Tag Archives: nutrients

Bone marrow, bone broths and its benefits

12 Mar

Growing up in my home town, Colombia, I always enjoyed eating the local favorite, oxtail. About once a month my mother would prepare a delicious oxtail stew. Since moving to the United States I have not had many chances to enjoy this delicious dish. A few years ago, a friend from Jamaica cooked a similar but spicier oxtail stew that I really enjoyed.

20180306_193352My most recent, and not enjoyable, encounter with this dish was this last Saturday. I was dining at a fine restaurant that served the oxtail plated with the oxtail bone marrow still inside alongside the meat. They suggested spooning the marrow out and spreading it on the bread, claiming it has health benefits. This was very interesting to me as I have never heard of that before.

Bone broths are also becoming more and more popular. This new phenomenon of broths and soups made from meat bones claim to calm arthritic symptoms and boost your immune system as well as keep the skin smooth and blemish free. Bone broths are also being used as a treatment for conditions like autism and schizophrenia, but these claims do not yet have any scientific evidence.

Bone is composed of collagen, protein and minerals. Bone marrow is a spongy tissue composed of protein, fat and cholesterol. According to laboratory analysis, and Caitlin Van Dreason, a registered dietitian and clinical nutrition manager at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance, bone broth has at least one benefit …protein! 1 cup of bone broth contains 6 to 12 grams of protein. Other than protein, there are no other nutritional values.

Instead of just drinking bone broth by itself, add vegetables, grains and legumes to make it richer in nutrients and fiber. The USDA my plate recommends eating a variety of vegetables, whole grains and legumes to add nutrients to our brain and body. Try this chicken broth recipe from the USDA What’s cooking website? https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/hearty-vegetable-beef-soup

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

Makes: 4 servings

Frozen vegetables, canned tomatoes, and chicken broth make this an easy soup to throw together on a cold work night. Noodles and beef make it extra hearty and comforting.



3/4 can chicken broth (low sodium, 14.5 oz)

1/2 cup water

2 cups mixed vegetables (frozen, for soup)

1 can tomatoes (14.5 oz, broken up)

4 ounces beef (cooked and diced)

1 teaspoon thyme leaves (crushed)

1 dash pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

1 1/4 cups noodles (narrow-width, uncooked)


  1. Heat broth and water. Add vegetables, meat and seasonings. Bring to boil, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  2. Add noodles. Cook until noodles are tender, about 10 minutes
  3. Remove bay leaf.

Nutrition Information: for 1 cup, 1/4 of recipe Calories 173 

Total Fat 3 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Cholesterol 28 mg; Sodium 331 mg; Total Carbohydrate 25 g; Dietary Fiber 6 g; Total Sugars 6 g; Added Sugars included 0 g; Protein 12 g; Vitamin D 0 mcg; Calcium 73 mg; Iron 3 mg; Potassium 478 mg

Eggplant can be quick and easy

29 Sep

Performing cooking demos for my classes requires quick and easy recipes that are tasty and healthy at the same time. My ultimate goal is to encourage my clients to eat more vegetables by showing them a variety of ways to prepare them.

I find the recipes and try them at home to see how long it takes to prepare them. Then, I have my 14 year old taste them. I have notice that most of the recipes he enjoys are successful with my clients. Recently, I have been trying eggplant in different recipes like eggplant parmesan, eggplant stalks, and roasted eggplants.  Eggplant can be prepared in so many ways, but my challenge is to find a quick recipe for my demos.



I like the overwhelming meaty texture of eggplant. Surprisingly to me, eggplant is a fruit and not a vegetable. It is a glossy purple fruit with an egg shape. It is a perennial plant but it is more commonly grown as an annual. Eggplant comes from the nightshade family of plants, with potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. In European and Middle Eastern cuisine, eggplant could be considered a delicacy with its comfort food flare.

While eggplants don’t have an overwhelming supply of any one nutrient, they do contain an impressive array of many vitamins and minerals, such as fiber, folate, potassium, manganese, as well as vitamins C, K, B6, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, and pantothenic acid. Recently, scientists have found eggplant to contain powerful antioxidant phenols, including the anthocyanin phytonutrient nasunin, which is important for neutralizing damaging free radicals in your body.

For my next program I will prepare an eggplant salad. Instead of cooking the eggplant in the oven I will prepare it in my electric skillet. Here is the recipe I will use:


This mild flavored salad really celebrates the chickpea, which is an excellent source of fiber, protein and iron which is perfect for keeping our bodies energized on a busy schedule. YIELD 4 as a side, 2 as a meal


  • 1/2 a small red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 large eggplant, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into thin half moons
  • A good pour of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 (13.5-ounce) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic-infused with olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Slivered almonds, to top then serve


Cover the onion with water and set aside for half an hour—this reduces the harshness of its taste when eaten raw.

Next, prepare the eggplant. Spread the half-moon slices out on a baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Place on a high rack under the broiler for 5 minutes, then take out and brush again with a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice—you can make it quite wet, as the eggplant will absorb all the liquid. Place back under the broiler until the edges of the slices are slightly blackened and the flesh is soft. Set aside in a large bowl.

On the same baking sheet, spread out the chickpeas and broil until they’re golden. Add them to the bowl of eggplant.

Dice the tomatoes into small cubes and add to the bowl along with the parsley, drained red onion slices, garlic oil, cayenne pepper, remaining lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper and mix well. Serve warm, with a sprinkling of slivered almonds.

Nutritional information

Calories 356, Carbohydrates 60 g (20%), Fat 8 g (12%), Protein 17 g (33%), Saturated Fat 1 g (4%), Sodium 427 mg (18%), Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g, Fiber 19 g (77%), Monounsaturated Fat 3 g



Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be stressful – Ines Beltran, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

25 Aug

Having a new baby and getting into the breastfeeding routine can be stressful.  However, studies have shown that breastfeeding is so healthy for moms and their infants that it worth the effort.  Breastfeeding is a normal process; it offers essential nutrients and a nutritionally balanced meal, breastmilk is easy to digest and it fights diseases.

cross_cradle_2000x1100_4x3[1]Stress affects breastfeeding and can make you more likely to get sick or have trouble sleeping. Stress may cause stomach problems, headaches, and mental health conditions. However, breastfeeding can help mothers relax and handle stress better. Skin-to-skin contact with your baby has a soothing effect.

These steps would help ease stress while breastfeeding:

• Get informed. Learn all you can about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to make it work for you to help you get through the rough spots. The first few weeks of breastfeeding are the hardest, but it does get easier. 

• Learn how to relax. Try to find a quiet, comfortable, relaxing place to nurse. This will help make breastfeeding more enjoyable for you and your baby. Use this time to bond with your baby, listen to soothing music, meditate, or read a book.

• Sleep. Getting enough sleep will make you less stress, help you to cope with challenges and stay healthy. Try to sleep whenever possible.

• It really does take a village to raise a child. Talk to your family about supporting your goals of breastfeeding and how you need their support. 

• Physical activity improves your mood. Your body makes certain chemicals, called endorphins, when you exercise. These relieve stress and improve your mood. If you are a new mother, ask your doctor when it is okay to start exercising.

•Don’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways. This includes drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, or smoking, all of which can harm you and your baby. It is also unhealthy to overeat in response to stress.

• Ask for help from a professional if you need it. Sometimes we don’t know how to deal with problems. Talk to your doctor about taking some medicines to help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety and help promote sleep. However, not all medicines are safe to take while breastfeeding. Read more about stress and medicines that are safe to take while breastfeeding at