How to Eat for a Longer Life

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 (Wendy Goodfriend/KQED)

The connection between diet and health has been well established -- but can eating your broccoli really help you live longer? We'll discuss the latest research on nutrition and longevity with researchers from Marin's Buck Institute on Research in Aging. We also check in with Rebecca Katz, author of the new cookbook "The Longevity Kitchen."

Recipes from 'The Longevity Kitchen'


Roasted Asparagus Salad with Arugula and Hazelnuts

Makes 4 servings

1/3 cup hazelnuts

2 bunches asparagus (about 2 pounds), tough ends snapped off and discarded, then peeled (see note)


Pankaj Kapahi, associate professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Dale Bredesen, founding president and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, member of the National Advisory Council on Aging and adjunct professor in the Department of Neurology at UCSF

Rebecca Katz, chef and director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal in Bolinas, and author of the new book "The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods"


2 tablespoons plus 

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly ground pepper

4 cups loosely packed arugula

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Put them in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes as it preheats, until aromatic and browned. Transfer to a plate or, if you'd like to remove the skins for a more refined texture and appearance, wrap them in a towel and give them a good rub. The majority of the skins will come right off. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts.

Put the asparagus on the same baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt. Toss gently to evenly coat the asparagus. Bake for 8 minutes, until just barely tender.

Put the lemon juice, the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a small bowl and mix well with a small whisk.

Put the arugula in a large bowl. Drizzle with half of the dressing and toss until evenly coated. Mound the arugula on individual plates or a platter and arrange the asparagus on top. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and sprinkle the hazelnuts on top.

Variation: Substitute toasted pistachios or walnuts for the hazelnuts.

Halibut With Lime and Papaya and Avocado Salsa

Makes 4 servings

3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch of cayenne

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets

Papaya and Avocado Salsa (recipe below)

Combine the lime juice, lime zest, salt, cumin, cayenne, olive oil, and cilantro in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly blended. Spread 3 tablespoons of the marinade evenly over both sides of the fillets. Reserve the remaining marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil an ovenproof pan large enough to accommodate all of the fillets in a single layer.

Pat the fillets dry with paper towels and put them in the prepared pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily.To be certain the fish is cooked through, push a two-pronged kitchen fork straight down into the flesh; the fish is done when it is no longer translucent.

Drizzle the reserved marinade over the fillets and top each with a generous dollop of the salsa. Serve immediately.

Papaya and Avocado Salsa

Makes 2 cups

1 cup diced papaya

1 cup diced avocado

3 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt?Pinch of cayenne

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir gently to combine. For optimal flavor, cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Variations: Substitute mango, pineapple, or tomato for the papaya. Substitute pomegranate seeds for the red bell pepper.

Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies

Makes 16 brownies

1/3 cup almond flour, homemade (page 226) or store-bought

1/3 cup brown rice flour

2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

8 ounces dark chocolate (68 to 72% cacao content), chopped

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 organic eggs

1/3 cup Grade B maple syrup

1/3 cup maple sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

(optional), toasted (see note, page 83)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan (see note) with two pieces of foil long enough to overlap on all four sides. Lightly oil the foil.

Put the almond flour, brown rice flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.

Put half of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stir- ring often, just until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the olive oil.

Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk until frothy. Slowly add the maple syrup and maple sugar, whisking all the while, and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla extract, then gradually add the chocolate, whisking vigorously all the while, and continue whisking until smooth and glossy.

Add the flour mixture and beat for about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining chocolate and the walnuts. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature in the pan, then cover and refrigerate for at least?1 hour before cutting into 16 brownies.

Variation: For brownies that are more fudgy, replace the rice flour with another 1/3 cup of almond

Cook's Note: You can also use a 9 by 6-inch baking pan. If you do, the baking time will be only about 25 minutes.


(Photo Credit: Leo Gong)

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods. Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.