Category: The BEET

The blog is back in town! Meet Taylor Brower, our newest blog contributor.

Taylor is an alumni of UC Santa Barbara where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is currently studying at University of Alabama to receive a second Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition to work toward becoming a Registered Dietitian. Taylor discovered her passion for nutrition during her senior year at UCSB when she realized that food is medicine and that, when paired with a healthy lifestyle, it can prevent and reverse many common diseases that plague our country today. She is passionate about educating others on the benefits of incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their diet and loves talking about health. When she is not studying or working with the Foodbank, Taylor works at Santa Barbara Family Chiropractic and teaches swim lessons at Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club. She is an avid cyclist and can usually be found riding in the mountains during the weekends.

 

Apples are always a popular autumn fruit. They will be in season soon in Santa Barbara, which means it’s time for you to get the real #nutritionfacts. Check out this week’s post for the truth about apples and last week’s post for a delicious, innovative recipe!

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” might be an overused phrase, but it’s actually true! Increased consumption of apples daily is associated with a decrease in risk for certain cancers such as breast, ovarian, and colorectal(1). This protection is due to the abundance of antioxidants apples contain, most of which are actually concentrated in the peel (so make sure to eat that too!). Apples are also a great source of fiber to help regulate blood sugar and make for a great snack!

  1. Gallus S, Talamini R, Giacosa A et al. Does an apple a day keep the oncologist away? J Agric Food Chem 2003; 51(3): 609-14

Contributed by Taylor Brower

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Apple Pie Overnight Oats

 

As a student-athlete who is working 40+ hours a week, it is important to me to have quick go-to meals that I can grab and have on the go, will give me enough sustained energy that will last me throughout the day and will help me recover from my workouts. Oatmeal has been one of my favorite breakfasts lately, but cooking it on the stove takes some time and so I have turned to loaded overnight oats instead of instant oatmeal packets for a time-efficient breakfast in the mornings. These oats are loaded with crisp apples that stay crunchy, and warming fall spices like cinnamon or pumpkin spice that not only add flavor but spices are packed full of antioxidants that help with exercise recovery and reduce blood pressure and blood sugar level. The pumpkin seeds are full of iron, zinc and antioxidants.

1 cup steel cut oats

1 cup plant-based milk

1Tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup

1/2 Apple diced (I like honeycrips or fuji, but green apples would also work)

1 tsp cinnamon

1tsp Turmeric (you won’t be able to taste the Turmeric, but it has such great health benefits, I try to add it to everything)

Small Handful of pepitas or pumpkin seeds

Add all ingredients into a mason jar or tupperwear container and shake to mix well. Place in fridge overnight. Add peanut butter or some other nut butter on top if desired. Grab and go in the morning and enjoy at school/work/ after the gym/ before the gym/ really anytime.

Healthy Eating: It Really is Quality Over Quantity

Many diets today focus on cutting out a specific nutrient like carbohydrates, fat, or gluten (just to name a few). This over-generalized advice puts certain foods into a category and suddenly people start avoiding very nutrient-dense, healthy foods because they have been put in the same category as an unhealthy food.

Take fruit for example. Fruit is one of the healthiest things you can eat. In the Global Burden of Disease Study (a comprehensive research program assessing mortality from different diseases and risk factors), they found that one of the main risk factors for mortality was not consuming enough fruit. Fruit is packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, yet we have placed fruit in the same category as a cupcake or a glass of soda because of its fructose (sugar) content. This causes confusion for the general public and people just end up eating the way they always have and avoid consuming some of the healthiest foods on earth.

Instead of becoming so reductive about our food choices, we should begin to look at food as a whole instead of its parts. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are all very nutrient dense and healthy. When a diet is centered around these foods, which are as close to nature as possible, we don’t need to worry about avoiding particular categories of food for one less-than-perfect trait.

So, for the next few weeks, we will be talking about seasonal fruits, busting myths about them, and trying out new recipes. Check back weekly for the latest updates! For comments, questions, and more info, check us out at @foodbanksbc on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Contributed by Taylor Brower

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Vegetable Spaghetti Pasta

The Vegetable Spaghetti from our Healthy School Pantry program is a must try if you’re looking for a DELICIOUS dinner idea! See the full recipe below…

 

Ingredients

1- lbs Spaghetti pasta

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

1 cup diced carrots, peeled

1 pack veggie slaw

1/2 cup corn, fresh or can

1 cup diced onion, small

1 cup celery diced, small

1 lbs Broccoli, cut into small florets

2 tbs oil

Salt & pepper

Optional (fresh garlic , dried basil or oregano )

 

Cooking Directions

1) Heat sautéed pan with oil over medium heat

2) Add prepped onions, carrots and celery in to pan mix evenly cook for 2 mins

3) Add prepped broccoli and veggie slaw cook for 1 or 2 minutes

4) Add cooked spaghetti pasta stir well for 1 minute

5) Then add spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce and cook 2 minutes

6) Season with Salt and pepper for taste

 

Cooking pasta directions

1) Bring 4 qts water to rapid boil

2) Add pasta and stir

3) Stir frequently, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes

4) Drain and run cold water over until cooled

Serving for 6

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Tonja’s Story

tonja_lea-1

When I moved from my home country the Netherlands to Santa Barbara last year, I was 7 months pregnant with our first baby. Exploring my new homestead with a big belly, I first heard about the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County at a sustainable foods fair at the UCSB. Two passionate Foodbank volunteers told me about millions of pounds of healthy foods sourced by the Foodbank each year for their 300 non-profit partners, as well as the Foodbank’s in-house programs that empower people who face food insecurity with free nutrition education and improved access to healthy foods for program recipients and their families.

I believe it as an advantage that the United States has had a far longer tradition of food banks than my country of origin. While food banks in the Netherlands focus majorly on giving out foods to low-income people, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County builds on an ever increasing amount of knowledge about nutrition and has created best practices to share this with the community such as teaching people about healthy and affordable foods, empowering community leaders to build stronger local networks and establishing innovative partnerships with health organizations in the community; these activities unknown to most of the food banks in the Netherlands.

I immediately felt passionate about working for the Foodbank and I finally got the chance about 8 months ago and ever since have been very happy to use all of my previous working expertise and efforts to roll out Foodbank’s new nutrition education program for people living with diabetes that also deal with food insecurity. I am grateful for the partnerships we’ve established with health organizations in both Santa Maria and Santa Barbara that increase our impact and compliment our individual strengths.

My daughter, Lea, is now 15 months old and being a mother makes me even more aware of the importance of improved access to healthy foods for everyone. Being able to provide my child with nutritious foods is a blessing and unfortunately not a straightforward thing for every parent, while it should be. Everyone at the Foodbank works hard to see this changed and it is only through generous donations and strong partnerships in the community that we can continue our work.

Tonja van Gorp is the Community Programs Coordinator at the Foodbank.

 

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Persimmon Bread

Persimmons are delicious, exotic fruits that do more than serve as a sweet and tasty treat; they have a wealth of vitamin and minerals packed inside them, including vitamins A C, E and B6, as well as dietary fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous.
INGREDIENTS
SERVINGS 10 – 2 loaves
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1cup persimmon pulp
1 3⁄4 cups flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
1⁄2 teaspoon clove
1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
1⁄2cup chopped dates (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl blend sugar and oil; add eggs and persimmon pulp.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices; add nuts and dates then mix well.
4. Stir flour mixture into persimmon mixture. Turn into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake for one hour or until done, testing center with a pick.
5. Turn out on wire rack to cool.

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Raspberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Antioxidant-packed raspberries paired with buckwheat flour make a terrific-tasting, health-promoting breakfast. Raspberries are in season from July to October; pick up a box of freshly picked raspberries from the local farmers market and use this recipe for your brunch inspiration.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup fortified soy or rice milk
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
Vegetable oil spray

Directions:

Mix buckwheat flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate large bowl, combine mashed banana, maple syrup, vinegar, and non-dairy milk. Add flour mixture, stirring just enough to remove any lumps and make a pourable batter. Stir in raspberries and add a bit more milk if the batter seems too thick.

Preheat a non-stick skillet or griddle, then spray lightly with vegetable oil. Pour small amounts of batter onto the heated surface and cook until tops bubble. Turn carefully with a spatula and cook the second sides until browned, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.

Per serving (1 pancake): 55 calories; 0.5 g fat; 0.1 g saturated fat; 8.1% calories from fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.5 g protein; 11.8 g carbohydrates; 3.8 g sugar; 1.1 g fiber; 81 mg sodium; 32 mg calcium; 0.6 mg iron; 1.6 mg vitamin C; 9 mcg beta carotene; 0.3 mg vitamin E

Makes 16 3-inch pancakes

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Meet Stephanie Sokolove

Preface: This interview took place last year. She is graciously hosting this year’s Table of Life Event at her Estate. What a wonderful partner she has been to the Foodbank!

Onto the Interview: September 2014

The-BEET Stephanie Sokolove

Many of you have heard of the Table of Life Fundraiser that supports the Foodbank’s Feed the Future programs, a sequential series of programs created by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County that fosters nutritional health and independence in children of all ages. This year, on October 5th, the Foodbank is thrilled and proud to have Stephanie Sokolove as Table of Life’s keynote speaker. Stephanie is Owner and Executive Chef to THREE nationally recognized restaurants in the Boston area, Stephanie’s on Newbury, Stephi’s on Tremont, and Stephi’s in Southie.

Stephanie has built her business on a style of cooking that she calls “Sophisticated Comfort,” a style that is fresh, interesting, and yet familiar. “Sophisticated Comfort Food” is the next generation of comfort food in that it blends traditional favorites with today’s food preferences. Dishes are imaginatively created with current, fresher ingredients and bolder flavors then artistically presented. At the restaurant, Stephanie spins familiar classics into elegant dishes that comfort and surprise without being fussy or intimidating.

http://www.stephaniesonnewbury.com/stephanie-sokolove-bio.pdf

I sat down with the gracious Stephanie Sokolove to ask her some questions about her health and food philosophies, and of course I couldn’t help but ask a little about her restaurants.

The BEET Question 1To me healthy is waking up and feeling good; feeling energetic, clear headed and ready to face the day.

The BEET Question 2

It’s important to be able to function at your top level.  If were not healthy it’s hard to get through the day.  For example, I play golf.  To feel and play my best, I don’t eat big meals beforehand, as I need to feel light to play well.

The BEET Question 3

It’s got to play into it. But I believe survival probably comes first before health. If people knew where healthy choices were offered, I think they would make the right choice. But people don’t always know where to get healthy foods.   If we can get this message out to the community, I think that would be amazingly welcomed. What kills me is to see overweight kids, eating unhealthy foods, they can’t feel well!

The BEET Question 4

Personal health choices and restaurant services can be conflicting, as, what makes food delicious is not necessarily what you should eat every day.  However in my restaurants, everything is fresh, nothing comes out of a can; fresh is best.  That is a requirement to make food delicious.  Sugar, butter, and salt tend to make food taste better but we have cut back on these things for our health.   So we also offer dishes with less butter, less cream, and use fresh sauces instead of cream sauces for fish. California food has seen an evolution over the last 20 years.  It was known for its heavy comfort foods, but now we are seeing lighter comfort foods and fresher options like all kinds of amazing salads.

The BEET Question 6 I believe the Avocado is the healthiest single food we could eat.  And it is so versatile!  Substitute for oil and butter.  It’s a Fruit/ vegetable that is worth experimenting with;  Salads, sauces, baking.  Salads don’t need oil, ripe avocado gives salad a lovely creamy texture.

The BEET Question 8 Working in a restaurant where food is abundant, you become unaware of how much food is needed.  Working with the Foodbank has been an eye-opener to me.

 

 

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