Top 5 Reasons to Make Curry Your Favorite Spice

Yellow, zesty and wonderful, curry powder has more to offer than just making your taste buds tingle. An Indian staple, curry powder is a combination of spices that include turmeric, coriander, and cardamom plus a variety of other spices that make each combination unique. Put these spices together and viola- an antioxidant power house is born, which makes using this spice high on the “use often” list.

Curry Powder
Our favorite Curry Powder is from Spice Society! We have it available at thePlate Boutique in Mt. Pleasant if you want to come and check it out!

 

Here are the Top 5 Reasons Curry Powder should be in your next meal:

1. Out of this World Flavor. We are all about how things taste here at Around the Plate, and the ethnic blend of curry spices melts perfectly together on your taste buds and takes homemade to a whole new level. It does not have to be complicated to be delicious with curry; consider sprinkling a bit of curry powder on your popcorn, or on top of your baked sweet potato fries.

2. Reduce inflammation. When you consider that stress can increase overall inflammation and that it can lead to all sorts of other health problems, it is really exciting to find a food (or spice!) that will help reduce that pesky precursor.  Luckily, curry powder is on the research hot list for this exact reason. Spice up, and spice often!

3. Indigestion Relief.  Since some of the spices in curry are from the ginger family, which is known to aid in indigestion, it only makes sense that their curry cousin would want to help too.  Strong studies show that curry powder may help with an upset tummy by stimulating the gallbladder to release extra bile.

4. Natural Food Coloring. Turmeric, one of the spices included in many curry powder combos can add a yellow hue to food.  Consider adding a fun color to mashed cauliflower with curry powder, changing the color scheme from white to exciting yellow!

5. Heart Healthy. Working on reducing hypertension or avoiding the morning bloat? Curry powder is an excellent choice to season with because it will skip adding salt to your meal but will definitely add mega flavor.  This spice can substitute garlic salt, season salt, or even sea salt giving you an overall savings of up to 25% of daily salt intake!

Need a few ideas on how to incorporate curry in your next meal? Check out this recipe for an amazing way to utilize curry at the dinner table, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Curry. Or, get creative with curry in a current recipe by swapping out a spice and putting curry in its place.  Happy cooking!

Have you ever cooked with curry before? What are some of your favorite meals and snacks to incorporate it in? 

Think Water is Boring? We’ll Change Your Mind with these Flavored Water Recipes!

Staying hydrated is important! In fact, so important that our nutrition expert, Sarah Schuetz, RD highlights drinking more water as the one small actionable step you can take this month to start bettering your overall health.

But what if you don’t like water? Luckily, there are many ways to flavor up your drink naturally and beneficially with fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Related: Drink more water for a better grade

During our Ask the RD event yesterday, our newest nutrition expert Michelle Voss, RD also highlighted the importance of hydration and showed us just how easy and tasty it can be to flavor our water in this way. Here are the two recipes she had us all try:

Pineapple Orange Ginger Water
Orange Pineapple Ginger Water

 

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Blood Orange Rosemary Sparkling Water

You can try both of these recipes at home by clicking on each picture.

Want even more options? Here are a few other fun and easy combinations:

Citrus Water. Slice 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 lemon into rounds, then cut rounds in half. Add to a jar and muddle; add ice and water.

Raspberry Lime Water. Quarter 1 lime. Squeeze into a jar, then throw in squeezed lime quarters. Add 1 cup raspberries. Muddle; add ice and water.

Pineapple Mint Water. Add a sprig of mint to the jar; muddle. Add 1 cup pineapple pieces and muddle; add ice and water to jar.

Blackberry Sage Water. Add sage sprig to jar and muddle. Add 1 cup blackberries and muddle; add ice and water.

Watermelon Rosemary Water. Add rosemary sprig to jar & muddle. Add 1 cup watermelon to jar and muddle; add ice and water.

Want even MORE ideas? Here’s a great round up from Brit.Co that we love! 20 Ways to Drink More Water Without Knowing It

Meet our Newest Nutrition Expert, Michelle Voss, RDN!

Eating your best isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be down right difficult; not to mention confusing, frustrating, and lonely. That’s why we think its essential to have a nutrition expert in your corner. Someone you can answer those tough nutrition questions you have, keep you accountable, and inspire you to have a little fun with your food. After all, eating well isn’t just about the nutrients. Its about the experience too.

At Around the Plate, we have an amazing team of dietitians who are ready to help you out. From answering your toughest food and nutrition related questions here on Around the Plate to meeting up with you one-on-one, our team of nutrition experts are here to make a difference for you and your family.

A few months ago, Sarah Schuetz, RDN joined our team. Sarah is not only our West Michigan Nutrition Expert, but the Store Director at thePlate Boutique in Grand Rapids, MI. Sarah wears many hats, but you’ll often find her sharing nutrition wisdom at in-store demos and cooking classes held at thePlate Boutique in Grand Rapids once month.

Today we’re excited to welcome another amazing dietitian to our team. Meet Michelle Voss, RDN, our new Central Michigan Nutrition Expert!

Michelle Voss

To help you get to know Michelle a bit better, we asked her a few questions.

What’s your signature dish? 

“My favorite thing to make is a homemade whole-wheat pizza topped with spinach and feta cheese.”

What 3 foods can always be found in your pantry? 

“I love oatmeal for breakfast and snacks so we always have it stocked, canned beans are quick and an easy way to add protein to a meal, and I keep a stash of dark chocolate on hand for those times when I need a treat. :)”

What’s your favorite foodie locale? 

“Fresh, local food is something I am passionate about, so my favorite foodie place would have to be the farmer’s market.”

If you only had one gadget in your kitchen, what would it be? 

“Definitely a sharp chef’s knife for chopping veggies!”

When you have the day off, how do you enjoy your time? 

“I try to keep active in my spare time by going to group exercise classes, running races with friends and going for walks. I also spend a lot of time looking for and trying new recipes found on Pinterest!

Who is your perfect client? 

“My perfect client would be someone who’s goal is to live a healthy lifestyle and who is willing to try new things.”

What excites you most about working at “thePlate”? 

“To quote Around the Plate’s motto, I’m most excited about helping others “live healthy” and “eat happy.”

Michelle is currently accepting new clients and would love to work with you! You can meet with Michelle in person at thePlate Boutique in downtown Mt. Pleasant or book an online meal planning session if you aren’t from the Central Michigan area. Sarah Scheutz, RDN can also see clients online.
To book your session, please contact us today for more information! And to learn more about Michelle, follow her on Twitter at @MichelleMarieRD.

 

 

5 Facts About Olive Oil You Should Know

Olive oil is a great type of fat to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle.  Rich in mono-unsaturated fats, it has the ability to have a positive affect on your overall health when utilized properly.  Get familiar with these 5 facts to make sure olive oil is doing the best job it can in your kitchen!

Olive Oil

Fact #1: It is best to use  Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in cold dishes, like salad dressing or drizzled over a crusty piece of bread.  Being extra virgin means the extraction process was mechanical only and involved no heat to get the job done.  When heat is applied to EVOO it’s antioxidant properties diminish.  To keep nutrition high with this oil, keep it cool.

Fact #2.  If your olive oil lives in the cupboard above the stove, consider moving it to a new home.  The way olive oil is stored plays a key role in the maintenance of the oil and its healthy power.  Both heat and light will affect olive oil negatively.  To prevent olive oil rancidity and free radical formation, store olive oil in a cool dark place and away from the stove.

Fact #3. The FDA defines Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) very leniently, but in general it means the highest quality grade virgin olive oil. By many experts standards, what is often considered to be Extra Virgin is far more limited than what is found on the grocery store shelves.  According to Tom Meuller, an EVOO expert, two gold standard choices often found at your local grocery store across the country include Corto Olive and California Olive Ranch.  So on your next trip to the grocery store, choose wisely and keep an eye out for these two particular brands.

If you are fortunate enough to be near one of our retail store locations, we’re excited to be bringing in another high quality brand of olive oil, Sutter Buttes Olive Oil Co., into the store within the next month or two as well.

Fact #4. Not all olive oils are a good choice to use in the cooking process. This is, in part, due to fact number one, but also because EVOO has a low temperature smoke point.  The good news is, refined olive oil is safe to heat and use when cooking because it has about a 465 degree smoke point, vs EVOO which tops out between 320-400 degrees.

Fact #5.  Non-stick pans, even ceramic, don’t play well with EVOO.  EVOO and cooking sprays alike should not be used on these sort of pans as it can diminish the non-stick properties of the kitchenware by leaving a carbonized layer on top of the non-stick coating.  To keep non-stick pans in top notch condition think about using a refined olive or canola oil instead.

What sort of questions do you have about olive oil? I’d love to help you out! 

Infographic: Oats My Gosh!

Oats My Gosh! Infographic

Brought to you by: Pollock Communications in collaboration with Quaker Oats Center of Excellence

Let’s talk about oats, shall we? As a versatile whole grain, they can add a lot of nutrition to your plate and even make it easier to incorporate other nutrient-foods into your day. Take a simple bowl of oatmeal for example. Nuts and nut butters, seeds, fruit, and even veggies and lean proteins can be mixed in to your bowl. Its such an easy way to bring multiple foods together and enjoy a super hearty dish.

Related: 3 Creative Ways to Add Oats to Your Day 

But oats on their own are also a nutrient powerhouse. As the infographic above explains, adding oats to your day can increase your fiber, magnesium and iron intake for the day. Oats also contain some of your B vitamins too.

Given the many different types of oats available, it may seem as though some may offer more nutritional benefit than others. In reality though, all types of oats provide pretty similar nutritional benefit. When it comes to instant oats; consider purchasing unflavored varieties. Flavored instant oatmeal packets can often have added sugar and ingredients that you may not necessarily want. If you are worried that plain oats will be too drab, no worries! Remember, its easy to add flavor and nutrition with all sorts of delicious ingredient add-ins!

Related: Oats of Steel 

Personally, I’m a steel-cut oats type of girl. Sure, it takes a little bit longer to prepare, but I think its worth it. And a bowl isn’t the only place for your oats to go. Adding them to your favorite yogurt, topping off your favorite fruit and adding a dash of cinnamon, incorporating them into your homemade granola, or making those oh-so popular protein balls… really, the possibilities are endless!

So get ready to say “Oat My Gosh!” this month and do your heart a favor by giving oats a go. You may just find that incorporating oats into your day is a easy way to start creating more meals at home this year.

Do you enjoy oats? What’s your favorite way to incorporate them into your day?