No Tricks, Just Treats: Homemade Gluten-Free Halloween Candy

by in Healthy Recipes, October 29, 2015

Can Halloween be sinfully good and good for you? The answer is yes. Sweet Medjool dates are transformed into caramel, and extra-dark 91 percent chocolate — the darker, the better — enrobes each candy with its rich, complex flavor. Plus, healthy fats like coconut oil and unrefined sugars like maple syrup mean you can treat yourself to some Halloween fun. One bite of these chocolate candies and you’ll know there are no tricks, just real treats! Read more

5 Ways to Host a Healthier Halloween Party — Fall Fest

by in Healthy Recipes, October 29, 2015

Halloween is not the night to restrict your diet, but that doesn’t mean your evening of revelry has to be a complete nutritional disaster. If you’re hosting a party this year, skip store-bought candy and punch, and opt for homemade goodies instead; that way, you’ll have more nutritional control. Don’t hesitate to whip up everyone’s favorites — cookies, candies, even a cocktail or two. But a few mindful alterations (and moderation) can save you from a sugar hangover the next morning. Here are five festive recipes that are sure to hit the spot without going overboard.

Orange Sherbet Cups with Blackberries (pictured at top)
Try finding a Halloween treat that’s more refreshing — or more festive — than this one. Play up the orange-and-black motif by hollowing out some orange halves. Then, fill each half with a generous spoonful of your favorite orange sherbet. Complete the sinister look by topping each “cup” with fresh blackberries.

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7 New Foods on the Market

by in Food News, October 29, 2015

This year’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo took place in Nashville; the expo was filled with aisles of new foods that you will soon see on your market shelves (if you haven’t already!). Here are seven healthy options that are worth trying.

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Should You Reach for Frozen Fruit When Fresh Isn’t in Season?

by in Healthy Recipes, October 28, 2015

The farther from summer we get, the more you might miss those delicious berries that are in season for too short a while. Never fear — frozen fruit is here! Often picked at the peak of freshness, frozen berries mean you can make a lot of your favorite berry-filled recipes year-round (and for a lot less money). While IQF might sound like an acronym for a science experiment, it actually stands for Individually Quick Frozen, a process in which berries are picked when ripe and frozen individually for the sole purpose of being available in the freezer section even in the depths of winter. These berries are full of vitamin C and fiber: One serving of raspberries provides 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C (and 36 percent of the RDA of fiber), while blackberries have 35 percent. Blueberries are not far behind, with 25 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C (and plenty of fiber goodness as well).

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Food Fight: Peanut Butter Cups vs. Chocolate-Covered Peanuts

by in Healthy Tips, October 28, 2015

It’s the holiday of treats, and you know you’ll be seeing a slew of chocolate all over the place. So, when faced with the choice between two of these chocolate favorites, which should you choose?

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6 Healthier Treats for Halloween

by in Healthy Tips, October 27, 2015

Want to dish out some healthier Halloween treats? Here are six smart ideas that the kiddos won’t egg your house over.

Popcorn

Give out a whole-grain snack that all kids adore. Make or buy small bags of air-popped popcorn that’s plain or lightly seasoned. If you really want to get creative, give out tiny sachets of popcorn kernels tied to paper bags for DIY microwave popcorn goodie bags.

Fruit Juice Gummies

Look for brands of gummy candy made without high-fructose corn syrup. Some are even made with a small amount of fruit juice. Don’t get too excited; these chewy treats still aren’t great for teeth and should be consumed in moderation. Check out brands like YumEarth Organics, Surf Sweets and Annie’s.

Homemade Lollipops

Make your own lollipops with 100 percent fruit juice. Here’s a quick and easy recipe.

Pretzel Dippers

Justin’s brand recently came out with single-serving packs of gluten-free pretzel sticks with chocolate hazelnut spread or almond butter for dipping. They also make a line of decadent organic peanut butter cups. Since these products are made with nuts, consider an alternative for trick-or-treaters with nut allergies.

Dark Chocolate

For a more traditional option, give out bite-sized pieces of dark chocolate; they are often smaller and lower in sugar than typical Halloween-sized candy bars. Dove Promises come individually wrapped and portion controlled, with fewer than 45 calories per piece.

Skip Food Altogether

Kid favorites like stickers, cookie cutters and temporary tattoos are always popular, and any leftovers will keep well for next year. Consider replacing some or all of the edible items with these types of treats.

 

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

It’s Been a Bad Week for Hot Dog Lovers

by in Food News, October 26, 2015

First, a recent “genomic” analysis by the online food guide Clear Food determined that 14 percent of the 345 different hot dogs and sausages sold under 75 brands it examined contained either ingredients not listed on the label or had “hygienic” issues, in which a “non-harmful contaminant is introduced to the hot dog.” What’s more, 2 percent of the samples were found to contain human DNA. (Ew.)

Vegetarians get no bragging rights, though: Two-thirds of the vegetarian frankfurters tested contained human DNA, and 10 percent of all vegetarian products tested were found to contain meat — be it chicken in a vegetarian breakfast sausage or pork in a veggie hot dog.

Still, some major brands fared better than others: Butterball, McCormick, Eckrich and Hebrew National received especially high marks, as did some regional and specialty brands.

Now, on the heels of that alarming news, comes reason for frankfurter fans to feel even more fearful: Read more

4 Fast Food Spots That Have Revamped Their Menus

by in Dining Out, October 26, 2015

With the demand for healthier fare, fast-food chains have been modifying — and in some cases totally revamping — their menus. Consumers want not only lower-calorie foods, but cleaner foods without artificial ingredients. According to Technomic’s 2014 The Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report, 58 percent of consumers agree that it’s important to eat healthy and pay attention to nutrition. Forty percent of consumers were more concerned about food additives last year than two years ago, and more than half of the folks surveyed said they wanted restaurants to be more transparent about menu ingredients. Here’s a look at some of the changes you will be seeing at your favorite joints. Read more

How to Make Food Last Longer

by in Healthy Tips, October 25, 2015

The issue of food waste is a hot topic, and it’s no wonder why. Research shows that we Americans waste between 15 and 25 percent of the food we purchase. Imagine tossing one out of every four grocery bags right into the trash! However, there are simple things you can do to make some of your favorite healthy foods last longer.

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No-Knead Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

by in Healthy Recipes, October 24, 2015

Take courage: You can make pillowy-soft dinner rolls from scratch. Yeast rolls generally take a good deal of time and practice to perfect, but by using the no-knead technique of prepping dough the night before, several steps are skipped. With these easy — yet precise — instructions, you’ll have a basket of wholesome, comforting pumpkin rolls to warm any holiday table. Read more