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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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DolmasGreek Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice and Herbs

Courtesy of Saveur

Dolmakadia, the Greek word for stuffed grape leaves, is one of the most iconic recipes of Greek cuisine and, although there are many varieties, the meatless version is the most common. In the warmer months, try to find and use fresh grape leaves; they are more tender and flavorful than the jarred types. Out of season, jarred leaves are a fine substitute (we prefer the Orlando brand).

SERVES 6-8 PEOPLE

Ingredients

60-70 fresh grape leaves or one 16-oz jar, drained grape leaves, stems removed
34 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
1 large white onion, diced (2 cups)
4 large spring onions or 8 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced (1 ½ cups)
13 cups finely shopped fresh dill (3 oz.)
23 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (3 oz.)
1 cup finely chopped fresh mint (2 oz.)
34 cups (12 ¼ oz.) short grain rice, soaked in cool water for 10 minutes, then drained)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus a few lemon wedges for serving
Plain Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)

Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Fill a large bowl 23 of the way with ice water.
Add the grape leaves to the boiling water and cook until tenderized, 2 minutes. Remove the leaves using a slotted spoon or small strainer and transfer to the ice water. Once cooled, strain the leaves, and pat dry using a clean towel. Set aside.
Set a large skillet over medium heat and add ¼ cup of the oil. Once hot, add the white onion and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, 5 minutes. Add the spring onions, dill, parsley, and mint and continue cooking until the onion is completely soft and somewhat translucent, 3-4 minutes more. Add the rice and 1 teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Set aside until fully cooled.
Line the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven with 3 layers of grape leaves (these will prevent the dolmakadia from scorching later).
Working one at a time, place the remaining leaves, bottom-sides up with the points facing you. Place a generous tablespoon of filling in the center of each leaf, then fold the left and right sides over the filling. Fold the tip of the leaf over the filling, then roll tightly to make a roughly 2-inch by 12–inch cigar shape. Place the roll, seam side down, in the lined pot. Continue with the remaining leaves and filling, placing them tightly together in the pot and continuing onto a second layer as necessary.
Place the pot on the stove and add 1 13 cups boiling water, the lemon juice, and the remaining ½ cup of oil. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pan; cook until the rice is tender and the leaves are very tender, about 45 minutes.
Remove the pot and let cool. Serve the dolmakadia at room temperature or chilled, drizzled with olive oil and alongside lemon wedges for squeezing and Greek yogurt for dipping or topping.

 

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini

Recipe courtsey of Sauver  Featured in: Eating Israel with Michael Solomonov

SERVES 4-6

 

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower (about 2 14 lbs.), leaves intact
12 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. sweet paprika
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, stemmed, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced crosswise
1 lemon, halved
12 cup tahini
Cilantro leaves, to garnish

Instructions

Heat the oven to 400°. On a cutting board, quarter the cauliflower, leaving the core and leaves intact. Transfer the quarters to a large bowl and rub with the olive oil, salt, turmeric, paprika, garlic, and jalapeño. Arrange the cauliflower on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until tender at the core and lightly browned on the outside, about 45 minutes. Heat the broiler and broil the cauliflower until lightly charred on the top, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove the cauliflower from the broiler and transfer to a serving dish. Squeeze the lemon halves over the cauliflower, covering them in the juice, and drizzle with the tahini. Garnish the cauliflower with cilantro and serve while hot.

 

Honey-Dijon Chicken Paillards with Zucchini Slaw  Courtesy of My Recipes website

“Paillard” is a French term for any cut of meat that’s been sliced or pounded thin, a brilliant shortcutting technique for plump chicken breasts.

 Ingredients
         2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large red sweet pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly slice
  • 1 large yellow sweet pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, finely snipped

  • Preparation  5 m

  • Ready In   20 m

  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sweet peppers; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in zucchini and asparagus. Cook and stir for 6 to 7 minutes or just until asparagus is tender.
  2. Stir in garlic, salt and black pepper; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add butter and thyme, stirring just until combined. Serve immediately.

Courtesy of Eating Well

 

Nutrition:

Serving size: ¾ cup

  • Per serving: 75 calories; 4 g fat(1 g sat); 2 g fiber; 9 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 59 mcg folate; 4mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 1,695 IU vitamin A; 172 mg vitamin C; 25 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 90mg sodium; 366 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (287% daily value), Vitamin A (34% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 1½ vegetable, 1 fat

Bake time:  01:00    Prep time:  00:10  Total time:  01:10
Difficulty:     easy
Courtsey of Clabber Girl.

Ingredients

3 eggs
1 C. vegetable oil
2 C. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 C. cantaloupe, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tsp. salt
3 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Soda
1 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
Glaze:
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1 2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. pecan pieces

Directions

Preheat oven to 325° F. Prepare two 9×5-inch loaf pans by greasing and flouring them, then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Puree cantaloupe in blender and add to mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine salt, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Add to liquid ingredients, stirring just until combined.

Divide batter into prepared loaf pans and bake at 325° F. for about 1 hour, or until tests done. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes while you make the glaze.

Glaze: melt butter and brown sugar in the microwave for 3 minutes, stirring once every minute. Add pecans. Pour glaze over warm loaves.

Min Peach Cobblers

Directions

Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease a muffin pan.

Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a saucepan and cream with the brown sugar. Divide evenly into muffin pan. Cover with 2 medium thick slices of drained peaches.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Cut in 4 Tbsp. of shortening. Add the milk, stirring only enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls on top of the peach mixture and bake in a preheated 425° F. oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until muffins test done. Turn out of pan at once and set on a cooling rack.

Ingredients

4 Tbsp. butter
2/3 C. light brown sugar
24 slices of canned peaches, drained
1 3/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
3/4 C. milk
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

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