Ruth's Blog

Grandma’s Sweetheart Granola – For Your Valentine

RUTHFOOD BLOG By Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD

As Valentine ’s Day approaches, consider making this delicious granola for your sweetheart that provides heart health benefits and incredible ginger-infused flavor. Pair it with yogurt and fresh fruit for a tasty breakfast; add to parfaits and use as a topping on ice cream or frozen yogurt. My mom (Grandma) has perfected this tropical pina colada granola recipe over the years to maximize taste and minimize added fat and sugar.

Sweetheart Pina Colada Granola
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons Canola oil
1 c. slivered almonds
6 c. old fashioned oats
1 ½ c. shredded coconut
½ c. honey or brown sugar (optional-use sugar substitute for half of the sugar)
2 t. coconut extract
1 t. orange extract
1 t. pineapple extract
¼ t. salt
1 c. dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, plums, etc.)
2/3 c. crystallized ginger, minced

Method: Turn oven to 400 degrees. In a large pan, melt the butter (in oven). Add the oil, coconut, orange and pineapple extracts. Add the oats, almonds, coconut, honey/brown sugar. Bake until slightly brown on top, stir, bake again until slightly brown, 2 or 3 times until as crisp as you want it. Take out, allow to cool, then add the dried fruit and ginger. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy for breakfast and as a topping on ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Good Taste, Good Health!

New Years Luck with Black Eyed Peas

By Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD

RUTHFOOD BLOG

Black eyed peas are a traditional food served on New Year’s Day in Southern States. Eating black eyed peas on January 1st is thought to bring good luck and a prosperous future. You may have also heard of the hip hop band, The Black Eyed Peas, who will entertain during the upcoming Super Bowl XIV halftime show, as well as the New Years Eve Celebration in Times Square.

When it comes to edible black eyed peas, they are a legume which works well in many dishes, especially soups. They provide protein and soluble fiber (helpful with cholesterol reduction). Black eyed peas are one of many legumes considered a foundation of the Mediterranean Diet – a heart healthy eating approach.

Here’s to a Happy New Year with Black Eyed Peas & Cilantro Soup!

Black Eyed Peas & Cilantro Soup

Ingredients:

6 oz. (1 c.) black eyed peas or 2 – 16 oz. cans
1 T. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
½ c. celery, minced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 med. jalapeno, chopped
1 t. ground cumin
¼ t. ground cardamom
8 oz. fresh or canned tomatoes, diced
2 ½ c. beef, poultry or vegetable stock
1 oz. fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped or parsley
Juice of ½ lemon
Feta cheese crumbles for garnish
Pita bread

Method:

If using dried beans, rinse beans and place in a pan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil; Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 2 hrs. Drain the beans, return to the pan, cover with fresh cold water, then simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the beans are tender. Drain and set aside. Heat the oil in a pan, add onions, garlic and jalapenos and cook for 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Add the cumin, cardamom, tomatoes, and stock plus half of the cilantro. Add the beans and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice plus remaining cilantro. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve with pita bread.

Have a happy, healthy and bountiful new year!

Ruth

Stress Away With an Apple a Day

RUTH FOOD BLOG – By Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD

According to a report by the American Psychological Society, stress levels are at an all time high, with financial concerns at the top of the list. As stress escalates, eating habits tend to go awry – with an increase in convenience foods that can be high in calories and fat.

An apple a day: How about crunching on apples for stress management? We’ve heard the adage about apples, but how many of us abide by it? The US Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends we eat more fruits and veggies than any other food group — for adults, that’s 3½ to 6½ cups per day (7 to 13 servings). Sadly, most Americans fall short of this goal, with an average intake of 3 fruits/vegetables per day.

Apples are one tasty way to boost daily fruit intake and they’re easy to incorporate into a healthy eating pattern. Apples provide cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber (pectin) and a variety of nutrients. Studies have connected apples with the prevention of disease, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, type II diabetes and asthma.

Apple on the go: Use an apple slicer/corer and toss into a zippered bag with a couple teaspoons of lemon juice to maintain color and freshness.  Another idea is to bake an apple with cinnamon and a sweetener.

Pair tart green apples with butternut squash available at the year-round farmers markets. Enjoy this recipe for the holidays:

Butternut Squash & Green Apple Bake – Delicious as a side dish with chicken, pork or pasta.

5 c. squash, peeled and sliced (butternut)
4 c. apples, tart (granny smith) – thinly sliced
¼ c. butter, melted
½ c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1 t. salt
½ t. ground mace
¼ c. slivered almonds

Method: Peel and slice squash and apples. In a 2 qt. casserole dish, melt butter and brown sugar; stir in flour, salt and mace. Add squash and apples to mixture. Bake at 350 for approx. 1 hour or until soft. Stir halfway through cooking process to distribute ingredients. Sprinkle slivered almond on top at end of baking process.

Read More: Stress Management

Log On is a wonderful book written by colleague Dr. Amit Sood, of Mayo Clinic. It explores tangible methods to re-train your brain and combat stress. Read more about it here.

Healthy Living!

Ruth

Creative Commons LicenseThis blog by Lahmayer & Associates, Ltd. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Feel free to share, copy, distribute, display and transmit this work as long as you attribute the authorship to Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, link back to this webpage and avoid altering or building upon this work. (For non-commercial purposes only).

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