What Is Ghee?
We recently announced the release of our new Cookie Dough Tubs and you may have noticed we mentioned grass-fed ghee as an ingredient. If you’re not sure what that is or why we’d use it, read on:
• Also known as clarified butter, ghee is butter that has been simmered and strained to remove all liquids.
• Butter is cooked over low heat until the solids separate from the milk liquids and start to lightly brown. The liquid portion is then removed and the solids that are left are ghee.
• This process adds a slightly nutty, caramelized flavor to the ghee, which is great for the Cookie Dough Tubs to add a rich flavor along with smooth creaminess overall.
• Ghee is shelf-stable and requires no refrigeration.
• When used in cooking, it has a higher smoke point than butter. Ghee’s is 465º F, while butter’s is 350º F.
• The clarifying process also removes casein and lactose, which makes ghee suitable for dairy-sensitive people.
• Ghee is high in Omega-3s and butyric acid for GI health.
• You can also use ghee for roasting vegetables at high heat, sauteing garlic and ginger, frying eggs, or even put it in your coffee. It’s great as a finishing oil on foods so you can let the rich flavor come through.
Good Sources of Fiber
Fiber isn’t just good for keeping bathroom trips regular. It can also lower your cholesterol, keep your blood sugar from spiking, and help you feel full longer so you eat less. Luckily there are lots of foods that supply you with fiber so you can get the recommended 25-35g per day. Here are just a few:
• Fruit: Apples and pears with the skin on, bananas, oranges.
• Whole Grains: Whole grain pastas, breads, and cereals.
• Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, edamame.
• Berries: Any kind but blackberries and raspberries have the most fiber.
• Chia Seeds
• Brussels Sprouts
• Haas Avocados
Cheddar vs Mozzarella
Our menu this week includes a couple different kinds of cheese - cheddar and mozzarella. Cheese can be a great way to get in some protein and calcium and it’s delicious. Cheddar and mozzarella are very different from each other in color, taste, and texture, but how do they compare nutritionally?
Let’s take a look at the nutrition for a 1oz serving of each:
Total Fat: Cheddar-9.3g, Mozzarella-4.8g
Calories: Cheddar-113, Mozzarella-79
Protein: Cheddar-7g, Mozzarella-7.7g
Carbs: Cheddar-0% DV, Mozzarella-0% DV
Calcium: Cheddar-20% DV, Mozzarella-20% DV
Omega-3: Cheddar-102mg, Mozzarella-42mg
Omega-6: Cheddar-162mg, Mozzarella-101mg
As you can see, both offer similar health benefits with mozzarella being a little lower in calories and fat.
What Is Selenium?
Selenium is a mineral your body uses for a variety of functions. It’s an essential mineral, so that means it must be obtained through what you eat - your body can’t produce it on its own. Luckily, it’s easy to get and Americans who eat a reasonably varied and healthy diet rarely suffer from selenium deficiency. Here are some of the health benefits selenium provides:
• Powerful antioxidant to help reduce oxidative stress from free radicals.
• Protects against heart disease by reducing inflammation.
• Boosts mental function and improves memory.
• Crucial for thyroid hormone production to control metabolism and your body’s development.
• Enhances your immune response to fight off bacteria and viruses.
• Reduces asthma symptoms by lowering inflammation.
Here are some great sources of selenium and what percent of your daily value they provide:
• Oysters: 238% per 3oz
• Brazil Nuts: 174% per nut
• Halibut: 171% per 6oz
• Yellowfin Tuna: 167% per 3oz
• Eggs: 56% per 2 large eggs
• Chicken Breast: 55% per cup, diced
• Sardines: 38% per 4 sardines
• Sunflower Seeds: 25% per 1oz
How Does Oat Milk Stack Up?
Plant-based milks are hugely popular and one of their rising stars is oat milk. It offers a unique blend of advantages over some of the other types of plant-based milks and has the texture and taste people are after. But how does it compare to almond milk and 2% dairy milk?
• How It’s Made: Steel cut oats or whole grain groats (hulled kernels of grain) are soaked in water, blended, and strained to create oat milk.
• Fiber: Because some of the oats make it into the milk, so does some of the fiber content. It’s not much, but oat milk typically has a gram or two more fiber than almond milk. Dairy milk doesn’t contain fiber.
• Protein: One cup of oat milk typically has more protein than almond milk, but less than dairy milk. Yielding 3g for oat milk, almond milk usually has 1g, and dairy milk has 8g.
• Calcium: Oat milk is the lowest for calcium at 25% DV, with dairy milk at 30%, and almond milk at 35-45%.
• Calories: Unsweetened oat milk comes in right around 100 calories for one cup, which is the same as 2% dairy milk. Unsweetened almond milk comes in much lower at 35 calories.
• Allergen-free: Oat milk is great for people with food allergies as it’s nut-free, dairy-free, vegan, and typically gluten-free (check the labels to be sure).
• Versatility: Oat milk is richer and creamier than almond milk and works better in cooking and baking. Its texture and richness has made it a big hit among coffee enthusiasts. The taste is slightly sweet and most agree it’s closer to dairy milk.
Easter is just a couple days away now and if you weren’t able to find any egg dying kits this year or just don’t want to risk going out to get one, you’ve still got options. Here’s how you can make natural egg dye with ingredients you may have in your kitchen:
• Basically you’ll just boil some water and vinegar together then add one of the following to create the dye of each color: turmeric = yellow dye, beets = red, red cabbage = blue, yellow onion skins = orange, blueberries = dark blue.
• Combine 1 quart water with 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.
• Once boiling, add one of the ingredients listed above and lower the heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
• The amounts of colorant to add are as follows: turmeric - 3 tablespoons, beets - 4 cups chopped, red cabbage - 3 cups chopped, yellow onion skins - 4 cups (8-10 onions worth), blueberries - 4 cups
• After 30 minutes of simmering, strain out any solids and let the dye cool.
• Use tongs or a wire whisk to add eggs to the cooled dye.
• Allow them to sit covered in the dye for 30 minutes or you can leave them longer to get deeper tones of color.
• Experiment with different soaking times and try multiple color dips to create new hues. Yellow and then blue to get green, for example.
Olive Oil For Heart Health
A recent case study has confirmed what experts have been saying for a while now - olive oil has many benefits for the health of your heart. This was the first study that was done long-term (24 years, actually) and used exclusively US citizens. Let’s take a look at what they found and how olive oil benefits you.
• Just ½ tablespoon of olive oil per day can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by 15%.
• It was also found to lower your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by 21%.
• Lowers Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that olive oil can lower blood pressure significantly over time, possibly even to the point of no longer needing to take blood pressure medication.
• Reduces Harmful Blood Clotting
One of the main contributing factors in heart attacks and strokes is unwanted blood clotting in the blood vessels that blocks blood flow. Olive oil helps prevent these clots from forming in vessels.
• Reduces Inflammation
Olive oil reduces the inflammatory response in your body. Inflammation has been found to lead to several diseases including cardiovascular disease.
• Boosts Blood Vessel Health
Olive oil has been shown to increase the function of your blood vessels’ lining to ensure blood flow is optimal.
What Is Nutritional Yeast?
You may have heard of nutritional yeast and wondered what it was. It’s a pretty impressive ingredient to have in your kitchen with several uses. It’s typically found as flakes or granules and has a flavor that’s kind of nutty, kind of cheesy, and definitely savory and complex (some people say it tastes like Cheeto powder). You can add it to soups and sauces or sprinkle it on popcorn or pasta to add a boost of flavor and nutrition. Here are more reasons why we like it:
• It’s a Complete Protein
Nutritional yeast contains all nine essential amino acids that can only be acquired through the food you eat.
• Vegan Source of B12
B12 is usually only found in animal products, but fortified varieties of nutritional yeast contain 200% DV of it in just one tablespoon.
• Powerful Antioxidants
Two powerful antioxidants, glutathione and selenomethionine, are found in nutritional yeast. They protect your cells against free radicals and also help your body eliminate environmental toxins from things like heavy metals.
• Low Calories, High Protein
¼ cup contains 8g protein with only 60 calories. It also has 3g fiber and 4 different varieties of B vitamins.
Not only is it gluten-free, it’s sugar-free, fat-free, and vegan too.
Collagen is an important protein that your body uses to support connective tissue in joints, keep skin wrinkle-free, and maintain the lining of your GI tract. Your body makes collagen on its own, but production slows down as you get older and certain whole foods can help. Beef broth contains the protein itself and is thought of as the go-to for collagen support, but there are plenty of other options that help support the production of collagen in your body:
• Red Peppers
Amazingly enough, one cup of red peppers gets you 317% of your daily vitamin C, which plays a major role in synthesizing collagen.
• Citrus Fruits
Fruits like oranges and grapefruits provide 120-160% DV (daily value) of vitamin C for plenty of collagen-boosting support.
One cup of raw broccoli provides you with 135% DV vitamin C, giving you a vegetable option to get your vitamin C in.
• Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale, chard, and collard greens are good sources of vitamin C (among other things) but also contain chlorophyll that increases the precursor to collagen called procollagen.
If you’d rather eat your beef instead of drinking it, you’re still getting beneficial zinc and also three of the amino acids that make up collagen.
Fish like salmon helps collagen by providing amino acids, but if you’re able to eat the skin too, you’ll be getting the added benefit of consuming Type I collagen.
However you want to eat them, eggs are a great choice. The yolks contain collagen and the whites provide helpful amino acids.