Healthy Never Tasted So Good Chew on This… Cuz That Ain't Right

July 1, 2013

Chicken EnpHused Baked Potato

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chicken_enphused_baked_potato

Chicken EnpHused Baked Potato

Chicken EnpHused Baked Potato

The idea for this recipe came from me destarching potatoes to make healthier French fries for my grandchildren and teaching a weight loss cooking class.

When soaking potatoes in water, the starch pulled out is replaced with water.  We know oil and water does not mix so the water acts as a barrier preventing the oil from penetrating into the potato.  This creates a crispy outside and soft interior French fry and  healthier potato for children lessening the neuron inhibitor effects especially in children with autism.

However, baked potato is a resistant starch food and good for losing weight because the body does not absorb the starch.  The key here to maximize this effect is to bake the potato and let it cool BEFORE eating.

Who wants to eat a dry baked potato? didn’t think you did, well nor do I.

Therefore, I applied the destarching principles I used in making French fries and ended up with a moist flavored baked potato that could be eaten cold and would aid in weight loss as well.

 

PROCEDURE:

roasted_chicken_seasoned_with_mama_vega_poultry_seasoning

Roasted Chicken with Mama Vega Seasoning with a Purpose Poultry Seasoning

1. Roast a whole chicken using Mama Vega*s Seasoning with a Purpose Poultry Seasoning.

knife_pricked_potatoes

Knife Pricked Potatoes

 

2.  Prick potatoes with a knife all over

3.  Sprinkle each potato with sea salt (sea salt is not processed with corn, others are).

4. Put potatoes in a dish so they all fit flat

5.  cover with the chicken dripping created from the roasted chicken.

potatoes_covered_with_chicken_drippings

Potatoes Covered with Chicken Drippings

6.  If necessary add hot water that has been pre-seasoned with Mama Vega*s Seasoning with a Purpose Poultry Seasoning.

potatoes_soaking_in_chicken_stock

Potatoes Soaking in Chicken Stock

7.  Soak for at least four (4) hours.

8.  Remove potatoes from dish and place on a baking sheet.

moist_baked_potato

Moist Baked Potato

9.  Bake in an oven preheated to  350 degrees for 90 minutes.

10.  Remove potatoes from oven and put in a covered dish.

11. Let cool.

chicken_enphused_baked_potato_and_salmon

Chicken EnpHused Baked Potato and salmon

12.  Eat alone or cut into cubes to make potato salad.

 

Remember eating after the potatoes have cooled promotes weight loss

 

June 14, 2012

How Can Sourdough Bread Be Healthier than Wheat?

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August 1st is Lamas Day

Aug. 1 is Lamas Day

Like everything else in the commercial world of making money, the push for some time now has been to eat more wheat bread because it is healthier for you. Well, just like the rest of the sheep out there, I was following the Pied Piper right over the proverbial cliff. However, just before getting to the edge and falling into the whole wheat abyss, I stumbled, hit my head and woke up with amnesia. Wondering where I was and how I got there, I began my quest to discover why I was listening to the tune “whole wheat.”

Every where I looked, the information pointed to whole wheat; flakes, cracked, bread, pasta and anything else that the industry thought the consumers would buy. One day I decided to deconstruct the process of making bread which lead me to how to make bread the way it used to be made. Kinda like going back to organic, homestead style.

pumpernickel bread

Pumpernickel Bread

To my surprise, I discovered; “SOURDOUGH AND PUMPERNICKEL IS HEALTHIER THAN WHEAT BREADS.” Would you like to know HOW sourdough bread is healthier than wheat bread?

It comes down to the very beginning process of how it is made and then how it is digested in your body.

First, How it’s made:

Sourdough bread making is centuries old. The process was created for preserving ans storing yeast for long periods. this sourdough starter was kept “alive” as the basis for making loaves of bread for travel or just at home. Believe it or not, some of today’s starters are centuries old  and have been handed down from generation to generation and friend to friend.  Hence, the word used to describe this bread at times as “friendship bread”.  Back to the bread.

You need flour and water  to create an environment for yeast to grow.  yeast is floating in the air all around us and just needs the proper environment to land and grow. Yeast is leavening agent, a single-cell fungus that breaks down the starches in the flour, forming sugar. This is fermentation. When the yeast works on the starch and sugar molecules, it gives off carbon dioxide gas and alcohol that makes the bread rise.

Difference between fresh sourdough bread and average store bought bread:

The big difference between sourdough bread and store bought is the source of the yeast. Most bakers today use pre-packaged yeast.  The yeast has been dried, preserved and formed into a powder. You add flour, water, sugar and salt to the yeast to make a loaf of bread. The water re-activates the yeast fungi, which feeds on the sugar and starch to make the bread rise.

Old fashioned sourdough bread works with yeast in a completely different way. Fresh sourdough yeast fungi are  kept alive continuously a starter medium. You can either capture wild yeast that floats in the air as described above to create starter from scratch or get a cup of active starter from a friend.

It is this  starter that gives sourdough bread its distinctive taste…

Sourdough Starter with Cheese Cloth

Sourdough Starter with Cheese Cloth

The yeast causes a lactic acid fermentation process that not only helps to preserve the sourdough bread, but increases its nutritional value by:

  • pre-digesting starches, making the bread more easily digestible
  • lowering insulin response/improving glucose tolerance
  • protecting Vitamin B1 from the damage of the heat of baking
  • breaking down gluten, which may result in a bread that gluten-sensitive people can eat
  • activating phytase to hydrolyze (dissolve) the phytates, thus freeing up minerals such as:
    • zinc
    • iron
    • magnesium
    • copper
    • phosphorus

Sourdough rye is the most nutritious of them all, because it has more phytase activity and thus even fewer phytates in the finished product to bind to your minerals. I just love that the traditional phrase “sourdough rye” turns out to be scientifically proven as the healthiest bread. Somehow our ancestors figured out all the good stuff without the benefit of labs!

Prof. Terry Graham and his team of researchers at the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences found that eating sourdough bread for breakfast had a profound positive effect on digesting your breakfast as well as on digesting your lunch even though the bread was consumed hours prior.  The enzymes in the bread created during fermentation changes the nature of the starches in the bread, creating a more beneficial bread.  This is is also promising to assist overweight people in losing weight.

According to and article in Keeper of the Home, sourdough bread is rated 68 on the Glycemic Index (GI) whereas other breads are rated 100.

According to Mark Sircus Ac., OMD, International Medical Veritas Association, sourdough bread as “the staff of life,” for it enhances the entire immune system. He further suggests that sourdough bread can stop the growth of cancer without killing it.

REFERENCES:

Health Benefits of  Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread Has Most health Benefits

Sourdough Bread and Health

Honest Pumpernickel Bread

 

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

June 3, 2012

How to Reduce HBP with Fresh Fish

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http://www.fatsoflife.com/images/Omega3_in_fish.gif

Earlier today I received a text from a friend wanting to know if I knew where she could get bonito fish because she was told it would help her with her high blood pressure (HBP). I told her I was not sure, perhaps in one of the Asian Markets because I understood it to be a fish used a lot in Japan.  However, I cautioned her that if this fish was from the waters in Japan and she should be cautious. Apparently, there have been blue fin tuna fish migrating to the shores of California from the waters off Japan with ten (10) times the normal radioactivity level as a result of the Fukushima Diaichii Nuclear Reactor Incident last year.  The reason the bonito fish is used for HBP is because of its DHA Omega-3 (310 mg).  However, there are other fish with higher levels of DHA Omega-3.   Just like we have seasonal produce, fish are seasonal as well and the nutritional value is better at different times of the year.  Additionally, there are some fish within the same species that would have more of a given nutrient than others. Usually the price in the store is an indicator of a higher nutritional value concentration. After a bit of research, I was able to gather the information that follows: The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon) at least 2 times a week.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.  Several clinical studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Fish oilhas been shown to lower levels of triglycerides (fats in the blood), and to lower the risk of death, heart attack (and HBP), stroke, and abnormal heart rhythms in people who have already had a heart attack. Fish oil also appears to help prevent and treat atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by slowing the development of plaque and blood clots, which can clog arteries.

Deep frying fatty fish is the way to protect  DHA Omega-3 oils  from leaking out because the protein of egg and flour can become barriers to prevent outflow of these oils.. Instead of deep frying, try baking with some form of a coating to seal in the Omega-3.

Tuna Fish at Monterey Bay Aquarium

Tuna Fish – Click for Nutritional

Although the blue fin tuna off the coast of California has been determined to be radioactive (supposedly this 10 times the norm is no problem), fishermen in Gloucester, MA catch them off the Atlantic Ocean. Tuna season is approximately from April through November. However in Louisiana off the Gulf Coast, tuna is fished year round. Fresh tuna fish has the highest DHA Omega-3 of fish (2880 mg/serving).   http://www.tunahunter.com/

Salmon Fish © B. Guild Gillespie/www.chartingnature.com Salmon – Click the fish for nutritional information.

Salmon season is from May – Sept, Oct, or Nov depending on the boundaries (Oregon/CA, US/Mexico-Monterey, San Francisco). It has the third highest DHA Omega-3 (820 mg /serving).

Wild Alaska salmon is a high-quality source of protein and vitamins – including D, B6, B12 and selenium –as well as an excellent source for the omega-3 fatty acids that support brain and heart health.

“The abundance forecast of Sacramento River fall Chinook in 2012 is 819,400, far above the number needed for optimum spawning this fall (122,000-180,000 fish),” according to the PFMC. “The Klamath River fall Chinook forecast for 2012 is about four times greater than average and the highest forecast on record since 1985.”

Read more: http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/fishing-115216-coast-county.html#ixzz1wIo1XaUb

  •  King (Chinook) – Alaska’s largest salmon fish species, king salmon are prized for the high oil content that make this firm fish exceptionally flavorful

  •     Sockeye (Red) – Alaska’s second-most abundant fish species is known for its distinctive red meat color and full flavor
  •     Coho (Silver) – Alaska’s second-largest salmon species is low in saturated fat and mild in flavor
  •     Keta (Chum) – The firmest of Alaska’s salmon species, keta salmon have a lower oil content and mild flavor, perfect for cooking at gentler temperatures.
  •     Pink – The most abundant and affordable of Alaska’s salmon species is commonly seen in cans and pouches, but is also increasingly available in fish fillets

Visit Wild Alaska Flavor for dozens of healthy, delicious recipes as well as ideas for easy and affordable ways to enjoy wild Alaska salmon at home.

Recipe: Panko Crusted Salmon Croquettes

 

Mackerel Fish

Mackerel – Click for Nutritional

After having a difficult time finding mackerel here in central California, I finally discovered its season is December through February and is abundant on the east coast. However, I was able to find it in the can. Mackerel has the second highest DHA Omega-3 (1780 mg/serving).

 

Bonito

According to Wikipedia, Bonito is a name given to various species of medium-sized, predatory fish in the Scombridae family. Bonito can be found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In Japanese cuisine, bonito refers to the skipjack tuna (a species of mackerel) . The bonito has a moderate fat content whereas the previously mentioned fish have a much higher fat content resulting in a higher DHA Omega 3 (319 mg/serving.

I should mention sardines have 1140 mg/serving of DHA Omega-3.  These little tikes pack a powerful punch so do not overlook them in your diet.

Links to federal salt water fish regulation on fish http://www.scottsbt.com/fishids/regsrecs/regsFED.htm

Food Recipes (Fish):

Fresh Tuna Recipes                                                                   Fresh Mackerel Recipes

Fresh Salmon Recipes                                                              Fresh Bonito Recipes

Omega-3 DHA and Omega-3 EPA are largely derived from fish oils, with ...

 

Fats account for over 50% of the brain and Omega-3 DHA represents 30% of brain matter.  The highest concentration of Omega-3 DHA in the human body is in the retina. Therefore, fish is definitely a food everyone should have in their diet to maintain brain power and eye sight.

Omega-3 DHA is an essential component of breast milk, and newborn babies utilise Omega-3 DHA for brain, nerve and eye tissue development.

Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Pocket Guide

Finally, in my quest to garner this information, I discovered that although the Mackerel fish is seasonal, it can be ordered in some meat/fish departments here in California because it is considered a throw away fish and used for bait. The general cost is on $1.99 per pound fresh.  After checking the isles where tuna is kept, I found 15 oz cans of mackerel for $1.89 in water and salt. In this economy, this is definitely better pricing than salmon or tuna to get the same Omega-3 benefits.

It may take a bit of looking, but you can eat healthy and economically. Healthy Never Tasted So Good!

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

May 20, 2012

How to Destarch High Carb Vegetables

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What are high carb (carbohydrate) starchy vegetables and why do we want to destarch them?

High starch vegetables are vegetables that are high in carb (carbohydrates) and sugars and low in protein.  Some high starch vegetables are: corn, potatoes, beans, peas, yams, and many other root vegetables (vegetables that grow under the ground). High starch vegetables generally contain 80% – 90% carbohydrates  of their nutritional value with 20% indigestible starch.

There are several health and nutritional reasons we should destarch these vegetables before consuming. First, reducing the starch content reduces sugars that lead to increased potential for diabetes, obesity, and other diseases.  the body uses carbohydrates and sugars for energy, but the unused carbohydrates that have been consumed  gets stored and converts to fat.  Reduction in carbohydrate (sugar) intake can prevent rapid rises and falls in blood sugar, which can cause irritability and difficulty concentrating.

“These high carb (carbohydrate) vegetable  cells are held together by pectin, a form of sugar that acts as a type of glue. These cells also contain starch granules—tiny sacs that resemble water balloons, as well as simple sugars. When these starch granules are exposed to water and heat, they begin to swell, eventually bursting, and releasing a shower of swollen starch molecules. ” (www.seriouseats.com)

Why do we want to destarch high carbohydrate vegetables before consuming? Vegetables rich in starch and sugar and low in protein that are cooked at high temperatures crate a toxic substance, acrylamide, that inhibits brain functioning.

Soaking these high carbohydrate vegetables  has benefits beyond removing approximately half the starch. Soaking also  reduces the levels of acrylamide, the chemical formed when foods high in starch are fried or cooked at high heat, such as baking, toasted or roasting. Acrylamides may contribute to cancers and reduction in brain function . Soaking these vegetables for two hours before cooking reduced the level of acrylamide by 48 percent, researchers from Leatherhead Food International reported in the March 2008 issue of the “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.”

The soaking process may also remove some pesticides that were used in the growing of these vegetables. The soil in which they were grown often contain toxic metals, and are suspected as a possible cause of some cases of autism. The vegetables will feel noticeably smoother as the rough starch granules have been pulled out of the vegetables and are now in the water. The water will appear cloudy.

If possible, eat organic foods as they do not contain pesticides, and have more nutrients (vitamins and minerals). If eating non-organic food, wash fruit and vegetables well if eating the outside.

Below is a healthier way to prepare  root vegetables for coking as you would French fries:

  1. Using a vegetable brush and clean water with a few drops of Clorox or vegetable cleaner, wash and scrub the outside of the vegetables (reduces acrylamides 23%),
  2. cut in strips so they resemble French fries,
  3. as you are cutting the strips, place them in a bowl of ice water,
  4. soak in the ice water for twenty (30) minutes (reduces acrylamides 35%) ,
  5. scoop the vegetables out of this water making sure to leave all this water behind,
  6. put the vegetables in another bowl of clean ice water,
  7. refrigerate for 2 hours making sure the vegetables are covered with cold water (reduces acrylamides 48%),
  8. remove from refrigerator and pat dry,
  9. vegetables are now ready to bake or fry; baking is my recommendation as it is healthier and any acrylamides produced will be half those created by frying provided the baking temperature is less than what you would use in frying.

There are a few more steps to getting that perfect baked vegetable French fry; crispy out side and soft inside.  Check out our blog post: How to Cook Homemade Fries

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

 

 

 

 

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