Food for Thought – July Recipes

Food for Thought – July Recipes

JA can’t be cured through changing a child’s diet but certain foods and following an anti-inflammatory diet can help. Studies have shown the benefits of eating this way for those suffering from inflammatory conditions. Most of those studies focused on the adult population but experts agree that this diet would benefits kids and teens as well. So, this month we focus on kid friendly recipes that will have kids begging for seconds. Let’s get cooking!

 

Flourless Chocolate Chip and Berry Pancakes

Processed sugar is definitely an ingredient to avoid in order to reduce inflammation. Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate has less sugar and large quantities of cacao. Cacao is rich in a subclass of flavonoids known as flavanols, experimental evidence demonstrates that some cocoa-derived flavanols can reduce the production and effect of pro-inflammatory mediators. A recent study focusing on the benefits of maple syrup has shown that the delicious liquid contains a molecule called quebecol, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Together these two ingredients can go a long way in satisfying your little one’s sweet tooth without compromising their health.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, cut into chunks
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons toasted wheatgerm
  • 2 tablespoons raw, unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Coconut oil
  • ¾ cup semisweet dark chocolate chips
  • Fresh berries of your choosing
  • Maple syrup

 

Instructions:

  1. Add the banana, eggs, oats, wheat germ, coconut, lemon extract, cinnamon and pinch of salt to a blender; blend until you have achieved a smooth and creamy texture. Mix in the chocolate chips with a spoon.
  2. Lightly oil the bottom of a large skillet with coconut oil and heat over a medium heat. Pour ¼ cup batter onto the hot oiled skillet. Cook pancake for about 2-3 minutes and then flip carefully and cook on the other side until lightly browned.
  3. Repeat with the remaining batter, lightly oiling the skillet each time.
  4. Serve warm topped with the berries and drizzled with maple syrup.

 


 

Pizza

Which kid doesn’t love pizza? Dairy has long since been thought of as inflammatory. A recent systemic review has discovered this untrue, finding instead that consuming dairy appears to have neutral to beneficial effects on inflammatory markers. Feta cheese is high in vitamin B6 which when combined with histidine (a protein found in feta) undergoes a process by which it becomes histamine, a compound that provides anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition, feta cheese also contains probiotics, which help the immune system fight infection and disease.

Due to the bacterial starter cultures used in cheesemaking, all cheese contains some beneficial bacteria. However, Gruyere is produced using unpasteurized milk so it is likely to also contain higher numbers of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics are thought to improve the health of the human gut microbiome which is increasingly being shown to impact a number of our physiologic processes including inflammation and how well we metabolize medicinal compounds and drugs. The toppings for the pizza can be picked based on what your child enjoys but avoid overly processed and fatty foods.

 

Ingredients:

The crust:

  • ½ head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 egg

 

The sauce:

  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 small squeeze tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 handful basil
  • 1 drizzle coconut oil

 

Toppings (select a few you know your child enjoys):

  • Spinach
  • Feta cheese
  • Gruyere cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Red pepper
  • Butternut squash
  • Tomato
  • Banana

 

Instructions:

  1. The crust:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. Finely chop the cauliflower then blend to create a rice using your food processor or blender.
  4. Microwave the cauliflower rice for 5 minutes until soft.
  5. Place the cooked cauliflower into a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out any excess liquid. This step is important as the more liquid you remove the better the dough will bind.
  6. Add the rest of your ingredients into a bowl with the cauliflower and mix with your hands until well combined.
  7. On an oven tray lined with parchment paper, spread your mixture until it is around 1 inch thick.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until it’s lightly browned.

 

The sauce:

  1. Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
  2. Add to your pan on the stove and cook until heated through.
  3. After your pizza crust has been in the oven and is cooked, add the sauce, sprinkle with your chosen cheese and return to the oven for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted.

 

The toppings:

  1. If you choose to use the butternut squash, red pepper and mushrooms roast in the oven until soft and caramelized before adding to the cooked pizza.

 


 

Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

Spaghetti is a firm family favourite and go to meal in many households. Here’s a delicious take on spaghetti Bolognese that won’t promote inflammation but will still have kids slurping up these “noodles” happily. Spaghetti squash contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a significant decrease in inflammation found in the body. It is high in antioxidants that help to curb and prevent cellular damage. Vitamin C is another benefit of eating spaghetti squash as it promotes the production of collagen within the body, which supports faster cell reproduction that leads to quicker healing. Additionally, this vitamin improves immune response, prevents heart disease, and is thought to even fight certain cancers.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced shallots
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  • Feta cheese to garnish
  • 1 large or two medium spaghetti squash

 

Precook your spaghetti squash:

  1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and place it face-down in a baking dish with a little water added to the pan.
  2. In an oven preheated to 400 degrees F, cook your spaghetti squash for 30-45 minutes, or until fork-tender.
  3. Once done, scrape the insides with a fork, producing spaghetti-like strands (you can store the cooked strands in a covered dish in the fridge for up to a week).

 

The Sauce:

  1. Drain the tomatoes from the can. Set 4 – 5 whole tomatoes aside. Chop the remaining tomatoes, keeping as much juice as possible.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat with about 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add carrots, shallots and garlic, sauté for approximately 2 – 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer carrot-shallot mixture to a blender along with whole tomatoes that you set aside. Add ¼ cup of tomato juice from the can and blend on high until smooth. Return sauce to the skillet.
  4. Stir in chopped tomatoes, remaining tomato juice, and the other remaining ingredients. Stir and allow to come to a slow simmer. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss in the spaghetti squash pasta allowing it to warm through. Crumble the feta cheese on top before serving.

 


 

Chocolate Frozen Bananas

Not only is this a recipe the kids will love but with few ingredients and a quick preparation time it’s one parents will love too. Bananas contain high amounts of rutin, a compound that complements the activity of vitamin C, and helps to maintain strong, flexible blood vessels. Rutin also possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. As much as bananas are protective, they are also very significant mood foods with the ability to boost your little one’s mood on tough days.

Medjool dates are high in antioxidants including flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids, which have been studied for their anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and brain-protective properties. Desiccated coconut is an ultimate source of healthy fat that contains no cholesterol and contains selenium, fiber, copper and manganese. One ounce of desiccated coconut contains 80 percent healthy, saturated fat. Selenium found in coconut flesh is a mineral that helps the body produce enzymes, which enhance the immune system and thyroid function. A healthy but delicious way to end a children’s (or adult’s!) meal.

 

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 large bananas, cut into thirds
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Cocoa nibs
  • Dried and finely chopped dates
  • Chopped almonds

 

Instructions:

  1. Melt chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler. Stir until smooth, glossy, and entirely melted.
  2. Put a popsicle stick into one end of each banana piece.
  3. Dip each banana into the warm melted chocolate. Shake off excess chocolate over the bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate covered bananas with desiccated coconut, cocoa nibs, dates, chopped almonds or any combinations thereof (dates give a natural sweetness boost to these treats).
  5. Using the popsicle stick us dipped bananas into a piece of polystyrene. Place in the freezer. Once set remove from the freezer and enjoy.
Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation
arthritisresearch@curearthritis.org

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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