Baycrest launches world’s first science-based cookbook for the brain!

Mindfull offers 100 delicious recipes to fire up your synapses!

Oct. 24, 2012 @ 2:00 p.m. ET

Mindfull book coverToronto, Ontario – With dementia rates expected to soar in coming decades as Canada’s population gets older, a nutrition and cognitive scientist with the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences has cooked up a strategy to help people maintain good brain health.

Dr. Carol Greenwood, a senior scientist and Canada’s leading professor of nutrition and brain health, has teamed up with Daphna Rabinovitch, an award-winning recipe developer and food writer, and Joanna Gryfe, a food and media expert, to create the world’s first science-based cookbook for the brain.

Available only as an e-book, Mindfull provides a 300-page feast of consumer-friendly information on the science of nutrition and brain health, what this means in terms of eating to promote a healthy brain, plus 100 delicious recipe ideas to fire up your synapses! Celebrity Canadian chefs from coast to coast, including Michael Smith, Mark McEwan and Dale Mackay, as well as Laureen Harper, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, contributed recipes for the book.

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 60% of Alzheimer’s diagnoses are attributed to lifestyle choices. Poor eating habits and a lack of physical and intellectual stimulation are stronger drivers for dementia than genetics alone.

Dr. Carol Greenwood“We know that diet is an important predictor of how well our brain ages and that people who have better quality diets have greater preservation of their brain function with aging,” says Dr. Greenwood. In the book, she debunks myths about nutrition, tells us what to eat to promote optimal brain health and healthy aging, and provides useful tips on how to boost our cognitive function at times of the day when we are feeling low – always ensuring that her advice can be easily adapted by the busy home cook.

“The recipes we developed for this book were of course inspired by very particular food choices, but just as importantly by many global and ethnic cuisines, making the recipes exciting and diverse,” says Rabinovitch. “Health eating, as the book brings to life, has never been more delectable, gratifying and energizing.”

The cookbook covers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks, appetizers and desserts. From Whole-Wheat Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes with Ricotta Topping for a lazy weekend breakfast, to great ideas for on-the-go quick meals, healthy sandwiches, soups, meat, vegetarian, pasta and fish dishes, there is a variety of brain healthy recipes to choose from. Before the weekly grocery run, readers can skim the handy reference chart of foods that are rich in brain-healthy nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, fibre, folate and Vitamin B12, polyphenols and mono-unsaturated fats. The book lists many spices and herbs which are also thought to have brain-protective compounds and can be used to enhance the flavor of what we eat.

Daphna Rabinovitch and Joanna GryfeFor people-on-the-go who don’t have time to eat nutritious meals, Dr. Greenwood has this advice: “There are a number of recipes in the book that you can make in less than 15 minutes. It really starts with your selection of foods when you’re in the grocery store. Look for fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains that can be easily incorporated into salads, for example. These are quick and nutritious meals.”

The e-cookbook is available as a $9.99 download from e-book retailers iTunes, Amazon, Kobo and coming soon on Google Play. Mindfull was conceived by Women of Baycrest volunteers, and supported by the Baycrest Foundation and Cogniciti. Proceeds from the sale of the e-book will support Baycrest programs and services that promote excellence and innovations in aging and brain health.

Three sample recipes from Mindfull

Watch video clips of Dr. Carol Greenwood talking about the cookbook

Rogers Video Dr. Carol Greenwood cooks up a brain healthy dish on Rogers TV

For more information on this press release, to interview the authors, or have freelance culinary consultant Daphna Rabinovitch lead a brain-healthy cooking demo in studio, please contact:

Kelly Connelly, Senior Media Officer
Baycrest Health Sciences

Curried lentil and wheatberry salad with mango

Mindfull recipe - CURRIED LENTIL & WHEATBERRY SALAD WITH MANGOWheatberries are the whole, unprocessed wheat kernel. This means they contain all three parts of the grain: the germ, bran and starchy endosperm. Only the hull, the inedible outer layer of the grain, has been removed. Consequently, wheatberries retain all of the grain’s vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Wheatberries have an exceptional nutrient profile; they’re high in fibre, low in calories, and packed with vitamins and minerals. A half-cup (125 mL) serving of cooked wheatberries is a great source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 70 minutes
SERVES 8 (1-1/3 cup each)

  • 2/3 cup uncooked wheatberries
  • 1/2 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1/3 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 sweet red pepper, seeded and diced


  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp each ground coriander and salt
  • 1/4 tsp each paprika, turmeric and ground cardamomv
  • Pinch each cayenne and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • Add wheatberries to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil for 40 minutes. Add lentils; cook for 20 minutes. Add orzo; cook for 10 minutes. Stir in currants. Drain well; transfer to a large mixing bowl. Cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in green onions, mango and red pepper. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, cumin, mustard, coriander, salt, paprika, turmeric, cardamom, cayenne and pepper. Gradually whisk in oil. Pour dressing over salad, tossing gently but thoroughly until well coated. (Salad can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

    Nutritional Analysis per Serving: Calories 380; Protein 14g; Carbohydrate 63g (21%DV); Fat, total 9g(14%DV); Fat, saturated 0.5g(3%DV); Fat, trans 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Fibre 9g (36%DV); Sodium 170mg (7%DV).

    Breakfast Burritos

    Mindfull recipe - Breakfast BurritosBeans and dried fruit are delicious together. With so many tortillas to choose from, this morning meal can feed everyone – gluten free, vegan or vegetarian. Add your own condiments: fruit or veggies, salsas, grated vegan or organic cheeses, hot sauces or extra fruit. The choice is yours.

    PREP TIME: 20 minutes
    COOK TIME:25 minutes
    SERVES 8

    • 1/4 chopped dried apricots
    • 1/4 cup chopped dried apple or mango
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
    • 1 cup apple juice
    • 1 cardamom pod, cracked, or 1 small cinnamon stick
    • 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 4 10-inch tortillas (e.g., whole-wheat, corn, sprouted, unbleached,flax, pesto)
    • 1/4 cup salsa and/or grated cheddar cheese (optional)

    In a saucepan, combine apricots, apples, cranberries, apple juice and cardamom; heat over low heat for 5 minutes.

    Add beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; boil gently, uncovered and stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until liquid has almost evaporated. Discard cardamom. Add salt.

    In a skillet, warm each tortilla over medium heat for 2 minutes, turning once.

    Place ½ cup of the filling down the centre of each tortilla, leaving about a 1-inch border at bottom and top. Fold bottom edge over filling; fold sides over. Roll up from bottom.

    Slice each tortilla in half. Serve at room temperature.

    Nutritional Analysis per Serving: Calories 180; Protein 6g; Carbohydrate 36g (12%DV); Fat, total 2g (3%DV); Fat, saturated 0.5g (3%DV); Fat, trans 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Fibre 6g (24%DV); Sodium 330mg (14%DV).

    Roasted Squash Soup With Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

    By Chef Anne Desjardins

    Mindfull recipe - Roasted Squash Soup With Roasted Pumpkin SeedsAnne Desjardins is the brilliant chef and owner of the restaurant l’Eau à la Bouche tucked away in the postcard-worthy village of Sainte-Adèle in Quebec. A perfect autumn starter, in a pretty little teacup!

    PREP TIME: 10 minutes
    COOK TIME: 1 hour
    SERVES 8

    • 1 butternut squash (about 3 lb)
    • 1 onion, peeled and halved
    • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • Dash hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco
    • 3 tbsp yogurt
    • 2 tbsp pumpkin seed oil
    • 2 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds

    Preheat oven to 425°F.

    Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out seeds. Place squash on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet along with onion and garlic. Brush oil all over vegetables.

    Roast in centre of preheated oven, turning onion and garlic a couple of times, until golden brown and softened, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly. Peel garlic.

    Using a spoon, scoop out cooked squash; transfer to a blender or food processor along with onion and garlic. Pour in 1 cup broth. Purée until completely smooth. Return mixture to pot, adding remaining 1-1/2 cups broth. Whisk in salt, vinegar and hot pepper sauce. If soup is too thick, whisk in ½ cup more stock. Heat over medium heat until steaming.

    Pour 3/4 cup of soup into each of 8 teacups. Top each with 1 tsp yogurt. Drizzle with 1 tsp oil and then 1 tsp pumpkin seeds.

    Nutritional Analysis per Serving: Calories 130; Protein 3g; Carbohydrate 14g (5%DV); Fat, total 8g (12%DV); Fat, saturated 1.5g (8%DV); Fat, trans 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Fibre 2g (8%DV); Sodium 170mg (7%DV).