Garbanzo Bean Cookies, NATURALLY Gluten Free & High in Fiber

What is life without COOKIES??

I’m in Love, I’m in Love and I don’t care who knows it…

Garbanzo Bean Cookie Recipe

Garbanzo Bean Cookie Recipe

I’ve been Gluten intolerant for several years and I really miss cookies. Yes, there are gluten-free versions on the market. And there are gluten-free recipes using gluten-free flour, but since giving up most processed foods, I find that gluten-free cookies send my blood sugar and my energy on a roller coaster.

Then one day, after sharing my Black Bean Brownies with a coworker, she said, “Oh my God, these are soooo good!!!” And then she said, “Have you heard about the Garbanzo Bean Cookies?”

And with both excitement and intrigue I replied, “No.”

Immediately I pulled out my iPhone and began Googling. I found several posts using the EXACT same recipe for Chocolate Chip Garbanzo Bean Cookies. Each recipes called for 1 ¼ cups of garbanzo beans, but having measured the yield of a can of garbanzo beans, I know that you get 1 ½ cups of beans from a 15oz can. So I thought, “Why not use the whole can?”   Gabanzo beans draining in sink

These same “copied” recipes also call for baking powder. Now, I’m not a food chemist, although I did take many food science classes during my undergrad Nutrition Science coursework, buuuuttt, as far as I know, baking powder doesn’t really do anything unless there is some kind of leavening agent involved, namely eggs or an egg substitute. So what IS the point of the baking powder in these cookies??? NOTHING. I made these garbanzo bean cookies with and without the baking powder and it did not make one IOTA of a difference.

Some other ingredients found in this recipe include salt, vanilla, peanut butter and chocolate chips, of course. Baking Powder NOT Required

In the end, I feel this cookie hits the “COOKIE SPOT” without causing the unnerving BLOOD SUGAR rollercoaster found after consuming flour laden cookies.

Aside from modifying the mimicked garbanzo bean cookie recipe, I also came up with some variations based on taste and/or supplies…

Here is my rendition of Chocolate Chip Garbanzo Bean Cookies…

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ready in 30 minutes                                                                                                    –    Makes 20 servings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

+ 1 ½ cups garbanzo beans, one 15 oz can, drained

(save liquid in a bowl in case you need to add moisture)

+ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


+ 1/4 cup Organic Dark Brown Sugar


+ 1/2 cup ALMOND butter or nut butter of your choice

(I prefer the taste of the cookies with almond butter over peanut butter)


+ 1/4 cup ground flax seeds (for binding)

(You can make the cookies without the flax but it helps keep them together better & adds a bunch of OMEGA-3 fats!!)

+ 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Place everything, EXCEPT the chocolate chips, in a food processor. You can also use a blender but you will need to push the ingredients down without hitting the blades. It’s tricky, so be careful.  Garbanzo beans in food processor


Blend to a creamy, cookie dough, or pudding-like, consistency. Add liquid, if needed, about 2 Tablespoons at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. If you’re batter is thinner than pudding, it’s OK. The cookies will be a bit flatter but still cookie-like.

Add the chocolate chips and pulse to combine.


Use a teaspoon & a spatula to spoon the batter onto the tray. Scoop batter with the spoon and push the batter off the spoon with the spatula. Don’t worry if your batter doesn’t fall in a perfect circle.

Since these cookies won’t rise, you can place them fairly close to each other; at least four rows across and six rows down.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 27 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.

Remove from oven and let cool. These cookies are more like little cakes. They are AWESOME straight out of the oven or even the next day or two. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Label & date and consume or share within a week. OR freeze for later consumption. They thaw within a few hours in the refrigerator or in an oven set at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.


Cost per serving: $0.26

Nutrients per serving (1 cookie / 24g):  Calories: 84, Total Fat: 5 g, Total Carbohydrates: 10 g, Dietary Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 2.5 g, Sodium: 4 mg

Omega-3 Fats: 210 mg, Omega-6 fats: 990 mg

RATIO Omega-6: Omega-3 = 4.7:1 (ideal is < 4:1)

% Daily Value

20% manganese

9% magnesium

9% copper

7% vitamin E

7% folate

7% phosphorus

6% iron

4% niacin

4% zinc

4% calcium

4% potassium

3% riboflavin

2% selenium

2% B-6

2% thiamine

1% vitamin D

0% B12

0% vitamin C





Ready in 30 minutes  Makes 20 servings

Ready in 30 minutes  Makes 20 servings

Ready in 30 minutes  Makes 20 servings

Aphrodisiacs by Elizabeth Brown, MS, RD

One seductive salad

(originally published in the Santa Monica Daily Press Newspaper 2008)

Aphrodisiacs & zinc

The Kiss. It is my favorite painting. It is my favorite experience. The most important one is that first kiss. It can make or break a relationship. You either feel it or you don’t. Kissing is one way to “feel it” while still behaving like a lady or a gentleman.

I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, preferring to wait for the perfect person rather than jump into a relationship simply to avoid being alone. I am so taken in by Hollywood’s portrayal of love and romance. In my favorite movie, Never Been Kissed, Drew Barrymore’s character recites a monologue about experiencing that first kiss with the right person. If you’re a romantic, please rent this one. I won’t give away the story except to say that she’s a writer and a hopeless romantic, just like me.

Because I am The Kitchen Vixen, people don’t automatically think “soft and sweet” but instead expect leather and lace and recipes for attracting sex. I often get asked for advice about the best “Aphrodisiacs”. An Aphrodisiac is anything that is believed to increase sexual desire. It could be an object, beverage, or food.

Oysters are one of the best known aphrodisiacs. Their popularity grew out of their shape. Look at an oyster and you’ll see what I mean.

Oysters also happen to be the richest source of zinc from any one food source. Zinc is a primary ingredient, so-to-speak, in the production of sperm. Perhaps that is the reason men claim to be affected by oysters.

Aphrodisiacs initially gained recognition during ancient times when food was scarce, nutrition was poor, and libidos were low. Associations were drawn between certain foods and increased sex drive and voila – magic potions for love.

While working as a Diabetes Educator, a national news company interviewed me about aphrodisiac claims. I remember telling the interviewer that I often saw married male patients only when they were not able to fulfill all of their husbandly duties. When Diabetes affects that aspect of life, it has gone uncontrolled for far too long. On the plus side, at least something was motivating them to change.

I became a Diabetes Educator because I felt that the way I would teach Diabetes sufferers to eat is the way I would teach everyone to eat. The misconception about Diabetes is that eating too much sugar, or processed carbs, causes the disease. In reality, Diabetes is genetic. It presents itself, more or less, when someone is inactive. The muscle cells become lazy and do not use sugar the way they should. Yes, reducing processed carbs and sugars will definitely help, but activity is the best medicine of all.

Aside from being active, and this goes for everyone, eat a diet loaded with colorful antioxidant rich fruits, vegetables, and heart healthy fats. These are the foods that might protect us all from chronic diseases and the ever thwarting signs of aging.

Try this aphrodisiac salad with all of those coveted nutrients including zinc from pine nuts (a source less obvious that oysters) and arugula, which has been known throughout ancient times as Rocket! And don’t forget the dark chocolate. Women know of its powers. Men, you will have to give some to your lady and judge for yourself.

Whether your meal is meant to win a heart, steal a smooch, or solicit a night of unbridled passion, just remember, it’s all about the K.I.S.S.Keep It Simple Sweetie. This recipe is so simple, light, yet satisfying, you’ll have plenty of energy for whatever transpires.

Aphrodisiac Salad
(Double is making for two)

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
2 cups arugula
(arugula’s peppery flavor complements the sweetness of the berries, much like the perfect couple—sweet and spicy!)
1/2 cup black berries
1/2 cup raspberries
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp pine nuts
1/4 ounce dark chocolate


  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the first three ingredients. Mix with a fork
  2. Add the arugula and toss to coat with dressing.
  3. Add the berries (a.k.a. fruit nipples)
  4. Squeeze some lemon juice over the salad (the lemon juice helps to pull flavors together much like salt, but without the unwanted water retention that follows and may hinder the evening’s romance)
  5. Sprinkle with pine nuts
  6. Use a small, microplane type grater, to shave chocolate atop the salad

Per serving:
290 calories, 16g heart healthy fats, 36g carbs, 9g fiber, 5g protein


ALS Prevention Diet featuring Iggy Azalea -Fancy (I’m so healthy) Rap REMIX

ALS rap thumbnail

ALS Prevention Diet

I’m Elizabeth Brown, The Kitchen Vixen, a Registered Dietitian & Certified Holistic Chef. In 1988 I began my career path to become a Dietitian with the intent to one day host a healthy cooking show. As The Kitchen Vixen, I want to save the world by teaching people how to make life-saving recipes using health-promoting ingredients and preparation techniques which make the best use of someone’s time, energy, and financial resources. My adventures have taken me to many places in the US where I have had the opportunity to educate both personal clients as well as television viewers.

One of the most difficult years during my journey was in 2006 while living in Las Vegas. Initially I moved there to host a “LIVE” and internet based cooking show, but things went terribly wrong when I became involved with a very horrible individual.

However, for as much as I was having a difficult time living in Las Vegas, my trials where nothing compared to my friend June’s. Around the time I met June, while working in a physical therapy rehab hospital, June learned that her new husband Les was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). I was heartbroken when I learned of Les’s diagnoses and the fateful experiences he would be facing. Les was the pharmacist at our facility. The fact that I worked with both of them just made it even harder to imagine that one day they would no longer be together.

At the end of 2006 I moved to Santa Monica. Les and June would sometimes visit me while Les was involved in clinical trials at UCLA. Thanks to Les’s pharmacist background, he had the foresight to do as much as possible to extend his time on earth with June. He fought ALS for seven years. I still get tears in my eyes when I think about what they both went through. I know that none of us know how long we have on this planet, but I hope we can at least try to live as much of a quality life as possible. Whether we define “quality” as spending time with loved ones, or achieving our dreams, I would love it if everyone also had optimal health as an on-going goal; because our health affects EVERYTHING!

With the recent awareness of ALS, I decided to do some research to learn more about ALS and what foods might help prevent the disease. ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. As these nerve cells die, they stop sending signals to body parts that allow someone to move about. Some symptoms of ALS onset include muscle weakness, noted muscle atrophy of arms or legs, difficulty with speech, swallowing or breathing.

While doing my research, I did learn that in 10% of those who get ALS, there is a family inherited genetic defect in one of the body’s own antioxidant defense systems called Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase or SOD1. This type of ALS is called familial ALS or FALS. SOD1 is one of three SOD antioxidant defense systems in the body. SOD1, in particular, protects the cytoplasm, or the interior of our cells, from free-radical invaders.

Aside from FALS, the other 90% who are diagnosed with ALS, do not have an obvious genetic component. This type of ALS is termed sporadic or SALS. In all cases of ALS, it does appear that repeated oxidative damage, which occurs over time as we age, is in part, responsible for the development and progression of the disease. So, conceivably, we can prevent, or halt, or at least slow the progression of ALS by reducing or preventing oxidative damage, perhaps thwarting the efforts of oxidative invaders BY STRENGTHENING our very own antioxidant defense system. Since SOD1 a.k.a. Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase, is dependent on Copper and Zinc, two essential minerals, maybe if we ensure adequate intake of these minerals through our diets, then we can help strengthen our defenses against ALS.

Upon further research, I learned of some dietary habits associated with a lower incidence of ALS. There was a study in the January 2013 issue of Annals of Neurology, which looked at the dietary habits of more than 1 million participants. Researchers found that those who ate more foods rich in colorful carotenoids, particularly from beta-carotene and lutein, had a reduced risk of developing ALS. Beta-carotene rich foods include: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash and dark leafy green vegetables. Lutein rich foods include dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach and Swiss chard, as well as collards, mustard and dandelion greens, and even green herbs such as parsley, cilantro and basil.

Another study also found that vitamin E intake was associated with reduced risk of ALS. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin, which means it requires FAT to be absorbed by the body. Vitamin E is FOUND in high-fat foods: sunflower seeds are the BEST source of vitamin E, followed by almonds, hazelnuts, mixed nuts and even animal sources such as fatty fish and egg yolks. Vitamin E is often added to oils to “protect” the oil from oxidation or “breaking down.”

Because ALS has been associated with a “breakdown” in the body’s own Copper/Zinc Superoxide Dismutase antioxidant defense system (Cu/Zn SOD1), getting enough antioxidants in the diet, particularly from foods rich in beta-carotene, lutein and vitamin E, as well as copper and zinc, is especially important in the prevention of ALS.

Luckily, this recipe, like most of my recipes, happens to be rich in all of these nutrients. Although this recipe is designed with ALS prevention in mind, don’t be surprised if it also helps fight off cancer, deters the signs of aging and even reduces that menacing mid-section we see expanding with age, because a diet rich in VEGETABLES may aid weight loss.

While you’re preparing your own ALS Prevention Diet/ Recipe, please feel free to sing the following. As you sing you can ensure yourself, that you are doing this FOR YOURSELF!!!…written to Iggy Azalea’s “I’m So Fancy”

ALS Prevention Diet – Iggy Azalea -Fancy “I’m So Healthy” Rap

First things first I’m the healthiest. Eat this and let your whole body feel it.
‘Cause we prevent disease with the things we eat.
And I could teach you how to eat like I’m saving your life.

If you wanna be healthy like this.
Drop that soda pop and pick up a salad like this.
A quarter cup of oil, quarter cup balsamic, add water too.
A Tabelspoon Dijon, 2 cloves chopped garlic and little black pepper.
Now put it in your blender and use to top salad greens,
With a lil shredded carrot plus garbanzo beans,
Sunflower seeds and mixed nuts.

And we do it all so we can say…

I’m so Healthy, you don’t even know-o
I put greens in my…smoothies, slaws, and eggs oh, oh
I’m so healthy, can’t you see my Glow-o
I feel so vibrant and my diet makes it so-o-o-o

Eat your Veggies, they’re the things that will fight disease
Eat your veggies, and when somebody offers you greens say, “PLEASE!!”

What’s that? What’s that?

What’s that? What’s that?

What’s that? What’s that?

I’m so healthy
And my diet makes it so-o-o-o…
And I gotta go-o-o-o-o

Eat more of these FOODS!!!

Beta-carotene: Sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin, winter squash, kale, spinach

Lutein: kale, spinach, swiss chard, collards, mustard and dandelion greens

Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, mixed nuts

Basic Balsamic Dijon Dressing

1/4 cup balsamic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

ALS Prevention Salad

1 cup kale
1 cup spinach
1 shredded carrot
1/4 cup parsley
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp mixed nuts
Top with 2 Tbsp dressing

Cost per serving: $1.73
Nutrients per serving (10 oz-wt/ 3 1/2 cups / 296g): Calories: 360, Total Fat: 15 g, Total Carbohydrates: 42 g, Dietary Fiber: 12 g, Protein: 15 g, Sodium: 203 mg
Omega-3 Fats: 280 mg, Omega-6 fats: 5,280 mg

% Daily Value
243% vitamin A
192% vitamin C
104% manganese
68% folate
42% copper
38% vitamin E
36% phosphorus
35% iron
33% magnesium
31% potassium
28% B-6
28% niacin
22% calcium
19% thiamine
19% zinc
17% riboflavin B-2
17% selenium
0% vitamin D
0% B12

REAEARCH to accompany article:

Essays Biochem. 2014 Aug 18;56(1):149-65. doi: 10.1042/bse0560149.
Many roads lead to Rome? Multiple modes of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase destabilization, misfolding and aggregation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Broom HR, Rumfeldt JA, Meiering EM.
Author information
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a fatal neurodegenerative syndrome characterized by progressive paralysis and motor neuron death. Although the pathological mechanisms that cause ALS remain unclear, accumulating evidence supports that ALS is a protein misfolding disorder. Mutations in Cu,Zn-SOD1 (copper/zinc superoxide dismutase 1) are a common cause of familial ALS. They have complex effects on different forms of SOD1, but generally destabilize the protein and enhance various modes of misfolding and aggregation. In addition, there is some evidence that destabilized covalently modified wild-type SOD1 may be involved in disease. Among the multitude of misfolded/aggregated species observed for SOD1, multiple species may impair various cellular components at different disease stages. Newly developed antibodies that recognize different structural features of SOD1 represent a powerful tool for further unravelling the roles of different SOD1 structures in disease. Evidence for similar cellular targets of misfolded/aggregated proteins, loss of cellular proteostasis and cell-cell transmission of aggregates point to common pathological mechanisms between ALS and other misfolding diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and prion diseases, as well as serpinopathies. The recent progress in understanding the molecular basis for these devastating diseases provides numerous avenues for developing urgently needed therapeutics.

Redox Biol. 2014 Mar 26;2:632-9. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2014.03.005. eCollection 2014.
SOD1 oxidation and formation of soluble aggregates in yeast: relevance to sporadic ALS development.
Martins D, English AM.
Author information
Misfolding and aggregation of copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (Sod1) are observed in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mutations in Sod1 lead to familial ALS (FALS), which is a late-onset disease. Since oxidative damage to proteins increases with age, it had been proposed that oxidation of Sod1 mutants may trigger their misfolding and aggregation in FALS. However, over 90% of ALS cases are sporadic (SALS) with no obvious genetic component. We hypothesized that oxidation could also trigger the misfolding and aggregation of wild-type Sod1 and sought to confirm this in a cellular environment. Using quiescent, stationary-phase yeast cells as a model for non-dividing motor neurons, we probed for post-translational modification (PTM) and aggregation of wild-type Sod1 extracted from these cells. By size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), we isolated two populations of Sod1 from yeast: a low-molecular weight (LMW) fraction that is catalytically active and a catalytically inactive, high-molecular weight (HMW) fraction. High-resolution mass spectrometric analysis revealed that LMW Sod1 displays no PTMs but HMW Sod1 is oxidized at Cys146 and His71, two critical residues for the stability and folding of the enzyme. HMW Sod1 is also oxidized at His120, a copper ligand, which will promote loss of this catalytic metal cofactor essential for SOD activity. Monitoring the fluorescence of a Sod1-green-fluorescent-protein fusion (Sod1-GFP) extracted
Contact: Dawn Peters

Eating bright-colored fruits and vegetables may prevent or delay ALS
New research suggests that increased consumption of foods containing colorful carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene and lutein, may prevent or delay the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The study, published by Wiley in Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society, found that diets high in lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and vitamin C did not reduce ALS risk.
Carotenoids give fruits and vegetables their bright orange, red, or yellow colors, and are a source of dietary vitamin A. Prior studies report that oxidative stress plays a role in the development of ALS. Further studies have shown that individuals with high intake of antioxidants, such as vitamin E, have a reduced ALS risk. Because vitamin C or carotenoids are also antioxidants, researchers examined their relation to ALS risk.
According to the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) roughly 20,000 to 30,000 Americans have ALS—also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease—and another 5,000 patients are diagnosed annually with the disease. ALS is a progressive neurological disease that attacks nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and spinal cord, which control voluntary muscles. As the upper and lower motor neurons degenerate, the muscles they control gradually weaken and waste away, leading to paralysis.
“ALS is a devastating degenerative disease that generally develops between the ages of 40 and 70, and affects more men than women,” said senior author Dr. Alberto Ascherio, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. “Understanding the impact of food consumption on ALS development is important. Our study is one of the largest to date to examine the role of dietary antioxidants in preventing ALS.”
Using data from five prospective groups: the National Institutes of Health (NIH)–AARP Diet and Health Study, the Cancer Prevention Study II-Nutrition Cohort, the Multiethnic Cohort, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and the Nurses’ Health Study, researchers investigated more than one million participants for the present study. A total of 1093 ALS cases were identified after excluding subjects with unlikely food consumption.
The team found that a greater total carotenoid intake was linked to reduced risk of ALS. Individuals who consumed more carotenoids in their diets were more likely to exercise, have an advanced degree, have higher vitamin C consumption, and take vitamin C and E supplements. Furthermore, subjects with diets high in beta-carotene and lutein—found in dark green vegetables—had a lower risk ALS risk. Researchers did not find that lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and vitamin C reduced the risk of ALS. Long-term vitamin C supplement intake was also not associated with lower ALS risk.
Dr. Ascherio concludes, “Our findings suggest that consuming carotenoid-rich foods may help prevent or delay the onset of ALS. Further food-based analyses are needed to examine the impact of dietary nutrients on ALS.”
This study is published in Annals of Neurology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact
Full citation: “Intakes of Vitamin C and Carotenoids and Risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.” Kathryn C Fitzgerald, Eilis J O’Reilly, Elinor Fondell, Guido J Falcone, Marjorie L McCullough, Yikyung Park, Laurence N Kolonel and Alberto Ascherio. Annals of Neurology; Published Online: January 29, 2013 (DOI:10.1002/ana.23820).
Author Contact: To arrange an interview with Dr. Ascherio, please contact Todd Datz with the Harvard School of Public Health at
About the Journal
Annals of Neurology, the official journal of the American Neurological Association and the Child Neurology Society, publishes articles of broad interest with potential for high impact in understanding the mechanisms and treatment of diseases of the human nervous system. All areas of clinical and basic neuroscience, including new technologies, cellular and molecular neurobiology, population sciences, and studies of behavior, addiction, and psychiatric diseases are of interest to the journal. The journal is published by Wiley on behalf of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society. For more information, please visit

Metabolism. 2000 Feb;49(2 Suppl 1):3-8.
What is oxidative stress?
Betteridge DJ.
Author information
Oxidative stress, defined as a disturbance in the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and antioxidant defenses, is discussed in relation to its possible role in the production of tissue damage in diabetes mellitus. Important free radicals are described and biological sources of origin discussed, together with the major antioxidant defense mechanisms. Examples of the possible consequences of free radical damage are provided with special emphasis on lipid peroxidation. Finally, the question of whether oxidative stress is increased in diabetes mellitus is discussed.


Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;68(7):778-85. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.39. Epub 2014 Mar 26.

Weight loss effects from vegetable intake: a 12-month randomised controlled trial.



Direct evidence for the effects of vegetable intake on weight loss is qualified. The study aimed to assess the effect of higher vegetable consumption on weight loss.


A single blind parallel controlled trial was conducted with 120 overweight adults (mean body mass index=29.98 kg/m(2)) randomised to two energy deficit healthy diet advice groups differing only by doubling the serving (portion) sizes of vegetables in the comparator group. Data were analysed as intention-to-treat using a linear mixed model. Spearmans rho bivariate was used to explore relationships between percentage energy from vegetables and weight loss.


After 12 months, the study sample lost 6.5±5.2 kg (P<0.001 time) with no difference between groups (P>0.05 interaction). Both groups increased vegetable intake and lost weight in the first 3 months, and the change in weight was significantly correlated with higher proportions of energy consumed as vegetables (rho=-0.217, P=0.024). Fasting glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels decreased (P<0.001 time) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels increased (P<0.001 time), with no difference between groups. Weight loss was sustained for 12 months by both groups, but the comparator group reported greater hunger satisfaction (P=0.005).


Advice to consume a healthy low-energy diet leads to sustained weight loss, with reductions in cardiovascular disease risk factors regardless of an emphasis on more vegetables. In the short term, consuming a higher proportion of the dietary energy as vegetables may support a greater weight loss and the dietary pattern appears sustainable.

Black Bean Brownies: FOX News Cooking Segments

Beans: the often overlooked “Super-Food”

BEANS are THE highest fiber food in our “whole food” repertoire (natural and not man-made like Fiber one bars). They are high in protein, 16g per cup. They are a very, very slowly digested source of energy yielding carbohydrates; perfect for people with blood sugar issues such as Diabetics.
Beans lower cholesterol, naturally, not because man added something to them. They are high in antioxidants that protect the body from cancer. They aid in weight loss on so many levels, from increasing satiety to lowering leptin levels. 1 ¼ cups of cooked beans provides as much protein as 3 ounces chicken for 1/4th the cost and 2 ½ times more volume. That volume and the super-antioxidant content, plus half of your daily fiber needs, are what makes beans a “Super-Food.” Add to that the fact that beans promote weight loss while allowing you to eat more calories. In a study comparing bean eaters to non-bean eaters, the bean eaters lost 7 pounds more and ate 200 calories more than the non-bean eaters.
The protein in beans is not complete but when you eat whole grains, or other complete proteins throughout the day, your body has what it needs to make complete proteins. In the brownie recipe, we have eggs to make a complete protein. In the shake we have the milk and in the black bean and quinoa mango salad, we have the quinoa to help complete the protein for your body.

When using beans as protein source in the shake, you get the protein you would get from a protein powder but you get so much more, such as Manganese, Magnesium, Copper, Iron, Zinc, All of your B vitamins except B12 plus extra Calcium, Potassium and Omega-3 fats. You don’t get any of that from protein powder and you save $0.37 per serving. The protein shake with beans costs only $0.70 for a 15oz serving.

Black Bean Brownies
Makes 20 servings – Ready in 1 hour

2 cans black beans, drained
6 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cocoa
1 cup chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

9×12 inch baking pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Oil baking pan.
Puree all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a food processor until you reach a smooth consistency.
Pour batter into baking pan. Disperse the chips evenly over top of the batter.
Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Best if refrigerated overnight.
Cut into 20 squares

Cost per serving: $0.51
Nutrients per serving (1 piece, 53g):  Calories: 141, Total Fats: 5 g, Total Carbohydrates: 19 g, Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 5 g 

% Daily Value
17% manganese
14% copper
12% magnesium
10% phosphorus
  9% iron
  8% selenium
  8% folate
  6% riboflavin, niacin & potassium
  5% zinc

Mango Bean Smoothie
Makes 1 serving – Ready in 5 minutes

1/2 cup white beans (such as navy or pinto)
1/2 mango, rough chopped
1 cup lowfat milk (any type)
2 Tbsp coconut, shredded, unsweetened 
6 mint leaves
4-6 ice cubes, add gradually

Throw everything in a blender and blend. Add ice gradually until your reach a desired consistency.

Cost per serving: $0.70
Nutrients per serving (1 shake/ 2 cups):  Calories: 350, Total Fats: 6 g, Omega-3 fats: 110 mg, Sodium: 140 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 55g, Dietary Fiber: 9 g, Sugars: 27g, Protein: 19g 

% Daily Value (DV)
Manganese:     36%
Calcium:          35%
Potassium:      28%
Vitamin D:       25%
Vitamin A:       20%
Vitamin C:      13%
Copper:           11%
Iron:                18%
Selenium:          4%
Magnesium:    17%
Phosphorus:    17%
Vitamin-E:         2%
Niacin:             10%
B-6:                    7%
Riboflavin:         4%
Zinc:                   8%
Folate:               31%
Thiamin-B1:    18%
B-12:                  0%

Black Bean, Quinoa & Mango Salad
Makes 1 serving – Ready in 10 minutes

1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 mango, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp flax oil
Sea salt & pepper to taste

Per serving: 314 calories, 54g carbs, 11g protein, 6g fat, 245% DV vitamin C, 76% vitamin A, 11-45% for all vitamins and minerals except vitamin D, B12 and calcium.

Kicking the Craving Habit

We have all been plagued by food cravings at some point in our lives. We can’t help it, we’re born to crave. It’s part of survival. At birth we crave sweet because mother’s milk is sweet, and high in fat, so when we taste sweet, we associate sweetness with energy, both immediate and stored fuel. But even when we are old enough to make more cognizant choices, often times those inherent tendencies kick in, especially during times of stress. If we are stressed, either because of a deadline, because we skipped a meal or because we exercised and didn’t eat enough, our survival mechanisms will kick in and we reach for quick-fix sugar sources to feed our brain, and high fat foods to provide long-term storage. We also grab for fatty foods because their texture offers a soothing mouthfeel that is learned. High fat foods are high on the hedonic, “pleasure seeking” food scale.

Statics show that 97% of women & 68% of men experience food cravings, 40% of women and 15% of men crave chocolate. Low levels of serotonin, a “feel good” hormone, has been associated with food cravings. Some experts also believe that cravings are your body’s way of trying to take in lacking nutrients, aside from sugar and fat, your body also uses a lot of vitamins and minerals during times of stress or during strenuous activity. Some of the nutrients our body seeks during times of stress include the B vitamins, prevalent in carbohydrate rich foods, but not in highly processed carb sources. Magnesium is another “nutrient” we crave during stress. Many experts speculate that we crave chocolate because it is a good source of magnesium. But spinach, is even higher when you compare ounce for ounce. And one cup of cooked spinach (about 8 cups raw) is only 53 calories whereas one cup of chocolate is 863 calories. If magnesium is what you are truly craving, then you’d better learn to head the signs and load up on spinach or you’ll be buying new clothes every season and not necessarily because you are so fashion conscious.

Other high magnesium foods include all leafy greens, beans, nuts (especially brazil nuts, cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds) as well as brown rice, barley, quinoa and dates.

To help you overcome your cravings, keep nutrient dense snack options on hands at all times. Fresh fruit, especially crunchy apples and sweet berries can easily offset your desire for less nutritious options, plus they add disease fighting antioxidants and fiber. Cut up veggies such as cucumbers, carrots and celery and creamy dip made with Greek yogurt will please your palate for creamy, fatty foods, while adding calcium, protein and fiber rich, water rich, low calorie crunch that beats the butt of any potato chip; baked, whole grain or whatever marketing tactic comes along. If nature made it, it’s made to eat, if man made it, RETREAT!

If you really have a chocolate craving, some experts recommend small pieces of dark chocolate, but when you’re truly hungry, your body wants volume and one little 1/2 inch square will not suffice. Instead, try my Aphrodisiac salad that incorporates spicy arugula with sweet berries, zinc rich pine nuts, sweet balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and rich, dark chocolate shaved over top. It’s an unusual combination that satisfies so many senses and can even sublimate for “something” missing, which is another reason we often “crave,” as a substitute for “affection.”

As a final offering, I also recommend simple frozen grapes and an ounce of mixed nuts. Use a portion-friendly container for calorie dense snacks such as nuts. A one cup serving of frozen grapes and a one ounce serving of mixed nuts has 150 fewer calories than a cup of ice cream plus at least 10-20% of all of your essential minerals and most of your vitamins. Ice cream has little to offer besides your daily allotment of saturated fat.

Crispy Kale Chips
Makes 1 serving – Ready in 20 minutes

One bunch kale, dinosaur or curly
2 tsp canola or other high heat oil
Dash of sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the kale with paper towels. Use kitchen shears or a knife to remove ribs and cut kale into 2 inch pieces. Toss in a bowl with oil and sea salt. Place on 2 large baking trays lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

2. Remove the kale chips from the oven. Enjoy!

Nutrients per serving (1 bunch):  Calories: 194, Total Fats: 10 g, Total Carbohydrates: 20 g, Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 6 g
Daily Value: 400% vitamin C, 180% vitamin A, 10-30% for every other vitamin & mineral except B12, vitamin D, Selenium & Zinc

Savory Greek yogurt dip
Makes 1 serving – Ready in 5 minutes

1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain, fat-free
Juice & zest of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp fresh chopped dill
1/8 tsp (dash) garlic powder

Mix everything together in a small bowl. Serve with your favorite sliced vegetables such as carrots, celery, peppers and cucumbers.

Per serving: 68 calories, 7g carbs, 10g protein, 0g fat, 25% DV for vitamin C, 13% DV for calcium

Aphrodisiac Salad
Makes 1 serving – Ready in 10 minutes

2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp flax oil
2 tsp honey
2 cups arugula (arugula’s peppery flavor complements the sweetness of the berries, much like the perfect couple—sweet & spicy)
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 Tbsp pine nuts
1/4 oz dark chocolate

In a large single serving salad bowl, pour in equal portions of apple cider vinegar, olive oil and honey. Mix with a fork. Add two big handfuls of arugula. Toss with dressing. Add 1/2 cup each of Blackberries and Raspberries. Squeeze some lemon juice onto the salad, just enough to sprinkle with flavor and extra antioxidants. The lemon helps to pull together flavors similar to salt but acts as a diuretic, unlike salt. Sprinkle with pine nuts and shaved dark chocolate. Cut slivers using a sharp knife or a microplane. Apply just enough chocolate to decorate the salad. A little goes a long way to perfectly compliment the flavors of the sweet berries and spicy greens.
Per serving: 290 calories, 16g heart healthy fats, 36g carbs, 9g fiber, 5g protein.

Other winning nutrients include 73% of your Daily Value for Vitamin C– perfect for protecting the immune system of both you and your loved on, 25% of the Daily Value for Vitamin A- obtained from those ever loving, visual protectors known as carotenoids. 15% of the Daily Value for that essential, oxygen transporting nutrient known as Iron (typically found in highest concentrations in animal products). Plus 11 % of the Daily Value for Bone Building Calcium and even more if you add a touch of creamy goat cheese. This salad contains a significant amount of every Vitamin & Mineral (10% or more) except for Vitamin D & B12 – you may want to eat it while standing in the sun for 15 minutes a day to get your D & perhaps accompanied by some poached chicken or fish for some B12 & extra protein. Best of all, this salad contains a variety of tastes, textures and colors all indicating a wide range of disease fighting, antioxidant nutrients.

Although one might think an Aphrodisiac Salad should be savored only in pairs, this salad can be eaten and enjoyed absolutely anytime your heart desires. To protect your heart & increase your energy, you also get 2,660mg of ALA omega-3 fatty acids from the flax oil. Omega-3 fats make every part of your body work better. You and your loved one will thank me forever.

What does your refrigerator say about you? by Elizabeth Brown, MS, RD

Thought for Food

We all know the saying about “Food for Thought” which means anything that provides mental stimulus. But how many of us really think about our food? Not only that, but how many of us think about how our food is reflective of our personalities, our successes and failures or better yet, our blockages to success?I read a post by another dietitian who examined “The Metaphysics of Your Refrigerator” or what your refrigerator says about you. She visited two friends on two separate occasions. Each friend had a cluttered refrigerator and each friend was a bit cluttered physically.Although these women had abundantly full fridges, there was a sense of stagnation or lack of flow through their ice chests.While reading this dietitian’s observation, where she paralleled the overweight state of her friends to their overstuffed refrigerators, I thought about the contents of my own icebox. What does my refrigerator say about me?

I know the contents of my cold-storage unit like the back of my hand. Hey, what’s that dark spot on my hand? Just kidding! I really do know what’s in there in my Frigidaire.

I label and date everything I make. I rotate my perishables using the FIFO rule (First In, First Out.) I am on top of food safety and sanitation in my domain.

But my fridge is also pretty full. So is that good or bad? How do we know when our life is full of the right kind of abundance versus the wrong kind of clutter?

My fridge is full because I took the time to fill it and to make the most of what I am so lucky to have. Before I buy groceries, I take stock of what I have and then build my purchases around my current items.

For example, this week I had some zucchini and yellow squash left over from last week’s produce purchases. I also had brown rice and lentils. I bought some leafy greens, a big bag of carrots, plus garlic and onions.

Most of my meals are vegetarian. Although it is not imperative to eat complimentary proteins at each meal, I do it to help ensure that my essential amino acids are met throughout the day. Grains and beans or lentils compliment each other by providing the essential amino acid that the other is lacking.

Similar to my quinoa cakes from the summer, I created a brown rice and lentil cake with shredded zucchini, yellow squash, shredded carrots, minced onion and garlic plus cumin, curry, sea salt and black pepper. I use brown rice flour, ground flax seed and a little water as a binder. Form into small patties and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on each side. Parchment paper on the baking sheet prevents sticking. Serve on a bed of greens. These brown rice vegetable cakes are nutritious, serve as a complete protein source and are delicious hot or cold.

I make the most of my food and waste nothing. Throughout the week, as I wash, peel and chop veggies for various dishes, I save the peels and tops in a container in the fridge. At the end of the week I put everything in a stock pot with water and herbs and simmer for an hour in order to extract every last nutrient. I end up with a very flavorful broth that I use to make vegetable soup over the weekend.

I am always so happy with myself for using everything that nature provided and for making soup from scratch and from scraps.

After chopping the leaves of fresh herbs for a recipe, I throw the stems in my juicer along with a carrot and an apple and make a fresh vegetable juice.

I have always been this way, frugal to a fault, but it’s out of respect and appreciation for life and especially for the life of the plant that provides the nutrients I need which help me maintain my strength to move through life. Nothing should ever be wasted. Everything has value.

Yet I know the laws of attraction and abundance. Part of me thinks that perhaps by being so frugal, I am saying to the universe, “Thank you, but I have everything I need.” This is true though. All of my needs ARE being met.

Does my refrigerator full of fresh produce and brown rice say that I am able to thrive on very little or that I make the most of what I have?

I want to make sure that my fridge is not sending the wrong signals.

I believe it’s not just about how much you have but about how much you appreciate what you have. Are you grateful for your bounty or do you take it all for granted? What does your refrigerator say about you?