Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tamaki Haiga - White Rice Without The Guilt
Rice Lovers Must Try This!

Tamaki Haiga is polished but still has the germ.

Follow Foods For Long Life on Facebook and Pinterest.
Download my eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen,
on Amazon and iTunes.

Tamaki Haiga
Yesterday my girlfriend brought over a cup of white (actually tan), short-grain Tamaki Haiga rice for me to try. The kernels were small and delicate but nothing out of the ordinary. But was I in for a big surprise!

Haiga means "germ" in Japanese. It turns out that Tamaki Haigi is milled in a very special way that removes the heavy outer coating of the rice but maintains the germ where lots of the good stuff resides. Lets face it, many of us eat brown rice out of guilt because we know it's better for us than white rice. Even Andrew Weil admitted in a conference that he doesn't like brown rice. But to be able to eat something as delicious as white rice and know it still has the germ that provides vitamins B1, B2, B6, vitamin E, fiber, and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) - well that's almost too good to be true! 

It's actually better than white rice because it tastes a little nutty and is a little sticky - just the way I love it. And it cooks much faster than brown rice. I used the white rice setting in my rice maker and it came out perfectly. And your kids will love it too - I know it's a little hard sometimes to get them to eat brown rice. 

Where to Buy
You can find this in most Asian grocery stores. If you don't have an Asian grocery store nearby, you can always get it on Amazon. I just ordered a 5 pound bag for less than $20. 

California grown Tamaki Haiga
found on Amazon

I'm still a little gun shy about buying too many food products from Japan given the residual contamination after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. I still drink green tea from Japan every day so I don't want to push it. This brand of Tamaki Haiga is grown in Northern California's Sacramento valley so I feel good about that. 

I just had to share this with you right away - I hope you get a chance to try it. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Zucchini Orange Bread Or Muffins
They Are Great For Breakfast With
300 Grams Of Omega-3 Per Serving

Orange zest is the key ingredient in this zucchini recipe.
Each serving provides over 300 mg of omega-3!

Follow Foods For Long Life on Facebook and Pinterest.
Download Health Begins in the Kitchen
on Amazon and iTunes.

And the Zucchini Keeps Coming
Believe it or not, I'm still enjoying my zucchini. Especially the kind that I'm growing this year. It's an heirloom Italian zucchini with light green ridges. If I pick them when they are 6 to 8 inches long, they are the best I've ever eaten. Unfortunately the plant has enormous leaves that are good at hiding the zucchini until they get way too big. My grandson loves to hunt for veggies and uncovered this one that was successfully hiding.

Matisse, the veggie hunter!

I was about to make banana bread when Matisse reminded me that he was allergic to bananas which are unfortunately one of his favorite foods. But he suggested that we make zucchini bread instead. Then my daughter gave me the idea of adding some grated orange peel to the recipe. The results were wonderful! (By the way, I didn't use the monster zucchini. I used a much smaller one otherwise the zucchini would have been far too watery.)

Omega 3
Because this is a vegan recipe which substitutes flax eggs for chicken eggs, it supplies a nice shot of omega-3 fatty acid. And did you know that zucchini have a higher omega-3 content than omega-6 providing 58 mg of omega-3 and 35 mg of omega-6 in each chopped cup. 

Great for Breakfast
This zucchini bread or muffin recipe is great for breakfast, dessert, or for a nice snack. 

        *                        *                          *

Zucchini Orange Bread or Muffins
[makes 12 servings]
Requires loaf pan or 12 muffin tins
Best with an electric hand beater

Earth Balance to grease pan
2 tablespoons finely ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons water
2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon powdered stevia extract 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1/3 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan or muffin tins.

Prepare the flax eggs by mixing the flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of water. Beat well until gooey and set aside. 

In a large bowl, mix the flour, powdered stevia, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

Squeeze the water out of the grated zucchini and place in the bowl. Using an electric hand beater, mix the zucchini into the flour mixture.

After grating the zucchini, squeeze the water out of it.

In a smaller bowl, blend the olive oil, sugar, applesauce, vanilla, and orange zest. Add the flax egg and blend until smooth.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend with the beater until combined. 

Place in the loaf pan or muffin tins. Bake until golden and when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes for the bread and 20 to 25 minutes for the muffins. 

Zucchini Orange Bread
Zucchini Orange Muffins

Cool the bread for 15 minutes (the muffins for 10) and remove from the pan. Serve the muffins warm but let the bread cool a bit so that it is easier to slice. Serve and enjoy!

Per serving: 143 calories, 5.5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 316 mg omega-3 and 661 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g protein, 19.5 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, and 188 mg sodium.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Don't Be Fooled By Martha Stewart's
"Bake It Better" Recipes!

Healthy baking tips in Martha Stewart's
September issue fall way short!

Follow Foods For Long Life on Facebook and Pinterest.

Forgive my Rant, but....
I ordered a facial product a few months ago and it came with a free 12 month subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine. I love perusing through magazines to get new ideas on cooking and decorating. But this month's issue just made me mad.

The article starts on the right foot by saying that bake sales, though "often planned with a noble cause in mind- funding a school library, helping fellow congregates who've fallen on hard times.... don't often translate to great nutrition." Well I don't think that anyone would disagree with that. Martha then attempts to take delicious, unhealthy recipes and make them equally delicious and much healthier.

Great concept!!! There are so many things you can do to make baked goods healthier. I write about that all the time in this blog and in my book. It bothers me to no end when someone as famous and loved as Martha Stewart convinces people that a recipe is healthy when it is not.

Let me give you several examples that are in the September Issue of Martha Stewart Living titled "Better (for you) Bake Sale.

Martha's Half-Moon Cookies
These cookies claim to be healthier because they use some whole wheat flour and berry puree to color the icing instead of harmful food coloring. But these cookies still have 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, 2 whole cups of confectioner's sugar and 4 teaspoons of honey. I don't think a little berry puree is going to make this a recipe you'd feel good about serving your children.

Martha's Muesli Coffee Cake
In this recipe she introduces her readers to white whole-wheat flour. I commend her for this as I've been touting the benefits of white whole-wheat flour for years. In fact, it's the only wheat flour I use for baking or cooking. But her recipe still uses 1 1/2 sticks of butter, 1 3/4 cups of sugar, 4 large eggs, 1 cup of full fat buttermilk and another few tablespoons of honey. The goodness of the whole grain flour pretty much gets cancelled out with the rest of the recipe.

Martha's Lemon-Yogurt Cupcakes
These cupcakes also benefit from the white whole-wheat flour and once again she avoids food coloring by using fresh raspberries but she weighs the recipe down with 3/4 cups of granulated sugar, 2 whole cups of confectioner's sugar and a CUP of butter. This recipe is starting to rival one of Paula Deen's!

Healthy doesn't always mean Healthy
So be careful when some big name chef or celebrity says the word "healthy." Everyone wants to believe that making a tiny change to a recipe that is full of saturated fat and sugar makes it OK. 

But these are good tips. White whole-wheat flour is much better than all-purpose processed white flour. And berries are better than food coloring. But why stop there? You can do other things to improve your baked goods.
Things like:
* Using flax eggs instead of eggs
* Substituting a good bit of the sugar with stevia
* Substituting half or more of the oil with applesauce

For recipes and tips on healthy baking, download my eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen. I think I'll send a copy to Martha.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Baked Falafels With Lemon Tahini Sauce
On A Salad Or In A Pita
An Excellent Source Of Protein

Falafel sandwiches in pita bread make a great lunch!

Follow Foods For Long Life on Facebook and Pinterest.
My eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen,
is available on Amazon and iTunes.

Garbanzo Beans as a Protein Source
I love garbanzos. Besides being a versatile bean that can be used in many different dishes, they contain an excellent source of complete protein which means they provide all the essential amino acids in the proper proportions. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, folate, and manganese.

Baked Falafel
I love a good falafel but most of them served in restaurants are fried. This recipe uses a small amount of oil and bakes them in the oven. Stuff a few of them in pita bread with chopped lettuce, cucumber, avocado and tomato. Top with some lemon-tahini sauce and you have a great lunch. Or for a lighter gluten-free meal, serve baked falafels on top of salad tossed with lemon-tahini sauce.

For a gluten-free meal, skip the pita and serve on top of salad.

Start with Dried Garbanzo Beans
Did you know that you can make falafels from dried garbanzo beans? Most cooked beans are packed in cans that are lined with BSP (bisphenol) so using dried beans, especially when they are organic, is a healthier way to go. And since you only have to soak and not cook the beans in this recipe, it's not much of a bother.

            *                         *                          *

Baked Falafels with Lemon Tahini Sauce
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 20 (2 inch x 1/2 inch) falafels and 1/2 cup tahini sauce, about 4 to 6 servings]
Requires a food processor, such as a Cusinart

Start soaking the beans the night before.

For the falafels
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
Water to soak beans
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup chopped onion
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the tahini sauce
1/4 cup tahini (I use raw tahini)
1 clove pressed garlic
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pick through the garbanzo beans and discard any clumps of dirt or rocks. Rinse under cold water. Place in a 1 or 2 quart bowl and cover with several inches of water. Soak overnight.

With the food processor running (I really like the 11-cup Cuisinart), place the garlic through the shoot and process until all the garlic is chopped. 

Rinse the garbanzo beans and place in the food processor along with the cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, black pepper, baking powder and parsley. Pulse until the garbanzos are coarsely chopped. Add the onions and pulse until everything is minced. Scrape down the sides when necessary. Do not over process. The resulting mixture should look like this:

Pulse until the mixture is minced, NOT pureed. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly grease a cooking sheet or shallow baking pan. I like to use Silpat non-stick baking mats. These allow me to bake the falafels with the least amount of oil.

Form small balls of the mixture and pat them into 2 inch by 1/2 inch patties. Place on the prepared baking pan. Take a tablespoon of olive oil and using your finger or a brush, rub a little oil over each falafel. 

Bake until golden, about 15 minutes on each side. Remove from the oven.

Make the tahini sauce. Place the tahini in a small bowl with the pressed garlic and lemon juice. Stir until it is a smooth paste. Stir in the water until it reaches the desired consistency. Add the salt to taste and set aside.

Serve the falafels in pita bread with small diced cucumbers, avocado, lettuce, and tomatoes drizzled with the tahini sauce. 

Or place a few falafels over a salad that has been tossed in a thinner tahini sauce (add some more water) with a bit more tahini sauce drizzled over the falafels. 

Per falafel: 48 calories, 1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 16 mg omega-3 and 335 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, and 101 mg sodium.

Per serving of tahini sauce (about 1 1/3 teaspoons): 18 calories, 1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 11 mg omega-3 and 620 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g dietary fiber, and 60 mg sodium.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Enter To Win Pomona Cookbook
Plus Jelly Jars, Pectin And More!

Win this cookbook, jars, Pomona pectin and more!

Follow Foods For Long Life on Facebook and Pinterest.

Pomona Pectin
You know how much I LOVE Pomona's Universal Pectin. Every jam recipe in this blog uses it and I even dedicated an entire chapter in my eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen, to making healthy jam using this wonderful pectin. What makes Pomona's Universal pectin so great is that it allows you to make jelly and jam with little or no sugar! 

Pomona Pectin Giveaway
My friends at Pomona wanted me to tell you all about their exciting giveaway that will run from August 5th through August 13th, 2014. 
All you need to do to win is enter the Giveaway - and everyone gets 2 FREE ENTRIES.

Here's What You'll Win!

Cookbook: Preserving with Pomona's Pectin 
by Allison Carroll Duffy
A Box of Pomona's Pectin
A case of 6 Orchard Road Jelly Jars with lids and bands
A Stainless Steel Funnel

The Cookbook
Preserving with Pomona's Pectin (Fair Winds Press, June 2013) teaches you how to make jam using sugar-free and preservative-free Pomona's Universal Pectin. 

Here are some examples of the wonderful recipes in this book:
* Maple-Vanilla-Peach Jam
* Chocolate-Cherry Preserves
* Margarita Marmalade
* Nana's Favorite Dandelion Jelly
* Savory Blueberry-Ginger Conserve
* All-Fruit Strawberry Jam

This is the perfect book for both beginning and experienced preservers, and everyone in between. The more than 70 recipes are organized by type—jams, jellies, preserves, conserves, and marmalades—and there are simple classics as well as new twists with exciting ingredients. And, most importantly, all of the recipes use low amounts of sugar or alternative sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, or fruit juice.

How to Enter
To enter to win, go to the Pomona Website. There will be TWO winners!

And while you're there, check out the recipe from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin for Gingered Lemon Fig Preserve. It looks yummy!

Gingered Lemon Fig Preserve