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Food of the Month


Salmon

Maintains Brain Health

The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon increase the efficiency of brain function, improve memory, and keep the brain active during long working hours. Along with the amino acids, vitamin A, vitamin D, and selenium, these fatty acids protect the nervous system from damage related to aging, act as an antidepressant, relax the brain, and also help in treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Cardiovascular Health

Intake of fish rich in omega-3 fat is associated with decreased risk of numerous cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, stroke, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides in the blood. Consumption of omega-3-containing salmon is also linked with improved metabolic markers for cardiovascular disease. The high levels of the antioxidant selenium in salmon have also been shown to be especially important in cardiovascular protection.

Reduce Inflammation

Research on fish intake and joint protection has shown that the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon can be converted by the body into three types of compounds that prevent chronic inflammation. Recent studies show the presence of bioactive peptides in salmon may support healthy joint cartilage and other types of tissue. Such peptides may combine with salmon’s omega-3 molecules to provide powerful anti-inflammatory benefits for joints. Also the incredibly high content of vitamin D and selenium found in salmon have been shown to be key agents in preventing unwanted inflammation.

Decreased Cancer Risk

Intake of fish rich in omega-3 fat is associated with decreased risk for several types of cancer. These cancer types include colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. Some of the strongest findings for decreased cancer risk following regular intake of omega-3 fish involve the blood cell or lymph cell-related cancers including leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Protects Body Against Free Radicals
Salmon is a great source of selenium, a mineral that help protect the body from free radical damage, which can weaken cells and leave them vulnerable to infections and other diseases.

Improves Eye Health

It is well known that fish oil is good for improving vision. Omega-3 intake and consumption of omega-3 fish has been associated with decreased risk of two eye-related problems: macular degeneration and chronic dry eye.

Tips for Selecting and Storing Salmon

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Selecting:

  • Salmon is sold in many different forms. Fresh salmon is available whole or in steak or fillet form. It is also available frozen, canned, dried, or smoked.
  • Based on a combination of sustainability and potential contamination concerns, it is recommended that you select wild-caught Alaskan salmon above all other forms of salmon currently available in the marketplace.
  • If you cannot find wild-caught Alaskan salmon in your local grocery in fresh or frozen form, it is recommended that you select wild-caught Alaskan salmon in canned form as a next best alternative.
  • While smoked salmon is popular, it is not believed to be as healthful as fresh or canned salmon. That’s because in addition to having fewer omega-3s than non-smoked fish, smoked fish may contain toxic substances.
  • There are many species of Pacific salmon, including Chinook (or king), sockeye (or red), Coho (or silver), pink, and chum.
  • The flesh of salmon ranges in color from pink to red to orange, with some varieties richer in important omega-3 fatty acids than others. For example, Chinook and sockeye are fattier fish than pink and chum and contain great amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Storage:

  • When storing all types of seafood, including salmon, it is important to keep it cold, since fish is very sensitive to temperature. The temperature of most refrigerators is slightly warmer than ideal for storing fish.
  • One of the easiest ways to ensure an optimal environment is to place salmon that has been well wrapped in a baking dish filled with ice. The baking dish and fish should then be placed on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, which is its coolest area. Replenish ice one or two times per day.
  • The length of time that salmon can stay fresh stored this way depends upon how fresh it was when you purchased it.
  • Fish that was caught the day before you purchased it can be stored for about four days, while fish that was caught the week before can only be stored for about one or two days.
  • You can extend the shelf life of salmon by freezing it. To do so, wrap it well in plastic and place it in the coldest part of the freezer, where it will keep for about two to three weeks.

Serving Suggestions

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  • Combine left-over cold salmon with greens and vegetables for a delicious salad.
  • Throw some salmon steaks on the grill for a healthy alternative to burgers.
  • For a decadent brunch, make a salmon omelet. When your eggs are just about set, add drained, chunked salmon, drained capers, and chives. Fold and top with a dollop of sour cream.
  • Tuna Melt? Just make it a Salmon Melt!

Recipes:

Salmon Burgers

Salmon Burgers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound wild salmon fillet, skinned
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion or scallion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

To Make:

  1. Using a large chef’s knife, chop salmon using quick, even, straight-up-and-down motions (do not rock the knife through the fish or it will turn mushy) until you have a mass of roughly 1/4-inch pieces.
  2. Transfer to large bowl and gently stir in onion (or scallion), cilantro, ginger, salt, and pepper, being careful not to over mix.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 patties, about 1 inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes (or up to 2 hours) before cooking.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook until browned on both sides and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total.

Blackened Salmon

Blackened Salmon

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Juice of 1 lemon
4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skinned
1 lemon, cut into wedges

To Make:

  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the paprika, cayenne, thyme, garlic powder, and salt.
  3. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the lemon juice.
  4. Working with 1 salmon fillet at a time, dip the top and bottom halves first in the lemon butter, then in the spices.
  5. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the salmon until blackened, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven for 8 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Pecan-Crusted Salmon

Pecan-Crusted Salmon

Serves 4
Ingredients:

8 4-oz salmon fillets
2 cups pecans
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

To Make:

  1. Chop pecans in food processor and add salt, pepper, and garlic.
  2. Brush fillets with olive oil and roll in mixture.
  3. Lightly sauté 5-6 minutes per side.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees.

 

 


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