No more canned Cream Of Something Soup!

Who doesn’t have a family favorite recipe that is made creamy and moist by a Cream of Something Soup (mushroom, chicken, celery, etc.)?  Let’s face it, most of us do.  The problem with soup concentrates is the laundry list of preservatives and additives they contain, including MSG.  These are not things I want to serve to my family any longer.

This Easter I made a homemade Cream of Chicken concentrate to add to my kids favorite potato dish.  It was easy and I had all the ingredients on hand already.  Cheaper and much healthier, so of course I want to share it!

CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP RECIPE

Yield: Equivalent to one can of soupNo-MSGINGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. When melted, whisk in the flour and continue whisking until smooth and bubbly. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. Return to the heat and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly, until the soup thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cool or use immediately in recipe.

To make cream of mushroom – add chopped fresh mushrooms, To make cream of celery – add fresh chopped celery

Just incase you have not explored the side effects of MSG..here are the ones reported by the FDA.  Eat with caution and read labels to minimize your exposure.

MSG side effects

 

Breakfast getting boring?

Is breakfast getting too predictable and needs some jazz? Try Almond Apple Pancake Muffins. Easy to make ahead for the entire week and 17g of Protein!  A great breakfast option (2 muffins) or snack (1 muffin) for your day.

Almond Apple Pancake Muffins

recipe by: oxygenmagazine.com modified by eatlivefit.net                     yeild: 12 muffins

Ingredients:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk or almond milk
  • 2 cups Almond Flour
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
  • Topping: 2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries, 1 TBS maple syrup, 1 tsp corn starch
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place eggs, apple sauce, buttermilk (or almond), almond flour, protein powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a blender or bowl and blend until smooth.

Pour batter into 12 greased or paper lined muffin cups.  Bake until set and lightly browned on top, aprox. 20 minutes.  Let cool.  Store in air tight container in the refrigerator.

Stir together blueberries, maple syrup, and corn starch in a large microwave safe bowl.  Heat on high, uncovered, for 2 minutes.  Stir and heat another two minutes.  Top 2 muffins with 1 tbs of sauce.

Nutrients per serving (2 muffins):  323 cal., fats, 21g, sat fat 1g, 
Sodium 131mg, Carbohydrates 22g, fiber 6g, Sugar 10g, Protein 17g
Alternative Ideas:

Substitute Applesauce for 1/2 cup pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin

Add fresh chopped apples pieces with peel to increase fiber content

Reduce calories by:

Omit blueberry sauce for a drizzle of maple syrup

Omit blueberry sauce for 1/2 cup fresh berries

Artificial sweeteners the culprit for declining diet soda sales. Consumers, we are taking control!

I was so encouraged to read the article below this week in Time Magazine.  As consumers, we have such a strong vote by what we buy.  Did you know that Coca Cola is now producing extra protein milk?  It’s called Fairlife and totes to be chocked full of more protein and less sugar.  Not ready to recommend it, just pointing out that they are switching their tune based on consumer demand.  Perhaps they see the writing on the wall and realize that the American public is moving away from diet and regular sodas into other drinks to cut back on sugar and chemicals.   Baby steps but steps just the same.   Read on!!!

"As concerns about health epidemics plague the nation, demand and sales of diet soda have plunged as consumers try to make better choices. As we reported yesterday, aspartame–the main sweetener for diet soda–is one of the most dangerous ingredients used in our food supply, causing seizures and a host of other health issues.
In a new study done over ten years and sampling 60,000 women, it was shown that women who drink two or more diet drinks a day have much higher cardiovascular disease rates and are more likely to die from the disease.“…Compared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event [heart attack or stroke] and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease." concluded the University of Iowa.
‘This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome,’ says Dr. Ankur Vyas… the lead investigator of the study. The association persisted even after researchers adjusted the data to 
account for demographic characteristics and other cardiovascular risk factors, including body mass index, 
smoking, hormone therapy use, physical activity, energy intake, salt intake, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake.
Soda sales slipping...
 Thankfully this study comes on the heels of reports of already slipping sales of diet soda, one of the largest aspartame markets.
According to Time Magazine: “One reason for the decline could be a growing awareness of the obesity epidemic in the US and growing health concerns surrounding sugar-sweetened beverages. According to Reuters, industry experts say the beverage industry is shrinking under the scrutiny. Even diet-branded drinks have suffered a loss of sales with concerns over artificial sweeteners.”
Whatever the reason for the decline, this new study should only add fuel to the movement away from artificial sweeteners. There are plenty of natural sweeteners that people can choose that are much healthier than aspartame. Click here for a practical guide to natural sweeteners.
Another important note is that the overall sales of soda going down also means that less people are being exposed to (mostly GM) high fructose corn syrup which carries a whole host of health risks as well."

So, what if you just bought a case of coca cola or diet coca cola?  Look at these fantastic ways to use up your supply around your house.  http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/diy/9-things-you-didnt-know-coca-cola-could-do/ss-AAb0SNF#image=9  Have a great week!

That Sugar Film – Summer 2015

 

Perhaps you have already seen the documentary “Supersize Me” about a man’s journey through eating only McDonald’s food for a month and documenting the physical and physiological changes he experienced.

Let me introduce you to “That Sugar Film”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uaWekLrilY

“That Sugar Film” is a similar endeavor, only this time the director, Damon Gameau , decides to target sugars.  He spends 60 days eating only hidden sugars in foods.  Keep in mind he avoids the obvious sources of sugars like ice cream and candy.  Instead he targets processed foods that contain various forms of sugar like cereals, granola bars, drinks, and the like.  He eats the same number of calories he ate prior to the documentary, so no calorie increase in his diet, just more of it from sugar.  Check out how fast he feels and sees the impact on his health.  Makes you think about where the hidden sugars are in your diet.  Here is a recent review of the film in New Zealand.

http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/filmmaker-puts-health-line-expose-hidden-sugar-video-6291366

Can’t wait to go see this film in it’s entirety this Summer!

Banana Ice Cream

The banana has gotten some bad press over the years and I want to clear up misconceptions.  While it is one of the sweetest fruits available, it is chock full of nutrients and minerals.  Bananas are a great “go to” when that sweet tooth is nagging you.

One little banana…

  • is loaded with potassium, a mineral helpful in maintaining blood pressure and cardiovascular health
  • contains natural sterols which help block the absorption of dietary cholesterol
  • contains Vitamin C and B6, for immune system support and energy
  • is low fat, with less than 4% of calories from fat
  • has natural fiber, 3 grams per banana, to help regulate digestion and thus keep blood sugar levels from spiking.
  • Did I mention portable and cheap?

Now that the weather is warming up, here is a healthy alternative to ice cream using bananas.

Banana Ice Creambanana ice cream

recipe by youmustlovefood edited by eatlivefit.net

SERVES 2-3 1/2 cup servings

TIME 10 minutes to mix; 2 to 3 hours in freezer

Ingredients

  • 6 very ripe bananas, peeled and cut into medallions
  • 1 cup almond milk unsweetened
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • sprinkle of chopped almonds, for topping (optional)
  • cinnamon stick, for garnish (optional)

Other Equipment

  • large resealable freezer bag and Blender or food processor

Directions

Put the bananas into a resealable airtight bag and freeze for at least 3 hours or overnight. Place the bananas into a food processor or blender along with the almond milk, vanilla, and ground cinnamon and blend until smooth (this may take a few minutes). Scoop into dishes and top with almonds, and garnish a cinnamon stick.  If you want a thicker texture like traditional ice cream, place blend back into the resealable bag and freeze for up to 3 hours.

 

Key to a long life is your waist size

You may be scratching your head upon hearing that your life span may be determined by your waist size, but evidence released from scientists in the UK claim just this.  Scientist found that a waist to height ratio of 80 per cent or more could reduce a person’s life expectancy by up to 20 years.  Ideally “keep your waist circumference to less than half your height.” according to Dr. Margaret Ashwell, a co founder of the study.  To read more click here.

Here’s the long and short of it:Waist measurement

Divide your height in half.  Measure your waist size, starting at your navel and completely around.  Now compare the two numbers.  Ideally your waist size should be 1/2 or less of your height.  Even waist to height ratio of 60% or more could reduce your life expectancy up to a 1 year.

I like the ease of this measuring strategy.  As a health professional, I encourage you to know your Body Mass Index (BMI) but it is not an easy thing to accurately measure.  One reason is because we often rely on scales or BMI measurement tools that often give differing results.  I have personally stood on my scale and gotten one %  then to used a handheld measuring device and receive a slightly different answer.  The most accurate measures of BMI are time consuming and require a bathing suit.  Another reason is because BMI does not differentiate between muscle and and fat on a person’s frame.

I encourage you to have both of these measurements in your back pocket on your journey to living a long healthy life.

“Healthier” French Fries, is it an oxymoron?

I am always searching for ways to modify my current cooking habits to make them healthier.  When I find a good recipe or two, rather than recreate the wheel, I share it with you.  Most of my family meals are very simple and require little prep and few ingredients, so I love these recipes.  In all honesty, I have only tried three of them, but they were a hit with my family and very easy to make.  Word to the wise, try not to compare them to french fries because they are not.  Instead, try them and know you are getting a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals along with the good taste.  Sometimes nutrition comes down to thinking outside the box.

5 Vegetables That Make Amazing Fries (Besides Potatoes) By What To Eat

French fries are one of the ultimate comfort foods, and while there’s no denying how satisfying a salty serving of fried potatoes can be, enjoying a serving of fries doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. It’s easy to make healthy fries at home, and branching out from your usual spuds is a great way to up the nutritional value and slash calories while still enjoying the comfort food favorite. Steer clear of your local drive-through window and bake a big batch of one of these nutritious veggie French fries that everyone will flip for.

fries-daikon-400.jpg

Daikon Fries

Daikon is a versatile, white radish from Asia that is naturally low in calories and a good source of vitamin C. When roasted, you’ll get a light golden fry that pairs well with strong, robust sauces like herbed mayo or mustard. Try Christopher James Clark’s take with his Daikon Fries with Thyme Mustard Dipping Sauce.

fries-carrot-400.jpg

 Carrot Fries

Bored with steamed carrots? Get creative with the colorful veggie by slicing it into wedges, tossing with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baking them like in this Healthy Baked Carrot Fries recipe from 2 Teaspoons. You’ll get a low-sodium, vitamin A-rich snack that’s perfect with spicy ketchup or ranch dressing.

fries-jicama-400.jpg

Jicama Fries

If you only know jicama as a slaw base and salad topping, you’re in for a treat! This mild and crunchy tuber might not come to mind as a good substitute for potatoes but it works surprisingly well as a super skinny fry. Give this Spicy Spiralized Shoe String Jicama Fries recipe from Inspiralized a try for a fun snack that packs a health punch with potassium, fiber, and vitamins A and C.

fries-yucca-400.jpg

Yucca Fries

Yucca is another root vegetable that works as an excellent potato swap. It’s rich in manganese and vitamin C and keeps for months at a time when stored properly. You won’t miss the spuds when you serve baked yucca fries with a flavorful, unique sauce like  Spoon Fork Bacon’s Baked Yucca Fries with Grilled Banana Ketchup.

fries-zucchini-400.jpg

Zucchini Fries

In the warmer months when summer squash like zucchini are plentiful, use up your farmers market haul by baking up a batch of fries to go along with grilled favorites like burgers. This mild veggie is high in vitamin C, riboflavin, and vitamin B6, and pairs well with strong dipping sauces like A Cozy Kitchen serves up in this recipe for Zucchini Fries with Roasted Garlic Aioli and Sriracha Mayo.