Apples and potatoes grown without pesticides can be hard to find this time of year—just two edibles on the the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen* list which suggests the fresh foods that harbor the most pesticide residue. Yet, a U.S. Department of Agriculture funded research study** suggests that washing fruits and vegetables with edible skins in a simple baking soda solution, results in greater pesticide removal than either a commercial produce-wash or tap water. Soak produce for at least two minutes of baking soda solution: 2 cups water + 1 teaspoon baking soda.
When it comes to hors d’oeuvres, I often feel a bit helpless, as I don’t care much for cheesy, creamy balls or dips. This recipe is relatively easy and offers flavorful, satisfying bites without getting overstuffed at holiday parties or before big meals. Salmon, of course, is a super source of Omega-3 Fats—a nutrient we often don’t get enough of—and benefits the heart and brain. Other nutrition bennies from this hors d’oeuvre include whole grain fiber, protein, calcium, vitamin D, and antioxidants.
A hearty new take on an old classic that’s full of flavor and comes together quickly. Beyond the nutrient-rich tomatoes, cauliflower is also full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while the beans boost the fiber and provide quality protein. Really good leftover! As the soup warms at the end, make up a grilled cheese with arugula or spinach and Dijon mustard on rustic whole grain bread—a complete meal.
Move over soy, almond, rice, and coconut milks—the plant-based milk market has surged to include cashew, flaxseed, hazelnut, macadamia nut, oat, pea, potato, and quinoa milks. Even lupine seed milk is sprouting up in Germany and is being sold in some European grocers.
Whatever your motivation to switch from dairy milk to a plant-based milk substitute, this article reviews the nutritional pros and cons of enjoying your "milk" of choice.
Tabbouleh is a great way to use a surplus of summer cucumbers and fresh tomatoes—even “B” or blemished tomatoes still have great taste and nutrition. Quinoa adds a super nutritional twist—its high protein content makes this a great main dish. Leftover, this tabbouleh is a great bite when you’re on the run.
Kale is often considered as a fall and winter vegetable, yet early-mid summer kale is a bit more tender and mild, and makes for a really good, nutrition-packed pesto. Lemon brightens the flavor; walnuts add their own taste as well as a nice texture. A food processor brings this pesto together quickly for pasta, pizza, salads, and more. Freezes well for later use.
What’s really in your olive oil bottle?… Olives are stone fruits, like cherries and plums. Real, extra virgin olive oil is the fresh-squeezed juice from pressed olives—seasonal, perishable, and never better than the first few weeks it was made. It’s best to choose bottled oil in dark glass or other containers that protect against light degradation, and buy a quantity you’ll use up in a relatively short period of time. Read about brands that have made false claims along with recommendations for pure, good extra virgin olive oils…
As Vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and can be hard to get safely in adequate amounts from the sun, it’s one nutrient that I tend to recommend as a supplement, and one that’s the focus of ongoing nutrition research. Consider how much vitamin D you may get on a daily basis—read on about amounts in food sources, recommendations and what mushrooms have to do with it!
Move over Good 'n Plenty... ...Hello Sweet 'n Nutty! Thanks to some dark, B-grade maple syrup from my neighbor at the end of sugaring season, these cookies are the perfect antidote for a sweet tooth without a sugar overload. Nutritional bennies: both the flax and walnuts are good sources of heart healthy Omega-3 fats (with a plethora of other healthful perks.) Tahini also contains good fats and protein. The whole barley (or oat) flours give the cookies a boost of soluble fiber. Even the maple syrup is a natural source of magnesium, zinc and several other minerals absent from refined sugars.
After the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit dedicated to both healthier lives and the environment, released their Dirty Dozen last week (a list of the veggies and fruits that contain the most pesticide residues) some people question again the cost versus the safety and healthfulness of their food purchases. Of course we can’t live in fear of every morsel we put into our mouths, but it is important to take notice of key foods we consume on a regular basis that can pose a high health risk.