(Family Features) From backyard barbecues and family picnics to a bright addition to seasonal recipes, sweet cherries not only provide a boost of flavor but also pack a punch when it comes to nutrition, helping keep you and your family healthy during busy summer months.
Cherries can help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure as well as relieve stress and gout, and can improve sleep quality.
The perfect time to take advantage of the goodness of Northwest-grown sweet cherries is through August. Eat fresh cherries straight out of hand as a snack, bake them into a pie or pair with ice cream for a sweet summertime treat.
The rich fruitiness of sweet cherries helps blunt the sharp edge of dried fruit in a quick and easy Cherry Sauce recipe. Low in sugar and versatile, this sauce can be used as a base ingredient for cocktails, a glaze for meats, a spread for sandwiches, a topping for yogurt and more. Add some ginger or orange peel to complement your menu and you may have a new, nutritious summer favorite. Or, for a sweet, simple snack, use cherries to make an appetizer like Cherry Bruschetta.
Find more recipes and ways to use cherries at nwcherries.com.
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 4 cups fresh Northwest-grown sweet cherries
- 4 cups dried cranberries
- 4 peels (2 inches each) fresh ginger (optional)
- 3 tablespoons citrus zest (optional)
- black pepper (optional)
- fresh herbs (optional)
- raspberries (optional)
- In medium saucepot, add water, syrup and sweet cherries. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally and more frequently as sauce begins to form.
- Add cranberries; continue stirring. Once reduced, remove from heat and add fresh ginger, citrus zest, black pepper, fresh herbs and raspberries, if desired.
- Cool 30 minutes-1 hour before transferring to wider, shallow pan for speed cooling.
- Once cooled, store refrigerated in airtight container up to 2 weeks.
- 18 slices (1/2-inch thick) small baguette-style bread
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup diced yellow sweet pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Arrange baguette slices on cookie sheet and toast one side 5 minutes. Turn slices, brush with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake 5 minutes.
- Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.
- Top each baguette with thin slice cheese, 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and sprinkle of basil. Serve warm or cold.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Cherry Sauce)
Photo courtesy of Northwest Cherry Growers (Cherry Bruschetta)
Source: Northwest Cherry Growers
(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)
This Weekend, Spend the Most Important Meal of the Day with the Most Important People in Your Life
(Family Features) Baseball practices, dance rehearsals, school work, and other weekday activities often make family mealtime seem like a thing of the past.
If you’re looking for ways your family can spend more quality time together, consider bringing back breakfast this weekend.
Enjoying each other’s company and a delicious breakfast is the perfect opportunity for your family to reconnect. Use the added time weekend mornings provide to prepare a wonderful, warm meal for your family to sit down and create lasting memories. Make your morning meal a weekend tradition the whole family can look forward to all week long.
Here are some easy tips to help make breakfast a family occasion:
Make Breakfast Special – Each week, request that a family member choose a fun theme for the breakfast table. From sports teams to movie themes to favorite colors - you’ll see that the choices are endless and they can inspire creative breakfast menus.
Find Some Breakfast Helpers – Let the whole family practice their cooking skills by helping you in the kitchen. Serve foods that are easy to dress up, like Hungry Jack® pancakes. Sometimes the simple pleasure of a warm plate of pancakes is all you need to create the perfect start to your weekend mornings together.
Create Breakfast Menu Magic – The sky is the limit when you have extra time to craft a hearty breakfast, so serve a variety of foods your family will love. You can’t go wrong with breakfast classics – from fresh veggie and egg dishes to the warm, fluffy goodness of a stack of Hungry Jack pancakes. Does your family enjoy creating breakfast masterpieces? Try these Upside-Down Breakfast Stacks, made with Hungry Jack pancakes, sausage patties, cheddar cheese and eggs, for a magical take on an ordinary meal.
For more recipes and breakfast tips to bring families together on the weekends, visit www.hungryjack.com.
Upside-Down Breakfast Stacks
Yield: 6 stacks
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min
- Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 fully cooked sausage patties OR
- 6 vegetable sausage patties
- 3/4 cup Hungry Jack® Complete Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix
- 1/2 cup water
- Shredded sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheese (optional)
- Hungry Jack Original Syrup
- HEAT oven to 375°F. Coat 6 muffin cups or glass custard cups generously with no-stick cooking spray.
- DIVIDE eggs evenly into prepared muffin cups. Top with sausage patty. Whisk pancake mix and water together in medium bowl until smooth. Pour evenly over sausage.
- BAKE 14 to 16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 2 minutes. Invert onto baking sheet. Sprinkle immediately with cheese, if desired. Serve warm with syrup.
Source: Hungry Jack
(Family Features) If the way to your loved one’s heart is through the stomach, there’s no better way to start off this Valentine’s Day than with a homemade breakfast prepared with love.
Whether you’re whipping up a breakfast for a spouse with a sophisticated palate or trying to tempt the taste buds of your littlest loves, explore these ideas to get inspired.
- Red is the color of love, so build your menu around fresh strawberries or raspberries, which pair perfectly with French toast or crepes, and can even dress up a simple cereal.
- For a more sensible menu, opt for a fruity berry smoothie or a parfait layered with fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and granola. Add a hint of loving indulgence by sprinkling dark chocolate shavings on top.
- Show your affection with a plate of these colorful Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes featuring rich 100 percent cocoa, buttermilk and fresh berries. Heart-shaped cookie cutters lend a special touch to these fluffy, flavorful pancakes. Add sweet garnishes like powdered sugar and berries for a sensational way to say “I love you.”
Find more recipes you’ll love to share with your nearest and dearest this Valentine’s Day at Culinary.net.
Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes
Recipe courtesy of Nestlé
Servings: 10 pancakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons Nestlé Toll House Baking Cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk or low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring
- heart-shaped pancake cutters or cookie cutters (optional)
- butter, for garnish (optional)
- powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
- maple syrup, for garnish (optional)
- fresh berries, for garnish (optional)
- In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well.
- In separate large bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, unsalted butter, vanilla extract and food coloring. Add to flour mixture; stir to combine. Allow mixture to sit 5 minutes.
- Heat nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush with oil or butter. Add about 1/4 cup batter to skillet. Cook about 2 minutes, or until bubbles start to form on top. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes, or until bottom is lightly browned. Serve immediately with butter, powdered sugar, syrup and berries, if desired.
Tip: If using pancake or cookie cutters, be sure to coat with oil so pancakes don’t stick. Place cutters in skillet and pour batter into cutters. Remove cutters before flipping.