Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

'tis the season for tasty treats!  Allow yourself to indulge in dessert, just keep in mind portion sizes.  Here is my favorite cookie recipe.



*Nutrition Tips:

  • Fiber: using whole wheat flour and oats increases your dietary fiber consumption.  Fiber improves your digestive function and can help prevent diverticulosis and colon cancer as well as decrease cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.
  • Organic: after comparing the food labels, I choose organic foods to reduce the amount of added preservatives and saturated fat.

*Recipe: 
Cream in a large bowl
  • ¾ cup softened organic butter
  • ⅓ cup organic chunky peanut butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar 

Add and stir until smooth
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
or if you are like me and ran out of vanilla, you can substitute with rum


Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon

Add dry mixture from step 3 to creamed ingredients.  Stir to make thick cookie dough.

Mix in 1½ cups chocolate chips.

Roll dough into 1½-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes until cookies are golden brown.



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Thanksgiving has passed, yet the holiday season has just begun.  Kick off your new year’s resolutions of nutritious eating while celebrating the holidays.  Modify your recipes to help improve your health and weight by lightening up your meals without sacrificing texture and flavor.

Control Portions
  • Use a smaller plate and avoid over stacking your plate.
  • Avoid second servings. 
  •  Be mindful of the foods and amounts you are eating.
Help your Heart: Cut Calories
  • Reduce the amount of fat in baked product recipes by .  For example, use ⅔ cup of oil instead of 1 cup.
  • Replace solid fats (lard, butter, shortening) with canola or olive oil.  Solid fats are high in saturated and trans fatty acids, which tend to raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.  If a recipe calls for ¼ cup of butter, try 3 tablespoons of oil instead.
  • Substitute plain low-fat yogurt for sour cream in your favorite dips.
  • Replace 1 ounce of solid chocolate to decrease the saturated fat with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon of canola oil.
  • Use 1% or skim milk instead of whole milk.
  • Consume white instead of dark-meats.
  • Reduce sugar by .  Add cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla for the impression of sweetness.
  • Flavor with herbs and spices without adding salt and fat.
Add fiber
  • Substitute whole-wheat flour for all-purpose flour.
  • Add vegetables to soups, stews, stir-fries. 
Beverages
  • If you restrict your foods too much, after too many cocktails, you may consume more foods.  Allow moderation for both foods and beverages.
  • Use low calorie mixers.
Think moderation and positive food choices to enjoy your holiday celebrations. 

For additional nutrition tips, visit: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/index.html


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin Pizza

Not your average pumpkin pie.  Try this holiday twist to your pizza pie.

Pumpkin is a holiday favorite, with good reason.  Pumpkins are high in nutrients including Vitamin A as beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Potassium, and Fiber.  In addition, pumpkin seeds are a source of Omega-3 fatty acids (the good fats).



Other ways to incorporate pumpkin in your holiday: create soups, snack on the seeds, or add canned pumpkin to oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, and muffins.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
[Original recipe modified from Breadman Recipe Guide]
1.     Add ingredients as instructed by bread maker
·      1 cup water
·      2 Tbsp oil
·      1 Tbsp sugar
·      1 tsp salt
·      1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
·      2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast

2.     Divide in half and press onto a lightly floured 12-inch pizza pan, raising edges.  Generously prick dough with a fork.
3.     Bake 400° for 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to turn gold brown.  Remove to add toppings.


Pumpkin Pizza
1.     In a nonstick skillet over low heat add:
·      1 Tbsp olive oil
·      2 Tbsp water
·      3 small, sliced shallots
Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.

2.     Meanwhile, in a medium-size pot over medium heat combine:
·      8-oz pumpkin puree
·      ½ cup water
·      1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
·      ½ Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
·      1 Tbsp maple syrup
Bring combination to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cook until heated through and slightly thickened (about 5 minutes).  Set aside to cool.

3.     Spread the pumpkin sauce over the top of the pizza crust (see above or purchase prepared whole wheat crust).
4.     Distribute sliced fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese (about ¾ cup shredded) over the sauce.
5.     Spread the shallots over the cheese and top with mozzarella if desired.
6.     Bake for 8-10 minutes at 425°or until the mozzarella melts.
7.     Garnish with organic spring mix and sliced grapes.