Bread Machine Improves My Diet

I love making bread in my bread machine, adding all the seeds and grains I can imagine. My current favourite has flax, sesame and poppy seeds.

bread

Two slices (ie., the sandwich I’m about to make) deliver great taste, great texture and 2 Tbsp of seeds – that’s nutritional variety I would otherwise have missed! BTW, the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) recommends 3–5 weekly servings of nuts, seeds and dry beans – check it out here.
I buy seeds from wherever I feel there is high turnover – the bulk food store, health food store or my local ethnic market. Always natural – not processed, not salted. Here are my proportions, just combine and add to your ingredients for a 1½ pound loaf (10 slices):
• 6 Tbsp flax seeds (I grind all but 1-2 Tbsp using a coffee grinder)
• 2½ Tbsp sesame seeds (if I cannot find them dry roasted I do it myself in a non-stick fry pan over a low heat, shaking or stirring constantly until they develop a golden colour – the flavour is much enhanced)
• 1½ Tbsp poppy seeds
Mix up a double or triple batch and keep it in the freezer for your next loaf…just bring it to room temperature before using it in your bread machine.

Foodie Brain Teasers

This blog needs some action! I will be doing more news and views on current hot topics and how I incorporate them into everyday living. In the mean time, here is something to chew on as I do a bit of blog work. Feel free to post your answers, and to challenge any responses! Have fun….

Q1. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?pear

Q2. Of all vegetables, only two continue to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

Q3. At holiday time you can buy pear brandy with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn’t been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

Q4. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

Smoothie Breakfast…yummm!

Picture 5The scale is telling me I must curtail my intake so I can be ready for the next round of holiday feasting. So….I’ve changed my breakfast routine from cereals to home-made smoothies. I find smoothies refreshing and filling, keeping me away from the carbs I crave at lunch. My readings verify that whey protein does indeed effect how full you feel, plus it has a beneficial effect on blood glucose and insulin response. My smoothie delivers about 10 gm protein, not the 40 gm shown to have the strongest effects. Regardless, it does the trick and I find them delicious.

This morning’s smoothie was made with skim milk and low fat yogurt, frozen fruits I have stashed in my freezer,

ground flax seeds and sweetened with Splenda. I use a wand style blender to whirl it together – it’s ready in a minute! Sometimes it’s so thick I eat it with a spoon.

Yumm…..and here’s the nutrition: milk and yogurt deliver protein, calcium and some Vitamin D (but I don’t count on it). My yogurt is 1% MF (milk fat), sometimes it’s fat free but I like the tiny bit of creaminess the fat adds and anyway, fat helps delay gastric emptying, with associated benefits. Fruits provide antioxidants and fibre, I use them frozen because it adds texture. Flax delivers a soluble fibre source and vital omega 3 fatty acids (as ALA) (but I also take 1 tsp of fish oil supplement which delivers 750 mg EPA and 500 mg DHA). Splenda keeps the calories low. To download  a copy of the Dairy Bureau’s recipe booklet pictured above, just click the picture.

I love popcorn as a snack.

2 popcornWhat can be better than a crunchy snack and lots of it….not to overlook the low calories and high fibre. I stopped buying microwave popcorn because of its historic use of trans and/or saturated fats. I pop from scratch.

But imagine my surprise when I gave a gift of gourmet kernels only to learn the recipients didn’t have a clue how to make stovetop popcorn. I won’t take time to detail the age-old method, check out YouTube instead. Just remember to start with a healthy oil like canola, and you don’t need a lot of it – one tablespoon or less per 2 quart pot is adequate. Toss in 5 kernels and wait (lid on) until they have popped to know the oil is hot enough to add your portion (about one third cup). Kernels should be in a single layer and keep shaking!!