Oct 20, 2014

Oct 17, 2014

An experiment that shocked the scientists: Reheating pasta improves its nutritional qualities!


From a report by BBC: 
...what if you could change pasta or potatoes into a food that, to the body, acts much more like fibre? Well, it seems you can. Cooking pasta and then cooling it down changes the structure of the pasta, turning it into something that is called "resistant starch."
According to the report, the advantages of this are:

  • Smaller rise in blood sugar
  • More pre-biotics to feed the good bacteria in your gut
  • Fewer calories absorbed.

But this gets better...

Curious but doubtful as to whether reheating the pasta would retain the benefits of cooling, the BBC asked a couple doctors to conduct a small experiment with nine participants. They tested eating the pasta original hot, after it was chilled, and chilled then reheated, testing the changes in their blood sugar several times. The results?
Just as expected, eating cold pasta led to a smaller spike in blood glucose and insulin than eating freshly boiled pasta had. 
But then we found something that we really didn't expect - cooking, cooling and then reheating the pasta had an even more dramatic effect. Or, to be precise, an even smaller effect on blood glucose.

In fact, it reduced the rise in blood glucose by 50%. 
This certainly suggests that reheating the pasta made it into an even more "resistant starch." It's an extraordinary result and one never measured before.
At least one of the doctors will be continuing the research on a more scientific level, to see whether adding resistant starch to one's diet can improve some of the blood results associated with diabetes.

This doesn't mean you can pig out on big bowls of spaghetti, but it does make that leftover lasagna a little more guilt free!

Read the full article

Oct 2, 2014

Brat and cabbage soup

Bad pic; good soup!
I've been waiting for a day cool enough for soup; today was the day! I'd been wanting to try out this recipe I spied on Taste of Home recently, when I was trying to figure out how to use up some leftover sausages -- including some grilled bratwurst.

This soup exceeded my expectations! I love that it takes one of my husband's favorite foods (brats/sausage), and makes it into a fairly healthy meal! Kick it up to the next level by serving with a hearty bread made into garlic toast.

Bonus: it's really easy! We'll definitely be having this again.

I halved the original recipe, since I was cooking for two. (The recipe below is the half portion.) Double these quantities to serve a larger group, or to have some to put in the freezer. Several reviewers said that it tasted just as good if not better, reheated the second day, so this would make a great make-ahead meal, too.

Brat and Cabbage Soup Recipe

Serves 4

2 cups chicken broth or stock (or more, for a long simmer)
2 - 3 medium carrots
1 stalk celery
1 medium onion
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
2 - 3 brats, cooked according to package directions
1.5 cups shredded cabbage
1 can (14 oz.) great northern beans, rinsed and drained (optional*)

Put the broth on to boil in a large saucepan. Chop the carrots, celery and onion into bite-size chunks, and add them to the saucepan, along with the seasonings. Once the mixture boils, turn it down to medium low and simmer till the carrots are tender.

Slice the brats in half lengthwise, then into half- to one-inch slices; add them to the pot and heat through. At this point, you can turn the heat to low and let it all simmer till 20 minutes before serving time. If the broth gets too low, add a little more chicken stock. Or put some or all in the freezer for a future meal.

About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, add the shredded cabbage and beans. Stir gently and continue to simmer. Serve with fresh-from-the-oven garlic toast.

*To make this a lower carb dish -- with balanced carbs and proteins -- just leave out the beans. Here's the nutrition info with beans:
Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 276
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g20 %
Saturated Fat 5 g25 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 38 mg13 %




Total Carbohydrate 26 g9 %
Dietary Fiber 8 g31 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 16 g32 %

And here it is without:
Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 206
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g20 %
Saturated Fat 5 g25 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 38 mg13 %




Total Carbohydrate 11 g4 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g10 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 11 g21 %