Theresa Albert

Theresa is a Food Communications Specialist and Nutritionist. Her French Canadian influences are a part of her 'no bologna' style as everything is on the table...not just the dinner. She has the unique ability to distill complex health concepts into simple, savvy steps to improve any lifestyle choice. Theresa is a sought after media commentator and lifestyle pundit on many topics with a particular fascination with human relationships with food and culture. She has two books published in Canada and the US: Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day and Ace Your Health, 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck. She can be found on Twitter as @theresaalbert and at www.myfriendinfood.com.
watermelon salsa
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Let’s talk about summer weather. Canadians work hard for their very few and very short dog days of the season. My hope is that you make the most of them with delicious hydrating, high-nutrient foods. Just for fun, take a look at what the Meteorological Service of Canada predicts the hottest day will be in your area. Then we can stock up on the high nutrient foods to keep you going.

Predicted Hottest Day of the year, by Canadian city
Provided by: Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service of Canada

Barrie Jul-24
Brandon Jul-29
Calgary Jul-31
Charlottetown Jul-28
Edmonton Jul-30
Fredericton Jul-26
Halifax Aug-01
Iqaluit Jul-26
Kamloops Jul-30
Kelowna Aug-01
London Jul-23
Montreal Jul-22
Ottawa Jul-22
Quebec City Jul-24
Regina Aug-02
Saskatoon Aug-01
St. John’s Jul-29
Sudbury Jul-23
Thunder Bay Jul-26
Timmins Jul-21
Toronto   Jul-23
Vancouver Aug-02
Victoria Jul-31
Whitehorse Jul-20
Winnipeg Jul-28
Yellowknife Jul-17

Summer’s quintessential quencher, watermelon, can not only hydrate but also balance your electrolytes with its mineral content. According to Medical News Today, one cup of watermelon contains 17% of Vitamin A, 21% of Vitamin C, 2% of iron and 1% of your calcium needs for the day. Watermelon also contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene and betaine. Safe to say it’s summer’s superfood.

Delicious on it’s own, you can also incorporate waterrmelon into your summer snacks and meals. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Make watermelon water by blending one cup of cubed watermelon and adding to one litre of water.
  • Freeze cubes to suck on (great dog treats too!)
  • Use watermelon to make gazpacho in place of tomatoes. Check out a few recipes at watermelon.org
  • Make watermelon salsa (recipe below). It pairs well with corn chips (and a Riesling, just saying) but watermelon salsa is also a refreshing addition to grilled fish, chicken or pork.
  • Slip a slice of watermelon into a grilled cheese. Trust me, it’s delicious!

Any fruit or vegetable will help hydrate you to beat the heat, but there is something special about watermelon juice running down your forearms that brings you right back to summer camp days.

Watermelon Salsa

This is a high-nutrient, low-sodium salsa to serve in place of tomato salsas with bread or corn chips. It is also great as a topping for grilled chicken, fish or pork. And when you are done with that application, blend it and serve it as gazpacho.

Makes 4–6 servings
Takes: 10–12 minutes

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup diced seedless watermelon
  • 3/4 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp diced seeded jalapeño chili pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice

Prep:

Toss all ingredients together gently in a bowl. Chill in fridge at least one hour before serving.

Comments | Tagged under summer, snacks, water, watermelon
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For an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging nutrient boost, crack open a can of peaches
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“To can or not to can”...that’s what Hamlet should have been asking. But I won’t dare rewrite Shakespeare, instead, I will ask whether canned food should have a place in your healthy gourmet kitchen. 

I am working with the California Cling Peach Board, so I wanted to figure out their health benefits. I already know that I love peaches, and waiting 11 months for my fix isn’t fun, so in the winter months, I find myself turning to the canned variety.

Here is what I discovered: canned peaches (which are picked ripe, at their peak) deliver a promising amount of nutrients that are actually enhanced by the canning process.  Vitamin A, folate, lycopene and some anti-oxidants are made more bioavailable by the heating and canning process. But the truly impressive nutrient is Vitamin E.

Vitamin E is a fat soluble anti-inflammatory, anti-aging nutrient that is usually associated with nuts and seeds.  And while those little bites are great for you, a small handful is all you can eat each day because of their caloric punch. Fruit sources, on the other hand, can be layered in without worry and consumed in satisfyingly high amounts.

There is even research to support that the canning process actually enhances the eye-protecting nutrients of leutin and zeaxanthan, as well as lycopene.

Some of the other cans that I always have on hand include:

  • evaporated milk for coffee, hot chocolate and smoothies. It has all the creaminess and twice the calcium and protein but none of the fat found in cream.
  • Low sodium chicken broth for quick soups.
  • Refried beans for quick burritos or nachos.
  • Clams for stirring into pasta with garlic and parmesan cheese

February was National Canned Food Month and March is Nutrition Month, and I see no reason why the two can’t get along.

Curried Peach Pork Tenderloin
This is one of those mildly curried dishes that takes no time to prepare and is a family-friendly quickie.

Makes 4 servings

Takes: 30 minutes

Recipe developed by Theresa Albert

You’ll Need

  • 1 pork tenderloin (1.5 pounds) cut into 4 equal pieces
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can clingstone peach slices, juice reserved
  • 1 cup sweet white wine
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Pea shoots for garnish, optional

Prep and Cook

  1. Combine curry and chili powders, one clove of garlic and olive oil in a large freezer bag. Add pork tenderloin and rub spice mixture into meat. Set aside on counter for a few minutes, or place in fridge to marinate for up to 24 hours.
  2. In a small pot combine juice from clingstone peaches (but set aside peaches themselves until later), wine, vinegar and remaining garlic. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10–20 minutes to reduce into a sauce. Stir in peaches and reduce heat to keep warm until pork is cooked.
  3. Empty pork into a casserole dish and bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Add the peach sauce and cook for 5-10 more minutes.  Garnish with pea shoots or other herb greens.

  4. Image of peaches from Shutterstock.

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