Healing Foods

  • Basic Homemade Yogurt

    4 cups (1 quart) milk (skim, 1 percent,  2 percent, or whole)
    1/2 cup powdered milk (optional, for thicker yogurt)
    1/2 cup plain, live culture yogurt

    1. Heat milk and powdered milk (optional) over medium heat in a small saucepan to 180 degrees (use a candy thermometer), stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and let cool to 110 degrees (about an hour).

    2. Gently stir yogurt culture into milk, and pour mixture into a clean glass jar. Cover.

    3. Choose your incubation method:
    • Use a commercial yogurt maker (such as the Salton 1-quart yogurt maker).
    • Place jars in a hot water bath in the oven on its lowest setting (temperature should not exceed 110 degrees).
    • Pour hot water into a cooler, and incubate the jars in there, changing the water every few hours if necessary.

    4. Incubate yogurt at 110 degrees for four to 10 hours or until set. The longer you incubate, the more tart the yogurt will taste. The mixture needs to stay close to 110 degrees for the bacteria to do their job. Lower temperatures deactivate the cultures, and higher temperatures will kill them.

    5. Stir in sweetener, honey, or fruit as desired. Refrigerate up to two weeks.
    Quick tip: Homemade yogurt tends to be thinner than store-bought, but adding powdered milk to the mix will thicken it. Make sure the plain yogurt you buy to inoculate your homemade yogurt says “live and active cultures” on the label.

    Nutrition info per serving (using 1 percent milk and whole-milk yogurt): 121.2 calories; 3.4 g fat; 2.2 g saturated fat; 16.2 mg cholesterol; 9.3 g protein; 13.6 g carbohydrates; 0 g fiber; 121 mg sodium

  • Grilled Slmon with Yogurt Garlic Dill Sauce

    For The Salmon
    1 pound salmon, about 1 inch thick, cut into four filets
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    For The Yogurt Garlic Dill Sauce
    1 cup plain yogurt (see recipe above)
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    1. Spray grill with cooking spray, and heat to medium-high. Sprinkle salmon filets with salt and pepper, and grill four minutes a side (skin side up first) or until done.

    2. Separate fish from skin by sliding a spatula between them; transfer filets to a plate. Serve with yogurt garlic dill sauce.

    3. To make yogurt garlic dill sauce, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    Nutrition info per serving (4): 249.3 calories; 9.5 g fat; 2.4 g saturated fat; 68.3 mg cholesterol; 34.3 g protein; 4.8 g carbohydrates; 0.1 g fiber; 394.1 mg sodium

  • Chicken Souvlaki Pitas

    1 pound chicken tenderloins
    Bamboo skewers
    4 whole-grain pitas

    For The  Souvlaki Marinade
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon fresh (or 1/2 teaspoon dried) oregano
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    For The Tzatziki Sauce
    1 cup plain yogurt (see recipe above)
    1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, shredded
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon minced fresh mint leaves
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1. In a bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Add chicken, and mix well to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.

    2. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes, and heat grill to medium. Thread chicken onto skewers, and grill four minutes on each side.

    3. Combine ingredients for tzatziki in a small bowl. Serve with the chicken in pitas

    Nutrition info per serving (4): 233.8 calories; 9.4 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 69.4 mg cholesterol; 29.8 g protein; 7 g carbohydrates; 0.5 g fiber; 408.6 mg sodium

  • 3 Foods That Fight Belly Fat

    Can’t seem to shed that spare tire around your middle, despite your best diet attempts? New research suggests that your belly fat itself could be to blame. In a study on rats, scientists found that fat cells within the abdomen produce a hormone called neuropeptide Y (NPY), an appetite stimulant previously thought to originate only in the brain.

    By Meghan Rabbitt
  • It's Easy Eating Green

    Craving salads this time of year—but tired of the same old bowl of greens? Move over, iceberg: These leafy greens will transform your next salad and help you get your recommended daily veggie intake. San Francisco-based chef and nutrition consultant Grace Avila shares her favorite preparations and pairings for the following eight super-greens.

    Spruce up your next meal with these 8 unusual salad greens.
    By Lindsey Galloway
  • Basic Kefir

    1 tablespoon new kefir grains (rinsed with milk)
    1 cup whole milk or plain soy milk

    1. If you’re starting with new kefir grains, rinse them with milk in a plastic strainer. Place kefir in a small glass jar, and add milk. Cover with a cloth or piece of paper, and let ferment at room temperature for 24 hours.

    2. Stir mixture with a wooden or plastic spoon. Using a plastic strainer, strain kefir into a container. Store in refrigerator.

    3. Kefir grains will continue to grow and multiply. To slow down production, ferment them in the fridge for five days, instead of 24 hours at room temperature.

    Nutrition info per serving, per one cup (using whole milk): 162 calories; 8 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 8 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 125 mg sodium

  • Berry-Banana Kefir Smoothie

    1 cup kefir
    1/2 cup frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries)
    1 ripe banana
    1 tablespoon honey (optional)
    5 to 6 ice cubes

    1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

    Quick tip: Too rushed in the morning to take out the blender and whip up a smoothie? Simply mix one part kefir with one part fruit juice in a glass. The banana and berries are prebiotic foods, which help stimulate the probiotics in the kefir to reproduce in your digestive system and create a healthy environment there.

    Nutrition info per serving (2): 185 calories; 4 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 15 mg cholesterol; 1 g protein; 35 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 65 mg sodium

  • Fermented Food Fest

    When most of us decide to add “good” bacteria to our diet, we typically turn to probiotic supplements and yogurt. Good choices to be sure, but not the only ones available. Look beyond the dairy aisle to fermented foods, which teem with healthy, good-for-you bacteria.

    Simply delicious and easy to make—and so good for your health.
    By Gretchen Roberts
  • Mixed Berry Sorbet

    6 cups fresh or frozen and thawed berries
    1/8 cup lemon juice
    1/2 cup soy milk
    1/3 to 1/2 cup honey
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Low-fat Greek vanilla yogurt (optional)

    1. In a food processor, combine berries, lemon juice, soymilk, honey and salt; puree until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
    2. Transfer to an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Serve immediately as is, or blend 1/4 cup yogurt into each 1-cup serving of sorbet for a creamier flavor and texture.

    Nutrition info per serving: 211 calories; 1.5 g fat; 0.1 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 2.8 g protein; 51.8 g carbohydrates; 9.1 g fiber; 166.4 mg sodium

  • The Anti-Aging Diet

    Anti-aging. We see the term everywhere, from magazine covers and supplements labels to beauty creams and exercise regimes—all promising to make us look and feel younger. While you can’t avoid getting older, one thing is clear: The foods you eat play a crucial role in keeping your body healthy and your brain functioning well into your senior years.

    10 foods to help you look and feel younger
    By Lisa Turner