Lacto Ovo vegeterians


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Original Image by Meal Makeover Moms via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

 

Lacto vegetarian (sometimes referred to as a lactarian; from the Latin root lact-, milk) diet is a vegetarian diet that includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ghee, cream, and kefir, but excludes eggs. Furthermore, this term is used to describe a vegetarian who does not eat eggs, but does eat dairy products. Many Hindu vegetarians are lacto-vegetarians who avoid eggs for religious reasons while continuing to eat dairy. The prefix “lacto” comes from the Latin word for milk

Some vegetarians eat a wide variety of foods that may include fish, eggs and even meat-based broths. Others are stricter and eat no animal products whatsoever, including honey and gelatin. Lacto vegetarians fall in the middle of the spectrum. They eat milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products, but they do not eat eggs or fish

The term “lacto vegetarian” comes from the Latin word lactis, meaning milk. Historically, many lacto vegetarians have followed religions that are widespread in the Far East, such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, which incorporate nonviolence and respect for animals into their belief systems. In addition to avoiding meat, most lacto vegetarians avoid eggs because they are undeveloped embryos. A lacto-ovo vegetarian eats both eggs and dairy products.

Eating dairy products is the main factor that distinguishes lacto vegetarians from vegans. Lacto vegetarians eat milk and milk products, yogurt, cheese, butter and cream. However, they do not eat dairy products made with gelatin, such as some puddings and custards, because most gelatin contains pulverized animal hooves, bones or marrow. Lacto vegetarians also avoid dairy products containing animal-based rennet, a collection of enzymes that cheese-makers normally get from calves.

Additional foods that do not contain animal products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains and plant-based proteins, make up the rest of a lacto vegetarian diet. Examples include citrus fruits, berries, root vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, wheat products, oats, corn, beans, legumes and soy products. According to the USDA, a lacto vegetarian diet that is balanced among all of those foods plus dairy items can help reduce risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other health problems.

Menu Plan

A lacto vegetarian menu plan can look a lot like a plan for a traditional vegetarian, but without the eggs. A sample breakfast might be oatmeal with milk and berries, a yogurt and granola parfait or a tofu vegetable scramble. Lacto vegetarian lunch options include a green salad with a side of tofu and fruit, meat-free chili or pasta with vegetables and olive oil. For dinner, lacto vegetarians might have a bean burrito, lentil soup with bread and salad or a vegetable curry with rice.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians may have higher blood cholesterol levels because of the eggs they eat, so choosing to follow a lacto vegetarian diet may improve heart health and encourage weight loss or healthy weight maintenance. According to a 2004 study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” self-identified lacto vegetarian women have a lower risk of overweight and obesity than women who eat meat. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic reports that all vegetarians tend to weigh less and consume fewer calories and fat grams than meat eaters.

Sources:http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/lacto-vegetarian-foods-5885.html

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/glossary/g/lactovegetarian.htm

Tofu Chocolate Pudding


IMG_9046By: Nikki Nies

I love experimenting with staple ingredients, challenging myself to use them in nontraditional ways. As a recent college graduate, I still have the budget conscious mindset. What have I learned over the past year? You can use pureed prunes in replacement of butter in desserts, by freezing bananas, you can prolong their use and when blended it makes a creamy, ice cream like texture. However, one of my favorite nontraditional uses of ingredients is tofu. Yes, I said tofu! While, I’ve used pureed tofu instead of ricotta cheese in lasagna, as someone who has a sweet tooth, I always gravitate to how I can make desserts healthier.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner and February filled with chocolate day celebrations, everything from Dark Chocolate Day on February 1st to Chocolate Mint Day on February 19th, it seemed fitting to experiment with tofu and chocolate. While pureed tofu and chocolate may not be the initial pairing, it works! They say that chocolate makes everything better, well I say chocolate and tofu makes dessert better! This is where tofu chocolate pudding comes in!

This dessert leaves you nutritionally satisfied and with only four ingredients, it can be made in minutes! By using chocolate chips, these tiny morsels can be the great sugar fix you need while also helping to lower blood pressure, improve satiety and improve blood circulation! Since tofu is a chameleon food, adapting to the flavors and ingredients it is paired with, it is perfect to combine chocolate! There is no need to use sugar to make pudding, as the chocolate chips are sweet enough!

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • ¾-1 cup semi sweet morsel chocolate chips*
  • 1-2 T oil
  • 14 oz. silken tofu
  • ½ cup milk 

Instructions

Place oil and chocolate chips on double boiler**, until all chocolate chips are melted. Heat the saucepan over low heat until it just begins to simmer, then turn off the stove and place the chocolate bowl over the water

Stir the chocolate frequently with a rubber spatula, once the outer edges start to melt.  When almost all of the chocolate is melted, life the top bowl from the saucepan and set it on the counter. Stir until it is shiny, smooth, and completely melted. Set aside.

IMG_9036Fold and place halved or fourths paper towels on cutting board to absorb moisture of tofu. Slice tofu to at least ½ inch thick slices. With ½ cup milk, puree tofu and melted chocolate in blender until smooth.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve pudding with shredded coconut, raspberries, walnuts and/or sprinkles. Enjoy

How did your pudding turn out? What modifications and/or toppings did you add to your pudding? I hope it’s as delicious and sweet as you are! Happy Valentine’s Day!

*Depending on how sweet of a pudding you aim for, use 3/4 to 1 cup of chocolate chips at your discretion.

IMG_9037**A double boiler is a bowl placed on top of a pan of simmering water. The bowl does not touch the water, but creates a seal with the bottom pan to trap the steam produced by the simmering water.. I don’t have a double boiler myself, but by placing a stainless steel bowl over a pot, I was able to make a makeshift double boiler.

Sources:http://bakingbites.com/2009/09/how-to-make-a-double-boiler/

http://www.webmd.com/diet/health-by-chocolate

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/heart/prevention/nutrition/food-choices/benefits-of-chocolate

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270272.php

Milk Substitutes


By: Nikki Nies

For hundreds of years, milk derived from animals only, such as cow’s, sheep and goat. Yet, with lactose intolerance, maldigestion and the preference for non-dairy sources of milk emerging in recent years, the market and need for milk substitutes as increased multifold. Like there are differences in whole milk, 2% and skim milk, the nutrition content, flavor, color and texture of non-dairy milks–soy, rice, oat, 7 grain, hazelnut, hemp, almond and coconut vary.

 

Milk Type Description Texture/consistency Nutrients–1 cup Use
Whole great source of vitamin D, B12 and calcium 147 calories; 8.1 g fat; 98 mg sodium; 12.9 g carbs; 12.9 g sugar; 7.9 g protein; 276 mg calcium; 349.4 mg potassium; 98 IU vitamin D
1% great source of vitamin D, B12 and calcium 91 calories; 0.7 g fat; 130 mg sodium; 12.3 g carbs; 12.3 g sugar; 8.7 g protein; 316.2 mg calcium; 419.1 mg potassium; 98 IU vitamin D
Soy–plain obtained from soy bean; closest option to cow’s milk; contains vitamin B12 and D; processed; can be high in sugar; comes in sweetened, unsweetened and flavored varieties such as chocolate and vanilla creamy 100 calories; 4 g fat; 120 mg sodium; 8 g carbs; 6 g sugar; 7 g protein; 300 mg calcium; 300 mg potassium; 119 IU vitamin D vegan–baking, coffee, as is, cereal
Almond made from ground almonds, water and sweetener; has ⅓ of calories as 2% milk; magnesium and protein content is good for bone strength; contains less sugar than soy or rice milk; tends to be high in sodium; contains vitamins A, D & E; low in protein; higher in fat than skim milk thick 60 calories; 2.5 g fat; 150 mg sodium; 8 g cars; 7 g sugar; 1 g protein; 200 mg calcium; 180 mg potassium; 100 IU vitamin D cereal, coffee, sipping, baking
Coconut richest, creamiest of all milk alternatives; when purchased in a carton, tends to have a lower fat content and is not as creamy as in can form; high in saturated fat and calories thick, creamy 80 calories; 5 g fat; 30 mg sodium; 7 g carbs; 6 g sugar; 1 g protein; 450 g calcium; 40 g potassium; 100 IU vitamin D ice cream, Thai curry, moistens cakes; coffee; tea
Hemp best for those with nut or soy allergies; rich in omega 3 fatty acids; low in saturated fat; mixture of hemp seeds  and water; contains essential amino acids; fortified with vitamin D and A; low in protein thick, creamy; “earthy” 100 g calories; 6 g fat; 110 mg sodium; 9 g carbs; 6 g sugar; 2 g protein; 300 mg calcium; N/A potassium; 100 IU vitamin D smoothies; porridge; baking; cereals
7 Grain–original Oats, Brown Rice, Wheat,  Barley, Triticale, Spelt and Millet thin 140 calories; 2 g fat; 27 g carbs; 3 g protein; 115 mg sodium; 125 mg potassium biscuits, smoothies and cereals
Hazelnut considered “more agreeable” in flavor with coffee; supposedly “froths” better thin 110 calories; 3.5 g fat; 120 mg sodium; 16 g carbs; 0 g sugar; 2 g protein coffee, baking, vegan cooking
Oat Void of cholesterol and saturated fats; high in fiber, iron; contains phytochemicals, which can protect against heart disease and some cancers; must be avoided by those that need to adhere to gluten free diet thick and grainy 130 calories; 2.5 g fat; 24 g carbs; 110 mg sodium; 19 g sugar; 120 mg potassium on its own as a beverage, cereal, gravy, cupcakes, hearty cookies
Rice most hypoallergenic option of all milk alternatives; good for blood pressure due to niacin and vitamin B6 content; low in protein; not recommended for diabetics; highly starchy; often enriched with calcium, vitamin A & D watery, thin 70 calories; 2.5 g fat; 80 mg sodium; 23 g carbs; 10 g sugar; 1 g protein; 300 mg calcium; 0 mg potassium; 100 IU vitamin D oatmeal, smoothies and cereals–not recommended to be used in baking or cooking due to watery texture

With cow’s milk allergy reported to be the largest allergy in infants and children, it’s safe to say that these milk substitutes are a valuable resource. What’s your experience with these different milks? Have a particular preference you want to share? If you’re up to the challenge, why not make your own milk?
Sources: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273982.php

http://www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com/milksubstitutes.html

http://www.wellnesstoday.com/nutrition-recipes/which-nut-milk-is-right-for-you

http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-is-hazelnut-milk-the-new-almond-milk-20140416-story.html

https://www.behance.net/gallery/2681739/Primer-Milk-Alternatives

http://www.pacificfoods.com/food/non-dairy-beverages/nut-grain-beverages/organic-7-grain-original.aspx

https://www.behance.net/gallery/2681739/Primer-Milk-Alternatives

SF Cinnamon Vanilla Rice Pudding


By: Nikki Nies

Thanks Food and Nutrition Magazine for sharing this sugar free rice pudding recipe!

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Kosher Kitchen


032210-kosher6By: Nikki Nies

While I’ve enjoyed writing for this blog for the last year and half, I’ve also used it as a channel to challenge myself to learn new concepts and review important points. Being aware of cultural and religious customs of others than yourself not only makes you more appreciative of the differences, but provides an obvious respect to how the differences are actually quite similar. If you’re like me,you recognize those differences, but don’t want to offend other parties by admitting you can’t articulate the exact differences.  So, today, with Rosh Hashanah upon us, there’s no better time to learn what it really means to have a ‘kosher’ kitchen.

In the Jewish community, the separation of meat and dairy products is crucial for the celebration of multiple holiday. The mixture of these two food groups is prohibited in Jewish law, which derives from the book of Exodus in the bible, which forbids [a goat] in a mother’s milk. This Jewish law prohibits against cooking a mixture of milk and meat, eating a cooked mixture of milk and meat and deriving any benefit from a cooked mixture of milk and meat.

During my research, I learned that creating a kosher kitchen does not have to be a daunting task, but one that is appropriate for the holidays. Prior to the revamp of a kitchen, one can start with purchasing only products that are certified kosher. If you’re not sure if a product is kosher or not, it’s best to put aside or discard.  It should be noted some new purchases will be necessary, including, but not limited to: dishes, some additional pots, plastic drainboards, and basins for the sink.

Many of the dishes and/or utensils will require the immersion into a mikvah before use.  Next, decide which drawers and/or kitchen cabinets will be used for the meat and dairy.  Labeling such designation may be helpful.  Many of the kitchen equipment and utensils will be permitted to use after koshering.  Koshering can be done by heating the item with a blowtorch or immersing it in boiling water.  The method of koshering will be dictated by the material the equipment is made of and/or its use. Once, it’s been decided which items need to be koshered, an appointment with rabbi needs to be made.

kosher-labels-LAccess to a kitchen for kashrut observance with two sinks, two stoves and separate working areas, would be ideal, but it’s not necessary! To ensure separation, there should be two sets of dishes, pots, trays, salt shakers, draining boards, draining racks, silverware, sponges, dish towels, tablecloths, cleanser and/or serving dishes. A practical way to accomplish this feat is planning the sets of meat and dairy utensils around a color scheme–red for meat and blue for dairy.  However, whatever color scheme works for you should be used!

Additionally, start separating your meat and dairy in the fridge.  Yes, every kitchen layout is different, but I’m sure there’s a way to make the necessary accommodations, even if that means having to get the creative juices flowing!

As you can see, I’m not expert on the ins and outs of a kosher kitchen.  I’m always open to hearing about personal touches and/or traditions that occur that I may overlooked.  Please share any stories that you feel comfortable with!

Photo Credit: The Kitchn and Jewish Recipes 

Sources: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/kosherkitchen.html

http://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm

http://judaism.wonderhowto.com/how-to/keep-kosher-272992/

Your Kosher Kitchen

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/82667/jewish/Koshering-Your-Kitchen.htm

Trans Fat


By: Nikki Nies DeepFat141Cafe

There are two types of trans fat, the naturally occurring and synthetically made trans fat.  Naturally occurring trans fat can derive from the gut of animals, such as milk and meat products.  The second type of trans fat, artificial trans fat or trans fatty acids are made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make more solid.  The industry gravitate to use of trans fats in their foods as their inexpensive to use, provide more texture and taste and contain a longer shelf life, which means rancidity decreases and profit increases for food companies.

The good news: changes are coming with trans fat! Recently, the FDA announced complete elimination of trans fat.  Until those changes are implemented and permeates the system, it’s still important to be aware of how bad tarns fat really are and why reading nutrition food labels is more imperative than ever!Until the 1990’s, we didn’t know how bad trans fats are for the public.  However, with increased research and awareness of the impact, more and more products are providing consumers easy access to information on the fat content and a breakdown of the ingredients.

The caveat: Products are allowed to advertise themselves  if they contain 0 grams to less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving!

Why are trans fat so bad you ask?

  • Raises “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Reduces “good” HDL cholesterol, which adds to the clogging of arteries
  • Increase lipoprotein and triglyceride levels
  • Increases risk for heart attack, stroke and/or diabetes

I’m glad to see the government is recognizing the harm of trans fat trumps any potential “benefits.” On a label, you may recognize the artificially made trans fats as “partially hydrogenated oils.”  Thankfully, as of November 2013, the Food and Drug Administration no longer recognizes partially hydrogenated oils as listed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS)! Additionally, several nations, such as Denmark, Sweden and Canada and jurisdictions, California, New York City, Baltimore, and Montgomery County, MD, have taken measures that have either reduced or restricted the use of trans fats in food service establishments.

Until the new trans fat regulations are put into effect, how are you curbing your trans fat intake? What products have you been surprised to find contain artificially made trans fat?

Photo Credit: Stalking the wild breaded pork tenderloin in Iowa

Sources: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Trans-Fats_UCM_301120_Article.jsp

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/trans-fat/art-20046114

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/understanding-trans-fats

http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/fat/transfat.html

http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm079609.htm

MyPlate for Older Adults


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Source: http://fycs.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/hnfs/enafs/MyPlate.php