Mmm, Mmm Good: My Favorite Gluten-Free Soup
Itís turning a wee bit chillier in the Northeast and my thoughts are starting to turn towards soup to keep me warm. Homemade gluten-free soup is easy to make and a great way to experiment with some of the gluten-free whole grains.
Amaranth is one of my favorite grains to use in soups. Actually, amaranth isnít really a grain but an herb harvested for its seeds.
Amaranth seed is tannish-brown in color and very small ó about the size of a poppy seed. It gives soups a nice thick mouth feel. From a nutritional standpoint, amaranth seed is a tasty way to increase the iron and fiber content of your soups.
Amaranth seed can be found in natural foods stores. It also can be mail ordered, including from Nu-World Amaranth (www.nuworldamaranth.com).
In the Fall and Winter I like to serve soup for dinner. The recipe below is one of my favorites. It is from my book The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide (McGraw-Hill, 2008).
Gluten-free rice chips go great with this soup. I am partial to Lundberg Family Farms brand.
Tomato Vegetable Soup with Amaranth Seed
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced into ľĒ crescents
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 19-ounce can dark red kidney beans
2 cups gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup uncooked amaranth seed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Red pepper flakes, optional
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, peas, corn and kidney beans. Add the broth, water and tomatoes, stirring to combine. Mix in the amaranth seed. Add the garlic powder, oregano, pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Simmer over medium-low heat for approximately 1 hour.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Tricia Thompson, M.S., RD is a nutrition consultant, author and speaker specializing in celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. She is the author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide (McGraw-Hill) and co-author of The Complete Idiotís Guide to Gluten-Free Eating (Penguin Group). For more information, visit www.glutenfreedietitian.com.
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For a copy of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide click here.
September 20, 2010
Diabetes Awareness: Know The 9 Risk Factors
EDITOR'S NOTE: November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The best defense against diabetes is knowledge. See if you are at risk... or if you're already suffering pre-diabetes.
Diabetes is on the rise - the American Diabetes Association says there are 23.6 million people in the United States, or 8% of the population, with diabetes.
The total prevalence of diabetes increased 13.5% from 2005-2007. Only 24% of diabetes is undiagnosed, down from 30% in 2005 and from 50% 10 years ago.
This blog will focus on type 2 diabetes awareness since it is most common form of diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes develops either because the body does not make enough insulin or the cells are resistant to insulin.
Insulin is necessary for the body to use sugar. Think of insulin as the key that unlocks the door and lets sugar in to be used as energy. If your body is unable to use sugar, it builds up in the blood and can lead to various complications.
Know Your Risk Factors!
Below are risk factors associated with developing Type 2 Diabetes. It is wise to discuss these with your doctor to determine if further testing is required.
-- Overweight or obesity
-- An apple shaped figure (carrying more fat around the middle)
-- Age! As you grow older, your risk for developing diabetes increases. However, it is important to note that type 2 diabetes is on the rise in children - an alarming trend.
-- Sedentary lifestyle
-- Family history
-- History of gestational diabetes
-- Ethnicity: Diabetes is more common is African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans.
-- High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease - these two conditions are prevalent in people with diabetes.
-- Pre-Diabetes: This is a condition when blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association reports that in addition to the 20.8 Americans who have type 2 diabetes, an additional 41 million have pre-diabetes. However, the Diabetes Prevention Program study showed that people with pre-diabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making dietary and physical activity changes!
-- Take a closer look at your diet - modifying your diet and including a balance of healthy foods can help prevent chronic disease such as diabetes. Managing your diet is even more important if you already have diabetes.
-- Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and get your blood sugar tested! Before you head to the doctor, remember to take your Doctor Printout located on the homepage. Sharing your program information is important!
-- Lose weight (but only if you overweight). Even a modest 5-10% weight loss can lead to improvements in blood sugar and help prevent type 2 diabetes. Share your results in the Celebration Center!
-- Make healthy food choices. Use your Diet.com meal plans, daily recipes and meal ideas as a guide to healthy food choices.
-- Be Active! Exercise helps lower blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and burns calories! And, you don't have to go to a gym to reap the benefits of exercise. Walking is an excellent activity - clip on your pedometer and start walking!
For more info go to www.diabetes.org
November 3, 2008
Super Healer: Garlic
Recently, one of my family members was diagnosed with cancer. As devastating as it is for our family, we have taken this normally tragic situation and have come together to find ways to support his journey and learn some cancer-prevention tips along the way. In addition to his regular medical treatment, my family member is taking things into his own hands and is trying a few natural therapies. One suggestion another family member made was to try garlic. I've always known that garlic was a wonderful herb for building and maintaining optimum health, but I never really connected the dots when it came to cancer.
Garlic is known as one of natureís most potent antibiotics; and studies suggest that it has the ability to stimulate cell growth and has a super rejuvenative effect on the entire body. Garlic has been know to help open up the blood vessels, stimulate circulation and helps reduce blood pressure - especially when Cayenne Pepper is added to the diet. Garlic can help dissolve cholesterol in the blood stream, and is effective against bacteria while protecting the bodyís normal intestinal flora. Overall, this wonderful food contains many vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Garlic has been reported to have aided in some of the afflictions and condition of, asthma, bronchitis, cancer, candida, circulation, colds, digestion, fungus, heart conditions, high blood pressure, infections, intestinal issues, liver, lungs, prostte and yeast infections. Additionally, garlic has helped improve sinus problems, strep infections, respiratory ailments, immune function and disentery.
Cooking with Garlic also helps in the above mentioned conditions, however the active ingredient or parts can easily be destroyed by heat. There are 50 compounds in Garlic and some studies suggest that 10 of them are active in reducing cancer, so, it is best taken RAW, however this can lead to objectionable odor or bad breath.
Try taking Garlic with Aloe and/or Chlorophyll (naturally found in green plants); this will aid in its digestion and removes much of the Garlic breath, in turn it will contribute largely to the success of its use.
Whether any or all of the alternative therapies work or not, one thing is for sure, using garlic will surely improve our overall health and wellness.
The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism, edited by Malcom Stuart
The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine by Daniel B. Mowrey, Ph.D.
September 20, 2008