Tomato & Feta Cracker

IMG_8254Looking for a quick, healthy snack? Adding vegetables to your snacks does not have to be hard. Here is a simple idea… tomato and feta cheese on a cracker! Take your crackers to work, school, or when you’re on the go!

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 Multigrain crackers (I used Triscuits)
  • 1 tomato sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp. Low-fat feta cheese
  • Italian herbs or oregano
  • Olive oil or pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Slice some tomatoes and place them in your container, then cover with plastic wrap. Crumble some feta into a pile in your container and sprinkle with dried oregano or Italian herbs. Pack your crispbread separately. When you get hungry, top your crispbread with tomato, feta and herbs, and drizzle with your stashed olive oil and freshly ground pepper.

 

 

Adding Flavor With Herbs

Herbs do not only contain vitamins and minerals, the oils in most herbs have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties that can deliver disease-fighting health benefits as well. Growing an herb garden is an easy way to access fresh herbs all year-round.

Thyme: Contains generous amounts of Vitamin C, can be used in soups and stews, and can add flavor to foods including meats, roasted chicken, fish, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and winter vegetables.

Basil: Offers a range of flavors and aromas from lemon and mint to licorice. Sweet basil pairs well with Parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella cheeses, tomatoes, pasta, eggs, garlic, and poached fish.

Tarragon: Delivers a sweet licorice-like flavor. Tarragon can be used in green salads and goes well with eggs, chicken, fish, goat, and ricotta cheeses as well as citrus, tomatoes, parsley and vinegar.

Rosemary: Pairs well with fava and white beans, roasted meats and potatoes. This herb should be added early in the cooking process.

Mint: Pairs well with dark chocolate, cream-based dessert, lamb, cucumbers, young potatoes, carrots or peas, fruits and teas.

Chives: Pair well with eggs, cheddar and ricotta cheeses, and root vegetables (especially potatoes). Use them fresh, not cooked to maintain color and flavor.

Cilantro: Pairs well with chili peppers in salsas and curries. Commonly used in Thai, Indian, and Mexican cuisine.

Sage: Pairs well with rich and roasted poultry and meat dishes, onions, pasta and beans.

Parsley: 1 tbsp. of parsley delivers more than 50% of recommended vitamin K for adults. Pairs well with lemon and garlic, fish and soups.

Dill: Delivers a good amount of beta-carotene. Dill is a main ingredient in pickles and pairs well with cucumbers, eggs, potatoes and fish.

Food & Nutrition Magazine. July/August 2015

Boost Your Metabolism

By eating these foods you can boost your metabolism naturally:

  • Egg whites
  • Lean meat
  • Water
  • Chili peppers
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Milk
  • Whole grains
  • Lentils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Herbs and spices
  • Non-starchy vegetables

foods-boost-metabolism

 

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20746339_10,00.html

Photo credit: bowloffun.com

Simple Healing Foods

Remedies straight from the kitchen!

basil

1. Banana

2. Raisins

3. Yogurt

4. Apricots

5. Tuna

6. Ginger tea

7. Basil

8. Pear

9. Buckwheat Honey

10. Cabbage

11. Turkey

12. Figs

13. Orange Juice

14. Garlic

15. Chamomile Tea

16. Potatoes

 

Find out why these foods help heal stress, stomach aches, and headaches! http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/16-simple-healing-foods?cm_mmc=Facebook-_-Prevention-_-Food-LT-_-16FoodsThatHeal

The Salty Six

Our bodies need sodium to help maintain water and mineral balances and blood volume, but too much can have negative effects on your health. Experts recommend that adults consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily—that’s about 1 teaspoon of salt. Learn how excess sodium in the following foods can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Breads and rolls:  These are some foods that you eat several times a day– but watch out because eating a lot can add up the sodium content you are consuming. Always check labels and aim for the lower-sodium varieties whenever possible!

Cold cuts and cured meats: One 2 oz. serving or 6 thin slices of deli meat can contain as much as half of your days worth of recommended dietary sodium.

Pizza: One slice of pizza can contain as much as half your recommended dietary sodium for the day. Limit the cheese and add more veggies!

Poultry: Sodium levels can vary based on preparation methods. It’s important to choose wisely!

Soup: Sodium in one can of soup can contain 100 to as much as 940 milligrams which is more than half of your dietary recommended intake. Check labels and aim for lower sodium options!

Sandwiches: A sandwich or burger from a fast food restaurant can contain more than 100% of your daily recommended sodium intake. Go for a half of a sandwich with a side salad instead!

Tips to cutting back sodium:

  • Introduce additional flavor to your foods with herbs and spices like garlic, oregano, basil, pepper, thyme and sesame. These all add flavor without the extra sodium.
  • Processed foods (anything in a box or bag) tend to be high in sodium because it helps preserve foods longer and increase flavor.
  • Remember that “low-fat” or “low-calorie” doesn’t mean healthy. These diet foods can also be higher in sodium because manufacturers hope that added sodium, a flavor-enhancer, will bring back the flavor.
  • If you can’t find sodium-free varieties of canned vegetables, rinse the can’s contents in a colander under water before cooking to remove excess salt.

salt

For more information, check out The American Heart Association website:  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

Non-Dairy Ways To Get Calcium!

There’s a range of non-dairy foods that offer 1,000-1,300 mg of calcium which the USDA recommends to get daily. However, eating plant based foods can bind calcium and prevent a person from absorbing it. Here are a few examples of non-dairy foods that offer calcium…

Green Vegetables:: Dark green vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, and mustard greens have a fair amount of calcium. One cup of cooked spinach, for instance, has 245 mg., nearly a quarter of your daily recommendation. But be careful because spinach is the one of the “top” vegetables whose compounds can prevent calcium absorption.

Seeds:: Tiny sesame seeds are packed with calcium. Just 1 tablespoon will give you 88 mg., and in a whole cup, you’ll get more than a day’s worth—1,404 mg. Since most people don’t eat sesame seeds by the cup, you can also try tahini, a Mediterranean sesame paste, which goes well with bread and salad. Otherwise, sprinkling a spoonful of sesame seeds onto a salad or stir-fry everyday can give you a nice calcium boost. Flax seeds are also good—a cup will give you 428 mg.

Nuts:: Nuts are an excellent source of calcium. One cup of Brazil nuts has 213 mg., and 1 cup of whole almonds has 378 mg., more than a cup of milk, which has 299 mg. Snacking on these throughout the day or eating almond butter (instead of peanut butter) in a sandwich at lunch can give you at least a quarter of your recommended daily calcium intake.

Herbs:: Dried herbs are not only packed with flavor—they’re surprisingly calcium dense, too. One tablespoon of ground thyme has 81 mg., and the same measurement of ground oregano has 86 mg., while ground basil has 101 mg. Although you won’t be eating these by the bucketful, sprinkling them on salads, cooked vegetables, or other dishes will certainly help you get to your 1,000 mg. target.

Soy:: Soy is the go-to protein source for many vegetarians and vegans, but it also contains lots of calcium. Just 1 ounce of tofu (which usually comes in 12.5-oz. packages) has 105 mg. And depending on which brand you buy, soymilk usually has between 200 and 500 mg. of calcium per cup. Like spinach, soy contains a compound that inhibits calcium absorption, but manufacturers typically use additives to give their products a calcium boost.

Supplements:: If you’re having trouble reaching your target goal of the recommended 1,000-1,300 mg of calcium each day, it’s important to reach for a supplement to prevent a deficiency. Food manufacturers are also making it easier to add calcium to certain products to maximize absorption.

Written By: Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil

For more information:: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/living-well-usn/articles/2012/03/14/5-non-dairy-foods-with-calcium