Organic junk food is still junk

 Organic junk food is still junk

Barbara Quinn On Nutrition
Posted:   08/21/2012 08:29:14 PM PDT
Updated:   08/22/2012 10:32:14 AM PDT

Organic jelly beans. Organic potato chips. Organic vodka. “Organic” is a term perceived as healthier than conventional products … no matter what they are, according to a recent article by registered dietitian Sharon Palmer in the newsletter Environmental Nutrition.”

So what does the term “organic” mean anyway? According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) — which regulates organic standards — “organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers with synthetic ingredients, bioengineering or ionizing radiation.” In other words, “organic” refers to how a food is farmed.

Organic does not necessarily mean a food can’t be highly processed, however. (“Processed” means it has been changed in some way from its natural form.)

Take a chocolate chip cookie, for example. OK, take two. “Organic” chocolate chip cookies are made with organically cultivated wheat, sugar, butter and chocolate. The “organic” flour and sugar can still be refined and white, however. And the nutritional value of these cookies may be no different from regular cookies. Sorry to blow a fantasy, but excess fat and calories from organic treats are no less damaging than those from other foods.

So while organic farming methods help ensure healthy soil and ecosystems, organic standards do not regulate a food product’s nutritional attributes, says Palmer.

Take a product made with organic brown rice syrup or evaporated cane juice. It’s still sugar. And organic sweetened beverages, candy bars and chips? If they are stripped of healthful nutrients, they’re just “organic junk food.”

What about organic milk? It comes from cows who were fed organic feed and were not given hormones or certain types of medications for illness. Both organic and regular milk contain the same profile of essential nutrients, say nutrition experts. And both types of milk are enriched with vitamin D — a hormone-like vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium.

Thankfully, all milk — organic or not — is strictly tested for antibiotic or pesticide residues to ensure these do not enter our food supply.

One interesting note: Some organic milk may last longer than regular milk because of how it is processed, according to Craig Baumrucker, professor of animal nutrition and physiology at Pennsylvania State University. Because organic milk is not produced in all parts of the country, it may have to travel farther to reach stores. To help it stay fresh longer, it may be treated with UHT (Ultra High Temperature), which destroys most all its bacteria content. It may be this UHT process that gives organic milk its slightly sweeter taste compared to regular milk, says Baumrucker.

This process is different than pasteurization, which kills most but not all bacteria. (That’s why we need to refrigerate milk and drink it within a few days.)

Bottom line? Organic or not, health experts still call us to choose from whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables, beans and legumes, low-fat dairy foods and lean meats, poultry and fish. And an occasional cookie.

Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Email her at bquinn@chomp.org.

BJ’s Whole Sales Club “Community Health & Safety Expo”

 

BJ’s Whole Sales Club “Community Health & Safety Expo”

 

BJ’s invites members and non-members to learn from experts about health, wellness, and injury prevention.

The expo is “FREE” of charge and will offer community residents a wide array of child safety, family health information and lots of family fun!

Healthy Eating! Healthy Living!

Live Cooking Demonstration featuring Celebrity Chef Jennifer Booker@ 5:30pm – 6:00pm!

Child Fingerprinting, Entertainment, & Kids Tables and Much More!

 

BJ’s Membership Club

3585 North Commerce Drive 

East Point, GA 30344

Date: August 30, 2012        Time: 4:00pm – 7:00pm

Labor Day: Summer’s Last Hooray!

Greeting!

 

Summer is winding its way to a close and for many of you its back to the daily grind of early nights, early mornings, and fighting the back to school traffic! But before you pack away your summer toys-there is still time for one last barbeque blow-out!

 

This week’s Your Resident Gourmet is all about Labor Day: Summer’s Last Hooray! I have included some great decorating ideas, a few recipes, and even some tips on cookout safety. So enjoy, and remember these lazy days of summer . . .you’ll need them to keep you warm this winter!

 

Happy Labor Day!

Chef Jennifer

Labor Day: Summer’s Last Hooray! 

 

 

No Work on Labor Day! Get out and enjoy summer’s last blast! Labor Day is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September in many countries around the world, including the United States and Canada. Its origins go back to 1882 in New York City, when the Central Labor Union declared the day a holiday. This holiday is designed to recognize the achievements of workers and their accomplishments. This day traditionally marks the end of the summer season as well. Planning the last party of the summer can be a fun way to connect with friends and serve up some new foods. Plan to celebrate your Labor Day with a party full of festive decorations, great food and drinks, and a dessert that’s bound to be a crowd pleaser!

 

Like the 4th of July, patriotic decorations dominate for Labor Day, but in addition to the stars and stripes, the promise of cooler weather means that you can also decorate in warm fall colors like rich oranges, golds and yellows. Although it’s the end of summer, Tiki torches, twinkle fairy lights and candles in hurricane lamps are still acceptable party décor.

 

The traditional Labor Day cookouts usually include, baked beans, hot dogs, burgers, and grilled steaks. These old standards can be updated to make for a totally different Labor Day experience.

 

Traditional baked beans are full of sugar! Slim them down by adding Agave, diced onion, and smoked paprika to canned low-sodium black beans or pinto beans. The sweetness of the Agave balances the smoky heat of the paprika and the diced onion adds a nice little kick to these baked beans. You won’t even miss the excess sugar.

 

Slice a hot dog lengthwise and stuff with diced jalapeno peppers, fresh corn, and cheddar cheese for a spicy delight. Split the dog lengthwise, almost in half and lay open on the grill with some red onion and serve with chilled tomato salsa for a fresh new taste.

 

Give your burgers a face-lift by adding Chipotle sauce, spicy mustard, grilled onions, or crumbled bacon into the ground meat prior to making the patties. And don’t get stuck in a rut when it comes to your bread choices. Try onion or sourdough rolls, slices of focaccia bread, or even a pita pocket for a twist.

 

Instead of spending your Labor Day behind the bar all day, serve a punch cocktail. It’s a great way to serve a large crowd inexpensively and with little effort on your part. A Beer Margarita is one of my favorite twists on the traditional margarita. So rinse out that drink carafe for one last hooray and add 1-12 ounce can of limeade concentrate, 1-12 can of lemonade concentrate, 12 ounces of cold water, 24 ounces of your favorite beer, a lemon and lime cut into wedges, and lots of ice. Stir well and enjoy!

 

The most important part of any outdoor barbeque is the dessert and this is doubly important when it comes to a Labor Day cookout since it may be the last chance to enjoy those great summer fruits like melons, peaches, and berries. Try this simple Red, White, and Blue Trifle. It’s quick, easy, and tastes like summer.

 

 

Red, White, and Blue Trifle

 

 

Ingredients:

4 cups strawberries, sliced

2 cups blueberries

1 cup blackberries

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup water

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Pinch kosher salt

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 prepared Sara Lee pound cake (about 12 ounces), cut into 2inch cubes

 

 

Directions:

Combine the blueberries, blackberries, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup water, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt in a medium sauce pot.

 

Bring to a simmer over medium heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries break down and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat and cool.

 

Place the cream cheese, 1/4 cup cream, the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.

 

In a second large bowl, whip the remaining cream with one-quarter of the whipped cream cheese mixture until light and fluffy. Fold in the remaining whipped cream cheese mixture.

 

To assemble the trifle, place half the cake pieces in the bottom of a 12-to-14-cup trifle dish or large bowl. Top with about half the blueberry sauce, half the whipped cream cheese mixture and half the sliced strawberries.

 

Repeat the layers with the remaining cake, berry sauce, whipped cream cheese mixture and strawberries.

 

Cover with plastic wrap and chill 8 hours or overnight. Serve cold and enjoy!

 

 

Remember Safety First

Food-borne illness also leads to many emergency-room visits because of mishandled picnic items. Wash your hands often. Keep raw foods separate, hot foods hot, and keep cold foods cold. Observe the two-hour rule; don’t leave perishables out for more than two hours. Throw away all unrefrigerated leftovers. Cook meat to the proper internal temperature, and NEVER mix plates or utensils between raw and cooked meats.

 

Old Fashioned Lemonade!

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

Compliments of Mikhail Jordan, Mikhail’s Plate

Basil MAGAZINE Youth Writer

Yields 6 – 8 servings

 

Ingredients:

8 lemons

2 cup white sugar

8 cups cold water

 

Directions:

  • Juice the lemons to make approximately 2 cups of juice.
    • Tip: Firmly roll the lemons between your hands and cutting board prior to cutting them in half and juicing.  This will make them softer and easier to extract the juice.
  • In a pitcher combine lemon juice, sugar and cold water; stir ingredients together.
  • Chill and serve over ice.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs.

 

 

Notes:

  • To make your lemonade more festive, you can add slices of limes and or oranges for color.
  • To add more flair, you can also add festive ice cubes by freezing mint leaves with berries.
  • To make lemon-limeade, you can use one part lime juice and one part lemon juice.
  • To make orange-lemonade, you can use one part orange juice and one part lemon juice.  Use ½ cup less sugar.

 

Yogurt! An Everyday Superfood!!

Low fat or fat-free plain yogurt is higher in calcium than some other dairy products and contains a great package of other nutrients, including protein and potassium. Look for plain yogurt fortified with vitamin D, and add your own fruit to

control sweetness and calories. Not a fan of yogurt? Skim milk is another super dairy food that has only 83 calories per cup and is easy to slip into coffee to help you get one of the recommended three servings of dairy each day. “Dairy foods contain practically every nutrient you need for total nutrition — and in just the right balance,” says bone health expert, Robert Heaney, MD. “No other food group in the diet is as complete or as economical.”
Photo: Low fat or fat-free plain yogurt is higher in calcium than some other dairy products and contains a great package of other nutrients, including protein and potassium. Look for plain yogurt fortified with vitamin D, and add your own fruit to control sweetness and calories. Not a fan of yogurt? Skim milk is another super dairy food that has only 83 calories per cup and is easy to slip into coffee to help you get one of the recommended three servings of dairy each day. "Dairy foods contain practically every nutrient you need for total nutrition -- and in just the right balance," says bone health expert, Robert Heaney, MD. "No other food group in the diet is as complete or as economical."

Eggs! An Everyday Superfood!

Everyday Superfood!!
Eggs make the list because they are nutritious, versatile, economical, and a great way to fill up on quality protein. “Studies show if you eat eggs at breakfast, you may eat fewer calories during the day and lose weight

without significantly affecting cholesterol levels,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids. Eggs also contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and memory
Photo: Everyday Superfood!!
Eggs make the list because they are nutritious, versatile, economical, and a great way to fill up on quality protein. "Studies show if you eat eggs at breakfast, you may eat fewer calories during the day and lose weight without significantly affecting cholesterol levels," says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to the New Food Pyramids. Eggs also contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and memory

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker’s eHow Video Series!

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How to Make Gravy Using a Slurry

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker (Atlanta, Georgia) is the author of Your Resident Gourmet, an interactive food site. Visitors can leave comments on recipes, entertaining, etiquette, food facts, articles and original recipes. This site is home to her blog, featuring guest writers, restaurant reviews, cookbook spotlights, kitchen essentials, gluten-free recipes, food trends, and a kid’s corner.

By Jennifer Hill Booker, eHow Presenter, last updated August 13, 2012

Making gravy using a slurry requires a few key ingredients and just a little bit of your time. Find out how to make gravy using a slurry with help from a gourmet chef in this free video clip.

See Chef Jennifer Hill Booker’s entire ehow video series!

How to Make Gravy Using a Slurry
Making gravy using a slurry requires a few key ingredients and just a little bit of your time. Find out how to make gravy using a slurry with help from a gourmet chef in this free video clip.

YRG Chimichurri Sauce

YRG Chimichurri Sauce

 

Chimichurri is traditional Argentinean sauce, both versatile and delicious.  It is traditionally served with grilled steak, but is delicious on grilled chicken, fish and summer vegetables!

 

yields 2 cups

 

Ingredients:

 

2 cups fresh flat leaf parsley

¼ cup fresh oregano leaves

6 garlic cloves

½ small white onion

1 cup good quality olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

 

 

Preparation:

 

Pulse the garlic and onion in the food processor until finely chopped.

Add the parsley and oregano and pulse briefly.

Add the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, and red pepper flakes, pulsing until just incorporated.

You want your Chimichurri Sauce to have the texture of smoothly chopped parsley.

Adjust flavor with sea salt and black pepper.

Serve room temperature and refrigerate after use.

 

Enjoy!

YRG Kitchen Essential!

Greetings!

 

Your Resident Gourmet believes that the summer is definitely the perfect time for barbeques, cookouts, and grilled summer veggies. I love the flavor that hard wood and charcoal gives food so that’s what I usually use when I cookout-but I do appreciate the convenience of cooking on a gas grill. But here’s the rub-what do you cook on when you want that grilled flavor but it’s either raining outside or a thousand degrees in the shade? That is when the All-Clad Electric Grill comes into play. This week’s YRG Newsletter wants to introduce you to a superior indoor electric grill. It can be used in any indoor space and doesn’t take up much room, so it’s also great for those of you that want to grill out but don’t have room outside for a grill!

 

 

The All-Clad Electric Grill is currently exclusive to Williams-Sonoma. It’s made of stainless steel and has temperature settings from 180°F to 480°F, allowing you to regulate heat from warm to a sear. I love the fact that each side of the All-Clad grill can be heated independently of the other, so you can simultaneously grill foods that require different heat levels, like vegetables and steaks, and have everything done at the same time. The cook surfaces are nonstick so that you can actually grill without any oil and the drip drawer is dishwasher-safe. A cleaning brush is included, although I’ve never used mine-I simply wipe it off with a damp paper towel while the surface is still hot.

 

 

 

Another great feature of the All-Clad Grill is that you can grill whatever you want-not just traditional barbeque foods. I’ve grilled peaches, pineapple, and figs. I’ve cooked bacon on it as well as toast and grilled cheese sandwiches. I’ve even made soup on the All-Clad Grill! Ok that might be a bit of a strech-I’ve grilled the vegetables for my Grilled Summer Gazpacho on it! So if you are in the market for an indoor electric grill-I recommend the All-Clad Electric Grill.

 

I’m including 2 great recipes for you to try out on your grill. Enjoy the rest of your summer and remember to think outside of the box when it comes to cooking-it’s a lot of fun!

 

Happy Grilling!

Chef Jennifer

Grilled Summer Gazpacho Soup

Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Yields: 8-1 cup servings

Nutritional breakdown: 70 calories, 0g fat, 14g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 3g fiber 

 

 

 

This recipe is a great way to use those summer garden vegetables. Grilling the vegetables for the Grilled Summer Gazpacho adds an unexpected depth of flavor. This soup tastes best when prepared a day in advance and the flavors are allowed to bloom while refrigerated overnight.

 

 

Ingredients:

6 plum tomatoes

4 heirloom tomatoes of choice

Salt and fresh ground Pepper, to taste

2 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into1/4 inch strips

2 small yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips

1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rings

2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded

2 jalapeño chilies, halved lengthwise and seeded

3 cloves fresh garlic

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 English cucumbers, cut in half

1/2 cup tomato juice, plus more as needed

1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon dried chili flakes, for garnish

 

Method:

  • Core, quarter and seed the plum and heirloom tomatoes.
  • Place the tomatoes in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer the juice drained from the tomatoes to a sealed container, cover and refrigerate.
  • You can use this tomato juice for the gazpacho, being mindful of the salt.
  • Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.
  • Working in batches, arrange all of the vegetables on the grate or in the basket directly over medium-high heat. Grill, turning frequently, until soft and nicely charred on all sides, 2 to 4 minutes total for the zucchini and squash and 10 minutes total for the tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, chilies, and garlic.
  • Transfer the grilled vegetables to a platter and let cool slightly. Pick over the vegetables, removing any burned skin but leaving some charred bits.
  • Working in batches, in a blender or food processor, combine the grilled vegetables, the cucumbers and the fresh herbs and process until pureed. Add 1/2 cup of the tomato juice or more as needed to make the puree a thick but pourable consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings; the gazpacho should be fresh and highly seasoned.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. This will allow all of the ingredients in the gazpacho to meld together and give a bright fresh taste.
  • Serve in chilled bowl or clear shot glasses and garnish with dried chili flakes and a pinch of fresh herb.

 

 

 

 

Grilled Steak Pizziaolo Salad

Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Yields one serving

 

 

 

Who says pizza can only be cooked in an oven? This Grilled Steak Pizzioo Salad recipe offers the doughy goodness of pizza with the smoky flavor of grilled steak, and is topped with fresh crisp salad greens.

 

 

Ingredients:

4 oz grilled Ribeye, Sirloin, or NY Strip Steak, cut into strips

4-6 oz pizza dough round

1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 oz YRG Chimichuri Sauce

2 oz Smoked Provolone cheese

2 cups Spring Mix

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

 

Method:

  • Oil grill rack with olive oil and heat to medium high (350*F for an electric grill.
  • Lightly oil pizza dough and roll or stretch into an 8inch disc.
  • Place pizza dough onto the grill for 3-5 minutes on one side and using tongs, flip dough to the other side.
  • Spread YRG Chimichurri sauce on dough, add cheese, and steak. Allow cheese to melt, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove pizza from heat, top with Spring Mix, salt, and Pepper.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Enjoy!

It’s Not Too Late to Enjoy These Summer Cocktails!

Spiked Agua Fresca Four Ways

Jul 15 11:49 am by

Mexican agua fresca — lightly sweetened, crushed fresh fruit stirred together with a little water — is a refreshing alternative to iced tea or lemonade in the summer months. It can be made with a variety of different fruits, and adults will enjoy it even more with a splash (or two) of tequila.

 

 

Here are a few variations on the cool drink, perfect for serving guests during cocktail hour.

 

Watermelon and Lime Agua Fresca


4 cups water

8 cups seedless watermelon chunks, plus 6 to 8 wedges for garnish

1 cup fresh lime juice, plus thin lime slices for garnish

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups gold tequila

1/2 cup Grand Marnier

Ice as needed

 

In a blender, in batches, combine the water, watermelon chunks, lime juice and sugar. Blend on high until completely liquid and frothy. Transfer to a pitcher, add the tequila and Grand Marnier and stir to combine. Serve in individual glasses over ice. Garnish each glass with lime slices and a watermelon wedge. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Cucumber and Chili Agua Fresca


 

4 1/2 cups water

10 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped, plus 6 to 8 wedges for garnish

1 cup fresh lime juice

2 Tbs. agave nectar or honey

1/2 serrano chili, seeded and minced, plus 6 to 8 whole chilies for garnish (optional)

Sea salt, to taste

2 cups silver tequila

Ice as needed

 

In a blender, in batches, combine the water, chopped cucumbers, lime juice, agave nectar, minced chili and a generous pinch of salt. Blend on high until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. Add the tequila, stir well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve in individual glasses over ice. Garnish each glass with a cucumber wedge and a chili. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Papaya and Lime Agua Fresca


8 cups water

5 cups chopped papaya, plus cubes for garnish

1/3 cup fresh lime juice, plus 6 to 8 lime wedges for garnish

1 cup sugar

2 cups gold tequila

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Ice as needed

 

In a blender, in batches, combine the water, papaya, lime juice and sugar. Blend on high until completely liquid and frothy. Transfer to a pitcher, add the tequila and Grand Marnier and stir to combine. Serve in individual glasses over ice. Garnish each glass with a lime wedge and a cocktail skewer of papaya cubes. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Minted Hibiscus and Raspberry Agua Fresca


8 cups water

3 cups raspberries

1/4 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped, plus leaves for garnish

6 bags hibiscus tea or 6 tbsp. hibiscus flowers

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups silver tequila

1/2 cup Grand Marnier

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Ice as needed

 

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add 2 cups of the raspberries, the chopped mint and tea bags. Remove from the heat and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Remove the tea bags and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher. Discard the solids. Add the sugar, tequila, Grand Marnier and lime juice and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve in individual glasses over ice. Garnish with the remaining 1 cup raspberries and mint leaves. Serves 6 to 8.