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Health Benefits of Garlic

The Pungent Bulb Proves Its Potency

Regular consumption of garlic can reduce the risk of stroke and thrombosis by lowering blood pressure and decreasing platelet aggregation

For nearly four decades, garlic has been touted by the scientific community as a natural remedy for elevated LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Yet the results of the most rigorous garlic study ever — funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted at Stanford University — reveal that previous studies were likely wrong. Whether consumed fresh or in powdered pill form, garlic did not lower cholesterol in the study’s participants, adults (average age 50) with moderately elevated LDL. The experiment’s findings, published in the February 2007 Archives of Internal Medicine, are thought to supersede those of previous studies, which typically tested only one garlic type and did not maintain potency consistency. Stanford researchers looked at two top-selling garlic supplements as well as fresh garlic; they also monitored the exact chemical composition of the preparations for the duration of the study.

Garlic contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that reduce the symptoms associated with a host of inflammatory conditions

Now that the verdict is in on garlic’s ineffectiveness for cholesterol, should we throw out the cloves with their paper-thin casings? Hardly. The Stanford study didn’t rule out garlic’s other potential benefits for cardiovascular health. Various studies have shown that regular consumption of garlic can lower blood pressure, inhibit coronary artery calcification and decrease platelet aggregation, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and thrombosis. Though garlic may not lower cholesterol, it can prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood stream and inhibit the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, which lead to heart disease.

Garlic owes its reputation as a folk remedy — and as a breath killer — to its variety of organosulfur compounds.  Allicin and dialyl disulphide are thought to relax and enlarge blood vessels, promoting better blood flow.  Allicin is also a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal capable of killing harmful microbes — even those that have become resistant to pharmaceuticals — making garlic a natural antidote to colds, flu and infections. Ajoene has been shown to shrink the tumors of skin cancer patients. Garlic’s stink may even make you smarter: researchers in China demonstrated that the sulfur compound sallylcystein prevents degeneration of the brain’s frontal lobes.

In addition to these odiferous compounds, garlic is chock full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C teams up with allicin to protect against cholesterol oxidation, bad bacteria, and colon cancer. In fact, research has shown that eating as few as two servings of garlic a week reduces the risk of colon cancer significantly. Garlic is also a good source of selenium, which guards against heavy metal toxicity, and manganese, an antioxidant defense enzyme.

Health Benefits:

– can lower blood pressure
– can reduce risk of stroke and thrombosis
– may reduce risk of colon cancer
– antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal
– contains Vitamin C, allicin, selenium and manganese
– anti-inflammatory

It is believed that the Egyptians gave garlic to the slaves who built the pyramids to fortify their strength and endurance. Greek and Roman athletes ate garlic before competitions, while soldiers consumed it before battle. No wonder:  garlic contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that reduce the symptoms associated with a host of inflammatory conditions, from arthritis to asthma — not to mention the pain and swelling that might result from hurling a javelin or carrying blocks of limestone up the face of a pyramid.

From the reign of the Pharaohs to the present, cooks have savored garlic as a marinade for meat. Beyond the sweet-hot flavor it imparts, garlic may also make grilled meats healthier by reducing the carcinogens produced as a result of exposing meat to high temperatures. Perhaps this is part of why regular garlic consumption is correlated with a reduced risk of a range of cancers, including oral, ovarian, breast, prostate and renal. Garlic also promotes healthy digestion by warding off intestinal worms and parasites and stopping the H. pylori bacterium, which causes ulcers, from doing excessive damage. Though garlic did not prevail in cholesterol cross-examination, the mighty cloves have certainly won their case.

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Lemon Ricotta Dump Cake
This sunny yellow cake would be a delightful way to finish off brunch or even start a special breakfast (we won’t tell). It’s a bit like a lemon bar, only super fluffy. Ricotta adds a ton lightness to the custardy base, and the cake topping is crisp and sweet. You can certainly dump all of the ingredients into the baking dish and mix them up in there, but it’s a bit easier to combine them in a big bowl first (it’s just one dirty dish!). Let your baked masterpiece cool completely before scooping it out or cutting into squares.
Being a diabetic, I use STEVIA in place of the sugar and it turned out just great.
Hands-On Time  20 Mins
Total Time  1 Hour 30 Mins
Yield  Serves 12 to 15

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter or nonstick spray.

Step 2

Make the base: Whisk together eggs and sugar in a large bowl until evenly combined. Add ricotta, lemon zest and juice, cream, flour, and salt and whisk to combine; pour into prepared baking dish.

Step 3

Make the cake mix: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and sprinkle evenly over the base. Using the largest holes on a box grater, grate the butter evenly over the surface of the cake.

Step 4

Bake until cake is puffed and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 30 minutes before serving.

 

Slow Cooker Quinoa Breakfast Casserole with Tomatoes and Spinach

Recipe courtesy of Slow Cooker Gourmet Web

4 hrs 15 mins
Servings4 people
Calories270 kcal
AuthorSlow Cooker Gourmet
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup quinoa rinsed well and uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups milk I used 2%
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen cut leaf spinach or use a handful of fresh!
  • 3/4 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese colby, monterey jack, cheddar, etc.
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl whisk 6 eggs until beaten. Add quinoa, milk, salt and pepper and whisk until combined.
  2. Gently mix in spinach, tomatoes and 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  3. Spray crock well with nonstick spray
  4. Add egg and quinoa mixture to crock
  5. Top with Parmesan cheese
  6. Cover and cook on high for 2-4 hours until eggs are set and edges are lightly browned
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Quinoa Breakfast Casserole with Tomato and Spinach
Amount Per Serving
Calories 270Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 263mg88%
Sodium 570mg24%
Potassium 421mg12%
Total Carbohydrates 20g7%
Dietary Fiber 1g4%
Sugars 5g
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A22.7%
Vitamin C5.9%
Calcium26.4%
Iron13.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Berry-Cream Cheese Tart

Courtesy  of Diabetic Living

Ingredients

  •  1/2 8 – ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
  •  tablespoons reduced-calorie orange marmalade spread
  •  1/2 8 – ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
  •  recipe Baked Tart Pastry (see recipe below)
  •  cups assorted fresh berries (such as sliced blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and/or quartered strawberries)

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, flatten the ball of pastry dough with your hands. Roll dough from center to edge into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Ease pastry into tart pan, being careful not to stretch pastry. Press pastry into fluted side of tart pan. Trim pastry to the edge of the tart pan. Prick the bottom and side of pastry generously with the tines of a fork. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake for 8 minutes; remove foil. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes more or until pastry is golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
  2.  For filling, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or until fluffy. Beat in marmalade. Fold in topping. Spread filling in Baked Tart Pastry. Top with berries. Cover with foil and chill until ready to serve. Makes 12 servings.

Make Ahead Tip

  •  Make Baked Tart Pastry up to 24 hours ahead; cover and store at room temperature. Prepare as directed through Step 1 without berries. Cover; chill for up to 4 hours. Before serving, arrange berries on filling.

Baked Tart Pastry

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 4 – 5 tablespoons cold water

Directions

  1.  In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, until all the dough is moistened (4 to 5 tablespoons cold water total). Form dough into a ball.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 12
PER SERVING: 156 cal., 9 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 7 mg chol., 86 mg sodium, 15 g carb. (2 g fiber), 2 g pro.

Diabetic Exchanges

Other Carb (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 2

Blueberry Muffin Bars
courtesy of Betty Crocker
  • Makes: 32 servings
  • Serving Size: 1 bar each
  • Carb Grams Per Serving: 15

Ingredients

  •  Nonstick cooking spray
  •  1 3/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  •  3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  •  3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  •  3/4 cup packed brown sugar*
  •  teaspoon apple pie spice
  •  1/2 cup light butter (1 stick)
  •  1/2 cup coarsely chopped slivered almonds
  •  cup sugar-free blueberry preserves
  •  1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil up over the edges of the pan. Lightly coat foil with cooking spray; set aside.
  2.  In a large bowl combine oats, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and apple pie spice. Using a pastry blender, cut in light butter until mixture is crumbly. Transfer 3/4 cup of the crumb mixture to a small bowl; stir in almonds. Set aside.
  3.  Press remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4.  In a small bowl stir together the preserves and almond extract. Carefully spread preserves evenly over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture; press lightly.
  5.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Lift from pan using foil and cut into bars. Wrap remaining bars in foil to store.

Tip

  • *Sugar Substitute: We do not recommend using a sugar substitute for the brown sugar for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 32
PER SERVING: 89 cal., 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 4 mg chol., 18 mg sodium, 15 g carb. (1 g fiber, 5 g sugars), 2 g pro.

Diabetic Exchanges

Starch (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 0.5; Fruit (d.e): 0.5

Ingredients

  •  Disposable slow cooker liner
  •  Nonstick cooking spray
  •  10 – ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  •  tablespoon olive oil
  •  cups coarsely chopped fresh portobello mushrooms
  •  1/2 cup chopped orange sweet pepper (1 small)
  •  3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese (3 ounces)
  •  1/2 cup low fat packaged biscuit mix
  •  cups refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  •  cups lowfat milk
  •  tablespoon snipped fresh chives or 1 teaspoon dried chives
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  •  Salsa (optional)

Directions

  1.  Line a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. Generously coat liner with cooking spray. Press spinach with paper towels to remove as much liquid as possible; set aside.
  2.  In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sweet pepper; cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach, cheese, and biscuit mix.
  3.  In a medium bowl combine egg product, milk, chives, salt, and black pepper. Stir into spinach mixture in skillet. Pour mixture into the prepared cooker.
  4.  Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 1 3/4 to 2 3/4 hours or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the crockery liner 180 degrees halfway through the cooking time. Turn off cooker. If possible, remove crockery liner from cooker. Cool, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  5.  Top crockery liner with a cutting board. Holding the cutting board in place, invert to unmold quiche onto the cutting board. Remove the crockery liner and disposable slow cooker liner. Invert quiche again onto a serving platter; cut into slices. If desired, serve with salsa.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 8
PER SERVING: 158 cal., 6 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 13 mg chol., 349 mg sodium, 13 g carb. (2 g fiber, 5 g sugars), 14 g pro.

Diabetic Exchanges

Vegetables (d.e): 0.5; Starch (d.e): 0.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 1.5; Fat (d.e): 0.5;

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sriracha BBQ Sauce

courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong), divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 12 (1 1/2-ounce) whole-wheat hamburger buns
How to Make It
Step 1

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub pork with sugar mixture.

Step 2

Combine ketchup, vinegar, 2/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons Sriracha, and ginger in a slow cooker, stirring well. Add pork; toss to coat.

Step 3

Cook on LOW for 8 hours or until very tender

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 231
  • Fat 6.5g
  • Satfat 2g
  • Monofat 1.9g
  • Polyfat 1.5g
  • Protein 20g
  • Carbohydrate 28g
  • Fiber 5g
  • Cholesterol 46mg
  • Iron 4mg
  • Sodium 619mg
  • Calcium 269mg

 

Step 4

Skim fat from surface of cooking liquid. Remove pork from cooker. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon Sriracha. Shred pork; return to Sriracha mixture. Place about 3 ounces meat mixture on bottom half of each bun; top with top halves of buns.

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon

Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker

Ingredients

1    salmon fillet (1 lb) SAVE $
1    tablespoon packed brown sugar
1    tablespoon butter, melted SAVE $
1    tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1    tablespoon honey
1    tablespoon soy sauce
1    tablespoon Dijon mustard
1    clove garlic, finely chopped

teps

  • 1    Place salmon, skin side down, in shallow glass or plastic dish. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients; pour over salmon. Cover; refrigerate at least 15 minutes but no longer than 1 hour.
  • 2    Set oven control to broil. Remove salmon from marinade; reserve marinade. Place salmon, skin side down, on rack in broiler pan. Broil with top 4 to 6 inches from heat 10 to 15 minutes, brushing 2 to 3 times with marinade, until fish flakes easily with fork. Discard any remaining marinade.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
270
Calories from Fat
130
Total Fat
15g
23%
Saturated Fat
4 1/2g
21%
Trans Fat
0g
 
Cholesterol
70mg
24%
Sodium
390mg
16%
Potassium
500mg
14%
Total Carbohydrate
9g
3%
Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
Sugars
8g
 
Protein
25g
 
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
2%
Iron
4%
Exchanges:

0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Skillet

Modified recipe originally posted by Betty Crocker

Ingredients

Chicken

2      tablespoons of cumin

1/8   teaspoon of salt

1/2   teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
 4      boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 7 oz each)
1       tablespoon vegetable oil

Rice Mixture

2 1/4     cups fat free chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
2           tablespoons lime juice
1           tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1           cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
1           cup black beans (from 15-oz can), drained, rinsed
1           can (4.5 oz)  chopped green chiles

Cilantro-Lime Topping

1/4      cup water
2         tablespoons lime juice
1         medium avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4     cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1         teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/8      teaspoon salt

Steps

  • 1    In large resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix cumin, salt mix and red pepper. Add chicken to bag; seal, and shake to coat chicken evenly.
  • 2    In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 5 to 7 minutes, turning once, until browned on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm.
  • 3    To same skillet, add Rice Mixture ingredients; heat to boiling. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer about 15 minutes or until liquid has been reduced by about half. Stir mixture thoroughly; place chicken on top of rice.
  • 4    Cover; continue cooking 12 to 15 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (at least 165°F), and rice is tender. Remove chicken to cutting board; cut at angle into 1/2-inch slices; return chicken to skillet.
  • 5    Meanwhile, in mini food processor or blender, place Cilantro-Lime Topping ingredients; blend until smooth, scraping down sides of blender as necessary. Transfer mixture to small resealable food-storage plastic bag, and cut corner off one end; squeeze on top of sliced chicken and rice before serving.
  • 6     Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime wedges. Serve any remaining topping with chicken and rice.

Serve-Withs, If Desired

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges

Garlic Parmesan Tomato Zucchini Bake. A simple, beautiful summer side dish. Just ONE bowl! Healthy, low carb, gluten free, and perfect for extra summer veggies. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

 

YIELD: 6 servings  PREP TIME: 15 minutes  COOK TIME: 45 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 small/medium eggplant (about 3/4 pound—see notes if your eggplant is large)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped green peppers (spicy ones if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a deep 9×9-inch baking dish or similar 3 1/2-quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Quarter the zucchini then cut into 1/2-inch slices and place in a large mixing bowl (each piece of zucchini should be roughly 1/2 to 3/4 inches in size). Next, slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch rounds, then stack the rounds and cut into roughly 3/4-inch pieces. Add to the bowl with the zucchini. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to the bowl. Add 1/4 cup green peppers…..Drizzle the cut vegetables with the olive oil, then add the garlic, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese, and half of the basil and parsley. Toss gently to combine.
  3. Transfer the vegetables to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes, cover the pan with aluminum foil, then continue baking for 10 to 20 additional minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese, basil, and parsley. Serve warm.
  • Larger, more mature summer eggplant can have a slightly bitter taste. If you’d like to avoid this (or find eggplant a bit bitter in general), salt the eggplant first, which helps mellow its flavor. Before starting the recipe, cut the eggplant into 1/4-inch
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