Sunday, June 20, 2010

Can jicama ( a vegetable) speed up weight loss? Read this!

Jicama ( pronounced hih-cama) is a low calorie root vegetable that is available in most supermarkets. It is grown in Mexico and Central America and widely used in the Latin American diet. It looks like a turnip or large radish but has a mild, almost sweet flavor. In addition to containing potassium, iron and calcium, Jicamas are very high in Vitamin C, ellagic acid , and fiber. This low calorie ( 45 calories per cup) , zero fat , vegetable is a nice addition to any meal. Peeled and used raw, it can be substituted for water chestnuts, added to stir frys, sliced and eaten raw like celery, or added to salads for delightful taste. I have always enjoyed jicama, but now I am intrigued with information about how jicama can help you lose weight faster. ( scroll down for jicama recipes)

The Research on Weight Reduction

In a recent article in First magazine, David Feder R.D., and a nutritional researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, explained about hormones and weight loss. He refered to a study published in The Journal of Nutritional biochemistry which said, " probiotic bacteria use ellagic acid to generate compounds that help the body better utilize food, putting calories to use to give you energy rather than parking those calories on your hips." It turns out that ellagic acid is found in significant amounts in jicama. He also refered to another study done in Taiwan that said, " allegic acid helps the body break down fructose while reducing levels of weight-sabatoging inflammation." David Feder recommends eating jicama because not only is it rich in ellagic acid, it is also rich in vitamin C which helps the body use glucose as energy rather than storing it as fat. In addition, the fiber in jicama nay help elimination and thus belly bloat. Jicama is also low in sugar, which can make it a good  raw, cruchy snack for diabetics or hypoglycemics.  

Ellagic acid:  An antixodant phytochemical

Fiber:  Fiber is the ingredient in plant food that is not digestible. However, it is probably one of the most important nutrients that the body needs to help eliminate waste. Without sufficient fiber ( no less than 25-30 grams a day) your body may hold on to toxins which may increase your risk of developing chronic constipation, higher levels of cholesterol, and difficulty losing weight. Fiber acts as as scrub brush as it moves through your system getting rid of toxic build up.

Next time you go to the supermarket, look in the produce isle for jicama.

Tips When Using Jicama
jicama cut up

How to store and use jicama
  • Jicama will stay fresh in the refrigerator up to about 2 weeks or even out on the counter if cool
  • Once cut, wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to about a week
  • Peel jicama with a peeler or sharp paring knife
  • Eat it raw as cubes, sliced or as sticks.
  • Its mild sweet flavor makes it a perfect addition to a vegetable tray.
  • Shred jicama to add to salads, coles slaws, health salads.
  • Add it to a stir fly in place of water chestnuts
  • Can be boiled or steamed
  • Jicama can be baked in its skin at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes ( depending on the size)
  • I like it best raw! It is mildly sweet and crunchy and low calorie
Try some of these recipes:

Mashed ( potato) Jicama

Peel and cube jicama. Boil or steam until tender. Mash with fork. Add butter, salt and pepper or any seasoning that you would add to mashed potatoes.

Baked ( potato) Jicama

Make jicama a low calorie substitute for a baked potato.
Wash the jicama well, puncture with a fork for two or three jabs, and then bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. When tender, slice down the middle and eat contents not skin.
Add any topping that you would add to a baked potato such as butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, etc.
To keep it low calorie, add a spoonful of plain greek yogurt.

Low Calorie Jicama Crunch Fries

2 medium jicamas ( peel and slice into strips)

1 TBsp of olive oil

1 tsp each of onion powder & paprika

Sea salt, and optional 1/4 tsp of cumin powder


Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl until fries are well coated. Enjoy!
or leave out the oil and make it lower in calories

Waldorf Cranberry/ Broccoli  slaw Jicama salad  ( This recipe is fabulous!)

Great salad for lunch on a hot summer day or as a side dish during any season.

1 bag of organic broccoli slaw ( can find at most supermarkets)

1 cup of diced jicama (peel jicama first)

1-2 small organic apples, diced

1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts

1/3 cup organic dried cranberries

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and set aside


1/2 cup soaked cashews (optional) ( soak for at least 2 hours or more)

1/4 cup raw honey ( raw tastes best)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Blend all ingredients in blender and pour over vegetables and toss till coated. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.. YUM!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Look for Gluten Free Snyder's Pretzel Sticks in the Supermarket

Coming this July
Looking for an easy gluten free snack for you or your kids? Snyder's of Hanover has come out with a gluten free variety of pretzel sticks .You will soon be able to find these "normal"gluten free pretzels in your local supermarket this July. The gluten free pretzels will cost about $3.75 for an 8 ounce bag.
 INGREDIENTS: Corn Starch, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch, Palm Oil,Dextrose,cellulose gum, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, mono-calcium phosphate), salt, citric acid, yeast,soy lecithin, soda.

Read all of the archived blog articles from May : look in the right column under May articles..

Press Release: April 2010

GFCO is Proud to Certify Snyder’s of Hanover’s Gluten-Free Pretzels

Snyder’s of Hanover is the first USA, family-owned business to invest a great deal of time and money into making pretzels safe for gluten-free consumers. Snyder’s understands how important a strict gluten-free diet is to the health of persons with gluten sensitivities, and, because of that, sought the industry’s self-identified Best Practices in manufacturing gluten-free products – the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) standards.

Consumer confidence increases with external certifications, and GFCO sets the most rigorous standards for gluten-free
 GFCO is pleased to add Snyder of Hanover to the family of GFCO products. GFCO certifies over 4000 products in all categories of food and supplements. The Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) is a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America. The Certified Gluten-Free logo is a registered trademark of GFCO and a trusted, easy to find symbol that consumers rely on to know the foods they choose are truly gluten-free.;

Disclaimer:  The information in this blog is for educational and informational purposes. Always consult your doctor before making any changes in your diet. I have no association with the Snyder company and do not endorse or benefit from the sale of their products.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cabbage and Gluten Free Noodles

Cabbage and Gluten Free Noodles

Looking for something different? I love this recipe! It is filling and soothing, low in calories, high in fiber ,and provides vegetables that are high in protective immune building antioxidants. In addition, it is easy to make.

You can use it as a side dish or add some type of protein, and call it a meal. You can use any kind of gluten free noodles in this recipe; however, if you want to cut the calories way down, use Sharataki noodles. They are Asian noodles that are gluten free and many varieties have 0 calories ( yes, zero calories). The zero calorie variety is made from a vegetable fiber and has no calories or carbs.( I blogged about them a month ago, you can go into the archives and read the blog for no calorie gluten free noodles.) The noodles do not have to be cooked; just blanched for 1 minute in boiling water. When you open the package, make sure you put the noodles in a small colander and rinse it well. It can sometimes have a fishy smell that goes away with rinsing. Sharataki noodles can be ordered online, purchased at an Asian food store, or the soy variety ( with 40 calories) is available in most supermarkets in the refrigerator case near the tofu. I like the angel hair variety best.
No guilt indulging.. enjoy!

2 bags of sharataki noodles , prepare according to package directions
1 large onion , sliced in half moons
3-4 cloves of garlic, pressed or sliced
3 cups raw cabbage, sliced thin
Olive oil cooking spray or 2 Tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper to taste

Saute garlic and onions in olive oil cooking spray on low heat for about 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Add cabbage, salt and pepper and continue sauteing, adding olive oil cooking spray if needed. When cabbage starts to become tender and is ready to eat, add sharataki noodles and stir to coat noodle. Cook additional minute and serve immediately as a side dish.

*** If you are not concerned about the calories, substitute any kind of gluten free noodle. I like brown rice gluten free noodles..