Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I talked about some of the benefits of juicing on Good Day Columbus on January 15, 2014!

A great source of concentrated nutrients, juice can provide much of our daily 5+ servings of fruits and vegetables.

Extracting the flavor from fruit and vegetable leaves important fiber to waste.  Fiber helps to keep one's digestive tract healthy and can lower the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease (think heart attack and stroke), some cancer, obesity and can lower total cholesterol levels as well as help manage blood sugar levels.

Ahhhh, sugar! Juice a couple cups of fruit and quickly you will have a glass full of sugar*.

To keep the great taste of juice and the benefit of fiber use a blender instead of a juicer.  It does have to be a good blender, one that can pulverize apple skins, orange pulp and hard vegetables like carrots.  I use a Vitamix, but there are several blenders that are marketed to handle the toughest of jobs. Check out Real Simple Magazine's ratings of blenders here:

Recipes for juices are handy and are in abundance on the web.  They gave me a place to start experimenting with combinations of flavors and textures and proportions.  When choosing a recipe go for one that has a combination of whole fruits and vegetables, not just fruit, and keep your serving size to 1-1 1/2 cups.  What I've come up with is a basic recipe that you can fit to your taste and has about 7-15 grams of sugar or 28-60 calories from sugar.

Basic Juice Recipe
1/2 cup water or coconut water (more if thinner consistency is desired)
1 cup fruit of your choice
1/2-1 cup vegetable of your choice
flavorings like fresh basil or mint, cinnamon, garlic, Mrs. Dash, vanilla extract, lemon juice, lime juice, etc.

Put all ingredients in a blender with a secure lid.  Blend until desired consistency.  Pour and enjoy!

* The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams/96 calories) added sugar for women and 9 teaspoons (36 grams/144 calories) for men of added sugar daily.  The World Health Organization recommends no more than 10% of daily calories should come from added sugar.  That means that a person on a 2000 calorie diet should consume no more than 50 grams (about 12 teaspoons).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Avocados are a staple in our house.  Bought in semi-bulk (4-6 per bag) they are about $1.25 a piece or less at Whole Foods Market and Costco.  They are so versatile - we use them at any meal.  At breakfast a very ripe avocado is delicious smashed and spread on whole grain toast, served with or without something else!

One of our favorite recipes for times when we have several ripe avocados is Avocado Crème.  I like the recipe because you don't have to be exact in measuring or particular about what ingredients are included - a dump cook's dream!

Nutrition: Avocados are a source of monounsaturated fat (good fat), fiber, potassium and a source of lutein, an antioxidant that may protect eye health.

Good Ideas: use to replace fat in a cookie recipe, butter on toast, mayo on sandwiches or in dips, banana in smoothies, sprinkle with salt, pepper and hot sauce and eat right out of the shell with a spoon or corn chip.

More on avocados at another time, but here is the recipe I made that accompanied easy chicken enchiladas last night and creamy scrambled eggs this morning:

Avocado Crème

1-2 cups chicken broth (I used my own as I made chicken pot pie last Sunday and had extra broth)
1-2 garlic cloves (optional)
1/2 small onion (optional)
1/2-1 cup Greek yogurt (I prefer Fage brand 2%, but I had some fat free and some 2% on-hand)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
red pepper sauce (taco sauce) of your liking and to your taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
kosher salt or salt seasoning to taste (I used Tastefully Simple seasoning salt - love it!)
2-3 avocados
1 jar green salsa (I use a smallish jar from Trader Joe)
Lime juice to taste

Reserve 1/2 of the chicken broth you think you need and put all other ingredients into a blender/food processor (of course I used my new Vitamix!!).  Blend until smooth adding more chicken broth if necessary to reach the consistency you like.  I make mine so it barely flows in the Vitamix, which makes a consistency of a thick sauce for enchiladas and dip for corn chips (Garden of Eatin' Blue Corn Chips).