MyFoodMyHealth Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 9

In this issue:

newsletter-ul-li-bullet-whitebkgd Featured Recipe: Pecans Spiced with Orange Zest and Ginger
newsletter-ul-li-bullet-whitebkgd Myra's Kitchen Corner: Seasonal Favorites 
newsletter-ul-li-bullet-whitebkgd Boost Your Immune System During the Holiday Season
newsletter-ul-li-bullet-whitebkgd FODMAPS Gaining Success with IBS Sufferers
newsletter-ul-li-bullet-whitebkgd Downloadable Diet Plans from MyFoodMyHealth & Kathie Swift
newsletter-ul-li-bullet-whitebkgd We Recommend: Holiday Gift Guide
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Featured Recipe: Pecans Spiced with Orange Zest and Ginger

Often associated with the holidays, these pecans make a sweet and spiced treat any time of year. Eat them by the handful, toss them in salad, or wrap them up for thoughtful and healthy holiday gifts.

Download Recipe

Myra's Kitchen Corner: Holiday Favorites

Relish the Taste of Autumn with Butternut Squash Soup

Nothing screams autumn like butternut squash soup. The version shown in the video, from The Healthy Hedonist, is simple to prepare, yet velvety and delicious. I start with a 2 ½ to 3-pound butternut squash, slice it open down the middle, place it in a 375˚ oven and bake until it’s tender, about 45 minutes. With a soup as simple as this one, roasting the squash first to heighten its flavor is of the utmost importance. I then remove it from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, and scoop out and discard the seeds. The seeds come out so much more easily after the squash is cooked. I then scoop out the flesh and set it aside.

I start the soup by adding a splash of extra virgin olive oil to a medium pot. I stir in 1 cup of leeks, 6 cloves of garlic, and 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin, and cook the mix over gentle heat until softened. I next add a couple cups sliced sweet potatoes, the reserved squash flesh, a cup of apple cider, and 5 cups of water or stock. This is a good place to boost nutrient content and flavor with a homemade chicken or vegetable stock, but the soup is still delicious with water as the primary liquid. Add a teaspoon salt, and cook the soup partially covered at a gentle bubble for about fifteen minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.

 

 

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While the soup is simmering, I make the garnish. I slice shallots into thin rings and add them to ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. At first, nothing seems like it is happening. Then the oil starts to sizzle, and slowly but surely the shallots start to fry around the edges of the pan. At that point, it’s important to stir continuously for the next three or four minutes, until the shallots are more or less evenly caramelized. At the final stage, some will be darker than others, but they should all have a golden hue. Have a strainer set over a bowl ready and close. When the shallots are colored as evenly as possible, you have to separate them from the hot oil quickly, to keep them from continuing to cook. About 15 seconds before the shallots are finished I add the sage, just to sizzle them in the oil. After I strain the oil, I remove the sage from the shallots and chop the leaves into small pieces. The sage, shallots, and oil are now ready to lend flair to the soup.

For simplicity’s sake, I blend the soup with a hand-held blender, also known as an immersion blender. I’m careful when using the immersion blender, to immerse it in the liquid before turning it on, as well as to turn it off before lifting the blender from the soup. At this last stage I always taste the soup, to see if it needs an extra dash of salt to pull up the flavors. I sprinkle in a dusting of black pepper as well.

The soup has a delightful aroma and a rich taste. The silky texture is offset with the flourish of caramelized shallots and sage, and a drizzle of shallot oil.

View Video

Festive Amaretti Cookies for Holiday Gift Giving

Amaretti cookies are chewy Italian cookies studded with pine nuts. These are festive enough for your holiday gift-giving but simple enough to make any time. This video shows the ins and outs of making these gluten-free cookies.

I start with 2 cups almond flour, then add 1½ cups natural sugar. My favorite sweetener for these is maple sugar, but succanat ™ and rapadura™ work as well. Keep in mind that different natural sugars affect the flavor and moisture and can alter the texture slightly. I then stir in a pinch of salt and a couple teaspoons almond extract to heighten the almond flavor. The next step is to whip three egg whites in a separate bowl until they form peaks. You can do this by hand or with a hand-held or stand mixer, but my tool of choice to make the job efficient is an immersion blender.

 

 

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I then stir the fluffy egg whites into the flour mix. Finally, I brown the butter. I melt half a stick of butter, and cook it until it is copper-colored and fragrantly nutty. I keep a watchful eye on the pot after the butter melts—the process takes only a few minutes, and I want to make sure to stir the butter into the batter when it is browned, not burnt.

At this point, I'm ready to form cookies. The batter is sticky, so using 2 spoons is the easiest way to drop the batter onto a parchment-covered baking tray. In order to leave enough room for these cookies to spread, I use 2 trays and drop the batter 1 ½ inches apart, making about 30 cookies. I sprinkle each cookie with pine nuts before it goes into a 300˚F oven to bake. Halfway through the cooking, after ten minutes, I rotate the trays to help them to color evenly. They smell heavenly while they bake.

Once I’ve let the cookies cool, I store the extras in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or I freeze them for up to two months. What a wonderful way to start off the holiday season.

View Video

Special Sitings: Myra Demonstrates Sweet Potato-Turnip Latkes on NBC4NY

Always a popular guest chef and speaker, chef Myra was recently invited on NBC4NY to demonstrate how to take a modern and healthy twist on traditional latkes. In the demonstration, Myra shows how to make Sweet Potato-Turnip latkes. View the video and see just how easy it is to prepare these delicious, nutrition powerhouses. They are a healthier alternative to holiday latkes that everyone will enjoy.

View Video

 

 

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Boost Your Immune System This Holiday Season

With the hustle and bustle of family gatherings, children's events, holiday parties and shopping you are probably exposed to more than good cheer this time of year. Combine all these activities with a frantic pace and you can put a big drain on your immune system.

Boost your immune system and help prevent the coughing, sniffling, sneezing and sore throats this season can bring by following these tips:

Eat probiotic foods like yogurt. The live active cultures in yogurt help support digestion and keep the gut healthy. This helps keep the intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs.

Enjoy seasonal immune boosters like pumpkin. Pumpkin, sweet potatoes and squash are packed with antioxidants like beta-carotene, a vitamin the body breaks down to make vitamin A. Vitamin A helps ward off harmful bacteria. Plus, some research suggestions that vitamin A may help your respiratory system stay healthy, which is good if you are fighting off a cold or the flu.

Get your zinc. If you feel a sore throat coming on, research shows zinc many help. Zinc helps develop white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses. Zinc can be found in oysters and other seafood as well as lean beef and poultry.

Rev up your immune system with garlic. It contains sulfur-containing compounds like allicin which are effective against bacterial, viral and other infections.

Don’t forget your broccoli. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and turnips are excellent sources of vitamin A, C and E and will help build your immune system. They are also inexpensive and readily available so they are easy to add to your diet to help you fight off seasonal bugs.

Drink plenty of water. Proper hydration has a big impact on your immune system so drink lots of water. It flushes toxins out of your system and helps ensure your cells get enough oxygen to function at optimal levels.

FODMAPs Gaining Success for IBS Sufferers

The FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols) elimination diet is gaining increased traction as a popular way to combat irritable bowel syndrome. More and more dietitians and researchers in Australia, the US and Great Britain are seeing success with FODMAPs in treating symptoms like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, nausea and other gastro-intestinal symptoms associated with IBS. These findings reflect the feedback we have received from users of the MyFoodMyHealth FODMAPs Diet and meal plan. This is exciting news and could point to an important breakthrough for people with IBS.

For more information on the latest buzz on FODMAPs, read the Bloomberg News article

 

Downloadable Diet Plans from MyFoodMyHealth & Kathie Swift

The MyFoodMyHealth FODMAPs Diet Third Edition

We've recently released the third edition of our popular MyFoodMyHealth FODMAPs Diet. It includes updated information on the latest scientific research related to FODMAPs, the therapeutic eating plan that is gaining ground as an effective protocol to help individuals with irritable bowel syndrome.

Created by MyFoodMyHealth and our Chief Nutritionist Kathie Madonna Swift, the MyFoodMyHealth FODMAPs Dietprovides easy and helpful guidelines for following a FODMAPs eating plan, plus delicious recipes from MyFoodMyHealth chefs. If you suffer from IBS or other digestive disorders, it may be just what you need to help alleviate your IBS symptoms.

Learn more about the FODMAPs Diet

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 at www.myfoundationdiet.com

 

We Recommend: Holiday Gift Guide

Victoria Amory All-Natural Cooking Sauces

Enjoy the mouthwatering sauces of MyFoodMyHealth contributing chef Victoria Amory, right at home without cooking from scratch. Victoria now offers her all-natural cooking sauces on HSN. Her sauces turn everyday ingredients into a gourmet feast. Featuring only wholesome, natural ingredients, this collection of cooking sauces makes the perfect finishing touch on meats, veggies, pasta and even cakes and tarts. They are sweet, savory and simply sensational.

Get some for yourself to spice up your menus or share them as delightful hostess gifts.

Learn more about Victoria

Shop now on HSN

 

 

Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes

by Diane Morgan, Antonis Achilleos and Deborah Madison

Root vegetables are an age old diet staple around the world and packed with earthy goodness. The book Roots explores the history of 29 major roots, their nutritional content and more. It provides tips on how to prepare everyday roots like beets, carrots, potatoes to more uncommon roots like jicama, salsify cassava, galangal, crosnes and others. Plus it offers 225 recipes for salads, soups, sides and main courses.

Get this resource guide and cookbook to help the cooks in your life discover more about the healthy treasures of the root cellar.

Buy on Amazon

 

 

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Healthy and Delicious Online Holiday Shopping Resources

Looking for healthy and delicious holiday gifts? Here are some of our favorite online resources:

Fine wines from organic vineyards

Chartrand Imports

Organic food gifts

Fiddlers Green Farms

Award-winning cheeses

Vermont Shepherd Cheeses

Delicious wild seafood and organics

Vital Choice 

 

 

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