(Family Features) A whole-grain food, popcorn has energy-producing carbohydrates and fiber, which can help keep you satisfied longer when looking for an at-home snack to share with loved ones. With no artificial additives or preservatives, light and airy popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, making it a sensible option to enjoy one handful at a time or sprinkled with seasonings that satisfy your taste buds in a recipe like Coconut Crunch Chia Clusters.
For more snack ideas that deliver on both flavor and nutrition, visit popcorn.org.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Coconut Crunch Chia Clusters
Yield: 8 cups
- 8 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
- In small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, butter, honey and salt; bring to light boil, stirring often, until melted.
- Pour sugar mixture over popcorn. Add coconut flakes and chia seeds; toss gently to combine.
- Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet. Bake about 30 minutes, or until popcorn is lightly toasted. Let cool completely; break into clusters for serving.
Source: Popcorn Board
(Family Features) During a period when many families are spending more time at home than normal, eating healthier is likely a popular goal. One of the many aspects to focusing on better nutrition starts with a better breakfast.
To help boost you and your family’s immunity, try focusing on protein- and fiber-packed morning meals that are low in sugar. That doesn’t have to mean hours of prep in the kitchen or stocking up on uncommon ingredients.
Instead, you can start with simple recipes that call for just a handful of inclusions. Additionally, when your menu is centered around less complicated dishes, it allows an opportunity to get kids involved in the kitchen with tasks like measuring yogurt for a parfait, pouring milk in a pudding recipe or simply pulling ingredients out of the pantry and refrigerator.
To help start your healthy breakfast plan on the right foot, consider these tips from Dr. Jonathan Clinthorne and the experts at SimplyProtein:
Factor in fiber. When it comes to supporting immunity with nutrition, one of the underappreciated nutrients is dietary fiber. Fiber feeds gut bacteria, which helps produce numerous compounds that accelerate the development of immune cells and boost their function. The immune system performs better when people replace highly refined, low-fiber carbohydrates with fiber-rich carbohydrates.
Pick ingredients packed with protein. It’s important to consume adequate protein when looking to boost immune function as protein energy malnutrition is linked to poor immune function and can impair the ability of the immune system to fight viruses and bacteria. Add foods to your diet like SimplyProtein’s line of non-GMO, gluten-free bars and bites. The snacks include 11 or more grams of protein and just 0-3 grams of sugar without artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives for nutritious treats to help make busy lives simpler.
Build a balanced breakfast. People burn more energy through a process known as “diet-induced thermogenesis” when they consume high-calorie breakfasts rather than high-calorie dinners. This can ultimately help with weight loss and suggests that eating more food early in the day is better for you than eating a large amount before bedtime. For example, these recipes for Yogurt Parfait, Chia Seed Pudding and Avocado Toast provide protein and energy with simple at-home prep.
Skip the sugar. Avoid the post-lunch sleepy feeling by ditching sugar. Instead, focus on low-glycemic snacks that won’t spike blood sugar, helping to control your appetite.
Feel fuller longer. Eating immune supportive foods like vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds and protein-rich snack bars can help keep you full and satisfied while avoiding less nutritious alternatives.
Easy Additions for a Balanced Breakfast
Whether your morning meal is a lavish spread for the whole family or a simple snack before logging on for a workday, these simple add-ons can add flavor without sacrificing nutrition:
- Dairy, such as milk or yogurt
- Fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and more
- Quick solutions, such as SimplyProtein Cookie Bars, Crispy Bars or Crunchy Bites
- Eggs (for a time-saving solution, try using a muffin tin to create egg cups for ready-to-go breakfasts throughout the week)
- Seeds or nuts
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread
- 1 avocado, halved and sliced
- 2 poached eggs
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup crushed SimplyProtein Barbecue Crunchy Bites
- Toast bread slices.
- Divide avocado slices among toast. Place one egg on each piece of toast then sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Top toast with crushed crunchy bites.
- 1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 cup assorted fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries and kiwi
- 1 tablespoon shaved almonds
- 1 SimplyProtein Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar, crumbled
- shaved coconut (optional)
- In bowl, layer yogurt, fruit and shaved almonds. Top with crumbled cookie bar and shaved coconut, if desired.
Chia Seed Pudding
- 3 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 SimplyProtein Lemon Crispy Bar
- In glass jar or bowl, stir chia seeds and almond milk. Let rest 5 minutes then stir again.
- Cover pudding in refrigerator; allow to set 1-2 hours or overnight.
- Crumble lemon crispy bar and mix into pudding or cut into sticks for dipping.
Resolve to make nutritious eating a priority
(Family Features) Discovering a better version of yourself is all about striking balance. That’s especially true when it comes to making smarter food choices that you can maintain over time.
A sustainable, long-term healthy eating approach, such as the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, emphasizes variety and balance. Start planning a low-carb menu filled with high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats with these tips from Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education for Atkins.
Fill up with fiber-rich foods. Foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, low-glycemic fruit (like berries) and whole unrefined grains are considered carbohydrates, but they don’t raise your blood sugar the way processed carbs do. Fiber slows the entry of glucose into your bloodstream so you don’t experience insulin spikes that encourage your body to produce and store body fat. Try to eat between 25-35 grams of fiber a day.
Reduce inflammation. A low-carb approach eliminates refined and processed foods and sugars that can cause inflammation. Focus on foods that decrease inflammation, such as colorful low-glycemic vegetables, low-sugar fruits, protein and healthy fats such as olive oil. The ground turmeric in this Golden Milk recipe offers an easy way to fight inflammation without sacrificing flavor.
Kickstart your morning. Start your day with a protein-packed choice such as these Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats. You’ll get the omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants from the chia seeds along with protein and healthy fats to keep you energized while avoiding high-sugar breakfast alternatives.
Satisfying, Low-Sugar Swaps
Eating on the go can easily cause you to grab a high-sugar option, but there are simple swaps to keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. Satisfy your hunger with an option like the Atkins Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar. Made with sweet chocolate and rich, creamy peanut butter, this bar offers 16 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber and only 2 grams of sugar to satisfy your hunger without the guilt.
Find more recipes like these for Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan or Spicy Crispy Chickpeas and ideas for a balanced, low-carb approach to eating well at Atkins.com.
Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Net carbs: 4.41
- 1 bunch thin spear asparagus
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon, extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 salmon fillets (4 ounces each), no more than 3/4-inch thick
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil-based mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon minced or pressed garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- Wash asparagus and remove woody ends. Place on rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and pinch of salt. Arrange in single layer, leaving space for salmon. Place salmon skin-side down on sheet. Brush with remaining olive oil and season with remaining salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake 12 minutes.
- In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and garlic.
- Remove sheet pan from oven, sprinkle asparagus spears with cheese and cook 3 minutes, or until fish reaches 145° F and asparagus spears are tender and beginning to brown on tips.
- Plate one fillet and half the asparagus, drizzle each plate with about 2 tablespoons mayonnaise sauce and serve.
Spicy Crispy Chickpeas
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Net carbs: 8.3
- 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon ghee (or clarified butter), melted
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- Heat air fryer to 390° F 3 minutes.
- Using fine mesh sieve, drain and rinse chickpeas. Use towel to gently pat chickpeas dry, removing skins. In small bowl, toss chickpeas with ghee and salt.
- Cook in single layer in air fryer 6 minutes. Pause and shake bowl; cook 6 minutes. Pause and shake bowl; cook 3 minutes.
- In separate small bowl, sprinkle chickpeas with spices and toss to evenly coat. Chickpeas can be stored in open container at room temperature up to 3 days.
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Net carbs: 3
- 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 10 drops liquid stevia extract
- In small pan, whisk coconut milk, almond milk, water, coconut oil, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and pepper. Warm over medium heat until hot but not simmering, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in sweetener and serve.
Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats
Prep time: 5 minutes
Chill time: 3 hours
Net carbs: 6.84
- 1 Atkins Chocolate Banana Shake
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut shreds
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- fruit, such as sliced bananas or berries (optional)
- In jar with tight-fitting lid, combine shake, rolled oats, chia seeds, hemp hearts, coconut and almonds. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Top with fruit, if desired.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan, Spicy Crispy Chickpeas, Golden Milk, Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats)
(Family Features) For many people, the New Year brings the resolve to just say no to indulgent food and drink, to inactivity and to a host of other unhealthy habits.
However, you can also approach your reset with balance and positive thinking. This can be your year to say "yes" and rework the all-or-nothing mentality, which can be a more mindful way to reach your goals.
From eating with purpose to finding healthier options for tasty meals, making small changes can help you reap rewards throughout the year. Start 2018 with a clean slate of practical and attainable eating goals that are realistic for the life you want to lead by shopping at a grocery store like ALDI, a one-stop shop with a wide selection of high-quality, affordable food choices. Whether you follow a paleo, plant-based or organic eating plan, all of the following nutritious options can be incorporated into your lifestyle and budget for less than $20:
- SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil: This trendy ingredient can elevate better-for-you recipes like this Cranberry Orange Chia Granola. You can also use it as a replacement for butter or vegetable oil because it's a versatile choice for both sweet and savory dishes.
- SimplyNature Chia Seeds: Use chia seeds to top your smoothie, overnight oats or make chia pudding in the morning for an easy way to power up the most important meal of the day. Chia seeds serve up protein, fiber and antioxidants.
- Earth Grown Black Bean or Veggie Burgers: If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or just want to join the Meatless Monday movement, black bean burgers are one option to try.
- Earth Grown Vegan Shredded Cheese: This dairy-free cheese is a tasty addition to vegan recipes.
- SimplyNature Organic Popcorn: Movie nights call for popcorn, and this organic version can quickly become a family favorite. Each serving provides 3 grams of both fiber and protein.
Part of making healthy choices includes finding quick and easy recipes. Discover how easy it is to make fresh meals at home with this better-for-you recipe and find more options at aldi.us.
Cranberry Orange Chia Granola
Recipe courtesy of Chef Linsey, ALDI Test Kitchen
- 2 1/2 cups Millville Old Fashioned Oats
- 6 ounces Southern Grove Shelled Pistachios, chopped
- 1/4 cup SimplyNature Chia Seeds
- 5 ounces Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 3/4 cup SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
- 3 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Pure Vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Stonemill Essentials Sea Salt Grinder
- Heat oven to 325 F.
- In large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, chia seeds, cranberries and orange zest. Toss until orange zest is evenly distributed.
- In separate medium bowl, combine honey, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Heat in microwave 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking in 30-second intervals until coconut oil is melted.
- Add honey mixture to oat mixture. Toss until thoroughly coated. Transfer to parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Spread into even layer and bake in center of oven 20 minutes. Stir and continue cooking until evenly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Serve with yogurt or enjoy on its own.
Note: Granola can be stored in airtight container up to 3 weeks.
Try this healthy spin on a classic cookie treat. For more recipes go to culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!
Gingerbread Cookie Shake
- 1 1/2 cups vanilla protein shake
- 1 tbsp. molasses
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1/2 cup ice
- Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve.