Our Sweet & Salty Salad is rolling out for Summer and features bacon, strawberries, and feta cheese, among other delicious ingredients. Feta is a very unique cheese - from how it’s made to its nutrition, and even where it comes from.
• “Feta” in Greek means “slice”.
• Only feta cheese made in certain regions of Greece can be called “feta”.
• It’s made from sheep or goat milk, not cow milk.
• Feta contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a fatty acid that helps promote healthy body composition, prevents diabetes, and has anti-cancer properties.
• Feta has a wonderful combination of being low in calories, but high in calcium.
• It also contains a wide range of nutrients including folate, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, K, B6, and B12.
Whether you have a garden every summer or are considering one this year, herbs can be a great place to start. Most varieties are relatively low-fuss and offer a plentiful harvest that can be dried and used throughout the year.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Bright green and available in many interesting varieties, growing your own basil can save you quite a bit of money as fresh basil tends to be expensive in-store.
Available in garden or garlic varieties, chives add a delicious pop of color to your garden when their edible purple flowers bloom.
Oregano is extremely versatile, easy to grow, and full of flavor once its leaves dry.
Food and drinks get an invigorating kick from fresh mint, but plant it in containers to avoid it spreading to unwanted areas.
Easy to grow and always good to have on hand, sage comes in many varieties but make sure the one you’re planting is edible, since a couple aren’t.
Another colorful garden addition, lavender adds something different to desserts and drinks and can even be used to make your own lavender oil.
Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods out there. It’s able to help fight diseases, packed with vitamins, and can improve your health while also being delicious and versatile. Here are some more reasons we love salmon:
• Lean Protein - A 3oz serving gets you 22g of protein for only 155 calories and only 1g of saturated fat.
• B-Vitamins - Salmon is a great source of almost every B-vitamin that exists. These help many crucial processes such as turning food into energy and building DNA.
• Anti-Inflammatory - Salmon has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which is believed to be the root cause of several diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
• Brain Health - The combo of Omega-3s, B12, choline, and selenium all work to improve brain function and neurological health.
• Heart Health - Polyunsaturated fats in salmon help improve cholesterol levels and potassium helps to regulate blood pressure.
• Skin Health - The pink color of salmon comes from a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin that has been shown to repair skin from UV damage and help keep it hydrated and flexible.
Turkey is a low-fat, versatile source of protein that can be enjoyed all year round - not just at Thanksgiving. Let’s take a look at why turkey should be part of your regular rotation:
• Good Source of Protein - Just a couple thick slices of turkey breast contains 24g of protein.
• Helps You Feel Full - The abundant protein in turkey will keep you feeling satisfied long after eating it.
• Low Calories and Fat - The same serving size of two thick slices of turkey comes in at only 117 calories and 2g of fat.
• Loaded With B Vitamins - Turkey provides you with 61% of your daily value (DV) of Vitamin B3, 49% of B6, and 29% of B12.
• Minerals - A variety of minerals can be found in turkey including selenium, zinc, choline, magnesium, and potassium.
• Versatile - Turkey can be used in a myriad of dishes including soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and casseroles.
• Tryptophan Isn’t A Concern - Turkey is often blamed for sleepiness after a Thanksgiving meal because it contains tryptophan, but this doesn’t hold up. All meat contains tryptophan and turkey isn’t any higher in it than any other kind of meat. The amounts present aren’t large enough to cause sleepiness.
There are so many ways to enjoy eggs - fried, poached, boiled, scrambled, and deviled to name a few. There’s no denying that eggs are a nutritional powerhouse offering a myriad of health benefits, but does the cooking method affect any of these benefits?
• In short, yes. Different cooking methods can slightly alter the nutritional values of eggs.
• Heat causes the egg’s composition to change. The longer and hotter you cook your eggs, the more nutrients you may lose.
• Scrambling eggs causes a decrease in B vitamins and selenium, but keeps more healthy fats, vitamin D, and vitamin K than if they’re boiled. Scrambling is usually lower heat than frying or boiling and for less time.
• Boiling eggs can decrease amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for eye health. Soft boiling instead of hard boiling can help retain more of these nutrients since they're found in egg yolks.
• Frying eggs can cause the cholesterol in them to become oxidized and produce compounds known as oxysterols because of the high heat. People with heart conditions should probably use a different method for cooking eggs.
• However, cooking an egg does have its benefits. It increases the availability of protein for your body to 91% compared to only 51% availability in a raw egg.
• Cooking also increases digestibility and also removes the risk of salmonella poisoning, so it’s definitely necessary.
• And all of this being said, because eggs start out so high in nutrients, even a reduction leaves them standing strong as a good source of a variety of nutrients.
When you’re stuck at your desk, a snack can make everything better. The best snacks are satisfying, portable, portioned, nutritious, and delicious. Here are some ideas that can keep you going through the afternoon slump:
• Trail mix - Portion it out ahead of time and watch for varieties full of candy.
• Popcorn - Enjoy it as-is or get wild with the seasonings.
• Fruit - Apples, pears, and bananas are already portioned and packaged by nature and ready to go.
• Almonds/Pistachios/Peanuts - A small bowl of nuts can go a long way.
• Kombucha - It’s fizzy, refreshing and full of probiotics.
• String Cheese - Easy and fun to eat so you’ll have a little diversion before getting back to your inbox.
• Protein Balls - We’re obviously big fans of our Low-Carb Protein Balls and they do check all the boxes for an awesome snack!
• Peanut Butter - Eat a spoonful or spread it on a rice cake or apple slices.
• Dried Roasted Seaweed - Something different that’s got lots of vitamins and is a crunchy alternative to chips or crackers.
• Tuna - Either from a can or pouch, it can be eaten by itself or with some whole grain crackers.
• Wasabi Peas - Some fiber and protein and lots of invigorating heat! Just be sure to portion these out as they’re calorically-dense.
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.
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
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.
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