Create kid-friendly meals using canned foods
(Family Features) Back-to-school season means busy schedules filled with extracurricular activities, homework and carpools. It can be challenging to find quality time to spend with loved ones, let alone get a wholesome, homemade meal on the table.
A simple way to create more moments with your family and still serve up nutritious and delicious dinners is to make sure you have canned foods on-hand.
According to a study published in “Nutrients,” a pantry stocked with canned produce helps adults and kids eat more nutrient-rich foods, leading to healthier overall diets. Canned foods also help cut down on meal prep, so you spend less time in the kitchen and more time together with your family doing the things you love.
“As a busy mom, canned foods are my secret weapon in the kitchen and ensure that I always have the makings of a nutritious meal for my family all year long, and especially when the kids are back in school,” said Holley Grainger, registered dietitian and mother of two. “Fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested at the peak of ripeness and canned within only four hours after being picked, sealing in their nutrition and flavor. So, I know I have year-round access to my family’s favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables right in my pantry.”
Canned foods also make it easy to get the kids involved in the kitchen, with recipes like Pumpkin Mac and Cheese or Hearty Chickpea Vegetable Soup, so you can help build a positive connection to healthy eating for your children. Plus, the family can “go green” and recycle the cans after they’re used; in fact, cans are the most recycled food and beverage containers in America.
For more flavorful recipes, and to learn more about the benefits of cooking with canned foods, visit CansGetYouCooking.com.
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces rotini or medium shell pasta
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- Grease 1 1/2-quart baking dish. In 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and milk; cook until mixture is thickened and smooth. Stir in pumpkin, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Remove from heat; whisk in cheeses until smooth. Stir in cooked pasta; toss to mix well. Spoon into baking dish.
- Melt remaining butter; stir in breadcrumbs to coat well. Sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and mixture is golden.
Hearty Chickpea Vegetable Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 cans (14 3/4 ounces each) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1 medium squash)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) sliced carrots, drained
- 3 cups kale, coarsely chopped
- In 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook onion and garlic until just softened, stirring frequently. Stir in cumin; cook 1 minute.
- Add broth, water, butternut squash and salt. Over high heat, heat to boil.
- Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes until squash is tender.
- Add garbanzo beans, carrots and kale. Continue to simmer about 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Source: Can Manufacturers Institute
(Family Features) When it comes to eating, it can be difficult to find foods that kids can enjoy while also introducing them to valuable nourishment and health principles.
Instead of giving in to ice cream for every meal or forcing children to eat something their taste buds don’t agree with, there are tasty recipes like Chicken Noodle Soup, Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast and Flower Salad that can quench their appetites without giving up nutritional value. These fun recipes can give kids a chance to help in the kitchen, learning important life skills while spending quality time with family.
To find more fun, kid-friendly recipes that include both taste and nourishment, visit culinary.net.
The Classic Kid-Favorite
When mealtime hits and bellies start growling, turn to a classic to keep your kids full and satisfied. Chicken Noodle Soup has always been a favorite among children, so keep tradition alive in your family with this scrumptious recipe. For more delicious chicken recipes, visit eatchicken.com.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Recipe courtesy of National Chicken Council
- 1 chicken (3 pounds), liver discarded
- 2 1/2 quarts cold water
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 onions, peeled
- 2 celery stalks with leaves, cut into 4 pieces
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup small pasta, cooked
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- To prepare broth: In large pot over high heat, bring chicken and all remaining broth ingredients to boil. Reduce heat to low; skim surface of broth to remove foam. Let simmer 1 1/2 hours, skimming occasionally, and turning chicken. Add more water if necessary to keep chicken submerged.
- Remove chicken with tongs and cool. Strain broth through fine sieve. Discard celery, herbs and spices. Reserve onions and carrots. Remove any excess fat from top of broth with spoon.
- Pull chicken meat from bones and discard skin and bones. Dice chicken and reserve. Quarter cooked onions, if desired.
- To prepare soup: In large pot over high heat, return strained chicken broth and bring to rolling boil. Add reserved onions and carrots. Reduce heat to low; stir in reserved chicken meat, pasta and frozen peas, cooking until warm. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with dill and parsley.
Connect Kids with Food for Healthy Habits
More than nine in 10 millennial moms think it's important for their kids to learn about where their food comes from, and more than three-quarters of those moms actively do things with their kids to help learn just that, according to recent findings.
Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cite for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to research conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Cuties – the sweet little clementines. Even when the weather is colder outside, recipes like this Flower Salad can help encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.
For more kid-friendly recipe ideas and content exploring where food comes from, visit cutiescitrus.com/our-story.
Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
- 1 Cuties clementine
- 9-10 thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 grape tomato
- 1 celery stick, cut to 3 inches
- 2 small leaves romaine lettuce
- 1 piece English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut to 1 1/2 inches then thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Peel clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving attached at the base. Place on plate with base down. Place piece of red bell pepper between each citrus section, and half tomato in center to form flower.
- Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.
- In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.
- Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices.
Nutritional information per serving: 76 calories; 0.5 g total fat; (0.3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g poly fat); 4 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium.
A Memorable Morning Meal
Whether it’s before school or after sleeping in on a Saturday morning, breakfast is a popular meal for children of all ages. Next time you and your family rise and shine, go with this recipe for Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast to keep the whole gang happy. Find more kid-friendly recipes for every meal at nutrition.gov.
Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast
Recipe courtesy of the USDA
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread
- 1 teaspoon soft margarine
- 4 teaspoons light pancake syrup
- In flat-bottomed bowl, crack eggs. Thoroughly whisk in milk and cinnamon. Dip bread slices, one at a time, into egg mixture, wetting both sides. Re-dip, if necessary, until all egg mixture is absorbed into bread.
- Meanwhile, heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add butter. Place dipped bread slices in skillet. Cook 2 1/2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown.
- Drizzle with syrup. Serve when warm.
Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 8 g total fat; (3 g saturated fat); 10 g protein; 19 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 215 mg cholesterol; 250 mg sodium.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Chicken soup photo and French toast photo)
(Family Features) School is back in session, and so are hectic weeknights with little time to cook dinner. Instead of reaching for ready-made meals or takeout, serve up tasty one-pot dinners made with wholesome ingredients like spaghetti squash and quinoa. These seven kid-friendly recipes bring everything together in a single baking dish or skillet, so there's less prep and clean up, and more time for reconnecting around the dinner table.
Source: McCormick Spice
(Family Features) From the celebrity on TV to your coworker at the watercooler, everyone is talking about turmeric. That’s because scientific evidence has been building around the potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, of curcumin, a compound in turmeric. These six tempting recipes – from a morning shake to baked chicken – will quickly make turmeric the new star of your spice cabinet. Find more tips for using turmeric at McCormick.com.
(Family Features) Chilly nights are the perfect time to pull out your favorite soup or stew recipe. Settle down with a blanket while a big pot of chili simmers on the stove. Warm, hearty and flavorful, chili is a classic comfort food, and it’s easy to customize with your favorite flavor combinations. Whether you prefer it spicy or mild, with or without beans, you can develop your own signature style.
For chili connoisseurs, ground beef is usually the go-to meat, but try a new take on an old favorite by adding ground duck to your chili for something creative. Duck has the robust, red-meat texture of beef but with the lean nutritional benefits of other poultry. Farm-raised white Pekin duck has less saturated fat than beef and a mild flavor that's not considered gamey. Plus, it’s versatile and complements a variety of dishes.
Substitute duck in your favorite version of chili or try this Duck Chili. Like many chili recipes, this one tastes even better the next day, making it a great dish to make ahead of time and reheat when needed.
Find other duck recipes and more information about cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
- 2 tablespoons Maple Leaf Farms Rendered Duck Fat, divided
- 2 pounds Maple Leaf Farms All Natural Ground Duck
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin, divided
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, minced (remove seeds to reduce heat, if desired)
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and chopped
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 24 ounces dark beer
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 28 ounces canned tomatoes
- 24 ounces canned great northern beans, drained
- 8 ounces canned whole kernel corn, drained
- hot sauce, to taste
- sour cream (optional)
- shredded cheese (optional)
- chopped scallions (optional)
- fresh cilantro, rough chopped (optional)
- In large pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon duck fat. Add ground duck; sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste, and 1 tablespoon cumin.
- Cook meat until just slightly browned, stirring occasionally to break into small pieces. Remove duck from pot and set aside.
- Return pot to medium-high burner and add remaining duck fat. Add onion, garlic, jalapenos and red peppers to pot and saute 3 minutes, stirring so garlic doesn't burn. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and remaining cumin. Saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add beer and stock to pot. Stir, scraping up bits from bottom of pot. Add tomato paste and mix well. Add tomatoes and duck then bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour.
- Stir in beans, corn and hot sauce. Cook uncovered 30 minutes, or until chili is thick.
- Serve in bowls with optional toppings: sour cream, cheese, scallions and cilantro.
Note: Vegetable oil can be substituted for duck fat.
Source: Maple Leaf Farms
(Family Features) It’s the perfect time of year for families to get back on track and pledge to eat healthy lunches for the remainder of the school year.
Families that take the free Power Your Lunchbox Pledge can access nutritious and delicious ideas for lunch, after-school snacks and weekday family dinners, as well as coupons, tips and ideas for incorporating more fruits and vegetables into lunchboxes. The pledge website also features a collection of registered dietitian-approved recipes, including warm, hearty and healthy lunches like this Alphabet Vegetable Soup and kid-friendly, build-your-own lunchbox ideas like these tasty Wonton Taco Cups.
For teachers who want to incorporate the program into their classrooms, pledge resources such as nutrition-focused lesson plans, certificates for students and take-home materials for families are also available online. Teachers who take the pledge can win a $500 gift card for classroom supplies.
Taking the pledge not only signals a commitment to making healthier meal choices, it helps those in need. From Jan. 4 through Feb. 15, for every online pledge, companies supporting the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge will donate $1 to Feeding America programs that support families and children. For more information, visit poweryourlunchbox.com.
Alphabet Vegetable Soup
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Total time: 45 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 carrots, diced
- 2 cups organic baby kale
- 8 ounces snipped green beans, chopped
- 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 quarts low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 can (14 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup alphabet pasta
- In large pot over medium heat, heat oil.
- Add carrots, kale, green beans, potato and onion. Cook 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Add broth, tomatoes, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
- Stir in pasta and cook 10 minutes, or until cooked.
Wonton Taco Cups
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Total time: 25 minutes
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium taco seasoning
- 1 Roma tomato
- 2 mini sweet peppers
- 1/4 small sweet onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 24 wonton wrappers
- 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 1 lime, juiced
- Heat oven to 350° F. Spray 24-cup mini muffin pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and return to pan. Add taco seasoning and mix well.
- Add tomato, peppers, onion and cilantro to food processor and chop until fine (or finely chop by hand). Add to ground beef and mix well.
- Line muffin pans with wonton wrappers, placing one in each cup. Add taco mixture and top with cheese. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until wontons start to brown on edges.
- Meanwhile, toss avocados with lime juice. Top each taco cup with avocado.
Source: Produce for Kids
(Family Features) As winter chills settle in, one way to warm up from the inside-out is with family meals centered around a delicious bowl of comfort food like pasta, soups and stews.
By planning your weeknight menu to include wholesome, organic foods made with no artificial flavors, artificial colors or high-fructose corn syrup, you can create hearty and flavorful dishes in the New Year that will have everyone in the family eager to dig in.
With a high quality, organic sauce in your pantry like one of the Bertolli USDA-certified Organic Pasta Sauces, available in red- and white-sauce varieties, you can quickly whip up a warming and indulgent winter dish while still keeping your resolutions to cook with more quality ingredients. For example, this recipe for Campanelle with Prosciutto and Peas uses Creamy Alfredo Sauce, made with organic cream, aged parmesan cheese and spices, is sure to become a cold-weather family favorite!
Find more recipes to kick-start taste-tempting family mealtimes through every season at Bertolli.com.
Campanelle with Prosciutto and Peas
Cook time: 10 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 12 ounces uncooked campanelle pasta
- 1 tablespoon Bertolli Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry whitewine
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1 jar (15 ounces) Bertolli Organic Creamy Alfredo Sauce
- 4 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In pot of salted water, cook pasta 2 minutes less than directed on package. Drain pasta.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and shallots. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Add wine; cook 3-4 minutes, or until most liquid has evaporated. Stir in peas, prosciutto, Alfredo sauce and cheese. Add pasta; toss gently. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes to coat pasta with sauce.
- In saucepan, bring water to boil and add eggs. Cook 6 minutes. Transfer eggs to ice water and cool before peeling.
- Top each serving with soft-set egg and black pepper.
Note: Gouda or Gruyere can be substituted for Fontina. Unpeeled, cooked eggs can be stored in refrigerator up to one week.
(Family Features) Few things go together quite like cold weather and comfort foods. However, those hearty dishes that are typically craved on blustery days are usually not classified as “healthy.”
With the right approach, though, you can put a better-for-you twist on some of your favorite dishes that can keep you cozy and satiated during the winter season. For example, you can put a grown-up twist on grilled cheese and tomato soup with this recipe for Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts.
Pairing flavorful seasonal dishes like soups and stews with a wholesome snack cracker like gluten-free, non-GMO Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Crackers can help satisfy those comfort food cravings while also contributing to a healthy lifestyle. With 20 grams of whole grains per serving, these crunchy, robust baked crackers are also cholesterol-free, allowing you to take a back-to-basics approach to your diet using simple ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors.
For other seasonal recipes, coupons, tips and nutritional information, visit crunchmaster.com.
Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 4 cups organic no-salt-added vegetable broth
- 1 can (28 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped prepared roasted red peppers
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/3 cup 35 percent heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Cheddar Cracker Melts:
- 24 Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Crackers
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Cook onion, carrot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika and chili flakes about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly softened.
- Stir in broth, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and bay leaves; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves. Let cool slightly. Transfer to blender; puree in batches until smooth. Stir in cream, remaining salt, 1 tablespoon chives and vinegar.
- To make Cheddar Cracker Melts: Heat broiler to high and position rack in center of oven. Arrange crackers on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Divide soup among six bowls. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve with Cheddar Cracker Melts.
Tip: Use mild, medium or aged cheddar cheese. Smoked mozzarella can be substituted, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 15 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 730 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 6 g protein.
(Family Features) There's almost nothing like a warm dish to help melt away the chills of winter.
Combining classic flavors and a blend of comforting spices, this Roasted Turkey and Cranberry Soup is a warm-up waiting to happen on a cold day. For a hearty breakfast option, Sweet Orange and Cranberry Muffins can feed the whole family - simply bake the flavorful pastries a day ahead then warm the morning of for a quick, hot breakfast.
If the craving for comfort food strikes when you don't have time for a home-cooked dish, consider scratch-made options available at restaurants like Sweet Tomatoes or Souplantation, where guests can find 50-foot salad bars, soups, hot pastas, freshly baked breads, muffins and desserts. It's a one-of-a-kind dining experience that allows guests the freedom to create their own wholesome meals in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Roasted Turkey and Cranberry Soup
Prep time: 15 minutes
Yield: 1 gallon
- 1 pound turkey breast meat
- 16 cups water, divided
- 8 ounces carrot, diced into 1/4-inch pieces, divided
- 8 ounces celery, diced into 1/4-inch pieces, divided
- 1/2 pound butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 cups yellow onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups white flour
- 1/2 cup turkey base
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries, diced
- Cook turkey in oven. Slice into bite size pieces. Reserve to add to finished soup.
- Heat 5 cups water to boil. Cook 4 ounces carrots and 4 ounces celery 8 minutes until soft. Strain and cool in cold water. Reserve to add to finished soup.
- Melt butter. Add garlic, onion, remaining carrots and remaining celery. Saute 5 minutes. Stir in flour and continue cooking 5 minutes on low-medium heat.
- Add remaining water and turkey base. Blend until smooth.
- Add salt, pepper, sage, marjoram, rosemary and thyme. Heat to 190° F or low simmer. Cook 10 minutes until thickened.
- Add cream, parsley, turkey meat, cranberries and cooked carrots and celery. Stir to combine. Cook on medium heat 2 minutes.
Sweet Orange and Cranberry Muffins
Yield: Approximately two dozen muffins
- 11 ounces white flour
- 3 ounces wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 7 ounces white sugar
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
- 1/2 cup whole cranberries in sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Mix flours, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined.
- Combine white sugar, buttermilk, canola oil, eggs, orange juice concentrate and orange zest. Beat to dissolve sugar.
- Mix cranberry sauce, wet mix and dry mix until thoroughly combined.
- To make sugar topping: Mix brown sugar and powdered sugar thoroughly to combine.
- Heat oven to 350° F. Spray muffin pan with quick release spray. Scoop muffins into pan.
Top each muffin with 1 teaspoon sugar topping.
- Bake approximately 15 minutes.
(Family Features) For those who are always on the go leading up to the holidays, the season can feel more like madness than merrymaking. From planning get-togethers to building out a perfect menu for the events, there can be difficulties for hosts and guests alike to ensure proper nutrition is still top of mind.
Instead of sacrificing taste or eating less, aim for simple changes that give you the energy to power through the busy season. For example, instead of opting for a carb-loaded breakfast in the morning, try a low-carb Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin, which takes just a few minutes of prep and microwave time. The quick cook time leaves you with ample opportunities to run errands or divvy up precious seconds toward other activities, while the protein can fuel you for the day ahead.
Almost nothing beats warm soup on a chilly day, and this Butternut Squash and Pear Soup provides feel-good flavor without weighing you down. Finally, when snacks are on the mind – as it tends to happen when constantly on the go – Coconut Muesli Clusters are simple to make and won’t undo the nutritious efforts you’ve made throughout the day.
This full menu of tasty recipes is part of the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats. The plan also aims to reduce levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect,” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.
An On-the-Go Energy Boost
As a hectic holiday season unfolds, it can be difficult to maintain energy while making dishes for get-togethers and keeping up with the festivities.
To stay fueled and energized throughout the season, try incorporating Atkins Plus Protein and Fiber Shakes. Sweet and creamy, they make for ideal snacks, containing 30 grams of high-quality dairy protein and 7 grams of fiber. To help ensure steady blood sugar levels, the shakes also have a low glycemic impact and are made with 20 vitamins and minerals.
Available in Creamy Milk Chocolate and Creamy Vanilla flavors, the ready-to-drink shakes provide hunger satisfaction for those who are on the go and seeking to maximize production with a busy schedule.
Find more ways to live healthier during the holidays and learn more about the benefits of a balanced, low-carb lifestyle at Atkins.com.
Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin
Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 minute
- 2 tablespoons full-fat cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons Atkins Milk Chocolate Protein Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 dash salt
- In microwave-safe mug, heat cream cheese 10-15 seconds to soften. Add egg and blend briskly using fork. Add protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; blend until smooth.
- Microwave on high 1 minute; muffin will puff up then deflate slightly once done. Remove from mug and enjoy warm.
Coconut Muesli Clusters
Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
- Olive oil spray
- 1 cup plain protein powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup whole raw pecans
- 1 cup unsweetened whole flake shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
- 1 tablespoon stevia
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- Heat oven to 350° F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, coat with olive oil spray and set aside.
- In large bowl, mix together protein powder, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pecans, coconut, chia seeds or flaxseeds, stevia, cinnamon and turmeric.
- In large skillet, combine coconut oil, peanut butter and vanilla extract; melt completely then stir in nut mixture. Turn heat off and add eggs and water, tossing well. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and spread mixture in layer about 1/2-inch thick.
- Bake 10-15 minutes until mixture starts to brown and clumps together to make clusters. Cool completely on baking sheet then store in airtight container, refrigerated, up to 1 week.
Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium (2 1/2-inch diameter) onion, chopped
- 2 pounds butternut winter squash, cubed
- 1 medium pear, sliced, plus additional, for garnish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- nutmeg (optional)
- In large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add squash, pear, curry powder, salt and white pepper; saute 3 minutes.
- Increase heat to high and add chicken broth. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low; simmer 20-25 minutes, uncovered, until cubed squash is very tender. Allow to cool about 10-15 minutes.
- In blender or food processor, puree soup in batches until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot and add lemon juice and heavy cream. Stir soup over low heat until hot. Garnish with additional sliced pears and sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Butternut Squash and Pear Soup, Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin)