7 of the Quickest — and Healthiest — Side Dishes Ever

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, May 12, 2016

Here’s the predicament: You’re having guests over for dinner tonight, and while you’re at the grocery store gathering ingredients for your carefully thought-out dessert and entree, you realize you completely forgot to plan a side dish. Don’t panic — we’ve all been there. When you’re short on time, it’s wise to avoid slow-cooking grains and zero in on the produce aisle instead. Spring peas, asparagus, edamame and fresh salad greens are just a few of the season’s lifesaving ingredients, each one quickly and easily transformed from its raw state into a flavorsome, complementary side. Here are seven of our easiest and lightest spring sides that are ready in 20 minutes or less. Tuck these ideas away in your recipe arsenal to consult the next time you’re hosting — no one will know the dish was an afterthought.

Green Salad with Strawberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Time: 5 minutes
Rachael Ray’s simple five-minute salad embraces the flavors of spring with fresh greens, strawberries and a sweet-tart vinaigrette.

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Veggie Gardening 101

by in Healthy Tips, May 11, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow? Tips for Beginning Vegetable Gardeners

You see all the beautiful fresh produce at your weekly farmers market and think, “How hard could it be to grow some of this myself?” The short answer: not that hard, provided you choose low-maintenance veggies and follow a few simple rules. We asked Kevin Karl, farm manager at Growing Gardens, a nonprofit in Boulder dedicated to building community through urban agriculture, to help would-be gardeners start to dig in.

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Good or Bad: Smoothie Bowls

by in Is It Healthy?, May 10, 2016

Are you on trend with the smoothie-bowl phenomenon? Instead of sipping that smoothie, pour it into a bowl and add toppers like nuts, seeds and chunks of fresh fruit. Find out if these new vessels are healthy choices for your breakfast. Read more

Hemp: The New Super Seed

by in Product Reviews, May 9, 2016

Hemp seeds may sounds like a hippie thing, but these days, they are more of a trendy thing. And for good reason: These tiny nutritional powerhouses are a true superfood, packing all nine essential amino acids, plus protein, fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium. “Hemp is one of those foods that can help meat eaters realize the power of plant foods,” says Martica Heaner, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor of nutrition at Hunter College in New York City. “A three-tablespoon serving has the same amount of complete protein as two eggs.”

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Want Better Olive Oil? Start with Better Olives, Says Cobram Estate’s Rob McGavin

by in Ask the Experts, Food News, May 8, 2016

It’s not difficult to find a bottle labeled “extra virgin olive oil” — a term that’s not only ubiquitous, but that is also synonymous in most people’s minds with a high-quality product. Unfortunately, like many other words that end up on food labels, those don’t necessarily mean what they say. In fact, an estimated 70 percent of imported extra virgin olive oil isn’t actually extra virgin at all. It’s been refined and processed or made from poor-quality (possibly even rotten) olives.

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Coconut Chia Banana Pudding Parfait

by in Healthy Recipes, May 7, 2016

Take your childhood favorite banana pudding up a notch with rich and creamy coconut milk, nourishing chia seeds and a probiotic kick! Healthy enough to eat for breakfast and delicious enough to enjoy for dessert, this banana pudding is packed with fiber, is rich in potassium and is super-easy to make ahead of time for a grab-and-go meal or snack on a busy day.

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Nutrition News: Foods Nutritionists Avoid, Ugly Produce and Bloating Triggers

by in Food News, May 6, 2016

It’s what’s inside that counts.

When it comes to fruit and vegetables, maybe they should say that the best things come in ugly packages. A growing body of research indicates that produce with signs of stress — pockmarks, scales, dimples, strange shapes — may actually be nutritionally superior and taste better than perfect-looking produce. The scars on ugly fruits and veggies may be signs they have successfully battled environmental threats such as an insect or an infection and may indicate high antioxidant content, NPR’s The Salt reports. “There is some interesting data that when plants are stressed by insects or disease, they produce metabolites that are good for us,” Clemson University environmental biologist Brian Ward tells the site. Embrace the unsightly! Read more

Gluten-Free Mother’s Day Brunch  

by in Gluten-Free, May 5, 2016

Show Mom some homemade love this Mother’s Day by cooking up our decadent-yet-healthy recipes that are gluten-free, too. Choose make-ahead baked French toast topped with fresh berries, a springtime asparagus frittata or espresso-fueled acai bowls. We know the last thing on her mind will be gluten!

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Ask The Experts: Best Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks

by in Ask the Experts, May 4, 2016

When training for an upcoming half-marathon, I make sure to fuel my workouts beforehand and eat properly afterward to help my muscles recover. Lately my go-to snacks have been a piece of cinnamon toast and half a banana before I head out for a run, and a chocolate milk, scrambled eggs and fruit (and sometimes another piece of cinnamon toast) when I return. I was curious what other sports nutrition experts were grabbing before and after they exercise. Here’s what I found out! Read more

Taste Test: Vegan Cheese

by in Grocery Shopping, May 3, 2016

In response to the rise in allergies and in demand for nondairy cheeses, numerous vegan cheeses are now widely available. Vegan cheeses can be made from a variety of ingredients, like soy, tapioca, rice and almonds. Find out if these vegan cheeses measure up in flavor and nutrition.

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