Food

3-D Printing Whhhaaaaat?

Just a fun tid-bit for the day!  Researchers in Germany are developing 3-D printed food specially designed to look and taste great while having the ability to melt in the mouth and slide down the throat for dysphagia patients.

While the technology isn't ready for market just yet, I was stunned at the concept of 3-D printers having the capability to create something that we ingest, has nutrients, and feeds our cells and muscles and bones and brains.  I guess with all of the food technology that exists in this world I shouldn't be so surprised!  I am glad however it is being designed with the aging population in mind as many conditions can cause dysphagia (strokes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, head and neck cancers, MS, among others).

Check out the article in Tech Crunch (link above).  What food technology do you envision happening in the next 5 or 10 years that is likely to blow our minds?!

Food Trend: Chia Seeds

I've been getting questions recently on chia seeds and thought I'd brush everyone up on this new food trend.  Chia seeds are the new flaxseed.  They can be picked up at your local grocery store (or Trader Joe's/Whole Foods!) and are in fact the seed of those Chia Pets that became popular about 15-20 years ago.  

Chia seeds nutrient profile: 1 tablespoon contains 70 calories and the following...

  • 4.5 grams of unsaturated fats - the healthy ones that push cholesterol in the right directions, most of which are the omega-3s that help to fight inflammation in the body
  • 5.5 grams of soluble fiber - an excellent source of this fiber that helps slow carbohydrate absorption for longer, more even energy, helps fight cardiovascular disease, and aids in healthy digestion
  • 2 grams protein - although not packed with protein it is a high quality complete protein, making chia seeds a good additive to the diet for vegetarians and vegans
  • Enumerable antioxidants, and some vitamins and minerals (Calcium, Iron, Thiamine, Phosphorus, etc.)

I also found it fascinating that they are capable of forming a gel-like consistency as they are very hydrophilic.  At some point I'll have to experiment with using it in recipes as a fat-replacer and emulsifier.

Happy Chia-seeding!

Muesli: The Delicious Summer Version of Oatmeal

A Healthy Start

As an oatmeal enthusiast I start just about every day with a bowl... even in 90 degree weather.  I know that I personally feel great starting out my day with this balanced meal, packed with protein and fiber from whole grains.  I even notice the difference when I don't consume it.  It keeps me satisfied and energized through to lunch.  

Healthy tip:  grind up & add flaxseed or chia seeds to boost the omega-3 fatty acids that help fight inflammation

A Summer TouchPhoto courtesy of www.bbcgoodfood.com

While eating something warm in the summer months usually doesn't bother me, recently I've been craving muesli as an alternative.  Growing up, my grandfather (who immigrated to the US from Sweden) would make this tasty mix.  Muesli is similar to oatmeal but prepared ahead of time and served cold - very refreshing!  

To make muesli, mix oats with milk, dried fruit and or nuts, and fresh fruit finely chopped.  It stays a bit more milky than regular oatmeal, making it more of a cereal consistency.  It is best when allowed to stand overnight (in the fridge!), but can be served as long as the oats have been soaking in the milk for at least 30 minutes.

 

The Basic Formula: 

         Muesli   =   whole grain oats + nuts/seeds/dried fruit + milk + fresh fruit

The beauty of it is that using this core concept, you can make Muesli tailored to your favorite items.

  - Whole grain oat options: wheat flakes, steel-cut oats, rolled oats, rye flakes, barley kernels

  - Nuts/seeds/dried fruit options: (chopped/diced!) almonds, cashews, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, raisins, currants, dried apricot, dried banana, craisins, dried blueberry      **Keep this portion of the mix to 1/4 cup or less for healthy fat sources without maxing out the calories

  - Milk options: skim milk, rice milk, almond milk, soy milk, kefir, milk and yogurt mix

  - Fruit: finely dice apples and pear or top off your mix with fresh berries, kiwi, or sliced banana