Spaghetti With Wilted Greens and Walnut-Parsley Pesto

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This meal makes for excellent post-workout fuel (a great mix of whole grains and protein).
• It helps keep you energized, since it provides one-third of your daily iron needs.
• You get antioxidants from the veggies, herbs, and walnuts

1 (1-pound) box whole-wheat spaghetti

1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped

1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup packed fresh baby spinach

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted

1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

6 large eggs

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions; reserve 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water. Add chard after 5 minutes of cooking and drain; return pasta and greens to pot.

2. While pasta is cooking, combine parsley, spinach, walnuts, garlic, 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon water, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse until chunky.

3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, crack eggs into skillet. Cook until the whites are completely firm but the yolks are still soft (about 2 minutes). Season eggs with remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

4. Toss reserved pasta mixture with pesto and enough reserved cooking water to make a thin sauce. Divide pasta among 6 shallow bowls and top each with a fried egg.

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 439
Fat per serving: 14.8g
Saturated fat per serving: 2.9g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 6.8g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 4.1g
Protein per serving: 20g
Carbohydrates per serving: 62g
Fiber per serving: 11g
Cholesterol per serving: 186mg
Iron per serving: 6mg
Sodium per serving: 448mg
Calcium per serving: 128mg

Blueberries , an Antioxidant Superfood

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Blueberries are healthy and super sweet – we all know that, right? Plus, they make a killer pie. But it turns out these summer favorites are actually a superfruit packed with antioxidants that may fight disease and help with brain health. Read on to learn why this fruit easily earns the title of “super.”

 WHY THEY’RE SUPER

At 84 calories per cup, a serving of berries contains 14 percent of the suggested daily fiber and 24 percent of the suggested daily intake of Vitamin C. But it gets better. Research suggests blueberries deliver some even more powerful and long-lasting health benefits. One study found that consuming a cup of blueberries per week can lower blood pressure and perhaps speed up metabolism, due mostly to their high levels of anthocyanins (a type of antioxidant) . Another study suggests blueberries can lower levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol), potentially reducing the risk of coronary heart disease . Blueberries may also inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells .

So adding some baby blues to a fruit salad may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer – great news for your body. But what about your brain? Blueberries have that covered, too. Psychiatrists at the University of Cincinnati found that wild blueberry juice enhanced memory and learning function in older adults while reducing blood sugar and decreasing symptoms of depression . Because of these findings, some researchers suggest blueberries could potentially fight more serious memory problems like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s(though more research is needed) . The most recent research on this tiny superfood backs up that claim. Using a food-frequency questionnaire, scientists have been able to link a higher intake of flavonoids, particularly from berries, to reduced rates of cognitive decline in the elderly .

FEELING BLUE? YOUR ACTION PLAN

For the freshest in-season blueberries, buy or pick your own May to October. Craving these blue babies out of season? Most grocery stores sell them all year long, though these varieties tend to be more expensive (and come from further away). Don’t forget about dried and frozen alternatives, perfect for smoothies and baked goods any time of the year.

Is there such thing as eating too many blueberries? They do have a relatively high sugar content (especially in dried form), but when sticking to the suggested serving size of one cup of fresh berries, that’s nothing to worry about.

Blueberries are great washed and eaten by the handful, but don’t be afraid to be creative with these fruits. Toss ‘em in a yogurt parfait, add to whole-grain waffles topped with banana, cinnamon, and nut butter, or try them in a smoothie.

What’s your favorite way to eat blueberries? Share in the comments below!

 

7 Ways to Eat (& Drink!) Turmeric

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Do you have a jar of turmeric languishing in your spice cupboard? Or perhaps you’re looking for ways to add it to your diet in response to all the recent studies indicating its health-promoting and disease-preventing properties. Turmeric has long been a staple in Indian curries as well as in foods like mustard (it provides that golden yellow color!), but there are lots of other ways to eat and drink this spice. Here are seven easy ideas.

  • 1. Add it to scrambles and frittatas. Use a pinch of turmeric in scrambled eggs, a frittata, or tofu scramble. If you or your family are new to turmeric, this is a great place to start because the color is familiar and the flavor subtle.
  • 2. Toss it with roasted vegetables. Turmeric’s slightly warm and peppery flavor works especially well with cauliflower, potatoes, and root vegetables.
  • 3. Add it to rice. A dash of turmeric brings color and mild flavor to a pot of plain rice or a fancier pilaf.

→ Recipe: Fragrant Yellow Rice

  • 4. Try it with greens. Sprinkle turmeric into sautéed or braised greens like kale, collards, and cabbage.
  • 5. Use it in soups. A bowl of vegetable or chicken soup feels even more warming when it’s tinged with golden turmeric.
  • 6. Blend it into a smoothie. While fresh turmeric root is especially great in juices and smoothies, a pinch of ground spice is good, too. The slightly pungent flavor is usually well masked in smoothies.

→ Recipe: Superpower Morning Smoothie (the recipe doesn’t call for turmeric but you can definitely add it!)

  • 7. Make tea. Simmer turmeric with milk and honey to make an earthy and comforting beverage.

→ Recipe:Turmeric-Ginger Tea

 

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Why avocados are the most awesome fruit, according to science

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Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of monounsaturated fat (the healthy kind). According to Medical News Today, avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.

It’s hard to go past a perfectly ripe avocado. And lucky for us, these things are so packed with nutrients, it hurts. Not only are they high in fibre, monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, B6, vitamin E, and a bunch of healthy fats, they’re also packed with twice the amount of potassium as bananas. And all of these work in conjunction with the nutrients we get from other fruits and vegetables – throw some avocado in a salad and you’ll absorb nutrients from the rest of the ingredients more easily, says this episode of Reactions from the American Chemical Society.

Oh and that ugly, tough skin? Well, that’s one of the avocado’s best qualities – it’s so dense, it keeps out pesticides, making it one of the safest fruits to eat (which is why you should think twice before forking out that extra cash for organic avocados).

Cut through that skin and you’ll get access to 11 different carotenoids, which are naturally occurring pigments found in plants, fungi, and some bacteria that have been found to impart many health benefits, including decreasing the risk of disease, particularly certain cancers and eye disease. Beta-Carotene, for example, is thought to have added benefits because of its ability to be converted to vitamin A, and lutein and zeaxanthin might protect our eyes from disease because they absorb the damaging blue light that enters the eye.

If you want to take advantage of all that, you’re going to want to make the most of the dark green portion of the fruit directly under the skin, and the video above shows you the best technique to maximise how much of this velvety goodness you get. (Plus it doesn’t involve stabbing a knife into the seed, which could save you a trip to the hospital.)

But alas, avocados aren’t perfect – they contain compounds called phenols, and these guys are responsible for the ridiculously fast browning that takes place as soon as you cut into one. When exposed to oxygen, the phenols will convert into an entirely different class of compounds called quinones, and over time, these link together to form a pigment called melanin. Yep, the same compounds that give our skin its colour.

On top of that, avocados are packed with an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which acts to speed up this whole browning process even further. Why, nature, why?

Any avocado fan will know a temporary counter to this is lemon or lime juice, because the acid it carries can slow down the activity of the enzymes. But did you also know that if you douse your guacamole in cold water and store it in the fridge overnight, it will help stop the browning? Just tip the excess water out the next day and stir your guac and it’ll be (almost) as good as new, the American Chemical Society recommends.

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Health Benefits of Celery

This is a fun after school snack for the kids. You prep it, they  assemble it!

This is a fun & healthy after school snack for the kids. You prep it, they assemble it! Cut a thick vertical slice from a whole apple, just missing the core. Do this on both sides. Cut a celery stick that is about 1 inch longer than the width of the apple slice. Put the peanut butter into the plastic bag, snip off the end to make a small hole. Fill the trough of the celery stick with the bag of peanut butter, and set aside. Using the plastic bag filled with peanut butter again, draw a spiral on both sides of the apple slice. Wedge the apple slice into the filled celery stick. (Larger apples like to fall over.) Add NERDS to one end of the celery stick to make his eyes. Add two carrot shreds for antennae.

Celery is a vegetable belonging to the Apiaceae family. It is well known for its crunchy stalks, which people often consume as a low calorie snack.

However, celery is not only a good low calorie food. There are a number of other reasons why you might want to include this vegetable in your diet.

Celery is thought to be beneficial for the digestive tract and cardiovascular system.

In addition, the seeds of the plant are also commonly used in medicine to help relieve pain.

Nutritional breakdown of celery

Antioxidants – celery is a very rich source of antioxidants. The vegetable contains the following phytonutrients: phenolic acids, flavonols, dihydrostilbenoids, flavones, furanocoumarins, and phytosterols.

Vitamins and minerals – celery is very rich in vitamin K and also contains folate, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C.

Dietary fiber – despite being mainly water, celery also provides a fair amount of dietary fiber. The vegetable contains 1.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams.

Benefits
The potential health benefits of celery (and its seeds) include: lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of cancer, and preventing age-related degeneration of vision.

Celery

Lowering blood pressure
There is no strong evidence to suggest that celery seeds may help lower blood pressure among humans. However, a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food assessed the effect that celery (Apium graveolens) seed extracts have on blood pressure (BP) in normotensive and deoxycorticosterone acetate-induced hypertensive rats.

The authors of the study concluded that “celery seed extracts have antihypertensive properties, which appears to be attributable to the actions of its active hydrophobic constitutes such as NBP and can be considered as an antihypertensive agent in chronic treatment of elevated BP.”

Stress Relief

It helps you calm down: Celery for stress-relief? Oh yes! The minerals in celery, especially magnesium, and the essential oil in it, soothe the nervous system. If you enjoy a celery-based snack in the evening, you will sleep better.

It regulates the body’s alkaline balance, thus protecting you from problems such as acidity.

Preventing cancer
Celery contains a flavanoid called luteolin. Researchers believe that this particular flavonoid may posses anti-cancer properties.

A study published in Current Cancer Drug Targets said that “recent epidemiological studies have attributed a cancer prevention property to luteolin”. The authors of the study say that “luteolin sensitizes cancer cells to therapeutic-induced cytotoxicity through suppressing cell survival pathways.”

Crunchy Pear & Celery Salad

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Ingredients
4 stalks celery, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons cider, pear, raspberry or other fruit vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ripe pears, preferably red Bartlett or Anjou, diced
1 cup finely diced white Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 large leaves butterhead or other lettuce

Soak celery in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.  Whisk vinegar, honey and salt in a large bowl until blended. Add pears; gently stir to coat. Add the celery, cheese and pecans; stir to combine. Season with pepper. Divide the lettuce leaves among 6 plates and top with a portion of salad. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Per serving: 215 calories; 13 g fat (5 g sat, 4 g mono); 20 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 4 g fiber; 240 mg sodium; 219 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (15% daily value)
Carbohydrate Servings: 1

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Celery Rosti with Coriander and Poached Egg

Ingredients
4 sticks of celery cut into very fine strips 3cm
1 bunch of coriander, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and grated
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Sweet chilli sauce
½ tsp chilli powder
Olive oil for frying
4 slices of goats cheese 1cm thick
4 eggs
Dash of vinegar

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
Mix the celery, coriander and grated potato together. Season and add a few drops of chilli sauce and the chilli powder.

Divide the mixture into 4 and shape into patties. Fry in the oil in a shallow pan turning over once they have set to lightly brown on both sides – about 5-6 minutes.

Transfer the rosti to a lightly oiled baking tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes to finish off the cooking.

Place a slice of cheese on top of each rosti and put under a hot grill until lightly browned.

Meanwhile poach the eggs in deep simmering water with a little vinegar for 3-4 minutes.

Place the rosti on plates, add the poached egg on top and drizzle with the chilli sauce. Serve with a green salad and baby new potatoes.

Why You Should Always Freeze Your Lemons

So why should we freeze lemons?
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“A new study has shown for the first time how limonoids, natural compounds present in lemons and other citrus fruit, impede both ER+ and ER- breast cancer cell growth. This sheds new light on the importance of citrus fruit for breast cancer prevention and supports past studies which showed fruit consumption may lower breast cancer risk.”

All kinds of people are saying that the entire lemon should be used with nothing wasted. Not only for the obvious health benefits but also for the amazing taste! How?

Simple, take an ORGANIC lemon, wash it and then put it in the freezer. Once it is frozen you get whatever is necessary to grate or shred the whole lemon without even peeling it first.

Then sprinkle it on your salad, ice cream, soup, cereals, noodles, spaghetti sauce, or whatever. No holds barred. What you will experience is that whatever you sprinkle it on will take on a taste you may never have experienced before.

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Why would I do this? Because the lemon peel contains 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice itself and the peel is the part that is usually wasted. Not only that, but the peel helps to get rid of toxins in the body.

But wait, there’s more. Lemon is effective in killing cancer cells because it is allegedly 10,000 stronger than chemotherapy. This has not been revealed because there are people out there that want to make a synthetic, toxic version that will bring them huge profits. Shades of Monsanto.

The good news is that the taste of lemon is pleasant and does not deliver the horrific effects of chemotherapy. What’s bizarre is that people are closely guarding this fact so as to not jeopardize the income to those that profit from other’s illnesses.

Another interesting aspect of the lemon is that it has a remarkable effect on cysts and tumors. Some say the lemon is a proven remedy against all types of cancer.

It doesn’t end there. It has an anti-microbial effect against bacterial infections and fungi; it is effective against internal parasites and worms; it regulates blood pressure, which is too high; it acts as an anti-depressant; it combats stress and nervous disorders.

The source of this information, although not specifically named, is one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world. They further say that after more than 20 laboratory tests since 1970, the extracts revealed that it destroys the malignant cells in 12 cancers, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreas and that the compounds of the lemon tree were 10,000 times more effective than the product Adriamycin, which is a drug normally used chemotherapeutically in the world to slow the growth of cancer cells.

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Even more, this type of therapy with lemon extract only destroys malignant cancer cells and does not affect healthy cells. The process is simple: buy an ORGANIC lemon, wash it, freeze it, grate it, and put it on everything you eat.

It’s not rocket science. Nature has put stuff on the planet to keep the body healthy. The corporations hide this information and create synthetics to treat disease. The synthetic chemical creates other symptoms from its ingestion requiring another drug to combat these symptoms.

And so the cycle continues, which equates to enormous profits coming from an overt intention to keep a body ill and suppressing natural healing foods, minerals and modalities, all withheld by the mainstream media to not jeopardize their advertising dollar income, and payoffs to the politicians to not pass laws that will greatly benefit the people.

Almond-&-Lemon-Crusted Fish with Spinach

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Coating fish with nuts and baking it is an easy, foolproof way to cook it elegantly. And it is especially nice with a mild white fish like cod or halibut. The spinach turns a little yellowy because it’s cooked with the acidic lemon juice, but what you lose in green color is more than made up for in great flavor.

Ingredients

Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
1/2 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/4 pounds cod or halibut, cut into 4 portions
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, slivered
1 pound baby spinach
Lemon wedges for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine lemon zest, almonds, dill, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place fish on the prepared baking sheet and spread each portion with 1 teaspoon mustard. Divide the almond mixture among the portions, pressing it onto the mustard.

Bake the fish until opaque in the center, about 7 to 9 minutes, depending on thickness.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds. Stir in spinach, lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the spinach is just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Cover to keep warm. Serve the fish with the spinach and lemon wedges, if desired.

Per serving: 249 calories
13 g fat (1 g sat, 8 g mono)
46 mg cholesterol
8 g carbohydrates
0 g added sugars
28 g protein
4 g fiber
496 mg sodium
1025 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus:
Vitamin A (184% daily value)
Vitamin C (37% dv)
Folate (36% dv)
Magnesium (35% dv)
Potassium (29% dv)
Iron (22% dv)
Calcium (17% dv)

Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp & Vegetables

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Toss a garlicky, Middle Eastern-inspired yogurt sauce with pasta, shrimp, asparagus, peas and red bell pepper for a fresh, satisfying summer meal. Serve with: Slices of cucumber and tomato tossed with lemon juice and olive oil.

Ingredients

6 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
12 ounces peeled and de-veined raw shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
**optional – 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (To toast pine nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. )

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than package directions. Add shrimp, asparagus, bell pepper and peas and cook until the pasta is tender and the shrimp are cooked, 2 to 4 minutes more. Drain well.

Mash garlic and salt in a large bowl until a paste forms. Whisk in yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, oil and pepper. Add the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts (if using).

Per serving: 385 calories
6 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono)
168 mg cholesterol
53 g carbohydrates
0 g added sugars
34 g protein
10 g fiber
658 mg sodium
887 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus:
Vitamin C (130% daily value)
Vitamin A (71% dv)
Folate (60% dv)
Iron & Magnesium (35% dv)
Calcium & Zinc (28% dv)
Potassium (25% dv)

The Health Benefits of Maple Syrup

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Maple syrup is one of the many wonders of the world and far more than a simple sweetener. Maple syrup is not only rich in essential nutrients such manganese as well as zinc, but 34 new beneficial compounds discovered just a few years ago have been confirmed to play a key role in human health.

Health Potential

Maple syrup was known to have naturally occurring minerals, such as zinc, thiamine, and calcium. Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram was enlisted to study the plant’s antioxidants, known to exist in plant structures such as the leaves and the bark, and found 13 that were not previously known to be in the syrup. Several of those had anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, and anti-diabetic properties.

A previous study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 found that maple syrup contains polyphenols such as abscisic acid (ABA) which is thought to stimulate insulin release through pancreatic cells very much the same way berries increase sensitivity of the fat cells to insulin, which makes the syrup beneficial for those with metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

These discoveries of new molecules from nature can also provide chemists with leads that could prompt synthesis of medications that could be used to fight fatal diseases, said University of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram.

“I continue to say that nature is the best chemist, and that maple syrup is becoming a champion food when it comes to the number and variety of beneficial compounds found in it,” Seeram said. “It’s important to note that in our laboratory research we found that several of these compounds possess anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to fight cancer, diabetes and bacterial illnesses.”

As part of his diabetes research, Seeram has collaborated with Chong Lee, professor of nutrition and food sciences in URI’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences. The scientists have found that maple syrup phenolics, the beneficial anti-oxidant compounds, inhibit two carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes that are relevant to Type 2 diabetes management.

Enhances Liver Function

The pilot study, conducted by Dr. Keiko Abe of the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, showed that healthy laboratory rats fed a diet in which some of the carbohydrate was replaced with pure maple syrup from Canada, yielded significantly better results in liver function tests than the control groups fed a diet with a syrup mix containing a similar sugar content as maple syrup.

Click here to view a brief video detailing the liver health findings with Dr. Keiko Abe and Dr. Melissa Palmer.

Different Grades of Maple Syrup

There are several different “grades” of maple syrup, depending on the color.
The exact way they are classified can vary between countries.

In the United States, maple syrup is either classified as grade A or grade B (1).
Grade A is further categorized into 3 groups: Light Amber, Medium Amber and Dark Amber.
Grade B is the darkest of them all.

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The main difference between them, is that the darker syrups are made from sap that is extracted later in the harvesting season.

The dark syrups have a stronger maple flavor and are usually used for baking or in recipes, while the lighter ones are rather used directly as syrups… for example on pancakes.

If you’re going to buy maple syrup, then make sure to get actual maple syrup, not just maple-flavored syrup… which can be loaded with refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

As with any other food, make sure to read the label.

Thinking of replacing sugar with maple syrup?

Here are some simple conversion tips:

  • Substitute sugar for an equal amount of maple syrup.
  • In General Cooking, it is ideal to use ¾ cup of maple syrup for every one cup of sugar.
  • In Recipes – For each cup of syrup, reduce the quantity of liquid ingredients in the recipe (water, milk, juice) by about a quarter of a cup.
  • In Baking – the ratio is 1:1 It is a good idea to turn your oven temperature down about 25 degrees from the original cooking temperature because the maple syrup caramelizes at a lower temperature than sugar does.Replacing sugar with maple syrup in your cooking can be a great adventure. Take the time to experiment and learn how the maple syrup can best enhance the recipe at hand, for cooking healthy can be fun as well as tasty.

Replacing sugar with maple syrup in your cooking can be a great adventure. Take the time to experiment and learn how the maple syrup can best enhance the recipe at hand, for cooking healthy can be fun as well as tasty.

For recipes containing maple syrup click here

Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice is one of the alternative juices often called upon to treat medical conditions, which is popular today. It is quite tasty and has a number of benefits for the body that helps to treat various health issues. Selecting the right cherry is necessary for you to feel the full benefits for your health.

Below we have posted a video further explaining the benefits of cherries along with a delicious sparkling cherry juice recipe!

Sparkling Cherry Juice (from Sour/Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate)

Healthy Tart Cherry Juice

Tart Cherry Juice

I make tons of this concentrate every cherry season and it lasts me for the greater part of the year. The concentrate will easily freeze and if you like to make things simple (like I prefer) you can use your ice tray to make instant serves ready to go when you want. Just drop a cube into your glass and add your sparkling water and your all set. Easy & yum!

Ingredients
1 pound sour cherries, washed and pitted * see notes
2 pounds sugar
1/2 pint water
Sparkling water

Place the cherries in a saucepan off the stove, pour the sugar over the top and let them sit for 2 hours. Add the water, and stir to mix the cherries, sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves.

Bring the cherry mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain liquid into another pan, pressing cherries with a spoon to extract all the liquid, and discard the cherries. Simmer the liquid over low heat until it is syrupy and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour syrup in a jar and store in the refrigerator.

To serve, place 1 to 2 tablespoons of syrup in each glass, fill glasses with chilled sparkling water and stir to mix.

*note:
If you’re interested in trying cherry juice to help with your symptoms from gout, arthritis, or other ailments, you may be wondering what the difference is between sour (tart) cherry vs black cherry juice. The main compound in cherry juice that benefits us is made up of Anthocyanins. While present in all variety of cherries, Anthocyanins are more highly concentrated in the sour (tart) cherry and black cherry varieties.
There’s one camp that prefers black cherries and another that recommends sour (tart) cherries for their ability to reduce uric acid levels and lessen the pain and inflammation of gout. Both work, but it seems that sour cherries are more highly favored by natural health practitioners and slightly more effective. Expect to see results within less than 24 hours.

Cherry Recipes

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Wonderfully delicious, cherry fruit is packed with full of health-benefiting nutrients and unique antioxidants. Cherries are one of the very low calorie fruits; however, are rich source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Both sweet as well as tart cherries are packed with numerous health benefiting compounds that are essential for wellness. They are a healthy addition to many desserts and savory dishes alike.

Cherry Granola Breakfast Parfait

Cherry-Breakfast-Parfait

Don’t have time to make a healthy breakfast? There are no excuses now! You can make the granola & jam ahead of time and have it ready to make a delicious healthy meal that takes only minutes to put together.

2 c plain yogurt
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 c sliced almonds
4 tbsp maple syrup, divided
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix oats and almonds. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, oil, and salt. Stir the sugar mixture into the oat mixture until new mixture is uniformly wet. Spread in a single layer onto the baking sheet. Bake until granola is crispy (about 20-25 minutes), stirring occasionally. Pour 1/4 cup yogurt into a bowl or tall glass. Drizzle some maple syrup over the yogurt. Add a layer of granola, then a layer of cherries. Repeat until all yogurt, granola, and syrup are layered into the parfait.

No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars

These are easy to make, required no baking (hence the name) and are very tasty, especially if you like cherries and chocolate. Great combo!

2 cups oats
1 cup walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened dried cherries
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup (or more) homemade cherry jam**see recipe below

Line an 8 inch square pan with nonstick foil.  Combine the oats, walnuts and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.  Add the cherries and blend until they are well combined with the oat mixture and are small bits of dried cherry.  Add the coconut oil and honey and pulse to combine and mixture just starts to clump together.  Add the chocolate chips and pulse again a few times.  Sprinkle half the crumbly mixture evenly in the bottom of the square pan.  Spread the jam over the crumb layer.  Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the jam and press it down gently.  Cover the pan and refrigerator for an hour.  Remove bars from pan using the overhanging foil.  Cut into squares on a cutting board.  Keep bars in the refrigerator until serving.

**Homemade All Natural Cherry Jam

cherry-jam

2 cups cherries, pitted (if you do not have fresh available you can use frozen)
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed.  Put the mixture in a small saucepan and boil for 15-20 minutes until thickened.  Cool.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Use within 2 weeks.

Cherry Cornbread Mini Muffins

These cornbread-like muffins are not too sweet and manage to be both crispy and moist at the same time which makes them pretty near perfect.

These cornbread-like muffins are not too sweet and manage to be both crispy and moist at the same time which makes them pretty near perfect.

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cornmeal
1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 dozen fresh, pitted cherries, quartered (this makes approximately 1 heaping cup of fruit before cutting & pitting)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and mist your mini muffin pans with vegetable oil
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, b. powder, b soda & salt) in a bowl and mix them well.
Cut butter into pieces and use a pastry cutter to blend the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture will be clumpy and crumbly and the butter should be fairly evenly distributed into the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients and whisk well egg, milk, yogurt & vanilla extract.
Fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just blended but don’t overmix. Scoop batter into prepared mini muffin tin, sprinkling a few fresh, sliced cherries into each muffin as you go.
Divide cherries evenly amongst muffins (this recipe makes approximately 24 mini muffins)
Bake at 425 degrees until deeply golden on top (approximately 15-20 minutes)

Roasted Cherry Butternut Squash

Rehydrated dried cherries turn simple roasted butternut squash into a special side dish.

Rehydrated dried cherries turn simple roasted butternut squash into a special side dish.

4 cups (1 L) cubed (1-inch chunks) peeled butternut squash (1 small squash, about 1-1/4 lb.)
3/4 cup (190 mL) dried cherries
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt

Heat oven to 375F. Spread squash in a single layer on a greased or sprayed 15×10-inch jelly roll pan or shallow roasting pan. Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine cherries and boiling water; set aside to plump.
Add onion wedges to pan with squash. Drizzle butter over vegetables; toss well. Bake 10 minutes. Drain cherries; add to pan. Drizzle syrup over vegetables; toss well. Continue baking 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and glazed. Sprinkle with salt. Makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings.

Grilled Chicken with Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Chopped cherries combine with cherry preserves and smoky, hot chipotle peppers for an unusual & tasty marinade and sauce for grilled chicken.

Chopped cherries combine with cherry preserves and smoky, hot chipotle peppers for an unusual & tasty marinade and sauce for grilled chicken.

1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup cherry preserves
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce or more to taste
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

Stir cherries, broth, preserves, ketchup, vinegar, chipotle peppers, thyme and allspice in a small deep bowl. Transfer to a shallow nonreactive dish (see Note) large enough to hold chicken. Add chicken and turn to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat grill to high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Remove the chicken from the marinade. Transfer the marinade to a medium skillet.
Bring the marinade to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by about half, 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, reduce the grill heat to medium and grill the chicken until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 7 to 9 minutes per side. Let the chicken cool slightly; serve with the sauce.

Cornish Hens With Port-Cherry Sauce

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This delicious sauce is made from dried cherries, port, thyme, and cornstarch. While used to top Cornish game hens, it really can work with any protein source.
While it sounds relatively fancy, you need only 15 minutes of prep time and 45 to cook—quick enough for a weeknight dinner.

Ingredients
Hens:
2 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish hens
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (available at specialty-food shops)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
Cooking spray
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Sauce:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup port or other sweet red wine
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup dried cherries
Additional thyme sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Remove giblets and necks from hens. Rinse with cold water; pat dry. Remove skin; trim excess fat. Split hens in half lengthwise. Combine paprika, next 3 ingredients (through pepper), and 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme; rub on hens.
Place hen halves, breast sides up, in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place a thyme sprig in the cavity of each bird.
Insert a thermometer into meaty part of a thigh, avoiding the bone. Bake at hens at 400° for 35 minutes or until thermometer registers 165°. Transfer hens to a platter; cover with foil.
To prepare sauce, place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings from broiler pan into bag; let stand 10 minutes until fat rises to top. Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner. Drain drippings into a small bowl; discard fat. Set drippings aside.

Grilled Chicken with Cherries, Shallots, and Arugula
cherry-chicken
Ingredients

1 small shallot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound (2 halves) boneless, skinless chicken breast
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces (2 cups) sweet cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup baby arugula

Combine shallot, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil and set aside.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Drizzle remaining oil over chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Toss shallot mixture, cherries, and arugula in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on top of chicken.

Sparkling Red Cherry Punch

For a festive garnish, add a pitted tart cherry and a quartered slice of orange on a cocktail pick to each glass.

For a festive garnish, add a pitted tart cherry and a quartered slice of orange on a cocktail pick to each glass.

Sweeten your parties with this festive punch made of cherry juice, orange juice and your favourite sparkling wine or champagne. Use sparkling water to make it alcohol free.

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) tart cherry juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Curaçao or Cointreau
1 bottle (750 mL) champagne or sparkling wine

In a large pitcher, combine cherry juice, orange juice and liqueur. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Just before serving, stir cherry mixture. Tilt pitcher; slowly pour in champagne. Stir gently. Serve in champagne flutes or wine glasses. Makes 8 servings.

Red Alert

This drink is a blend of lip-smacking cherry juice with another trendy ingredient, coconut water, which is gaining popularity as a cooking ingredient and sports drink (for its high potassium and mineral content). This blend is great for cooling off after a workout or as a morning wake-up drink.

This drink is a blend of lip-smacking cherry juice with another trendy ingredient, coconut water, which is gaining popularity as a cooking ingredient and sports drink (for its high potassium and mineral content). This blend is great for cooling off after a workout or as a morning wake-up drink.

60 mL tart cherry juice
120 mL coconut water
60 mL club soda or sparkling water

Pour ingredients into one 240 mL glass. Stir to combine and serve.