Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In The News: Eating Yogurt May Protect Against High Blood Pressure

A new study suggests that including yogurt in ones daily diet may protect against high blood pressure. According to research presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions- the "study found long-term yogurt-eaters were less likely to develop high blood pressure and on average had lower systolic blood pressure than those who didn’t eat yogurt. Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading. It measures the force of blood against the walls of your arteries when your heart is beating". The study, funded by the Framingham Heart Study of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and by a research grant from the Dannon Company, Inc., was conducted for 15 years and over 2000 volunteers were followed. Results showed that participants were 31 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure if at least 2 percent of their daily calories came from yogurt (this is equivalent to eating at least one six-ounce cup of low-fat yogurt every three days) In addition, their systolic blood pressure increased less than that of people who didn’t eat yogurt. You can read more about the study abstract by clicking HERE. Want to add more yogurt into your diet? Try my Yogurt Parfait Shots, Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Dip or my Ridiculously Easy and Healthy Fruit Yogurt!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Three Ingredient Healthy Homemade BBQ “Ranch” Dressing - Recipe ReDux Post # 5

I have recently just discovered kefir and was excited to incorporate into a dressing recipe for this month’s Recipe ReDux challenge- using “Fermented Foods”.  For those of you unfamiliar with Kefir  it is a fermented milk drink, with a taste very similar to yogurt.  It is a great source of calcium, protein and probiotics and can also be low in fat if you choose the low fat varieties.  There are even lactose free brands out on the market (such as Green Valley which I used in this particular recipe) for those that are lactose intolerant. Because plain kefir is thinner than actual yogurt and has a nice tangy taste so I started thinking it would be a nice base for a dressing, especially a homemade mock ranch of sorts.  Bottled dressings tend to have so many ingredients and preservatives I am really trying to make more from scratch.  One afternoon I was short on time and hungry for a salad so I just poured some kefir and BBQ sauce in a bowl and threw in a dollup of mayo to thicken/emulsify and this recipe was born.  Let me tell you- I cannot believe how great the combo of these three ingredients tastes as a homemade dressing! And it is soooo low in calories, fat, sugar and sodium- it seemed too good to be true so I checked the nutrition facts calculations I ran through my database twice :)  So whip up some of this awesome dressing to top your next salad and check out some of these other great recipes by the talented bloggers from the Recipe ReDux Clan! 


½ cup plain low fat kefir (I used Green Valley Lactose-Free)

2 tablespoons light mayonnaise (I used Best Foods Light)

¼ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce ( I used Stubbs Original, this a great brand to use for those on a gluten-free diet)


Add all of the above to a small bowl, whisk together and serve, that’s it!! Chill in the fridge in an airtight container if not serving immediately.

Makes 14 tablespoons 7 servings

Serving Size 2 tablespoon Calories 25 Protein 0.5 g Carb 2.5 g Fiber 0 g Sugars 2 g Fat 1 g Saturated Fat 0 g Sodium 104 mg


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lentil Taco Filling

A flavorful and hearty vegetarian taco filling, you won’t miss the meat in this one- promise!


3 cups cooked lentils (I used canned, Westbrae)

2 cups diced bell pepper

1.5 cups finely chopped white onion

4 cups chopped button or cremini mushrooms

3-4 teaspoons taco seasoning

A dash or two of garlic

1-2 teaspoons olive oil


Cook the lentils according to package directions, or if using canned precooked, rinse well and put aside. Coat a large pan with the olive oil. Put on medium heat and add the bell pepper and onion to brown for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Throw in the sliced mushrooms, cover and cook for another few minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss in the lentils, taco seasoning and garlic and stir well. Heat uncovered for a 3-5 minutes until warmed through.

Serving suggestions:

Enjoy this filling in corn tortillas or lettuce wraps or even over salad.  Top with avocado, cheese, salsa and or Greek yogurt.

Makes 6 cups, 6 servings

Serving size: 1 cup Calories 150 Protein 10 g Carb 25 g Fiber 11 g Sugars  6 g Fat 2 g Saturated fat  0 g Sodium 230 mg


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vanilla Cantaloupe Smoothie

One more Summer recipe before the season and it's bounty of delicious fruits is a thing of the past!
1 cup small cubed cantaloupe * (see below for food safety/preparation note)
½ frozen banana
¼ cup milk (I used vanilla unsweetened almond milk)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all the above in a blender and blend until smooth.
Makes 1 smoothie, 1 serving
Serving size: all of recipe Calories 120 Protein 2 g Carb  27 g Fiber 3 g Sugars 19  g Fat 1 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 70 mg
 Cantaloupe has been in the news recently and in past years due to some unfortunate food safety issues.  Click HERE to read some important tips on washing and preparing it safely for consumption.


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