Blog Posts by The Editors of EatingWell Magazine

  • 4 healthy pasta salad secrets

    EatingWell's Garden Pasta SaladEatingWell's Garden Pasta SaladSimple to make and easy to tote, pasta salad seems to have been invented for picnics, potlucks and backyard barbecues. But typical versions consist of white pasta drowning, often tastelessly, in a heavy mayonnaise dressing.

    Our challenge was to lighten the calorie load and boost flavor and nutrients in a classic pasta salad while keeping its creamy appeal. We started with a recipe featuring an aioli dressing (garlic mayonnaise) and bold Mediterranean flavors.

    Take a look at how much healthier we made the original recipe:

    EatingWell healthy pasta salad recipe

    How we did it:

    • Replacing regular mayonnaise with a mixture of the reduced-fat variety, low-fat yogurt and a splash of flavorful olive oil cut down the calories and saturated-fat content.
    • We replaced regular white pasta with whole-wheat pasta to add fiber.
    • We increased the proportion of colorful, crunchy vegetables like tomatoes, carrots and peppers and cut back on the pasta to allow for a generous serving size with
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  • Simple summer salads

    Caprese SaladCaprese SaladCrisp and cool, salads are ideal summer fare. We've developed 7 summer salad recipes, with colors that span the rainbow, pack in loads of antioxidants, fiber-rich vegetables and flavorful ripe fruit. Lean protein, such as chicken and shrimp, transforms easy sides into satisfying main courses. And the salads all take just minutes to prepare. Couscous & Fruit Salad is ready in just 15 minutes and is delicious as a light summer side or made more substantial with leftover cooked chicken for lunch to go.

    Here's the recipe:

    Couscous & Fruit SaladCouscous & Fruit SaladCouscous & Fruit Salad

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons orange juice
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    2 cups cooked whole-wheat couscous
    1 cup chopped nectarine
    1 cup mixed fresh berries, such as blueberries and raspberries
    2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds (see Tip)

    Whisk oil, orange juice, vinegar,

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  • Eat your chia pet?

    Move over, flax and hemp. The latest super seed to sprout on store shelves is ch-ch-ch-chia, a cousin of the seeds (Salvia columbariae) you once used to grow a crop of green hair atop your clay "pet." The chia seed now sold as a nutty topping for yogurts and salads and used in cereals, energy bars, even pastas, is a different variety called Salvia hispanica. This type of chia reportedly packs more alpha-linoleic acid, an omega-3 fat, than flaxseeds, and also provides fiber, antioxidants and even some calcium and iron. A member of the mint family that is abundant in Mexico and South America, chia was highly prized by the Aztecs, who believed it provided supernatural powers. Today, it's being touted for having cardiovascular benefits, reducing blood sugar levels and perhaps even squelching hunger pangs.

    Pros: In a 2007 Diabetes Care study of 20 people with type 2 diabetes, those who added about 4 tablespoons of Salba-a specific Salvia hispanica strain that's been cultivated for

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  • Can food make you faster?

    One of my favorite summer pastimes is riding my bike. I'm no Tour de France racer, but I like to log more than 1,000 miles over the summer and fit in at least one 100-mile ride.

    All that time on the bike (or in the winter on snowshoes, skis or running) means I have to pay more attention to what I eat to be able to have enough energy for my activity and the rest of my day. So I was really excited when EatingWell took on the topic of sports nutrition in our August 2008 issue. In "Eat to Win," author Brierley Wright interviews top Olympic athletes Dara Torres, Mary Lou Retton, Apolo Anton Ohno, Eric Vendt and more about what they eat and talks to nutritionists and researchers to uncover the keys to eating for athletic success.

    Read the full article or get a jump-start on your next workout with these power-packed breakfast recipes to fuel your day:

    Citrus Berry SmoothieCitrus Berry Smoothie

    Citrus Berry Smoothie: This meal-in-a-glass smoothie is bursting with berries and orange juice, healthful sources of

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  • Mad about eggplant

    When the Moors brought eggplant to Spain in the 12th century, Europeans believed that this "apple of madness" caused insanity, leprosy and bad breath. Why the bad rep? Guilt by association: eggplants, like tomatoes, belong to the same family of plants that includes highly toxic belladonna. That's likely why the shapely fruit (native to India and China) didn't catch on as a valuable food source in Europe until nearly 300 years after it was introduced. Today, cultures worldwide cherish the eggplant for its antioxidant-packed purple skin and satisfying meaty texture-which blends beautifully in many dishes. Don't think you like eggplant? This recipe has turned even the most ardent eggplant skeptics into believers (serve with toasted whole-wheat pita or pita chips):

    Baba Ganouj

    Baba GanoujBaba Ganouj2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each)
    4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    2 tablespoons tahini
    11/4 teaspoons salt
    Extra-virgin olive oil for garnish

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  • 3 secrets for healthy homemade ice cream

    Strawberry-Chocolate Ice CreamStrawberry-Chocolate Ice CreamThe heat of summer always inspires me to get out the ice cream maker. (I use an affordable Cuisinart model that's great. Check out our ice cream maker review if you're considering buying one.)

    Even though I love ice cream, I still want to keep it reasonable and healthy, so at EatingWell we created lower-fat (but still rich-tasting) basic vanilla and chocolate ice cream recipes this year.

    Our version has all the richness you'll need but about 90 fewer calories than store-bought premium ice cream and a whopping 15 grams less total fat and 10 grams less saturated fat per serving.

    How we made it healthy:

    • Used nonfat sweetened condensed milk and low-fat milk in place of heavy cream and whole milk
    • Eliminated 2 egg yolks
    • Added gelatin to keep it rich and creamy without adding extra fat

    Here's our simple master recipe for low-fat vanilla ice cream. (We have a chocolate version too.)

    Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

    1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

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  • The total-body benefits of berries

    When it comes to health, berries have a fabulous reputation. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, called anthocyanins, that may help keep memory sharp as you age, and raspberries contain ellagic acid, a compound with anticancer properties. All berries are great sources of fiber, a nutrient important for a healthy digestive system. But if you need more reasons to dig into summer's sun-kissed little fruits, look no further than two new studies, that suggest berries may be good for your heart and your bones as well.

    In a study of 72 middle-age people published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating just under a cup of mixed berries daily for eight weeks was associated with increased levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure, two positives when it comes to heart health. Included in the mix were strawberries, red raspberries and bilberries-similar to blueberries-as well as other berries more common in Finland (where the research was

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  • 3 kitchen tools to keep you healthy

    We're all about healthy cooking, but it's not all about technique. Sometimes the kitchen tools you use can help you more easily create healthy delicious meals. Here are three health-promoting kitchen tools we love.

    1. Herb Saver

    Fresh herbs abound in the summer, but once they're plucked from the garden or taken home from the farmers' market, it's hard to keep them from withering away in the refrigerator. That's why we like the Herb-Savor from Prepara. Its sturdy plastic exterior keeps herbs protected from the harsh environment of the fridge, while a small water well at the bottom keeps them hydrated.

    Herbs stay fresh for up to three weeks and it even keeps asparagus crisp. The Herb-Savor is available for $29.95 at along with products like the Trio-a vegetable peeler that includes three exchangeable blades designed to peel and even julienne fruits and vegetables. Prepara products are also available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Sur la Table.

    The herb saver

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  • 5 easy summer dinners starring farm-fresh produce

    On summer mornings the chatter in the EatingWell Test Kitchen starts like this: "Guess what I got in my CSA pick-up last night? Kohlrabi! What the heck do you do with that?" asks Associate Editor Carolyn Malcoun.

    Food stylist (and my sister) Katie Webster gets weekly baskets of produce that are the envy of all of us from her share in a farm that uses the community supported agriculture (CSA) model. She revels in tiny succulent strawberries, a steady supply of fresh leeks and heirloom potatoes.

    I have my own vegetable garden (sloppy and a little too weedy), and am anxious to update everyone on how well my gazillion chile pepper plants are producing and the way my beastlike tomatillos are taking over the entire garden.

    This banter reaches a fever pitch during July and August. That heat of summer excitement, about corn fresh off the cob or eggplant still warm from the sun, inspired these five easy weeknight suppers. These recipes will help you gather the produce that is

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  • A new reason to smile about yogurt

    Yogurt lovers, rejoice! Not only does this nutrient-packed snack help keep your bones strong, new research shows it may also protect against gum disease. Researchers from Japan recently analyzed dietary intakes from nearly 1,000 adults and found those who consumed the highest levels of dairy-specifically yogurt and yogurt-type drinks-had the healthiest gums.

    Their report, published earlier this year in the Journal of Periodontology, credits probiotics (a.k.a. "good bacteria") as one possible champion of gum health. Probiotics are live active cultures used to ferment foods, such as yogurt and kefir (fermented milk), and studies suggest that they may improve digestion and boost immunity too. As for gum health, it's not yet clear how much yogurt (or other fermented dairy foods) one needs to consume to reap the benefits, says Yoshihiro Shimazaki, D.D.S., Ph.D., of Kyushu University, the study's lead author.

    What is clear, though, is that periodontal disease affects more than one

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