Sweet Potato Pound Cake Recipe



Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Allison R. Banks


  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350º. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Add sweet potatoes, and beat well.
2. Stir together flour, next 3 ingredients, and, if desired, cinnamon in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (12-cup) tube pan.
3. Bake at 350º for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
Sweet Potato Pound Cake Loaves: Prepare batter as directed; pour into 2 greased and floured 8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch loafpans. Bake and cool as directed.

*Recipe from myrecipes.com

Ever Thought About What The Sticker Code on Fruit and Vegetable’s Mean’s? If Not, You Should!

by Frank Lipman


Although they seem like a nuisance, the stickers or labels attached to fruit and some vegetables have more of a function than helping scan the price at the checkout stand. The PLU code, or price lookup number printed on the sticker, also tells you how the fruit was grown. By reading the PLU code, you can tell if the fruit was genetically modified, organically grown or produced with chemical fertilizers, fungicides, or herbicides.

Here are the basics of what you should know:

  1. If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides. The last four letters of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit. An example is that all bananas are labeled with the code of 4011.
  2. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8″, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables trump being organic. So, it is impossible to eat organic produce that are grown from genetically modified seeds. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011
  3. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “9″, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011

Incidentally, the adhesive used to attach the stickers is considered food-grade, but the stickers themselves aren’t edible.

And here is the full list from the Environmental Working Groups of fruits and vegetables with the least to most pesticides. When shopping, the most important produce to buy organic are those at the bottom of this list http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php .

Creating A Colorful Diet For Your Kids

When I was a child I loved all fruits and vegetables. I remember my younger brother didn’t like pickles on his sandwiches or burgers. I had no problem eating them for him until he started to get older and decided he no longer disliked them but actually loved them. Our taste buds change they grow, they adapt and as we get older we learn to enjoy the new and different tastes.

Growing up my parents would expect us to at least try something twice because the first time your taste buds might reject it if it’s new and you’ve never tasted that taste before. This brings me back to when I was about eleven years old and my Dad had what seemed to me at the time a HUGE jar of pickled artichokes. Dad was enjoying some for a snack and asked me to try some. I did and I remember thinking – “Yuck! How could he like these?” I ate it but wasn’t to thrilled about it at the time. After this my Dad encouraged me to have some again, I did and several times after that. Time had passed and one day I asked my dad why he never bought those one things in the huge jar. haha. He wasn’t sure at the time what I was talking about an I hadn’t remembered the name but once we figured out what it was I was describing he chuckled and said “oh the artichokes…so, you’ve decided you like them after all huh? Sure we can buy them again”. Ever since I have loved Artichokes pickled or fresh and every time I take a bite of them my taste buds are in heaven and think about this story.

My point in all this is that if we incorporate the good stuff now and introduce a rainbow of colors in our kids diets they will see, taste and learn to enjoy the good stuff. I have two young children and I always try to do this because I know it will be beneficial to their health. For a while my son who is six years old would always want to pick out his bell peppers and I would encourage him to eat them with other things on his plate. He would an low and behold now he loves them!

I always make sure to praise my children’s choices when they do eat well. In our home we don’t buy what would be considered unhealthy treats, snacks and foods. We grow most of our own veggies, I try to buy organic if possible and keep fresh whole foods in our home. But if we are out to to dinner or at a friends/family members or some place where they may not have the things we have at home. I’m always a proud mama when I see they choose to eat things that are on the healthier side. As I know they may have had the option to grab something that wasn’t so healthy.

Let’s try to teach our children to pick the healthy choice when they’re on their own. We can do this by keeping snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinners full of fresh wholesome food with lot’s of color!

Red: Tomatoes, Radishes, Apples, Red Pepper, Raspberries and Strawberries

Yellow: Lemons, Summer Squash, Pineapple, Yellow Pepper

Green: Kale, Broccoli, Collard Greens, Spinach, Limes, Kiwi and Avocado

Orange: Carrots, Yam, Squashes and Pumpkin

White: Cauliflower, Parsnips, Mushrooms, Garlic and Onion

Blue/Violet: Blueberries, Eggplant, Grapes and Red Cabbage


Top 10 Foods for Healthy Hair

When it comes to healthy hair, it’s not just what you put on your tresses that count — it’s what you put in your body, too.

Healthy Hair Food No. 1: Salmon

When it comes to foods that pack a beauty punch, it’s hard to beat salmon. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this high-quality protein source is also filled with vitamin B-12 and iron.

“Essential omega-3 fatty acids are needed to support scalp health,” says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “A deficiency can result in a dry scalp and thus hair, giving it a dull look.”

Vegetarian? Include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet for some plant-based omega-3 fats.

Healthy Hair Food No. 2: Dark Green Vegetables

Popeye the Sailor Man didn’t eat all that spinach for healthy hair, but he could have. Spinach, like broccoli and Swiss chard, is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body’s natural hair conditioner.

Dark green vegetables also provide iron and calcium.

Healthy Hair Food No. 3: Beans

Beans, beans, they’re good for your … hair?

Yes, it’s true. Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. While rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair.

Blatner, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, recommends three or more cups of lentils or beans each week.

Healthy Hair Food No. 4: Nuts

Do you go nuts for thick, shiny hair? You should.

Brazil nuts are one of nature’s best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp.

Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure nuts are a regular on your healthy hair menu.


Healthy Hair Food No. 5: Poultry

Chickens and turkeys may have feathers, but the high-quality protein they provide will help give you the healthy hair you crave.

“Without adequate protein or with low-quality protein, one can experience weak brittle hair, while a profound protein deficiency can result in loss of hair color,” Giancoli tells WebMD.

Poultry also provides iron with a high degree of bioavailability, meaning your body can easily reap its benefits.

Healthy Hair Food No. 6: Eggs

When it comes to healthy hair, it doesn’t matter whether you like your eggs scrambled, fried, or over easy. However they’re served up, eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find.

They also contain biotin and vitamin B-12, which are important beauty nutrients.

Healthy Hair Food No. 7: Whole Grains

Sink your teeth into hearty whole grains, including whole-wheat bread and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, for a hair-healthy dose of zinc, iron, and B vitamins.

A whole-grain snack can also be a great go-to food when your energy is zapped halfway through the afternoon, and you’ve still got hours to go before dinner.

Healthy Hair Food No. 8: Oysters

Oysters may be better known for their reputation as an aphrodisiac, but they can also lead to healthy hair — and who doesn’t love that?

The key to their love and hair-boosting abilities is zinc — a powerful antioxidant.

If oysters don’t make a regular appearance on your dinner plate, don’t despair. In addition to getting it from whole grains and nuts, you can also get zinc from beef and lamb.

Healthy Hair Food No. 9: Low-Fat Dairy Products

Low-fat dairy products like skim milk and yogurt are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, two high-quality protein sources.

For some healthy hair foods “to-go,” try throwing a yogurt or cottage cheese cup in your bag when you head out in the morning to snack on later in the day. You can even boost their hair benefits by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseeds or walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.

Healthy Hair Food No. 10: Carrots

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp along with good vision.

Since a healthy scalp is essential for a shiny, well-conditioned head of hair, you’d be wise to include carrots in your diet as snacks or toppings on your salad.

Source: realsimple, webmd