Tag Archives: healthy

Researches have found a “striking” new side effect from eating fast food. – Manuela Mejia

Today I read an article from The Washington Post. It discusses how the rise of processed food that we put into our bodies has coincided with an alarming growth in the size of our collective gut. In addition, the George Washington University has done a research that links fast-food consumption to the presence of harmful chemicals. The research states that people who eat fast-food often have higher levels of phthalates. This would eventually lead to increased rates of infertility, especially among males.

You can find out more on this topic here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/15/researchers-have-found-an-alarming-new-side-effect-from-eating-fast-food/

Question: How many times a week do you typically eat fast food? Do you feel that it affects you in a certain way?

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“The Cooking Kids project”

A group of students from Danila Kumer Elementary School from Ljubljana, Slovenia demonstrated their cooking skills in the New York University lobby.

Those students were finalists of “The Cooking Kids” culinary competition that takes place every year in restaurants in Slovenia. the aim of this program is to introduce cooking skills to youngsters by emphasizing the use of healthy, local, and natural ingredients. And, more importantly have a greater impact on citizen-to-citizen interaction.

Link:https://www.nyu.edu/global/global-academic-centers/washington-dc/nyu-washington–dc-events/culinary-diplomacy–make-food–not-war.html

Question : Do you think that all schools should implement such competition?

 

 

 

 

The secret for the best Spanakopita (Greek Spinach-pie)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions and leek until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach and saute until the leaves have wilted and the liquid has cooked off, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool somewhat. When cool enough to handle, finely chop the spinach and place in a large bowl.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Lightly oil (always use olive oil!) a 12 inch in diameter, metal baking pan (you can use a larger baking pan – you will just have a thinner pita, but don’t use a smaller one), or a 10 x 15 inch rectangular baking pan.
  5. Add dill and feta cheese to the spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste (careful with the salt – the feta will add quite a bit of its own). Pour the eggs over and give a stir to combine well.
  6. Open up the phyllo pastry and place on a work surface. If using the country style pastry proceed, if using the thinner phyllo; cover with a damp cloth. (Continue to cover the pastry sheets with the damp cloth each time you remove one as you prepare the pie.).
  7. Layer the phyllo in the pan, allowing the edges to hang over the sides of the pan, brushing each phyllo layer generously with olive oil.
  8. Use up half the phyllo sheets to make the bottom pastry layer, allowing excess pastry to drape over edge of pan.
  9. Put the spinach mixture in and press the top down gently to smooth filling. Tuck in the pastry draping over the edges.
  10. Repeat layering with the remaining phyllo, oiling each sheet generously.
  11. Using a sharp knife, score the upper layers of pastry into the size pieces you will want to serve once the pie is baked- BE CAREFUL NOT TO CUT THROUGH BOTTOM PASTRY.
  12. Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes until it is golden brown. For the last 15-20 minutes, I put my baking pan directly on the oven floor to crisp it better.
  13. Cool till just warm (we never, but never eat this hot! The flavours just wouldn’t come through properly). Cut into serving pieces and serve either just warm or at room temperature.
  14. Note: If my spinach filling appears to be too ‘wet’, I often take 2 of the phyllo sheets and use them as a ‘layer’ between the spinach filling; these sheets absorb the extra liquid (they must not be brushed with oil).
  15. It’s also worth noting that Greeks love their olive oil! I have used olive oil with a lighter hand than most Greeks in this recipe – but it may still be too much for you. Feel free to add the amount you feel most comfortable with, but be aware that flavour may be compromised.

Detox Water

Water is one of the most beneficial things that you can put into your body, if not the most important.  On average you should be drinking 1.5 liters per day.  We have all heard of various food diets that people try but one that I am hearing about is a water detox diet.  In high school, my friends parents tried a water detox diet for a week where there nutrition came from water,  cayenne pepper, real maple syrup, and lemon – all mixed together.  The health of these diets seems ok for the short term but could quickly become dangerous if the proper research does not take place.  Attached is a list of various recipes for detox water and their benefits; including fatigue and even a hangover cure.  These detoxes should be used as a supplement to eating a healthy and balanced diet!

 

http://theodysseyonline.com/tampa/10-detox-water-recipes-that-actually-work/317662

 

Discussion Question: Have you ever tried a detox water recipe?  Which one on the list would you try?

Should you eat more soy? (by Manuela Mejia)

This article is from The Washington Post, and it states how soy used to be considered a superfood for various years due to its high levels of protein and fiber. Soy was thought to help strengthen bones and low the risks of having cancer.

Nevertheless, soy has lately been having a bad reputation. “There’s nothing unique about soy compared to other beans,” said Alice Lichtenstein, a professor of nutrition science at Tufts University in Boston. Pursuing this further, studies have found that processed foods that contain soy all deliver some protein, but tend to contain more fat, sodium and sugars.

My discussion question for the class is: studies of Asian women have shown that those who eat soy on a regular basis have lower risk of breast cancer that those who don’t. Why do you think this may happen? What properties does soy have that eventually helps prevent cancer?

Here’s the link to learn more about this article and the benefits or disadvantages of soy:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/should-you-eat-more-soy/2016/02/12/2d6c7194-8963-11e5-be8b-1ae2e4f50f76_story.html

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Kraft Classic Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe (by Monica Tham)

While banana bread is pretty common, this is my first time knowing that we can also use sour cream to make one. This special recipe by Kraft is ready to serve in 1 hour and 15 mins for 16 servings! Happy baking 🙂 

Kraft Sour Cream Banana Bread Receipt

What You Need:

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Breakstone’s or Knudsen Sour Cream
  • 1 cup mashed fully ripe bananas
  • 2-¼ cups flour
  • 1-½ tsp. Calumet baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped Planters walnuts

Sour Cream Banana Bread

How:

  • Heat oven to 350F
  • Beat butter & sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add eggs and sour cream; mix well. Add bananas and combined dry ingredients; mix just until moistened. Stir in nuts.
  • Pour into greased and floured loaf pan (usually 9×5)
  • Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 min. and remove pan. Cool completely before slicing.

Discussion Question: I’m wondering what’s the difference between bread without sour cream and the one with it? Does sour cream only add flavors to the bread? Or does it help with the final product texture?

Vegan and Gluten Free? It CAN’T be Good…

Many people have this misconception that just because something is free of animal products that it just can’t be delicious. This is in fact completely false. Not only will your meal be healthy if it is gluten-free and vegan, but it will also be tasty. Not to mention, no animals will be harmed. Just watch the sugar! Many gluten free foods contain a large amount of sugar, which will spike your blood pressure. This recipe is not sugar filled though.

Here is a yummy recipe for Vegan, Gluten-free Chocolate chip Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes: http://minimalistbaker.com/chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookie-pancakes-2-0/

Question: What do you think would happen if the recipe called for peanut butter instead of almond butter? Would the texture of the pancake change?

Photo from minimalistbaker.com
Photo from minimalistbaker.com

What Is Starch Retrogradation? (by Manuela Mejia)

During baking, the starch in dough melts. The molecules become less organized and allow water molecules to move near them, some are partially dissolved. As the bread cools, the starch recrystallizes or retrogrades and goes back to a solid form, which causes a firm texture. Starch retrogradation is desirable for some starchy food products in terms of textural and nutritional properties.

Why has starch retrogradation been the subject of intensive research over the last 50 years?

You can learn more about starch retrogradation here.

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