Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD, LD

Licensed Nutritionist & Environmental Health Specialist

Archive for the ‘cranberry’ tag

Watercress Salad

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Watercress SaladDespite how North Americans may classify them, weeds like watercress can be healthy and can offer medicinal properties. In fact, watercress is listed as an aphrodisiac in Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica from 77 A.D. Ancient Egyptians knew its benefits before it spread to Europe and Asia.

According to Food Plants of the World by Ben-Erik van Wyk, Persians, Greeks and Romans used watercress as a medicine, eating the leaves raw in salads and on sandwiches. Asian recipes often add watercress to soups and sautes.

Young watercress leaves and stems have a piquant, somewhat peppery flavor that adds zest to the rich complement of vitamins and minerals: vitamin C, folate, magnesium and iron. It is the best vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids for reducing inflammation.

Watercress’ medicinal uses have expanded through the years. Ancient cultures employed it as a digestive stimulant and tonic, as well as an anemia remedy. Externally, Matthew Biggs, Jekka McVicar and Bob Flowerdew write in Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit, it served as a hair tonic and was used on skin to remove rashes. Poultices of watercress were used to heal glandular tumors and lymphatic swelling.

Current research is focused on the antiangiogenic cancer-suppressing properties found in this relative of the radish. Watercress’ isothiocyanate compounds make it an excellent plant for juicing by people who want to minimize abnormal cell growth.

To purchase watercress, look in the produce section for a sealed plastic bag with a hydroponically grown cluster of stems and leaves.

You can snip off just enough for mixing into yogurt to serve over grilled salmon.

Or enjoy this vegetable, which has more vitamin K (250mcg in about 3 1/2 ounces) than broccoli (205mcg) and green cabbage (145mcg), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture database, as I do, in a watercress salad that tantalizes the taste buds.

Watercress Salad

2 to 3 cups watercress
2 cups broccoli florets
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup chopped scallion or onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dried juice-sweetened cranberries

Trim thick stems off watercress and chop into bite-sized pieces. Steam broccoli florets just until crisp. Cool. Combine garlic, scallion, vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes for flavors to blend. Toss watercress, broccoli and vinegar mixture together. Top with cranberries.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 34 calories, 1g protein, 5g carbohydrates, 2g fat, 18mg sodium.

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 3:15 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