Healthy & Kosher

 

Cacao Nibs

 

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ABC News reported in 2005 that the average American consumes 11.5 pounds of chocolate each year. That would likely be chocolate bars and various types of chocolate candy, which are mostly sugar and fat.  Chocolate consumption represents one percent of the American diet, yet most Americans have never tasted “real” chocolate – natural cocoa or the cacao bean in its raw form.

You could sprinkle crushed cocoa beans or cocoa nibs onto whipped cream, ice cream, puddings, or other desserts for a natural chocolate flavor from these original “chocolate chips”. The crushed raw cocoa beans or nibs look a lot like coarse-ground coffee beans and taste like unsweetened dark chocolate, so they can be bitter.


 

A Healthy Chocolate Fondue?

 

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It is cold outside and sometimes you just want to stay in.  That doesn’t mean you want to eat boring food.  It also doesn’t mean you have to open up a bag of potato chips or candy.  Whether you want a romantic night for two or having a family game night, chocolate fondue can be a ton of fun.  It is not too hard to put together and can be healthier than you think.

There are so many wonderful health benefits to good quality chocolate.  Make sure to find chocolate that is at least 70% cacao, then chop it with a knife to get it ready for the fondue.    Heat up about ½ cup of whole milk and then add about 3-4 ounces of chopped chocolate.  If it is too thick add a bit more milk.  If you want to spice things up a bit you can infuse the milk with cinnamon, Irish cream, hazelnut liqueur or mint.  The original is made with heavy cream, but I found the whole milk did the trick and is a special treat that is not as bad as other desserts, plus with fondue you get the added value of fruit.  I would also suggest trying it with whole milk or coconut milk for a nondairy option both would be a bit better for you.  For a much lighter option try Ellie Krieger’s recipes for a Healthy Chocolate Fondue.


 

Chocolate and Your Health

 

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I don’t remember the first time I learned that chocolate was healthy, but I’m glad I did.  Growing up, I didn’t really know that much about chocolate other than Hershey and (for special occasions) Godiva.  As I got older, I wanted to stay away from empty calories.   Eventually, I learned that those calories weren’t quite as empty as I thought.   I began to look at chocolate in a different way.

Chocolate comes from the cacao tree, Theobroma (food of the gods) cacao, which produces large elliptical pods.   Inside the pods are what are sometimes called cocoa beans, but are actually seeds.  These seeds actually contain a nice amount of fiber.  They also have protein and contain a high percentage of antioxidants, which help to reduce the damage from free radicals.


 

A Healthy Shabbat Dinner Menu

 

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Whether your soft spot is kugel, potato salad or Challah– or something in between every Friday presents the temptation to overindulge and pack on the pounds. Don’t let Shabbat dinner sabotage your healthy eating plan with these simple tips and
yummy recipes!

Israeli Inspired Chopped Salad


 

Healthy Super Bowl Party Recipes

 

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A healthy Super Bowl party?  Sound’s crazy, no?  What’s a Super Bowl party without chips, wings, chili and foot-long deli sandwiches, right?  Well, this year you can have your party and eat it, too – guilt free!

Let’s start with the chips.  Tortilla chips start out pretty healthy.  After all, they are made from whole grain corn.  However, they are fried and add a lot of calories, so I recommend making your own Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips for ultimate flavor or buy baked tortilla chips available at your local market.  Serve with a vegetable filled tomato salsa or a low fat sour cream/non dairy sour cream based dip, like Tzatzikior Garlic Chive Dip.  Throw a few baby carrots and celery sticks around and you might accidentally get some vitamins, too.


 

6 Ways To Prevent the Common Cold

 

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There are many ways to prevent a cold.  Are they foolproof? No, of course not, eventually we all get sick, but if eating can actually help improve the odds, I’m all for it.  Research has shown that certain foods can help prevent colds and provide relief from cold symptoms.   Fight your cold naturally with these 6 tips.

Five A Day.  I know I’m a broken record, but it is true. Fruits and vegetables are good for boosting your immune system.  Make sure to get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.


 

How to Make Every Meal Healthier

 

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Last week, I gave you 7 healthy dinner ideas to start the new year off right.  This week I’m going to teach you a few simple tips and tricks to make every meal and every recipe healthier.

Don’t forget the basics.  Add more fruits,vegetables and whole grains and less meat, sweets, and salty snacks.


 

7 Healthy Dinner Ideas

 

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People are always asking me for healthy recipes and menu ideas.  They also ask for foods that are sugar free, fat free and gluten free all because they think they are healthier.  The truth is, most of us can follow a healthy diet and still enjoy a moderate amount of sugar, fat and gluten. We are all built differently and our bodies digest foods differently.  Some people have allergies to otherwise healthy foods.  Some people are on medication that doesn’t allow them to eat leafy green vegetables or grapefruit, making these healthy foods, unhealthy.  The trick is to understand what is healthy for you.

As a general rule, eating healthy means a diet full of whole grains, fiber, fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and added sugars.  This is the basis for a healthy diet with minor modifications based on your specific needs.  If your body can’t tolerate gluten then you shouldn’t eat gluten, but there is no need for someone without gluten intolerance, wheat allergies or celiac disease to avoid gluten.  It is great to experiment with all sorts of grains, but you don’t have to give up gluten to be healthy.


 

4 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

 

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A resolution is a commitment you make to achieve your personal goals, like quitting smoking or losing weight.  People often make resolutions at the start of a new year because it’s a time to reflect on the past and consider change for the future.  Many people join a gym and start exercising for the first time or the fiftieth time.   Are you sticking to your New Year’s resolutions?

How Many People Stick to Their Resolution?


 

5 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Diabetes

 

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Do you think you are at risk for Diabetes?  The answer is yes. Everyone is at risk.  The question to ask is: how can I lower my risk of Diabetes?

What is Diabetes?


 

What is Vitamin D?

 

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It’s that time of year again.  When no matter how hard we try, we just can’t get enough Vitamin D from the sun on these short winter days we spend mostly inside.  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that naturally present in very few foods and is produced by the body after exposure to the sun.  Vitamin D remains the “It” vitamin of the year.  Long known to be important for bone health, recent findings suggest that it is also important for heart health, diabetes, cancer, and immunity.

Recent news headlines include:


 

Eating Light After The Holidays – Healthy...

 

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It was an ironic scene that had played itself out one time to many. I stood in the bakery on a Friday afternoon, observing the pre-Shabbat rush. I looked at the baskets and carts of the women surrounding me, and felt a rush or pride. They were purchasing bakery-made challah, cake, cookies and pastries. I on the other hand, had made it all myself.

Then what, you might ask, was I doing in line at the bakery? No, I was not there as an ego booster, nor was I there to see how much money I was saving by baking everything myself. The answer was clear as I got to the front of the line. “What flavors do you have today in whole wheat, sugar free, low fat muffins?”


 

The Health Benefits of Bananas – 2 Banana...

 

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Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!

Bananas contain three natural sugars-sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber.  A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.  Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.  No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.  But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit.  It can also help or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.


 

Healthy Indian Cuisine with Flavor

 

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Cabbage Chana Dal salad is a popular vegetarian Indian dish, but it is beginning to take over the western world. For those who are looking to expand their dinner options to include Indian cuisine, this is a great dish to start with. It has all the authenticity of traditional Indian food with the added benefit of being delicious and healthy for the entire family.

This healthy and refreshing salad is a colorful dish that will brighten up any meal. Cabbage Chana Dal Salad is perfect for a summer brunch or a light meal during any season. It is a traditional vegetarian Indian dish that is increasing in popularity because it accommodates a wide range of palettes. Even if you have not experimented with many Indian dishes, this is one that will surely spark an interest in further exploration. What makes it even better is the fact that it is not so “out there” that your kids will push it aside. If a healthy, vegetarian Indian dish for the whole family is what you are looking for, Cabbage Chana Dal Salad is the meal for you.


 

Fall Fruit Salads

 

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When was the last time you had a fruit salad?  Maybe I’ve been listening to The Wiggles “Fruit Salad” song a hundred times too many, but nobody seems to make fruit salad anymore – except on kids TV.  We still serve fruit, but it’s just a bowl of grapes or cut up melon – nothing more.   How lonely.  Somehow, when you combine sweet strawberries, plump peaches, tart blueberries, cherries and watermelon, you’ve got a colorful ending to a delicious Shabbat meal.  Unlike the leftover babka that mercilessly tempts me and my preferred dress size, I feel great about grabbing a guilt-free bowl of leftover sliced and diced fruit sitting in the fridge.

With the winter cold season knocking on the door, I love the idea of boosting my family’s immune system.  A variety of fruits are loaded with vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids and more antioxidants that will improve your body’s fight against a cold. They are also full of fiber ans surprisingly full of water (80%), both make them the perfect nutrient dense food for anyone.  They give your body energy, fluid and they keep you full.