Meatless Monday – Red, White & Blue Smoothie

On behalf on Tablespoons & Teaspoons, we want to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July!

Since it is a holiday and given that today is Monday, I came up with a quick, healthy, low calorie and gluten free patriotic concoction that will commemorate the continuous blending of America’s diversity on birth of America.

Red, White & Blue Smoothie

Total calories – 194 calories

Total cost at Stop & Shop at minimum with a $25 purchase in order to get the blueberries at the cheapest price – $5.55

RED 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries (approximately 24 calories) –$2.99/lb. Stop & Shop this week.  Health benefits of Strawberry consumption can be seen in a previous Meatless Monday Post.

WHITE 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk – 30 calories – Silk almond milk is on sale this week at Stop & Shop – 2 for $6.   Health benefits of almond milk consumption include: Low sugar, which provides an option for diabetics.  It also has no cholesterol and low sodium plus contains omega 3 fatty acids, which helps maintain blood pressure & a healthy heart.  One cup provides 10% more calcium than regular milk and more vitamin D, which helps strengthen bone and even lower the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Almond milk also contains vitamin E, which is involved with maintaining healthy skin.  It also has vitamin B especially iron and riboflavin with helps build muscle.  It also has fiber and is lactose free, which helps aid digestion.  Other health benefits include boosting the immune system, preventing cancers, and improving vision.

BLUE 1 cup of blueberries – 85 calories – on sale for $0.97/pint with a $25 purchase at Stop & Shop this week.  Blueberries, similar to strawberries contain plenty of antioxidants, which prevents cancers, aging, degenerative disease and infections.  They also contain chlorogenic acid which lowers blood sugar levels & control blood-glucose levels in Type II diabetes.  Blueberries is also considered a brain food which helps boost memory and focus.  Research studies also show that blueberry consumption has lowered blood pressure and even reduce heart disease risk.

1/2 medium banana (sliced) – 55 calories – $0.49/lb at Stop & Shop.  Health benefits of banana consumption include replenishing energy.  It also contains soluble dietary fiber which reduces constipation by helping normal bowel movements.  Bananas also carry antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxantin, carotenes that helps reduce aging.  Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) helps with neuritis and anemia and reduces homocystine levels, which is a contributor to heart disease & stroke.  It also contains vitamin C, which develops resistance again infections.  But most importantly bananas are known for their rich source of potassium, which helps control heart rate & blood pressure.

Instruction: Combine and blend until smooth.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!! Cheers to good healthy and more budget friendly meals.

Meatless Monday – Strawberries

Happy Memorial Day! Happy Monday.  As we are approaching the end of May, I want start off by week by sharing four very simple strawberry recipes all appropriate for Meatless Monday.

Strawberries was initially considered a luxury food prior to the 19th century.  It originated in South America and the crop was sent to Europe for breeding purposes.   There are many varieties of strawberries, but this post will focus on the health benefits of its consumption.  Strawberries have a rich source of antioxidants, manganese in particular and vitamin C.  These two sources along with other antioxidants that play role in cardiovascular disease such as decreasing fat oxidation especially in the blood vessel area, lowering LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol.  More importantly, 1-2 cups of strawberries per day can help reduce high blood pressure.

For families affected by type 2 diabetes, 1 cup of strawberries (approximately 47 calories) may reduce the risk by its ability to lower blood sugar levels.

For families or patients with cancer, strawberries contain anti-cancer properties that may help reduce risk or worsening of specific cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, cervical and esophageal cancers.

Other research studies show that strawberries contain components that may help with aging, cognition, brain and motor function.  Another study using rats, rats who consumed strawberry extracts that may prevent gastric diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and ulcers.  Another recent study also reveals that an antioxidant found in strawberries may help prevent and even treat retinal disease.

Since it is National Strawberry Month plus knowing the health benefits of consuming them, there are many uses of strawberries.  One obvious reason and most likely the best way to eating them is raw, only one cup of strawberries have low calories plus a multitude of health benefits.  If eating raw strawberries is not a possibility or if you want something quick, below are four pictures of recipes that do not require as many ingredients.

Strawberries can be included on a salad, such as the Strawberry Arugula Salad, that was previously posted three weeks ago here.  Personally, I enjoy eating them raw or in the morning when I am in a rush, I like to make smoothies.  My smoothies contain about:

1/2 cup of sliced strawberries (approximately 24 calories) – $3.88/2 lbs. – Stop & Shop

1 cup of almond milk (unsweetened)/1 cup of cashew milk (unsweetened) – 30 calories / 25 calories- 2 for $6 (Stop & Shop)

Sometimes, I like to add other items such as

1 cup blueberries – 85 calories or 1/2 banana sliced – 55 calories

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Cravings for dessert and don’t want to cook or bake, this sound biased, but I have had the pleasure of enjoying baked strawberry goods at the recent Queens Taste Event from Esta Joy’s Kitchen and Rudy’s Bakery and Cafe.

In the past, I have enjoyed the strawberry panna cotta dessert made by Pastry Executive Chef Zac Young at David Burke Fabrick, when it first opened in 2014.

These items are so simple to make and obtain, if there are no food allergies to strawberries, take control of your health and well being by taking advantage of this nutritional crop.  Cheers!!

 

First Sunday Game Plan

It’s been a long weekend but very excited to post Tablespoons and Teaspoons’ first Sunday Game Plan for the week.   After reviewing various circulars, a budget of $30 was set aside to do some grocery shopping for this week’s meal plan.  This meal plan works well with anyone who wants to lose weight and take up “clean” eating.  Below is the handwritten version of the game plan which lists recipes that will be prepared and made.20160110_231941-1

Utilizing the ingredients purchased on a $30 budget, at least 12 healthy cost effective recipes can be created for the week with the high probability of leftovers.  In terms of current pantry items the biggest investments were the olive oil, rice, cooking spray and soy sauce, everything else in the pantry was purchased under $3 per item.  Current pantry items are separate from the $30 budget grocery shopping.

Can’t wait to put these ingredients into great use and make quick, budget friendly and healthy dishes.  Stay tuned!!