Health Guide on ctvmds

Archive for the ‘Foods’ Category

Beet Juice Boosts Endurance


Attention all athletes: A new study has found that drinking beet juice regularly can improve stamina in exercise. The study, published by the U.K. University of Exeter’s School of Sport and Health Sciences found organic beetroot juice allowed participants to exercise for 15 percent longer than usual.

The study participants drank 500mL of beet juice six days in a row before completing exercise tests including cycling and exercise bike. There was also a placebo phase, where the participants were given blackcurrant cordial to drink daily instead of the beetroot juice before completing the fitness tests. The study found that the participants were able to cycle an average of 92 second longer after drinking the beet juice for six days than after drinking the placebo.

The researchers also found the beet juice “doubled the amount of nitrate in volunteers’ blood and reduced the rate at which muscles used their main source of energy.” It also increased muscle efficiency and decreased the uptake of oxygen during high and low-intensity exercise. They’re unsure why this increased nitrate had an effect on endurance, but believe it could result from the nitrate converting to nitric oxide, thereby reducing the oxygen cost of exercise.

“Our study is the first to show that nitrate-rich food can increase exercise endurance,” said Professor Andy Jones, the study’s lead researcher. “We were amazed by the effects of beetroot juice on oxygen uptake because these effects cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training.”

Jones said he is excited about the implications of this study for those who are not physically fit, such as the elderly. “I am also keen to explore the relevance of the findings to those people who suffer from poor fitness and may be able to use dietary supplements to help them go about their daily lives.”

Beets are nutrient dense powerhouses and can be a healthy addition to any persons diet; athlete or couch potato. Rich in calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and the always important zinc as well as beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, vitamin B complex and vitamin C. Beets also contain a number of phytochemicals including lutein and zeaxanthin, the cartenoid nutrients important for eye health.


The Facts About the Liver Detox: Cayenne Pepper Cleanse

Do you know the liver organ is amongst the vital organs inside a person’s body system? A liver performs an important function through cleansing chemical substances and furthermore contents that come into contact with the entire body. It provides a natural approach involved with spotting unfamiliar components, often called waste, and functions through removing them through perspiration, urine and feces. Contaminants will always be getting into our bodies. They can be obtained from the unhealthy foods most of us eat(processed/artificial rich foodstuff), the liquor we all take in, tobacco most people light up, found in poor diet, medicine utilization like anti-biotic therapy and in addition hormone replacing drugs. Those are just some of the toxic substances our own livers work towards eradicating day after day.

The more detrimental ingredients which are brought to an individual’s body, the more the liver needs to work to keep up, possibly to the level it can not carry on any further. When this happens, waste accumulate in the body and additionally lead to further problems and finally end up in problems. This all could very well be averted by caring for our liver organ which is why a liver cleanse diet plan is indeed best for one’s health.

Determined by preference, a cayenne pepper cleanse diet can be accomplished over a 3, 7 or perhaps 21 day regimen. This program ensues a stern focus on a diet plan involving raw, natural fruits, veggies and whole grains along with the addition of water therapy. Required levels of h2o or maybe liquid substitution may be used. Products and foodstuff to be ruled out are those which are high in unwanted fat and or glucose, refined food items, caffeinated drinks, alcoholic beverages, junk food plus drugs, ideally for 1 week before the prepared diet regime and also within the diet period.

Seven Day Cayenne Pepper Cleansing Diet program

1-3 days – This is actually the moment to start with liquid diet regime. Ingest approximate 10-12 glasses of drinking water on a daily basis with freshly squashed lime beverage. This time period can be hard for a few considering the fact that you can get weakness as well as some weakness since the toxins are extracted out from your system. Having simple exercises similar to going for walks could possibly quicken this procedure. Keep in mind that milk and also any kind of milk products are ruled out from being utilized.

4-6 days- During this period fresh fruits and vegetables together with whole grains can be used. Celery, oranges, apples and also carrots could be prepared as fruit juice. Based on precisely what your choices will be, you could blend or match up vegetables and fruits. Although solid foods are used here, essential fluids are continued together with substitutes, you could have herbal teas 2-3 times a day. Meals may be made up of vegetables which are chopped and also boiled. Broth can be used, consuming it every three hours. Broccoli, carrots, spinach or perhaps celery are simply some of the examples.

7 day- The liquids will still be carried on alongside the fruit and veggies. These could be prepared raw or maybe steamed. Rosemary tea and dandelion supplements are also great during this time period.

You can modify the fruits and vegetables as long as the concept is implemented. Following the seventh day, the normal diet plan may be started again but nonetheless with all the restriction of alcohol utilization. This restriction could last for seven days soon after completing the diet. To be safe, confer with a medical provider before beginning any diet. Immediately stop the diet in case you experience any symptoms like pain, nausea or vomiting. The cayenne pepper cleanse diet is an excellent element of building and keeping a healthy lifestyle.


Chicken Breast Recipes

Chicken is one of the leaner, healthier meats. It’s easy to cook with and often times on sale. This makes it a very popular choice for dinner meals. However, eating chicken several nights in a row can become very boring, especially if it’s cooked the same way every time.

There are methods to spice up chicken dinners. Cooking chicken in the style of specific ethnic cuisines can really give a family dinner night the extra spice it needs to not let chicken become a boring meal. Trying various spices each night can also spice up a plan dinner night.

Consider the sides that are used along with the chicken. Serving it with red wine can really add a romantic twist to a chicken dinner. Using rice, pasta, and gravies can also change up dinner to make it more delectable.

Here are some recipes using chicken breast that help make dinner delicious and not boring:

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

4-6 Chicken Breasts

1 Tablespoon of Chicken Bouillon Granules

1 Cup of Flour

¼ Cup of Butter, melted

¾ Cup of Buttermilk

½ Teaspoon of Rosemary

1 Tablespoon of Paprika

In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, bouillon, & rosemary, let stand for 10 minutes. Add chicken breasts, coating each piece. Let stand for 30 minutes to overnight in the fridge. Combine flour and paprika and coat each piece. Place in a 9×13 baking dish and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Garlic Lemon Chicken

¼ Cup of Flour

1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder

1 lb of thinly sliced boneless chicken breasts

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 cup of Chicken Broth

1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh Parsley

Mix flour, garlic, & parsley in a bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the mix. Moisten chicken lightly in water. Coat evenly with remaining flour mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add ½ of the chicken and cook 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding additional oil if needed. Remove chicken from heat, be sure to keep the meat warm. Mix broth, lemon juice, and reserved flour mixture. Add to skillet, bring to a boil, stirring to release brown bits in the skillet. Stirring frequently, cook 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon over chicken. Sprinkle in parsley.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 ¾ cans of Chicken Broth

1 can of Cream of Chicken

2 1/1 cups of cooked Chicken breasts, shredded

10 Corn Tortillas, shredded

1 Onion, cooked and diced

1-8oz carton of Sour Cream

1-8oz package of shredded Cheddar Cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix broth, cream of chicken, and sour cream. Layer a casserole dish with this system:

Tortillas

Chicken & Onions

Liquid mix

Cheese

Repeat layering. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool and allow to firm before serving.

Source:
1. Chicken Breast Recipes – Allrecipes.com
2. 50 Healthy Chicken Breast Recipes – Cooking Light


Chicken Liver Pate

Chicken liver pate is a very inexpensive appetizer to prepare.  Liver pate can look very pretty if molded and set on the table with bread and crackers around the dish.  Chicken liver pate keeps very well, and the appetizer is immensely enjoyed by those which enjoy liver.  Liver is definitely an acquired taste, and liver is either hated or loved by people.  Chicken liver pate is very high in fat from the butter content so a little goes a long way.  I usually serve this appetizer with crackers or toast.  Instead of just using plain toast, I toast my own bread and use herbs in order to add more flavor.  This recipe contains white wine, but the wine could be omitted if the taste of wine is not desired.  Makes 3 cups.

INGREDIENTS

3 Slices of bacon, fried and crumbled

1/4 C. Butter

1/2 Lb. Mushrooms, sliced

 1 Lb. Chicken livers

1 Small onion, diced

1/3 C. White wine, any brand

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Pepper

1/4 C. Butter, cold and not melted.

In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crispy; drain on paper towels.  Drain off the grease from the bacon, but do not wash the skillet because the bacon bits at the bottom of the skillet adds extra flavor to the dish. 

Add 1/4 cup of butter to the skillet and melt on medium heat.  Add the diced onions and saute for 5-6 minutes until tender.  Add the sliced mushrooms and livers into the skillet and saute for 5 minutes.  Take the skillet off and away from heat and add the white wine slowly into the skillet.  Pouring wine directly into skillet over an open flame could result in a fire.  Cover skillet with lid and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes so the chicken livers get cooked all the way through.  After 10 minutes, take the skillet off of the burner and let sit 20-30 minutes until the mixture is slightly more than warm.  If the chicken liver mixture gets cold, and the cold butter is mixed into the mixture, the butter will not incorporate very well in the blender large pieces of butter will be mixed in the pate. 

In a food processor or blender, add in cold butter, crumbled bacon, liver mixture, salt and pepper.  Pulse until smooth and no chunks are present.  Pour mixture into a bowl or oiled mold and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving.  Makes 3 cups.  Serve on crackers or toast.

HERB TOAST

1 Baguette loaf

1/2 C. Melted butter

2 Tsp. Dried Basil

2 Tsp. Dried Parsley

2 Tsp. Garlic Powder

Slice the baguette into thin slices.  In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave.  In another bowl, combine basil, parsley and garlic powder and mix until well blended.  Brush the melted butter over each slice of bread.  Sprinkle lightly with herb mix.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 4-5 minutes or until lightly toasted.  Top with chicken liver pate.

Source:
1. Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe – Jacques Pépin | Food & Wine
2. Chicken-Liver Pâté Recipe – NYT Cooking


Chicken Kiev

Chicken Kiev is an excellent dish to eat when the craving for comfort food arises.  I love to cut into the chicken after it has been fried and watch all of the butter come seeping out of the middle.  In order to cut down on the fat a little, I use “I can’t believe it’s not butter,” or margarine made with olive oil.  Chicken Kiev is very delicious, but, the delicious piece of chicken can be fattening.  The traditional breading of plain bread crumbs does not add enough flavoring for my taste, so I either make my own bread crumbs, or, I buy Italian bread crumbs.  In order to roll the chicken so butter don’t leak out, I pound out my chicken breast to 1/4 inch pieces so they are easier to roll and seal.  Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS

4 Boneless, skinless chicken beasts

1/2 C. Margarine or butter

1 Tbsp. Dried parsley

2 Tsp. Lemon juice

2 Tsp. Salt

2 Tsp. Dried garlic powder

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup flour

2 C. Italian bread crumbs

3 C. Vegetable oil or shortening

On the kitchen counter or cutting board, lay 1 piece of plastic wrap down.  Lay chicken piece down on plastic wrap, place another piece of plastic wrap on top.  Using a mallet, or can use a plastic cup, pound out chicken piece until 1/4 inch thick.  When pounding start in the middle and work out toward the edges.  The chicken pieces have to be pounded out because some chicken breasts are too thick to roll and sometimes the thicker pieces don’t get cooked all the way through.  Pound out all the chicken pieces and set aside on plate. 

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, parsley, lemon juice, salt and garlic powder until completely combined.  Put mixture back in the refrigerator so mixture sets back up. 

Dry the pounded out chicken pieces off with a paper towel on both sides, and let finish drying 5-10 minutes. 

After chicken pieces are dry, take butter out of refrigerator and spread 2 to 2 1/2 small spoonfuls in the middle of each chicken breast.  Roll up the chicken and secure with toothpicks or cooking string.  To roll chicken, roll like a burrito by folding over one end, tuck in sides then finish rolling over.  If I use cooking string, I use one on each end and I don’t tie the string to tight because the middle will buckle and warp the chicken piece. 

After all the chicken pieces have been filled, rolled and secure, put back in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. 

In 3 separate bowls, pour in the flour, bread crumbs and eggs in each one.  Take chicken out of refrigerator and place each one into flour mixture.  Flour helps to bind the breading and also acts like a glue.  Coat each piece completely with flour.  After flouring, roll into egg mixture, then roll into bread crumbs.  Set breaded chicken pieces back on plate and put in the refrigerator for 20 minutes so the breading will set. 

Heat oil in deep fryer or pan to 375 degrees.  Take chicken out of the refrigerator and do a second coating of chicken in the bread crumbs.  Shake off excess coating and slowly lower chicken in deep fryer.  Cook about 5-8 minutes, drain on paper towels.  Serve with rice or noodles.

Sometimes I put the chicken in the oven from the deep fryer for 5-8 minutes to ensure they are completely cooked.  Many of us have busy lives and don’t really feel like cooking.  If I am busy and crave chicken Kiev but don’t have time to prepare, I just bread up chicken, deep fry and make the butter sauce in a pan and pour over chicken.  This way is fine and still delicious, but, it leaves out the flavoring of the chicken from the butter when cooked.

Source:
1. Chicken Kiev
2. Chicken Kiev Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network


Chicken Burgers

Since I started a management course in distance learning I have less time on cooking so I buy some prepared food. The one we tried today in the Birds Eye Chicken Burgers. They come in a cardboard box and there are 4 burgers in it. They weight 200 g together. They are available in most of the supermarkets. I bought ours in Sainsbury’s for 1.79 pounds. Not very surprising but I tell anyway that they are among frozen food.

How to prepare them? I put them on the preheated grill and on a medium level I cooked them until they were crispy on both sides. On my grill this lasted for about 10 minutes. Then I put them into toasted hamburger buns in companion with a leaf of round lettuce, a slice of tomato, two slices of onion, a slice of cheddar cheese and some ketchup. They were really tasty.

If you don’t have a grill you can prepare it in the oven as well but they won’t be as crispy as on the grill. You should put them on a tray in a preheated oven of 230 grades /210 grades with fan / gas mark 8 for 15 minutes.

The chicken burgers are not too big and they are about 1 cm thick. They are made with chicken breast coated in breadcrumbs so they are quite light. Even my kids liked it very much. Naturally I had to cut the hamburgers into little pieces for them.

The ingredients are as follows: Chicken Breast (53%), Breadcrumb, Batter, Vegetable Oil, Marinade, Onion.
Breadcrumb Wheat Flour, Water, Yeast, Salt, Natural Colour (Paprika Extract, Curcumin).
Batter Water, Wheat Flour, Salt.
Marinade Water, Salt, Wheat Flour.

The burgers (without bread and vegetables) contain 244 kcal energy per 100 g (2 burgers). In 100 g there is 11.1% protein, 22.5% Carbohydrate, 12.2% Fat, 2.8% Fibre and 0.28% Sodium.

To sum up these chicken burgers are very convenient for me as while the burgers are on the grill I can wash and cut the vegetables and on the open part of my grill I can toast the hamburger buns. So preparing 4 hamburgers takes me 15 minutes from the beginning to the ready stage. They aren’t the healthiest option available but I think they are delicious and at least we eat some cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce and chicken breast. I will definitely buy them in the future too. I have some other frozen prepared food at home I have to test but this one definitely was a winner.

Source:
1. Chicken Burgers Recipe : Food Network
2. Chicken Burgers with Garlic-Rosemary Mayonnaise Recipe : Giada …


Cabbage Cabbage Soup Vegetable Soups Healthy one Pot Meals Homemade Soups

I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this soup.  I like soups and enjoy them anytime all year long but especially in winter.  My friend Shirley got me to try this and then shared the recipe with me.  I found it to be delicious and I think you will too.  It goes wonderful with corn bread or crusty French or Italian bread. 

Though I wasn’t really sure I would like this because I am not big on cooked cabbage (I prefer my cabbage in a slaw) unless it is stuffed cabbage leaves or a New England Boiled Dinner, I tried it and I have to admit, I went back for seconds.  This is really good.

CABBAGE AND TOMATO SOUP

In a large soup pot combine

1 small head of cabbage coarsely chopped

3 carrots sliced crosswise

3 stalks celery including leaves chopped

2 large firm tomatoes diced

1 large green bell pepper seeded and diced

1 large onion chopped

1 can (14.5oz) cut green beans (do not drain)

1 small can baby lima beans (do not drain)

1 quart tomato juice

1 1oz pkg. French Onion Soup mix (I use Lipton)

1 14oz can chicken broth (or beef but I like the chicken)

Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

1 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Pinch of rosemary

Pinch of thyme

Salt and pepper to taste (I don’t add salt but I do add a good heavy shake of pepper)

Enough water to just cover the vegetables

Place over med-low heat and cover.  Allow to simmer until vegetables are tender,

about 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally while cooking.  When done remove from heat and serve in warm bowls with crusty bread or corn bread and a dab of sour cream for garnish. 

This is a wonderfully good soup, it is very good for you.  I usually serve this with a side salad of pear and cottage cheese on a bed of lettuce garnished with a carrot curl and carrot cake for dessert.  Everyone I have served this meal to really enjoyed it and even asked for seconds.  The kids even like it.

Source:
1. Cabbage Soup Recipes – Allrecipes.com
2. 1000+ ideas about Cabbage Soup on Pinterest | Cabbages, Simple …


Casserole Bread Recipes

I have never been a real devotee of cornbread – so what am I doing in Kentucky? That’s a long story that I won’t go into just now, but it brings me to the subject.

I was born in Kansas, spent most of my life in Colorado and, although I learned later that my mother could actually be designated a Southern cook, we didn’t eat much cornbread. Why? My dad didn’t like it very much.

All Kentuckians eat cornbread; it’s a mainstay in their diets. It can even be made on top of the stove, and most homemakers here do that almost daily. I don’t enjoy it that much, so I don’t make it often.

However, I did discover a version of cornbread that I like very much. If you’ve never visited Kentucky, you should! There’s a real treat in store for you, something most of us have not encountered unless we live in the South. It’s called Spoon Bread – and it is definitely yummy!

Spoon Bread is a specialty of the world-famous Boone Tavern, located in Berea, Kentucky, which is also the home of one of the finest colleges in the nation, simply called Berea College. Berea is also known as the Craft Capital of Kentucky, and this includes everything from making brooms, cut glass, jewelry, and every other craft imaginable to very distinctive furniture-making. So I would suggest you make Kentucky, especially Berea, a target for a very enjoyable vacation. Be sure to enjoy the outstanding cuisine at Boone Tavern – and enjoy the spoon bread.

Following is my version of the basic recipe. Other ingredients may be added, such as onion, green peppers, even mushrooms, but the plain recipe will stand on its own, and it is rarely served with added ingredients.

KENTUCKY SPOON BREAD

3 c. milk

1 cup white corn meal

1 tsp. baking powder

3 eggs

2 tbs. butter

1 tsp. salt

Stir meal into scalded milk and let it come to a boil, making a mush. Add butter while mixture is hot. Cool. Add well-beaten eggs, salt, and baking powder. Mix for 5 minutes or until it is completely blended. Pour into a buttered casserole. Bake at 350oF. for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve while hot on individual bread plates with plenty of butter.

Source:
1. Dilly Casserole Bread recipe from Pillsbury.com
2. No-Knead Casserole Bread Recipe | Taste of Home


Can you tell me about some Easy Meals to Make with one Pound of Ground Beef

Ground or minced meats are something that we tend to take for granted and yet almost every nation in the world uses minced meat as the main ingredient in many of their traditional dishes.

 
If you have a pound of ground beef in your refrigerator or freezer you have many, many options for tasty family meals. Sadly, I think, many people seem to think that ground meats do not have a place in your diet if you are following a healthy eating plan, however this is not the case. Mince is graded by the amount of fat it contains – generally the lower the fat content the higher the price – but you do need less of it as there is less fat to run off! Mince with a fat content of 10% or less is considered fairly low in fat: 3% is the best low-fat mince.

Let me try to show you how you can use a pound of ground beef to make something a lot more exciting than the basic meatloaf, hamburgers or meatballs, and also in a way that will fit into a healthy low fat diet.

I am starting with my favourite pasta recipe that is so much more interesting than the normal “spag bol” or lasagna; this dish is called pastitsio and this recipe will serve six people but does freeze well and is also much better eaten the day after making, so no need to worry about what to do with the leftovers!

PASTITSIO

INGREDIENTS
250g macaroni
2 eggs, beaten
60g extra low fat soft cheese
MEAT SAUCE
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound lean minced beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
125 ml beef stock
95g tomato puree
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
Salt & pepper to taste
TOPPING
1 medium egg
100g extra low-fat soft cheese
150 g Quark
100ml skimmed milk
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon pepper

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Cook macaroni until just tender. Drain.
3. Combine warm pasta, egg and soft cheese in a large bowl, season to taste.
4. Press pasta mixture into the base of a shallow 2½ litre ovenproof dish.
5. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add onion and cook until soft, add mince, cook for 5 minutes.
6. Add tomatoes, puree, stock and cinnamon, simmer uncovered, until thick.
7. Cool for 10 minutes, season to taste and stir in egg.
8. Pour over the pasta.
9. Beat all topping ingredients together, and pour+- over meat mixture.
10. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown.
11. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

From a delicious pasta dish to a really good curry using good old ground beef. This is a really tasty way of using ground beef and makes a good economical curry.

CITRIC GROUND BEEF BALTI
Serves 4
INGREDIENTS
1 pound lean minced beef
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves  garlic, crushed
1” root ginger, grated
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 lemon, juice & zest
1 orange, juice & zest
1 stick of lemongrass
3 teaspoons garam masala
1 can chickpeas, drained
250ml beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato puree

METHOD
1. Fry onions, garlic and ginger lightly until onions are soft but not browned
2. Boil mince in water, once cooked, drain off liquid.
3. Allow liquid to cool, take off fat and return liquid to meat.
4. Pre-boil carrots and sweet potato.
5. Add tomatoes, garam masala, tomato puree, chickpeas, fruit juices and zest
6. Cut slits in lemongrass stick and add.
7. Add   beef stock and allow to simmer until sauce is reduced
8. Remove lemongrass stick before serving.
9. Serve with boiled rice.

So there are two different recipes using a pound of ground or minced beef, I do hope that you try them and enjoy them.

Source:
1. 25 Delicious And Easy Dinners To Make With 1 Pound Of Beef
2. 35 Ground Beef Recipes To Stretch Your Food Dollar! | Southern Plate


Best Natural Sweeteners

For a while, commercially  processed sugar and artificial sweeteners have taken their right of place in our pantry.  As we explore the possibility of alternative sweeteners, here  are some that are available naturally and their sugars can be obtained in the convenience of the home kitchen :

Sugar cane juice :

Sugar cane juice is the juice that is extracted by crushing  the stems of the sugar cane plant. Many sugar products are derived from  this juice :  molasses, cane sugar and refined white sugar.

The juice has a grasy sweet, rich flavor and when reduced by boiling, produces sugar similar to brown molasses.

Siraitia grosvenori or Luohanguo :

Going by its Chinese name ,the Luohanguo is a native fruit  of  Asia. Available at health stores, it is highly prized for its herbal qualities. The sugars are released by boiling the fruit together with its brittle shell intact in boiling water. Luohanguo is a high intensity sweetener  that is negligible  in calories , making  it an alternative sweetener  for diabetics.

Honey :

This golden syrup  has been mentioned since ancient times for  its role in ceremonial purposes and  treatment of  many forms of ailments . It is high in calories and packed with minerals and carbohydrates. A good quality honey has very low water content and can be kept fresh for a long time.

Maple syrup :

A sap of the sugar, red or black maple tree, the maple syrup is tapped in spring when the starch stored in the maple tree during winter  is converted to sugar in spring. Due to the manner  in which the maple sap is made in the tree, edible maple syrup can only be collected in early spring . The calorie of maple syrup is similar to cane sugar but possesses a significant amount of calcium and potassium.

Hobbyists make their own maple syrup by boiling down the freshly tapped sap with nothing more than a sap thermometer and regular kitchen utensils.

Dates :

This little gem  is a compact source of sugars.   Dates are used to break fasts as its sugars are quickly absorbed into the body, preparing it for food intake.  It is high in nutritional value and is also a good source of plant fiber and calcium. Favored by the nomads in the deserts, the date fruit is practically a meal on a seed. In the middle east, dates are made into syrup and pastes to be used as sweetening agents for cooking and baking.

Figs :

The dried fig is a powerhouse of calories and carbohydrates,  having one of the  highest concentration of minerals , plant calcium and fiber.  Because of its high caloric content, it is a pre-game snack favored by some sportsmen. Fig paste or fig jam  is used as a spread for toasts or as a sweetener for baking.

Carob:

The carob plant or St John’s Bread is a drought resistant tree  found in many parts of the Mediterranean region. Used as a common sweetener even before the days of cane sugar and beet sugar, the pod contains almost 40%  sucrose, a simple sugar.  Carob pods  are infused in beverages and desserts for its flavor.

Like everything else, consume sweeteners in moderation for a balanced diet. Care must be duly taken especially for those who are sensitive to certain sugars. With these choices of sweeteners available, the same food can now take on different characters depending on the type of sweeteners used.

Source:
1. The Ultimate Ranking Of The 9 Most Popular Natural Sweeteners
2. The 5 Worst Sweeteners – Organic Gardening