE to be a crowd pleaser, for chocolate lovers and non chocolate lovers alike!

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Flourless Fudge Cookies

  • Servings: 15
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
Recipe Courtesy: King Arthur Flour

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Ingredients

2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder (Optional; Use 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons Instant Coffee as an alternative)
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup 100% Cacao powder
3 large egg whites (You can use a substitute of a carton egg white, equivalency should be on the carton)
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
1 Cup Chocolate Chips (Optional, Adds fat to recipe)
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional, Adds Fat to Recipe)

Directions:

1)  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets. Or line with parchment, and grease the parchment.

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2)  Mix two cocoa powders, confections’ sugar and salt well.

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3)  Add egg whites, vanilla, and espresso powder. Mix well.

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NPKAFFudge54)  Add in chocolate chips and walnuts. Mix well.

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5)  Spoon about tablespoon drops of batter onto greasing baking sheet or parchment paper

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6)  Bake the cookies for 8 minutes; they should spread, become somewhat shiny, and develop faintly crackly tops.
7) Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool right on the pan.


I recommend using liquid egg whites instead of the whites of whole eggs because you are likely to need more than 3 egg whites if you do not have “true” large eggs.  When I first made this recipe I used the whites from 3 extra large eggs and I needed to add the whites from another egg to get the proper consistency, which left me with 4 egg yolks.  You will know if you need another egg white(s) if the batter is very thick and still has a bit of cocoa powder visible.  You can see the proper consistency in the photos.

This recipe tastes great with or without the chocolate chips and walnuts, however, the chips and walnuts are a great addition! Likewise, the espresso powder/instant coffee really brings out the chocolate flavor and makes the cookies even more decadent!  I would not recommend these cookies to someone who is diabetic or pre-diabetic.

Have you tried this recipe?  How did you like it?

Thank you for reading!

Product Review: Talenti Coffee Chocolate Chip Gelato

This product was purchased by Nature’s Pulchritude.  All opinions are that of Nature’s Pulchritude and have not been influenced in any way, shape, or form.

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Ice cream.  Who doesn’t like it?  Ice cream has long been one of my favorite dessert items.  About 2 years ago, after continuously eyeing this product in the grocery store I finally decided to try it.  Hello, Talenti Gelato.  Gelato and ice cream are very similar as gelato is italian style ice cream.  The key difference between the two is the method of creation and not to mention the rich, potent flavors often found in Gelato.

Product
“Better ingredients make happy spoons.”

The ingredients in this product are very simple. Unlike many other frozen treats on the market, there are no artificial ingredients–no high fructose corn syrup. It is high in fat and cholesterol because it uses real ingredients!

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Flavor
As the name suggests, this product tastes like coffee. The coffee flavor is strong enough to really taste it without it being overpowering. There is also no bitter aftertaste from the coffee. The chocolate chips add another dimension to the flavor and is a great complement.

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Texture
This product has a very smooth, velvety texture. The chocolate chips are not too big or too small. Compared to ice cream it is significantly less crystalline and melts much faster once out of the freezer.

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Ingredients: NPTalentiIngr

As previously mentioned, this product is made with good, simple ingredients. The biggest concerns with this product is the production method of the ingredients. This product is not non-GMO certified. The key ingredients of concern are the milk, sugar, cream, soybean oil, and soy lecithin. All of these ingredients can be made from genetically modified ingredients. Alternatively, none of the ingredients appear to be artificial in origin. This product would get 1 Globe if it was non-GMO certified!

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Overall, this is a great product.  The quality of the recipe and ingredients are high.  This flavor is sure to fulfill your sweet tooth!  This may also be a great dessert addition for the holiday season for your family!

3.8/4 Globes
Nature’s Pulchritude All-Star!

 

This product is one quart, though their grocery store options are typically a pint.  The pint sizes are typically $5.99 while the quart is about $7.99 – $8.99 depending where you purchase it from.  I see this product either on sale, or with a coupon regularly, so don’t let price be a deterrent!  Given the quality of this product, I find you don’t eat as large a portion as you would with most other ice creams.  A small amount will satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

Have you tried this product, what was your opinion? Will you try this product?

Healthy Playoff Snack: Guacamole

It is playoff time in both the NBA and NHL.  What better way to enjoy watching a game, your favorite team (or least favorite) play than with good people and good food?!  Guacamole is a delicious all natural snack that is high in vitamin B5, B6, K, and Folate.  It can be paired with organic tortilla chips, plantain chips, or added as a condiment to various foods.

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Guacamole

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
Recipe Courtesy:  Alton Brown

Ingredients
  • 3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
Directions
  1. In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat.  Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated.
  2. Using a potato masher or pastry blender add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash.
  3. Fold in the onions, jalapeño, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic.  Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice.
  4. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

I really enjoyed this recipe.  It was full of flavor and had a nice amount of heat from the jalepeños.  Any of these ingredients can be purchased organic.  As with any recipe you can add or decrease the quantities of the ingredients to your personal taste.  I made this recipe twice with 1 avocado so I divided the quantity of each ingredient by 3 with the exception of the cilanto, garlic, and onion, of which I used the amount listed, and jalepeños of which I added in one 1/2″ thick slice (jar).  I did not drain the lime juice from the avocados, but be sure not to add too much lime.  You can use any type of onion, I used a red onion, but a white or yellow onion would also complement the flavors of the guacamole.  Be sure to dice the onion to a desirable size, preferably small.  This recipe should last between 3-5 days, refrigerated, before turning brown.

How To Make Almond Milk

I tried almond milk several years ago and did not like it in the slightest.  It was way too thick for my taste so I continued drinking organic soy milk.  I recently came across a recipe for almond milk on EyeCandyPopper’s page; an online search yielded a host of information on how to make almond milk.  Who knew almond milk was so simple to make?!  Another shocker, almond milk is not naturally thick; additives or heating is used to thicken almond milk to the consistency of whole milk.  This recipe is a great way to control the ingredients, quality, and in flavor in your almond milk.  The almonds I used were not organic, but you can use organic almonds in your recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of whole raw almonds
  • 2 Cups of water
  • Splash of Flavor Extract (Optional)
  • Raw Cane Sugar (Optional)

Tools:

  • Blender
  • Storage Container
  • Cheesecloth/Nut Milk Bag (Optional)

Time:

  • 18 hours (Inactive)
  • 3 minutes (Active)

Yields: ~15 ounces

 Instructions:
Almonds soaked overnight.  Water was changed.
Almonds soaked overnight. Water was changed.

Soak almonds in 2 cups of water.  You can use bottled water or boil tap water then put cooled water through a filtration system.  Almonds should be completely covered in water in a closed container.  Allow to soak for at least 10-15 hours (overnight).  After almonds have soaked overnight, pour out the water and add an additional 2 cups of water.  You can allow the almonds to continue to soak up to 6-8 hours, but this is optional.

Place the almonds and water in your blender and allow it to liquefy for approximately 30 seconds.  The contents of the blender will immediately turn white.  The top of the milk will be foamy.  Taste the milk at this stage to determine if you want to add a flavoring extract or sugar; add extract or sugar in slowly to ensure you do not add too much.  Pulp from the almonds will remain, use the cheesecloth to strain the pulp from the almond milk.  If you do not have a cheesecloth you can use a saucepan cover, though some bits of almond pulp may remain.

Remaining pulp and foam.
Remaining pulp and foam.
Yield

The almond milk was very quick to make, the longest part of the process was soaking the almonds.  The whole raw almonds and water in the blender was just under 3 cups (about 23 ounces).  This recipe yielded approximately 15 ounces of milk, and about a 1/4 – 1/3 cup of almond pulp.  Don’t throw away the almond pulp, try using it as a yogurt topping, or incorporate it into a baking recipe. 

Savings

Based on materials this recipe cost about $0.56 for 15 ounces (3 cents per ounce) of almond milk.  Per online source, you can purchase name brand almond milk for $3.00 for 32 ounces (about 9 cents per ounce), or organic (bulk) for $2.95 for 32 ounces (about 9 cents per ounce).  I (re)used a glass jar on hand to store the almond milk, I sterilized it with steam before bottling.

Results

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The almond milk was delicious.  I used it for cereal so I didn’t mind the bits of almond pulp.  It will separate in the refrigerator, shake before use.  This will keep fresh for 3-5 days.  You can also use almond milk on your face to hydrate your skin as it contains Vitamin E, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin B3.

 

Have you made your own almond milk?  Would you try this recipe?