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Two Brain-Boosting Recipes

Susan Grotenhuis
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Susan Grotenhuis
Kale and White Bean Soup With Barley

10 cups water
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
¾ cup pearl barley, rinsed & drained
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
½ tsp red-pepper flakes
1 – 28 oz can cannellini beans
6 oz kale
1 to 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
½ tsp lemon zest
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot.  Reduce heat, add barley and simmer until just tender, about 1 hour. Add 2 cups of stock to pot & bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes. Season with salt & pepper. Simmer until barley is soft, about 20 mins. Add beans, kale and remaining 2 cups of water and 1 cup of stock. Simmer until kale is tender and cooked, about 7 minutes. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese, freshly ground pepper and lemon zest. (Serves 4.)

The following recipes come to you courtesy of Asbury Methodist Village, a continuing care retirement community in Montgomery County, Md., and winner of the ICAA's 2015 Innovator of the Year Award for its Brain Waves fitness program.


Pumpkin Protein Muffins

1 cup canned pumpkin puree
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup plain lowfat Greek yogurt
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp oil 
1 ¾ cup old fashioned oats, ground fine
¼ cup protein powder of your choice
½ cup baking Stevia*
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp pumpkin pie or apple pie spice

Since protein powder is sweet, you may choose to reduce the brown sugar to 1/4 cup. Add a little Stevia if your prefer sweeter muffins. Optional add-ins: chopped walnuts or pecans, raisins or dried cranberries.

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Mix all ingredients together. Blend until oats are fully mixed in and batter is smooth. Divide mixture evenly into muffin cups and place into pre-heated oven. Bake for 15-20 mins or until tops are golden. Place on a rack to cool. 

Susan Grotenhuis

Submitted by Susan Grotenhuis

Susan is a certified brain fitness facilitator and a member of the wellness team at Asbury Methodist Village, a continuing care retirement community in Montgomery County, Md.

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