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At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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Wellbody Recipe: Itsy Bitsy Spider Bites

It’s spider season!March 2013 Itsy Bitsy Biter

At Wellbody Academy, we’re all about spider bites -- especially if the itsy bitsy biters are crawling with protein-rich hummus, fiber-filled celery and whole-grain bread and we're biting the spiders instead of the other way around!

Keep reading for a fun recipe. 

A traditional dish of Central Asia, hummus is made from chickpeas (garbanzo beans), a sesame-seed paste called tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt.  Rich in protein and fiber, chickpeas don't contain cholestorol or saturated fats, and they help regulate levels of cholestorol, triglycerides and glucose in the blood. In one study, participants who ate one-third cup of chickpeas a day for a week significantly improved insulin secretion and blood sugar levels. 

Bonus fact -- Chickpeas are not all alike. There are two main varieties: Kabuli and Desi. 

Kabuli chickpeas are the most common variety in America,  often served at buffet salad bars and or sold in cans in grocery stores. They are light beige in color, round and smooth.

Desi chickpeas are more common in the rest of the world. They are smaller, irregular in shape and darker in color, sometimes appearing to be charred. Darker desi chickpeas have thicker seed coats, and since antioxidants are concentrated in the outer seed coat, you'll get an anti-oxidant wallop from this variety. It also has more fiber and a lower glycemic value compared to the kabuli variety, helpful for diabetics and others who need to avoid sugar spikes.

Of course, both varieties of chickpeas are good for your health--and either is definitely a healthier choice than candy or donuts! So consider chickpeas and hummus with veggie dippers as alternatives to junk food.  

And check out this fun, healthy recipe for Itsy Bitsy Biters. It’s a snack and art project all-in-one--just in time for Halloween!

Thanks to our friends at Bean Sprouts Cafe & Cooking School for the creative recipe. 

Itsy Bitsy Biters

Serves 1

1 tablespoon hummus

6 slices organic pepperoni

2 slices wheat bread

2 olive slices

4 celery sticks, cut in half lengthwise

1 coffee mug or round cookie cutter

Wiggle eight of your fingers before grabbing the mug or cookie cutter. Use the mug or cutter to cut a circle out of each piece of bread. Start low to the ground and “climb up a water spout” (stretching up to reach the hummus on the counter).

Spread hummus on one of the circle slices and top with pepperoni. Place the other circle slice on top. Pretend to get washed away by the rain, and work your way back to the kitchen table.

Place two olive slices on top of the sandwich for eyes and the celery sticks for legs. “Climb up the spout” again before eating your Itsy Bitsy Biter.

 

 

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Guest Wednesday, 23 July 2014