(Family Features) Add a special touch this holiday season with simple yet stunning small plates that add beauty and flavor to gatherings with friends and family.
Available into January, California grapes offer a way to make the season special as an ingredient in your favorite recipes or as decoration for a festive centerpiece. Pops of red, green and black provide a seasonal touch and they’re perfect as an easy, fresh, healthy snack.
Plus, you can dip grapes in nut butter and finish with coatings of coconut, dark chocolate and almonds to make these Peanut Butter Grape Bites for a holiday treat that’s simply divine – without spending hours in the kitchen.
Visit grapesfromcalifornia.com to find more holiday recipe inspiration.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Peanut Butter Grape Bites
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 12 pieces
12 California grapes, chilled
1/3 cup natural peanut or almond butter
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup chopped almonds
Place sheet of wax paper on baking sheet. Dip each grape in nut butter to coat half then dip in either coconut, dark chocolate or chopped almonds. Transfer to sheet then chill until ready to serve.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 70 calories; 2 g protein; 4 g carbohydrates; 5 g fat (64% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (19% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 25 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.
(Culinary.net) If you ever find yourself craving something healthy and easy to make, you’re not alone. Maybe you are constantly on the go, chasing after little ones or just started a new job. Whether you’re on the move or relaxing at home, smoothies are a simple way to add nutritious ingredients to your diet.
From strawberries and mangos to blueberries and more, there are almost limitless smoothie options. You can use different combinations of greens and textures or even add something savory like peanut or almond butter.
This Blueberry Banana Smoothie is simple with just a couple basic directions and gives you the energy you need to finish out your day strong.
It has 1 cup of spinach, which is full of iron and vitamins, frozen bananas and blueberries to fill up your fruit intake for the day and berry yogurt to add a hint of dairy and some sweetness to your drink.
Garnish your finished product with fresh blueberries for some extra flair. With chia seeds for added texture, this smoothie is perfect for breakfast or even an afternoon snack.
Find more healthy recipes at Culinary.net.
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Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Blueberry Banana Smoothie
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar blend
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1/2 cup bananas, frozen
- 1/2 cup blueberries, frozen
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1/2 cup berry yogurt
- fresh blueberries, for garnish (optional)
- In blender, blend spinach, water, apple cider vinegar, almond butter, frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger and yogurt until smooth.
- Pour into two glasses and garnish with fresh blueberries, if desired.
(Family Features) Fun in the summer sun can mean anything from poolside play and outdoor exercise to simply relaxing in the shade. While these activities make the season special for people of all ages, the heat also leads to the inevitable: sweat.
Electrolytes, critical for the human body to function, are lost via sweat throughout the day. Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, helps keep you hydrated. However, adding 100% orange juice to your diet can help replace those lost electrolytes in addition to aiding hydration. According to a study published in the “Journal of Nutrition and Health Sciences,” drinking 100% orange juice following exercise contributes to hydration equally as well as water and sports drinks, making the beverage a viable alternative for recovery.
“Electrolytes include nutrients such as potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, scientific research director at the Florida Department of Citrus. “In fluids, these nutrients carry an electric charge, which allows muscles to contract and nerves to transmit signals, and are critical for the human body to function. Plain water contains few if any electrolytes, so you must replace lost electrolytes by consuming foods or beverages that contain these nutrients. Drinking fluids that contain both water and electrolytes, such as 100% orange juice, may help support hydration.”
In fact, 100% orange juice contains about 90% water and can contribute to overall water intake. With no added sugar, it’s an ideal way to support hydration by drinking it on its own or by adding it to recipes like this Healthy Broccoli Salad with Miso Orange Dressing or Pineapple Orange Smoothie.
Consider these major electrolytes found in orange juice:
- Potassium: The major electrolyte within all cells, it helps balance fluid in the body with a strong relationship to sodium, the major electrolyte in the blood and outside the cells. Potassium is especially important for regulating heart rhythm and function. An 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice provides 10% of the recommended daily value for potassium.
- Magnesium: The fourth-most abundant mineral in the body and essential in the regulation of muscle contraction, cardiac excitability, blood pressure and other vital processes. An 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice contains 6% of the recommended daily value for magnesium.
- Calcium: Found in fortified varieties of orange juice, calcium plays an important role in muscle contraction, nerve transmission and the contraction and relaxation of the cardiovascular system. As an excellent source of calcium, an 8-ounce serving of fortified orange juice provides 30% of the recommended daily value.
Visit floridajuice.com to find more recipes that aid in summer hydration.
Healthy Broccoli Salad with Miso Orange Dressing
- 2 heads broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 cups purple cabbage, chopped
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
Miso Orange Dressing:
- 1 cup Florida Orange Juice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons miso
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 shallot
- To make salad: In bowl, toss broccoli, cabbage, raisins, almonds and green onions.
- To make miso orange dressing: In food processor or blender, pulse orange juice, canola oil, miso, almond butter and shallot until smooth.
- Pour dressing over salad, tossing to coat. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.
Pineapple Orange Smoothie
- 1 cup Florida Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup plain almond milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 scoop walnuts
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 2-3 ice cubes
- 1 scoop plain protein powder (optional)
- In large blender, blend orange juice, almond milk, frozen banana, frozen pineapple, turmeric, walnuts, cayenne, ice cubes and protein powder, if desired, until smooth.
- Portion into two small glasses.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
(Family Features) With a lot of parents facing the challenge of keeping housebound kids happy and healthy, this is the perfect time to teach kids the basics of nutrition and eating right.
Consider these simple suggestions from Melanie Marcus, MA, RD, health and nutrition communications manager for Dole Food Company.
- Healthy Snack Time Taste Tests – Sometimes it feels like kids can snack all day long on easy-to-grab crackers, chips or cookies. Next time they reach into the snack pantry, try incorporating a taste test or food critic activity to encourage something different and more nutritious.
- Purposeful Playtime – Many households have a play kitchen or some kind of play food. Use this as an opportunity to act out how to create a healthy kitchen with activities like making salad, setting the table, peeling bananas and washing dishes. This can help young children become more independent, learn what to expect and grow into little helpers at family mealtime.
- Sensory Activity – One idea that can work for school and at home is making a sensory box. Simply place a fruit or two inside a tissue box and have children put their hands inside then try to guess which fruit it is by feeling it.
- Recipes for Fun – If you’re preparing a meal, it could be a good time to teach children of reading age how to review a recipe. Evaluating ingredients to learn how food transforms from raw to cooked or how a dish is created can help kids learn kitchen skills. For example, try this fun, fruity recipe for Kids with Almond Toast.
- Food Groups Focus – Get kids involved in making dinner by setting a rule that each food group must be represented. Give them a warmup activity by asking which food groups are found in family favorites like chicken soup, lasagna or meatloaf. Asking kids to guess which ingredients are used in these dishes and identifying which food group each ingredient belongs to can help them understand dietary balance. Find more at-home tips in the free, downloadable Healthy Eating Toolkit from the nonprofit organization Action for Healthy Kids.
- Reading Time – From food labels to children’s books to cookbooks, there are plenty of reading materials to choose from that reinforce healthy eating habits. Exposing children to fruits and vegetables outside the kitchen is a subtle way to show that nutritious ingredients are part of everyday life.
- Explain the Bathroom Routine – Make sure to wash hands and explain that this is a way of washing away germs to stay healthy. Also explain why brushing teeth is important by reminding children that food can get stuck in teeth and cause cavities.
“Kids” with Almond Toast
Total time: 10 minutes
- 4 slices whole-grain bread
- 6 tablespoons unsalted almond butter
- 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
- 1 DOLE® Banana, peeled
- 2 Dole Strawberries, trimmed and halved
- 4 chunks (1 1/2 inches) fresh Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple
- 2 Dole Blackberries
- 2 teaspoons toasted flaxseed (optional)
- Toast bread slices. Spread with almond butter and drizzle with honey, if desired.
- To make “kids”: Cut eight slices and 32 matchsticks from banana. Arrange one strawberry half and one pineapple chunk on two slices toast; arrange remaining strawberry halves and blackberries on remaining slices. Place one banana slice “head” at top of each piece of fruit and arrange four banana matchsticks around each “kid” for arms and legs. Sprinkle flaxseed along bottom edges of toast under kids’ feet, if desired.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (mother and daughter)