Mashed Potatoes with Chives AND Tomato with Eggplant Tian 001

Recipe: Provençal Tian

While FoodFacts.com is all about promoting more fresh produce consumption this National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month, we thought we’d share this healthy, delicious and easy-to-prepare comfort food from Provençe, France.

Provençal tian is a French term that pertains to both the shallow earthenware as well as the dish prepared in it. Traditionally, Provençal tian is made with eggplant, zucchini and tomato.

Time: 20 minutes to prepare ingredients; 40 minutes to bake

Serving: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplant, cut into thick slices
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 large brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Provençal herbs: rosemary and thyme sprigs
  • Ground black pepper and salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat earthenware with olive oil, and arrange eggplant alternately with zucchini, tomatoes and onions.
  3. Repeat sequence to fill the dish, making sure to fit the ingredients tightly.
  4. Sprinkle minced garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary and thyme sprigs.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned around the edges.

Provençal tian is usually served as a side dish for grilled, baked, barbecued or roasted meat.

Note: Serve in a clear dish to show off the layers!

vegetables-1386433

It’s National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month!

June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month! It’s no surprise that FoodFacts.com would take every opportunity to encourage our readers to increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. If we haven’t said it enough, fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential in making your body work, feel and look its best. They provide the nutrients for vital health and aid in lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases.

The dietary guidelines for the amount of fruits and vegetables intake basically depend on one’s gender, age, and activity level. Based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet, two cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables are recommended, whether fresh, frozen or canned.

There are many easy ways you can get yourself eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Below are some of them:

Grow them yourselves

Vegetable and fruit gardens in people’s backyards are always a pleasant sight. Making use of space this way is a great way to utilize and maximize it. For those who don’t have the room and time for an edible garden, there are small and low-maintenance herbs that you can grow indoors, such as basil and parsley.

Buy locally grown

If homegrown is not an option, locally grown is the next best thing. The shorter the distance the fruits and vegetables have traveled, the fresher they are. Roadside stands and farmers’ markets are the best places for those! Be sure to find out if your farmers’ markets are selling goods that they have grown or made themselves or are carrying other farms’ goods. National, state and city laws require farmers’ markets to disclose if they are “producers only” or “carrying” products from others.

Buy in-season produce

Nature has its way of telling us what the best foods to eat are and when to eat them. Fruits and vegetables offer the most nutritional value and flavor when they are in season; plus, they cost less when supplies are aplenty.

Learn fast and easy ways to prepare them

While eating raw produce have many health benefits, there are certain fruits and vegetables that are better consumed cooked. For instance, cooked tomatoes contain increased lycopene, a phytochemical rich in antioxidant properties, than raw tomatoes.

Be sure to always wash produce before eating. It’s also a great idea to prepare ahead – wash, cut and store them safely for future use.

Go for the healthy snacks

When you’re craving snacks, you want something convenient and ready-to-eat. This is where the pre-prepared fruits and vegetables come to play. Go for the cut-up fruits and veggies when you have the urge to reach for some bag of chips!

Try something new

Keep things interesting by trying something new, not just for the enticing colors and flavors, but for the body’s nourishment. No fruit or vegetable contains all of the nutrients that your body needs. So, shake things up and keep a variety – the options are limitless!

green tea

Know your ingredients with All My Food Facts app: Great Value Green Tea

When it comes to detoxifying, there are certain foods that are proven to be effective. FoodFacts.com recently shared a list of cleansing foods that boost digestion and flush the gastrointestinal tract clean, and green tea is one of them.

Drinking plenty of fluids is essential in detoxing. Needless to say, water intake is very important in the process, but adding green tea into the mix could only be beneficial to your body. Green tea is rich in antioxidants; it contains more than white, black and oolong teas. Among the antioxidants that green tea contains is catechin.

Catechins increase the body’s production of detoxifying enzymes as well as the liver’s function to break toxins down. Additionally, the caffeine found in green tea is a natural energizer and a diuretic, which eases bloating by countering water retention. Green tea is a wonderful detox food as it simultaneously helps you flush toxins out and, at the same time, gets you rehydrated.

Cleansing (and clean-eating, in general) doesn’t have to break the bank. We took a look at a store brand, Walmart’s Great Value Green Tea, with the All My FoodFacts app. It fared just as excellent as the better-known brands, and comes with a lower price tag.

green tea1 green tea2

Note: The product information shown above is only a general overview of Great Value Green Tea. Sign up on our website for personalized specifications on which products are good for you and which you should avoid based on your dietary data, or you can get the All My FoodFacts app on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon!

alcohol-1238345

Clean-eating without going over your budget

There’s a question that lingers in the minds of people who want to make better food choices: How can I eat clean and not hurt my budget? At local grocery stores, a family-sized bag of chips is cheaper than a container of mixed greens; and fast food chains are perpetually coming up with value-meal promotions, which sell ready-to-eat food and convenience in their pitches.

The sad truth is, for many people, buying healthy foods means living above their means. It doesn’t take a genius to see why a parent would purchase a full meal that comes with plenty of sides and drinks for $20 for his or her family, instead of opting to spend more on ingredients as well as more time in the kitchen preparing healthy meals. Unfortunately, food choices among many households in the United States are dictated by income; and those resorting to unhealthy choices are more susceptible to developing serious health conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

FoodFacts.com shares these money-saving tips that will, not only help you eat cleaner, but only allow you to have enough to live a quality life.

Apply supply-and-demand principle

When putting an effort in adding more fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, be sure to consider the ones that are in-season. Merchants drop the prices of seasonal produce due to their abundance. Also, the flavor and nutrition of these fruits and vegetables are at their peak during their natural harvest season. This summer, the produce to buy are strawberries, cherries, peaches and plum!

Up-size your supplies

In addition to seasonal fruits and vegetables, you save on staples such as grains, nuts and spices when you buy them in large sizes and/or in bulk. Large sizes minimize packaging costs for the supplier, therefore there is less manufacturing expenditure passed on to the consumers. Bulk-buying does make you spend more upfront, but it saves you more money and time in the long run.

Freeze fruits and vegetables

Bought too much of the in-season produce? Put them in the freezer. Frozen fruits and vegetables will make great ingredients for your next fruity smoothie or cleansing vegetable juice!

Skip the all-organic diet

While the growing awareness on the health benefits of organic food is undeniable, not many people can afford it. Sure, the gap between the prices of organic and non-organic foods is not as high as generally perceived, but it’s still the amount of money that many individuals and families can’t afford to shell out. The good news is, there are certain produce that minimally absorb chemicals when they are conventionally grown such as corn, cabbage, avocados, onions and pineapples.

Buy store brands

Don’t veer away from store brands! Whole Foods 365, Wegmans and Trader Joe’s, for instance, have products that offer the same nutritional value as the brands they carry on their shelves at cheaper prices.

Make your own sauces and dressings

Forgo store-bought sauces and dressings. These not only cost more as compared to homemade concoctions, but they are full of added sugar, sodium and whatnot. Take some olive oil and spices and you’ve got yourself your own sauce and dressing, minus the preservatives.

Get creative with leftovers

Don’t throw food away! Cut back on food waste by freezing leftovers, and eating them at a later time. You can also search up recipes that use the same or similar ingredients to repurpose them into new dishes.

The all my food facts app can help you identify ingredients that will aid in your clean-eating efforts. Get it on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon!

grapefruit-144493

Recipe: Grapefruit and kale detox salad

Yesterday, FoodFacts.com shared a list of amazing foods that detoxify your body. If you’re still recovering from the excess of food and drinks consumed over the Memorial Day Weekend, here’s an easy grapefruit and kale salad recipe that will aid your cleansing.

Time: 15 minutes

Serving: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 grapefruit, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup salted almonds, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 4 tablespoons grapefruit juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Toss kale, grapefruit, Parmesan cheese, and salted almonds in a large bowl.
  2. Pour coconut oil, honey, and grapefruit juice into a container and shake well to combine.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss to evenly coat kale leaves.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve chilled.
lemons-1209309

Memorial Day: Detoxing after the weekend

Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer in the United States, and it jump-starts the season’s numerous backyard and rooftop parties. After this weekend’s indulgences, FoodFacts.com shares a list of detox foods that you can easily get from the produce section of your local grocery or from this season’s numerous farmers’ markets.

Fibrous fruits

Fruits that are rich in fiber will help you cleanse your stomach and get your digestive system back on regular programming. Some high-fiber fruits include grapefruit, berries, pears, avocado and cantaloupe.

Beets

Beets are a great detox food! They are excellent in helping the liver and gall bladder break toxins down, and are highly fibrous, which makes digestion and discharging waste matter easier.

Green tea

Green tea is loaded in antioxidants, such as catechins. This type of antioxidant enhances liver function, which as mentioned above, is essential in getting rid of toxins. Green tea is also an energizing drink; its caffeine gives a diuretic effect that flushes excess sodium out. At the same time, it is also a great rehydration aid!

Lemons

Lemons are superfoods that releases enzymes that stimulate digestion. It is also rich in vitamin C that turns toxins water-soluble, making it easier for the body to release them.

Onion and garlic

They are not just vegetables that add pungent flavors to our meals, they also stimulate the production of glutathione, one of the liver’s most powerful antioxidants. Raw garlic, in particular, has antiviral, antiseptic and antibiotic properties.

Bonus: Head still heavy? This fruity smoothie is a wonderful hangover cure!

arbonne2

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:

arbonne

arbonne3

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.

Vega1

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!

Celiac

The challenges of living with celiac disease

Living with celiac disease couldn’t possibly be a walk in the park. Despite having a month dedicated to its awareness, and the collective efforts of the medical community, advocates and celiacs themselves, many people are still in the dark as to what it really is. Or, quite simply, people just couldn’t comprehend the day-to-day struggles of those afflicted with the disease. FoodFacts.com shares a few of the the challenges that celiacs often face.

Cut-and-try testing

As previously mentioned, it takes six to eight years for celiac disease to be diagnosed correctly. Many people who manifest symptoms of the illness are, more often than not, diagnosed with other conditions, which may not at all be connected to celiac disease. For instance, a celiac could have vomiting symptoms whenever he or she ingests gluten, and then gets diagnosed with and treated for some form of eating disorder. In many cases, a person undergoes a number of other tests and gets misdiagnosed and treated incorrectly. The truth is, there are many people who do not have the resources to be passed on from specialist to specialist, let alone go through various expensive tests. Needless to say, this is an exhausting cycle for anyone to endure.

Being misunderstood

For unknowing celiacs, the scorn is on the “lapses” in their behavior. People who suffer with celiac disease may appear tired after having eaten a small piece of food that contains gluten. Others usually perceive the fatigue as laziness and lack of interest or commitment. And, in the example mentioned above, a celiac who throws up after his or her meal are frequently mistaken for being calorie-obsessed and figure-conscious.

Healing process

The suffering doesn’t end when celiacs are finally correctly diagnosed. It is never easy for anyone to give up their favorite foods, no matter how sick they get after eating them. Also, change doesn’t happen overnight. A newly diagnosed celiac may go gluten-free immediately, but it may take months or years for his or her body to fully heal.

Persistent challenges

There is a widely believed misconception that gluten-free diet actually means eating healthier. Unfortunately, the popularity of this food trend has inadvertently made celiac disease some sort of a joke. From late night shows to grocery stores and restaurants, many celiacs find themselves regarded as – and ridiculed for – being hypochondriacs riding on the gluten-free fad.

As with any health condition, celiac disease is not something one would hope to live with. However, it is a delight to see how many people who have this illness power through their everyday lives. As Celiac Disease Awareness Month comes to a close, bear in mind that gluten-free is not just a multi-million dollar trend with a 44-million-strong market. There’s actually a large number of that market who consume it as a health necessity.

Tip: It’s convenient to head over the grocery aisle that holds processed, ready-made gluten-free foods. However, these products may not necessarily be the healthy way to nourish your body, especially when it has suffered years of damage. It’s always best to seek out natural, gluten-free ingredients and prepare your meals yourself. Use the all my food facts app to find products that are safe for you to eat. 

IMG_2449

Get it on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon!

oatmeal-287760

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.

wheat-809444

Facts about celiac disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the digestive process of the small intestine. It affects about one percent of the population of the United States, occurring more often in women than in men. People with celiac disease have sensitivity to gluten, a type of protein found in grains such as rye and barley. Ingestion of gluten triggers an abnormal immune system response, which damages the small intestines and prevents absorption of necessary nutrients such as iron, folic acid, vitamin D and calcium.

The media does extensive coverage on celiac disease, especially in May as it is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. So much so that it has propelled the gluten-free foods trend, which somewhat deviated the focus from the disease itself. In fact, over a quarter of adults in the United States find gluten-free living appealing. The truth is, a large majority of that number do not require a gluten-free diet and should not be in it.

Since it is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, FoodFacts.com aids the medical community and other proponents in educating people with these quick facts about the disease.

Genetic disorder

Celiac disease is not simply a food allergy and/or intolerance that can be countered by an antihistamine. It is a serious, lifelong, genetically-determined disease. If a blood relative is diagnosed with celiac disease, get yourself screened immediately.

Invisible illness

Celiac disease is considered an invisible illness because it is hard to diagnose. The average time for celiac to be diagnosed correctly is between 6 and 10 years. In many cases, celiac does not even manifest itself through the most common symptoms, leaving the sufferer unaware that the illness is already destroying the small intestine.

Common symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of celiac disease are, but not limited to:

Other health problems

Because celiac disease is difficult to diagnose, it is often untreated. When left untreated, the disease may lead to a variety of other medical maladies such as infertility, miscarriage, osteoporosis, anemia and lymphoma.

Higher risk of pneumonia

As reported in a recent article, researchers found that people with celiac disease are more susceptible to pneumonia if they have never received the pneumococcal vaccine. Doctors, therefore, urge diagnosed celiac patients to get the vaccine.

If you think you have celiac disease, call your doctor immediately and discuss a health management plan before switching to a gluten-free diet.

The all my foodfacts app can help you manage celiac disease. By selecting the types of food that you want to avoid, all my foodfacts will show you which products contain them. In this case, when you add “gluten” to your avoid list and run a search on grains, the app includes the products that contain grains which celiac patients are sensitive to in the results and indicates that you should avoid them.

IMG_2449

celiac2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find out if the products you are using are really gluten-free with the all my foodfacts app. Get it on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon!