Snacks 21 July 2020

Scary Good

(Family Features) Introducing kids to unfamiliar flavors doesn’t have to be a frightful experience. Getting creative and taking cues from some beloved characters may be all it takes for families to explore produce in a new way and discover how delicious, satisfying and enjoyable fresh fruits and vegetables can be.

A passion for produce may begin with America’s favorites, like bananas, apples, citrus, celery, carrots and broccoli, but that’s just the beginning.

Whether it’s their angry names and tough exteriors, or simply a fear of the unknown about taste and preparation, dozens more diverse and exotic fruits and vegetables like dragon fruit, horned melon and Brussels sprouts are often the sources of produce paranoia.

An initiative from Dole, in collaboration with Disney and Pixar’s Monsters, Inc., is helping to take the scare out of specialty fruits and vegetables and widen America’s produce horizons. That’s because, like a good book or the characters in a beloved film, you can’t judge a fruit or vegetable by its appearance; nature’s true beauty often lies within.

The campaign offers character-inspired recipes, serving suggestions, digital and social activations, family-friendly activities, fun trivia and influencer partnerships that celebrate the not-so-scary world of the planet’s more unusual fresh bounty.

One easy way to introduce new flavors is by trying a variation of a familiar fruit or veggie. For example, there are more than 500 edible banana varieties in the world. You might sample a red banana or a Manzano, or even an ice cream banana, with a taste resembling vanilla custard.

These fun and kid-friendly Green Slime Nacho Cups feature plantains, for example, a member of the banana family with a different taste and texture than everyday yellow bananas – more firm and starchy like a potato. Increase your family’s produce intake even further with a Slippery Slimy Smoothie and Chicken Stuffed Roz Heads, which call for green grapes, celery, avocados, strawberries and blueberries.

Find more recipes and other not-so-scary fun at dole.com/Disney, and follow #Dole and #DoleRecipes.

Chicken Stuffed Roz Heads

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3

  • 1          cup cubed, cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2       cup DOLE® Green Grapes, halved
  • 1/4       cup chopped Dole Celery
  • 1/3       cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2    Dole Avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 6          whole-wheat pretzel twists
  • 18        whole-wheat pretzel sticks
  • 1          Dole Strawberry, sliced
  • 3          dried, sweetened blueberries
  1. In bowl, stir together chicken, grapes, celery, yogurt, salt and pepper.
  2. Scoop three equal portions onto serving plate. Shape each into oval.
  3. Top each with upside down avocado half.
  4. Decorate each avocado half to resemble Roz’s face. Using sharp paring knife, trim each pretzel twist to create horn-rimmed glasses lens by cutting off double loop section of each pretzel twist and discarding or enjoying as snack, keeping single loop portion, which will become one lens. Two lenses are needed per Roz Head.
  5. Place two pretzel lenses on each avocado to form glasses. Add pretzel stick to each side of avocado to form arms of glasses. Push four pretzel sticks into top of each avocado to form hair. Add strawberry slice, trimmed to look like lips for her mouth, and place blueberry on lower left side of face to form mole.

Green Slime Nacho Cups

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          green starting to turn yellow DOLE® Plantain, peeled and thinly sliced on bias
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1          Dole Avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup thinly shredded Dole Purple Cabbage
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Toss plantain slices with canola oil and season with pinch of salt. On parchment paper-lined baking sheet, arrange slices in single layer with no overlapping.
  2. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until crispy and lightly golden. Cool completely and set aside.
  3. Using spoon, scoop flesh of avocado into small bowl and mash, reserving one half avocado shell. Stir mashed avocado with lime juice, garlic and remaining salt. Stir in slaw, reserving some for garnish. Scoop into reserved avocado shell and smooth top with back of spoon. Stick reserved cabbage shreds out of avocado mixture to look like hair.
  4. Serve slime nacho cups with plantain chips.

Slippery Slimy Smoothie

Prep time:10 minutes
Servings: 2 (8 ounces each)

  • 1/2       cup DOLE® Spinach
  • 1          Dole Banana, peeled and frozen
  • 1/2       cup Dole Green Grapes, frozen
  • 1/3       cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2       cup Dole Pineapple
  • 1/2       cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2       cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 5          ice cubes
  1. In blender, blend spinach, banana, grapes, cucumber, pineapple, almond milk, Greek yogurt and ice cubes until smooth.
  2. Pour smoothie into two glasses and serve.

 

©2020 Disney/Pixar (Roz)

Source: Dole

Videos 18 August 2020

Sweet and Spicy Nachos

(Family Features) When looking to guide your family toward healthier snacks, success can be as simple as rethinking the ingredients you choose to use, including your favorite produce, such as grapes.

Fresh California grapes, for example, make for an ideal snack because they are tasty, healthy, hydrating and refreshing, but grapes can also be used to make dishes that are satisfying and delicious like these Sweet and Spicy Nachos. Grapes of all colors - red, green and black - are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Plus, they are naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and contain virtually no sodium.

Find more better-for-you snack ideas at GrapesFromCalifornia.com.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Sweet and Spicy Nachos

Recipe courtesy of the California Table Grape Commission
Servings: 2

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1          tablespoon canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 2          tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 2          tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • 3          ounces baked tortilla chips (about 28 chips)
  • 1/2       jalapeno, seeded, stemmed and finely minced (optional)
  • 2          tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 4          ounces grilled chicken, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4       cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4       cup queso Cotija Mexican cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2       avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 1          cup halved California grapes
  • 3          tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oven to broil.
  2. In food processor or blender, puree chipotle pepper, barbecue sauce, lime juice and honey until smooth.
  3. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange tortilla chips in single layer.
  4. Sprinkle chips with jalapeno, if desired; onion; chicken; and Monterey Jack cheese. Drizzle with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce.
  5. Place tray in oven about 6 inches below element; broil 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, sprinkle with Cotija Mexican cheese, avocado, grapes and cilantro.

Source: California Grapes

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

Meal Ideas 28 May 2020

Support Your Immune System with Grapes

(Family Features) Boosting immune function through a healthy diet has become an important new focus for many people these days. One key dietary recommendation is to eat more fruits and vegetables each day to improve immune function and prevent heart disease and diabetes. When looking to guide your family to healthier snacks and meals or simply trying to mix up your at-home menu, success can be as simple as rethinking the ingredients you choose to use, including your favorite produce, such as grapes.

Fresh California grapes, for example, make for an ideal snack because they are tasty, healthy, hydrating and refreshing, but grapes can also be used to make good-for-you dishes that are also satisfying and delicious. Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Plus, they are naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and contain virtually no sodium.

Try recipes like Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette, Spiced Chickpeas and Grapes with Yogurt, and Cauliflower Steaks with Grapes to pair heart-healthy grapes with other nutritious ingredients and add variety and fresh appeal in the kitchen.

Visit GrapesFromCalifornia.com for more nutritious family recipes

Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette

Servings: 4

Couscous:

  • 1          cup Israeli couscous
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2       cup parsley, leaves only
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
  • 1          teaspoon salt

Chicken:

  • 2          chicken breasts (8 ounces each)
  • 1          tablespoon harissa paste
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          teaspoon salt

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4       cup green California grapes
  • 1          lemon, juice only
  • 1          preserved lemon, rind only
  • 1/4       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup red California grapes, halved
  • 1/2       cup sliced almonds, toasted
  1. To make couscous: Cook couscous in boiling salted water. Drain, rinse with cold water and combine with olive oil. Add carrots, tomatoes, parsley leaves, ras el hanout and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  2. To make chicken: Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Rub chicken breasts with harissa paste, olive oil and salt. Grill on both sides until just done. Set aside to cool. Slice into 1/4-inch slices.
  4. To make vinaigrette: In blender, puree green grapes, lemon juice, lemon rind, olive oil and cilantro until smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Toss couscous mixture with vinaigrette and portion into four bowls. Top with sliced chicken, red grapes and almonds.

Nutritional information per serving: 590 calories; 30 g protein; 44 g carbohydrates; 32 g fat (49% calories from fat); 4.5 g saturated fat (7% calories from saturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 720 mg sodium; 3 g fiber.

Spiced Chickpeas and Grapes with Yogurt

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
  • 1          cup California grapes
  • 1          tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1          teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1          teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1          pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1          cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2       garlic clove, grated
  • 2          tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2          tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
  1. In large bowl, mix chickpeas and grapes.
  2. In small skillet, warm oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mustard seeds and cover. Cook until seeds stop popping then add cumin and fennel seeds; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper flakes; pour over chickpeas and grapes. Mix well.
  3. In separate bowl, stir yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and remaining salt. Spread on serving platter and top with chickpea mixture, cilantro and scallions.

Nutritional information per serving: 220 calories; 11 g protein; 31 g carbohydrates; 6 g fat (25% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 280 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Cauliflower Steaks with Grapes

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          large head cauliflower, leaves trimmed off
  • 3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2          teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2       teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1          cup halved California grapes
  • 1/4       cup chopped Castelvetrano olives
  • 2          tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 2          tablespoons chopped, toasted pistachios
  1. Heat oven to 450 F.
  2. Cut stem off cauliflower and cut remaining head crosswise into four 1-inch-thick slices, keeping as intact as possible. Place on sheet pan and brush sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast until browned and tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Combine remaining olive oil, remaining pepper, grapes, olives, parsley and pistachios. When cauliflower is roasted, transfer to serving plates and top with grape mixture.
  4. Nutritional information per serving: 210 calories; 5 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 14 g fat (60% calories from fat); 2 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 480 mg sodium; 5 g fiber.
  5. Healthy Eating is Easy with Grapes
  6. Grapes are prized for their taste and crisp, juicy texture, but fresh grapes are also a heart-healthy, hydrating snack choice. Grapes contain more than 1,600 natural plant compounds, including antioxidants and other polyphenols, which help protect the health and function of the body’s cells. Grapes can be paired with other healthy foods to enhance flavor and nutrition, including dark leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, whole grains, legumes and lean proteins.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Videos 30 April 2020

Green Apple Waldorf Salad

(Family Features) Fresh fruits and veggies are often the flavors of spring, and you can bring them all together by celebrating National Salad Month with a homemade masterpiece.

This Steamboat Willie Green Apple Waldorf Salad, created in honor of Mickey Mouse’s 90th anniversary, is perfect for adopting a diet rich in produce with green apples, pineapple, blueberries, grapes, celery and, of course, salad greens. With all the fresh flavor, including Dole’s 50/50 Salad Blend – a robust and balanced blend of delicate baby greens and lettuces: tender baby spinach, peppery radicchio and invigorating arugula and chard – it’s an ideal recipe to honor National Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day.

Large salads like this make for a nutritious yet filling meal for the whole family and can be enjoyed nearly any time of day as a lunch, appetizer, snack or even as a main course at the dinner table.

Find more easy-to-make recipes, kid-friendly activities, inspiration for families spending time together at home and more at dole.com/at-home-resources.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Steamboat Willie Green Apple Waldorf Salad

Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 3/4       cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 2         teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 16        ounces chopped, cooked chicken
  • 1          cup chopped green apple
  • 1          cup DOLE® Blueberries
  • 1          cup Dole Red Grapes, halved
  • 1          cup chopped, fresh Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple
  • 1/2       cup Dole Celery, cut into chunks
  • 1          tablespoon freshly chopped mint
  • 1          package (5 ounces) Dole 50/50 Salad Blend
  • 1/4       cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  1. In medium bowl, stir yogurt and mustard. Stir in chicken, apples, blueberries, grapes, pineapple, celery and mint. Toss to evenly coat.
  2. Pour salad blend onto serving platter. Arrange chicken mixture on salad blend and sprinkle with pecans or walnuts, if desired.

Tips: Can be served as salad or spooned onto tortillas and rolled up for wraps. Amount of yogurt dressing can be adjusted based on personal preference.

Source:  Dole

Meal Ideas 31 October 2019

A Grape Sensation

Delicious seasonal dishes for a happy holiday

(Family Features) By incorporating versatile ingredients into your holiday cooking, you can make a vast array of tasty seasonal goodies.

For example, California grapes are abundant throughout the holiday season and add taste and visual appeal to dishes of all kinds, such as Seared Salmon with Spinach and Grapes, Grape Caprese Salad Hors d’ Oeuvres, Grapes in Rosé Wine Sauce and Wild Rice Stuffing with Grapes and Hazelnuts. Plus, they’re an easy, fresh, healthy snack to keep on-hand for hungry guests waiting for the meal. With their natural beauty, grapes can also be used to create tablescapes and centerpieces for festive holiday settings.

5 Tips for Healthier Holidays

With filling meals and tempting desserts at every corner, it can be difficult to keep nutrition in mind during the holidays. However, these simple tricks can help keep you stay on track, while still enjoying the best that the season has to offer.

  • Eat a healthy snack, like grapes with hummus and crackers, before parties to avoid arriving hungry.
  • Bring fresh fruit to potlucks and holiday parties for a crowd-pleasing, healthy offering.
  • Alternate high-calorie beverages with water.
  • Create a party platter that assembles an array of healthy nibbles, such as fresh grapes, nuts, sliced veggies with a healthy dip, seasoned popcorn and olives.
  • Practice portion control to avoid overindulging despite the bounty of homemade dishes from loved ones.

Find holiday recipe inspiration at grapesfromcalifornia.com


Seared Salmon with Spinach and Grapes

Servings: 4

  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1          teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 4          salmon steaks or fillets (6 ounces each)
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  • 3          teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1          large bunch spinach, washed and stemmed
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 2          cups red California seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2       cup dry red wine
  1. Heat oven to 325° F.
  2. In small bowl, combine salt, mustard, thyme and pepper. Drizzle salmon fillets with honey and sprinkle with seasoning. Reserve any remaining seasoning.
  3.  
  4. In nonstick skillet or saute pan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil. Brown both sides of salmon fillets over medium-high heat, about 4 minutes per side.
  5. In baking dish, toss spinach and garlic with remaining olive oil. Place browned salmon on bed of spinach, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake 8-10 minutes, or until salmon is just cooked through.
  6. In skillet used to brown salmon, over medium-high heat saute grapes 1 minute. Add wine, bring to boil and reduce quantity by half. Season sauce to taste with remaining herb mixture.
  7. Serve salmon on wilted spinach topped with grape and wine sauce.

Nutritional information per serving: 449 calories; 36 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 23 g fat; 45% calories from fat; 4.3 g saturated fat; 9% calories from saturated fat; 100 mg cholesterol; 730 mg sodium; 1,120 mg potassium; 1.6 g fiber.

Grape Caprese Salad Hors d’ Oeuvres

Servings: 24

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • high-quality, aged balsamic vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 24        decorative bamboo skewers
  • 24        red seedless California grapes
  • 24        fresh basil leaves
  • 24        small, fresh mozzarella balls
  • sea salt
  1. On serving plate or platter, drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar, as desired. Sprinkle with pepper.
  2. To assemble skewers: On each skewer, add one red grape, one small basil leaf and one ball fresh mozzarella.
  3. Lay skewers on serving platter and sprinkle with dash of sea salt.

Nutritional information per serving: 44 calories; 2.5 g protein; 1 g carbohydrates; 3 g fat; 64% calories from fat; 11 mg cholesterol; 20 mg sodium; .07 g fiber.

Grapes in Rosé Wine Sauce

Servings: 4

  • 1 1/2    cups rosé wine
  • 1/2       cup sugar
  • 1/2       vanilla bean, split
  • 1          pinch salt
  • 3          cups halved red, green or black California grapes
  1. In large skillet, bring wine, sugar, vanilla bean and salt to boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Stir in grapes and let cool.
  2. Serving suggestion: Pour warm grapes over creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream.

Nutritional information per serving: 250 calories; 0 g protein; 49 g carbohydrates; 0 g fat (0% calories from fat); 0 g saturated fat (0% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 55 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Wild Rice Stuffing with Grapes and Hazelnuts

Servings: 12

  • 2          cans (28 fluid ounces total) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1          cup wild rice
  • 4          slices bacon, diced
  • 1          tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1          large onion, diced
  • 2          stalks celery, diced
  • 1 1/2    cups button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2          cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/4       cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1          cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2          cups California seedless grapes, picked from stem and rinsed
  1. In heavy saucepan, bring chicken broth to boil. Add wild rice and stir. Cover pan and reduce heat to low. Let simmer 1 hour until rice is tender and has popped open.
  2. In frying pan over medium heat, cook bacon until almost crisp, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add butter to bacon pan then add onions, celery, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes until onions are translucent.
  4. Remove from heat and fold in parsley, hazelnuts and grapes.
  5. Add rice with any remaining liquid to frying pan and toss well to combine.

Nutritional information per serving: 166 calories; 5.4 g protein; 21 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat; 40% calories from fat; 1.4 g saturated fat; 8% calories from saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 126 mg sodium; 2.6 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Meal Ideas 31 July 2019

Back-to-School Food Fit for the Family

(Family Features) As parents and kids navigate back-to-school routines and extracurricular activities, making healthy food choices is essential to keep everyone energized and engaged. 

When it comes to selecting snacks and preparing meals, keep it simple and stock up on foods that are easy to prep and can be used in more than one way. One such food: fresh California grapes, which are abundant throughout the fall and into January. Crisp, juicy grapes can be eaten nearly anytime and anywhere, including school, the office and during after-school activities, at home or away.

Whether eaten fresh or frozen for a cool treat, grapes are a healthy, hydrating alternative to highly processed and calorie-rich foods. They can also be used as an ingredient in easy weeknight meals like California-Style Pizza, cousin to Hawaiian pizza, where fresh grapes star instead of pineapple and prepared pizza dough gives the cook a head start. Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Grapes are an easy, fun snack or dessert that kids can help prepare.

For more snack and meal inspiration, visit grapesfromcalifornia.com.

California-Style Pizza

Servings: 8

  • 1          pound prepared pizza dough
  • 3/4       cup prepared pizza sauce
  • 1 1/2    cups halved California seedless grapes
  • 1          cup diced lean ham
  • 1          cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Heat oven to 450° F.
  2. Divide dough into eight equal portions. Spread into pizza rounds on baking sheets.
  3. Spread with pizza sauce; sprinkle with grapes, ham and cheese. Bake until dough is lightly browned and cheese melted, about 12-14 minutes.

Nutritional information per serving: 220 calories; 11 g protein; 32 g carbohydrates; 6.2 g fat (24% calories from fat); 15 mg cholesterol; 573 mg sodium; 121 mg calcium; 1.4 g fiber.

Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Grapes

Servings: 6 (10 grapes per serving)

  • 60        California grapes, any color, rinsed and patted dry
  • 3/4       cup 2% vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2       cup graham cracker flour or almond flour
  1. Insert toothpick into each grape. Place yogurt in small bowl. Pour graham cracker or almond flour onto plate. Line 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Dip each grape into yogurt, coating two-thirds of grape, then dip yogurt-covered grape into desired flour to coat bottom. Place each dipped grape on baking dish; repeat until all grapes are yogurt-covered and dipped in flour. Freeze at least two hours, or until grapes are frozen solid.

Nutritional information per serving with graham cracker crumbs: 100 calories; 3 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 1.5 g fat (14% calories from fat); 0 g saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 55 mg sodium; 0 g fiber.

Nutritional information per serving with almond flour: 110 calories; 4 g protein; 14 g carbohydrates; 4.5 g fat (37% calories from fat); 0.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 15 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Meal Ideas 10 May 2019

Enjoy the Goodness of Grapes for Healthy Snacks and Meals

(Family Features) Establishing a regular pattern of healthy snacks and meals made from fresh, whole foods is essential to promoting good health. Fresh grapes always make a great snack because they are tasty, healthy and portable. Yet grapes can also be used as an ingredient to make good-for-you dishes that are just as satisfying as they are healthy.

According to an IFIC Food and Health survey, consumers are looking more and more to foods for health benefits, with cardiovascular health topping the list as the leading benefit sought. Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Plus, they are naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and low in sodium. Pairing heart-healthy grapes with other healthy ingredients – including fish, legumes, whole grains and vegetables – offers a vast array of options for nutritious make-at-home dishes.

In these recipes for Chicken Larb with Grapes, Trout with Grape and Lentil Salad, and Smashed Cucumber and Grape Salad, grapes add a juicy burst of flavor, vibrant color and crunch to deliver wholesome meals with bold flavors and fresh textures.

Go for a Grape Snack

Snacking, for many people, is a significant part of daily food consumption, thus making smart snack choices a vital part of promoting good health. According to a study conducted by Mintel, 94 percent of adults snack daily, and 55 percent of people said they snack 2-3 times per day. Grapes are a healthy and hydrating choice without the added fat, salt and sugar found in many processed snacks.

For more meal inspiration for healthy eating, visit GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

Trout with Grape and Lentil Salad

Servings: 4

  • 3/4       cup green lentils, uncooked
  • 2 1/2    cups water
  • 2          tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 1/2    cups halved red California grapes
  • 1/4       cup fresh chopped dill
  • 1/4       cup chopped walnuts
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1          tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons, olive oil, divided
  • 1          cup arugula
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 4          trout fillets (4-6 ounces each), skin on
  • 1/2       teaspoon lemon zest
  1. In medium saucepan, combine lentils with water. Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow lentils to steam 5 minutes; drain and let cool.
  2. In medium bowl, combine lentils, shallot, grapes, dill, walnuts, lemon juice, lemon zest, vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, arugula, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper, to taste; set aside.
  3. Heat oven to broil. Move rack to highest position.
  4. Sprinkle trout fillets with lemon zest, remaining salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; brush with remaining olive oil. Broil trout 4-5 minutes. Serve with lentil salad.

Nutritional information per serving:  480 calories; 40 g protein; 36 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (38% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 80 mg cholesterol; 380 mg sodium; 10 g fiber.

Chicken Larb with Grapes

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2       red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2          cups halved red California grapes
  • 2          tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1          pound ground chicken
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2       Thai chilies, thinly sliced
  • 2          teaspoons fish sauce
  • 3          tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4       cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 3          tablespoons coarsely chopped mint leaves
  • 4          cups steamed jasmine rice
  • 2          cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2          tablespoons chopped roasted and salted peanuts
  1. In medium bowl, combine onion, grapes and rice vinegar; set aside.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently until just cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stir in chilies, fish sauce, lime juice, cilantro and mint.
  3. Divide rice between four serving dishes and top with chicken, cabbage, marinated onions and grapes; sprinkle with peanuts.

Nutritional information per serving: 540 calories; 26 g protein; 65 g carbohydrates; 19 g fat (32% calories from fat); 3.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 100 mg cholesterol; 480 mg sodium; 3 g fiber.

Smashed Cucumber and Grape Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 1/4    pounds English or Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2          tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2          teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1-2       teaspoons chili oil
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1          cup halved California grapes
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2          teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  1. Using rolling pin, smash whole cucumbers lightly, just enough to break open. Tear or cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces and season with salt. Transfer to sieve and let drain 10 minutes.
  2. In large bowl, whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili oil and sesame oil; stir in grapes and scallions. When cucumbers finish draining, add to bowl with grape mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 70 calories; 1 g protein; 11 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g fat (32% calories from fat); 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 170 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Kids 12 April 2019

Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in Kids

(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
Servings: 3

  • 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
  1. In parfait glasses, layer strawberries, mandarins, pineapple, kiwis, blueberries and grapes.
  2. 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
Servings: 4

  • 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
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. 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.
  3. Divide cooked quinoa into four bowls. Top with roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes and avocado.
  4. Drizzle with dressing.

Source: Produce for Kids

Holiday 10 April 2019

Wonderful Ways to Celebrate Mom

(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
  1. 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
  1. 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

Serves: 4

  • 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
  1. 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
  1. 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.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

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