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vegetarian food, recipe, healthy diet, antioxidants, organic, vitamins, minerals, beans, nuts, seaweed, dry fruits

Roughly 2.5 percent of the US population practices some form of vegetarianism, electing to eat few to no meats and other products that come from animals. While the decision to follow a vegetarian diet may be due to moral beliefs or health concerns, there are some distinctive health benefits to going vegetarian. Some studies have shown that vegetarians are less at risk for heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and other serious medical conditions than people who eat meat; however, this may have less to do with avoiding meat and more to do with the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are common staples in the vegetarian diet.

You, too, can get the health benefits of these foods without having to give up meat and seafood altogether. Here are some standard vegetarian favorites that can make a healthful addition to any diet:

- Beans - Beans are high in dietary fiber, which is needed for a healthy digestive system and important for keeping cholesterol levels in check. In addition, beans provide protein, iron, potassium, zinc and B vitamins. To get the most health benefits, purchase dried beans or use canned beans that are low in sodium and that have been well rinsed.

- Nuts - Nuts are smart healthy snack ideas because they have a satisfying crunch like chips, but are much more healthful for the body. Nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which play a role in the health of the heart, brain and skin. Nuts are also rich in the antioxidant vitamin E that helps to fight free radical damage. Several essential minerals are also present in nuts as well as heart-healthy plant phytosterols. When choosing nuts to enjoy as snack foods or in recipes, choose varieties that are low in sodium. Also, be sure to stick to the recommended serving size to limit your calorie intake.

- Seaweed - Just as there are many different types of nuts, there are several delicious varieties of aquatic plants that can be added to the diet. Seaweed contains iron, iodine, magnesium, calcium, chromium and vitamins A, C and E, many of the key nutrients that are necessary for maintaining a well-balanced diet. Seaweed is usually used in cooking rather than enjoyed on its own. You can find many free recipes that incorporate seaweed online for experimenting with the aquatic plants in your kitchen.

- Dry Fruits - Easier to eat than whole fruits, dry fruits allow you to enjoy all of the vitamins and minerals found in your favorite fruits without all the mess. Perfect for on-the-go snacking, dry fruits can be eaten on their own, stirred into yogurt, added to savory dishes or eaten with cereal or granola.

Cantinstar has a wide selection of healthy snack ideas that can allow you to reap the benefits of vegetarian foods that everyone should eat.

0 Comments | Posted in News Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Recipes By Karen B. Vance

Asian cuisine, Japanese recipe, seaweed, antioxidants, healthy food, low-calorie, diet, nori, Sea Lettuce, fat-free ingredients

Most of us probably do not consider seaweed a delicacy, but in fact this rich food offers an abundance of nutrients and health benefits. From being loaded with vitamins to detoxifying the body, seaweed is the food source that offers many of the benefits from food sources such as fish, calamari, crab, octopus, shrimp and the like. Plus, seaweed is a food source that has little in the way of detriments as well.

People have been cooking with seaweed for thousands of years, so it is closely tied to many different cultures around the world. This is because seaweed is plentiful and very easy to harvest and has a multitude of uses. In being part of the human diet either as snack or in recipes, seaweed offers plenty of dietary uses.

The Benefits of Seaweed

There are a number of advantages that seaweed brings to your dinner table. Reaping the benefits will lead to a stronger, healthier you.

Low Calorie & Fat-Free: Seaweed is very low calorie per serving and has very little in the way of fat, making it one of the easiest foods to fill up on without worrying about your waistline.

Minerals: This food product is also one of the richest sources of minerals as well. This is because it absorbs the minerals as well as the rich nutrients from the ocean. This is especially true of calcium and phosphorus which are very important for the body.

Vitamins: You can find plenty of Vitamins A, B1, C and E in seaweed along with being rich in protein and good carbohydrates for energy. You can get a great deal of your daily vitamin needs by including seaweed as part of your diet.

In fact, seaweed is arguably the most nutritionally packed food on the planet. A concentration of everything needed into one simple plant. It’s little wonder that more people are turning to seaweed for their nutritional needs.

Why You Should Choose Seaweed for Your Next Meal

Admittedly, seaweed is not the most pleasant tasting of foods especially in its raw form. However, when cooking it with a complete meal the overall taste definitely improves and the health benefits are certainly worth adding it to your dinner one or more nights each week.

You can use traditional cooking methods with seaweed or make it into a dry food source for snacks. One positive aspect of this food is that it is highly versatile, especially as a side item to your main meal. This means that you can eat a healthy, low calorie diet rich in the nutrients you need while not worrying as much about the sheer amount that is consumed. Like spinach, seaweed is very low in fat so you can consume more without worrying about the waistline.

Overall, seaweed is a food source that you can use on a regular basis and raw seaweed is often used for facials and other skin treatments. This is an all-in-one food product that can help you in so many ways.

0 Comments | Posted in News Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Recipes By Florence B. Harrell

seaweed, recipe, asian cuisine, Japanese food, healthy lifestyle, diet, nori, sea lettuce, dulse, antioxidants

Seaweed is one of the most nutritious foods we have, yet it may seem difficult at times to find ways of fitting it into your general diet. It’s understandable since seaweed does have plenty of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins it also has a taste in many cases that you will need time to adapt.

However, there are many ways to prepare seaweed which eliminates that particular taste and makes it well suited for your lunch or dinner table. The first step is understanding that there are different types of seaweed available so you can pick and choose. For example, Sea Lettuce has the strong taste of the ocean which makes it perfect for seafood platters. Nori is a Japanese ingredient in their cuisine and Dulse is red algae which is a common food source in northern countries with an ocean coastline such as Ireland.

Salads

Perhaps the most common way that seaweed is incorporated into Western cuisine, salads offers a great way to mix seaweed into lettuce and other vegetables for a tasty appetizer for meals. You can chop up seaweed to serve in many different types of salads with oil and vinegar dressing or sesame seed oil to spice it up. If anything, seaweed makes for an excellent side dish for your meal when included in a salad.

Soups

Another great appetizer for your meals is having seaweed in your soup to add flavor and texture. One advantage is that unlike standard vegetables, seaweed will not break down or fall apart in your soups when heated. You can create wonderful treats such as bouillabaisse or cioppino, added dried seaweed to clam chowder or combine it with other seafood for a soup treat that you will never forget.

Sushi

Sushi and seaweed are a natural combination and it’s easy to incorporate both into your meal. You can use dried Nori seaweed to create the rolls that wrap the fish or barbeque chicken if you so desire. Chicken and sushi make for a great combination, especially when wrapped in a sheet of seaweed that provides good texture as well as many nutritional elements to your meal. You can even add green peppers, sautéed onions and other vegetable delights to augment sushi to your personal tastes.

Snacks

We often don’t think of seaweed being a snack food, but it can be baked or fried to create a healthy, hearty snack that have the consistency of potato chips. However, seaweed has far less calories and a lot more dietary fiber. Use them with your favorite dip or create your own crisps of seaweed for a delightful treat.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

You can have seaweed at all three of your meals and snacks, too. Dice up some Nori and add eggs for a delicious breakfast that you can augment with various spices. Plus, you can add seaweed to omelets complete with bamboo shoots or shitake mushrooms as well. Let your imagination soar as you can create many delicious meals with seaweed as one of the ingredients.

Cantinastar offers many seaweed snacks and free recipes that provide health benefits for you and your family. Perfect with crab, lobster, shrimp or calamari, seaweed is the perfect ingredient whether you use the freshwater or saltwater varieties.

0 Comments | Posted in News Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Recipes By Florence B. Harrell

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