Carrot Loaf

Here is a recipe for a different kind of loaf. And it makes a great gift! Enjoy this, especially, right out of the oven with a little pat of butter.
You’ll Need

 

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Directions
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    • Mix all dry ingredients together.
    • Add carrots, nuts, oil and eggs, mix well.
  • Place mixture in a greased loaf pan and bake for 35 to 60 minutes in oven.

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Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts

This is a unique dish that can make a wonderful side dish! The colors of the dish are quite festive too!

You’ll Need

 

  • 1 ½ pounds Swiss chard (preferably rainbow or red)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (2 ½ ounces)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup water
Directions
  • Tear chard leaves from stems, then coarsely chop stem and leaves separately.
  • Toast pine nuts in oil in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderated heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 1 ½ to 2 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and season with salt.
  • Cook onion in  remaining oil in pot, stirring occasionally, 1 minute, then add chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
  • Add raisins and ½ cup water and simmer, covered, until stems are softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add chard leaves and remaining ½ cup water and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until leave are tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts.

 

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Honey Pecan Pork Chops

Submitted by Jesse from Westinghouse. Thank you, Jesse! Got a recipe you’d like to share? Please email it to nutrition@willclower.com. We’d like to share your favorites with our community.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin, pounded thin
  • 1/2 cup all- purpose flour for coating
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  • In a shallow dish, mix together flour, salt and pepper.
  • Dredge pork cutlets in the flour mixture.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-heat.
  • Add chops, and brown both sides.
  • Transfer to a warm plate.
  • Mix honey and pecans into the pan drippings.
  • Heat through, stirring constantly.
  • Pour sauce over cutlets.
  • Don’t overcook pork or sauce.

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Almond Crescents


A delightful cookie for any time of year!

You’ll Need

· 1 cup butter
· ½ teaspoon almond extract
· ¾ cup powdered sugar, sifted
· 2 cups flour
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 1 cup oats, uncooked
· ½ cup almonds, finely chopped
· Additional powdered sugar for sifting on top of prepared cookies

Directions
· Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
· Beat butter and almond extract till fluffy; gradually beat in sugar.
· Add combined flour and salt; mix well.
· Stir in oats and almonds.
· Shape to form crescents.
· Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
· Bake 15-18 minutes or until light golden brown.
· Sift powdered sugar over warm crescents.

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Basil Carrots

Try this dish! You may end up considering having it as a side dish
that is part of your regular rotation or even as a side to a special holiday meal. 


You’ll Need

  • 6 medium carrots
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil or 1/4 Tablespoon fresh, chopped

Directions

  • Slice carrots into half inch slices.
  • Simmer, covered, in water until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes; drain.
  • Combine remaining ingredients, toss with carrots.

 

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Mediterranean diet high in healthy fat NOT associated with weight gain

Mediterranean diet high in healthy fat does not lead to weight gain

Focus on low-fat diets and lack of differentiation between healthy and unhealthy fat has led to ‘paradoxical policies’ about healthy eating.

Eating a non-calorie restricted Mediterranean diet high in vegetable fats such as olive oil or nuts does not lead to significant weight gain compared to a low-fat diet, according to a study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.

The study suggests that current health guidelines that recommend a low-fat, low-calorie diet create unnecessary fear of healthy fats present in a Mediterranean diet, which have known health benefits.

More and more scientific evidence suggests that total fat content is not a useful measure of harms or benefits of food, and that fats from nuts, fish and phenolic-rich vegetable oils are healthier than fats from meat and processed foods.

The study took place in 11 hospitals in Spain during 2003-2010 and included 7447 participants (men and women) aged 55-80.

They were randomly assigned to one of three groups — an unrestricted-calorie Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil (2543), an unrestricted-calorie Mediterranean diet rich in nuts (2454), or a low-fat diet where the advice was to avoid all dietary fat (2450).

All participants were at high cardiovascular risk or had type 2 diabetes, and more than 90% were overweight or obese.

After 5 years, total fat intake had decreased in the low-fat diet group (from 40% to 37.4%) and had slightly increased in both Mediterranean diet groups (40% to 41.8% in olive oil; 40.4% to 42.2% in nuts).

The percentage of energy intake from protein and carbohydrate decreased in both Mediterranean diet groups.

On average, participants in all three groups lost some weight with the greatest weight loss seen in the Mediterranean diet with olive oil group (0.88 kg weight reduction in the olive oil group, compared to 0.60 kg for the low-fat diet group and 0.40 kg for the nuts group).

There was an increase in waist circumference in all three groups with the greatest increase seen in the low-fat diet group (1.2 cm increase for the low-fat diet group, compared to 0.85 cm for the olive oil group and 0.37 cm for the nuts group).

One researcher says: “Ironically, just as focusing on total fat to prevent heart disease was misguided because it overlooked the different effects of specific fatty acids.”

“Dietary guidelines should be revised to lay to rest the outdated, arbitrary limits on total fat consumption.”

“Calorie-obsessed caveats and warnings about healthier, higher-fat choices such as nuts, phenolic-rich vegetable oils, yoghurt, and even perhaps cheese, should also be dropped.”

 

News source: Estruch R, et al. (2010). Effect of a high-fat Mediterranean diet on bodyweight and waist circumference: a prespecified secondary outcomes analysis of the PREDIMED randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30085-7.

Cheer up. You could live longer!

optimism-glasses Having an optimistic outlook on life—a general expectation that good things will happen—may help people live longer, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study found that women who were optimistic had a significantly reduced risk of dying from several major causes of death—including cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and infection—over an eight-year period, compared with women who were less optimistic.

optimism-i-canThe study appeared online December 7, 2016 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.


“While most medical and public health efforts today focus on reducing risk factors for diseases, evidence has been mounting that enhancing psychological resilience may also make a difference,” said Eric Kim, research fellow in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and co-lead author of the study. “Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviors and healthier ways of coping with life challenges.”

optimism3The study also found that healthy behaviors only partially explain the link between optimism and reduced mortality risk. One other possibility is that higher optimism directly impacts our biological systems, Kim said.


The study analyzed data from 2004–2012 from 70,000 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study, a long-running study tracking women’s health via surveys every two years. They looked at participants’ levels of optimism and other factors that might play a role in how optimism may affect mortality risk, such as race, high blood pressure, diet, and physical activity.

kid-w-plane-wingsThe most optimistic women (the top quartile) had a nearly 30% lower risk of dying from any of the diseases analyzed in the study compared with the least optimistic women (the bottom quartile), the study found. The most optimistic women had a 16% lower risk of dying from cancer; 38% lower risk of dying from heart disease; 39% lower risk of dying from stroke; 38% lower risk of dying from respiratory disease; and 52% lower risk of dying from infection.


While other studies have linked optimism with reduced risk of early death from cardiovascular problems, this was the first to find a link between optimism and reduced risk from other major causes.
 

“Previous studies have shown that optimism can be altered with relatively uncomplicated and low-cost interventions—even something as simple as having people write down and think about the best possible outcomes for various areas of their lives, such as careers or friendships,” said postdoctoral research fellow Kaitlin Hagan, co-lead author of the study. “Encouraging use of these interventions could be an innovative way to enhance health in the future.” 

Other Harvard Chan School authors of the study included Francine Grodstein, professor, and Immaculata De Vivo, associate professor, both in the Department of Epidemiology; and Laura Kubzansky, Lee Kum Kee Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences and co-director of the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness. Harvard Medical School assistant professor Dawn DeMeo was also a co-author.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (P01 CA87969, UM1 CA186107, T32 HL 098048). 

“Optimism and Cause-Specific Mortality: A Prospective Cohort Study,” Eric S. Kim, Kaitlin A. Hagan, Francine Grodstein; Dawn L. DeMeo, Immaculata De Vivo, Laura D. Kubzansky, American Journal of Epidemiology, online December 7, 2016, doi: 10.1093/aje/kww182 

Article originally pubbed here.

Sweet Potato Egg Hash


When the holiday guests arrive, you may want to make this as part of a brunch. 
 
You’ll Need
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • A quarter cup (ish) of diced onion
  • A quarter cup (ish) of diced sweet potato
  • A quarter cup (ish) of diced tomato
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cumin to taste
  • The number of eggs you want
  • One half of a lime
  • Tobasco hot sauce (optional)

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