Knead Dough to Make Dough

If you read my last post you know I caught the Kitchenaid on fire making challah.  I want to make more challah.  Freshly baked challah smells heavenly.  I tried making it by hand the week after I killed the appliance.  The recipe called for 7 cups of flour but it was so sticky I kept adding more flour and ended up with at least 14 cups.  It was hard to knead by hand and the texture from the cooked bread showed it. 

I really want another mixer machine. I once had a bread machine.  The idea was you had to dumb all the ingredients into the machine drum and presto ernesto after a few hour you had bread.  All I had was a weird tasting funny shaped loaf with a mixer piece baked into it. Feh

I don’t want a bread maker.  I can put the dough in the oven myself.  I need a mixer.  A machine that will let me effortlessly create challah, birthday cakes, banana bread, cookies, cheesecake and brownies.  All to be eaten in moderation of course!

The machine I want needs to hold 14 cups of flour.  This way I can make many loaves of challah at once and freeze the rest of the dough for the next 2 weeks.  The way I see it, with a 6 quart bowl I could make bread every 3 weeks.

Here’s the problem, these machines are sooooo expensive.  Like $500 expensive.  It just seems like an awful lot of dough to make dough.  The machine that burned was a Walmart Kitchenaid basic model that my lovely German friend left me when she moved back (something about a plug issue).  It’s more reasonably priced at around $250 but I don’t think it was meant for mixing dough. Not enough power and I am not dumb enough to try that again.

I saw the machine of my dreams at a friend’s home.  Here it is.  Drool…..  The beauty of the this one is the machine mixes from the bottom not the top.  Less messy and easier to make bread dough.  It all also has an 800 watt motor. Wow!

What do you think?


Y’are Whatya Eat

These days, most people know that maintaining optimal health begins with what we eat.  The problem is in today’s world everything is fast paced including food.  In the olden days the mom would be home home cooking and keeping house all day long.  There would be time to bake homemade breads and cook all meals from scratch with wholesome ingredients.  This is just not possible anymore with 2 income families.  Even if one parent stays home there are tons of activities and things to get done that make this type of cooking nearly impossible.

ImageHere are some ways to facilitate the process of making healthy foods.  Consider small appliances as tools to make quick and easy recipes.  For example, a small immersion blender turns a pot of chunky vegetables into a smooth soup.  It does the same for a pot of meat sauce and the bonus is the kids won’t know you blended veggies into it!  A food processor is the king for chopping and grating.  I use mine to grate large blocks of cheese.  This saves me money because pre-grated cheese is a fortune.  I use the grated cheese on homemade pizza, over pasta, in casseroles and for omelets.  The standing mixer is da bomb when it comes to baking.  It’s easy to buy cookies and other snacks for lunches but nothing beats homemade especially since you can control the amount of sugar and the type of flour that goes into the recipe.  Home baked goods can be a source of whole grains and fiber.  Store bought less so.

When making a meal from scratch why not make a double batch and freeze it right away?  Chop the vegetables the night before and your meal will be half prepared when you get home from work.  Order your groceries online which creates more time to cook. As you can see, the key to healthy eating really is in the planning.  Take some time to make menus and grocery lists so you already know what to make for supper or go to a website like which does it for you.

These are just a few ideas to motivate you to cook more and order or eat out less.  Stay tuned for some cooking short cuts to create easy and healthy meals.

p.s. That is a picture of the Kitchenaid right before it caught fire. I was making homemade bread.

Meet Janna and Get LEAN! Launching Tuesday January 24th. Only a few spaces left!

Hi everyone!

My name is Janna Boloten and I am very excited to introduce myself as the latest addition to the Montreal Nutrition team. I graduated from Dietetics & Human Nutrition at McGill University in December 2011 and I have long been eager to start my career as a registered dietician. I love the interpersonal aspect of nutrition; connecting with people based on what they eat combines health, wellness and pleasure. Eating is a universally enjoyed activity and an essential part of people’s culture and traditions – making nutrition a topic that is relevant to everyone.

Of particular interest to me are pre & post-natal nutrition, early childhood nutrition, sports nutrition, and weight loss. I’ll be blogging on a regular basis, discussing these and other topics topics related to food, nutrition and health. I’d love to hear about your interests, questions and comments so please don’t be shy to speak up!

Right now I am running Get LEAN: Lifestyle Exercise And Nutrition, a weight loss program in collaboration with Montreal Nutrition and  Santé Kildare Medical Clinic  in Cote St. Luc. If you or someone you are close to would be interested in losing weight the right way – no gimmicks, no bells and whistles, just good, clean nutrition – this is an opportunity not to be missed!

Get LEAN is…

  • Designed by a physician and registered dietician, and tackles the most common issues and challenges we face when trying to lose weight.
  • Weekly group sessions with the dietician, where you will learn the truth about weight loss, be provided with helpful tips and tricks, and receive motivation and support to achieve and maintain your personal goals.
  • A means to get the tools you need to live a happy and balanced life at a healthy weight.
  • Based on the latest, most reliable and effective strategies for weight loss, backed by science and research.

Here’s what’s included:

  • Individualized medical consultation, physical examination, medication review, and laboratory tests
  • Week 1: How to Lose Weight: What really works and explanation of the eating plan
  • Week 2: Motivation and Making Changes
  • Week 3: Changing Your Environment to Facilitate Weight Loss
  • Week 4: Facing Challenges and Overcoming Obstacles
  • Week 5: Adopting New Eating Habits
  • Physician follow-up at end of program
  • Program includes weekly weigh-ins and blood pressure measurements

Sessions begin on Tuesday, January 24, 2012.

Cost $240 + tax

Limited spaces still available. Please call (514) 397-0777 and ask about Get LEAN to register

Can a dirty mouth make you sick?

Guest blogger Allison Brooks has some important information about the link between your teeth and your diet.

My name is Allison Brooks and I am a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi. I earned my B.S. in Biomedical Anthropology and have continued my research to work towards a completed ethnography. I mainly focus on the effects of biomedicalization on different cultures, but I do branch off into other fields of anthropology. I wrote about family nutrition and oral health because I feel that it is the easy way to promote a more natural well-being and is easy to relate to.

Families are increasingly paying attention to their nutrition together due to a couple of factors: the awareness of the negative effects of carrying too much weight and the diverse impacts of eating at home and eating out. Many people are trying to make a change in their eating habits by eating together as a family at home. The topic of oral health has also become popular as people realize that the health of their teeth has a powerful effect on their overall health and on the health of their hearts.

The best way to have a positive impact on your family nutrition and your oral health is to agree to eat together as a family. Eating at home, in fact, has many benefits for a family. Studies show that there are many social and intellectual benefits to eating together as a family, but there are also nutritional advantages. When you cook at home, you most likely will not make food that is nearly as saturated with bad fats and sodium as the kind of things that they sell in restaurants. Home-cooked meals are more likely to include vegetables and complex carbohydrates, rather than the sugary or salt-laden treats that you acquire in a fast food restaurant.

When you eat together, it will be easier to ensure that children and adults remember to brush their teeth after eating. The importance of oral health has come to the attention of many people now that medical science has drawn straight lines between various stages of poor oral health and other negative health conditions. Many hospitals and research facilities have conducted clinical trials to see the correlation with proper oral health and other ailments.  Recent research is revealing very powerful connections between heart health and oral health. This has an impact not only on health but also on longevity.

Certain foods are especially capable of providing good nutrition for your body and for preserving or even improving your oral health. Take, for example, an apple. These delicious fruits contain natural sugars that your taste buds will appreciate. The crunchiness of the apple is a sign that your teeth and gums are getting a good workout while the texture of the fruit scrapes your teeth clean. Your digestive system will welcome the fiber in the apple which will keep your intestines in good health.

Encourage your family members to eat together. The benefits are both social and nutritional. If you choose the right foods, you can all live happily together for a long time.

Flavoured Milk for Kids? Are You Kidding Me?

Every year I go to the Dairy Farmer’s Symposium and I always look forward to it.  It’s a chance to re-connect with ol’ nutrition buddies from McGill and other dietitians I’ve met over the years.  It’s also free and I get points for continuing education.

The same thing happens every year.  I get there and I see my friends, we catch up and all is good.  Then the conference starts and the first speaker seems interesting. Then the next speaker starts and I start to feel uncomfortable.  Then I remember this expensive symposium is payed for in its entirety by the Dairy Farmers of Canada.  The whole point of this conference is to get dieticians across Canada recommending dairy products left, right and centre to every patient, client, friend, family member and person they come in contact with.

They do this by finding speakers who present their research with a strong bias towards dairy.  Now do not get me wrong, I am not bashing milk.  Milk has merit and we will get to that in an upcoming blog.  Today, I take serious issue when the information presented is trying to convince me to recommend flavoured milk to kids.  The American speaker presented research indicating that removing flavoured milk from some USA schools actually reduces essential nutrients.  Apparently, there is no other way to provide these essential nutrients such as  calcium, vitamin D and potassium other than through flavoured milk.  I think this is a joke. My children go to the English Montreal School Board and are provided with regular white milk 3 to 5 times a week. Never have these children been given flavoured milk at school.

Flavoured milk has its place and I do recommend it in certain situations.  But the message that was presented today was that flavoured milk is nutritious.  Flavoured milk is milk with ADDED sugar. Herein lies the problem.  As a nation, we over consume sugar.  Everyone, including myself eats too much sugar.  It is in everything,  cereals, condiments, drinks, grain products, added to coffee, candy, chocolate and many other foods.  Sugar is the enemy. It leads to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. We need to teach our children to moderate their intake of added sugars.  We need to moderate our own intake.

Instead of criticizing American schools for removing flavoured milk, why not provide serious education to the children of these schools along with their families on proper nutrition.  If regular education is part of the system perhaps the children will actually eat the foods that would provide them with the nutrients they need. Didn’t Jamie Oliver try this?  Wasn’t it effective?

The bottom line is this, if parents think that flavoured milk is nutritious then they will give it to their children.  Kids will never have the opportunity to develop a taste for plain old white milk.  As they grow, kids will always need added sugar in their milk.

Texture or Taste?

You ever wonder what makes people love certain foods while others hate that same item? Naturally, you might assume it’s all about taste. What tastes good to one person might taste terrible to another. But what if there is something else at play here? Consider texture and how food feels in the mouth. Sometimes this is referred to as mouthfeel.

Texture plays a huge role in how we consume food. For example, some people prepare their pasta el dente while others prefer it softer. Many people like to munch on raw broccoli and some will only eat their broccoli cooked.

Kids are often all about texture. Parents never clue in about this and thus label their little one picky eaters. Similarly as people age, anatomy changes or illness compromises swallowing. What was once easy to eat becomes a challenge. To help them, it could be as simple as changing the texture of the foods they eat.

Likes and dislikes can easily be attributed to texture. Many people hate fish. If you probe them you will find out it has to do with how the fish feels in their mouth. I have seen the same thing with nut butters, pickles, quinoa and even mustard. One client insists that mustard feels like tiny little sand pieces in his mouth. Some people describe milk as slimy. Interesting choice of words, which once again points to a texture issue.

As a dietitian, there is nothing I can really do to help someone “like” a texture. Simply recognizing this is often very helpful for the person. When a parent understands that their child is adverse to a food because of the texture, perhaps they can serve the same food prepared or cooked differently. For seniors, offering soft foods more often could do the trick. It’s important for seniors to meet their nutrient and caloric needs. It’s also important to make sure they are safe when they are eating so they don’t choke or aspirate which could lead to pneumonia.

You see eating is not just about flavour. There are so many other factors we need to consider when enjoying a delicious meal.

August produce is here, right now in Montreal!

Hello everyone! I’m BACK! but only with a quick short update on local seasonal produce in Montreal.

Here’s a simple alphabetical list for August (the bolded selections are the additions to the list in July!) 

  • apple
  • artichoke
  • asparagus
  • beet
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • broccoli
  • cabbage, green
  • cabbage, red
  • cantaloupe
  • carrot
  • cauliflower
  • celeriac
  • celery
  • cherry
  • chicory
  • Chinese cabbage
  • corn
  • cucumber
  • cucumber (greenhouse, hydroponic)
  • eggplant
  • escarole
  • fava beans
  • fine herbs
  • garlic
  • green beans
  • ground cherries
  • hot pepper
  • kale
  • leek
  • lettuce
  • mushroom
  • parsley
  • pear
  • pepper
  • pickles
  • plum
  • radicchio
  • radish
  • raspberry
  • shallots
  • snow peas
  • spinach
  • strawberries
  • swiss chard
  • tomato
  • tomato (greenhouse, hydroponic)
  • watercress
  • watermelon
  • zucchini
Here is an excellent link for tons of great salad ideas, including the watermelon salad. Also a great idea for watermelon skewers for the end of the summer BBQ!
Check out this giant eggplant my mother got from the farm the other day. The eggplant is literally the size of a child!

Also, reminding all of you that the following fruits and veggies are in season, all year around!

  • apple
  • carrot
  • green cabbage
  • mushroom
  • onion
  • potato
  • sweet potato
  • turnip
  • rutabage
You can find all of these at montreal’s local farmer’s markets if you have a saturday morning off just to take a stroll. It’s a great place to go and walk around.
– D the Intern