May 2009

May 1, 2009 in 2009 by Webmaster

May: 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

Need a few more excuses and suggestions for enjoying celebrations and special days? Here are Dr. Grandma’s tips for the merry month of May.

Mother Goose Day – May 1

Mother Goose collected lots of rhymes;
some of them about bare cupboards, crooked miles, bed bugs, and puppy
dog tails. But I like this one that I repeated frequently as a child:

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

My wish is that all mothers (grandmothers, step-mothers, adopted mothers, mother figures, and so on) will have a gratifying sense of the significance of the love and joy that they provide. I hope that Mother’s Day will bring thoughts that brighten your days and warm your heart.

Mother’s Day – May 10

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust

It’s not always the really big gift that makes a lasting memory. Families can do something for mom to remind her that her thoughtfulness is appreciated; some little thing… maybe a note, a coupon to do a chore or project for her, or a special dessert or meal. Look in the Making It Happen Section below for Sweet Bliss Cheesecake with a Conscience and Zingy Zany Zucchini Cake for some Mother’s Day dessert ideas.

If Mother’s Day is not enough to bring everyone together with smiles and hugs, maybe one of these holidays will do it:

National Smile Month and National Hug Holiday Week: May 3 – 9

May is Creative Beginnings Month and Family Wellness Month

It seems to me that these two go together. A thought to move creatively toward improved family wellness is worthy of consideration. Just living in our society offers frequent opportunities for meals that detract from wellness. If your family is striving to consume more vegetables, for example, one suggestion could be to try a new vegetable or two each week. Take a few moments to look for recipes that sound delicious. Pick out some vegetables that you don’t ordinarily use. Be creative, think of the ideas that are likely to work with your family’s tastes and preferences.

The following is an idea that I used this past month. I make roasted vegetables as a regular dinner item. It’s not exactly a recipe; I just take sliced sweet bell peppers, potatoes or yams (with the skins on), and onions; toss them all in extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with herbs (like basil and oregano leaves) and a slight sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then I put them on a cookie sheet with edges then into a 400°F oven. I turn them a bit about every 15 or 20 minutes.My creative new introduction of additional vegetables into our diet used the same cooking method, only I added eggplant (cut into ¾ inch slices) and beet roots (with the tops removed, but not peeled). It may take about 45 minutes until they are fork tender. We’re talking absolutely yummy – and my repertoire of vegetable recipes has grown.

Memorial Day – May 25
Neighbor Day – May 24

Memorial Day is not only a day to remember with a sense of gratitude, those who have gone before us; it is also a three-day holiday to gather with those who presently enrich our lives. Maybe those are neighbors, friends or relatives.

If you’re bringing something to a potluck gathering, one possible creative idea would be zucchini whole wheat mini muffins. Dr. Grandma’s Muffins Your Way takes almost all the work out of the mixing. This is a very creative way to add vegetables to a vegetable-resistant crowd. Seriously, when people pop those naturally sweetened (no added sugar) moist little mini muffins into their mouths; they’re not thinking ‘vegetables.’ Make with or without added nuts. One packet makes 36 mini-muffins or 12 standard-sized muffins.

Good Health Can Be Yummy

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

Sweetening drinks and baked goods has often been the subject when I write about the benefits of Dr. Grandma’s Delight Sweetener. Today I’d like to share with you some creative ideas about using naturally sweetened Greek yogurt in recipe development.

When the Dr. Grandma’s company first started, the MDs, dietitians, and others who ate pancakes were surprised that Dr. Grandpa and I did not use syrup or butter on our pancakes. We are often creative when it comes to food. We enjoy yogurt and berries on our pancakes. If putting yogurt on pancakes, sounds unusual, well, read on for a moment. Many people don’t care for drinking fresh milk, so it may be a benefit for them to take a second look at yogurt and how the benefits of milk can be gained without some of the problems.

Some of the problems of using commercial yogurt are:

1. The fat in milk, and therefore, in yogurt is saturated. That’s the kind of fat that our bodies use to make LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff).
2. Commercial yogurt is often sweetened with artificial sweeteners or with
empty calorie-laden, cavity causing, and blood sugar raising sugar.
Neither option is optimal.
3. Some people are dissuaded from the commercial yogurts because of all
the additives, stabilizers, food colorings, flavors and so on.

Buy Doctor Grandma’s DelightWhen Dr. Grandpa and I were in Greece last year, learning a bit about the Mediterranean Diet, we noticed how rich, thick and creamy the Greek yogurt was. We were so pleasantly surprised to learn that Greek-style Yogurt is being produced in the US. What’s so different about it? It is essentially strained – some of the whey is removed. That’s what gives it the thick, rich, creamy consistency.

I use the nonfat version – 0% Fage brand (Pronounced “fah-yeh”) and love it. What a boon to recipes that call for sour cream, cream cheese or yogurt. Many of the American Style yogurts, have a somewhat watery texture – that is not the case with Greek-style yogurt.

Benefits of including zero-fat Greek-style yogurt in your diet are:

1. If you choose a nonfat version, you don’t have to worry about the artery-clogging cholesterol, or the 9 calories from each and every gram of fat glomming onto your waistline.
2. If you sweeten yogurt with Dr. Grandma’s Sweetener, you don’t need to
worry about the cavities, calories, blood sugar or concerns about
artificial ingredients. It’s perfect for diabetics, those concerned
with weight management and those that just want to reduce their intake
of nutrient-empty calories.
3. When you choose a nonfat yogurt, you increase your intake of protein,
calcium and other minerals, and all the vitamins in milk – without the
4. When you choose a yogurt made with live beneficial bacterial
(probiotics) you contribute to a healthy gut. If you’ve been on an
antibiotic or are naturally susceptible to intestinal ‘bugs,’ maybe the
use of yogurt made with active culture will be a benefit to you.
5. Some people with lactose intolerance can eat yogurt made with live
active bacteria. It is thought that the live bacteria help digest the
lactose that cause the problems with fresh milk and some of the other
dairy products.

Dr. Grandma’s Pancakes with Yogurt and Strawberry Sauce

1. Strawberry and Yogurt Topped Whole Wheat PancakesMake Dr. Grandma’s Pancakes as directed on package.
2. Sweeten yogurt:
Mix 1/3 cup 0% Fage Yogurt per serving
2 teaspoons Dr. Grandma’s Delight All-natural Zero-Calorie Sweetener (or to your desired sweetness.)
3. Strawberry Sauce:
Defrost frozen strawberries in microwavable bowl
until defrosted. Or use fresh strawberries. Put strawberries in the
blender with Dr. Grandma’s Delight Sweetener. Blend for a few seconds,
until smooth.
4. Spread Yogurt on warm pancakes and pour on strawberry sauce.

Pure and Simple News

More information helping you stay in shape and stay healthy.

Sticky problems with sweeteners

Because we naturally enjoy sweetness, and sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are cheap, it’s almost as if we have unlimited opportunities for sweet eating. Neither sugar nor HFCS provide vitamins, minerals, protein, fats, or fiber – only empty calories and the ability to send your blood sugar and triglycerides skyrocketing. If the empty calories from sugar and HFCS replace the nutritious foods that you should be consuming, you can become malnourished. Or if the empty calories from sugar and HFCS are consumed in addition to a nourishing well-balanced diet, then it is likely that the individual will have a weight problem, unless they can exercise enough to burn off the extra calories. Because of this problem many people are looking for a healthy sugar-free and calorie-free sweetener, or natural sugar substitute and that’s what Dr. Grandma’s Delight essentially is – a healthy sugar, or as some call it, a healthy diet sugar.

A few weeks ago I attended a local dietitian meeting for two days. I was surprised to learn how few dietitians were familiar with erythritol and its benefits. This month I will share a little more information about erythritol.

Eleven reasons why Dr. Grandma’s chose erythritol and fruit extracts to sweeten our products?

1. The first reason is that erythritol is natural – that is, it’s found in nature. It naturally exists in a large number of fruits and vegetables.
2. Second, the concern about erythritol’s side effects has a simple
answer. It is well tolerated in the digestive tract. There are a
number of other, so called sugar alcohols or polyols; the list includes
sorbitol, xylitol and mannitol. These unfortunately, cause flatulence
(gas or bloating) and diarrhea. The reason that erythritol does not
cause the discomfort and unpleasant side effects of the other polyols
is that it is metabolized in a different way. It is rapidly removed
from the body’s bloodstream through the kidneys and ultimately the
urine, not the intestines where the other polyols cause trouble.
3. Erythritol does not affect blood sugar or affect insulin, so it’s safe for diabetics and those concerned about glycemic load.
4. A very powerful reason for our selection, is the almost no calories –
0.2 calories per gram (that’s 95% less than sugar and other
carbohydrates). Our company has its foundation in providing products
designed for diabetics and those wanting to eat a healthier, natural
diet that will support weight loss and weight management.
5. Erythritol doesn’t have an unusual flavor. It is just sweet like sugar.
6. Dr. Grandma’s strives to support keeping the sugar consumption down for
the grandchildren. Erythritol cannot be metabolized by oral bacteria,
and that means that it is tooth-friendly.
7. The seventh reason is that it adds bulk to recipes almost exactly like sugar.
8. It can be boiled, baked and cooked without altering it’s sweetness.
9. Yahoo! Erythritol is on the FDA’s GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe)
List. Erythritol has been safely consumed by humans for thousands of
10. The method to extract the erythritol from the fruits or vegetables has
been safely used for thousands of years for human consumption.
11. Dr. Grandma’s chose GRAS Listed fruit extracts to bring the sweetness
of the erythritol, which is only 70% as sweet as sugar, up to 100% as
sweet as sugar.
12. Dr. Grandma’s Delight Sweetener measures cup for cup like sugar, so you
can adapt your favorite sugar-containing recipes. You don’t need to
look for erythritol recipes because of this ‘cup for cup’ feature.

Three facts to know about erythritol:

1. Don’t eat really large amounts of erythritol at one sitting. It is possible to pass some of it into the intestine and get the effects that other polyols cause, the ‘tummy problems,’ if you eat enough. Consider moderation. If you eat enough fruit, you can get a ‘tummy ache’ too. As related to erythritol dangers, this is the only possibility that I know of.
2. Don’t use our sweetener to start your yeast breads – yeast are hungry
little single-celled critters. They need the calories from sugar to
make air bubbles rise in your bread. Erythritol doesn’t have the
calories they need.
3. Don’t try to make caramel candy with our sweetener. Caramelizing is one thing erythritol can’t do.

My hint is to use the calories that you save from not eating sugar to consume nourishing foods designed by nature to keep your body healthy. Strive to include fruits, vegetables and whole grains.