Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD, LD

Licensed Nutritionist & Environmental Health Specialist

Archive for the ‘chocolate’ tag

Chocolate Spinach Smoothie

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Chocolate Spinich SmoothieSmoothies are a refreshing way to get your summer fruits and camouflage vegetables for children and those who won’t even look at a slice of tomato. But many recipes are high glycemic, eliciting the same elevated sugar responses you might experience after eating a candy bar.

To keep the sugar level under control, follow this rule: Use two vegetables to one fruit. Having twice as much vegetable as fruit allows smoothies to be enjoyed by everyone.

On Thursday, I will present a “Fasting, Juicing & Smoothies” seminar at Peaks of Health Metabolic Medical Center in Largo, outlining healthy guidelines for your nutrition regimen and addressing the importance of healthy eating habits. Healthy eating can increase telomeres in all the cells of the body and provide vital information to DNA. As we age our bodies need more positive lifestyle choices, such as exercise, meditation and a nutritious diet, to preserve cell metabolism.

With our busy lifestyles, it is easy to forget how important eating good-quality food can be. Smoothies make for a fast snack or lunch when driving, studying or even answering email.

Consider adding protein powder and coconut oil or avocado to your smoothie to slow down the sugar absorption from the fruit. Consumer Reports found in 2010 that many protein products it sampled had levels of protein lower than what was stated on the label. Nonprotein nitrogen compounds can give a higher nitrogen reading, which is listed as protein on the label. Reputable manufacturers account for nonprotein nitrogen ingredients and don’t mislead consumers by overstating protein content. Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not stipulate how protein content is calculated on the nutrition label, consumers should choose products from producers that certify their formulas.

Not all protein powders add amino acids to a smoothie. The processing of protein powders requires heat and oxidizing agents plus solvents to sterilize and pasteurize the product. This process deactivates protein digestibility but cannot be determined from the label. Look for Non-Denatured Protein on the label to select good-quality protein powder.

Because the accompanying Chocolate Spinach Smoothie recipe contains spinach and cocoa, people prone to kidney stones may want to limit their consumption. The most common form of kidney stone is calcium oxalate, but, according to Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin, former professor of oral medicine at the University of Alabama, stone formation is caused by poor hydration and low vitamin C in the diet, not oxalates.

William Shaw, Ph.D., of Great Plains Laboratory in Lenexa, Kan., posits that oxalates from spinach, Swiss chard, beet tops and rhubarb pave the way to kidney stones and disorders like fibromyalgia, candida, anemia and autism.

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.​

Chocolate Spinach Smoothie

½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
½ small ripe banana
1 cup fresh spinach leaves or mixed salad greens
½ tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons amino acid or protein powder
½ cup 2 percent fat plain yogurt (optional)
3 ice cubes or ½ cup water

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 109 calories, 12g protein, 12g carbohydrates, 2g fat, 62mg sodium.

Note: You can throw in half of a ripe avocado to improve satiety, adding another 40 calories and 2g of fat.

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 2:38 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

Chocolate

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Strawberry Salad with Chocolate DressingBefore you munch down on all that chocolate candy in the Easter basket, consider the real truth about which dark chocolate has cocoa flavanols to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

Only a special patent and proprietary process of chocolate production conserves the naturally occurring flavanols from cocoa beans. That patent is held by a family owned chocolate company whose interest the past 10 years was to develop a heart healthy indulgence. Along the way, another big chocolate company tried to infringe on the patent process but closer scrutiny indicates that their dark chocolate label reads very different than the original producer in maintaining cocoa flavanoids. Don’t be fooled by “natural source of flavanol antioxidants”.

The cocoa bean is one of the richest sources of flavanols but the content of flavanols in RAW cocoa beans is different when it is made into chocolate , unless the patent process is used. Chocolate manufacturers roast, ferment, pulverize and even alkalize cocoa which destroys the flavanols.

What about the studies that report cardiovascular disease improvement in blood pressure and blood flow through arteries. A close look at the studies show that the cocoa source used in these studies come from the same patent and proprietary source company. Even the press release of the FASEB Journal article in March 2014 entitled “Dark Chocolate Deters Atherosclerosis” needs to be read closely in order to pick up the statement : “study participants received either specially produced dteasark chocolate with high flavanol content or chocolate that was regularly produced”. Researchers call that “stacking the deck” for showing dark chocolate is healthy.

Since there is no standard method for analyzing flavanols in foods, chocolate manufacturers have the consumer believing that the higher the cacao (70%, 72%, 86%) must indicate more flavanols. Unfortunately, people are consuming hundreds of calories daily thinking they are eating healthy. Flavanols are bitter tasting so sugar is added- usually at least 1 teaspoon per serving.

Your best bet for consuming any flavanols is to add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder into coffee, warm coconut beverage, oatmeal or yogurt. Don’t even bother thinking milk chocolate or cocoa mixes have flavanols. Another way to use cocoa powder is to make this chocolate dressing for fruit salads. A chocolate bar can be grated as a topping for the salad.

Strawberry Salad with Chocolate Dressing

3 cups chopped romaine lettuce, washed
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves, washed
2 cups hulled & sliced strawberries
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons CocoaWell powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped toasted macademia nuts
Grated dark chocolate square, optional

Arrange romaine and spinach leaves on plate. Top with strawberries. Combine vinegar, oil, cocoa powder and salt in small bowl. Beat thoroughly. Drizzle over strawberries. Top with nuts and grated chocolate. Makes 4 servings.
Calories per serving : 98; Protein 2 g, Carbohydrates 8 g, Fat 12 g, Sodium 235 mg.

Written by bwsl

December 24th, 2014 at 7:34 pm