Dessert 01 June 2020

Good-for-You Sweet Treats

(Family Features) While eating healthy and enjoying sweets seldom go hand-in-hand, choosing the right combination of nutritious ingredients can allow for guilt-free indulgences that shirks conventional dieting wisdom. In fact, some eating plans take it a step further by actually encouraging eating big in the evening when you’re naturally hungriest to help achieve your weight loss goals.

For example, “Always Eat After 7 PM,” written by Joel Marion, CISSN, NSCA-CPT, five-time best-selling e-book author and co-founder of the e-commerce supplement company BioTrust Nutrition, debunks popular diet myths and offers an easy-to-follow diet that accelerates fat-burning and allows you to indulge in your most intense cravings by eating the majority of your calories at night. The outlined plan features a 14-day “acceleration phase” designed for rapid results, a “main phase” when you’ll learn which fat-burning foods to eat to achieve your weight loss goals and a “lifestyle phase” to keep the weight off for good.

Conventional wisdom dictates that it’s best to avoid carbs, eat an early dinner and never eat immediately before bed. However, Marion debunks the myths underlying traditional dieting with a simple, highly effective weight loss program allowing readers to enjoy social dinners without restriction, satisfy nighttime hunger with fat-burning sweet and salty pre-bedtime snacks and indulge cravings with strategically timed cheat meals.

With straightforward food lists, easy-to-follow meal plans and recipes for each phase, this can be a simpler, more enjoyable way to lose weight without feeling restricted. Taken directly from the book, these recipes for No Bake Salted Caramel Bars, Cherry Garcia Ice Cream and Fruit Tarts can satisfy that sweet tooth before heading to bed.

Learn more about the diet and book at joelmarion.com.

 

Fruit Tarts

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Servings: 20

Custard:

  • 8          egg yolks
  • 1          cup raw honey
  • 1          tablespoon coconut flour
  • 3          cans (13 2/3 ounces each) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4       teaspoon lemon zest

Sugar Cookie Crust:

  • 1/2       cup coconut oil, plus additional for greasing
  • 1/2       cup palm shortening
  • 1          cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1          teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 3          egg yolks
  • 1⁄2       teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1          cup blanched almond flour
  • 1⁄4       cup coconut flour
  • 2          tablespoons arrowroot starch

Toppings:

  • 2          kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • 1          mango, peeled, pitted and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/2       cup raspberries
  • 1/2       cup blackberries
  • 1/2       cup blueberries
  • 1/2       cup red grapes
  • 1          cup strawberries, thinly sliced
  • fresh mint leaves, for garnish
  1. To make custard: In saucepan, whisk egg yolks and honey until smooth. Mix in coconut flour.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest; bring to boil then remove from heat.
  3. Pour hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture, stirring while pouring. Over low heat, simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool, continuing to stir occasionally. Once cooled to room temperature, pour into individual custard cups. Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes, or until serving.
  5. To make crust: Heat oven to 350° F. Line bottom of pie pan with parchment paper and grease with coconut oil.
  6. In large mixing bowl using electric mixer on high, beat coconut oil and palm shortening 30 seconds. Add coconut palm sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Beat in almond flour, coconut flour and starch. Chill dough in refrigerator 15 minutes.
  7. Press chilled cookie dough into bottom of pie pan and 2 inches up sides. Bake 12 minutes, or until crust is golden and browned on top and edges. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Place cooled crust in refrigerator 30 minutes or overnight before assembling.
  8. To assemble fruit tarts: Spread custard over chilled crust. Decorate top in circular pattern with kiwis, mango strips, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, grapes and strawberries.
  9. Before serving, chill at least 30 minutes or freeze 1 hour to help keep toppings in place.
  10. Remove from freezer and set out at room temperature 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with mint leaves.

Nutritional information per serving: 192 calories; 14 g fat; 16 g carbohydrates; 61 mg sodium; 2 g fiber; 1 g protein; 9 g sugar.

Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/4       cup fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/4       cup stevia-sweetened dark chocolate bar, chopped
  • 3          overripe frozen bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4       cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  1. Chill cherries and dark chocolate.
  2. In food processor, pulse frozen bananas, milk and salt until smooth, creamy consistency of soft serve is achieved. Stir in cherries and chocolate. Serve immediately or place in freezer-safe container and freeze until serving.

Nutritional information per serving: 165 calories; 7 g fat; 27 g carbohydrates; 134 mg sodium; 6 g fiber; 2 protein; 12 g sugar.

No Bake Salted Caramel Bars

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 30

Cookie Layer:

  • 2 1/2    cups raw pecans
  • 8          pitted dates, soaked in hot water 10 minutes then drained
  • 2          tablespoons blanched almond flour
  • 1          teaspoon coconut flour
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4       cup granular zero-calorie, natural sweetener
  • 3          tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Caramel Layer:

  • 1/2       cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2       cup granular zero-calorie, natural sweetener
  • 2          tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
  • 2          tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1          pinch sea salt
  • 1          tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking soda

Chocolate Layer:

  • 2          cups stevia-sweetened chocolate chips
  • 2          tablespoons coconut oil
  • coconut oil
  • 1/3       cup dry roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
  • coarse sea salt
  1. To make cookie layer: Place large skillet over medium heat. Spread pecans over skillet and toast, stirring often, 8-10 minutes until golden. Remove from heat.
  2. Transfer toasted pecans to food processor and pulse until fine. Add dates, almond flour, coconut flour, sea salt, sweetener and coconut oil; pulse until dough forms.
  3. To make caramel layer: In skillet over medium heat, combine coconut palm sugar, sweetener, coconut milk, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla extract; bring to boil. Once boiling, decrease heat to low and cook 5 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Remove skillet from heat; whisk in baking soda. Return pan to low heat and cook 2 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Remove caramel from heat and let cool and thicken 5 minutes.
  6. To make chocolate layer: In double boiler, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil. Stir until mixture is smooth then remove from heat.
  7. To assemble salted caramel bars: Line bottom and sides of 9-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over sides. Lightly rub parchment paper with coconut oil.
  8. Press cookie dough into bottom of pan to create even layer. Place in freezer 5 minutes to harden.
  9. Pour caramel over cookie layer and spread to coat evenly. Place in freezer 5 minutes. Pour chocolate over caramel and spread to cover evenly. Sprinkle with macadamia nuts and coarse salt. Place in freezer 10 minutes until chocolate sets.
  10. Use overhanging parchment paper to ease set mixture out of pan. Transfer to cutting board and slice into bite-size bars.

Nutritional information per serving: 180 calories; 15 g fat; 15 g carbohydrates; 56 mg sodium; 4 g fiber; 2 g protein; 4 g sugar.

Source: Promote A Book

Videos 03 April 2020

Crazy Candy Ice Cream Sandwiches

(Family Features) Letting kids get hands-on in the kitchen is an easy way to keep them busy while teaching important life skills. Planning for delicious snacks children can make all on their own (or with minimal assistance) makes for a winning solution, and these Crazy Candy Ice Cream Sandwiches are a prime example. Find more kid-friendly snack ideas at milkmeansmore.org.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Crazy Candy Ice Cream Sandwiches

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4       cup chopped candy bar
  • 6          graham cracker sheets, broken into 12 squares
  • 1/2       cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons refined coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • multi-colored sprinkles (optional)
  1. In medium bowl, stir ice cream until just softened. Stir in chopped candy.
  2. Working quickly, scoop ice cream mixture onto six graham cracker squares. Top with remaining graham cracker squares, gently pressing down until ice cream reaches edges of crackers. Place in shallow, wax paper-lined pan. Freeze 1 hour.
  3. In small, microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate morsels and coconut oil. Microwave on high 40-60 seconds, or until melted, stirring vigorously every 20 seconds. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes.
  4. Remove sandwiches from freezer. Dip half of each sandwich into chocolate mixture. Immediately scatter sprinkles over chocolate, if desired. Return to wax paper-lined pan. Freeze about 5 minutes, or until chocolate sets. Serve immediately or individually wrap in plastic wrap and store in freezer.

Source:  United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Meal Ideas 30 March 2020

Family-Friendly Ways to Rethink Favorite Recipes

(Family Features) Freshen up family dinners by adding new ingredients like pecans, with natural richness and subtle sweetness coupled with irresistible crunch.

Kitchen staples are being used to add twists to traditional dishes, so finding an item you can use to mix up classic family recipes is key. Pecans pack flavor, texture and nutrition all in one bite, and they have a long shelf life. Shelled pecans can be kept in airtight containers in the refrigerator for about nine months and for up to two years in sealed plastic bags in the freezer.

While pecans are beloved in classic desserts, like pecan pie, they also offer a variety of nutrition benefits that can be added to nearly any meal. They are among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats, contain 3 grams of plant protein per serving and are a source of fiber, flavonoids and minerals like manganese, which is essential for metabolism and bone health.

Nearly two decades of research document the heart-health benefits of pecans. In fact, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28 grams) has 18 grams of unsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat.

Add crunch to this Chinese Chicken Salad with Pecans by swapping out croutons, use chopped pecans as a flavorful and nutrient-dense coating for Pecan Chicken Meatballs and bake this Pecan Banana Bread as a nutritious and kid-friendly breakfast or snack to fill your home with a delicious scent.

Discover more nutritious recipes at AmericanPecan.com

Pecan Chicken Meatballs

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 9 meatballs

  • 1          pound ground chicken
  • 1/4       cup spinach, chopped
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1          egg
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1          cup finely chopped fresh pecan pieces, divided
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, mix ground chicken, spinach, lemon juice, egg, garlic, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne (if desired) and 1/2 cup pecans until well combined.
  3. Roll chicken mixture into 1 tablespoon- sized meatballs.
  4. Place reserved pecans in bowl. Roll meatballs in pecans to coat then place on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake 20-30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
  6. Serve warm with sauces for dipping or over pasta.

Chinese Chicken Salad with Pecans

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Dressing:

  • 1/4       cup pecan butter
  • 1          tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons warm water, plus additional as needed (optional)

Salad:

  • 4          ounces dried thin rice noodles
  • cold water
  • 4          cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4          cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1/4       cup toasted and chopped pecans
  • 2          scallions, finely chopped
  • 1          cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2       cup crispy wontons
  • 1          cup mandarin oranges
  • 2          tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2          cups rotisserie chicken breast, chopped
  1. To make dressing: In medium bowl, whisk pecan butter, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil and soy sauce until smooth.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons warm water and whisk until incorporated. Add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if desired, until dressing reaches pourable consistency.
  3. To make salad: Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain and transfer to bowl with cold water to keep from sticking.
  4. In large bowl, toss romaine and iceberg lettuces, pecans, scallions, bean sprouts, crispy wontons, mandarin oranges and sesame seeds.
  5. Divide salad among four plates; top each with 1/2 cup chicken and serve with dressing.

Pecan Banana Bread

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 10        ounces gluten-free baking flour mix
  • 1          teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 2          flax eggs
  • 1          cup organic brown or coconut sugar
  • 1/2       cup coconut oil
  • 1/2       vanilla bean
  • 1/2       cup vegan yogurt
  • 3/4       cup mashed bananas, ripe
  • 1          cup raw pecan pieces, chopped, plus additional for topping
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Prepare 9-by-5-inch banana bread pan.
  2. In medium bowl, sift flour mix, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt; whisk to combine.
  3. In mixer bowl, mix eggs, sugar and coconut oil 2 minutes on medium-low speed.
  4. Scrape vanilla bean and add to mixture. Add vegan yogurt and mashed bananas; mix 2 minutes on medium-low speed.
  5. Remove bowl from mixer and fold 1 cup raw pecan pieces into batter until evenly distributed.
  6. Add batter to banana bread pan and use spatula to smooth down top. Sprinkle additional pecan pieces on top.
  7. Bake banana bread on top rack 60 minutes until toothpick comes out with few crumbs but not completely clean.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes in pan. Hold sides of pan and flip onto wire rack.
  9. Allow bread to cool completely. Slice as desired.

Source:  American Pecan Council

Snacks 19 February 2019

Perfect Pops for Every Occasion

(Family Features) No matter what kind of events you have on your social calendar, you can pop up delicious treats that are sure to be a hit.

Whether hosting a get-together for the guys and tuning into the game or having a night in with the girls, freshly popped popcorn, which is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, can help you please every palate.

Sweet, spicy, salty or served in more non-traditional ways, the possibilities are endless, and perfect for everything from date night to a family movie night or even a sleepover or kids’ party. And since it’s healthy and whole grain, popcorn is a satisfying snack suitable for every occasion that you can feel good about serving.

Find more versatile, nutritious recipes for your next event at popcorn.org.

Cookies ’N Cream Popcorn

  • 12 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 package (11 ounces) white chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 15 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
  1. Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
  2. In medium saucepan on low heat, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil; stir until blended.
  3. Pour melted chocolate over popcorn, stirring until well-coated. Stir in chopped Oreos.
  4. Spread mixture on baking sheet and chill until chocolate has set. Break into pieces to serve.

Serves

12 cups

Popcorn Party Pizza

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bag (10.5 ounces) mini marshmallows
  • 2 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 tube (.68 ounces) red piping gel
  • 1 package red raspberry fruit roll-ups
  • green jelly beans
  • coconut
  • candy-coated chocolate pieces
  1. Spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In large saucepan over medium heat, heat butter.
  3. Stir in marshmallows until melted.
  4. Stir in popcorn until well coated.
  5. Spread mixture evenly onto prepared pizza pan.
  6. Drizzle red piping gel over “pizza” to make “sauce.”
  7. Cut small circles (about 1 1/4 inches in diameter) from fruit roll-up and place on pizza for “pepperoni” slices.
  8. Decorate as desired with jelly beans, coconut and candies. Allow to cool completely before cutting into wedges to serve.

Serves

8 slices

Popcorn and Peanut Truffles

  • 6 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup honey
  1. In large bowl, stir popcorn and peanuts together; set aside.
  2. In microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips 10 seconds. Stir chips and repeat, stirring after each 10 seconds, until chips are melted. Warm honey in microwave 10 seconds and stir into chocolate until well blended.
  3. Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn mixture and stir until popcorn is evenly coated. With small ice cream scoop, push popcorn mixture into scoop and release onto wax paper to form truffles. Refrigerate until firm.

Serves

30 pieces

Notes, Tips & Suggestions

Truffles can be stored in an airtight container up to 5 days.

Toasted Coconut and Chocolate Popcorn

  • 10 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 bag (7 ounces) shredded coconut, toasted
  1. Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
  2. In small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and coconut extract; stir until melted and combined.
  3. Pour over popcorn, coating well. Spread popcorn onto large cookie sheet.
  4. In glass measuring cup, melt chocolate chips and vegetable oil in microwave on low heat until smooth. Drizzle over popcorn. Immediately sprinkle coconut over popcorn mixture; cool.
  5. Break into pieces and serve.

Serves

10 cups

Cheesy Pepperoni Popcorn

  • 1/4 cup nonfat Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried sage
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 12 cups popped popcorn
  • 3/4 cup turkey pepperoni, cut into bite-size bits
  • olive oil cooking spray
  1. In small bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, sage and pepper; mix well.
  2. Place cooked popcorn and turkey pepperoni in large bowl; spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle popcorn and pepperoni with cheese mixture and toss to coat evenly.

Serves

6-8 cups

Source: Popcorn Board

Healthy 05 February 2019

A Positive Path to a Healthy New You

(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.

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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
  1. Heat oven to 325 F.
  2. In large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, chia seeds, cranberries and orange zest. Toss until orange zest is evenly distributed.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Source: ALDI

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