(Family Features) Snacks are a way of life for people of all ages, but especially children, who consume about 25% of their daily calories from snacks, according to research published in the “Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.” Providing nutritionally balanced snacks for your children at home can make for a happy and healthy day.
Planning snacks that are as delicious as they are healthy is a winning solution, and snacks are a simple way to add more nutrition to your child’s diet.
For example, low-fat and fat-free dairy foods are essential to children’s growth and overall wellness. They provide calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients kids don’t get enough of, according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines recommend 2-3 servings of low-fat and fat-free dairy foods every day, depending on the child’s age.
Giving kids a role in the preparation can give them added incentive to enjoy healthy treats, and these recipes are all easy enough that kids can make them on their own (or with minimal assistance). Giving your kids the ability to play a role in the kitchen and create is a gift that can last a lifetime. The culinary skills they develop early in life can give them the confidence and know-how to cook nutritious meals for themselves as teens and adults.
Dairy: Did You Know?
Dairy foods can add taste and versatility to your plate, but they also deliver a unique package of essential nutrients important for good health.
- Milk has a unique combination of nine essential nutrients: protein; calcium; potassium; phosphorus; vitamins A, D and B12; riboflavin and niacin. Each of these nutrients is a key ingredient of milk and they all work together to help keep bodies healthy.
- Milk, cheese and yogurt are good sources of high-quality protein, which is essential for growth and maintenance of muscle and other proteins within the body.
- Enjoying dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt as part of a healthy diet is associated with many health bonuses, including reduced risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Get more ideas to get kids cooking and snacking smart at milkmeansmore.org.
Red, White and Blue Greek Yogurt Bark
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 3 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup honey, plus additional for drizzling (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced into rounds
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup raspberries, halved
- In medium mixing bowl combine Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup honey and vanilla.
- On parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spread Greek yogurt mixture to 1/4-inch thickness. Press strawberries, blueberries and raspberries into yogurt. Freeze at least 3 hours. Break into pieces upon removing from freezer.
Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 dash cinnamon
- apples, graham crackers or other dipper of choice
- In bowl, six Greek yogurt, peanut butter and cinnamon until smooth.
- Serve with apples, graham crackers or another dipper of choice.
Good Morning Yogurt Parfait
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1/2 cup sliced or diced fruit, any variety
- 6 ounces low-fat or fat-free vanilla yogurt
- 1/4 cup granola or other cereal (optional)
- In small bowl or cup, layer fruit and yogurt, starting with fruit on bottom. Top with cereal or granola, if desired.
- Note: This recipe can be made using low-fat or non-fat cottage cheese sweetened with honey and cinnamon.
Frozen Banana Pops
Prep time: 2 hours
- 4 large bananas, peeled
- 8 wooden ice pop sticks
- 2 cups vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- Cut each banana in half and carefully insert wooden ice pop stick in bottom of each , about one-third into banana. Place bananas on large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze bananas until partially frozen, about 30 minutes.
- Carefully dip each banana in tall pint glass of vanilla yogurt to coat, leaving 1/2-inch at bottom of banana uncoated. Return yogurt-coated bananas to parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze until completely firm, about 1 hour.
- Microwave peanut butter until smooth and creamy, about 30-45 seconds. Drizzle peanut butter evenly over bananas then place on baking sheet to freeze until peanut butter is firm, about 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately or wrap each banana in plastic wrap and store in freezer up to 3 months.
Save time by creating quick recipes made with nutritious, fresh milk
(Family Features) Summer is busy, so a helping of no-cook options, especially those you can make in advance, are welcomed by many home chefs. When you shop online for groceries and include fresh, cold milk in your basket, you can make every second of summer count.
When you mix summer favorites with real dairy milk, you serve nutrients your kids need with the flavors they love. Try these five flavorful recipes that feature fresh milk so you can “breakfast and chill” with your kids this summer.
Creamy Green Goddess Smoothie – Drink your vegetables with this take on your favorite salad that kids love, too. The goodness of this Green Goddess Smoothie starts with fresh milk mixed with avocado, spinach, banana and pineapple.
Acai Bowl – You’ll say “ahh” to acai when you blend a batch of this antioxidant-rich Brazilian berry with ice-cold, fresh milk and top your bowl with coconut, granola and fresh fruit.
Creamy Vanilla Berry Ice Pops – These Creamy Vanilla Berry Ice Pops are perfect for breakfast or as a snack. This recipe includes farm-fresh milk and in-season berries, so this homemade option is a more nutritious option than store-bought ice pops.
Berry Berry Smoothie – There’s a reason not to mess with the classics – almost everyone loves them. For an easy and delicious summertime smoothie, simply mix ice-cold milk with fresh berries, honey and vanilla. This chilled combination can satisfy even the pickiest palates.
Super Food Smoothie – Fresh ingredients, including cold milk, make this smoothie super tasty, super fast and super easy. Blend blueberries and bananas with your pantry staples, including honey and vanilla extract, for a tall, frosty glass of delicious.
(Family Features) Mothers are incredible people. This year, make sure you properly thank her for all she has done for you by celebrating her with a day she'll cherish forever.
Here are a few ideas to make this Mother's Day her most memorable yet:
- Plant a Garden Together
Before you shell out big bucks on chocolates and jewelry, consider a greener gift that mom can treasure from her window. Visit your local garden center or nursery and pick some vibrant beauties you know she'll swoon over. Supply the gloves, mom's favorite cocktails and snacks and make an event out of gardening with your favorite lady.
- Create Your Own Card
No matter how old you are, nothing says it better than construction paper, glitter and a little creativity. If she's a grandmother, involve the kids and make it a family craft project. Take a trip to your local hobby store to make sure you have all the goods for this tried-and-true ticket to mom's heart.
- Plan a Beautiful Brunch
Create a colorful, bountiful brunch for mom. Make a checklist of all the necessary ingredients, ensuring you serve all of her favorites! For a fresh twist on brunch, incorporate the sweet summertime goodness of watermelon and other fresh fruit. Impress her with Breakfast Six Layer Trifle, or make her smile with Watermelon Pancake Sandwiches. Design a homemade menu card, and throw in an arrangement of her favorite blooms for a finishing touch.
For additional recipes and brunch ideas, visit www.watermelon.org.
Watermelon's Many Benefits
Just like mom, watermelon is a sweet and wonderful thing. Mom always told you to finish your fruits and vegetables, but did you know that watermelon boasts immunity benefits? Here are some of the perks for eating this juicy treat:
Vitamin A - This vitamin is known to promote eye health, while boosting immunity through the enhancement of white blood cells.
Vitamin B6 - Boosts the immune system by maintaining normal nerve function and forming red blood cells.
Vitamin C - Protects immune system against infections, viruses and harmful free radicals that accelerate aging and other conditions.
Potassium - A two-cup serving of watermelon also contains potassium, an essential mineral that maintains water balance in every cell.
Mother's Day brunch wouldn't be complete without a fabulous serving of fresh fruit. These recipes include the summertime goodness of watermelon for a sweet addition sure to make mom smile.
Breakfast Six Layer Trifle
Serves: 8 to 12
- 3 cups organic fat free vanilla yogurt
- 2 cups low fat natural granola
- 4 cups watermelon, minced
- 3 cups organic fat free peach yogurt
- 2 cups organic crisp rice cereal
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- Spread the vanilla yogurt over bottom of deep glass casserole or trifle dish. Layer remaining ingredients in order listed above in even layers over vanilla yogurt.
Chunky Watermelon Lemonade
Serves: 2 to 3
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup raw sugar (or to taste)
- 2 cups seedless watermelon puree
- 1 fresh lemon, sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon flesh
- In half-gallon pitcher with lid, mix 1 cup of water with sugar until completely dissolved. Stir in rest of water, watermelon puree, sliced lemon, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir to mix well and chill thoroughly. Stir in 2 cups of chopped watermelon before serving.
Watermelon Pancake Sandwiches
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 8 silver dollar size (3 to 4-inch) natural blueberry pancakes homemade or prepared, warm
- 4 slices seedless watermelon, same size as pancakes
- Spread syrup over one side of each pancake. Place slice of watermelon on the syrup brushed side of 4 of the pancakes. Top the watermelon with other 4 pancakes, syrup side down. Serve immediately.
Watermelon Waldorf Salad
Serves: 4 to 6
- 2 cups cubed watermelon (1/2-inch cubes)
- 1/2 cup celery, sliced
- 1/2 cup seedless red grape halves
- Dash of salt
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
- Stir together watermelon, celery, and grapes in bowl. Just before serving, stir salt into yogurt for dressing. (Add water to thin, if necessary.) Pour dressing over fruit; stir until coated. Sprinkle with almonds.
(Family Features) Pamper mom on her special day with a wonderful brunch that all the kids can help make.
- Spiced Granola Pancakes include applesauce as a healthy substitution for fat in this recipe.
- Burrito Bites make a simple appetizer that is easy for kids to assemble. No cooking is required!
- Using a store-bought angel food cake makes preparation of this luscious Angel Sherbet Cake simple. It's low in calories and fat and is as pretty as it is delicious.
- Wheat Berry Tuna Salad is a tasty way to enjoy wheat berries. Wheat berries provide the nutritional benefits of the whole grain and are an excellent source of dietary fiber.
- Round out the brunch with favorite salads, side dishes and some fresh fruit. Follow that with lots of love, hugs and kisses!
Please visit the Wheat Foods Council's Web site at www.wheatfoods.org to order this cookbook or to find additional recipes.
Angel Sherbet Cake
Prep time: 30 minutes
Freeze time: at least 1 hour or until hard
Yields: 10 servings
- 1 pint raspberry sherbet
- 1 pint lime sherbet
- 1 Angel Food Cake loaf (store bought, approximately 7 x 3 inches)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream or 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Line two bread pans, approximately the same size as the angel food cake, with plastic wrap. Soften sherbet. Scoop lime sherbet into one pan and raspberry sherbet in the other. Spread sherbet with a metal spatula dipped in hot water. Sherbet should be approximately 1/2 inch deep. Refreeze sherbet in pans for at least 1 hour or until hard.
- Trim edges of angel food cake with a serrated knife to even them; cut cake into three lengthwise slices.
- Remove frozen lime and raspberry sherbet from freezer. Alternate layers, cake, sherbet, cake, sherbet and cake. Cut off any oversized sherbet or cake to ensure that cake and sherbet are even on all sides of the cake. Refreeze until solid; can be frozen up to 3 days if wrapped well in plastic wrap.
- Before serving, prepare cake topping by whipping the cream until very thick. Add sugar and lemon juice and whip mixture until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream on cake. Refreeze cake until ready to serve.
- Remove cake from freezer and let soften 5 to 10 minutes. Slice with an electric knife. If desired, place cake slices on pools of strawberry or raspberry sauce and top with a lemon twist and mint leaves.
Wheat Berry Tuna Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 to 90 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
- 1 cup wheat berries
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
- 2 cans Albacore tuna packed in water, drained
- 2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup Italian dressing
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Place wheat berries, water and salt in a sauce pan and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes until tender when you bite down on them.
- Drain well and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, toss together with the remaining ingredients. Serve chilled.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 tortilla roll-up
- 4 (9-inch) whole wheat tortillas
- 6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter or reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 cup fresh spinach or torn romaine leaves
- 1 large stalk celery, cut into thin 3- to 4-inch sticks (12 sticks total)
- 1/2 cup carrots, shredded or matchstick
- 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt or low-fat ranch dressing (optional)
- Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter or reduced-fat cream cheese on each tortilla, leaving 1 inch of clean space at the top edge of each tortilla. Layer spinach leaves on top of peanut butter. Place three celery sticks across the middle on top of the spinach; sprinkle with shredded carrot.
- Keeping the clean edge at the top, roll tortillas up tightly from the bottom, folding in the sides after the first roll. Wrap each burrito tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove plastic wrap. Cut each roll into 1/2-inch slices, inserting a toothpick into the burrito before each cut is made.
- Serve with yogurt or ranch dressing.
Spiced Granola Pancakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yields: 12 servings
Serving size: 1 pancake
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 tablespoon fat-free vanilla yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low-fat granola
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In large bowl, combine milk, applesauce, yogurt, eggs and orange peel. In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.
- Heat nonstick griddle to 350°F. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto hot griddle. Cook each side until puffed and dry around edges. Turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until golden brown.
Better-for-you snacks kids will love
(Family Features) Kids love to snack. But left to their own devices, most kids don't always make the healthiest snack choices. A new study of long-term eating patterns in children, from researchers at the University of North Carolina, shows that kids today are getting nearly one-third of their daily calories from unhealthy snacks such as chips, crackers and candy.
Nutritious and delicious snacks are as close as your produce aisle. Watermelon is practically a multivitamin unto itself - and its natural sweetness is something kids love.
Did You Know?
- A 2-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6 and C.
- Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health.
- Vitamin B6 found in watermelon is used by the body to manufacture brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic.
- Vitamin C in watermelons can help to bolster your immune system's defenses against infections and viruses, and is known to stimulate the immune system and protect against free radical damage.
- A 2-cup serving of watermelon is also a source of potassium, a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell. People with low potassium levels can experience muscle cramps. A 2-cup serving has less than 10 percent of the daily reference value for potassium.
Try these fun recipes as after-school and post-activity snacks. For more kid-friendly recipes and healthy eating tips, visit www.watermelon.org.
Send some healthy lunch munchies to school - watermelon chunks are an easy way to brighten up a sack lunch and give kids a tasty nutritional boost in the middle of the day.
Healthy Eating Tips
Healthy eating habits start at home. One of the best things you can do for your kids is to be a role model for smart food choices. Here are some simple things you can do to help your kids develop healthy lifelong habits.
- Shop for food together and take time to examine, discuss and select fruit and vegetables that catch your child's eye. Allow your child to help you to prepare these healthful foods. For example, let your child use a melon-baller to create melon balls from watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew to create a festive, nutritious and visually appealing dessert.
- Make healthy snacks available at all times for your children by keeping the fridge filled with flavorful, nutrient-rich treats such as grapes, cherries, carrots and watermelon cubes.
- Simple changes are easier for your child to get used to. Try switching from full fat milk to non-fat milk, serving sherbet, sorbet, ice milk or fruit juice bars, or adding fresh fruit to his or her cereal in the morning.
- Serve your children colorful, deeply pigmented plant food. These foods tend to offer tremendous nutritional value. For example, red peppers, carrots, broccoli, oranges and watermelon are all packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
- Start each day with breakfast, preferably fruit with low-fat yogurt or granola. Make a fruit smoothie by blending watermelon cubes and a banana with crushed ice.
Makes 6 servings
- 1-inch cubes of seedless watermelon
- Smoked turkey breast
- Cheddar cheese
- Coffee stirrers or beverage straws
- Cut watermelon, turkey and cheese in cubes and skewer on stirrers or straws.
Serves 6 to 8
- 12 to 16 1/2-inch thick watermelon triangles with 3-inch sides
- 2 cups Greek vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A few drops almond extract
- 1 cup Craisins
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Arrange the watermelon triangles on a serving platter or glass cake stand. Mix yogurt with extracts and spoon yogurt over the watermelon in the fashion of nacho cheese sauce. Sprinkle craisins, white chocolate chips, and almonds over the yogurt and dust with cinnamon.
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Watermelon sticks or small wedges
- Blend together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small serving bowl. Use as a dip for the watermelon.
Watermelon Cut Outs
- Seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices
- Granola or similar cereal
- Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut shapes out of watermelon slices. Frost with vanilla or other flavored yogurt. Sprinkle with granola.
Watermelon Berry Slush
Makes 6 servings
- 4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
- 1 10-ounce package frozen raspberries
- 1 12-ounce bottle sparkling mineral water
- Place watermelon in a single layer in shallow pan; freeze until firm. Remove from freezer and let stand 5 minutes. Drop watermelon through food chute of a food processor or blender with the motor running. Add frozen raspberries alternately with mineral water, processing until smooth.
Watermelon Jelly Logs
Makes 6 servings
- 6 3-inch x 2-inch x 5-inch watermelon rectangles
3 flavors all fruit or low sugar preserves
6 ginger, molasses or peanut butter cookies
- Using a melon baller, cut 3 divots into a long side of each watermelon rectangle. Fill each divot with a different all-fruit or low-sugar preserve. Serve each rectangle with a cookie.
Source: National Watermelon Board
(Family Features) Get out your ramekins and fill them up with layers of ricotta cheese, four-berry compote and pistachios topped with granola. This tasty treat is perfect for breakfast or even as a sweet ending to dinner. Either way you serve it can leave your taste buds feeling happy.
For more recipes, visit culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!
Ricotta with Four-Berry Compote, Pistachios and Granola
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ricotta cheese
- pistachios, chopped
- In small sauce-pan, combine water, sugar, berries, lemon juice and salt. Bring to boil then simmer 20 minutes or until compote reduces and coats spoon. Cool to room temperature.
- Layer bowl with ricotta cheese, berry compote and pistachios. Repeat layers then top with granola. Serve immediately.
Note: If making ahead, add granola before serving.
Recipe adapted from MilkMeansMore.org
(Family Features) On top of being tasty, certain foods contain specific nutrients and natural compounds that may help fight inflammation, a condition linked to arthritis and gout. With that in mind, try heading to the fridge or pantry the next time you feel joint pain, swelling or stiff knees.
Colorful fruits and vegetables, including ruby red tart cherries and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, are among the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods, along with oily fish (salmon, sardines and scallops), nuts, seeds and whole grains. Ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and olive oil may also help combat inflammation.
For an inflammation-fighting boost, Montmorency tart cherries contain the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food,” according to research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University. Results show that cherry intake can help reduce blood levels of gout-causing uric acid and reduce the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis. Research also shows that Montmorency tart cherry juice can reduce post-exercise inflammation and muscle pain.
“For decades, people with arthritis and gout have consumed tart cherry juice for pain relief. Now there’s scientific evidence to back up this popular folklore remedy,” said registered dietitian Michelle Babb, author of “Anti-Inflammatory Eating Made Easy.” “Since Montmorency tart cherries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, a potent type of flavonoid, they can offer a natural way to help ease the pain related to arthritis and gout.”
To help fight inflammation with food, try this recipe for Bay Scallop, Baby Kale and Corn Salad with Tart Cherry Granola, which is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients. Learn more about the research on Montmorency tart cherries and inflammation, and find more recipes, at choosecherries.com.
Bay Scallop, Baby Kale and Corn Salad with Tart Cherry Granola
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 1 salad
- 1/3 cup oats
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons buckwheat groats
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1/4 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dried Montmorency tart cherries
- 2 tablespoons Montmorency tart cherry juice
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 10 ounces baby kale
- 1 grilled ear of corn, kernels sliced off
- 1 cup sprouts (alfalfa or microgreens)
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces bay scallops, patted dry
- To make savory granola: Heat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat.
- In large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds, buckwheat groats and pepitas. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper.
- Pour wet ingredients into large bowl and toss until well combined.
- Spread mixture onto baking sheet in single layer and bake 18-20 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until granola starts to turn golden brown and crispy around edges.
- Remove from oven, add cherries, toss to combine, spread into single layer and let cool.
- To make dressing: In food processor, process shallot, olive oil, cherries, cherry juice, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper until smooth.
- To make salad: Place kale, corn kernels and sprouts in large bowl; set aside.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Once hot, add scallops and cook until golden and starting to caramelize on one side. Flip and repeat on other side.
- Add scallops to large salad bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss until well combined.
- Break up granola into small pieces and add to salad bowl. Toss lightly before serving.
Source: Cherry Marketing Institute
(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.
(Family Features) Whether you’re a casual exerciser, a professional athlete or just looking for a nutritious breakfast, kick off your day with protein-packed recipes.
As an expert in the nutritional needs of professional athletes, Megan Chacosky, chef and registered dietitian for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, stresses the importance of protein in any fitness enthusiast’s diet. Protein helps build, maintain and repair muscles while increasing energy and endurance, which can help strengthen the body and avoid injuries. Adding a protein beverage like Rockin’ Protein, made from fresh Shamrock Farms milk with up to 30 grams of protein per serving, into healthy breakfast recipes is one way to increase the protein level and nutritional benefits of your breakfast.
These recipes are quick to prep for grab-and-go mornings to start your day with proper nutrition. To learn more, visit rockinprotein.com.
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) Chocolate Rockin’ Protein Builder
- 12 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup oil
- 2 cups roasted hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 325° F.
- In large bowl, combine protein builder, rolled oats, maple syrup, oil, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds; mix until oats, hazelnuts and seeds are coated. On baking sheet, spread granola in thin layers and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
- Cool completely then sprinkle in chocolate chips and serve with yogurt, on smoothie bowl or as cereal.
Nutritional information per serving: 295 calories; 32 g carbohydrates; 7.5 g protein; 16 g fat; 6 g sugar.
Blueberry Cornbread Muffins
Servings: 12 muffins
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Vanilla Rockin’ Protein Builder
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Heat oven to 400° F. Line muffin tin with 12 paper or foil muffin liners and set aside.
- In medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; once mixed, toss in blueberries to coat.
- In separate bowl, combine egg, protein builder, oil and lemon juice. Pour liquid ingredients into dry mix and stir until just combined. Divide into lined muffin tins and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Nutritional information per serving: 245 calories; 25 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 15 g fat; 6 g sugar.
Source: Rockin’ Protein
(Family Features) A commitment to eating better-for-you foods and living a healthier lifestyle in the new year doesn’t need to break the bank.
To help achieve a more nutritious routine without blowing your budget, consider a one-stop shop like ALDI for high-quality, affordable ingredients to incorporate into better-for-you recipes. Plus, it carries the foods and ingredients to fit nearly any dietary lifestyle and budget – including a wide variety of options for plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free diets.
Start the year with a clean slate and make practical, better-for-you eating goals with these recipes for main courses, sides, desserts and kid-friendly meals and snacks. Find more nutritious eating solutions and recipes at ALDI.us.
Harvest Breakfast Skillet – This hearty meal can be enjoyed any time of day. Combining fresh vegetables, eggs and sweet potatoes with diced quinoa crunch veggie burgers, this skillet puts a new spin on breakfast for dinner.
Crunchy Fish Bites – For a kid-friendly dish adults can enjoy as well, these crunchy fish bites feature breaded tilapia with a flavorful mustard-yogurt sauce that can win over nearly any crowd – including picky eaters.
Cauliflower-Quinoa Pizza – With the right ingredients, even pizza can help you attain your health goals in the new year. To create a healthier pizza option the whole family can enjoy, swap out the standard crust for a cauliflower-based version to cut down on carbs without sacrificing flavor.
Fresh Avocado Pasta – This pasta requires just four ingredients along with an easy-to-make, creamy sauce perfect for the entire family to enjoy. Avocado lends a colorful hue to this kid-friendly main course.
Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries – Skip the fried snacks and go for this better-for-you version of breaded veggies. A simple breading and just 15 minutes in the oven put a crunchy, guilt-free, crispy side dish on the table.
Soft-Baked Granola Cups – Topped with a dollop of strawberry yogurt and fresh berries, these granola cups are ideal for breakfast or as an after-school snack. They’re perfect to make ahead of time – just store the premade cups in an airtight container and add toppings before serving. Fun tip: Let your child decorate his or her own cups.
Cocoa Mocha Oatmeal Cookies – A mocha drizzle makes these oatmeal cookies stand out among healthier dessert options. After 15 minutes in the oven, you’re left with a delightful treat that doesn’t send your diet down the drain.
Chocolate Mug Cake – A better-for-you dessert, these miniature cakes made in mugs can be on the table in just 3 1/2 minutes. Simply combine a short list of ingredients, mix in your microwave-safe mug and pop it in the microwave for a quick, chocolaty snack.