THE RAW FACTS

vegetables

Have you always wondered how to prepare vegetables in order to maximize their nutritional content? There’s no easy answer, since some produce is most nutritious cooked, while other kinds do not need heat to bring out the best in them. Here is how to get the most from the farmers’ picks.

Onions

Just slice and eat them raw. You get less of the phytonutrient allicin, a hunger busting ingredient when you cook onions. On the other hand, they contain a flavonoid known as quercetin. It has anti inflammatory properties. Total amount of flavonoids can be increased by cooking. Yellow and red onions have more flavonoids than white ones. Sauté or bake onions for five minutes; any longer and the onion will begin to lose nutrients.

Broccoli

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Eat it raw. Heating deactivates myrosinase, an enzyme that helps cleanse your liver of carcinogens. Broccoli or other cruciferous veggies, such as cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts are good examples of vegetables which should be eaten both cooked and raw. Raw broccoli contains an enzyme called myrosinase which breaks down into sulforaphane, a compound helping to prevent cancer and stomach ulcers. Cooking damages myrosinase. On the other hand, cooking forms the compound indole in cruciferous veggies. It is a phytonutrient that fights precancerous cells before they turn malignant.

Beets

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Eat them raw. Beets lose more than 30 percent of their folate while cooking. Eating them raw will store this brain compound.

Mushrooms

Eat them cooked. Whether you heat, sauté, boil, roast or grill them, more muscle-building potassium will be brought out.

Red peppers

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Eat them raw. Their vitamin C breaks down while roasting, frying, or grilling above 370 degrees. Red peppers are high in vitamin C that is nutrient soluble in water. By boiling or cooking red peppers, the vitamins dissolve in the water. It is best to eat red peppers raw.

Spinach

SPINACH LEAVES

Eat it cooked. Have spinach cooked and you will absorb more iron, calcium and magnesium. Though raw spinach is still good, cooking makes it easier for your body to absorb the calcium it contains. Calcium is essential for teeth and bone strength, so make sure you get the most out of the spinach. Steam your spinach rather than boiling it to avoid losing nutrients.

Tomatoes

tomatoes

Eat them cooked. Are you surprised? When you eat cooked tomatoes, your body absorbs more cancer fighting lycopene. Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant linked to the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases. Researchers have found that lycopene molecules change tomatoes’ shape, which makes them more usable by the body. The amount of lycopene in tomatoes is higher and it is better absorbed by the body after cooking with a little oil, and particularly processing, rather than eaten fresh or raw.

Carrots

Raw carrots supply polyphenols, chemicals with antioxidant properties thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Boiling carrots destroys all the polyphenols as well as cooking, which breaks down the vitamin C found in carrots. This vitamin is easily degraded when exposed to heat. It is said that cooked carrots supply more of the antioxidant ß-carotene than raw ones. Your body converts this antioxidant to vitamin A.

Garlic

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Cooking makes the herb garlic less potent because heat reduces the amount of healthy allicin, so it is best to add your garlic just before you finish cooking rather than at the start. Garlic contains chemicals that relax your blood vessels, helping to protect you from heart attack. Cooking garlic reduces the amount of these vital chemicals, so it is better to enjoy garlic raw.

WHEN IT COMES TO VEGETABLES, FRESH IS GENERALLY BEST BUT SOMETIMES A BIT OF STEAMING/COOKING MAY ALLOW VITAMINS AND MINERALS TO BE MORE EASILY ABSORBED BY THE BODY.

MY RULE OF THUMB: FRESH THEN FROZEN THEN CANNED BUT MOST IMPORTANT IS THAT YOU EAT 5-7 SERVINGS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES EACH DAY!

HAPPY CRUNCHING!

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EASY WAYS TO GET MORE CALCIUM WITHOUT TAKING A SUPPLEMENT

MEN AND WOMEN OVER 50 ESPECIALLY NEED TO BE AWARE OF CALCIUM SOURCES IN THEIR DIET.  CALCIUM ADULT DAILY REQUIREMENT (DRI):
1000 mg (≤age 50)
1200 mg (>age 50)

Maybe you are tired of milk or just want to try something new. Either way, these tips can help you to build your bones while adding some variety to your diet.

Better juices
Switch from regular fruit juice to a calcium-fortified juice, but watch your serving size. The calories from juice can add up fast!

dry milk

Milk powder
Mix 1 quart of milk with 1 cup (C) of dry milk powder. Use just as you would regular milk.

Fruit dip
Make a fruit dip using 8 ounces of vanilla yogurt, 2 tablespoons (Tbsp) of sugar (or an equivalent amount of sugar replacement), a dash of cinnamon, 3 Tbsp of orange juice concentrate (make sure it is calcium fortified), and ¼ C shredded coconut.

Dried figs
Add some dried figs to your frozen yogurt, salad, hot cereal, or snack mix.
beans 2
Beans
Add beans to your favorite soups and casseroles. Look for new recipes containing beans.

tofu

Tofu
If you have never tried tofu before, there is nothing to fear. The important thing is to make sure that you choose a product that is calcium-fortified. Tofu essentially has no taste, taking on the flavors of whatever other foods it is cooked with. You even can add silken tofu to a fruit smoothie or milk shake.

Frozen yogurt
Choose frozen yogurt instead of ice cream.

Salmon burgers
Make salmon burgers, but not from boneless salmon—you actually want to consume the tiny bones. Also sardines (if you like them) can be eaten with whole grain crackers.

Cottage cheese
Use cottage cheese in place of ricotta cheese in your favorite recipes.

Reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream
Top your baked potatoes, tacos, etc with reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream.

parfait

Yogurt parfait
Layer yogurt, fruit, and cereal in a dish or fluted glass. If you use plain yogurt, add a drizzle of honey.

Bread
Choose a bread that is fortified with calcium.

almonds

Almonds
Add almonds to your favorite baked goods or eat them whole.

Better than milk
Add Carnation® Instant Breakfast or Ovaltine® to your milk.

total

Cereal
Choose a calcium-fortified cereal, such as General Mills Total®.

Reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Top your chili, baked potatoes, casseroles, crackers, or tacos with reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Cabot® 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar contains 70 calories, 4.5 grams (g) of fat, 8 g of protein, 6% of your daily allowance for vitamin A, and 20% of your daily allowance for calcium in each ounce. For many other ways to incorporate this healthy source of protein and calcium into your diet, visit www.cabotcheese.com.

VEGETARIAN MEALS: PREPARATION TIPS AND RECIPE

Vegetarian Meals: Preparation Tips

These suggestions may give you some new ideas for making vegetarian meals.

Beans


Try substituting beans for animal protein in all of your favorite dishes. For example, make black bean burgers instead of hamburgers, and bean enchiladas instead of traditional enchiladas. Even try mixing cannellini beans into your pasta or using kidney beans in place of meat in your favorite sloppy joe recipe.

Meat substitutes


Many meat substitutes are available at most major grocery stores. It is more than just veggie burgers anymore. Try meatless ribs, sausage, chicken wings, franks, and bacon or soy crumbles to replace ground beef.

Hearty vegetables

vegetables
Try using heartier vegetables, such as portobello mushrooms and eggplant, to create filling, healthy meals. Use these vegetables to replace meat in your favorite dishes, such as lasagna.

Tofu

tofu
Tofu picks up the flavor of any other ingredient that it is mixed with. If you mix it into a stir-fry, it will pick up the flavor of the soy sauce, and if you mix it into a fruit smoothie, it will pick up the flavor of the fruit. This versatile ingredient adds protein to any dish. You can even use soft tofu to create a vegetable dip for a fast and easy snack.

Grilled vegetables


Grill vegetables and top with cheese to make a fast and easy sandwich. It is especially tasty to brush the vegetables with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar before grilling. As an alternative, make marinated shish kebabs for a quick meal.

Soups
Enjoy split pea soup, lentil soup, or meatless chili, paired with whole-grain bread for a satisfying meal.

Ethnic foods
Experiment with different ethnic food dishes. For example, many traditional Middle Eastern, Asian, South Indian, and Mexican dishes are vegetarian.

Flavorings
Try a variety of flavored oils, vinegars, cooking wines, fruit and vegetable juices, herbs, and spices to liven up vegetable-based dishes.

Calcium
If you are trying to avoid cow’s milk, consume calcium-fortified soy milk, orange juice, breakfast cereals, bread, or other products to make up for the loss of calcium in your diet. In addition, include the following calcium-rich foods (1 cup of cooked or 2 cups of raw):

  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Collards
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Okra

Nut butters


Use peanut, almond, and cashew butters to add a touch of sweetness, “staying power,” and nutrition to oatmeal, stir-fries, smoothies, etc.

COOLER WEATHER IS COMING! TRY THIS HEARTY VEGETARIAN CHILI MADE WITH TOFU CRUMBLES!  This cooks in the Crock Pot all day.

chili

1 (16oz) bag frozen onion and pepper stir fry mix
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced (add more if you prefer a hotter chili)
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12oz) can tomato paste
1 (28oz) can tomato puree
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
1 (12oz) bag Morning Star Tofu Crumbles (Can use other brands)
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5-6 tbsp chili powder

You can add portobello mushrooms or celery and carrots or even another can of beans. Place all together in the Crock Pot and stir to combine. Cook on Low 8-10 hours.

ENJOY CUTTING DOWN ON MEAT AND ADDING GREAT, FLAVORFUL ALTERNATIVES!