of June 25, 2010
Fruit and Yogurt Treats
pops aren't just for kids. These refreshing treats
are a cool way to enjoy your daily fruit and yogurt.
Fresh ripe fruit is the main ingredient in the
ice pops below. They are minimally sweetened and
contain no dyes, or preservatives like commercial
you do not have an inexpensive plastic pop mold,
you can use small flat-bottomed paper drinking
cups with a capacity of 3 or 4 ounces. Wooden
ice cream sticks can be used for handles, but
wait to insert them until the fruit mixture has
frozen to a slush thick enough to hold the sticks
Choose a yogurt flavor that is the same as your
fruit or choose complementary flavors with contrasting
colors of yogurt and fruit. Use pureed fruit,
(peel and seed the fruit if needed) but add a
few chunks diced fruit if desired.
cups yogurt, any flavor
cup pureed fresh fruit, such as strawberries,
blueberries, ripe bananas, apricots, peaches,
nectarines, plums, kiwi, papaya or mango
yogurt with fruit. Pour into plastic molds or
small paper cups. If using wooden sticks for handles,
freeze until mushy before inserting sticks. Freeze
until pops are hard.
of June11, 2010
Ways to Raise Your Good Cholesterol
20 to 30 minutes a day can jump-start your
HDL in the right direction.
Smoking. Quitting smoking can raise your
HDL levels by about four points.
weight. Losing 10 pounds can increase
your HDL by one and a half points.
the right fats in your diet. Decrease
saturated and trans fats in your diet. These
substances increase the bad cholesterol while
decreasing your good cholesterol. Instead
use products containing unsaturated fats (olive,
canola, flaxseed, etc.). These may raise your
HDL levels. Use in moderation; remember you
still have to watch the calories!
back on simple carbohydrates. Cakes, cookies
and highly processed cereals and breads are
high-glycemic foods that can lower your HDL
and raise the levels of another fat in your
alcohol only in moderation. If you don't
drink, don't start, however some studies have
found mild alcohol consumption (one drink
per day for women, two for men) can raise
HDL by up to four points. NOTE: Alcohol may
be harmful to those with liver or addiction
problems. In these cases, the risks certainly
outweigh the benefits.
cold-water fish. Eating salmon, mackerel
or other fish from icy waters several times
a week can have a very positive effect on
your HDL levels. They contain omega-3 fatty
acids, which may help to explain their health
fiber to your diet. The soluble fiber
found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains
might boost your HDL.
anabolic steroids (muscle-building). These
decrease your HDL levels, as well as increasing
other health dangers.
of June 4, 2010
Marinades for Grilled Foods
a chicken breast with a little salt and pepper
tastes fine, but you can greatly alter the flavor
by marinating that same chicken breast in a spicy
aromatic mixture. The flavors that you can add
to your marinade are limited only by your imagination
and the spices you have on hand. Just use ingredients
go well together. It can be fresh or dried herbs
and spices or fresh and dried chili peppers, onions,
shallots, garlic, ginger and citrus zest. Condiments
of mustard, ketchup, plum sauce and marmalades
can also be added. Do not EVER use salt in your
marinade. Salt will bleed out the moisture, so
do not add salt to the meat or poultry until just
you add sugar or sweet ingredients to the marinade,
the sugars on the surface of the meat will caramelize
when exposed to high heat, giving the meat a nice
browned color and rich flavor as well as a tinge
of sweetness. Use sugar, marmalades, jellies,
corn syrup, honey, fruit juice and sodas (colas,
etc.) for this purpose.
a very small amount of oil in a marinade will
add moisture to foods. Use pure olive oil, sesame,
walnut or chili oils. These work best.
two most popular types of marinades are acidic
(made with citrus, vinegar, or wine) and enzymatic
(made with ingredients such as pineapple and papaya).
Although both types work primarily on the surface
of the food, they bring about different results:
highly acidic marinades can actually toughen food;
while enzymatic marinades can turn the surface
of the food to mush (meat tenderizers you buy
products are the only ingredients that can actually
tenderize meat all the way through while retaining
the original texture. Buttermilk and yogurt work
especially well for this. Yogurt is slightly acidic
and helps break down protein tissues in beef,
fish, chicken and other meats, and allows absorption
of flavors from herbs and spices.
marinades work faster than oil counterparts. When
deciding how long to marinate, consider the texture
of the meat or fish. Open-textured flesh like
fish fillets needs only a few minutes of soaking
(Fish will take as little as 20 minutes). Food
with a tighter texture, such as chicken or pork,
can tolerate several hours in a marinade, even
one that's mildly acidic. Marinate chicken for
no more than 4 hours. Marinate beef for 6 hours,
turning once or twice. DO NOT EXCEED recommended
time as the meat will toughen as the acid actually
"cooks" the protein.