Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Stir-fried Tofu and Broccoli


4 medium sweet potatoes
1 – 350 g pkg extra-firm tofu, cubed
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets


1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp tamari
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh red chili, cut into thin rounds (add less if you prefer a mild sauce)
2 tsp arrowroot flour (arrowroot starch)
1 tsp ground dried ginger
2 Tbsp coconut oil or refined avocado oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
  2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add sweet potatoes and pierce a few times with a knife. Roast for 45 to 65 minutes, until tender when pierced.
  3. In small bowl, whisk all sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
  4. In large wok or large high-sided skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add tofu and broccoli. Continue to cook, stirring often, for 8 to 12 minutes, until broccoli is tender.
  5. Stir in prepared sauce and cook until sauce is glossy and thick.
  6. To serve, slice potatoes in half and fill with broccoli and tofu.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

Sweden’s Top Fast-Food Chain Debuts Vegan Milkshakes

Nicole Axworthy wrote . . . . . . . .

Sweden-based fast-food chain Max Burgers will debut new vegan milkshakes to all 119 locations across the nation by this fall.

The coconut milk-based shake, which will be available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors, is currently being tested at one Max Burgers’ Stockholm location.

“It was an immediate success,” Max Burgers head of PR Marita Wengelin told VegNews.

“Our plan was to test it in another five restaurants during May, but since the demand for the shake has exceeded all our expectations, we have not been able to roll it out to further restaurants and the supplier is working hard to produce it to the required volume.”

Max Burgers plans to serve the vegan milkshakes at vegetarian music festival Way Out West in Gothenburg in August before introducing it to all Sweden locations, and plans to eventually replace all of the dairy-based milkshakes on its menu with the vegan version.

The move to replace dairy is part of Max Burgers’ environmentally motivated initiative to increase its plant-based options in its effort to encourage 50 percent of its sales to come from non-red-meat meals by 2022.

In 2016, Max Burgers introduced its Green Family vegetarian options, which include a vegan barbecue sandwich made with Oumph! vegan pulled pork, red onion, lettuce, jalapeños, and vegan mayonnaise, and will also soon offer two vegan versions of its LyxShake, a whipped-cream-based dessert made with strawberries or blueberries.

Source: Vegnews

What’s for Lunch?

Vegan Lunch Set at Hatonomori Garden in Tokyo, Japan

The Menu

Tomato Soup

Falafel Plate with Pita Bread and Vegetables

Soy Latte

Portable Music Players Tied to Hearing Loss in Kids

Lisa Rapaport wrote . . . . . . . .

Children who listen to music through headphones may be at greater risk of noise-related hearing loss, a Dutch study suggests.

Researchers examined hearing test results for 3,316 children ages 9 to 11. They also asked parents about hearing complaints from their children, how often kids used portable music players and how high they typically set the volume.

Overall, 443 children, or 14 percent, had at least some difficulty hearing at high frequencies. High frequency hearing loss, especially in younger people, is often caused by noise exposure.

Regardless of how long they wore headphones or how high they set the volume, kids who used portable music players just one or two days a week were more than twice as likely to have hearing loss as children who didn’t use the devices at all.

“Although we cannot conclude from this study that music players caused these hearing losses, it shows that music exposure might influence hearing at a young age,” said lead study author Dr. Carlijn le Clercq of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam.

“This is important, because hearing loss is irreversible and thus has lifelong consequences,” le Clercq said by email.

More than nine in 10 older children and teens use some type of portable music player – often a smartphone or tablet – for education and recreation, researchers note in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

With noise-related hearing loss, sounds can seem muffled or distant and people may hear ringing in their ears. This can sometimes be temporary, happening after a loud concert, but it can become permanent with repeated exposure to noise.

In the current study, 1,244 children, or about 40 percent, never used portable music players. Another 19 percent used portable music players once or twice a week, and about 8 percent used them at least three times weekly.

Most of the kids didn’t have any hearing-related symptoms. Even among children with high frequency hearing loss, only about 7 percent reported symptoms “sometimes” or “often.”

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how portable headphone use might directly cause hearing loss in kids. Some younger children may develop high frequency hearing loss as a result of ear infections, especially when infections are chronic.

Another limitation of the study is that researchers lacked data on portable music player use and hearing-related symptoms for roughly one-third of the study participants.

Still, the results suggest that parents need to be more vigilant about how children use headphones, and how often, said Kevin Franck director of audiology for Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

“Parents should limit use of a portable music player,” Franck, who wrote a commentary accompanying the study, said by email. It’s too loud if parents can hear it, he said.

Headphones also are not the only way that children may develop hearing loss, noted Colleen Le Prell, an audiology researcher at the University of Texas at Dallas who wasn’t involved in the study. Live concerts, band practice, hunting, power tools, lawn mowers, dirt bikes, mopeds, and other motorized equipment can also create enough exposure to loud noise to potentially damage kids’ hearing, she said by email.

“Limiting music player use should be considered as part of an overall safe listening strategy,” Le Prell added.

Whenever children may be exposed to loud noise, “hearing protection should be provided, and should include ear plugs marketed for musicians, ear muffs, or conventional ear plugs as appropriate for the sound source,” Le Prell advised.

Source: Reuters

Brain Metals that May Drive Alzheimer’s Disease Progression Discovered

Alzheimer’s disease could be better treated, thanks to a breakthrough discovery of the properties of the metals in the brain involved in the progression of the neurodegenerative condition, by an international research collaboration including the University of Warwick.

Dr Joanna Collingwood, from Warwick’s School of Engineering, was part of a research team which characterised iron species associated with the formation of amyloid protein plaques in the human brain – abnormal clusters of proteins in the brain. The formation of these plaques is associated with toxicity which causes cell and tissue death, leading to mental deterioration in Alzheimer’s patients.

They found that in brains affected by Alzheimer’s, several chemically-reduced iron species including a proliferation of a magnetic iron oxide called magnetite – which is not commonly found in the human brain – occur in the amyloid protein plaques. The team had previously shown that these minerals can form when iron and the amyloid protein interact with each other. Thanks to advanced measurement capabilities at synchrotron X-ray facilities in the UK and USA, including the Diamond Light Source I08 beamline in Oxfordshire, the team has now shown detailed evidence that these processes took place in the brains of individuals who had Alzheimer’s disease. They also made unique observations about the forms of calcium minerals present in the amyloid plaques.

Understanding the significance of these metals to the progression of Alzheimer’s could lead to more effective future therapies which combat the disease at its root.

Dr Joanna Collingwood, Associate Professor at the University of Warwick’s School of Engineering and expert in trace metals analysis, high resolution imaging, and neurodegenerative disorders, commented:

“Iron is an essential element in the brain, so it is critical to understand how its management is affected in Alzheimer’s disease. The advanced X-ray techniques that we used in this study have delivered a step-change in the level of information that we can obtain about iron chemistry in the amyloid plaques. We are excited to have these new insights into how amyloid plaque formation influences iron chemistry in the human brain, as our findings coincide with efforts by others to treat Alzheimer’s disease with iron-modifying drugs.”

The team, led by an EPSRC-funded collaboration between University of Warwick and Keele University – and which includes researchers from University of Florida and The University of Texas at San Antonio – made their discovery by extracting amyloid plaque cores from two deceased patients who had a formal diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

The researchers scanned the plaque cores using state-of-the-art X-ray microscopy at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley, USA and at beamline I08 at the Diamond Light Source synchrotron in Oxfordshire, to determine the chemical properties of the minerals within them.

They also analysed the magnetic state of the iron species in the plaques to confirm the presence of various iron minerals including the magnetic iron oxide magnetite.

The research team propose that interactions between iron and amyloid that produce the chemically reduced iron species, including magnetite, may account for toxicity that contributes to the development and progression of Alzheimer’s.

There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or any other type of dementia. Delaying the onset of dementia by five years would halve the number of deaths from the condition, saving 30,000 lives a year.

Source: University of Warwick

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