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Your Heart (and Your Taste Buds) Will Love This Old-Fashioned Oatmeal

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Feb 13, 2016 3:10:09 PM

Recipe-Oatmeal-BAN-600x460-150115Featured Recipe

For American Heart Month, we're turning to a breakfast staple of a heart-healthy diet. Oatmeal comes in many varieties for many cooking methods — you may reach for a canister of round flakes for quick boiling, or tear open a flavored packet for 'instant' results. But in order to have our oats ready faster and faster, they need to be processed: smashed, toasted, and steamed. The end result may be fast, but it may also be mushy and pasty. But there's another cooking method that we think is worth the wait: the old-fashioned way. 

This recipe calls for 'steel-cut' (or 'Irish') oats, which are less processed than their flattened ('rolled') counterparts. Nutritionally, oats are very similar across processing styles, but the intact grains of steel-cut is digested more slowly, keeping you full for longer and with less of a blood sugar spike. This variety has a more distinct texture and keeps well in the refrigerator, so you can cook a big batch and have homemade breakfast for days.

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Topics: Recipe, Nutrition

Eating for Disease Management? This Healthier Cookie Is a Sweet Cheat

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Jan 15, 2016 4:05:09 PM

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Healthy food choices are often at the heart of managing chronic disease. When temptation hits, these healthier cookies can take the (place of) cake.Desserts and sweets can be among the first casualties of better eating. These foods are often packed with sugar (a danger for diabetes) and fat (an enemy of heart health), and represent ‘extra’ calories outside the realm of the sensible meal. By the same token, sweets pose a big temptation, one that we may not always be able to resist. Trying to abstain completely can sometimes result in the opposite: giving in for something especially rich, and quite possibly going overboard.

Instead of banning sweets forever, consider allowing yourself a healthier indulgence…in moderation. These hearty cookies contain almost no fat, thanks to an ingenious substitute for butter, and less sugar than many recipes. Using egg whites only wipes out unhealthy cholesterol. Raisins add natural sweetness, and oatmeal provides texture and dietary fiber. At less than 100 calories per cookie, it's a sensible way to indulge a sweet tooth while staying mindful of dietary restrictions.

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Topics: Recipe, Nutrition

Post-Holiday Dietary Detox: A Wholesome Bean-and-Grain Recovery Meal

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Dec 26, 2015 10:30:00 AM

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With healthy nutrients and lean protein, this flavorful adaptation of rice and beans can help your body energize and recover from holiday indulgence.Did you overdo it this holiday season? Are you feeling tired, bloated, and listless? It’s happened to the best of us. But despite empty promises never to eat again, you’ll have to eat something — and eating better can help get you on the fast track to feeling better. Our latest recipe is a flavorful dish that can help your body energize and recover with healthy nutrients and lean protein.

This recipe is adapted from the Cuban version of rice and beans. Here, the rice is replaced with quinoa, an ancient Incan super-grain full of fortifying nutrients. Black beans are also high in protein and fiber, and low in fat and cholesterol. These basics are cooked together in a single pot to merge flavors and create a filling dish that will jump-start your return to healthier eating habits.

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Topics: Recipe, Nutrition

This Simple, Healthier Homemade Stuffing Will Get Gobble-Gobbled Up

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Nov 21, 2015 10:00:00 AM

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This Thanksgiving, make healthier eating your new tradition — and start by giving one staple of the feast a healthier makeover.It’s almost Thanksgiving, the official beginning to the end-of-year eating season. It’s a holiday steeped in tradition, and unfortunately for our health, many of our best Thanksgiving traditions are founded on unhealthy amounts of fat and salt. Portion control can help to keep your weight and disease management on track, but greater-than-usual temptations — not to mention a lack of healthy options — can make sticking to a sensible diet that much more difficult. This holiday, you can aim for better nutrition by giving a Thanksgiving staple a healthier makeover.

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Topics: Recipe, Nutrition

Step Aside, Pumpkin — This Stuffed Squash Is Our Chairman of the Gourd

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Oct 30, 2015 4:45:54 PM

Featured Recipe

Pumpkins might dominate at Halloween, but this hearty squash recipe rules the table. Southwestern tastes rest in a nutritious vegetable shell.The end of October, a time for tricks and treats, is dominated by an iconic orange gourd. But we’re trying something different, flying in the face of Big Pumpkin to see what its close relatives have to offer. And with sensational Southwestern tastes, this stuffed squash recipe may very well become a new reason to embrace the spooky season.

Starting with a foundation of acorn squash, this dish is full of vitamins and other nutrients. Black beans and ground lean turkey provide a one-two punch of protein, set off by warm touches of chili, cumin, and garlic. Limited fat and cholesterol contents make this recipe a heart-happy choice, and seeking out no- or low-sodium canned ingredients further helps to keep salt intake low.

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Topics: Recipe, Nutrition