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7203 pumpkin seedsHow well do you know your seeds? Find out which are best for the Mediterranean diet and everyday eating. Seeds are a great addition to the Mediterranean diet plan. Sprinkle them on salads, eat them with fresh fruit and yogurt, toss into a stir-fry dish, blend them into smoothies, mix into flour when baking muffins, and add them to your trail mix. They are small, but they pack a powerful punch of nutrition.

Check out the different types of seeds to choose from. 


Most seeds taste better after they have been toasted. Shake seeds in an ungreased skillet over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the seeds. Watch the pan closely so that you don’t over toast and burn the seeds.

Types of Seeds

  • Black Sesame: Sesame seeds come in black, brown, a grayish-ivory and red, but the black have more antioxidants than the others; the seeds have a somewhat sweet but nutty flavor and are commonly used in pastries and Middle Eastern foods.
  • Chia: Although you might be used to seeing these seeds on little terracotta animals, chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids. Sprinkle them on fruit, granola or oatmeal.
  • Flax: This mild, nutty-flavored small seed contains vitamin E, calcium, phosphorous, niacin, iron, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seeds are used in baked goods as they have a gelatinous effect, similar to egg whites.
  • Hemp: Good blended into smoothies, hemp has all nine essential amino acids. Hemp seeds can be eaten raw or made into milk, tea or used in baking.
  • Pumpkin (pepitas): Easy to come by, especially in October, these seeds contain potassium and magnesium. Add them to your train mix, eat plain or roasted and salted or use in Mexican cooking.
  • Sunflower: Rich in iron and vitamin E, these seeds have a hard outer shell. These seeds can be eaten plain or roasted and salted. These seeds are especially good in salads, sandwiches, cooked dishes and snacks.

However you choose to use these seeds, you'll derive health, taste and substance from them! For more food, wine and recipes, check out Sally Bernstein!


the-mediterranean-diet-a-olive-oil-2How well do you know your olive oils? Spinach, walnuts, oat products, broccoli, blueberries, dark chocolate and olive oil—what do all these foods have in common? They are all rich in antioxidants, a central theme of the Mediterranean Diet, which came about after the dietary patterns of southern Italy, Greece, Spain and Morocco were studied.

Healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all part of the diet. Olive oil, which contains a very high level of monounsaturated fats, is the main fat promoted in this diet and it is characteristic of the Mediterranean diet.

6 Types of Olive Oil

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This is the first press of the olives through the cold pressing process. The virgin designation has to do with the amount of acidity of the olive oil.
  2. Virgin Olive Oil: Olives that are riper than those used for extra virgin oil are produced in the same way as extra virgin, the acidity is a bit higher, therefore, the oil is of lesser quality.
  3. Refined Olive Oil: This oil has a diminished flavor and scent, higher acidity than the two above and it is the result of refining virgin olive oil.
  4. Pure Olive Oil: Lighter in color and milder in taste than extra virgin olive oil, this oil is a result of the second cold pressing; it is not mixed with any non-olive oils.
  5. Refined Olive-Pomace Oil: This lower quality oil is produced by the ground flesh and pits left after pressing.
  6. Light & Extra Light Olive Oil: This low-quality oil is chemically produced.

This is an easy-to-make, yet healthy vegetable side dish that uses EVOO, extra virgin olive oil, a characteristic of the Mediterranean Diet.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes or Acorn Squash For Two

7031 roasted sweet potatos


  • 2 sweet potatoes, cleaned, with skins on, cut into 1” wedges or 1 2-pound acorn squash, cut into ¾ inch slices after being halved and seeded
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Parmesan cheese


  • Heat oven to 425 degreees
  • Toss sweet potatoes or acorn squash with 1 Tbsp. oil
  • Season with salt and peppe
  • Roast, turning once, about 25 minutes, or until tender
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve

Roasted sweet potatoes or acorn squash are great additions for any main dish. And, they're healthy! For more food, wine and recipes, check out Sally Bernstein!


6849 jelly jam header

What is the difference between jam, jelly, marmalade, preserves, conserves, fruit butter, or fruit curd? This can be a tough question to answer. These "jams" are all similar, but each one is different from the rest. Some use an ingredient called pectin, which is a natural, gelatin-like substance that is added to fruit to help it thicken. It is available in dry and liquid form. Most of these are sweet, fruit-based offerings, but some are tart and others are savory. Most of the items below are stored in glass jars, although cans and plastic packets are also used.


A jam made of whole or large pieces of different fruits stewed in sugar or syrup. These 4 items are cooked together until thick: various fruits, sugar, nuts and sometimes raisins. This mixture can be used as an accompaniment to meats or spread on biscuits or toast.

Fruit Butter

Stew fresh fruit, sugar and spices until thick, such as apple butter, which contains fresh apples, cider, sugar and cinnamon. There is actually NO butter in Fruit Butter as this term refers to its spreadability.

Fruit Curd

This creamy spread, think lemon curd, is made with the zest of the fruit, eggs, butter, sugar and citrus fruit. Curds are usually more tart than sweet and can be made in a variety of flavors, including cranberry, blood orange, lime and strawberry.

6849 jelly jam jar


Start with fruit purees and add sugar and pectin until thickened. This creates a smooth finished product with a semi-jellied texture. Jams are usually made from one fruit, not a combination of various fruits.


This clear liquid is made from sweetened and jelled fruit juice, to which pectin and an acid, such as lemon juice, are added. Jelly is another smooth finished product.

6849 jelly marmalade


We usually think of orange marmalade (made from Seville oranges) but there are also many other marmalades, such as onion marmalade and beet marmalade.  In other words, marmalade includes the zest and flesh from citrus fruits or vegetables.


Similar to conserves, preserves are made from whole or large pieces of fruit. The fruit, usually cooked with sugar and pectin, can be spread on biscuits or toast.

For more food, wine and recipes, check out Sally Bernstein!