Meal Planning

All Things Clementine

Freshly picked selection:

Clementine

The clementine is a member of the Mandarin orange family.  They are typically small in size but can grow to be the size of a grapefruit.  They have a loose skin that makes them easy to peel and are typically seedless.  Their flavor is sweeter than that of an orange but also a bit more tart.

What to look for when purchasing:

Choose clementines that have a smooth, bright orange skin.  Avoid the fruits with shriveled skin and those with dark spots.

How to store:

Fresh clementines should be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks.  Once they begin to look dry and their skin parched, they are no longer fresh.

Varieties:

Clementines are a variety of Mandarin orange.  Tangerines also fall into this category.  You can find them fresh or canned.

Nutritional Benefit:

Recipes:

Clementines can be used for more than just peeling and snacking!  Check out these mouth-watering recipes below.

Make a healthy salad out of different varieties of oranges and tangerines and a pop of color with pomegranate.

Citrus and Pomegranate Salad

We are always up for some baked goods. This recipe looks absolutely delicious, not to mention gluten free.

Gluten Free Clementine Cake

Instead of the typical orange sorbet, use a sweet clementine to make a scrumptious sweet & tangy sorbet.

Clementine Sorbet

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“Clementines are a staple in my household.  They make the perfect snack for my two year old and a treat when I am craving something sweet.”

-Stefanie Gates, Chef, Culinary Advisor, & mom

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

Soy: What You Should Know

Soy is a controversial topic in today’s wellness world. It is touted for its health benefits by some health experts, while simultaneously being deemed a health risks by others. Here is what you need know:What is Soy?

Soy (soybean) is a legume that has been cultivated and consumed for thousands of years in China and as of more recently, has become popular in the US.  Often times soy is considered the “go to” protein source for vegetarians and vegans and a dairy free alternative for those allergic, sensitive, or intolerant to cow’s milk.

Soy-Based Foods

Soy-based foods come in a variety of forms from whole to highly processed. Whole soybeans (edamame) and soy nut butter can be found at most grocery stores. Minimally processed soy products include soy milk, soy flour, tofu, and fermented soy (miso, tempeh and soy sauce) are also common. Processed soy can be found in plant-based burgers, sausage, cheese, protein bars and protein powders, and also as textured soy protein.

Health Benefits

Let’s start by discussing the health benefits of soy. Soy is a complete source of protein and provides us with essential fatty acids (omega-3 & omega-6), fiber, minerals (magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese), and phytonutrients (plant chemicals) called isoflavones. Additionally, soy has natural anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties meant to protect the plant, and which may also be beneficial to humans.

Fermented soy products are often perceived as healthier than non-fermented soy foods, and the fermentation process seems to increase the total available protein and bioactive compounds and reduce anti-nutrients naturally found in soy. In addition, fermentation of soy with lactic acid bacteria and probiotic yeast significantly increases its antioxidant activity. Fermented soy may also play a role in preventing type 2 diabetes as studies suggest that it may improve insulin sensitivity.

Controversies and Research

Let’s take a look at some of the controversies surrounding soy and the related research. This is by no means and exhaustive list, but it highlights some of the more popular topics:

  • Thyroid– There is concern about whether soy foods act as goitrogens or disrupt thyroid function in any way. Early research suggests that soy isoflavones interfere with the enzymes required for thyroid hormone synthesis. However there appeared to be no associated adverse effect on circulating thyroid hormone, thyroid weight, or thyroid tissue. Animal research does demonstrate significant unfavorable anti-thyroid effects from defatted soybean consumption (not soy isoflavones) if iodine deficiency is present. Researchers conclude that a combination of individual and other dietary goitrogenic factors may be involved. So, their recommendation is to limit/avoid raw or sprouted soy due to its potential goitrogenic effects. Cooking, however, will deactivate most goitrogens.

A Japanese study reported “hypometabolic symptoms (malaise, constipation, sleepiness)” and goiter in subjects consuming soy for three months and noted that symptoms disappeared when soy was eliminated for one month. Though, it is not clear if the study used raw or cooked soybean and full text is not readily available. A comprehensive 2006 review of the literature ultimately finds little to no evidence soy or soy isoflavones put forth negative effects in healthy, iodine-replete individuals. Functional medicine expert Dr. Hyman, MD notes that it would take an exceedingly large amount of soy to disrupt thyroid function and that soy may only affect those with iodine deficiency.

Human studies on thyroid restrictions appear to be inconclusive. Research on isolated soy protein suggests that 56 mg daily intake of soy isoflavones (from isolated soy protein) promoted increased free thyroxine index and T4 levels over time while a 90 mg/d dose was associated with increased thyroid stimulating hormone and increased T3 over time. Ultimately researchers concluded that the small effects soy protein may have on thyroid hormone levels are likely to be clinically insignificant.

  • Cancer– Currently, soy is being researched for its potential role in fighting breast, colon, lung, prostate, and stomach cancers. Although the evidence that soy may reduce risk of colon, lung, and prostate cancer is limited, the evidence is somewhat stronger for breast and prostate cancer prevention.
  • Cardiovascular Disease– relating to cardiovascular disease, research suggested that large amounts (~50 grams per day) of soy protein, given in place of animal protein, could reduce total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides reducing cardiovascular risk. However, of course, it’s important to keep in mind that reducing blood cholesterol may not reduce risk of cardiovascular disease so clinical effects and outcomes may be insignificant.

The FDA is currently reevaluating the claim though ongoing research suggests that soy (especially soy protein and isoflavones) may have additional beneficial effects on cardiovascular health including reduction of diastolic blood pressure, slowing atherosclerotic progression, and improvement of endothelial function.

  • Genetically Engineered Soy-Lastly, we can’t forget to mention that approximately 90% of soy today is genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate and other herbicides.

There is concern that genetically engineered crops may have negative health effects (such as tumors, liver and kidney damage, digestive issues, etc.). The potential for increasing allergenicity is another concern regarding these crops.

  • Anti-Nutrients- In its raw form, soy contains anti-nutrients that can bind with minerals, interfere with digestion, and disrupt organ function. However, it should be noted that many of these elements are neutralized when soy is cooked, processed, or fermented.

Bottom Line

So, what’s the truth? As of yet, there is no definitive answer. There have been thousands (yes, thousands) of studies done on soy and its effects on humans, human cells, and animals. While soy has been praised for its role in the prevention of conditions like heart disease, menopausal symptoms and breast cancer, it has been criticized for its role in disrupting thyroid function, endocrine balance and reproduction.

Overall, research suggests soy may inhibit and induce specific enzyme function, act as an antioxidant, support glutathione and detoxification pathways, inhibit actions helping control tumor growth, and support neurotransmitter metabolism.

The bottom line is that when it comes to soy consumption, quality and moderation are important. It is best to choose organic, non-GMO whole soy products and limit soy consumption to no more than 1-2 servings per day. Fermented soy may be tolerated better than non-fermented due to the increased bioavailability of nutrients and reduction in anti-nutrients.


Resources:

Kennedy AR. The Bowman-Birk inhibitor from soybeans as an anticarcinogenic agent. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Dec;68(6 Suppl):1406S-1412S. Review. PubMed PMID: 9848508. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/68/6/1406S.long . Accessed December 15 2017.

Messina M. A brief historical overview of the past two decades of soy and isoflavone research. J Nutr. 2010 Jul;140(7):1350S-4S. doi: 10.3945/jn.109.118315. Epub 2010 May 19. Review. PubMed PMID: 20484551. http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=20484551

Phares EH. Straight talk about soy. Harvard School of Public Health. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2014/02/12/straight-talk-about-soy/ . Posted February 12, 2014. Accessed December 15 2017.

Barrett JR. The science of soy: what do we really know? Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Jun;114(6):A352-8. PubMed PMID: 16759972. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480510/ . Accessed December 15 2017.

Persky VW, Turyk ME, Wang L, et al. Effect of soy protein on endogenous hormones in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jan;75(1):145-53. Erratum in: Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Sep;76(3):695. PubMed PMID: 11756072. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/75/1/145.long  Accessed December 15 2017.

Hyman M. How Soy Can Kill You and Save Your Life. http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/08/06/how-soy-can-kill-you-and-save-your-life/ . Last updated February 25, 2013. Accessed December 16, 2017.

Doerge DR, Sheehan DM. Goitrogenic and estrogenic activity of soy isoflavones. Environ Health Perspect. 2002 Jun;110 Suppl 3:349-53. Review. PubMed PMID: 12060828.

Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: a review of the relevant literature. Thyroid. 2006 Mar;16(3):249-58. Review. PubMed PMID: 16571087.

Anderson RL, Wolf WJ. Compositional changes in trypsin inhibitors, phytic acid, saponins and isoflavones related to soybean processing. J Nutr. 1995 Mar;125(3 Suppl):581S-588S. Review. PubMed PMID: 7884537. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/125/3_Suppl/581S.long . Accessed December 16, 2017.

Liener IE, Goodale RL, Deshmukh A, et al. Effect of a trypsin inhibitor from soybeans (Bowman-Birk) on the secretory activity of the human pancreas. Gastroenterology. 1988 Feb;94(2):419-27. PubMed PMID: 2446949.

National Toxicology Program US Department of Health and Human Services Report:

NTP-CERHR EXPERT PANEL REPORT on the REPRODUCTIVE and DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY of SOY FORMULA. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/ohat/genistein-soy/soyformula/soy-report-final.pdf . Accessed December 16, 2017.

Bayer CropScience. LibertyLink Soybeans. https://www.bayercropscience.us/products/traits/libertylink/crops . Accessed December 16, 2017.

62 Monsanto. http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/roundup-ready-patent-expiration.aspx . Accessed December 16, 2017.

Samsel, Anthony, and Stephanie Seneff. “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases.” Entropy 15.4 (2013). http://groups.csail.mit.edu/sls/archives/root/publications/2013/Seneff_Entropy-15-01416.pdf . Accessed December 16, 2017.

Food Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalance and Hospitalizations. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db10.htm . Updated January 19, 2010. Accessed December 16, 2017.2015.


Basilia Theofilou is a contributor on our blog as well as one of the nutrition advisors here at PreviMedica. You can read more about her here.

Nourished Kids: Homemade Cheese Dip

Encouraging kids to eat their vegetables can be a daily struggle. Often times, we let our kids dip their veggies in something such as ketchup or the fake “cheese” sold in grocery stores. If your kids resist eating vegetables, this sauce is perfect. It takes about 10 minutes to make and your little ones can dip to their hearts content.  Not to mention you can feel good about knowing that there is absolutely nothing artificial about it!

Homemade Cheese Dip

Makes 1 cup of cheese dip

Written By: Stefanie Gates

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. unbleached whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup milk + splash of milk if needed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (preferably shredded from the block, not pre-shredded)

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat.  Sprinkle the flour over the butter and whisk constantly until a roux has formed (the flour and butter will mix and create somewhat of a paste).  Do not let it cook too long!  You don’t want to roux to darken.
  2. Add the milk and whisk constantly until the milk thickens.  This will take about 30 seconds.
  3. Turn the heat to low and whisk in the cheese.  Whisk until the cheese has melted and add in splashed of milk as needed to thin the mixture.  Turn off the heat as soon as the cheese has melted.
  4. Let cool and serve as a delicious dip for chicken nuggets, vegetables, etc.

Stefanie Gates, chef, is a regular contributor to our blog and culinary advisor for PreviMedica. She enjoys developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. Her main recipe tester is her 2 year old son.  You can learn more about her here.

All Things Oregano

Freshly picked selection:

Oregano

Oregano is a member of the mint family and related to marjoram and thyme. It’s similar to marjoram but not as sweet and has a stronger taste and aroma.

What to look for when purchasing:

Choose bunches that are bright green and show no signs of wilting or brown/yellowing leaves.

How to store:

Fresh oregano should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to 3 days. Dried oregano should be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.

Varieties:

There are two main varieties of oregano, Mediterranean and Mexican. The Mexican variety is much more pungent, so it’s not used as often as Mediterranean which has a milder taste.

Nutritional Benefit:

Recipes:

Oregano is most often found in Greek food. It is the main herb in this easy chicken recipe from ChefDe Home.

Chicken Souvlaki

Oregano pairs very well with fish in this recipe from Sass & Veracity that could easily be adapted to any kind of mild white fish.

Roasted Branzino with Lemon Oregano & Capers

It is also a staple ingredient in tasty chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri can be made with either variety of oregano and makes a great sauce or marinade for chicken, beef, or fish.

Chimichurri Sauce

If you want to try out the Mexican variety, check out this flavored-packed stew from Cooks & Kid

New Mexico Green Chili Stew 

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“I love to add oregano to roasted spaghetti sauce with marinara sauce to give that classic pizza taste.”

Megan Huard, Chef RD

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

All Things Jalapeño

Freshly picked selection:

Jalapeño

Jalapeños are a dark green chili and range in heat from hot to very hot. The flesh tends to be more mild with the seeds packing most of the heat.

What to look for when purchasing:

They are available fresh and canned. When purchasing fresh be sure to get ones with firm, dark green skin and no blemishes.

How to store:

They can be stored at room temperate for a few days or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

How to prepare:

Jalapeños are typically sliced/diced and added to savory dishes. They can be eaten raw or cooked. The skin tends to have a milder heat, whereas the veins and seeds are hot. When preparing, you can remove the seeds if you do not want the heat. Be sure to wash your hands well with soapy, hot water after handling them.

Nutritional Benefit:

Recipes:

Jalapeños work in just about any dish for some added heat. They make a great addition to this slow cooker soup.

Creamy Slow Cooker Potato Corn Soup

This recipe is a great way to highlight jalapeños in an easy one-pan dish.

Jalapeño Shrimp & Veggie Bake

Like things a little more on the spicy side? Check out this kicked-up hummus with jalapeños.

Spicy Green Hummus

We can’t talk jalapeño without mentioning salsa, of course. Jalapeño is the star in this salsa verde recipe from Chef Savvy.

Salsa Verde

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“I love the idea of a jalapeño classic “the popper” but they are usually loaded with dairy and high in calories. But did you know you can easily switch out some ingredients for a healthy twist on the original? Try using Kite Hill cream cheese and Daiya shredded cheese for a dairy free version.”

Megan Huard, Chef RD

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

All Things Pomegranate

Freshly picked selection:

Pomegranate

Pomegranate is one of, if not the most, labor intensive fruits to eat as the inside has hundreds of seeds packed in compartments.

What to look for when purchasing:

Choose those that are heavy for their size and have a bright fresh color. You also want the skin to be blemish-free.

How to store:

Refrigerate up to 2 months or store in a cool, dark place for up to a month. Once the seeds have been removed, they must be refrigerated and eaten within a few days.

How to prepare:

To eat, start by cutting the fruit in half and removing the pulp-encased seeds. From there you can separate the pulp from the seeds to use. Some people place the pulp with seeds in a bowl of cool water to make it easier to separate. The seeds can be eaten as a fruit, used as a garnish, or made into juice.

Nutritional Benefit:

Recipes:

Pomegranate seeds can be used in savory or sweet dishes, making them pretty flexible.

The View From Great Island keeps it simple and adds them to roasted Brussels sprouts for some added freshness.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate

With their tangy flavor, pomegranate seeds make for a great salad dressing or salad topping.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

For a more savory dish option, pomegranates add a pop of color and flavor to this beautiful quinoa salad.

Turmeric Quinoa with Pomegranates & Walnuts 

And of course, we have to include a dessert for these sweet little morsels. Pomegranate pairs extremely well with chocolate in this easy-to-make treat.

Chocolate Tahini Mousse with Pomegranate & Pistachios

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“I love to sprinkle them on top of salads for a little extra crunch and flavor”

– Megan Huard, Chef RD

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

Homemade Dog Treat Recipe

‘Tis the season for treats… homemade doggy treats, that is!

Many of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen over the holidays cooking and baking for our friends and loved ones. If you’re a dog owner, I’m sure you’re used to your pup staring at your every move in the kitchen, hoping for a taste of whatever you’re cooking up. At least that’s the case with my pup, Milton! As soon as he hears me in the kitchen- he runs over to see what I’m up to, just in case it benefits him at the end.

I typically make these treats for him throughout the year (yes, I am that doggy mom whose pup is basically her child and spoils him rotten) as they are super easy and he loves them. I do tweak the ingredients every time, just to change it up a bit. If the recipe calls for banana, I might replace this with organic unsweetened applesauce or 100% pureed organic pumpkin. During the holidays I like to use 100% pureed organic pumpkin and cinnamon.

While our pups may not be able to eat most of the deliciousness we whip up in the kitchen, these homemade treats are doggy approved and the perfect way to include them in your holiday baking festivities!

P.S. They also make great gifts for all the doggy-lovers in your life!Homemade Dog Treats

Adapted from: wholefoodsmarket.com

Serves: 24

 Ingredients: 

  • 1 banana, mashed (or 1/4- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 100% pureed pumpkin, or sweet potato)
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried parsley
  • 3 tablespoons all natural peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Put banana (or fruit/veggie used) in a large bowl and add oat flour, oats, parsley, peanut butter, and egg and stir well to combine.
  3. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Roll mixture into 24 balls, using about 1 tablespoon dough for each. Transfer to a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  5. Use the back of a spoon or the heel of your hand to press each ball into a (1 1/2- to 2-inch) coin.
  6. Bake until firm and deep golden brown on the bottom, 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Set aside to let cool completely.

Notes: It is best to store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them, just make sure to thaw the treats before handing them out.

For a fun added touch, you can also roll out the dough to make shapes with cookie cutters! If using cookie cutters, serving size will be less.


Basilia Theofilou is a contributor on our blog as well as one of the nutrition advisors here at PreviMedica. You can read more about her here.

All Things Lemon

Freshly picked selection:

Lemon

Lemons originated in Southeast Asia but are now grown in tropical climates around the world, with most lemons coming from California. Lemons have been used for centuries for everything from toothpaste to its use as an epilepsy remedy.

What to look for when purchasing:

Choose fruit with smooth, brightly colored skin with no tinge of green. Spots of green mean that they are under-ripe.  They should be plump and firm.

Varieties:

Lemons can range in size from a small egg to a grapefruit.  There are three varieties of lemons: Eureka’s which are your common lemon and have a thick skin, Lisbon lemons which have a thinner skin and are typically seedless, and Meyer lemons that tend to have an orange tint and a much stronger flavor.

How to store:

Lemons can be left at room temperature for a few days or refrigerated for 2-3 weeks.

How to prepare:

Lemons have a multitude of uses in sweet and savory dishes. Typically the juice is used in recipes, but the skin can also be used for lemon zest to add flavor or to make candied lemon rinds.

Nutritional Benefit:

Recipes:

Lemon provides just the right amount of acid for a tasty salad dressing.

Massaged Kale Salad with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette 

Lemon also pairs extremely well with just about any kind of fish. Cooking Classy keeps it simple for their recipe and uses the lemon juice and the zest.

One Pan Roasted Lemon Pepper Salmon

Not only can you use it on fish but it works well with other proteins, such as this quick one-pan dinner.

Pork Chops with Blueberry Lemon Thyme Sauce

Lastly, of course we have to talk dessert. These lemon poppy seed muffins from Cook Eat Paleo are an office favorite.

Lemon Poppy Paleo Muffins

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“Like lemon flavored sports drinks? Did you know you can make your own with just a few simple ingredients and none of the added sugar or artificial colors? Check out or recipe here.

 

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

Previ Culinary: Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

The holidays are upon us as well as the sweet treats that come along with them. One of our top suggestions for attending a holiday party is to bring something that you can eat, and these gluten free sugar cookies may just be it. They are just as tender as their gluten containing counterpart and they will be the hit of the party whether everyone is avoiding gluten or not. 

Gluten Free Christmas Sugar Cookies

Adapted from: Gluten Free Christmas Cookies, Written by Ellen Brooks

Yields: 2-4 dozen depending on size

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups quinoa flour OR 1 cup amaranth flour and ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ lb. unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Sweet rice flour for dusting

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, xanthan gum, cream of tartar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and blend for five seconds. Add butter to the work bowl and process, using on and off pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Combine egg, milk, and vanilla in a small cup and whisk well. Drizzle liquid into the work bowl and pulse about 10 times or until a stiff dough forms.  If dough is dry and doesn’t come together, add additional milk 1 tsp. at a time until dough forms a ball.
  3. Divide dough into half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Press dough into a pancake and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
  5. Lightly dust a sheet of wax paper and a rolling pin with sweet rice flour. Roll dough to a thickness of ¾ inch.  Dip cookie cutters in sweet rice flour and cut out cookies.  Remove excess dough and transfer cookies to the baking sheet.  Re-roll excess dough, chilling it for 15 minutes if necessary.
  6. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until edges are brown. Cook for 2 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer them with a spatula top cooling racks.
  7. Decorate if desired.

 

 


 

Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

All Things Chickpeas

Freshly picked selection:

Chickpeas

DSCN2361Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are part of the legume family and slightly larger than an average pea. They are used primarily in Indian and Mediterranean cooking.

What to look for when purchasing:

Chickpeas are usually purchased canned or dried but can be found fresh in some places. If you are purchasing fresh chickpeas, they typically come in a green pod which should be free of blemishes and not slimy.

How to store:

Once cooked, chickpeas should be refrigerated. Dried chickpeas should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

How to prepare:

Chickpeas are extremely versatile and can be prepared in many different ways. If you buy fresh chickpeas, you can eat them raw or sprouted. Canned chickpeas are often added to soups, stews, and salads, or made into hummus.

Nutritional Benefit:

healthy-chickpea-recipesRecipes:

Most Americans eat their chickpeas in the form of hummus, which is extremely easy to make. We love to add some beets for unique color and added nutrients.

Beet Hummus

Chickpeas are a also an easy, cost-effective way to add protein to any salad.

Chickpea Salad in a Mason Jar

In addition to adding protein, chickpeas also make a great low-calorie, high-protein thickener for soups. You can replace milk or cream in any soup recipe with chickpeas and puree for a creamy texture. A great option for anyone avoiding dairy.

Butternut Squash Chickpea Soup

While whole chickpeas have tons of uses, chickpea flour is also extremely versatile and makes a wonderful gluten free option. You can use it in place or regular flour like in this latkes recipe:

Zucchini Chickpea Latkes

Our Chefs & Nutritionists Say:

“Chickpeas are my ultimate favorite of the legumes! I use them to make my own hummus or in vegetarian dishes like chickpea curry. But my favorite way to use chickpeas is to roast them. I add a little olive oil and roast them until they are golden brown and crunchy. Then I sprinkle them with chili powder, and either eat them as a snack or use them to top salads, kind of like croutons. Yummm!” -Eunice Holmes, RD  

 

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

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