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Nutrition and Cooking with Natural Foods

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Food Substitutions for Healthier Eating

Instead of this… Eat this…
candy, pastries dried fruit, carob candy, health bars
snack crackers and chips nuts, seeds, low sodium crackers and chips made with whole grains
coffee, tea, caffeinated sodas herbal teas, juices, skim milk, lots of fresh water
processed foods learn to read labels, paying special attention to fat, sugar, and sodium content, or better yet, prepare it yourself
raw eggs and gelatin for protein wheat germ, yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, skim milk, or beans and grains eaten together for balanced protein
white bread whole wheat, whole grain products
red meat cheese, fish, chicken, beans and grains together, nutritional yeast
white rice, macaroni brown rice, kasha, bulghur wheat, buckwheat groats, or macaroni products made with whole grains

Ingredient Substitutions for Healthier Cooking

For this… Substitute this… In these proportions…
white sugar honey, stevia, maple sugar, date sugar, molasses, date sugar Use the same amount for dry but reduce the liquid in the recipe by one-third when using syrupy liquids. When using stevia, one teaspoon of stevia equals one cup of sugar.
white flour stoneground wheat flour, whole grains such as millet, rye, or flax Use the same amount in a recipe but a denser product will result. You may prefer to use one-half white flour and one-half wholegrain product until you get used to it.
butter or lard olive oil, safflower, sesame, corn, soy, peanut, avacado, or margarine made with yogurt Use the same amount but reduce liquid in a recipe by one-third when using oils. Margarine can be substituted equally.
salt and pepper lemon juice, spices, low sodium soy sauce, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cayenne, and chilis season to taste, never add table salt to a recipe (sea salt can be used sparingly), learn to appreciate the natural tastes of foods.
eggs tofu, yogurt, organic eggs organic eggs still have lecithin which helps us deal with cholesterol, but yogurt or tofu can be substituted for eggs in a recipe using one heaping tablespoon to equal one egg.

Healthy Recipies

Tofu with Brown Rice

This is a delicious way to fix brown rice and tofu and is sure to be a hit at a casual dinner party. It is full of fresh ingredients and the complementary tastes burst on the tongue.

Ingredients Instructions
2 cups brown rice, long or short grain
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Add salt to water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add rice and stir. Bring to a boil again. Cover tightly and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes. Turn off heat and let rice sit covered for half an hour. Separate grains with a fork to fluff.
1 package firm tofu
3 tbsp oil (olive, safflower or sesame)
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
Put oil and soy sauce in a frying pan and heat. Drain tofu and cut into slices 1/4" thick and 2" long. Sautee in pan, turning, until crisp and brown. Drain on paper towels.
1 bunch scallions
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Chop scallions. Peel and slice avocados into 1/8" slices.

Use 4 serving bowls. Fill two-thirds full with brown rice. Top with slices of sauteed tofu. Arrange one-half avocado's worth of slices on top of that. Sprinkle with chopped scallions. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Offer additional soy sauce so guests can season to taste. Serves four hungry people a heavenly meal.


Three-Layer Cornbread

This is an unusual treat, part custard, part cornbread, part pure joy. It has three distinct layers which form in the baking—a crisp bottom crust, a thick custard center, and a soft crisp topping—and a sweet taste that will delight kids and grownups alike.

Ingredients Instructions
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour mixture (3/4 cup stoneground wholewheat flour and 1/4 cup wheat germ)
    (Note: corn flour, millet flour, bran, nutrutional yeast, or nut meals may be incorporated into this mixture in small amounts for added nutrition)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
In a bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour mixture, baking powder, and salt.
3 cups milk (incorporate a little yogurt or buttermilk, if you wish)
1 egg
1/2 cup honey (incorporate a little maple syrup or molasses, if you wish)
1/4 cup oil (use a cold-pressed oil such as safflower, sesame or soy).
In a second bowl, mix the milk, egg, honey, and oil.

Add the contents of the first bowl to the second bowl and mix all together. Pour into a lightly greased pan. The batter will be very thin. Bake at 300° for 30 minutes, until golden brown and the custard center is set. Let cool and cut in squares. Enjoy with beans, a Mexican meal, or all alone with a tall glass of cold milk.


Spring Tonic Tea

This is an ideal pick-me-up for those wintertime blues and a sluggish metabolism that is not quite ready for spring. It is a pleasant tasting, tonic that can be consumed hot or iced.

Buy these herbs dried or use fresh. Mix together to keep in a storage jar. Steep 30 minutes in hot water and drain off tea. Use 1/4 cup of herb mixture for each quart of water. Throw used herb leaves in garden for compost. 2 parts peppermint leaves
1 part hyssop leaves
1 part alfalfa leaves
1 part comfrey leaves

Drink this tea hot or iced, as often as you like, for a general health boost. The peppermint is invigorating and gives good flavor; the hyssop is cleansing; the alfafa is nourishing; the comfrey is healing.


Learn as much as you can about nutrition so that you can make your own decisions about what is best for your body. For a start, visit Nutrition Navigator, a site that will help you navigate through the maze of nutrition information available on the Web.

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