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Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD, Author at Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo - Page 16 of 32
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Author: Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD

Strawberry, Feta & Pumpkin Seed Salad

After learning about the outstanding nutritional profile of pumpkin seeds in my latest blog, here is a new recipe that uses these tasty little nutritional powerhouses.   Serves: 4 Prep time: 10 minutes   INGREDIENTS: 4 cups fresh leaf lettuce, chopped 1 cup fresh strawberries,  sliced 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, roasted and unsalted 1/4 cup raisins 2 Tbsp of olive oil to coat salad 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar fresh ground pepper to taste (if desired) Optional: Sprinkle fresh parsley for extra flavour boost   INSTRUCTIONS: 1.    Clean lettuce leaves thoroughly in cold water. 2.    Combine ingredients in a salad bowl. 3.    Add oil and vinegar dressing to salad. 4.    Toss salad and enjoy!...

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Halloween Superfood: Pumpkin Seeds

Did you know that the name pumpkin comes from the Greek word ‘pepon’, meaning ‘large melon’?  Similarly, pumpkins are technically a fruit because they contain seeds.  In fact, the average pumpkin contains about 500 seeds.  Today, let’s explore the outstanding nutritional profile of pumpkin seeds!   Truly a yearlong superfood!   Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are usually green in colour, semi-flat and oval shaped.   They have a pleasant nutty taste and a chewing texture.  Pumpkin seeds are most often roasted and do not need to be refrigerated.  Their outstanding nutrition profile will have you running to the grocery store to incorporate this nutritional powerhouse into your diet.   Nutritional Profile: Pumpkin...

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Cinnamon + Spice Sweet Potato Wedges

When I think of fall harvest, I think of root vegetables.  One of the healthiest of which is the sweet potato.  Sweet potatoes are a more nutritious choice than regular white potatoes. For example, sweet potatoes have 10 times more vitamin A (important for vision, skin and immune system) than regular white potatoes.  So feel free to substitute your regular old white potatoes for moist and sweet, sweet potatoes instead. Try these cinnamon and spice potato wedges as a healthy alternative to French fries.  Learn more about the sweet potato’s sweet nutrition profile here.    Prep time: 10-15 minutes Cook time: 40-50 minutes Serves: 2-4   Ingredients: 4 medium sized sweet potatoes 2 Tbsp olive oil 1...

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Fall Throwdown: Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams

Sweet potatoes and yams- are they the same?  This great question is not uncommon to overhear two people deliberating.  I have over-heard this exact conversation amongst colleagues in the lunchroom, on television and even in the yoga change room! So today, let’s discuss the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. This way, next time you are asked or over-hearing this common casual conversation, you can jump right in and contribute!   Grocery Store Shopping: Are Sweet Potatoes and Yams the Same? In most Canadian grocery stores the short answer is yes.  Sweet potatoes have traditionally (and wrongfully) been referred to as “yams”, which has lead to consumer confusion.  Therefore, in grocery...

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My Food Gratitude

Food is amazing!  Truly it is; if it weren’t for food we wouldn’t be alive today. Yet food (in general) is often met with mixed feelings that are not always positive.  Food is often categorized as either “bad” or “good” and food is often broken down to its chemical components like macro and micronutrients.  Today, in honour of Thanksgiving, let’s take time to give food thanks!  Let’s share our love for foods as not only something that nourishes our bodies but also a source of tremendous enjoyment. My blog today was inspired by the “Book of Awesome” by Neil Pasricha.  In this book he explores the little things...

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Fresh & Zesty Guacamole

It’s a siesta and you cannot be without a really tasty guacamole recipe!  Here is my favourite recipe that takes fajitas to a whole new level of delicious.  Enjoy these heart healthy monounsaturated fats in this delicious guac!   Serves: 6-8 Prep time: 10-15 minutes   Ingredients: 3 ripe avocados 1/4 cup red onion, chopped 2 tomatoes, diced ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 medium lime, squeeze all juice out salt and fresh ground pepper to taste   Instructions: Cut avocado and remove the pit.  Scoop out avocado into a medium bowl and mash to desired texture. Some prefer chunky guacamole and other prefer smooth.  Now add in onion, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic. Stir to combine ingredients. Cut lime into quarters...

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Sugar: How Much Should we be consuming?

Yesterday, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada issued a new position statement recommending adults and children limit consumption of added sugars to no more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.  This recommendation equates to 12 teaspoons of added sugar daily, which is less than half of the current average intake of 25 teaspoons of added sugars daily!  Yikes! Our current sugar intake is the equivalent to a person consuming 20 bags of sugar a year.  Something has certainly got to give. This position statement thankfully comes at a time when the public seems aware and receptive to the harmful health implications of excess sugar.  We previously...

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Healthy School Lunches Made Easy!

The briskness in the air tells us that back-to-school time is fast approaching.  Parents are already finding me in anticipation of making these infamous lunches and expressing understandable concern that they are packing the right foods to meet the nutrition needed for their growing child.  Today, making lunches will get a whole lot simpler with strategies to make this process a breeze. 1. Take the Teaching Opportunity!  I recently watched a YouTube video for making school lunches where the speaker made the bold comparison that parents teach their children to be independent with using the toilet or getting dressed in the morning but do not provide the same “skill-teaching”...

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You’ll Love Kale Chips!

If you have not made your own homemade kale chips you are certainly missing out!  These crunchy, crispy little greens are a real treat to your taste buds.   Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time:  8-10 minutes Serves: 2   Ingredients: 4 cups raw kale, chopped 1 Tbsp olive oil sprinkle of salt, if desired   Instructions: Pre-heat oven to 350F. Remove tough stems of the kale and the ribbing. Chop kale into bite sized pieces. Clean kale leaves in cold water and dry in salad spinner. Spread kale leaves evenly on baking sheets so they are not overlapping too much. Drizzle olive oil over leaves or you can coat kale in olive oil before spreading on baking sheet. Bake kale leaves for...

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