(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
Ideas for an easy Easter menu
(Family Features) Whether you’re new to hosting or simply looking for ideas to make Easter entertaining easier than ever, there are plenty of ways to save time and stress in the kitchen.
Go with what you know. Trying out new recipes is fun, but it can also add stress when they don’t turn out like you expected. Stick to tried and true dishes you can prepare and serve with confidence and save the experimenting for another time.
Take shortcuts. At the center of many Easter feasts is a ham that has been expertly cured and cooked to perfection. Even so, starting with a full-cooked ham is a shortcut that no one is likely to notice, especially if you heat it properly. For exceptional quality and a variety of flavor profile options to choose from, turn to America’s Original Butcher, Omaha Steaks. The meats are fully cooked then frozen before being delivered to your door for maximum convenience.
Work ahead. Plan your menu to incorporate items you can make ahead of time so you’re under less pressure the day of your dinner. Even handling the prep work like slicing veggies the night before can buy back precious minutes, that way when guests begin arriving, you can step out of the kitchen and enjoy the day right along with them.
Find more ideas to make hosting this year’s Easter meal easy at OmahaSteaks.com/buy/meals/easter.
How to Heat a Frozen Ham
Many frozen hams are fully cooked and can be served as soon as they’re properly thawed, which is an ideal solution for a casual brunch with mini sandwiches on the menu. However, if you’re serving an elegant holiday dinner, you’re more likely to prefer a warm centerpiece dish. A fully cooked ham is still a time-saving option; you’ll just need to allot time to heat it in the oven once it’s thawed.
Start by thawing a fully cooked ham in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.
To keep your ham extra moist, always put the cut-side down. You might also consider placing a baking rack in the pan and adding a quarter-inch of water before placing the ham on the rack.
For a spiral-cut, bone-in ham, heat the oven to 325° F. Remove ham from film and foil. Place ham cut-side down on a raised edge baking pan lined with foil. Heat uncovered 60-75 minutes for the entire ham or 10 minutes per pound for smaller portions.
For a boneless ham, heat the oven to 350° F. Place the ham, cut-side down, on a raised edge baking pan lined with foil. Cover the ham tightly with foil and heat 35-40 minutes.
Another option for adding extra juicy flavor is a glaze, which can be as simple as dissolving three parts brown sugar into one part honey in a small saucepan. Or for a more elegant affair, consider a fruit-infused glaze to complement the savory pork.
A Host of Hams
If you always thought a ham is a ham is a ham, it’s time to think again. From the type of meat to the smoking preparation to specialized slicing that makes serving easy, there are plenty of options to consider from a supplier like Omaha Steaks when choosing the right ham.
For an elegant gathering that demands premium ingredients, an all-natural Duroc Boneless Country Ham may be the answer. These hams tend to feature more marbling for an exceptionally rich flavor and texture, making for a tender, savory and juicy main course with no basting or injection needed.
Put a little flair in your Easter meal with a uniquely flavored ham like the Pecanwood Smoked Flank Ham, smoked with real pecan wood for 8 hours to add a rich yet mellow smoky flavor. This tender, juicy uncured whole-muscle ham earns its place of distinction on your holiday table. Complementary sides with subtle nutty notes, such as a sweet potato casserole, can enhance the menu even more.
Each Spiral-Sliced Ham is slowly smoked with real wood up to 24 hours to infuse flavor and maximize juiciness then generously brushed with a sweet and sticky brown-sugar crust that is torch-glazed to create a flavorful, crunchy crust. It’s spiral-sliced before delivery, so once it’s thawed and heated, it’s ready for quick service to your guests.
Easy Fruit-Infused Glazes
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup apricot nectar, canned
- In saucepan, mix brown sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Stir in apricot nectar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.
Cranberry Orange Glaze
- 1 can (16 ounces) cranberry sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- In small saucepan over low heat, combine cranberry sauce, brown sugar, orange juice, cloves, cinnamon and allspice; simmer 5 minutes, before serving.
(Family Features) The ultimate kid-friendly snack comes as a package deal – simple, delicious, nutritious and fun. One option that readily meets those demands are apples, pears and oranges perfectly sized for small hands, mouths and appetites.
While Lil Snappers’ smaller sizes allow fresh fruits to easily fit into bento boxes and brown bags for a wholesome lunchbox companion that leaves little waste, a dash of creativity also transforms these fruits into a favorite snacktime star – from crunchy critters to sweet treats.
Available in three-pound pouches and found in the fresh produce aisle, Lil Snappers come seasonally in a wide array of fruit varieties, including organics, grown by a sixth-generation family farming operation, Stemilt Growers. Options range from popular apples such as Gala, Pink Lady and Granny Smith, to delicious Bartlett pears, Bosc pears and more.
Try out these recipes for pint-sized snackers, and find quick and easy recipe ideas at lilsnappers.com.
- 1 Lil Snappers apple
- 1 mini marshmallow
- Cut apple in half lengthwise and remove stem. Remove core from one apple half.
- Slice apple half without core into 8 wedges to serve as critter’s legs.
- Set aside second apple half, which will serve as critter’s body.
- Take two legs and make simple zig-zag cuts into flesh to create “claw-like” shape.
- On a plate, arrange critter’s legs, fanning them out, then place claws in front of legs and reserved apple half on top for the head.
- Cut mini marshmallow in half. Gooey side of each will easily stick to critter’s head to serve as eyes.
- 1 Lil Snappers pear
- 1 slice orange rind
- 1 marshmallow
- 1 grape
- 2 toothpicks
- Cut pear in half lengthwise. On plate, lay pear cut-side down. Using peeler, slice 3 inches of rind from orange. Trim sides to result in long, thin rectangle. Coil length of rind around finger and hold to set shape.
- Cut one slice from end of marshmallow then cut that round in half to create two half-moon shapes. Gooey edge of each half-moon will stick to top of pear half to serve as critter’s ears.
- Break toothpick in half and place picks in location for critter’s eyes, leaving about 1/4 inch sticking out from fruit.
- Slice ends off of one grape and place domes over toothpicks to serve as eyes.
- Using toothpick, make hole in back end of critter to place tail. Stick end of coiled orange rind into hole using toothpick to wedge rind into fruit. Reshape coil, as needed.
Note: Remember to remove toothpicks before nibbling.
Source: Stemilt Growers
(Family Features) When it comes to fresh fruit, watermelon is a top pick in many households.
It’s available year-round and makes for a nutritious snack, but its great taste is the reason most people buy watermelon, according to research from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.
Not only is watermelon a tasty snack by itself, it’s a great complement to other flavors, making it easy to create flavorful pairings. This sweet take on pizza combines watermelon with a host of other good-for-you ingredients for a delicious treat. Healthy enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert, this pizza can make its way into your weekly meal rotation.
For another nutritious option, consider this Buddha bowl featuring watermelon, which contains higher levels of lycopene, an antioxidant, than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin C, and it provides vitamin B6 and potassium. It’s the perfect sweet addition to balance the savory flavors of this traditional plant-based Buddha bowl.
Each of these recipes leaves plenty of room for personalization; experiment with your favorite flavors to make each dish your own. Also remember that watermelon travels well, so these recipes make for ideal take-along snacks when you’re on the go.
Find more fresh, fruity recipes to enjoy any time of year at watermelon.org.
Watermelon Buddha Bowl
Citrusy Tahini Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
- 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
- 4 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 2 cups cooked black rice
- 1 cup sliced, toasted almonds
- Citrusy Tahini Dressing
- To make Citrusy Tahini Dressing: In bowl, whisk tahini, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and salt. If dressing seems thick, add more orange juice or water to reach desired consistency.
- To arrange Buddha Bowls: Separate watermelon, cucumbers, cherries, avocados and rice in four bowls. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.
Sweet Watermelon Pizza
- Greek yogurt
- Watermelon, cut to 1-inch thick round slice
- Shredded coconut
- Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries or blackberries
- Slivered almonds
- Spread yogurt to cover fleshy part of watermelon, leaving room to hold rind. Sprinkle with coconut, mint, berries and almonds, or other toppings, as desired.
(Family Features) Americans are snacking more and more these days, with the average person consuming 25 percent of daily calories in the form of snacks. This school year, aim for an A-plus in nutrition by snacking smarter on nutrient-rich dairy products.
Snacking goes hand-in-hand with dairy products since they are a tasty, convenient and cost-effective way to fuel up throughout the day. There are a variety of grab-and-go milk, cheese and yogurt products that provide portable nutrition.
What’s more, dairy packs a nutritious punch. Together, milk, cheese and yogurt provide nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, an important nutrient to include in snacks since it helps you feel fuller longer.
Boost your snacking IQ with these smart tips:
- Add dairy to your favorite treats for a well-rounded snack. Pair cheese sticks with fresh fruit, such as an apple, pear or grapes. Reach for cheese cubes and whole-grain crackers when you want something savory. Or dip strawberries in yogurt for a tasty, sweet treat. For a kid-friendly snack, make it hands-on fun by creating colorful fruit and cheese kabobs.
- Flavored milk provides the same nine essential nutrients as unflavored milk. The only difference is the addition of flavorings and minimal amounts of sugar, which can lead to improved consumption, especially among children.
- Whip up a dairy-based smoothie made for an on-the-go snack or create your own yogurt parfait, such as this flavorful recipe that combines favorites like peanut butter and bananas in a deliciously refreshing treat.
For more tips and recipes to help you snack smarter, and for stories about dairy farm families and where dairy foods come from, visit MidwestDairy.com.
Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Yogurt Parfait
Recipe courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Council
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup nonfat, light vanilla yogurt
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 4 pretzel twists, crumbled (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 banana, sliced
- In small bowl, mix yogurt and peanut butter together. In separate bowl, toss walnuts and pretzels together.
- In tall glass, build parfait. Layer 1/2 cup yogurt, half of banana slices and 1 tablespoon of walnut/pretzel mixture. Repeat layers. Serve immediately.
Rainbow Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
Recipe courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Council
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 8 wooden skewers
- 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 18 cubes
- 1/2 cup strawberries, halved
- 1/2 cup cantaloupe, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup pineapple, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 kiwi, peeled and cut into 6 pieces
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 6 purple grapes
- Thread each skewer with one piece of cheese, one strawberry half, one cantaloupe cube, one pineapple cube, another piece of cheese, one piece of kiwi, two blueberries, one grape and another piece of cheese. Repeat pattern with remaining skewers.
(Family Features) When it comes to planning brunch, there really are no rules. It’s the perfect opportunity to combine your favorite flavors and foods in one delicious meal.
Warmer weather calls for putting a summer twist on brunch classics. Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor are a fresh, flavorful addition to a festive summer brunch, while this Brunch Bruschetta Bar is a gorgeous way to feed a crowd and highlight your favorite summertime ingredients. These recipes are made and served with not-from-concentrate Florida’s Natural Brand Orange Juice, made entirely from oranges grown, picked and squeezed in Florida, with no water or sugar added.
Both recipes are from the Florida’s Natural Brunch Club, a collection of brunch experts creating recipes to celebrate brunch throughout the year. Brighten up your brunch with more fresh takes on classic recipes at floridasnatural.com.
Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor
Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground chicken or pork
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon, plus pinch, kosher salt, divided
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
- 1/2 cup not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks, divided
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 1 lime, juice only
- 4-6 fried eggs
- 6-8 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
- sliced avocado
- feta or cheddar cheese
- In large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When oil shimmers, add ground chicken and onion. Cook, stirring often and breaking up meat as it cooks, until chicken is browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt, chipotle peppers, orange juice, water and 1 cup pineapple. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly around chicken, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
- In bowl, combine remaining pineapple, basil, jalapeno, lime juice and pinch of salt.
To serve: Divide fried eggs among tortillas and top with chicken. Add pineapple-basil salsa, avocado and cheese.
Brunch Bruschetta Bar
Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 1 cup basil pesto
- 1 cup sun-dried tomato spread
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, marinated cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
- 6-8 soft-boiled or poached eggs
- 6-8 scrambled eggs
- 12 slices grilled or toasted bread
- olive oil, to taste
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2-3 varieties of soft cheeses
- 2 cups fresh fruit
- 1 sliced avocado
- 2 cups sauteed veggies, such as spinach and mushrooms
- 6-8 pieces fried bacon
- 2-3 varieties of prosciutto, salami or smoked salmon
- 1 cup fruit jam
- 1 cup nut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 carton not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
- On large serving board, arrange sauces and spreads. Add poached eggs, scrambled eggs and bread. Drizzle poached eggs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange cheese, fruits, veggies, meats, jams, nut butter and honey around eggs.
- Pour orange juice into juice glasses for sipping.
Source: Florida's Natural
(Family Features) Parents know raising healthy and successful children means more than encouraging learning and praising positive behavior. It also means instilling smart habits from the earliest years to create lifelong practices that promote overall health and good nutrition.
If getting your kids on board seems like a daunting challenge, try these tips from the fresh produce experts at ALDI for bringing more fruit, veggies and other healthy foods to your family’s table without busting your budget:
One smart cookie. For “cookies” you can feel good about giving your kids, cut an apple to create round slices then slather the slices with their favorite nut butter (peanut, almond or cashew) and top with raisins, yogurt bites or chocolate chips.
Fresh and fruity. Swap sugary drinks for fresh, fruit-infused water. Let kids pick their favorite flavor combinations each evening and refrigerate water to infuse overnight so it’s ready to enjoy the following day.
Icy sweet treats. Make your own frozen pops using ingredients like fresh fruit, yogurt or milk. Use store-bought molds or substitute small paper cups covered with plastic wrap. Just poke sticks through the plastic to hold them in place until the mixture freezes.
Hands-on helpers. Getting kids in on the action is a great way to encourage healthier eating habits. After all, if they helped make it, it has to be good. Once all the ingredients have been sliced and diced, a recipe like these Grilled Balsamic Vegetable Pops is easy for kids to assemble. Just ask them to thread the skewers in their favorite color and flavor combinations.
It takes a village. Learning about the benefits of healthy eating can be fun, especially when you take advantage of programs in your community, such as those offered by libraries, community centers and schools. Through partnerships like the one ALDI has with Action for Healthy Kids, families and schools have increased access to nutrition education and physical activity tools that make living and eating healthy fun.
Find more tips to encourage the little eaters in your family to enjoy the nutritious bounties of summer at aldi.us.
Grilled Balsamic Vegetable Pops
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
- 4 wooden skewers
- 1 zucchini, cut into rounds
- 1 yellow pepper, chopped
- 4 mushrooms, halved
- 4 cherry tomatoes
- 1 ear sweet corn, cut into rounds
- 2 tablespoons Carlini Pure Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Soak wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes before grilling. Heat grill to medium-high (400-425 F.)
- Pierce vegetables with skewers and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on hot grill.
- Turn frequently to prevent burning. Vegetables should be golden and tender after 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
(Family Features) Brighten up spring gatherings with a simple dessert inspired by the flavors of the season. Lemon, almond, vanilla and raspberry extracts give baked treats a fresh flair that matches the lively essence of spring.
“Friends and family will love these Easy Mini Cheesecakes,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. “Almond and vanilla give these individual treats a burst of rich flavor, while a fruit topping highlights the fresh ingredients of the season.”
To simplify preparation when making dessert for a gathering, take advantage of these ideas from the McCormick Kitchens:
- Make Ahead and Batch Bake: Double-batch the dessert recipe and vary the extracts to make two unique treats in one effort. For even more variety, try a simple substitution like using chocolate sandwich cookies in place of the vanilla wafers for the "crust." Make day-of prep a spring breeze by preparing the recipe in advance and refrigerating it overnight.
- Bright Fruit Topping: Fresh fruits and berries make a simple, yet colorful topping for cake, ice cream and other desserts. Stir in 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar to 2 1/2 cups fruit for a sweet seasonal treat.
Easy Mini Cheesecakes
These luscious cheesecakes flavored with vanilla and almond extract are sized just right. Garnish with fresh fruit, lemon curd or melted chocolate swirls.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Refrigerate Time: 4 hours
Makes 12 servings
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Almond Extract
- 12 vanilla wafers
- Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and extracts; beat well. Place a wafer in bottom of 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Spoon batter into each cup, filling 2/3 full.
- Bake in preheated 325°F oven 22 to 24 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. (Mini cheesecakes will deflate in center upon cooling.)
- Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with desired toppings.
Variations: Use 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract in place of almond extract. Use chocolate sandwich cookies in place of the vanilla wafers for the "crust." If you don’t have fresh fruit, top cheesecakes with canned fruit such as cherry pie filling or mandarin orange segments.
Nutritional Information Per Serving: 210 Calories, Fat 14g, Carbohydrates 17g, Cholesterol 79mg, Sodium 166mg, Fiber 0g, Protein 4g