Superfood

A Buzzworthy Treat

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Posted September 13th, 2010 in Healthy Tips, Superfood

Here’s a little secret. Honey is one of the best compliments for fresh or canned fruit ! Did you know the very best honey for our bodies can often be found right in our own communities?

There are several benefits of eating locally-collected honey. While no medical studies have proved that eating local honey will definitely help allergies, some people have experienced a reduction in allergic symptoms after eating local honey. Honey can also boost energy, relieve morning sickness, and, when mixed with apple cider vinegar, can be used for ailments like stomach aches, constipation, and migraines.

Not only is honey a remedy for common ailments, it is also a great substitute for sugar in most recipes. For best results, follow these tips:

  • If using under one cup of sugar, substitute an equal amount of honey.
  • If using over one cup of sugar, use 2/3 – 3/4 cup of honey per cup.

Do you live in Oregon? Here’s where you can find yummy, sticky options near you.

At Oregon Fruit Products, our Export Sales Manager, Bryan Brown has a “secret life”-as an amateur bee keeper!  Check out his photo in full beekeeper regalia on the Oregon Fruit Facebook Page and while you’re there become a fan.

Additionally, OFP headquarters in Salem is located in the same town as Honeystix, which produces 99.9% of all honey in straws. Honey straws are so pretty, and a great way for kids to have a quick sweet treat without getting too messy.

Inspired by all this honey talk? Check out this yummy Popsicle recipe that uses honey, blackberries and yogurt!

photo credit: fitceleb.com

Superfoods and super friends

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Posted January 13th, 2010 in Superfood

superfooddinnerTW

Superfoods, slow food, nutritionally dense….buzz words that convey the latest direction from the medical community. Eat more fruits and vegetables, eat variety, as in more types of fruit and vegetables. A couple of months ago, I attended a women’s health expo presented by Mercy Hospitals of Sacramento with my friend Anne. Anne is a breast cancer survivor. When Anne got sick, it was that event that really solidified how important our circle of friends really was in our lives. For the last 20 years we have raised our children side by side, joined together for every celebration, every sorrow, every achievement and every disappointment.

At the expo, Anne and I listened to a family practitioner and a dietitian talk about “superfoods” and there was a handout detailing what they considered to be the top 15. There was also a theme at this event about how women take care of everyone around them first, but often forget to take care of themselves. So I got inspired. I decided to prepare a meal to truly take care of my friends. The goal was to include as many of the top 15 as possible, to use healthy ingredients such as the “good fats” and fresh herbs to make it delicious. I even rode my bike to do the shopping just to get into the true spirit of health (I should mention this was really the “slow way” to shop as well!). Beware! Two bottles of red wine (while loaded with resveratrol) in your backpack really messes with your center of gravity!

So to the menu: They snacked on edamame, roasted almonds and red grapes, sipping the aforementioned red wine (and iced green tea for those who don’t drink) while I cooked and listened to them kibbutz and laugh. It was sometimes hard to concentrate on my job as these girls crack me up. Another age old adage, laughter is the best medicine, came to mind. No need to research the health benefits of this. Just look at your friends’ faces. The dinner began with a spinach, red chard and Italian parsley salad with pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette. Our main course consisted of almond crusted chicken breast with raspberry sauce, roasted Brussel sprouts with red pears and shallots flavored with fresh thyme and a warm sweet potato salad with black beans and jalapenos. I should mention that a true “superfood” menu would have featured wild salmon but my friend Christy doesn’t eat fish. We love Christy so accommodations must be made! We finished the meal with a delicious Apple Cherry Crisp with a Twist. The topping was made from crumbled phyllo dough, honey and cinnamon served with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

This meal was three hours of eating, talking and laughing – the true hallmark of slow food. When we got up from the table and entered the kitchen it looked like a bomb went off. Every dish I own was dirty and every surface was covered with remnants of the cooking process. All five of my dinner guests jumped into the clean up effort and in minutes the dishwasher was on and my kitchen was restored to order. You gotta love your girlfriends.

SalmonraspberryTW

Blueberry Meal-In-A Muffin

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Posted January 7th, 2010 in Breakfast, Superfood

Log MuffinsAs I mentioned last time, my niece has been asking me for a really great blueberry muffin recipe that is also healthy. So I thought I would give that a try. We are five days into our New Year’s resolutions and I wanted to create a baked treat loaded with satisfying healthy ingredients that could serve as breakfast on the go. I found a recipe that had most of what I was looking for. I made a few adjustments and Voila! I stole a tip from Alton Brown on the Food Network-save about ¼ cup of the blueberries and just sprinkle them on top before baking. Press them into the batter with the back of a spoon. They look just like they are bursting with blueberries! This recipe is moist and delicious because of the applesauce and just a bit of oil. It also has buttermilk which I love for baking but let’s be real, buttermilk is a pain. No one drinks it. If you use it for baking you throw away 90% of it every time. So I am standing in the checkout line buying yet another quart of buttermilk for these muffins knowing full well that in a couple of weeks I won’t even try it, I’ll just toss it. Because who would know if buttermilk was sour anyway? So the checker asks me if I drink the stuff. I tell her I just use it to bake with and she tells me they sell powdered buttermilk! WHO KNEW??? Anyway I am now a fan. You just make it when you need it, what a concept.

The muffins are jam packed with whole grain, fiber and antioxidants for a jump start to an active day.

These muffins are starting to smell REALLY GOOD, I wonder if they will make it to breakfast…

*Tip: Store them in the freezer and microwave for about 30 seconds before running off to work. They taste warm and delicious like you got up at 4 a.m. to bake. (of course that would be just nuts!)

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