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Spotlight on: Carrots

Written by Lisa Jillanza

It's a well known fact that if you eat your carrots you are working wonders to improve your eyesight, but there are many other great benefits to eating carrots that many people overlook.

  • The beta-carotene in carrots is an antioxidant combating the free radicals that contribute to conditions like cancer, heart disease, and a few other conditions.
  • Cooking carrots actually raises the nutritional benefits of this great vegetable. By cooking them you free the beta-carotene from the fiber, thereby allowing your body to better absorb the beta-carotene.
  • If you eat just a half cup of carrots each day you will get more than the recommended dosage of beta-carotene in your diet.

Healthy Carrot Recipes

Recipe: Banana Zucchini Carrot Bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter and pour into large bowl.  Add bananas and mash.  Add grated zucchini and shredded carrots.  Mix well.

Add sugar, vanilla and beaten egg.  Sprinkle in baking soda and salt, and mix.  Add flour and mix well.  Pour in 4x8 loaf pan to two large muffin pans.  (Yields one loaf or 12 large muffins.)

Bake loaf for 60 to 75 minutes.  Bake muffins for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

Let cool and serve.

Recipe:  Creamy Carrot with Curry Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds peeled carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: Chopped pistachios

Heat oil in sauté pan until shimmering.  Add carrots, then onion, sauté until golden brown (about 7 minutes).  Reduce heat and add butter, sugar, and garlic; continue cooking about 10 minutes longer. Add curry and sauté a minute longer. Add broth and simmer.  Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft, about 10 minutes.  Using a blender, puree in a blender for about a minute.  Return to pot and add enough half and half so the mixture is soup-like, yet thick enough to float the pistachio garnish.  Add salt and pepper as needed.

Colon Health 101: Corn vs. Canola Oil

Written by Lisa Jillanza

In a recent animal study, it was found that diets that included canola oil rather than corn oil had less of a chance of growing colon tumors.

Corn versus Canola Oil

One of the reasons that gives canola the edge is the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, where corn oil is higher in omega-6 fatty acids.  In the animals tested, researchers charted the size and number of colon tumors and tested their blood for its fatty acid amount.  When comparing animals whose diets contained corn oil verses canola oil, the animals whose diet included canola oil had fewer tumors and much smaller tumors on average.

 

Eating Healthy: Spotlight on Salmon

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Besides being an excellent source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, salmon is also full of high-quality proteins and low in saturated fat.

  • Salmon has nearly a third of the saturated fat of lean ground beef and 50 percent less saturated fat than chicken, making it one of the healthiest items that you could eat.
  • Salmon is also low in calories. One serving contains approximately 183 calories, making it one of the lowest in calories among other fish.
  • Salmon contains sufficient amounts of every essential amino acid required by our bodies for growth and the upkeep of muscle tissue.

Recipe: Honey-Soy Broiled Salmon

1 scallion, minced

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 pound center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut into four portions

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Whisk scallion, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and ginger in a medium bowl until the honey is dissolved. Place salmon in a sealable plastic bag, add 3 tablespoons of the sauce and refrigerate; let marinate for 15 minutes. Reserve the remaining sauce. Preheat broiler. Line a small baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Transfer the salmon to the pan, skinned-side down. (Discard the marinade.) Broil the salmon 4 to 6 inches from the heat source until cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes. Drizzle with the reserved sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.

Recipe:  Smoked Salmon Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

½ cup sour cream

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 oz. smoked salmon, minced

Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt and pepper, and mix. Add the smoked salmon and mix well. Chill and serve with crudités or crackers.

 

Benefits of Coconut Water

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Coconut water not only tastes delicious but it is extremely good for you in so many ways.  Here are just a few:

Benefits of Coconut Water

  • Coconut water is much healthier than orange juice because it has much fewer calories.
  • Coconut water is more nutritious than whole milk because it has less fat and no cholesterol.
  • Coconut water is better than processed baby milk because it contains lauric acid, which is present in mother's milk.
  • Coconut water is a universal donor and is identical to human blood plasma.
  • Coconut water is naturally sterile.
  • Coconut water is a naturally isotonic beverage; the same level that we have in our blood.
  • Coconut water has saved lives in Third World Countries through Coconut IV.

Food for Thought: Ways to Avoid Comfort Eating

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Overeating seems to be inevitable this time of year. The stress that comes with shopping, cleaning, and cooking make it easy to turn to food for relief. Resisting the urge to eat because of emotions rather than to satisfy hunger can be difficult. Here are some tips to avoid comfort eating during the holidays:

How to Avoid Comfort Eating

Continue usual routines: Sticking to an everyday schedule helps to keep anxiety at bay. If you only eat three meals and a snack before the holidays, keep it that way. Working out can also divert you from the tempting leftovers in the refrigerator. It helps your mind stay active and distracted.

Identify your triggers: Knowing what specifically drives you to emotional eating can make an incredible difference. Stress and boredom are the main causes for most people. Keeping

yourself calm yet entertained can significantly reduce the want to munch on some unhealthy treats.

Respond, not react: After immediately having a craving, most of us go straight to the pantry to fulfill it. Allowing yourself to take a moment and think about what you are about to do and the guilt you will have afterwards can stop the craving all together. Have some nutritious snacks ready and waiting, so during that pause, you have the time to remember that you have a healthier option.

Moderation: There must be a balance in your meal plans. Sometimes, it can be impossible to avoid the comfort foods, so only have a small portion. Giving yourself a taste of what you have been yearning for can satisfy those cravings without blowing your diet.