Sunday, May 20, 2018

Recipe ReDux Post # 70 Pina Colada Smoothie

The May Recipe ReDux theme is “probiotic coctails and gut health mocktails” and the challenge was create a new version of a trendy beverage with a probiotic twist.  There couldn’t have been more perfect timing in place for this request because I have been dreaming of pina coladas for weeks since returning from a wonderful vacation in Maui last month. I was excited to create an everyday, non–alcoholic smoothie version of pina colada. So I tried my luck at combining just a few simple ingredients in a blender with some ice and the results were delicious!  The Greek yogurt provides a healthy dose of protein and probiotics and works as a nice base for the recipe. This is a great smoothie for breakfast or a post workout snack.  I hope you will try it out along with the rest of the creative gut friendly mocktails from the Recipe ReDux crew!


1/4 cup light coconut milk
1 cup pineapple
1 6 ounce coconut flavored Greek yogurt (I used Chobani_
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
4 ice cubes


Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for a minute until a smooth consistency is reached.

Makes one serving

Serving size: 1 smoothie Calories 290 Protein 13 Carb 39 g Sugar 31 Fiber 2 g Fat 11 g Saturated fat 4 g Sodium 52 mg


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Cranberry News, Recipes and Research!

Check out the latest and greatest info/recipes from the Cranberry Institute!

Happy Spring! This season, we are excited to unveil The Cranberry Institute’s refreshed logo! While still dedicated to the same mission of supporting research and spreading awareness for cranberries’ health benefits, our new logo reflects our fresh perspective on health research and sharing information on cranberries’ whole-body benefits with you. Read on for the latest in cranberry and health research, as well as to discover our new resources and delicious cranberry recipes!

The Cranberry Chronicles    
Discover our latest comprehensive chronicle of cranberry’s existing and emerging whole-body health benefits. 

The Cranberry Chronicles are consistently updated with breaking scientific abstracts, articles, sharable resources, infographics and story ideas. You’ve probably heard that cranberries may help prevent UTIs, but did you know they may affect heart health, help reduce inflammation, influence the gut microbiota and play a role in glucose metabolism?! 

Learn more by reading The Cranberry Chronicles – and check out our newest resources, A Berry for Every Body handout and shareable graphic

   Cranberry Health Research Library    
Our collection of cranberry research just got a fresh look! Explore the extensive database of cranberry health research abstracts with our easy-to-follow breakdown by topic area. You can also browse the selections by year to find the most recent publications: Cranberry Health Research Library

Cooking Up Cranberries

This tangy Homemade Cranberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing, by Anne Danahy of Craving Something Healthy will be the magic touch on your next salad.

This recipe works well with any type of cranberry sauce (organic, whole berry or jellied)! 

Looking for a way to kick off grilling season? Cranberry Pesto Chicken Burgers are super simple, and super delicious!

Cranberries & Human Health
Cranberries may improve glucose response in type 2 diabetes
Postprandial hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, increased oxidative stress and inflammation have been shown to be significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Recent research suggests that cranberries may have cardiometabolic benefits in this population…read more

Schell J, et al. Cranberries improve postprandial glucose excursions in type 2 diabetes. Food Funct. doi: 10.1039/c7fo00900c.

Assessing the consumption of berries and associated factors in the United States using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2012
NHANES observed that overall fruit intake, especially of berries, in the U.S. is remarkably low.
·          Fruit consumption varies with age. Children aged 2 to 5 and adults over 65 eat more fruit.
·         Higher levels of education and greater socioeconomic status are associated with more fruitand berry consumption.
·       Participants’ beliefs about nutrition and perception of their own diet were also associated with fruit consumption. Those who rank nutrition as very important or somewhat important consumed 12% more total fruit and 70% more berries than those who ranked nutrition as less important (other category). When asked “how healthy is your overall diet,” respondents who chose excellent or very good consumed 43% more total fruit and 96% more berries than those who view their diet as less than or equal to good (other category).

Burton-Freeman BM, et al. Assessing the consumption of berries and associated factors in the United States using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2012. Food Funct. doi: 10.1039/cfo01650f

Evolution of Cranberry Research

Over the past 25 years, research on the health benefits of cranberries has significantly evolved to reveal cranberry’s whole-body benefits. A recent review of history and evidence was published by Zhaoa, et al., in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture. Click here to learn more about cranberries’ potential role in:
·       Urinary Tract Health
·       Cancer Prevention
·       Cardiometabolic Health
·       Glycemic Control
·       Digestive Health

Zhaoa S, et al. American Cranberries and Health Benefits – an Evolving Story of 25 years. J Sci of Food & Agric. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8882.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Recipe ReDux Post # 69 Greek Pasta Salad

The Recipe ReDux for April is centered around perfect picnic foods.  Being that April 23rd is Picnic Day, we were challenged to developed picnic worthy healthy recipes. I chose to do a pasta salad since it is a delicious take along food and works well as a side or a main meal.  I had been wanting to try some red lentil gluten free pasta I bought at Trader Joes recently so this was the perfect opportunity, and it was quite tasty!  Regular pasta works well in the recipe too and the combo of olives, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese in a light fresh dressing is a winner. I hope you will try it out along with the other great picnic foods created by the Recipe Redux group!


2 cups cooked and cooled pasta (preferably penne, spirals or bowties, I used Trader joes red lentil pasta, which is gluten free)
¼ cup chopped kalamata olives
¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes
¼ cup low fat crumbled feta cheese
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive juice
1 Tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoons olive oil
spinach/chopped cucumbers (optional, for garnish)


Add the pasta, olives and sundried tomatoes to a medium sized bowl.  In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, olive juice, vinegar and olive oil.  Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture and toss well to coat. Fold in the feta cheese.  Chill if not serving immediately.  Can be served with spinach and chopped cucumbers for garnish.

Makes 3 cups, 6 servings

Serving size: 1/2 cup Calories 200 Protein 6 g Carb 17 g Fiber 2  g Sugars  3 g Fat 5 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 205  mg


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Latest Edition of News Bites

Check out the latest interesting news updates in the world of nutrition and diet!

Including pasta in a low glycemic diet  

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of 32 trials showed that in comparison with higher glycemic index control diets, pasta in the context of low glycemic index dietary patterns resulted in a reduction of body weight.  Check out the info HERE 

Fortified yogurt can improve body composition, metabolic parameters

A 10 week study showed that adults who were overweight or obese with metabolic syndrome that consumed yogurt fortified with whey protein, calcium and vitamin D experienced increases in 25-hydroxyvitamin D had decreases in waist circumference, body fat mass and body fat percentages  compared with those assigned to eat conventional low-fat yogurt. Read about it HERE

Meat protein is unhealthy, but protein from nuts and seeds is heart smart

A study conducted by researchers in California and France has found that meat protein is associated with a sharp increased risk of heart disease while protein from nuts and seeds is beneficial for the human heart. See it HERE


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Recipe ReDux Post # 68 Honey Lemon Asparagus

The Recipe ReDux for March is "Family Springtime Celebrations" and the challenge was to come up with a festive recipe to celebrate the start of Spring.   When I think of Spring the first two things that come to mind (besides Easter of course) are daffodils and asparagus!  That veggie is always on our table at Easter dinner, but usually just steamed... and somewhat ...plain.  I wanted to come up with an asparagus recipe that was a bit more exciting and original.  Lemon and honey seemed like interesting ways to accent it and they worked out well, along with the wants and raisins for a garnish.  It's a super easy and tasty recipe for your Spring table!  I hope you will give it a try along with all of the other Spring time treats from the Recipe Redux group!


1 average sized bunch asparagus, chopped into 1-2 inches pieces  (thinner spears work well)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons each of chopped walnuts and golden raisins (optional for garnish)
salt and pepper, optional


Coat a large pan with the olive oil, add the asparagus and salute and medium high heat for about 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften.  Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and honey together.  Pour them over the asparagus, mix well to coat and then cook for another 1-2 minutes until the asparagus is firm but tender when pierced with a fork.  Garnish with raisins and nuts and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4th of recipe Calories 114 Protein 4 g Carb 14 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 6 g Fat 6 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 81 mg



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Recipe ReDux Post # 67 Protein Packed Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

February Recipe Redux is Bake Some Bread, and the challenge was to bake a bread with a special twist.  I haven't quite got into baking yeast breads yet (that will be a future goal for sure) but our family loves quick breads!  I decided to try making a banana bread with added protein and chocolate chips which came out delicious!  This recipe is easy to make, does not have a lot of extra sugar or fat and is higher in protein which packs a punch. It;s a great breakfast, snack or dessert choice and I hope you will give it a try along with all the other yummy bread recipes from the Recipe ReDux group!

1 cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick, use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
3/4 cup oat flour (use a gluten free brand such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons protein powder *(preferably natural
unflavored, see notes on the one I use below)
3 large sized over ripe bananas, mashed
6 Tablespoons liquid egg white
¼ cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
cooking spray
aluminum foil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the oats, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder and protein powder in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, mix together the mashed banana, brown sugar, egg whites, milk and vanilla. Add the oats/flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon into a 8x4 loaf pan coated with cooking spray and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for about 30 minutes.  Then cover top loosely with aluminum foil and bake for another 30 minutes until the top lightly browned and a toothpick comes out mostly clean when inserted into the center.

* I have had great success with using Nature’s Best
Isopure Perfect Natural Protein Powder, unflavored- it is gluten-free, lactose free

Makes 12  servings

Serving size 1/12, 1 slice Calories 170 Protein 6 g Carb 28 g Fiber 4 g Sugars 14 g Fat 4 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 81 mg



Thursday, February 1, 2018

Nutriton News For the New Year: The Latest New Bites!

Happy New Year everyone! The first month of 2018 flew by and I am back on track to provide you some delicious recipes and interesting nutrition news and info.  Here is the latest edition of Nutrition News Bites:

Check out this new research and commentary comparing nutrition benefits of various non-dairy milks, soy milk seems to top the list, see that HERE

This latest behavioral study on food intake study showed that choosing healthier, less calorically dense foods, even in larger portions seemed to be the most effective strategy rather than being strict on portion control overall.

The super popular Paleo diet was put to the test in a clinical study in Sweden in postmenopausal women, and it showed promising effects in helping maintain weight loss and decrease risk factors for CV disease and type 2 diabetes.  Hopefully more research on this trendy diet in other populations will be put to the test soon!

And...yet another benefit of the mediterranean diet revealed- increasing fertility!

Stay tuned for more nutrition news and recipes coming your way!


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