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Feel Well Food by Dorothy Krupnick - 3w ago

They always take a back seat in the produce aisle. The jubilee over apples  goes on for months.. but the lowly pears seems to get shunned. Feelwellfood.com  is here to change that. The pear has the same properties in nutrition as the apple. Sweet with a distinctive grittiness that makes for high fiber. 
  • 58 kcals per pear
  • High in NSP  non soluble polyscaccahrides that means high fiber- good laxative power
  • Possess copper, iron and manganese, a  B complex vitamin   We have 2 reasons to celebrate this month of October and November- Apples and Pears. Why? These fruits have the highest fiber around for fruits,  due to the insoluble fiber which is also great for Diabetics too.  They  are a  good addition to any meal as a piece of fresh fruit serving with it’s blood sugar lowering ability. Pears are exceptional for the phytochemicals and fiber combined in the skin of the fruit!
  • Pears contain hydroxycinnamic acid,  which is found in the pear skin.  Studies have shown that this polyphenol might lower risk of stomach cancer. Pears have no sodium, and higher pectin levels than apples- good for the skin! Glycemic index rating 38. (as in 100 being the highest for raising blood sugar)  Insoluble fiber helps healthy bacteria stifle the production of bad bacteria and carries it out of the gut. 
  • Use pears in substitute or combo with apples in cakes and pies.
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 An Apple a day.. keeps the doctor way.. well maybe not literally but  good health is packaged in this piece of fruit. Apples do not lose their nutrients in baking either except for Vitamin C. The fiber, flavonoids and potassium stay intact. So when eating raw or baked always consider keeping the skin on for extra nutrition.  Not all apples are created equal. Some are better in baking like Rome, Macintosh, Jonagold and course Granny Smith while for eating, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Macoun and new apples like Opal and Envy rate high in the raw! Here is a apple cake recipe I show every year ..dense blondie like and loaded with apples! Apple Blondie Here is a start to desserts for the fall, quick, low carb and brimming with fruit.. the way I like it. In this case apples, but pears or plums  (in summer) work well too!  This was adapted from a NY Times apple cake recipe. Add vanilla and lemon zest, which are key flavor enhancers  for all things apple. One slice is approximately  178 calories.  Look for more information on apples in the apple primer in my book  A Connecticut Kitchen . 2 1/2 cups of chopped unpeeled apples  (note: Granny Smith should be peeled) about 4-5 apples 2/3 cup of all purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 4 tablespoons of butter softened 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel 1 /2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg 1/2 cup walnuts chopped 1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar Lightly butter  a 9 inch cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, spices and baking soda together.  Cream sugar and butter with an electric mixer.  Add egg, lemon zest and vanilla extract and continue  mixing on medium speed. Add flour, a few tablespoons at a time until incorporated and smooth . Mixture will be somewhat stiff and dry. Add apples and nuts and stir with a spoon until flour butter mixture coats all the apples. Place the batter in the buttered pan and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
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Blueberry Clafoutis can be a considered a pancake, a custard or a crust less pie. A classic dessert worthy of breakfast or dessert with great nutrition in every bite!

Did you know that just 1/2 to 1 cup of berries can pack enough nutrients to do the following:
  • Build immunity with anthocyanins, an antioxidant  
  • Ward off diabetes with fiber
  •  Myricetin and quercetin which are flavonoids can lower cholesterol ?
Well blueberries do! I will enjoy being on my turf of Connecticut to revisit the farms that are all showing off there berry abundance and blueberries are the last of the pickings in July. The nutrition line up: Blueberries are 85 kcals/cup The diabetic exchange is 1 cup for 15 grams of carbohydrate Low glycemic load good for diabetics at 53 Great fiber at 2 grams per 1/2 cup Individuals taking Warfarin (coumadin)  may have to consult with their physician due to the Vitamin K levels in the fruit  may conflict with the drug. Lets get started and make a BLUEBERRY CLAFOUTIS
  • 2 cups of blueberries
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar ( white, coconut or brown sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Mace   NOTE:  (a must have spice for blueberries!)
  • 1/2  teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, all purpose flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole milk, low fat milk q/q and 1/2 or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of low fat or whole milk yogurt
Preheat an oven at 375 degrees. Lightly butter or non stick spray a 8″ baking dish or 4 small ramekins. Mix the blueberries together with the lemon zest and the one tablespoon of the sugar. Pour the blueberries into the baking dish. In the same bowl, beat 2 eggs and sugar until lemon colored and slightly thick and add the vanilla extract and the mace.  Add the flour and the milk and mix until well combined. Let rest for 10 minutes. Stir again with a mixing spoon and pour over the blueberries in the baking dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is puffed and lightly golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve with yogurt or ice cream.

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Let’s try a combination brought to us by Indian cuisine, who are masters of everything vegetarian. The dish is called Saag. We talk about low carbohydrate diets and what is good for diabetics and weight loss and this dish is one of the them.  I think part of our eating should include a vegetarian dish or meal frequently through the week. I have been making this dish for years and it features spinach and a southeast Asian low sodium, lower lactose cheese called paneer. For those that are mildly lactose intolerant, paneer can be digested more easily.  One ounce of cheese is  90 kcals. At 5 grams of sodium per one ounce of paneer, the Saag is a low sodium, high protein, low carbohydrate dish!  The cheese is made with whole milk and is a fresh not fermented cheese, so no tyramine here to cause migraine headaches. I have been a fan of Indian food for a long time and their spice combinations add so much depth to vegetables and meat, that you would not miss the salt.  Too spicy for you? Cut back on chilis or delete them from the recipe all together.  The spice, turmeric, a key component to the dish, considered an anti inflammatory in Ayurvedic medicine, alleviates osteoarthritis in the knee and other conditions. Spinach at one cup cooked, has  59% of dietary value for Vitamin A and 25% for Vitamin C. Spinach provides a high amount of Vitamin K at 442 mcg per 1/2 cup to aid in our clotting abilities. Note:  Patients  should  consult with their physician when taking Warfarin, due to the high content of Vitamin K per serving of spinach , which may conflict with the medication. 400 kcals per serving, 20 grams of sodium, 18 grams of protein 40 grams of carbohydrate RECIPE:
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • I -16 oz bag of spinach or bundle of fresh spinach washed and leaves trimmed
  • 8 0z of paneer cheese cubed
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • a dash of salt
  • a dash of chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chopped green chile  (hatch or jalopena) with seeds removed (optional)
  • 1/4  teaspoon of ground ginger or grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons of water
Trim stems off the spinach and set aside. Cube the paneer and place in a mixing bowl with one teaspoon of oil, all the dried and fresh spices, salt, pepper and paneer and coat the cubes. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add one teaspoon of oil to a frying pan,  turn to moderate heat for 30 seconds, add the chopped onion and saute until onions are slightly golden. Add the paneer to brown on all sides and combine with the spinach and cook until wilted. If dry, add the water to moisten and stir.  Take pan off the heat. Serve chopped cilantro and rice if desired.  yields: 4 side servings.
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Herb Omelet with Gouda cheese , Guacamole,  Shrimp Scampi with garlic butter.. yum sounds good doesn’t it? It is delicious and a healthy addition as a low carbohydrate meal.  Just remember to balance the diet with some carbs as well. Why? There is a lot of talk about the ketogenic diet. It is a way of eating that puts your body into ketosis, a  process by which  the body utilizes  fats and protein  (or non carbohydrate precursers we were taught) to create energy. The consumption of fats doesn’t make you fat BUT  makes your body use it as energy because there are too few carbs to use as energy. Sound possible? Yes. So far so good but if ketosis is kept up we lose a balanced way to making fuel for the brain and for making glycogen for our muscles. The average ketogenic diet has very high fat content which can  increase cholesterol levels if saturated fat like steak is consumed frequently with cheese and butter bypassing the avocados and walnuts. (!) Ketogenic diets may lack fiber which th GI tract needs. Fiber can come from non starchy vegetables ( and you better like your vegetables then!)  but fat and protein doesn’t have fiber and grains and starches can fulfill the fiber requirement. One can prevent ketosis by having a a carbohydrate controlled diet maintaining 120-140 grams of carbohydrate over 3 meals and still lose weight. Why? no overeating of carbohydrates to raise blood sugars and creating increased fat cells. 40-45 grams per meal would look like this:  Breakfast: 2/3 cup of whole grain sugar free cereal , 1 cup of milk, a handful of berries, a sprinkle of coconut sugar or an omelet and 1 piece of toast with berries on the side or 1/2 cup of juice.   Lunch: an Avocado vegetable turkey sandwich with  2 slices of bread and salad  Dinner: chicken breast with sauce and a small baked potato or 2/3 cup pasta  with vegetable side and a small cookie or fruit. Snacks: yogurt with fruit  or cheese and crackers. Not bad.. This day is aprox 1500 kcals,  50-60 grams of protein 130 grams of carbohydrate. Ketosis induced diets were tailored made for epileptic children, where it was found that the high fat diet instead of glucose fueled metabolism was better for the brain and prevented seizures. Research ahs found that mechanisms for the weight loss effect in ketogenic diets are really a  “Reduction in appetite due to higher satiety effect of proteins [38,40], effects on appetite control hormones [41] and to a possible direct appetite suppressant action of the ketone bodies [42]”. As a registered dietitian, I always accentuate the balance of all food intake and vote for including all carbohydrates in your diet.  The key to weight loss is portion control and protein intake.  Most vegetables are low in starch carbohydrate (5 grams per serving)  except potatoes, peas and corn and some winter squashes .  The following recipe includes tomatoes which are low carb  at 5 grams of carbohydrate per medium tomato. Recipe: Avocado, Tomato, Red Onion Salad with Chipotle dressing
  • 2  medium yellow tomatoes sliced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
  • 1 whole avocado cubed
  • juice of 2 limes
  • pinch of sea salt
  • a handful of cilantro chopped
  • 1 -2 teaspoons chopped chipotles (from a can)
  •  3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion sliced

Mix the lime juice, oil,1 teaspoon of chopped chipotles and salt together and pour over the slice tomatoes, chopped cilantro, sliced red onion and avocado.

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You don’t have to get sugar loaded chocolate to enjoy this treat, which is packed with antioxidants, and good fats. The following, is a recipe for chocolate bark using dark chocolate, dried cherries, pistachios, dried organic pineapple and apricots. Most chocolate we eat is milk chocolate and semi sweet chocolate. Here is a quick lesson in chocolate. The higher the percentage of cocoa mass, (>60%)  the healthier the chocolate. We are talking 72%-85% cocoa having more nutritional bang.  Lot less sugar is added and more nutrients like flavanoids are available to you. Milk cancels out antioxidants, so milk chocolate or hot chocolate with milk will not have any nutritional effect. Fat? We have 0 cholesterol in chocolate and yes, stearic acid is a saturated fat but has no effect on raising  cholesterol. Health benefits? Lowering of blood pressure, and preventing artery plaque buildup are a few of them. 1 ounce of 72% chocolate has around 170 kcals and 5-6 grams  of sugar.  I discovered Green & Black’s chocolate to be creamy rich with a hint of sweetness.  Great for making bark with dried fruit added to the mix. Dark Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruits and Nuts
  • 6-9 ounces of 72% dark chocolate or 85%  (preferably Green & Black’s Organic ) or other chocolate
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, apricots and pineapple or any combination of dried fruit.
  • 1/2 cup pistachios or other nuts
  • parchment paper or waxed paper
  • 1 cookie sheet
Chop up  the chocolate and place the pieces into a stainless steel or other heat resisitant bowl. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper covering the entire surface. Heat up to simmer 3/4 cup of water in a shallow pan, and place the bowl of chocolate over the water and melt until smooth. Remove from the heat.  Pour the chocolate onto the parchment paper to cover approximately a  10 inch by 6 inch rectangle. Sprinkle the fruits and nuts of any combination over the chocolate and  keep in the refrigerator to cool for 1-2  hours. Remove from the refrigerator and peel away the paper and break into small pieces.
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