Category Archives: National Nutrition Month

Scrumptious Spinach

Written by Deanna Teter
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014

Spinach is a veggie many people do not like because of the rep that comes with it; people do not think it tastes good. But, if you are not a fan of how it tastes by itself, it can taste great when you add it to many dishes. It can be added to sandwiches or wraps, omelets, in a dip, in a dish as an appetizer or even as a side dish. Not only does it taste great in recipes but spinach has many benefits and can be good for the body. It has lots of vitamins and minerals that make it a good vegetable to add to your grocery list. Spinach can help maintain bone health, protect eyesight, fight infections, and help keep skin healthy. Now that you know a little more about spinach here is a simple recipe you can try to add spinach to any meal.

Quick and Easy Sauteed Spinach

spinach recipe

Image by Deanna Teter

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1(10 ounce) bag spinach leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat then add spinach and cover.
  2. Cook for 5 minutes then stir in garlic salt and cover for another 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and sprinkle with parmesan cheese to serve.

If you are still not convinced on how spinach can taste great try some of these simple steps to incorporate spinach into your everyday meals:

  • Add spinach to a smoothie
  • Sprinkle spinach on any pasta dish
  • Eat a salad with spinach
  • Add spinach to your pizza
  • Toss spinach into soup

What will you do with spinach?

References

Basic report: 11457, spinach, raw.(n.d.) Retrieved from http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3214

Quick and easy sautéed spinach (n.d.). Retrieved from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quick-and-Easy-Sauteed-Spinach/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

Spinach Health Benefits. (2014, February 20). Retrieved from http://www.newhealthguide.org/Spinach-Health-Benefits.html

What are the health benefits of spinach? (2014, February 2). Retrieved from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270609.php

Rhapsody in Orange

Written by Katarina Smiljanec
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014

Imagine a rainbow of tropical colors combined in a nutritious drink! Fresh squeezed juice is a delicious way of refreshing and energizing your body. By focusing and thinking about what you are tasting, you are also making your brain exercise and stay healthy.

ingredients for healthy juice

I decided to make a juice from fresh oranges, carrots, grapefruit and ginger (in the picture). The pigments from each blend together to create an appealing bright orange color, stimulating the appetite. The dominating citrus aroma from the oranges is fused with a hint of ginger, making your brain curious as to what exactly you will taste. When the refreshing drink touches your taste buds, the smooth consistency allows you to differentiate between each of the blended fruits and veggies. The mild, sweet flavor of carrots and citrusy, sweet flavor of oranges makes the base of the juice while the grapefruit and ginger root give just a slight bitter aftertaste, but enough to make you go for more.

There are numerous fruit and veggie combinations that will excite your taste buds. It takes no longer than a few minutes of your busy schedule to make juice with them. Some of them might not taste good to you, but experimenting with different ingredients can open up the doors to amazing flavors. Which is your favorite combo?

For those that would like to try the described juice, here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 7 carrots
  • 3 oranges
  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 0.5”x1” piece of ginger root

Yields 12oz of juice.

Directions
Wash all the ingredients. Peel the oranges and the grapefruit. There is no need to peel the carrots and the ginger root. Juice the fruits and veggies, pour in a glass, and enjoy!

References

Ding, S. (n.d.). Juicing basics. Retrieved February 19, 2014. Message posted to http://juicing-for-health.com

Nguyen, A. (2012). Juicing: How healthy is it?. Retrieved March 5, 2014. Message posted to
http://www.webmd.com

Quick Breakfast Ideas to Help You Earn an A!

Written by Rachel Sable
Part of National Nutrition Month 2013

cereal label

I’m the type of person who presses the snooze button at least three times before actually getting out of bed. I love my sleep (as do all college students!) and absolutely dread setting my alarm clock. Due to about 30 minutes lost during my over pressing of the snooze button, I have to get ready for the day in the quickest way possible. As a student studying nutrition I am aware of the importance of breakfast and must decide, “What can I eat that is quick yet provides a jump start to my day?” I’ve found that cereal seems to be the most tasteful option.

multi-grain O's cereal

Image by Rachel Sable

Cereal can be a great breakfast option if you are choosing the right ones. I always check the nutrition label and serving size. Never rely on the claims made on the front of the box!

 

 

What should be in your cereal per serving size?

  • High in fiber (more than 3g)
  • Low in sodium (less than 200 mg)
  • Low in sugar (10g or less)
Multi-grain flakes cereal

Image by Rachel Sable

Now we all have a hard time choosing the ‘healthy’ cereal over the ‘sugar’ cereal in the grocery aisle but there are healthier cereal options that taste just a great as the ‘sugar’ cereals. Plus, you can include a serving of fruit to your cereal, like I always do, to add some sweetness to your breakfast.

Which cereal will you choose for breakfast?

References

Mayo Clinic Staff (2011). Healthy Breakfast: Quick, flexible options to grab at home. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/food-and-nutrition/ART-20048294?pg=2

 

A Spin on Spinach

Written by Maureen Pryatel
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014

What words come to mind when you hear the word “spinach?” Let me guess: did the words gross, yuck, and blah come to mind? Well, clear your mind of those negative connotations about spinach because this superfood is about to become your favorite vegetable!

vegetable salad

You might ask, well why should I eat spinach, anyway? Spinach is a great source of vitamin K, which helps with the mineralization of bones in our bodies. In addition to vitamin K, a serving of spinach contains a substantial amount of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, iron, folate, and magnesium, just to name a few. Spinach has many health benefits, and there is a way to eat spinach that makes it taste good.

A great way to incorporate spinach into your meals is to make it a hidden ingredient, and make it seem like you are not even eating it. Spinach can be blended into smoothies, which gives them a unique green color but tastes just the same. It can also be hidden in common dishes such as omelets, or quiche. Hide spinach at the bottom of your salad and pile all of your other ingredients on top. You might even forget the spinach is there!

There is no need to compromise taste when it comes to eating healthy; you just have to be creative and find ways that work for you. So give it a try and add some spinach to your meals–you won’t regret taking a spin on spinach!

References

The World’s Healthiest Foods. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43

Chickpea Craze

Written by Amanda Presler
Part of National Nutrition Month 2013

You might be familiar with garbanzo beans, also know as chickpeas, but did you know all you can do with them? Because they are legumes, chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber! One serving of chickpeas provides you with just 120 calories. 20 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fiber (24% of your daily fiber intake!), 6 grams of protein to keep you feeling full AND 10% of your daily iron intake are all packed into this single serving! Furthermore, chickpeas contain many unsaturated essential amino acids, including linoleic and oleic acids. Riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and folate are examples of vitamins also contained in chickpeas that are so important in the diet. When eaten as part of your regular healthy diet, chickpeas can help prevent diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, digestive problems, and even potentially some cancers. As an added bonus, a can of chickpeas costs about a dollar at the grocery store so you won’t break the bank stocking up!

garbanzo beans

Image by Amanda Presler

Give your recipes a fun, healthy twist by using chickpeas! I recently used a recipe with chickpeas to make super easy gluten-free cookies. Blended chickpeas, honey, peanut butter and some other ingredients were combined to substitute for gluten-producing flour. The peanut butter and honey served as binding agents holding the processed chickpeas together in substitution of typical cookie ingredients! Throw in some peanuts or chocolate chips and you have a gluten-free cookie that doesn’t have to taste gluten-free!

Chickpea cookie recipe:

http://www.texanerin.com/2012/04/grain-free-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-bites.html
A couple notes: I’ve also used less chickpeas (even ½ cup) and they turned out great! Also try adding 1 Tbs of brown sugar, and experiment with chocolate chips, chopped peanuts, shredded coconut, or toss in another ingredient you might want to try!

Chickpeas are also great tossed into a salad as a protein source, pureed into hummus (where you can add other ingredients such as roasted red pepper), or even just cooked and served as a side dish. The taste of chickpeas goes well with a wide variety of other foods, so the possibilities are endless!

Here are a few links to some chickpea recipes:

 

I hope this post will inspire you to get creative and find ways to incorporate chickpeas into some of your everyday recipes. Be sure to let me know some ways that you’re using your chickpeas!

References

Jukanti, A.K., Gaur, P.M., Gowda, C.L., Chibbar, R.N., “Nutritional quality and health benefits of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.): a review.,” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 108, 16 pages, 2012. Retrieved from: http://journals.cambridge.org.ezproxy.lib.vt.edu:8080/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8675336.