Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

We wish you all a very healthy and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bay Leaf

It's second nature to toss a bay leaf or two into a simmering
pot of soup, and for good reason: The leaves give a deep,
herbal flavor and can complement nearly any other seasonings
you use. There are two types of bay leaves: Turkish, which are
about an inch long, and California, which are narrower and add
a stronger eucalyptus taste. Fresh bay leaves aren't widely
available, but can be used the same way as dried - they impart
more flavor, so use them sparingly. Always remove the leaves
before serving. Store dried leaves in a cool, dark place for up
to 6 months and do a sniff test before using: If there's no aroma,
toss them.
-Everyday Food, November 2012

Vanilla Extract

A gift always gets extra points if it's homemade. Start now and
you can have vanilla extract on hand, ready to use for baking.
To make it: Slice vanilla beans lengthwise and cover with vodka
(use 1 cup for every 2 beans). Seal and store in a cool place,
shaking occasionally, for 2 months before using.
-Everyday Food, November 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Don't Forget Your Vitamin D

Traditionally, it's been recognized for its relationship
with calcium to support bone health. Recent studies,
however, demonstrate vitamin D's relevance to health
issues including diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and
even autoimmune diseases. Doctors are finding that
many people are deficient in vitamin D, especially
in colder, less sunny climates. Take a walk or visit
your local health store for a quality supplement.
-Taste Magazine, January 2013

Grapefruit: Winter's Sunshine

There's a reason fresh grapefruit appears in the dead
of winter- it's a natural cold fighter, arriving when we're
most susceptible to sniffling and sneezing. A single
grapefruit packs a lot of punch: It's an excellent source
of vitamins C and A. It also offers heart-healthy fiber
and potassium, which can help lower cholesterol. And
thanks to the presence of lycopene in pink and red
grapefruit, it may even protect against certain kinds of
Make sure to check with your doctor if you are taking
any medications as there could be a negative reaction.
Quick tip
Select grapefruit that is heavy for its size; this indicates a
higher concentration of juice. While scratches or scales
don't affect flavor, overly rough or wrinkled skin usually
means a thicker skin and therefore less juice.
-Taste Magazine, January 2013

Food Cravings

Craved by 40 percent of U.S. women and 15 percent of men.
Chocolate has a phytonutrient called theobromine, which acts
like caffeine and can promote alertness.
Eating carbs can elevate mood in about 20 minutes, according to
Men typically crave meat and "meal" foods more than women.
Sugar promotes a sense of relaxation.
Sugar may be even more addictive than cocaine.
People crave salt when they're stressed.
The crunchy texture of chips provides a release for anger.
"Highly palatable foods" high in salt, sugar, and fat increase feel-
good chemicals in the brain.
It's important not to deprive yourself. A recent study found people
who practiced rigid dietary restraint and had a severely limited diet
were more likely to have strong cravings and a higher body weight
than those who didn't.
-PCC Sound Consumer News, January 2013

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What's Happening January

Friday January 18
Portland ChocolateFest
You're in for a weekend of decadence at this
Portland, OR, festival, featuring exhibitions
from the country's best chocolatiers. Taste
antioxidant-rich dark chocolate on its own, or
try a quirky cocoa-based recipe.
-Prevention Magazine, January 2013

Flour Power

Almond Meal and Flour
Full of monounsaturated fat, protein, and fiber, almonds
can do nearly everything wheat flour can do, with some
baking-technique tweaks. Reserve almond flour (ground
blanched almonds) for baked goods that require the lightest
texture, such as cakes. Go with the coarser, less costly, and
easier-to find almond meal for everyday use.
Coconut Flour
When added to nut flours and meals, coconut flour (ground
coconut meat) helps produce a finer texture that's better for
baking. It's also useful for breading fish, poultry and meats
and for thickening liquids.
Ground Golden Flaxseed
For baking, mix ground golden flaxseed (not brown) with other
meals or flours. Both types work for breading.
-Prevention Magazine, January 2013


Get nearly a day's worth of immune-boosting vitamin C in
every one of these juicy gems.
Choose plump fruits (they're considered berries) without
wrinkles or blemishes. For the most fiber and nutrients, try
eating them unpeeled.
Keep kiwis on the counter until they give slightly to gentle
pressure, and then store in the fridge for a week or two.
-Prevention Magazine, January 2013

3 Cold Treatments That Really Work

Cut your cold short with Cold-Eeze: Zinc lozenges can reduce
your sick days. Researchers believe that the zinc ions bind to the
same receptors in your throat and chest as the cold virus, which
helps keep the bug from spreading.
Stop sinus infections with Ocean Saline Nasal Spray: By keeping
your nasal passages moist, saline can help stop mucus from con-
gealing and causing congestion and prevent germs from turning your
cold into a sinus infection.
Banish Bronchitis with Halo Oral Spray: Trials have shown that this
product's antiseptic ingredients can keep your throat free of oportunistic
bacteria, such as those that cause bronchitis, for up to 6 hours.
-Prevention Magazine, January 2013

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Do Spices Offer Any Health Benefits?

Adding a pinch of spice can transform an ordinary dish, such
as rice or oatmeal, into something exotic and flavorful. That
same small pinch of spice also will transform your health if you
make it a daily habit.
Spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are the richest sources
of dietary antioxidants, offering more than even blueberries and
acai berries. Spices also offer unique nutrients not found in other
foods, many of which are being researched for their protective
Adding just 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to your daily diet improves
blood sugar regulation, beneficial for preventing (and treating)
diabetes. Cinnamon also provides unique antioxidants, improves
circulation, and contains anti-bacterial compounds. All forms of
cinnamon (cassia and Ceylon) offer similar health benefits.
Ginger is a well-known digestive aid that relieves all forms of
nausea. Less known is how ginger can help relieve the pain of
arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. Ginger also is a
popular home remedy to reduce the symptoms of the cold and
flu. Fresh ginger provides the greatest therapeutic benefit, but
dried/powdered gingers also provide relief.
Ginger's cousin, turmeric (a fellow rhizome), is the yellow spice
that provides the characteristic color of curry powders. This spice
is well researched for its role in reducing inflammation, so it is
often recommended to ease the pain of arthritis, inflammatory
bowel disease, and even Multiple Sclerosis. Turmeric can also
reduce cancer risk and improve liver detoxification. New research
suggests that it may help to prevent Alzheimer's disease- it is
truly a magical food.
-Taste Magazine, December 2012

Gluten Free Fair

January 23, 2013, 4pm-7pm
Whole Foods Market Mill Plain
815 SE 160th Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98683
T (360) 253-4082
F (360) 253-8270

Baking Substitutions

Brown Sugar
Combine 1 cup granulated sugar with 2 tablespoons molasses
to achieve a similar caramelized flavor.
Replace the tart creaminess of 1 cup buttermilk with 1 tablespoon
lemon juice or vinegar mixed with enough non-fat or low-fat milk
to make 1 cup.
Replace the deep, sticky richness of 1 cup molasses with either
1 cup honey, 1 cup maple syrup or 3/4 cup light or dark brown
sugar heated to dissolve in 1/4 cup liquid.
Cream of Tartar
Replace 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar with 1/2 teaspoon white
vinegar or lemon juice to function as an acid in your recipe.
Replace 1 teaspoon of this fragrant spice with a blend of
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon
-Taste Magazine, December 2012

Easy and Elegant Appetizers

Sweet and Smoky Pecans
Makes 4 cups. Preheat oven to 375 F. Toss together
4 cups pecans, 1/2 cup honey, 2 teaspoons ground
chipotle and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Spread on a
parchment- lined baking sheet and toast in the oven
for 12 minutes, until fragrant.
Mango-glazed Sweet Potatoes
Peel 2-4 Red Garnet or Jewel sweet potatoes and cut
into 8 lengthwise wedges. Toss with 1 tablespoon high-heat
oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on parchment
paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes in a
preheated 400 F oven until just fork tender. Reduce heat
to 350 F. With a pastry brush, coat wedges with mango
chutney. Bake 10 minutes or until soft inside. Brush with
a little more chutney before serving.
-Taste Magazine, December 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vitamin D

Because we manufacture this fat-soluble vitamin only when
our skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun, it's often
called the sunshine vitamin. This mighty multitasker is essential
for calcium metabolism, helping to build the strong, dense bones
necessary for preventing osteoporosis. Research has linked
vitamin D deficiencies to breast, colon, and prostate cancers,
as well as Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid
arthritis, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Food Sources
Pink Salmon, canned     3oz.     530 IU vit D
Sardines, canned     3oz.     231 IU vit D
Mackerel, canned     3oz.     213 IU vit D
Orange juice, fortified with vit D     8oz.     100 IU vit D
Soymilk, fortified with vit D     8oz.     100 IU vit D
Cow's milk, fortified with vit D     8oz.     98 IU vit D
Egg yolk     1 large     21 IU vit D
Adequate Intake
Infants     Newborn to 1 year     400 IU/day
Children and adolescents     1-18 years     600 IU/day
Adults     19-70 years old     600 IU/day
Adults     71 years and above     800 IU/day
Pregnancy & breastfeeding     All ages     600 IU/day
*Many experts recommend  higher levels at all ages
-Natural Choices Magazine, December 2012

The Future of Food Labels

Even the supermarket produce aisle is going high-tech. Those
sticky labels could soon be replaced by laser etching technology,
which the FDA recently approved for use on citrus-fruit peels.
A carbon dioxide laser beam nicks the skin a few millionths
of an inch deep, zapping the pigment. The result is a paperless
way to display logos, country of origin, and tracking numbers,
making it easier to trace every lemon, lime, and orange back to
its producer. And there's no gummy residue!
-Prevention Magazine, Winter 2012

Honesty is the Healthiest Policy

If you think a little white lie never hurt anyone, you've got
company: The average person tells one or two untruths
daily. But lying can be hazardous to your health, according
to research from the University of Notre Dame. People
in the study who told the truth for a week had four fewer
emotional problems and three fewer physical ailments than
those who lied as usual. The researchers suspect that honesty
leads to stronger relationships, which boost well-being.
-Prevention Magazine, Winter 2012

Beat the Holiday Blues

Several stressors can contribute to the blues. Hectic lifestyles
and fast-paced holiday schedules can create stress and throw
off biorhythms and sleep patterns. Being exposed to large crowds
when shopping or attending gatherings can challenge the immune
system. Eating unfamiliar foods at holiday parties or dinners can
hamper your digestion, especially if you suffer from food intolerances.
Consider natural remedies and nutritional support.
Friendly bacteria help boost immunity as well as digestive and
intestinal health.
Herbal immunity boosters
Astragalus, echinacea, elderberry, or olive leaf, to name a few.
Useful nutrients
B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, and multivitamins/
minerals especially formulated to help you sleep.
Other herbal stress reducers
Examples include lemon balm, lavender, and kava.
-Natural Choices Magazine, December 2012

Stay "Cheery" with Fruits and Vegetables

Happiness and mental health appear to rise with the number
of daily servings of fruits and vegetables a person eats, peaking
at seven portions. Researchers came to that conclusion after
studying the eating habits of 80,000 people.
Most Western governments presently recommend at least five
daily servings of fruits and vegetables for cardiovascular health
and as a protection against cancer, but the effects of diet on mental
well-being have been studied less often. "This study has shown
surprising results, and I have decided it is prudent to eat more
fruits and vegetables. I am keen to stay "cheery," said author Andrew
Oswald, PhD, of Britain's University of Warwick.
-Natural Choices Magazine, December 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Slow Cooker Recipes

Lemony Artichoke Chicken
8 skinless chicken thighs
1 can drained artichoke hearts
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup gf chicken broth
Dried thyme
Salt and pepper
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Chicken Curry in Coconut Milk
1 diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup coconut milk
8 skinless thighs
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
Can be served over brown rice.

Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes
8 browned skinless chicken thighs
1 sauteed onion, 4 cloves sauteed garlic
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
Dried rosemary, salt, and pepper
1 cup gf chicken broth
Cover and cook on low for 4-8 hours.
Can be served over gf pasta.
-Natural Choices Magazine, December 2012

10 Energy Foods

Apples: The water in these fruits will keep you hydrated
and on your game, and the fiber will help your energy stay
steady throughout the day.
Bananas: The potassium will keep your muscles pumping
and the glucose will give you an immediate boost.
Cayenne pepper: This spicy bite will keep your circulation flowing.
Cottage cheese: 4 ounces pack a walloping 13 grams of protein.
Green tea: Increase your mental alertness with this gentle stimulant.
Hard-boiled eggs: Protein that comes in its own containers!
Nuts: Cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are rich in protein and
magnesium, which helps convert sugar into energy.
Spinach: Popeye was right- the green leafy stuff is packed with iron.
Water: Good old H2O will keep you hydrated, which helps
keep you sharp and energized.
Whole grains: Smart carbs are the body's preferred source of fuel.
-Natural Choices Magazine, December 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Did You Know?

Pears help lower cholesterol levels and tone the
intestines. In addition, this hypoallergenic fruit is
less likely to produce an adverse reaction than
many other fruits.
Tomatoes reduce stroke risk. An antioxidant in
tomatoes and tomato-based foods is linked to a
lower risk of stroke. A new study found that people
with the highest amounts of lycopene in their blood
were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than
those with the lowest levels.
More than 1,000 middle-aged men in Finland were
followed for an average of 12 years. Among those
with the lowest levels of lycopene, 25 of 258 men
had a stroke in that time. Among those with the
highest levels, 11 of 259 had a stroke.
-Natural Choices Magazine, December 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Health Tips

Green curry is a natural anti-inflammatory.
Shrimp is high in omega-3s and low in mercury.
Nutmeg fights cavities and improves your memory.
Dried tart cherries top the list of anti-inflammatory
Buttermilk has probiotics for your immune system
and digestive tract. Plus, it's naturally low in fat.
Ginger is a traditional remedy for nausea, ginger
also may reduce pain and inflammation.
-Health Magazine, December 2012

Skin 911

Do you need to head to the ER stat- or can you wait
it out?
STAY! Most cuts can be treated at home. Hold under
cool running water; use soap and a washcloth to clean
the area. Leave uncovered unless it could get rubbed
or dirty.
GO! Your cut is still bleeding after 20 minutes of pressure.
STAY! You have a red and painful or blistering burn that's
less than 2 or 3 inches in diameter. Hold it under cool
running water for up to 15 minutes, apply antibiotic
ointment, and wrap it in gauze.
GO! You've got a burn that's larger than 3 inches, or
white or charred skin that doesn't hurt.
-Health Magazine, December 2012

5 Foods For Great Skin

There's no magic bullet you can take to Dorian Gray
yourself, but there are foods you can eat to help keep
your skin soft, smooth, and cancer-free:
Salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which protect
skin's collagen from damaging UV rays, studies show.
Hot chocolate. A recent study found that women who
drank cocoa every day were less prone to sunburn and
had smoother skin than women who didn't indulge.
Sweet potatoes. They're packed with vitamin A, which
may reduce your melanoma risk, according to a 2012
study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
Leafy greens pack a UV-fighter called lutein, says
Elizabeth J. Johnson, Ph.D, of the Jean Mayer USDA
Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts
Tomato sauce. One study found that people who consumed
the equivalent of 5 tablespoons of tomato paste a day
had 33 percent more protection against sunburn.
-Health Magazine, December 2012


Grapeseed oil has a clean, light, neutral taste
and can be used in almost any dish, hot or cold.
It can withstand high heat, up to 485 degrees F.
You can store it for 3 months at room temperature
(so long as it doesn't exceed 70 degrees F) or
longer in the fridge.
Grapeseed oil is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E,
which is often in short supply in our diets.
-Prevention Magazine, Winter 2012

Yams & Sweet Potatoes

Some of us only eat these treasures at Thanksgiving, and
what a shame! Sweet potatoes and yams offer hearty
satisfaction any time. Pierce with a fork, wrap in foil, and
bake in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes and you've
got yourself a sweet, creamy snack to enjoy when you need
an energy boost during the week. Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
are one of nature's top sources of beta-carotene, vitamin A
and vitamin C.
-Taste Magazine, November 2012

Get To Know Your Greens

Found to have great antioxidant capacity among
fruits and vegetables, kale is a member of the Brassica
family, cousin to cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. It's
an excellent source of vitamins, A, C, and K. With a strong,
rich, peppery flavor, kale pairs well with other bold flavors,
such as soy sauce, pungent cheeses and bacon.
Containing more calcium than milk, collard greens also
are a part of the Brassica family. Like kale, they're a
fantastic source of vitamins A, C, and K and dietary
fiber. They have a mild, smoky flavor and are a staple in
Southern cooking. Collard leaves that are smaller will be
more tender and less bitter.
In the same family as quinoa, beets and spinach, chard offers
a phenomenal array of nutrients, including potassium, iron,
calcium and vitamin K. Chard can help with blood sugar
regulation and it provides excellent bone support. The flavor
of chard is bitter, pungent and slightly salty.
-Taste Magazine, November 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Sweet Surprise

"Honey can be so much more than a sweetener. New
research suggests that it can also promote oral health
by preventing the growth of biofilms, accumulations of
harmful bacteria that can lead to cavities, bad breath,
and gum disease. In one study, consuming manuka
honey, a bold-flavored variety produced in Australia
and New Zealand, significantly reduced plaque and
gingivitis. Try Comvita Manuka Honey Lozenges in
Lemon & Honey ($7.45; comvita,com)."
-Prevention Magazine, Winter 2012