Tag Archives: ingredients

Buckwheat Month

Buckwheat Month

It’s Buckwheat Month, and this ingredient can help you go gluten-free and take the place of ingredients like oatmeal and quinoa. Plus, it’s delicious! Give it a try with this week’s healthy buckwheat recipes.

This easy Overnight Coconut Buckwheat Porridge is perfect for busy families.

Overnight Coconut Buckwheat Porridge {VIDEO}

 

This Warm Buckwheat and Beetroot Salad is a beautiful and hearty side dish for any meal.

Warm buckwheat and beetroot salad

 

Whip up these Crispy Buckwheat Breakfast Flatbreads for this weekend’s brunch.

Crispy Buckwheat Breakfast Flatbreads
Image and Recipe via Gather and Feast

 

Buckwheat Crepes are a light take on this kid-friendly favorite.

Buckwheat Crepes {Gluten-Free}

 

Cut out the flour with these Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies this holiday season.

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

 

Go gluten-free and skip the takeout with this easy and delicious Buckwheat Pizza.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pizza

 

These Apple, Almond, and Buckwheat Muffins will be a hit with the family for breakfasts on the go.

Image and Recipe via Green Kitchen Stories

Avoid Food Waste

Tips to Fight Food Waste

We now produce enough food for everyone in the world, but 1 in 3 of those food calories are wasted – enough to feed 10 times the population of the United States.

This week in food, learn more about how you can do your part to fight food waste.

The Problem with Food Waste

 

Before you meal plan, take inventory of what you already have at home, especially fresh produce. Make your meal plan around the ingredients you already have to avoid wasting any of them.

Smart Meal Planning

 

Make smart choices at the store. Don’t buy a lot of something just because it’s on sale unless you’re sure you’ll use it all.

Shopping to Avoid Food Waste

 

Learn about how to store your produce the right way for that particular item to make it last as long as possible.

Food Storage Done Right

Keeping Things Fresh

 

One spot or bruise doesn’t mean the whole fruit or veggie is ruined. You can cut off the bad spot and still use the rest in many cases.

Cook without Waste

 

Use your scraps, like carrot peelings, onion skins, and tops of celery to make homemade veggie stock, chicken bones or meat scraps for meat stocks and broth, or start a compost to put waste to good use in your garden.

Using All of your Ingredients

 

Make the most of your freezer. Freeze leftover fruits and veggies, soups, and even some meals to use later in a hurry for smoothies, dinners, and more.

Make the Most of Frozen Ingredients

National Food Holiday Recipes

National Food Holiday Recipes

This week, we’re celebrating with national food holiday recipes that feature popular holiday dishes and ingredients perfect for a week of entertaining. 

First up for National Pumpkin Pie Day, indulge without the guilt with the Ultimate Healthy Pumpkin Pie.

The Ultimate Healthy Pumpkin Pie

 

For National Candy Cane Day, make breakfast for visiting family special with Dark Chocolate Peppermint Muffins.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Muffins with Soothing Peppermint oil {Grain Free}

 

Beat fruitcake’s bad rap for National Fruitcake Day with these gorgeous Mini Fruitcakes.

mini fruitcakes

 

Whip up Dark Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruit for an easy and beautiful National Chocolate Day treat.

Dark Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruit Recipe

 

It’s National Pepper Pot Day, and Pepper Pot is a Caribbean stew, especially popular in Philly and at Christmastime. Try making your own.

Pepper Pot
Image and Recipe via Saveur

 

It’s National Bacon Day, and a little bacon goes a long way in this delicious Creamy Butternut Squash Alfredo.

Creamy Butternut Squash Alfredo Pasta

 

It’s time for a new year! Clear out your leftover cranberry sauce and impress your guests with Easy Cranberry Brie Crostini.

Easy Cranberry Brie Crostini

The Smart Processed Foods Choice

Making Sense of Processed Foods

You’ve probably heard in the news that processed foods are bad for you. They’re frequently blamed for high rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes in America.

But it’s a little more complicated than that. Not all processed foods are bad for you, and it’s important to know which ones you need, which ones can help you save, and which ones to avoid.

What Is Processed Food?

There is a whole range of processed food, and the more processed it is, the less likely it is to be good for you.

Barely processed foods are things that you can find at the store that have been prepped for you for your convenience. These include:

  • Washed and bagged lettuce and spinach
  • Precut or chopped fruit or veggies
  • Roasted nuts

Foods processed at their peak lock in and preserve nutrition, quality, and freshness. These include:

  • Canned tomatoes
  • Frozen fruit and vegetables
  • Canned tuna

Foods with added ingredients may have better flavor and texture, but they can also be worse for you. While these ingredients help preserve quality, they can also have higher sugar, fat, and unnatural additives. These frequently include sweeteners, spices, oils, colors, and preservatives. Foods with added ingredients include:

  • Jarred pasta sauce
  • Salad dressing
  • Yogurt
  • Cake mixes

Ready-to-eat foods are usually heavily processed with lots of added ingredients. These include:

  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Granola bars
  • Prepackaged deli meat

Frozen and premade meals are usually the most heavily processed with lots of added ingredients, including salt and preservatives to make them last. These include:

  • Frozen pizza
  • Frozen meals
  • Microwaveable dinners

Positives of Processed Foods

As you can see, some processed foods are good for you. Fresh fruits and veggies that have just been chopped and washed before being packaged really just save you time. (Although you usually have to pay more for that time savings.)

Foods processed at their peak are a great way to save, with the same nutrition at a lower price than fresh.

And some foods with added ingredients are actually better for you. Many kinds of milk and juice have more calcium and vitamin D added in. Some breakfast cereals have added fiber.

Problems with Processed Foods

The 3 biggest problems with processed foods are added sugars, salt, and fat.

Sugars

Sugars aren’t just in candy and prepackaged desserts. They’re added in all kinds of foods, and you may not even know it.

  • Breads can have added sugars to give them a nice brown color.
  • Canned pasta sauce generally has a surprising amount of added sugar.
  • Many cereals are heavily sweetened.
  • Fruit canned in syrup is filled with sugar.

Salt

Salting your food isn’t to blame for high levels of sodium in your diet. 3/4 of the salt you take in comes from processed food.

  • Most canned vegetables, soups, sauces, and beans have added sodium to improve the taste and texture and to help preserve them on the shelf.
  • Premade meals and snacks are full of extra salt to make them taste better and preserve them.

Fats

Added fats make food shelf-stable and tastier. But trans fats in processed foods can raise your bad cholesterol.

Many products with added fats have really small serving sizes, and if you eat more than that, you’re eating a lot of trans fat in one sitting.

For instance, a serving size of Oreos is just 3 cookies, and those 3 cookies have 7 grams of fat, which is 11% of your recommended daily total of fat. Do you actually eat just 3 Oreos in a sitting? Just doubling to 6 cookies puts you over 20% of your daily fat total!

Smart Processed Foods Choices

Now that you know the basics, how can you pick out processed foods that are good for you?

Read Food Labels

  • Look for fortified milk and juice, which have added calcium and vitamins.
  • Avoid things like white bread, which are so refined that most of the healthy fiber has been removed in the processing. Look for whole grain breads, tortillas, and pastas instead.
  • Buy canned fruit packed in water or 100% fruit juice. Avoid fruit packed in syrup and fruit juice concentrate, which have added sugar.
  • Even if a product says it’s organic or all-natural, it can still have added sugar. Too much cane sugar and honey can be just as bad for you as too much corn syrup.
  • Carbohydrates on the nutrition label include naturally occurring sugars, like in yogurt and fruit. Instead, look at the ingredients list to see if sugar has been added. Look for:
    • Sugar
    • Maltose
    • Brown sugar
    • Corn syrup
    • Cane sugar
    • Honey
    • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Check things you might not think you need to for sugar, like cereals, even plain kinds, and pasta sauce.
  • Look for reduced or low sodium on things like canned vegetables, soups, and beans. You can always add a little bit of salt when you’re cooking if you need it.
  • Always rinse canned beans and vegetables, which can lower the salt content by 40%.
  • Even if a product says it has zero trans fat, check the ingredients. If it has any hydrogenated vegetable oils, then it’s going to have some trans fat.

And most importantly, just try to eat heavily processed foods in moderation and make the most of healthier processed foods in a balance with fresh foods.

Up Next:

Making sense of food labels is easy with our handy guide.

Make the most of your next grocery shopping trip to boost your diet and make healthy choices.

Avoiding Food Allergies for Food Allergy Awareness Week

Food Allergy Awareness Week 2016

This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week, so we’re bringing you facts about food allergies each day. Learn more.

Food Allergy Breakdown

 

Bodily Reaction

 

Milk and Egg Allergies

 

Allergy Signs and Symptoms

 

Treating a Reaction

 

Cleaning Surfaces

 

Cooking for Those with Food Allergies

 

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Farm-to-Table Dining

Long View: Fresh from the Farm and Close to Home

The concept of farm-to-table eating intrigues me. I’ve noticed the term showing up in the local, independent restaurants in Iowa and Nebraska.

Farm-to-table means the food comes directly from the farm to your local restaurant, without first going through a store, market, or distributor.

A well-loved farm-to-table restaurant in Omaha has 19 different local, independent farms as partners. Its mushrooms come from Grand Island, its walnuts from Valparaiso, its poultry from Burchard, and even its vinegar is locally produced in Cody, NE, which has a population of just 156 people. Another restaurant in Des Moines claims that 90% of its ingredients come from local farms. Even the house liquors are Iowans’.

None of this is new, really. When I visit our home office in Urbana, I like to eat lunch nearby at Common Ground Food Co-operative, which has been in business since 1974. Its website can show you a map of where your groceries came from in Illinois. The furthest any of the apples have traveled is right around 200 miles, from freshly picked trees in Murphysboro.

But does eating locally really make a difference? Science tells us that fruits and veggies begin to lose nutrients once they are picked. If they’ve been sitting in a crate on the back of a truck or in a grocery store very long, you’ll miss out on the fruit’s or veggie’s full flavor and nutrition.

And when you choose a farm-to-table restaurant, you’ll know that a lot of your hard-earned money is staying in your community. The American Independent Business Alliance found that on average, 48% of each purchase at local small businesses went back into their communities. That’s more than 3 times the amount at chain stores.

The next time you sit down at your favorite local restaurant, go ahead and introduce yourself. Find out where those delicious ingredients came from. You might be surprised how close to home their journey started.

Lora Felger is a community and broker liaison at Health Alliance. She is the mother of 2 terrific boys, a world traveler, and a major Iowa State Cyclones fan.

Fresh Fish

Healthy Fresh Fish Recipes

This week in food, we gave you recipes to make light and healthy meals with fresh fish.

First up is a light take on Fried Catfish and Hush Puppies.

Fried Catfish and Hush Puppies

 

This Miso Yuzu-Glazed Cod with Black Rice and Water Spinach uses adventurous ingredients for big flavor.

Miso Yuzu-Glazed Cod with Black Rice and Water Spinach
Image and Recipe via Blue Apron

 

Halibut with Bacony Corn Sauté uses fresh summer ingredients and delivers big flavor in just 309 calories.

Halibut with Bacony Corn Sauté

 

This Baked Coconut Crusted Tilapia recipe is a great substitute when you’re craving coconut shrimp.

Baked Coconut Crusted Tilapia

 

Honey Lime Glazed Salmon with Sesame Rice Noodle Salad is all about bright colors and flavors.

Honey Lime Glazed Salmon with Sesame Rice Noodle Salad

 

Spicy Tuna Seaweed Wraps are a great sushi substitute, and can be made with fresh or canned tuna.

Spicy Tuna Seaweed Wraps– All the Rage!

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