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Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Polenta for Weight Loss

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Creamy Polenta with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions

Creamy Polenta with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions - super filling and healthy! This is a weight loss staple!

From Natural Health 365 – Polenta has a legacy dating back to the 1700’s – when it was made popular in Italy. It was considered peasant food because it was plentiful and cheap. Naturally, polenta became a diet staple in the winter months when food was scarce.

Maize, the American Indian word for corn, means “that which sustains life”. It is right behind wheat and rice as the most important grain in the world. In addition, it’s one of the best foods to supply long-lasting energy.

The source of your food is important

Even though corn is a healthy, low calorie food – it’s a good idea to rotate and mix polenta with other vegetables. Note: today’s corn is almost entirely genetically modified – so polenta MUST come from an organic source or (potentially) suffer the health consequences.

According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, foods made from milled yellow corn including polenta provide a natural and excellent source of carotenoids. Dr. Mario Ferruzzi of Purdue University stated: “It is easier to digest the carotenoids from milled corn foods than those in carrots and spinach.” Carotenoids are fat soluble meaning they are easier to digest when combined with some fat.

Delicious (healthy) food – anytime

Polenta is a low carbohydrate food rich in vitamin A and C making it a good source of the caroteinoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. The concentration reaches a level of 1,355 micrograms per 100 grams. The level of beta-carotene is 97 micrograms per 100 grams with health benefits like, cancer and heart disease prevention.

Research studies have shown that corn can support the growth of friendly bacteria in our large intestine and can also be transformed by these bacteria into short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These supply energy for our intestinal cells, which lowers the risk of colon cancer.

An easy way to prepare meals

Polenta is a wonderful dish that goes with breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees and it can be served hot or cold, soft or hard making it one the most versatile foods. Since polenta is gluten free it can easily replace wheat based meals. (source)

Many health food stores will sell pre-made polenta in tubes. This way, you can just slice it into disks and top it with veggies, marinara, goat cheese, etc. It makes a fast easy meal that’s gluten free and excellent for weight loss!

My favorite way to make polenta is the traditional way, which makes it the consistency of a  creamy porridge.

Creamy Polenta with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions - super filling and healthy! This is a weight loss staple! Creamy Polenta with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions 

First prepare your roasted tomatoes. These will bake in the oven while you are preparing the other elements of this recipe.

For the polenta you’ll need:

Place the polenta, 1/2 Tbs organic butter, a generous pinch of sea salt, and 4 cups of water into a medium large pot. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a low simmer, stirring frequently so the polenta doesn’t stick to the bottom. When the polenta becomes thick and all the water has absorbed, turn off the heat. Add the chevre style goat cheese and sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Stir until all the ingredients are totally combined.

While the polenta is cooking, prepare your caramelized onions. For the caramelized onions I used a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis’ book Everyday Italian.

You’ll need:

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp herbs de Provence
  • 1 tsp sugar (alternatively I used 1 packet of NuNaturals stevia)

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, herbs de Provence, and sugar/stevia. Stir to combine. Continue cooking over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and dark golden brown, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Creamy Polenta with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions - super filling and healthy! This is a weight loss staple!

Finally, top your polenta with the caramelized onions and oven roasted tomatoes then garnish with fresh parsley. This recipe is sooooo worth the extra time it takes to put together! You can double or even triple the recipe so that you have plenty of extras to last through out the week!

If you’ve never tried polenta before, now is the time!! For a super fast meal, you could make only the polenta then top it with marinara & goat cheese, roasted veggies, or just eat it plain! The possibilities with polenta are endless! I hope you enjoy!

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If you’re ready to make the switch to stevia or try using herbs de Provence in your recipes, feel free to use my discount code WAG472 to get $10 off your first order of $40 or more or $5 off smaller orders. You can also take advantage of free domestic (US) shipping with a minimum $20 purchase AND if you order $60 or more, you will also receive an EXTRA 5% off of your entire order!

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