Heart Healthy Baking Tips

Prepare muffins and quick breads with less saturated fat and fewer calories. Use three ripe, very well-mashed bananas, instead of 1/2 cup butter, lard, shortening or oil or substitute one cup of applesauce per one cup of these fats.

Use plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt or fat-free or low-fat sour cream instead of full fat versions. You can’t tell the difference.

Another way to decrease the amount of fat and calories in your recipes is to use fat-free milk or 1% milk instead of whole or reduced-fat (2%) milk. For extra richness, try fat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk.

Heart Healthy Smoothie Tips

Smoothies can pack a big nutritional punch but be sure to skip the high fructose juices.  Throw a banana (you can keep them in the freezer for weeks) into your blender along with frozen berries, kiwi, apples, grapes or whatever fruit is around. Add regular water, tea, coconut water or other juice and if you’d like fat-free or low-fat yogurt. You can get 4–5 servings of fruit in one glass of yummy shake.  Try adding baby greens to your smoothie for a dose of veggies too. Try getting your loved one to sip on a smoothie. It’s easy, cool, refreshing and healthy.

Canned Convenience – it’s not what it’s cracked up to be

Canned, processed and preserved vegetables often have very high sodium content. Look for “low-sodium” veggies or try the frozen varieties. Compare the sodium content on the Nutrition Facts label of similar products (for example, different brands of tomato sauce) and choose the products with less sodium. If you buy canned, rinse veggies under cold water to reduce the level of sodium.

Half the Money – Half the Fat

Make your Super Bowl burger with 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 finely chopped mushrooms.  The mushrooms add wonderful flavor and texture plus you won’t miss the beef. It’s a nice way to “sneak” healthy veggies into a family staple.

Heart Healthy Month

Yeah February!  Super Bowl food, Valentine’s Day and Go Red for Women.

Edible Education has been an American Heart Association partner for 4 years, having provided cooking demos at Macy’s, for Suntrust, for the Go Red Women’s Circle and more.  We urge you to take notice of their heart healthy tips for you and your family.
  • Visit GoRedForWomen.org to learn what you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Encourage your family and friends to take small steps toward healthy lifestyle choices to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Explain “What it means to Go Red” by sharing the following acronym:
Get Your Numbers: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.
Own Your Lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthy.
Raise Your Voice: Advocate for more women-related research and education.
Educate Your Family: Make healthy food choices. Teach your kids the importance of staying active.
Donate: Show your support with a donation of time or money

Make friends with cleaning up

IMG_0534January 31 — What does Chopped Junior champ Claire Hollingsworth say about cleaning up?

“ABC = Always be cleaning!” she insists. “To be honest, I know this because my dad taught me this and it is much better to clean along the way than have this big mess to come back to.

“I am much better at cleaning up than I used to be and my parents have noticed.  I used to be a disaster.”

Protein + starch = creative new recipe

claire robotJanuary 29 — Cooking well is like creating a great science project, like a robot. And that’s the principle that Chopped Junior winner Claire Hollingsworth focuses on when she’s coming up with new recipes.

“I am really interested in the science of cooking,” says Claire, who knows that cooking is an experiment with benefits for her tummy.”

To keep her skills sharp, she heads to the refrigerator and pantry and picks a protein and starch ingredient — then she logs on to her computer to look online for recipes that will enable her to incorporate them into the dish.

But that’s not all. “I look for one thing I can change,” she adds, such as using cloves instead of cinnamon or Chinese 5 spice, instead of cumin. “The important thing is to only change one thing in the beginning when you are cooking so you can taste the effect and decide what you would do differently next time.  If it is a recipe that I like, I put it in our family cooking binder.  If I didn’t like it — I throw it away.”

I also am inspired by brilliant chefs like Alton Brown, and Julia Child, as well as classic texts such as Cooks Illustrated, and The Food Lab. “Study, experiment, and have a ball,” Claire insists.

Embrace the mis en place

IMG_0470January 28 — Chopped Junior winner Claire Hollingsworth says her best tip for prepping is … to play music!

“Prepping can sometimes be the boring part of cooking, however it is THE MOST BORING IMPORTANT,” she admits.

“My dad always taught me, mise en place, which is a French culinary phrase which means “putting in place,” as in set up.

Claire says: “It is important to read the entire recipe first so you know what ingredients you need, what needs to be chopped or melted etc. There is nothing worse then starting to prep or start cooking something and then realize you need to chop up an onion after you had your hands in raw meat. I learned this lesson when making meatballs with one of my friends.”

Ask your parents to give you secret ingredients — then come up with a delicious dish

clairehollingsworth.imageJanuary 27 — What did Claire Hollingsworth learn from being on Chopped Junior, which she didn’t know before?

“The basket ingredients are like a solving a mystery for the perfect dish,” she says. “This is like your own pantry and fridge. It is fun to solve mysteries.

“I learned that I needed to be very focused on my time management, which meant that I always had to be doing something.  There was no down time at all and I learned to keep an eye on different things the entire time — like multi-tasking.”


Taste your food as you cook it

IMG_1341January 26 — What is Chopped Junior winner Claire Hollingsworth top tip on cooking well? “Taste your food along the way,” she insists. “It keeps you from adding too much salt, sugar, and other ingredients that can ruin the dish.”

Other secrets include:

  1. Have onfidence!!  Just try it. Ask for help if needed
  2. Whatever time the recipe says to cook for, I always check it 10 min before then 5 min before just to be safe
  3. When adding spicy spices, always put it in your hand first and sprinkle in about half of what the recipe says, then taste and adjust if needed
  4. Get your own set of knives. “I started out using kid-safe knives, and then my parents helped  me graduate to a more grown-up set that is modified so I don’t get hurt. I love it, and it makes me feel like a real chef to have my own knives!”