Antioxidants to the Max – Super Foods Part 4

Super Foods and Antioxidants – a match made in your local kitchen!

I didn’t invent these lists, for that I must give credit to Rebecca Katz’s “The Longevity Kitchen” and my favorite source for advice to the aging – the AARP Magazine. But as I’ve said before and will say again – the comments are all mine!

Food 11: Pomegranates
I’ll never forget being in China and seeing how Pomegranates grew. Who knew that they grow in baggies. Well, they do – at least in China. It was explained to us that putting the fruit when they are small in clear plastic bags encourage them to grow bigger – and juicier. Interesting, eh? Like Apple Trees, Pomegranate Trees are kept short for easier picking. But it’s not just about the yum – it’s about the antioxidants! Pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants, and a 17 oz glass a day was shown to lower blood pressure in a study in Britain, but that might just have been the result of getting all that liquid out of the Pomegranates!

Food 12: Green Tea
The signature dish of China – second only to BBQ Duck in my book – Green tea is known to be delicious – and not surprisingly – good for you. It’s abundant in catechins, a type of super antioxidant known to protect cells. And it turns out that green tea may also reduce the risk of certain types of cancer – particularly those of the stomach and esophagus. So drink up and be merry! (We know how that ends – but at least you get to be merry first)

Food 13: Blueberries
I unabashedly love blueberries. Those and raspberries are probably my favorite summer fruit snacks. And I admit to a total passion for Lac St. Jean wild blueberries. Unlike the huge, and sometimes tasteless store-bought Blueberries – the wild ones are tiny – but packed with flavor. But it’s not just about flavor with Blueberries – it’s about even more antioxidants. Blueberries rank among the top disease-fighting foods – including but not limited to reducing a woman’s risk of heart attack by 33%. Even better – blueberries are good for staving off the loss of memory – by several years. So eat up – Today.

Recipe from Allrecipes: Green Tea Cheesecake

Makes 1 – 9″ Cheesecake, cooking time is over 2 hours including the wait for the cake to ‘set’

16 oz of fat-free or low-fat cream cheese, softened
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup white sugar (or use Splenda)
1 tbs green tea powder (some reviewers went up to 3 tbs for a stronger flavor)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 9″ prepared graham cracker pie crust (some reviewers when with lady fingers – another prefered a short-bread crust. So reader – you choose)
Lots of Blueberries and Pomegranates for Garnish

Step 1: Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees

Step 2: In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the green tea powder, eggs, and vanilla extract until lightly and creamy; pour into the prepared crust.

Step 3: Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the center jiggle evenly when the case is shaken lightly. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving – more is merrier.

Step 4: Garnish with Walnuts, Blueberries, and Pomegranates. You can even add the mint.

7 Unique and Lip Licking ways to Enjoy Maple Syrup

Hey – I’m from Montreal – and Quebec accounts for over 75% of the world’s production of Maple Syrup. That’s an awful lot of Maple, people! You have to assume that over the years we’ve come up with some pretty creative ways to use the stuff!

1. Maple Fondue: Talk about gilding a lily. Like Chocolate fondue wasn’t good enough. Nope – take your fondue up a notch by adding a splash (or two or three) of Maple Syrup. Yummy

2. Spicy Maple Almonds: I adore almonds, and the thought of combining them with the heady taste of Maple is just delicious. And it’s easy. Preheat oven to 350. In a skillet melt 1/4 cup of butter, remove from heat, add 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 of cayenne (for a bit of a kick – optional of course) and 3 tbs of Maple Syrup. Mix well. Add 2 cups of whole almonds and stir gently until the nuts are covered. Now just spread the nuts on parchment paper, put on a baking pan in the oven for 15 minutes. Season with salt as desired. Yum.

3. Maple Milk or Dark Chocolate: Melt good quality Chocolate in a double boiler and spread it on parchment paper. Sprinkle with maple flakes. Cool and Crack into pieces.

4. Maple Vinaigrette: Quebec’s quintessential salad dressing! Make your standard vinaigrette recipe, but just a bit of Maple Syrup to add that sweet delicious kick.

5. Maple enhanced Jams: Buy any commercial jam – preferably a savory one like Onion – and just blend in a bit of Maple Syrup. Use on a cheese plate to take something ordinary on an elevator trip to the sky!

6. Maple Beer: No seriously – can you believe they take beer to the edge of disaster by adding Maple Syrup. It’s too sweet for me – but if you want to go crazy…

7. Or better – just pour it into your baked beans, add it to a cream soup (I adore maple syrup in Pea Soup), or make an omelet and pour it on top. Or do a tire! Get some clean snow, heat up your syrup to near boiling and pour a thin strip onto the snow. The syrup will start to freeze, and you can create your own home-made Maple Lollipop. Now that’s sweet.

The season is so short, the maple syrup so delicious – why not just Sweeten your life – it’s Spring!