3 tablespoon oil, canola
3/4 cup pumpkin, puree or homemade
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoon sugar, brown (packed)
2 egg lightly beaten
1 cup flour, whole-wheat (whole-meal)
1/2 cup flour, all-purpose (plain)
2 tablespoon flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon allspice, ground
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon nuts, hazelnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat together the canola oil, pumpkin puree, honey, brown sugar and eggs until well blended.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, flaxseed, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and, using the electric mixer on medium speed, beat until well blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the hazelnuts evenly over the top and press down gently to lodge the nuts into the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn the loaf out of the pan onto the rack and let cool completely.
It’s a well-known fact, but it’s worth repeating: Fruits and vegetables can help protect you against many chronic diseases — not to mention, they also provide you with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function. Try these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Agriculture. Before you know it, they will be a seamless part of your everyday lifestyle.
Make a fruit-and-yogurt parfait for breakfast. Mix a handful of low-fat granola with low-fat yogurt. Add sliced bananas or strawberries.
Top a piece of whole-grain toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas.
Mix blueberries or raspberries into your muffin or pancake batter.
Add bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms or tomatoes to your scrambled eggs or egg-white omelet.
Like pizza? Opt for lots of vegetable toppings and less cheese.
Mix green beans, corn, broccoli or peas into your favorite casserole or pasta dish. Aim to eat more veggies than you do pasta.
Make a meal of vegetable soup and salad. Beef up your lettuce salad with cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers.
Create a healthier sandwich: Include lots of spinach or romaine lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions and sliced cucumbers, along with whatever lean protein is your favorite.
Mix fresh fruit, ice cubes and low-fat yogurt in a blender for a fruit-smoothie snack.
Keep apples, oranges, pears and bananas nearby for go-to snacking.
Explore different varieties of vegetables and fruits for appealing tastes and textures. The more you experiment, the easier it will become to incorporate these foods into your daily diet and reap all the health benefits.
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, and EVOO.
Add the basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes, stirring to combine.
Cover and let stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve over hot cooked rice.
Can you count your grandmother’s beloved bread pudding as a healthy recipe? Scrumptious as it may be with four cups of whole milk, one stick of butter and four eggs, you probably wouldn’t find it on a list of healthy recipes. But you don’t have to remove it from your recipe box. Just modify that bread pudding with a few simple change-ups, and you’ve got another healthy recipe for your collection — not a fat and calorie disaster.
Here are five techniques you can use to help create healthy recipes. Remember, these are just some examples. Use your imagination and experiment to find other ways to create healthy recipes — maybe you can even serve them to Grandma!
Reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt
You can often reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt without sacrificing flavor in healthy recipes. Use these general guidelines:
Fat. For baked goods, use half the butter, shortening or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana or prune puree. You can also use commercially prepared fruit-based fat substitutes found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.
Sugar. Reduce the amount of sugar by one-third to one-half. Instead, add spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg, or flavorings such as vanilla extract or almond flavoring to boost sweetness.
Salt. For most main dishes, salads, soups and other foods, you can reduce the salt by half or even eliminate it. You can reduce salt by half in baked goods that don’t require yeast too. For foods that require yeast, you may need to experiment: Some salt may be necessary for leavening to keep baked goods from being too dense or flat.
Make a healthy substitution
Healthy substitutions not only reduce the amount of fat, calories and salt in your recipes but also can boost the nutritional content.
Pasta. Use whole-wheat pasta instead of enriched pasta. You’ll triple the fiber and reduce the number of calories.
Milk. Prepare a dessert with fat-free milk instead of whole milk to save 66 calories and almost 8 grams of fat per cup.
Meat. When making casseroles, scale back on meat, poultry or fish and increase the amount of vegetables. You’ll save on calories and fat while gaining more vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Cut back some ingredients
In some recipes, you can eliminate an ingredient altogether or scale back the amount you use.
Toppings. Eliminate items you generally add out of habit or for appearance, such as frosting, coconut or whipped-cream toppings, which are all high in fat and calories.
Condiments. Cut condiments, such as pickles, olives, butter, mayonnaise, syrup, jelly and mustard, which can contain a lot of salt, sugar, fat and calories. Use low-sodium soy sauce in a smaller amount than a recipe calls for to decrease the amount of sodium.
Cheese. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, use 1/2 cup instead.
Change cooking and prep techniques
There are several healthy cooking techniques that can capture the flavor and nutrients of a well-loved recipe without adding excessive amounts of fat, oil or salt. Try these preparation techniques for healthy recipes.
Cooking method. Healthy cooking techniques include braising, broiling, grilling, poaching, sauteing and steaming.
Basting liquid. If the directions say to baste the meat or vegetables in oil or drippings, use a small amount of wine, fruit juice, vegetable juice or fat-free vegetable broth instead.
Nonstick cookware. Using nonstick pans or spraying pans with nonstick spray will further reduce the amount of fat and calories added to your meals.
Downshift your speed and downsize the portion
No matter how much you reduce, switch or omit ingredients, some recipes may still be high in sugar, fat or salt. You can help your diet by not rushing through meals and cutting back on the portion size too.
Slow down. Eat your meals more slowly to give your body a chance to register the fact that you’re filling up. Put your fork down between bites if necessary. You’ll eat less in the long run.
Check portion sizes. Many portions today are so large you may not realize what a true portion or serving is. Train yourself by using smaller plates, spoons and cups. And learn to use common visual cues to understand servings — one serving of whole-grain cooked pasta is about the same size as a hockey puck, for instance.
Putting it all together to create healthy recipes
Before plunging ahead with a recipe, look it over and think about what you can change to turn it into a healthy recipe. Make notes of any alterations so that you can refer to them the next time you prepare the recipe. You may have to make the recipe a few times before you get the results you want, but finding the right combination of ingredients — for the desired taste, consistency and nutrients — is well worth the trouble.
When ordering food at a restaurant, do you know which items may be loaded with fat and calories? Unlike when you’re grocery shopping, the foods in a restaurant may not have nutrition labels listing their fat grams and calorie content.
Hidden calories refer to the extra calories in many dishes that come from ingredients you may be unaware of. That’s why they’re such a problem for people grappling with weight control. Ingredients are often added to enhance the flavor, color or texture of food — for example, seasonings, sauces, cheesy toppings or dressings. And sometimes they’re part of the process used to prepare the dish — for example, oil or butter for cooking. These calories add up fast.
Use these tips to steer clear of hidden fat and calories in restaurant food.
Appetizers. If you’re having an appetizer, choose one that contains primarily vegetables, fruit or fish. Lettuce cups, edamame, fresh-fruit compote and shrimp cocktail served with lemon are healthy appetizers. Avoid fried or breaded appetizers, which are generally high in calories. Of course, you can also save calories by skipping the appetizer altogether and just focusing on your entree.
Soup. The best choices are broth-based or tomato-based soups. Creamed soups, chowders and pureed soups can contain heavy cream or egg yolks.
Bread. Muffins, garlic toast and croissants have more fat and calories than do whole-grain bread, breadsticks and crackers. Skip the temptation by asking the server not to bring the bread basket.
Salad. Your best choice is a lettuce or spinach salad with a low-fat dressing on the side. Limit all of the high-calorie add-ons, such as cheese and croutons. Also beware that chef salad and taco salad are usually high in fat and calories because of the meat, cheese and other extras — such as the taco salad’s deep-fried shell.
Side dish. Choose steamed vegetables, rice, fresh fruits, a baked potato or boiled new potatoes instead of higher-calorie options, such as french fries, potato chips and mayonnaise-based salads.
Entrees. You maywant to skip pasta dishes with meat or cheese or dishes with creamy sauces. The names of certain dishes are sometimes giveaways that they’re high in fat, such as prime rib, veal parmigiana, stuffed shrimp, fried chicken, fried rice and fettuccine Alfredo. Instead, look for these healthy terms when choosing an entree: baked, broiled without added butter, grilled, poached, roasted or steamed.
Dessert. Finish your main meal before ordering dessert. By the time you’re done, you may not even want dessert. If you do order dessert, consider splitting it with one of your companions. Some healthy dessert options include fresh fruit, sorbet or sherbet.
Also, be mindful of two common dining-out challenges: the urge to order more food than you need and the impulse to eat every bit of food on your plate — even when the portion size is way too large for one person!
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day for a reason: People who regularly eat a healthy, balanced breakfast tend to concentrate better and get more physical activity than those who skip it. Breakfast eaters also have an easier time managing their weight and have good cholesterol levels.
Take a bite out of the habit of skipping breakfast with these strategies:
Get into the habit. Start with grabbing just a piece of fruit as you walk out the door. Gradually include other food groups.
Curb your sweet tooth the healthy way. Try making French toast using whole-grain bread dipped in a batter made of egg whites or an egg substitute, a pinch of cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla extract. Fry in a nonstick skillet or use a cooking spray. Top with thinly sliced apples, unsweetened applesauce, berries or sliced banana for sweetness.
Prepare in advance. If you’re rushed in the morning, set the table the night before with bowls and spoons for cereal or slice some fruit ahead of time and place your smoothie blender out on the counter. Keep easy favorites such as hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, instant whole-grain oatmeal and low-fat yogurt on hand.
Think out of the (cereal) box. Don’t limit yourself to traditional breakfast foods. Leftover vegetable pizza or a turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread can make a healthy breakfast.
Take it with you. If there’s no time to eat breakfast at home, pack a brown-bag breakfast or grab a banana and take it with you.
Split it up. If you’re not hungry first thing in the morning, eat a slice of whole-wheat toast or drink a glass of 100 percent fruit juice. Later, eat a healthy mid-morning snack.
Change gradually. Have breakfast on two mornings at first, and three mornings a little later. Your eventual goal is to eat breakfast every day.
Whenever you’re tempted to skip your morning meal, just remember that a good breakfast also helps keep you from becoming ravenously hungry later in the day, so you won’t eat as much.
Do your intentions to eat well seem to fly out the window when you have a packed schedule? Stay grounded with these simple tips, no matter how long your to-do list is:
Make an effort to eat as a family at least once a day. A pleasant meal that isn’t rushed promotes family bonding and improves the likelihood of eating a well-balanced meal. Be flexible with timing: You may need to eat dinner early or make a plan to always sit down together just for breakfast to accommodate everyone’s hectic schedule.
Cook ahead. When you have time to cook, make a double batch and freeze leftovers for quick meals on busy days. For instance, simmer enough pasta for two days. Serve it hot one night with sauce, then chilled in a salad with tuna and low-fat salad dressing the next.
Stock your pantry with foods for simple meals. Good examples are whole-wheat pasta, fresh and frozen vegetables, fresh and canned fruits, 100 percent whole-wheat bread, lean deli meats, salsa, canned dried beans, and low-fat or fat-free yogurt and cheese.
Go for health and convenience. Some convenience foods are designed to be healthy and lower in calories. A healthy frozen entree or side dish is an option on busy days. Read labels for calories, fat and sodium. Stock healthy versions of quick foods like instant brown rice.
Look for shortcuts. Simplify your meal prep and save time by buying pre-cut fruits and vegetables, precooked meats, shredded low-fat cheeses, packaged salads, and frozen or canned vegetables. There’s nothing quicker than fresh fruit, but fruit canned in its own juice (not sugary syrup) is also OK. Rinse canned vegetables with water to remove excess sodium.
Keep a list of simple menu ideas. Recipes that include common staples and take 20 minutes or less come in handy on days when you’re rushed.
It always helps if you plan meals ahead, but if your house is stocked with healthy choices you can wing it and still eat well. Remember that healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated or involve hard-to-find ingredients.
Meat doesn’t have to be the only source of protein in your diet. In fact, studies show that eating red meat and processed meat can increase your risk of developing heart disease and cancer.
Since meatless meals are built around vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and grains, they offer many nutrients, including protein. Eggs and low-fat dairy foods also are good protein sources. Eating a variety of these foods throughout the day can give you all the essential amino acids — the building blocks of protein — that your body needs. In addition, protein from meatless sources can be just as filling. Another bonus: Buying less meat can also help you spend less on food, as meat usually costs more than its healthy alternatives.
Meatless recipes can offer a world of enjoyable possibilities, including some fun ethnic meals. Start exploring your meatless options — and your cooking creativity — with these ideas:
Substitute part or all of the meat with extra vegetables when making lasagna, pasta and stews.
Order mushroom and cheese or veggie pizza.
Stir-fry vegetables with tofu instead of meat.
Make vegetable kebabs.
Choose bean burritos or tacos.
Make chili or spaghetti sauce with soy-based vegetable crumbles instead of ground meat.
Grill portobello mushrooms in place of hamburgers.
Instead of building your meals by focusing on meat, think about the colorful and satisfying meals you can create by starting with vegetables and whole grains.
1 pound snow peas, washed and trimmed of stems and strings (about 7 cups)
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
Crushed red pepper, optional
Bring a large saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the peas, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain the peas then plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again thoroughly and set aside.
To prepare the sauce, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch and five-spice powder in a small bowl. Stir until the cornstarch and seasonings have dissolved. In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and peas. Increase the heat to high, stirring frequently. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.
Your goal is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Aim for a whole rainbow of colors, including dark green, red, orange, purple and white. Variety is vital to get all the different nutrients and their health benefits.
Make fruits and veggies the star of your daily diet with these ideas:
Snack smart. Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Or reach for vegetables that require little preparation, such as baby carrots and cherry tomatoes. Keep a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter. Just be sure to limit your intake of dried fruits because they’re not as filling as whole fruits and they have a lot more calories in a smaller volume of food. For example, 1⁄4 cup of raisins has the same number of calories — about 100 — as almost 2 cups of grapes.
Experiment with new combinations. Try mango or peach slices on whole-wheat toast with a little peanut butter and honey. Toss some mandarin orange or peach slices into a salad.
Choose recipes that have vegetables or fruits as a main ingredient. Try pineapple-chicken stir-fry, tomato-basil pizza or vegetarian chili.
Start your day with a fruit or vegetable. Sprinkle a handful of blueberries on your morning cereal or oatmeal. Saute red peppers, tomatoes or spinach into your scrambled eggs.
Drink your fruits and vegetables. But don’t reach for prepared fruit juice! Instead, turn whole fruits and vegetables into a refreshing drink. Make a smoothie with plain low-fat yogurt and your favorite frozen fruits. Or puree together banana, berries, lemon, mint, ice and 2 cups of fresh raw baby spinach — this green concoction may look odd, but it tastes delicious!
As you can see from these suggestions, sneaking more fruits and veggies into your diet can be easy, convenient — and fun!
Schedule A Wellness Consultation
If you would like to meet with one of our wellness professionals, please call 386.271.3256 or fill out the form below and we will reach out to you at your convenience.