Roasted Chickpeas

Here’s a healthy and crunchy snack you can take to work or school. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s high in protein, fibre, and contains complex carbs – elements of a fulfilling snack that can sustain and keep you energized. It also can help you reach your daily nutrient needs of iron (to help carry oxygen in your blood), potassium (to keep your nerves and muscles healthy) and folate (to make red blood cells, keep heart healthy, and lower certain birth defect risks). Try it out!

Ingredients

  • 2 (19oz/540ml) cans of cooked chickpeas (drained & rinsed) or 2 cups dried chickpeas, boiled
  • 3 tbsp canola/corn/vegetable oil
  • 2-3 tbsp spice of your choice (ex. chili powder, cajun, pepper, etc).

Tip: If chickpeas are not completely dry, spread them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes, to remove excess water. (This makes them crispy).

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Line a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Season chickpeas with spice and oil. Combine well.
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes, giving the sheet a shake every 10 minutes to evenly cook chickpeas. Serve once cool.

⚠ Always remember to increase fibre intake slowly and to have more water when you have more fibre to avoid discomfort! Talk to a dietitian to find out if you are having enough.

Nutrition Information (per ¼ cup serving):
150kcal / 6g protein / 17g carbohydrate / 4g fibre / 7g healthy fat

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Is Whole Wheat the same as Whole Grain?

You may have heard that whole wheat (or brown bread) is healthier than white. But is whole wheat the same as whole grain? Let’s find out. 

Grains have 3 parts to them: germ, endosperm and bran [1]. Whole grains are the least processed and have all 3 nutritious parts. Whereas whole wheat and white flour have some or all of the germ and bran removed – leaving them with less nutrition. 

Whole grains

  • Lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers [2]
  • Help in keeping a healthy weight
  • Are the least processed: have all 3 nutritious parts of a grain i.e. have more vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and healthy fats [1]

Whole wheat

  • Is a refined grain – i.e. partially processed to remove some of the germ and bran
  • Has less fibre, minerals, vitamins and healthy fats
  • Can still be a healthy choice [3]

Tips when choosing Whole Grain bread

  • Look for “100% whole grain” –  make sure it’s 100%
  • Look for at least 2g of fibre per slice (low in sodium, sugar and fat)
  • Make sure the first ingredients have the word “whole” before them ex. Whole grain wheat flour, whole rye etc
  • Multigrain / Stone Ground / Enriched ≠ Whole grain 

Tips when choosing Whole Wheat bread

  • Whole wheat ≠ whole grain
  • Look for 4g of fibre per serving
  • Where possible, choose whole grain bread more often

Conclusion

To summarize, whole grains have all 3 parts of the kernel, therefore they contain more nutrition and have more health benefits than refined grains!

Until next time,

Almas-Sadaf Shaikh, PMDip, RD

*Please be aware that these are general guidelines. Nutrition and intake varies by age, sex, height, activity, being pregnant or breastfeeding, and medical conditions. For more information or to sit with one of our dietitians for an individualised nutrition counselling session, please contact us at amananutrition@gmail.com or visit our Contact Us page to book your first appointment.

References:

[1] All About Whole Grains. (n.d.). Retrieved December 17, 2019, from https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Cooking-Food-Preparation/Cooking-with-Whole-Grains.aspx.

[2] Choosing Whole Grains FAQs. (n.d.). Retrieved December 17, 2019, from https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Canada-s-Food-Guide/Choosing-Whole-Grains-FAQs.aspx.

[3] How to Choose the Best Sliced Bread. (n.d.). Retrieved December 17, 2019, from https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Grocery-Shopping/How-to-Choose-the-Best-Sliced-Bread.aspx.

Is Raw Sugar Healthier than White or Brown Sugar?

You may have seen raw sugar (or turbinado sugar) being served at coffee shops or sold in grocery stores. Some brands claim that raw sugar is more natural and beneficial than white or brown sugar. So what’s the difference?

Raw sugar:

  • Is processed by boiling the cane juice only once to remove some molasses
  • Contains trace amounts of micronutrients (calcium, iron, potassium and antioxidants)
  • Has a caramel flavour, and are golden brown crystals
  • Is more expensive (2-3 times the price of white sugar)

Similarities between the 3 sugars:

  • Similar nutrient profile per tsp: 16 calories, 4g carbs [1]
  • Per 1 tsp, all 3 sugars do not provide even 1% of recommended daily intakes of calcium, iron or potassium, nor has a significant amount of antioxidants
  • All 3 are sucrose and are processed from sugarcane / sugar beet [2]
  • All 3 are added sugars that can raise blood sugars 😦

So although raw sugar has trace amounts of minerals and antioxidants, you would have to have cups and cups of raw sugar to get the same amount of minerals and antioxidants from nutritious foods like bananas (potassium), spinach (iron), milk (calcium) or blackberries (antioxidants) [1]! So if you choose to have raw sugar, consider it for its flavour more than it’s nutrition!

Bottom Line

To summarize limiting added sugars is part of a healthy diet, whether that’s white, brown or raw sugar!


Until next time,

Almas-Sadaf Shaikh, PMDip, RD


*Please be aware that these are general guidelines. Nutrition and intake varies by age, sex, height, activity, being pregnant or breastfeeding, and medical conditions. For more information or to sit with one of our dietitians for an individualised nutrition counselling session, please contact us at amananutrition@gmail.com or visit our Contact Us page to book your first appointment.

References:

[1] FoodData Central. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2019, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/.

[2] Thalheimer, J. C. (2015, September). Added Sugars and Heart Health. Today’s Dietitian, 17(9), 38.

Photocredit: Mother Jones

Mexican Veggie Burgers

Every now and then on cold days such as these (when the snow is at full blast and I can’t walk to the corner store without risking frostbite) I like to prepare meals that remind me of warmer and happier times. One such meal is the wonderful Mexican veggie burger 😌. My mum would always prepare these for us as kids during the summer holidays and I have fond memories of fighting my siblings to the death for the last patty. Ah! Such fun 😅. Whip some up today and maybe double the recipe so no one gets hurt!

Ingredients:

  • ½ can (10 oz/280 mL) lentils, drained and rinsed
  • ½ can (10 oz/280 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup (125 mL) breadcrumbs
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 mL) onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) paprika
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) water
  • 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) shredded Cheddar or Swiss cheese
  • Low sodium salsa

Instructions:

  1. Mash lentils and chickpeas in a large bowl using a small-holed masher or fork.
  2. One by one, slowly add in most of the other ingredients (breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, paprika, red chilli powder, water). Mix after adding each one to make sure the mixture is incorporated well.
  3. Add cheese and start to form the mixture into patties. Aim for burgers that will be about 1 inch (about 2.5 cm) thick.  
  4. Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat and cook burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve with salsa over hamburgers buns and enjoy! 

Nutritional Information (per serving):

248 kcal / 14g protein / 30g carbs / 14g healthy fats

Photo Credit: Cindy Kurman, Kurman Photography