Happy 4th anniversary!



Healthy Super Foods recipes, part III



Today consumers are tossed around with so many different thoughts about what are healthy foods to eat. The recipes compiled here incorporate some of the most recommended healthy foods that people should include in their diets. There are others, but these hold the most value as of researchers’ current data. If you missed last week’s recipes, they can be found online at www.topsailadvertiser.com.



 



Spinach



Contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two immune-boosting antioxidants for eye health. Spinach is a healthy – and flavorless – addition to any smoothie. You really won’t taste it.



Smoothie with Spinach



Blend together:



1 cup fresh spinach, long stems removed



1 cup grated carrots



1 banana, cut into chunks



1 cup apple juice



Ice cubes



In a blender combine fresh spinach leaves, grated carrots, banana and apple juice. Blend and add about 4 ice cubes.



 



Garlic



Allicin, a compound found in garlic, works as a potent anti-inflammatory and it can help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Crushed fresh garlic releases the most allicin. Don’t overcook garlic, because it loses some of its important nutrients.



Chicken Breasts and Garlic Butter



4 boneless chicken breasts



¾ cup Italian flavored bread crumbs



1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes



¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese



1 egg, beaten



EVOO, olive oil



Garlic Butter



4 tablespoon butter, softened



3-4 cloves garlic, chopped and crushed



1-2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley



Place chicken breasts between 2-pieces of waxed paper and hit the breasts with a rolling pin to flatten them evenly.



Stir the Garlic Butter ingredients together mixing thoroughly. Divide into 4-parts and spread on each of the chicken breasts. Roll up the chicken breasts and secure with long wooden skewers or a piece of cooking string.



In a shallow bowl mix breadcrumbs, cheese, and parsley together. Place beaten egg in another shallow bowl. Brush or dip chicken breasts into beaten egg, then roll in breadcrumb mixture.



Place breasts on a vegetable sprayed baking pan and drizzle with some olive oil. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.



 



Walnuts



Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which may help to reduce cholesterol. The antioxidant melatonin is found in walnuts and it helps to regulate sleep.



Walnut-Apple Cake



1 cup butter, softened



2 cups granulated sugar



4 eggs



3 cups all-purpose flour



½ teaspoon baking powder



1 teaspoon ground cinnamon



1 teaspoon vanilla extract



1 cup chopped walnuts



3 cups, peeled and sliced, Granny Green or Macintosh apples



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube cake pan.



In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Set aside.



In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Fold into creamed mixture. Stir and mix well to combine. Stir in vanilla, and then add walnutsand chopped apples. Mix thoroughly and pour into prepared cake pan.



Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Set aside to cool. Using a butter knife slide along outer edges to release cake and turn out. Cake may be frozen, if desired, for 3-4 months.



This cake can be made into a loaf, if desired.



 



Granola



6 cups regular old-fashioned rolled oats



2 cups sliced almonds or chopped walnuts



½ cup dry-roasted sunflower kernels



½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed



1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon



½ cup honey



1/3 cup canola oil



1 teaspoon vanilla extract



1 ½ cups raisins or dried cranberries



1 cup dried apricots or dates, diced, about 12 apricots or dates



Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 



In a large roasting pan or dish stir together oats, almonds, and sunflower kernels. Set aside.



In a saucepan stir together brown sugar, honey, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat; stirring constantly for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved. 



Slowly pour mixture evenly over oat mixture, tossing to coat, using a vegetable oil sprayed spoon. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in raisins and apricots. Cool completely. Store granola in an airtight container up to 1-month.



 



Creamy Cauliflower and Cheese Soup



You can puree this soup as much as you like, or if you like it chunky just mash the cauliflower to desired texture and proceed to the rest of the recipe. Low fat or fat-free ingredients may be substituted.



1 head cauliflower, washed and broken into small florets, about 6 cups



1 Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped



2 cloves garlic, minced and mashed



3-4 cups chicken broth or stock



2 tablespoons butter



3 cups half and half, cream, or evaporated milk



2-3 tablespoons dried instant potatoes or flour



Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste



1 tablespoon parsley, chopped



2 cups shredded cheddar or American cheese



¼ cup dry white wine or 1-tablespoon champagne or rice wine vinegar



In a large saucepan or soup pot, sauté chopped onion in 2-tablespoons butter until tender, add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more. Add cauliflower and chicken broth, just enough to cover the florets and cook over medium heat until just tender about 15 to 20 minutes.



Puree mixture in a food processor or blender; pour back into saucepan. Stir in instant potatoes or flour, add half and half, wine, and salt and pepper to taste, and heat until just slightly bubbly, but not boiling, lower heat. Stir until thickened. Do not boil. Fold in shredded cheese and parsley. Simmer on low for about 15 to 20 minutes.



 



Dark Chocolate



Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants that have been shown to reduce bad DL cholesterol and increase good HDL levels.



Chocolate-Chocolate Chip and Raspberry Cheesecake



1 Graham cracker crumb crust (see recipe below)



3 8-ounce packages cream cheese softened



1 ¼ cup granulated sugar



3 eggs



1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract



1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa (I use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa)



¾ cup mini chocolate chips



1 cup raspberry jam



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.



With an electric mixer beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a spoon or spatula stir in vanilla and chocolate chips. Pour into prepared crust.



Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until almost set. Remove from oven to a wire rack. With a butter knife loosen cake from side of pan. Cool completely and remove side of pan.  Cover and refrigerate for 5-6 hours or until chilled. Garnish with raspberry jam, by spreading it over the top of the cake or putting on a dollop for each serving.  Refrigerate any leftover cheesecake. 



Crumb Crust



1 cup graham cracker crumbs



2 tablespoons granulated sugar



¼ cup butter, melted



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl stir together graham cracker crumbs and sugar, stir in melted butter and mix well. Press mixture onto bottom and ½-inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool and set aside.



 



Lemons



One lemon has more that 100 percent of the daily need of vitamin C. Citrus flavonoids in lemons may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and act as an anti-inflammatory. They also have folate and disease-fighting lycopene.



Lemon Curd



1 cup butter



2 1/4 cups granulated sugar



¾ cup fresh lemon juice, about 2-4 lemons



1 tablespoon lemon zest or grate rind



5 large eggs, lightly beaten



In the top of a double boiler, place butter. Set over simmering water and let stand until butter is melted. Whisk in sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until well combined. Gradually whisk in beaten eggs, whisking until mixture is smooth. Cook over simmering water, whisking occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5-6 hours or up to 2 days before serving. Serve on toast, muffins or pound cake.



 



Easy Lemon Pie



1 prepared graham cracker crust



1 can sweetened condensed milk



6 egg yolks, reserve egg whites at room temperature for meringue



½ cup fresh lemon juice, about 2-3 lemons



6 tablespoons granulated sugar



In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together condensed milk, egg yolks, and lemon juice. Pour into crust and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.



Then beat egg whites until they form peaks, add 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, and beat. Spoon over pie and bake in a 375-degree oven until brown, about 5 to 10 minutes.



 



Hope is a retired professor from North Carolina. She resides in Hampstead for the past 16 years, with her husband Vincent, a retired New York City Police Detective. They have four children located in various states, and are grandparents to six grandchildren. She has been awarded numerous ribbons for her breads and has a Blueberry Festival prize for her blueberry cheesecake, which is presently being enjoyed by cruise ship tourists in New Zealand.