Season’s Greetings!

“Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”

-Calvin Coolidge, 1927

I hope that everyone has the most wonderful Christmas and holiday season.  As we near the end of 2012, I want to thank you for helping me make this project a success.  I’m so thrilled with the way things have been going, and I have a few surprises up my sleeve for 2013!  Be on the lookout for my first blog post of the New Year, which is going to feature an APP that will amaze and delight you! 🙂

Until Next Time, Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

Maple Syrup…Nothing “Sappy” About It!

There’s nothing I love more than warm maple syrup drizzled over Belgian waffles for breakfast…add some fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream…it’s like a party in your mouth!  Recently, I was surprised (and excited!) to learn that maple syrup actually has some serious health benefits.  In fact, a lot of nutritionists believe that syrup is one of the healthiest sweeteners out there.  100% pure maple syrup that is…none of the fake stuff that comes in the plastic bottle and reads naturally and artificially flavored or pancake syrup or table syrup.   Interestingly, the process of creating maple syrup begins with tree tapping.  This tree piercing, if you will, allows the clear and almost tasteless sap to run out freely.   The sap is then boiled to produce maple syrup.  So, to all you maple syrup fans out there, here’s some information that will make you very happy.

In just two teaspoons of pure maple syrup, you’ll get more than one-fifth of your daily value of manganese.  This trace mineral acts as an antioxidant.  Other  health benefits of manganese include: strong bones, inflammation reduction, and nervous system health.  Zinc, another mineral found in pure maple syrup, is known to reduce anxiety and strengthen your immune system.  Lastly, zinc has many healing properties and can actually help with skin care, cold infections, and enzyme regulation.

In 2011, the University of Rhode Island discovered 54 compounds in pure maple syrup that, when tested and observed in the laboratory, were found to have both anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory characteristics.  Copious research also shows that maple syrup could help fight diabetes.  That’s definitely not sappy!!

Syrup is such a versatile ingredient and can be incorporated into countless different foods.  For example,  syrup is a flavorful addition for balsamic vinaigrette, yogurt, raw fruit, and oatmeal.  Pure snow and maple syrup is considered to be a delicacy at some restaurants.  The possibilities are endless!

Before signing off this post, I’d like to give a shout-out to the people who attended my Salad and Salad Dressing class tonight…you all are the best!  If you’d like my recipe for Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette, you’ll find it on my website:  www.projectlunchboxletseat.com

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

🙂 Katie

References:

Blanchard, Kathleen. EmaxHealth. N.P. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2012.

—. HealthNewsReportBlogspot. N.P. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2012.

Jennings, Kerri-Ann. EatingWell. Meredith Corporation. 2012. Web. 8 Dec. 2012.

—. OrganicFacts. Organic Information Services. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2012.

—. Whfoods. The George Mateljan Foundation. 2012. Web. 8 Dec. 2012.