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    Archive for the ‘strawberries’ Category

    Quick & Healthy Recipes: Allergy-Friendly Breakfast Pie (Wheat, Soy, Dairy, and Nut-Free!)

    goodmorningiu9You can have this pie whenever you please — day or night.  However, its fruity flavors are breakfast-ish to me.  And, while it is a pie, it is made of such healthful ingredients that you can start your day off quite nutritiously with a slice.

    Chock-full of fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, it makes minimally-nutritious morning pastries quiver in fear!

    YIELDS: One 8-slice pie

    INGREDIENTS:

    For crust:

    3/4 cup raw almonds (see NOTES at bottom of post)
    3/4 cup raw walnuts (see NOTES at bottom of post)
    (NOTE: For nut-free version, you will need 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup hemp seeds, and 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds; see NOTES at bottom of post)
    2 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded dried coconut (optional)
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup pitted dates (any variety; I like Medjool)

    For filling:

    1.5 cups blueberries
    1.5 cups strawberries, sliced
    1 medium banana, sliced
    2 Tablespoons cup raisins
    1 scoop unsweetened whey or hemp protein powder (optional; see NOTES at bottom of post)
    1 Tablespoon water (if needed, to thin out)

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    To make the crust, process the nuts/seeds, coconut (if using), vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in food processor into a finely ground powder.

    Add the pitted dates, 1/3 of a cup at a time, and process for 30 to 45 seconds at a time.

    Once all the dates have been added, you should have a solid “dough-like” product.  If it does not stick together, add a few more pitted dates and process again.

    Remove the “dough” from the food processor and press it into a 9 or 10-inch pie pan (preferably glass), forming a crust that goes up onto the sides of the pan.  Once done, place pie pan in freezer for 30 minutes.

    While crust freezes, make the filling, as detailed below.

    Rinse out the food processor and fill it with berries, the sliced banana, and the raisins.  Process for 45 to 60 seconds, or until completely smooth.  If needed, add up to 1 Tablespoon of water to make processing easier (careful, though, you don’t your filling to be watery!).

    Once filling is smooth (and has a creamy texture), remove crust from freezer and pour filling into pie pan.

    Refrigerate pie pan for at least 90 minutes.

    Once pie has been fully refrigerated, cut into eight uniform slices and enjoy!

    NUTRITION FACTS (for 1 slice, crust made with almonds and walnuts, filling without protein powder):

    245 calories
    1.5 grams saturated fat
    150 milligrams sodium
    5 grams fiber
    4 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: B vitamins (except B12), folate, magnesium, manganese, potassium, vitamin C, zinc

    Good Source of: Iron, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 ALA fatty acids, vitamin E, zinc

    NOTES:

    1. For a simpler and less costly crust, you can definitely use one type of nut or seed.  I like using a combination in order to achieve more flavors, but that is completely up to you.  If using multiple nuts/seeds, feel free to experiment with different ratios, too.  You can also try ingredients not listed in this recipe (i.e.: Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, etc.)

    2. The extra scoop of whey or hemp protein in the filling provides an additional 2.5 grams of protein per slice, and thickens up the texture slightly.  I find that an unsweetened, vanilla-flavored type works best with the filling.

    3. Serving this for guests?  Top it off with whole fresh berries or sliced fruits of your choice!

    4. If you want to give the crust a hint of chocolate flavor, add one tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to the crust.  For a deep chocolate flavor, add two tablespoons.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

    WintersquashApart from bananas, what other fruits and vegetables contain the cool-sounding phytonutrient delphinidin?  I don’t want to assume white just because it is bananas.

    — Brandon (last name unknown)
    (Location Unknown

    In light of your post about specific vegetable servings, what are examples of orange vegetables, besides carrots? Do sweet potatoes or winter squash count?

    — Purnima Anand
    New York, NY

    Brandon: Delphinidin, which has been studied extensively and shown to be a powerful chemopreventive phytonutrient (meaning it is quite powerful at squashing tumor cells), is also prevalent in blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, elderberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

    Start your day off with a blueberry-banana-strawberry shake and you’ll get your delphinidin on!

    Purnima: The following vegetables are categorized as “orange vegetables”.  The classification is, of course, based on color, but also on the specific phytonutrients, antioxidants, and carotenoids these foods offer:

    • Acorn squash
    • Butternut squash
    • Carrots
    • Hubbard squash
    • Pumpkin
    • Rutabaga
    • Sweet potatoes
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    You Ask, I Answer: Soy & Thyroid Issues

    iStock_Soy_Bean_On_PodI’ve read the soy is a goitrogen.

    Could it exacerbate hypothyroidism?

    — Corey Clark
    (location withheld)

    Certain compounds in soy can exacerbate — but not cause — thyroid issues by limiting the uptake of iodine and thereby causing goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland).

    Keep in mind, though, that these same compounds are also found in vegetables that belong to the Brassica family of plants (i.e.: broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, mustard greens, kale) as well as strawberries, pears, and peanuts.

    These foods are only a concern for people who already have underactive thyroids.

    Two tips to keep in mind:

    1. Cooking the above-mentioned vegetables lessens their inhibiting effect on thyroid function.
    2. It appears that fermentation reduces goitrogenic compounds, so tempeh (fermented soybeans) can be safely consumed in small amounts by those with underactive thyroids.
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    Quick & Healthy Recipes: Avocado Smoothie

    I’m fairly certain I could have an avocado once a day for the rest of my life and never tire of the delicious nutty-flavored fruit.

    Some people enjoy the taste of an avocado but not the texture, so this smoothie is a great way to get a no-mush fix packed with nutrients and healthy fats!

    YIELD: 1 smoothie

    INGREDIENTS:

    1/2 cup milk of choice (dairy, unsweetened soy, unsweetened almond, unsweetened rice, etc.)
    1/4 cup frozen bananas
    1/2 cup frozen strawberries
    1/4 cup frozen blueberries
    1/2 Hass avocado
    1 Tablespoon wheat germ
    1 Tablespoon oat bran
    1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
    1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

    NOTE: For a less thick smoothie, add extra milk or water, depending on your specific caloric preference.

    DIRECTIONS:

    Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend for 20 – 30 seconds.

    NUTRITION FACTS:

    381 calories
    18 g fat (2 grams saturated fat)
    15 grams fiber
    3 grams added sugar (if made with plain soy milk)
    11 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: Monounsaturated fats, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid.

    Good Source of: Copper, folate, potassium

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