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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Including Vegan and Keto Alternatives



In need of a honey substitute while you’re rocking a vegan, keto, or low sugar lifestyle?

Sure, honey is delicious and often touted as a “healthier” sub for refined sugar. But in truth, honey is still high in sugar. It’s also an animal byproduct, which means it’s a no-go for vegans.

Thankfully, there are plenty of honey alternatives that can be a better fit.

If you’re not counting carbs or sugar content, here are the best honey substitutes. (Bonus: They’re all naturally vegan.)

1. Raw sugar

Raw sugar doesn’t go through the same bleaching process as refined white sugar. That’s why it has a richer flavor and a caramel color. (BTW, it’s also called turbinado sugar, natural cane sugar, or demerara sugar.)

Pros: Since it’s less processed, raw sugar can contain tiny amounts of minerals like iron and calcium — but it’s really not much.

Cons: Your body digests raw sugar the same way it digests white sugar. So you should prob avoid it if you’re prone to high blood sugar or if you have diabetes. Also, a single teaspoon has 4.59 grams of carbs, so it’s not the best choice for those on low carb diets.

How to swap: 1:1 replacement (For large batches, you may need to add some liquid to offset the moisture from honey.)

2. Brown sugar

Most brown sugar is just a mixture of white sugar and molasses. It has a deeper flavor and a darker color than plain white sugar.

Pros: Brown sugar has slightly more minerals than refined sugar, but not enough to give you any major health perks.

Cons: Eating too much of any type of added sugar, including brown sugar, might increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease.

How to swap: 1:1 replacement (For large batches, you may need to add some liquid to offset the moisture from honey.)

3. Maple syrup

Maple syrup comes from (surprise, surprise) maple trees. It has a complex flavor with hints of vanilla, butter, and caramel.

Pros: Maple syrup contains a range of antioxidants and has low levels of minerals such as zinc, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Just be sure you stick to the real thing and not the artificially flavored stuff.

Cons: Real maple syrup can be pretty pricey. So, it contains fructose. Studies suggest that consuming too much fructose can increase your risk of insulin resistance, diabetes, and weight gain.

How to swap: 1:1 replacement

4. Molasses

This thick, dark syrup is a byproduct of the sugar cane and sugar beet refinement process. It has a sweet, warm, and slightly smoky flavor.

Pros: Molasses contains minerals like selenium, iron, copper, and calcium. It also has more antioxidants than honey, according to a 2009 study.

Cons: While molasses might be better for you than refined sugar, it’s still packed with sucrose. Eating too much might lead to a gnarly sugar crash or give you the trots.

How to swap: 1:1 replacement

5. Agave syrup

Agave syrup (aka agave nectar or maguey syrup) comes from the fluid found inside the agave plant. Amber agave has a light caramel taste, while dark agave has a richer flavor.

Pros: Agave nectar is a high fructose sweetener, so it has a low glycemic index (GI). That means it’s less likely to trigger blood sugar spikes than high glucose sweeteners.

Cons: Agave syrup has little to offer in terms of nutrition. And it’s a good idea to be careful about which one you buy. Stick to high quality products that don’t contain added sugars or harsh preservatives.

How to swap: 1:1 replacement

6. Corn syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) gets a bad rap. And TBH, fair enough. But there’s a reason why this sweet stuff is so popular.

Pros: Corn syrup is very cheap and versatile. It dissolves into liquids well and doesn’t crystallize like a lot of other sweeteners do. This means it is ideal for making candy or sweet sauces.

Cons: Corn syrup offers no essential nutrients and won’t make you feel full. According to a 2011 study, it can also trigger the production of triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

How to swap: 1:1 replacement with light corn syrup; if using dark corn syrup, use 1/2 teaspoon for each teaspoon of honey

7. Barley malt syrup

Barley malt syrup is made by malting barley grains — a multistep process that involves slowly heating the sprouts to make a concentrated syrup. It has a distinct, erm, malty flavor and isn’t as sweet as honey.

Pros: It has some complex carbs and a bit of protein (but not much).

Cons: It’s not gluten free.

How to swap: 1:1 replacement

8. Date paste

Date paste is a creamy, dreamy blend of dates, the sugary stone fruit that grows on date palm trees. It has a cinnamon, toffee, and butterscotch vibe.

Pros: Date paste is full of fiber and is a decent source of antioxidants such as carotenoids and phenolics. So, it’s 10/10 easy to make at home. All you need to do is simmer dates until tender and then give them a quick blitz in the blender.

Cons: Date paste is just a bunch of dates blended into a tasty spread. Since a single date has about 6 grams of carbs and 5 grams of sugar, it’s easy to eat a lot of carbs and sugar via date paste.

How to swap: 2/3 cup of date paste for every 1/2 cup of honey, or a 1:1 ratio if you like it sweet

9. Golden syrup

Golden syrup is a thick syrup made from sugar, citric acid, and water. It has a mild buttery flavor and a distinct amber color.

Pros: Golden syrup’s warm flavor makes it a great addition to baked goods, yogurt parfaits, and oatmeal. It’s also less likely to crystallize than other syrups.

Cons: It offers no real nutritional value and has a slightly lower glycemic index (GI) compared to sugar.

How to swap: 1:1 replacement

10. Rice malt syrup

Rice malt syrup (aka brown rice syrup) is made by breaking down starches and turning them into smaller sugars that are easier to digest. It has a sweet, slightly nutty flavor.

Pros: Brown rice syrup is super sweet, so a little bit goes a long way. It’s pretty easy to find in most grocery stores that carry vegan-friendly foods.

Cons: Brown rice syrup will probably spike your blood sugar since it isn’t low carb and is high in sugar. It may contain arsenic and can be pricey too.

How to swap: 1:1 replacement (but it’s better in small amounts since it’s so sweet)

11. Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is made from coconut palm sap, the sweet liquid found inside a coconut plant 🥥.

Pros: Coconut sugar retains some of the nutrients found in the coconut palm, including minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, and iron.

Cons: It’s packed with fructose and isn’t that different from regular sugar in terms of energy. So, it can be a bit expensive.

How to swap: 1:1 replacement (For large batches, you may need to add some liquid to offset the moisture from honey.)

A single tablespoon of honey has 17.3 grams of carbs. That’s bad news if you’re kicking it keto. On the ketogenic diet, you should aim to eat 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day.

You may be able to find keto friendly honey or maple syrup products, but some are made with artificial flavors that leave a funky taste in your mouth. You might be better off with these low carb honey alternatives.

12. Stevia

Stevia is made from the leaves of the stevia plant. The leaves are dried and the concentrated extract is filtered and turned into a liquid or powder. To swap for honey, liquid would be the easier option.

Pros: Stevia is probably the most popular zero-calorie non-nutritive sweetener on the market. It’s also a lot sweeter than sugar, so you only need a little to curb your sweet tooth.

Cons: Studies have shown that stevia has no significant effect on blood sugar. But the powdered kind can contain sugar alcohols, which may trigger digestive issues like bloating, cramps, nausea, and vomiting.

How to swap: 1/3 teaspoon of liquid stevia for 1/4 cup of honey (But you may want less since it’s so sweet.)

13. Allulose

Allulose is a low calorie sweetener that’s derived from fruits such as figs and raisins. It sorta tastes like a less sweet table sugar.

Pros: Allulose doesn’t have any impact on your blood sugar or insulin levels. This makes it a great honey alternative for people who have diabetes or are on a low carb diet.

Cons: Research suggests that eating a lot of allulose might give you an upset stomach. Some people have reported bloating, diarrhea, and gas.

How to swap: 1 1/3 cups of allulose for 3/4 cup of honey

14. Monk fruit sweetener

Monk fruit is a small, round fruit from Southeast Asia. It contains an antioxidant called mogroside V, which is more than 300 times sweeter than sucrose.

Pros: Monk fruit sweetener has zero calories and won’t raise your blood sugar. Also, test-tube studies suggest that mongrosides — the compounds that give monk fruit its sweetness — can inhibit cancer cell growth. But we def need more research in humans to show this is legit.

Cons: Not everyone digs the flavor of monk fruit. Also, there haven’t been enough studies to say whether it has any potential side effects in humans.

How to swap: 1 teaspoon of monk fruit liquid for 3/4 cup of honey

15. Erythritol

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that’s found naturally in some fruits and vegetables. It can also be produced by fermenting a simple sugar called dextrose, which is usually derived from corn.

Pros: Erythritol is non-glycemic and very low in calories. There’s also a chance it’s good for your teeth. A 2016 study found that it can slow oral bacteria growth, which could reduce the risk of cavities 😁.

Cons: Since your body can’t fully digest it, erythritol might cause digestive symptoms like gas, cramping, or diarrhea.

How to swap: 1 1/3 cups of erythritol for 3/4 cup of honey (But FYI: Using more than 1/2 cup of erythritol may make baked goods super dry.)

Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Guiding the way to thrive



Jan Juc naturopath Rebecca Winkler has always found joy in the practice of cooking nourishing meals for others.

That pastime spilled over into developing recipes and it was during lockdown that her culinary passion led her to become a qualified plant-based chef and a raw dessert chef.

Now the mum-of-two has expertly thrown all of her skills into the mix to achieve a long-held goal of producing a book.

Released as an eBook, with a print version to hopefully follow, 14 Day Whole Food Feast is a comprehensive two-week meal plan designed to nourish the body and delight the tastebuds.

Within its pages are recipes for whole food snacks, lunch and dinner meals, lunchbox ideas, and time-saving tips.

14 Day Whole Food Feast by Rebecca Winkler is available now as an eBook.

“My motivation was both personal and professional,” Rebecca says.

“On a professional note, I found so many patients were having difficulty finding family-friendly, whole food recipes to help them navigate various dietary needs.

“The recipes are easy to follow, a shopping list is provided and time frames are taken into account so slower cooked meals or more time-consuming recipes are saved for weekends.”

Rebecca says the eBook can function purely as a recipe resource or be followed meticulously for a 14-day reset.

“Food prep guidance is given at the start of each week in order to get ahead and be organized as possible.

The eBook includes lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as shopping lists and naturopathic advice.

“Dinners are often incorporated into leftovers for lunch the next day and naturopathic guidance is provided around ways to maximize your time by incorporating regular exercise and practicing self-care.”

The idea for the book began to brew in 2019 during a solo trip Rebecca took with colleagues which gave her the space to establish a clear vision for the content she wanted to share.

“I began developing and refining recipe, enlisting a beautiful photographer and graphics team to allow my dream to be realised.

“The long-term plan is to release a number of other eBooks and, eventually, print a hard copy, real-life book to be loved and to splash your chocolate and bolognaise sauce on. The kind of recipe book that you find yourself grabbing time and time again.”

The eBook is filled with nutritious recipes and much more.

So, what are some of Rebecca’s personal favorites featured in her carefully curated eBook?

“Ooh, that’s like trying to choose a favorite child,” she laughs.

“I know it might seem boring, but the slow-cooked bolognaise with hand-made gluten-free fettucine is an absolute favourite.
“We make it weekly in my house and every time my kids exclaim ‘this is the best bolognaise ever’.”

The slow cooked beef pie, kafir lime chicken balls and whole food cranberry bliss balls are also hard to pass up, she says.

Rebecca avoids listing ideal ingredients for people to incorporate into their diet, instead saying the most beneficial ingredients are those that make you feel at your best.

“Not everyone tolerates grains, some don’t tolerate fruit, others have difficulty digesting meat and protein.

“My advice is to listen and take note of how your body feels when you eat.

“Are you bloated, do you have pain in your gut, loose stools, headaches or fatigue?

Rebecca is a qualified naturopath, as well as being a plant-based chef and raw dessert chef.

“I am more inclined to advise people to source good quality ingredients, grow what they can, and cook from scratch as much as time and money allows.

“Eat three meals a day and snack only if you are hungry, growing, pregnant or exercising.

“Try to consume 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight. Add plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, variety and colour.

“Our gut flora thrives on variety, so mix up your veggies, fruits, grain, legumes and proteins. Eat the rainbow.”

To get the most out of the eBook, the author suggests reading it from cover-to-cover and choosing a 14-day period where you are at home and have minimal social engagements.

Rebecca is passionate about naturopathy which she describes as a holistic, comprehensive view of the body in its entirety and “a wonderful adjunct to Western Medicine for patients as it ensures medical due diligence is exercised, adequate diagnostic testing where appropriate and an individualized approach to restoring health”.

Rebecca’s advice is to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to healthy food choices.

She says many of her clients are seeking ways to regain optimal health following extended periods of lockdown during the pandemic.

“There is no doubt that most of us found ourselves allowing more in alcohol and comfort foods over lockdown, which is nothing to feel ashamed about.

“In such a difficult, confining and overwhelming time, we sought comfort where ever it may lie for us.

“This is not a failure, it was merely a way for so many to cope. I never judge anyone’s choices, I merely try to support, understand and listen.

“Often we already know what we need to do to rebuild or move forward, simply sharing and being heard without shame or judgment is therapeutic.

“I cannot describe to you the genuine joy that seeing people thrive provides.”

14 Day Whole Food Feast retails for $19.95 and on the Rebecca Winkler website. Discover more and contact Rebecca via her Facebook page, Instagram @rebeccawinklernaturopath or email [email protected]

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Get to know farro and other superfood whole grains



By Casey Barber, CNN

Quinoa has reached a level of superfood status not seen since the great kale takeover of the aughts. Equally embraced and mocked in pop culture, it’s become the symbol of the grain bowl generation. It’s not the only whole grain that’s worth bringing to the table, however.

The world of whole grains is wide, and if quinoa and brown rice have been the only grains on your plate, it’s time to expand your palate. Here’s an introduction to whole grains, along with tips for cooking and enjoying them.

What’s a whole grain?

The term “whole grains” encompasses all grains and seeds that are, well, whole. They retain all their edible parts: the fiber-rich outer bran layer; the carbohydrate-rich endosperm center, which makes up the bulk of the grain itself; and the inner core, or germ, which is packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.

On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and all-purpose flour have been milled to remove the bran and germ, stripping away much of the fiber, protein and vitamins, and leaving only the starchy endosperm.

“A lot of people don’t realize that whole grains contain several grams of protein in addition to vitamins and antioxidants,” said Nikita Kapur, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City. With every serving of whole grains, “you get a ton of minerals, B vitamins and fiber, which is especially important for good health.”

So-called “ancient grains” fall under the umbrella of whole grains, though the phrase is more of a marketing term than a marker of a more nutritious option. Ancient grains refer to whole grains like millet, amaranth, kamut and, yes, quinoa that have been the staple foods of cultures for several hundred years. They are not hybridized or selectively bred varieties of grains, like most modern wheat, rice and corn.

And though quinoa has gotten all the press as a whole grain superfood, there’s good reason to try others. Trying a variety of whole grains isn’t just a way to mix up your same-old side dish routine. It’s also a chance to get a wider portfolio of minerals and more into your diet.

“Suffice to say, we need to have a more diverse plant-based diet” to get the full complement of recommended nutrients in our meals, Kapur said, “and we can’t get it from the same 10 or 20 foods.

“One grain might have more manganese, another more zinc or magnesium, and another more protein,” she added. “Try one as a pasta, one as a porridge — you do you, as long as there’s a variety.”

Familiar foods like oats, corn, brown and other colors of rice, as well as wild rice (which is an aquatic grass), are all considered whole grains, but there are many others you’ll want to add to your regular repertoire.

Some whole grains to get to know

amaranth is a tiny gluten-free grain that can be simmered until soft for a creamy polenta-like dish, but it also makes a deliciously crunchy addition to homemade energy bars or yogurt bowls when it’s been toasted. To toast amaranth seeds, cook over medium heat in a dry pan, shaking frequently until they begin to pop like minuscule popcorn kernels.

Buckwheat is gluten-free and botanically related to rhubarb, but these polygonal seeds (also called groats) don’t taste anything like fruit. You might already be familiar with buckwheat flour, used in pancakes and soba noodles, or Eastern European kasha, which is simply toasted buckwheat.

Faro is the overarching Italian name for three forms of ancient wheat: farro piccolo, or einkorn; farro medio, or emmer; and farro grande, or spelled. The farro you typically find at the store is the emmer variety, and it’s a rustic, pumped-up wheat berry that’s ideal as a grain bowl base. Or make an Italian-inspired creamy Parmesan farro risotto.

Freekeh is a wheat variety that’s harvested when unripe, then roasted for a surprisingly smoky, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Freekeh’s taste is distinctive enough that it steals the spotlight in your meals, so use it in ways that highlight its flavor. It’s fantastic in a vegetarian burrito bowl paired with spicy salsa, or in a warming chicken stew.

kamut is actually the trademarked brand name for an ancient type of wheat called Khorasan, which features large grains, a mild taste and tender texture. It’s a good, neutral substitute for brown rice in a pilaf or as a side dish. Or try this high-protein grain in a salad with bold flavors like arugula, blood orange and walnut.

millet is a gluten-free seed with a cooked texture similar to couscous. Teff is a small variety of millet that’s most frequently used as the flour base for Ethiopian injera flatbread. Try raw millet mixed into batters and doughs for a bit of crunch, like in this millet skillet cornbread recipe, or use either teff or millet cooked in a breakfast porridge.

How to cook any whole grain

While cooking times vary for each grain, there’s one way to cook any whole grain, whether it’s a tiny seed or a large, chewy kernel: Boil the grains like pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the grains and cook, tasting as you go, until tender. Small grains like amaranth and quinoa can cook fully in five to 15 minutes, while larger grains like farro and wild rice can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour — so keep an eye on your pot and check it frequently.

Drain well in a mesh strainer (to catch all those small grains) and either use immediately or allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for later meals. Cooked whole grains can also be portioned, frozen and stored in airtight bags for up to six months.

If you want to cook your whole grains in an Instant Pot or other multicooker, this chart offers grain-to-water ratios for many of the grains mentioned here.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. foods Stories.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Travel: A quaint county seat with Mayberry charm | Lifestyles – Travel



I finally ventured out for my first road trip of 2022 earlier this month. It’s been way too long since I took a little trip and it was long overdue. My last little getaway was in Chicago the week of Christmas. The day I returned I wasn’t feeling very well and an at-home test confirmed that I had COVID — again.

The first time was in November 2020 and it was a severe case that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing and then many months of recovery. Luckily this time around it just lasted a couple of weeks. At the same time I was pushing through COVID we were in the process of moving. And my Dad, who had tested positive for COVID not long before me, passed away. So, it’s been a heck of a start to 2022. A getaway was much needed.

It was a brief 24 hours in the Indianapolis area, but as always I packed a bit in and had a lot of good food. On our way down we stopped off in Rensselaer for lunch at Fenwick Farms Brewing Co. and took a little walk to check out the murals that are part of the Ren Art Walk. That evening I attended a media opening of the newly reopened Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

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It’s a place I adore and still enjoy visiting even though my kids are teenagers and young adults now. I love being greeted by the huge Bumblebee character on the way in from what is probably my favorite action move, “The Transformers.” The largest children’s museum in the world has so much to see and I’ve loved having the chance to explore it both with and without my kids.

After the event it was a quick overnight at Staybridge Suites in Plainfield, and in the morning we headed to Danville. Danville is the county seat of Hendricks County. I adore county seats with downtown squares and this is one of my favorites. On an earlier visit there we were in town for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival, which had lots of activities related to the classic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” that was set in the fictional town of Mayberry.

Danville definitely has that charming, inviting, friendly small town vibe that feels like it could be a sitcom setting. We ate at the Mayberry Cafe where old episodes play on television screens and the menu is full of down-home, made-with-love comfort foods, with a specialty being “Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken.” I tried it and it was very tasty. The whole place made me smile like Opie after a fishing outing with his dad.

This time our dining destination was The Bread Basket. I had tried their desserts at a few events, but it was my first time dining in. It’s located in a house that was built for the president of Central Normal College in 1914 and is cute and cozy. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, so plan to go early and be prepared for a wait during peak times (but it’s well worth it).

My Dilly Turkey Sandwich on fresh wheat nut bread with an Orchard Salad was delicious. I loved that they had a combo option where you could pick a half sandwich and half salad or cup of soup. But the desserts are the real star here. I stared at that dessert case for several minutes — and I wasn’t the only one.

I was seated next to it, and watched intently each time they removed a pie or cake from the case to cut a slice. I tried the Hummingbird Cake, which was a perfect treat without being too rich, and then noticed another that was so unique I had to get a slice to take home — the Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. If you go there and are overwhelmed with choices, go with this. You won’t regret it.

After lunch, we made our way over to the Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail, which is just off the square. For someone like me who loves history, this was a wonderful stop to incorporate into our day. It was built in 1866 and used as a jail all the way up until 1974. You can go into the old jail cells (two on the female side and four on the male side) and tour the sheriff’s home.

An exhibit has information and artifacts from when Central Normal College existed (later Canterbury College). There’s also a temporary chronological exhibit about music and musicians, featuring many Hoosier hitmakers.

After the visit, I took a breezy little walk around the square, where I was reminded that there is a nostalgic old movie theater. The historic Danville Royal Theater dates back to the early 1900s and shows current movies for just $5 a ticket.

It was then getting close to dinner time, so we decided to eat before we headed back home. A place in the nearby town of North Salem had been recommend to me and I am so glad we took time to visit. I chatted for a few minutes with Damiano Perillo, owner of Perillo’s Pizzeria. He’s a native of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The food is authentic and almost all of it is made fresh daily, including their garlic rolls, marinara and alfredo sauces. The New York-style pizzas are perfection.

They even have a nearby garden where they grow many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. They have gluten free pastas, too, and the lady at the next table had some and was raving about it. We also tried the homemade Sicilian cannoli and the limoncello flute, and trust me when I say to definitely not skip dessert.

There was one last food stop. Although we had just eaten, I realized we’d be driving right by Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse in Lizton and just couldn’t pass it up. I made my husband pull in and pick up some food to go. We got the brisket and their house made pimento cheese, chorizo ​​and kielbasa and took it home. I was introduced to it last fall and there is a reason they have been voted Best BBQ in the Indy area four years in a row. I loved hearing about how this eatery located next to a railroad literally stops trains in their tracks to get food from this award-winning BBQ joint.

All three of these places — The Bread Basket, Perillo’s Pizzeria and Rusted Silo are ones that you should absolutely include in your itinerary if you happen to be in the Indianapolis area.

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