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Archive for January 15, 2016

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Biscotti Bites

Biscotti Bites

Almond Biscotti Bites

Top: Each Biscotti Bite is a 12-calorie treat. Photo: Thomas Francois | FOT. Bottom: Almond, one of the three flavors of Biscotti Bites. Photo: The Bites Company.

 

Every person who is mindful of calories searches for those magical foods that deliver the satisfaction without the calories. We discovered one such food in Biscotti Bites from The Bites Company.

Before we wax poetic, note that other companies market products called Biscotti Bites. Some are miniature biscotti like Nonni’s Biscotti Bites, a product we enjoy very much.

But The Bites Company makes little round cookies, just 1-3/8 inches in diameter.

They’re less dense than biscotti yet still crunchy. And they deliver lovely biscotti flavor in in Almond, Cocoa and Lemon.

Company founder Dana Upton had made traditional biscotti for 30 years. She reworked her recipe so that her cookies would still deliver a biscotti experience at 12 calories a bite.

The recommended serving size is 10 cookies for 120 calories; 9 cookies have 3 Weight Watchers points.

The cookies are all natural, made in small batches from scratch with top-quality ingredients. The Almond flavor evokes traditional biscotti. The Lemon flavor contains fresh lemon peel, for a lilting lemon flavor. The Cocoa flavor is more subtle; we prefer the first two.

As for nutrition, Biscotti Bites are:

  • Are low in sodium, with no added salt.
  • Have less than 1 gram of sugar in each cookie.
  • Have the right “no” list: no canola oil, no GMOs, no high fructose corn syrup, no MSG, no soy, no trans fat.
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    They are also kosher-certified, although the company is using up its supply of packaging without the hechsher.

    Biscotti Bites are sold in 4.5-ounce bags, and the Almond variety is available in 1-ounce single serve bags. You can buy them on the company website, TheBitesCompany.com, or head to Amazon for:

  • Almond Biscotti Bites
  • Cocoa Biscotti Bites
  • Lemon Biscotti Bites
  •  

     
    The MSRP for single packages is $5.99; a three-pack is $15.00. We promise, they’re worth every penny.

    They are so delicious that you can’t eat just one. Fortunately, you can have 10 at a time.
     
    BISCOTTI TRIVIA

    Biscotti date back to ancient Rome. They were originally made not for a leisurely snack with an espresso, but as a long-shelf-life food that could be carried by travelers, back in the day when you were not likely to find food on the road.

    Among the travelers who took biscotti with them were the Roman Legions. Here’s the history of biscotti.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Don’t Toss The Broccoli Stems

    Many people don’t like broccoli stems, as proven by the bags of florets-only in the produce section. But while the texture is different, the stems are just as tasty, with just as much nutrition and cruciferous antioxidants.

    If, for whatever reason, you don’t cook them along with the florets, put them to another use.

  • Cook and purée them.
  • Shave them raw into salads.
  • Steam and add them to omelets and cooked grains.
  • Add them to soup.
  • Toss them into a stir-fry.
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    For the tenderest results, you can use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer of supermarket broccoli stems before cooking; they tend to be tougher than just-harvested greenmarket broccoli. Then, you can cook them as you like or keep shaving the raw stems for a salad ingredient.

    In the recipe that follows, the raw stems are sliced into thin circles and turned into their own salad: broccoli stem salad! Who needs lettuce?

    This recipe is by Kate Galassi for Quinciple, a delivery service that brings the week’s best fruits and vegetables to your door.

    RECIPE: BROCCOLI STEM SALAD

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 2 broccoli stems (from 2 large heads of broccoli)
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of chili flakes (crushed red pepper)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup mixed fresh herbs, such as basil, mint or parsley; or fresh or dried oregano* and thyme*
  • ___________________________________

     

    Broccoli Stem Salad

    Head Of Broccoli

    If you don’t cook the broccoli stems, make a broccoli stem salad. Top photo and recipe courtesy Quinciple.com; bottom photo courtesy Burpee.com.

     
    *A little bit of oregano and thyme go a long way, so don’t use too much in your blend.
     
    Preparation

    1. SHAVE the stems into paper-thin slices with a mandoline. If you don’t have one, use a very sharp chef’s knife to slice the stems as thinly as you can.

    2. WHISK together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and chili flakes, and toss with the sliced broccoli stems. Season with salt and pepper and let sit for fifteen minutes. Meanwhile…

    3. PICK the herb leaves off their stems. Small leaves, including parsley, can stay whole. Larger leaves of basil and mint should be torn into smaller pieces. Or, chop them all if you like, with a mezzaluna or other tool.

    4. DIVIDE the broccoli salad between two plates and garnish with the fresh herbs.
     
     
    THE CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES FAMILY

    Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, a member of the Brassicaceae family of cancer-fighting superfoods.

    “Cruciferous” derives from cruciferae, New Latin for “cross-bearing.” The flowers of these vegetables consist of four petals in the shape of a cross.

    The family includes arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, radish, rapeseed/canola, rapini (broccoli rabe), rutabaga, tatsoi and turnips.

    They’re low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. You can’t eat too many of them, but you can overcook them. You’ll know they’re overcooked when an unpleasant sulfur aroma appears. They’ll also fade in color.

    That’s because all cruciferous vegetables contain chemical compounds that, when exposed to heat for a sufficient amount of time, produce hydrogen sulfide.

    So, enjoy them on the al dente side.

      

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