JOIN ME: I am committed to healthy eating. This week I am eating for brain health, with a focus on foods that are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s belong to a group of fats known as polyunsaturated fats, and studies suggest that they can help ward off a range of diseases, including Alzheimer’s and depression. Flaxseeds, walnuts, sardines, salmon and tofu are all excellent sources of omega-3s. You’ll find some in the delicious recipes I gathered in AARP, and I’ve included here. Try the recipes. Feedback is welcomed.
1. Flax and Pecan Granola, by Olivia Dupin
This nutrient-packed homemade granola is perfect for serving with Greek yogurt or almond milk and fresh fruit. It’s full of fiber and protein, with nutritional-powerhouse ingredients such as pecans, pumpkin seeds, oats and omega 3-laden flaxseed meal.
Per serving: 297 calories, 3g saturated fat, 30g carbohydrates, 8g protein, 6g fiber, 18mg sodium
2. Hearty Barley Fruit Bread, by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes
This satisfying quick bread is high in fiber, thanks to the dried fruit and barley flour, and includes walnuts, a top source of omega-3. It’s also gluten-free, vegan and wonderful for breakfast or a nutritious snack.
Per serving: 380 calories, 1g saturated fat, 68g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 6g fiber, 274mg sodium
• Nonstick cooking spray
• 96 g (½ cup) Sucanat
• 149 g (1 cup) dried figs, chopped
• 80 g (½ cup) raisins
• 3 ounces (85 g) diced candied orange peel
• 120 g (1 cup) walnuts, coarsely chopped
• ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Heaping ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
• 210 g (1¾ cups) barley flour
• 16 g (2 tablespoons) arrowroot powder or cornstarch
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 cup (235 ml) vegan milk
In a large bowl. combine the Sucanat, figs, raisins, orange peel. walnuts, salt. cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, arrowroot powder or cornstarch, and baking powder.
In a medium-size bowl. whisk together the milk and yogurt.
Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry, and stir until combined. scrape into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, until golden brown and firm on top.
Carefully remove from the pan and place on a wire rack. Let cool completely before slicing. This bread will keep well for at least a week, tightly wrapped in foil. It also freezes well.
A lot of store-bought candied orange peel contains high-fructose corn syrup, which is why we recommend you be on the lookout for a more natural kind when I you shop for groceries or even make your own with healthier sweeteners and organic oranges so that the peel is safe to eat and pesticide-free.
Chicken Salad, by Julia Child
Chopped walnuts add protein, omega-3s and crunch to Child’s chicken salad recipe, which is flavored with fresh tarragon and parsley.
Per serving: 434 calories, 5g saturated fat, 4g carbohydrates, 29g protein, 1g fiber, 487mg sodium
• 6 cups cooked chicken, cut up into good-sized pieces
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper
• 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup diced tender celery stalks
• 1/2 cup diced red onion
• 1 cup chopped walnuts
• 1/2 cup chopped parsley
• 1 teaspoon finely cut fresh tarragon leaves (or ¼ tsp dried tarragon)
• 2/3 cup or so mayonnaise
• Fresh salad greens, washed and dried
For decoration: All or a choice of sliced or chopped hard-boiled eggs, parsley sprigs, strips of red pimiento
Toss the chicken with salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, celery, onion, and walnuts. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes or overnight. Drain out any accumulated liquid; toss with the parsley and tarragon. Taste analytically and correct seasonings. Fold in just enough mayonnaise to enrobe ingredients. Shred the greens, arrange on a platter, and mound the salad on top. Spread a thin coat of mayonnaise over the chicken and decorate with the eggs, parsley, and pimiento strips.