Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year! @EatRight Eat More #GardenCuizine Why? Disease Prevention.

You and Your Family deserve to
 Celebrate the New Year 
with a Wealth of Good Nutrition
Eat more dietary fiber and phytonutrients from beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables 

Healthy New Year Menu
  • Hoppin' John made with Blackeye Peas, Frijol Carita, (Cowpeas) - symbolic for coins - "peas for pennies"
  • Collard, Turnip or Mustard greens - symbolic for greens, currency $ dollars
  • Cornbread - symbolic for gold and a staple for any Southern inspired meal
  • Pork for added protein but not necessary when beans are served with brown rice or other grain since grains and beans makeup a complete high quality protein.
Hoppin' John is an American meal inspired by African, French and Caribbean ancestry. The main ingredient - cowpeas - are seeds of a green bean subspecies of Vigna unguiculata legumes. Other Vigna subspecies include Chinese long beans (shown in above photo), also known as yardlong beans that can be grown in your home, community or school gardens.  

These unique legumes are enjoyed for Good Luck at New Year's and are common in cuisines of Southeastern Asia, Thailand and Southern China. Cultivars include Chinese Red Noodle, Blue Goose and Texas Pinkeye.

Related Links
Barley Hoppin' John recipe

Cowpeas please! The History and Importance of the Cowpea plant by Melody Rose
Fruits and Veggies, More Matters
Blogpost Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved. Photo yardlong beans displayed in Singapore, courtesy of Wikipedia

Thursday, December 27, 2012

How-to-Make Cioccolato Pizzelles #GardenCuizine #recipe

Diana's Cioccolato Pizzelles
Cocoa Pizzelles with garden anise seeds were among our favorite Christmas treats this holiday season. Our private Italian sweets connoisseur (Mama, who else!) rated them two thumbs up! Adding unsweetened cocoa provides chocolatey flavor, plus healthy antioxidants.

Recipe Yields: 50
2 tablespoons (Tbl sp) (28g) unsalted butter
2 Tbl sp (26g) vegetable shortening (trans fat free)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbl sp Canola oil
1 tsp (2g) anise seeds

2 cups (250g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa
1 Tbl sp (15g) baking powder
1/8 tsp (dash) salt

6 eggs
1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract 
3/4 tsp anise oil (oil vs. extract - look for at your Italian Market)
Putting it all together
  • Locate your pizzelle iron and plug it in to get it preheated and ready.
  • Melt the butter and shortening with the oil; add the seeds so their anise flavor infuses into the oil. Remove from heat as soon as melted - set aside to cool.
  • In a small bowl, sift and whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt to combine.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs well. Beat in the sugar. Slowly pour in the melted oil blend.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients until the batter is shiny and thick.
  • Cover the batter bowl with a damp towel until ready to use.
  • Spray your pizzelle iron with nonstick spray before making your first pizzelle.
  • Using a tablespoon, measure 1 tablespoon dollops of batter in the center of each pizzelle; close the iron and let cook for about one minute. You will have to experiment with how long it takes your pizzelle iron to perfectly bake your pizzelles. It is a little more difficult to tell when chocolate pizzelles are done because of their color. Once you get a rhythm going though, they bake-off pretty fast. Have fun!
  • Remove the hot pizzelles using a fork as needed to carefully pull them off the iron.
  • Allow the pizzelles to completely cool on wire baking racks before stacking them! Otherwise, they will get soft and not be crisp. If you accidentally stack them while still warm and they do get soft, you can rescue them by single layering the pizzelles on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 deg F. oven until reheated. Remove from oven and be sure to let them completely cool before stacking.
  • Once your pizzelles are all made and completely cooled - store in airtight containers - share and enjoy!
Buon Natale!

GardenCuizine Nutrient Analysis Cocoa Pizzelles: calculated from USDA nutrient values 1/50 of recipe (20g): one pizzelle: ~72 calories; total fat: 3g; monounsaturated fat: 1.2g; polyunsaturated fat 0.5g; saturated fat: 0.7g; sodium 39 mg; total carbohydrate: 10g; Iron: 0.7mg (4%DV); Protein: 1.4g (3%DV); Folate: 12 mcg (~3%DV); Selenium: 3.6mcg (5%DV)

Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a caloric intake of 2,000 calories for adults and children age 4 or older
Recipe, photos and blog post Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Energize your Holiday w/Honey Roasted, Cocoa Volcano Dust PECANS #GardenCuizine

Heart Healthy
 Honey Roasted Cocoa Volcano Dust
 P E C A N S
Fruits, Vegetables, NUTS and Seeds are good sources of PLANT STEROLS (phytosterols) that have been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Eat nuts alone as a snack or use them in recipes as part of a heart healthy diet. These jazzed up pecans make a nutritious addition to holiday cookie trays or atop a holiday garden salad.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the following qualified health claim: “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”  

1 pound raw pecan nuts
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground dried hot peppers from your garden
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/8 cup water
1/8 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil

Putting it all together
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Layer the nuts on your baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes or until fragrant and toasted.
  • Grind your dried hot peppers (seeds and all) in a spice grinder (we use a small coffee grinder just for spices)
  • In a small bowl combine the sugar, salt, cocoa and spices
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Place the toasted nuts in a large bowl and toss with the spice mixture.
  • Return the nuts to the lined baking sheet and bake another 8-10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool on the baking sheet.
  • Store in air tight container. Serve atop holiday garden salads, as a snack, or in your favorite baked goods or recipes.
GardenCuizine Nutrition Data PECANS: calculated by Diana Wind, RD using USDA Nutrient Reference Data 

Excellent Source: Manganese
Good Source: dietary Fiber, Thiamin

1ounce (28g) PECANS = 193 calories; dietary Fiber 3g (11% DV); 276 mg Omega 3; Monounsaturated fat 11.4g; Polyunsaturated fat 6.1g; Saturated fat 1.7g; Protein 2.6g (5% DV); Thiamin 0.2 mg (12% DV); Magnesium 34 mg (8% DV); Manganese 1.3mg (63% DV); Zinc 1.3 mg (8% DV); Phytosterols 29 mg
Related Links
Pecan Nutrition in a Nutshell 

Antioxidants in Pecans

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dietitian Savors Sicily #GardenCuizine @FabriziaLanza @FCPDPG

Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School
S I C I L Y, Italy
Sicilian Culture and Cuisine Case Vecchie - day 4

I'm savoring the memories of our 10-day excursion to Sicily with the Food and Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Our Sicilian journey began in Palermo. We traveled  around the western coast and through central Sicily as we toured our way around the island. Our fourth day was a full day of sightseeing and cooking at the Anna Tasca Lanza School - surrounded by prickly pear cactus, vineyards and rolling hills in north central Sicily. 

The Cooking School, located near the Regaleali Winery, was named after its late Sicilian founder, “Anna Tasca Lanza”. Her daughter, Fabrizia Lanza, has carried on the tradition of teaching Sicilian cooking at the family estate.
We watched Fabrizia prepare classic Sicilian foods - from appetizers to dessert - using local ingredients such as herbs from her garden and fresh-made ricotta that arrived still warm! Her menu featured: Panelle (Chickpea fritters), Stewed Lamb with Mint (Spezzatino di Agnello alla Menta), Saffron Stewed Potatoes, and Cassata - a famous Sicilian dessert.  

Fabrizia demonstrated and showed us how to prepare the select menu, including the preparation of Cassata using layers of sponge cake and ricotta cream, encased with green (must be green!) marzipan (made from almonds and ground pistachios) and finished with white icing and candied fruits.

Her foods were paired with the appropriate award winning wines from her family's Regaleali Winery. Fabrizia took us for a private tour of her absolutely spectacular kitchen gardens, complete with chickens for fresh eggs and a breath taking view of the Sicilian countryside.
At the end of our fantastic day, we all gathered around a large farmhouse table to enjoy the meal that Fabrizia prepared for us
    ~ Grazie Fabrizia!
Watch for my Dave's Garden article "Gardens of Sicily" - coming soon!
Related Links
Fabrizia's book: Olive - A Global History of olive trees, olives and olive oil
A Warm Welcome to Case Vecchie
Photos and blogpost Copyright (C) 2012 Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Today in Our Fall (it's not Winter quite yet!) Garden #GardenCuizine

Today in Our Fall Garden
South Jersey
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)
December 15, 2012

As the Winter season fast approaches (officially December 21), there is still time to clean up yards and gardens. Have you cleaned up your garden? Ours is a work in progress. Today, we got out there since it was a fairly mild day for December in New Jersey. We prepared our asparagus bed for the winter and finally dug up our canna and dahlia tubers.

Asparagus, Veggies and Herbs
If you grow asparagus, which is a long-lived perennial, you know that the tops grow into ferns and eventually turn brown and die back at the end of the growing season. If you haven't done so already, now you can cut the dead ferns off to tidy up your asparagus bed for the winter.  

We also like to pull up any dead veggies and herbs like tomatoes and basil and get the debris out of the garden. Doing so gives less opportunity for insects and disease.

Last Call to Dig up Tubers
And, if you grow flowers like cannas or dahlias, it's not too late to dig up the roots and tubers and store them inside over the winter. If you leave them in the soil all winter, chances are they will rot by spring. We dug ours up today and put them in heavy duty plastic bags filled with peat moss to absorb any excess moisture. We store the bags in our basement until spring.

Plan Your 2013 Garden
Don't forget to put seeds on your holiday wish list for your 2013 Garden. I highly recommend trying Swiss Chard. Our Northern Lights Swiss Chard has been harvested literally all summer right up until now.

Happy Holiday's, Gardening and Healthy Living

Related Links
Growing Asparagus by Diana Wind, RD

 Photo collage Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Why is Your Toddler drinking Gatorade? #GardenCuizine

Why is Your Toddler drinking Gatorade?

Last week I met a playful and smart four-year old preschooler and her loving family. Her BMI was above the 97th percentile (obese). In discussing her diet with her family, I learned that she routinely drinks Gatorade at home.

In researching this topic, I've discovered that many families indeed are offering Gatorade to their children of all ages, including those very young - ages 2 to 4.

I have nothing against sports, electrolyte replacement drinks, but that is what they are intended to be. Their target market should be athletes and those who are physically active and sweat. Athletes - NOT toddlers - can benefit by replenishing carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during physical activity with a sports drink

Electrolytes are needed for all life. Electrolytes are electrically charged ions found in our bodies' living cells. Electrolytes also enter our body from foods and beverages. Sodium and potassium are electrolytes. Sodium is lost in sweat during vigorous physical activity or endurance training. Granted, toddlers are active - some may even work up a sweat as they play hard - but in general, sports drinks should not be given to children.

According to the Academy of Pediatrics in their May 2011 Clinical Report on the appropriateness of sports drinks for children, "Frequent or excessive intake of caloric sports drinks can substantially increase the risk for overweight or obesity in children and adolescents."

Why buy Sports Drinks?
When any retail product becomes popular, sales increase and prices generally decrease. The tried and true law of supply and demand kicks in. Then, as expected, you usually see more of that particular product in stores when you're out shopping. 

The mere fact of an abundant supply can lead to eye-catching end caps in the stores, with alluring graphics and enticing prices. Next thing you know - it's in your home and being consumed by you and your family. 

Sports drinks like Gatorade have become popular and are being purchased by families who don't even engage in physical activity or sports at all. If you are an adult drinking sports drinks and you are not doing any physical activity to break a good sweat - why drink it? Don't just say, "because it tastes good."  

Sports drinks are made to taste refreshing and good. They often contain added flavors and sugar in addition to the added sodium. Read the label. Look for the calories and sodium content. Then ask yourself, do you need extra of either? Some brands may contain 50 or more calories and over 100 mg of sodium per 8-ounce serving

If you are an adult and you opt to buy sports drinks for yourself for whatever reason, check with your Pediatrician before offering the drinks to any of your children.

Keep it Simple

When it comes to children, you can't go wrong with encouraging and providing hydration from plain water. Not artificially flavored bottled waters or bottled Propel (which has 80 mg of sodium per bottle), just good 'ol plain water. 

What about Juice or Milk?
Juice is not appropriate in the treatment of dehydration according to the Academy of Pediatrics. As a beverage, they recommend to limit fruit juice to 4 to 6 ounces a day for children age 1 to 6. And for older children ages 7 to 18, juice intake should be limited to 8 to 12 ounces per day.

Low fat milk provides important nutrients, especially for growing children. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend that children, ages 2 to 3 years, consume two 8-ounce glasses per day for dietary calcium, vitamin D, protein and other nutrients. 2 1/2 cups per day is recommended for kids ages 4 to 8. And up to 3 cups per day of low fat milk is recommended for children age 8 to adult.

If you have ANY questions or concerns regarding your child and what foods or beverages they should or should not have, please bring it to the attention of your Pediatrician and healthcare team.

Related Links
Sports and Energy Drinks  
Consumption of Sports Drinks by Children and Adolescents

Blog post Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved.