(Family Features) Whether it’s pumpkin spice everything, sweater weather or the anticipation of the holidays, there are many reasons to be excited about this time of year. Autumn is the perfect time to extend the warm-weather fun and celebrate with some fall-focused outdoor entertaining.
Just as the weather is changing, so can your approach to cooler weather celebrations. Try these tips to help you make the most of your fall festivities:
- There’s no need to say farewell to the outdoors just yet. Make the focal point of your party a cozy outdoor setting, such as a patio with heaters or a fire pit. Add some warm blankets and comfy pillows, and you’ll hardly notice the lower temps.
- Remember days get shorter as they grow colder, so a fall get-together may require special lighting to keep things going after the sun goes down. Fall-inspired string lights, lanterns or candles can add the perfect ambiance for a party that lasts well into the late-night hours. You can find great, affordable options online.
- While it may seem like time to swap the tiki drinks and frozen cocktails for hot toddies and spiked ciders, fall doesn’t mean you must say goodbye to warm-weather favorites. Put an autumn twist on go-to drinks by adding in fall spices. This easy mulled sangria recipe is perfect for sharing with friends at outdoor celebrations.
Find more ideas for fall entertaining at WineFix.com.
Cinnamon Mulled Sangria
Recipe courtesy of the World Wine Guys, authors of “Red Wine”
- 1 bottle Eppa Sangria
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup Licor 43 liqueur
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 strip orange peel
- 2 green apples, sliced
- In large saucepan, mix sangria, apple cider, liqueur, cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, cloves and orange peel. Bring to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, 5 minutes, or until sugar dissolves. Stir in apples and simmer additional 5 minutes. Serve warm with desired garnishes.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits
(Family Features) For many people, the New Year brings the resolve to just say no to indulgent food and drink, to inactivity and to a host of other unhealthy habits.
However, you can also approach your reset with balance and positive thinking. This can be your year to say "yes" and rework the all-or-nothing mentality, which can be a more mindful way to reach your goals.
From eating with purpose to finding healthier options for tasty meals, making small changes can help you reap rewards throughout the year. Start 2018 with a clean slate of practical and attainable eating goals that are realistic for the life you want to lead by shopping at a grocery store like ALDI, a one-stop shop with a wide selection of high-quality, affordable food choices. Whether you follow a paleo, plant-based or organic eating plan, all of the following nutritious options can be incorporated into your lifestyle and budget for less than $20:
- SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil: This trendy ingredient can elevate better-for-you recipes like this Cranberry Orange Chia Granola. You can also use it as a replacement for butter or vegetable oil because it's a versatile choice for both sweet and savory dishes.
- SimplyNature Chia Seeds: Use chia seeds to top your smoothie, overnight oats or make chia pudding in the morning for an easy way to power up the most important meal of the day. Chia seeds serve up protein, fiber and antioxidants.
- Earth Grown Black Bean or Veggie Burgers: If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or just want to join the Meatless Monday movement, black bean burgers are one option to try.
- Earth Grown Vegan Shredded Cheese: This dairy-free cheese is a tasty addition to vegan recipes.
- SimplyNature Organic Popcorn: Movie nights call for popcorn, and this organic version can quickly become a family favorite. Each serving provides 3 grams of both fiber and protein.
Part of making healthy choices includes finding quick and easy recipes. Discover how easy it is to make fresh meals at home with this better-for-you recipe and find more options at aldi.us.
Cranberry Orange Chia Granola
Recipe courtesy of Chef Linsey, ALDI Test Kitchen
- 2 1/2 cups Millville Old Fashioned Oats
- 6 ounces Southern Grove Shelled Pistachios, chopped
- 1/4 cup SimplyNature Chia Seeds
- 5 ounces Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 3/4 cup SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
- 3 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Pure Vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Stonemill Essentials Sea Salt Grinder
- Heat oven to 325 F.
- In large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, chia seeds, cranberries and orange zest. Toss until orange zest is evenly distributed.
- In separate medium bowl, combine honey, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Heat in microwave 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking in 30-second intervals until coconut oil is melted.
- Add honey mixture to oat mixture. Toss until thoroughly coated. Transfer to parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Spread into even layer and bake in center of oven 20 minutes. Stir and continue cooking until evenly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Serve with yogurt or enjoy on its own.
Note: Granola can be stored in airtight container up to 3 weeks.
(Family Features) Eating healthy as a family starts with a plan involving nutritious ingredients, and one of the easiest ways to incorporate them is through meal prepping. By organizing recipes and the ingredients you’ll need to make them ahead of time, you’re saving time in the kitchen and helping ensure your family members won’t go off-course.
Dishes like Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice and Mini Apple Pie Empanadas, ideal for a weekday family dinner and dessert, involve using fresh produce to encourage nutritious eating habits. Plus, because the recipes take little time to assemble and cook, you’ll save yourself more precious moments to spend at the table with loved ones.
These recipes are part of the “Mission for Nutrition” by Produce for Kids, an effort to raise awareness on the importance of meal planning and preparation to achieve regular healthy family eating together. In addition, partners of the program will donate 800,000 meals to families in need through Feeding America.
To find more information and recipes, and to download a free e-book including meal-planning ideas, visit themissionfornutrition.com.
Mini Apple Pie Empanadas
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 4 cups peeled, sliced Gala apples
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 12 frozen empanada shells, thawed
- 1 large egg white, beaten
- Heat skillet over low heat. Add apples, syrup, cornstarch and cinnamon. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until apples are tender.
- Line center of each empanada shell with apples; fold and use fork to press edges together and seal. Brush with egg wash.
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- Place sealed empanadas on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Tip: To make in air fryer: Heat air fryer to 375° F. Spray air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray. Add sealed empanadas and cook 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
- 1 package Green Giant Fresh Cauliflower Crumbles fried rice blend
- 1 large egg, scrambled
- In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and cook 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from skillet.
- Add cauliflower crumbles. Cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Push to edge of skillet to make hole in middle. Pour egg into center and cook, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes, or until firm. Add chicken back to pan and stir to combine.
Source: Produce for Kids
Did you know that strata is Italian for layers? So you'll be happy to know that this "strata" is packed with delicious layers, so be ready to sink your teeth into cream cheese, cranberries, cinnamon and french bread.Make this recipe the night before to allow it to chill over night and then pop it into the oven for a rich and delicious brunch. Drizzle maple syrup to sweeten it up a bit more.
Find more recipes at www.culinary.net.
Watch video to learn how to make this delicious recipe!
What you'll need:
- French Bread
- 8 ounce cream cheese
- Dried cranberries
- Maple Syrup
- Ground cinnamon
In a greased 2-quart baking dish, tear off pieces from 1/2 of the French bread and put into dish.
Cut the creamcheese into slices and place over the bread pieces.
Sprinkle the dried cranberries over the creamcheese and bread pieces.
Top cranberries with remaining broken french bread pieces.
In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, milk and maple syrup.
Pour egg and milk mixture over bread and lightly press down the bread to saturate in the liquid mixture. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Full recipe instructions below.
- 8 cups French Bread (Crusty)
- 1 8 oz package of cream cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 6 eggs
- 2 ¼ cups milk
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg
- In a greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish, arrange half of the bread pieces, about 4 cups.
- Cut cream cheese into 8-10 slices and arrange over the bread chunks.
- Sprinkle cranberries over bread chunks.
- Top with remaining bread pieces (4 cups).
- In a medium bowl beat together eggs, milk and maple syrup.
- Pour over bread in dish.
- Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
- Lightly press down with back of spoon or spatula to saturate bread with egg mixture.
- Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake covered for 45 minutes.
- Uncover then bake for 20 minutes more.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm and topped with maple syrup, if desired.
(Family Features) As you prepare to take on the day, one of the most beneficial ways to energize yourself each morning is by fueling your body with the proper nutrients, including protein.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team High-Performance Dietitian Allen Tran works with top athletes and recognizes the key role protein plays in their diets. Developed by Tran, these breakfast recipes can provide the nutrition necessary for journeying through your day with energy and verve. Protein Waffles include Rockin’ Protein Builder for an easy boost of protein. The 12-ounce shakes, which are low in carbs and sugar, are made with fresh milk and have 30 grams of high-quality protein to help build muscle without a chalky after-taste.
If you’re looking to make healthier choices or live an active lifestyle and are short on time, a premade recipe may allow for additional productivity. Recipes that can be made in advance – like the night before – may aid your goal to consume necessary nutrients without putting a rush on your morning routine.
Chocolate Cherry and Banana Overnight Oats are made with Shamrock Farms Chocolate Milk and are a source of protein, calcium and vitamin D. Plus, they can be made in advance, allowing you to grab a healthy, ready-made breakfast to take on the go. Adding milk to your diet helps serve as a source of energy while building and repairing muscles.
Find more tips and recipes to help enhance your nutrition at shamrockfarms.net.
Chocolate Cherry and Banana Overnight Oats
Yield: 2 jars
- 1/2 cup frozen dark sweet cherries
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 container (12 ounces) Shamrock Farms Chocolate Milk
- 1 ripe banana, sliced
- 1 pinch salt
- In two mason jars, add 1/4 cup frozen cherries in each. In microwave, thaw 30 seconds.
- Divide rolled oats, milk, banana and salt between jars. Cover with lids and shake until combined.
- Store in refrigerator overnight or at least several hours.
- Serve cold or warm in microwave.
Yield: 8-10 waffles
- 2 cups pancake mix
- 2 large eggs
- 1 container (12 ounces) Vanilla or Chocolate Rockin’ Protein Builder
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Heat waffle iron.
- Place pancake mix in bowl. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, protein shake and oil. Stir into pancake mix until just combined.
- Bake in waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.
Tip: To freeze for later consumption, cool waffles on wire racks. Freeze between layers of waxed paper in re-sealable plastic freezer bag. In toaster oven or microwave, heat waffles until heated through.
Source: Shamrock Farms
(Family Features) Families across America want to make sure that they’re starting the day strong, and getting enough high-quality protein in the morning is a simple way to do so. A breakfast with protein is a great way to energize the morning, and adding it to your family’s routine doesn’t have to be complicated.
Simply add an 8-ounce glass of milk with 8 grams of natural protein plus other essential nutrients to your favorite breakfast foods for an easy, delicious way to help meet your morning protein goals.
Kids already love milk and it’s a naturally nutrient-rich, wholesome food that moms can feel good about pairing with breakfast. Plus, experts recommend 25-30 grams of protein for adults at every meal – so getting a high-protein breakfast, including milk, gives moms the energy they need to cross everything off their to-do lists. Parenting expert, pediatrician and mom of three, Dr. Tanya Altmann, recommends serving milk at breakfast for a source of high-quality protein in the morning.
“The morning is a great time to bring the family together and start the day off with a tasty breakfast. As a mom of three, I need breakfast options that are quick and easy but also nutritious,” Dr. Altmann said. “Serving my children whole-grain cereal and milk, healthy oatmeal with fruit or a smoothie made with milk guarantees that my family will get high-quality protein and other essential nutrients to start their day off strong.”
Bring a smile to your child’s face with this charming twist on a breakfast standard. Simply make instant oats with familiar flavors – cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar – and top the bowl with a friendly bunny face. For more recipes and ideas, visit MilkLife.com.
Bunny-Faced Microwave Oatmeal
Recipe courtesy of Tiffany Edwards of Creme de la Crumb
- 1/3 cup instant oats
- 3/4 cup fat free milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2/3 small banana
- 2 fresh blueberries
- 1/2 small strawberry
- chocolate syrup (optional)
- In microwave-safe bowl, stir together oats, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. Microwave on high 30 seconds-1 minute and stir.
- Cut banana in half crosswise. Cut 1 1/8-inch thick coin slices from flat end of each banana half. Place slices in upper-third of oatmeal bowl, side-by-side, to make eyes. Top with 1 blueberry on each banana slice.
- Place remaining banana halves at the top of the bowl, hanging off edge, to create ears.
- Place strawberry in the middle of the bowl to make the nose then drizzle chocolate, if desired, to make mouth and whiskers.
- Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories; 2 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 18 g protein; 59 g carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 190 mg sodium; 550 mg calcium (60% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
(Family Features) The New Year is a great time to reflect on your life and think about what you can do to become happier and healthier. There are many resolutions you can make, but one that can benefit you, your family, your community and the planet is eating more organic food. It can also be easier than you think.
To be USDA-Certified Organic, food must be grown without toxic synthetic pesticides and herbicides, genetically engineered ingredients (also called GMOs), antibiotics or artificial growth hormones.
“Simply put, organic is better for you and the environment. When you’re eating organic foods, you’re keeping harmful chemicals and GMOs out of your body and some studies have shown that organic farming produces more nutrient-dense crops,” said Arjan Stephens, executive vice president, sales and marketing at Nature’s Path. “Organic farming supports a healthier planet by not adding chemicals to the air, water and soil, as well as keeping them away from you and future generations.”
Going organic is simple; you can start small and feel good knowing that every time you choose organic it benefits you and the environment. Here are three ways to go organic this year:
- Look Inside Your Pantry: Fresh fruits and vegetables may be the first thing that come to mind when you think about organic, but don’t forget about your pantry. Staples such as flour, sugar, vegetable oil, peanut butter and more can be swapped out for organic options and make it easier to have organic food as part of every meal.
- Start with What You Eat Everyday: A good place to start is with the foods you consume every day. If you and your family start each morning with a bowl of cereal, try eating organic cereal like Nature's Path, which has an extensive line of cereals (as well as waffles, granola, oatmeal and granola bars) that are all USDA-Certified Organic, or try this tasty, organic recipe for an Oatmeal Latte.
- Think Outside the Cart: You may think that organic food costs more, but you can find less expensive options by shopping at your local farmer’s market, comparing prices online, buying in bulk (which is better for the environment) and even growing some of your own food.
Going organic can be easy, delicious and good for you and the planet. For more tips on going organic, visit blog.naturespath.com/.
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup vanilla soy milk
- 1/2 cup Nature’s Path Original Hot Oatmeal
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1-2 shots espresso, for topping
- 1/2 cup warm vanilla soy milk, for topping
- Nature’s Path Flax Plus Vanilla Almond Granola, for topping
- pinch of cinnamon, for topping
- In small saucepan, bring water and soy milk to simmer over medium-high heat.
- Add oats and salt. Turn heat to medium and cook until oatmeal reaches desired consistency. Stir in brown sugar and transfer to bowl or mug.
- Using steamer, milk frother or whisk, froth warm milk until foamy.
- Top oatmeal with espresso and frothed milk. Stir gently. Top with granola and cinnamon.
Source: Nature’s Path
(Family Features) While some may say being busy is good, it’s not always good for a healthy lifestyle. With less time to prep, the thought of planning nutritious meals and snacks may feel overwhelming, but with simple changes, you can power through your hectic schedule.
This full menu of quick and easy 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.
Consider these tips from Colette Heimowitz, author of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less” and vice president of nutrition and education at Atkins.
Fill up with fiber. Fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables, nuts and seeds, low-glycemic fruits and whole unrefined grains, are considered carbohydrates but they don’t raise your blood sugar the way processed carbs do. Fiber slows the entry of glucose into your bloodstream so you don’t experience the insulin spikes that encourage your body to produce and store body fat. Additionally, fiber can help you feel full longer. If possible, try to eat 25-35 grams of fiber each day.
Start the day with breakfast. Start your mornings with a hearty breakfast like an Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl. The nutritious combo of protein and healthy fats can set you up for a productive day and prevent mid-morning donut or bagel cravings. For another quick option that takes just 10 minutes, a Power Mug Muffin with Cinnamon Butter can provide the fuel you need to start your day right.
Snack smart. If you’re in the midst of a traffic-clogged commute, on-the-go snacks can be an ideal solution for the whole family. For a fun, tasty option, try these Portobello Pizzas, full of nutrients and fiber, or these Tuna-Stuffed Deviled Eggs that can help round out lunch at work.
A Simple, Nutritious Snack
When it comes to nutrition, finding a healthier way to snack can be just as important as full-blown meals. For a protein- and fiber-rich snack low in sugar, an option like Atkins Protein Wafer Crisps provide a light and crispy texture for a surprisingly filling treat. Whether it’s for a grab-and-go snack or afternoon pick-me-up, the wafer crisps boast 10-11 grams of protein, 4-5 grams of fiber and 1 gram of sugar with three flavor profiles to choose from: Peanut Butter, Chocolate Mint and Lemon Vanilla.
Find more recipes to kickstart a nutritious eating plan at Atkins.com.
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- Olive oil spray
- 4 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
- 1/2 cup low-sugar marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 16 slices pepperoni sausage or 1 chorizo link, thinly sliced
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat with olive oil spray.
- Using spoon, scrape out dark gills from mushrooms; discard gills.
- Place mushrooms stem-side up and top each with 2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese and four slices pepperoni or chorizo.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and mushrooms are soft.
Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
- 1/3 cup plain protein powder
- 1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup water
- 8 ounces spinach or kale
- 1/4 cup almond or peanut butter
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- In blender, blend protein powder, yogurt, water, spinach or kale and almond or peanut butter until smooth. Divide between two bowls.
- In straight lines, sprinkle strawberries, almonds and flaxseed over smoothie bowls.
Tuna-Stuffed Deviled Eggs
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
- 8 large eggs
- cold water
- 1 can (6 ounces) tuna, drained
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained, rinsed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon hot or sweet ground paprika or ground chili
- In medium saucepan, cover eggs with cold water.
- Place over high heat and bring to boil. When boiling, turn heat off and cover. Remove from heat and let cool 1 minute.
- Place eggs in colander under cold, running water 1-2 minutes. Peel eggs under cold, running water and use kitchen towel to dry.
- Cut eggs in half lengthwise and scoop out yolks. Transfer yolks to small bowl along with tuna, mayonnaise, jalapeno and capers. Stir well until combined.
- Place egg whites on platter, center-side up, and fill with tuna mixture. Garnish with ground paprika or chili.
Power Mug Muffin with Cinnamon Butter
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons golden flaxseed meal
- 2 tablespoons almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon stevia (sugar substitute)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature, or olive oil
- To make Cinnamon Butter: In small bowl, using spoon, combine butter, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; mix well. Set aside.
- To make Muffin: In coffee mug or single-serving souffle dish, mix flaxseed meal, almond flour, baking powder, stevia and cinnamon.
- Mix egg and butter into dry ingredients.
- Microwave on high 1 minute until firm. Serve with Cinnamon Butter.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (deviled eggs and mug dish)
Try this healthy spin on a classic cookie treat. For more recipes go to culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!
Gingerbread Cookie Shake
- 1 1/2 cups vanilla protein shake
- 1 tbsp. molasses
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1/2 cup ice
- Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve.
Need a dessert that is not only delicious but easy to make? Try this recipe for Cinnamon-Apple Crostata. You'll have a hard time waiting to sink your teeth in to the flaky crust with a burst of cinnamon and apples. Find more delicious dessert recipes at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious dessert!
- Pie Pastry (we used Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 4 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples (4-5 medium sized)
- 1 tsp. sugar (for sprinkling)
- 2 tbs. chopped pecans
- Heat oven to 450°.
- In medium bowl mix together 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Stir in peeled and sliced apples until well combined.
- Place flattened pie crust on an ungreased cookie or pizza sheet.
- Spoon apple mixture onto the center of the crust, spreading the mixture to about 2 inches from the edge of the crust.
- Fold crust over mixture, pleating along the way.
- Brush edges of crust with water.
- Sprinkle sugar over crust and apple mixture.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is a golden brown.
- Sprinkle pecans over apple mixture.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Recipe adapted from Pillsbury.