I am recently back from the 2014 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, which is the equivalent of Fashion Week for dietitians when it comes to spotting trends, as well as fresh thinking and breaking science around key nutrition topics. I'll soon be posting my blog on the top trends I observed on my Doctor Oz blog here. However, there was a large focus was on 2 important areas of nutrition science that are holding up against some of the latest misguided diet trends: healthy fats and healthy carbohydrates. Whether your goal is weight loss, a healthy micro biome, turning on genes that drive health (a rapidly evolving field called nutrigenomics) or a thriving cardiovascular system, multiple lines of the latest evidence point to these foods as being some of the best.
As a quick primer, healthiest fats and are found primarily in nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and fish. Cold pressed olive oil, canola, peanut and even almond oil are also a rich source of good-for-you fats. And healthy carbohydrates (yes, you read that right) DO exist. Intact, minimally processed whole grains such as steel cut oats, quinoa, farro, Kamut, buckwheat and teff are some delicious examples.
With that in mind, if you want to welcome more incredibly healthy, sustainable and delicious foods into your day, look no further than this dish. Perfect for fall-it includes a shower of cinnamon and drizzle of maple syrup to turn up the flavor. Farro is a rich source of fiber, B vitamins and antioxidants, and the pistachios provide some extra staying power with heart healthy fats and added protein. If you haven't tried it yet, it's easier to find than ever in your local grocery store. Cook up a large batch of farro ahead of time, then you can quickly assemble this delicious breakfast on even the most time-crunched mornings.
Breakfast Farro with Pear, Pistachio, Almond Milk and Cinnamon
2/3 cup cooked farro
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp roasted unsalted pistachios
1/2 ripe pear, chopped
1/2 tsp maple syrup
- In a breakfast bowl, place cooked faro and top with almond milk. Warm in microwave if desired (about 45 seconds). Alternately, you can warm it in a small saucepan on the before placing it into the bowl.
- Top with pistachios, pear, maple syrup and cinnamon. Enjoy immediately.
Head back to school - or back to your fall routine - with these easy, ultra-delicious energy bites I created for my kiddos. They are raw, vegan, and gluten free, and whipped up in a single bowl, and can be upgraded with any number of tasty morsels (cocoa nibs, coconut, chopped nuts you name it). The best part? They satisfy any craving for a cookie dough fix.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Energy Bites Recipe
1 cup quick cooking oats*
1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup unsweetened dried tart cherries or cranberries
1/2 cup smooth all natural peanut butter
1 Tablespoon high quality dark cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons chia, hemp, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp local raw honey
Place all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Gently stir until well blended. Scoop into 1" balls and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 16.
*Oats are naturally gluten free, but look for oats that are certified gluten-free if you are rigorously avoiding gluten, as some oats may become cross-contaminated with gluten during processing.