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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July is National Blueberry Month



On May 8, 1999 Dan Glickman, Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America proclaimed the month of July as "National Blueberry Month".

Spotlight on Blueberries

Blueberry Facts.
Blueberries are a native North American fruit produced in 35 States.

Fresh blueberries are available for about eight months of the year from producers across the United States and Canada. North America is the world's leading blueberry producer. The North American harvest runs from mid-April through early October, with peak harvest in mid-May through August.

Blueberries can be found in the market all year round, along with frozen, canned and dried blueberries.

Blueberries are low in calories and sodium and are a good source of fiber.

Blueberries rank high in antioxidants that help protect against cancer, heart disease and other age-related diseases.

Researchers have found compounds in blueberries that may help prevent urinary tract infection.

How To Select and Store Blueberries

Purchasing Blueberries
When purchasing fresh blueberries, look for firm, plump, dry berries with smooth skins and a silvery sheen. Check the color - reddish berries aren’t ripe, but can be used in cooking. Avoid soft or shriveled fruit, or any signs of mold. Containers with juice stains indicate that the fruit may be bruised.

Storing Blueberries
Refrigerate fresh blueberries as soon as you get them home, in their original plastic pack or in a covered bowl or storage container. Wash berries just before use. Use within 10 days of purchase.

Freezing Blueberries
Freeze unwashed and completely dry. Discard berries that are bruised or shriveled. Blueberries can be frozen in their original plastic pack or in a resealable plastic or frozen bag or transfered to freezer containerRemember to rinse them before using.

Serving Suggestions
*Add blueberries to your favorite muffin or pancake recipe.
*Combine blueberries with yogurt and granola cereal.

*Sprinkle blueberries over mixed greens.
*Serve blueberries with sour cream, yogurt or cottage cheese.

Blueberry Smoothie
Makes 3 Servings.

1 small, ripe Banana
1 cup Frozen Blueberries
8 ounces low-fat Yogurt (Vanilla or Fruit Flavored)
3/4 cup low-fat (1%) Milk

1. Peel banana, cut into 1-inch chunks. Place the banana chunks into the blender.
2. Put the frozen blueberries, yogurt and milk into the blender with the bananas.
3. Cover and blenderize on high speed for about 1 minute or until the mixture is smooth.
4. Pour smoothie into cups.
Nutrition Analysis per one serving:
Calories (kcal) 124; Dietary Fiber (g) 2.2; Fat (g) 2; Calcium (mg) 177; Sodium (mg) 75

Fats Domino - Blueberry Hill

Celebrating Blueberries
During the month of July, we enjoyed the sweet flavor of blueberries in various recipes. Below are some of the photographs taken to capture their versatility and beauty.

Recipe. Frozen Blueberry Yogurt (low fat) with Fresh Blueberries 

Recipe. Blueberry Ices with Kiwi and Blueberries 

Recipe. Orange Sections and Fresh Blueberries 

Recipe. Blueberries with Vanilla Ice Cream (light),
Blueberry Ices and Frozen Blueberry Yogurt (low fat)

Recipe. Blueberry Crumb Ice Cream
with Fresh Blueberries
 

Recipe. Fruit Garden with Blueberries, Watermelon,
Pineapples, Grapes, and Kiwi


Resources
North American Blueberry Council. NABC, The North American Blueberry Council
U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council





Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, National Lasagna Day
Featuring Spinach Tofu Lasagna



Spinach Tofu Lasagna
Makes six to eight servings. 
Adapted from Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT.)  ADAPTT believes all animals have an inherent right to be free and live completely unfettered by human dominance. 




Ingredients
1/2 lb. lasagna noodles
2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1 lb. soft tofu
1 lb. firm tofu
1/4 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tsp. minced basil
4 cups vegan tomato sauce

Directions 
Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside on a towel. Do not let them stick together. If this happens, run warm water over them to separate.

Preheat oven to 350ᵒ degrees F.

Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible and set aside. Place the tofu, soy milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, and basil in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles (use about one-third). Follow with a layer of half of the tofu filling and half of the spinach. Continue in the same order using half of the remaining tomato sauce and noodles and all of the remaining tofu filling and spinach. End with the remaining noodles, covered by the remaining tomato sauce.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.






To encourage healthy eating, prepare and present the foods with the
same attention to details, as if you were a pastry chef.
- Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LDN



Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25, Culinarians Day
A Tribute to the Culinary Arts Profession


Culinary education is available from a wide number of institutions offering diploma, associate, and bachelor degree programs in culinary arts. Depending on the level of education, this can take one to four years. An internship is often part of the curriculum. Most professional kitchens follow the apprenticeship system.

These are some of the most well known culinary schools in the food-service industry and culinary arts.
International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes


Health and Nutrition
About twenty years ago, a dear friend who was a chef told me “if it is not made from real butter and real cream, it is not real food.” Sadly, he passed away from heart disease.

Nutrition and food safety is now apart of all culinary school curriculums. There are dietitians who have certification in the culinary arts and are creating healthy cuisines that have grown in popularity.

More chefs are teaming up with dietitians to meet the needs of the community. Even Elmo and the White House Assistant Chef Sam Kass talk about the importance of healthy and delicious school meals.


The videos featured below give you a history of the profession during the 20th and 21st century. As we move towards the present, you will notice how health and nutrition play an important role in the development of new cuisines and the modification of traditional favorites.

The History of the
Culinary Institute of America (CIA)



The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), a professional, organization for chefs and cooks, was founded in 1929 in New York City by three chefs’ organizations: the Société Culinaire Philanthropique, the Vatel Club and the Chefs de Cuisine Association of America. They are an organization based on promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels.

In 1976, ACF forever changed the culinary industry by elevating the position of the executive chef from service status to the professional category in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Official Titles. Since this change, the culinary industry has grown tremendously.

ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation designed to enhance professional growth for all current and future chefs and pastry chefs. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef and Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and combat childhood obesity.

The American Culinary Federation (ACF)
Culinary Team USA 2012
Seven chefs unite to take on the challenge of their careers. They will compete in a
global event to test their skills like never before. They are ACF Culinary Team USA.


Elmo joins White House Assistant Chef Sam Kass in the White House kitchen to talk about the importance of healthy and delicious school meals following President Obama's signing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.  This legislation is an important step forward toward ensuring that no child goes to school hungry and that all children have access to healthy, nutritious foods at school.



Research Chefs Association (RCA)

Formed in 1996 by a group of food professionals with a common interest in the challenges facing the profession. RCA has become the premier source of culinary and technical information for the food industry, with a professionally diverse membership including chefs, food scientists, and other industry professionals who are shaping the future of food research and development.

What is Culinology®?
"It is the blending of culinary arts and food science, promoted by the
Research Chefs Association. This fast-growing discipline is gaining popularity
in the industry and popping up in degree programs at the college level
because the food product development industry is demanding that
their professionals have a combination of culinary and food science skills"









Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24, National Drive-Thru Day
The Pros and Cons of
"Drive-Thru Restaurants”




Nutrition Entertainment

Taco Bell Drive-Thru Song
As a Registered Dietitian, I was curious about how many calories, fat and sodium were in their order. Per person, if everything was consumed, the total intake would be:

Calories: 3,549; Fat: 179 g; Sodium: 7782 mg

The calorie intake is excessive (by about 1000-2000 calories); Fat about 3 times the normal range; and sodium is off the chart (recommendation - less than 1500 to 2300 mg/day). However, the song is funny and I look forward to hearing more from Rhett and Link.



Drive-Thru Rap: Healthy Version
Rhett and Link are concerned about people's health and created the
Healthy Version of the Drive-Thru Rap.

Rhett and Link are a North Carolina-based comedy duo consisting of life-long best friends, Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal. They are best known for their Internet videos. In addition to their web presence, Rhett and Link are also musicians and filmmakers, and have worked in network television as hosts. They own and operate a video production company, Rhett and Link, Inc. To learn more about the talented duo visit http://rhettandlink.com/.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23, National Hot Dog Day
Regulations, Safety and Nutrition



National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

How It's Made - Hot Dogs
U.S. Laws Regulating Hot Dogs
Food Safety
Hot Dogs and Nutrition
Hot Dogs and Sodium Nitrate
Choking risk
Commercials Then and Now

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce designated July as National Hot Dog Month in 1957. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (http://www.hot-dog.org) is an organization created in 1994 by the American Meat Institute and is funded by contributions from hot dog and sausage manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, ingredients and services. The Council conducts scientific research and provides information to consumers and media on questions related to quality, safety, nutrition and preparation of hot dogs and sausages.

What's In A Hot Dog by Joy Bauer


How It's Made - Hot Dogs  


U.S. Laws Regulating Hot Dogs (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/hot_dogs/index.asp)
A hot dog, frankfurter or wiener is a cooked sausage. They are made from beef, pork, veal, turkey, chicken, or a combination and the label must state the type of meat and other foods used.


Federal Standards of Identity.
1. Hot dogs may not contain more than 30% fat or no more than 10% water.
2. Beef or all-beef: Contains only beef with no soybean protein or dry milk solid fillers added.
3. Kosher: All-beef, usually heavily seasoned.
4. Frankfurter may contain up to 3.5 percent fillers and made from a combination of meats.
5. Turkey or Chicken Franks can contain turkey or chicken and turkey or chicken skin and fat in proportion to a turkey or chicken carcass.
6. If variety meats, cereal or soy fillers are used, the product name must be changed to "links" or the presence must be declared on the label. Hot dogs can be 15% byproducts; heart, kidney, liver or other organs. But it must be labeled.
7. Up to 3.5% non-meat binders and extenders (such as nonfat dry milk, cereal, or dried whole milk) or 2% isolated soy protein may be used, but must be shown in the ingredients statement on the product's label by its common name.
8. If a hot dog has a casing, or a thin skin and it is different than the meat used in the hot dog, the label must say so. For example, if a chicken hot dog has a pork casing, the label must list the pork casing on the ingredients list. If the casing is artificially colored, the label must indicate this
9. All ingredients in the product must be listed in the ingredients statement in order of predominance, from highest to lowest amounts.
10. To protect consumers against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, mechanically separated beef is considered inedible and is prohibited for use as food. It is not permitted in hot dogs or any other processed product. (Mechanically separated meat is a process whereby meat is separated from the bone by scraping, shaving, or pressing the meat from the bone without crushing, breaking or grinding the bone.)
11. Mechanically separated pork is permitted and must be labeled as "mechanically separated pork" in the ingredients statement. Hot dogs can contain no more than 20% mechanically separated pork.
12. Hot dogs can contain any amount of mechanically separated chicken or turkey.
 
A vegetarian hot dog is a hot dog produced completely from non-meat products. Vegetarian hot dogs are usually from some sort of soy protein, but some contain egg whites (not acceptable to vegans). There are also vegetarian hot dogs made from tofu.

Food Safety
1. Hot dogs should be reheated until steaming hot before eating, due to the threat of listeriosis.
2. If there is no product date, hot dogs can be safely stored in the refrigerator in the unopened package for 2 weeks; once opened, only 1 week.
3. Frozen hot dogs maintain their quality for about 1 or 2 months.
4. Do not leave hot dogs at room temperature for more than 2 hours and no more than 1 hour when the temperature goes above 90 °F.
 
Hot Dogs and Nutrition
The traditional hot dog is high in fat and salt, and contains very little or no fiber. Yet Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs during Hot Dog Season which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Below is a list of hot dogs, from beef, pork, turkey, low fat, no fat and vegetarian. Moderation, individual needs and preferences are key to planning your meals. If you are someone that eats hot dogs more than once a week, it might be wise to choose a lower-fat variety.

The analysis provided is based on 2 ounces cooked. It is important to read the label and check the portion size. Some of the hot dogs listed below were rounded up to 2 ounces in order to show a comparison of equal weight.


Hot Dogs and Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite
Many brands of hot dogs contain sodium nitrite and nitrate. It is used as a food preservative, flavor enhancer, prevents spoilage and helps prevent botulism. Sodium nitrite and nitrate occur naturally in some vegetables, fruits, grains, spices and water. In the 1970’s there were a number of studies that linked the consumption of nitrite with cancer in laboratory rats.

As a result, the FDA and the USDA commissioned a comprehensive review of sodium nitrite's role as a food additive. The results from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) stated that nitrite does not cause cancer, although exposure to high nitrite levels in certain populations may be associated with cancers. The NAS recommended people's exposure to both nitrates and nitrites be reduced as much as possible without endangering the protection against botulism.

The meat industry made substantial changes in the past 20 years to address the concerns about nitrite in cured meats. It reduced the use of nitrite in the processing of cured meats and now averages one-tenth of what the regulations allow.

In a Consumer Report analysis, it was found that the nitrates and nitrites in all the hot dogs tested were well below the maximum level for the additives established by the USDA. A hot dog labeled uncured cannot add nitrates or nitrites, but that does not necessarily mean the product is free of them. The three uncured hot dogs tested contained nitrites and nitrates because the compounds occur naturally in spices and other natural ingredients added during processing.

As I reviewed the literature, it was clear the controversy over nitrites causing cancer still exists today. The American Institute for Cancer Research report found that consuming one 50-gram serving of processed meat (about one hot dog) every day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 20 percent. According to the AICR, the average risk of colorectal cancer is 5.8 percent, but 7 percent when a hot dog is consumed daily over years.

Choking Risk
Policy Statement Prevention of Choking Among Children, American Academy of Pediatrics http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/peds.2009-2862v1 (pdf)
Hot dogs present a significant choking risk, especially for children under 14 years of age. Seventeen percent of all food-related asphyxiations are caused by hot dogs. It is suggested the size, shape and texture of hot dogs be modified to reduce the risk of choking. Pediatric emergency doctors note that a wedged hot dog is almost impossible to dislodge from a child's windpipe. To serve hot dogs safely for children, one should slice the hot dog into bite-size pieces. For adults it is recommended to slice hot dogs down the middle length-wise.


Commercials Then and Now

Hebrew National Hotdog Commercial

1978 commercial for Oscar Mayer Hot Dog Wieners. Hot diggity!

OSCAR MAYER, 1960’s






Sunday, July 21, 2013

July, National Ice Cream Month
Join Our Ice Cream Social

It’s fun, cold, delicious, comes in many flavors. Which one to choose? What meets your needs and taste? Test the Brands, Read the portion size, check the calories and fat. Enjoy.
Our Ice Cream Social

Toppings
Ice Creams

Finally
Berries, Light Vanilla Ice Cream,
Carmel Sauce and Whipped Cream
Nutrition Information. 212 Calories; 4 g Protein; 30 g Carbohydrates;
1 g Dietary Fiber; 9 g Fat; 50 mg Cholesterol; 71 mg Sodium
Blueberries with 
Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream
Nutrition Information. 151 Calories; 3 g Protein; 17 g Carbohydrates;
1 g Dietary Fiber; 9 g Fat; 46 mg Cholesterol; 26 mg Sodium
Raspberries with 
Red Velvet Ice Cream and Vanilla Wafer
Nutrition Information. 157 Calories; 3 g Protein; 18 g Carbohydrates;
1
 g Dietary Fiber; 9 g Fat; 49 mg Cholesterol; 59 mg Sodium

Kiwi, Blueberries and Strawberries with 
Carmel Delight Ice Cream, Light 
Nutrition Information. 131 Calories; 4 g Protein; 23 g Carbohydrates;
1 g Dietary Fiber; 4 g Fat; 30 mg Cholesterol; 46 mg Sodium

Nutrition Information


Scoop Size Matters


Heidi Diller, Registered Dietitian, 
has tips to help pick a delicious ice cream 
without busting your diet!

Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD describes 
"How to choose healthier ice cream"

From the table below you can see ice cream has a variety of calories and amounts of fat. I have never been a fan of no sugar added ice cream. However, the flavor of some of the light brands I found to match those of the regular and premium brands. Try some of the light brands and see what you think?



Resources


Baskin Robbins
Nutrition Information

Ben and Jerry’s
Nutrition Information - Click Ice Cream

Blue Bell Creameries
Nutrition Information - Click Ice Cream Links

Breyers
Nutrition Information-Click product for info

Good Humor
Nutrition Information-Click Products for Info

Häagen-Dazs
Nutrition Information-Click Product for Info








Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20, Food Highlights
Fortune Cookie Day and Lollipop Day

July 20, Fortune Cookie Day

July 20, National Lollipop Day
Lollipops are what we call "Empty Calories." A food labeled as empty calories provide little to no nutrients, except calories. The calories in the "Dum Dum Pop" comes from sugar and corn syrup.

Food Network - Dum Dum Pops Unwrapped

The Chordettes - Lollipop







Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18, Nelson Mandela International Day


What Can I Do On Mandela Day?

The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere. “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.”

Individuals and organisations are free to participate in Mandela Day as they wish. We do however urge everyone to adhere to the ethical framework of “service to one’s fellow human”.

Nelson Mandela Tribute from George Stroumboulopoulos

A short biography of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela International Day:
If the legacy of Nelson Mandela’s life and work is to be dynamic, it must be “owned” by current and future generations. It must be accessible to everyone, and applied in constantly changing contexts of time and place.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July, National Watermelon Month
Recipes, Nutrition, Growing, Selecting, Food Safety and Carving


The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) is a non-profit organization formed in 1989 by watermelon growers and shippers. Their goal is to increase consumer demand for watermelon through promotion, research, and educational programs. The NWPB has developed marketing programs to boost watermelon sales in supermarkets throughout the U.S. and Canada. Their site contains recipes, nutrition facts, fun games for children, lessons for educators and information for health professionals and the media.

Watermelon and Food Safety
1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before cutting watermelons.
2. Wash the outer surface of the melon with clean running water and dry to remove any dirt. If you purchase a pre-cut piece of watermelon, you should rinse the rind portion in fresh water and dry it.
3. Wash cutting boards, counter tops, scoops, knives and other equipment or utencils with hot water and soap to avoid cross contamination.
4. If you refrigerate the watermelon after purchasing, be sure to keep the watermelon cool.
5.
Always refrigerate watermelon once you have cut into it. Place in a covered container or cover the cut surface with plastic wrap to prevent the melon from becoming mushy.

Nutrition Facts about Watermelon
Watermelon is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, contains no Trans Fatty Acid, no Cholesterol, very low in sodium and has only 46 calories in One Cup. Watermelon contains lycopene, an antioxidant which may reduce the risk of cancer.

Watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water by weight. It is a great way to get additional fluids.


Creating Snacks or a
Light Meal using Watermelon


Watermelon Circles with Feta Cheese and Lentil Salad

Fun with Fruit



Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad



Selecting a Watermelon

How to Grow Watermelons

Giant Watermelons
Visit a family who has grown giant watermelons for three generations.


Carving Watermelon