Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Dip

Who doesn't love pumpkin treats?! I love it so much that I can eat an entire can of plain pumpkin puree. Yep, the whole thing. Today I made my second batch of pumpkin dip for an event tonight and's good stuff. The stuff I made today uses neufchatel cheese (a healthier alternative to cream cheese) and Tofutti vegan cream cheese. Don't be all afraid of vegan stuff- you cannot taste the difference in this recipe. Next time I make this, I'm using all vegan! I'm sorry about the measurements listed below...I just add without measuring until it tastes right.

1 8oz package neufchatel cheese, softened
1 8oz container Tofutti vegan cream cheese, softened
1 small can of plain pumpkin puree
a heaping tablespoon ground cinnamon
maybe a tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
less than a teaspoon ground gloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup (I think) Sugar in the Raw (use this- the texture is better)

Blend all this up in a food processor until smooth. Adjust the spices until it's wonderful and serve with dark chocolate covered pretzels or whole wheat gingersnaps.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I mean, duh.

I was in the grocery store today and had to hold my tongue. Two women stood in the bread isle, comparing breads. One was Sarah Lee white and the other was Oroweat Whole Wheat. They came to the conclusion that the Sara Lee white was the HEALTHIER OPTION because it had far less calories, zero fat and fewer carbs. Yet, it contains high fructose corn syrup and the flour has been enriched (highly processed white flour "enriched" is missing the two most nutritious and fiber rich parts of the seed: the outside bran layer and the germ embryo. A diet of refined foods leaves many people malnourished, constipated, enervated and vulnerable to chronic illness. Popping fiber, vitamins and mineral supplements, in the hope of compensating for what's missing from our diet will not work. For just as "enriching" refined flour with spray-on nutrients can't make up for those lost during refining. SUPPLEMENTS CAN NEVER REPLACE WHOLE "REAL" FOODS.)...but as long as it is fat free it's healthy, right?! This is why "diet food" totally sucks and will make you fatter!

I started researching food online and came across this totally basic, no brainer list:

Of course everyone eats this stuff sometimes. A brownie here, a slice of pizza- nothing wrong with moderation. But if you're consuming these ingredients daily, it'll affect your mood and your health. Check the labels. These ingredients are in everything these days.

1. Hydrogenated oil (often labeled as trans fat) - A process that turns free flowing oil into a lard-looking solid at room temperature. The food industry uses it to increase shelf life of products and maximize profits. Eating this stuff increases the bad cholesterol (LDL) in your body and is bad for your heart.

2. Enriched flour – All the grain’s nutrients are destroyed in the refining process. Companies add a little bit of the lost nutrients back and label it “enriched” so it seems nutritious.

3. High Fructose Corn Syrup – Your body processes this differently than good old-fashioned cane sugar. It contains more fructose than sugar and converts to fat more easily, which adds to weight gain.

4. Refined Sugar – When you put sugar into your system, you experiences a “sugar high,” that rapidly raises your blood sugar levels. So 2 hours later you “crash,” feeling tired and empty. Sugar that’s naturally combined with fat or fiber sources, like in fresh fruits, will absorb into your body much slower. Then you can avoid the roller coaster sugar ride.

5. Saturated Fats – These are found mostly in animal products and oils. Avoid the ones that are solid at room temperature like lard. They increase your cholesterol levels and clog your precious arteries, which causes cardiovascular disease. Plus they can also be used for furniture polish - how appetizing is that?