(Family Features) On top of being tasty, certain foods contain specific nutrients and natural compounds that may help fight inflammation, a condition linked to arthritis and gout. With that in mind, try heading to the fridge or pantry the next time you feel joint pain, swelling or stiff knees.
Colorful fruits and vegetables, including ruby red tart cherries and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, are among the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods, along with oily fish (salmon, sardines and scallops), nuts, seeds and whole grains. Ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and olive oil may also help combat inflammation.
For an inflammation-fighting boost, Montmorency tart cherries contain the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food,” according to research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University. Results show that cherry intake can help reduce blood levels of gout-causing uric acid and reduce the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis. Research also shows that Montmorency tart cherry juice can reduce post-exercise inflammation and muscle pain.
“For decades, people with arthritis and gout have consumed tart cherry juice for pain relief. Now there’s scientific evidence to back up this popular folklore remedy,” said registered dietitian Michelle Babb, author of “Anti-Inflammatory Eating Made Easy.” “Since Montmorency tart cherries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, a potent type of flavonoid, they can offer a natural way to help ease the pain related to arthritis and gout.”
To help fight inflammation with food, try this recipe for Bay Scallop, Baby Kale and Corn Salad with Tart Cherry Granola, which is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients. Learn more about the research on Montmorency tart cherries and inflammation, and find more recipes, at choosecherries.com.
Bay Scallop, Baby Kale and Corn Salad with Tart Cherry Granola
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 1 salad
- 1/3 cup oats
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons buckwheat groats
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1/4 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dried Montmorency tart cherries
- 2 tablespoons Montmorency tart cherry juice
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 10 ounces baby kale
- 1 grilled ear of corn, kernels sliced off
- 1 cup sprouts (alfalfa or microgreens)
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces bay scallops, patted dry
- To make savory granola: Heat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat.
- In large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds, buckwheat groats and pepitas. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper.
- Pour wet ingredients into large bowl and toss until well combined.
- Spread mixture onto baking sheet in single layer and bake 18-20 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until granola starts to turn golden brown and crispy around edges.
- Remove from oven, add cherries, toss to combine, spread into single layer and let cool.
- To make dressing: In food processor, process shallot, olive oil, cherries, cherry juice, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper until smooth.
- To make salad: Place kale, corn kernels and sprouts in large bowl; set aside.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Once hot, add scallops and cook until golden and starting to caramelize on one side. Flip and repeat on other side.
- Add scallops to large salad bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss until well combined.
- Break up granola into small pieces and add to salad bowl. Toss lightly before serving.
Source: Cherry Marketing Institute
(Family Features) Throughout 2018, you can create easy, healthy and delicious family meals by using time-saving recipes.
For example, these “Cook Once, Eat Twice” recipes from CanolaInfo start with pork chops that double as the base for lunch or dinner the following day.
“The more you cook your own meals, the more you can control portion sizes and ingredients,” said Manuel Villacorta, registered dietitian. “Knowing the right oil to use is essential. I like using canola oil to keep the flavors of your dishes intact due to its neutral taste and light texture. Plus, it contains high levels of monounsaturated fat and plant-based omega 3 fat, and is low in saturated fat. I use it regularly in my home kitchen and recommend it to my clients.”
For more time-saving recipes, visit canolainfo.org.
Pork Loin Chops with Sweet Balsamic Mushrooms
- 8 boneless center-cut pork loin chops (4 ounces each), trimmed of fat
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 12 ounces sliced portobello mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- Sprinkle both sides of pork with pepper.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil. Cook pork chops 4 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 160 F.
- Reserve four pork chops in refrigerator to make Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches.
- In skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining canola oil; tilt skillet to coat bottom lightly. Cook mushrooms 4-5 minutes, or until tender and juices begin to release, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Place over pork chops; cover to keep warm.
- To pan residue, add vinegar, water, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and remaining salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until reduced to 2 tablespoons, scraping bottom and sides of skillet. Drizzle sauce over pork and mushrooms. Sprinkle with onions.
Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches
- 12 ounces crusty French bread, unsliced
- 4 leftover pork chops from Pork Loin Chops with Sweet Balsamic Mushrooms recipe
- 2/3 cup pepperoncini slices
- 1 plum tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
- 3 slices ultra-thin sliced Swiss cheese, cut in half
- Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving 1/2-inch thick shell.
- Place pork on bottom half of bread. In bowl, combine pepperoncini, tomato, onion, garlic, canola oil, vinegar, oregano and pepper flakes. Spoon pepperoncini mixture and any accumulated juices on top of pork and top with cheese.
- Cover with top half of loaf. Press down firmly to flatten sandwich and allow flavors and juices to absorb. Cut filled loaf crosswise into four equal pieces.
Chocolate War Cake
Yield: 12 slices
Serving size: 1 slice
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In 9-inch round baking pan, whisk together whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- In small bowl or measuring cup, combine water and vinegar.
- Make well in center of flour mixture in pan and pour canola oil and vanilla extract into well. Pour water-vinegar mixture over top of flour and then stir well to blend all ingredients.
- Bake until set and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Place cake on rack to cool in pan. Once cool, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
Note: Whole-wheat, all-purpose flour can be substituted for whole-wheat pastry flour.
Nutritional Analysis (per Serving): Calories 180; Fat 7 g; Saturated Fat 0.5 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 200 mg; Carbohydrates 29 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 2 g