Little Seeds with Big Taste

PumpkinSeedsSeeds are a healthy plant food. Our Health-e-Recipe for Sweet-Hot Pumpkin Seeds with Autumn Spices turns them into a delicious snack.

Like nuts, seeds contain fiber and healthy fats. They can be used for a garnish, as a crunchy coating for fish and poultry or in baked goods like muffins. Each type of seed has fiber and phytochemicals that provide health protection. For example, flaxseed is being studied for possible breast cancer prevention because of its omega-3 fats.

In this recipe, pumpkin seeds are a healthy treat that provide minerals including iron, magnesium and zinc. During harvest season, some folks like to take them right from the pumpkin, clean them and toast them in their shells. But you can find the tasty kernels already packaged (sometimes labeled “pepitas”).

This recipe mixes pumpkin seeds with anti-inflammatory spices ginger and paprika, along with cinnamon, cloves and a little brown sugar. The spices make a small amount satisfying, so you can eat this healthy snack without going overboard with calories. You could even pre-package individual servings in resealable plastic snack bags.

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Salmon Serves Up Omega-3s

seafood plateSweet, spicy and savory flavors team up in this week’s Health-e-Recipe for Sesame Salmon.

Salmon ranks high among fish with the most omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats found to be heart healthy. Omega-3s are also being studied for their potential to prevent breast cancer, making this recipe timely for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Albacore tuna, sardines and trout also have plenty of omega-3s, as do walnuts and leafy greens.

Wild-caught Pacific salmon is a good choice and rated on seafood watch lists to be among the least likely to contain toxins from pollutants. In this recipe, we add fresh ginger and garlic – both rich in anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Sesame seeds, too, contain healthy monounsaturated fats.

Good pairings for this delicious entrée are carrots sliced into match-stick pieces and steamed snow peas or spinach.

Find more delicious cancer-preventive recipes by visiting the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.


Eggplant Parmesan Makeover

cheesy-eggplant-casserole sm photoPreventing breast cancer and its recurrence means eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, researchers advise. But that doesn’t mean you have to live on celery. Our Health-e-Recipe for Cheesy Eggplant Casserole is a satisfying yet low-calorie version of an Italian favorite.

Eggplants and mushrooms both have a texture that is dense enough to substitute well for meat. In this dish, they are combined with scallions and onions, bell pepper, garlic and tomatoes—the healthy ingredients of many delicious Italian dishes.

All of these vegetables contain phytochemicals and the tomatoes contribute vitamin C and antioxidant lycopene. This phytochemical may protect against prostate cancer and is now being studied for possible breast cancer protection as well.

The best part, however, is that the many protective compounds we get from eating a mix of different vegetables reinforce each other’s anti-cancer benefits, according to AICR/WCRF’s report and its updates.

Cheese supplies protein and calcium in this dish. Since the vegetables have so few calories, it’s possible to use moderate amounts of low-fat versions of cottage cheese and mozzarella. Enjoy this hearty, delicious dish as part of a cancer-fighting diet during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Find more cancer-preventive recipes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.