Baked potatoes with Primo and Mary’s Black Bean and Corn Salsa

By Guest Blogger Tina McPherson, Primo and Mary’s Heritage Products, Inc.



Wash, clean and remove eyes and blemishes from the potato or potatoes you desire to bake.

Potatoes may be baked  in the microwave oven as a time saving measure, but they can also be baked in a conventional oven at 350 degrees F.

Before baking, punch a few holes with a knife in each potato, making sure that the knife penetrates at least half way through the potato.  This allows the steam to escape. Bake the potatoes until tender.

Serve the potatoes hot, split lengthwise and crosswise about 3/4 of the way through, and then with both hands, squeeze the four corner of the potato quickly (to avoid burning your finger tips), so that the top splays out.  Fill the open part of the potato with Primo and Mary’s Black Bean and Corn Salsa.  Cheese and scallion are optional.

The Comeback Kids

By Deborah SorrentinoQuinoaBags

Ancient grains such as spelt, amaranth, quinoa, einkorn, tritikale, emmer, kamut, and teff are trending their way into the mainstream of the American diet as ingredients in salads, entrees, desserts, breads, and other baked goods. Buoyed by record levels of health awareness, a surge of gluten-free baked goods, and keen marketing, products made with ancient grains are rising out of the distant past and finding their way onto mainstream grocery shelves.

Grains such as quinoa, amaranth, spelt and kamut are called “ancient” because they’ve been around, unchanged, for millennia. By contrast, corn, rice and modern varieties of wheat (such as hard white wheat and hard red spring wheat) have been bred selectively over thousands of years to look and taste much different from their distant ancestors. Modern corn, for example, bears little resemblance to wild corn from long ago.

Products using these ancient grains come in all shapes and sizes. Just because a recipe includes the use of these grains does not guarantee that it is healthy. In choosing bread for example, regardless of grain type, one should be sure that it has at least three grams of fiber per slice, and a limited number of ingredients. You can learn more about ancient grains in my cooking demonstration at Natur-Tyme’s annual health extravaganza on April 14th at the New York State Fairgrounds.



Quick Reference Guide for Gluten-Free Diets

By: Carol B. Blair, BB, CNC, DiHom

Gluten_FreeAvoidance of gluten, which is found in many grains, (especially wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and triticale) is essential if one is gluten-intolerant.

Rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, and arrowroot are considered acceptable alternatives. Although corn is a high-allergy grain, it is not thought to cause damage to the villi in celiac individuals.

Buckwheat (kasha), amaranth, and quinoa are seeds and are also generally regarded as satisfactory gluten-free foods for baking.

Legumes (beans, lentils, and peas) are also gluten-free and are used as flours.

Tapioca, soy, sorghum, ragi, millet, teff, and wild rice are other items that may be eaten or milled into flour for the gluten-free diet. Gluten-free oats now available.

The average diet contains 10-40 grams of gluten per day.  An average slice of whole wheat bread contains about 4.8 grams (10% gluten by weight), a serving of pasta is about 6.4 grams (11% by weight). 0.1 grams of gluten can cause damage to a person with celiac disease!  This is 1/48th of a slice of bread! One study of 10 children for 28 days revealed,
through biopsies, an increase in intra-epithelial lymphocyte count, one of the earliest signs of
damage. Four patients showed increased IgA anti-gliadin antibodies. Intestinal permeability,
however, remained the same in this study (Catassi et al).

Be aware that some drugs such as statins contain gluten! Celiac intolerance is often accompanied by a dairy allergy! A gluten-free diet is often considered helpful for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Ideas to Incorporate in a Gluten-Free Diet:

  • Fearn’s brown rice baking mix – apple/cinnamon pancakes
  • Nut-thin crackers*
  • Rice pasta
  • Quinoa and corn pasta
  • Le garden gluten-free bread
  • Rice, corn, soy, tapioca, arrowroot, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, GF oats
  • Potatoes (especially red skin)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash
  • All vegetables and all fruits
  • Protein foods: chicken, turkey, fish, meat, eggs, nuts and seeds, beans, lentils, and peas

* Please note that this product is not casein-free; therefore, it is not recommended for individuals with autism.


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