Snack Your Way to a Healthy Gut

Snack Your Way to a Healthy Gut

Disclosure: This post and recipe was created in partnership with Kansas Soybean, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Pork Association, I was compensated for my time, all opinions are my own.

Santa Carbs is coming to town. Sorry protein, we’re talking about fiber today. I get it, I like balanced blood sugars too, but I also like a happy microbiome. Our gut bacteria feed off of the fibers found in food. The average American eats about 10 grams of fiber, but we need 25+ grams of fiber each day. It’s not only about the number though, our gut benefits from a wide variety of different fibers. Fiber is found in foods like fruits, veggies, beans and even popcorn! Talk about gut healthy snacks, you can inch your way toward the 25 grams goal with each cup of popcorn containing about 4 grams of fiber. Popcorn is naturally gluten-free, non-GMO and can easily be made dairy free (I recommend popping with coconut oil).

Kansas Farms: Eat Local 

If you have spent anytime driving through the Kansas farmland, you may have spotted popping corn and not even known it! I love supporting local Kansas businesses, which includes Kansas farms too! I chatted with Kim of Papa Baldy’s, a local Kansas farm, about what it takes to get popcorn from the field to becoming a gut healthy snack food. 

 

Popping corn seeds are planted and watched very carefully. Popping corn is a lot more fragile than the corn we grow for animal feed or for delightful sweet corn. Kim and her family know the popping corn is ready to harvest when they microwave an entire ear of corn in a paper sack. If it pops then it’s ready. Once the field is ready, the popping corn is harvested right from the fields. They use special technology to separate out each and every kernel to make sure that it is just right. Then Kim and her family weigh and bag every single kernel with love. The variety that Kim grows is called mushroom popcorn. It produces big smooth kernels that are used by gourmet poppers because it is less likely to break and any flavoring you add has more surface to coat. 

Connecting With Famers

A normal ear of corn size compared to a popping corn ear.
popping corn

Over the last several years, I have loved partnering with Kansas Soybean, Kansas Farm Bureau, and Kansas Pork to meet Midwest farmers. That is a little more difficult this year, but farmers are still out there growing food for us. Kim and her family are a small operation of only a handful of people including her in-laws. They grow other crops besides popcorn, but Kim and her family wanted to have a bigger connection with the families they are serving. That is when they decided to start growing popcorn. Having that face-to-face (or rather FaceTime) connection with the farmers that grow my food makes me so appreciative for the hard work that goes into it. Now I know, any time I pick up a loaf of bread I may be eating something grown by Kim and her family, but I know for sure when I pop a bowl of popcorn that it was hand packaged by Kim! Want to connect more with Kim and her family? Check out her Facebook and Instagram.

One of Kim’s favorite traditions is sharing popcorn with her family. Today I’m sharing my take on her family favorite cinnamon popcorn recipe. I know it will quickly become a festive favorite in your house too!

Cinnamon Popcorn
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Ingredients

  • 5-6 cups of popcorn (1/2 cup unpopped)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 (9oz) bag of red hot candies

Instructions

  1. Pop the corn using your chosen popping method.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  3. Put the popped corn on a cookie cooling rack on a cookie sheet so that the unpopped kernels fall out and don’t get in the mix.
  4. Put the popped corn in a large bowl.
  5. In a saucepan on the stove, bring to boil the butter, maple syrup and red hot candies.
  6. Boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly until the red hots have become part of the liquid syrup mixture.
  7. Pour the hot liquid syrup mixture over the popped corn and stir it until all of the popcorn is coated.
  8. Pour the coated popcorn onto a large cookie sheet that has been greased.
  9. Stir every 15 minutes for 1 hour while in the oven.
  10. After an hour, pour the popcorn out onto wax paper and let cool.
  11. Enjoy!
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2020/12/snack-your-way-to-a-healthy-gut/

Check out these other gut healthy snacks: 

Connect with Kim and order your own Papa Baldy’s popcorn on her facebook and instagram

Bite into a healthy lifestyle: Breakfast

Bite into a healthy lifestyle: Breakfast

IMG_1875

Simple ingredients, gluten-free, and sugar-free!

In February we celebrated Heart Month. March is another month that is near and dear to the Kansas City Dietitian; it is National Nutrition Month! Each year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics selects a theme and this year the theme is “bite into a healthy lifestyle.” So today we are going to bite into BREAKFAST.IMG_1855 We all know that we should eat breakfast but sometimes life gets in the way. Our little angel was born 8 weeks ago and it seems like we are constantly on the go.  This week was one of our first lazy Saturday mornings and I was craving pancakes.

I know you are all thinking, “how could this possibly be a Kansas City Dietitian sanctioned recipe?” I promise not only is this Kansas City Dietitian approved, but it also has the family stamp of approval for being delicious.  I love this recipe because it has such simple ingredients, it is gluten-free (as long as you purchase certified gluten-free oats) and sugar free. Cottage cheese, eggs, oats, and vanilla are all you need to make this simple recipe. That’s right no flour! I often tell my clients about this recipe when they have visitors that follow a gluten-free diet because it doesn’t require purchasing any unfamiliar ingredients. IMG_1866 All you have to do is add all the ingredients to a blender. I do have two secret ingredients. Shhhh!!! don’t tell my husband! I usually add 1-2 Tbsp of ground flax seed and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. The flax seed boosts the fiber and the cinnamon adds a nice flavor without the need for sugar. IMG_1870 After you have blended it all together if it is too thick then I will sometimes add about a tablespoon of milk or water to thin the batter a bit. Then you can drop them into a hot pan and cook them like normal pancakes.  I always serve ours with fresh fruit and a little bit of natural maple syrup. IMG_1871

Perfect Protein Pancakes (more…)

Help Me Rhonda …Get Healthy Food for my Heart

So, people keep asking me where I have been lately and more importantly, “Why are you back bugging us again?”

I have learned that work is good for the soul.  I have also learned that too much work is bad for the soul. So I have cut back and streamlined my work.

Because I have cut back I am free to send thousands of emails to brighten your day.

People have also asked “What is the deal with the old songs lately?”   Answer: my curse of tangential thinking- it just happens, like suddenly you find a potato chip in your mouth and you wonder how it got there-you can blame it on the curse of tangential eating.  It’s good to be able to share the blame…

Staying with this theme (Hmmm- I suddenly have the urge for a potato chip)   Anyway back to the theme of “oldies” I am here to Help!  (Help me Rhonda, Help Help me Rhonda- name the year and group.)

I am beginning a new Concierge service.  I am still ironing out the wrinkles but I think you are going to like it, wrinkles and all.  (No comment about wrinkles!)

You can purchase a variety of services from us for a variety of prices.  The services include a daily health tip text, a quick afternoon phone call to get past the munchies, or even a phone coaching session.  You choose what level of Help you need.  (Help, you know I need somebody, Help, not just any body, Help you know I need someone  like a  Dietitian….)

I am here to provide The Help!…hmm…book titles- there are some great book titles out there…..

Just send me an email if you need The Help that I can provide.  I will be happy to share the details with you

[email protected]

Luv, Tangential WD

The Kansas City Dietitian Nutritionist with the Wacky Sense of Humor

Mary Poppins at Fault for Skyrocketing Diabetes Epidemic

So it appears I was wrong when I blamed the Archies entirely for our love affair with sugar.  Astute readers were quick to point out that we had other influences.  How could I have forgotten Sugar Shack by the Fireballs?  But probably the most onerous omission is none other than Mary Poppins and “A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down.”  And, if you consume plenty of sugar you are going to be buying lots of expensive of medicine for sure.

My patients always complain I am such a negative Nellie. I guess I need to stop reading research and going to medical meetings.

Remember the “Fat Meeting?”??

Remember looking in your cupboard for “oses”? 

It appears that sugars such as fructose, high fructose corn syrup and sucrose are truly evil.  And these sugars are found in almost all of our foods so we are continuously consuming them. 

Here are the facts Ma’am:  (Just the facts.)

Sucrose, Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup cause:

  • Liver toxicity
  • Every cell in your body to prematurely age
  • Your brain to trick you into increasing total food consumption
  • Increases in Triglycerides
  • Increases in LDL Cholesterol
  • Increases in fat that is stored around your organs
  • Insulin de-sensitivity resulting in diabetes
  • Increases in Apo-B (a marker for heart disease)

Let me make it simple.

And once again I am reminded of a song to hum while you read this. 

Let’s start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start.  When you read you begin with ABC. When you sing you begin with Do, Re, Mi.

When you gain weight you begin with fructose, HFCS and sucrose.  

Yes Maria Von Trapp aka Julie Andrews aka Mary Poppins,

Sugar makes you fat and sick. 

So, once again WD is here to rain on your parade. 

No, even though I want to sing “raindrops on kittens” I am going to refrain. No, I am not going to sing the refrain.   But, “these are a few of our favorite things,” aren’t they?

And thus we have the “Sound of Obesity” in America.  

In future Blogs I will provide”Hints from Heloise” on how to clean the sugars out of your house and body. 

Luv (without sugar on it),

WD   

 

Blog by Glenna Moe Kansas City Dietitian   

 

Take your Sexy Veggies to the Spa

Every day we see BREAKING NEWS research, (Have you noticed that everything these days is BREAKING NEWS?  Breaking news… gas prices going up….breaking news….gas prices going down….breaking news…..gas prices unchanged.  When are they going to start scrolling across the bottom of the screen… same news as yesterday…veggies are the key to health….veggies seen in reducing diabetes …..veggies seen in reducing Alzheimer’s….)

This is the same old news that your Grandmother told you 50 years ago is:  Eat your veggies to stay healthy! 

Today we are going to learn how to treat your veggies to a day at the spa so …BREAKING NEWS…veggies can taste great!

Pick your favorite root vegetable.  (Root root root for the home team.  If they don’t win it’s a shame… for its 1, 2, 3 strikes you’re out at the old health game…)

Root veggies include beets, sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes, carrots, parsnips and others.

Today we will take our Sexy Beet to the Spa. 

Sexy Beet has a day at the Spa

Set the Mood:  Turn the lights down.  Start a CD with ocean sounds.  Light a sandalwood candle.

Start with an entire beet, root and all. 

Gently rub the beet with a soft brush to exfoliate the dead skin cells. Rinse under warm pure mountain stream water. 

Pat dry with a fluffy Turkish towel. 

Mix fresh Italian extra virgin organic olive oil with freshly dried organic herbs deprovence.  Using a mortar and pestle gently press the virgin herbs into the oil while humming a soft Italian melody.

Rub the oil gently into the beet in a circular motion to work the oil deep into the beet’s tissues. 

After the beet is well oiled place in a lightly oiled pan.  Tell him that he is getting ready for the tanning bed.  We don’t want to stress him.  Place the pan into an oven pre-heated to a toasty 350 degrees.  Do not cover.  Leave him naked.  Roast for about 30 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the beet’s freshly oiled skin.  Plug your ears so you don’t hear the tiny blood curdling scream coming from the roasting beet. 

When tender remove from oven. 

Serve whole to your eager guests.  They can slice the beet in half and eat like a baked potato.  The skin is optional. 

Any root vegetable will love this spa experience.  And your guests will love the results. 

(This whole veggie Spa thing is creeping me out.  If it makes you feel less squeamish follow this:  Take a beet, scrub it under some water, dry it off, rub olive oil on it, throw it in the oven at 350 degrees for about ½ hour, take out when tender and eat.) 

Another hint:  add delicious sexy roasted beets to hummus for a terrific treat. 

Sexy Veggie Spa Blog written by Glenna Moe, Kansas City Dietitian