December 07, 2023   6:42am

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Confused about carbs? Our nutritionist Stefanie clears things up and throws in some tasty healty carb-loaded recipes as well…

Everyone’s confused about carbs?
Well, why shouldn’t you be? One day you’re told carbs are bad, the next day they’re good. This friend lost 20 lbs on a low carb diet; another one lost 15 lbs on a high carb diet.

So, what is a carbohydrate?
Carbohydrates are a macronutrient derived from plant foods ONLY (very few exceptions). Plant foods consist of all fruits, vegetables, grains (i.e. wheat and rice), legumes (i.e. beans, peanuts and cashews), nuts and seeds. When ingested they are broken down into their simplest form, glucose, which is the main energy source for all cellular processes.

What’s the different between complex and simple carbs?
When consuming carbohydrates, it is best to consume complex carbs — those in their most natural unrefined form (i.e. whole fruits, vegetables and grains). These are digested slowly and enter the bloodstream at a moderate rate for a period of several hours.

When refined (simple) carbohydrates (i.e. white flour, white sugar products and processed foods) are consumed, they tend to enter the bloodstream in a rush causing a sudden spurt in blood sugar levels. Thus, the body’s regulation mechanism kicks into high gear flooding the bloodstream with insulin and other hormones to bring the blood sugar levels down to acceptable levels.

High consumption of refined carbohydrates can disrupt the finely tuned regulation process which can lead to high blood glucose levels and, ultimately, diabetes. In addition, a diet high in refined carbohydrates will also be deficient in vitamins, minerals and enzymes, those body-building elements that keep the glands and organs in good repair.


Hummus* (8 servings)
2 cans 14-oz chick peas drained-keep liquid
4 lemons juiced
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove small garlic whole
salt to taste

Put all ingredients in food processor and purée. If consistency is too thick, slowly add chick pea liquid. Add salt to taste.

Vegetable Fried Rice (4 servings)
1 cup short grain brown rice
2 cups water
1 strip kombu
3 small zucchini, small dice
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Rinse rice with water in fine mesh strainer. Place in a small pot with
water and kombu. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat; once boiling, turn
to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prep vegetables; heat
sesame oil in saute pan on medium flame and saute vegetables until slightly
browned. Add finished rice (removing and discarding kombu), tamari and
mirin; saute for about 5 minutes. Turn off flame and add toasted sesame oil;
mix thoroughly. (Recipe By: Stefanie Bryn Sacks)

Cascadian Farms frozen vegetable Blends:
Great to stir fry; then throw OVER rice.
Warm Shaved Fennel with Spring Onions*
(4 servings)
6 fennel bulbs sliced thin
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 spring onions (or scallions) sliced thin
4 basil leaves picked and chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
to taste salt
to taste pepper

Slice fennel paper thin (if possible). Heat olive in pan on medium heat and saute fennel until slightly clear. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a dry pan (watch carefully for they burn easily), wash and slice spring onions; wash, pick and roughly chop basil. In a large bowl, add all ingredients, mix well and salt and pepper to taste.

*NOTE from SNOETY: We tried these and loved them.

(Source of recipes: Stefanie Bryn Sacks)

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