Friday, November 23, 2012

Teenagers Mealtime

Teens Eating Healthier

 

Teenagers and Mealtime

It’s a familiar story in households across the country. Teens are busy with school, work or that all-important social life, and they find it tricky to fit three square meals into their busy schedules.

 

According to this study breakfast seems to be most popular to miss, with 52% of teens skipping it altogether, compared to just 3% for dinner. Perhaps mum’s cooking really is as good as everyone says, but 5 out of ten are still happy to replace their dinner with fast food and takeaways too. That’s pretty grim reading.

 

 

And, terrible as they are at sticking to regular mealtimes, the nation’s teenagers are more often than not happy to just raid the fridge whenever they come in, night and day.

Unsurprisingly, this can often lead to less than healthy eating habits. A mix of cold cuts, leftover takeaways and pieces of cheese don’t always lead to a well balanced meal…

 

 

Robert Stone is a freelancer writer and graphic designer whose interests include food, healthy eating and coming up with tasty low fat recipes.

 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Is Cookie Dough Safe to Eat?

 

There’s nothing quite as exciting as a stolen bite of cookie dough fresh from the mixing bowl, but virtually everyone has heard the lecture about the dangers of raw cookie dough just as that delicious morsel hits the back of the throat. Is there any real danger in eating this delicious treat on occasion?

 

 

Think About the Ingredients

Not all cookie dough is created equally. There’s a big difference between not only the types of cookies you’re baking, but also premade cookie dough you purchase in the refrigerated and frozen section of your local grocery store and that you make at home. Most store-bought dough is not safe for consumption in a raw state. Many of the packages even go so far as to say they’re not safe to eat before they’re cooked. Homemade dough, though, is another animal entirely, and there’s one big factor that can make it unsafe to eat raw: eggs.

 

What’s So Bad About an Egg?

The seventies were full of movies with athletes and fitness gurus drinking raw eggs as fast as they could get them down. Most notably, Rocky downed a pitcher full of raw eggs in 1976 on the big screen, but the bottom line is that they’re just not safe to eat. They can cause salmonella poisoning which can lead to diarrhea, fever, vomiting, or even cramps. In some cases, salmonella poisoning can even be fatal, particularly to children or the elderly. One USDA study reported that 16% of all US chickens are contaminated with salmonella. While the odds of contracting this condition are fairly low, just one in 30,000 people comes down with it each year, the risk is still very real, and even at its best, it’s not a pleasant problem.

In addition to the risk of salmonella, though, consuming raw eggs can also block mineral absorption, which is certainly a danger to your health.

 

 

Other Complicating Factors

Even if you create a dough that doesn’t include eggs, there could still be a risk when you eat raw cookie dough. A 2009 outbreak of E. Coli contamination was linked Nestle Toll House prepackaged cookie dough. Over 30 different states, 77 people became ill. Of those, 55 were hospitalized. Many of them noted that they had no intention of cooking it before they ate it. Eggs, though, weren’t the culprit. Eggs are typically associated with salmonella, not E. Coli. While the exact source of the contamination couldn’t be traced, officials suspected flour as the contaminant. Almost all of the other ingredients in the cookie dough underwent a step during processing to eliminate any possible pathogens. Flour, though, didn’t, and thus was a likely suspect. Outside of that investigation, though, raw flour has not been implicated in any recent disease outbreaks.

 

 

Safe Alternatives

If you’re searching for a great way to get your raw cookie dough fix without all of the dangers. These recipes can help.

  • 1 c. oats
  • 1 c. toasted coconut flakes
  • ½ c. nut butter of your choice
  • ½ c. ground flaxseed
  • ½ c. chocolate chips
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix carefully, spoon into balls, and enjoy!

 

 

Safe Recipe #2

  • 1 c. nut butter
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 pasteurized egg
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips and mix until well combined. Add chocolate chips, spoon into balls, and enjoy!

It’s not always safe to enjoy those balls of cookie dough made with your favorite recipes, but with a few changes, you could be happily grabbing those cookie dough bites again soon!

 

 

Image by cw3283 on Flickr.

Pinkchic18 is an avid party planner and has a passion for baking. She also regularly contributes to Cookie Gift Baskets Blog. For cookie gift delivery, visit Cookie Gift Baskets’ website and shop today!

 

 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Superfood Sensations – 8 Foods You MUST Add to Your Diet!

 

The Newest Superfood Sensations

Superfoods are phenomenal foods that are packed with nutrients, phytochemicals, and health benefits. Adding these special foods to your diet help fight cancer, help you look younger, and give you tons of energy. Here are the newest and most healthy superfood sensations that will nourish your body and leave you thriving.

1. Kefir

Kefir is an extremely nutritious cultured product similar to yogurt.  It has a similarly pleasing creamy texture and tangy taste with less sugar and more protein. Kefir is made from milk. It can be made with dairy milks from cow, goat, or sheep.  There are also dairy free options derived from coconut, rice, and soy milks. Kefir is packed with probiotics, healthy bacteria that enhance the immune system and possibly even protect against colon cancer. Kefir makes a wonderful replacement for yogurt in parfaits, try freezing it for a scrumptious frozen yogurt alternative, using it in a salad dressing, or throw it in your smoothie.

 
 2. Jicama

Jicama is a crunchy root vegetable that has an ever so slight sweet taste. Jicama contains inulin which is a fiber that helps flatten your stomach and promotes good bacteria in your gut. It also features vitamin C which can boost the immune system and reduce wrinkles. Jicama is delicious in its raw form.  It can also be cooked in salads, slaws, stir frys, and tacos.  For an unusual twist, try it coated in lime juice and chili powder.

 
 3. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are nutrient-filled little seeds that are packed with heart healthy omega-3s, calcium, and iron. As little as one tablespoon of these amazing seeds contains the same amount of fiber as an entire bowl of oatmeal. Chia seeds work well to thicken puddings and stir frys, but can also be a great addition to soups, cereals, and salads.

 
 4. Sprouts

Broccoli plants that have been sprouted for three days have up to 50 times the amount of anticancer properties (like sulforaphane) than fully grown broccoli! Sprouts are some of the most wholesome foods on the planet. You can use sprouts to top just about anything, including salads, sandwiches, wraps, pizza, stews, tacos, and baked potatoes. Sprouts are not only easy, but super fun to grow on your own! If you don’t have time though, you can also find them at any grocery store.

 
 5. Black Garlic

Black garlic is fermented to give it a deliciously sweet clove and caramel flavor. The fermentation process also concentrates the antioxidants to almost double that of regular garlic. These properties can help decrease your risk of cancer. The sweet garlic can be enticing in sauces and on pizza.  Here’s a surprising tip: black garlic will also work very well to spice up sweets like cookies, cakes, and brownies.

 
 6. Kelp
Kelp is a beneficial sea plant that is shown to help fight breast cancer. It is an extremely rich source of calcium, vitamin K, and many other nutrients. Kelp is delightful in its noodle form or in powdered form which you can add to recipes to give them a big health boost.

 
 7. Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a cheese-like, flakey powder containing 9 grams of protein per serving. The amount of B vitamins in this unique food surpasses the recommended daily amount. B vitamins are crucial for health and in high amounts can help reduce stress, increase energy, and decrease risk for serious illnesses.  These flakes are tasty as a powdered cheese substitute on popcorn, potatoes, pasta, and eggs.

 
 8. Barley

Barley is an amazing grain that is packed with cancer fighting lignans and niacin, which is perfect for your hair and skin. The fiber in barley is also great for your cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. Use it as a replacement for other grains like rice or pasta.

 

 

Lindsey Adams is a guest blogger, specializing in health-related topics.  In addition to finding creative ways to add nutrient-rich foods to her diet, Lindsey also uses B12 injections (purchased here) to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

{ Last Page }