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Archive for July 8, 2011

COOKING VIDEO: A Happy, Lactose-Free Smoothie


If you avoid smoothies because you have a bit of lactose intolerance, there’s an easy solution:

Make your smoothie with soy-based yogurt! You’ll be more than happy with this easy substitution.

(If you typically get abdominal pain within 30 minutes to two hours after eating any dairy-based product, don’t blame it on the sour cream [or whatever]—get tested for lactose intolerance.

If you’ve never made a smoothie, watch this video to see how easy it is. You’ll wonder why you haven’t made one sooner. The Blueberry Banana Smoothie in this recipe uses frozen blueberries, fresh banana, plain yogurt, honey, vanilla extract and ice. Just pop the ingredients into a blender and press Liquefy: Out comes the smoothie!

Recipe Tips

  • While you can use frozen fruit year-round (berries, mango, other favorite), check the prices and use fresh summer fruit as an alternative.
  • Use your favorite fruits, singly or in combination (strawberry banana, mango peach, pineapple peach, raspberry peach, mixed berries).
  • The recipe uses honey, but you can substitute agave or other favorite sweetener.
  • For protein, add a tablespoon of peanut butter or other nut butter.
    Let us know your favorite fruit combinations.

    More yummy smoothie recipes, which add egg whites for a protein boost.



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    PRODUCT: Sweet Red Corn

    Sweet red corn. Photo courtesy


    Corn has been cultivated for 5600 years or longer. Scientists believe it originated in Central America.

    Corn grows in various colors: the ubiquitous yellow and white varieties, as well as red, white, purple, bicolor and tricolor. The latter colors are mostly grown as decorative corn (our mom always hangs an assortment on the front door during harvest season).

    But more recently, agricultural colleges and corn breeders have brought sweet red corn to market as a treat for the eyes and the taste buds. Sweet red corn also has 20% more protein than white or yellow corn. The outer layer (pericarp) is red; The flesh underneath (the endosperm) is white.

    Exceptionally sweet in flavor, the corn’s red pigment (anthocyanin, an antioxidant) deepens in color when cooked, turning blue when boiled, purple when microwaved and purple and maroon when roasted.

  • Grill or roast it as corn on the cob (the color can bleed out when boiled). Grilling with the husks on keeps the bright red color.
  • Add as a garnish to regular corn soup, or make red corn soup.
  • Add the raw kernels to a green salad or bean salad, or make a red corn salad.

    The growing season for sweet red corn is June through September. Look for Colorful Harvest sweet red corn at your local market, or purchase it online from The season is mid-June to October for California corn; Florida sweet red corn is available in April and May.

    Sweet corn (maize) is grown for human consumption. Grain corn is fed to livestock and made into products. According to Purdue University, about 75% of the grain corn grown in the U.S. is used for animal feed. Another 12% to 15% of the annual crop is processed into corn oil, corn oil meal, corn sugar, corn syrup, gluten feed and meal, starch, whiskey and processed human food such as corn flakes, corn meal, hominy and grits. About 10% of grain corn is exported as grain or corn products.


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Pitcher Art With An Ice Ball mold

    Goodness gracious, great balls of ice!

    These ice ball molds from Prepara beg you to unleash your inner ice artist.

    The individual plastic ice molds create jumbo, three-inch-diameter ice balls for pitchers and punch bowls, letting you add flavors and visuals.

  • Fill the molds with lemonade, iced tea, juice or whatever’s in the pitcher, so the melting ice doesn’t dilute the drink.
  • For designer “ice spheres,” fill the molds with water and add berries, citrus curls, edible flowers, melon balls, mint leaves, sprigs of rosemary, even whole chiles, cloves, star anise and other favorite spices.
  • Then, just freeze until you’re ready to serve.
    The large size of the ice ball means the ice melts more slowly, keeping drinks colder longer.

    As you can see from the photo, the effect is “Wow!”

    A set of four ice ball molds is $9.99 at


    It’s easy to become an ice artist with these
    jumbo ice ball molds from



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    PRODUCT: Grab & Go Healthy Vegetable Snacks

    Make ‘em or buy ‘em. Photo courtesy


    Like many people we know, we’re a bad-choice snacker.

    When we’re out of the house, we buy cookies, muffins, pizza, candy—high-calorie empty carbs.

    During periods of focus, we buy bags of baby carrots and throw them into our backpack along with a water bottle. But we recently discovered a more diverse alternative: Healthy Snacks On The Go™ from Mann Packing.

    For people on the go, Mann’s, a pioneer in the fresh-cut vegetable business, offers a variety of fresh-cut vegetables with a light ranch dip: low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. The veggie assortments are washed, preservative free and ready to eat:

  • Broccoli, Carrots & Celery
  • Carrots, Celery & Raisins
  • Celery, Carrots & Grape Tomatoes
  • Celery, Carrots & Stringless Sugar Snap Peas

    If you want healthy snacks, it’s cut up or pay up. If you don’t want to spend money on pre-packaged veggies, try this tip:

    Set up a time every week—Sunday night, perhaps—to wash and cut your raw veggies for the week. Bag them and stack them in the fridge, ready to go. If the cut veggies start to dry before the end of the week, reserve a portion in containers filled with an inch or two of water, and bag them at midweek.


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