Monthly Archives: January 2017

Baked Maple Salmon

Baked Maple Salmon

 

Fresh salmon fillets are marinated for an hour in a garlic-maple sauce before being baked to moist and flaky perfection.

 

Baked Maple Salmon

Ingredients                              Makes: 2 servings
2 salmon fillets (3-4 oz)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced with green shoots removed
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1/4 tsp sea salt
lemon wedges (garnish)
parsley sprigs (garnish)

Instructions
Carefully remove the skin from the fillets with a sharp knife, this will help reduce the fishy taste.

In a small bowl mix together extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, minced garlic, minced fresh parsley and sea salt. Rub marinate on both sides of salmon fillets and place in a fitting glass baking dish and cover with tinfoil. Allow fish to marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Place sealed fillets in preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes; the time depends on the size of the salmon fillets. Salmon is ready when it easily flakes with a fork, try not to over-bake. Garnish with a wedge of lemon and a few sprigs of parsley before serving.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

This recipe is an excellent source for the essential nutrients: Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Selenium and Protein.

Visit our Article Archive here, to learn more about nutrition, essential nutrients and how to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Visit our Recipe Archive here, for more delicious recipes.

Return to the top of the Home page here!

 

Vitamin D – Health Benefits and Food Sources

Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium and phosphorus, supporting healthy bones and teeth. This important nutrient is also involved in regulating the immune system and the cells in the body.

Vitamin D is fat-soluble and is stored in the body when your skin is exposed to sunlight, as well absorbed when eating some foods. Research suggests that by getting enough vitamin D a person can lower their risk of developing cancer and multiple sclerosis. It is recommended the average person gets 20 to 30 minutes of sunlight on exposed arms and legs every day.

Characteristics of a Vitamin D Deficiency

A vitamin D deficiency in children can result in rickets, a disease that causes soft, weak bones. Not getting enough vitamin D (sunlight) can also result in the softening of bones in adults which can lead to osteoporosis and other bone disorders, characterized by weak achy bones including muscle weakness.

The elderly and people living in northern colder-climates are at higher risk of a vitamin D deficiency caused by the lack of getting regular sunlight.

Vitamin D Food Sources

Vitamin D is best absorbed through sunlight, but this essential nutrient can also be found in most fish and eggs.

Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Sources for Vitamin D

This chart lists the best food sources for vitamin D, along with that food source’s single serving size and the amount of vitamin D in that single serving.

Vitamin D Daily Intake Recommendations for Child and Adult

These figures are referenced from the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) 2005 system; used in Canada and the United States. The DRI system provides the minimum daily intake requirements of vitamins, minerals and nutrients for child and adult; males and females.

To find out what your daily intake requirements are for all of the essential nutrients, see the article Essential Nutrients and Beneficial Foods, posted January 16, 2017.

Try our Baked Maple Salmon recipe! Fish are an excellent whole food source for the essential nutrient vitamin D.

 

Written by: J. Marshall

References

Mango Papaya Avocado Salad

Mango Papaya Avocado Salad

 

 

A sweet and spicy salad that is as attractive to look at as it is enjoyable to eat.

 

Mango Papaya Avocado Salad

Ingredients                              Makes: 6 servings
1 mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 red onion, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar ~or~ balsamic vinaigrette
sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Prepare ingredients. Cut the fruit and pepper into 1/2-inch pieces, then dice the red onion and set aside in a bowl. De-stem the herbs and chop.

Combine ingredients. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the mango, papaya, bell pepper, avocado, red onion and then cilantro. Sprinkle the balsamic vinegar over the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss salad gently to evenly coat the dressing.

Chill before serving. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

This recipe is an excellent source for the essential nutrients: Vitamin C.

Visit our Article Archive here, to learn more about nutrition, essential nutrients and how to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Visit our Recipe Archive here, for more delicious recipes.

Return to the top of the Home page here!

Vitamin C – Health Benefits and Food Sources

Vitamin C is essential for the absorption of iron and for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body. It helps the body make collagen a protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, blood cells, teeth and bones.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and helps fight infection. This important nutrient also blocks free radicals from causing damage which contribute to the aging process and the development of serious health conditions. Vitamin C is water-soluble which means it does not store in the body and must be replenished regularly.

Characteristics of a Vitamin C Deficiency

A vitamin C deficiency can be characterized by dry splitting hair, rough skin, easy bruising and nosebleeds, gingivitis and bleeding gums, as well a decreased ability to ward off infections with a reduced wound-healing rate. A severe deficiency is known as scurvy.

A deficiency in vitamin C can occur with cigarette smokers as it lowers the amount of vitamin C absorbed by the body. Long term low levels of vitamin C intake has also been associated with health conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, gall bladder disease, cancer and atherosclerosis.

Vitamin C Food Sources

Excellent sources for vitamin C include citrus fruits, dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables.

Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Sources for Vitamin C

This chart lists the best food sources for vitamin C, along with that food source’s single serving size and the amount of vitamin C in that single serving.

The amount of nutrients per serving in the following food sources is not absolute for several reasons. Fresh foods will have a higher vitamin and mineral content when grown in healthier soil, as well vitamin content will deplete a little bit every day from the moment it is harvested. Therefore these figures should only be used as a generalization.

Vitamin C Daily Intake Recommendations for Child and Adult

These figures are referenced from the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) 2005 system; used in Canada and the United States. The DRI system provides the minimum daily intake requirements of vitamins, minerals and nutrients for child and adult; males and females.

To find out what your daily intake requirements are for all of the essential nutrients, see the article Essential Nutrients and Beneficial Foods, posted January 16, 2017.

Try our Mango Papaya Avocado Salad recipe! Fruits are an excellent whole food source for the essential nutrient vitamin C.

 

Written by: J. Marshall

References

Vitamin B12 – Health Benefits and Food Sources

Vitamin B12 is essential for several different important functions throughout the body. These functions include supporting and protecting the immune system, the nervous system, the heart and cardiovascular system, energy production and brain cells. Vitamin B12 assists these functions by helping to clean the blood of free radicals and dangerous toxins. Vitamin B12 is also required for healthy serotonin levels, which affect your mood.

Characteristics of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause fatigue, depression, shortness of breath, diarrhea, numbness, tingling sensation in the fingers and toes, as well can lead to an increased risk of infections.

Vitamin B12 deficiencies most commonly occur in people following vegan diets since B12 is found in animal products like seafood and milk products. Deficiencies can also occur in people with compromised digestive systems caused by surgery or severe chronic illness.

Vitamin B12 Food Sources

The essential nutrient vitamin B12 is found in animal products like eggs and seafood; as well milk products like yogurt and cheese.

Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Sources for Vitmain B12

This chart lists the best food sources for vitamin B12, along with that food source’s single serving size and the amount of vitamin B12 in that single serving.

Vitamin B12 Daily Intake Recommendations for Child and Adult

These figures are referenced from the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) 2005 system; used in Canada and the United States. The DRI system provides the minimum daily intake requirements of vitamins, minerals and nutrients for child and adult; males and females.

To find out what your daily intake requirements are for all of the essential nutrients, see the article Essential Nutrients and Beneficial Foods, posted January 16, 2017.

Try our Lemon Garlic Trout recipe! Fish are an excellent whole food source for the essential nutrient vitamin B12.

 

Written by: J. Marshall

References

Hummus

hummus

 

Hummus is a great vegetarian food dip or spread made from chickpeas, tahini and olive oil, deliciously seasoned with cumin, garlic and lime juice.

Hummus

Ingredients                            Makes:  Approx. 1 1/2 cups
1 cup chickpeas, prepared from dried ~or~ canned, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp tahini *see recipe below!
2 to 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 to 2 garlic cloves, chopped with green shoots removed
1 1/2 Tbsp cumin
sprinkle sea salt or to taste
1 to 2 Tbsp orange juice, as needed for smooth consistency (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, de-stemmed, chopped fine
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (garnish)
1 Tbsp pine nuts ~or~ de-shelled pumpkin seeds (optional garnish)
1 to 2 tsp fresh parsley, de-stemmed and chopped fine (garnish)
pinch of paprika (garnish)

Instructions
Prepare chickpeas. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse the chickpeas, then set aside. If preparing chickpeas from dried, rinse the beans and then soak in plenty of purified water overnight or for about 8 hours. Next day, rinse the beans and cook in a large saucepot with plenty of fresh purified water over medium high heat for 40 to 60 minutes. Check for readiness by squishing the a bean between two spoons or by taste-testing; the readiness can depend on the freshness of the bean. When beans are cooked, drain, rinse and set aside to cool.

Prepare other ingredients. Peal and chop the garlic. De-stem the parsley and chopped fine. Prepare tahini as seen in recipe below if making own.

Blend ingredients. Add the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin and sea salt to a food processor. Blend the ingredients well. If mixture is too thick, add the orange juice and an extra tablespoon of olive oil if needed or until desired consistency is reached. Once mixture is puréed to a smooth consistent texture, then transfer to a bowl. Now add the finely chopped parsley and stir in.

Garnish. Garnish the hummus by creating a slight bowl indentation in the center of the hummus. Next pour in the additional 2 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil into the bowl. Sprinkle over the hummus just a pinch of paprika for decoration and then with the finely chopped fresh parsley, pine nuts or de-shelled pumpkin seeds.

Refrigerate until ready to serve, will keep in fridge for one week.

—o—o—o—

Tahini

Making tahini is easy and can be made quickly as needed requiring just two ingredients!

Ingredients                                 Makes: 1/2 cup
1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed

Instructions
Preheat oven. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F.

Prepare seeds. Spread the raw sesame seeds onto a baking sheet evenly.

Bake. Bake in the preheated oven for 9 or so minutes, stirring every few minutes, until seeds are fragrant and a light golden brown.

Blend. Transfer toasted seeds to a blender and add olive oil. Blend until completely smooth, adding additional oil if needed. Refrigerate in a sealed container and use within 7 days.

Recipes shared by: J. Marshall

Visit our Article Archive here; to learn more about the nutritional value of healthy foods, essential nutrients and the beneficial foods that help in the healing of chronic disease and illness.

Visit our Recipe Archive here, for more delicious nutritional recipes.

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Guacamole

Guacamole

 

A dip made from mashed avocados, lime juice and salt and mixed with tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, garlic and cilantro.

Guacamole

Ingredients                              Makes: 2 cups
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 roma plum tomato, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped fine

Instructions
In a medium-sized bowl, mash together the two avocados, then mix the lime juice and salt. Next add the tomato, onion, jalapeño, garlic and cilantro; mix just until combined. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Will keep in fridge for 1 week.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

Visit our Article Archive here, to learn more about nutrition, essential nutrients and how to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Visit our Recipe Archive here, for more delicious recipes.

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Spicy Pita Chips

 

Spicy baked pita chips nicely accompany dips and spreads like hummus and guacamole.

 

Spicy Pita Chips

Ingredients                              Makes: 64 triangles
8 pita bread pockets, cut into 1/8’s triangles
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced with green shoots removed
1 tsp cumin, ground
1/4 tsp coriander, ground
pinch of cayenne powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Raise oven rack to center to prevent burning.

In a large bowl combine olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, sea salt and pepper. Add pita wedges and toss to coat. Make sure both sides of pita are evenly coated.

Spread pita wedges in a single layer on cookie sheets and bake for about 15 minutes or until pita is brown and crispy. Turn pita halfway through baking process to toast both sides evenly. Cool before serving.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

Visit our Article Archive here, to learn more about nutrition, essential nutrients and how to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Visit our Recipe Archive here, for more delicious recipes.

Return to the top of the Home page here!

Vitamin B6 – Health Benefits and Food Sources

Vitamin B6 assists in assimilating protein and fat and converting food into energy. It is responsible for the production of red blood cells and supports a healthy immune system. Vitamin B6 also assists in the creation of several neurotransmitters which are chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to another. This is required for normal brain development and function and helps make hormones that influence the mood and regulates the body clock.

Characteristics of a Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Low levels of vitamin B6 can lead to an array of symptoms such as muscle weakness and pain, nervousness, irritability, mood disorders, difficulty concentrating and short-term memory loss; conditions like anemia and PMS can also worsen. Long-term deficiencies can result in nausea, anemia, susceptibility to infections, weakened immune system, chronic full body inflammation, dermatitis and severe depression.

A vitamin B6 deficiency is uncommon since there are several food sources rich in this nutrient. Deficiencies can occur in people with compromised digestive systems caused by surgery or severe chronic illness.

Vitamin B6 Food Sources

There is an abundance of excellent foods that are good sources for vitamin B6. This nutrient is rich in salmon, poultry, legumes, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Sources for Vitamin B6

This chart lists the best food sources for vitamin B6, along with that food source’s single serving size and the amount of vitamin B6 in that single serving.

Vitamin B6 Daily Intake Recommendations for Child and Adult

These figures are referenced from the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) 2005 system; used in Canada and the United States. The DRI system provides the minimum daily intake requirements of vitamins, minerals and nutrients for child and adult; males and females.

To find out what your daily intake requirements are for all of the essential nutrients, see the article Essential Nutrients and Beneficial Foods, posted January 16, 2017.

Try our Hummus with Fresh Parsley and Pine Nuts recipe! Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans are an excellent whole food source for the essential nutrient vitamin B6.

Written by: J. Marshall

References

How to Test the Freshness of Eggs

Cooking Tip #3

Are you wondering how fresh your eggs are?  Well, there are a couple of ways you can find out.

Method #1:
Fill a medium sized bowl with room-temperature water and place the egg in the bowl of water.

The egg will do 1 of 3 things that will tell you how fresh it is.

  1. If the egg lays on its side at the bottom, it means the egg is fresh.
  2. If the egg stands upright on the bottom it means it is not fresh but still good to eat as long as it is eaten soon or hard-boiled.
  3. If the egg floats to the top, it means the egg is expired and should not be eaten.

Egg Fresh Test

Method #2:
Crack an egg into a saucepan with no heat. The egg will do 1 of 3 things that will tell us how fresh it is.

  1. The egg yolk and the whites are firm and hold together well, this means your egg is fresh.
  2. The egg yolk and the whites are thin and spread out in the saucepan, your eggs are not as fresh but still good to eat as long as it is eaten soon or hard-boiled.
  3. The egg whites are thin and the egg yolk membrane is weak and breaks. The egg may also have an odour and/or discolouration, in this case the eggs are bad and should not be eaten.

How Long are Eggs Fresh For?

A freshly laid egg is good for 60-90 days. How long depends on how the eggs have been cleaned and stored.

  •  Fresh eggs should be wiped clean with a clean dry rag. Washing the egg with water will remove the natural, anti-bacterial coating on the shell called the “bloom” and make the egg more susceptible to bacteria and spoilage. Wash the eggs under luke-warm water when you are ready to use them.
  • Eggs should be packaged in clean paper egg-boxes with good airflow.
  • Eggs should also be stored with their pointed end downwards to avoid risk of contaminating the yolk. The yolk is naturally centered at the pointed-end surrounded by the non-bacteria friendly white and the not so bacteria friendly air-sac is in the blunt-end. Through maintaining this pointed-end downward trend, risk of contaminating the yolk is reduced, keeping it fresher longer.
  • Store eggs in a refrigerator on a bottom shelf and not in the door, this will ensure a cool and consistent temperature.

Are Eggs Safe Kept at Room Temperature?

Fresh eggs kept out on a counter at room temperature will be safe to eat for a while, but they will age quicker and spoil sooner. One day on the counter equals around one week in the fridge.

Brown Eggs vs White Eggs

What is the difference between brown and white eggs other than their colour? Brown eggs are laid by brown-feathered chickens with red earlobes and white eggs are laid by white-feathered chickens with light coloured ear-lobes; that is it. There are  types of hens that also produce a blue egg, but few people breed these types of birds. Brown eggs are equally as nutritious as the white eggs. The colour is no indicator of quality, brown eggs generally cost more than the white eggs because brown-feathered chickens are slightly larger then the white-feathered chickens and have a larger appetite.

What the Colour of the Yolk Means

Egg yolk colour can range from pale yellow to a deep orange hue. The colour of the yolk is influenced by the type of feed the chickens have ingested. Wheat-based feeds tend to produce a paler yolk colour while corn-based feeds produce a darker yolk colour. The more naturally pigmented the feed is, the darker the yolk will be.

What the Size of the Egg Means

The size of an egg depends on the age of the hen. Younger hens lay smaller eggs and older hens lay larger eggs.

Nutritional Facts about Eggs

  • Eggs contain the highest quality of protein the body can get!
  • One egg contains only 70 calories, but has 6 grams of protein along with 14 other essential nutrients such as vitamin A, D and E, along with folate, iron and zinc.
  • Eggs are rich in choline as well, which promotes normal cell activity, liver function and the  function of transporting essential nutrients throughout the body.
  • Eggs also have all 9 essential amino acids: which are the building blocks of the body; capable of forming tissues, organs, muscles, skin and hair.

Eggs in a row

Written by: J. Marshall

References