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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The new Superfood

Check out the new SuperFoods.
All you vegetarians out there, try Sykr / Fage to supplement your diet with high protein via low fat yogurt.

CBS News) 
So-called "superfoods" are supposed to help you stay healthy, fight disease and even live longer.
On "The Early Show" Cynthia Sass, registered dietician and author of "Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches," shared all the buzz on six hot new "superfoods."
"This is the new Greek yogurt. It's Icelandic yogurt, which is strained in a way that makes it even thicker and higher in protein than Greek yogurt. One six ounce serving packs 17 grams of protein, compared to about 15 in Greek yogurt and about eight in traditional yogurt."
She added, "You can add herbs, honey and cinnamon as a dip for fruit. The strains make it thicker. You get a creamier texture. More protein without the fat. ... If you put a spoon in this and turn it upside down it probably wouldn't come out. That's how thick it is. You can use it in smoothies. You can eat it as-is. It comes with fruit flavors and you can eat it plain, as well."
"This is an ancient grain," Sass said. "Whole grains are very hot right now. If you've been to an Ethiopian restaurant, this is what they use to make the spongey flat bread. It's an African whole grain. You can use it in place of lots of other grains. It's gluten-free. It packs about twice the iron and three times the calcium as a lot of other whole grains. So here we have some peanut butter cookies, which you can use. Just follow the instructions on the package. You can find this at most supermarkets now. And here we have a polenta dish. But I substituted the teff, instead of the cornmeal. So swap it out. Give it a try. (It's) a great way to get more nutrients into your diet."
Sass said, "(It's) an Amazonian fruit. It's really hot right now. ... It's very high in antioxidants. It's flavor is sort of like a pear combined with a banana. It's very hard to find as fresh fruit in the United States, but you can find the powder, which you can incorporate into a smoothie. And you can find 100 percent juice, which you can freeze in pops. ... A lot of the ones very heart protective and are known to help the skin look beautiful. Really fights those free radicals to fend off aging. So, could be the next hot thing."
Black garlic
"(These are) whole garlic cloves that are fermented under high heat for about 30 days to give it this gorgeous black color," Sass said. "It doubles the antioxidant value in the garlic, compared to fresh, and makes it soft, sweeter and actually spreadable. So you can take the whole cloves here. They say it will not give you garlic breath. You can incorporate this into sweet or savory dishes."
Chia seeds
"We know Chia (pets)," Sass said. "These have more of the plant-based omega-3s as flax seeds. Double the fiber. So one tablespoon of this has a whopping five grams of dietary fiber, which is about, you know, a huge amount compared to the 25 that we should be getting per day. (It) has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, fight inflammation. But what's really interesting about chia seeds is they absorb 12 times their weight in fluid. So they form sort of a gel thick-like texture. So if you want to thicken something up - from a pudding to a salad dressing, or even a smoothie - add that in."
Sass said, "(Mulberries are) one of the best kept secrets on the planet. (They have) 200 percent more vitamin C, compared to raisins, and more fiber, protein and iron, as well. ... Instead of good old raisins and peanuts, you can make mulberries with pistachios. Put it on your oatmeal. It's a great portable fruit to take with you on the go. Also high in resveratrol - the same antioxidant found in red wine."

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/05/09/earlyshow/health/main20061075.shtml#ixzz1MebiR9DB


Picky Eater: Greek yogurt

By Jolene Thym
Bay Area News Group

The first time I tried Greek yogurt, I was dumbfounded by the transformation of nonfat milk into thick, velvety, decadent treat. It seemed like magic.
In Greece, yogurt is made with sheep's milk. Here in the United States, the difference between regular yogurt and Greek is primarily because of technique. Both start with cow's milk, but the Greek-style process strains out copious amounts of whey to concentrate the milk solids.
Considering the larger volume of milk required, it's no surprise that Greek yogurt commands twice the price of traditional yogurt. And apparently it's worth it. In the past few years, Greek options have exploded at my local supermarket, which carried six varieties the last time I checked. This week, I found 11 brands. Naturally, I had to try them all.
The flavor of these Greek yogurts varies wildly, depending on milk source, technique and cultures. The best use at least three strains of culture and are so thick, a spoon can easily stand up in them. The worst are impostors: regular yogurt tagged "Greek" and priced accordingly.
After tasting all 11 plain, nonfat varieties, so I could compare flavor, consistency and texture more fairly, I took flavorings into consideration, too. Here's the scoop:
Fage: One bite of this truly authentic yogurt and I was in love. Fage is a Greek company, with a U.S. plant in upstate New York. Its yogurt is a magical creation that coats your mouth like
premium ice cream, yet has no fat. I love that the ultra-fresh, barely sweet, whole fruit flavorings are separate, so you control your yogurt's sweetness. It's made with live, active cultures and is best served without stirring. $1.69 for 6 ounces at Trader Joe's. ★★★★Karoun Mediterranean Nonfat: This California-made, kosher yogurt is less velvety on the tongue than Fage, but it has a refreshing milk flavor and a texture that's dense enough to make it a good stand-in for sour cream or creme fraiche. It's made with four active cultures. $3-$4 for 16 ounces at Smart 'n Final and some Raley's and Safeway stores. ★★★ ½
Stonyfield Oikos Organic: Made with five cultures, this organic yogurt has a lovely creaminess with just a touch of tang. I was so impressed, I picked up the blueberry and honey flavors to see if they measured up to Fage. The answer: not quite, but still very good. $1.99 for 5.3 ounces at Safeway. ★★★
Athenos Organic Yogurt: If you like your yogurt with a lively tang, this is a good pick: thick, rich and fresh, with barely sweetened fruit on the side. A round, flat, 6.3-ounce container is $1.49 at Raley's. A 16-ounce container is $3.99 at Safeway. ★★★
Chobani 0 Percent: This company's flavored yogurts are too sweet for my taste, but the yogurt itself has good texture and a distinctive flavor that some tasters on the panel preferred to the pricier brands. I, however, found the flavors muddled. Available in 14 flavors and various sizes. $1.39 for 6 ounces; the kid-sized 3.5-ounce four-packs are $3.99 at Safeway. ★★★ ½
Greek Gods: I discovered this brand online and made a special stop to include it, but it's simply not up to par. The flavor isn't bad, but it is watery and slightly grainy in texture. It's $1.69 at Raley's. ★
Trader Joe's: Trader Joe's has jumped into the Greek category with several options, most of which are a cross between traditional and Greek yogurt. The 0 percent plain is watery and tart; the one with fiber is bitter. At least the sweetness of the honey version takes the edge off the problems in the yogurt itself. $1.49 per 5.3 ounces. ★
Dannon Greek Yogurt: This yogurt has the sweet flavor of fresh milk, but it's watery, tart and chalky. $1.29 at Safeway. Half a ★
Safeway's Lucerne Greek: This is an improperly drained impostor. It's light and thin, just like regular yogurt. An 8-ounce cup is 99 cents on sale. No stars.
Yoplait Greek Yogurt: Not only is this far too thin and watery to qualify as Greek, it also tastes like canned milk. It's $1.29 for 6 ounces at Safeway. No stars.
Open Nature: This is the absolute worst of the bunch: thick at the bottom and topped with bitter water. It's $1.19 for 6 ounces at Safeway. No stars. 
Samples of some products reviewed in this column are provided by manufacturers. Contact Jolene Thym at timespickyeater@gmail.com. Read more Picky Eater at www.thepickyeateronline.com.

Greek yogurt: high in protein and rich in flavor

Posted May 09, 2011, at 1:37 p.m.
Skyr. Fage. Chobani. Oikos. Dannon. Cabot. What do they have in common? They are all brand names of Greek-style yogurt. Rich, creamy yogurt is integral to Grecians’ diet and has been around for thousands of years. In Greece, before a couple goes away on their honeymoon, they traditionally eat yogurt mixed with honey and walnuts for prosperity and energy.
Armenian immigrants first introduced yogurt commercially in the U.S. in 1929. In the 1960s, the general public began to look at yogurt as a health food. In 1980 yogurt was a $300 million market in the US and by 2005 it had grown to $3.5 billion. Global yogurt consumption is expected to surpass $67 billion by 2015. Consumers looking for high-protein foods have boosted the demand for Greek yogurt in the past decade.
How does Greek yogurt differ from the typical American-style yogurt? The manufacturing of Greek yogurt begins the same way as any other type of yogurt. Bacteria cultures are added to milk and then the milk is strained, numerous times, to remove the liquid whey, leaving a thick, creamy, concentrated yogurt that is high in protein. The repeated straining is what makes Greek yogurt different. Healthy bacteria in Greek yogurt include acidophilus and lactobacillus organisms.
Most Greek yogurts contain between 15 and 20 grams of protein per six-ounce serving, while regular yogurt usually contains between four to six grams of protein per serving. It can take up to four pounds of milk to make just one pound of Greek yogurt. Much of the natural sugar is removed during the straining as well, leaving Greek yogurt with about half the sugar of unsweetened, nonfat, typical American-style yogurt.
Why is yogurt so popular? Yogurt has a lot going for it. It is easy to eat, provides high-quality protein, comes in a variety of flavors, is a good source of calcium and potassium, can help lower cholesterol and has shown to be helpful in the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, allergies and yeast infections. Research has shown that children recover faster from diarrhea when they eat yogurt. Yogurt minimizes the effects of antibiotics on the friendly bacteria in the intestines.

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