by Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D. in Farmers' Market Finds, May 28, 2016
by Amy Reiter in Food News, May 27, 2016
If you haunt your farmers market looking for signs of spring, you’re probably familiar with garlic scapes and broccoli rabe…they’re some of the first greens you’ll find. But scapes and rabe come in more varieties than garlic and broccoli. Here’s the skinny on what they are and what other varieties to look for.
What Are Scapes?
These shoots are one of the first edible greens to crop up in spring. Scapes are simply flower stalks that grow out of the bulbs of garlic, onions and leeks. At the top of each is a bulb that will flower if left unplucked. For eating, though, scapes are picked when the green stalk is sturdy and the bulb is still a bulb. Scapes taste like the alliums they grow from, and you can use them in places you would use chopped onion.
How to Use Scapes
To cook scapes, remove the bulbs and use the stalks. Chop them finely and saute to soften. Add them to omelets or quiche, blitz them into a pesto or preserve them by pickling. Read more
by Toby Amidor in Food Safety, May 27, 2016
Late family dinners
Parents who are perpetually running behind schedule with the family dinner probably have a lot on their plates, but one thing they can worry less about is dooming their kids to obesity just because the evening meal is served late. While previous research has indicated that meal timing could boost the risk of being overweight or obese for children, a new U.K. study examining data from more than 1,600 kids, ages 4 to 18, found that the risk of being overweight or obese was no higher among kids who ate between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. than it was among those served supper earlier in the day. Study author Gerda Pot, a visiting lecturer at King’s College London, told HealthDay News that she and her colleagues had “expected to find an association between eating later and being more likely to be overweight” and so found the study results “surprising.” Read more
by Emily Lee in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, May 26, 2016
Many neighborhoods celebrate the warm weather by throwing block parties. Filled with tons of food, including burgers, hot dogs, steak, side salads, beverages and desserts, block parties make it tough to stick to a healthy eating plan. And with all that food and all those hungry hands, there’s also a chance of a food safety snafu. Before heading out to your local block party, keep these tips in mind — and share them with the neighborhood!
You can usually find some healthy bites at a block party if you go simple. Grilled corn on the cob (without gobs of butter), grilled chicken and watermelon can make a healthful, well-balanced meal. Oftentimes, however, you can’t help but take multiple servings of the broccoli salad laden with mayo — or try one of every protein cooked on the grill. Let’s also not forget about tossing back a few (or more!) beers, plus dessert. Don’t worry. You can tote along some of these healthy bites to your next block party to make things a little bit healthier: Read more
by Elizabeth Brownfield in Food News, May 25, 2016
Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner, and if you’re planning a picnic or cookout, it’s time to divide and conquer. In other words, touch base with friends and family soon to make sure you don’t end up with multiple renditions of coleslaw and potato salad crowding your spread. Sure, they’re classics, but mayonnaise-heavy dishes never seem to hold their shape in the heat — and they make for some pretty soggy leftovers the next day. If you’re delegated to bringing a side, you can ensure your dish stays fresh outdoors by deviating from tradition in favor of these lightly dressed salads packed with in-season produce.
Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella
This hearty panzanella is great alongside smoky grilled chicken. Check your pantry and freezer for the necessary ingredients before heading to the store; you may already have everything that you need, like frozen artichokes, black olives and whole-wheat bread. Toss it all together with some fresh tomato and basil from your garden.
by Michelle Dudash in 5-Ingredient Recipes, May 25, 2016
Last week at the Partnership for a Healthier America Building a Healthier Future Summit in Washington, D.C., first lady (and PHA honorary chair) Michelle Obama unveiled the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s refreshed Nutrition Facts label. And while a label redesign may not seem like big news, it is. First, because this is the only time the label has significantly changed since it debuted 20 years ago. And second, because the FDA has been under mounting pressure from food manufacturers and consumers alike to re-evaluate what was criticized as an out-of-date tool for determining the nutritional value of packaged foods. Read more
by Silvana Nardone in Gluten-Free, Grocery Shopping, May 24, 2016
We’re entering that exciting time of year when spring produce is in full gear and summer produce begins to surface. At this moment, avocado groves are brimming with luscious, creamy avocados, which can be used in all sorts of ways. Besides mashing avocados on toast and into guacamole, you can mix them into stir-fries, where they pair perfectly with a light, low-fat protein like shrimp. Avocados count toward your fruit intake, so you can feel good about that, too.
I’m a hungry gal, so I like to serve this dish over brown rice prepared with vegetable broth instead of water, for extra flavor. But feel free to break out your spiralizer to make zoodles (zucchini noodles) or serve the stir-fry in lettuce wraps for the ultimate low-carb meal that will fill you up while boosting your vegetable intake.
by Toby Amidor in Food and Nutrition Experts, May 23, 2016
If you’ve just starting eating gluten-free, you’ll be glad to know that navigating your local grocery store is easier than ever and, with many national chains manufacturing their own food products, prices are better than you imagine. So what’s the key to ultimate shopping success? Knowing not only where to find gluten-free foods in your supermarket, but identifying which foods are worth buying ready-to-eat and which ones you’re better off making from scratch. Read more
by Silvana Nardone in Healthy Recipes, May 22, 2016
Tiny smooth carrots – which are perfect for snacking and dipping – don’t actually grow that way. Find out how they’re made, and why it’s OK to munch on them.
Baby carrots were invented by a California carrot farmer, Mike Yurosek. In the early 1980s, Yurosek found that many of his carrots were not saleable because they were “ugly” — they weren’t the size or shape that could be sold at the grocery store. Instead of tossing these “ugly” carrots, he used an industrial bean cutter to shape them into what are now called “baby carrots.” The success of baby carrots was overwhelming. By 1987, carrot consumption had increased by 30 percent. Today, baby carrots consist of 70 percent of total carrot sales. Read more
by Dana Angelo White in Healthy Tips, May 21, 2016
Because it’s one of our favorite healthy convenience foods for a quick lunch (or dinner), we’ve taken canned tuna — high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids — beyond the classic mayo-laced sandwich salad. Garlicky tahini, rich avocado and creamy Dijon vinaigrette are swapped in for heavy mayonnaise in these three easy recipes that take canned tuna to the next level. Read more
It’s the time of year when home gardeners begin to set a game plan for the season. Their excitement begins to build, as they know that what starts out as small seeds and plants will turn into a backyard bounty of edible goodness over the course of a few short months. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a horticulture newbie, use these tips to get off to a fruitful start.
- Find the right space.
The best place to start digging is one with lots of sunshine and plenty of soil. If you have a designated garden spot, try to rotate the main area every couple of years to help prevent depleting nutrients from the soil. If a new spot isn’t an option, plant items in different spots than the year before — tomatoes on the opposite side of the garden and so on. Also, consider using a combo of raised containers and in-ground beds so you don’t take up your entire lawn. If you live in a wooded area, consider how to set up protection from hungry squirrels, rabbits, deer and other four-legged friends. Read more