WHAT IS CORNED BEEF??

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Get lucky ๐Ÿ˜‰

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and our mouths are watering for some corned beef and cabbage. But what exactly is Corned Beef?

First off, it has NOTHING to do with corn (on the cob)!!

Corned beef and cabbage
Corned beef and cabbage

Corned beef got its name from an old English word, “Corn”, which refers to large grains, or “corns” of rock salt, which were used to preserve and prevent from spoiling the large chunks of beef brisket. (FYI random knowledge: BRISKET is the underside chest or breast of the cow).

Today we usually brine the beef brisket in salt and flavorings (also including lots of spices and peppercorns), and then boiling the beef to cook it before serving.

What about nutrition in corned beef?

Since it is brined (aka soaked in salty salty water), there is A LOT of sodium in corned beef–about 1000 mg per 3 oz serving. Doctors recommend about 2500 mg sodium per day on average. Aside from salt, there is also a lot of protein and fat (about 15 grams each) in a serving. Given that it is beef, you are also getting about 10% iron from a 3 oz serving! Cool!

Now that you know the general ingredients and nutrition in corned beef, you can make the proper decisions to guide your own healthy eating plan! Remember, there are no bad foods if you eat with awareness and knowledge of nutritional content!! HAPPY ST. PATTY’S!!!!

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COOKIES everyday

Cookies everyday, and that is a-ok! Screenshot 2014-12-22 22.12.32

What are cookies anyway? They are NOT bad foods. Unfortunately we’ve attached this moral value to cookies as things which should make us feel guilty. But fortunately, YOU can help change that!

Cookies are not bad for you. Make your own and you’ll see that cookies are nothing but pure deliciousness and nutritiousness baked into a convenient grab and go form.

Made up of mostly carbs (flours and sugar) and fat (butter), cookies are perfect if you need a quick sugar spike, some fuel for before a workout, or just some extra nutrients for the day. We need to stop viewing foods as good or bad, but rather just vehicles for varying amounts of certain nutrients.

Share the love, share nutrition education, and share cookies! Happy holidays!!! What is your favorite kind of cookie?

 

It’s all gravy!

With Thanksgiving approaching, I thought I’d touch on a food that usually goes under the radar: Gravy.

Most of us don’t think about what gravy is or how it is made. All we know is that without gravy, we would be having some extremely dry turkey breast or plain mashed potatoes. So what is gravy? Let’s clear up this mystery once and for all! Gravy is very simple. It is made of meat drippings with a little cornstarch or flour to thicken it up. gravy

It is an easy way to add flavor to your meal, and quick to make since you are using drippings from meat that you have cooked.

Now, what about the nutrition in gravy?

Since the majority of gravy is the drippings from the cooked meat–the main macronutrient you are consuming when you have gravy is…FAT! We need fat for survival and maintaining a healthy body.

There is also a lot of sodium since drippings contain the salt/seasoning you used to flavor the meat.

Fat and sodium–no wonder gravy has so much flavor! It adds that extra umami and spices to bring harmony and umphf onto our Thanksgiving plate.

It is important to know the nutritional makeup of the foods we eat so we can make the best decisions for our health. Gravy is not bad for you. No foods are bad for you. The only thing that is bad is eating without knowledge and awareness of the foods you consume and how they affect your health.

So now that you know what gravy is, please answer this relevant yet irrelevant question: Do you like gravy? What do you like to put it on?

Are refried beans really fried beans, fried again?

Nope. and Nope.

Refried beans, a staple side dish at Mexican restaurants, are really just cooked pinto beans sauteed in with some flavorings (onion/garlic/spices) and fat (oil or lard..or whatever is on hand), and then mashed. Simple!

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Refried beans. Picture taken from http://www.seriouseats.com

The word “refried” seems to conjure up images of deep frying something..twice. But refried beans are anything but.

Refried beans comes from the Spanish words frijoles refritos, which means well-fried beans. Usually the prefix “Re” in English means “again” or “repetition”, so we get confused and think that Re-fried means fried again. However in Spanish, refritos it means “well” or “very” fried. The beans are actually only “fried” once. And by that we mean that the beans are added to a pan of onions which are sauteed or cooked in some oil.

beans

Nutritionally, refried beans are amazing and have a LOT to offer. Why?

First off, refried beans are primarily BEANS. Beans have tons of fiber, protein, and iron. Beans themselves have very little to no fat. This is where the “refried” part comes in! A few tablespoons of fat in a recipe of refried beans adds exactly just a little bit per serving. Fat is great for our bodies because it helps us absorb those fat-soluble vitamins D, E, A,ย  and K.

Try cooking some refried beans to help you understand how EASY it is to make! And how nutritious it is for your body! Check out this nutrition summary of refried beans.

Don’t let the media scare you away from “fried” anything! Words (or the names of dishes) do not mean anything about a particular food. “Fried” does not equate with “bad”. NO FOODS ARE BAD! Do research, and then decide how particular foods can fit into your diet! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy eating! Please comment below on refried beans! Did you know what they were before reading this post? What do you think about their nutrition?

 

Is there Pumpkin in that Starbucks drink?

October means Fall, which really means—hellllllo Pumpkin EVERYTHING. But the one thing that is most frequently associated with the changing of the seasons is the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte.

Do you like ’em?

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte (taken from starbucks.com)
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte (taken from starbucks.com)

Well if you do drink the occasional (or every-day-until-next-fall) Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte, make sure you understand its nutrition!!

Because once you understand the nutrition of the foods you are consuming, you will see that there are no bad foods! All foods offer nutrition. And with knowledge of nutrition, we can make the best choices for our bodies and well-being! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ Knowledge is power! And we can share our knowledge with our friends and loved ones..so they can make the best choices for their bodies!

So what exactly is in a Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte?

Answer: WE DON’T (exactly) KNOW!! Starbucks does not list the ingredients on their web page.

However, they do list nutritional info. And we can see that in the 16 oz, 2% milk, whipped cream topped pumpkin spice latte–there are 13 g of fat, 49 g of SUGAR, 14 g of protein, 15% Vitamin A, and 50% Calcium.

One thing that stands out from this list is the whopping 49 grams of sugar. That is A LOT of sugar!!! Which is not a BAD thing! Sugar is NOT bad! But we need to make educated choices. Recommended sugar intake is around 25 grams per day.

Sugar cubes

We can’t tell you to what to consume, but we can present the nutritional facts.

Another blogger has posted some further research into the ingredients list.

Whether you choose to drink Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte or not, you should be happy with your choice. If you decide you are fine without it, then don’t.

If you want to drink one, then savor it. Savor the taste, and envision the nutrients nourishing your body, giving you life and energy!

Please don’t food-shame!

HAPPY FALL!!!! Happy Pumpkin Season! Now tell us, should Starbucks be required to list the ingredients in its drinks?

 

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!!

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!!ย 

There’s something about the combination of peanut butter and jelly smushed in between soft bread. It’s timeless. It is delicious. Oh and did we mention..It’s NUTRITIOUS!!!!!

Probably the best sandwich ever invented. (photo taken from cnn.com)
Probably the best sandwich ever invented. (photo taken from cnn.com)

So what nutrients does our favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich offer?

Well, for one–PROTEIN! This comes from the peanuts (which is actually a “legume” or bean if you didn’t know!). And then there is FAT–this comes from the peanuts too. CARBOHYDRATES!–this comes from the jelly and bread, and a little from the peanuts.

Protein, fat, and carbohydrates are the three macronutrients we need for survival. We also need a balance of micronutrients–aka vitamins and minerals.

The classic PB&J also has many micronutrients to offer to our bodies as well. For example–iron (from the peanuts, and bread).

And the best part about the peanut butter jelly sandwich, is that is really is just a template for a thousand other delicious recipes that have a great balance of nutrition.

Almond butter and banana on a pita? YUM. Cashew spread and apple slices on ciabatta? Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal? The possibilities are endless!

Tell us- What is your favorite Peanut Butter and Jelly variation?

Milk is “Dairy”, but Cream is not?

If you look at the USDA “Dairy” Food Group, you will see that not all milk products are listed as “Dairy”.

Huh?? Why?? Why is Cream not dairy?

And wait–Why is Ice Cream considered “Dairy”?

Butter is not?? Cream cheese is not?

Don’t they all come from the same thing??

dairycow

Continue reading “Milk is “Dairy”, but Cream is not?”