Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Pie Helps Celebrate Spring

For our Easter Sunday meal I wanted to create an impressive looking, but healthy dessert. With strawberries on sale for $2.00 per pound, I decided that I had to do something with them. I subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated magazine and enjoy reading the research and strategies they employ for each recipe. Their May/June issue featured a fresh strawberry pie. 
Well, I rarely follow any recipe exactly. I love to make a recipe my own. Sometimes I want to vary the recipe to make it healthier. In the case of the strawberry pie, I wanted to improve upon the crust instead of using a “traditional” pie crust. A traditional pie crust of flour, butter or vegetable shortening, and water may have 7 grams of total fat for 1/8 of the crust. If you use the already prepared pie crusts, watch out. They use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. The already prepared refrigerated pie crust where all you do is press it into a pie plate has 2.5 g of trans fat for 1/8 serving. Ouch!
I figured I could reduce the fat and especially the saturated fat by making a cookie crust. However, almost all of the boxes of graham crackers I looked at contained partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. I found that if I went to the organic/natural foods section of the store, I could find graham cracker bears and gingersnap cookies that had no partially hydrogenated fats. They cost a bit more, but I decided it was worth the added expense in this case.

So, I made my graham cracker crust on Saturday and froze it overnight.
I made the rest of the pie on Sunday. The recipe has you puree about 1/4 of the strawberries and cook it on the range top with pectin, sugar substitute, cornstarch and a little salt to thicken it.

Then you remove the gel and add gently fold in all of the remaining fresh strawberries. The pie turned out fabulous. It was impressive and healthy.

I suggest topping it with 1-1/2 tablespoons of nonfat honey vanilla yogurt.

One-eighth of the pie makes a serving and provides 214 calories, 5.5 g total fat, 0.4 g of saturated fat, and 4.5 g of dietary fiber. Because this pie is primarily strawberries, which are rich in vitamin C, you can meet 100% of the Daily Value for vitamin C with just 1 serving of this pie.
Here's the link to the full recipe.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Don't Avoid Nutrition Labels on Indulgent Items

The results of two Harris Interactive surveys taken in the United Kingdom were revealed last week at the annual conference of the Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate, and Confectionery trade group. It is no surprise to me that people don’t look at Nutrition Fact labels for indulgence items, such as cakes, sweets, and chocolates. The surveys found that while 70% of women and 63% of men will look at labels for cereal boxes, only 11% read labels for confections and sweets, 54% for cakes, and 52% for pizza.
My personal philosophy is to eat right 90% of the time and allow indulgences 10% of the time. Any when you indulge, do so with some responsibility. This means, read the Nutrition Facts panel and the ingredient statement. Try to avoid trans fats and limit saturated fats. Share your indulgence with a family member or friend so you eat a smaller portion. Eat it slowly, really taste it, and enjoy.

Monday, April 11, 2011

new website launched

Today I launched a new website, designed to help address the comment, "It costs too much to eat healthy." This new website, for people at any income, offers tips and strategies for every aisle of the supermarket. And, many times, the supermarket isn't the best place to get the best buy on certain foods. For example, a national drug store chain offers one of the best prices on a gallon of milk.

I'd love to hear your comments about the site, good and not so good. What kind of information would be helpful to you?