In this issue:
- Featured Recipe: Gluten-Free Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes
- Myra's Kitchen Corner: Enjoying Bountiful Berries Throughout the Season
- Coming Soon from MyFoodMyHealth: The Kid Delicious Cookbook
- A Note from Our Chief Nutrition Advisor: Digestive Wisdom Part 3
- Understanding Product Dating on Food Labels
- Recommended Reading
- Follow Us on Your Favorite Social Media
Featured Recipe: Gluten-Free Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes
Fresh, in-season blueberries stack up the flavor and antioxidants in our gluten-free twist on this classic breakfast. Serve the pancakes with butter and real maple syrup for a berry-delicious brunch or breakfast.
Myra's Kitchen Corner: Enjoying Bountiful Berries Throughout the Season
When you visit a local market, you'll see containers of colorful berries stacked high. Strawberries are the first to appear in early spring and have all but disappeared by mid summer. Tiny wild varieties, sweet as candy, will make an appearance in late summer. In the meantime, there are blueberries, blackberries and raspberries of various colors. These nutritional powerhouses, packed with vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, appear in markets in July, and last all the way through September. The late harvest berries are often the most delicious. Combined with early harvested pears, raspberries can be the chief ingredient in tantalizing cobblers and compotes. First-of-the-season apples and blackberries make a succulent combination as well.
Treat berries with care. Blueberries are sturdy and last a couple of weeks, but the other "seedier" types last only a couple of days in the refrigerator. It's best to wash berries right before eating. Raspberries and blackberries are especially delicate; moisture makes them mold quickly. Rinse these berries very carefully and dry them gently on paper towels; you can even roll raspberries on a damp cloth to clean them and dislodge any insects.
You can make your berries last longer by freezing or pureeing them. To freeze, lay them on a tray in a single layer and place in the freezer. After a couple of hours, pile the frozen pieces into a freezer bag. I love having a selection of frozen berries available to use when I please.
Fresh sauces, or coulis, are especially delicious when made out of berries. Once the berries are pureed, however, those little seeds found in strawberries, raspberries and blackberries can seem quite prominent. There's no need to put up with those pesky seeds when there's a nifty little trick for quickly straining them out. Here's what you do: If the berries are frozen, defrost them first. Blend them with a little water, then pour the mix into a strainer set over a bowl. You'll notice that, at first, the puree just sits in the strainer, not budging at all. With the bottom of a ladle, swirl the fruit in a circular motion against the strainer. The puree goes through the strainer in seconds, leaving the seeds caught in the basket. With a spatula, be sure to scrape all the good pulp that is caught on the underside of the strainer. To turn the pulp into a sauce, add a splash of maple syrup, a bit of vanilla and lemon juice. Now you're got a berry sauce that is smooth and delicious.
Coming Soon from MyFoodMyHealth: The Kid Delicious Cookbook
Our team has been busy this summer putting together The MyFoodMyHealth Kid-Delicious Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook. Based on feedback from MyFoodMyHealth subscribers and newsletter readers, it's full of kid-friendly recipes that even finicky eaters will enjoy. Expect an announcement soon about its availability.
For a sampling of one of the delicious recipes you'll find in our upcoming electronic cookbook, download this recipe for Shrimp Kabobs. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser for kids and adults alike!
A Note from Our Chief Nutrition Advisor: Digestive Wisdom, Part 3
By Kathie Madonna Swift MS RD LDN
(Part 3 of a three-part series extracted from the book: The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health, Gerard Mullin MD & Kathie Madonna Swift MS RD, Rodale July 2011)
The Multi-Tasking Inside Tract
Your digestive tract is a multi-tasking organ system working tirelessly to maintain your health. Stretched out it is a staggering 30 feet long with a vast surface area complete with an intricate communication network that senses and responds to the outside world.
Three core components of the "inside tract" are especially important pillars of health and include:
1. The 2nd Brain. Also referred to as the enteric nervous system, this is a power plant for gut-derived brain chemicals like serotonin. Your mood, anxiety level and depression all have origins in the digestive tract. The nourishment you take in and the nutrients you extract from the process of digestion impact brain function. The gut's role in mental and emotional health is sorely neglected. Feeding your 2nd brain whole foods rich in neuroprotective-nutrients found in dark green leafy vegetables, legumes and nuts and seeds is key to keeping the blues at bay.
2. Immune System. Your body's homeland defense system, deciphering friend from foe, is centered in the inside tract. It is estimated that over 60% of the body's immune cells are located in the gut to regulate the trafficking of molecules that either support health or give rise to disease. Feeding your immune system whole foods free of potential incitants such as gluten and casein favors a balanced immune response.
3. Microflora. A host of friendly microbes that reside in the inside tract, these busy bacteria are top guns designed to keep you healthy. They synthesize vitamins, cross-talk with your immune system, regulate motility and keep nasty bugs in check. Feeding your flora whole foods rich in fiber found in vegetables, fruits and legumes will help it flourish.
My Foundation Diet Expanded Second Edition
Now with flexitarian and vegetarian recipes & meal plans
The My Foundation Diet created by Kathie in conjunction with MyFoodMyHealth is a seasonal, delicious, whole foods approach to optimizing your health and genetic potential.
Learn more about the My Foundation Diet
Learn more about Kathie
Understanding Product Dating on Food Labels
Do you know what "Sell By", "Best If Used By" and "Use-By" dates mean on food packaging mean? They can be hard to decipher. Here are some guidelines from the USDA to help end the confusion.
"Sell By" date: This date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
"Best If Used By" (or Before) date: Recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
"Use-By" date: The last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
Closed or Coded dates: Packing numbers for use by the manufacturer. If a product is not "dated," consume perishable ready-to-eat food soon after purchasing it, and no more than 3 to 5 days after opening it.
The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Health
By By Gerard E. Mullin MD and Kathie Madonna Swift MS RD LDN
The Inside Tract, co-authored by MyFoodMyHealth Chief Nutritionist Kathie Swift and Dr. Gerard E. Mullin, is a comprehensive plan for overcoming common digestive ailments. The book brings together their collective wisdom from many years of practice and scholarly research. In it you'll learn how a simple regimen of dietary changes, supplements and a 7-step lifestyle modification program can help heal intestinal problems and get you on track to vibrant health. It's an exceptional resource for anyone interested in improving their gut health.
Learn more about Dr. Mullin
Learn more about Kathie Swift
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