Friday, May 30, 2014

Oatmeal Berry Muffins

These delicious muffins were easy to make and about 190 calories each making for a great whole grain snack or breakfast.

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tin with liners or spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
In a separate bowl whisk together maple syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla.
Add wet ingredients to dry mixture and stir until just moistened.
Fold in berries gently. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes.
Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes before placing on cooling rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Is Watermelon Good For Us?

I hope everyone had a healthy and happy Memorial Day. The fruit salad I posted yesterday was a delicious combination of watermelon cut with a star shaped cookie cutter, sliced strawberries, and blueberries. Here is some additional information on watermelon I was unable to post yesterday...

The quintessential summer melon synonymous with bbq’s, picnics, and outdoor celebrations. Undoubtedly a favorite by many, and also avoided by some who believe watermelon is merely water and sugar. Is watermelon healthy to eat, or is it a fattening food we should be avoiding?

Just like tomatoes, watermelon is high in lycopene, a carotenoid pigment important for cardiovascular health. Lycopene is an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of cancer as well. Watermelon is also a good source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.

92% of watermelon is water making it a low calorie food to enjoy. 1 cup of watermelon has only 40 calories.

What about Glycemic Index?

Glycmic index is a measure of the effect sugar in food has on your blood glucose levels. High glycemic foods raise blood sugar quickly and increase the secretion of insulin. Eating high glycemic foods often can lead to too much insulin in your blood and weight gain. Lower glycemic foods have a less drastic effect on blood glucose levels.

Watermelon has a glycemic index of 72 making it a high glycemic food, but this number does not take serving size into consideration. If we eat 1 cup of watermelon we are actually consuming a low glycemic food. 2 cups of watermelon make it a medium glycemic food. 3 cups or more place it in the high glycemic category. The goal isn’t to eliminate all high glycemic foods, but rather consume them in moderating. At only 120 calories in 3 cups, watermelon it still a good low calorie and filling option whether you follow glycemic index ratings or not.

Watermelon is a nutrient dense low calorie food high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Everything in moderation is key but watermelon along with many other fruits and vegetables can be part of a healthy well balanced diet for everyone.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Salmon Arugula Salad with Tart Cherries

The dark red pigment of cherries is a flavonoid compound called anthocyanin glycosides which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps the body fight against free radical damage, cancer, heart disease, and may even help soothe muscle soreness and joint pain.

Cherries are rich in fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, potassium, magnesium, iron, and folate. Tart cherries also contain melatonin, a hormone naturally produced in the body  that helps regulate sleep. Some studies have reported improved sleep in participants who drank tart cherry juice daily. Try this healthy and delicious recipe.

Serves: 4

6 cups arugula (about 3 oz)
1/2 radicchio, cut into strips
1 tbs olive oil
4 salmon fillets
3 shallots, sliced
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed and sliced
1 1/2 cup tart cherries with pits removed (completely thaw if frozen)
1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup tart cherry juice
salt and pepper

Divide arugula and radicchio evenly onto 4 plates and set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat add 1 tsp olive oil and cook shallots and jalapenos until tender.

In a separate skillet add remaining olive oil and cook salmon 2-3 minutes each side until done. Place one fillet on top of each plate of salad.

In the skillet with the shallots and jalapenos, add cherries and ginger. Stir occasionally until heated. Add cherry juice and increase heat to medium-high. Allow mixture to reduce for several minutes until much of the liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon cherry mixture and some of the remaining liquid over each salmon fillet as well as the salad. Serve and enjoy!