“What’s Up Doc?”

Posted October 6, 2014

“Eh, what’s up doc?” was Bugs Bunny’s phrase while he munched a whole carrot with the greens still on the top.  The Bunny was on to something with this nutritious vegetable, filled with fiber and beta carotene.  Buy carrots with the tops still attached for a fresher flavor (cut the tops off before refrigerating to preserve the moisture in the carrot.)  Buy whole carrots, not the so-called “baby” carrots which are less nutritious.  Cooked carrots are more nutritious than raw carrots.  Include some fat with the meal for improved nutrient absorption.  If you steam or bake them whole and cut them after they’re cooked, carrots are more flavorful and nutritious.  If you find some purple carrots at the Farmer’s Market, these are even healthier!“Eh, what’s up doc?” was Bugs Bunny’s phrase while he munched a whole carrot with the greens still on the top.  The Bunny was on to something with this nutritious vegetable, filled with fiber and beta carotene.  Buy carrots with the tops still attached for a fresher flavor (cut the tops off before refrigerating to preserve the moisture in the carrot.)  Buy whole carrots, not the so-called “baby” carrots which are less nutritious.  Cooked carrots are more nutritious than raw carrots.  Include some fat with the meal for improved nutrient absorption.  If you steam or bake them whole and cut them after they’re cooked, carrots are more flavorful and nutritious.  If you find some purple carrots at the Farmer’s Market, these are even healthier!

Red Potatoes

Posted September 29, 2014

We know that potatoes can have a bad effect on blood sugar.  Here are several ways to lessen the potato’s  impact on our metabolism.  New potatoes (small red and white) do not raise your sugar as much as  the russet.  Other ways to lower the glycemic index of potatoes include: eating the skins—the fiber slows the release of glucose; eating them with some type of fat—which slows the digestive process; using  vinegar, as in a potato salad, or like the Brits on “chips”—which slows digestion even further;  and chilling the potatoes for 24 hours after cooking converts the rapidly digested starch into a more resistant starch, that lessens the blood sugar response by 25 percent.  Bake the potatoes tonight, leave them in the fridge overnight, then reheat for dinner tomorrow.We know that potatoes can have a bad effect on blood sugar.  Here are several ways to lessen the potato’s  impact on our metabolism.  New potatoes (small red and white) do not raise your sugar as much as  the russet.  Other ways to lower the glycemic index of potatoes include: eating the skins—the fiber slows the release of glucose; eating them with some type of fat—which slows the digestive process; using  vinegar, as in a potato salad, or like the Brits on “chips”—which slows digestion even further;  and chilling the potatoes for 24 hours after cooking converts the rapidly digested starch into a more resistant starch, that lessens the blood sugar response by 25 percent.  Bake the potatoes tonight, leave them in the fridge overnight, then reheat for dinner tomorrow.

The Clean Fifteen

Posted September 22, 2014

The Environmental Working Group has made a list of the traditionally grown produce that contains the least amount of pesticide, “The Clean Fifteen”:  avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes.  Go to ewg.org , a great site for information about avoiding environmental toxins in food, makeup, toys, cleaning supplies etc.The Environmental Working Group has made a list of the traditionally grown produce that contains the least amount of pesticide, “The Clean Fifteen”:  avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes.  Go to ewg.org , a great site for information about avoiding environmental toxins in food, makeup, toys, cleaning supplies etc.

Dirty Dozen

Posted September 15, 2014

Traditionally grown produce is often contaminated with bug and weed killers, or pesticides.  The Environmental Working Group has made a list of the “Dirty Dozen” (Plus) that contain the highest amount of pesticides:  apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas, potatoes, hot peppers, kale/collard greens.  Consider buying organic versions of the “Dirty Dozen”.  Remember that the health benefit of a diet rich in fruits and vegetable outweighs the risks of pesticide exposure.  Buy organic when you can.Traditionally grown produce is often contaminated with bug and weed killers, or pesticides.  The Environmental Working Group has made a list of the “Dirty Dozen” (Plus) that contain the highest amount of pesticides:  apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas, potatoes, hot peppers, kale/collard greens.  Consider buying organic versions of the “Dirty Dozen”.  Remember that the health benefit of a diet rich in fruits and vegetable outweighs the risks of pesticide exposure.  Buy organic when you can.

Aw, Shucks!

Posted September 8, 2014

We Hoosiers love our corn on the cob.   DO NOT BOIL IT.  (Aw, shucks!  That’s how I’ve always done it!)  When you boil corn, valuable nutrients are lost into the cooking water. Steaming, grilling, or microwaving will preserve those nutrients.  Corn cooked in its husk retains the most nutrients of all.We Hoosiers love our corn on the cob.   DO NOT BOIL IT.  (Aw, shucks!  That’s how I’ve always done it!)  When you boil corn, valuable nutrients are lost into the cooking water. Steaming, grilling, or microwaving will preserve those nutrients.  Corn cooked in its husk retains the most nutrients of all.

Bitter Medicine

Posted September 1, 2014

Bitter medicine?  Some of the healthiest greens to add to salad are not in the lettuce family.  Arugula, radicchio, endive, and spinach are higher in phytonutrients than most lettuce varieties.  If you or your family dislike the bitter taste of some of these healthy vegetables, try these tips:  Mix in some milder lettuce like romaine or green leaf lettuce. Add avocados or dried or fresh fruit.  A honey mustard salad dressing further masks the bitterness.Bitter medicine?  Some of the healthiest greens to add to salad are not in the lettuce family.  Arugula, radicchio, endive, and spinach are higher in phytonutrients than most lettuce varieties.  If you or your family dislike the bitter taste of some of these healthy vegetables, try these tips:  Mix in some milder lettuce like romaine or green leaf lettuce. Add avocados or dried or fresh fruit.  A honey mustard salad dressing further masks the bitterness.

Olive Oil

Posted August 25, 2014

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the best oils to use in a salad dressing.  Fat-free dressings limit your absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in salad greens.  (Who knew?!)  Extra virgin olive oil makes the nutrients in the greens more bioavailable than soybean oil, which is found in most commercial salad dressings.

Grade B Maple Syrup. Give it an A.

Posted August 18, 2014

Grade B Maple Syrup is made later in the season when the sap is getting thin.  It must be boiled down more than the earlier sap.  This extra boiling concentrates the flavor and the nutrients, notably zinc and manganese.  Don’t confuse this with Mrs. Butterworth or Log Cabin pancake syrups, which are made from high fructose corn syrup.

 

Maple Syrup has about the same calorie content as sugar or honey, but with all the nutrients, is a better choice for many cooking needs.  Mindful of the calories, use Maple Syrup when “sweet “ is needed in a dish.  Because it is so sweet, you only need to add “a drape of mape” to oatmeal or a smoothie.