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Food and Beverage

Go Whole Grain for a Healthy Heart

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(Family Features) Eating healthy is a priority for many Americans but knowing where to start and with what foods may be a little trickier. One way to level up the nutritional value of your meals is to better understand whole grains and why they are important for a heart-healthy diet.

As a key feature of heart-healthy diets, whole grains like sorghum, oatmeal and brown rice are rich sources of dietary fiber, may improve blood cholesterol levels and provide nutrients that help the body form new cells, regulate the thyroid and maintain a healthy immune system.

However, according to a survey by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Heart Association, U.S. adults are least knowledgeable about refined vs. whole grains compared to other foods like fruits, vegetables and proteins. Also, when asked to identify whole grains and refined grains, most adults incorrectly believe multi-grain bread is a whole grain and only 17% believe sorghum is an example of a whole grain when it is, in fact, a nutritious whole-grain option.

If you’re looking to try more whole grains, sorghum is a primary ingredient in these heart-healthy recipes for Pancakes with Blueberry Vanilla Sauce, Raspberry Streusel Muffins and Garden Vegetable Stir-Fried Sorghum. These flavorful dishes can be part of an overall healthy diet as recommended by the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative, supported by the Sorghum Checkoff.

Find more heart-healthy meal ideas at Heart.org/healthyforgood.

Raspberry Streusel Muffins

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association and Sorghum Checkoff
Servings: 12 (1 muffin per serving)

Muffins:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain sorghum flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup canola or corn oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed if frozen

Streusel:

  • 2 tablespoons whole grain sorghum flour
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons uncooked quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light tub margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. To make muffins: Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly spray 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, stir sorghum flour, cinnamon and baking soda.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, brown sugar, egg whites, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture until batter is just moistened and no flour is visible without overmixing. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Top each muffin with raspberries.
  4. To make streusel: In small bowl, stir sorghum flour, brown sugar, oats, pecans, margarine and cinnamon to reach texture of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over muffins, gently pushing into batter. Bake 16 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. The USDA recommends cooking egg dishes to 160 F.
  5. Transfer pan to cooling rack. Let stand 5 minutes. Carefully transfer muffins to rack. Let cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Garden Vegetable Stir-Fried Sorghum

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association and Sorghum Checkoff
Servings: 4 (1 1/2 cups per serving)

  • 1 cup uncooked whole-grain sorghum
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon gingerroot, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli florets, chopped, thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 cup carrot strips, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup green onions, diagonally sliced
  1. Prepare sorghum using package directions, omitting salt. Once cooked, spread sorghum in even layer on rimmed baking sheet or 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Let stand 5-10 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until cool.
  2. In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat oil, swirling to coat bottom. Cook garlic and gingerroot 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook broccoli, snow peas, carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms and edamame 10-12 minutes, or until vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring frequently.
  3. In small bowl, using fork, beat eggs and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Stir water chestnuts and sorghum into vegetable mixture. Push mixture to sides of skillet. Pour egg mixture into center of skillet. Using heatproof rubber scraper, stir 1-2 minutes, or until partially set.
  5. Stir vegetable mixture into partially cooked egg mixture. Cook 1 minute, or until eggs are cooked through and sorghum is heated through, stirring constantly. The USDA recommends cooking egg dishes to 160 F.
  6. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining soy sauce. Sprinkle with green onions.

Pancakes with Blueberry Vanilla Sauce

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association and Sorghum Checkoff
Servings: 4 (2 pancakes, 1/4 cup sauce and 2 tablespoons yogurt per serving)

Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pancakes:

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole grain sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon canola or corn oil

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  1. To make sauce: Put cornstarch in medium saucepan. Add water, stirring to dissolve. Stir in blueberries and sugar. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Boil 1-2 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cover to keep warm. Set aside.
  2. To make pancakes: In medium bowl, stir oats, sorghum flour, brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. In small bowl, whisk milk, applesauce, egg and oil. Stir into flour mixture until batter is just moistened and no flour is visible without overmixing.
  4. Heat nonstick griddle over medium heat. Test temperature by sprinkling drops of water on griddle. Griddle is ready when water evaporates quickly.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake on griddle. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until tiny bubbles appear on surface and bottoms are golden brown. Flip pancakes. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown on bottoms. The USDA recommends cooking egg dishes to 160 F.
  6. Transfer pancakes to plates. Spoon sauce over pancakes. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt.


SOURCE:
American Heart Association 

Family

Get Creative with Easter Sweets

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Kid-friendly crafts that bring loved ones together

(Family Features) Holiday hams and deviled eggs may take center stage at Easter gatherings, but edible crafts offer a reminder of the magic of the season that’s found in moments spent together. Simple recipes that call for a dose of creativity are perfect ways to bring the kids to the kitchen, made even easier when all that work leads to sweet treats.

While plastic eggs may have led to a decline in good, old-fashioned egg-dyeing, there are still fun ways to bring crafts back to Easter celebrations. Consider these Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops, which call for little ones to help dip seasonal shapes in chocolate, use cake molds and more.

Children of virtually any age can relish in the joys of using cookie cutters and decorating Easter Sugar Cookies, all with a little supervision and short list of instructions. This version shows how to make the cookies and homemade icing so you can create any color you desire for maximum creativity.

Remember, these delicious crafts don’t have to be perfect – having fun and making memories that last a lifetime are what make Easter truly special.

Visit Culinary.net to find more Easter inspiration and recipes from “Cookin’ Savvy.”

Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops

Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

  • 1 box cake mix
  • 1 can frosting
  • 1 bunny chocolate mold
  • 1 cakesicle mold
  • ice pop sticks
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips or melting chips
  • cake pop sticks
  • 1 bag orange melting chips
  • 2 tablespoons canola or coconut oil, divided
  • 1 bag green melting chips
  • pastel sprinkles
  • 1 piece hard foam (optional)
  • edible markers
  1. Bake cake according to package instructions and let cool completely.
  2. Crumble cake and mix with 1/2 can frosting until dough forms. Add more frosting, if needed. Using small cookie scoop, form dough into balls and set aside. Place dough in bunny molds then pop out and set aside with balls. Place dough in cakesicle mold, insert ice pop stick in each slot and freeze 5-10 minutes.
  3. Melt handful of white melting chips. Stick tip of each cake pop stick in chocolate then insert into every cake ball and bunny until each has one stick. Set aside to dry.
  4. Remove cakesicles from freezer and pop out of molds. In bowl, melt orange melts then mix in 1 tablespoon oil and transfer to cup. Dip cakesicles and scrape off excess using rim of cup. Place on parchment paper to dry.
  5. In bowl, melt green melts then place in zip-top or piping bag. Cut tip off bag, pipe carrot leaves onto piece of parchment paper and let dry.
  6. Melt remaining white melts and mix in remaining oil. Transfer to cup and dip ball-shaped cake pops and bunnies then tap stick on edge of cup to remove excess.
  7. Over separate bowl, sprinkle ball-shaped pops with pastel sprinkles. To keep ball shape, let dry by sticking in piece of hard foam. Bunnies can dry face side up on parchment paper. After bunnies are dry, use edible markers to make face and color in ears.
  8. When carrots and leaves are dry, remelt orange melts and place in piping or zip-top bag. Cut off tip and drizzle orange over carrots. Add small line of orange on each ice pop stick and place leaves on each stick. Let dry.

Easter Sugar Cookies

Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

Icing:

  • 1/3 cup meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water, plus additional for thinning (optional), divided
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 bag (2 pounds) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • assorted food coloring

Cookies:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  1. To make icing: Mix meringue powder, 1/2 cup warm water, vanilla, powdered sugar and corn syrup. Separate into bowls and add food coloring; mix with water, as needed, to thin for piping.
  2. To make cookies: Heat oven to 350 F.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time to form dough. Roll dough out to 1/4-1/2-inch thickness.
  4. Cut into shapes, place on baking sheet and freeze 10 minutes. Bake 8-12 minutes. Cool completely before icing.
  5. Place icing in zip-top or piping bags and cut off tips. Put cookies on parchment paper. Trace outline first then fill in middle. Use toothpicks to smooth out.
  6. Let dry 6 hours and finish decorating with different icing colors or edible markers.


SOURCE:
Culinary.net

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Beverages

Sipping Sunshine: Celebrating National Margarita Day

Celebrate National Margarita Day on February 22nd with a glass rimmed with salt, savoring the taste of summer whether on the rocks or blended! 🍹☀️ #NationalMargaritaDay

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February 22nd marks a beloved occasion for cocktail enthusiasts worldwide – National Margarita Day! This festive day invites individuals to raise their glasses and indulge in the tangy, refreshing flavors of this iconic beverage.

The classic Margarita, with its perfect blend of zesty lime, smooth tequila, and a touch of sweetness, encapsulates the essence of summer in every sip. Whether you prefer it on the rocks, elegantly garnished with a salted rim, or blended to icy perfection, National Margarita Day is a celebration of versatility and taste.

Beyond its delightful flavors, the Margarita embodies a spirit of relaxation and enjoyment. It’s a drink that beckons you to unwind, kick back, and savor the moment. Whether shared with friends at a lively gathering or enjoyed solo as a personal indulgence, the Margarita has a way of brightening any occasion.

So, on this National Margarita Day, take a moment to treat yourself to this timeless cocktail. Allow yourself to be transported to a sun-soaked beach with every sip, relishing the flavors and embracing the carefree spirit that the Margarita embodies.

Whether you’re a devoted Margarita aficionado or new to the world of tequila-based delights, National Margarita Day is the perfect excuse to raise a glass, toast to good times, and celebrate the joy of this beloved cocktail. Cheers to National Margarita Day – a day dedicated to sipping sunshine in a glass!

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Food and Beverage

Creamy and Delicious Chicken Alfredo Recipe

Indulge in the creamy goodness of our Chicken Alfredo recipe: tender chicken, al dente pasta, and a rich Parmesan sauce—a true culinary delight!

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Authentic Italian fettuccine alfredo pasta dish with grilled chicken breast

Welcome to our kitchen! Today, we’re going to show you how to make the best chicken Alfredo that will leave you craving for more. This classic Italian dish is creamy, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying. Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fettuccine pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Prep the Ingredients:
  • Cook the fettuccine pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook them in a skillet over medium heat until fully cooked. Remove from the pan and slice into thin strips.
  1. Make the Alfredo Sauce:
  • In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  • Pour in the heavy cream, stirring constantly until it starts to simmer.
  • Gradually whisk in the grated Parmesan cheese until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  1. Combine the Ingredients:
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the Alfredo sauce. Toss to coat the pasta evenly.
  • Gently fold in the sliced chicken strips, ensuring they are well coated with the sauce.
  • Let the dish simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  1. Serve:
  • Plate the chicken Alfredo and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
  • Optionally, sprinkle some extra Parmesan cheese on top for an added cheesy kick.
  • Serve hot and enjoy your homemade creamy chicken Alfredo!

There you have it – a simple yet decadent chicken Alfredo recipe that is sure to impress your family and friends. This dish is perfect for a cozy night in or a special gathering. Bon appétit!

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