(Family Features) When it comes to Halloween, carving the same pumpkin designs each year can become routine. This year, save a pumpkin and carve your spooky masterpiece into a watermelon instead.
Nutrient-rich watermelon can be a healthy alternative to other sweet treats full of added sugar during Halloween festivities as it’s a source of vitamins A and C as well as the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline.
Because they are made up of 92% water, watermelons can be an effective way to stay hydrated during trick-or-treating, and creations like a Mummy or Jack O’Melon can help satisfy sweet cravings while keeping friends and family members frightfully delighted.
To get started, consider these carving tips and tricks:
- To make cutting and slicing easier, the watermelon should be at room temperate when carving.
- Cut a small, thin, flat piece from the bottom of the watermelon to provide a stable base for carving.
- Draw the design on the watermelon rind with a dry-erase marker before cutting. If you make a mistake, this can make it easier to wipe off.
- Use a sharp knife with a pointed tip for easier, cleaner cuts. Consider a paring knife with a smaller tip for ease of detail.
- Blend scraps of watermelon that are too messy for dicing or slicing to create an easy juice.
For more watermelon carving ideas, visit watermelon.org.
Supplies and Tools:
- Cutting board
- Kitchen knife
- Dry-erase marker
- Paring knife
- Melon baller
- Vegetable peeler
- Cheesecloth or gauze
- Straight pin (optional)
- Battery-operated candle or light
- Small bowl
- Blueberries or bloody candy eyes
- Toothpicks, pins or glue
- Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.
- On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and use kitchen knife to cut off 1/4-1/2-inch of rind from bottom to provide sturdy base, being careful not to cut too deep into white part of rind. Cut 1-2 inches from stem end to create opening for bowl to be added.
- Using dry-erase marker, draw eyes, nose and mouth, along with wavy slits around carving. Use paring knife to cut them out, being sure to cut through to red flesh to let more light flow through.
- Use melon baller to hollow out inside of watermelon. Reserve watermelon balls. Use scoop to remove remaining watermelon.
- Using vegetable peeler, remove green skin off outside of watermelon, similar to peeling cucumber.
- Wrap thin strips cheesecloth or gauze around mummy carving and secure with straight pin, if needed.
- Place battery-operated candle or light inside carving and fit small bowl into top of carving. Trim away excess rind to make bowl fit securely.
- Fill bowl with melon balls. Attach candy eyes or blueberries using a toothpicks, pins or glue.
Supplies and Tools:
- Round watermelon
- Melon baller
- Dry-erase marker
- Toothpicks (optional)
- Battery-operated light
- Using knife, cut thin slice from bottom of watermelon to provide stable base.
- Cut circular piece of rind from top of watermelon big enough to reach into and remove flesh. Carefully remove top section and reserve for use as “lid.”
- Remove flesh from inside watermelon using melon baller, reserving melon balls for snacking. Hollow out remaining watermelon flesh and use blender to juice scraps and excess juice.
- Using dry-erase marker, draw outlines of eyes, nose, mouth, hair, ears and other features on side of watermelon. If mistake is made with marker, wipe off using paper towel to start over. Following outlines, carve features into watermelon and remove excess rind.
- Safe, battery-operated light can be firmly placed inside watermelon to provide haunting glow.
- Place circular piece of rind back on top of watermelon.
Add fruit to your breakfast with this take on French toast, which includes a mixture of berries, bananas and vanilla yogurt wrapped in tortillas and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Find more breakfast recipes at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Fruity Yogurt French Toast Wraps
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced, plus additional for garnish (optional)
- 1 cup bananas, sliced
- 1 cup vanilla yogurt
- 1/4 cup granola
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6-8 tortillas
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 4-6 teaspoons powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
- In medium bowl, combine blueberries, strawberries, bananas, yogurt and granola. Mix well and set aside.
- Using pie plate, crack egg and whisk. Add milk, cinnamon and nutmeg; whisk until combined.
- Coat both sides of tortillas in egg mixture.
- In skillet, melt butter. Place coated tortillas one at a time in pan and cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Move to plate.
- Spoon yogurt mixture into center of tortillas. Fold edges over to form wraps.
- Dust each with powdered sugar and top with additional strawberry slices, if desired.
Keeping fresh fruit around the house provides a healthier alternative when your sweet tooth comes calling. Understanding how and when to buy at the peak of ripeness (or just before, in some cases) can help you avoid food waste while keeping your doctor happy.
Consider these simple tips for recognizing ripe fruits:
- Strawberries: Check the area at the top of the berry near the stem and leaves. A ripe strawberry is fully red; green or white near the top means the fruit is underripe.
- Watermelon: The “field spot,” or the area where the melon sat on the ground, should be yellow, and a tap on the rind should produce a hollow sound.
- Cherries: Flesh should appear dark with a crimson color and feel firm.
- Blueberries: Similar to cherries, color should deepen to dark blue. A reddish or pink color may be visible in unripe berries.
- Blackberries: Look for a smooth texture without any red appearance. Because blackberries don’t ripen after being picked, they tend to spoil quickly.
- Cantaloupe: You should detect a sweet smell, and the melon should feel heavy upon lifting.
- Peaches: A sweet, fragrant odor should be apparent. Skin should feel tender but not soft.
- Pineapple: Smell is again an important factor for pineapple – a sweet scent shows it’s ready, but a vinegary one likely means it’s overripe.
- Raspberries: Generally follow the same rules as blackberries. Best eaten within a couple days of purchase, a bright red color represents ripe berries.
- Bananas: A ripe banana features a peel lightly spotted without significant bruising. Your best bet may be to purchase bananas still slightly green and allow them to ripen at home.
Find more food tips, tricks, recipes and videos at Culinary.net.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
(Family Features) If you’re in need of a quick breakfast, consider starting your day with one of these tasty breakfast ideas. This on-trend Acai Bowl with Whole-Wheat Toast provides a flavorful serving of fresh fruits while Overnight Oats can be made the night before for a grab-and-go solution as you head out the door in the morning.
Find more breakfast recipes at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make these recipes!
Acai Bowl with Whole-Wheat Toast
- 1 frozen acai smoothie pack (100 milligrams)
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 medium frozen banana, sliced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread
- fresh blueberries
- coconut flakes
- Under warm water, thaw frozen acai smoothie pack about 5 seconds.
- In blender, combine acai, milk, banana and mixed berries. Blend until smooth.
- Toast bread slices to desired doneness.
- Pour acai mixture into bowl and garnish with blueberries, granola and coconut flakes before serving. Serve with toast.
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons mixed dried fruit
- 1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- In bowl or jar, combine oats, milk and vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Before serving, stir in dried fruit, walnuts and honey.
Recipes adapted from Milk Means More
(Family Features) There’s no time like a hot summer picnic to let your patriotic spirit show. These all-American snacks featuring a classic favorite fruit – watermelon – are the perfect solution for nearly any summertime celebration.
Watermelon is a patriotic picnic staple for countless reasons, not the least of which is that it’s a beloved treat that many people associate with memories from childhood. However, nostalgia isn’t the only reason adults are just as likely to gravitate toward watermelon at a summer event. Its sweet, cool and refreshing flavor also makes it a favorite for all ages.
From a practical standpoint, watermelon is also quite portable, versatile and easy to serve, and with a composition of 92% water, it’s a simple way to sneak in some extra hydration on a hot day. Another benefit is its value; watermelon is one of the best values in the produce section among fruit, and just one watermelon can feed up to three dozen people.
Serving watermelon at a party can be as simple as slicing wedges, or you can prepare a dish such as:
- A fruit basket, with the rind serving as a colorful bowl to hold the watermelon and other fresh fruits.
- A charcuterie board with a selection of fruit, cheese and protein for simple snacking.
- Creamy parfaits, perfect for a summery brunch or alternative to more traditional desserts.
- A creatively colorful and patriotic “cake” that makes for a tasty centerpiece on the dessert table.
Find more ideas for incorporating watermelon into your summer festivities at watermelon.org.
Easy Summer Thirst Quencher
A simple fruit-infused water can give your summer event an instant upgrade in no time at all. Add extra dimension and complexity to the flavor by adding some of your favorite herbs like basil and mint.
- 2 cups watermelon balls or cubes
- 1 cup other fruit, such as berries
- herbs, such as basil or mint
- Place watermelon, fruit and herbs in pitcher and cover with water. For best flavor, allow to chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.
Red, White and Blue Watermelon Parfait
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 container (6 ounces) Greek yogurt (vanilla, lemon or coconut)
- 1 cup watermelon, plus three pieces diced watermelon
- whipped cream, for serving
- In pint canning jar, layer blueberries, yogurt and 1 cup watermelon. Top with whipped cream and garnish with three diced watermelon pieces.
Note: To make ahead or make thicker, drain Greek yogurt on paper towels to absorb some liquid.
Patriotic Fruit Salad
- 1 watermelon
- Slice 1/4 inch off bottom of watermelon, lengthwise, to create stable base.
- Use pencil to draw zig-zag lines for basket opening. Using paring knife, make cuts through rind.
- Carefully remove top section, pull out large chunks of flesh and cut them into 3-by-3-inch squares.
- Trim 3/4-inch thick slices off squares to use for cutting out stars with 1 1/2-3-inch, star-shaped cookie cutters.
- Use ice cream scoop to remove flesh from inside basket and cut scoops into quarters for fruit salad. Place in bottom of basket. Add honeydew and blueberries; stir to combine.
- Cut out white stripes from honeydew.
- Garnish top of fruit salad with watermelon stars, honeydew stripes and blueberries.
Patriotic Charcuterie Board
- 1/2 medium seedless watermelon, cut into wedges
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 10 strawberries (dipped in white chocolate, if desired)
- 5 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted, salted cashews
- 2 ounces cured meats like prosciutto, pancetta, coppa, salami, soppressata, sausage or pepperoni
- 1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and sliced
- lemon juice
- fresh basil leaves
- On large board or platter, arrange watermelon, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cheese, cashews, meat and apples. Drizzle fruit with lemon juice. Garnish with basil leaves before serving.
Flag Kebab Cake
- 1 pint fresh, washed blackberries
- 12 wooden skewers
- 1 seedless watermelon, flesh cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 angel food cake, cut into 1-inch cubes (white part only)
- dips, such as yogurt, chocolate, caramel or marshmallow (optional)
- Thread five blackberries on each of five skewers, followed by alternating watermelon and cake cubes.
- On remaining skewers, alternate watermelon and cake so first and last cubes are watermelon. Place skewers on platter; fruit and cake will create stars and stripes when lined properly.
- Serve with dips, if desired.
(Family Features) The summer months offer seemingly endless opportunities to enjoy the warm weather with friends and family. Serving crowd-pleasing foods and drinks can go a long way toward a successful gathering, whether you’re hosting a brunch, relaxing by the pool or throwing a backyard bash.
Regardless of the occasion, a store like ALDI has everything you need to savor summer, including entertaining items and high-quality ingredients, without the premium price tag. When you make this one-stop shop your destination for summer essentials, you can get more of what you love for less.
Find more seasonal recipe ideas like these appetizers, main dishes, desserts and drinks at ALDI.us.
Grilled Avocados with Vegetable Relish – Boost a favorite summer flavor like avocado by using your grill. Start by slicing the avocados and removing the pits before grilling flesh-side down. Fill with a vegetable relish mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions then sprinkle with feta cheese.
Citrus Popping Kale Salad – This light and refreshing salad is a perfect make-ahead meal-starter. Made with a quinoa base, the combination of kale, mangoes, cranberries, toasted almonds and crumbled goat cheese provides a unique mix of flavors.
Grilled Strip Steak Skewers with Pear Slaw – Skewers are a summertime favorite that can be easily customized to meet the tastes of your guests. This version features steak marinated in a soy sauce mixture, cooked on a grill pan and served over a bed of cabbage, carrots, radishes, onions and julienned pears.
Grilled Pear and Apple Pork Tenderloin – Combining a sweet yet savory glazed pork tenderloin with a side of fresh apple and pear (or peach) wedges, this simple dish is an ideal accompaniment to a day or night spent dining al fresco.
Frozen Greek Yogurt with Blueberries – Summer calls for frozen treats, and you can put a healthier spin on dessert by substituting frozen yogurt for ice cream. Just blend blueberries, lemon juice and vanilla with Greek yogurt and freeze for a perfect indulgence on a warm afternoon.
Freezie Fruit Pops – Mix and match assorted fruits like kiwi, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, pineapple, peaches and more with fruit juices. Once mixed, freeze to create healthy fruit pops. For a grown-up version, substitute wine for the juice.
Very Berry Chiller with Lemonade Ice Cubes – When looking for a way to cool off on a hot summer day, reach for a combination of classic summer flavors. Freeze lemonade overnight in an ice cube tray then drop the cubes in a pitcher of blended blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries for a sweet, refreshing beverage.
SanGrita – A refreshing twist on a traditional Spanish punch, this adults-only beverage calls for blending frozen lime bars with sangria and garnishing with strawberries and blueberries to your liking.
(Family Features) As a parent, instilling healthy eating habits in your children at an early age can aid in proper growth and development. Eating well goes a long way toward maintaining a healthy weight, increasing energy levels and improving moods while also reducing risk of obesity and other chronic issues such as heart disease and diabetes later in life.
Set your children on a path to making lifelong nutritious choices with these tips:
Foster independence. Allowing your children to help with shopping and meal prep can aid in them taking ownership of what they’re eating. Start by divvying up easier tasks such as setting the table then work toward creating snacks and meals on their own. These Rainbow Fruit Parfaits are simple for kids to assemble – just set the ingredients out and let them layer – and can serve as a healthful on-the-go breakfast or after-school snack.
Offer balanced options. Children require balanced diets made up of all three major food groups, including fruits and vegetables, for proper development. Looking for the Produce for Kids logo next to nutritional, family-friendly items at the grocery store is an easy way to identify healthy food choices while also supporting local organizations that help children and families in need.
Be a role model. Typically, your children will follow your behaviors, which includes the types of foods they select at mealtimes. Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables can help ensure your family is getting a complete range of nutrients. For example, a recipe like this Rainbow Buddha Bowl provides a combination of fresh and roasted vegetables that can be customized to meet your family’s tastes. Thinking about how many colors you eat in a day may inspire your kids to do the same, which can foster a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
To find more healthy meal inspiration, including more than 500 registered dietitian- and family-tested recipes, visit produceforkids.com.
Rainbow Fruit Parfaits
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 2 mandarins, peeled and segmented
- 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
- 2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup red seedless grapes
- 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- In parfait glasses, layer strawberries, mandarins, pineapple, kiwis, blueberries and grapes.
- Top each fruit parfait with yogurt.
Rainbow Buddha Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Jodi of Create Kids Club on behalf of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 30 minutes
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1/2 small purple cabbage, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup red cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 4 tablespoons yogurt ranch dressing
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- Place sweet potatoes, broccoli and cabbage on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
- Divide cooked quinoa into four bowls. Top with roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes and avocado.
- Drizzle with dressing.
Source: Produce for Kids
(Family Features) From full-course brunches to simple sit-down dinners, Easter celebrations are a time to enjoy family, friends and the delicious tastes of spring.
However elaborate the festivities, a rich and creamy dessert is the perfect finale to any Easter gathering. Made from fresh milk and real cream, PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese is the high-quality ingredient that makes sweets stand out.
These fresh dessert ideas all feature everyone's favorite indulgence - cheesecake - along with other lively flavors, such as coconut, lemon and blueberry. Desserts this delicious will have your guests hopping up for seconds. For these and other recipe ideas, visit www.creamcheese.com.
Easter Mini Cheesecakes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut, toasted
- 54 speckled malted milk eggs (about 9 ounces)
- Heat oven to 325°F.
- Mix graham crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar and butter; press onto bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin cups.
- Beat cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over crusts.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.
- Top each cheesecake with 1 tablespoon coconut; shape to resemble bird's nest. Fill with malted milk eggs.
Note: To soften cream cheese, place completely unwrapped package of cream cheese in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high 10 seconds or just until softened. Add 15 seconds for each additional package of cream cheese.
Blueberry Streusel Cheesecake
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 6 hours, 45 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour, divided
- 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup cold butter, cut up
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- Heat oven to 325°F.
- Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1/2 cup; press remaining onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Beat cream cheese, remaining flour, remaining sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust. Top with berries and reserved crumb mixture.
- Bake 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.
Note: You can substitute cream cheese with Neufchatel cheese, or fresh blueberries with 1 (16-ounce) package frozen blueberries. Garnish with additional berries or cinnamon just before serving.
Double Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Prep time: 35 minutes
Total time: 7 hours, 15 minutes
- 52 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 4 eggs, divided
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons), divided
- 1/2teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- Heat oven to 325°F.
- Line 13-by-9-inch pan with parchment paper, with ends of paper extending over sides.
- Mix wafer crumbs and butter until blended; press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes.
- Separate 1 egg; refrigerate yolk until ready to use. Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add egg white and remaining 3 whole eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each until just blended. Pour over crust.
- Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate 4 hours.
- Mix cornstarch and remaining sugar in medium saucepan; gradually stir in water and remaining lemon juice until blended. Bring just to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir until clear and thickened. Lightly beat reserved egg yolk in small bowl with fork until blended; stir in 2 tablespoons of hot cornstarch mixture.
- Return to remaining cornstarch mixture in saucepan; stir until blended. Cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
- Spoon lemon glaze over cheesecake. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Use parchment handles to remove cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.
Note: This lemon glaze can be prepared ahead of time. Cool, then refrigerate up to 8 hours before spooning over individual slices of cheesecake. Garnish with 1/2 cup blueberries, lemon peel and fresh mint leaves.
Recipes/photos courtesy of PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
Source: PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
(Family Features) Whether you're gathering the neighborhood kids for a backyard celebration or going on a weekend hike with family, you can make fueling up for the fun easy with snacks the whole family can enjoy.
Everyone loves popcorn, and this tasty treat is easy to incorporate into a wide range of nibbles perfect for summer. Popcorn's wholesome taste makes it an excellent partner to ingredients that tease your taste buds with flavors that are sweet, salty or even zesty.
Creating a delicious trail mix to carry on an adventurous hike is a cinch when you combine fresh popcorn with your favorite sweet dried fruits and lightly salted nuts. Or, if you're staying closer to home, use popcorn treats as a more nutritious alternative to traditional party desserts.
Each of these recipes features freshly popped popcorn paired with common ingredients that appeal to both kids and adults for summery snacks that are big on both flavor and fun.
For more creative recipes that give some pop to your summer, visit www.popcorn.org.
Sweet N Salty Popcorn Pretzel Sticks
Yield: 6 sticks
- 6 tablespoons peanut butter
- 6 large pretzel rods
- 3 cups popped popcorn
- Sugar sprinkles
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
- Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter over each pretzel, leaving a two-inch "handle" without peanut butter.
- Press and roll popcorn onto peanut butter to coat. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles.
- For optional chocolate drizzle, place chocolate chips in small sealable plastic bag and seal. Microwave 30 seconds or until chocolate is melted. Clip small corner from bag and squeeze to drizzle chocolate over popcorn.
- Sprinkle with additional sugar sprinkles. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.
Chili Lime Popcorn Snack Mix
Yield: 1 quart
- 1 quart popped popcorn
- 1 teaspoon brewer's yeast powder
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Spread popcorn on baking sheet. Sprinkle yeast powder, lime juice, chili powder and salt over popcorn.
- Heat about seven minutes and toss just before serving. Serve warm.
Blueberry & Pomegranate Power Bars
Yield: 12 bars
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup dried blueberries
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped whole natural almonds
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 6 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate
- Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray.
- Combine popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds in large bowl.
- Combine honey, brown sugar and butter in small saucepan. Cook over low heat to boiling; boil two minutes. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Using damp hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about two hours. Cut into 12 bars.
- Dip bottoms of bars into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper-lined pan. Store in tight covered container in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Popcorn Trail Mix
Yield: 5 cups
- 1 quart popped popcorn (air popped)
- 6 ounces diced, dried fruit (apricots, apples, etc.)
- 8 ounces raisins
- Place freshly popped popcorn in large bowl. Add diced fruit and raisins. Toss popcorn and fruit until combined thoroughly.
Note: Add whatever fixings your family enjoys: dried fruits, seeds, nuts, etc.
Yield: 20 pieces
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 10 cups freshly popped popcorn
- 1 package (10 1/2 ounces) miniature marshmallows
- 2 cups mini graham cookies (teddy bears)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Cook over high heat for five minutes; remove from heat and stir in baking soda.
- Combine popcorn and marshmallows in large bowl. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn to coat.
- Gently stir in graham cookies and chocolate chips.
- Spread mixture evenly into greased 15-by-10-inch pan. Let cool completely, then break into pieces. Store in airtight container.
Source: The Popcorn Board
Family Features) If you're looking for tasty ways to improve your diet, you're in luck. You can get big taste and big benefits from a little fruit - Wild Blueberries.
The Color Connection
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Eating across the color spectrum is important so you get a variety of nutritional benefits.
Wild Blueberries get their color from naturally occurring phytochemicals, which are primarily responsible for antioxidant activity. Wild Blueberries are antioxidant rich, making them a great choice for their nutritional benefits and disease fighting potential. In fact,
- USDA studies rank Wild Blueberries highest in antioxidant capacity per serving, compared with more than 20 other fruits including cranberries, strawberries, apples and even cultivated blueberries.
- Health magazine has named Wild Blueberries high on its list of "America's Healthiest Superfoods for Women," singling out their variety of potential health benefits, including preventing memory loss, improving motor skills, lowering blood pressure, and fighting wrinkles.
Wild Blueberries are available year-round in supermarkets nationwide. Frozen at the peak of ripeness, all the farm-fresh taste and nutritional benefits are locked-in. Most studies show that frozen fruits and vegetables are higher in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients because they are frozen near the time of harvest.
Great taste, good nutrition and really convenient - no wonder so many people are wild about blueberries. Learn more about this superfruit and get more great recipes at www.wildblueberries.com.
Did You Know?
Wild Blueberries are a different berry from cultivated blueberries. They grow naturally in the fields and barrens of Maine and Canada. They are smaller in size, have a unique sweet-tart taste, and are only available frozen.
Here are some of the reasons frozen produce is a perfect option for people looking to fill the pantry with healthy foods all year round.
- Frozen offers great value when compared to in-season pricing.
- No aging or spoiling means no waste, saving you money.
- Frozen produce is ideal for smoothies, entrees, desserts, breakfast, and most recipes that call for blueberries.
- Frozen Wild Blueberries are thoroughly washed and have no caloric syrups or additives.
Chicken Breast with Sweet and Sour Wild Blueberry Sauce
Prep Time: Approximately 20 minutes
- 1 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 small red pepper
- 1 small green pepper
- 2 tablespoons fig jam (or apricot jam)
- 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons sweet and sour chili sauce
- 2/3 cup frozen Wild Blueberries, thawed and drained
- Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat oil in small, non-stick frying pan. Fry chicken breast for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Wash, seed and cut peppers into bite-sized pieces. Cut cooked chicken breast into bite-sized pieces; combine with peppers. Mix jam with balsamic vinegar, sugar and chili sauce. Gently stir in Wild Blueberries.
Wild Blueberry Gingered Lemon Muffins
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Yield: approximately 36 muffins
- 6 cups cake flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) egg substitute
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 4 cups frozen Wild Blueberries
- 1/3 cup (3 ounces) crystallized ginger, chopped
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, for topping
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- In bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; reserve.
- In another bowl beat together buttermilk, egg substitute, 1 1/2 cups sugar and oil; stir into flour mixture just to blend. Fold in Wild Blueberries, ginger and lemon zest.
- Scoop 1/4 cup batter into each greased 1/3-cup muffin tin. Sprinkle each muffin with sugar. Bake in 400°F conventional oven or 375°F convection oven 18 to 22 minutes or until firm to the touch. Serve warm.
Wild Blueberry Lemon Jam
Prep Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Yield: about 8 half-pints
- 5 cups frozen Wild Blueberries
- 1 package dry pectin
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- Crush thawed Wild Blueberries one layer at a time, or chop frozen in food processor.
- Combine thawed, crushed Wild Blueberries and pectin in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Stir in grated lemon zest and lemon juice. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Wild Blueberry Ice Cream Pops
Prep Time: Approximately 15 minutes, plus thaw and freezing time
Yield: 6 Pops
- 1 cup frozen Wild Blueberries
- 1 ounce milk chocolate chips
- 2 cups fat-free vanilla frozen
- yogurt, softened slightly
- Materials: small wooden or plastic sticks
- Thaw Wild Blueberries and purée. In a bowl, combine puréed Wild Blueberries, chocolate and frozen yogurt. Mix thoroughly.
- Rinse 6 standard muffin cups with cold water and spoon in Wild Blueberry mixture, dividing it evenly between the cups (silicone muffin cups need not be rinsed first). Place a stick in the center of each "muffin" and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
Tip: Mixture can also be frozen with plastic sticks in small glasses or espresso cups.
Source:Wild Blueberry Association