#wherefoodmeetslife - life stories & more
I love Peanut Butter. I love to just dig my spoon in my creamy Jiff and eat it right off the spoon. You can give me peanut butter on a banana, apples, vanilla wafers, crackers, and the list just goes on and on.
I generally add Peanut Butter to my favorite homemade granola recipes. I love a good soft peanut butter cookie. Who doesn't love Peanut Butter? I guess those who have the nut allergy. I have a terrible strawberry allergy. That is bad enough, I can't imagine having a peanut allergy.
Did you know that eating Peanut Butter has a whole lot of benefits towards your health?
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, peanut butter, is a healthy food that is full of nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, monounsaturated fatty acids, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A, sodium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, copper, iron, and zinc. Peanuts contain no saturated fats and can be consumed on a regular basis. They only contain unsaturated fats. This is good news for people who fear to gain weight by consuming peanuts. Peanuts actually help you to lose weight! Other great benefits include:
Suppresses Hunger For Weight Loss
Eating peanuts and peanut butter helps control hunger without leading to weight gain. #winwin
Heart Health - Your heart loves Peanuts
Studies found peanuts lowered the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.
Lowers Colon Cancer
Eating peanuts and peanut butter may reduce colon cancer in women.
Helps Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Impairment
Boy, I really need to eat more peanut butter for this. Peanuts are one of the highest foods that is rich in niacin. Studies found that those getting the most niacin from foods were 70 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. #winwin
Peanut butter has protein as well as potassium — which lowers the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. It also contains fiber for your bowel health, healthy fats, magnesium to fortify your bones and muscles, Vitamin E and antioxidants.
It's about time someone said fat and healthy at the same time! All of the fat in peanut butter is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. A study found that insulin-resistant adults who ate a diet high in mono-saturated fat had less belly fat than people who ate more carbohydrates or saturated fat. Therefore, eating peanuts can reduce the risk of diabetes according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
A 2016 research paper published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology has revealed that peanuts are an excellent source of compounds like resveratrol, phenolic acids, flavonoids and phytosterols that completely stop the absorption of cholesterol from the diet. The fat content in peanut butter is almost equal to that of the fats found in olive oil. It contains both polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. As these fats are not saturated, they are good to consume without putting the heart at any risk. The unsaturated fats in peanut butter help to lower bad cholesterol levels (low-density lipoprotein) and promote the circulation of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein).
A Perfect Bedtime Snack!
Eating peanut butter before sleeping helps to build muscles and helps to give you a good night sleep. Peanut butter has tryptophan amino acid that helps to release serotonin hormones in the body. Serotonin helps to keep the brain healthy and provides better sleep. This alone should make you go stick that big spoon inside that peanut butter jar!
Peanut Butter No-Bake Energy Balls --- A great source of Peanut Butter and lots of nutrients
These peanut butter no bake energy balls require only one bowl, eight ingredients and about 10 minutes of hands-on preparation
It’s all about Cucumbers!
According to Science: the cucumber is a fruit
By this definition, a cucumber is a fruit. It develops from the flower of the cucumber plant and contains the seeds. This also means that lots of other “vegetables” are also fruits: beans, peppers, pumpkins, peas, and of course, tomatoes.
How many of us have put cucumbers on our eyes? Our grandmothers, mothers, friends, and TV commercials have told us how to keep those eye wrinkles down. However, there are many other great benefits by adding that extra cucumber to your salad. You can also try eating cucumbers as your base for your favorite appetizers in lieu of bread or toast. This makes a great appetizer. Not only will it reduce your calorie intake, cucumbers will help keep you hydrated, while reducing inflammation, increasing your overall brain health, and many other great benefits.
Bad Breath? No Problem! Bad breath is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth. Fiber and water-rich vegetables like cucumbers can boost your mouth's saliva production, which in turn helps wash away the bacteria that cause the odor in the mouth.
Flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory substances, and tannin in cucumbers have both been shown to limit the release of free radicals in the body and to reduce pain.
Cucumber are a good source of vitamin K: One cup contains 22 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K. This vitamin is essential for bone health, as low vitamin K intakes have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture. Vitamin K is also important for improving calcium absorption in the bones.
Cucumbers are rich in water, and their skin contains insoluble fiber. Both water and fiber help food to move through the digestive tract quicker and more easily, helping prevent constipation
Cucumbers are very low in calories (16 calories per cup) and they also contain fiber in the skin. And foods that contain fiber can help maintain a healthy weight.
There is a reason why cucumbers are used in skin care: They have been shown to be effective as a potential anti-wrinkle agent in cosmetic products, protecting our skin form the effects of aging.
How many of us have put cucumber slices in our eyes? It is one of the most common veggies used for wrinkles around the eyes.
Cucumbers are 95.2 percent water, which means that a 5-ounce serving contains 4.8 ounces or 150 ml water. That's already about 26 percent of your daily water intake through food. Add cucumbers to your iced water and you will have a refreshing drink. You can also purchase a variety of cucumber waters at your local Fresh Market or other favorite grocery store.
Cucumbers contain potassium (152mg per cup), which can help lower blood pressure. A review of the best studies conducted on potassium intake showed that a higher intake "is associated with lower rates of stroke and might also reduce the risk of total cardiovascular disease."
Less than 2 percent of U.S. adults consume the recommended 4,700 mg potassium per day, eating cucumbers is an easy way to start increasing your potassium consumption.
Improve Brain Health
An anti-inflammatory substance called fisetin is present in cucumbers, as well as strawberries and grapes.
Cucumbers can help lower the inflammatory response in the body. They contain polyphenols called lignans, which can potentially reduce the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Cucumber Snack Recipe - Easy and Delicious
This little snack will give you many health benefits by eating the cumbers along with Avocado Oil Benefits.
1 large Cucumber
Lowry's Garlic Pepper
1-2 Teaspoons of Avocado Oil
Kraft Mozzarella/Parmesan Cheese
Slice the cucumbers. Top with Lowry's Garlic Pepper ( I use 3-4 good shakes all over the sliced cucumbers) and then top with 1-2 teaspoons of Avocado Oil. Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of the Kraft Mozzarella/Parmesan Cheese on top and serve. I like to chill mine for about 30 minutes.
These cucumbers make a great snack for your grazing or (charcuterie) board. They also are perfect to use as your base instead of crackers or toast.
I am continuing my Health Benefit series with the top fruit for a healthy lifestyle. When I was young my mama would often give me this fruit. Naturally a little sour, she would sprinkle just a dab of sugar on it to get me to eat it.
This particular fruit is good for weight loss, helps balance your sugar, and it even will help reduce your cholesterol. Do you have enough clues to know which fruit I am speaking of?
It is the grapefruit. Studies by Healthy Living state that the grapefruit is one of the healthiest citrus fruits.Eating grapefruit has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and help prevent kidney stones, along with balancing your insulin levels and help with weight loss! #winwin
Try eating grapefruit with breakfast. If you eat in as part of your brunch it isn't so as sour. Also, make a point in trying to get your kids to eat as they are young. If kids and adults can eat the Sour Patch candies, they should be able to handle a little grapefruit. This sweet and sour fruit is rich in nutrients, antioxidants and fiber. It is one of the healthiest of the citrus family of fruits you can eat.
Grapefruit has more water than almost any other fruit. The grapefruit is 92% water, giving it one of the highest water contents of any fruit. That makes it good for overall health.
About 20% of your daily fluid intake actually comes from food. So add some grapefruit to get closer to your daily H2O goal and choose the heavier of two fruits of equal size: It has more juice. It's one of Healthy Living's 30 foods under 40 calories (39 calories in one half!) and 30 summer snacks under 100 calories . It's a great choice if you want to boost your intake of high nutrient, low calorie foods.
WARNING! Be cautious eating grapefruit while taking certain medications. Be sure and note any warnings on your medicine bottles.
Cherries are my new favorite snack!
Cherries are a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, vitamin A and folic acid. They are also well known for their antioxidant properties.
Both dark, sweet cherries and the yellow-red blushed Rainier cherries provide the perfect dose of sweetness without excess sugar. They also have a lower glycemic index (The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels) than many other fruits and because they’re also a good source of fiber, they release their natural sugars into the bloodstream more slowly helping you feel fuller longer and giving you more sustained energy.
Cherries are a great snack to give to your kids as treats. However, remember those that contain the seeds in the middle. You don't want your kids choking on a cherry seed. I love cherries to snack on. They are naturally sweet and give you the boost of energy.
Cherries are a good antioxidant. As well all know, antioxidants are vital for good health as they protect our cells from damaged caused by harmful oxidants. Cherries contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins (Found naturally in a number of foods, anthocyanins are the pigments that give red, purple, and blue plants their rich coloring.) and cyanidin which may have anti-inflammatory effects and initial research has shown that these antioxidants could be beneficial in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Research as shown that cherry juice may help reduce blood pressure due to its high polyphenol ( a large group of plant chemicals that help fight cellular damage, reduce inflammation, and promote overall health content) Tart cherries contain high concentrations of key phytochemicals including melatonin which is involved in the regulation of our sleep cycles.
Tart Cherry Juice and concentrate have been found to accelerate muscle recovery, decrease exercise-induced muscle pain, and prevent strength loss in elite athletes, such as cyclists and marathon runners.
Overall, both cherries and cherry juice are good sources to add to our daily diet routine. I have been eating them over the last couple of weeks. As an arthritis sufferer, I am noticing my inflammation isn't as intense. Lower inflammation means lower pain. That's a #winwin for me.
Be sure and pick up some fresh cherries during the summer season. They are a delicious snack and look beautiful in your fruit salad or table.
Happy 4th of July -----Fun Appetizer, Snacks & Dessert Ideas - As see on KTHV 11 - THE VINE including Festive Decor
It has been busy the last couple of weeks getting ready for the 4th Celebration ideas. It was so fun and such an honor to be back on KTVH11 The Vine morning show for the second time.
This time I did two separate segments. The first segment was 4th Ideas for Appetizers & Snacks. Doing a bar of appetizers & snacks gives you time to enjoy the Holiday festivities yourself. You don't have to stand over a hot BBQ grill to have some great festive foods.
It is so fun to set up a "grazing board." I am from the South and growing up these beautiful boards were called "grazing boards." You can graze over them by going back and forth and choosing your items. Most, I assume, refer to them as charcuterie boards.
Click to view the segment from "The Vine."
Watch the video and you can see how fun the table really was to do. My grazing board included french rolls & bread, crackers and a variety of meats and cheeses. My theme was to make your own mini BLT, chicken club or ham and cheese mini sandwiches. I used baby spinach in lieu of the traditional lettuce. I also pre-soaked the tomatoes ahead of time. The tomatoes are pre-soaked with Lowry's garlic pepper & avocado oi. If you follow my blog posts or recipes you will find this is normal for me. It makes your sandwiches and wraps delicious. You don't need to worry about mayonnaise getting hot outside. You also don't have to worry about supplying a variety of sauces for the sandwiches. This add moisture and flavor to your sandwiches. Delish!
Included on my bar were also some of my favorite quick & easy snacks to do. I love to make homemade Moose Munch. Moose Munch can be expensive to purchase. This little trick is so good and you can "graze" on it all day.
MOOSE MUNCH - Pop two bags of popcorn in the microwave. Pour into a large tub or bowl and while it is hot, pour caramel sauce on it. I use just a couple of tablespoons. Stir in the sauce. Add in pretzel sticks (I add in a couple of hand fulls.) To make it festive for the 4th, just add in about 1/2 cup - 1 cup of the red, white & blue M &M's. Be sure and wrap the the tub or large bowl with plastic wrap until ready to serve. If you keep it wrapped, it will last a couple of days. I purchased the bulk pop-corn bags on Amazon. There are many to choose from.
Blue Chips & Salsa - To be festive, use blue corn chips in place of regular chips. I purchased my salsa at the deli-section in Kroger. Walmart, Kroger, Fresh Market, and most local grocery stores carry deli fresh salsa. It is delicious and very affordable. Of course, homemade salsa is the best if you have the time to make it.
Watermelon Fruit Pizza - The watermelon fruit pizza was so fun to do. You can make it small for a center piece to your pan, or as large as the whole pizza pan. Simply cut your watermelon slices into pizza triangles and place in center of pan. Spread light cream cheese on top of each slice to substitute for traditional pizza cheese. Garnish with blueberries, cherries or strawberries. I use cherries because I am highly allergic to strawberries. This gives you the cute red, white & blue fruit pizza.
Since I used the watermelon pizza as a center piece to my large pizza tray, I added a variety of fruits around. Adding a couple of these fun cookies also made it a hit. The little flag toothpicks can be found at your local Dollar Tree. Yes, only $1 gives you a bunch!
On the relish tray next to the grazing board is the baby spinach, the pre-soaked tomatoes, fresh cucumber and yellow squash slices. Little did I know that Adam didn't eat bread. He made a cute bread-less sandwich by using the round cucumber & squash slices in place of his crackers. Adam put ham, bacon a cheese in the middle. What a great idea!
The fun decor items I tried to find locally. The round tin was perfect to hold all the picnic supplies. I had plenty of room for the plates, silverware, cups, serving spoons and napkins. I found all of these items at TJ Maxx. I am a #maxxinista for sure. The large tin was less then $20.00. The gingham blue napkins were $7.95 for six. The beautiful red silverware was $19.95 for a serving for eight.
Investing in red decor items will give you a great cost savings. These can be used for Christmas, Memorial Day, Flag's Day, Valentine's Day, as well as, the 4th! I love red decor items all year long!
The large Patriotic tub was found last year at Target in their $3.00 section. That is a bargain! I use it frequently at our office. It is perfect to use for our red, white & blue holiday events.
My beautiful grazing board was another item that I found at TJ Maxx. I am always on the lookout and search through their decor items intensely to find the perfect item. TJ Maxx, Homegoods & Marshall's always have great sales. They also mark down their items frequently.
For all the ideas for the Appetizer & Snack Bar be sure and watch the episode:
Click to view the segment from "The Vine."
Before I move on to the dessert bar, I will talk about my outfit. The entire festive outfit was purchased at Marshall's. The shoes are Tom shoes that I purchased on Amazon a few months ago. I want to especially thank #SINCERELYSILVER Co. for donating my wonderful necklace. This necklace makes a great summer necklace. In fact, I don't take it off.
The simple initial necklace can be worn with anything. I love that it is lightweight, simple & elegant. I have great news! Sincerely Silver Company is giving all my readers 15% percent off with the code SINCERELY15 at checkout. They have lots of jewelry to choose from. I prefer gold over silver most of the time. They have lots of gold items of high quality and affordable pieces. Be sure and check them out at: https://www.sincerelysilver.co/ Just use SINCERELY15 at checkout for the 15% savings.
Patriotic Dessert Bar
Who doesn't love desserts? This was so fun to do. A HUGE SHOUT-OUT to my dear friend Beth Hubbard for contributing to this board. Beth is a gifted artist whose talent is endless. Beth creates beautiful charcoals, alcohol ink designs, jewelry, abstracts, and the list just keeps going. She has started a bakery out of her home for custom artesian cookies and treats. Be sure and check out her Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/ExtraSweet501/ Her bakery is called EXTRA SWEET! She can customize your favorite cookie for any occasion! Extra Sweet can be found on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/extrasweet501/
TO VIEW THE SEGMENT ON THE DESSERT BAR - CLICK HERE
COOKIE PIE - SIMPLE --- i purchased this awesome pie plate at Target for only $2.00 on Clearance! This plate will go straight in the oven. The base is my chocolate chip cookie dough recipe. Flour - 1.5 cups, 6 Tablespoons of Sugar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 stick of unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt and 1 cup of dark chocolate chips. My special secret ingredient --- add in a pinch or 1/2 teaspoon of organic Vietnamese cinnamon.
MIX - 1 stick of butter, 6 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar and the 1 teaspoon of baking soda in the mixer. Add in the egg and continue to mix on low until blended. Fold in the cup of dark chocolate chips. Then add all your dry ingredients until blended well. Place dough in refrigerator until your oven pre-heats. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your pie plate with Pam spray. Fold in dough and smooth evenly on to the the pie plate. You will have some extra to make approx 3-5 cookies with.
Place pie plate in oven at 350 degrees for approx 18 minutes. Remove from oven and add in your festive sprinkles and m & m's. Place back in oven for approx 4-5 minutes until golden. Take out and let cool.
I will be sharing the other dessert bar ideas over the next week. I will share the mini pie recipe and other treat ideas. Be sure and watch both segments of the show to catch the big spread.
Happy 4th of July! God Bless America!
XOXO - Pat
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