Tasty Tuesdays – Turkey Meatballs

These meatballs are a much healthier alternative to store bought beef meatballs, and much tastier too (I think).  They take very little time to prepare and can be served with a variety of meals; with pasta, over rice, on a sandwich or just with a homemade tomato sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 package of ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg (works just as well with egg whites)
  • Your favourite spices

Directions

  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush a thin layer of olive oil on it.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°, and put the baking sheet in the oven while it heats up.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs and egg.  Add in any spices you like such as; fresh chopped sage, fresh rosemary, paprika, cayenne pepper or lemon zest.
  • Once the oven has reached 350° form the meatballs and place on the baking sheet.  The heated olive oil gives them a nice crust.
  • Cook for 15 minutes, flip the meatballs and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Ready to serve.

Interesting Facts 

 

Turkey is naturally low in fat and is a great alternative if you are trying to lessen your intake of red meats.  This type of poultry contains high levels of folic acid, selenium, zinc, potassium and is a great source of vitamins B3 and B6.  These nutrients are known to keep blood cholesterol levels down, regulate blood pressure, protect against birth defects, cancer, heart disease and aid in nerve function and growth (Micha et al., 2010).  As well, turkey is found on the low glycemic index scale because it helps to keep post-meal insulin levels within the desirable range, therefore helping to regulate blood sugar (Pal and Ellis, 2010).  A common assertion when it comes to Turkey is that the tryptophan levels in it will make you sleepy.  Tryptophan is an amino acid which is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is then metabolized into the hormone melatonin.  Melatonin is converted in the pineal gland and regulates sleep.  There is actually varying evidence that consuming turkey will increase melatonin production, and more interestingly, turkey contains similar amounts of tryptophan as shrimp, tuna, halibut, chicken, beef and salmon (Komprda et al., 2005).  Many believe that the ‘sleepy’ feelings associated with eating turkey may actually be related to overconsumption and alcohol intake occurring at the same time…since many people celebrate holidays by having a large Turkey dinner accompanied with a large glass, or two, of wine.

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