Healthy Foods & Cooking

Healthy Foods & Cooking

Healthy Foods & Cooking
Do you want to cook healthier? With some simple tweaks, you can lighten up regular recipes for brownies, casseroles, and other tasty treats. Plan healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner by learning about healthy food substitutions. For instance, you can sprinkle powdered sugar on cakes instead of using frosting. Reduce fat and calories in baked goods by cutting the fat ingredient such as butter or margarine by one-half and substituting a moist ingredient like applesauce, fat-free sour cream or orange juice. Read on to learn more tips about healthy foods and in no time you will be cooking healthy recipes for you and your family.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered
    Fresh peaches and nectarines are usually best when in season, June through August. In the winter, peaches and nectarines are imported from South America. Ripe peaches or nectarines yield to gentle pressure on the skin. If the fruit is quite hard, it is unripe; if it is quite soft or mushy, it is over mature. Also be sure to check for bruises and other signs of spoilage.

    Peaches and nectarines will ripen if kept at room temperature (usually within one or two days). Note that the color indicates the variety of the peach or nectarine more than ripeness, hence it should not be used as a gauge of ripeness. Once ripe, store the peaches and nectarines in the refrigerator, where they will keep for two to three days.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Purchase garlic that is plump, with unbroken skin. Do not buy garlic that is soft, shows evidence of decay, such as mildew or darkening, or is beginning to sprout. For best flavor and maximum health benefits, buy fresh garlic, as it is widely available. Garlic in flake, powder, or paste form is convenient, but it is simply not as good as fresh garlic.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    If possible, purchase raisins that are sold in bulk or in transparent containers so that you can judge their quality, checking to see that they are moist and undamaged. When buying raisins in a sealed, opaque container, make sure that the container is tightly sealed and that the raisins are produced or packaged by a reputable company. Storing raisins in the refrigerator in an airtight container will extend their freshness and prevent them from becoming dried out. If you purchase raisins in single serving boxes and do not want to transfer them to another container, store the boxes in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life. Raisins stored in this manner can be kept for up to one year.

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    Fruit
    One of my favorite activities is going into local farm fields to pick my own produce. Strawberries, blueberries, apples, corn, cherries, peaches … somewhere within driving distance there is a farm that will let you pick what you love. What’s so great about picking your own? I’ll give you 10 reasons.
    1. Zero waste. You can take your own containers. Beach buckets, regular buckets, boxes, anything that will hold the produce will do. The pick-your-own farm should be able to weigh your container before you begin to pick so you don’t pay for the weight of your container.
       
    2. It's less expensive. I can pick pounds of strawberries for about half the price of going into the little market right on the farm and buying them already picked.
       
    3. It’s the freshest, best-tasting produce. You can pick food that is perfectly ripe and eat it that day. You can also pick exactly which fruits or vegetables you want and make sure there’s not an unripe one in the bunch.
       
    4. It's educational. You and your kids (if you have them) can learn things. Ask the farm workers why the strawberry patch has moved from the past year or how they know when to bring the workers in to strip the patch clean because the growing season is done.
       
    5. You’ll connect with where your food comes from. If you don’t have your own garden, going to a farm and picking your own is a good reminder that food comes from hard work and grows in dirt. It’s a great lesson for kids, too.
       
    6. You'll support small farmers. It's not the big, agribusiness farms that invite locals to come pick. It's the small, family owned farms. They need our support.
       
    7. It's fun.
       
    8. It's good exercise.
       
    9. You can take awesome photos. Every year I get the best photos of my family in the strawberry, apple or pumpkin fields.
       
    10. You’ll have plenty to share. When I get home from the farmers market with a small pint of farm fresh strawberries, I’m not likely to give them away. But when I come home with 14 pounds of strawberries, I get in the mood to bake and share with neighbors.
    Fruit
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    A
    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Strawberries are usually available year-round, though they are in greatest abundance from spring through midsummer. Choose berries that are firm, plump, and free of mold, and that have a shiny, deep red color and attached green caps. Since strawberries, once picked, do not ripen further, avoid those that are dull in color or have green or yellow patches, since they are likely to be sour and of inferior quality. Medium-sized strawberries are often more flavorful than those that are excessively large. If you are buying strawberries prepackaged in a container, make sure that they are not packed too tightly, as this may cause them to become crushed and damaged, and that the container has no sign of stains or moisture, as this is an indication of possible spoilage.

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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Come spring, you can feast on rhubarb and strawberries. In the summer, you’ll find just-picked berries of all types, melons fresh from local fields, as well as peaches and nectarines. In the fall, you can crunch into apples from local orchards; plus figs, grapes, and ruby red pomegranates are in season. Visit your local farmers’ market to get good buys. Winter means citrus -- oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines. If your favorite fruit (including tropical fruit, such as mangos) doesn’t grow in your region, or is out of season, chances are you can still find it in the produce aisle or in the frozen-foods section.
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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Fresh sweet bananas and plantains are best when they are yellow and speckled with brown, with no green showing. Sweet bananas and plantains with green tips are not quite ripe, but they will continue to ripen if stored at room temperature, particularly if placed in a plastic bag, as the gases they emit turn around and act on them to stimulate further ripening.

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Dr. Oz - mac and cheese alternative

    If you love a creamy bowl of mac and cheese but would rather skip all the fat and calories, you want a brand that uses smarter ingredients. In this video, nutritionist Heidi Skolnik tells Dr. Oz about a great pick with just 10 grams of fat per serving instead of the 17 grams in traditional varieties.


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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    As with other meats, we strongly recommend choosing organic varieties of lamb. While the USDA inspection of lamb is mandatory, grading is voluntary; therefore, not all lamb is labeled with a grade. Lamb that is carries the title "Prime," "Choice," or "Select." Prime and Choice are the most tender and flavorful but also have a higher fat content. Although lamb is generally tender, you can ensure taste and quality in your lamb choice by buying lamb with pink, firm flesh and white marbling. Flesh that is soft and deeper is color and has fat with a yellow tinge may be past its freshness point. In past times, lamb was labeled "Spring" to let the consumer know that it was a fresh lamb brought to the market in spring or summer. Today, lamb is available during the whole year. So, the "Spring" label does not denote any greater freshness advantage. Like all fresh meats, the expiration date for purchase and use should be double-checked.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Like other greens, purchase mustard greens that look fresh and crisp and are a lively green, dark red, or deep purple color. They should be unblemished and free from any yellowing or brown spots.

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