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Going Bananas for Banana Bread

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So this lovely Saturday morning, I had the worst leg cramps and thought, “I’m going to make banana bread!”

I must say, it was the best batch, ever.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 all purpose flour
  • 5 semi ripe bananas(mashed)
  • 3 eggs (I only used 1 yolk)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of bourbon vanilla extract
  • 3 Ferraro Rocher chocolates (roughly crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda (or 3 teaspoons of baking powder)
  • Nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix mashed bananas with maple syrup.
  2. In a bowl, mix brown sugar with eggs and banana mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda (or baking powder) and spiff into the mixture of brown sugar, eggs, and bananas. *note that it’s very important that you spiff your flour, or the texture of the batch will come out uneven.
  4. When the mixture is smoothly blended, add vanilla extract.
  5. Pour onto a baking tray (I usually cover mine with foil to save cleanup time)
  6. Sprinkle a handful of brown sugar over the mixture and the crushed Ferraro Rocher chocolate pieces (add any kind of nut mixture if you like)
  7. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  8. Let it cool before serving.

Bon Appetit!

10 Foods for Healthy Hair


 

I feel my best after I get that just out-of-the-shower, freshly blow dried hair, but not today. My mother came in afterwards and told me I looked like I was balding. It’s common to for hair to thin, especially with long hair, but also without the right nutrition. Here are 10 super – foods that help the everyday go-getting maintain their vivid manes.

Healthy Hair Food No. 1: Salmon

When it comes to foods that pack a beauty punch, it’s hard to beat salmon. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this high-quality protein source is also filled with vitamin B-12 and iron.

“Essential omega-3 fatty acids are needed to support scalp health,” says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “A deficiency can result in a dry scalp and thus hair, giving it a dull look.”

Vegetarian? Include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet for some plant-based omega-3 fats.

Healthy Hair Food No. 2: Dark Green Vegetables

Popeye the Sailor Man didn’t eat all that spinach for healthy hair, but he could have. Spinach, like broccoli and Swiss chard, is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body’s natural hair conditioner. Dark green vegetables also provide iron and calcium.

Healthy Hair Food No. 3: Beans

Beans, beans, they’re good for your … hair?!

So apparently Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. While rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair.

Blatner, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, recommends three or more cups of lentils or beans each week.

Healthy Hair Food No. 4: Nuts

Do you go nuts for thick, shiny hair? You should.

Brazil nuts are one of nature’s best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure nuts are a regular on your healthy hair menu.

Healthy Hair Food No. 5: Poultry

Chickens and turkeys may have feathers, but the high-quality protein they provide will help give you the healthy hair you crave.

“Without adequate protein or with low-quality protein, one can experience weak brittle hair, while a profound protein deficiency can result in loss of hair color,” Giancoli tells WebMD.

Poultry also provides iron with a high degree of bioavailability, meaning your body can easily reap its benefits.

Healthy Hair Food No. 6: Eggs

When it comes to healthy hair, it doesn’t matter whether you like your eggs scrambled, fried, or over easy. However they’re served up, eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find.

They also contain biotin and vitamin B-12, which are important beauty nutrients.

Healthy Hair Food No. 7: Whole Grains

Sink your teeth into hearty whole grains, including whole-wheat bread and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, for a hair-healthy dose of zinc, iron, and B vitamins.

A whole-grain snack can also be a great go-to food when your energy is zapped halfway through the afternoon, and you’ve still got hours to go before dinner.

Healthy Hair Food No. 8: Oysters

Oysters may be better known for their reputation as an aphrodisiac, but they can also lead to healthy hair — and who doesn’t love that?

The key to their love and hair-boosting abilities is zinc — a powerful antioxidant.

If oysters don’t make a regular appearance on your dinner plate, don’t despair. In addition to getting it from whole grains and nuts, you can also get zinc from beef and lamb.

Healthy Hair Food No. 9: Low-Fat Dairy Products

Low-fat dairy products like skim milk and yogurt are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, two high-quality protein sources.

For some healthy hair foods “to-go,” try throwing a yogurt or cottage cheese cup in your bag when you head out in the morning to snack on later in the day. You can even boost their hair benefits by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseeds or walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.

Healthy Hair Food No. 10: Carrots

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp along with good vision. Since a healthy scalp is essential for a shiny, well-conditioned head of hair, you’d be wise to include carrots in your diet as snacks or toppings on your salad.

The Big Picture: A Balanced Diet for Healthy Hair

When it comes to foods for healthy hair and beauty, variety is the best way to go – too much of anything is never good.

“An overall balanced diet of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fatty fish like salmon and low-fat dairy will help keep hair healthy,” Giancoli says.

If you’re tempted to drop pounds fast with the latest fad diet, it could leave you with less-than-healthy hair — along with a growling stomach. Low-calorie diets are often low in some of the most important nutrients for healthy hair, including omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin A. In addition to stunting hair growth and leading to dullness, super-low calorie plans may even cause hair loss.

“Crash diets can affect the hair cycle,” Mirmirani tells WebMD. “Losing a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time can affect that normal hair rhythm. Two to three months later, you might notice a significant increase in shedding. This is a temporary problem that you recover from with a well-rounded diet.” I’ve experience it first hand.

{WebMD}

 

French Quiche


A French quiche is one of the simplest dishes you can make and good results are nearly guaranteed… Quiche is a savory baked tart or custard filled with meats, cheese, and vegetables, and thickened with eggs. It is always served open face and baked in a pastry crust, and is regarded as the savory equivalent of a custard tart or pie.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 9-inch refrigerated pie crust
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2 medium onions, chopped
  4. Kosher salt and black pepper
  5. 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  6. 4 large eggs
  7. 3/4 cup half-and-half
  8. 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  9. 8 ounces Gruyere, grated
  10. 4 cups mixed greens

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Fit the crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Place on a baking sheet.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir in the onion mixture and the Gruyère.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the crust. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drizzle the greens with the remaining tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the quiche.

 

Salmon Eggs Benedict


I had the best brunch at Bottega Louie today. Not only are eggs good for your brain, but Salmon is bursting with Omega – 3 fatty acids (that reduce heart disease and helps with brain development ) and bioactive peptides (which supports joint cartilage and inflammation of the digestive tract). For 233 calories, this is an amazing trade off and only takes a half hour to prep time!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • 8 eggs
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, cut into thin slices
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon capers, for garnish

Directions:

  1. To make the sauce: In the top of a double boiler, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, egg yolks, mustard, salt, sugar, pepper and hot sauce. Cook over simmering water while stirring constantly, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  2. In a large stock pot heat 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Carefully break the eggs one at a time into the boiling water. When all the eggs have been added, reduce the heat to medium. When the eggs float to the top, remove them with a slotted spoon and let drain briefly.
  3. To assemble final dish: Toast bread slices and place on warm plates. Top each piece of toast with a slice of smoked salmon and a hot poached egg. Drizzle with yogurt sauce; garnish with parsley and capers.

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