Archive | March, 2013

Spring Blows Away New Food Friday

21 Mar sxc.hu Sindala Spring

Spring is now here, at least according to the calendar. Here in Indianapolis we are having a cold snap with freezing temperatures and cold winds!

I have been having a nice “rest” (???) this winter because we have had little snow so there was no shoveling of the pretty white stuff (or in my case, sweeping because I use a straw broom that I prefer over a shovel.)

Spring means opening the windows and letting in the fresh air while I pollute my indoors with cleaning products to do my spring cleaning!

sxc.hu julosstock Super Woman

Super Woman Marcella in Cleaning Gear  sxc.hu julosstock

It means getting my lawn mower fixed (finally). Or, shopping for a new one if it can’t be fixed. It means:

mowing

planting

transplanting

weeding

pruning

sawing (the more stubborn branches)

edging

digging

hauling (dead limbs, trees, etc.)

watering

mulching

fertilizing

shopping (for seeds, tools, fertilizers, etc.)

gluing (my bathroom wallpaper)

painting

sanding

sweeping (the garage, the leaves, etc.)

Whew! Did I miss anything? I’m sure I did. I’ll be busy as a bee.

sxc.hu YOdesigner Busy Bee

Busy Bee Marcella   sxc.hu YOdesigner

In other words, the sad truth is that New Food Friday is going on hiatus.  Instead of every week, New Food Friday will now be every month, unless I find a product or new food that I just can’t wait to tell you about. You can expect the next New Food Friday April 19th.

New Food Friday may be on hiatus but what about me?

The upside of all this spring cleaning is that it means more exercise for me. I know, for me it’s an upside, can you imagine that?

Whirling Dervish Dancer

Whirling Dervish Dancer (Photo credit: Sarah_Ackerman)

With any luck, I also hope to have more time to write about articles concerning a variety of health issues.

I wonder if I could hire a Whirling Dervish to do my windows?

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New Food Friday – Almond Milk

15 Mar Milk Mustache-flickr

In my search to find lactose free foods that are high in calcium, I found almond milk. This particular brand (Silk), has 45% DV calcium with no lactose. I am very pleased to say that it is also delicious and is therefore the pick for this New Food Friday!

I love almonds, who doesn’t? So it’s no surprise that I love almond milk too.

sxc.hu sateda Almond Heart

Almond Heart sxc.hu sateda

Almond milk tastes like chocolate milk without the chocolate. But before you lactose intolerant folks run out and buy some, you should know that there are differences in the various brands of this type of milk in the event you want to cook with it. Aye, there’s the rub. There’s always a catch, isn’t there?

First, what about freezing it? Since an opened container of almond milk should be used before 7-10 days, I wondered if I could freeze some in the event I couldn’t drink it all in that time span.

According to the Silk website, the product changes in texture when thawed although you may still use it for frozen dessert recipes.

As it turned out, I had no problem drinking one cup daily for breakfast and finishing the container before the 10 days was up. The almond flavor goes great while eating a banana. I’m not a cold cereal eater in the wintertime, but I bet almond milk would be great in a bowl of cereal with sliced bananas!

So, can you heat it? Yes, you can with the Silk brand of almond milk.  I can’t wait to make hot chocolate with it. By the way, the recipes on their website are decadent! See http://silk.com/recipes 

If you can heat it, then you can bake with it so I made a batch of carrot/walnut/raisin muffins with one cup of almond milk.  

Carrot.Walnut.Raisin Muffin

Carrot/Walnut/Raisin Muffin made with Almond Milk

They came out great!

Many people make their own almond milk. It’s not that difficult. Here is one example.

Almonds and almond milk are very good sources of Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps with less cognitive decline as you age.  Some say almonds keep you thinking clearly and boost brain power. So, the benefits of almonds and almond milk go further than adding calcium to your diet and helping folks with lactose intolerance.

One cup of Almond milk also contains 25% DV of vitamin D. Vitamin D as you know, is the sunshine vitamin. We don’t get as much sunshine in the winter as we do in the summer when we’re outdoors more. It isn’t easy to get the vitamin D we need everyday so almond milk can help you reach those dietary needs too.

Here is the nutritional information.

Almond Milk Nutrition Facts

Almond Milk Nutrition Facts

 

This is an almond grove.

sxc.hu pv Almond Trees

Almond Trees sxc.hu pv

 

This is an almond branch with almonds.

sxc.hu pv Closeup of Unhusked Almonds

Closeup of Unhusked Almonds sxc.hu pv

 

This is your brain on almonds and almond milk.

sxc.hu plrang This is Your Brain

This is Your Brain on Almond Milk   sxc.hu plrang

The milk mustache in the Featured column is by Vengel Crimson – flickr

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My Radio Gig – An Update

13 Mar sxc.hu martwork ON AIR

As I mentioned in this post, I will be a speaker on Blogtalkradio on April 7, which isn’t that far away!

Microphone

Microphone sxc.hu katagaci Moi Cody

I wanted to give you more details about the show and also to give a heads up to my newer followers who may not have seen my first post on the link above .

The hosts of the show are The Wellness Coaches, Marilyn Jess and Tatiana Abend.

Wellness Coach Marilyn is a registered dietitian. You can learn more about Marilyn here. Wellness Coach Tatiana facilitates Vtrim© courses presented by the University of Vermont. You can learn more about Tatiana here.

If you would like to listen to their previous shows on Blogtalkradio, you can listen here. All their shows are related to health and wellness. Sound familiar? It is no wonder we’ve gotten together since we have the same interests: your good health!

My talk will be about humor and its relationship to your good health. This is a call-in show so if you have a question or a comment, feel free to call in. Every show is 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning. I will post the call-in phone number one week before the show.

sxc.hu martwork ON AIR

ON AIR sxc.hu martwork

My goal is that you take away some piece of information from my talk that you didn’t know before and that you enjoy your time spent with Marilyn, Tatiana, and me.

If you miss the show, it will be archived so that you can download it and listen to it any time from the Blogtalkradio website, or from the link on my post which I will publish on my blog following my talk.

sxc.hu drella RADIO

RADIO sxc.hu drella

I’m looking forward to it and hope that you are too!

P.S. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and would like to know more about the creator of Blogtalkradio, its inception and what is in store for its future, (tuning in to Blogtalkradio on your car radio)

sxc.hu mans1ay3r  Car Radio

Car Radio   sxc.hu mans1ay3r

listen to the interview with our own WordPress Jacqueline Jax  and Blogtalkradio’s CEO Alan Levy.

Keep tuning in FOR YOUR GOOD HEALTH!

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New Food Friday – Kumato Tomato

8 Mar Sliced Kumato Tomatoes

No matter how you slice it, tomatoes are one of the most versatile fruits/vegetables known. My local Meijer was advertising the award winning Kumato Tomato and I was looking forward to giving it a try.

Packaged Award Winning Kumato

Packaged Award Winning Kumato

Welcome Kumato Tomato to New Food Friday.

The Kumato tomato is a brownish red tomato. It is very similar to a Black Russian tomato I grew a few years ago in my garden. My Russian tomato was not pleasing to the eye. The Kumato however, is pleasing to the eye and the taste buds.  It is mild flavored and not very acidic. It’s juicy and small in shape. They hold up well on the kitchen table and are firm enough in a sandwich. But other than that, I didn’t think they were worthy of the hype! Maybe I’ve eaten too many tomatoes in my life. To me, these were just another tomato. My Russian tomatoes probably spoiled the color “surprise” for me, but unless you’ve also had brown tomatoes, you may want to give these tomatoes a try. 

sxc.hu JohnMason Multi-colored Tomatoes

Multi-colored Tomatoes      sxc.hu JohnMason

As long as I’m writing about tomatoes today, let’s see what we can do with them.

Sandwiches

Tomatoes are great in a BLT (Bacon, lettuce, and tomato) sandwich. When was the last time you had one, slathered with mayonnaise?

sxc.hu winjohn BLT

BLT   sxc.hu winjohn

It’s that combination of the salt in the bacon and the sweetness of the tomato that makes it one of the most popular sandwiches in America!

Pizza

Tomatoes can hold their own in a pizza. Whether sliced or in a tomato sauce, Italians and Americans alike love their pizzas!

sxc.hu ATunska Tomato Pizza

Tomato Pizza   sxc.hu ATunska

Other countries have their versions too!

Bruschetta

Is there anyone who doesn’t know what bruschetta is? It’s become as popular as pizza in this country! Tomatoes are the basis of bruschetta. I like mine with chopped garlic, chopped Italian parsley, salt, pepper, and a good olive oil.  All the ingredients have to be at room temperature.

sxc.hu spiridus Bruschetta

Bruschetta   sxc.hu spiridus

I don’t bother toasting Italian bread, slicing it, and putting a mound of bruschetta on top. I like my own small bowl of bruschetta and a good loaf of crispy Italian bread to dunk. It is often a meal for me in the summer with my garden tomatoes. Variations call for chopped basil or oregano.  I think I even saw one with balsamic vinegar. No thank you. The simpler the better for me!

Salads

The photo of this salad was as close as I could find of a salad that looked like one of my salads.

sxc.hu artvisions Salad

Salad   sxc.hu/artvisions

My salads are a meal in themselves. As you can see in the photo, there is meat, cheese, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded carrots, etc. Tonight I had one of my salads similar to this one.

I like to layer my salads. The first layer was romaine lettuce. Romaine because the escarole looked wilted at Meijer so I bought romaine lettuce instead but otherwise, escarole always goes into my salads. The next layer was the Kumato tomato slices. Then, a specialty cheese called Bella Vitano by Sartori.  Sartori makes award winning cheeses. If you ever come across their cheeses in the supermarket, pick one up. They make a wide variety that will make your mouth water. I highly, highly recommend them. Make note; that was TWO highly’s.

Back to my salad, I had leftover rapini (broccoli rabe) and I put spoons-full of that in strategic places around my salad bowl. I had leftover green string beans, they went in. I like to roughly shred a carrot on top of my salads for color and a bit of sweetness so that went in. I remembered I had walnut halves that I had sprinkled some Garam Masala on, they went in too. I baked a piece of wild salmon while I was creating my masterpiece. Salt and pepper went over the salad as did Chianti vinegar and a good quality olive oil. When my salmon was done, I placed it on top of the salad. Then I dolloped some thousand island dressing on the salmon. If I make anything consistently good, it’s my salads.

This was fabulous if I do say so myself: the bitter rapini with the sweet Kumato tomatoes and the creamy, nutty, sharp cheese with the green beans, not to mention the salmon with the thousand island dressing and the crunch of the walnuts, the sweetness of the carrots…..what can I say. I am a well-fed happy foodie! I suppose I should have taken a photo but the photo wouldn’t do it justice!

My salads are kitchen sink salads. If you haven’t tried leftovers in a salad, you should. Leftovers like: roasted medium rare sliced leg of lamb, broiled or roasted chicken, broccoli, asparagus, beans, they all shine in a fresh salad. In the summer, I often add fruit like, fresh peach slices or fresh mango chunks. But you don’t have to wait until summer to make a good salad! Now is a good time for a salad!

sxc.hu merala Clock with Tomatoes

Clock with Tomatoes sxc.hu merala

Salad anyone?

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New Food Friday – Lactose Free Dairy Products

1 Mar sxc.hu wendyrmelg Yogurt Parfait

As each day goes by, we all become more and more lactose intolerant. Yes, that is the sad news folks. Gone are the days when we could drink bottle after bottle of milk with no aftereffects.

sxc.hu Cylonka Baby drinking Milk

Baby drinking Milk sxc.hu/Cylonka

Lactose intolerance increases with age. The good news is that New Food Friday will be covering a few of the most common dairy foods that you CAN eat that won’t cause intestinal distress.

These foods are:

Milk

Ice cream

Yogurt

Cheese

I’m not talking about dairy substitutes. For example, I bought a new Silk product that was a soy-based yogurt. Ick, is all I can say. I tried two varieties. Both were very watery. The second one I couldn’t even finish it was so bad. 

I’m talking about dairy products that include the lactose enzyme which enables you to eat it without any digestive distress.

sxc.hu iamiam Dairy Farm

Dairy Farm sxc.hu/iamiam

Ice Cream

The first dairy product is Breyers Lactose Free Vanilla Ice Cream. This is sinfully good. I think it tastes even better than their regular vanilla ice cream.

sxc.hu LotusHead Ice Cream Sundae

Ice Cream Sundae sxc.hu LotusHead

Although I am not a big ice cream eater, I found it very difficult to not go for a second helping. Those of us who watch our weight should not allow this ice cream in the house because it is too tempting and too good for our own good! So, sadly, I can’t recommend it if you are lactose intolerant! You would have to have a will of iron to just eat 1/2 cup and who among us has that?

sxc.hu lekyu Dairy Farm wCows

Dairy Farm with Cows sxc.hu/lekyu

Yogurt

The next lactose free product is Yoplait Lactose Free Yogurt. Yoplait’s Lactose Free Yogurt comes in four flavors. My two favorites are the Peach and the Vanilla. The Strawberry and the Cherry are also very good. Each are 170 calories per 6 oz container so they are not low calorie. They also contain 20% calcium per container including Vitamin D. While I am not a big fan of yogurt, I can easily make an exception for Yoplait’s Lactose Free. It is delicious and I can recommend it heartily! I feel satisfied after one container and am not tempted to get a second one. That is the good news.

The bad news is that my local Meijer discontinued carrying it! Yoplait has a store locator on their website so you might find their products using the locator.

Then again, you might not. It is still showing that my local Meijer stocks the lactose free yogurt. It also shows that my local Wal-Mart stocks the lactose free Yoplait. Well, I went to the Wal-Mart near me and they didn’t have it either. So much for the Yoplait store locator. I hope you have better luck than me! (And by the way, I’ve contacted Yoplait about all this.)

But the good news is that  I recently learned that Chobani Greek yogurt is 95% lactose free! 

The bad news is that Greek yogurt is more expensive than Yoplait Lactose Free Yogurt.

Not all Greek yogurt is equal. For example, I bought Meijer Greek yogurt and it only contained 15% calcium per container.  Strangely enough, on many websites touting Yoplait Lactose Free Yogurt, the nutritional value for calcium shows 50% not 20%! I don’t know where they are getting their information but the containers I bought all showed 20%.

Stoneyfield also makes a lactose free yogurt but the manager at the Wal-Mart I went to said they discontinued it.

It doesn’t make any sense to me that these lactose-free products are being discontinued when companies must know that as people age they become more lactose intolerant! Since baby boomers are coming of age where, once they realize they have become lactose intolerant, they will be demanding  more lactose-free products.

Symptoms for lactose intolerance can be mild to severe depending on how much lactase your body is still making: bloating, abdominal cramps, stomach pains, diarrhea  nausea, and vomiting. 

It’s the lactase enzyme in your small intestine that breaks down the lactose (without me getting too technical on you). When you’re a baby, your body produces a lot of lactase which enables you to drink milk, your primary source of nutrition.

I found a Stonyfield Greek Plain Yogurt that contains 30% calcium. I will probably be buying that again.

Cheese

Many of the harder cheeses like cheddar or Swiss are more easy to digest. You may be able to tolerate them.

sxc.hu VictorBR Cheeses

Cheeses sxc.hu/VictorBR

The only way to know is to try them. Generally, the harder the cheese and the longer it ages, the less lactose it contains. Check the label too. It might show the lactase enzyme in the ingredients.

Milk

While I haven’t tried this product myself, you can buy milk called Lactaid. Lactaid milk comes from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones, according to the Lactaid website. It contains the same nutrients as regular milk and is lactose free. If you still suffer from lactose intolerance because you haven’t tried any of the lactose free dairy products that I recommended, don’t blame me! But there’s no sense in crying over spilled milk.

sxc.hu laswift Spilled Milk

Spilled Milk       sxc.hu laswift

The next time you go to the supermarket, pick up a few lactose-free products and let me know how you liked them.

UPDATE: Good news! Bryers now has a chocolate lactose-free ice cream! I have learned that Greek yogurts (the thicker yogurts) contain less lactose so you may be able to tolerate them. And the variety of Greek yogurts is going through the roof! Every brand seems to make a Greek yogurt now and the flavors are divine! My favorite is Lime. It tastes like a cheesecake to me. Try them!

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