Wednesday, April 06, 2011
I love the “Cook This Not That” and “Eat This Not That” books by Men’s Health.
Here are some ideas from Men’s Health for creating the perfect trail mix.
Followed by 3 Recipes. Enjoy!
(From Men's Health)
You may be among the vast number of Americans who approach a bowl of nuts with some degree of trepidation. Nuts are full of fat, after all, and the prevailing wisdom tells us to eat less fat. But remember when prevailing wisdom told us to take out big mortgages on beach homes, because real estate values could only go up? Yeah, turns out prevailing wisdom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and in the case of nuts, it couldn’t be further off base.
So here’s the truth about the fat found in almonds, walnuts, pecans, and other nuts: It’s as healthy—or healthier—than anything else in your diet. It fills your belly better than any other snack on the planet while decreasing your risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, smoothing your skin, pumping you full of antioxidants, and helping you stay thin. In fact, a study from Georgia Southern University found that eating a high-protein, high-fat snack like nuts can increase your calorie burn for more than 3 hours. Think about that. It means that next time you go to the theater, if you replace your Mike and Ikes with macadamia nuts and your Whoppers with walnuts, you’ll increase your calorie burn for the full duration of the movie. And that’s true even if you’re sitting through one of Cameron Crowe’s 180-minute marathon movies.
To that end, we’ve provided the blueprint for incorporating nuts into your diet—along with seeds and flavor enhancers that boost their nutritional impact and make the less-palatable nuts easy to handle. A quarter cup of trail mix makes a perfect snack on its own, but it’s also ideal for adding protein, fiber, and nutritional bang to any meal. Make it in big batches and scoop it into a sandwich bag before you head out for the day. Then you’ll be prepared to fight hunger whenever it strikes.
Create the Perfect Trail Mix
1. Choose a Nut:
Almonds are a good source of manganese and copper, minerals that help fight free radicals.
Brazil nuts were found to be more effective than supplements at providing selenium, an essential micro mineral.
Macadamias deliver about twice as many healthy monounsaturated fatty acids as almonds.
Peanuts have been proven effective in preventing colon cancer, which is likely due to the concentration of beta-sisterly.
Pecans, according to a USDA study, display four times the antioxidant activity of almonds and nearly six times that of peanuts.
Pistachios are often overlooked for other nuts, but if you find them shelled, they make a flavorful and nutritious addition to trail mix.
Walnuts contain an impressive 2.5 grams of omega-3 fats per ounce. Research shows these fats can help ward of depression and heart disease.
2. Choose a Seed:
Sunflower seeds contain about half your day’s vitamin E in each ounce. That helps slow the visible effects of aging.
Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols that can lower cholesterol and bolster the immune system.
Hemp seeds are a good source of essential fatty acids.
Sesame and hemp seeds are nutritionally stacked, but they tend to slip through your fingers when you eat by the handful. As a general rule, limit them to mixes bound for spoon-worthy foods like yogurt and cereal.
Chia seeds deliver three times the fiber of sesame.
3. Choose an Extra Crunch:
General Mills Fiber One. Other cereals work just as well. Experiment at will with Grape-Nuts, Cheerios, and Kix.
Soy nuts are mature, roasted soybeans, so they bolster your mix with fiber, folate, and 11 grams of protein per ounce.
Wasabi peas are perfect for a spicy kick. The best varieties are those made without artificial coloring or dubious additives like monosodium glutamate.
Pretzels are a reliable source of salty crunch. They're nutritionally weak though, so sprinkle in sparingly.
Sesame sticks are like pretzels made with sesame seeds, which means they deliver an extra mineral package that includes copper and manganese.
4. Choose a Sweetener:
Raisins are a top source of boron, a trace mineral crucial for bone health.
Dried apricots are a great source of fiber and vitamin A, an antioxidant that also protects your vision.
Blueberries have been shown in promote healthy cognitive functions.
Cranberries help prevent breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.
Dried goji berries are a great addition for both their antioxidant potency and sweet-tart finish.
Dried cherries boost your polyphenols, a cancer-fighting antioxidant nutrient group.
Banana chips are tasty, but often they come packaged with a dose of trans fats. Avoid the problem by seeking those varieties that have been fried in canola or coconut oils instead of partially hydrogenated oil.
Dark chocolate chips are proven mood boosters, and the darker the chocolate, the better. We like Ghirardelli’s 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips.
Mix It Up ~ The Recipes ~
The Ultimate ETNT Trail Mix
2 cups mixed nuts
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped dried apricots or other dried fruit
½ cup sunflower seeds
The bigger variety of nuts and fruits you include, the more expansive your nutritional arsenal will be. Mix these ingredients together in a large bowl and store in an airtight container.
1/4 Cup = A Serving
10 g fat (1 g saturated)
5 mg sodium
16 g carbohydrates
4 g protein
2.5 g fiber
The Trail Blazer
1½ cups raisins
1 cup almonds
1 cup pretzel sticks
½ cup peanuts
½ cup dark chocolate chips
The relatively high ratio of fast-digesting carbs makes this the ideal mix to eat before a big hike, jog, or workout. The added bonus is that the salt from the pretzels will help replace the sodium you lose to sweat.
1/4 Cup = A Serving
7 g fat (1 g saturated)
105 mg sodium
21 g carbohydrates
4 g protein
2 g fiber
The Brain Booster
1 cup pecans
1 cup chopped Brazil nuts
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dried blueberries
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup hemp or chia seeds (optional)
Every component of this mix champions at least one nutrient necessary for cognitive power. The collective impact is a head-healthy mix of fats, minerals, and antioxidants.
1/4 Cup = A Serving
15 g fat (2 g saturated)
0 mg sodium
7 g carbohydrates
4 g protein
2 g fiber
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I have a couple of the "Cook This Not That" cookbooks and love them.
They contain many of my favorite recipes re-made into healthier versions.
Here's a recipe for Spicy Potato Skins (from Cook This Not That ~ Kitchen Survival Guide).
In 1974, T.G.I. Friday's gave birth to the potato skin. That timeworn combination of potato, Cheddar, and bacon has since made its rounds across the menus of America, infiltrating nearly every pocket of this country with hypercaloric, frighteningly fatty facsimiles. We'll take this version--true to the original but with a few delicious twists--any day.
4 small russet potatoes Olive oil Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup 2% milk
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
4 scallions, chopped, plus more for garnish
1/2 Tbsp minced chipotle pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
Pickled Jalapenos, optional
How to Make It:
* Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rub the potatoes with a bit of olive oil and lightly salt the skins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until tender.
* Cut the potatoes in half and, when cool enough to handle, carefully scoop out the warm flesh into a bowl (leave a thin layer of potato intact around the skin to help prevent it from tearing). Add the milk, butter, cheese, and scallions and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
* Preheat the broiler. Carefully scoop the mashed potatoes into the hollowed-out potato halves. Top with a bit of extra cheese and place under the broiler until the tops are brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes.
* Mix the chipotle with the sour cream and place a dollop on top of each cooked potato. Finish each with a bit of crumbled bacon and jalapenos.
11 g fat (5 g saturated)
490 mg sodium
Makes 4 servings / Cost per serving: $1.28
Truth be told, while these potato skins are a vast improvement on the kind offered by Friday's and their ilk, you could make some improvements by folding any of dozens of different vegetables and healthy flavor additions into the formula outlined here. Simply replace the bacon, Cheddar, and sour cream with the following:
* Steamed broccoli and Parmesan
* Sundried tomatoes, chopped olives, artichoke hearts, and pesto
* Caramelized onions and goat cheese
* Chicken, asparagus, and roasted red peppers
Monday, March 21, 2011
I read this in Prevention's Weight Loss Guide:
Drinking the right amount of water can help you burn more calories.
All of your body's chemical reactions, including your metabolism, depend on water. If you are dehydrated, you may be burning up to 2% fewer calories, according to researchers at the University of Utah. In their study, adults who drank either eight or twelve 8-ounce glasses of water a day had higher metabolic rates than those who had four.
Tip: Try sipping one glass of water before each meal and snack.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Easy & Healthy Dessert Recipes
This is from Women’s Health Magazine.
“Decadent, easy desserts that will rock your taste buds without wrecking your diet.”
1/2 Tbsp Kahlua coffee liqueur
2 Tbsp hot espresso
1/2 cup vanilla frozen yogurt
Scoop frozen yogurt into a serving dish. Stir liqueur into espresso, then pour over frozen yogurt. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 serving.
Per serving: 131 cal, 1 g fat (0.9 g sat), 64 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 4 g protein
7 Tbsp (2.5 oz) 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli)
1/4 cup dried wild blueberries (sold in produce section)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Microwave chocolate in a glass bowl for 60 to 75 seconds or until melted. Stir in blueberries and nuts, then drop 5 rounded tablespoons onto parchment paper. Cool in refrigerator for 2 to 4 minutes or until firm.
Makes 5 turtles.
Per turtle: 104 cal, 8 g fat (3.5 g sat), 0 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein
Moroccan Pomegranate Mint Yogurt
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (such as Fage)
1/3 cup pomegranate arils (the pulpy seeds)
2 tsp thinly sliced fresh mint (about 5 leaves)
Fold mint into yogurt. Layer yogurt mixture and pomegranate arils in a clear dessert dish.
Makes 1 serving.
Per serving: 145 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 69 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 16 g protein
Honey-Lime Fruit Cup
1 cup fresh fruit (such as pineapple, kiwi, and assorted berries
1/2 Tbsp honey
1 small lime
Place fruit in a medium serving bowl. Zest and juice the lime. In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 teaspoon lime zest and 1/2 tablespoon lime juice into honey until well blended; drizzle over fruit salad and toss gently to mix.
Makes 1 serving.
Per serving: 109 cal, 1 g fat (0 g sat), 3 mg sodium, 28 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein
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