no. 3

It takes 2,100 jumping jacks to burn off one cup of eggnog. That’s 35 straight minutes of jumping jacks!

Eggnog – one of the most sinful and delectable holiday indulgences, has risen above the bad reputations and scientific scrutinises that have long tarnished its social character. While I do not prefer the syrupy sweet batter myself, others are willing to confess their love for this magical egg-y brew that lends merriment and joy – exemplifying the holiday season and its traditions.

Debates over whether or not eggnog is safe to drink,  (consuming raw or undercooked eggs increases the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria such as Salmonella) hasn’t stopped most people from making eggnog their choice fo drink during the holiday season.  Dairy companies have helped take the fear out of homemade eggnog by commercially producing the beverage, making store-bought nog the  safest and most convenient. So what’s in that “store-bought” nog? It may be the safest and most convenient, but is it healthy?

Well, its not fair to say that the egg drink doesn’t have any nutritional value. Afterall, the base of the frothy brew is composed of nutrient-packed eggs and vitamin rich milk. It is, however, fair to say that once the drink is sweetened, spiced, and spiked, it can quickly evolve into something a little less forgiving.  One cup of eggnog equals a whopping 343 calories with 19 grams of fat and 21 grams of sugar. Yikes! Not to mention, commercial brand eggnog comes with additives like carbohydrate sweeteners (HFCS), salt, flavoring, artificial coloring, and stabilizers.

I say skip the carton of commercial nog and opt for a healthy, natural, trimmed-down version that uses low-fat or skim milk or egg substitutes (see recipe). If you’re not inclined to make your own homemade batch of eggnog, try looking for a natural, pre-made version that uses little or no additives. All-natural eggnog can still be high in calories  but at least your yule-tide comfort will taste pretty close to being homemade – without the fake fillers.

Natural variations

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
                      Homemade eggnog recipe     

Things You’ll Need:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups 1% lowfat milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup white rum
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Step 1

With a mixer, beat 2 egg yolks until they turn light yellow. Add 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating until sugar is dissolved. (About 3 to 4 minutes or until you no longer see little granules of sugar.)

  • Step 2

    In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups of low-fat 1% milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and one pinch of cinnamon and one pinch of nutmeg. Cook on medium high heat until it comes to a boil, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.

    You can also microwave the seasoned milk for 3 to 5 minutes until it boils.

  • Step 3

    Remove boiled milk from heat and slowly whisk it into the egg and sugar mixture.

  • Step 4

    Return all ingredients to the saucepan and continue cooking until the eggnog reaches 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.

  • Step 5

    Remove eggnog from heat and pour in 1/4 cup light rum. Put eggnog into the refrigerator to chill.

  • Step 6

    Beat on medium high speed 4 egg whites until soft peaks form. (Soft peaks look like the tops of Hershey’s Kisses. The tip of the egg whites will curl over when you pull the beaters out of the bowl.)

    Continue mixing and slowly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar into the egg whites. Beat until stiff peaks form. Egg whites will be shiny and the peaks will stand straight up when the beaters are pulled from the mixture.

  • Step 7

    Gently stir egg whites into the chilled egg nog mixture until smoothly blended. Pour eggnog into pretty stemware and sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon.

    This low-fat eggnog recipe makes 5-6 servings at 148 calories per serving.

  • no. 2

    A serving of broccoli has as much calcium as a serving of cottage cheese.

    There has been a request to do an article on “Eggnog.”

    no. 1

    Eat mindfully. Love food more, not less. Engage all five senses while eating. Notice the appearance, inhale the aroma and savor the taste and texture.

    Citrus Fruit

    Make one of your five daily servings of fruits and vegetables an orange or grapefruit to help you manage your weight. Murray Huff, director at Robarts Research Institute at the University of  Western Ontario in Canada, found that naringenin, a flavonoid in citrus fruit, causes the liver to burn excess fat instead of hanging onto it. The molecule also helped improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of insulin resistance and stabilize glucose metabolism (risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease).

    Look for oranges that are firm and heavy for their size with no mold or unusual soft spots. Keep in mind that the ripe oranges may retain green streaks or spots depending on climate conditions during the growing season.

     

    Vinegar

    The vinegar in your pantry isnt merely handy when it comes to shaking up your favorite salad dressings for salads or quick-pickling produce for sandwiches – it may help you break down fat and reduce its accumulation in the body, thanks to acetic acid, an organic chemical compound that gives vinegar its potent taste and scent. In a Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry study, animals given the acid along with a high-fat diet developed up to 10 percent less body fat than those that consumed the fatty fare alone. Of course, upping you intake of vinegar just so you can eat more fatty foods is not my recommended course of action.

    Nutrient-packed, dark leafy greens grow best in cooler weather – making them in season right now. Many people often shy away from dark greens such as arugula, collards, and kale because of their bitter reputation, but when you pair them with a sensible amount of flavorful ingredients like bacon, feta-cheese, garlic, walnuts or even a little butter (shhh, I said a “little”) its easy to balance their bitterness. Study the list below to learn about the various winter greens and determine which of them you might enjoy best. Try the Bold Winter Greens Salad located under the “recipe” tab.

    ARUGULA

    Taste: pleasantly pungent and peppery.                                                                                                                                                             Best in: Salads and sandwiches.  Also known as rocket (in England, rocket salad is used as a garnish on just about everything – even eggs!), rugula, and rucola, the leafy green is a staple of Italian fare and often found in musclun (young tender greens) salad mixes. I like to think of this green as a cross between lettuce and herb.

    Substitutions: Watercress, endive, or young mustard greens.

    BROCCOLI RABE

    Taste: Broccoli rabe, a cooking green popular in Italian cuisine, resembles tiny clusters of broccoli florets amidst bunches of leaves which have a slight bitter flavor.                                                                                                                                       

    Best in: The leaves are best cooked or sautéed to bring out the flavor (the stocks can often be too bitter to eat).           

    Substitutions: Chinese broccoli, dandelion greens, or Swiss chard

    COLLARDS

    Taste: At no surprise, collards taste a bit like cabbage – since collards are a variety of cabbage.                                             

    Best in: A variety of world cuisines. If you’re from the south, you’re probably making your greens with bacon or ham hocks; Italians simmer them in bowls of minestra.

    Substitutions: Kale, mustard greens, or turnip greens.

    ENDIVE

    Taste: Prickly texture and slightly bitter taste.     

    Best in: Salads or stirred into soups and bean dishes.                   

    Substitutions: Escarole, mustard greens, arugula, or spinach.

    ESCAROLE

    Taste: Like its relative, Belgian endive, its slightly bitter.      

    Best in: The young tender leaves are best in raw salads. Because escarole is more delicate than other hearty greens, it doesn’t require a long cooking time – great if you want dinner on the table in a hurry.

    Substitutions: Mustard greens, arugula, or spinach

    KALE

    Taste: Earthy and cabbage like.                 

    Best in: Kale’s sturdy leaves are excellent sautéed and added to casseroles like lasagna, for example. 

    Substitutions: Collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, or spinach

    MESCLUN

    Taste: Mildly tangy              

    Best in: A mixture of baby greens served raw as a salad.              

    Substitutions: Arugula, romaine, and spinach

    MUSTARD GREENS

    Taste: Spicy and peppery; the smaller the leaves, the sharper and hotter the taste.         

    Best in: Stir-frys or sautés. To tone down the mustard greens’ assertiveness, blanch the leaves in salted water before incorporating them in a recipe.        

    Substitutions: Escarole, kale, Swiss chard, or spinach

    SPINACH

    Taste: Mildly bitter and earthy            

    Best in: A wide variety of salad and entrées. Be sure to wash spinach thoroughly as dirt and sand tend to cling onto the leaves. 

    Substitutions: Swiss chard, beet greens, kale, turnip greens, escarole, and arugula (for salads).

    SWISS CHARD

    Taste: Chard is in the same family as the beet, so you may detect some beet-like flavor in the ribs of the leaves. The leaves have a tendency to taste very intense, much like spinach.                 

    Best in: Swiss chard’s hearty leaves are excellent when added to cooked dishes such as casseroles, stews, and lasagnas.

    Substitutions: Beet greens or spinach

    TURNIP GREENS

    Taste: Cooked, turnip greens can be pleasantly pungent and bitter.

    Best in: Braises, stews, and sautés.

    Substitutions: Mustard greens, collards, kale, Swiss chard, or spinach

    WATERCRESS

    Taste: Peppery with a touch of mustard (its a member of the mustard family).

    Best in: Salads and as a garnish

    Substitutions: Arugula