Granola bars are convenient when you’re on the go, but some varieties have such a hefty sugar load they may as well be sold in the candy aisle. Here’s how to shop for a wholesome bar.*
Star Ingredient: Make sure oats are the first ingredient listed on the package. This healthy whole grain is a good source of fiber, which helps keep you full and is good for your cholesterol. If rice or rice flour is listed, make sure it’s brown rice (it’s a whole grain), otherwise it’s refined.
Chewy vs. Crunchy: Crunchy bars tend to have a shorter ingredient list than chewy bars, but a package may have about 50 more calories because they usually come in pairs. If you’re looking for fewer calories go for chewy, or have just one of the two crunchy bars.
Limited Added Sugar: Sugar holds the bars...read full post »
Have you enjoyed having all your dinners planned for the past 3 weeks? Have you cooked anything you wouldn’t usually have made? I certainly have! I love how easy these recipes—like the Broccoli-Cheddar-Chicken Chowder—are to assemble. And I’ve been enjoying so many leftovers, my lunches inspire envy!
Get the full 1-month Healthy Dinner Plan!
You’ll be making steak, pasta, pizza, stir-fry, fish and stew for the last week of the 28-day plan—all delicious, healthy and praiseworthy. All your friends will be jealous (if they aren’t already).
So keep on cooking along with me. I promise you’ll love this last week of meals.
Here’s what I’ll make from the...read full post »
On evenings when I come home from cooking all day in the Test Kitchen, I rarely want to think about what to make for dinner.
Some people looking for easy, healthy meals start with the protein (maybe chicken or fish or, for vegetarians, eggs or tofu). Others, the starch—such as pasta or rice. Not me.
I always open the veggie drawer. I’m not vegetarian, but it is my favorite base when it comes to easy dinners that are also super-healthy. In fact, my new favorite go-to meal, the veggie hash, works pretty well for anybody—vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. At the most basic level, a hash is shredded potatoes cooked in a skillet with fat—oil, butter or lard—until crispy. But my hashes are a little different.
Quick Meal Staples: There are two things I’ve learned to always have in my house: eggs and...read full post »
MSG—or monosodium glutamate—is a flavor enhancer used in savory foods, especially Asian foods. It contains sodium, but only a third of the amount that you’d get from the same amount of salt.
MSG also includes glutamic acid (aka glutamate), an amino acid that’s found naturally in foods like tomatoes, mushrooms and soybeans and is the source of our fifth taste—umami.
In fact, we eat about 13 grams of natural glutamate a day on average, compared to only around half a gram from MSG.
Some people say they have an MSG allergy—or that MSG gives them headaches, worsens their asthma, causes chest pain or palpitations, or causes mild mood changes or other symptoms, all of which are collectively referred to as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome (because MSG is commonly found in Asian-style meals).
Contrary to popular belief, decades of research...read full post »
There are all sorts of rumors about canola oil—so let’s sort fact from fiction.
First, you may have heard that canola oil contains high levels of the toxic compound erucic acid. Not true. “The rapeseed plant that canola oil was originally derived from does contain high levels of erucic acid, but it’s been bred out of the canola plant we get our oil from today, so levels are very low and not harmful—the FDA regulates how much is allowed (no more than 2 percent),” says Libby Mills, R.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In the late 1960s, traditional plant breeding methods—not biotechnology—were used to rid rapeseed of its undesirable qualities and canola was born. Today most of our canola oil is genetically modified, which adds a certain creep factor for some people. Truth is, there’s no hard evidence that genetically...read full post »