Posts Tagged ‘berries’

by David Grotto, RDN

What do you do when a polar vortex blows through Chicago on Super Bowl Sunday? Make pancakes!

I really don’t need a lame weather excuse to make pancakes for my family – it’s one of our fave breakfast meals. But today I wanted to jazz them up a bit with the latest in the line from Hooray Puree – Sweet Potato! Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A and are so good for you.


This product is 100% organic sweet potato and nothing else added. Each box contains 2 packets and each packet is equivalent to two vegetable servings. I love the “no-brainer” approach that Hooray Puree offers to increase vegetables by simply tossing it in to your favorite dishes. Pancake mix turns out to work quite well with this product.


I love Kodiak brand pancake mix. Actually, I screwed up and bought the buttermilk pancake mix version instead of the whole grain mix. Regardless, this turned out AWESOME. But I will try it using the whole grain mix the next time we make it. It was really simple to put together and my family loved it. Then I topped off the pancakes with a delicious berry mix – it doesn’t really need maple syrup but we like adding real maple syrup to just about anything – just like Buddy the elf! Ha!

Without further ado, here is the recipe. Let me know what you think.

Servings: 2 ( A serving = 2 large pancakes)


1 cup water
1 packet Hooray Puree Sweet Potato
1 cup Kodiak pancake mix
1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Spice mix
2 tsp. Nielsen-Massey vanilla sugar (can substitute regular sugar and add 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)
1 smashed, ripe banana, medium

Tuscan Triple Berry
1/2 cup Blackberries
1/2 cup Raspberries
1/2 cup POM Pomegranate Arils
2 tbsp Red wine
2 tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla sugar (can substitute regular sugar and add 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)


Pancakes: Spray non-stick cooking spray onto a large skillet or griddle. Preheat over medium high heat. Whisk all ingredients together until smooth in a medium bowl. When griddle is hot, pour 1/4th on the mixture in. Cook until bubbles appear at the top. Lift pancake slightly to see if well-browned. Flip pancake over and cook until done. Add butter or Benecol light margarine, if desired

Tuscan Triple Berry: Rinse blackberries and raspberries then add to medium mixing bowl. Add POM arils to other berries. Add wine and sugar to berry mixture and fold until berries are well coated. Top pancakes with 1/2 of the mixture.



Here’s my weekly post on WebMD! This week it’s all about three yummy dishes you can eat throughout Thanksgiving day that are amazing good tasting as they are good for you! Please try them and let me know what you think. Of course, I’d love to try some of your favorite holiday recipes, too! Got any for me??

By David Grotto, RD, LDN aka “The Guyatitian”

Nobody likes a party pooper. Especially one of them there high and mighty, judgmental nutrition-types who would never be caught eating your triple-fudge holiday death bars (until nobody was watching) if their life depended on it. Maybe that’s why I don’t get invited to parties anymore?

Truth be told, I (and most of my colleagues) stopped being the food Gestapo a long, long time ago. We realized that for good habits to be sustainable, diets must include your favorite foods (healthy or not), especially around the holidays. Of course, our mission is to prove to you that “healthy” and “favorites” can co-exist as one. Well, tasting is believing, my friend. So for this blog post, I give you three holiday recipes that my family loves and craves.

Sharon’s Simple Berry Sauce*

Serve over pancakes, waffles, French toast, Thanksgiving turkey or anything that you want to taste “berry-good”!

Servings: 4

Prep time and cooking time: 35 minutes


1-10 ounce package frozen mixed organic berries

¼ cup agave syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

A pinch of salt


Place frozen berry blend. Agave syrup, vanilla extract and salt into a sauce pan. Cook over low heat until frozen berries are defrosted. Bring to boil. Let simmer, uncovered until sauce becomes think – about 20-30 minutes.

Calories: 95; Fat: 0gm; Cholesterol: 0gm; Saturated fat: 0gm; Trans fat: 0gm, Sodium: 75mg; Sugars: 21gm Protein: 0 gm; Fiber: 1 gm; Total carbs: 24gm

Click here to see the rest of the article featured on WedMD!

* Recipes excerpted with permission from 101 Foods That Can Save Your Life Bantam Books 2007.

10 Best Superfoods for Men

You’ve heard that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach — so is the way to a healthier body. In light of June being Men’s Health Month, here’s a list of 10 superfoods he should eat daily.

1. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and the plant substance known as lycopene — great for heart and prostate health.

2. Broccoli is rich in natural cancer-fighting chemicals and loaded with heart-healthy, immunity-building nutrients such as vitamins A, C and folate — a B vitamin found to protect against heart disease. Preparation tip: Steam broccoli to help preserve vital antioxidants.

3. Salmon — whether smoked, canned, fresh-caught or frozen — is an excellent source of omega-3 fats, which help reduce inflammation and improve cholesterol.

4. Berries are “berry” good sources of nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium and anthocyanins, which are known to fight heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Rich in fiber and low in calories, berries taste great in salads or over breakfast cereal. Pick a color, any color!

5. Soy may boost prostate and bone health, research reveals. The Food and Drug Administration has also approved a claim that products made from soybeans, including meat substitutes and beverages, help improve heart health.

6. Olive oil is rich in oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid that boosts heart health. It also enhances the absorption of lycopene (found in tomatoes), which may be helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer.

7. Nuts contain fiber, healthy fats and plant nutrients called phytosterols, which are known to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. In a study featured in the medical journal Circulation, researchers found that eating a handful of almonds (about 1 ounce) daily reduced LDL by about three percent.

8. Green tea packs a group of antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds may decrease plaque formation in the arteries and help fight prostate cancer cells.

9. Red wine contains a super antioxidant called resveratrol, found in the skins and seeds of grapes. Experts claim resveratrol assists in reducing LDL cholesterol and also helps in keeping the inside lining of the arteries that feed the heart more resistant to atherosclerosis, a.k.a. hardening of the arteries. Enjoy up to two 5-ounce servings a day, the American Heart Association suggests.

10. Whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, whole-grain breads and cereals may enhance immunity, reduce cholesterol and protect against a variety of cancers. The 2010 dietary guidelines recommend adult men consume six to eight one-ounce servings daily, with at least half of the grains being whole.

Food should be your primary source of nutrients, but most guys don’t eat an optimal diet every day. Your backup plan: take a multivitamin. Choose one designed for men’s needs. It should pack eleven milligrams of zinc and 600 IUs of vitamin D, two important players in prostate health. Since guys don’t menstruate, don’t worry about iron.

For more tailored advice on proper diet and supplementation, see a registered dietitian. All men may not be created equal — but they all have the potential to be super!

Author David Grotto is a FitStudio advisory board member, registered dietitian and the founder and president of Nutrition Housecall. He is the author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life and 101 Optimal Life Foods. He served as a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association for more than six years.



Dear Guyatitian:

Are brown rice cakes and puffed brown rice cereal considered whole grain?  They only have 1 gram of fiber, but their puffed so you eat more.  Just curious.

Annie from Chicago


Dear Annie

Puffed brown rice is a whole grain. However, the puffing process changes the rice in a few ways.

 “Glycemic index” is a method of determining the effect of a specifc food on blood glucose (sugar). The higher the number, the greater the effect (in theory). Cooked brown rice, for example, has a glycemic index(GI) of 55. Once the rice is puffed and turned into cereal or rice cakes, the GI shoots up to 78. So for those who may be more ‘carb sensitive’, puffed rice by itself may not be the best choice.

Though only 60 calories a cup, it’s pretty much void of nutrition. There’s a smidge of potassium, a sprinkle of iron and a few traces of b vitamins such as thiamin and niacin.

Apart from that, I think there isn’t much whole grain goodness to get excited about  after the rice has been puffed. And in my experience, my patients are often STARVING an hour later if that is all that they had to eat.

If you are going to eat them, I would strongly advise pairing up your puffs with milk (cow or soy have the most protein) and perhaps top with berries and nuts and have an egg on the side. That breakfast might stick to your ribs for a while and provide much need nutrition that the rice puffs alone don’t deliver. Enjoy!

Ciao and Chow

The Guyatitian

Got a question for the guyatitian? Hit me up in the comments section or contact me through the contact page at the top of the blog.