(Family Features) Taking care of your heart requires a commitment to the right routines and smart decisions, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Simple ingredients already in your kitchen may offer powerful protection to keep your heart healthy.
For example, more than a decade of research shows 100% orange juice and its vitamins and minerals may play a beneficial role in helping lower blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.
A study published in the “European Journal of Nutrition” by researchers at Eurecat, Centre Tecnològic de Catalunya, in Reus, Spain provides further support for 100% orange juice’s role in heart health, and offers additional insight into a unique component in orange juice, called hesperidin, that may have antioxidant activity and contribute to orange juice’s cardiovascular benefits.
The study, which was funded by the Florida Department of Citrus, determined that adults with pre- or stage-1 hypertension who drank about 2 cups of 100% orange juice per day saw significant reductions in systolic blood pressure and other markers of heart health and inflammation.
“Nearly half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, scientific research director at the Florida Department of Citrus. “For those with mild hypertension, including something as simple and pure as 100% orange juice in your daily healthy routine may help make significant improvements in such a prevalent problem.”
Beyond its heart health benefits, many studies, including a National Health & Nutrition Survey published in “Nutrition Journal,” have found that 100% orange juice consumption is associated with higher diet quality and increased levels of key nutrients, including many that are under-consumed, like potassium.
“The vitamin C, antioxidants and potassium found in 100% orange juice can help maintain a healthy blood pressure, which is a big factor in heart health,” said Kaleigh McMordie, RDN and founder of the blog “Lively Table.”
With no added sugar and no fat, cholesterol or sodium, Florida Orange Juice can help you take advantage of these nutritious benefits from breakfast to dinner with dishes like Poached Salmon with Collard Green Salad, an easy way to add potassium and vitamin C at the family table, especially when paired with an 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice. For those busy mornings on the go, an Orange Kale Smoothie can be the fuel you need as a filling option with less than five ingredients that’s an excellent source of vitamin C, folate and vitamin K and a good source of potassium and thiamin.
For more information on the heart health benefits of 100% orange juice, visit FloridaJuice.com.
Poached Salmon with Collard Green Salad
- 1 1/4 cups Florida Orange Juice, divided
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 pound salmon filets
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 small bunch collard greens (about 8 ounces), stems and center ribs removed
- 1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray small glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set salmon in dish.
- In small saucepan over high heat, combine 1 cup 100% orange juice, white wine, garlic and 1 teaspoon grated ginger; bring to simmer.
- Pour poaching liquid over salmon and cover with aluminum foil.
- Poach in oven 15-20 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.
- In lidded jar, combine remaining 100% orange juice, remaining grated ginger, olive oil, vinegar and shallot; shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cut collard greens into thin ribbons and transfer to large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over collard greens; toss well to combine and fully coat.
- Remove salmon from liquid and serve on top of collard greens. Sprinkle with almonds.
- Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.
Orange Kale Smoothie
- 2 cups Florida Orange Juice
- 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 cup kale, tough stems removed
- 4 mint leaves
- In large blender, blend 100% orange juice, frozen pineapple, kale and mint leaves until smooth.
- Pour into tall glass.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
(Family Features) While eating healthy and enjoying sweets seldom go hand-in-hand, choosing the right combination of nutritious ingredients can allow for guilt-free indulgences that shirks conventional dieting wisdom. In fact, some eating plans take it a step further by actually encouraging eating big in the evening when you’re naturally hungriest to help achieve your weight loss goals.
For example, “Always Eat After 7 PM,” written by Joel Marion, CISSN, NSCA-CPT, five-time best-selling e-book author and co-founder of the e-commerce supplement company BioTrust Nutrition, debunks popular diet myths and offers an easy-to-follow diet that accelerates fat-burning and allows you to indulge in your most intense cravings by eating the majority of your calories at night. The outlined plan features a 14-day “acceleration phase” designed for rapid results, a “main phase” when you’ll learn which fat-burning foods to eat to achieve your weight loss goals and a “lifestyle phase” to keep the weight off for good.
Conventional wisdom dictates that it’s best to avoid carbs, eat an early dinner and never eat immediately before bed. However, Marion debunks the myths underlying traditional dieting with a simple, highly effective weight loss program allowing readers to enjoy social dinners without restriction, satisfy nighttime hunger with fat-burning sweet and salty pre-bedtime snacks and indulge cravings with strategically timed cheat meals.
With straightforward food lists, easy-to-follow meal plans and recipes for each phase, this can be a simpler, more enjoyable way to lose weight without feeling restricted. Taken directly from the book, these recipes for No Bake Salted Caramel Bars, Cherry Garcia Ice Cream and Fruit Tarts can satisfy that sweet tooth before heading to bed.
Learn more about the diet and book at joelmarion.com.
Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup raw honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 3 cans (13 2/3 ounces each) full-fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Sugar Cookie Crust:
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, plus additional for greasing
- 1/2 cup palm shortening
- 1 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 1⁄4 cup coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
- 1 mango, peeled, pitted and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup red grapes
- 1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
- fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- To make custard: In saucepan, whisk egg yolks and honey until smooth. Mix in coconut flour.
- In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest; bring to boil then remove from heat.
- Pour hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture, stirring while pouring. Over low heat, simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and let cool, continuing to stir occasionally. Once cooled to room temperature, pour into individual custard cups. Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes, or until serving.
- To make crust: Heat oven to 350° F. Line bottom of pie pan with parchment paper and grease with coconut oil.
- In large mixing bowl using electric mixer on high, beat coconut oil and palm shortening 30 seconds. Add coconut palm sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Beat in almond flour, coconut flour and starch. Chill dough in refrigerator 15 minutes.
- Press chilled cookie dough into bottom of pie pan and 2 inches up sides. Bake 12 minutes, or until crust is golden and browned on top and edges. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Place cooled crust in refrigerator 30 minutes or overnight before assembling.
- To assemble fruit tarts: Spread custard over chilled crust. Decorate top in circular pattern with kiwis, mango strips, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, grapes and strawberries.
- Before serving, chill at least 30 minutes or freeze 1 hour to help keep toppings in place.
- Remove from freezer and set out at room temperature 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with mint leaves.
Nutritional information per serving: 192 calories; 14 g fat; 16 g carbohydrates; 61 mg sodium; 2 g fiber; 1 g protein; 9 g sugar.
Cherry Garcia Ice Cream
Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1/4 cup fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup stevia-sweetened dark chocolate bar, chopped
- 3 overripe frozen bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 pinch sea salt
- Chill cherries and dark chocolate.
- In food processor, pulse frozen bananas, milk and salt until smooth, creamy consistency of soft serve is achieved. Stir in cherries and chocolate. Serve immediately or place in freezer-safe container and freeze until serving.
Nutritional information per serving: 165 calories; 7 g fat; 27 g carbohydrates; 134 mg sodium; 6 g fiber; 2 protein; 12 g sugar.
No Bake Salted Caramel Bars
Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
- 2 1/2 cups raw pecans
- 8 pitted dates, soaked in hot water 10 minutes then drained
- 2 tablespoons blanched almond flour
- 1 teaspoon coconut flour
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup granular zero-calorie, natural sweetener
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 cup granular zero-calorie, natural sweetener
- 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups stevia-sweetened chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- coconut oil
- 1/3 cup dry roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
- coarse sea salt
- To make cookie layer: Place large skillet over medium heat. Spread pecans over skillet and toast, stirring often, 8-10 minutes until golden. Remove from heat.
- Transfer toasted pecans to food processor and pulse until fine. Add dates, almond flour, coconut flour, sea salt, sweetener and coconut oil; pulse until dough forms.
- To make caramel layer: In skillet over medium heat, combine coconut palm sugar, sweetener, coconut milk, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla extract; bring to boil. Once boiling, decrease heat to low and cook 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove skillet from heat; whisk in baking soda. Return pan to low heat and cook 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove caramel from heat and let cool and thicken 5 minutes.
- To make chocolate layer: In double boiler, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil. Stir until mixture is smooth then remove from heat.
- To assemble salted caramel bars: Line bottom and sides of 9-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over sides. Lightly rub parchment paper with coconut oil.
- Press cookie dough into bottom of pan to create even layer. Place in freezer 5 minutes to harden.
- Pour caramel over cookie layer and spread to coat evenly. Place in freezer 5 minutes. Pour chocolate over caramel and spread to cover evenly. Sprinkle with macadamia nuts and coarse salt. Place in freezer 10 minutes until chocolate sets.
- Use overhanging parchment paper to ease set mixture out of pan. Transfer to cutting board and slice into bite-size bars.
Nutritional information per serving: 180 calories; 15 g fat; 15 g carbohydrates; 56 mg sodium; 4 g fiber; 2 g protein; 4 g sugar.
Source: Promote A Book
(Family Features) Watermelon rinds make for more than just attractive containers for serving cold dishes and beverages. The rind can also be used in creative, edible ways and is good for your heart.
Watermelon, both the flesh and the rind, is a good source of a compound called citrulline, an amino acid that raises levels of arginine in the blood, which in turn helps maintain blood flow, healthy blood vessels and heart health.
Whether you’re eating for good health or good taste (or both), you can use the rind to make pickles and relishes, grate into salads and slaws, toss into stir-fry and add to smoothies and juice. The key to chowing down on watermelon rind is knowing how to prepare it. These three preparation methods can help you put that rind to good use:
Pickled: Watermelon rind is similar to a cucumber, which is why it’s no surprise that pickled watermelon rind is a popular option.
Juiced: Most people know you can enjoy juice from red flesh of the melon, but you can juice the rind, too. Just like the watermelon flesh, the rind is loaded with water and nutrients.
Stir-Fried: When it’s cut up, watermelon rind is just like a vegetable, which means it can be tossed in a pan and stir-fried right alongside broccoli and carrots.
Look for more creative ways to use your watermelon rind at watermelon.org.
Watermelon Rind Pickles
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 2 cups peeled watermelon rind, cut into 1-1/2-by-2-inch pieces (leave thin layer of pink)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 allspice berry
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 4 peppercorns
- 4 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
- 1 long slice of fresh gingerroot
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
- In large pot over medium-high heat, bring water and salt to boil. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain. Transfer rinds to large metal bowl.
- In saucepan, combine watermelon rind, sugar, berries, vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, pickling spice, gingerroot and celery seeds. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 15 minutes until slightly reduced. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place plate over top to keep rinds submerged in liquid.
- Cover and refrigerate 1 day. Transfer to glass jar and keep sealed in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Watermelon Rind Stir-Fry
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 cups watermelon rind, julienned (white part only, from about 1/2 of seedless watermelon)
- 1 cup julienned carrots
- 1/2 cup chives, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 piece (about 1 inch) ginger, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- In wok over high heat, heat sesame oil. Add watermelon rind and carrots and fry, stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes. Let sit over high heat 1 additional minute without stirring. Add chives and stir to combine.
- In small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Pour sauce over watermelon rind and cook, stirring, 30 seconds-1 minute, until fragrant.
- Transfer to serving dish. Add basil, cilantro and mint, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve.
Exciting Flavors for Every Day
(Family Features) In restaurant kitchens nationwide — and at home — Latin American flavors continue to be a hot trend — and it’s not because of spiciness. The unique culture and geography of countries such as Chile offer exciting possibilities for everyday cooking, adding flavor and excitement to American dishes and dinner tables.
Chilean cuisine is full of flavor and color and owes its delicious variety to a combination of cultural influences: native Indian, Spanish (including Arab and Jewish), French, German, English and Italian.
Chile is about twice the size of California and stretches along the Pacific coastline of South America. This narrow country — only 265 miles at its widest point — boasts a variety of climates, allowing for richly varied agriculture. Also, the seasons in the southern hemisphere are opposite those in the northern hemisphere, so fresh fruits and vegetables associated with summer in the U.S. are available from Chile during the winter.
Chilean products you may already have in your kitchen include:
- Olive oil
- Stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines and plums
Seafood. With nearly 3,000 miles of coastline, Chile offers an extraordinary bounty of seafood. The clean Pacific waters teem with oysters, prawns, salmon, abalone, sea bass and more.
Wine. Chile is the world’s fifth largest wine exporter, and culinary writers regularly sing praises for Chilean wines. Michael Green, the wine and spirits consultant for Gourmet Magazine, said, “Chile is a sleeping giant in terms of the quality, diversity and value of its wines. The region is home to some of the most thrilling and tasty wines in the world.”
Spices. One of the most unique flavors of Chilean cooking comes from a spice blend called merkén from the Mapuches, a native people of Chile. It’s an aromatic mixture of dried and smoked red chilis, toasted coriander seeds, cumin and salt. Merkén is an extremely versatile spice with an attractive copper color and smoky flavor. It can be sprinkled on fish, shrimp, poultry, beef and vegetables, or added to soups, sauces, cheese and pasta. Available in specialty grocery stores, it can also be ordered online.
Produce. Chilean chef Pilar Rodriguez has created recipes featuring unique Chilean flavors. One centers on the carica, also known as Chilean Golden Papaya, and ulmo honey. Carica is a unique fruit that has been described as a combination of a mango and a peach. It can be used as an appetizer or dessert, in salads and hot dishes. You’ll find it sold in jars in specialty stores and online. Ulmo honey comes from the ulmo tree, native to Chile. It has a creamy texture and a buttery sweetness that make an excellent accompaniment to mild cheeses. It is also available at specialty stores and online.
Chile offers a wide variety of fresh foods and rich flavors to discover.
Chile’s food growing regions
goats, llamas, subtropical fruits such as carica, scallops
avocados, olives, apples, grapes, wine
Central Valley South
dairy products, razor clams, kiwi, grains, cattle, wine
cattle, dairy, berries, salmon, Chilean abalones
Extreme South and Patagonia
beef and sheep, Chilean king crab
Seared Salmon & Avocado Tartar
By Chef Pilar Rodriguez
- 1/2 cup fleur de sel (coarse sea salt)
- 1/2 cup cilantro seeds
- 1 tablespoon merkén
- 1 tablespoon cochayuyo molido ahumado (smoked seaweed powder), optional
- 6 3.5- to 4-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillets
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups avocado, cut in small cubes
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon finely diced yellow chili pepper
- Salt to taste
- Pinch sugar
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 parsley leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Coarsely grind and mix salt and all the spices. Reserve in shallow bowl.
- In a non-stick pan, sear salmon filets with olive oil on both sides, just getting a nice golden color (about 90 seconds per side). Do not over cook. The center of the fillet has to be raw.
- Press one side of each fillet into salt-spice mixture and set aside.
- Mix all ingredients for Avocado Tartar in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the salmon fillets over the tartar. Serve immediately.
Ulmo Honey Panna Cotta, Grilled Citrus Carica Salad
By Chef Pilar Rodriguez
Makes 8 to 10 4-ounce portions
- 1 quart cream
- 1/4 cup ulmo honey OR honey of choice
- 4 gelatin sheets OR 1 package powdered gelatin
- 4 full caricas OR fresh papayas cut in half to grill
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Fresh mint leaves
- Heat cream in small sauce pan and turn off the heat right before boiling point. Add honey and, using a wooden spoon, mix well with the cream. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
- Put the gelatin in cold water until you see the gelatin is soft — about three minutes. Discard excess water (gelatin will be softened) and dissolve gelatin in the cream mixture.
- Fill panna cotta containers (or 4-ounce ramekins) 3/4 full and chill until set (about three hours in the refrigerator).
- Brush the caricas with olive oil and grill them over medium heat until color browns a bit (one minute per side). Right before serving, sprinkle lemon juice, sugar to taste and lemon zest on top. Serve on the side of the Panna Cottas (in containers) with mint to garnish.
Source: Trade Commission of Chile