Less Sugar, More Fruit!

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Yes, it’s the holiday season and most likely you have more than the usual amount of sugar on hand in your pantry. That’s okay—it’s the holidays. If, however, you’re trying to limit your own sugar intake for health reasons (or if you’re going to be cooking for people who are), I’m here to show you that it’s possible to swap fruit for some sugar in your recipes no matter the season (or the reason). The trick is to know where to logically switch sugar for fruit, and in what amounts.

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Baking with Fruit & Veggies for Fat

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As prime baking season approaches quickly, many home cooks are laying in their supplies—among them the typical fats used in baking such as oil, shortening and butter. Adding fruits and vegetables to your baked goods (and removing some of the fat in the recipe) will add fiber, protein and additional nutrients that fats don’t contain. Many cherished holiday recipes can be tweaked to contain less fat with a simple substitution—without sacrificing taste or texture. Others do rely on butter for flavor and crisp texture, such as shortbread, spritz cookies and cutout sugar cookies–these would not be good choices for trying out a butter sub! Swapping out fat for more healthful ingredients isn’t difficult, but it does some comfort with experimentation.

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The Sweet Stuff: Part 1

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There’s a good chance that you are more conscious of sugar in your diet than ever before. Between the New York city soda serving size controversy and the recent rise of agave and stevia sweeteners, it seems we’re awash in information about the sweet stuff. But if you’re still confused about which sugars are “natural” and which aren’t, how much sugar is too much sugar, what the glycemic index is (and if you should care about it), and how sugar plays into the Guiding Stars rating system—I’ll be addressing these topics in a series of blog posts over the next couple of weeks and in a free webinar on October 16.

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A Probiotic Primer: Part 2

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In Part 1 of our Probiotic Primer, I discussed what probiotics are (“friendly” bacteria that help keep our GI systems humming along in a healthy manner) and where to find them (dairy products like yogurt, kefir and buttermilk, fermented foods and added to a variety of processed foods). Here in Part 2, we’ll take a closer look at what the science says about using probiotics for specific health issues.

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A Probiotic Primer: Part 1

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Maybe you’ve seen advertisements for yogurts and other foods that contain bacteria called probiotics and wondered, “what exactly are these ‘friendly’ bacteria, and why would I want them?” It is a little odd to think of bacteria as being good for us. After all, bacteria and other “germs” are generally something we endeavor to keep out of our food, but not all bacteria are created equal.

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