Grape season is here! A choice fruit for late summer, grapes are full of powerful antioxidants. Many of us are familiar with the study that came out years ago that left the media presenting the suggestion that we should drink one glass of red wine a day for our heart health. This is because the powerful antioxidant resveratrol has been shown to help prevent damage to blood vessels and reduce out “bad” cholesterol, known as LDL. However, alcohol is considered a toxin and can be damaging to our health. So how do we get resveratrol in our diet without red wine? Grapes. You can also find it in other fruits, such as blueberries and blackberries. Grapes are a common snack, but most people don’t use them in their cooking. This recipe is a unique sweet and savory way to cook with grapes and get some heart-healthy antioxidants in your system!
We all love an icy-sweet treat in the end-of-summer heat, but balancing our sugar intake with healthy foods can be a challenge. Here is your answer: fruits! There’s been a rumor going around that we need to limit our fruit intake because of the all the sugar found in fruit. This is not true.
Although fruits have naturally occurring sugars, they also contain a ton of other things that are beneficial to our health, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidant phytochemicals. Added sugar is the real culprit we want to watch out for, as it comes with the same energy punch, but lacks all the other nutritional benefits that fruit has—and it’s more likely to cause a spike in blood sugar.
Added sugars are also sneaky; they aren’t just in sweets. You can find them in savory things like salad dressing, soups, pasta sauces, breads and crackers. So always check your food label. The daily limit for added sugar is a about 6 teaspoons (24g) for women and 9 teaspoons (36g) for men, while children 2 years of age and older should stay below 6 teaspoons of added sugar, and children under two should avoid it as much as possible (excluding infant formula.)
Fennel is an underutilized vegetable. It adds such a wonderful savory-sweet complexity to dishes. Fennel bulbs are high in fiber, contributing to heart health, and they are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. Fennel has also been used medicinally all over the world for various ailments, everything from upset stomach and nausea to improved breastmilk production. It also has a pleasant and refreshing flavor, and the seeds are often eaten after meals similar to a mint.
The other star of this recipe is the pork loin. Fun fact: pork is a “red meat.” It appears pale when compared to something like beef because of myoglobin, a protein that delivers oxygen to your cells and accounts for the redness of meats. Pork has less myoglobin than beef, making it appear “white.” Remember though, the American Heart Association advises to limit your red meat intake, not because it’s red, but because of the high amounts of saturated fats that are found in red meats. When you do eat red meats, aim for leaner cuts, such as the loin in this recipe.
Trout doesn’t always come to mind when we are looking for a healthy fish. Typically, we think of salmon when considering foods high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but other cold-water fish are great sources too, including trout, halibut, sardines and anchovies. These omega-3 fatty acids help balance your cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of developing heart disease. You can try any mild fish in this recipe; check out this chart to see what other seafood options are high in omega-3s.
Carroll Hospice is taking the Taste of Carroll presented by M&T Bank experience to new heights, with this year’s fundraiser being held from April 26, 2021 to April 25, 2022 as a one-year culinary road trip to explore the tastes and delicacies that our community’s culinary scene has to offer.
More and more Americans are demanding food free of synthetic chemicals and pesticides. The availability of organic foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, has increased significantly over the past decade, helping to drive down cost as more farms choose to grow organic due to demand.