Rachael Braun

Olives: Varieties and Recipes

Olive varieties

Olives belong to the group of fruit called drupes that also includes mangos, plums and almonds, among others. They have been used for over 2,000 years by various cultures all over the world for food as well as medicine. One serving of olives has only 25 calories and 2.5 grams of fat and count as a serving of fruit. Olives have no trans fats, no cholesterol, are low in carbohydrates and free of allergens. They are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids (the good fats!), vitamin A, C and E, iron, calcium and natural antioxidants.

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5 Top Health Benefits of Apples

Apples in a basket

An apple a day really does keep the doctor — and dentist, away. Just one a day, or at least 5 a week, will help you get the full benefits of this common fruit. One apple has only 100 calories or less, 5 grams of fiber, no sodium or fat and are 5% protein. The skin contains many of the vitamins and other nutrients properties, so enjoy your apples unpeeled. more→

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Progressive International Dressing Shaker

progressive international Salad dressing shakerCommercial salad dressings, even the “natural” brands, are often ridiculously expensive and high in fat. Making salad dressing at home is so easy, but I often get lazy about it because several items need to be messed up and then washed — bowl, whisk, measuring cups, spoons. And then I need to find a clean bottle with a tight lid to pour it into. Now, the Dressing Shaker* that Progressive International sent to VegKitchen to sample throws all my excuses to the wind.

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Progressive International Nut Chopper: A Review

progressive international Nut ChopperSometimes the smallest things can make life in the kitchen easier and more fun. Take for example the Nut Chopper by Progressive International. Chopping nuts isn’t a big deal, right? But here’s how I did it before they sent us a sample of their handy dandy Nut Chopper to try out: I took a bunch of nuts, placed them on a paper towel, covered them with more paper towel, and then beat them into submission with a mason jar.  more→

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5 Top Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic head

Grown and used for thousands of years, garlic is in the allium family, along with onions, chives and leeks. Known as the ‘stinking rose,’ garlic gets its aroma from its sulfur-containing compounds. These are also in part why garlic so good for you. more→

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6 Top Health Benefits of Chocolate and Cacao

dark chocolate

Real, dark chocolate and cacao contain numerous natural compounds offering a myriad of health benefits. No wonder that chocolate has long been known as “Food of the Gods” due to its many health-enhancing qualities.  What’s the difference between cocoa and cacao? Cacao is the bean from the plant in its raw, unprocessed state. It becomes cocoa once roasted and processed. While dark chocolate still retains a lot of nutritional benefits, only cacao nibs can rightly claim superfood status. Here are the top reasons to enjoy this well-loved food. more→

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7 Top Health Benefits of Maca

Maca powder

Maca, a root that belongs to the radish family, is grown in the mountains of Peru. Sometimes called “Peruvian ginseng,” maca’s benefits have been long valued, and now have been rediscovered as a supplement and ingredient. Maca comes in pill, liquid and powder form. more→

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Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food by Alicia C. Simpson

Q & E Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food alicia simpsonReviewed by Rachael Braun. The latest book by Alicia C. Simpson, Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food: 150 Down-Home Recipes Packed with Flavor, Not Calories*, is focused on delicious food that is also low in calories. These 150 recipes are all 350 calories or less and are comfort foods that taste amazing! more→

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