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herbs



Food Blogger Spotlight: Michael Natkin of Herbivoracious

If you thought Michael Natkin’s popular blog, Herbivoracious, was a quaint little site about basil and thyme, boy are you in for a surprise. This chef, blogger, cookbook author and busy father of two wants to expand your mind about the world of meatless dishes. From his website: “I love to draw inspiration from cuisines around the world, and stay abreast of the latest developments from the best chefs, then apply all of those ideas to create vegetarian dishes that you can rock at home.” With 400+ recipes to his credit, Michael has definitely been busy creating inspiring dishes for his readers.

Hey, Michael, it’s Father’s Day, put your feet up and let the kids cook for you!

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Why did you start your food blog? Honestly, I started the blog out of pure frustration. I wanted to be a restaurant chef, but five years ago wasn’t the right time in my life to quit my day job and make that leap. I have young kids and a wife with chronic fatigue syndrome, so it just didn’t work. I also have this unstoppable passion for food, and needed to find a way to share and connect with the larger culinary community. Food blogs were just starting to become popular, and I thought that “Hey, at least this is something I can do.”


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4 New Ways to Shake up Your Snack Routine

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., TheBestLife.com lead nutritionist

I snack on the same stuff that I recommend to clients and readers: fruit, yogurt, lattes, nuts, carrots and other raw vegetables. But I also concoct more offbeat snacks that I don’t tend to recommend because they might seem too weird or too health-foody to someone just coming off a potato-chips-and-snack-cake habit. I figure you DietsInReview.com readers have seen it all…and might even enjoy some of these yourselves.

Numi Organic Savory tea (5 calories; available at Whole Foods)

Nutrition highlight: the Broccoli Cilantro has 90 percent of the Daily Value for calcium and the Beet Cabbage has 20 percent (I haven’t tried the four other flavors yet)

How to: Steep teabags in boiling water for 10 minutes.
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Microgreens May Provide More Nutrition Than Mature Vegetables

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and University of Maryland conducted a study to determine the level of nutrients in microgreens, specifically compared to more mature vegetables. Microgreens are tiny versions of vegetables, herbs, and other plants and are about one to two inches long with the stem and leaves still attached. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

As reported by NPR, researchers looked for large doses of vitamins and other phytochemicals, such as vitamin C, E, and beta carotene. Gene Lester, a researcher with the USDA, said the findings “totally knocked me over.”

The team found that all 25 varieties of microgreens had four to 40 times more nutrients than their matured counterparts. Lester said the findings give us a new insight into plants, “because these are little tiny seeds barely exposed to much light at all. And yet those compounds [nutrients] are there ready to go.”

Diets In Review’s resident dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, wasn’t surprised by the results of the study. “The findings make sense because the young plant is rapidly accumulating nutrients during its period of rapid growth, and it is also still releasing nutrients stored in the seed,” she said. “I’ll bet microgreens are high in protein and very digestible, too.”
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5 Delicious New Uses for Basil

As a child, I never understood the importance of herbs. They all seemed like weeds to me and I found their flavors to be somewhat, well, gaggy. However, I also hated salad and coffee growing up – two of my now loves – so that doesn’t say much about how mature my palette was at the time.

But now, as a full-fledged 26-year-old adult, I adore herbs; and especially, basil.

While basil and I first tip-toed into our relationship via the world of margherita pizza and classic pasta sauces, we’ve now taken it to the next level. As in, I eat it plain, straight from the earth by the handfuls. Needless to say, things have gotten serious.

And with this matured relationship has come exploring and lots of it. Below are just a few ways you too can branch out and experience more of what this vibrant herb has to offer.
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Cook Yourself Healthy with 4 Nutritious Spices

By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

Don’t ignore the nutrient powerhouses hidden away in your spice cabinet. Spices contain phenols which stimulate your immune system to protect against disease and are rich in anti-oxidants to protect your body from free radical damage. Spices can elevate a simple dinner into a nutrient dense, delicious masterpiece.

Here are my four favorite spices and their amazing health and healing properties. Plus, how to use them in your kitchen.

Smoked Paprika – This has been my “spice crush” for quite some time. A little dash turns a simple vegetable dish into something richer, heartier, and so delicious. Paprika, because of its high vitamin C content, helps your body absorb iron rich foods and fight infection. Try smoked paprika in these yummy recipes:

Smokey Joe’s

Smokey Tomato and Greens Soup

Smokey Salmon Kebabs
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