RiMo Curls: A creatively healthy snack

For just a moment, imagine being in the shoes of a kid in a candy shop with a sizable amount of cash to buy anything and everything from the place. However, there is a catch; one can only select from the lesser types of sweets one doesn’t care much for.

In a way, this is the experience of how we at Team Glasses Food Blog haven’t had chips / crisps / curl snacks in a long while now, because of our respective health concerns. We honestly thought we couldn’t have anymore of those types of snacks anymore. But in a stroke of good luck (and a lot of science), we found ourselves eating those words after finding out about RiMo Curls.

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During the last day of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)’s National Science and Technology Week, Kat and I were roaming around to satiate the craving for science, innovation, and of course, food. A poster caught my attention of rice and monggo beans (mung beans) being turned into a crunchy and ready-to-open snack, aptly named RiMo Curls. We soon out that this is made possible by the technology applied from the DOST’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute

Now, one may think, ‘Well, there are plenty of healthy snacks right there, why is this one any special?’ However, RiMo Curls is a snack worth trying among the plethora of ‘healthy’ snack foods on the market. Many older versions of healthy snacks have much to be desired in terms of texture or taste, but with this snack, there’s a different and longer lasting crunch after the pack has been opened.

The rice and monggo flour blend is an interesting choice of ingredients since I normally only see these two during meals with one on top of the other. The cheese flavor is thankfully, only lightly applied and not overwhelming in terms of flavor.

 

Here are some more reasons to enjoy RiMo curls:

  1. It’s protein and energy rich!
    • It contains 120 kcal of energy (8.5% of recommended daily energy needs for children 4 to 6 years old)
    • It also contains 3 grams of protein (7.9% of recommended daily protein intake for children 4 to 6 years old)
  2. It’s iron and zinc fortified
  3. Low salt content (and it really is since each bite wasn’t coated with thick amounts of cheese powder or other seasonings)
  4. And it’s gluten free too

We hope to see this snack, and others of its caliber, becomes more readily available throughout the country. We definitely enjoyed it and hopefully those with our conditions can too in the future.

RiMo Curls is manufactured and distributed by Nutri Dense Food Manufacturing Corporation. For more information, please contact the company at:

2/F UP-ISSI Bldg. E. Virata Hall, E. Jacinto St., UP Diliman Compound, Quezon City, Philippines

TeleFax No: (075) 600 8251

Mobile No/s: +63 999 729 0234 / +63 916 641 8611 / +63 923 703 2198

Email: nutridensefmc@yahoo.com.ph

The Good Bugs

Most of us grew up with an (acquired) aversion to bacteria and germs. We were always told that having these little entities in our guts would make us sick. However, not all bacteria cause stomach upsets; in fact, there are some kinds of bacteria which promote better digestion and health overall. These microorganisms are better known nowadays as probiotics. These special bacteria can resist the extremely acidic and enzyme-filled environment of the human gut, and thus can reside there for a relatively longer period of time.

So why eat or drink these kinds of bacteria? In recent years, probiotics have been studied for their beneficial effects in managing digestive problems such as gastroenteritis, diarrhea, and even irritable bowel syndrome. They are also helpful for children suffering from colic. They may be beneficial in managing allergies, atopic dermatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease; however, more studies are needed to show the effectiveness of probiotics for patients with these disorders. Probiotics may also have an antioxidant effect by reducing the ‘oxidative stress’ and damage caused by harmful bacteria in the gut.

Various strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are among the more well-known probiotics. These bacteria may be found in special preparations marketed for therapeutic purposes, but they are also found in some commercially available foods such as yogurt and some dairy preparations. Other foods containing beneficial bacteria include sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and kombucha (fermented tea). Like all things, these foods and other probiotic preparations must be taken in moderation. In fact, probiotics are not recommended for some critically ill persons, or those with severely weakened immune systems.

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Kombucha tea (Source: statickflickr.com)

 

In our anecdotal experience, regularly taking probiotics in addition to making necessary dietary and lifestyle changes has been helpful in preventing attacks of GERD, or at least in limiting their severity. We’ve also realized that drinking probiotics help us recover more quickly from our relatively rare stomach upsets and food poisoning misadventures. We hope that as more research is done about probiotics, that we can better incorporate these into our recommendations for healthy eating.

 

Sources:

Connor, E. (2017). 6 Probiotic Foods to Add to Your Diet. Retrieved from: http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/probiotic-foods#kombucha6

 

Sanders, M. E, Guarner, F., Guerrant, R., Holt, P.R., Quigley, E.M., Sartor, R.B…Mayer. E.A. (2013). “An update on the use and investigation of probiotics in health and disease.” Gut, 62, 787-796. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2012-302504

 

Wang, Y., Wu, Y., Wang, Y., Xu, H., Mei, X., Yu, D….Li, W. (2017). “Antioxidant Properties of Probiotic Bacteria”. Nutrients, 9, 521. doi:10.3390/nu9050521

Team Glasses in the Kitchen: the 3 Dip Adventure

Of course there are days wherein we just aren’t up to the task of adventuring through the city in the name of finding healthy food. Last Saturday was one such occasion, and so we decided to whip up our own snacks at home instead of getting food to-go or ordering in. After a little searching and tweaking, we agreed to try out three dip recipes that hopefully wouldn’t trigger another of Lee’s GERD attacks:

  •         Yogurt and cucumber (a little bit like the Persian appetizer must o’ khiar)
  •         Cottage cheese with mint and coriander
  •         Salsa Fresca

Our ingredients ran as follows:

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For the yogurt and cucumber dip:

  •         200 grams of Greek yogurt      
  •         1 cucumber                                    
  •         Ground black pepper   

                                             

For the cheese dip

  •         200 grams of cottage cheese  
  •         15 grams of fresh coriander     
  •         3 fresh mint leaves
  •         Ground black pepper     

           

For the salsa fresca

  •         6 native tomatoes                       
  •         15 grams of fresh coriander     
  •         1 lemon                                            
  •         1 red onion       

             

All in all, these ingredients cost us just around 380 pesos—quite a bargain considering that a jar of commercially available salsa or cheese dip would cost around 180 to 250 pesos.

First up for preparation was the yogurt and cucumber dip, since we wanted to keep this as cold as possible. We peeled the cucumber and chopped it into cubes. Then we mixed the cucumber bits in with the Greek yogurt and added in a little pepper for a bit of extra kick.  

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The cheese dip was also just as straightforward: we chopped up the coriander leaves and the mint, and blended them all in with the cottage cheese and a little pepper. The resulting dip was rather chunky and mild, even for our tastes. Alternatively, we could have used a different cheese such as ricotta, or a blend of cottage cheese and another cheese such as cheddar for a zingier taste.

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Likewise.the salsa fresca  was also fairly simple: we chopped the tomatoes into chunks, and the onion and coriander into smaller pieces. We tossed all of these with the juice of one whole lemon and a quick mixing up.

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How long did it take for us to put all of this together? Just half an hour.

All in all, we had all these three dips and Lee’s GERD wasn’t triggered even after we went through a pack and a half of Melba toast with the three dips. In fact we still had plenty left over for the next day. We surmised that perhaps we should have invited two more friends over to share the food ,as well as tried other snacks for dipping such as carrot sticks, crackers, or slices of flat breads such as chappati, paratha, or pita. Most importantly we realized that GERD-friendly cooking did not necessarily mean bland cuisine. We could still experiment with a wide range of sharp and subtle flavors, and yet still avoid triggering another attack of reflux. It’s something that we will definitely keep in mind for our upcoming culinary experiments.

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Stay tuned for our next adventures in the kitchen!