recipes

Healthy 09 February 2017

Go Tart for Your Heart

(Family Features) Eating with heart health on your mind has never tasted so good. While many aspects of life can impact heart health, opting for nutritious foods plays an especially important role.

“Heart-healthy eating can be delicious and on-trend with vibrant colors and sweet-tart flavors. There are simple ways to add nutrient-rich ingredients to your favorite recipes that add depth of flavor and texture, too,” said Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian. “Packed with beneficial phytonutrients, including anthocyanins, research shows Montmorency tart cherries may help lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation and reduce belly fat – all factors linked to heart disease risk.”

Start the day off by blending frozen tart cherries into a Tart Cherry Granola Smoothie Bowl or incorporating dried tart cherries into your favorite trail mix when it’s time for a snack. This heart-healthy, ruby-red fruit has a distinct sweet-tart taste that makes an easy addition to a variety of dishes and is available year-round in dried, frozen, juice and concentrate forms.

To learn more about the health benefits of Montmorency tart cherries and find more delicious recipes, visit ChooseCherries.com.

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Tart Cherry Granola Smoothie Bowls

Recipe courtesy of Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks on behalf of the Cherry Marketing Institute
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2

Granola:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup pepitas

Smoothie Bowl:

  • 2 1/2 cups frozen Montmorency tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup almond milk, plus additional (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 325° F.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
  3. In separate bowl, stir together oats, salt, cinnamon and almonds. Pour in mixture. Bake about 45 minutes until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes and watching carefully near end of baking, stirring more, if necessary.
  4. Roughly chop dried cherries.
  5. When granola is baked, cool slightly then stir in cherries and pepitas.

Note: Granola can be stored in air-tight container up to 1 month.

To make smoothie bowl: Blend together tart cherries, lemon juice, maple syrup, banana and almond milk. If necessary, add additional milk for a smoother consistency.

Serve smoothie in bowl with 1/4 cup tart cherry granola.

Source: Cherry Marketing Institute

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Appetizers & Sides 23 January 2017

The Goodness of Grapes

(Family Features) Grapes have been enjoyed for their taste and beauty for thousands of years. And today’s scientific research keeps on showing that grapes are more than just a pretty fruit — they’re also very, very good for us.

In fact, over a decade of research suggests that grapes help maintain a healthy heart and may also help defend against a variety of age-related and other illnesses. Studies are ongoing to uncover the links between grapes and heart health, eye health, brain health, joint health, cell health and preventing certain cancers.

Of course, grapes aren’t just healthy, they also taste great: crisp, juicy and sweet. Kids love them. And, they’re convenient, making them truly a Super Snack. Eat them by the bunch, or toss them into recipes like these.

To learn more about the health benefits of grapes from California, and to get more delicious ways to enjoy them every day, visit www.grapesfromcalifornia.com or www.facebook.com/GrapesFromCalifornia

Keeping Cells Healthy

Grapes of all colors — red, green and black — are natural sources of polyphenols, which appear to help protect the health and function of our cells. Grape polyphenols:

  • Have antioxidant properties, which can help protect against cell-damaging free radicals.
  • Can influence the communication between cells that support key biological processes.
My Heart Belongs to Grapes

Numerous studies suggest that consuming grapes and grape products may contribute to heart health in a number of ways. Eating a variety of grapes may help:

  • Improve blood flow
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce oxidative
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improve blood lipids
Seeing Is Believing

Research from Fordham University, funded by the California Table Grape Commission, suggests that grapes may reduce the risk of blindness related to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In laboratory studies, grapes offered significantly more retinal protection than the much-touted lutein, and prevented blindness.

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Mediterranean Grilled Chicken and Grape Skewers

These quick-to-fix skewers can also serve as appetizers.
Makes 4 entrée servings

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, fresh minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, fresh minced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, fresh minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless
  • 1 3/4 cups California green seedless grapes, picked from stem and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
  1. In small bowl combine olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, oregano, rosemary and lemon zest. Whisk together marinade.
    Cut chicken into 3/4-inch cubes. Alternate chicken and grapes and thread onto 12 skewers.
  2. Place skewers into a baking dish or pan large enough to hold them. Pour marinade over skewers, coating each one. Marinate for 4 to 24 hours.
  3. Remove skewers from marinade and let excess oil drip off. Season with salt.
  4. Grill until chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Arrange on serving platter and drizzle with additional olive oil and lemon juice.

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Breakfast-To-Go Grape Smoothie

Jump-start your day with this easy all-in-one drink.
Makes 2 1/3 cups

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen California grapes
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or honey lowfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grape juice
  • 1/4 cup wheat flake cereal
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute. Serve immediately.

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Grape and Salmon Power Salad

Fresh grapes are just one of the “super” foods in this hearty and heart-healthy salad.
Makes 6 servings

  • 3/4 cup pearled barley
  • 3 cups firmly packed kale leaves, torn and sliced into ribbons
  • 1 cup halved, red or black seedless California grapes
  • 8 ounces cold, cooked salmon, skin and bones removed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped
Dressing
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Cook barley according to package directions, or in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for about 35 to 45 minutes until it is plump and tender, and still slightly chewy. Drain and cool.
  2. Tenderize kale by blanching it in boiling water for 2 to 3 seconds or cooking in the microwave for 1 minute. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking, and squeeze dry. Fluff and uncrimp dry kale pieces with your fingers.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together barley, kale, grapes, salmon and walnuts.
  4. To prepare dressing: In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne. Gradually mix in olive oil.
  5. Pour onto salad and fold gently to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

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Frozen Grape and Banana Skewers with Chocolate Drizzle

These delightful frozen treats are healthy, too.
Makes 4 servings

  • 2 firm ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 cup red grapes (about 16)
  • 1/2 cup green grapes (about 16)
  • 8 10-inch wooden skewers
  • 1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa solids), finely chopped
  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Cut the banana into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Place in small bowl and toss gently with the orange juice.
  2. Skewer fruit, alternating two grapes for each piece of banana, and place fruit skewers onto lined tray.
  3. Place chocolate in small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir well, and microwave another 10 seconds if necessary to melt chocolate.
  4. Using a spoon, drizzle melted chocolate onto fruit skewers.
  5. Place the tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Once frozen, skewers may be transferred to a sealable plastic bag where they will keep in the freezer for up to a week. Allow to soften at room temperature for 5 minutes before eating.
Healthy 07 December 2016

Healthy Flavors Worth Savoring

(Family Features) Adopting healthier eating habits doesn’t have to mean resorting to tasteless food. In fact, you may surprise yourself by enjoying your new lineup of healthy, wholesome meals even more than the calorie-laden dishes you covet.

These recipes are just as big on flavor as they are good for you, so you can savor every last bite all day long. Take time to start off the day with a unique twist on a nutritious smoothie by enjoying it in a bowl. Then at lunch, rely on unexpected ingredients like ripe, juicy berries and beans to transform a ho-hum salad into a true culinary delight. Round out the day with a sensible dinner that gives you a healthy serving of protein and veggies seasoned to simple perfection.

Find more nutritious recipes that make it easy to enjoy eating right at culinary.net.

Manageable Main Course

Once the dinner bell rings and it’s time to focus on the night’s main course without overshooting a calorie count, aim for a tasty yet healthy main dish like this recipe for Chicken and Vegetables. Combining skinless chicken thighs with frozen vegetables is a simple way to keep nutrition at the forefront while still enjoying a comforting dinner. Find more health-conscious recipes at health.gov.

Chicken and Vegetables

Recipe courtesy of the USDA
Servings: 4

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 pound chicken thighs (4 ounces each), boneless and skinless
  • 1 package (10 ounces) cut green beans, frozen
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. In heavy skillet, melt margarine. Add garlic and onions; stir until blended. Cook over medium heat, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet.
  2. Place chicken in skillet. Cook over medium heat until chicken is thoroughly done and no longer pink in color, about 12 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.
  3. Place green beans, pepper and cooked onions in same skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until beans are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add chicken to vegetable mixture. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Note: To remove bone from bone-in chicken thighs: Place chicken on cutting board. Remove skin from thighs. Turn chicken thighs over. Cut around bone and remove.

A Smooth Way to Start Your Day

A wealth of research shows that starting each morning with a nutritious breakfast delivers benefits throughout the day. If you’re pressed for time or simply need to mix up your morning routine, put a fresh spin on a time-saving favorite by making a smoothie bowl.

According to registered dietitian and nutritionist Carolyn Brown, people love to eat with a spoon and find it more mentally and physically satisfying. The same goes for adding texture, such as a crunchy topping like goodnessknows snack squares. These satisfying, gluten free snacks are crafted with the goodness of whole nuts, real fruits and toasted oats, with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Divided into four snackable squares per serving and nestled in a layer made with dark chocolate, one individual, two-bite square contains only about 40 calories.

Find out more about how doing a little good for yourself can go a long way at goodnessknows.com.

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Oatmeal Banana Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Alison Ray of So Chic Life

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk, 2 percent milk or soy milk
  • 1 small banana (or 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • goodnessknows snack squares (any flavor)
  • grated coconut, to taste
  1. In small bowl, mix together oats, coconut milk, chia seeds, vanilla and pinch of salt. Cover and place in refrigerator at least 30 minutes, or overnight to help flavors soak in.
  2. In blender or food processor, combine oat mixture with remaining milk and half of the banana (or applesauce). Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour creamy oats into bowl, and top with snack squares, coconut and slices of remaining banana half.

Tip: To thin consistency, use additional milk.

Salad Sweetness

The sharpness of pecorino cheese, combined with peppery arugula, complements the velvety texture of fava beans in this salad. With nutrition on your mind, a salad is always a go-to choice for a lunch that will please your taste buds without forcing you to sacrifice health goals. Find more nutritional recipes including tasty strawberries at californiastrawberries.com.

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Strawberry and Fava Bean Salad with Pecorino

Recipe courtesy of California Strawberry Commission
Servings: 6

  • 2 quarts water
  • kosher or sea salt
  • 2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (about 2 pounds in pods)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh California strawberries, stemmed and quartered
  • coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 cups rucola (wild arugula)
  • pecorino cheese
  1. In large pot over high heat, bring water to boil.
  2. Add pinch of salt and fava beans. Boil 1 minute; drain and cool fava beans in ice water.
  3. Drain fava beans; pinch one end and slip off tough skins of larger beans (Note: skin on small beans is not usually tough). Discard skins.
  4. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice.
  5. In large bowl, season fava beans and strawberries with salt and pepper. Add rucola and enough dressing mixture to coat salad lightly. Mix gently and spoon onto platter or six salad plates.
  6. With vegetable peeler, shave cheese generously over salad. Grind more pepper on top.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family eating dinner photo)

Source: Culinary.net

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Healthy 07 December 2016

A Smooth Way to Start Your Day

(Family Features) A wealth of research shows that starting each morning with a nutritious breakfast delivers benefits throughout the day. If you’re pressed for time or simply need to mix up your morning routine, put a fresh spin on a time-saving favorite by making a smoothie bowl.

Smoothie bowls typically have a thicker consistency than traditional smoothies, and according to a recent study in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” the thicker the smoothie, the more full you will feel.

“I love smoothie bowls because they are a satisfying and satiating way to get a ton of nutrition in first thing in the morning,” said Carolyn Brown, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at Foodtrainers in New York City. “You can add in healthy ingredients that you might not be able to eat on a daily basis like spinach, basil, mint, cinnamon, nut butters or avocado.”

Brown points out that in her experience with clients, people love to eat with a spoon and find it more mentally and physically satisfying. The same goes for adding texture, such as a crunchy topping like goodnessknows snack squares. These satisfying, gluten-free snacks are crafted with the goodness of whole nuts, real fruits and toasted oats, with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Divided into four snackable squares per serving and nestled in a layer made with dark chocolate, one individual, two-bite square contains only about 40 calories.

Find out more about how doing a little good for yourself can go a long way at goodnessknows.com.

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Apple Pie Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Anna Luther of My Life and Kids

Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup raw oats
  • 1/2 cup milk (or unsweetened almond or coconut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • honey, to taste (optional)

Toppings

  • Diced apples
  • Shaved almonds
  • Cinnamon
  • goodnessknows apple almond & peanut dark chocolate snack squares
  1. In blender, mix all smoothie ingredients until smooth. Add honey to increase sweetness, if desired. Add toppings before serving.

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Oatmeal Banana Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Alison Ray of So Chic Life

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk, 2 percent milk or soy milk
  • 1 small banana (or 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • goodnessknows snack squares (any flavor)
  • grated coconut, to taste
  1. In small bowl, mix together oats, coconut milk, chia seeds, vanilla and pinch of salt. Cover and place in refrigerator at least 30 minutes, or overnight to help flavors soak in.
  2. In blender or food processor, combine oat mixture with remaining milk and half of the banana (or applesauce). Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour creamy oats into bowl, and top with snack squares, coconut and slices of remaining banana half.

Tip: To thin consistency, use additional milk.

Source: goodnessknows

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