July 2009

July 1, 2009 in 2009 by Webmaster

July: In this Issue

Special Days and Monthly Celebrations

Grandma really enjoys celebrations and special days; so each month she will share a few ideas that she thinks are interesting.

Good Health Can Be Yummy

Recipes and thoughts on making food taste good and build healthy bodies. Read more…

Pure and Simple News

Research summaries and what it could mean to us.

Making it Happen

Hints and recipes for applying nutrition to everyday life.

Special Days and Monthly Celebrations

Memories of Leisure Gatherings, Enjoyable Conversations and Good Food

July has a wealth of days for remembering and celebrating.

Right off we’re into the Independence Day weekend, marking the beginning of our great country. I’m very proud to be an American. Since July is Blueberries Month it’s perfect for a red, white and blue dessert, see Making It Happen section.

Freedom Week: July 4 – 10
Hot Enough for Ya Day: July 23
Dog Days July 3 – August 11

Topped off with National Ice Cream Day: July19 (see recipe for Dr. Grandma’s Sorbet – Cold Refreshing Strawberries on a Spoon (celebrate without milk fat or sugar) in the Making It Happen section. This is a nice recipe to prepare for your guests who are trying to manage their weight or diabetes.

Some lists include National Beach Month in July – since I grew up in Southern California, the beach holds many happy memories, and of course, was never limited to July.

If you want to celebrate Cheesecake day, July 30 look at the May 2009 Dr. Grandma’s Newsletter posted on the website for the recipe Sweet Bliss Cheesecake with a Conscience.

In addition to the patriotic summer celebrations above, there are quite a few to celebrate with your family and loved ones:

National Parent’s Day July 26th; Family Reunion Month; National Hug Your Kid Day July 20th; National Make A Difference to Children Month; National Share a Sunset with Your Love Month; Spooners Day July 22; Cousins Day July 24th.

And last but not least is Gorgeous Grandma Day July 23rd

I’m not one of those physically ‘gorgeous grandmas’, but the grandchildren don’t seem to care. Certainly some are too young to know ‘gorgeous,’ and some only know that this old woman – their grandma, loves them. I think that I’m in a large population of ordinary-looking grandmas with extraordinarily-gorgeous, intelligent, talented grandchildren, who share a great love of one another; I am grateful and tickled to be in those relationships.

Good Health Can Be Yummy

Recipes and thoughts on making food taste good, while building healthy bodies.

Do you plan on inviting guests to your summer gathering who have diabetes or are watching their weight? It’s so thoughtful to provide something that they can enjoy without abandoning their resolve. The following recipe for sorbet is an easy, refreshing and delicious way to say, “I care about you” to those who need to stay away from high fat, high sugar desserts, but dearly loved frozen desserts. Be sure to make enough; you may discover, as I have, that everyone else wants it too.

Cold Refreshing Strawberries on a Spoon

You can use freshly picked strawberries or those that you’ve frozen or purchased frozen.

½ cup Doctor Grandma’s Zero-calorie Sweetener
1 ¾ tsp. gelatin or 1 packet gelatin
½ cup water (divided)
4 cups of crushed strawberries (about 2 pounds)
4 tsp. lemon juice

Sprinkle gelatin in ¼ cup cold water. Set aside.

Mix Dr. Grandma’s sweetener and ¼ cup water in a saucepan. Boil for a couple of minutes until completely dissolved. Pour sweetener syrup into a bowl.

Bring gelatin to a boil for a couple of minutes.

If you use frozen berries, defrost until easy to blend. Blend the strawberries and lemon juice until smooth. Add the gelatin and sweetener mixtures and blend for a minute.

Chill if not cold. If you use partially frozen berries, you may skip this step.

Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Note: I use a gel ice cream maker that you keep in the freezer – no ice and no salt needed.

Patriotic Star Berry Cake

Make the Strawberry Shortcake recipe with the Muffins Your Way (Doctor Grandma’s whole wheat muffin mix. The recipe is included with the mix.

Bake it in an 8 X 8 inch square baking dish for 16-20 minutes at 400ºF, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

When the cake is cool, top with fat-free whipped topping or white frosting of your choice. Arrange the strawberries in a five-point star and fill the middle space with blueberries.

This cake is a taste surprise for those who aren’t used to what Dr. Grandma’s™ can do with whole wheat and no added sugar.

Strawberry Jupels

First, a funny little story. One very hot summer day some years ago, it seemed to me that it was time for a little break from work. So I called up the stairs to Victor’s study, where he was working, “Would you like a Strawberry-Mint Jupel? I was a little surprised that all he did was laugh. OK, I admit it, I’ve never had a Mint Julep – and, yes, I was completely twisted up on the name (getting ‘twisted up’ is not a fully uncommon occurrence in my life.) I finally established what I had in mind; and he said ‘yes.’ When I served this sugar-free slushy cold drink, it was so refreshing that we’ve continued to have Strawberry-Mint Jupels each summer.

1. Boil ¼ cup of Delight™ with 1 cup of water until the sweetener is dissolved. (Takes just about 1 minute).
2. In a food processor or blender, blend 2 cups of ice, 1 cup of water and the Delight/water syrup you just boiled.
3. Add 6 – 8 large frozen strawberries and 3 – 4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice and 6 mint leaves. (Certainly, you can use fresh strawberries.)

Aside from being funny, refreshing and tasty, the concept of making an extremely low-calorie drink to substitute for fruit juice is worth your effort.

In the Tufts On-line Newsletter, May 2009 they report “cutting back on sugar-sweetened sodas may be more effective for weight loss than skipping the same amount of calories in solid food.” They reported on a study that showed that for each daily 12-ounce serving of sugared drink (whether high fructose corn syrup or sugar) that was eliminated from the diet led to one pound of weight loss over six months.

They state that at least half of the calories that have been added to the typical US diet over the past 30 years have come from beverages.

Pure and Simple News

Hints for managing weight while enjoying summer party eating.

Summer is a perfect time to have a healthy diet – all you need are good recipes and a few hints.

Summer is a great time to focus on feeling better and eating healthily; one nice thing about summer is that most people have a lower threshold for satiety – you feel full sooner and easier, when the weather is hot. It’s more satisfying to have salads, fruits and light meals in the summer.

Hints for eating at a summer gathering:

1. Scan the table

* What’s available?
* Are there vegetables that you can fill up on?
* Are there salads that you add your own dressing?
* If you have a choice of dressings, choose the vinaigrette (usually
lower in calories, but high in flavor) instead of the creamy dressings.
* Are there whole grains?

If you’re the cook, I’d like to share a website that I’ve recently discovered: www.justvegetablerecipes.com. I’ve already used one of their unique recipes for Victor’s birthday. It’s a great way to try new vegetables. I believe that some people don’t care for vegetables because they have always been served plain vegetables, often overcooked or mushy. Being creative and a bit adventurous can pay off ‘big-time’ in your quest for improved health.

2. Limit meat portion, especially red meat

If your choice is red meat (beef or pork), try 1/3 or ½ of your usual portion. If possible, skip the processed meat (sausages, hot dogs, ham etc). These raise your risk of cancer.

3. Don’t consume the starchy foods (potatoes, pasta, rolls, rice, corn, and beans) with wild abandon. Yes, these are excellent, nourishing foods, but not free foods – they do have calories.

4. Also, consider using less butter, sour cream, cheese, alfredo sauce; maybe try yogurt, salsa and marinara sauces instead.

5. High-fiber foods help you feel full and stay full longer.

* Beans, peas, lentils are good choices to include, but be careful with your portion size.
* Dark green vegetables – super healthy choices. Eat all you can. Things like: Broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale
* Whole grains. You don’t want to eat unlimited amounts like the dark
greens above, but they can be an excellent food to help you feel full,
and to ’round out’ your meal.
– Wheat berries
– Brown rice
– Whole grain pasta
– Whole grain bread and rolls

6. Dessert

* Strawberry shortcake, or whatever berries or fresh sliced peaches you have on hand (maybe served with delicious Strawberry Shortcake recipe in the Dr. Grandma’s Muffins Your Way package (only 80 calories each, whole grain, no saturated fat, and no added sugar).
* Watermelon, or other melons are always a summer hit.
* Pies, cookies, cake, etc (generally lots of fat and sugar) BE CAREFUL!
* Maybe bring your own dessert or let your host know that you’re limiting
your intake of high sugar, high-fat foods; maybe they’ll provide a
fruit-based dessert. (See Cold Refreshing Strawberries on a Spoon
recipe in this newsletter)
* Frozen fruit or fresh fruit beat a slice of cake or pie any day. It
seems as though the fruit trays that I put out vanish in a twinkling of
an eye. Kiwi, melons, pineapple, and berries, just spell sweet, light,
refreshing summer treat – and they look beautiful too.

Making it Happen

Hints and recipes for applying nutrition to everyday life.

Easy healthy recipes for the sizzling ‘dog days’ of summer.

Many families are not going on extravagant and costly summer vacations this year. Possibly some creative ideas can help summer be educational and fun without breaking the budget.

You can make your ‘travel quest’ as involved or simple as you desire. You could do Internet research about a country, or go to the library. Maybe decorate the table with the colors of the country’s flag. How about appreciating the flavors of other lands, while enjoying the benefits of a healthy new menu item? You can build a menu and make meals that introduce the flavor of that country. It could be fun and certainly tasty. Sometimes we’re tempted to use foods that we think of as traditional (e.g. pizza for Italy, or gyros for Greece), but we’re not always exposed to the flavors from the herbs and spices that are traditionally used in that country.

The following recipes are all wheat berry salads; most of the recipes introduce the flavors of other countries with an American twist.


1. An easy way to try several recipes is to make a large batch of wheat berries and store them in the refrigerator for 6 days or freeze in sealed containers for up to 6 months. This takes the time-consuming step out of the process – you’re ready for the ‘putting-it-together stage, which is quick for most of the recipes.

2. If your family enjoys balsamic vinegar, substitute it for the red wine vinegar or citrus juice; or make a blend of red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar.

Mediterranean Shrimp and Wheat Berry Salad

Mediterranean Shrimp and Wheat Berry Salad2 cups cooked wheat berries
1 pound shrimp, peeled, cooked, de-veined
¾ cup cubed cucumber with peels on
¾ cup green onions and/or chives, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
3 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley leaves
1 diced red bell pepper
1 cup frozen green peas (thaw during preparation)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients.

Quick Wheat Berries and Vegetable Salad

This is a recipe that provides dark greens and whole grains – a nutritious powerhouse lunch or dinner.

2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small summer squash, diced
¾ cup diced tomato
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1 cup spinach leaves, rolled together tightly and sliced very thinly
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 small carrot, grated
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cooked cool wheat berries
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients. You can add chicken, turkey, shrimp, tuna, salmon, or other fish if you prefer.

Near East Flavored Salad

Fruity Chicken and Wheat Berries


½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup orange marmalade
½ cup Greek Yogurt or sour cream
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. coriander
2 tbsp. chopped yellow onion
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cups cooked cold wheat berries
2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
2 cups of Granny Smith or other salad apples, cubed
½ cup raisins
Spring greens
Slivered almonds

Stir all dressing ingredients together and set aside.
Mix wheat berries, chicken, apples and raisins. Add dressing and toss.
Serve on spring greens and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

Greek Garden Wheat Berry Salad

½ cups chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3 tbs. of oil from sun-dried tomatoes jar
3 cups of cooked cool wheat berries
1 cup minced red onion
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
8 oz. crumbled Feta cheese
½ cup chopped basil
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 oz. thinly sliced baby spinach leaves

Toss all ingredients.

Exotic Indian Wheat Berry Salad


½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. lime juice
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. tumeric powder
1 clove minced garlic
¼ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. ginger powder or 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
¼ tsp. salt


2 ½ cup Wheat Berries
1 cup diced potato
1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
½ cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup defrosted frozen peas
4 oz. diced green chilies

½ cup chopped roasted peanuts

Mix dressing ingredients. Add to other ingredients and toss. Serve and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Portuguese Wheat Berry Salad


1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper


2 cups cooked cold wheat berries
1 large Granny Smith or other tangy salad apple, cored and diced
1 large ripe avocado (peeled and sliced)
1 tbsp. chopped red pepper
1 cup defrosted frozen peas
2 cups romaine lettuce, rolled and sliced thinly
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped coarsely
1/2 lb. shrimp, cooked, peeled, de-veined, tails removed and cut into bite-sized pieces

Mix dressing ingredients and set aside. Mix wheat berries, apple, avocado, pepper, peas, shrimp and eggs in a bowl. Add the dressing to the wheat berry mixture and mix together.

Cantonese Wheat Berry Salad


3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. sesame seeds toasted in a non-stick skillet
1 tbsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. Dr. Grandma’s Delight
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 clove minced garlic


2 ½ cups of cooked cool wheat berries
1 cup diced red pepper
½ cup diced green pepper
2 green onions, sliced
½ cup sliced white mushrooms
1/3 cup defrosted frozen peas
1 cup cooked cubed chicken
½ cup roasted cashews

Mix the dressing ingredients well and set aside. Sprinkle dressing on other ingredients and toss.

Mexican Wheat Berry Salad


1 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 cup lime juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tbsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper


1 cup defrosted frozen corn kernels
3 cups of diced tomatoes
2 large avocados, diced
3 tbsp. diced Ortega chilies
3 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 cups cooked cool wheat berries
1 ½ cups drained black beans

Mix together the dressing ingredients; set aside.

Gently toss all ingredients with the dressing. Serve at room temperature, or chilled.

Italian Wheat Berry Salad


4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic minced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp. black pepper


2 cups cooked cool wheat berries
2 diced canned artichoke hearts
2 tbsp. capers
1/3 cup sliced button mushrooms
6 oz. drained light tuna
½ cup coarsely chopped black olives
1/3 cup defrosted frozen peas
1 cup diced tomato
1/3 cup cubed fresh mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup diced green pepper
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil

Mix the dressing ingredients and set aside. Pour dressing over other ingredients and toss.

Colorful Moroccan Wheat Berry Salad

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ large eggplant – sliced into ½ inch rounds and quartered into wedges
1 red pepper, seeded and quartered
1 yellow onion
3 patty pan squash – quartered
2 cups of butternut squash, peeled and cut into bit-sized pieces
1/3 cup chicken stock
2 cups of wheat berries
2 tbsp. raisins
2 tbsp. slivered almonds
1 cup drained garbanzo beans


2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. minced garlic
¼ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint

Toss eggplant, red pepper, onion, patty pan and butternut squash in oil to coat. Wrap vegetables in foil and roast for 20 minutes in 400ºF oven. Remove the foil and continue baking at 425ºF until lightly browned.

While vegetables are roasting, bring chicken stock to boil. Pour stock over wheat berries.

Mix dressing ingredients and set aside.

When the vegetables are finished, remove the skin from the red pepper and slice the flesh.

Gently toss the remaining ingredients, with the cooled roasted vegetables and dressing.

Chill for an hour.

French Wheat Berry Salad


½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. blended tarragon leaves
1 tsp. chopped dill
1 tsp marjoram
1 tbsp. chopped lemon basil

3 cups of cooked cool wheat berries
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup defrosted frozen peas
¾ cup diced celery
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
½ cup chopped green olives

Mix the dressing and set aside.

Pour dressing over the wheat berry mixture, and toss gently.