Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD, LD

Licensed Nutritionist & Environmental Health Specialist

Archive for the ‘Healthy Recipes & Menu Ideas’ Category

Bison Basil Garlic Burgers

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Bison Burger1 pound ground bison
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 egg
1 teaspoon mustard

Combine all ingredients and shape into 4 burgers. Cook in skillet over medium heat until patties are desired doneness. Serve hot with favorite accompaniments. Makes 4 servings.

One 3 oz cooked burger = 159 calories
Protein 35g
Carbohydrates 0
Fat 3g

Written by PFAdmin

September 28th, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Blueberries

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blueberry-cocoanut-date-slicesBlueberries are one of the most potent foods in terms of protecting the brain according to Martha Clare Morris, PhD, nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago. Berries are the only fruit specifically identified in the MIND diet (Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay).

The diet emphasizes vegetables, berries, fish and healthy fats. The study focused on 923 volunteers from Chicago retirement communities who earned points if they ate brain-healthy foods frequently and avoided unhealthy foods. The March 2015 Journal of the American Alzheimer’s Association reported the diet lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) when the diet was adhered to rigorously.

Since no one wants the devastating toll AD causes on cognitive function, blueberries have become brain food ever since a preliminary study of daily consumption of wild blueberry juice in 9 older adults with cognitive issues was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2010. Subsequent studies using rats fed a blueberry rich diet for 2 months added more excitement to the blueberry health message.

Ronald Prior, PhD at the USDA found one cup of wild blueberries had more total antioxidant capacity than 20 other fruits (including cranberries, strawberries, plums, raspberries and cultivated blueberries). Wild blueberries had the highest total phenolic content among the 25 fruits and vegetables reported by Rui Hi Lui in the Journal of Food Science 2013. Phenolics are phytochemical compounds in plants that protect them from climate insults and pests so they can grow and reproduce.

The USDA Database for Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods 2014 shows the difference between choosing wild vs cultivated blueberries. Wild blueberries (lowbush variety) are smaller and have more antioxidant power with intense flavor. Cultivated (highbush variety) blueberries are bigger with less antioxidants like anthocyanin.

Anthocyanins help protect the body against age related disorders like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. When the diet does not include enough antioxidants like anthocyanins, free radicals build up in the body and cause oxidative stress which is associated with disease.

High anthocyanin containing foods like blueberries are consumed on faith since there are no immediate short-term benefits that can be felt or tested.

My favorite way of enjoying blueberries- wild or cultivated- is a healthy breakfast of Sweet Potato Pancakes with Blueberry Banana Fruit Sauce. Both of these recipes are low glycemic and are tasty additions to a healthy paleo diet.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 large sweet potato, peeled and baked
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 egg
2 tablespoons coconut or whole grain flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Beat together all ingredients until smooth. Heat lightly oiled large skillet or griddle. Spoon batter onto griddle. Cook over medium heat 3-5 minutes per side until golden brown (do not turn too soon or pancake will fall apart). Repeat with remaining batter. Makes 6- 3 inch pancakes. Serve warm with fruit sauce.

Calories per pancake 84
Protein 3g
Carbohydrates 12g
Fat 2g
Sodium 129 mcg

Note: Raw sweet potatoes can be used by grinding in food processor before combining with rest of the ingredients and adding 1 additional egg to the batter.

Blueberry Banana Fruit Sauce

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 ripe banana
1 orange, peeled
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Serve over waffles or pancakes. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Calories per 1/4 cup 48
Protein 1g
Carbohydrates 12g
Fat 0
Sodium 39mcg

Written by bwsl

April 24th, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Hemp for Health

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Coconut-Date-SlicesIn October 2014 I attended the Hemp Conference in Las Vegas with the intent to better understand medical cannabis and find out why brownies were the food of choice by consumers of medical marijuana. I’d seen medical cannabis used in Amsterdam, China, Peru and at an Antartica base yet marijuana as medicine incorporated into a food is uniquely American.

The plant Cannabis sativa has numerous constituents. That component responsible for psychotropic effects is called THC (tetrahydrocannabidiol). The component used for medical purposes CBD (cannabidiol) is unlikely to be intoxicating since it has almost no THC. Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of American Botanical Council calls CBD “one of the most therapeutic compounds in cannabis”.

Some people consider the idea of medical marijuana a hoax but Ray Sahelian, M.D. , a California physician and author of Mind Boosters states, “I can see marijuana, mostly in the form of edibles, being available in health food stores to those who use it occasionally for relaxation, relief of insomnia, reduction of headache pain, and to stimulate appetite”.

As a hospice dietitian, families would frequently ask about marijuana for stimulating their loved ones appetite. All I could tell them was that it was safer than alcohol with natural therapeutic benefits but it was not legal in Florida. Cannabidiol is used in palliative care in other parts of the world but has yet to be accepted in the U.S.

But hemp seeds, hemp powder and hemp milk have been sold by the natural food industry for almost 20 years. These products contain CBD and are not in violation of state and federal laws. There are chewing gums and lozenges infused with hemp oil and rich in CBD formulated by Mastix Medical LLC, Hunt Valley, MD for those who want to improve their health and wellness.

My goal was to understand the “brownie connection” to medical marijuana. Once I tasted hemp oil with CBD it wasn’t rocket science to understand that chocolate and sugar are needed make the medicine go down. Those preparing the CBD foods are locked in a debate over whether the cannabidiols are affected by the baking. A tasty cookie that was not baked was marketed as a superior source of CBD. Once you look at the price of these delicacies, you want to make sure to get the best bargain.

This recipe for coconut date slices is a modified version of the non-baked CBD cookie mentioned above ( no CBD oil). The sugar replacement used in the recipe is erythritol but other sugars or replacement products can be substituted. This is a healthier version of rice krispie treat cookies than the one made with marshmallows! You can enjoy these cookies as a snack or dessert while waiting to see if anything like it ever becomes available in your local health food store.

Coconut Date Slices

1 cup finely chopped dates
3/4 cup sugar replacement
2 eggs
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
2 cups rice krispies cereal
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

Combine dates, sugar replacement, and eggs in large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts, vanilla, and cereal. Cool. Moisten hands in cold water and shape into two 6-inch logs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll in coconut on waxed paper surface and wrap. Chill at least 1 hour before slicing into slices. Makes 24 cookies.

Calories 65 (89 made with sugar)
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrates 8 g
Fat 3 g
Sodium 186 mg

Written by bwsl

April 24th, 2015 at 12:46 pm

Mushrooms

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Grilled_Portabella_Mushroom_DelightMedicinal mushrooms have been part of traditional medicine for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians associated mushrooms with immortality and a food for kings and queens. The Chinese also promote mushrooms for longevity and health since early research showed anti-cancer properties in a wild mushroom found growing in Southern China.

Maitake and reishi mushrooms are best noted for their betaglucans or glycoproteins which enhance immune function and help ward off infectious diseases from bacteria, viruses and fungi/mold. Maitake mushrooms have the highest Vitamin D levels (ergosterols or Vitamin D2) of most commonly consumed mushrooms. Shitake and reishi are noted for liver protection which is important for those using acetaminophen medications. Cordyceps have anti-aging qualities and increase energy production according to researchers in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

Chemotherapy patients get improved anti-tumor benefits from mushrooms because they increase natural killer cells or lymphocytes. Since mushrooms are easy to add to the diet and very interchangeable even those fatigued from treatment can add them using these suggestions: shitake = meaty & great in stir fry; morels = smoky and woodsy flavor; lobster = bright reddish orange color with neutral taste.

The white button or field mushrooms found in most supermarkets are of little nutritional value so choosing varieties named above offer the best nutrition for the money. People with intestinal yeast overgrowth or yeast sensitivities may have a crossover reaction to the fungi family so consume them cautiously.

Safety and quality should be the first thing to consider when adding them to your diet. Mushrooms can have health risks because as a fungus they absorb environmental pollutants like heavy metals, pesticides, and radioactivity. Eating organically grown mushrooms is the best way to be safe. Mushroom cultivation goes back centuries. When I visited a mushroom farm in China, rice chaff was used to cultivate shitakes. Today, growers have domesticated many varieties including Portabellas.

The part of the mushroom we eat is simply the fruit of the fungi that lives underground as a network of microspopic filaments. Only wash mushrooms just before adding them to a stir fry, broth or salad. Since many supermarkets like to wrap portabellas, be sure to unwrap them ASAP to preserve freshness. My favorite way to make a quick lunch or supper is Grilled Portabella Mushroom Delight.

Grilled Portabella Mushroom Delight

1 fresh portabella mushroom
1 egg
1 teaspoon prepared basil pesto
1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese

Brush top and bottom of mushroom with olive oil to prevent sticking to grill. Grill 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Scramble egg in no-stick pan or lightly oiled skillet. Pour onto grilled mushroom. Top with pesto and cheese. Broil 1 minute, if desired. Makes 1 serving. Serve with vegetables or salad.

Calories per serving: 154
Protein 11 g
Carbohydrates 8 g
Fat 8 g
Sodium 81 mcg

Written by bwsl

March 17th, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Chocolate Spicy Popcorn

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Chocolate Spicy PopcornCombine the famous US snack food and sweet brown powder from the cacao tree and you have the making of a healthier snack than you’ll find in the supermarket. Chocolate has become one of the most popular favors in the world and was used widely throughout the Mayan empire over 2000 years ago. It was not until the Spanish added sugar and milk that our current chocolate delights entered the culinary scene.

On a recent trip to the Savory Spice Shop, St. Petersburg FL. a college favorite snack flooded my memory as I picked up sacks of cocoa powder and a spice blend called Peruvian Chili Lime Seasoning. A college roommate was always on a diet and needed “something crunchy” to help her study. Popcorn was her best option for a low calorie snack.

Many people think popcorn is regular corn kernels but it is corn kernels with the starch extracted. The starch is used for cornstarch or laundry starch and the pith that remains can be used for packing material, explosives (fireworks) or popcorn snacks. The calories from popcorn snacks come from what is applied to the popped kernels.

Sweet corn and livestock feed corn contain up to 50% oil which contributes substantial calories. Corn products are also not a good nutrition addition to the diet since they are deficient in the amino acid lysine and B vitamin niacin. Today, some ornamental varieties of corn are grown with tiny red, white, yellow, purple and blue kernels. These ornamental varieties are offered as gourmet popcorn because the seeds dry well and can be stored for extended periods of time.

The Peruvian Chili Lime Seasoning can add a zesty taste to the Chocolate Spicy Popcorn. Chili and cumin powders complement each other to increase blood flow and improve bronchial congestion. Chili stimulates endorphins, kills pain and induces a sense of well-being. Adding grated dark chocolate to the snack mix adds calories but can be added at your discretion.

Marcona almonds from Spain are the best choice for a healthy snack because they are not pasteurized with hexane gas. Marcona almonds with rosemary, available at a local specialty market, are a favorite healthy snack. Almonds have about 150 calories per ounce (about 20 nuts) which is 60 % more calories from fat than protein.

Chocolate Spicy Popcorn

6 cups air popped corn (1/4 cup unpopped)
1/4 cup chopped Marcona almonds
1/2 cup dried No Sugar Cranberries or Cherries
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ounce grated dark chocolate
1/2 teaspoon Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning (optional)

Toss together popped corn, almonds and cranberries in lightly oiled 9 inch square baking pan. Combine honey, coconut oil, and cocoa powder in bowl or saucepan. Heat to blend. Pour over popcorn mixture. Toss to blend. Sprinkle on dark chocolate and seasoning mix. Makes 3 servings.

Calories per serving 185

Protein 1 g
Carbohydrates 22g
Fat 8 g
Sodium (no seasoning) 217mg (with seasoning) 467mg

Written by bwsl

March 3rd, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Fresh Fruit & Vitamin C

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fresh-fruit-and-vitamin-cFresh fruit salad needs to be a staple choice in menu planning to provide adequate Vitamin C in the diet, especially when short winter days and sneezing friends can alter your immune status. A healthy fruit salad enhances natural killer cell and lymphocyte production in the body. Vitamin C and the peroxide produced in your body can kill microorganisms and even destroy some bacteria like pneumococci.

Pass on the waldorf salad and choose fruits high in Vitamin C like kiwi fruit, strawberries, papaya, oranges and mango. Even star fruit or carambola has more Vitamin C than blueberries, apples, and bananas. Instead of sending canned fruit cocktail (5 mg Vitamin C), add a tangerine (22 mg Vitamin C) to the school lunch. Forget snacking on grapes to drown out the dinner hunger, eat 1/2 grapefruit or an orange.

Vitamin C is one of the least stable vitamins in our food supply so canned fruits or vegetables have virtually lost their ascorbic acid content. The less processed diet of our forefathers contained more Vitamin C than our currant foods which may be contributing to chronic diseases. Fruit juices that are pasteurized are poor sources of this critical nutrient. Fresh squeezed juices are becoming more readily available and home juicers may even be making a comeback.

Guinea pigs, apes and humans somewhere or somehow in the evolutionary process lost their ability to convert glucose into ascorbic acid in the liver. Some Vitamin C is stored in the body – adrenal glands, pituitary, brain and eye- but not sufficient for meeting daily needs. Those who smoke, take antibiotics, aspirin or pain medications and have environmental toxin exposures to lead, mercury or cadmium may need 2 to 3 times more Vitamin C.

Linus Pauling, Ph.D. a two time Nobel prize winner, stressed the importance of Vitamin C as a means of treating and preventing the common cold. Studies used to prove Dr. Pauling’s hypothesis prescribed ascorbic acid too low to be effective in any medical condition but many researchers now believe his biochemical expertise outweighs the doubters.

The aging population needs to take special heed to including fresh fruit salads in their diet because Vitamin C is crucial to the formation and maintenance of collagen in skin, ligaments, joints, capillaries, bones and gums. Ascorbic acid heals wounds, reduces bruising, and maintains healthy blood cells. Add to that, Vitamin C stimulates dopamine and epinephrine for stress hormone management in a fast changing world.

Ascorbic acid is one of the best antioxidants available in food and as a dietary supplement. Those wanting to select non-GMO supplement choices need to look for tapioca or cassava based Vitamin C because most Vitamin C is produced on corn.

Fresh Fruit with Mango Vinaigrette

2 kiwi fruit, peeled & sliced
1 orange, peeled & sliced
1/2 cup papaya cubes
1 carambola, sliced
10-12 strawberries
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 green onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon each fresh parsley, basil, cilantro
1 mango, peeled & cubed

Arrange fruit on serving dish. Combine oils, vinegar, salt, green onion, garlic, herbs and mango in blender. Puree. Serve 2 tablespoons vinaigrette over fruit salad or garnish with plain yogurt. Makes 4 servings.

Calories 98 (no dressing), 188 (with dressing)
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrates 17 (no dressing), 23g (with dressing)
Fat 0 (no dressing), 9 g (with dressing)
Sodium 10 mg (no dressing), 55 mg (with dressing)

Written by bwsl

February 9th, 2015 at 8:01 pm

Saffron Rice with Shrimp and Scallops

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Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world but it has amazing culinary and medical properties. The small crocus plant with purple flowers and three stamens is handpicked throughout the Mediterranean and India. About 150,000 flowers are needed to produce 1 kilogram of dry spice.

Saffron has been used primarily to lend a reddish-yellow coloring to butter, pastries, such as Swedish saffron bread, and confections. It also is added to bouillabaisse, Spanish paella and rice dishes like the one featured here.

Safranal, the compound found in crocus saffron, is an antioxidant, and it has been reported to inhibit cancerous cell growth. The pharmacological effects of safranal also indicate its use as an antidepressant and an anti-inflammatory compound.

According to the Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Science, the essential oil in saffron stamens offers more than just color and taste.

As the most expensive source of vitamin B-2, or riboflavin, in the world, saffron is best used in small quantities. At concentrations of even 5 grams it can cause severe gastrointestinal distress.

The full benefits of this spice are just beginning to be discovered.

New research indicates that saffron has hunger-reducing properties that can aid in weight loss. When planning a low-calorie diet, include some saffron rice to minimize food cravings. In folk medicine circles, saffron is considered to be an aphrodisiac and mood enhancer.

Betty Wedman-St Louis is a licensed nutritionist and environmental health specialist in Pinellas County who has written numerous books on health and nutrition. Visit her website at betty-wedman-stlouis.com.​

Saffron Rice with Shrimp and ScallopsSaffron Rice with Shrimp and Scallops

1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon saffron stamens
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled
1/2 pound sea scallops
1/2 cup coconut milk or coconut cream

Cook rice, water, saffron and salt together in saucepan over medium heat until rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add butter. Let stand while simmering shrimp and scallops in coconut milk until tender. Fluff rice with fork and surround with shrimp and scallops on serving platter.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 268 calories; 17g protein; 18g carbohydrates; 7g fat; 207mg sodium.

Written by bwsl

January 21st, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Good Luck Cake

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Good Luck CakeRing shaped cakes are a symbol of good luck especially around celebrations of a new year. The ring expresses the full circle of a year in some cultures while Asian cultures regard it as a symbol of eternity. Bundt cakes are a healthy addition for any celebration at time of the day.

The honey sweetened walnut apricot bundt cake can be made with organic whole wheat flour or organic brown rice flour. Both versions are seen in the photo (one with walnuts on top is made with rice flour).

A recent monthly news magazine presented a very biased article entitled “The Truth About Gluten”. The article stated that gluten-free offers no nutritional advantage “and may be less so”. As stated in my Living Gluten-Free book (Charles C. Thomas, 2008) a nutritional comparison of flours shows brown rice flour has significantly more Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid (B5), Magnesium and Manganese. Eating foods made with rice flour does not compromise nutrition.

Another issue alledged against gluten-free choices is extra cost. What consumers do not realize is the politics of the USDA food subsidy program that Congress passes annually in the Farm Bill. The US consumer pays twice for wheat products- the price at the supermarket is less than gluten-free products because they have already paid a subsidy that allows overproduction and low cost wheat prices.

Gluten-free does not produce weight loss if you over-indulge. Portion control and healthy lifestyle habits make for better weight management than changing from wheat to rice flour. But gluten-free can improve gut health for those with gastro-intestinal issues. Over seventy percent of your immune system resides in the Peyers Patches of the small intestine so less sugar and healthy fats + easy to digest rice protein can mean better digestion and increased energy.

So if you are afraid of using rice flour in your bundt cake because of arsenic, chose organic. California rice used by organic producers has significantly lower inorganic arsenic than Texas rice. Processed rice dishes are usually made with rice from India and Pakistan so cooking California Basmati rice is the best choice. Coconut flour can be used as a substitute if brown rice flour is not available.

One nutritional pearl to remember is that all grains contain some gluten. In the US, a food can contain up to 25 ppm and still be called gluten-free. Some people with gluten sensitivity need strict adherence to gluten-free food choices- wild rice and brown rice. For them, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa and teff may state gluten-free but they can only be tolerated in small quantities, if at all.

The truth about whole grains and gluten does not make for sexy reading but consumers have a right to know what influences what they are eating. Enjoy this symbolic cake with whatever flour you chose.

Walnut Apricot Bundt Cake

1/2 cup dried apricots, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup boiling water
3 cups whole grain flour (wheat or rice)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup coconut “milk” beverage
1/2 cup unsalted soft butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Pour boiling water over apricot pieces in small bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in bowl. Stir to blend. Beat together eggs, coconut beverage, butter, honey and vanilla until mixture looks like scrambled eggs. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture. Add apricots and water. Beat well. Pour into lightly oiled and floured bundt pan. Bake in 350 degree oven 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes on rack. Invert pan and cool before slicing. Makes 16 servings.

Calories per serving 124
Protein 3g
Carbohydrates 23g
Fat 4g

Written by bwsl

January 6th, 2015 at 4:37 pm

Spicy Sweet Potatoes

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Spicy Sweet Potato FriesMore than 11 million Americans suffer from some form of macular degeneration, a serious eye condition that can lead to significant vision loss and even blindness. The recent Journal of Clinical Investigation indicated that it is the most common source of central vision loss in North America.

While good nutrition is no guarantee of avoiding macular degeneration, who wouldn’t want to try? Especially if preserving eye health is as delicious as eating more sweet potatoes, a tuber that originated in South and Central America. The carotenoids in sweet potatoes — lutein and zeaxanthin — absorb damaging blue and ultraviolet light, which can damage the macula of the eye. Sweet potatoes and other deep-orange foods also have oxygen-carrying carotenoids, which also are key to eye health.

The cause of macular degeneration is unknown but aging is definitely a factor. Lifestyle factors also matter: Smokers and those exposed to second hand smoke are at greater risk. Those consuming a high sugar or high glycemic diet (doughnuts, cookies, cakes, high fructose corn sweeteners) were shown to have increased incidence of the disease, according to a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Nutritionists have known for years that simple sugars damage proteins in cells and affect their function. Combine that with damaging sun rays and vision loss too often is the result.

An eye exam can identify if yellow spots on the retina called drusen, an early sign of the condition, are beginning to form. But why wait for trouble to begin? Get your health in order, and you may avoid this and other serious conditions entirely.

Spicy Sweet Potatoes

1 pound sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds or 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons honey

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into long sticks about 1/4 inch thick. Toss potatoes in oil to coat. Bake on sheet pan until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine paprika, salt, cumin and coriander in blender or mortar and pestle. Grind fine. Remove fries from oven. Sprinkle seasoning over fries and bake 5 more minutes. Drizzle on honey just before serving. Makes 2 servings.

Calories per serving: 178; Protein 3g; Carbohydrates 22g; Fat 9g; Sodium 389mg.

Written by bwsl

December 24th, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Watermelon

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Watermelon SaladWatermelon is a wonderful addition to a summer menu. As a fruit salad, it can be made ahead of time, chilled and served at the beginning or end of a meal. Watermelon is currently a hot nutrition item not only because of the lycopene in the red flesh but because of the tart white rind which contains citrulline.

Citrulline in an amino acid that helps dilate blood vessels to improve circulation. It is converted into arginine (another amino acid) to help produce nitric oxide for muscle relaxation and reduce muscle soreness, making it a prime ingredient in energy drinks. Other foods high in arginine are shrimp, spinach, sea vegetables, sunflower and sesame seeds.

Watermelon needs to be fully ripe to get the most benefit of lycopene. A light pink instead of red flesh has significantly less lycopene. Americans consume over 4 billion pounds of watermelon each year and ranks high in lycopene along with tomatoes, pink grapefruit and guava. Lycopene is a very stable carotenoid and does not begin to deteriorate until after 7 days of storage according to a 2004 research study in Postharvest Biology and technology.

Watermelon seeds are a summer staple for chewing and spitting. Roasted seeds do contain some iron and zinc but the oxalates and phytates in them limit nutrition bioavailability. A little protein can be consumed from the seeds (1 gram per 24 seeds) but watermelon is a fruit and therefore not a good protein source. Those white seeds found in seedless varieties are only seed coats and add no nutrition.

Grape and Watermelon Salad is a popular way of enjoying the red flesh while the tart rind cubes are added to lime juice and diet uncola in a blender for a refreshing beverage (gin and vodka may be added, if desired). The only thing that goes into compost is the tough outer skin. Those desiring a more traditional watermelon salad can substitute 1 cup chopped cucumbers instead of grapes.

Grape & Watermelon Salad

1 pound seedless organic grapes
3 cups seedless watermelon cubes
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons vinagrette dressing
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

Combine grapes, watermelon, feta cheese and dressing in bowl. Toss gently. Sprinkle on mint leaves. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 4 servings.

Calories per serving 82
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrates 13 g
Fat 6 g
Sodium 78 mg

Written by bwsl

December 24th, 2014 at 7:35 pm