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Popchips’ Fiber Finally Poppin’ Off

13 Feb

Popchips’ Fiber Finally Poppin’ Off

I’ve always liked the idea of popchips – an un-fried potato product with “nothing fake or phony” – but I do admit I wasn’t a fan of their low fiber count.

The original popchips had just 1g fiber per 120 calorie serving. And while the ingredient list was clean, the starches consisted of potatoes, rice, and potato starch (white on white on white carb crime)… so the OG ones weren’t really a snack food worth a fiber fan’s time.

But I recently got my hands on a bag of the new veggie popchips. They caught my eye because they boast a better fiber profile. I bought the sea salt flavor, which this time around has 3g fiber in 120 calories.

The reason for the change? Popchips has wised up to the power of legume flour.

The ingredient list still starts with dried potato, but it goes on to include chickpea flour, navy bean flour, tapioca starch, beet powder, spinach powder, pumpkin powder, pea fiber, tomato powder, red bell pepper powder and kale powder.

In addition to the fiber pump, I think these veggie popchips also have a better, more nuanced flavor than the original popchips. They still stick a little too much to my teeth, and like all potato starch products, the texture is still slightly chalky.

Regardless, I would recommend the veggie popchips over the original popchips based on taste, fiber, and ingredient list alone. You can eat 1/3 of the bag (23 chips) for 120 calories & 3g fiber – and at 200 mg, the sodium count isn’t half bad either.

Now, you have to remember: if it looks like a chip and it tastes like a chip, it’s still a chip…and certainly not the same thing as eating real vegetables. You’re missing out on valuable nutrients like potassium and vitamin C there. But in a pinch, if you gotta grab a chip, I say the veggie popchips are a pretty good product.

 

Why Massaging Kale is a Must

10 Feb

Why Massaging Kale is a Must

When it comes to love for leafy greens, kale does not want for admirers.

Long touted as a super food, kale is a nutritional powerhouse that packs:

  • 4 grams of fiber in just 50 calories (about 6 cups loosely packed)
  • 1/3 daily value for vitamin A & double your daily need for vitamin C
  • 150 mg calcium (about half the amount in a cup of milk)

Sure kale tastes great if you cook it. But when consumed raw, the bitter kale leaves can be a bit off-putting.

Enter the kale massage. Massaging your kale mellows its flavor and softens up the brittle green.

Here’s how to master the mighty kale massage:

  • Strip the kale leaves away from the center vein and discard vein
  • Chiffonade or very thinly slice remaining kale leaves
  • Transfer to a bowl, grab bunches of kale in both hands, add a little olive oil if you want, and go to town
  • After a few minutes of massaging, the kale leaves’ texture will visibly change and shrink in size

Although the massage yields a darker-colored kale, there is no data to suggest that massaging kale alters its nutrient profile.

But if a kale massage is all it takes you to get more of this fiber friendly food…then clearly, massaging kale is a must!

Produce Wash: What’s the Point?

17 Nov

Produce Wash: What’s the Point?

You know you’re supposed to eat your fruits and vegetables – but do you need a special produce wash to clean them too?

Produce washes – which bill themselves as boosting safety – are pretty much hogwash.

Turns out, when it comes to cleaning your produce, running water and friction will cut it.

A number of food safety authorities say don’t waste your time with produce washes:

  • Foodsafety.gov says, “Soap or detergent or using commercial produce washes is not recommended”
  • The FDA does not recommend the use of soap, detergent, or produce washes
  • USDA recommends washing your produce under cold running tap water to remove any lingering dirt

So just how long should you wash your fruit and veg for? Food microbiologist Dr. Michael Doyle from the University of Georgia and its Director of its Center for Food Safety says that 20 seconds is sufficient, stating, “Any longer won’t make much of a difference.”

And what about bagged salads? These products say they’re double or triple washed – and turns out, they probably are. FoodSafety.gov says, “If the package indicates that the contents have been pre-washed or are ready to eat, you can use the product without further washing.”

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with buying a good old-fashioned head of lettuce and washing it thoroughly too!

PMA 2014: Fresh Summit Recap

7 Nov

PMA 2014: Fresh Summit Recap

As a guest and exhibitor with the California Avocado Commission, I recently had the opportunity to attend the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2014 tradeshow in Anaheim, CA.

With over 20,000 attendees and 900 exhibitors from 60+ countries, this was the place to BE if you love produce!

I was fortunate enough to spend my time in the CAC booth hosting Supermarket Registered Dietitians and educating them on the benefits of premium California avocados. I had an opportunity to demo one of the recipes I created for California Avocados this year – my 100-Calorie California Avocado Cucumber Cups – to the retail RDs and highlight the nutritional benefits of this versatile fruit.