Thursday, July 08, 2010

Lowering cholesterol

These are the 10 essential items for reducing cholesterol according to Janet Bond Brill in her book Cholesterol Down:

  1. Oat bran

  2. Psyllium
  3. Flax seed
  4. Almonds
  5. Soy
  6. Apples
  7. Garlic
  8. Beans
  9. Plant sterols
  10. Exercise

Cholesterol Lowering Crackers [Recipe by Sigrid Smith]. Makes 30

1/2 cup oat bran

1/2 cup psyllium husks

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup soy flour

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup olive, walnut or hazelnut oil

2 cups water

This will be sloppy. Mix it up and let it sit for 20 minutes and it will be a firm dough, the consistency of peanut butter cookie dough.

Make 1 Tablespoon balls (I use a small ice cream scooper, no longer used for ice cream, unfortunately)

Place on large ungreased cookie sheets, smash thin with the bottom of a glass to about 2 1/2 inches around. Use wax paper or parchment paper between the dough and the glass to keep it from sticking. I poke holes in them with a focaccia roller but you could use a fork or skip the holes. I also cut them in half with a pizza cutter. They stay together as a round cracker but they snap apart into half circles....very cracker-like.

Bake at 200 degrees until they can be removed from the sheet easily, about an hour. Place them on cookie racks and put back in the oven until crispy. It usually takes a couple of hours. I usually reduce the temperature to 150 degrees and just leave them to dry. You could try a higher temperature for a shorter period but there is a risk of burning or browning too much. You probably don't have to move them off the cookie sheet to the racks but I think they dry more quickly if they are exposed on all sides.

It uses 5 of the 10 items. I serve them with hummus made using garbanzos, garlic and silken tofu to go with them. That's 2 more plus additional soy.

Serve apple slices with the hummus makes another of the 10.

[Celery lowers blood pressure and is good with hummus, too.]

I take the plant sterols as a supplement (Colest Off) rather than using margarine that contains it as Brill suggests. Those margarines also contain partially hydrogenated fat. I found a place that sells the sterols in powder form so I'm going to order it and add it to the Hummus and the crackers. (It isn't damaged by heat.) That's 9 of the 10. I forget what the 10th is......

I also make granola with oat bran, slivered almonds, psyllium, ground flax seeds, and apples and have that with my homemade yogurt mixed with silken tofu. That's 6 of the 10.