18 Healthier Fall Baking Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, October 2, 2013

marbled banana bread
Baking can be a guilt-free pleasure, especially when the end result is a deliciously healthy goodie! Here’s an array of seasonal recipes.

Breads

Muffins

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Win This Glass Prep Board!

by in Giveaway, October 2, 2013

glass cutting board

Chop and prep your weeknight dinners in style with this large glass board from Core Kitchen. Skid-resistant feet keep it from sliding around your counter, while the tempered glass makes the board practically shatterproof. Easily chop veggies for a Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna or prep a Light Chicken Pot Pie to freeze for later in the week.

You can buy your own Core Kitchen Glass Prep Board or enter in the comments for a chance to win one. Just let us know, in the comments, what you’re prepping for dinner tonight. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, October 4 at 5 p.m. EST.

We’re giving away one Glass Prep Board each to five randomly-selected commenters. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.

You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on October 2 and 5 p.m. EST on October 4, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $24. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

So tell us, what are you prepping for dinner tonight?

Build a Better Pot Roast

by in Robin's Healthy Take, October 1, 2013

pot roast

Pot roast doesn’t typically get a nutritional nod, but that’s likely because of the marbling (striations of fat not found in top round or loin). But for just 176 calories, 3 ounces of chuck roast (the cut that makes the best pot roast) boasts 22 grams of protein and almost half of the recommended daily intake for iron. In pot roast recipes, the meat is seared, simmered in broth and embellished with vegetables, making it the perfect dish for a cool night.

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Break Out of a Veggie Rut!

by in Healthy Tips, September 30, 2013

chard, sqaush, and tomatoes
Have the desire to eat more vegetables but find yourself always turning to the same familiar picks? Figure out which other veggies might be in your comfort zone with these comparisons.

If you like kale, try Swiss chard
This popular leafy green has an underappreciated relative! Pick up a bunch of Swiss chard and enjoy the succulent green leaves and delicate, crunchy stems.

Recipe: Chard, Squash and Tomatoes (above, from Food Network Magazine)

If you like apples, try jicama
Fresh, crunchy and slightly sweet–this lesser known root veggie is low in calories (45 per cup) and high in fiber.

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15 Ways to Use Wild Mushrooms

by in Robin's Healthy Take, September 29, 2013

portobello mushroom

If mushrooms aren’t a regular part of your weekly menu, you might want to change your routine. Considered a “low-density” food because they make you feel fuller on fewer calories for longer periods of time, mushrooms also dish up incredible flavor and depth. Given those facts, you might consider revamping one weeknight meal by using mushrooms instead of red meat. You’ll quickly slash calories while feeling satisfied for hours.

You can find several mushroom varieties in most supermarkets, including cremini, chanterelle, shiitake, portobello, oyster, morel, porcini and enoki. Porcini are often sold dry, but don’t let that stop you. Rehydrate them and you can enjoy the chewy ‘shrooms and the incredible broth they create while soaking.

Nutritionally, mushrooms are crammed with vitamin D (aids calcium absorption and helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth), potassium (works with sodium to maintain fluid balance and proper metabolism and muscle function), selenium (an antioxidant that protects cell membranes from oxidative damage), and beta-glucans, substances that stimulate the immune system.

15 Ways to Use Wild Mushrooms

1. Mushroom Soup: Sauté a variety of wild mushrooms with shallots and garlic; season with thyme and bay leaves; simmer in good-quality beef broth for 20 minutes
2. Add sautéed mushrooms to scrambled eggs, omelets and frittatas
3. Add diced raw mushrooms to chicken and turkey burgers (mushrooms keep them moist)

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How to Choose a Healthy Yogurt

by in Healthy Tips, September 29, 2013

yogurt
These days, you can’t miss the yogurt aisle. Markets now have two, three or more cases designated to this creamy delight. But with so many choices, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and confused on which is healthiest.

Added vs. Natural Sugar
Before eyeballing any label, understand that you’ll find sugar in each any yogurt you pick up. Yogurt has natural sugar (called lactose) and unless it’s a plain variety it will also have sugar added for sweetness.  The nutrition facts combine both the natural and added sugar under “sugars.” The only way to know if any sugar was added is to look at the ingredients list.

To keep in line with the recommendations from The American Heart Association, women should limit their sugar to no more than 6 teaspoons per day (or 100 calories’ worth) while men should  eat a max of 9 teaspoons of sugar per day (or 150 calories). This means capping sugar to no more than 20 grams per serving, which would be about 2 teaspoons of added sugar.

Some brands use sugar substitutes instead of added sugar. This will help lower the total sugar amount–remember, you will still be getting natural sugar from the yogurt. I tend to shy away from those varieties and rather purchase a plain yogurt and flavor it myself with a touch of natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.

Probiotics
These good bacteria are found in most yogurts help keep your digestive tract in working order. You can find the actual bacteria names under the ingredient list—look for words like L. acidophilus, L. casei, B. bifidum and B. Longum.

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15 Healthy (and Delicious) Sweet Potato Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, September 27, 2013

In Season: Swiss Chard

by in In Season, September 26, 2013

swiss chard
This leafy green is in season and ready to bring nutritional goodness to your table.

What, Where & When?
Chard (aka Swiss chard) is a member of the beet family, but doesn’t produce an edible bulb. This green leafy has crinkly green leaves and silver stalks resembling celery ribs. Both the leaves and stalks are edible and the flavor is a cross between spinach and beets. The stems have an earthier beet flavor but are still delicious (even if you’re not a huge beet fan).

Common varieties include Ruby Chard, Rhubarb Chard, and Rainbow Chard. Ruby Chard has bright red stalks and deep red veins while Rhubarb Chard has dark green leaves with a reddish stalk and a stronger flavor. Rainbow Chard are other colorful chard varieties bunched together. The stalk colors vary from pink, orange, red, purple, white with red stripes, and ivory with pink stripes. Chard is in season during late summer into fall.

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Win This FoodSaver!

by in Giveaway, September 25, 2013

Food Saver

Enjoying summer produce well into winter is as easy as clicking a button. The FoodSaver vacuum seal system keeps food fresh up to five times longer, and comes with both heat-seal and heavy-duty zipper bags. Simply blanch fruits and veggies, then seal them in one of the provided bags for the same great taste months later. Plus, there’s no need to worry about crushing delicate foods. Saving some poultry or steak? Use the one-touch system to marinate food in minutes.

You can buy your own FoodSaver or enter in the comments for a chance to win one. Just let us know, in the comments, what you’re excited to save and enjoy all winter long. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, September 27 at 5 p.m. EST.

We’re giving away one FoodSaver to one randomly-selected commenter. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.

You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on September 25 and 5 p.m. EST on September 27, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $169.00 – $199.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

So tell us, what type of produce or protein are you excited to freeze and enjoy all winter long?