recipes

Breakfast & Brunch 11 August 2017

Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Busy School Days

(Family Features) When the school year rolls around, switching from pool to school means finding simpler ways to kick off the day with healthy and nutritious options.

Preparing feel-good breakfasts can be as easy as picking and putting together the right ingredients, if you know where to buy them. At grocery stores like ALDI, parents can conveniently find choices they can feel good about feeding their families, including fresh produce and organic, non-GMO and gluten-free options. Parents can also shop easier knowing ALDI private label items – which make up 90 percent of its products – are free from certified synthetic colors, added trans fats and MSG.

After the shopping trip, try these make-ahead breakfast ideas to give the busy mornings a boost:

  • Homemade energy bars are an easy breakfast option that can keep you fueled until lunch. For simple bars, heat coconut oil and vanilla in a saucepan until combined then transfer to a large bowl and mix with cashew butter, oats, dried fruits and granola. Press the mixture between two cookie sheets to flatten, refrigerate 2 hours and slice into bars.
  • Portion out produce for daily breakfast smoothies. Seal each weekday’s smoothie ingredients in separate plastic bags and simply toss the ingredients in a blender each morning. Enjoy your smoothie in a tumbler or try something new, such as this Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl.
  • Use your slow cooker to make oatmeal. Before heading to bed, simply add milk, vanilla and your favorite sweetener to rolled oats and cook on low 7-8 hours. Include dried fruit to soak up moisture and provide a sweet, juicy addition. Or try these Morning Oasis Overnight Oats for a no-cook variation on traditional oatmeal for a quick, crunchy start to the day.

Make school mornings a breeze with more quick recipes at aldi.us.

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Morning Oasis Overnight Oats

Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus overnight to set)
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3

  • 1 1/2    cups Millville Quick Oats
  • 1          teaspoon Southern Grove Chia Seeds
  • 2          cups Friendly Farms Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1/8       teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  • 3          tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey, divided
  • 1/4       cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, toasted
  • 1/4       cup Southern Grove Whole Almonds, toasted
  • 1          mango, sliced
  • 1/4       cup chopped coconut
  • .45       ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, shaved
  • .45       ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, melted
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In large mason jar, combine oats, chia seeds, almond milk, salt and 2 tablespoons honey. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. In medium bowl, combine quinoa, almonds and remaining honey. Spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Remove, cooling completely and crumbling. Store in re-sealable bag overnight.
  4. The next day, stir oats and pour desired amount into serving bowl. Top with mango, coconut, shaved chocolate and candied quinoa. Drizzle with melted chocolate.

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Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen   
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 3/4       cup blackberries
  • 1/4       cup blueberries
  • 1/4       cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 3/4       cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
  • 1/2       avocado
  • 1/2       frozen banana
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Pure Vanilla
  • 1          teaspoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
  • 2          teaspoons lime juice

Optional garnishes:

  • SimplyNature Flax Seed
  • Southern Grove Chia Seeds
  • Southern Grove Sliced Almonds, toasted
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Lime zest
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and add garnishes as desired.

Source: ALDI

Healthy 06 June 2017

Go Ahead ... Eat the Whole Watermelon

(Family Features) Sliced or diced, grilled or blended, there are countless ways to prepare watermelon. With some fruits, half or more is wasted when you throw away the seeds and peel, but you may be surprised to learn that you can use an entire watermelon, including the rind, to make delicious and refreshing dishes.

Most people think of watermelon as a sweet, juicy snack perfect for hot summer days, but with its high water content (92 percent), the fruit is more than just tasty. It’s also an ideal way to keep your body hydrated. What’s more, the ability to use the entire fruit makes watermelon one of the most versatile and value-conscious options in the produce department.

An average watermelon consists of about 70 percent fruit and 30 percent rind. Hollowed out, the rind is an attractive way to serve any number of recipes, but the rind is actually edible, too, and can be stir-fried, stewed or pickled, or even enjoyed raw. This yummy slaw gets its distinctive crunch from the watermelon rind, which is packed with citrulline and arginine, two compounds that may aid in healthy blood flow.

Watermelon is also a flavorful substitute for tomatoes, as shown in this traditional Italian appetizer, and contains higher levels of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable per serving, according to award-winning nutrition author and registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer.

Additionally, it lends some sweetness to a spicy salsa and a refreshing twist on a summery salad. You can also try blending watermelon with other fresh fruits for a super smoothie or mixing it up with some adult libations (and don’t forget, you can transform the rind into a mini-keg in minutes; just add a pour spout).

Find more ideas for using every bite of fruit, juice and rind at watermelon.org.

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Watermelon Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Makes: 6 servings

  • 12 slices watermelon cut into rounds or squares, approximately 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig basil, for garnish
  1. Place watermelon slices on paper towels and cover with additional paper towels to absorb excess fluid.
  2. In small saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar and honey. Stir to blend, bring to simmer and reduce heat. Stir occasionally until mixture is reduced by almost half. (Do not let reduce too far or allow to froth.) Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. On large platter, place watermelon slices and top each with slice of cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste, then sprinkle basil leaves evenly over top. Drizzle with olive oil, followed by reduced balsamic vinegar. Garnish with sprig of basil.

Tip: Use red and yellow watermelon for an extra pretty presentation.

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Watermelon Rind Slaw

Makes: 4 one-cup servings

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Slaw:

  • 4 cups grated watermelon rind (fruit and green peel removed)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  1. In small bowl, blend Greek yogurt, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, poppy seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. Place watermelon rind on several layers of paper towels to soak up excess fluid.
  3. In medium bowl, place dressing, rind, carrot and pineapple, and toss to thoroughly coat.

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Watermelon Slice Ice Pops

Makes: 5-15 servings

  • 5-15 watermelon slices, cut into triangular wedge shapes, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 5-15 ice pop sticks
  1. Insert ice pop stick into rind of each slice.

Optional variation: After inserting sticks, freeze ice pops before serving.

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Superfood Smoothie

Makes: 3 cups

  • 2 cups cubed and seeded watermelon
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup raspberry kefir
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons hemp
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • ice (optional)
  1. Place watermelon, raspberries, raspberry kefir, orange juice concentrate, hemp, agave syrup and ice, if desired, in blender and blend until smooth.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Snacks 05 June 2017

Smart Summer Snacks

(Family Features) A busy summer schedule requires plenty of energy, and while relaxation is sure to help, what you eat is your essential source of fuel. Just like filling up your gas tank, food is what makes your body go.

A well-balanced approach to eating is a smart way to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to power you through each fun-filled day and keep you operating in tip-top shape. An eating plan such as Atkins offers a balanced approach with delicious foods that contain fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates and good fats and proteins, while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars.

Reach for snacks full of seasonal fruits and vegetables like peaches, cucumbers, zucchini and raspberries that will satisfy your appetite and fuel your summer days. Find more warm-weather recipes and tips to stay energized throughout the season at Atkins.com.

Avoid the Hidden Sugar Effect

The frenetic pace of summer activities makes on-the-go foods the norm. While many portable snacks tout healthy benefits and good-for-you nutrition, it’s easy to be confused about what truly makes up nutritious foods, as well as how the body responds to various foods.

According to the recent Sugar Gap Study conducted by Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., there is a significant gap in Americans’ knowledge about nutrition and the “hidden sugar effect,” where certain foods turn into sugar during the digestive process. While a person can’t see these sugars, his or her body can. The study revealed that only 1 in 10 Americans are aware that certain foods can cause the hidden sugar effect.

Make better choices and avoid hidden sugars this summer with these tips for finding foods that won’t create excessive sugar spikes:

  • Beware of sugary beverages, especially fruit juices. Keeping well hydrated is especially important when temperatures rise, but sweet drinks can pack an excessive amount of sugar.
  • Know that not all snack bars are created equal – with many packing a sugary punch. An option such as the Atkins Harvest Trail Coconut Almond Bar combines roasted coconut and almonds which can keep you feeling full and satisfied without the hidden sugars.
  • Understand which foods can cause blood sugar spikes – it’s more than cakes and candy. All carbohydrates elevate blood sugar; even ancient grains and brown rice convert into sugar when digested, making it important to enjoy these foods in smaller portions. Learn more at hiddensugar.com.

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Tropical Raspberry Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 4 ounces firm silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup red raspberries, plus additional (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar substitute (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3 ice cubes
  • whipped cream (optional)
  1. In blender, combine coconut cream, tofu, raspberries, sugar substitute, if desired, and coconut extract; blend until smooth. To remove seeds, strain mixture through sieve then return to blender.
  2. With machine running, add ice cubes, one at a time, and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into tall glass and garnish with whipped cream and raspberries, if desired.

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Peachy Prosciutto Bites

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 (3 bites per serving)

  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 2 medium peaches (each 2 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • sugar substitute (optional)
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 12 basil leaves (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
    In single layer, toast almonds 10 minutes. Let cool then coarsely chop. Set aside.
    Slice each peach into six wedges and set aside.
  2. In small bowl, combine softened cream cheese with cinnamon and pinch of sugar substitute. Add almonds; blend to combine.
  3. Lay out single slice of prosciutto, place 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on top of peach wedge and top with basil leaf. Place wedge at one end of prosciutto and roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Smoked Salmon, Cucumber and Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 cucumbers (8 1/4 inches long each)
  • 8 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 12 ounces smoked chinook salmon (lox)
  1. Use mandolin or vegetable peeler to cut long, thin strips of cucumber.
  2. Spread cream cheese onto smoked salmon, place strip of cucumber at one edge and roll up with salmon and cream cheese. Pin in place with toothpick. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Zucchini Crisps

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
  • rosemary (optional)
  • dill (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch slices. If small, cut diagonally. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and Parmesan. Season as desired with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, rosemary or dill.
  3. Place in single layer on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, turning once. Cool on wire rack.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Atkins

Beverages 30 March 2017

Refresh Your Routine with Protein-Packed Smoothies

(Family Features) Spring brings warmer weather and a fresh start, making it the perfect time to reinvigorate your workout routine and healthy habits by starting with fresh ingredients. Whether you’re training for an upcoming event or simply looking for new and easy nutritious meal options, these protein-packed recipes prepared by U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s chef and registered dietician Megan Chacosky are perfect for casual fitness enthusiasts and elite athletes alike.

Few people understand the nutritional needs of athletes during their spring training period better than Chacosky. She stresses the importance of protein to all athletes. Boosting a simple smoothie recipe with a tasty solution like Rockin’ Refuel is an easy way to add a high-quality source of protein.

Made from pure, fresh milk, Rockin’ Refuel is a healthy option to start your day or recover after a workout. Chacosky typically uses one full bottle, which contains up to 30 grams of protein, as the base ingredient in smoothie recipes and adds fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

For example, Chacosky’s Spicy Chocolate Avocado Smoothie can be your solution following intense workouts to help repair and replenish muscles, or you can prepare for a big race with a Berry Cherry Blend Smoothie with its full serving of antioxidants. For athletes looking to maintain or lose weight while still taking in a daily dose of protein, her Lean Chai Latte Smoothie makes for a nutritious mid-day snack.

Find tips to optimize your nutrition at rockinrefuel.com.

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Lean Chai Latte Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Megan Chacosky on behalf of Rockin’ Refuel

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Rockin’ Refuel Vanilla Lean Builder
  • 1 tablespoon loose chai tea or contents of 1 tea bag
  • 1/4 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 cups ice
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency.

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Berry Cherry Blend

Recipe courtesy of Megan Chacosky on behalf of Rockin’ Refuel

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Rockin’ Refuel Strawberry Muscle Builder
  • 1/4 cup plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen tart cherries
  • 1 cup spinach
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency.

Tip: Use as morning meal replacement by adding 1-2 teaspoons chia seeds or 1-2 tablespoons oats for added fiber.

 

Spicy Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Megan Chacosky on behalf of Rockin’ Refuel

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Rockin’ Refuel Chocolate Muscle Recovery
  • 1/4 cup plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 cup ice
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency.

Tip: Add 1-2 teaspoons chia seeds or 1-2 tablespoons oats to add fiber.

Source: Rockin' Refuel

Beverages 03 October 2016

Chillingly Creative Drinks for Halloween

(Family Features) If you’re planning a monster bash this Halloween, brew up drinks so frightfully delicious that it will spook the taste buds of every little ghost, witch and goblin.

The Spooky Smoothie is a flavorful combination of vanilla milk and Greek yogurt, which is blended with ice and topped with whipped cream. The fun is all in the orange-tinted Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, so make sure to serve it in a clear glass. And ghosts will rise from the dead for the chocolaty Monster Mash Mudslide. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TruMooMilk.

Both of these tasty concoctions feature TruMoo, which is made with 35 percent less total sugar than the leading chocolate and vanilla milk competitor and has no high fructose corn syrup. That’s one thing that won’t scare you this Halloween season.

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Spooky Smoothie

Yield: 4 servings

  • 3 cups Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, orange color
  • 1 1/2 cups lowfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 5 cups ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup fat free whipped cream
  • Candy corn for garnish, optional
  1. In blender, combine vanilla milk, yogurt and ice cubes. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.
  2. To serve, pour into serving glasses. Top with whipped cream and candy corn.

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Monster Mash Mudslide

Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 cups TruMoo Lowfat Chocolate Milk
  • 10 chocolate wafer cookies, coarsely broken
  • 1/2 cup frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
  • 8 mini chocolate chips or mini chocolate candies (orange/brown color recommended)
  1. In blender, blend chocolate milk and chocolate wafer cookies until smooth. Heat mixture in saucepan or microwave until just heated through.
  2. To serve, pour chocolate milk mixture into 4 glasses. For each serving, spoon a large, upright dollop of whipped topping to resemble a ghost. Insert chocolate chips or chocolate candies into dollop for eyes.

Note: To enjoy a cold mudslide, do not heat in saucepan or microwave.

Source: TruMoo

Dessert 01 June 2016

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Ice Pops

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Strawberry Banana Smoothie Ice Pops

  • 1 cup Tree Top Apple Juice
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled, sliced and frozen
  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, sliced and frozen
  • 6 ounces vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into ice pop forms or paper cups. Place ice pop sticks in center and freeze, inverted, for 3 hours or until solid. Keep frozen until ready to serve.

Source: Tree Top

Beverages 13 June 2016

A New Twist for Lemon and Lime Lovers

(Family Features) It’s summer and there’s little that can compare to the refreshing sparkle that fresh lemon or lime gives a tall glass of iced tea or an ice-cold bottle of water. (And how about that great citrus taste on grilled fish?) But it’s not always easy — or convenient — to bring a whole lemon or lime with you when you’re on the go. Worse yet, it’s so frustrating to reach for a fresh lemon or lime at home only to realize either you’re out or they’ve gone bad sitting in your refrigerator.

Now, there’s good news for lemon and lime lovers. Fresh squeezed lemon and lime taste is now as simple as a tear of a packet or a shake of a bottle — and you don’t have to worry about it going bad before you’ve had a chance to use it. True Lemon and True Lime crystallized lemon and lime substitutes are made with 100 percent all-natural ingredients including real lemon and lime juice and oils. Available in packets and now rolling out nationwide in shaker containers, both can be used just like you would fresh lemon or lime juice.

True Lemon and True Lime can add true citrus flavor to:

  • Drinks and smoothies,
  • Marinades, rubs and flavoring pastes,
  • Sauces,
  • Main dishes,
  • Fruits, vegetables and side dishes,
  • Desserts and
  • Any dish or drink that needs flavor-enhancing lemon or lime.

Convenient packets of the all-natural crystallized lemon and lime are also great to take to the office, to the gym or on summer vacation — anytime you’re on the go. Each packet contains the equivalent of 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice with no calories, carbohydrates, preservatives or sodium, but with a full 25 percent of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement. True Lemon and True Lime shakers have the same health benefits and offer an easy way for home chefs to sprinkle on a zesty citrus taste. They are also a great salt substitute for those watching their sodium intake.

For more information and recipes, visit www.truelemon.com.

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Luscious Lime Summer Smoothie

Makes 1-1/2 cups

  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 packets True Lime
  • 1 ripe medium banana
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 kiwi fruit, peeled and halved
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Lemon Herb Salmon

Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 packets True Lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 medium salmon steaks, cut 1/4 inch thick
  1. In large bowl, combine all ingredients except salmon steaks; mix well. Add fish to bowl; spoon marinade over fish until well coated. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours, turning fish over after 1 hour.
  2. Place fish on broiler pan or on hot grill. Broil or grill 4 to 6 inches from heat, 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.

Source: True Lemon

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.

 13518 goodnessknows

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.

13518 strawberry salad

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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