Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for August, 2012

Product Placement: Tropicana Orange Juice

Hey, I’m back in GA! I do believe I got in enough baking and making my own recipes to last me a little while (or at least I can tell myself that) and I’m back and ready to continue my Product Placement. My schedule has been a bit off what with moving back into the dorms, but I’m all set to make some inroads on talking about products to buy or stay away from.

I was at a Leadership Conference the past couple of days and at breakfast there were these sleek looking black pitchers of cranberry juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, you name it they had it. Now, I’ve already discussed my love of grape juice and apple juice  but I do love orange juice as well. I just hate pulp and generally find the juice to be too sweet. I’m very picky when it comes to my orange juice.

The point, though, is that I was lured in to believe that this jazzy design for the pitcher meat the juice had been fresh squeezed. We were at a hotel and the entire conference can only be described as needlessly swanky, so I had reasons to believe that fresh squeezed juice was not outside the realm of possibilities.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Nope. I drank the typical Tropicana juice and unfortunately didn’t realize it until the next morning that it was typical Tropicana Juice until the hotel staff moved to refill it. From a carton.

Needless to say my spirit was crushed for a bit.

This is not to say Tropicana is a bad company or that their juice is disgusting. It’s not. I was just expecting to be blown away by the fresh squeezed variety and no matter what Tropicana claims on their website about from ‘Grove to Glass’ it’s packaged and it’s loaded with sugar.

I don’t care how many vitamins and minerals the juice has because it has 28 grams of sugar per serving. Something that claims to be healthy for you should not have that much sugar. Ever. There is no excuse. I am particularly critical here because this juice falls under the category of ‘masquerading as healthy’. If people don’t read the nutrition label they won’t know that although there’s 120% of their daily Vitamin C in that 10 oz glass of juice they’re also ingesting needless amounts of excess sugar that will then need to be burned off.

There are other ways to get your vitamin C (and occasionally Vitamin D if the juice is enriched). Try eating an actual orange, eat kiwi fruits, cherries, strawberries, and even red and green peppers are high in Vitamin C. For more information on Vitamin C rich foods check out: http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/top-sources-vitamin-C-44102808

If none of these are in season (like strawberries, etc) you can always find oranges at the local supermarket and buy a small orange juicer to get the job done yourself. Small juicers like these are incredibly cheap and can be bought at a local Macy’s, or possibly even Target. You don’t need a fancy juicer in order to make healthy juice drinks. Juice away with all the health benefits and none of the added sugar.

Advertisements

Peanut Butter Pistachio Muffins

My mother, always the wonderful genius that she is, gave me the idea to take some pistachios that we had left over from homemade pistachio pudding and turn it into pistachio  butter. We were out of peanut butter, which in itself is a living nightmare for me, and I was struggling to figure out what to eat for lunch. I had recently made sandwich bread and decided to follow the advice of my mother, make pistachio butter and put it on a piece of my toasted bread.

It was okay. The pistachio butter tasted better on its own, in all honesty.

But then I had the new issue of what to do with pistachio butter?

The following day we bought peanut butter and I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I could combine three of my favorite things: peanut butter, pistachios, and muffin recipes.

The following recipe is an adaptation of the original I made because I am operating under the assumption not everyone wants to make pistachio butter in order to make this recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup peanut butter (consistency doesn’t matter)

1/4 cup oil

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/3 cup plus 3 tbs crushed pistachios

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grease six large muffin tins.

2.In a medium bowl combine, flour, baking powder and brown sugar. Stir until combined.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, vanilla, milk, oil, and peanut butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.

4. Mix in the 1/3 cup crushed pistachios. Pour the muffin batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining pistachios. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

*NOTE: I’m back at school and so no longer have access to an oven or photographs of what I make.

Product Placement: Salada Green Tea

My family drinks tea by the gallon. In the winter time, or really from October until around May because it’s Connecticut weather, we make pots and pots of hot tea and in the summer time we keep a pitcher of iced tea in the refrigerator. My mother is into holistic remedies and no matter what was wrong with my brother or I the solution was always drink green tea.

Now, Salada Green Tea is not our family’s favorite. We prefer Good Earth, but  if I’m to be perfectly honest, Good Earth  might be good for the earth, but it is also expensive. So to save costs, we decided to buy Salada  where a 40 count box of tea bags costs $3.99 at Stop and Shop according to peapod. The Good Earth tea is only sold as a 2o count (as are most teas) and so is even less cost effective.

The good news is that buying cheaper does not mean sacrificing on flavor. Salada tea is a good brand. There’s a rich flavor to their teas and one bag is potent enough for 2 or 3 cups depending on how dark you prefer your beverage.

The company cares about health and their website is devoted to explaining the benefits of fresh brewed tea and how their varying flavors can support bone health or immunity based on the type of tea you buy.

You can buy it by the 40 count to save money and for all  its worth it’s a sturdy brand of tea guaranteed to satisfy. To learn more about different types of teas and the health benefits of each read the following article and apply your new knowledge when purchasing your chosen type of Salada: 

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/tea-types-and-their-health-benefits

Milk Free Baking

A wonderful friend from Ohio stayed with me and my family this past week. She cannot have milk and so while baking with her I got the chance to experiment with soy milk and oil instead of butter.

Being milk free is not the same as lactose free. A product can be lactose free but still contain other milk proteins, the most common being caseins and whey proteins such as beta-lactoglobulin and alpha-lactalbumin. 

I don’t claim to be a scientist or an allergy specialist, but until I was involved in a situation where I had to understand the milk protein allergy I thought lactose free meant milk free and that was the end.

I was amazed that the store bought bread we buy (an organic bread too) had a side note on the bottom: contains milk. We even bought a margarine spread, but although there were no ingredients listed that should have contained milk, the allergen information said otherwise: contains milk. 

It’s a good think my mom’s a vegan because we always have soy milk and almond milk around the house. It wasn’t difficult at all, once we decided to use soy milk, to make blueberry pancakes, blueberry waffles (my friend shares my obsession with blueberries), and then to shake it up, apple and oat muffins. The pancakes and waffles were easy because all we had to do was use soy milk instead of cow’s milk and spray the griddle with an oil spray instead of using margarine or butter. Muffins too were surprisingly easy because most recipes already call for oil instead of butter.

I was concerned about cooking and baking when worrying about allergy information, but everything worked out fine and  this is a post for anyone who needs ideas on working around a milk allergy. For breakfast, soy milk makes perfect pancakes and waffles, and almost any muffin recipe should work.

Happy baking!