Premium Podcast Help Contact Dr. Laura Dr. Laura Designs Return to
Join Family Premium Login Family

Simple Savings

10-Second Recipes: Medical Studies as Culinary Teachers

(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)

By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate

Fashion experts may advise that red and orange clash in an outfit, but, when it comes to helping regulate your blood sugar, their future pairing may be ideal. A study conducted by the University of Warwick Medical School in the UK found that 32 overweight and obese people who took capsules made from compounds of the fruits for eight weeks showed enhancements.

Improvement in insulin resistance was shown to rival bariatric surgery, but at three times the pace and the treatment was better than a widely used diabetes drug in lowering blood sugar in obese participants. Vascular function also increased, showing promise for possible handling of heart disease.

The research was published in the journal Diabetes. Pharmaceutical doses at higher levels that can be found in fruit are needed for results of that caliber, noted researchers, who are seeking pharmaceutical manufacturers to invest. 

Although the eventual dose required for such possible stellar healing effects may have to come in capsule form, both red grapes and oranges are already promoted to the public as high-antioxidant "super foods." Since I love the flavor of both of these foods, I was intrigued that their possible combination might have moderate positive results from moderate, everyday dietary intake.

I soon blended them in a smoothie with some other often-recommended ingredients, such as greens, and, simply from a gourmet's palate, created some additional quick and easy dishes. I appreciate the researchers and the future promise of their work. Lead researcher Professor Paul Thornalley said that, "As well as helping to treat diabetes and heart disease, it could diffuse the obesity time bomb." However, I also am glad for the culinary inspirations. Below, simply add ingredients to taste.

Fun fare like this also proves food preparation can be easy, nutritious, inexpensive, fun - and fast. The creative combinations are delicious proof that everyone has time for creating homemade specialties and, more importantly, the healthy family togetherness that goes along with it!

Another benefit: You effortlessly become a better cook, since these are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations. They can't help but draw "wows" from family members and guests.

    In the container of a blender strong enough to crush ice, combine unsweetened or vanilla soymilk, peeled orange slices, red seedless grapes, peeled mini carrots, romaine lettuce, almonds and stevia until smooth. Carefully, through opening in blender lid, add one ice cube at a time until of desired consistency.

    In a blender container, blend peeled orange slices, red seedless grapes and silken tofu. Mix into store-bought orange marmalade. Spread on whole-grain toast.

    In a salad bowl, toss peeled orange slices, red seedless grapes, hulled, raspberries, chunks of peeled kiwi and avocado and sunflower seeds. Drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette, a few drops of chili oil and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

    In a blender container, blend peeled orange slices, red seedless grapes, and hulled, sliced strawberries. Place mixture in a saucepan, along with a few teaspoons of chicken broth and a dash of basil, and over low-medium heat, warm it and reduce slightly. Spoon over cooked skinless chicken breasts just before serving.

    Freeze red seedless grapes and individual segments of a peeled orange. To serve, dip into mixtures of honey with curry powder and melted dark chocolate with cinnamon.

QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK: Virginia Willis will probably lighten your load when it comes to eating Southern food with her "Lighten Up Y'all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome." However, she's serious about keeping time-honored traditions and techniques and won a prestigious James Beard Award for her efforts, as well as being nominated for cookbook of the year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Most impressive is that she achieves her results while still serving up favorites, such as seven-layer dip and chicken 'n' gravy. Strategies even include desserts, like strawberry shortcake.

Lisa Messinger  at Creators Syndicate is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet(Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on


Tags: Budget, Parenting, Recipes, Simple Savings, Stay-at-Home Mom
< Back to Simple Savings Archives