Which Milk is Best? Round Two

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Hi there, are you ready for round two of which milk is best? Hopefully today I can post pictures that are right side up. But who knows? Every day is a mystery at Nutty Nutrition. Yesterday we talked about cow milk and almond milk. Today its on to soy milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, rice milk, and last but not least, breast milk!

Soy Milk. Of all the plant-based milks, soy is closest to cow’s milk in terms of nutrition. Soy milk is a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins A and D (added), and provides some fat (but not as much as whole milk). A few years ago there was some concern over the relationship between soy intake and breast cancer due to the isoflavones found in soy (which are weak estrogen-like compounds found in plants). However, the research shows that soy does not raise your risk for breast cancer and it may even decrease your risk (although studies are mostly population based and have mixed results).coconut milk

Coconut Milk. Coconut milk is growing in popularity. From a nutritional stand point I don’t know why (if you like the way it tastes that’s one thing). It is high in saturated fat and it has no protein in it. Some people claim that the specific type of saturated fat found in coconut milk is better for you and doesn’t raise your risk for heart disease, but those claims are mostly unproven at this point.

Cashew Milk. Cashew milk is basically identical to almond milk, except with cashews. Choosing one over the other would just be a matter of taste preference.

Hemp and Flax Milk. Alright, if you really want to be granola go for the hemp milk. My grocery store doesn’t even carry it, but similar to flax milk, it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which most people could use more of.

Rice Milk. I would only recommend rice milk if you have ALL the allergies. It is soy-free, nut-free, dairy-free, etc. It is also flavor-free. But if you have a lot of food allergies or intolerances it might be a good choice for you.

Breast Milk. Breast milk is the best choice for babies, NOT adults. Believe it or not, a grown man (or woman) has different nutritional needs that an infant. There is no need to buy breast milk online, which is actually a lot more popular than you may think. Also, gross.

So, which one is best? It depends. Nearly every type of milk offers some type of nutritional advantage. If you have a milk allergy, intolerance, or just don’t believe in drinking cow’s milk for ethical reasons, plant-based milks are a great substitute! Just keep in mind that soy milk is the only plant-based milk that is going to give you any significant amount of protein.

Personally, I prefer one or two percent organic cow milk, but I’m definitely not opposed to soy or almond milk either. All of the milk alternatives that I investigated were fortified with key nutrients like vitamins A and D, but it likely varies by brand. I would recommend that you take a look at the nutrition facts and make sure that your milk has at least 30% of the DV of calcium and contains vitamin A (palmitate) and vitamin D. For adults with a balanced diet, it’s not really critical which type of milk you drink. You don’t even have to drink milk at all, as your calcium needs can be met though food (if you are eating a varied and balanced diet). However, for small children, I would be careful about giving a milk alternative if they are drinking a lot of milk and not eating much food.

What kind of milk do your prefer?

References:

Soy. http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/nutrition/reduce_risk/foods/soy

Ask the Doctor: Coconut Oil http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/coconut-oil

 

Tri-Color Zoodles with Cashew Cream Sauce

Noodles with cashew cream sauce www.nuttynutritionandfitness.com

Zoodles = Zucchini noodles. I’ve seen them around, boasting in their paleo-friendly low-carb glory. I’ve pondered, are they worth the trouble? Can a zucchini noodle actually taste good? The answer is yes, my friends. Especially when accompanied with poodles and swoodles. (potato and sweet potato noodles). If you have also been curious about zoodles, 2016 is the year to stop wondering and start spiralizing.

I received two spiralizers for Christmas, if that wasn’t a sign to blog about zoodles, I don’t know what is. To be honest, the idea of zucchini noodles wasn’t super appealing to me until I found out you can make sweet potato noodles. The first time I saw a recipe with sweet potato, I knew I had to try this veggie pasta phenomenon.

zoodles with cashew cream sauce

These noodles are a combination of zucchini, sweet potato, and purple potato. Go for purple sweet potato if you can find it. With the addition of potato this recipe is no longer low carb, but it is still significantly lower in carbohydrate than regular pasta. You would be amazed by the volume of noodles you get just from one potato. In my opinion, adding three types of veggies makes this meal more filling and nutritionally balanced. Yes, I could eat a plate full of zoodles, but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be starving two hours later…

Let’s talk about the sauce. Creamy dreamy dairy-free cashew sauce. It’s every bit as rich and delectable as a heavy alfredo sauce would be, but without all the saturated fat and packed with micronutrients. The sauce may appear just a teeny bit lumpy in the pictures, but that’s because I had to use a blender instead of a food processor. Sad to say my food processor has seen better days, and apparently Santa didn’t know 🙁 If you have a food processor definitely use it, but a high powered blender will work too!

Zoodles with cashew cream sauce

 

zoodles with cashew cream sauce

Recipe inspired by Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles by Pinch of Yum.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Tri-Color Zoodles with Cashew Cream Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
Noodles
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled
  • 2 small purple potatoes
  • 2 small zucchini (or 1 large)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cashew Cream Sauce
  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded
  • ¼ cup water or non-dairy milk, plus more as needed to thin sauce
Instructions
  1. Peal, wash and spiralize zucchini and potatoes.
  2. Heat large pan over medium heat. Add oil and veggie noodles. Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. For the sauce, soak the cashews in water for at least two hours.
  4. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add enough water or milk to create a creamy sauce.
  5. Heat sauce briefly over low heat on the stove. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Serve over warm veggie noodles.
Notes
The sauce makes 6 or more servings and the noodles about 3. If you would like to use all the sauce double the veggie noodle recipe.
 

Why I’m Saying No to Bacon

Why I'm Saying No To Bacon

Hi friends!

Well, my hopes of pumping out blogs upon returning home have not come to fruition, mostly because I have been too busy fighting off the Panamanian Death Plague for the last ten days. I’m one round of antibiotics deep and this illness is still going strong. Bleh!

In other news, I have decided I’m going to be a real vegetarian again. I guess I will have to change my “about me” bio. I have been a vegetarian on and off (mostly on) for the last twenty years. I can’t remember exactly how I decided to be a vegetarian when I was 7 years old, but I do think it had something to do with my sister chasing me with a “pig’s wiener” AKA hot dog.11875046_452608311587157_2652740731473849173_o

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When I was in Nicaragua I came across too many sweet little piggys, and thought, I really don’t need to be eating these adorable, intelligent creatures. While I may enjoy the crunch of crispy bacon, there are many other plant based foods that I enjoy just as much. So I have decided I will be saying farewell to bacon, pepperoni, and the occasional fried chicken. Yes, I’m probably still going to eat fish from time to time. It’s hard for me to feel REALLY bad for fish. At least If they are wild caught they don’t have to experience the torture that most factory farm animals endure their entire lives. As for eggs and dairy, it is hard to bake without them, so I’m not going full vegan. But I am committing to buying organic and small farm dairy and eggs whenever possible.

In honor of Nutty Nutrition officially becoming a vegetarian blog, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite vegetarian and vegan bloggers.

The Muffin Myth. Katie is a fellow nutritionist who loves debunking food myths just as much as I do. She also has you covered anytime a “Snack Attack” strikes. Try her no sugar banana bran muffins.

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Oh My Veggies. This is my go to source for all things vegetarian. From Saturday Potlucks to vegetarian cooking tips, OMV has you covered.

9_ways_to_use_leftover_cranberry_sauce

Hurry The Food Up. Howie is hilarious and will help you make the perfect vegan pancake.

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Minimalist Baker. Minimalist? not so much. Amazing, oh yes. Dana is the vegan baking and cooking master.

20-minute-Easy-Apple-Arugula-Salad-with-Pecans-and-Lemon-Vinaigrette.-A-healthy-hearty-side-dish-for-fall-and-winter.-salad-recipe-vegan-healthy-dinner-meal-minimalistbaker

The Roasted Root– Beautiful photography, gourmet vegan, vegetarian and paleo recipes

Vegan Corn Chowder by the Roasted Root

The Foodie Dietitian. Kara Lydon is a fellow dietitian, foodie and yogi. She creates amazing recipes and focuses on mindful eating and healthful living.

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What are some of your favorite blogs? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

5 Food Labeling Myths You Are Falling For

Food Labeling Myths www.nuttynutritionandfitness.com

Have you heard about the lawsuit over Cheerios Protein? General Mills is being sued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest because Cheerios Protein doesn’t actually contain as much protein as the front of the package claims. Not to mention, when you eat cheerios Protein you also get a lot more sugar and calories. Sometimes we are tempted to buy a product just based on that front of the box health claim, but often times those claims are misleading. Here are five food labels you should think twice about.

1. Protein. We are a nation obsessed with protein. I also bought that box of Cheerios Protein because I figured, hey, Cheerios are good, Cheerios with a little more protein must be better, right? Wrong! The problem is that when foods have protein added to them they don’t taste good. And no one wants to eat bad tasting food, no matter what health claim it has. Enter our lovely friend’s sugar and salt. In order to mask that yucky synthetic protein taste, General Mills adds sugar, and lots of it. I’m talking 17 grams of sugar versus one (in original Cheerios). I’m not trying to hate on General Mills, I actually love cereal. I’m simply saying that you shouldn’t buy a product just because it is high in protein (because it is likely high in other things too).

2. Clean-Eating. Health nuts love to eat “clean.” They also love to talk about clean eating and post pictures on Instagram of their #cleaneating #paleo meals. While I do appreciate healthy eating, I do not appreciate calling your food clean. Your kitchen counter should be clean, not your food. Sally at Real Mom Nutrition understands exactly how I feel about this subject. Check out her post “Why I don’t Love the Term Clean Eating.”

3. Hormone-Free. If you see the label hormone-free on chicken you are being tricked. All chicken in the United States is free of added hormones (of course, chickens produce their own hormones in a similar way as humans). Additive hormones are banned by the FDA in poultry and have been for the last fifty years. Yes chickens are far bigger than they were 50 years ago but this is primarily due to selective breeding (1).

4. Natural. I have written about the problem with the natural label before, and I will probably write about it again. There is no standard definition of what natural is or isn’t. To me, an apple picked off of a tree is natural, but to others, grape flavored aspartame water is natural. You decide. But I implore you, do not let the front of the package decide for you.

Aquaball naturally flavored water drink
Aquaball naturally flavored water drink

5. Sugar-free. If something is labeled as sugar-free they likely are not deceiving you. The problem is sugar-free products are usually heavy in artificial sweeteners. There is a lot of mixed research on artificial sweeteners (2). Some studies claim they can be an effective weight loss aid, while many conclude the exact opposite. My take on artificial sweeteners is proceed with caution. It is important to remember that just because something is labeled sugar-free does not give you the green light for an all-out binge.

What do you look for on the label? Have you been fooled by any of these products or claims? I would love to hear from you!

1)https://thetruthaboutag.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/the-truth-about-hormone-free-chickens/

2)http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/090111p14.shtml

The Perfect Snack When You Are Feeling…

We eat for many different reasons.  We eat because we are hungry, bored, stressed, sad, happy, and pretty much every emotion in between.  The ultimate goal would be to eat only in times of physical hunger, but that is not always the case. Below are some healthy snacks to try depending on your mood and hunger level.Healthy Snacks

If you are feeling hangry (hungry and angry) go for a hearty snack that includes some protein and healthy fats. Both protein and fat can help keep us full longer than carbohydrates, which digest more quickly. For those times that you are very hungry, make an at home McMuffin. Toast half of a whole grain English muffin, top with an egg and 1/4 of an avocado. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. You can use a precooked hard boiled egg to reduce prep time and clean up.  (250 calories, 8 grams protein) For a sweeter take, try peanut or almond butter, thinly sliced apple, and cinnamon sprinkled on top (215 calories, 5 grams protein).English Muffin with Egg and Avocado

If you are feeling bored and really need a snack just to keep your mouth or your hands entertained,  go for something low calorie and crunchy. Like celery and red bell pepper sticks. Celery is fibrous and takes a little time to chew so it can keep your mouth occupied for a while. Red bell pepper is flavorful and filled with nutrients like vitamin C. Winning combo for a low cal snack. ( 20 calories, 0.5 grams protein).healthy snack- peppers and carrots

If you are craving something sweet, back away from the ice cream carton and try this instead. Vanilla Greek Yogurt with raspberries and two tablespoons whole grain cereal mixed in. For the chocolate lover replace the cereal with one tablespoon mini dark chocolate chips. (190 calories, 12 grams protein)

Greek Yogurt with Raspberries

For the salt seeker, pass the potato chips and say hello to the edamame. Edamame is naturally low in sodium, but with a sprinkle of salt or garlic it can satisfy that salty craving. Edamame is a great source of vegetarian protein and it is also high in fiber. (1/2 cup serving = 95 calories, 8 grams protein).Edamame

If you feel like going to the movies and you know you can’t resist that buttery smell the theaters waft through the air, go prepared! Bring your own air popped popcorn and one skinny cow chocolate bar. That way you can have your treats and you don’t have to pay those ridiculous movie theater prices or buy GIANT candy bars. Whats worse, when you buy a popcorn at the concession stand they are most definitely going to guilt you into buying the extra grande soda because it is only twenty cents more. Just say no to super sizing.  Say yes to bringing an extra large purse to sneak your loot into the theater. (1 skinny cow chocolate bar plus 3 cups air popped popcorn = 225 calories, 4 grams protein). Air popped popcorn and skinny cow chocolate

Did you know that you can air pop popcorn in the microwave in a brown paper bag? Read how here.

Those are some of my favorite snacks. What healthy snacks do you enjoy?