Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Get more nutritional bang for the grocery buck

Eating better, as in getting more nutritional bang for your grocery store buck is what “Cooking Light What to Eat” is all about. I think any one of any age can learn from this little book with eye-catching magazine-spread worthy photos designed to teach a lot in a glance. The book walks readers down every store aisle from bread to dairy, seafood to meat and snack to ready-to-go cook products with info on serving sizes and better choices. Look for answers to questions like these:
• Does peeling an apple negate the health benefits?
• What should I look for in a granola bar? Fiber? Sugar?
• When should I buy organic?
Here’s some answers I learned:
Fat-free balsamic vinaigrette and fat-free Italian are top healthy dressing choices, honey mustard is in the mid range and French, ranch and blue cheese are on the low rung of the nutritional ladder.
A few good oatmeal add ins:
• 1/2 slice crumbled bacon
• 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded cheese
• 1 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
• 2 tablespoons diced apple
• 1 tablespoon chopped cashews
• 1 tablespoon strawberry jam
From the Believe it or Not boxes:
One cup of frozen spinach has four times more potassium than raw.

On the frontier of cinnamon
I currently have more cinnamon in my pantry than I have eaten in a lifetime. But I’m challenging myself to use, and enjoy, new shipments for Frontier Natural Products Cinnamon, some fair trade certified good stuff. Ceylon, “true cinnamon,” is so pungent I want to mix it with dusting powder and walk around smelling like a giant gingerbread woman. I’m also working from a big, foil pouch of the line’s premium Vietnamese blend that’s good and powerful. I know folks match cinnamon with Christmas months, but it’s got a summer-patio-grill bite going on, too.