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Simple Nutritional Solutions with Optimal Foods

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Chile Honey Almond Chicken Kebabs

(Family Features) - This season, changing your diet and eating better is easier than you think. Acclaimed author Dave Grotto, RD, LDN, can show you how optimal food selections, both good-for-you and delicious, can help you stay on track for a healthier lifestyle.

In his newest book, "101 Optimal Life Foods," Grotto offers nutritional solutions for common health ailments and overall good health. Grotto suggests nutritious foods and recipes to help energize the body, improve circulation and support reproductive health, healthy sleep and optimal brain function.

"The right diet can help you feel and look your best," says Grotto. "Incorporating natural whole foods like almonds, whole soy, bananas and blueberries into your meals and snacks will provide energy and overall wellness."

The key to making a nutritional routine simple and sustainable is to include flavorful recipes and optimal snack options that you enjoy and that help you feel your best. For Grotto, almonds are a perfect optimal food - they make meals and snacks work harder by adding nutrients and a satisfying crunch.

  • Just a handful of almonds a day provides 6 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber and may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
  • The primary fat in almonds is monounsaturated, with one ounce containing a total of 13 grams unsaturated fat, all with only one gram of saturated fat and no cholesterol.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognized almonds with a health claim in 2003, stating, "Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease."

For a convenient on-the-go snack, keep almonds in a portable tin or resealable container. Grotto recommends keeping them in a desk drawer or a car's cup holder to fight hunger and avoid less optimal temptations.

For more almond recipes and information about almonds, visit AlmondBoard.com. To get you started, try these fresh and simple Chile Honey Almond Chicken Kebabs that are featured in Grotto's book.

Chile Honey Almond Chicken Kebabs

  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken tenders
  • 2 cups almond milk or buttermilk
  • 1 cup roasted almonds
  • 3/4 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs, unseasoned (from 2 slices whole wheat bread)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 10 skewers (metal or wood)
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    1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Trim chicken thighs of visible fat and tendons. Cut each tender in half. Place pieces in a large shallow dish, add almond milk and stir to coat. Cover, and refrigerate 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours. In a food processor, grind together almonds, bread crumbs, paprika, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Place in a flat rectangular pan.
    2. Strain almond milk from chicken through a colander, discarding liquid. Thread approximately 4 chicken pieces onto each skewer. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and Dijon mustard until smooth. Place in a flat rectangular pan. Place each skewer into the egg mixture and turn to coat well. Remove from mixture, allowing excess to drip off, and place in the bread crumb-almond mixture. Spoon mixture over each skewer to coat pieces well. Remove skewers from the crumb mixture and place on a baking rack set on top of a non-stick rimmed baking sheet (or spray baking sheet with cooking spray). Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and crust is browned. Serve kebabs warm.
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Servings 10
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SOURCE: Almond Board of California

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