The season of alfresco dining is upon us, which means it’s time to dust off your red-and-white-checkered blanket and head to the park for a summer feast. But before you reach for lackluster salads and slaws prepared at the supermarket, check out these five tips for packing your picnic basket with healthy homemade treats that showcase seasonal ingredients. If you’re worried about food spoiling in the sun, rest assured: You can still bypass prepackaged, preservative-laced options in favor of homemade recipes. Read more
Wheat berries might sound exotic, but you’ve had them before, most likely in their ground form — aka whole-wheat flour. A wheat berry is the entire wheat kernel before it’s been processed into bread, cereal or pasta. Since wheat berries are unprocessed (they contain the bran, germ and endosperm of the wheat kernel), they’re loaded with nutrients, including fiber, protein and B vitamins. Chewy and nutty, they make a great addition to salads, side dishes and more. Try them in these delicious dishes. Read more
A couple of years ago, I started training for triathlons. I’m far from a natural superathlete — the initial motivation was to balance out my love of food! — but I’ve always been a regular exerciser and wanted a new challenge. I’ve now caught the racing bug, and along with it comes a whole new world of nutrition. Every veteran triathlete or marathon runner has his or her regimen, and it’s hard to sort through all of the energy bars, gels and powders on the market. Here are five homemade power snacks that won’t leave you puzzling over unpronounceable ingredients on the back of the package. Read more
Truth be told: When 4 o’clock rolls around, we’d rather be downing a chocolate chip cookie than a snack bar. But with the new-fangled flavors and range of healthy ingredients, many snack bars are creating a win-win situation. Which brands satisfied our cravings and offered the most nutrition? Here are the results from our taste test.
We used our typical rating scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest) for this taste test. Each brand was evaluated based on taste, texture and nutrition, paying special attention to calories, fat, sodium and ingredient quality. Read more
Sizzling summer temps can lead you to reach for the coldest food you can get your hands on (that is, if it hasn’t taken your appetite away completely). While that can sometimes work, the most-cooling foods are not necessarily the iciest ones. Turns out some food (like high-fat ice cream) can actually raise your body temperature by making you work harder to digest it. For the most-cooling foods, try these: Read more
Chia seeds may be tiny, but they pack a big nutritional punch: They’re loaded with fiber, protein, calcium and omega-3s (aka “healthy” fats). They expand in water, which is why they’re perfect for making pudding. Simply add them to your favorite milk (soy, almond, coconut — you name it!) and watch the seeds expand to create a satisfying, tapioca-like texture. Whether you’re looking for a healthy snack or a delicious dessert, try one of these mouthwatering chia pudding recipes. Read more
Many salad dressings have added sugar (yes, sugar!) and lots of sodium. Although many tend to have preservatives, some dressings contain fewer. If you like the convenience of bottled salad dressings, make sure you’re choosing the healthiest option. Here’s a rundown of better-for-you best bets. Read more
While I pride myself on my willingness to eat pretty much anything, I’ll admit it: I hate mayonnaise. I inherited the mayo-averse gene from my father, who literally cannot stand the sight of this condiment. I’m more forgiving, but I still opt for mustard on my sandwiches, vinaigrette-style dressings, and mayo-free versions of picnic staples like coleslaw and potato salad.
Even if you love mayo, there are some risks to leaving dishes made with it out in the sun for too long. So try these healthy, mayo-free summer sides that’ll please the mayo haters, lighten things up a bit, and keep your picnic spread safe sans refrigeration. Read more
This member of the cabbage family is now in season. Besides being delicious, kale is brimming with health benefits. Studies have found that veggies in the cabbage family like kale can help reduce the risk of cancer. Kale also contains the plant chemical lutein, an antioxidant linked to healthy eyes. So get down to the market and pick up a bunch – here are 10 ways to use it. Read more
Target to Promote Healthy Foods
These are not great times for the packaged-food industry, thanks to Americans’ increasing interest in fresh ingredients and growing disregard for things boxed and canned. Target has just informed some of the nation’s biggest food companies that its stores will no longer be promoting their products or featuring them as prominently as Target has in the past. This means that instead of pushing sugared cereals, processed snack foods, canned items, and stuff like mac and cheese in the front of the store, close to checkout areas, Target will be promoting healthier foods like yogurt and granola, which happen to have a higher markup. Industry analyst Amy Koo told The Washington Post that Target’s move may signal a shift at other retail outlets as well. “Fundamentally, food suppliers are going to have to grapple with this new landscape,” she said.