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Archive for March, 2008

TODAY IN FOOD: It’s Oatmeal-Nut Waffles Day

Who thought up this food holiday, you might ask? Why not Blackberry Waffles Day, or Milk Chocolate Chip Waffles Day?

We’re guessing that Oatmeal-Nut Waffles Day is the work of nutritionists at the Whole Grain Council or some other group supporting oats—and they’re not wrong.

We need three portions of whole grains daily, and oatmeal waffles are a good start. As for the nuts, while they are high in calories and fat, they contain protein plus the good, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega-3s), which have all been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. (Your body needs two tablespoons of good fats daily.)

  • Waffles are a great way to limit portions of nuts (unlike, say, eating an entire bowl of mixed nuts).
  • Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts are approved by the FDA, since they contain less than 4g of saturated fats per 50g.
  • Walnuts are your best bet—they are more heart-healthy than olive oil and have bone-healthy alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid). But if you must have pecan waffles, we understand.
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    Here’s a recipe to celebrate the day:

     

    Whole-Grain-Waffles-turvs.net-230-ps-sq

    Oatmeal or other whole grain waffles are better than white flour waffles. Nuts add protein. Photo courtesy Turvs.net.

     
    RECIPE: OATMEAL-NUT WAFFLES

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (oatmeal)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely-chopped nuts
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Optional garnishes: butter, fresh fruit, syrup, yogurt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT a lightly greased waffle iron.

    2. COMBINE the flour, oats, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in large mixing bowl. Set aside.

    3. MIX the eggs, milk, butter and brown sugar in small mixing bowl. Add this to the flour mixture, stirring until blended.

    4. POUR the batter onto the preheated waffle iron. The waffle iron needs to be hot enough to make a cold drop of water “dance.” When it’s hot enough, add the batter. Close the lid quickly, and do not open during baking.

    TIP: Cooking time varies by waffle iron, setting chosen, if the iron surface is coated (e.g. with Teflon), how much moisture is in the waffle batter, etc. You will need to experiment with your waffle iron. Look for steam escaping from the sides. When the steam stops, the waffles should be finished.

    5. REMOVE the finished waffles with a fork. Top with syrup or fresh fruit and/or yogurt.
     
    HOW MANY TYPES OF WAFFLES HAVE YOU HAD?

    Check them all out in our Pancake & Waffle Glossary, along with the history of waffles.

      

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    CONTEST: Green & Black’s Chocolate Recipe Challenge

    Green & Black’s Chocolate
    Make your recipe from Green & Black’s organic chocolate, and help cacao farmers in Belize.
      Love chocolate? Love organics? This one’s for you. Green & Black’s, the world’s largest brand of organic chocolate, is inviting organic chocolate lovers to submit an original recipe that contains no more than five ingredients, and incorporates at least 2 ounces of Green & Black’s chocolate—any variety, from white to milk to dark to extremely dark to inclusions (nuts, fruits). Write a short essay on your growing taste for organic foods and how your recipe wows your family and friends, and include a photo of the prepared dish. You have until April 21, 2008 to submit your recipe. Five winners and their guests will enjoy a food-filled trip to New York City to the “Academy Awards” of the food industry, the James Beard Foundation Awards & Gala. Winners will start by shopping for organic ingredients at some of New York’s finest markets, and take them to a cooking session with Curtis Stone, star of TLC’s “Take Home Chef.”
    All entrants to Green & Black’s Chocolate Challenge will be helping cocoa farmers in Belize. For each valid entry received, Green & Black’s supplying the members of Belize’s Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association cooperative with funds to plant and grow to maturity one hardwood tree. Hardwood trees are a reinvestment in the indigenous rainforest, and help to provide the necessary shade to shelter the farmers’ cacao trees. Each shade tree as helps a cacao tree thrive, thus providing the farmers with greater economic potential. NIBBLE TIP: We’ve judged a few recipe contests, and it isn’t the obvious cake or mousse recipe that always takes the cake. Think outside the box and submit a recipe using Green & Black’s chocolate where it isn’t so obvious. Just don’t submit anything like our own Chocolate-Stuffed French Toast recipe—we’re going to enter that one! Learn more and get entry information at GreenandBlacks.com.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: St. Patrick’s Day Eggs

    You don’t have to hunt for green bagels for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. Start your day with a nutritious green breakfast by adding pesto sauce to the eggs beaten for scrambled eggs, omelets, a frittata or quiche. Mix in one teaspoon per egg. Decorate the plate with fresh basil or spinach leaves, and you’ll start the day in a holiday mood. You’d think pesto would be a pretty simple proposition: basil (or other green, like spinach or arugula), oil (usually olive, sometimes walnut or other oil), Parmesan and nuts (usually pine, nuts, but walnut pestos and other recipes are pretty fine). Yet, we tasted more than 100 pesto sauces from around the world and found only six brands to recommend to you, two of which were from recent Top Pick Of The Week sauce maker, Sauces ‘n Love. Read about our favorite pestos, the history of pesto and a recipe for making great pesto at home. When you realize how easy it is, you’ll become a pesto-making maverick.   Pesto
    Use pesto sauce to make green eggs on St. Patrick’s Day. Ham is optional with your green eggs, but you can enter our Gourmet Giveaway to win a great one this week. Photo by Val Lyashov | SXC.
    Read about more of our favorite sauces in the Pasta & Sauces Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Jazzy Vinaigrette

    Raspberry Vinegar
    Add a splash of raspberry flavor to your vinaigrette.
      Looking to add a little pizazz to your everyday salad dressing? Try a raspberry vinaigrette—two parts raspberry vinegar, three parts olive oil. The sweet raspberry fruit shines through, as does its ruby color. While raspberry vinegars are available for as little as $3.50 a bottle—they can be made less expensively with raspberry flavoring—we splurge on the opulent French vinegar of J. Leblanc, made from the juice of fresh raspberries blended into white wine vinegar, then aged in oak barrels. It also makes a splendid addition to fish sauces, marinades and luncheon salads—especially with sliced duck or chicken. It adds magic when you substitute it for cider vinegar, for example, in cole slaw, potato salad and gazpacho. It can be drizzled on fruit, cheese, bread, ice cream, cheesecake…in fact, you can mix a spoonful into apple juice, iced tea, lemonade and other beverages. It also makes a great gift for your favorite cook or foodie. If you can’t find the brand locally, it is sold on Amazon. Find more of our favorite vinegars in the Oiis & Vinegars Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.
     

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    GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Win An Easter Ham

    Take our Ham Trivia Quiz #2 in THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet Giveaway this week, and you may win a prize of an Easter ham. This is not just any ham, but our favorite ham from the ham artisans at Ham I Am, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week (read the review). It’s 12 to 14 pounds and feeds up to 24 people (or provides ham sandwiches for the family for a week after Easter.) Just answer four fun trivia questions about ham—you don’t even have to answer them correctly. Everyone who enters has an equal chance of winning. Take the quiz, from March 10th through March 16th for the prize, or anytime for fun. You’ll learn the 411 about what makes a great ham, in the process. Learn more and enter. Read more about our favorite hams in the Pork, Ham & Bacon Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Win Me
    Win this 12- to 14-pound ham for Easter dinner.
     

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