Egypt Independent: Living-Main news en The ultimate guilt-free treat? These salad cakes are made with vegetables <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><p>Imagine biting into a beautiful cake, but instead of a sugary rush you get the fresh flavors of celery, carrot and red cabbage.</p></div><div>&quot;Salad cakes&quot; -- a new craze in Japan -- offer exactly that experience.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Nagoya native Mitsuki Moriyasu, a cafe owner and food stylist, in 2015 invented what she calls the &quot;Vegedeco Salad&quot; (decorated vegetables) as a guilt-free alternative to traditional baked goods.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>These sinless sweets substitute cream &quot;frosting&quot; for that made out of tofu, a &quot;sponge&quot; base for one of soy powder, eggs and vegetable oil, while the rainbow hues that decorate the &quot;icing&quot; come from natural vegetable colorings such as red beetroot juice.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Marinated, diced and cooked vegetables such as radish and daikon replace the sponge, while this wheat-free creation uses a traditional Japanese yeast to achieve a subtly sweet flavor.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>&quot;It looks like a normal cake -- but it&#39;s made of only veggies. You can have it for breakfast, lunch -- and it&#39;s very suitable for dinner with wine,&quot; Moriyasu tells CNN.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Each cake tastes different, depending which vegetables we use -- but I would say it tastes like something you&#39;ve never had before.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/img_2769_1.png" /></div><div><div><em>The mother of two was inspired to make these healthy creations, dubbed &quot;Vegedeco Salad&quot;, as her sons suffer from food allergies</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><h3>Have your cake and eat it</h3><p>So how did the idea for a &quot;salad cake&quot; come about?</p></div><div>Not surprisingly, it was inspired by a desire for healthy eating.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>Moriyasu&#39;s two sons have food allergies and so for years she had been tinkering with recipes, to find alternatives for sugar and wheat.</div><div>&quot;We had homemade meals as I wanted them to eat lots of vegetables, and not take too much sugar,&quot; she tells CNN.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/img_2770_0.png" /></div></div></div><div><em>Instead of icing, these cakes are made with a variety of greens -- think celery, carrot, red cabbage and daikon</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Moriyasu noticed the positive changes that a low-sugar and gluten-free diet made to her own body.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I felt more refreshed, my mind was calmer, and I was concentrating better,&quot; she says.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I decided I wanted to make something that looks cute, and also has lots of vegetables. So I made a cake -- but with lots of veggies.&quot;</div><div>After she posted the salad cake online, word began to spread and customers flocked to her cafe in Nagoya.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;They are colorful and gorgeous ... and the customers enjoy eating them.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/img_2771_0.png" /></div><div><em>This creation gets its bright colors from carrots. It consists of carrot, white and red radishes and celery. The cream inside? A bagna cauda, made with tofu</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A slice of salad cake that serves one has 193 calories, says Moriyasu. For comparison, the average 90g slice of chocolate cake without frosting has 340 calories, according to weight management organization CalorieKing.</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/img_2772_0.png" /></div><div><em>This basil &quot;cake&quot; is stacked with celery, chrysanthemum potato, red cabbage and lotus root, with red turnip, beats, green peas, dill and red sorrel on top</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-family: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;, Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; font-weight: 700;">Colorful creations</span></div><div><div>Since the Vegedeco Salad&#39;s debut, Moriyasu has created around 50 designs.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I look at the different vegetables and try to pull out their best characteristic,&quot; Moriyasu says. &quot;My inspiration comes from when I think about the shapes and combination of colors of different vegetables.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/img_2773_0.png" /></div></div><div><div><em>With &quot;icing&quot; made from tofu cream and beets, this cake is made with carrots, Chinese cabbage and avocado, with wild yellow carrots and purple carrots on top</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It takes Moriyasu about an hour to make a salad cake.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>That process includes making the tofu cream, cutting the vegetables, 15 minutes to assemble the pieces, and finally 10 minutes decoration time at the end.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The key in making it stick together is marinating the vegetables beforehand.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>So what is the most quirkiest combination Moriyasu has ever done? &quot;I think it was the salad cake that used matcha (finely ground green tea powder) in tofu cream -- it was a very unique taste.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/img_2774_0.png" /></div><div><em>Featuring purple potato flavored with miso, this nutritious creation comes with fennel, burdock, cabbage and taro root, garnished with petit veil</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><h3>Female fan base</h3></div><div>Perhaps unsurprisingly, the salad cakes have a predominantly female fan base.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;[The pink frosting] makes female customers say, &#39;Cute! I want to try it!&#39;&quot; Moriyasu says.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;On weekdays, many customers are housewives and mothers whose children are at school. We have families on weekends.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The biggest age group to visit the cafe, Moriyasu says, are customers in their 30s.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A huge part of the salad cakes&#39; appeal comes from their appearance -- a significant aspect of Japanese dining culture.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;The salad cakes represent attention to detail ... and perfectionism,&quot; Dr. Merry White, a professor of anthropology at Boston University and scholar on contemporary Japanese culture and social topics, tells CNN.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Food is, and has always been, a place for creativity and innovation in Japan. Salad cakes are just one manifestation of food play in that nation.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Indulging in something tasty that is healthy has an obvious appeal to Japanese women, White explains.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Women enjoy sweets, and hope for healthy options. [Having a] sweet tooth is seen to be feminine. These satisfy the appearance of a sweet, and the idea of health.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/img_2775_0.png" /></div><div><em>This next-level cake, flavored with pumpkin, has broccoli, cauliflower, beets and purple sweet potato inside, wrapped in yellow cauliflower, purple petit veil and amaranth sprouts</em></div><div><div><div><div><h3>Eat your greens</h3><p>An &quot;All Vege Set&quot; at Moriyasu&#39;s cafe, which includes a slice of cake, gluten-free bread and a cup of tea costs $11.</p></div><div>But she doesn&#39;t plan to stop at selling cakes.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The restaurateur has started running classes teaching students how to make these salad cakes at home.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>&quot;I think we need to stop and think again about our daily diet. In Japan, we are consuming too much sugar and too much wheat,&quot; she says.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Without using sugar and wheat, I realized you can still have a fun and surprising experience eating a salad that is shaped like a cake.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Eating beautiful color energize and makes you smile. That&#39;s our wish.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>To White, these salad cakes reflect the &quot;infinite possibilities&quot; in Japanese food.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Chefs toss &#39;chocolate dirt&#39; on a newspaper and offer you a trowel as dessert. There is nothing that cannot be made interesting and delicious.&quot;</div></div></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p><div>&nbsp;</div> <body id="cke_pastebin" style="position: absolute; top: 2086px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden; left: -1000px;"> <p>A slice of salad cake that serves one has 193 calories, says Moriyasu. For comparison, the average 90g slice of chocolate cake without frosting has 340 calories, according to weight management organization CalorieKing.</p></body> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:00:00 +0000 CNN 2477414 at sites/default/files/photo/2017/03/22/16030/img_2768.png Are you sure the diet you’re following is actually good for your health? <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Despite recent food trends encouraging us to breakfast on protein-rich eggs and sip on green juices, a new review published on recently has attempted to call time on some of the latest food fads and help end the confusion about what is the most nutritionally sound way to reduce heart disease.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Carried out by Andrew Freeman, MD, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness in the division of cardiology at National Jewish Health in Denver, the report examined several recent diet trends, as well as &ldquo;hypes and controversies&rdquo; surrounding nutrition.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;There is a great amount of misinformation about nutrition fads, including antioxidant pills, juicing and gluten-free diets,&rdquo; commented Freeman. &ldquo;However, there are a number of dietary patterns that have clearly been demonstrated to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>After analysing current evidence, the report debunked some of the recent popular food fads, but also found that, &ldquo;There is a growing consensus that a predominantly plant-based diet that emphasises green, leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruit is where the best improvements are seen in heart health.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Some other key findings from the study on what food fads to avoid &ndash; and which food trends to follow &ndash; can be found below:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Eggs</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Despite previous recommendations, the report advises limiting the amount of eggs in the diet, or any other high cholesterol foods, to as little as possible.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Extra-virgin olive oil</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It&rsquo;s the most heart-healthy oil concludes the study, but due to its number of calories, consume in moderation.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Berries</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Enjoy three times a week for an antioxidant boost, instead of antioxidant dietary supplements. Fruits and vegetables are the healthiest and most beneficial source of antioxidants to reduce heart disease risk, whereas there is no significant evidence that adding supplements into the diet benefits heart health.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Nuts</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>30g of nuts a day can boost heart health, but be careful with the portion size as they are high in calories.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Juicing</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Be careful with this recent food trend. Although the fruits and vegetables in juices are healthy, the process of juicing removes the pulp and increases the calorie concentration, making it easier to consume too many calories without realising.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Instead, eat whole fruits and vegetables and opt for with juicing occasionally, perhaps on days when your fruit and veg intake needs a boost. And if you do juice, avoid adding honey, which adds extra sugar and calories.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Gluten</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>People who have celiac disease or other gluten sensitivity must avoid gluten found in wheat, barley and rye. For those who don&rsquo;t have any gluten sensitivities the many health benefit claims of a gluten-free diet are unsubstantiated.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>High-fat processed diets</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Referred to by the researchers as Southern diets, a diet high in fried foods, high-cholesterol eggs, added fats and oils, processed meats and sugary drinks should also be avoided.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:18:00 +0000 AFP 2477392 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/03/06/501184/healthy_life.jpg Who's happy, who's not: Norway tops list, US falls <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>If you want to go to your happy place, you need more than cash. A winter coat helps &mdash; and a sense of community.</p><p>A new report shows Norway is the happiest country on Earth, Americans are getting sadder, and it takes more than just money to be happy.</p><p>Norway vaulted to the top slot in the World Happiness&nbsp;Report&nbsp;despite the plummeting price of oil, a key part of its economy. Income in the United States has gone up over the past decade, but happiness is declining.</p><p>The United States was 14th in the latest ranking, down from No. 13 last year, and over the years Americans steadily have been rating themselves less happy.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s the human things that matter. If the riches make it harder to have frequent and trustworthy relationship between people, is it worth it?&quot; asked John Helliwell, the lead author of the report and an economist at the University of British Columbia in Canada (ranked No. 7). &quot;The material can stand in the way of the human.&quot;</p><p>Studying happiness may seem frivolous, but serious academics have long been calling for more testing about people&#39;s emotional well-being, especially in the United States. In 2013, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report recommending that federal statistics and surveys, which normally deal with income, spending, health and housing, include a few extra questions on happiness because it would lead to better policy that affects people&#39;s lives.</p><p>Norway moved from No. 4 to the top spot in the report&#39;s rankings, which combine economic, health and polling data compiled by economists that are averaged over three years from 2014 to 2016. Norway edged past previous champ Denmark, which fell to second. Iceland, Switzerland and Finland round out the top 5.</p><p>&quot;Good for them. I don&#39;t think Denmark has a monopoly on happiness,&quot; said Meik Wiking, chief executive officer of the Happiness Research&nbsp;Institute&nbsp;in Copenhagen, who wasn&#39;t part of the global scientific study that came out with the rankings.</p><p>&quot;What works in the Nordic countries is a sense of community and understanding in the common good,&quot; Wiking said.</p><p>Still, you have to have some money to be happy, which is why most of the bottom countries are in desperate poverty. But at a certain point extra money doesn&#39;t buy extra happiness, Helliwell and others said.</p><p>Central African Republic fell to last on the happiness list, and is joined at the bottom by Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda.</p><p>The report ranks 155 countries. The economists have been ranking countries since 2012, but the data used goes back farther so the economists can judge trends.</p><p>The rankings are based on gross domestic product per person, healthy life expectancy with four factors from global surveys. In those surveys, people give scores from 1 to 10 on how much social support they feel they have if something goes wrong, their freedom to make their own life choices, their sense of how corrupt their society is and how generous they are.</p><p>While most countries were either getting happier or at least treading water, America&#39;s happiness score dropped 5 percent over the past decade. Venezuela and the Central African Republic slipped the most over the past decade. Nicaragua and Latvia increased the most.</p><p>Study co-author and economist Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University said in a phone interview from Oslo that the sense of community, so strong in Norway, is deteriorating in the United States.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re becoming more and more mean spirited. And our government is becoming more and more corrupt. And inequality is rising,&quot; Sachs said, citing research and analysis he conducted on America&#39;s declining happiness for the report. &quot;It&#39;s a long-term trend and conditions are getting worse.&quot;</p><p>University of Maryland&#39;s Carol Graham, who wasn&#39;t a study author but did review some chapters, said the report mimics what she sees in the American rural areas, where her research shows poor whites have a deeper lack of hope, which she connects to rises in addictions to painkillers and suicide among that group.</p><p>&quot;There is deep misery in the heartland,&quot; Graham, author of the book &quot;The Pursuit of Happiness,&quot; wrote in an email.</p><p>Happiness &mdash; and doing what you love &mdash; is more important than politicians think, said study author Helliwell. He rated his personal happiness a 9 on a 1-to- 10 scale.</p> Mon, 20 Mar 2017 11:43:00 +0000 AP 2477335 at sites/default/files/photo/2017/03/20/507555/sunflower.jpeg 5 herbs and spices that can make you happy <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Several studies and nutritional publications agree that certain foods have the power to make us happy. The famous omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, nuts and seeds, are notably recommended for lifting the mood. However, certain herbs and spices can also have natural antidepressant properties, bringing mind and body a boost with a variety of different flavors. Here&#39;s a closer look at five top blues-busting ingredients from the spice rack: saffron, cinnamon, turmeric, rosemary and thyme.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Saffron</strong></div><div>The smell of saffron is enough to take the senses on a far-flung voyage. Considered the spice of happiness in traditional Eastern medicine, a 2015 Iranian study suggests that saffron has the same effects as antidepressants. It&#39;s particularly believed to target problems relating to mood and depression, as well as food-related behavioral issues like snacking. Note that it&#39;s not recommended for pregnant women or children under six. Frequently used in Indian cuisine, saffron is also a key ingredient in Spanish paella, Italian risotto and Southern France&#39;s bouillabaisse fish soup.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Cinnamon</strong></div><div>With its spiced, wintery aroma, cinnamon is enveloping, warming and stimulates neurons. Whether in sticks or ground, cinnamon can, for example, influence brain function by boosting concentration, memory and attention. It&#39;s also a great solution for calming sugar cravings. Two types of cinnamon are available: Ceylon cinnamon, which is finer and more expensive, and the cheaper and coarser Chinese cinnamon (also known as cassia).</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Turmeric</strong></div><div>This spice&#39;s yellow ocher shade will brighten up any dish. Known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric also stimulates the release of serotonin, the happy hormone. It&#39;s often sprinkled on top of Indian dishes or mixed with coconut milk in Thai fish curries. For something different, try adding it to fruit-based desserts -- its flavor can pleasantly complement to sweet dishes. Purists should choose turmeric from the region of Kerala in India, which has higher concentrations of curcumin.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Rosemary</strong></div><div>As well as bringing a delicious Mediterranean flavor to dishes, rosemary has its own medical virtues. In cases of physical or mental fatigue, burn-out and depression, it can give the body a welcome boost. It notably helps with insomnia and with calming nerves.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Thyme</strong></div><div>This herb is a star ingredient of Provencal cuisine and is often matched with flavorful tomato dishes. Like rosemary, thyme is a good ally in cases of mental fatigue, stress and insomnia. As well as containing lithium, a mineral with antidepressant properties, thyme contains the amino acid tryptophan, used to make serotonin, which is essential for sleep. It also stimulates the mind and calms the nerves. Look for one of the many herbal teas based on blends of rosemary and thyme.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sat, 18 Mar 2017 09:34:00 +0000 AFP 2477293 at sites/default/files/photo/2017/01/13/43/herbs_2.jpg