5 Snacking Pitfalls

by in Healthy Tips, Uncategorized, August 29, 2016

We’ve become a nation of snackers. Supermarket shelves are lined with snacking options, and many focus on the health-conscious consumer, providing snacks that are gluten-free, sugar-free, organic, vegan, kosher, dairy-free and/or GMO-free. However, you can overdo it even with the healthiest intentions. Here are five snacking mistakes that many folks make and what you can do to prevent them.

#1: Over-Grazing
Many folks tend to eat small snacks throughout the day, also known as grazing. If this habit is not kept under control, the few hundred calories you’re munching at each snack time can quickly add up and lead to weight gain over time.

Instead: Even if you’re a grazer, snacks and small meals should be scheduled throughout the day. This way you know when you’re eating, so you can have more control over what and how much you eat. Read more

Back-to-School Recipe Roundup

by in Healthy Recipes, Kid-Friendly, Uncategorized, August 28, 2016

It’s that time of year again: You need breakfasts that are quick to make and eat, lunches you can pack the night before, and after-school snacks that will keep kids going strong till dinnertime. To get the school year off to a healthy start, we’ve rounded up some great ideas and easy-to-make recipes that will help get you and the kids out the door on time.

 

Breakfast in a Hurry

Pumped-up pancakes: Add some shredded kale and apples to your regular pancake batter for an extra dose of nutrients.

Yogurt parfait: Layering plain or vanilla yogurt with fresh fruit and granola makes this fun breakfast a complete — and filling — meal.

Overnight oats: Prep these the night before and your kids can dig in as soon as they get up.

Breakfast burritos (pictured above): These wraps are a hearty and healthy breakfast — perfect for kids who are extra-hungry in the morning. And if you’re really in a rush, simply wrap a scrambled egg in a tortilla and hand it to your kid on his way out the door.

Frittata: Make this yummy dish on Sunday and your kids can eat it for breakfast all week long. Read more

Raw Cheese: Good or Bad?

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, August 27, 2016

Buying artisanal, local foods, including unpasteurized cheeses made from raw milk, is very popular at the moment. Some advocates even claim that raw cheese is healthier, but of course there are two sides to every story. Read on for the pros, cons and the verdict on eating raw cheese.

The Good
According to Carlos Yescas, program director at Oldways Cheese Coalition, “the benefits of eating raw milk cheese are many, amongst the most important are the diversity of the microorganisms that are present in these cheeses.” Although there are many questions that still remain due to the complexity of the human microbiome, these microbes found in raw milk cheese can help fight infection and disease.

Many folks, including myself, have food safety concerns when it comes to raw milk cheese. Yescas explains that in order to keep food safety under control it is important to source good milk. The raw cheese producers must pay attention to the quality of the milk, which included the living conditions of the animals, the nutrition of the dairy cows, and animal husbandry. “Because the processing of raw milk will not go through pasteurization (heat treatment) it is even more important to ensure that the conditions around the milking parlor are clean and safe,” says Yescas. Further, producers are mandated to constantly train their employees, as well as follow food safety guidelines (known as HACCP) that ensure that the points of contamination where pathogens can be introduced are carefully supervised. Read more

Nutrition News: Healthy Eating and Teens, TV Ads and Kids, and Fatty Fish and Eyesight

by in Food News, Uncategorized, August 26, 2016

Healthy Eating: The Teen Scene
If you want to instill healthy-eating habits in your children, obsessing about your own weight around them is not a great idea; it may increase the risk that they will develop eating disorders or obesity during their adolescent years and beyond. That’s according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has released new guidelines on preventing obesity and eating disorders in adolescents. The AAP recommends that parents discourage their children from dieting, severely restricting their calorie intake or skipping meals. Parents should encourage healthy eating and physical activity; make family meals, where adults model healthy eating, a priority; refrain from “weight talk,” either about their own or their children’s weight, and instead focus on “healthful-eating behaviors”; steer clear of “weight teasing” and try to encourage a healthy body image overall; and be aware of bullying or extreme weight-loss efforts in overweight or obese teens. Overall, UPI notes, a focus on a healthy lifestyle, rather than a weight, is the way to go. Read more

5 Lighter-Than-Usual Cocktails Starring Summer Fruit

by in Healthy Recipes, August 25, 2016

Health experts unanimously agree that light or zero alcohol consumption is better than heavy or even moderate drinking, and we can’t argue with that. But for those of us content to live life by the “in moderation” mantra, the best we can do is steer clear of the true nutritional disasters: thick, creamy daiquiris and sickeningly sweet juice cocktails that pack half a day’s calories or more. On the other hand, light, effervescent drinks sweetened with whole fruit or homemade fruit juices will give you a buzz and a few additional nutrients. If you’re looking to get a little bit tipsy without going overboard, this is the way to drink — and we have a few cocktail recipes that will help keep happy-hour excess in check.

Pink Derby
This glamorous pink cocktail is best suited for the pageantry of the Kentucky Derby, but it will fit in with grace and ease at any other summer soiree. To make it healthier, the chefs in Food Network Kitchen used honey in place of white processed sugar, and the gorgeous pink hue comes from a blend of watermelon, kiwi and lime juices.

Read more

Celery Was the Star in This Week’s CSA

by in In Season, Uncategorized, August 24, 2016

This week’s CSA from Mountain View Farm included bright-green celery tops, fragrant as ever. It was about time for celery to stand up and say, “Notice me!” Celery leaves don’t receive the attention they deserve. The hearts are diced for crunch in salads, added to mirepoix for soups or enjoyed raw as a crunchy snack, but the fragrant leaves are often forgotten — and they’re among my favorite culinary secrets.

Plopping a trimmed celery top into your weekend brunch-time Bloody Mary for a colorful garnish is fine. But wouldn’t you rather pluck off the leaves to use in a vibrant pesto with Parmigiano-Reggiano? Not to mention, celery leaves make a bright, herbaceous addition to nutty grain salads and hearty chickpea dishes.

These delicate green leaves can be used pretty much anywhere in place of parsley. For the best leaves, look for full celery bunches with the dark outer green stalks still attached. The trimmed celery hearts usually available at the grocery store have been stripped of most of their beautiful leaves.

Then store them properly for a longer shelf life by plucking off the leaves (you can reserve the dark-green fibrous stalks for making stock or soups) rinsing them under cool water and wrapping them in a damp towel. Store the leaves in your humidity-controlled refrigerator drawer in an opened plastic bag for use in your next meal. Read more

Back-to-School Lunch! Mango Chicken Salad Wraps

by in Healthy Recipes, Kid-Friendly, August 23, 2016

“That’s good!!!” my 13-year-old son proclaimed as he chomped down on a big bite of this Mango Chicken Salad Wrap. Bonus: I also got two thumbs up from my 14-year-old daughter. If you have teenagers — or children of any age, for that matter — you know what a good feeling it is when your kids actually eat what you make them for lunch!

With the back-to-school season upon us, now is the perfect time to whip up this super-nutritious and delicious Mango Chicken Salad Wrap. Made with just a handful of ingredients, including chopped chicken breast, sweet mango, and sliced almonds for extra fiber and crunch, plus a hint of mayo lightened up with Greek yogurt, this Chicken Salad Wrap is a protein-packed school lunch your kids will love!

This recipe is also super-versatile. Your kids don’t like almonds? Try cashew nuts. Or, skip the nuts altogether. And, while the mango is absolutely delicious in this wrap, you can make this with apples, grapes or your child’s favorite fruit.

The chicken salad recipe makes five 1-cup servings, so it’s easy to make ahead of time and store leftovers in the fridge. When you’re ready to pack lunch the next morning, the only things left to do are wrap the chicken salad up in a whole-wheat or gluten-free tortilla and pack it up in a brown bag or a lunchbox. Lunch is served! Read more

Creative No-Cook Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, August 22, 2016

Beat the heat and spend less time in the kitchen with these healthy and inspired no-cook dishes.

Layered Squash
Try this out-of-the-box summer squash recipe to wow guests, or enjoy it as a simple weeknight dinner.
Recipe to Try: Summer Squash Carpaccio (pictured above) Read more

How to Use All That End-of-Summer Produce

by in Healthy Recipes, August 21, 2016

At this point in the season you might feel like you’re drowning in fruits and veggies. Don’t let all that summer produce go to waste. Here are some delicious and healthy ways to hold on to the goodness a bit longer.

Baked Goods
Bake an abundance of produce into muffins, cakes, pies cobblers, crisps and even cookies. User-friendly options include seasonal berries, chopped stone fruit and shredded summer squash and carrots. Herbs, onions, spinach kale and other savory items can be incorporated into breads, biscuits and pizza crusts as well.
Recipe to Try: Blueberry Whole-Wheat Muffins

Salads and Slaws
Get some extra mileage out of cabbage, kale, beet greens, kohlrabi and broccoli (stems and all). Shred or spiralize them, then give them a quick toss in a flavorful dressing. You can pack a whole bunch of nutrition into a side salad like this.
Recipe to Try: Cabbage-Kohlrabi Slaw

Read more

5 Strategies for Back-to-School Prep

by in Healthy Tips, August 20, 2016

Parents, you’ve made it through summer, and back-to-school season is upon us. Whether you’re shedding a tear or jumping for joy, it’s time to get organized for the unavoidable craziness of packing lunches and busy weeknight dinners. Here are five sanity-saving tips to kick off back-to-school on the right foot.

Make a Game Plan
Take a few minutes each week to chart out lunches and dinners. Let the kids take part in the brainstorming, to make it a family affair. Taking the guesswork out of each day will help the week run more smoothly.

Gear Up
Dig out those lunchboxes, bento containers and ice packs. If they’re scrappy and beat-up, consider investing in new ones — lunch vessels should be clean and functional. Bentology and EasyLunchBoxes have many fun and convenient options.

Batch Ahead
Set aside some time to make a few family-friendly meals for the freezer. Falling back on home-cooked dishes like lasagna and chili when pressed for time can turn a hectic weeknight into prime family time. And don’t forget about breakfast! Batches of muffins, granola bars and egg cups are terrific make-ahead recipes. Read more

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