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    Archive for the ‘phosphorus’ Category

    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Spicy Mushroom & Black Bean Burger

    Onto the second vegan burger recipe!

    While this one requires a bit longer prep time than the firstblack-beans, it shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes.  This burger freezes very well, so you could make a huge batch and save most of it in the freezer for hurried nights.

    YIELDS: 4 patties

    INGREDIENTS:

    2 14-ounce cans low-sodium or sodium-free black beans, drained and rinsed for about 30 seconds
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    1/2 cup white mushrooms
    1/2 cup onions, chopped
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/4 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/4 teaspoon paprika
    Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
    1/8 teaspoon salt

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork or wooden spoon (or, if you really want to get into it, use your hands!). The idea is not to make bean puree, but to achieve a chunky mashed texture. You definitely want solid bits of bean here and there. Once done, set bowl aside.

    In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil. Once hot, add mushrooms. Cook and stir frequently for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions. Stir frequently for 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic, and continue to cook until garlic is golden brown.

    Increase heat and add all spices (except salt). Stir frequently for 2 minutes.

    Transfer vegetable mixture into food processor. Add salt. Process for approximately 10 seconds.

    Add vegetable mixture to “bean mush” bowl.  Mix with hands, compressing all ingredients together, making “burger dough”.  Form “burger dough” into four individual patties and cook to your liking (either pan-fry for a few minutes on each side or bake on a lighty oiled baking sheet at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 7  minutes on each side).

    NOTE: I have been able to get a solid dough without needing to use binders (that said, I don’t mind eating crumbly vegan burgers).  If you want your burgers more solid, feel free to add a half cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs or quick-cooking oats.  Or, if you don’t require a fully vegan recipe, two egg whites will work, too.  Even then, don’t expect these to be as solid as the frozen type you can buy at the grocery store.

    NUTRITION FACTS (for one patty):

    249 calories
    0.5 grams saturated fat
    375 milligrams sodium
    14 grams fiber
    15 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: Folate, iron, magnesium, thiamin

    Good Source of: Manganese, phosphorus, zinc

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    There’s More to Osteoporosis than Calcium

    osteoporosis-illustratedThe majority of news articles on osteoporosis never fail to mention that calcium is a key nutrient in slowing down bone density loss.

    While that is an established fact, there are other nutrients and behaviors that are just as important in risk-reduction and management of osteoporosis.

    Here’s a handy cheat sheet:

    • Phosphorus: High intakes inhibit calcium absorption and bone metabolism.  Ironically, dairy products are quite high in phosphorus.  Yet another reason why calcium intake should come from a variety of foods (i.e.: leafy green vegetables, chickpeas, almonds), including dairy (if so desired).
    • Smoking: negatively affects bone metabolism and decreases bone density levels.
    • Sodium: Excessive amounts (not at all uncommon in the “Standard American Diet”) increase calcium losses in urine.
    • Vitamin D: Facilitates calcium absorption.  Note: current guidelines (400 International Units of Vitamin D per day) are too low.  Supplement 1,000 – 2,000 International Units every day.
    • Vitamin K: Helps bind calcium to the bone matrix.
    • Weight-bearing exercise.

    There are also preliminary studies which show that zinc, manganese, and even vitamin A may play important roles as well.

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    Quick & Healthy Recipes: Lentil Paté

    Red Lentils 002Due to their stellar nutrition profile, hearty texture, and unique flavor, I am a die-hard fan of lentils.

    Though they are often prominent in soups and casseroles, they also go well as a dip for crudité or heart whole grain crackers.

    This lentil paté is especially wonderful served warm in the winter months.

    YIELDS: 8 servings

    INGREDIENTS:

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
    2 medium garlic cloves, diced
    1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
    1/3 cup red pepper, chopped
    1 cup dry lentils, rinsed (I think red lentils look nicer for dips, but feel free to use brown)
    1 1/2 cups water
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    3/4 teaspoon cumin
    Pepper, to taste
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Heat olive oil in pot over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, carrot, and red pepper.

    Cook the vegetables until soft, stirring frequently.

    Add lentils and water.  Bring contents to a boil.

    Lower heat to a low simmer and cook until no more water remains in pot.

    Add salt and spices.  Stir until well-combined and cook, still over simmer, for two minutes.

    Pour contents into food processor, add lemon juice, and puree until smooth.

    Feel free to add more spices after pureeing, if you deem it necessary.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving):

    123 calories
    0.8 grams saturated fat
    150 milligrams sodium
    8 grams fiber
    6 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: B vitamins, copper, magnesium, manganese, monounsaturated fats, pantothenic acid, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C

    Good Source of: Iron, phosphorus, zinc

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    Where Do You Stand on the Chocolate Milk Controversy?

    4415_Raise-Your-Hand

    Update (1/20/12): My stance on this issue has since solidified. I fully support chocolate milk bans at schools. In short, children consume excessive amounts of sugars, and chocolate milk only contributes to that amount. It is important to consider the “view from 30,000 feet” and realize that fixing school lunch goes well beyond the chocolate milk issue, but this is an easy step we can take to lower added sugar intake in school cafeterias.

    Over the past few days, the nutrition blogosphere has fervently discussed the latest controversy — the “Raise Your Hand for Chocolate Milk” campaign.

    Led by the Milk Processor Education Program and the National Dairy Council, the program aims to “keep chocolate milk on the menu in schools nationwide”, in light of “lunch advocates [who] are calling [to remove chocolate milk from the lunch line, a decision that could] cause more harm than good when it comes to children’s health.”

    The repertoire of widgets, colorful handouts and downloadable documents make it clear that a significant amount of money has been invested in this campaign.

    If that wasn’t enough, there is also a partnership with the National Football League and this slick promotional video that features Registered Dietitians and celeb-moms Angie Harmon and Rebecca Romijn vocalizing their support for keeping chocolate milk in schools.

    So, what to make of this?

    Nutrition professionals across the country have vastly different feelings on the matter.

    One side of the debate is succinctly explained in Dr. Marion Nestle’s top-notch blog, Food Politics.

    Dr. Nestle states:

    “The rationale for the campaign?  If you get rid of chocolate milk, kids won’t drink milk.  You will deprive kids of the nutrients in milk and contribute to the “milk deficit.”   After all, this rationale goes, chocolate milk is better than soda (Oops.  Didn’t we just hear something like this relative to the Smart Choices fiasco?).”

    She also adds that this “it’s all about the children!” campaign is about something else — profit.

    Specifically, Dr. Nestle states, “schools represent sales of 460 million gallons of milk – more than 7% of total milk sales — [and slightly more than] half of flavored milk is sold in schools.”

    Other nutritionists, however, see this campaign as one that takes the important step of “looking at the big picture.”

    While they realize chocolate milk is not an ideal beverage, it is a better alternative than sodas or sugar-laden fruit drinks.  If chocolate milk is the only way a child will drink milk, they argue, then it would be a true shame to have it removed from school cafeterias across the country.

    I am absolutely torn.

    As regular readers of Small Bites know, I have my issues with The Dairy Council.  I find it troubling that, due to their large budget and forceful lobby, they have managed to convince an entire nation that the only way to get calcium in one’s diet is through dairy products.

    Approximately three quarters of African Americans and Asian Americans are lactose intolerant; many of them are not aware that calcium is found in broccoli, bok choy, almonds, and chickpeas.  Due to the Dairy Council’s influence, many educational pamphlets fail to mention non-dairy sources of calcium!

    In fact, this campaign fails to mention that chocolate soymilk offers the exact same nutrients.

    That said, chocolate milk is far from calcium-fortified junk.

    Apart from the popular mineral, chocolate milk also offers potassium, magnesium, vitamin D (fortified), riboflavin, and vitamin B12.  It is very different from a calcium-fortified Kool Aid drink.

    A standard cafeteria-size carton of chocolate milk contains 12 grams (a tablespoon) of added sugar.  That amounts to 48 more calories than non-flavored milk.  I simply can’t muster much emotion over 48 extra calories (assuming, of course, that chocolate milk consumption is kept to one 8-ounce carton a day).

    Similarly, 12 grams of added sugar are not a big deal in a diet that is otherwise not sugar-laden.  Sadly, the average US teenager consumes six tablespoons of sugar on a daily basis!

    So, in that sense, since any decrease in added sugar intake is positive, why not slash an entire tablespoon by getting rid of chocolate milk?  Then again, why not focus on the nutrition-void, sugar-filled junk that is also available at school cafeterias?

    By the way, what has been missing from a lot of the articles and blog posts I have read is this: a chocolate milk ban is absolutely meaningless if, during their lunch period, students can purchase a bottle of Snapple iced tea (added sugar count: 3 tablespoons!) from a vending machine.

    While I very well may eventually take a firm stand either “for” or “against” keeping chocolate milk in schools, I am currently undecided.

    For the time being, I want to open the floor for discussion.

    What do you think?  Is chocolate milk worth worrying about?  Why or why not?

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Red Pepper Cream Soup

    red-pepperMy recent cream of mushroom soup recipe was such a hit that many of you have been asking for another “blend and heat” soup recipe.  I am happy to oblige!

    Here is a similar concoction that beautifully highlights the natural sweetness in red peppers and carrots.  Perfect for fall!  Like the mushroom soup, this is fairly hearty and filling, so you can simply follow it up with a light entree.

    YIELDS: 1 serving

    INGREDIENTS:

    1 cup water
    1/2 cup raw cashews, almonds, or sunflower seeds
    2/3 cup raw red pepper strips
    1/4 cup raw green pepper, diced
    4 baby carrots
    2 Tablespoons raw onion, chopped
    1 Tablespoon chopped celery
    1/4 cup fresh or frozen corn
    1 garlic clove
    1 Tablespoon lemon juice
    1/6 teaspoon salt
    Black pepper, to taste
    1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Combine all ingredients in blender and process until well combined.

    Transfer to small pot and heat on stovetop for 2 or 3 minutes.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (for cashew variation):

    384 calories
    4 grams saturated fat
    400 milligrams sodium
    6 grams fiber
    13 grams protein

    Excellent source of: Copper, vitamin A, vitamin C

    Good source of: Folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K

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    You Ask, I Answer: What Makes Brown Rice Healthier?

    b6-brown-rice-lgWhy is brown rice considered so much better than white rice?

    The food labels for each one aren’t all that different.  Brown rice just has a little more fiber.

    So, what’s the big deal?

    — Jessica Bracanti
    (City withheld), CT

    As helpful as food labels can be in guiding our food choices, they barely tell the true tale of a food’s whole nutritional profile.

    You are right — strictly from a food label standpoint, brown rice doesn’t seem to have many advantages over white rice.  It’s what you don’t see on the food label that makes all the difference!

    Brown rice contains significantly higher levels of phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, selenium, and vitamin E.

    If there were no enrichment laws (those which require that nutrients lost in processing be added back to refined grains like white rice), brown rice would also contain higher levels of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, iron, and vitamin B6 than its white counterpart.

    Remember, though, that vitamins and minerals are only part of  a food’s nutritional profile.

    Since brown rice is a whole grain, it offers you its bran and germ components — and all their health-promoting phytonutrients and antioxidants..

    Some preliminary research indicates that specific components in rice bran oil lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.  Add to that to brown rice’s soluble fibers (which are also implicated in decreasing LDL cholesterol) and you have a heart-healthy one-two punch.

    These are the same fibers, by the way, that help achieve a longer feeling of fullness more quickly.

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    raw_pepitas_wA one-ounce, 126-calorie serving of hulled and roasted pumpkin seeds is made up of 85 kernels.

    Great news for visual eaters (those who need to see a lot of food on their plate to not feel deprived)!

    For the record — I verified this figure in my kitchen by counting the number of hulled pumpkin seed kernels (also known as ‘pepitas’) in a one-ounce, quarter-cup serving.

    If you’re keeping track of nut and seed servings at home:

    1 serving = 23 almonds, 49 pistachio kernels, or 85 pumpkin seed kernels!

    Pumpkin seeds make for a great snack, by the way.  They are a great source of iron, manganese, phosphorus, protein, and vitamin K.

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Flippin’ Healthy French Toast

    825101-FB~Sliced-Loaf-of-Bread-PostersI am often amazed at the many ways in which people desecrate French toast by turning it into a sugar-laden caloric bomb.

    I will never forget a restaurant in New York City’s Hell Kitchen neighborhood that served French toast coated in a thick layer of what appeared to be Golden Grahams cereal, only to then top that off with thick caramel syrup and powdered sugar.

    This recipe delivers a wide array of delicious flavors without the excess calories.  Make sure to serve with ripe fruits, as they are responsible for the sweetness of this dish.

    YIELDS: 4 slices (serves 2)

    INGREDIENTS:

    4 slices whole grain bread (frozen overnight)
    3/4 cup milk of choice (dairy, soy, almond, rice, hemp, etc.)
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons coconut extract
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    2 teaspoons butter/oil/vegan ‘butter’ (for griddle)
    2 tablespoons vanilla powder
    2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    3/4 cup sliced strawberries
    1 medium banana
    1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    (The night before, store slices of bread in freezer.  This will allow them to absorb more liquid without falling apart.)

    Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    In a wide bowl, mix milk of choice (I use unsweetened soymilk),  vanilla extract, coconut extract, and cinnamon.

    Dip bread slices in mix and set aside on small plate.

    Heat butter/oil/vegan butter (I use Earth Balance “butter” sticks) in griddle or pan.

    Once griddle/pan is hot, place bread slices.  Heat for 2 or 3 minutes, flip, and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.

    Turn off heat and transfer bread slices to flat baking sheet (you may need to lightly coat with baking spray first).

    Pour any remaining mix on bread slices and top off with vanilla powder, shredded coconut, and cinnamon.

    Place baking sheet in oven.  After 7 minutes, flip bread slices over and heat for in oven for another 7 minutes.

    Serve and top with sliced strawberries, bananas, and walnuts.

    NUTRITION FACTS (for a 2-slice serving):

    460 calories
    4.4 grams saturated fat
    410 milligrams sodium
    10 grams fiber
    13 grams protein

    Excellent source of: Fiber, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C

    Good source of: Copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: W-O-W!

    almondsThe recipe below appears in Ani Phyo’s cookbook Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen.

    I usually do not post recipes from cookbooks, but this one is so delicious, nutritious, and easy to make that I must share it with you.

    Ani, who credits another chef as the inspiration/creator, calls these “raw vegan donut holes”, but I refer to them as “one of the most amazing things you can create in 15 minutes using a food processor and your hands.”

    These “rounds” make for a terrific snack or dessert.

    YIELDS: 20 pieces

    INGREDIENTS:

    1 1/2 cup raw almonds
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped (I prefer Medjool dates, which lend a caramel flavor)
    1/2 cup unsweetened dried pineapple, chopped
    1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, for rolling

    Note: Although not listed in Ani’s recipe, there are plenty of variations you can make.  Here are some of my suggestions:

    • Add some cinnamon to the food processor almond mix
    • For extra crunch, add raw buckwheat groats to the general mix
    • Replace the dried pineapple with dried apple
    • Add quick-cooking rolled oats to the general mix

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    In a food processor, mix almonds, vanilla, and salt.

    Process until almonds have a finely chopped (as opposed to ground up) consistency.

    Transfer mixture to a large bowl (you will be mixing ingredients by hand in this bowl for approximately five minutes, so make sure it provides plenty of room)

    Add chopped dates, chopped pineapple, and 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut to bowl.

    Mix all ingredients by hand until you get a dough-like texture (Hint: rinse your fingers under running water a few times to make this process easier)

    Rip off small chunks and make them into small ball/circular shapes by hand

    Roll in coconut.  Enjoy!

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (for 2 pieces):

    250 calories
    3.5 grams saturated fat
    240 milligrams sodium
    0 grams added sugar
    6 grams fiber
    6 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: Fiber, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E

    Good source of: Niacin, protein, riboflavin

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    92 to 98 percent of peak bone mass (the period by which all bone formation occurs) is achieved by age 20.

    High peak bone density is one factor that helps decrease the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life.

    This is precisely why having adequate intakes of calcium — as well as being physically active — during childhood and adolescence is crucial.

    The more “bone healthy” the diet is during childhood and adolescence (particularly by consuming sufficient amounts of calcium, vitamin K, vitamin D, phosphorus, and magnesium), the higher peak bone mass levels are.

    This is not simply a matter of having your child pop a Flintstones chewable vitamin, though. Whole foods containing these nutrients are far superior sources.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Pickling

    I know most pickles have a high sodium content, but I’m wondering if the vinegar and processing destroys the nutrients in the veggies.

    I know cucumbers don’t have a whole lot going for them, but pickled green beans are yummy.

    Do they have the same nutrients as unpickled green beans?

    — Jennifer Armstrong
    Via the blog

    This question doesn’t have a clear cut answer.

    Although storing vegetables in a jar of vinegar results in some nutrient losses, the amount actually lost is dependent on how long the vegetables sit in the pickling solution for.

    The first nutrients to go are the water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and the B complex).

    However, unless these green beans are sitting in the solution for months, you are still getting a percentage of those vitamins.

    The fat soluble vitamins (in green beans’ case, K and A) remain untouched, as do the present minerals (phosphorus, potassium, manganese) and fiber.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Mushrooms

    From a nutrition standpoint, are all varieties of mushrooms pretty much the same?

    Sometimes I see portobello mushroom steak as a vegetarian option at restaurants.

    Is it higher in protein than other types?

    — Linda Ahern
    Santa Ana, CA

    All mushrooms are good low-calorie sources of potassium, phosphorus, and two B vitamins (riboflavin and niacin.)

    A cup of chopped mushrooms also offers approximately ten percent of the selenium daily value (although oyster mushrooms come up short in this mineral.)

    Portobello mushrooms are not higher in protein than other varieties.

    A five-ounce serving only delivers 5 grams of protein (that same amount of tofu offers 15 grams; five ounces of seitan contribute 30 grams; half a cup of black beans adds up to 10 grams.)

    Portobello mushroom “steak” as a vegetarian option on a restaurant menu strikes me as rather uninspired, particularly when it is the only meat-free choice.

    I can’t tell you how many times I have been at events where that is the sole vegetarian dish, and it is literally nothing but a huge, grilled portobello mushroom inside a hamburger bun. Snore!

    Many chefs love it, though, because it’s very easy to prepare.

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    You Ask, I Answer/Quick & Easy Recipes: Vegan Alfredo Sauce

    I became vegan about two months ago.

    I don’t really miss many things since I find perfectly tasty substitutes, but yesterday night I found myself craving alfredo sauce (maybe it’s the cold weather).

    Since I have seen some vegan recipes on the blog, I wondered if you had any ideas as to how I can have alfredo sauce without dairy?

    — Shannon Gibson
    St. Paul, MN

    You’ve come to the right place, Shannon!

    Although I am not vegan, I love vegan cooking — it is creative, healthy, and always offers a new experience for the tastebuds.

    After several experiments, I crafted this delicious dairy-free alfredo sauce:

    YIELDS: 6 servings (1 serving = 1/2 cup)

    INGREDIENTS

    3/4 cup raw cashews
    1 cup water
    3 garlic cloves
    2 Tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed preferred)
    1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper (optional)
    2 or 3 large basil leaves (optional)

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Place cashews in food processor. Pulse for 20 – 30 seconds.

    Add water and pulse until cashews and water are evenly mixed.

    Combine rest of ingredients in food processor until blended.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving)

    150 calories
    1.5 grams saturated fat
    380 milligrams sodium
    4 grams fiber
    8.5 grams protein

    Good source of: B vitamins (including B12!), magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, iron

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    Quick & Healthy Recipes: Vegan Spinach-Walnut Pesto

    Here is a different spin on traditional pesto I often whip up at home.

    It omits cheese (you’re welcome, vegan and lactose intolerant readers), replaces pinenuts with walnuts for an Omega-3 boost, and adds some spinach for extra nutrition.

    YIELDS: 6 servings

    INGREDIENTS

    3 garlic cloves
    1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
    1/2 cup spinach leaves
    1/3 cup raw walnuts
    1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon salt (preferably coarse sea salt)
    Pepper, to taste
    1 cup water
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but recommended)

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Place whole garlic cloves in food processor. Pulse until diced.
    2. Place rest of ingredients (except water) in food processor.
    3. Pulse; add water and pulse again.

    IMPORTANT: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer, rather than the refrigerator.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving)

    220 calories
    1.5 grams saturated fat
    14 grams monounsaturated (heart healthy) fat
    190 milligrams sodium
    4.5 grams fiber
    7 grams protein
    350 milligrams ALA Omega-3 fatty acids

    Excellent Source of: Vitamin A, Vitamin K, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, B vitamins

    Good Source of: Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber

    Although you can obviously drizzle this over some pasta (preferrably whole wheat; be sure to include roasted red peppers for a wonderful complementary taste), I also recommend using it as a topping for seitan, tofu, or grilled chicken.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Salba

    Do you know anything about Salba?

    It seems to be getting quite popular (I accidentally ordered a raspberry salba square at my local coffee shop the other day), and I’m not sure whether it’s a fad or not.

    Is it actually a whole food or is it processed?

    Where does it come from?

    Is it as good as the makers of it claim?

    — Meredith (Last name unknown)
    Via the blog

    The folks at Core Naturals sure are working hard to hype up Salba.

    No clue what I’m talking about? Let me break it down.

    According to manufacturer Core Naturals, the salba seed is pretty much the greatest food ever created.

    Dubbed by the company as “nature’s perfect whole food,” the press release pushes it as a one-stop shop for some of the highest quantities of fiber, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, folate, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

    Then there are statements such as this:

    “Because of Salba’s ability to absorb several times its weight in water, it may also help to curb hunger.”

    That’s wonderful, but that’s simply what all soluble fibers do – the same ones found in oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

    Core Naturals even make reference to one nutrition PhD at a Toronto-based university who, after conducting research, confirmed that Salba’s advertised properties truly exist.

    You know something is slightly off, though, when the bragging rights about the doctor go something like this: “[He works at] the same university where in 1921, Dr. Frederic Banting discovered insulin and won the Nobel Prize for Medicine.”

    Errrr…. okay?

    Besides, there is something very suspect about having only one professional analyze your food. If Core Naturals is so sure that what they have is — for all intents and purposes — manna, why not send it out to a variety of independent food laboratories to have their goldmine validated?

    Anyhow, Salba is just a white chia seed – with the exact same nutritional profile of all other chia seeds (which are usually black).

    So, yes, it is an unprocessed whole food, in the same way that fruits, vegetables, nuts, and a plethora of other seeds are.

    Don’t get me wrong. Chia seeds have a neat nutritional profile – they are a good source of fiber, phosphorus, manganese and Alpha Linolenic Acid – but by no means is Salba a powerfood, nor does it offer the same Omega-3 profile as 28 ounces of salmon (as Core Naturals advertises.)

    That is a very easy statement to debunk, by the way. Remember, salmon offers EPA and DHA, two Omega-3 fatty acids not present in seeds.

    This situation with Salba and Core Naturals would be paramount to a company patenting Granny Smith Apples, calling them something different and claiming they were nutritionally superior any other apples.

    Considering that Salba retails for anywhere from two to three times as much as standard chia seeds, I don’t really see a reason for purchasing it.

    File it under “F” for fad. No, make that “FF” for… flimsy fad.

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