04 Oct 2016
in food, health, Salads, Side dishes
Tags: avoiding sugar, carrots, nutrition, tomatoes
Turn carrots into a delicious, make-ahead party salad.
Pot luck party time
“What are you bringing to the pot luck picnic tomorrow, Vinny?”
Vinny looked at his super slim and very athletic friend. “Think I’ll bring a crunchy curried cauliflower salad, Val. It’s easy. I took it to a party on the weekend and it was a hit. I just added curly lettuce leaves and my own cabbage slaw to Farm Boy’s offering and I was done.”
“Crunchy?” asked Val. “Does that mean uncooked?”
“Why, yes,” said Vinny.
“Guess I won’t be eating any, then.” Val smiled.
“Oops, I forgot! You can’t eat uncooked fiber! Sorry!” said Vinny.
“No problem,” said Val. “There will be plenty of other things there I can eat.”
But Vinny loves a challenge and began to think how he could turn his salad into something his friend Val could eat too. Easy, he thought. Cooked carrots. Just peel, slice, and add a dressing. More
04 May 2016
in Drinks, food, health, recipes, science
Tags: avoiding sugar, cook books, fruit, limes, punch, reviews, soda water, Star Wars, Stevia
May the fourth be with you!
Enjoy a replay of a recipe we posted a few years back for a summertime drink that’s as good for you as it tastes. Fresh lime juice gives this cooler its Yoda color, and sparkling water adds the bubbles. For a gourmet touch, add some lime sorbet.
Click here for the recipe.
02 Mar 2016
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, science, stories
Tags: avoiding sugar, baking, cake, chocolate, cream cheese, eggs, goat cheese, Pi Day
A cake suitable for Pi day, photo by Tip Junkie
The story behind Pi day
Normally, I’d choose a pie to celebrate the math constant π (Pi = 3.14159…) on its special day, which is coming upon us soon. Scientists the world over will likely be tucking into a delicious slice of one, perhaps a banana cream or pecan pie, More
09 Feb 2016
in Appetizers, Desserts, Dips, food, health, recipes, Snacks
Tags: avoiding sugar, dip, easy recipes, goat cheese, icing, lemon, spread, Stevia, yogurt
Whipped goat cream
Once upon a time I came across a recipe that called for whipped goat cheese. So I took my basket and headed to the grocery store, where I eventually found a small tub of the stuff at three times the cost of regular, ordinary, every-day goat cheese.
When I finally had a minute to spare I sat down and examined the label. The ingredients were goat cheese and water… and a few chemicals. It seemed I’d bought a processed food fortified with who knows what. And I thought: why can’t I make that myself – and leave out the chemicals?
Why indeed. It’s so simple, I didn’t even need a food processor. I got great results with nothing but a spoon and a bowl.
Goat cheese and lemon – so easy to whip up
Whipped goat cream
Makes approx 1 1/4 cups or 20 tablespoons
- 1 cup (150 grams) goat cheese, at room temperature (mine comes in a tube)
- 2 tablespoons yogurt from 2% goat’s milk (I make my own… You don’t? OK, use natural Greek-style yogurt instead)
- freshly squeezed juice and finely grated zest from half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- Stevia* to taste (0 calories) or 1 teaspoon honey
- sea salt, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons hot water, or as needed to achieve desired consistency
- Combine goat cheese, yogurt, sweetener, lemon juice and zest into a bowl.
- Cream them together with a wide spoon until smooth, adding 1-2 tablespoons of hot water, as needed, to get a light creamy consistency. Add more if you like it runnier, as for a dip perhaps.
- Season to taste with a little sea salt.
*This is a great recipe in which to experiment with Stevia, because it sweetens while enhancing the lemon flavor. It works better than sugar.
Pear taquitos with whipped goat cream
How to serve goat cream
This works great in the recipe I mentioned off the top, for pear taquitos. I make it often for special occasions, and it is always a success.
Whipped goat cream goes well with fruit and today I enjoyed it with sliced apple.
Use it as a low-sugar icing on cupcakes or tarts. Whipped goat cream adds moistness and tang to any chocolate, lemon, or banana treat.
Thin it out a bit more and use it as a veggie dip for carrots or turnip sticks.
Whipped goat cream works as a spread on crackers. I like it with Triscuits (20 calories each) but if you like bagels or toast, I’m sure it would be delicious there as a spread.
One tablespoon of whipped goat cream has 21 calories. It has equal amounts of fat and protein, about 1.5 grams each.
Whipped goat cream is a low-carb food, only 0.3 grams (if you use stevia to sweeten).
This food is a good source of vitamin A, niacin, riboflavin and iron.
By the way, you can reduce the amount of fat per tablespoon by adding more water. This is how manufacturers make low-fat butter and mayo. Now, you can make them too and save some money. They charge more for products with less fat because of the processing cost.
01 Dec 2015
in Appetizers, health, Holiday foods, recipes, Snacks
Tags: avoiding sugar, coconut sugar, easy recipes, nuts, pecans, walnuts
Crunchy sweet nuts are great for dressing up salads, cheese platters, and desserts at Christmas and for other special occasions. Plus, they’re easy!
Kids love to make them. Make lots and keep them on hand to use whenever you want some pizzazz. More
24 Nov 2015
in food, health, Holiday foods, recipes, Side dishes, Snacks
Tags: almonds, avoiding sugar, Christmas, cranberries, easy, gourmet, oranges, Stevia, Thanksgiving
An essential, whenever you roast a turkey
This post might at first glance appear a tad, well, boring. There’s no story nor any songs to sing as you cook. All there is, is one simple but tasty and traditional recipe, done up in bows and boasting less sugar and more pizzazz than you get in the canned kinds from the store. This could be a recipe staple for your family’s celebrations. More
13 Oct 2015
in Desserts, food, health, Holiday foods, recipes
Tags: antioxidants, avoiding sugar, berries, halloween, nutrition, pie
“That’s scary!” Isla declared, her wide eyes shifting from the cooking pot to the finished product. I knew Halloween had been on her mind, now only a couple of weeks away.
“How so?” I asked. More
22 Sep 2015
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, science, Snacks
Tags: avoiding sugar, diabetes, pancreas, Stevia
Nuts and fruit slow down the release of glucose into the blood.
Sugar’s role in our health
Sugar is Will’s favorite food group.
“Maybe you can cut back on the sugary things, once in a while,” Vinny suggests.
“Sugar is in everything!” Will proclaims. “It gives us energy!”
“That’s true,” Vinny agrees. “What I don’t like, though, is when we add sugar to our food, over and above what nature puts there. Have you heard about your pancreas?” More
11 Aug 2015
in Desserts, food, health, Holiday foods, Snacks
Tags: avoiding salt, avoiding sugar, dairy, diet, fats, refined white flour, soda
Added refined sugar makes these treats a no-no for best health
Last time, I introduced you to Dr. Joel Fuhrman and his list of 10 best foods for battling the effects of old age. Now I’m going to show you his list at the other end – Fuhrman’s 10 worst foods… foods that can lead you to an early grave. More
31 Mar 2015
in food, recipes, Side dishes
Tags: avoiding sugar, gourmet, onions, vegetables, vinegar
The side dishes
Pierogis and cipollini onions won the draw to complement the main course of our Frozen in Ottawa dinner theme. But why this pair? More
04 Dec 2014
in Breakfast foods, Desserts, food, health, science, Snacks
Tags: avoiding sugar, brain, digestion, gut, probiotics, yogurt
Yogurt, yogurt everywhere!
Trillions of bacteria live happily in our gut. The goodies among them help us digest our food and absorb its nutrients. They also help our body make vitamins, absorb minerals, and get rid of toxins. They make our immune system strong. And best of all, they work on our brain cells to help them battle anxiety, stress, and depression. Friendly bugs in our gut make up the army that protects us from disease, including mental illness.
Good bacteria, called probiotics, come to us in fermented foods. Buttermilk, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, sour dough bread, raw-milk cheeses and kefir all harbor the good guys. For many, though, probiotics march forth into our gut in yogurt. More
11 Nov 2014
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, stories
Tags: avoiding sugar, cocoa powder, diabetes, quinoa
Sugary cocoa brownies are my favorite!
Kids love brownies. And I have the perfect recipe that kids and their families can make from scratch.
It’s easy to bake with chocolate when you use cocoa! More
08 Oct 2014
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, Snacks
Tags: avoiding sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, easy recipes, nutrition, Stevia
The candles spluttered out in a blast of air, as 9-year-old Krista blew across her birthday cake and made a wish.
“What did you wish for?” asked Vinny. “A unicorn for the backyard shed? A chest of gold Lego?”
“No… and no,” said Krista. “I wished I was skinny!”
“What? No!” Vinny was aghast. More
03 Jun 2014
in Desserts, food, recipes
Tags: avoiding sugar, goat cheese, honey, nuts, pears, phyllo pastry
If apples were pears
And peaches were plums
And chevre had a different name
If sugar was ne’er
And cognac was rum
I’d love you just the same
Here it is, folks… a fabulous dessert filled with protein, vitamins and minerals and topped off with great taste… the finale of our Mediterranean small plates evening. It’s surprisingly easy, too.
I made the little rolls a couple of days ahead and froze them on a baking sheet. On party day, they went straight from the freezer into my preheated oven at dessert time, and in a few minutes they were ready to plate. More
22 Apr 2014
in books, Desserts, food, health, recipes
Tags: avocados, avoiding sugar, baking, beets, blood sugar, cake, chocolate, nuts, raspberries
The clock chimes 4 a.m. at the Night Circus. Her bonfire burns strong, fed by Marco’s book of charms.
“What’s black and white with red in the middle?” Vinny asks. “Give up? It’s the cake I made for my book club, when Erin Morgenstern’s novel “The Night Circus” was up for discussion.
On the surface, Morgenstern gives us an enchanting love story about magic. The circus, open only at night, shimmers in black and white. It is the venue for a desperate competition, as two wizards older than time pit themselves against one another through their best students. The light and the dark signify their two opposing ways of manipulating reality. Which will win out, Vinny wonders. More
29 Nov 2013
in food, health, Holiday foods
Tags: Advent, avoiding sugar, children, education, family, games
News flash – Vinny celebrates his third anniversary on WordPress today!
It’s December! Many people start counting down the days to Christmas with an advent calendar. Each day comes with a thought, a scene, and/or a chocolate candy that brings us closer to the real meaning of the holiday. More
19 Nov 2013
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, stories
Tags: avoiding sugar, banana bread, bananas, cake, children, coconut oil, preventing waste, whole wheat
Turn waste into want with moist banana cake
Waste not want not
“Yes, we have no bananas…,” Vinny said to his friend Will, who turned up the other day wanting some of his favorite fruit. “We have bananas, but you won’t want to eat them,” Vinny explained, showing Will the goods. The black, squishy fruits resembled bananas only in shape. More
24 Sep 2013
in Breads, Breakfast foods, food, health, recipes, stories
Tags: avoiding sugar, biscuits, blood sugar spikes, diabetes, Greek yogurt, nutrition, scones, sweet potatoes, wheat, whole-grain flour
Flaky, moist and healthy eating.
The sugar quandry
In my last post I came down pretty hard on refined white flour. I was referring to the silky white wheat flour that bakers love to use in cakes and cookies. That’s because upon contact with the acid in our stomachs, refined flour breaks down quickly into the sugar our body uses for energy.
What’s more, refined flour likes to hang out in baked foods with ordinary sugar. Thanks to refined flour plus added sugar, our favorite cakes, cookies and biscuits deliver sugar to our blood stream in double doses. More
17 Sep 2013
in books, Breads, Desserts, food, health, science
Tags: avoiding sugar, carbohydrates, gluten, glycemic index, glycemic load, reviews, wheat, whole grain, William Davis
The glycemic load might be a better guide to healthy eating than the glycemic index
What should we believe? The Internet bombards us with so many facts, ideas, opinions and outright lies, it’s hard to make out the signal from the noise.
Dr. Davis in his book Wheat Belly makes a lot of noise about wheat. He calls it a blight and a poison and says no-one should eat it, not just the 6% of us who are gluten intolerant. But many of his statements are misleading. More
29 Jan 2013
in books, health, science
Tags: avoiding sugar, balanced meals, calories, diet, Dr. Mike, family, nutrition, reviews, weight control
A doctor’s plan for rapid weight loss
Sharon talks to Vinny about her adventures with the 17-day diet
Vinny: How fast can you lose weight on this diet plan?
Sharon: Ok. Right off the bat my radar goes up. Anybody knows you can’t expect to lose weight fast… and keep it off. But Mike says, yes you can! He promises results that last. It’s right there on the front cover.
When I crack the book open, his first words to me are, “Just give me 17 days.”
Vinny: How is this plan any different from all the other pitches out there? More
31 Dec 2012
in food, health
Tags: art, avoiding sugar, awards, baking, carbohydrates, desserts, fruit, goals, mood, New Years, reviews, snacks, treats
Sculpture by Salvador Dali, Dali Museum-Theatre, Figueres, Spain. Photo by me!
If, like me, you’ve found yourself drowning in a tsunami of baked goodies this holiday season, perhaps you’ll want to make a New Year’s resolution.
Repeat with me: In 2013, I promise to choose fruit instead of baked sweets for treats, snacks, and dessert. More
25 Dec 2012
in Desserts, health, Holiday foods, recipes
Tags: apricots, avoiding sugar, children, Christmas, custard, eggs, fiber, ginger, mood, Stevia, vitamins
Tell us to go out and buy!
So says Tom Lehrer, mathematician, teacher, lyricist, pianist, composer, singer/songwriter and all round great guy. He wasn’t much impressed with the consumerism that Christmas often embodies. His little holiday ditty from the 1960s is just as relevant today as it was when he penned it:
Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly.
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don’t say when.
This year we’re trying to fill our cups and plates, not with folly, but with great-tasting foods that feed our bodies and minds with goodness. Our host of angels are made from More
01 Dec 2012
in health, Holiday foods, stories
Tags: Advent, avoiding sugar, calendar, children, chocolate, Christmas, family, mood, reviews, traditions
Here we are, boys and girls, December First! It’s that magical time of the year when we start celebrating all things family, beginning with that special couple 2000 years ago who rejoiced together in a stable over the birth of their new-born son.
One fun tradition of the season is the Advent Calendar. Kids everywhere will be More
27 Nov 2012
in Desserts, fitness, food, health, recipes, stories
Tags: avoiding sugar, baking, beets, cake, children, chocolate, family, mood, nutrition, Stevia, teeth
“Woe is me!” sighs Marie.
How Queen Marie learns to dance
Marie Antoinette found herself bored silly. She had everything she wanted. If she clapped once, her servant would come with a tray full of chocolate cake. Twice got her steaming mugs of cocoa and cream. Three times and she went mad over baskets of truffles and éclairs. But she wasn’t happy. More
07 Nov 2012
in Desserts, food, health, recipes
Tags: avoiding sugar, baking, brownies, children, chocolate, eaTracker, fats, nutrition, nuts, Stevia
Happy occasions demand chocolate!
A very chocolaty recipe jumped right onto my screen just after Halloween, from Chew Out Loud.
Vinny, however, found this recipe a tad high on sugar (2 1/2 cups). So we experimented with stevia in place of sugar. More
04 Sep 2012
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, science, Snacks
Tags: apples, avoiding sugar, baking, cake, carbohydrates, children, digestion, fiber, minerals, nutrition, Stevia, vitamins, weight control
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
This little rhyme is one of the first things kids learn about healthy eating. One of baby’s first solid foods is apple sauce. And as kids grow, they often choose apples as a favorite snack. But are apples really so good for us? More
09 Jul 2012
in Drinks, food, health
Tags: artificial sweeteners, avoiding sugar, brain, calories, cancer, children, desserts, diet soda, honey, maple syrup, nutrition, Stevia
Princess of sweet
Once upon a time, there lived a magical sweetener, named Stevia. Cousin of Chrysanthemum and sister of Sunflower, Stevia was incredibly sweet. The truth is Stevia was 300 times sweeter than her ugly stepmother, Sugar. Better yet, Stevia was sweet without any added calories. And best of all, Stevia was so much kinder than any of her catty artificial friends, who promise the same calorie-free hit but deliver nothing but trouble. More
25 Apr 2012
in Breakfast foods, food, health, recipes, Snacks
Tags: avoiding sugar, children, chocolate, fats, hazelnut, nutella, nutrition, nuts, palm oil
Our elf Hazel is deeply wise.
Love her and she’ll quench your thirst for knowledge.
Then, she’ll bless you with a silver tongue,
for teaching others what you’ve learned.
So it’s said. But is there any truth behind the power of Elf Hazel?
What we know for sure: Hazel harnesses the strength of her namesake, the hazelnut. Like some other nuts and seeds, hazelnuts feed the brain. More
20 Nov 2011
in food, health, Holiday foods
Tags: Advent, avoiding sugar, British, calories, children, chocolate, Christmas, London, play, traditions
London Tower helps bring Christmas closer
Only 10 more sleeps until we turn the calendar on a new month – December. Then the fun begins! Many people start counting down the days to Christmas with an advent calendar. Each day comes with More
06 Oct 2011
in food, health, recipes, Snacks
Tags: avoiding sugar, beets, color, eggs, pickles, presentation, protein, snacks
Pink up your pickled eggs for even more pizzaz!
Like pickles? Then maybe this easy recipe from Auntie Marlene will tickle your taste buds. Pickled eggs make a healthy snack, whenever hunger fangs sink their teeth into you and dinnertime isn’t anywhere in sight. More
04 Jun 2011
in Breakfast foods, food, health, science
Tags: avoiding sugar, chemistry, children, family, immunity, maple syrup, nutrition, phenolics
The sugar shack: Maple goodness is best in small packages! Story source: click my photo
If you really need to have a sweetener, choose maple syrup. It’s good! And now there is some proof that it might also be good for you. More
29 May 2011
in Drinks, food, health, science
Tags: art, artificial sweeteners, avoiding sugar, children, diabetes, diet soda, nutrition, stroke, water
Too much sugar’s bad for us, but sugar-free soda could be even worse. It’s not proof positive, but new research raises concern about diet soda. Studies find higher risks for stroke and heart attack among people who drink sugar-free soda every day versus those who drink no soda at all.
The findings should be “a wakeup call to pay attention to diet sodas,” More
11 Apr 2011
in food, health
Tags: avoiding sugar, calories, children, nutrition, sugar
OK, kids. If you want a good picture of just how much sugar you are eating when you chow down on your favorite foods, have a look at this link. And while you’re looking remember this: We should have no more than 5 or six teaspoons of sugar (five or six cubes) at each meal. Are you getting too much of a good thing? Thanks to Barb Cooper for forwarding this information to me 🙂
05 Feb 2011
in Breakfast foods, food, health
Tags: avoiding sugar, cereal, family, labels, nutrition, play, trivia, yogurt
Just when you think you know what things are good for you to eat, someone throws you a hot potato. More
20 Dec 2010
in food, Holiday foods, stories
Tags: Advent, avoiding sugar, children, chocolate, Christmas, reviews
Braided bread at Christmas
Only five more sleeps till Christmas! And today I clicked the button for the 20th of December and watched my pal Chudleigh (a friendly black Lab) make a new friend.
My advent calendar this year is a little English Internet village… which gets more and more lively the closer we get to Christmas. More