Friday, September 13, 2013

In The News: Fruits, Especially Berries, Hot Topics Of Research This Month!

Studies focusing on fruit intake, namely berries, have been plentiful in the news lately- linking fruit consumption to promoting brain health and protecting against diabetes as well as heart attacks.  This is not surprising because there has been years of great data on fruits and veggies and their positive effects on the body.  Eating a variety of fruits (and vegetables) daily supplies plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals and it seems like everyday more exciting research comes to light about their amazing powers!

Check out THIS RECENT REVIEW ARTICLE, that summarizes how eating berry fruits is great for the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes.  Berries are quite the superfood, also evidenced by a STUDY released early this year noting that eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week may help women reduce their risk of a heart attack by as much as one-third!

Eating more fruit is also linked to a lowering ones risk of Type 2 Diabetes, according to a NEW STUDY led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers.  People who ate at least two servings each week of whole fruits — namely blueberries, grapes, and apples — reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 23%! The key here is eating whole fruits NOT juices because the researchers found quite the opposite with higher juice intake.....those who consumed one or more servings of fruit juice per day actually increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 21%.  In fact, replacing three servings of juice per week for whole fruits would result in a 7% reduction in diabetes risk!

So grab a piece of fruit and enjoy!  And try some of my fruity recipes like Quadruple Spinach Berry Salad, Raspberry Yogurt Pops, Winter Fruit Salad or Oat Pancakes!


Friday, September 6, 2013

Non- Instant Oats....In An Instant!

Tired of those instant oatmeal packets?? If you prefer the hearty texture and filling nature of old fashioned rolled oats to instant but lack the time to prepare them I have an answer for you- SOAKING!  Soaking rolled oats 12-24 hours (or at least overnight) hydrates and fluffs them up quite nicely, so part of the “cooking” is done for you.

Here’s what you do:

1.)    Soaking process

Add 1 cup oats to a bowl/container, cover with 2 cups warm filtered water.  (If you want to soak more than 1 cup, then just add 2 cups of water to every additional cup of dry oats you want to soak. 

Cover with a towel or lid and soak 12-24 hours on the counter top.

2.)    Preparation.  Rinse and drain the oats in a strainer/colander and then you can cook them in a pot or microwave. 1 cup dry rolled oats yield about 1.5 cups after soaking. Add the desired amount of liquid (like milk or water, which is generally not much since the oats are already hydrated) and cook on the stove top on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.  Even faster, put the oats in a microwave dish and heat in high for about 1 minute per ½ cup of soaked oats.  You can add a splash of liquid before heating if you like them moist/more soupy.  If you microwave them without liquid they have a more separated/flaky texture like brown rice. 

3.)    Add your favorite toppings if desired and serve!!  That’s it. Soaking reminds me of the crockpot theory, leaving them to soak is doing a lot of the work for you.

Another thing to note: There is some research that suggests that fermenting oats improves there digestibility and makes them more nutritious. If you are interested in this and/or find oats difficult to digest you can take things a step further, and ferment the oats, which involves adding an acid, like lemon juice, whey, kefir or vinegar and a little bit of flour before soaking.  There is more information on this process HERE and I may possibly write a post on it in the future as well. 
Nutrition Info:

One cup dry oats Calories 300  Protein  g Carb  g Fiber 8  g Sugars 0 g Fat  g Saturated fat g Sodium  0 mg


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