The brown-bag lunch of yore, complete with turkey on whole wheat and an obligatory apple, has thankfully gotten a more sophisticated facelift. Today’s kids are no longer rewarded for eating soggy sandwiches (those are fast becoming obsolete in a world of lunchboxes stuffed with free-range chicken salads and tabbouleh) with a sugar-high-inducing chocolate chip cookie. Instead, they can be fueled by wholesome, good-for-you snacks. Here are five tasty alternatives.
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Tea is well-established as a healthy drink for many reasons – it’s low in calories and filled with antioxidants, just to name a couple. But are you in tune with the vast array of options and flavors? Get better acquainted with this ancient brewed beverage.
Juice cleanses (sometimes called juice fasts) are a popular way to jump-start a healthy lifestyle and get nutritious fruits and vegetables into your diet. While many brands, like Organic Avenue and Blueprint Cleanse, were once offered exclusively via delivery in the local New York market, juice cleanses are more accessible than ever. Several brands are now distributed at grocery chains like Whole Foods and natural markets, ship overnight and have spawned their own full-on juice cafes. If you’re thinking of starting a cleanse in the new year, keep in mind that these natural juices should not be used as a long-term meal replacement. Rather, treat them as a way to kick-start your new routine and complement your diet. Here are a few ways to get your cleanse on.
Coconut water used to be that fun drink you had on vacation — down at the beach, the hot sun on your back, a big bowling ball-sized coconut between your hands, a straw in your mouth. Nowadays, it’s in stock at virtually every deli, grocery and specialty food market. And it only continues to gain popularity. Here’s the skinny on its nutritional value, and our favorite brands to drink right now.
Kefir, pronounced just like the first name of actor Kiefer Sutherland and not to be confused with kaffir, a type of lime, is a cultured milk. “So many people don’t know what it is,” says Jennifer Lynn Bice, owner of Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics, who starting making kefir on her family farm back in 1978. “It’s like a sister or cousin to yogurt in that it starts out with milk and we add beneficial bacteria or cultures.” Bice says the process leaves kefir liquidy and drinkable, whereas yogurt remains spoonable. The differences don’t stop there.
We scoured this year’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo to find the best new healthy snacks, products and foods about to hit store shelves. Here are our top-five choices. Read more
Are you falling for claims that many brands of frozen macaroni and cheese are reasonable options for a healthy dinner? Check out the results of this evaluation before your next trip down the freezer aisle. Read more
The rising popularity of cold-press juices has brought an influx of bottled products to the market. But is there anything specific you should be looking for when you buy? For starters, it helps to know what “cold-pressed” means: Also known as high pressure processing (HPP), cold-pressing applies very high pressure to raw juice in order to kill any harmful microorganisms that may be present. Once HPP is applied, the juice is placed into a bottle, sealed and refrigerated.
For this taste test, each variety of cold-pressed juice contained at least one green vegetable (be it kale, celery, cucumber or anything else with a verdant tint). We rated the bottled stuff on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest score), assessing each juice for taste, nutrition, serving size and cost. We were also on the lookout for any ingredients that surprisingly jack up the calories. Bottles ranged in size from 10 fluid ounces to 16. Read more
Halva, the Middle Eastern sesame candy, is a dessert favorite. Dense and rich, it tastes like peanut buttery fudge and is often layered with ribbons of chocolate. What could be better? Just one problem: It’s traditionally loaded with sugar. Israeli native Shahar Shamir was a huge halva fan too, but as a former dancer keen on keeping healthy, he was hesitant to dig in.
A home cook since the age of eight (his mother taught him everything he knows), Shamir decided to fiddle with a recipe of his own, grinding sesame seeds with honey and roasted nuts, and making something that more closely resembled a nut butter than a candy. His rendition also dispensed with the usual hydrogenated oils and artificial flavors. He served his new-fangled halva spreads to friends at dinner parties. They went wild.
Looking for something refreshingly fun to beat the heat this summer? Check out these sensible sippers. Read more