(Family Features) The importance of health and wellness is top of mind for many people. There are many contributing factors to wellness such as diet, physical activity, social engagement and genetics. All are important, but a first step to wellness is choosing healthy foods to fuel the body every day, ideally foods that support health in multiple ways.
Consider grapes from California: they are convenient, healthy, hydrating and provide energy to help support healthy and active lifestyles. Eating grapes is also linked to beneficial impacts on the health of specific body parts and systems, including the heart, brain, skin and colon.
Most of grapes’ health benefits are attributed to the presence of natural plant compounds known as polyphenols, which help promote antioxidant activity and influence biological processes that support overall health. Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – are natural sources of polyphenols.
Fresh California grapes are refreshing by the handful, but they also lend a tasty burst of flavor to a wide range of recipes you can enjoy any time of day. This Heart Smart Smoothie is a deliciously healthy way to start the day; pairing grapes with nuts and seeds in No-Bake Energy Bites delivers a hearty snack to enjoy midday, after school or following a workout; and Quinoa, Cauliflower and Grape Salad is perfect at any mealtime for a powerful combo of both taste and health.
Grapes and a Healthy Brain
Research suggests regularly eating grapes as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle may contribute to improved health outcomes, including brain health.
In a study of people with early memory decline published in “Experimental Gerontology,” subjects were either fed whole grape powder equivalent to just 2 1/4 cups of grapes per day or a placebo powder. The results showed consuming grapes preserved healthy metabolic activity in regions of the brain associated with early Alzheimer’s disease, where metabolic decline takes hold.
Subjects who didn’t consume grapes exhibited significant metabolic decline in these critical regions. Additionally, those consuming the grape-enriched diet showed beneficial changes in regional brain metabolism that correlated to improvements in attention and working memory performance.
Find more nutritious recipes at GrapesFromCalifornia.com .
No-Bake Energy Bites
Prep time: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 energy bites
- 1/3 cup raw almonds
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh orange juice or lemon juice
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 8 seedless California grapes
- 1/3 cup chia or hemp seeds
- In bowl of food processor, pulse almonds and walnuts 5-6 times to coarsely chop. Add dates and process until mixture is finely chopped. Add juice and process until just combined; transfer mixture to small plate.
- Dry grapes. Pack 1 tablespoon date mixture around each grape, completely covering to seal. Repeat with remaining grapes and date mixture.
- Roll balls in seeds to coat. Store in covered container in refrigerator up to three days.
Nutritional information per energy bite: 120 calories; 3 g protein; 12 g carbohydrates; 7 g fat (53% calories from fat); 0.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 20 mg sodium; 3 g fiber.
Heart Smart Grape and Peanut Butter Smoothie
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 cup red California grapes, chilled
- 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, chilled
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 1/2 small banana
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- In blender on high speed, blend grapes, almond milk, ice, banana, peanut butter, flax seed and cacao powder until smooth.
Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 8 g protein; 53 g carbohydrates; 14 g fat (36% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 220 mg sodium; 7 g fiber.
Quinoa, Cauliflower and Grape Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
- 1 1/4 cups red California grapes, halved
- 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 ripe avocados, diced 1/3 inch
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook quinoa according to package directions and drain on two layers of paper towels. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add cauliflower, grapes, scallions and avocado pieces.
- To make dressing: In small bowl, whisk vinegar, lime juice, honey, cumin, oregano and salt until blended. Gradually whisk in oil. Drizzle dressing over quinoa mixture and toss gently. Season with pepper, to taste.
Nutritional information per serving: 260 calories; 5 g protein; 27 g carbo hydrates; 16 g fat (55% calories from fat); 2 g saturated fat (7% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 170 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.
(Family Features) Taking care of your heart health requires a commitment to the right routines and smart decisions, such as adopting a heart healthy diet. Foods you might already have in your kitchen can offer powerful vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds that may help contribute to heart health.
Decades of research shows that each 8-ounce serving of 100% orange juice, such as Florida Orange Juice, is packed with key nutrients and valuable plant compounds, which may play a beneficial role in helping lower blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease. Consider these additional heart health benefits of 100% orange juice:
- While many people associate vitamin C with its ability to help promote a healthy immune system, it’s also been shown to support cardiovascular health. Orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C providing more than 100% of the recommended daily value in an 8-ounce glass.
- In several research studies, higher intakes of the flavonoids typically found in citrus were associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
- In one 8-ounce serving, 100% orange juice provides 10% of the daily value of potassium, which is an electrolyte that helps maintain fluid balance affecting blood pressure. Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
- Some studies found folate and vitamin B6, both water-soluble vitamins, may help protect against heart disease by lowering homocysteine levels in the blood, an amino acid believed to cause damage to the arteries and increase the risk of blood clots when elevated. One 8-ounce glass of orange juice contains 15% of the daily value of folate and 8% of the daily value of vitamin B6.
“Drinking Florida Orange Juice is not only delicious, it delivers a powerful combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research at the Florida Department of Citrus. “From helping to reduce hypertension to fighting inflammation, it is an excellent choice to include in a heart-healthy diet.”
You can add the heart health benefits of 100% orange juice to your diet with the powerfully nutritious punch of Orange Juice Shrimp Quinoa Bowls, the perfect mixture of textures with tangy, spicy and sweet flavors. Or start the day strong with a Florida Sunshine Grapefruit Smoothie for a breakfast beverage that requires just a few minutes of prep and blending.
Find more heart healthy inspiration at floridacitrus.org.
Orange Juice Shrimp Quinoa Bowls
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup Florida Orange Juice
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 English cucumber, sliced into half moons
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- In pot, bring water to boil.
- Add quinoa, reduce to simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes. Fluff with fork.
- In bowl, whisk orange juice, hot sauce, honey, soy sauce, 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, lime juice and miso. Remove half and set aside.
- Add shrimp to remaining half and marinate 15 minutes.
- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and add remaining oil.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper then add shrimp to wok and saute, cooking approximately 2 minutes per side until pink and cooked through.
- Place 1/2 cup quinoa in bowl and top with bell pepper, cucumber, scallions, avocado and shrimp.
- Drizzle with dressing that was set aside and garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro.
Florida Sunshine Grapefruit Smoothie
- 1 cup Florida Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup Florida Grapefruit Juice
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In blender, blend orange juice, grapefruit juice, banana, yogurt and vanilla extract until smooth. Serve immediately.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (smoothie)
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
Appetizers are many people’s favorite part of a meal. From dips and finger foods to little treats and fried pieces of perfection, there is a wide array of considerations for a pre-meal snack.
Some appetizers are much more appropriate at certain events. For example, buffalo chicken wings are best enjoyed on game days, salads are normally served at showers and vegetable trays are a typical Thanksgiving Day classic.
However, there are recipes that are too easy to make and too satisfying not to serve at almost every festivity you and your family attend. This Easy Crab Rangoon shines above the rest for many reasons, but the main point of this heavenly sample is it’s easy to make and bake.
This appetizer is placed in the oven until it’s golden brown, topped with little green scallions with a creamy filling all packaged in a crispy outer layer.
Plus, the cream cheese is mixed with luscious amounts of crab meat. This is a seafood lover’s dream. Actually, it’s any appetizer lover’s dream.
To make this mouthwatering recipe, you only need a handful of ingredients and a few kitchen tools.
The little bites of perfection come out of the oven steaming hot, waiting to be topped with more crunchy, fresh scallions. Once they have cooled for a few moments, they are ready to be devoured.
This bite-size, savory snack will be all the rage at family dinners and parties with the kids alike. They fit perfectly in the palms of hands and within a few bites, they are gone and your loved ones are asking for seconds.
Find more appetizer recipes that are simple and made to impress at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Easy Crab Rangoon
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 12 wonton wrappers
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces lump crabmeat
- 1 scallion, sliced thin, green and white parts separated
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Press wonton wrappers into muffin cups. Lightly spray wrappers with nonstick cooking spray and bake until lightly browned, 6-9 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Combine with crabmeat, scallion whites, ginger and soy sauce. Fill each wonton wrapper with filling. Bake until filling is heated through, 6-8 minutes.
- Sprinkle with scallion greens. Serve warm.
(Family Features)With more time spent in the kitchen, people are increasingly looking to different ingredients for inspiration. That includes seafood – sales of canned and frozen seafood are 37% higher than last year, according to IRI Worldwide.
If you’re not familiar with buying and cooking seafood, there’s nothing to fear. Frozen seafood is an affordable, nutritious and sustainable protein that can earn a spot in your kitchen. Good food pioneers chef Nora Pouillon, a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and her daughter, Blue Circle Foods product director Nina Damato, offer these recommendations for sustainable frozen seafood, from defrosting techniques to cooking tips and seasonal pairings.
Why buy frozen?
Frozen seafood is just as high quality as fresh since modern techniques like flash-freezing preserve fish moments after it is caught. Stores generally carry a larger selection of frozen fish and it’s typically less expensive than fresh seafood. Because frozen fish keeps longer, you can find greater variety and more sustainable options. Plus, it’s convenient – use exactly the portion you need and save the rest for later – making it perfect for meal planning.
What about taste?
When done right, freezing locks in flavor and nutrients, so you can enjoy frozen fish that’s every bit as delicious as when it was caught.
How long will it last?
Frozen fish is safe indefinitely, but for best quality, the USDA recommends using frozen fish within 3-8 months after purchase.
How can you thaw frozen fish safely?
If you know you’ll be serving fish, pop frozen fillets in the fridge the night before or the morning you plan to cook them.
How can you cook directly from frozen?
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Remove frozen fillets from packaging and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Arrange fillets on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil on all sides and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until fish is tender and flakes easily.
How should you season frozen fish?
Salt and pepper can enhance seafood’s flavor. If you’re feeling bold, a simple glaze or a crust of seasonings can elevate your fish to the next level.
What pairs well with frozen fish?
Frozen fish is a versatile protein that plays well with many recipes. Fatty fish like salmon brings out the flavors in seasonal veggies including zucchini and summer squash, while leaner fillets like cod can be breaded or used in tacos.
Fish also pairs excellently with a variety of wines. The trick is to serve delicate fish with light wines and heartier fish with richer, more substantial wines. If you’re in the mood for salmon, try Pouillon’s Pumpkin Seed Crusted Salmon. This recipe also works well with cod and can be served with a rosé for a tasty seasonal pairing.
To learn more about frozen seafood and purchase sustainable fish, visit bluecirclefoods.com.
Pumpkin Seed Crusted Salmon
Recipe courtesy of chef Nora Pouillon
- 2 cups frozen sweet corn
- 1 can (4 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked chili (optional)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 4 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sliced scallions
- 2 Blue Circle Frozen Atlantic Salmon Fillets
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Mix corn, black beans, bell pepper, cilantro, ground cumin and smoked chili, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread onto baking dish.
- In blender, pulse pumpkin seeds, oil, sliced scallions and salt and pepper, to taste, until paste forms.
- Coat frozen salmon fillets with pumpkin seed paste.
- Place fillets in baking dish on top of black bean and corn salad. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (salmon on ice)
Source: Blue Circle Foods
(Culinary.net) Make your next family meal quick and tasty with a recipe that calls for common ingredients and simple preparation. These Southwest Salmon Patties are ideal for putting on the table on those busy weeknights, bringing the family together despite hectic schedules.
Find more family meal inspiration at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Southwest Salmon Patties
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 4 teaspoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs, divided
- 1 pound skinless, boneless salmon filets, chopped
- 4 ounces whole green chiles, drained and chopped
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- In medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro.
- In large bowl, combine salt, pepper, 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, salmon, chiles, scallions and 3 tablespoons mayonnaise mixture. Form salmon mixture into four patties. Cover patties with remaining breadcrumbs.
- In skillet, heat oil. Add breaded patties and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.
- Serve with remaining mayonnaise mixture.
(Family Features) Backyard barbecues and family picnics are plentiful during the summer months, so chances are good you’ll host (or attend) at least one event this season. While you’ll likely feast on a bevy of hamburgers, hot dogs and summer salads, a menu filled with fresh, delicious sides makes for a meal worth celebrating.
There’s certainly more than one way to create a menu for a casual backyard picnic, so it’s easy to plan dishes that everyone can enjoy. When organizing your menu, be sure to consider your guests and prepare a selection of side dishes that are both age-appropriate and satisfy a wide range of cravings. Here are some creative ways to put a twist on classic side dishes to make your meal memorable:
Pasta medley. When you’re serving a group with kids, a simple pasta salad is a must-have side that even picky eaters will enjoy. Simply prepare your favorite noodles (fun shapes like spirals or bowties if you’re thinking kid-friendly) then add an array of ingredients like cubed cheese, olives, cherry tomatoes and broccoli florets with some extra-virgin olive oil. For a more grown-up flavor, combine feta cheese and bits of fresh basil with a drizzle of Bolthouse Farms Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing for an extra kick of flavor.
Naturally sweet treats. Many traditional sweet dishes are simply impractical for a hot summer day. As an alternative, something lighter can help satisfy a sweet tooth without the bulk of a heavy cake or pie. Try a mixed berry bowl with all your favorite seasonal fruits like fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. It’s a cheerful presentation and an option all ages can enjoy. Add a few sprigs of mint for garnish for a little festive fun.
Crisp coleslaw salad. A refreshing salad is almost always a crowd-pleaser. Instead of a traditional tossed garden salad, try adding some crunch with a zesty coleslaw salad. This recipe uses all chopped vegetables, allowing you to help reduce food waste by choosing veggies that are not the most beautiful on the shelf, but still taste delicious. Try using an option like Bolthouse Farms Coleslaw dressing to make these veggies and coleslaw even more delicious by giving you the classic, tangy, creamy and sweet coleslaw taste you love with less fat and fewer calories than other refrigerated brands. Just pour, mix in with cabbage and enjoy. Another tip: balance your crunchy veggies with some sweetness, like bits of apple, pear, persimmon or nectarine, for a truly flavorful salad.
Look in the refrigerated area of the produce section to pick up any of the Bolthouse Farms dressing varieties or visit Bolthouse.com to learn more.
“Ugly” Summer Coleslaw Salad
Recipe courtesy of Two Purple Figs
- 1/2 head white cabbage (about 4 cups)
- 2 scallions
- 1 carrot
- 1 apple
- 1 pear
- 1/2 bottle Bolthouse Farms® Coleslaw dressing
- 1 cup pomegranate arils (optional)
- Using shredder disc in food processor, shred cabbage, scallions, carrot, apple and pear. Add dressing and pulse until smooth.
- Sprinkle with pomegranate arils, if desired, and serve.
Content courtesy of Bolthouse Farms®.
Source: Bolthouse Farms