Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Mother Nature Knows Best

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When it comes to food, Mother Nature knows best!  I recently featured some of my favorite naturally nutrient rich foods on The Daily Buzz national morning show.  Check out the clip and read below for more details and recipe links.

Spring Potatoes Potatoes 

 At 110 calories, one medium-size, skin-on potato has more potassium than a banana, provides almost half of your daily value of vitamin C and contains no fat, sodium, or cholesterol!  In fact, recent research shows that potatoes are the largest and most affordable source of potassium of any vegetable or fruit! 

I know you want them and you can have them--Fries!  Frozen fries are lower in fat and sodium than in the past, or it’s easy to make your own oven-baked fries at home.  Check out these recipes:

Healthy At-home Wedge Fries

Quick and Healthy Baked Potato

For more recipes, check out http://www.potatogoodness.com/

KIND Healthy Grains

KIND healthy grains are delicious, artisanal blends of nature’s most healthful whole grains and superfoods hand-crafted to give you more health benefits in every bite! 

  • 1 serving of KIND Healthy Grains fulfills 1/3 of a person’s whole grain requirements for the day
  • Versatile, Snackable and Portable:  Bite-size clusters are easy to eat by the handful or break over yogurt or milk.
  • 6 flavors with innovative ingredients and taste:  Each blend contains 5 unique whole grains (Amaranth, Quinoa, Oats, Millet, and Buckwheat) in combination with tasty superfoods like Flax seeds, Chia seeds, Walnuts, Blueberries, or Cranberries
  • Better Nutritionals:  Lower fat, calories, and sugar with more fiber and whole grains per serving than other granolas and cereals.

 Medjool Dates

Known as the “Fruit of Kings,” caramel-like Medjool dates are the best-tasting, most luscious dates in the world.  Natural Delights come from Bard Valley, CA where 70% of all medjool dates are grown in the US.  One-third of all medjool dates are eaten during the Passover/Easter holiday time.

Medjool dates are one of nature’s most nutritious foods with many health benefits:

  • Filled with polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that help protect the body against the oxidation and inflammation of cells that can lead to cancer.  Medjool dates contain more antioxidants than blackberries, plums, and apples.
  • Rich in potassium, manganese, and other important minerals.
  • Contain no added sugar and rate low/medium on the Glycemic Index (GI).  A low-GI diet keeps glucose and insulin levels stable, helping maintain sustained energy.
  • Dense in copper, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron, and vitamin K, making it the perfect addition to the DASH diet, which is proven to lower blood pressure.

Recipes:

 Strawberry, Orange, and Medjool Date Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

For reduction

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

For salad

  • 1 head Butter lettuce, torn into pieces 
  • ½ cup Medjool Dates, pitted and sliced
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vinegar has reduced to about 1/3 cup. Set aside, and cool to room temperature.
  2. Toss lettuce, dates, strawberries and oranges together in large salad bowl. Top with goat cheese and drizzle with balsamic reduction. 

 

Medjool Date Truffles

Makes 1-1/2 dozen truffles

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 shots espresso, brewed with 12 ounces water or a 12-ounce cup of strongly brewed coffee, regular or decaffeinated is fine 
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Coating

  • ½ cup or more unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soften dates by soaking them for 3-5 minutes in 12 ounces of warm (not hot) coffee. Drain the dates and discard the coffee. With a fork or another utensil, mash dates on a cutting board to form into a paste. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add chopped pecans, coconut, zest and cinnamon to the mixing bowl. Mix well and shape into 1-inch balls.
  3. Add cocoa powder to a shallow bowl. Roll truffles in the cocoa powder to coat. Enjoy.

SUBSTITUTES

  • If you do not like the taste of coffee, use plain water to soften the dates.
  • You may substitute the pecans with another nut; walnuts work particularly well too.
  • For a sweeter, firmer coating than the cocoa powder, melt 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler and roll truffles. Allow truffles to cool and harden before eating, about 30 minutes.
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Tags: Quick and Healthy

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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