- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Oct. 11, 2011
Super soup — Think outside the can
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Autumn days have turned my thoughts to soup. Soup has history — the name is derived from "sop" or "sup," which consisted of a slice of bread on which broth was poured. It's even thought that the word " restaurant," meaning something restoring, was first used in 16th century France to describe a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup sold by street vendors and eventually in shops that took on the name.
Research has revealed that soup is a great way to improve vegetable intake and thus intake of nutrients such as vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene. Soup has also been shown to be beneficial for weight control because it enhances satiety and reduces total calorie intake when consumed before the main meal.
However, commercial soup consumption is on the decline due to increasing concern over the health risks of sodium — and awareness that soup is its major source.
But soup does not need to be salty nor fatty. Especially when you're making soup from scratch. And it needn't be labor intensive. Here are some tips:
- Start with water. Using water as your base saves unwanted calories and fat. See tips below for adding flavor and texture.
- Use leftovers. Add bones, unserved portions of vegetables — even the (washed) shavings or tops of vegetables that you'd usually throw away.
- Develop flavor. Onion, celery, carrot or other root vegetables such as rutabagas or turnips are basics for stock. If they're not already cooked, lightly brown the bones or vegetables in a little oil in the stock pot first. Add water and bring your stock to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 2 to 4 hours — adding herbs and spices midway. The longer the stock cooks, the more the flavors will intensify.
- Add pizzazz. Add the following ingredients heavy on the vegetables, moderate on legumes or whole grains (brown rice, barley, bulgur), just bits and pieces of meats, poultry or fish, and maybe a drizzle of olive oil or a sprinkle of grated cheese.
- Go for a smooth finish. To make your soup creamy and still healthy, puree all or part of the soup. You might also try thickening the soup by adding a bit of flour, cornstarch or non-fat evaporated milk.
Soup can be any combination of fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish or seafood, cooked in a liquid. It can be thick or thin, pureed or chunky, hot or cold, garnished or plain. And soup works for just about any course — appetizer, main event or even dessert.
So the next time your mind turns to soup, make it super. And share your favorite recipe here.
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