Category Archives: food

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Know your ingredients with All My Food Facts app: Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake

Protein shakes are made from a protein powder combined with other ingredients, mixed into a liquid such as water or milk. They are a supplement that many people use for enhancement in order to reach health and fitness goals.

Protein shakes are typically consumed after a workout and as a replacement for a meal. Added to one’s daily diet, protein shakes provide excellent benefits, such as weight control, muscle building and better nutrient absorption.

This week on FoodFacts.com’s Know your ingredients with All My FoodFacts app series, we are featuring Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake Mix. We are pleased to find that it scored a B+ in our health grading system!

Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake Mix is vegan; it contains proteins from plants such as pea, cranberry and rice. Plant-based proteins are naturally low in sodium and cholesterol. They are also rich in phytonutrients that fight diseases and cholesterol-lowering fiber. The mix also contains flax seeds and chromium, which are great in regulating diabetes, plus all these other vitamins and minerals:

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Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake Mix is only available for purchase from one of the independent consultants that belong to the company’s network. There are similar chocolate-flavored vegan protein shake mixes that can be bought from groceries and health stores. However, none of them fare as well as Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake Mix. For instance, we took a look at one of the store products with the All My FoodFacts app, and this is what we found.

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Note: If you are able to get protein naturally, please continue to do so. Some of the best sources of protein among plants are: beans, peas, nuts, seeds, soy and lentils. 

Find out if the protein mix you’re using is doing your body more harm than good with all my foodfacts app. Get it on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon!

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Recipe: Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal Muffins

Celiac disorder, like any other diseases that require dietary restrictions, can be challenging. However, this does not mean that people stricken with celiac disease are compelled to eat bland foods because of their sensitivity to gluten. FoodFacts.com is happy to dispel that perception and share this easy-to-make, healthy AND delicious gluten-free banana bread baked oatmeal muffins!

Time: 15 minutes

Serving: 12

Ingredients

  • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 over-ripe medium-sized bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • Hershey’s Simply 5 Syrup, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In one bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients.
  4. Add dry to wet and mix only until combined.
  5. Fold in the raisins.
  6. Spoon batter into lined or greased standard-sized muffin pans and silicone liners.
  7. Bake for about 11-14 minutes.
  8. Let muffins cool before drizzling Hershey’s Simply 5 Syrup, if using.

Note: Be sure to store muffin in an airtight container.

Tip: Turn this recipe vegan by replacing the eggs with flaxseed eggs and forgoing the Hershey’s syrup.

Recipe: Watermelon and cucumber smoothie

watermelon-932748Summer is coming!

Temperatures are rising. Seasonal fruits are back in the stands at supermarkets and pop-up food bazaars. ‘Tis the season for colorful, fruity smoothies, and Foodfacts.com is happy to share this refreshing concoction from Eating in Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family! This vegan-approved watermelon and cucumber smoothie is great for helping you stay hydrated during the hot summer months.

Bonus: it’s said to be an effective antidote to hangover, too!

Time: 15 minutes

Serving: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1/2 cup peeled and sliced cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 liter sparkling water, chilled

Additional ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine watermelon, cucumber, lime juice, salt, and mint in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Be sure to press to release all liquid.
  3. Fill a tall glass with ice, and pour 1/2 cup of the watermelon and cucumber mixture.
  4. Add 1/2 cup or more of the sparkling water.
  5. Stir in agave to taste.

Note: Store leftover mixture covered in refrigerator for up to one day. Be sure to stir well before drinking.

 

Yes, you can be allergic to spices

spices-73770We have written quite a bit about turmeric on the Foodfacts.com blog this week. The trending superfood is so good for you that it is hard not to be obsessed with it. Have you tried making the turmeric tonic recipe we shared, too? It is reportedly an excellent fix for those stubborn spring allergies!

Speaking of allergies…

As we approach the end of Food Allergy Awareness Week, it is only fitting that we discuss certain spices that can cause allergic reactions. Because spices offer a great deal of health benefits, particularly medicinal, many people believe that these wonder foods can do no wrong to the body. With the exception of the side effects of overconsuming them, it is generally thought that these plant-based products are everything nice.

The bad thing is, allergic reactions to spices are real; the good thing is, these reactions are rare. Studies have shown that less than five percent of all adults with food allergies suffer from reactions to spices – whether these plants are fresh or dried, and ground, toasted or processed.

Here are some of the most common spices that cause food allergy.

  • Garlic – Whether fresh or cooked, garlic can cause an allergic reaction. People allergic to garlic are recommended to forgo similar food additives, like onions and chives, altogether.
  • Paprika – It’s great for barbecue marinades and general seasoning, but it can cause severe reaction to anyone allergic to it. Thankfully, there are other ingredients that can serve as substitutes to paprika.
  • Mustard – Those who are allergic to mustard should exercise proper care when using it. It is said that mustard is prone to anaphylaxis in those who suffer an allergic reaction to it.
  • Anise – Although anise is not as commonly used in the home kitchen as the other previously mentioned spices, it is widely used as a flavoring for specialty candies, pastries and drinks. It is also a common ingredient in health and beauty products such as shampoos.
  • Fennel – Fennel is a flavoring commonly found in food dyes. Like anise, it can also be found in household products like soaps, toothpastes and air fresheners.
  • Turmeric – Our wonder food is of no exception. Allergic reactions to turmeric may include dermatitis and hives.

As with any food allergies, reactions to spice can be manifested in a number of symptoms: from hives and rashes, swelling of the throat and asthma, vomiting and diarrhea, to unconsciousness and even death. These are just some of the most commonly known symptoms, and certain spices may cause other mild or severe reactions. It is best to evade any spice that causes a negative effect on you.

The all my foodfacts app can help you manage your allergies by letting you log the types of foods that you are allergic to. You can even key in specific ingredients to see whether or not certain food products are safe for you to consume.

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Get the app:

iTunes – http://apple.co/1QE8Gb6

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1Imr3ie

Google Play - http://bit.ly/1QYN0kM

Turmeric, the golden spice

indian-spices-829198In the beginning of the year, McCormick released its Flavor Forecast report for the top foods in 2016, and there is nothing that pleases us at Foodfacts.com more than to see healthy foods getting much-deserved attention. Thanks to the growing organic food movement, not only did healthy, functional superfoods made the list, they dominated it! Among the superfoods predicted to be popular this year is turmeric. Nearly halfway through the year, physical grocery stores and online food merchants, like GrubHub, have seen an increase in sales of turmeric and turmeric-based products.

What exactly is turmeric?

Turmeric, aptly called the golden spice, is that thing on the spices shelf with the yellow-orange hue. It is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that comes from the curcuma longa or curcuma domestica plant, which is native to South Asia. Turmeric is generally used in the region for cooking and formerly as a fabric dye, but most importantly, has been widely used for centuries to treat a myriad of illnesses.

The basic nutritional aspects of turmeric include a 26% daily value in manganese and 16% in iron. It is also a great source of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and healthy amounts of vitamin C and magnesium. The ideal serving to get all those nutritional aspects is an ounce, but it would be impossible for a person to ingest that kind of amount in one seating. The good thing is that incorporating even just a tablespoon in your meal already allows you to reap the benefits of this wonder spice!

Health benefits

Purported to cure everything from depression to cancer, turmeric offers plenty of benefits. Aside from the nutritional value mentioned above, a study on turmeric and curcumin (turmeric powder is 3.14% curcumin) reveals that curcumin have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and immune modulating activities.

Among the health benefits of turmeric include pain relief, reducing gas and bloating, an improved ability to digest fats, and improved skin conditions from psoriasis to acne. In addition, turmeric reportedly also has artery-clearing effects that decreases congestion, and can reduce levels of bad cholesterol within weeks of use. Other reports, though further studies are required, say that turmeric is also good for improved eye health.

Search our website for the highest graded turmeric-based products!

Healthy meals to prepare for Mother’s Day

Mom’s cooking is the best, alright, but this Mother’s Day, give your favorite resident chef a break! Spoil mom with these delicious and healthy meals to show her how much you love and appreciate her.

Whether you’re making breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a little snack for mom, Foodfacts.com has got you covered!

Breakfast: Organic buttermilk blueberry pancakes

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Wake mom up with the smell of freshly-cooked pancakes delivered to her bed. These organic buttermilk blueberry pancakes are sure to get her ready to start the day!

Get the recipe: Buttermilk blueberry pancakes

Foodfacts.com recommended ingredient: Maple Grove Farms of Vermont Organic Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mixes

Lunch: Grilled pork chops and peaches

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This seared-on-the-grill, caramelized, charred pork chops-and-peaches combo is guaranteed to be a hit! Add in some kale, and you’ve got the perfect lunch!

Get the recipe: Grilled pork chops and peaches

Foodfacts.com recommended ingredient: Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce

Dinner: Sun-dried tomato and feta stuffed artichokes

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End the day with this light, scrumptious and nutritious dinner. The burst of flavors these tasty sun-dried tomatoes and tangy feta cheese stuffed in hearty artichokes is sure to be a party in her mouth!

Get the recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Stuffed Artichokes

Foodfacts.com recommended ingredient: Wegmans Traditional, Feta Cheese in Brine, Fat Free

Dessert: Chickpea Cookie Dough

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Of course, mom gets to have some dessert. Treat mom with these sweets, minus the guilt!

Bonus: It makes for a great opportunity for quality time to make them together with mom, too!

Get the recipe: Chickpea Cookie Dough

Foodfacts.com recommended ingredient: Nature’s Agave Premium Raw Agave Nectar

 

Note: Though some of these meals require some level of kitchen experience, don’t worry about messing them up. It’s practically impossible for mom to get disappointed at any gesture on Mother’s Day. You could get all the recipes all wrong, but she’ll still love them anyway — and you even more!

Easy, healthy guacamole for your Cinco De Mayo shindig

guac-386796No Mexican shenanigan is complete without a bowl of good old guac! For your Cinco De Mayo celebration, whip up this Foodfacts.com-approved, easy-peasy guacamole recipe from New York’s Dos Caminos’ executive chef, Ivy Stark.

Time: 15 minutes

Serving: 8

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves, divided
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped onions, divided
  • 4 teaspoons minced jalapeno peppers, divided (tip: remove seeds and membrane)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 4 large avocados
  • 4 tablespoons cored, seeded, and finely chopped plum tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice

Directions

  1. Mash 2 tablespoons cilantro, 2 teaspoons of onion, 2 teaspoons jalapeno, and kosher salt together against the bottom of a large bowl with the back of a spoon.
  2. Add avocados.
  3. Fold in remaining cilantro, onion and jalapeno.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and lime juice. Add seasonings to your taste and/or if necessary.

Ivy’s pro tip: for a twist, gently mash avocados with a fork, instead of using a food processor, until chunky-smooth.

Top this Mexican party staple with an additional dash of kosher sea salt before serving, and you are good to go!

Mars, Inc. to phase out artificial colors over a 5 year period.

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FoodFacts.com truly believes in everything in moderation. But along with said moderation, we really want people to think about what they are putting in their bodies and we’ve been trying to show people this for over a decade. Mars, Inc. is yet another company that is starting to realize that the ingredients that go into their products need to be re-examined. But is this really for our general health or because they need to fall in line to consumer demands? They announced this week that they will start to phase out the artificial coloring in their products in the next five year period.

“Artificial colors pose no known risks to human health or safety, but consumers today are calling on food manufacturers to use more natural ingredients in their products,” Mars said Friday.

While it makes us elated that large companies like Kraft Foods Group, Inc., Nestle, SA, General Mills, Inc, and now Mars, Inc. are feeling the pressure to remove all their artificial ingredients (for safer, more healthier ingredients) we can’t seem to understand why they keep coming out with statements like the one above. Even though Red 40 is approved by the FDA, there has been extensive research to come out saying it has caused tumors in laboratory animals (https://cspinet.org/new/pdf/food-dyes-rainbow-of-risks.pdf), and has come under serious fire by consumer and research advocacy groups.  It is also banned in several European countries. It has to make you wonder…why is the United States perfectly acceptable in allowing it in our foods?

Tom Colicchio is revolutionizing the food industry, one Food Action Policy at a time.

Many of us at FoodFacts.com have been fans of Tom Colicchio for years. From dining at one of his innovative restaurants (the farm at Riverpark is one of the most amazing urban gems you will see at a restaurant in midtown Manhattan) to watching his smart and calm culinary demeanor as he guides somewhat egocentric chefs on Bravo Tv’s “Top Chef,” you know that his passion for food is more than just a career choice, it literally fuels him.

It’s no surprise that he added food activism to his resume when he co-founded Food Policy Action in 2012. Their mission is to make food policies even more substantial while upholding the rights of farmers and food workers and make healthier food more accessible for all. In recent months, Mr. Colicchio took Capitol Hill by storm with 30 other chefs to discuss the Childhood Nutrition Act (which needs to be reauthorized every 5 years). Since new nutritional guidelines have been introduced in recent years for school cafeterias, it’s now more important than ever that every state adopts these paths to make sure our children are educated on eating healthy and proper meals.

To say we are impressed with this Top Chef is an understatement. Most of the celebrity chefs we see in mainstream media are more concerned with hawking products and selling themselves as a brand than educating people on what they are eating. Mr. Colicchio has now opened up the conversation and garnered media attention…exactly what people like us need that are trying to fight the good food fight.

So Mr. Colicchio, we’d like to know how we can partner up?! If you take a look at FoodFacts.com you will see that knowing what you are eating is all that we are about. Our mission is so similar to the one that you have cultivated yourself. Our passion is educating people on what’s really in the foods they are eating…the less ingredients the better! Our all my foodfacts app focuses on showing people all the ingredients they are consuming in the processed foods they are eating and how it affects them. We truly believe that everyone should be entitled to affordable, healthy food to consume and that if you can’t pronounce the ingredients in a package, you probably shouldn’t be eating it! So please, tweet us, write us, anything. We’d love to work with you!

An Open Letter To Weight Watchers

Dear Weight Watchers,
We’ve read all about how you no longer want to use the word “dieting” to sell Weight Watcher memberships, and have rather termed it, “Beyond the Scale.” We can’t help but tell you that we think this is one of the smartest move you’ve made in years (maybe even more than bringing Oprah Winfrey on board). In fact, this type of move is exactly what our company, FoodFacts, is all about.
When we started FoodFacts.com it was to show people what’s really inside the foods they are eating. But as more and more research evolves, we realize that it’s so much more than that. We also tend to think that people are putting all the emphasis on just dieting and exercising. What they aren’t realizing (and what more and more scientists and doctors are) is that you can exercise morning, noon and night…if you don’t change the way you eat it won’t make any difference to your health.
Don’t get us wrong, exercising is important to maintain your health. But what we want people to realize is that everything you put in your body can have an affect on it (potentially leading to so many diseases) and it’s the most important way to to control your health. We can’t understand why people continue to eat foods that are full of processed chemicals, when eating foods with less, real ingredients is the safest and healthiest way to eat.
If people realized that by simply eating an apple instead of eating a processed apple fruit bar (that contains way too many ingredients and chemicals), they would be taking one step in making a healthier way of life. Eating foods with less ingredients and reducing the processed ingredients that you put in your body can change your life…for the better.
So what we are trying to say is that we are right there with you, Weight Watchers (or WW). And we think that we’d make a good team. Take a look at our “all my foodfacts app” and our site. We are all about wanting people to realize that dieting and counting every carbohydrate you eat isn’t the only way to make you healthy and lose weight. Taking control of what you put in your body and the lifestyle you maintain can make all the difference in the world.
We’d love to talk, please contact us at [email protected]!