Posted by terrepruitt on November 17, 2012
As you may have read, I recently received fennel in my organic produce box that I have delivered. I was excited because I have heard of fennel, but never cooked with it. I think I might not have even realized that I have had some before. As I am thinking about it, I bet I had it put on my plate at a restaurant and assumed it was onion and didn’t eat it. It looks like onion to me although it does not have an onion flavor at all. The information I am seeing is that it is compared to anise. Fennel is an herb that is used both as a flavor and a vegetable. The bottom portion, the bulb is eaten as a vegetable. It is related to carrots, parsley, dill, and coriander as it is a member of the family Apiaceae (formerly the Umbelliferae). Its fronds remind me of the greenery on carrots, so it doesn’t surprise me that they are related. Fennel is vegetation of which all of it can be eaten, the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds (I know I’ve had the seeds). According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, this plant contains a unique combination of phytonutrients.
There is one, anethole, that has shown in animal studies to help with the reduction of inflammation and help prevent cancer. Now, I have stated over and over that chronic inflammation is the body is not good. Inflammation is an immune response in the body so having the body be in battle mode all the time is not a good thing. The American lifestyle with its high stress and the average Western Diet which is full of food stuffs have been shown to CAUSE inflammation. Having herbs and vegetables that can be easily added to the diet and might help with a chronic condition sounds good to me. Anethole has also been found to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties according to Nutrition You Can.
Fennel also has vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Vitamin C is the antioxidant that helps fight against free radicals, the things, that in excess, can cause damage in the body. Potassium is the electrolyte that is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system. And dietary fiber is necessary to help with digestion and elimination, which when both are properly working systems tend to signify health.
USDA National Nutrient database states the Nutrient value 1 cup of sliced fennel is as follows:
Energy kcal 27
Protein 1.08 g
Total lipid (fat) 0.17 g
Carbohydrate 6.35 g
Fiber, total dietary 2.7 g
Calcium, Ca mg 43 mg
Iron, Fe 0.64 mg
Magnesium 15 mg
Phosphorus, P 44 mg
Potassium, K 360 mg
Sodium, Na 45 mg
Vitamin C 10.4 mg
Vitamin A 117 AU
I am interested in foods that can help with chronic inflammation, I would like to have more of them in my diet. At the same time I am interested in reducing the foods in my diet that cause inflammation. How about you? Are you interested in foods that might help with chronic inflammation? Do you think you could add fennel to your diet?
Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: anethole, anise, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, chronic inflammation, fennel, fiber, free radicals, herb, immune response, Nutrition You Can, organic produce, phytonutrients, Potassium, reduce of inflammation, USDA National Nutrient data base, vitamin C, western diet, World's Healthiest Foods | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on September 18, 2012
Figs are considered a fruit. Most fruit has a lot of sugar. As I had explained in my Fresh Figs So Unlike Fig Newtons posts, most of the recipes I found for figs were dessert recipes that actually had additional sugar in the recipe. I didn’t want to make a dessert, so I ended up making a salad. It was very good. But as usual after having eaten something I don’t know much about I get curious as to what type of nutrition it has. Sometimes I actually am curious BEFORE eating it and I take the time to look it up, but this time it was after the fact.
Figs are a good source of potassium and fiber.
According to Calorie Count Two large figs (2-1/2″ diameter) contain about 100 calories and roughly the following:
Total Fat – 0.4g
Cholesterol – 0mg
Sodium – 2mg
Total Carbohydrates – 24.6g
Dietary Fiber – 3g
Protein – 1g
According to an article in 1999 by Dr. Sheldon Margen and Dale A. Ogar:
Figs “have the highest fiber and mineral content of all common fruits, nuts or vegetables. They also have as much as 1,000 times more calcium than other common fruits and by weight they actually have more calcium than skim milk.
Figs are 80% higher in potassium than bananas, and are extremely easy to digest. They also have more iron than any other of the common fruits and are extremely high in magnesium. All of this for about 20 to 40 calories per fig.”
I had an idea I would make a salad when I bought the crumbled goat cheese. I know, not exciting, but it was really good!
When I went to make the salad I realized I didn’t know what to do with the figs. My husband said he peeled them and ate the inside. So I tried doing that, but when I peeled off the purple he said that I needed to peel off the white part too and only eat the inside. So I tried that and as I was doing it I decided that it was ridiculous and could not be right. Maybe opening them and eating the flesh works, but it does not work when trying to add them to a salad. Then I remembered all the pictures I saw having purple (to me it is purple) on them. So I Googled them again and figured out that they just need to be cut up the way they were and we could just eat the whole thing. Unfortunately I waited too long to use them and we ended up only able to eat about half. The other half had gotten moldy.
I just made a simple salad:
chopped up figs
crumbled goat cheese
fig balsamic vinegar
pepper (for my husband)
I wish I would have taken pictures. It was nice. Simple and yummy. Just enough sweet, creamy, and savory.
I saw recipes that said to use feta but I thought the creaminess of the goat cheese would go better with the figs.
Did you know figs are often referred to as the “perfect” fruit?
Posted in "Recipes", Food, Fruit | Tagged: Calorie Count, dietary fiber, Fig Newtons, fig salad, Fresh Fig Nutrition, goat cheese, perfect fruit, Potassium | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 9, 2012
Before I started teaching Nia, I had always had corporate jobs. I remember learning about jicama when I worked at my first “real” job. So that had to be between . . . . well, let’s just say it was a long time ago. I remember being amazed at how it tasted like nothing, but had a little hint of sweet and dryness about it. I love it. When I see it on vegetable trays and in salad bars I always get some. Even though I love it, I have only bought one once. I don’t know how to pick it out and I always forget that is what the people who work in produce can help you do. They can help with picking out produce. My dad always has jicama. My dad always has a container of raw, cut and washed vegetables in the fridge and often jicama is in that container or one of its own. Next time I go to the store I am going to buy one. Jicama is considered a root vegetable, but is actually a legume.
It actually looks like root and tastes like a root. Very plain, but with the slightest hint of sweetness. I have always eaten it raw. Cut into pieces and just eaten it raw, but in my quest for nutritional information on it I saw that people do cook with it. I will have to write another post for that because I have never even thought of cooking it!
One suggestion I saw . . . and if you’ve eaten jicama you will agree . . . said that jicama can replace water chestnuts in recipes. And, of course, they seem exactly the same!
It is pronounced HEcamuh. I have always thought it was HICKamuh. I will work on that!
Some nutritional information on jicama:
-low in calories; 38 calories per 100 grams
-high dietary fiber; 4 grams per 100 grams
-contains the anti-oxidant vitamin C; 33% of the RDA’s Daily Value (DV)
-contains vitamin B
-contains 1 gram of protein per 100 grams -contains 150 mg of Potassium (about 6% of the DV)
-no fat per 100 grams
Additional details (per 100 grams):
Cholesterol 0 mg / Sodium 4 mg / Total Carbohydrates 9 g
According to WiseGeek:
“When choosing jicama at the store, look for medium sized, firm tubers with dry roots. Do not purchase jicama that has wet or soft spots, which may indicate rot, and don’t be drawn to overlarge examples of the tuber, because they may not be as flavorful. Jicama will keep under refrigeration for up to two weeks.”
But information on Wiki says to never refrigerate. So I guess you will have to decide that for yourself. I guess if you refrigerate your other root veggies you might as well refrigerate this one too. I think I might not refrigerate it until I cut it.
The outside skin needs to be peeled or cut off, then you can cut up the vegetable anyway you would like to eat it. I tend to like it in long pieces of about an 1/2 inch around. Usually you can only get that out of the middle as it is a round veggie so you end up with some odd shaped pieces.
Are you familiar with jicama? Do you eat it? Do you cook with it?
Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: antioxidant, carbohydrates, corporate job, jicama, legumes, Nia, Nia Teacher, Potassium, produce, protein, root vegetable, salad bars, teaching Nia, tubers, vegetable, vitamin C, water chestnuts, WiseGeek | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on August 25, 2011
I was thinking one day, “there has to be something online that can give calories for a recipe. And hopefully there is a free version.” There is. Cool. Maybe you had thought about this before, I know I have, but I just rememberd this week. I usually just kind of tally the ingredients and divide using a calculator, but I realized there has to be something online so I Googled it and came up with a few.
FitWatch Recipe Analyzer lets you label the recipe and then you input the number of servings, then you enter each ingredient separately. You can enter all the ingredients on its own separate line, then click “Search For All Ingredients” or you can search as you go along after you enter each ingredient. After you click “search” the program will bring up a list of ingredients from which you can scroll down and select the one you want. After each selection the screen flashes and then gives you measurement options. Each time you make a selection the screen flashes. There are only twelve spaces, so you can only enter up to twelve ingredients. After you are done it supplies you with amount of calories, water, carbohydrates, protein, total fat, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fat, and saturated fat, cholesterol, and dietary fibre. It also gives you a breakdown of vitamins and minerals measurements. Very nice. Also gives you the option to print it in a nice format. But the input is somewhat awkward, because of the constant flashing. I kept thinking my computer or internet browser was going out or down. Took me until about the eighth ingredient to get used to it. Then I skipped an ingredient and I wanted them to be in order because I was not sure what information I would get and I didn’t know the format, so I thought it would be easier to just have it in the same order as the recipe. Going back and inputting the ingredient again really made the screen flash.
Calorie Count has you input the number of servings, then you can copy the entire list of ingredients into one box. That was so quick and easy and AWESOME! Then it gives you the calorie break down of each ingredient and gives it a grade. It allows you to add a new item and edit the recipe. It gives the option to log a serving and save a recipe, but I am not signed up so I didn’t do either one of those things. So I am not sure if after having done one of those things if you get an option to print. The format the nutrition info is presented in does not copy and paste very well. In addition to the calorie count and grade of each ingredient it gives you the Nutrition facts in the common format that is on many product labels. Under the “label” it gives you a nutritional analysis such as “Bad points: •High in saturated fat •High in sugar •Contains alcohol” and “Good Points: •Low in sugar •High in manganese •High in niacin •High in phosphorus •High in selenium •High in vitamin B6″. But it does not give you measurements nor percentages on all of the things mentioned in this analysis.
Spark People’s recipe analyzer makes you enter each ingredient and then search their data base for the closest match. Its breakdown of the nutrition in the recipe includes: amount of calories, total fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber and sugars, and protein. This recipe analyzer/calculator gives you a breakdown of vitamins and minerals in percentages. Its nutrition information is in a printable format like the first one. This site also allows you to save the recipe if you are a member as with Calorie Count.
Really nifty. I bet there are even more out there. This is a different way of checking the nutrition in our diet, instead of inputting it all in a food diary/log/tracker/counter, you can do entire recipes. I want to remind you even though I say it often, we all have different goals so we certainly have different nutritional needs. These sites are just more tools that we can use to meet our goals and our nutritional needs.
So, I am curious to know if you were surprised at the information after you entered your favorite recipe? Well, were you?
Posted in "Recipes", Helpful Hints | Tagged: Calorie Count, calorie counter, calories, cholesterol, dietary fiber, fitness goals, FitWatch Recipe Analyzer, health goals, minerals, monounsaturated fat, nutritional needs, polyunsaturated fat, Potassium, protein, recipe calculations, recipe calculator, recipe nutrition, recipe nutrition analyzer, recipe nutrition information, saturated fat, sodium, Spark People, total carbohydrates, total fat, vitamins | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 18, 2011
The Prime Rib potluck had purple potatoes. The hostess made purple potatoes or maybe they were blue. She roasted yellow and purple fingerling potatoes. I have seen purple potatoes in the store, but not purple fingerlings. I have never had a purple potato. The way they were cooked was incredible—they were perfect. The seasoning was perfect and they way they were cooked was perfect. The purple ones did not taste different from the regular ones. But they were so pretty. I was mesmerized by the deep purple color. There is an idea out there that it is important to eat the color of the rainbow. There is a lot of nutrients in the different colors of fruits and vegetables. Research is proving that there are antioxidants found in the different colors.
Anthocyanin is responsible for the purple and blue colors of fruits and vegetables. This particular flavonoid is proving to have anti-cancer and heart-protective effects. Research is also discovering this antioxidant has benefits shown to boost the immune system and protect against age-related memory loss.
Potatoes with the darkest color are proving to have almost four times the amount of antioxidants . . . AND they hold up to 75% of their nutrients after being cooked. As you know a lot of vegetables lose a large amount of their nutrients when cooked.
According to the USDA’s website: “All potatoes are a good source of complex carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron.” So with the purple variety you would be getting all of that plus the added benefits of antioxidants. PLUS . . . you can’t overlook the beautiful color they add to any plate!
Have you had a purple potato?
Posted in Food | Tagged: anthocyanin, anti cancer, antioxidant, complex carbohydrates, folic acid, immune system, iron, Potassium, potluck, Prime Rib, purple potatoes, roasted potatoes, vitamin C, yellow potatoes | 8 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on March 14, 2009
I love to eat roasted asparagus. I like it when it is really cooked, not burned, but crispy. It is probably past the point of supreme nutrition, but that is my favorite way to eat it. I do like it at its most nutritious, too, boiled until it is tender not soggy. I haven’t always liked asparagus. I believe the way vegetables are cooked now is different than from when I was growing up. Plus, I believe that it is much easier to obtain a fresh vegetable now than when I was growing up.
Apparently the season is from March through August, but we eat it all year round. To me it tastes better during the “Asparagus season”.
One of the reasons I love to eat it roasted is because it is so easy to cook. I rinse it off, then chop off the ends—I don’t do that bend and break thing because holding the entire bunch in one hand and chopping with the other is much faster to me — then I line them up in a pan (I have a jelly roll pan). I sprinkle olive oil on them. I usually use garlic infused olive oil, but sometimes I go for the lemon olive oil. Then I salt them and use whatever spices I feel like, then in they go. I usually cook them at 400 degrees. I let them bake for 15 minutes, then I flip them. And let them go 15 minutes more, but you can take them out at anytime and they are delicious. Sometimes I cook ‘em less, sometimes I cook ‘em more. Depends on my mood and when the rest of the meal is ready.
Nutritional Value per 100 g (3.5 oz) as per USDA Nutrient database
Calories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Carbohydrates . . . . . . . . . .3.88 g
Sugars . . . . . . . . . .1.88 g
Dietary fiber . . . . .2.1 g
Fat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.12 g
Protein . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.20 g
In addition Asparagus contains Thiamine (Vit. B1), Riboflavin (Vit. B2), Niacin (Vit. B3), Pantothenic Acid (Vit. B5), Vitamin B6, Folate (Vit. B9), Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, and Manganese.
Seems to me like they are way worth the time and effort it takes to cook them.
What is your favorite way to cook asparagus?
Posted in Vegetables | Tagged: Asparagus, Asparagus Season, boiled, Calcium, calories, carbs, easy to cook, fat, fiber, garlic, growing up, infused oil, Magnesium, nutrition, nutritional, nutritional value, nutritious, olive oil, Potassium, protein, roasted asparagus, spices, USDA, USDA Nutrient Database, Vegetables, Vitamin B, Zinc | 8 Comments »