Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for the ‘ Smart Fuel ’ Category

19 Aug

Smart Fuel: Mushrooms

Neither plant nor animal, the mushroom usually gets lumped in with the former but genetically it’s closer to the latter. In fact, mushrooms and people are members of the same biological superkingdom, Opisthokonta, which excludes plants; we shared a common ancestor with fungus about 600 million years ago. But while mushrooms are an odd genre […]

2 Aug

Smart Spice: Cumin

What do you know about cumin? Cumin seeds are pungent, potent little things with the ability to significantly change the trajectory of a dish. They are featured prominently in Mexican, Mediterranean, Indian, Middle Eastern, and certain Chinese cuisines. Back in the Middle Ages, cumin was one of the most popular – and most accessible – […]

8 Feb

A Primal Primer: Stevia

After last week’s article many of you asked about a natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners: stevia. It is widely used in the low carb community to satisfy sugar cravings or simply add a touch of sweetness to a hot beverage or dessert, but should it be? What is stevia? Is it safe? What […]

27 Jan

Smart Fuel: Macadamia Oil

What can compare to the sweet, buttery mac nut’s tender embrace? As far as nuts, seeds, and pseudo-nuts go, its fatty acid profile is unparalleled. Throw a handful into a bowl of Greek yogurt, along with blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries (or any berry, really), and you’ve got yourself a rich, masterful dessert with minimal linoleic […]

8 Jul

A Visual Guide to Sea Vegetables

About 160,000 years ago the human diet expanded to include seafood. Early humans became coastal dwellers at least that long ago, and ever since then we’ve been inextricably linked to the sea. The sea contains our most reliable source (when we aren’t dining on the brains of ruminants) of the all-important, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. […]

25 May

Smart Spice: Turmeric

It may not share cinnamon’s universal applicability to consumables, but turmeric is another spice with some powerful culinary and medicinal qualities that deserves our attention. Turmeric, known officially as Curcuma longa and historically as Indian saffron, is a rhizome of the ginger family. Its horizontal root system is dug up, baked, and ground into a […]

18 May

Smart Spice: Cinnamon

We mostly see them as flavorants, as the little jars of powder that line our cabinets and the bags of dried roots, barks, and leaves tucked away in drawers, designed to subtly or drastically alter the flavor profile of our “smart fuel” creations in the kitchen, but for most of human history, spices were also […]

28 Jul

Smart Fuel: Palm Oil

Of the tropical oils, coconut gets the most attention, while palm oil gets mostly ignored. The virgin coconut oil has a fairly distinct flavor, but it’s one most people are familiar with, and it lends itself well to both sweet and savory dishes. Palm oil, especially the virgin red variety that gets all the attention […]

1 May

Smart Fuel: Coconut Oil

We’ve written about the nutritional benefits of coconut, shared recipes that include coconut milk, and discussed the merits of coconut flour, but we’ve never actually fully covered one of the best coconut products out there: coconut oil. Coconut oil consists of about 92 percent saturated fat and is therefore nearly solid at room temperature. It […]

14 Apr

The Low-Carb Wonders of Jicama

Jicama is that white, crispy tuberous root that the fruit cart guys always douse in chile power and lime and serve on a stick. The naturally-occurring oligofructose inulin lends it a slightly sweet flavor. It’s tasty, refreshing, and seemingly innocuous – but is it loaded with carbs? It seems a little carby, and I’ve mostly […]

14 Nov

Smart Fuel: Olives

In that Mediterranean world which begat Western civilization, the olive enjoyed special prominence beyond its culinary properties. Roman aristocracy thought good health depended on two things: wine within, and (olive) oil without. The olive branch was the symbol of peace, and the fruit itself an emblem of wealth and prosperity. Today, the oil extracted from […]

31 Oct

Smart Fuel: Coconut

In the Phillipines, it’s called the “Tree of Life.” Malays refer to it as pokok seribu guna, “the tree of a thousand uses.” Yes, today’s edition of Smart Fuel is all about the coconut. I’m going to focus purely on the culinary benefits, but the non-culinary, utilitarian advantages of the coconut are many, varied, and […]

25 Jul

Smart Fuel: Sweet Peppers

Sweet peppers aren’t just useful for adding a little pizzazz to your salad, eggs, soups or casseroles (is there no end to their talent?) they’re also a serious smart fuel. To start, sweet peppers are an excellent source of both vitamin C and vitamin A, providing more than 200% and 100%, respectively, of recommended daily […]

29 May

Smart Fuel: Sashimi

Although pierced meat doesn’t sound like a very appetizing menu choice, chances are that if you’ve ever dined at a Japanese restaurant, you’ve eaten just that. If the Wikipedia Gods are to believed, sashimi – that is, the slivers of raw fish popular in Japanese cuisine – received its name as a result of the […]

15 May

Smart Fuel: Almonds

We’ve known for quite some time that a peanut isn’t really a nut (it’s a legume), but turns out almonds have long been sneaking in to the mixed nuts too! In fact, almonds are nothing more than a seed for an almond tree, a medium sized tree that produces flowers and almond fruit. But that’s […]

8 May

Smart Fuel: Mahi Mahi

For years, those in the know – and we include ourselves in this category – have been harping on about the multiple health benefits associated with eating fish. But we haven’t written too much about which varieties are best, which pack the greatest nutritional punch, and, quite frankly, which are the most delicious. Enter Mahi […]

1 May

Smart Fuel: Dark, Leafy Greens

With earth day barely a week behind us, it’s time to turn our attention to a new way to Go Green. This time, however, we’re not talking about forgoing paper napkins or ditching the polystyrene cup. In fact, we’re actually talking about adding something in: Dark, leafy green vegetables, and lots of ‘em. Now granted, […]

24 Apr

Smart Fuel: Lamb

According to the old school nursery rhyme, Mary had a little lamb, but chances are, after reading the post, you’ll want one too (although, admittedly, you’ll probably not be using your lamb for the soul purpose of causing a brouhaha on the playground)! Although lamb has many redeeming qualities (which we’ll touch on below), if […]

17 Apr

Smart Fuel: Spinach

Perhaps Popeye had it right. He pounded spinach for super-human strength and loved olive oil (although granted, it was a girl, not the healthy fat Rachel Ray is always harping on about!). But is spinach really good for your muscles and can it give you the boost you need to take on ol’ Bluto? Let’s […]

10 Apr

Smart Fuel: Eggplant

Ever had the debate about whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable? Well, perhaps next time you could back up your argument for tomatoes being a fruit by noting that the eggplant, which is widely perceived to be a vegetable, is actually a fruit, and a berry at that! Counting tomato, sweet peppers […]

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