Connect with us

Nutrition

Add powerful pairings to your plate

These recipes call for pulses, which include lentils, chickpeas dry peas, and beans; sorghum, similar to rice or quinoa filled with nutrients, texture and taste; and pork, rich in flavor, versatile and sustainable with nutritious qualities.

Published

on

Joining loved ones at the family table is an important moment for many, both as a filling way to enjoy a meal and an emotionally satisfying way to catch up on all the day’s events. Make those moments count by combining nutritious ingredients and creating recipes that can quickly become favorites.

As part of the Powerful Pairings initiative – launched by the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses – these recipes call for pulses, which include lentils, chickpeas dry peas, and beans; sorghum, similar to rice or quinoa filled with nutrients, texture and taste; and pork, rich in flavor, versatile and sustainable with nutritious qualities.

Combined, these three ingredients can work together in sweet and savory dishes alike, and they shine with a multitude of herbs, spices and sauces from around the world. A powerhouse nutritional trio, they include foods from the protein, vegetable and grain groups outlined in MyPlate, a template for balance, variety and moderation.

Plus, the taste and versatility of these ingredients make it easier to achieve more family meals, which promotes cohesion, communication and relationships, helping loved ones celebrate simple joys together and be more prepared for uncertainty and difficult life moments.

Find more information, resources and recipes at powerfulpairings.com.

Mediterranean Grain Bowl with Pork Skewers

Recipe courtesy of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses

Prep time: 45 minutes, plus 2 hours marinate time

Cook time: 75 minutes

Servings: 6 (1 pork skewer, 2/3 cup sorghum, 2 tablespoons hummus)

Red Lentil Hummus:

            1 1/3    cups water

            1/3       cup dried red lentils

            1          tablespoon olive oil

            1          tablespoon tahini

            1          tablespoon lemon juice

            1/2       teaspoon minced garlic

            1/2       teaspoon cumin

            1/4       teaspoon salt

            1/4       teaspoon black pepper

            12        ounces pork loin roast, trimmed of fat

            4          tablespoons olive oil, divided

            2          teaspoons minced garlic

            1          teaspoon lemon zest

            1          teaspoon ground cumin

            1          teaspoon salt

            1/2       teaspoon black pepper

            1          sweet onion, chopped

            3          cups no-salt-added chicken stock

            3/4       cup whole-grain sorghum, rinsed and drained

            1          cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained and dried with paper towels

            1 1/2    cups halved cherry tomatoes

            1          cup arugula

            1          cup chopped cucumber

            2/3       cup crumbled feta cheese

            1/2       cup kalamata olives

To make Red Lentil Hummus: In small saucepan, combine water and dried red lentils; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes, or until lentils split and become soft. Cool and transfer to food processor. Add olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, salt and black pepper; process 30-60 seconds, or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Transfer to airtight container and store in refrigerator up to 5 days until serving time.

Cut pork loin into 1-inch cubes. Place in re-sealable plastic bag set in shallow dish. In small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, cumin, salt and black pepper. Pour half olive oil mixture over meat, reserving remaining half. Seal bag; turn to coat meat. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

In medium saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook and stir 6-8 minutes, or until tender. Add stock and bring to boil. Add sorghum. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 45-60 minutes, or until sorghum is tender, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Arrange chickpeas on foil-lined 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. Drizzle with reserved olive oil mixture; toss to coat. Roast 20-30 minutes, or until chickpeas are toasted and crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and increase oven to 500 F.

Drain meat, discarding marinade. Divide among six wooden or metal skewers. Arrange skewers on wire rack on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, or until meat is slightly pink in center, turning once halfway through.

To serve, divide cooked sorghum between six shallow bowls. Top with tomatoes, arugula, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, chickpeas and Red Lentil Hummus. Serve with pork skewers.

Nutritional information per serving: 505 calories; 28 g total fat (8 g saturated fat); 14 mg cholesterol; 528 mg sodium; 43 g total carbohydrates (8 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugars); 23 g protein; 1% vitamin D; 15% calcium; 19% iron; 16% potassium; 361 mg phosphorus (29%).

Sorghum Split Pea Soup

Recipe courtesy of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Servings: 6 (1 1/4 cup each)

            1 1/2    tablespoons olive oil

            1          onion, chopped

            3/4       cup sliced carrots

            3/4       cup sliced celery

                        salt, to taste

                        pepper, to taste

            1 1/2    teaspoons minced garlic

            6          cups no-salt-added chicken stock

            1 1/4    cups green split peas

            1          small ham bone

            2/3       cup chopped ham

            2/3       cup pearled sorghum

            4          sprigs thyme

            2          bay leaves

            1 1/2    tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

                        chopped fresh thyme (optional)

                        cracked black pepper (optional)

In 4-quart stock pot or large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10-12 minutes, or until onion is tender. Add chicken stock, split peas, ham bone, ham, sorghum, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 45-60 minutes, or until split peas are soft and sorghum is tender.

Remove ham bone, thyme sprigs and bay leaves from soup. Remove ham from bone, chop ham and return to pot. Discard bone, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Add Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Garnish with chopped fresh thyme and cracked black pepper, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 336 calories; 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat); 22 mg cholesterol; 573 mg sodium; 48 g total carbohydrates (12 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugars); 20 g protein; 3% vitamin D; 5% calcium; 17% iron; 19% potassium; 227 mg phosphorus (18%).

Lemon-Garlic Tenderloin with Warm Sorghum Salad

Recipe courtesy of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 70 minutes

Servings: 6 (2 ounces pork, 3/4 cup sorghum salad)

            2          cups vegetable broth

            2          cups water

            1          cup whole-grain sorghum

            2          tablespoons olive oil

            1          tablespoon minced garlic

            1          tablespoon minced fresh parsley

            1 1/2    teaspoons lemon zest

            1/2       teaspoon salt

            1/2       teaspoon pepper

            1          pork tenderloin (16 ounces), trimmed of fat

            1          medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

            1          cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained

            1/2       cup dried cranberries

            1/2       cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 425 F. In medium saucepan, combine vegetable broth and water. Bring to boil. Add sorghum. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, 45-60 minutes, or until tender.

In medium bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Drizzle half oil mixture on pork; rub in with fingers. Place pork in shallow roasting pan. Add sweet potatoes to bowl with remaining oil mixture. Toss to coat and set aside.

Roast pork, uncovered, 10 minutes. Arrange sweet potatoes around pork and roast 15-20 minutes, or until pork reaches 145 F internal temperature and potatoes are tender. Remove pork from pan. Cover; let stand 10 minutes.

Stir roasted sweet potatoes, beans, cranberries and pecan halves into cooked sorghum and heat through.

Slice pork tenderloin and serve with warm sorghum salad.

Nutritional information per serving: 436 calories; 15 g total fat (2 g saturated fat); 55 mg cholesterol; 369 mg sodium; 55 g total carbohydrates (8 g dietary fiber, 16 g sugars); 25 g protein; 2% vitamin D; 6% calcium; 20% iron; 20% potassium; 377 mg phosphorus (30%).

Zest Magazine accepts contributions promoting everything about living the good life (and how to make this so). C'mon, give us a yell.

Nutrition

Body clock off-schedule? Prebiotics may help

Dietary compounds shown to protect against jet lag-type symptoms.

Published

on

Photo by Daily Nouri from Unsplash.com

Whether it’s from jetting across time zones, pulling all-nighters at school or working the overnight shift, chronically disrupting our circadian rhythm—or internal biological clocks—can take a measurable toll on everything from sleep, mood and metabolism to risk of certain diseases, mounting research shows.

But a new University of Colorado Boulder study funded by the U.S. Navy suggests simple dietary compounds known as prebiotics, which serve as food for beneficial gut bacteria, could play an important role in helping us bounce back faster.

“This work suggests that by promoting and stabilizing the good bacteria in the gut and the metabolites they release, we may be able to make our bodies more resilient to circadian disruption,” said senior author Monika Fleshner, a professor of integrative physiology.

The animal study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, is the latest to suggest that prebiotics—not to be confused with probiotics found in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut—can influence not only the gut, but also the brain and behavior.

Naturally abundant in many fibrous foods—including leeks, artichokes and onions—and in breast milk, these indigestible carbohydrates pass through the small intestine and linger in the gut, serving as nourishment for the trillions of bacteria residing there.

The authors’ previous studies showed that rats raised on prebiotic-infused chow slept better and were more resilient to some of the physical effects of acute stress.

For the new study, part of a multi-university project funded by the Office of Naval Research, the researchers sought to learn if prebiotics could also promote resilience to body-clock disruptions from things like jet lag, irregular work schedules or lack of natural daytime light—a reality many military personnel live with.

“They are traveling all over the world and frequently changing time zones. For submariners, who can be underwater for months, circadian disruption can be a real challenge,” said lead author Robert Thompson, a postdoctoral researcher in the Fleshner lab. “The goal of this project is to find ways to mitigate those effects.”

How a healthy gut may prevent jet lag

The researchers raised rats either on regular food or chow enriched with two prebiotics: galactooligosaccharides and polydextrose.

They then manipulated the rats’ light-dark cycle weekly for eight weeks—the equivalent of traveling to a time zone 12 hours ahead every week for two months.

Rats that ate prebiotics more quickly realigned their sleep-wake cycles and core body temperature (which can also be thrown off when internal clocks are off) and resisted the alterations in gut flora that often come with stress.

“This is one of the first studies to connect consuming prebiotics to specific bacterial changes that not only affect sleep but also the body’s response to circadian rhythm disruption,” said Thompson.

The study also takes a critical step forward in answering the question: How can simply ingesting a starch impact how we sleep and feel?

The researchers found that those on the prebiotic diet hosted an abundance of several health-promoting microbes, including Ruminiclostridium 5 (shown in other studies to reduce fragmented sleep) and Parabacteroides distasonis.

They also had a substantially different “metabolome,” the collection of metabolic byproducts churned out by bacteria in the gut.

Put simply: The animals that ingested the prebiotics hosted more good bacteria, which in turn produced metabolites that protected them from something akin to jet lag.

Are supplements worthwhile?

Clinical trials are now underway at CU Boulder to determine if prebiotics could have similar effects on humans.

The research could lead to customized prebiotic mixtures designed for individuals whose careers or lifestyles expose them to frequent circadian disruption.

In the meantime, could simply loading up on legumes and other foods naturally rich in the compounds help keep your body clock running on time? It’s not impossible but unlikely, they say—noting that the rats were fed what, in human terms, would be excessive amounts of prebiotics.

Why not just ingest the beneficial bacteria directly, via probiotic-rich foods like yogurt?

That could also help, but prebiotics may have an advantage over probiotics in that they support the friendly bacteria one already has, rather than introducing a new species that may or may not take hold.

What about prebiotic dietary supplements?

“If you are happy and healthy and in balance, you do not need to go ingest a bunch of stuff with a prebiotic in it,” said Fleshner. “But if you know you are going to come into a challenge, you could take a look at some of the prebiotics that are available. Just realize that they are not customized yet, so it might work for you but it won’t work for your neighbor.”

Continue Reading

Nutrition

The best teas to drink for health

Study after study shows the benefits of drinking tea, essentially verifying what your ancestors believed back in ancient times. The humble tea plant – a shrub known as Camellia sinensis – has long supplied an answer to some ailments.

Published

on

Photo by Loverna Journey from Unsplash.com

While studies have shown the health benefits of drinking tea, the variety of options can be overwhelming. A dietitian from a top American hospital, Cleveland Clinic, explains how different teas offer different benefits.

Beth Czerwony, MS, RD, CSOWM, LD, from Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition with the Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute, says: “Study after study shows the benefits of drinking tea, essentially verifying what your ancestors believed back in ancient times. The humble tea plant – a shrub known as Camellia sinensis – has long supplied an answer to some ailments.”

Here, she discusses which popular teas are advised for common ailments.

Best for Overall Health: Green Tea

“Green tea is the champion when it comes to offering health benefits,” says Czerwony. “It’s the Swiss Army knife of teas. It covers a lot of territory.”

A medical literature review offers a snapshot of those benefits, she adds, linking the consumption of green tea to:

  • cancer prevention;
  • fighting heart disease;
  • lower blood pressure;
  • anti-inflammatory treatment;
  • weight loss; and
  • lower cholesterol.

According to Czerwony, the healing power of green tea is linked to catechin, an antioxidant compound found in tea leaves. It helps protect cells from damage caused by out-of-hand free radicals reacting with other molecules in the body.

Best for Gut Health: Ginger Tea

Studies show that ginger naturally combats nausea, making it a go-to remedy for dealing with morning sickness during pregnancy, notes Czerwony.

Ginger also offers proven digestive benefits by helping the body move food from the stomach to continue its digestive tract journey. Speeding up that process works to calm indigestion and ease stomach distress, she explains.

“Ginger relaxes your gut, which can make you a lot more comfortable if you’re having tummy trouble,” Czerwony says.

Alternatively, peppermint tea can also serve as an aid against indigestion. “Peppermint, however, is best for issues lower in your gut. It can actually aggravate higher-up issues such as acid reflux,” she advises.

Best for Lung Health: Herbal Tea

The anti-inflammatory powers in herbal teas can help loosen airways tightened by conditions such as asthma, says Czerwony. She recommends herbal teas featuring turmeric, cinnamon or ginger as a way to keep the air flowing.

As an added benefit, drinking a hot cup of herbal tea can also help clear congestion by loosening mucus, says Czerwony.

Best for Sickness: Peppermint Tea

“Menthol packs quite the punch when it comes to fighting a cold – and peppermint tea is packed with menthol,” says Czerwony, “It really kicks up your immune system.”

She says peppermint tea works well to relax sore throat muscles, relieve nasal congestion and even reduce a fever. “It’s also loaded with antibacterial and antiviral properties to give you a healthy boost.”

She also suggests trying echinacea, hibiscus or elderberry tea when someone does not feel well.

Best at Bedtime: Chamomile Tea

The daisy-like chamomile plant contains apigenin, an antioxidant compound and snooze inducer, explains Czerwony. She says apigenin attaches itself to receptors in the brain and works to reduce anxiety, building a peaceful calm that leads to drowsiness.

Valerian root tea also is a good option, she says.

What about black teas?

Black tea offers many of the same benefits as green tea, which makes sense when you consider they’re made from the same plant leaves, says Czerwony.

So why are they different? “Leaves used to make black tea are allowed to age and oxidize, turning them brown or black. Green tea leaves are processed earlier when they’re still green. Hence, the name. Black tea generally has more caffeine than green tea— a key selection factor if you’re concerned about limiting your caffeine intake,” she says.

“There are so many teas to choose from,” concludes Czerwony. “Try different varieties and see what works best for you.”

Continue Reading

Nutrition

How to enjoy whiskey this summer

Select “young” whiskey. If adding ice cubes to give it a chill, you don’t want to dilute aged whiskies. You alternatively can chill whiskey in the refrigerator before drinking.

Published

on

Photo by Vinicius "amnx" Amano from Unsplash.com

Over the years, whiskey has become increasingly popular and is a beverage people typically drink year-round. Shots Box, an alcohol subscription service offering curated, craft, artisanal, and small-batch spirits, is here with some tips on how to best enjoy whiskey during the summer months.

  1. Select “young” whiskey. If adding ice cubes to give it a chill, you don’t want to dilute aged whiskies. You alternatively can chill whiskey in the refrigerator before drinking.
  2. Choose a lighter variety. When picking a whiskey to enjoy in the summer, single grain Scotch or Irish whiskey are usually lighter malts and bourbons, making them easier to enjoy in the warm weather.
  3. Pick an option that’s lighter, sweeter, and with a natural hint of citrus.
  4. Balance or adjust the flavor by mixing with stone fruits, summer vegetables, or pair with tea.

“As whiskey continues to grow in popularity, there is no better time than the summer to enjoy it,” said J.C. Stock, Chief Executive Officer of Shots Box.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Like Us On Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget

Most Popular

Copyright ©FRINGE PUBLISHING. All rights reserved.