Tag Archives: butter

Study Finds Replacing Full-Fat Dairy with Olive Oil Reduces Risk of Death

According to a new study, using olive oil instead of margarine, butter and other saturated fats may reduce one’s risk of dying from dementia, respiratory disease, cardiovascular issues and cancer.

The study authors stated that their analysis concluded it was the simultaneous decrease of saturated fats with the increased intake of monounsaturated fats from the olive oil.

The researchers recommended replacing butter (et al.) with olive oil as often as one can.

The study analyzed the diet data from people enrolled in two large, government-funded studies. The Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Study authors analyzed and compared data on disease, death and diet over time.

Both men and women who used just 2 teaspoons of olive oil instead of margarine, mayonnaise, butter or other dairy fat with the same volume of olive oil and an 34% lower risk of death than people who ate little or no olive oil.

Most large, long-term studies on olive oil consumption have been done in countries where citizens consume much more olive oil. This study tracked over 90, 000 U.S. residents for up to 30 years. While other studies have come to similar conclusions, this large analysis only reinforces those findings.



Picking the Right Apple for the Job

It is apple season (eat your heart out pumpkin spice!). With so many varieties how do we choose the right variety for baking, sauce/jelly/butter making or just plain eating?

For applesauce, apple butter and apple jelly the softer apples with a thin skin tend to cook down best and most smoothly. Some believe the that the York variety yields the most per pound when creating these kinds of apple recipes. However, if you can’t find York Gala, Golden Delicious, Lodi, Cortland and McIntosh are all common varieties that will also work well.

The best apples for just eating, putting into salads, coleslaws or other fresh sides are, some believe, the more modern varieties that have been bred to have a lot of juicy crunch, that aren’t too tart nor too sweet. Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Jazz, SnapDragon and Cosmic Crisp are all good bets.

For those baked desserts when one wants somebody of the apple left in the filling many prefer the elder, more established varieties as they have a firm body, are tarter and don’t fall apart so much when cooked. For many, Granny Smith is the ultimate pie apple, though Northern Spy, Rome and Jonathan or eve the more modern Jonagold.

If you can’t decide on a certain variety combining two varieties in which one is sweeter, one tarter, one firmer and one softer is a great way to get



Make your own Granola

If you buy granola in the store, look at the ingredient list. There are a lot of unnecessary chemicals and additives. You can make your own and control what goes into it. Different ratios are out there but you can experiment with different ingredients.

Epicurious.com says to use 6 parts dry ingredients to 1 part wet. The main base ingredient is ALWAYS rolled oats. When I make my granola I use about 3 cups of rolled oats. Then I add another cup of a combination of nuts and seeds. Some seeds don’t need to be baked (like chia or flaxseed) so you can add them after. I like a mix of almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Other possibilities are pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, puffed millet, and coconut flakes. Sometimes I also like to add dried cranberries and/or small chocolate chips.

Wet ingredients are what you coat the dry ingredients with. You can use coconut oil, olive oil, canola, sunflower seed oil, or even butter. To this you add some kind of sweetener like honey, agave, maple syrup. Sometimes I add a little powdered stevia to cut on the calories. You can also use an egg white. You can also add cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cardamom, or salt for flavor. TheKitchn.com suggests a 50-50 ratio of fats to sweeteners.

Once you coat the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, you can spread it out on a sheet pan and bake at 300 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. Remember to stir every 10-15 minutes. After it is done, cool completely and then you can add the dried fruits of your choice such as dried cranberries, cherries, raisins, apricots. Store in jar or airtight container. You can use this as a cereal or mix in with your yogurt.

Healthy Thanksgiving Cooking: The Sides

The main side for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is mashed potatoes. There are ways to reduce the calories in this side dish. I asked Jody Victor to tell us more about it.

Jody Victor: Instead of using butter and milk or cream to mash your potatoes, reserve some of the cooking water. The starchy water will actually make your mashed potatoes creamier than if you use plain water as a substitute for milk or cream. If you prefer to use milk, try evaporated skim milk, fat-free milk, or fat-free sour cream. To boost the flavor of your mashed potatoes, you can add turkey or chicken broth or stir in some garlic and herbs.

Sweet potatoes are another Thanksgiving side dish staple. Rather than using maple syrup or brown sugar to liven them up, try spices such as ginger and cinnamon when making mashed sweet potatoes. Try roasting or baking raw sweet potatoes instead of using canned sweet potatoes, which are packed in sugar or corn syrup.

Vegetable casseroles are also traditional side dishes at Thanksgiving. Look for low calorie substitutes for your casserole recipes. Substitute ricotta cheese for cream cheese. Light butter or margarine for butter. Plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream for sour cream. Evaporated skim milk or low-fat milk for whole milk. Broth based soups for cream based soups. Use fresh vegetables (or frozen) as much as possible instead of canned vegetables, which are high in sodium and low in nutrients.

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
(You can precook sweet potatoes in microwave to decrease roasting time.)
2 medium onions cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with olive oil cooking spray. Put potatoes and onions in baking dish and spray them lightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and stir mixture every 15 minutes or so. Spray them a little every time you stir. Bake 35/45 minutes (if precooked) to 60/80 minutes (if raw) until tender. For variations, you can add cayenne pepper for heat or cinnamon for sweet or chopped rosemary for savory tastes.

4 cups fresh green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
2 shallots or 8 green onions, sliced
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms (or any fresh mushroom), sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups + 2 tablespoons rice milk (or low-fat milk), divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
10 wonton wrappers
Bring water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Place green beans in boiling water and cook until just soft (about 10 minutes). Drain and set aside. Heat large saucepan on medium heat. Spritz with cooking spray. Sauté shallots/green onions until translucent and starting to brown. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are soft and slightly browned. Use more cooking spray if necessary. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add 2 cups of the milk to the pan and bring to a boil. While milk is heating up, combine cornstarch and the 2 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl. Add cornstarch mixture to boiling milk mixture. Whisk constantly until mixture is thickened. Reduce heat to simmer then remove from heat after 5 minutes. Cut wontons into thin strips. Spread strips evenly on a baking sheet. Season to taste, if desired. Bake for five minutes. Stir and bake until golden brown (another 2 to 3 minutes). Set aside to cool. Add green beans to milk mixture. Stir to coat evenly. Pour coated beans mixture into a greased casserole dish. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until beans are hot and bubbly. Remove from oven. Top with toasted wontons.

Thanks Jody

All the Best
Steve Victor

Healthy Thanksgiving Cooking: The Turkey

Its time to start planning your Thanksgiving Holiday Feast. There are some simple things you can do to make your traditional Thanksgiving dinner lower in fat and calories, starting with the turkey. I asked Jody Victor to tell us more about it.

Jody Victor: If you are cooking for a small gathering, buy a turkey breast (or two) instead of a whole bird. Breast meat is lower in calories than dark meat. If you buy a whole turkey, stay away from self-basting ones as they contain added fat. Roast or smoke your turkey instead of deep frying it. When eating the turkey, remove the skin (where most of the fat is contained).

Gravy has the highest calorie count of the Thanksgiving dishes. You can make low fat broth-based or vegetarian gravy instead of gravy from turkey drippings. If you do make your gravy from turkey drippings, use a gravy separator to skim off most of the fat before you thicken it.

Another way to cut calories is to make dressing, not stuffing. Stuffing absorbs fat from the turkey as it roasts. Bake your dressing instead in a casserole dish. Avoid dressing recipes that use sausage or bacon. If your recipe calls for eggs, substitute each whole egg with two egg whites to cut calories. Dressing made with wild rice and grains will give you more nutrition than plain bread dressing.

1 10-12 pound turkey
1/4 cup minced fresh herbs (EX: thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, marjoram)
20 whole sprigs of herbs
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups onion, apple, and lemon or orange, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 cups water (plus more if needed)
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Remove giblets and wash turkey inside and out. Drain. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Mix minced herbs, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub mixture all over the turkey, under the skin and onto the breast meat. Place onion, apple, and orange/lemon pieces and half the sprigs in turkey cavity. Tuck wing tips under the turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Add 3 cups of water to the pan and add remaining sprigs to water. Roast the turkey until it is golden brown (about 45 minutes). Remove turkey from oven and make a two-ply cover for the breasts. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours more. Check roasting pan occasionally. If it dries out, tilt pan to let turkey juices out of cavity and add 1 cup of water. Turkey is done when thermometer registers 165 degrees. Transfer turkey to a platter and cover completely with foil. Let turkey rest and re-absorb juices for 20 minutes before carving.

Thanks Jody

All the Best!

Steve Victor