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Use bouillon cubes or granules to add flavor to rice and potatoes. You won't miss the butter.
Try sauteeing in wine or broth. You really do not need to use fat to soften onions, garlic and peppers.
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Week of November 26, 2010

White tea - Is it really better for you than green tea?

While white tea was once a rarity reserved for the most ceremonious occasions in Chinese imperial courts dating back to the T'ang Dynasty (618-907 AD).

  • Black tea derives its dark color and full flavor from a complex fermentation process that includes exposing crushed tea leaves to the air for a strictly defined number of minutes.
  • Tea leaves for green tea are not fermented at all, but withered in hot air and quickly steamed or pan-fried. A gentle rolling and final heating stabilizes the tea’s natural flavors.
  • Oolong teas fall somewhere in the middle: partial fermentation gives them a distinct reddish colour and a “flowery” flavor.
  • White tea is made from immature tea leaves that are picked shortly before the buds have fully opened. The tea takes its name from the silver fuzz that still covers the buds, which turns white when the tea is dried. The exact proportion of buds to leaves varies depending on the variety of white tea. For example, White Peony contains one bud for every two leaves, while Silver Needles, the crème de la crème of white teas, is made entirely from downy buds picked within a two day period in early Spring.

Tea leaves destined to be sold as white tea undergo even less processing than green tea leaves. Instead of air-drying, the unwithered leaves are merely steamed.

The result is a pale tea with a sweet, silky flavor.White tea makes up only the first few tender leaves and new buds of the tea bush harvested in early springtime.White tea's unique flavor but also its superior health benefits that are attracting new fans. White tea boasts the same type of healthful polyphenols (plant nutrients) as green tea, but in even greater amounts

A 2004 study at Pace University concluded that white tea can help your body’s immune system fight off viruses and dangerous infection-causing bacteria. The same study concluded that fluoride-rich white tea helps prevent the growth of dental plaque, the chief cause of tooth decay.

Expect to pay more for white tea than other tea types though . . . check it out at Adiago; they also have some samplers where you can try 4 types out for just $10.00 - Silver Needle, Snowbud, Song Yang & White Peony. Click on the Adiago banner below.

Week of November 19, 2010

Perfect Cranberry Sauce
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

1 - 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 3/4 cups orange juice
3/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
6 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
Pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Simmer until berries burst and sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaf. Refrigerate sauce until cold. (Can be made 3 days ahead, if kept tightly covered and refrigerated.)

Per tablespoon: 45 Calories; trace Fat (6.2% calories from fat); trace Saturated Fat; trace Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 4mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Fruit; 0 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Week of November 12, 2010

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

First choose one medium sugar pumpkin or a tan skinned cheese pumpkin. (Never use field pumpkins that are grown for jack-o-lanterns; they are tough and stringy)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Cut pumpkin into small manageable pieces and cut off pith and seeds. Place cut pumpkin skin side up in a large roasting pan. Add 1 cup water and bake uncovered for 1 hour or until meltingly tender. Remove from oven and allow pumpkin to cool.

When cooled, cut away skin and mash or puree. Make sure that you drain off as much water as possible after you puree the pumpkin. Place in a colander lined with cheesecloth and drain for an hourl.

Use in any recipe that calls for canned pureed pumpkin. One 15 ounce can of pumpkin equals 1 3/4 cups. A medium-sized (4-pound) sugar pumpkin should yield around 1½ cups of mashed pumpkin.

Week of November 5, 2010

Grinding Spices

To reap the benefits of whole spices, you need a device that transforms them into a fine, even powder. While there are many gadgets available for such a task, probably the best tool for the job is a coffee grinder. An inexpensive blade grinder produces consistently good results with little effort. (Usually runs $20.00 to $40.00) If possible, keep one grinder for coffee, another for spices.

Wiping with a brush or cloth is usually sufficient to clean the grinder. Sometimes, however, spice oils and residues remain even after wiping. Most grinders can’t be immersed in water, so the easiest way to dry clean all traces of residue is to add several tablespoons of raw white rice to the grinder and pulverize to a fine powder. The rice powder will absorb residual spice particles and oils. Discard the rice powder and wipe clean. Your grinder will be free of all spice residue and ready to go.


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