Friday, November 7, 2008

A Heart-Healthier And Great-Tasting Way To Cook And Bake

(NAPSI)-Americans will gather around the kitchen this holiday season to celebrate the holiday spirit with festive dishes both savory and sweet. Families and friends can always give (and receive) the gifts of better nutrition and better health when sharing their favorite fare.

It helps to gift wrap some omega-3 fatty acids in holiday foods; these essential fatty acids are not naturally manufactured by the body. Yet, according to the American Heart Association, there is evidence that omega-3s help prevent stroke, blocked blood vessels and coronary heart disease. Today's consumers want great-tasting, good-for-you foods. And omega-3s top the list of nutrients that they are looking for in new products.

One place to find these essential fatty acids is in Mazola Vegetable Plus!, a new blend of pure and natural vegetable and heart-healthy canola oils. This unique formula tastes and performs as well as vegetable oils currently on the market and makes it easy to cook in a healthier way.

A single serving of the new oil--just one tablespoon--contains zero grams of trans fat and 1,200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, which represents 92 percent of the daily recommended value. Plus, it has 25 percent less saturated fat than other leading vegetable oils and is cholesterol free. Using a nutrient-rich oil such as Mazola Vegetable Plus! for cooking--stir frying, grilling, pan frying and making salads--can be a good way to fortify a balanced diet while enhancing the holiday season with great flavor and nutrition. You can even bake with it, as seen in this delectable, seasonal dessert.

Holiday Carrot Cake

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Yield: 16 slices

1 Granny Smith apple

1 cup brown sugar

¾ cup Mazola® Vegetable Plus! Oil

¾ cup sugar

4 eggs

½ cup apricot jam or preserves

¼ cup apricot brandy or apricot nectar

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2½ teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2 cups shredded carrots

1 cup chopped pecans

Icing:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ cup butter, softened

1½ tablespoons apricot brandy or apricot nectar

3½ cups powdered sugar

1. Peel and grate apple; set aside. Beat brown sugar, oil, sugar, eggs, apricot jam and brandy in a large mixing bowl until smooth.

2. Add flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and ginger. Mix just until moistened. Stir in apple, carrots and pecans.

3. Spread batter in three greased 8- or 9-inch-round cake pans. Bake at 350° F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack.

4. To make the icing, beat cream cheese, butter and brandy until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar; continue beating until frosting is of smooth spreading consistency.

5. Place one cake layer on serving plate; ice top. Add second layer and ice top. Add final layer and ice sides and top of cake.

6. If desired, garnish with halved pecans and quartered dried apricots.

Free Recipes

For additional recipes and information, visit www.mazola.com.

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