Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Cranberry Applesauce

A package of fresh cranberries sent to me by the Cranberry Institute was the perfect inspiration to come up with this simple, yet very tasty recipe. Adding a bit of orange juice and the cranberries gives basic applesauce a delicious flavor boost.


8 cups of peeled, cored and cut apples (chop into about 1 inch chunks), best to use sweet, softer varieties (I used Gala)
1 cup fresh cranberries
a few dashes of cinnamon
the juice of one fresh orange
brown sugar or maple syrup (optional)


Add all of the ingredients in a large pot on medium-low heat in a large pot and cook, stirring occasionally until apples are very tender, about 15-20 minutes. Mash with a fork until the desired consistency is reached.  If you would like to add a little sweetness, stir in 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup (or brown sugar). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes 4 cups, 8 servings

Serving size: 1 /2 cup Calories 90 Protein 0 g Carb 22 g Fiber 4 g Sugars 15 g Fat 0 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 0 mg


Monday, October 22, 2018

Recipe ReDux Post # 75: Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt Mini Sandwiches

The Recipe Redux for October is "Fresh From the Pumpkin Patch," so as you can guess, we were asked to create recipes using pumpkin of course! Gabby wanted to work on the recipe with me and had recently seen a picture of an ice cream sandwich so she asked if we could somehow combine mesh the pumpkin theme with some sort of ice cream sandwich as well. Our first thought was to use pumpkin ice cream but we realized we wanted to try something healthier than that.  After brainstorming we came up with making a protein bar type base with pumpkin puree and putting pumpkin yogurt in the middle which came out delicious! These mini ice cream sandwiches packed with whole grains, healthy fat and a decent amount of protein to not only satisfy a sweet craving for dessert or enjoy a treat-like snack...but they can even be eaten for breakfast, which we'd like to think is a game changer.  We hope you will try them out along with all the other pumpkin inspired creations brought to you by the recipe redux crew.
1 cup creamy or crunchy unsalted natural almond butter (I used Trader Joes Raw Unsalted Crunchy)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup  
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup oats (old fashioned, not quick, use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
¾ cup of unflavored protein powder *
2 six ounce containers of flavored Greek Yogurt, at least partially pre-frozen in the freezer for a few hours (vanilla or pumpkin work well)
Wax or parchment paper
8 x 8 inch pan


In a medium sized bowl, combine the almond butter, maple syrup, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, pie spice and salt and mix well.  

Stir in the protein powder and oats and mix some more. Divide the dough mixture in half. Take one half of the dough mixture, and press it into a square to fit a 8 by 8 inch pan. (Lining the pan with a large rectangular piece of parchment paper, placing the mixture on one side and then folding the paper over to press down works nicely since the dough is so sticky.) Lift the paper to remove the dough square and set aside. 

Repeat the same process with the other half of the dough (lining it with parchment and pressing it into a square to fit a 8 by 8 inch pan.  Take the partially frozen yogurt out of the freezer and spread it on top of the dough in the pan to evenly coat.  

Carefully take to dough square previously set aside and put it on top of the yogurt topped dough to make a sandwich.  Cover with parchment and put in the freezer for 4-5 hours.

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

Makes 16 mini sandwiches

Serving size: 1/16th of recipe Calories 197 Protein 9 g Carb 12 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 7 g Fat 9  g Saturated fat <1 g="" sodium="" span="" style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> 51 mg


Monday, October 15, 2018

In The News: The Latest from the Cranberry Institute

Checkout the latest news from the Cranberry Institute.  And stay tuned for some cranberry recipes coming soon!

the cranberry institute logo FINAL [low-res]

Fresh Cranberries: So Much More than Sauce
This season, we’re challenging you to show off your cran-tivity with fresh cranberries – a versatile fruit that adds unique flavor, color and variety to all kinds of dishes, sweet or savory.

And of course, they come with a wealth of health benefits! As a source of vitamin C and fiber, and naturally low in sugar, fresh cranberries are a healthy addition to any dish! And, they contain unique bioactive compounds that may positively affect glycemic response, prevent recurrent UTIs, support gut health, improve heart health and reduce inflammation.

We want to see the most fun, delicious and creative way you can prepare fresh cranberries in an appetizer, entrée or dessert! With Friendsgiving (and Thanksgiving!) just around the corner, now is the perfect time to get crafty with one of fall’s favorite fruits. 

AND A CHANCE TO WIN! Post your fresh cranberry recipe along with a cranberry health message on your blog and social channels, and send the links and any images over to us by November 7, for a chance to win one of three $75 Williams-Sonoma GiftCards – awarded to the most creative recipe from each category: appetizer, entrée and dessert! We can’t wait to see what you come up with! The full contest rules can be viewed here.

Breaking News from The Cranberry Chronicles: Busting Berry Myths
This year, we launched The Cranberry Chronicles, the comprehensive guide to cranberry’s existing, new and emerging whole-body health benefits. The Cranberry Chronicles are updated regularly with breaking scientific abstracts, articles, sharable resources, infographics and story ideas – all created with you in mind.

In the latest chapter, we’re busting myths surrounding cranberries and UTIs. Our newest graphic, The Berry Truth: Myths Busted, sheds light on some common misconceptions about cranberries – and clears up the science on how help prevent UTIs.

And remember to check out our Berries for Bellies graphic – sharing the science behind how cranberry may improve gut health!

Cranberry Health Research Library 
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.

The Latest in Cranberries and Health
Cranberries Beyond the Urinary Tract – Exploring the Whole-Body Benefits of Cranberry Polyphenols
The benefits of consuming cranberry products to help prevent recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) is evidence-based and significant to human health. More recently, however, scientists are investigating whether the polyphenolic compounds in cranberries may also have a meaningful impact on other parts of the body. Below are two new studies that ask this very question.

Scientists Explore How Cranberry Polyphenols May Positively Impact Metabolic Disorders
The international obesity pandemic has prompted researchers in many areas of health science to investigate its etiology and relationship to other body systems and the food we eat. Diets high in fruits and vegetables have been linked to leaner, healthier individuals so scientists are searching for bioactive plant-compounds that may treat or prevent obesity and its related metabolic disorders. Polyphenols are among the compounds found to be beneficial. Polyphenol-rich fruit extracts or isolated polyphenols as strategies to alleviate obesity-linked diseases have been demonstrated in humans and in animal models.

Cranberries are rich in polyphenols. Thus, Anhe, et al., investigated the potential of a polyphenol-rich cranberry extract to reverse already established obesity, insulin resistance, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and whether such effects may be linked to the improving the health of the gut microbiota. In this animal model, mice were fed a high-fat, high-sucrose diet to induce obesity. When treated with cranberry extract on this same diet, the team observed an upregulation of genes that are involved in fat breakdown and a decrease in several pro-inflammatory genes in the liver. This was associated with improved glucose metabolism and normalization of insulin sensitivity. In addition, indicators of a healthy gut microbiota were increased. In addition to showing the value of cranberry polyphenols to metabolic health, this discovery suggests that cranberry polyphenols may improve conditions by way of the liver and gut.

Authors: Anhe FF; Nachbar RT; Varin TV; Vilela V; Dudonne S; Pilon G; Fournier M; Lecours MA; Desjardins Y; Roy D; Levy E; Marette A. 
Journal: Mol Metab. 2017 Dec;6(12):1563-1573. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2017.10.003. Epub 2017 Oct 18.

Cranberry Extract May Help Protect Against Ill-Effects of a High-Fat Diet and Obesity
Scientific institutions in Australia, India and Sweden combined efforts to evaluate the effect of cranberry extract and isomalto-oligosaccharides (a carbohydrate found in fermented foods like soy or miso) on metabolic health measures related to obesity. Using a mice model, the team found that with a high-fat diet, the combination of the cranberry and a fermentable carbohydrate significantly increased beneficial gut bacterial and overall gut health. It also prevented inflammation caused by the high-fat diet, glucose intolerance and obesity-associated metabolic changes in fat tissue and liver.

Authors: Singh DP; Singh S; Bijalwan V; Kumar V; Khare P; Baboota RK; Singh P; Boparai RK; Singh J; Kondepudi KK; Chopra K; Bishnoi M.
Journal: Eur J Nutr. doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1561-5


Friday, September 21, 2018

Recipe ReDux Post # 74 Gabby's Greek Omelet

The Recipe ReDux for September is "Kids That Cook." And, as the title implies, we were encouraged to bring our kids in the kitchen to help with this challenge.  Gabby is going on 4 plus years of enjoying cooking time with me and lately she has been asking to learn how to make an omelet.  We decided this would be a perfect opportunity for her to learn.  Our weekly local produce box delivery included some fresh oregano this week so we definitely wanted to include that.  As we peeked in the cupboard a jar or olives and some sun dried tomatoes inspired us to go with a Greek style omelet.  We started with some egg whites and used them to blanket some fresh chopped spinach, the oregano, sun dried tomatoes, olives and shredded mozzarella cheese. The combination worked perfectly, was so easy to prepare and was SO flavorful. We spilt it and savored every last bite together. I hope you and your family will give this one a try as well as some the other kid-friendly recipes from the Recipe ReDux group.


2 eggs or 1/2 cup liquid egg whites/substitute
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/2 teaspoon oregano (fresh or dried)
1 tablespoon chopped sun dried tomatoes
5 chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup low fat mozzarella cheese
cooking spray or olive oil


Coat a small to medium sized pan with cooking spray or olive oil and warm on medium heat for 1 minute.  Pour in the eggs/liquid egg whites and heat for 1 minute.  Sprinkle the spinach, oregano, sun dried tomatoes, olives and cheese on one side of the eggs and heat for another 1 minute.  Fold the side without the toppings over to cover them and heat for another minute.  Flip the omelet over and heat for another 1-2 minutes until lightly browned.

Makes 1 serving

Serving Size 1 omelet: Calories 205 Protein 22 g Carb 9 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 2 g Fat 9 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 656 mg



Monday, September 17, 2018

The Latest Nutrition News Bites!

Here's some of the most recent interesting news in the world of nutrition...

New low carb diet research To Begin

A very large scale study on a low carb diet’s impact on type 1 diabetes to begin soon The world’s largest study ever conducted to evaluate the benefits of a low carb diet in type 1 diabetic patients is set to begin this Fall in Sweden.

Higher Dairy Consumption May Decrease Diabetes Risk

A review of recent research suggests a small protective effect of consuming dairy in combating the development of diabetes

A healthy diet can reduce cellular aging 

New research sheds insight into various healthy diet patterns and how they can combat aging of cells, namely in women

Dietary fiber may benefit the brain

Preliminary evidence suggests that dietary fiber may play a role in brain health by decreasing inflammation as we age


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Recipe ReDux Post # 73 Mexican Style Cucumber Boats

August Recipe ReDux theme is “Crunchy Snacks!”  When I think of crunchy snacks-chips, pretzels, popcorn come to mind, yet this time I wanted to try create a different kind of snack.  Raw veggies pack a healthy crunch and I had some cucumbers in the fridge, so I decided to start with those.  I wanted to make a heartier snack so I filled tried my luck at a Mexican themed cucumber boat by filling them with some black bean dip from Trader Joes that I had bought recently and have been wanting to sample.  Topping them with some tomatoes, corn, olives and cheese worked perfectly and the recipe came together nicely. These are a great appetizer, afternoon snack, or a few of them could work for a quick lunch too.  I hope you will try them out along with all the other snacks developed by the Recipe ReDux group.


3 Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed, halved and seeded (makes 6 “boats”)
6 tablespoons black bean dip (I used Trader Joes brand)
2 tablespoons chopped black olives
2 tablespoons cooked corn
2 tablespoons finely diced tomato

2 tablespoons low fat shredded cheese


Spoon about 1 tablespoon black bean dip into each cucumber half, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon each of corn, tomatoes and olives. Top each with one teaspoon of cheese and serve. Chill if not serving immediately.

Makes 6 servings

Serving Size 1 boat: Calories 45 Protein 2 g Carb 7 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 2 g Fat 1 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 156 mg


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Another Nutrition News Bites Edition!

Here are some important news and research updates in the world of nutrition:

Walnut Consumption May Decrease Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

A recent epidemiological study involving 34,000 adult participants in the U.S. showed that those who  consumed walnuts, at least 3 tablespoons per day, had a 47% lower prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes.  Check out the study HERE.

Soy Protein May Help Slow Bone Loss

New animal research indicates that soy protein found in foods, such as tofu and soy milk, may help improve bone strength in pre and pst menopausal women.

Interesting Weight Loss Tips and Research

The Summer weather should NOT prevent you from losing weight if you retrying to, according to experts in this Huffington Post article. But gender may make a difference in losing weight on a low calorie diet according to a new study.

Diet and Lifestyle Pattern Affects Cancer Risk

More evidence that diet and other lifestyle factors, such as activity and alcohol consumption, impact the risk of developing cancer per a recent large scale analysis.


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