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    Archive for the ‘cashews’ Category

    Quick & Healthy Recipes: Heart-Healthy Ranch Dip

    ranch-dressingIt’s only the second day of December and, as is probably the case with many of you, I have already received a handful of invitations to holiday parties, potlucks, and meals.

    If you’re looking to whip up a quick, healthy, and delectable contribution to an event over the next few weeks, I recommend you take no more than ten minutes to make this knock-out, nutritious ranch dip.

    FYI: you can turn this into a dressing by adding an additional third cup of water.

    YIELDS: 3 servings

    INGREDIENTS:

    1/2 cup raw cashews (OR raw sunflower seeds OR avocado, although avocado will yield a greener color)
    1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons water
    1 small garlic clove
    4 teaspoons lemon juice
    1/3 teaspoon salt
    Light sprinkle of black pepper
    3/4 teaspoon onion powder
    3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 Tablespoon dry dill, finely chopped
    2 teaspoons dry parsley, finely chopped
    1.5 teaspoons dried chives, finely chopped

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    In blender, mix cashews/sunflower seeds/avocado, water, garlic clove, lemon juice, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder until evenly mixed.

    Empty mixture into bowl.

    Add chopped dill, parsley, and chives; fold into dressing until evenly spread out.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving, made with cashews):

    115 calories
    1 gram saturated fat
    240 milligrams sodium

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    Quick & Healthy Recipes: Creamy Cashew-Vanilla Whip

    How’s this for a super easy recipe — the only skill needed is turning on a blender.

    One of my favorite ways to eat this is to layer it with berries, bananas, and raw buckwheat in a big bowl, especially in the Summer.  On cooler days, it’s also delectable as an oatmeal topping!

    YIELDS: 1.5 cups

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 1 cup raw cashews
    • 2 pitted dates
    • 1/2 cup cold water
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract/powder (or 1 vanilla bean)
    • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

    DIRECTIONS:

    Combine all ingredients in blender (or food processor) until a smooth consistency is reached.

    For best flavor and texture, refrigerate for a few hours before consuming.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (per 2 Tablespoon serving):

    125 calories
    30 milligrams sodium
    3 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: Copper, magnesium, manganese

    Good Source of: Potassium, zinc

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    Perfect Pickings: Nut Butters

    Wonderful as spreads on English muffins or dips for Granny Smith apples and celery, nut butters are delicious and pack a good deal of nutrition.

    All varieties — peanut, almond, cashew — provide 180 – 200 calories and 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoon serving.

    They are also good sources of vitamin E, niacin (Vitamin B3), manganese, and phosphorus.

    Reduced fat nut butters are simply marketing gimmicks. On average, they offer a mere ten less calories than their regular counterparts.

    How so? The small amount of fat that is taken away is replaced with extra carbohydrates (usually double that of regular nut butter).

    The key to finding the healthiest, least processed nut butters is to read the label.

    Brands like Jif and Skippy lis the following ingredients:

    “Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Oils, Salt.”

    In essence, crushed peanuts with sugar and trans fat.

    No, thanks.

    You can do better than that by reaching for natural nut butters. Their labels tell the tale:

    “Peanuts, Salt.”

    Wow, imagine that!

    If you are buying no-salt-added varieties (which I prefer solely from taste perspective; nut butters with salt offer a very decent 140 milligrams per serving, far from a high-sodium food), the sole ingredient is peanuts.

    Natural nut butters need to be mixed when you first open them, as the oil separates from the solid nut paste.

    After mixing, store in the refrigerator to delay spoilage.

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