Whether you’re 21 or over 50, your health is important. And what supports a healthy body more—inside and out—than the foods you eat? The recipes in FoodTrients: Age-Defying Recipes for a Sustainable Life are designed to make good food that is loaded with anti-aging ingredients a joy to eat. Here’s a primer to help you maximize your enjoyment with your new FoodTrients cookbook.
What Is a FoodTrient?
Wholesome foods have nutrients our bodies need to maintain optimum function. The recipes in the cookbook and on the website are presented around an organizing principle I call FoodTrients™—26 powerful nutrients that promote health, wellness and longevity.
I have determined five categories of FoodTrients™ that are essential to age-defying and healthful living. Specially designed logos represent each category and are indicated with every recipe, summarizing its healthful properties. By incorporating these properties in your everyday diet, you are more likely to look and feel younger, have more energy, and improve your mood and mind. Who knew that the right foods in sufficient amounts could do so much good for your body? Now we have the science to prove it.
In time, a healthy lifestyle and a diet loaded with FoodTrients™ could add 10, even 20, years to your life. Take a look at the benefits that FoodTrients™ provide:
Anti-inflammatory: Reduces inflammation process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce the risk of long-term disease.
Antioxidant: Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Disease-Preventing: Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.
Mind and Beauty: Encourages vibrant skin and hair and improves mood and mental agility.
A Word About Ingredients
My recipes are made with whole foods. This means that I have used ingredients that are unprocessed and unrefined to maximize their nutritional benefits. Whenever possible, I buy organic, seasonal foods. I use fresh fruits, vegetables, and spices instead of canned, frozen, or dried varieties; grass-fed beef instead of grain-fed beef; free-range, hormone-free poultry instead of farmed; fresh fish instead of frozen; low fat or nonfat dairy products; and butter and sugar substitutes. Combining preservative-free foods that contain age-defying attributes with delicious, easy-to-make recipes is a sure path to achieving a joyful, sustainable life!
These days, wholesome foods are more available than they were even a few years ago. You can find them in supermarkets, health food and ethnic food stores, food coops, at farmer’s markets, and through Internet searches.
I am constantly creating recipes that are built on the foundations of modern scientific research and ancient knowledge of medicinal herbs and natural ingredients from cultures all around the world. In my cookbook, you will learn the health benefits of many familiar and unfamiliar ingredients and how to incorporate them in easy-to-follow recipes. Some of the more unusual ingredients – bitter melon, acaí juice, chia, hemp milk, jackfruit, moringa and others — may be unfamiliar to you, but my family has used them in our cooking for generations. They are gaining recognition for their flavor and healthful properties even as this book goes to press.
I use a butter substitute when I make desserts to cut down on the saturated fat. I prefer Smart Balance 50/50 Butter Blend for its taste and ease with cooking.
Many people depend on sugar substitutes to cut calories from their drinks and desserts, but the majority of them are made from unnatural ingredients. There are many natural sugar substitutes on the market, such as Emerald Forest, Xylitol, and Just Like Sugar, but I use an all-natural product, Whey Low Gold brown sugar substitute, which you can purchase online. This blend of simple sugars is derived from whey—the watery part of milk that separates from the curds in the process of making cheese. It tastes exactly like sugar, is perfect for baking, and you use less of it than other sugar substitutes to achieve the same results. You can find it online.
Testing for Doneness
As a basic rule, food safety experts recommend using an instant-read thermometer—readily available at markets and cookware shops—to check the doneness of poultry and meat. For chicken, the thermometer should read 170º F for white meat and 180º F for dark meat. For beef, cook to 125º F for rare, 145º F for medium-rare, 160º F for medium, and 180–195º F for well-done. To test the doneness of fish, I usually wait until the fish breaks into clean flakes when pressed. Some cooks rely more on other, low-tech methods to test for doneness: for chicken juices to run clear or for the fish to look opaque, for example. Regardless, your goal is to find the right combination of taste and food safety.
Certain acidic fruits—cranberries, strawberries, and mango—require nonreactive cookware, such as copper or enamel-coated cast iron, to keep the acid they produce from interacting with the metal. If you have only aluminum cookware, here’s a neat trick my mother taught me: drop a cleaned penny into the pot. The copper in the penny will keep the acid from reacting with the aluminum. Just remember to remove the penny before serving!