Two-Ingredient Pancakes

Two ingredients??? Yes, you read that right, and you won’t believe it until you make them for yourself! These pancakes are quick, easy, require no flour, and are surprisingly delicious for just two-ingredients. I love them, and make them weekly!

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So how can you make these ridiculously easy pancakes?

First, mash one medium sized banana in a bowl with a fork. Then crack two eggs into the bowl and mix together until smooth (*The more you mix it, the more pancake-like the final product will be. If you don’t mix it well enough, it will be more like scrambled eggs with banana chunks). Simply pour the batter into a hot frying pan and cook until bubbles form on top, then flip!

*Now, I don’t know if it’s just my lack of pancake making talent, but I find adding in at least one teaspoon of ground chia or flax seeds to the “batter” makes the pancakes turn out so much better. They cook more evenly and are much easier to flip. You can also add in other “extras” to liven up your pancakes, such as fruit, spice, nuts, vanilla extract or flax seeds.

Top with your favorite pancake toppings and enjoy! As much as I love butter and maple syrup on my pancakes, I love alternative toppings too. One of my favorites is spreading some yogurt on the pancakes and topping with fresh fruit (pictured below), or adding in some cinnamon to the batter and spreading the pancakes with a nut butter. YUM!

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Sometimes I don’t feel like making multiple pancakes, so I just let it cook as one big one. It all goes to the same place anyways! You can also see that I didn’t mix this one that well because it looks egg-y. Oopsy!

How do you like your pancakes?

Sweet Potatoes vs. White Potatoes

Happy weekend! It’s Friday night and you could not be more ready for dinner out with some friends after a long work week! After perusing the restaurant menu for a few minutes you order the juiciest, most delicious looking burger you’ve ever seen. Then the waitress asks what kind of potato you’d like for your side dish. Decisions, decisions, decisions! You choose to go the “healthier” route and substitute sweet potato fries for the regular fries. Why? Well you figure that because sweet potatoes are orange, that means they are healthier…right?

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In the above scenario, neither option is really that healthy because they are both fried. It doesn’t matter what colour the potato is, a fried potato is a fried potato – BAD!!

All fried things aside, let’s take a look at the nutritional difference between sweet potatoes and white potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes:

  • High in beta-carotene, a mineral that helps our eyesight and is responsible for the orange color of sweet potatoes and carrots.
  • Slightly higher in vitamin C, which helps our immune system as well as fights heart disease and complications of diabetes.
  • Higher in Calcium, which helps in the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
  • High in Vitamin A, which supports growth and development, eye health and our immune system
  • Roughly 7 times higher in sugar than white potatoes

White Potatoes:

  • Slightly higher in calories
  • Lower in sugar
  • Slightly higher in carbs than a sweet potato
  • Higher in essential minerals such as magnesium, iron and potassium
  • High in fibre especially when eaten with the skin on (e.g. baked potato)
  • More versatile in cooking and cheaper than sweet potatoes

The Verdict?

Both sweet potatoes and white potatoes can be a healthy choice! Both leave us satiated (full) after eating and are good sources of energy, vitamins and minerals.

The real issue is the form in which you consume the potato. White potatoes usually end up slathered in things like cheese, sour cream, butter, bacon or gravy, and sweet potatoes in brown sugar and marshmallows. Or they are fried and then piled with fatty toppings!

No matter what colour of potato you choose, baking, boiling or roasting are the healthier methods of cooking potatoes!

What kind of potatoes do you like?

Did You Know?

Yams and sweet potatoes are both sweet, tuberous roots, but they are actually NOT the same thing! Both tubers can be found in different colors, shapes and sizes but true yams have a more tough, hairy and darker skin while true sweet potatoes have a more smooth and orange skin. Sweet potatoes also contain more Vitamin A and C than yams, while yams contain more sugar than sweet potatoes. Yams are also toxic if eaten raw and therefore need to be cooked before eating. Who knew!?!

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References:

Kale Caesar Salad

“Mom, can we make this our regular salad from now on?”

That was my brother’s request after I made this salad for my family. Big deal, you say. Well, considering he is generally the non-vegetable-loving type, him saying that actually was a pretty big deal. So much so that my mom asked him if he was feeling okay! Ha! The salad must be good! ;)

As part of an assignment last semester, we had to get together with a group of our classmates and have a potluck dinner. One of the other girls brought this salad, and I, who had never tried kale before but was very eager to, happily helped myself to some to try. And then very happily helped myself to seconds. And would have had thirds had it not been all gone. Oh. My. YUM. It was so stinkin’ good!

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*This is definitely not the best picture to represent the deliciousness that is this salad. It looks like there is melted better all over the kale – yuck (It’s actually shredded Parmesan). I guess I will just have to make it again to get a better one. Oh shucks. :D

Kale Caesar Salad

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 8 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 7-8 cups of kale leaves (centre stalks removed)

Combine the first four ingredients in a blender; purée until smooth. With machine running, slowly add oil, drop by drop, to make a creamy dressing. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Cover and chill.

Toss kale and dressing in a large bowl to coat. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and eggs.

Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum YUM!

I think using kale for a salad is a really nice change. I find it much more filling than romaine or other greens, and the taste really isn’t all that different from spinach. It also looks so neat with its curly leaves!

What’s your favourite way to eat kale? I have heard amazing things about kale chips but have yet to try them. Soon!!

Fibre

No doubt you’ve seen products that boast the nutritional claim “high in fibre”. What exactly is fibre? And why are high amounts good for you?

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Fibre is the name given to the indigestible parts of food that pass through our body. Fibre is what gives shape and texture to our food, like the crunch of an apple or the chewiness of whole grain bread. There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble Fibre

  • Absorbs water
  • Slows movement of food through intestine and provides bulk to the stool (so we don’t have diarrhea all the time)
  • E.g. oats, barley, legumes, nuts, psyllium, fruits (apples, bananas, oranges)

Insoluble Fibre

  • Attracts, but does not absorb water
  • It is the tough, fibrous structure of fruit, veggies and grains
  • Speeds up movement through the intestine and helps with stool elimination (so we are not constipated all the time!)
  • E.g. wheat bran, whole grains, flaxseed, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, skins of fruits and root vegetables

As you can see, it is important to have a mix of BOTH soluble and insoluble fibre. We don’t want to have diarrhea all the time but we don’t want to be permanently constipated either!

Besides keeping our digestive system going, dietary fibre is important in other ways:

  • May reduce the risk of heart disease by delaying or physically blocking the absorption of dietary cholesterol into the bloodstream. Fibre also contributes small amounts of fatty acids that may lower the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to healthful levels in our bodies
  • Helps control blood sugar. Along with slowing the movement of food, soluble fibre also slows the release of glucose into the blood, improving the body’s regulation of insulin production and blood glucose levels.
  • Reduces the risk of diverticulosis, a condition that is caused in part by trying to eliminate small, hard stools.
  • Helps in the maintenance of a healthy body weight because foods that are high in fibre often make us feel fuller for longer

Where does fibre come from?

  • Skin on fruits (apples, pears)
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Bran
  • Whole grains like oats, barley, rye and wheat  (*Make sure it says “whole” before grain!)
  • Dates, prunes
  • Ground flaxseed (contains both soluble and insoluble fibre!)
  • Chia seeds

How much fibre should we be eating?

The recommended adequate intake of fibre is 25g/day for women and 38g/day for men. Most Canadians consume less than HALF of this amount. Not good!

An example menu for a daily intake of ~30g of fibre includes:

  • High fibre cereal for breakfast with a piece of fresh fruit
  • Sandwich made with whole grain bread for lunch plus fresh raw vegetables with hummus dip
  • Snack of low-fat yogurt with slivered nuts and dried fruit
  • Spaghetti made with whole-wheat pasta and a garden salad for dinner
  • Fresh fruit for dessert

Other tips on fibre:

  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables as a snack more frequently
  • When choosing foods like bread or breakfast cereal, select those that have at least 2-3g of fibre per serving
  • Eat foods like potatoes, apples and pears with the skin on
  • Use hummus as a dip for raw veggies (tons of fibre in chickpeas!)
  • Eat legumes frequently. Canned or fresh beans, peas, and lentils are excellent sources of fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Sprinkle wheat germ, bran, or ground flaxseeds on yogurt, cereal, or add to smoothies.
  • Add nuts, seeds or dried fruit to yogurt and salads

Every little bit helps!

Super Size Me

Let me start by saying that I am not a fast-food eater and never really have been. As a kid I occasionally ate out at places like McDonald’s or Tim Hortons (those darn playgrounds at McDonald’s, so inviting for kids!), but it was extremely occasional. The most fast-food I eat now is a light salad or something similar if I’m on a road trip and have no other option, but other than that I don’t ever eat fast-food. I’ve never even been to a Harvey’s, Burger King, A&W or Taco Bell!

The last time I ate at McDonald’s was in grade 12. I went on a school trip to New York City and part of the trip was to Chinatown for dinner. My friends and I, being the non-Chinese-food-loving type, ended up at the only non-Chinese food place in Chinatown – McDonald’s. I was so reluctant to eat there because the thought of their fatty, processed, prepackaged food really disgusted me but I was starving and knew that it was my one and only chance to eat something before breakfast the next day. So I tried to play it safe and got a chicken snack wrap (or something like that. I can’t quite remember). Turned out even that wasn’t safe. I felt so sick that night that I swore I would never eat at McDonald’s again even if it was the last food-service place on Earth. I have not eaten there since.

I have heard a lot of talk about this movie in the past and being a Nutrition student, I decided it was probably time that I watched it.

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All I can say is WOW.

If you eat fast-food, you have to watch this movie. If you are looking to cut down your fast-food intake, you have to watch this movie. If you are looking for some healthy-eating inspiration, you have to watch this movie. If you are looking for a movie about food to boggle your mind, you HAVE to watch this movie. Seriously. My jaw was on the floor 5 minutes in.

Morgan Spurlock is your average, healthy, fit American. He wants to do an experiment on himself to create awareness about the current obesity epidemic in the United States. He decides that for one month, he will eat only food from McDonald’s.

Fast forward fourteen months and Morgan is finally back to his pre-experiment health. That’s right, FOURTEEN months of healing for one month of damage. I knew before watching this movie that places like McDonald’s were not healthy for you and could cause health problems but I didn’t know exactly how drastic those problems could be. It is seriously frightening.

Now, this movie is primarily focused on McDonald’s, but that doesn’t mean that other fast-food joints any healthier or fine to eat at regularly. Nuh uh. It is the processed, already-prepared, pre-packaged food they all serve that is the problem. Of course it’s “fast” food, it was cooked three weeks ago and loaded with additives and preservatives to keep it that way until you go to Mickey D’s and order your Big Mac!

There are many other stories about people eating off the “healthy” menu at McDonald’s for a length of time and losing weight, or doing something similar at Starbucks or Subway. In my opinion it doesn’t matter what kind of “healthy” menu a fast-food place has, it’s still “fast” food and fast-food is complete and utter garbage.

When was the last time YOU ate fast-food? How did you feel afterwards?

Good Food In Your Fridge = Good Food In Your Stomach

People often ask me how I manage to eat so healthy and avoid junk food so easily. Simple…I just don’t buy it! If that kind of food is not around my house for me to eat, then I can’t eat it! Plus if there is already perfectly good food in my fridge, I can’t seem to justify going out and spending unnecessary money on unhealthy food. If you keep good food in your fridge/cupboards, then you will eat good food!

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