CABOT, VT. (February 19, 2008) – March is National Nutrition Month, and in support of the American Dietetic Association’s campaign to promote the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet, Cabot Creamery Cooperative is helping Americans learn to eat better, smarter and healthier. Research by the US Department of Health & Human Services shows that eating a variety of healthy foods in the proper proportions can help adults lengthen and improve their lives by reducing the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, hypertension, diabetes and cancer.
National Nutrition Month was created by The American Dietetic Association more than 30 years ago to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
“Too many people over the age of 50 feel there is little they can do to help combat years of poor eating and exercise habits. This just isn’t true,” says Sara Wing, Registered Dietician and Health Programs Manager for Cabot. “By having an understanding of the essential nutrients that their bodies need and the types of foods that provide them, Americans can help lower their risk of chronic diseases and increase and improve their life spans.”
What are some of the important nutrients that adults should be including regularly in their diets, and why they are important?
B Vitamins: (Vitamin B6, B12 and Folate) may protect against heart disease, help improve memory and nervous system functions, and strengthen the immune system.
Food sources: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts and seeds, enriched grains and dark leafy greens
Calcium: helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth; and is very important to nerve function, muscle contraction and blood clotting.
Food sources: Milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, dark leafy greens and fortified foods like soy and orange juice
Fiber: improves digestion and may lower risk of coronary heart disease and colon cancer.
Food sources:Food sources: fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds
Iron: transports oxygen to cells and tissues throughout the body.
Food sources: red meat, beans, dark leafy greens, nuts and fortified grains
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: promote heart health and support brain and eye development.
Food sources: Fish oils (mackerel, salmon and sardines), flaxseed oils and fortified foods
Probiotics: may improve immune system health and good bacteria in the intestines.
Food sources: Yogurt and other products made with live active cultures
Vitamin C: helps heal cuts and wounds, keeps teeth and gums healthy, assists in absorption of iron and is a powerful antioxidant.
Food sources: citrus fruits, berries, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach and potatoes
Vitamin D: promotes the absorption of calcium into bones and teeth. Recent studies cite its potential as an anti-cancer agent.
Food sources: egg yolks, fish and fortified milk
Cabot has developed four delectable, health-conscious recipes that help make eating better a whole lot easier. “Each of these recipes – Layered Broccoli Salad, Cheesy Black Bean Triangles, Crustless Spinach Quiche and Heartfelt Tuna Melts – was created with its respective health benefits, such as bone-strength promotion, heart health, muscle building and calcium absorption, in mind,” says Wing. “Cabot cheddars are great sources of calcium, vitamin A, certain B vitamins and protein, and soon enough, Cabot cheddar will be able to help Americans benefit from another essential nutrient lacking in most diets - Omega 3 DHA fatty acid.”
“Eating right is the first step to a healthy and happy life,” says Wing, “and that is something Cabot is proud to be a part of.”
Cabot’s unique National Nutrition Month recipes can be found below, and dozens more ideas for nutritious family meals, snacks and holiday recipes can be found on Cabot’s website at: www.cabotcheese.coop/recipes
LAYERED BROCCOLI SALAD
*Promotes heart, bone and intestinal health and supports a healthy immune system*
(Makes 6 Servings)
6 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups grated Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar (6 ounces)
1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted hulled sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) 50% less-fat bacon pieces
1.In large glass serving bowl, arrange layers of broccoli, onion and cranberries.
2. In small bowl, whisk together yogurt, honey, mayonnaise and vinegar. Drizzle dressing over layered salad.
3. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
4. Just before serving, sprinkle with sunflower seeds or walnuts and bacon pieces.
CHEESY BLACK BEAN TRIANGLES
*Promotes bone strength, heart health, eyesight and intestinal health while also providing protective antioxidants*
(Makes 12 Snack Servings)
1 cup cooked black beans
2 green onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 (6-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, diced and cooked
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup dried cranberries
12 ounces Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup non-fat sour cream
1. Preheat Broiler.
2. In small bowl, partially mash beans, leaving some whole; set aside.
3. In nonstick skillet over medium heat, combine green onions, garlic and oil; cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir into reserved beans.
4. Lay tortillas on work surface. Spread one-forth of bean mixture over half of each tortilla, followed by one-fourth of sweet potatoes, red pepper, cranberries and cheese.
5. Fold bare half of each tortilla over filling. Arrange on baking sheet and place under broiler until browned and slightly crisp. To serve, cut each tortilla into three wedges and top each wedge with teaspoon of sour cream and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.
CRUSTLESS SPINACH QUICHE
*Promotes calcium absorption for stronger bones, healthy eyesight and provides protective antioxidants*
(Makes 4 Servings)
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups grated Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar (about 6 ounces)
6 large egg whites
1 large egg
1/3 cup Cabot No Fat Cottage Cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 9-inch pie plate, preferably nonstick, with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add spinach and stir until moisture has evaporated about 3 minuets longer.
3. Sprinkle cheese evenly in prepared pie plate. Top with spinach mixture.
4. In medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, egg, cottage cheese, red pepper, salt and nutmeg. Pour egg mixture evenly over spinach.
5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until set. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.
HEARTFELT TUNA MELTS
*Promotes both calcium absorption and heart health*
(Makes 4 Servings)
2 whole-wheat English muffins, split
1 (6-ounce) can solid white tuna packed in water, drained
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup low-fat Russian or Thousand Island salad dressing
3 ounces Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar, grated salt and ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Arrange English muffins split-side-up on baking sheet; set under broiler until lightly toasted.
3. Meanwhile, mix together tuna, celery, onion and salad dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Top each muffin with one-fourth of tuna mixture. Return to broiler until heated through, about 2 to 3 more minutes.
5. Top each with one-fourth of cheese and return to broiler until cheese is melted, about 1 minute longer.
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919 and is best known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar.” Cabot is owned by the dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast’s premier dairy cooperative. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, visit www.cabotcheese.coop/recipes
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