(Family Features) The changing of the calendar to a new year is a perfect opportunity to look toward the future and create better health and wellness habits.
Setting yourself up with a strong foundation is key to long-term success. Consider these tips as you look to build healthy habits this year:
Set reasonable goals. It’s important to take an honest look at your lifestyle and assess any changes you can make to improve wellness. Whether your goal is to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more frequently or something else entirely, start with an attainable target – like losing 1 pound a week – and know you can always challenge yourself further once you’ve sustained the change for an extended period of time.
Eat well. A well-balanced diet includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains.You can create lower-calorie versions of some of your favorite dishes by substituting low-calorie fruits and vegetables in place of higher calorie ingredients. An option like watermelon is more than a raw fruit or snack; it can be an ingredient in a wide variety of recipes, including appetizers, mocktails (or cocktails), entrees, sauces or salsa. For example, these recipes for Watermelon Chia Seed Muffins and Watermelon and Pistachio Salad can help satisfy cravings any time of day. Consisting of 92% water, watermelon is cholesterol-free, fat-free and offers an excellent source of vitamin C (25% daily value) while also containing vitamin A (8%) and vitamin B6 (6%).
Get active. Proper nutrition is just one part of making healthy lifestyle choices. Adults should aim for at least 160 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you want to lose weight, increase aerobic activities like walking or running. If your goal is adding strength, start resistance training such as lifting weights.
Find more healthy recipes and tips to help keep you on track all year long at watermelon.org.
Watermelon and Pistachio Salad
- 3 cups watermelon cubes
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 4 ounces feta
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- Place watermelon and onion in large bowl. Add balsamic vinegar and toss to combine.
- Add pistachios, feta and mint, reserving small amount of mint to sprinkle on top. Toss.
- Serve on large platter and sprinkle with remaining mint.
Watermelon Chia Seed Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins
- 1 can nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup sucralose
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4cup chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/3 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup liquefied watermelon juice
- 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 1 cup dried tart cherries
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Heat oven to 375 F. Spray 12-piece muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In large bowl, combine sugar, sucralose and lemon zest. Use fingers to rub zest into sugar until fragrant. Add flour, chia seeds, baking soda, baking powder and salt; thoroughly mix. Set aside.
- In medium bowl, whisk oil, yogurt, watermelon juice and egg substitute until thoroughly blended. Add cherries, lemon juice and vanilla.
- Add liquid mixture to flour mixture. Gently toss until incorporated. Avoid overbeating or muffins will be flat and tough. Spoon evenly into muffin pan. Top each muffin with 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
- Bake 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from oven, allow to sit 5 minutes then transfer muffins to cooling rack.
Support your immune system with 100% orange juice
(Family Features) While winter rushes in with brisk breezes and chilly temperatures, staying indoors to avoid the weather shouldn’t mean forgoing healthy habits. One step toward wellness is maintaining nutritional value in meals from morning to night, even when comfort foods call your name.
As a key source of nutrients that supports a healthy lifestyle year-round, especially during cold and flu season, one 8-ounce serving of Florida Orange Juice provides more than 100% of your daily value of vitamin C and is a good source of potassium, folate and thiamin. Fortified juice also contains 15% of the daily value of vitamin D, which plays an important role in regulating immune response and helps cells fight off bacteria and viruses that enter the body.
Additionally, 100% orange juice is virtually the only dietary source of a unique, powerful phytonutrient (naturally occurring plant compound) called hesperidin, which may also help support a healthy immune system. According to the USDA, the flavonoid hesperidin is highly concentrated in citrus and rarely found in other foods.
“Maintaining a well-balanced diet is one way to help support your immune system in the colder months,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, scientific research director at the Florida Department of Citrus. “For example, 100% orange juice contains vitamin C, vitamin D (in fortified juice) and phytonutrients like flavonoids and colorful carotenoids, making it a nutritional powerhouse.”
This Orange Honey Glazed Carrots recipe offers a warming yet nutritional, naturally sweet way to incorporate orange juice into your winter menu. Orange juice is also a go-to ingredient for popular non-alcoholic drinks like this Orange Juice Mint Mocktail, a perfect pairing for winter meals.
Visit floridajuice.com to find more recipes for winter wellness.
Orange Honey Glazed Carrots
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 1/4 cup Florida Orange Juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- fresh parsley, for garnish
- fresh chives, for garnish
- Steam carrots until tender.
- In saucepan over medium heat, whisk orange juice, honey, cornstarch, salt and ginger.
- Cover, whisking constantly until sauce thickens.
- Pour sauce over steamed carrots. Top with parsley and chives.
Orange Juice Mint Mocktail
- 2 cups Florida Orange Juice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- ice cubes
- 1/2 cup carbonated water
- 2-3 mint leaves
- In pitcher, stir orange juice, lemon juice and water.
- Divide mocktail evenly among ice-filled glasses and top with carbonated water.
- Garnish with mint leaves.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
Real California Milk helps impress guests with the California Cheese Centerpiece and Cookie Exchange Board
(Family Features) This holiday season, entertaining is back on the table and that means endless opportunities to showcase Instagram-worthy ideas. For those looking to impress friends and family, Real California Milk has two unique culinary ideas to take holiday traditions to the next level: The Cheese Centerpiece and Cookie Exchange Board. From fresh food as bountiful décor to camera-ready cookie presentations, incorporating California dairy into your entertaining is a winning holiday strategy.
California Cheese Centerpiece
The mission? Create a holiday centerpiece but make it delicious. Real California Milk partner Jessica Lawrenz, Founder of Monger, Mold and Milk, took the challenge with the California Cheese Centerpiece, the ultimate in edible entertaining with a beautiful display of Real California Cheeses, salami, fruits and vegetables arranged with fragrant herbal garnishes in a display sure to impress family and friends. As a bonus, it creates less waste than a stand-alone floral bouquet (and you’ll have less to clean up!).
Find additional cheese displays and holiday recipes at realcaliforniamilk.com.
Variety of firm to medium (semi-firm) Real California Cheeses (find them here: https://www.realcaliforniamilk.com/cheese-makers)
Shown in arrangement:
- Real California Dry Jack cheese wedges
- Real California Wine-soaked Cheddar wedges
- Real California Triple Cream cheese wedges
- Salumi or salami, made into roses
Fresh fruits and vegetables:
- Mini clementines or kumquats
- Grapes or currants (both shown)
- Fresh figs
- Cucamelons or mini cucumbers
- Cherry tomatoes (tiger stripe tomatoes shown but any small tomato works)
- Bay leaf stems
- Olive leaf stems
- Rosemary branches
- Lavender stems
- Sage bunches
- Chive or garlic flowers or any edible flower with a stem
Tools and Materials:
- Circular tray or plate
- Craft or flora foam (half sphere shape that is at least 1-inch smaller in diameter than your tray)
- Double-sided tape
- Plastic wrap
- Toothpicks, U-shape bamboo toothpicks (optional)
- Cookie cutter shapes (optional)
- Cover foam in plastic wrap to protect food from making contact with the foam.
- Use double-sided tape to secure the foam to the tray.
- Now you can start assembling the centerpiece. Start from the bottom and work your way up to the top of the sphere.
- Use the bulk of your leafy garnishment (bay leaf stems, olive leaf stems, sage bunches) on the bottom layer to create a base and coverage by poking the stems into the foam. If needed you can trim the bottom of the stem in a diagonal direction to create a more pokey end OR use a toothpick to pierce a hole in the place where you want to insert stems.
- For best visual appeal, fruits like grapes and currants should be arranged to kind of flow over the edge of the tray near the bottom as well. PRO TIP: Use “U” shaped bamboo toothpicks to secure the stems of the hanging fruits into the foam.
- From here use toothpicks to secure cheese wedges, salumi roses, fruits and vegetables into the foam. Cut shorter, triangular pieces of cheese (as opposed to longer triangular pieces used for a long/rectangular centerpiece). Use any tall wedges near the bottom where they will be easy to grab but not sticking out too far if placed near the top. You can use cookie cutter shapes as well for the cheeses, if desired.
- Finally, take any of the smaller garnish pieces you have (lavender, chive flowers, rosemary ends, loose leaves) to fill in the spaces between all the items.
Holiday Cookie Exchange Board
If a cookie exchange is on the docket for this year’s holiday or you’re simply looking to upgrade your dessert table, take some tips from this stunning cookie exchange presentation. Mix and match Real California Milk cookie recipes to create a mouthwatering arrangement and decorate with mini candy canes, holiday lollipops, various holiday décor and lights. Add napkins, cookie bags for take-away, and recipe cards for sharing, and let your guests go to town.
- Hot cocoa or coffee
- Milk shooters
- Coconut Walnut Cake Bars
- Chocolate Mint Cookies
- Stroopwafel Cookies
- Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes
Dipped in melted dark chocolate and rolled in crushed peppermint candies or Holiday sprinkles
Leave out ice cream, exchange holiday sprinkles for rainbow sprinkles, and dip in melted white chocolate with color for extra festivity
California is the nation’s leading milk producer and is responsible for producing more butter, ice cream and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese and yogurt. California milk and dairy foods can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, which certifies they are made exclusively with milk from the state’s dairy farm families.
About Real California Milk/California Milk Advisory Board
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s dairy farm families who lead the nation in sustainable dairy farming practices. With a vision to nourish the world with the wholesome goodness of Real California Milk, the CMAB’s programs focus on increasing demand for California’s sustainable dairy products in the state, across the U.S. and around the world through advertising, public relations, research, and retail and foodservice promotional programs. For more information and to connect with the CMAB, visit RealCaliforniaMilk.com, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Source: Real California Milk
(Family Features) Reconnecting with family and friends over the holidays means food takes center stage. Perhaps nothing says “happy holidays” quite like a plate of seasonal appetizers. Make your traditional recipes extra special this year with a plant-based twist that starts with cheese.
Holiday plant-based cheese dishes combine cheesiness that people love with fresh vegetables so your hors d’oeurve tray can be enjoyed by everyone no matter their lifestyle or dietary needs. Start holiday eating with a batch of Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms loaded with a colorful assortment of vegetables like onions, zucchini, tomatoes and spinach, and generously topped with plant-based cheese shreds to make an especially cheesy, indulgent and satisfying snack. Or try frying up a plate of Vegan Brussels Sprouts Fritters stuffed with melty, creamy plant-based cheddar cheese for a delicious bite of seasonal comfort.
Try the full range of Violife vegan cheeses to bring these party starters to life. There is no sacrificing taste to enjoy delectable holiday recipes made with melty, stretchy and flavorful vegan cheese. These cheeses are free from dairy, soy, nuts, gluten, preservatives and lactose and are non-GMO. They are made with plant-based ingredients and come in a variety of savory shreds, smokey slices, wedges, blocks or as a cream cheese alternative. Plus, these vegan cheeses are perfect for including in plant-forward holiday spreads and starting new holiday traditions.
Visit violifefoods.com to find more appetizers and snacks for your holiday gatherings.
Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 12 button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 medium zucchinis, diced
- 4-6 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large handful spinach
- 1 pinch rosemary
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pack Violife Just Like Cheddar Shreds
- finely chopped chives
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Use damp kitchen towel to clean mushrooms. Remove stalks from mushrooms. Rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place on lined baking sheet with empty sides up.
- In frying pan, saute onions in remaining olive oil until soft then add zucchinis, tomatoes and garlic. Add spinach until wilted. Remove from heat and add rosemary, salt, to taste, and pepper, to taste.
- Stuff each mushroom with vegetable mixture and sprinkle with cheese shreds. Bake 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives.
Vegan Brussels Sprouts Fritters
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 35 ounces Brussels sprouts
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- pink pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 flax egg (2 tablespoons flax and 2 tablespoons water)
- 1 pack Violife Just Like Cheddar Shreds
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- mint, roughly chopped
- Wash Brussels sprouts and finely slice. Place in bowl with green onions.
- In separate bowl, whisk flour, salt, black pepper, pink pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
- Add dry ingredients and flax egg to Brussels sprouts mixture then add cheddar shreds. Mix well and let rest in refrigerator 10 minutes.
- In frying pan, heat olive oil. Use hands to make one patty with 2 tablespoons of mixture.
- Shallow fry 4 minutes on each side. Remove and place on plate with paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat with remaining mixture. Garnish with mint.
(Family Features) A healthy breakfast can give your student a boost that lasts all day long. Mornings tend to be rushed, but it’s still possible to prepare easy breakfasts that power little learners throughout the school day.
Fresh fruit is a breakfast staple, and a nutritious option like watermelon is a sweet way to satisfy hunger (and thirst). As a refreshing ingredient or standalone treat, watermelon includes just 80 calories and no fat. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C (25%) and because it’s made of 92% water, it’s a flavorful way to encourage kids to start a busy day well hydrated.
A bowl of watermelon cut into cubes, balls or fun shapes is a winning idea, but you can also think outside the rind with these ways to give watermelon a place at your breakfast table:
- Top a grain-based cereal like corn flakes or oatmeal with bite-size bits.
- Make Watermelon Donuts for a grab-and-go delight, perfect on hectic mornings.
- Freeze cubes overnight and use them in place of ice with your favorite smoothie ingredients.
- Put a twist on a breakfast favorite with these Watermelon Oat Flour Waffles.
- Add a layer of oat crumble to a bowl of watermelon balls for a savory, satisfying treat.
It’s no secret that kids gravitate toward fun foods. Watermelon is a versatile fruit that offers plenty of serving options that let kids get hands-on and creative.
A classic watermelon slice may be basic, but it does have a few tricks up its sleeve. With the rind on, it’s an instant finger food with a built-in “handle.” Add a wooden stick for watermelon you can eat like a sucker or pop it in the freezer for a cool way to start the day.
Simple and versatile cubes are a solution for banishing breakfast boredom. You can cube a melon and use them differently every day of the week by eating them on their own, mixing in a fruit salad, layering with other ingredients, blending in a smoothie and more.
There’s nothing like a dipper to get kids’ attention. A watermelon stick offers a bit of rind to hold onto and a juicy strip of sweet melon that’s perfect for dunking in a cup of yogurt or fruit dip.
Cut watermelon into thin slices and use cookie cutters to create a treat that shows off creativity.
Get in a school morning groove with more easy breakfast ideas at watermelon.org .
Watermelon Oat Flour Waffles
Yield: 8 waffles
- 1 cup old-fashioned or regular oats
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup watermelon juice
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 egg whites
- nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 3 cups watermelon, diced 1/2 inch
- fresh mint leaves
- powdered sugar (optional)
- honey (optional)
- Preheat Belgian or regular waffle iron.
- In blender, process oat flakes into flour.
- In bowl, mix oat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in watermelon juice and oil.
- Whip egg whites into stiff peaks and fold into batter.
- Spray hot waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron and bake 3-4 minutes, or according to waffle iron instructions. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Garnish waffles with yogurt; watermelon cubes; mint sprigs; powdered sugar, if desired; and honey, if desired.
- 2 slices seedless watermelon, 1 1/2 inches thick
- 2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 pinch sugar
- vanilla, to taste
- 9 slivered almonds
- Cut out donut shapes from watermelon slices.
- Sweeten Greek yogurt with sugar and vanilla, to taste, to create frosting.
- Frost half of watermelon donuts with half of frosting. Add layer of remaining watermelon donuts and top with remaining frosting.
- Sprinkle toasted almonds over top and serve.
(Family Features) When families fire up their grills and turn to favorite summer recipes for filling meals, nutritional considerations are often not the focus. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. This year, you can rethink traditional seasonal menus by opting for main courses – and even desserts – that offer healthier returns by incorporating ingredients like whole oranges, which provide a multitude of nutritional benefits.
Adding an ingredient like California Valencia oranges to your family’s dishes means you’re including a rich source of vitamin C (70% of the daily value) and an excellent source of folate (20% of the daily value) in your seasonal spread. As a balance of sweet and tart, the extra juicy oranges reach their peak in summer, making them perfect for warm-weather recipes, juicing or as portable snacks to take along on adventures.
Plus, their anti-inflammatory benefits help support the body, especially as outdoor activities increase in the warm weather. The potassium found in oranges also helps support cell function, healthy blood pressure levels, bone health and hydration.
When it comes to meal planning, oranges are a highly versatile fruit that can be added to both sweet and savory dishes, as well as beverages, cocktails, sauces, frozen desserts, smoothies and more. To introduce a depth of flavor and burst of nutrition to dishes, add a sprinkle of zest, segments or fresh-squeezed juice, or even grill the fruit to bring out the flavor.
Try combining them with tastes of the Mediterranean for dinner with Orange and Harissa Glazed Beef Kebabs or end your meal with a refreshing sweet treat like Orange Ice Cream the entire family can enjoy.
By introducing the sweetness of oranges to your warm-weather menu, you can infuse fresh flavor while rethinking family favorites. Visit CaliforniaCitrusGrowers.com for more information on California oranges.
Orange and Harissa Glazed Beef Kebabs
Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup California Valencia orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 California Valencia oranges, zested and segmented
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 8 ounces beef tenderloin, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch squares
- 1 red onion, cut into 2-inch squares
- 16 broccoli florets, raw
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- cooked couscous
- mandarin chutney
- In mixing bowl, combine orange juice and zest, harissa, honey, oil, mint and garlic; mix well.
- Add beef cubes and toss to coat; marinate 2 hours in refrigerator.
- Using long skewers, build kebabs, alternating beef, peppers, onions and broccoli on each.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Season kebabs with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until vegetables are cooked through and beef reaches desired doneness.
- Serve over bed of couscous and top with mandarin chutney.
Orange Ice Cream
Prep time: 1 hour
- 2 cups California Valencia orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 2 tablespoons glucose syrup or corn syrup
- 1/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 California Valencia oranges, zest only
- California Valencia orange slices, for garnish
- Prepare ice cream making vessel or unit, such as old-fashioned churner or ice cream machine with motor.
- Reduce orange juice to 1 cup; ice down to chill.
- In saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, cream, vanilla scraped pod and seeds, and glucose syrup until hot; remove from heat. Steep 30 minutes.
- In bowl, combine milk powder and sugar. Add dry mixture into hot cream mixture. Whisk to combine. Return mixture to medium heat.
- In separate heat-safe bowl, combine egg yolks and orange zest.
- In small increments, pour hot mixture over yolks and zest. Mix vigorously while pouring.
- Cook to 185 F.
- Remove from heat and pour through fine strainer. Hand-blend until smooth.
- Ice down immediately. Add cooled, reduced orange juice. Hand blend to combine.
- Spin and freeze then follow directions according to machine or vessel to make ice cream.
- Serve with orange slices.
Source: California Citrus Growers
Fresh fruit is finally in season. When the sun is out and kids are hitting the pool, it’s also time to indulge in some sweet fruit flavors. Watermelon, berries, bananas and more can all be found near perfect ripeness at grocery stores or farmer’s markets during the warm summer months.
On a hot day, there is almost nothing better than trying something new that sounds delicious. Throw your apron on, prepare your kitchen and get baking.
If you’re craving something sweet with no ideas where to start, try this sweet Lemon Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit. It’s tangy and rich, and allows you to escape to the summer oasis of your dreams, at least for a few minutes.
It has the smooth, creamy texture of cheesecake mixed with a hint of tart lemon juice. Topped with raspberries, mint and oranges, the burst of fresh fruit enhances the cheesecake flavor. It’s the perfect sweet treat for summer for people of all ages with its bright colors and varying flavors.
In a bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter then press into a springform pan.
Beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, three eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract then pour it on top of the graham cracker mixture.
Bake for 50-55 minutes before cooling completely in the fridge and adding fruit and mint leaves.
The outcome is a fluffy cheesecake with a small hint of lemon topped with your favorite fresh fruits. It’s a delightful, sweet and satisfying recipe your family can make again and again to enjoy during those warm summer months.
Find more recipes perfect for summer at Culinary.net.
Did you make the recipe? We would love to see it! Use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network and let us see your work!
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Lemon Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 orange, peeled and separated
- 8 raspberries
- 3 mint leaves, for garnish
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press firmly into 9-inch springform pan.
- In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs, fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract; mix until combined.
- Pour into pan. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until center springs back when lightly pressed.
- Chill in refrigerator until completely cooled. Arrange orange slices around border of cake and place raspberries in middle. Top with mint leaves.
(Culinary.net) How lucky you must be to come across this recipe just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. This one is a twisted combination of mint and sweet chocolate that’s sure to have almost anyone’s taste buds screaming “yum.” This dessert might just be the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow this year.
These Mint Brownies have three delicious layers. First, a supreme brownie on bottom. Then a fluffy, green mint layer that’s full of flavor and color. Last, but definitely not least, a chocolate layer on top made with chocolate chips, butter and a little whipping cream.
All of these layers create a smooth, sweet, minty, bite-sized dessert perfect for any occasion but especially St. Patrick’s Day. The green mint color really pops off the plate, giving it some extra flare and an appetizing glow.
To start, create the soft, chocolate filled brownie. Combine brownie mix, vegetable oil, one egg, water and the chocolate syrup pouch. Bake and cool completely.
Then it’s time for some colorful, festive fun. Make the filling with powdered sugar, butter, whipping cream, softened cream cheese, a splash of peppermint extract and a few drops of green food coloring. Beat and pour over the cooled brownie pan.
The last layer is simple. In a saucepan, melt whipping cream, chocolate chips and butter until smooth. When it’s cooled to lukewarm, pour it over the filling for the final layer.
Refrigerate the Mint Brownies for two hours before serving. Cut them into bite-size pieces for small chunks that will melt in your mouth.
Find more seasonal dessert recipes at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 box supreme brownie mix with chocolate syrup pouch
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 5 drops green food color
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup butter
Heat oven to 350 F.
- Spray 8-by-8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In large bowl, mix brownie mix, water, oil and egg until combined. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 35 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
- To make filling: In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, whipping cream, cream cheese, peppermint extract and food coloring. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until set.
- To make topping: In saucepan, melt whipping cream, chocolate chips and butter until smooth. Cool until lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Pour over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate 2 hours, or until set.
- Before serving, let brownies set 10 minutes at room temperature.
Tips: Cut brownies with wet knife for cleaner cuts. Store covered in refrigerator.
(Family Features) Healthful eating starts with the ingredients you use, so it’s important to use fresh, seasonal ingredients that pack a nutritional punch. One of the easiest ways to meet your daily nutrient needs is to eat a variety of whole foods like fruit (which about 80% of the U.S. population doesn’t get enough of, according to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans), because they provide a unique mix of beneficial nutrients that can’t always be found in a supplement.
Consider an option like delicious California Navel and Cara Cara oranges, which are in season and available nationwide, offering a wide variety of health benefits. Oranges are best known as an excellent source of vitamin C to support a healthy immune system, because one orange can offer 70-100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C depending the varietal. However, oranges also offer other important nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, including:
- Phytonutrients (beneficial compounds produced by plant foods) like flavonoids, which can help mitigate cell damage and support brain and heart health.
- Citrus is the only type of fruit packed with hesperidin and naringin, two flavonoids that offer anti-inflammatory properties.
- Potassium, which the body can’t produce on its own, supports cell function, healthy blood pressure levels, bone health and hydration.
- California Navel and Cara Cara oranges are good sources of fiber, which supports gut health.
- Oranges are good sources of folate, which is particularly important to consume during pregnancy because of its role in cell growth, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Oranges are a versatile fruit, making them an easy addition to both sweet and savory dishes as well as beverages. Try incorporating oranges into your weekly meal plan with dishes like a lighter version of orange chicken or drinks like this Orange Moscow Mule Mocktail. To help maximize the flavor profile and nutritional benefits of California oranges, consider these tips:
- Numerous parts of citrus can be consumed, including the flesh, juice, zest and peel, meaning a single piece of fruit can go a long way.
- Next time you use citrus in a beverage or as part of a meal, bring it to room temperature before cooking to help ensure you get the most juice.
- Because vitamin C is water soluble, it’s important to eat it fresh. When using as part of a recipe, use as little water as possible and avoid overcooking.
- For storage, it’s often best to keep oranges refrigerated to help them last longer and ensure freshness.
Visit californiacitrusgrowers.com to find more information.
Orange Moscow Mule Mocktail
Recipe courtesy of Gina Homolka of “Skinnytaste”
- 1 California Cara Cara orange
- 1 cup ice
- 1 bottle (6.8 ounces) light ginger beer
- fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- Slice orange in quarters then cut 2-3 slices for garnish and set aside. Juice rest of orange and place in copper mug (or any glass). Fill glass to top with ice. Add ginger beer and garnish with orange slices and mint leaves.
Source: California Citrus Growers
It’s your lucky day because you don’t have to search for the pot of gold under the rainbow for this winning recipe. Throw out the old Irish classics and sweeten things up this year with some mint chocolate chip fun.
If you’re in a crunch for St. Patrick’s Day and need something glowing with green, here is a dessert that is sure to have everyone coming back for seconds (and more).
These Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies are as green as four-leaf clovers and have delicious chocolate chips mixed throughout for some extra sweet flavor. Served beside a big glass of milk, they are perfect treats for any St. Patrick’s Day party or virtual gathering.
To start the recipe, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, add butter, sugar, eggs, green food coloring and peppermint extract for that crisp mint flavor. Beat with a hand mixture and combine the ingredients in both bowls together.
Add chocolate chips to the mixed cookie batter. Scoop onto a baking sheet and bake at 375 F for 11-24 minutes until the edges of the cookies are light brown. Cool on a wire rack before devouring.
With so much mixing and scooping to be done, this is a great recipe for kids to get involved in the kitchen, too. One of the best parts is the eye-catching color. Watch children’s smiling little faces as the batter turns from light brown to dark green for a priceless reaction.
After being perfectly baked, these cookies are bright, fun and will be the hit of any celebration. Soft in the middle, a little crisp on the edges and as green as can be. You can’t ask for much more on St. Patrick’s Day.
Find more recipes, celebration ideas and dessert favorites for every occasion at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 30 drops green food coloring
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 package (12 ounces) chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- In large bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt until blended. Set aside.
- In medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs, food coloring and peppermint extract; beat until combined.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; beat until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto baking sheet.
- Bake 11-14 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
- Cool on wire racks.