recipes

Snacks 14 August 2018

Sweet, Simple After-School Snacking

(Family Features) With school back in full swing, the days will be full, packed with classes, homework and after-school sports, music and other extracurricular activities. To make the most of all these endeavors, it’s important to eat well to sustain the critical energy and focus required throughout the day.

Smart fueling includes keeping nourishing snacks such as heart-healthy grapes on-hand – whether at home, in the car or coming off the field. Fresh California grapes – simple, convenient and nutritious – can make for a delicious snack on their own.

Available in three appealing colors – red, green and black – crisp, juicy grapes can add a tasty touch when hunger calls for an afternoon energy boost. Grapes also pair well with crackers, cheese and nuts for other snack combos.

Yet another way to enjoy fresh grapes is to blend them with other fruits and vegetables to create smoothie bowls, a nutritious option to help ensure that a variety of healthy ingredients are part of a balanced day.

Smoothie bowls work well as a snack or even a quick breakfast, and also provide a way for parents to introduce their kids to new, healthier bites.

This Grape Smoothie Bowl is fresh, flavorful and full of sweet grape taste for a quick fix that can leave bodies fueled and ready to take on the rest of the day.

Find more information and snack ideas at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.
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Grape Smoothie Bowl

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/2       avocado
  • 2          medium bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 1          cup packed baby spinach
  • 2          cups green California grapes, divided
  • 1          cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1          piece fresh ginger (1-inch length), peeled and sliced (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1          tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons toasted coconut chips
  1. In blender, combine avocado, bananas, spinach, 1 cup grapes, almond milk, ginger and salt; blend until smooth. Pour into two bowls. Halve remaining grapes and place on top of smoothie bowls along with chia seeds and coconut chips.

Nutritional information per serving: 370 calories; 5 g protein; 66 g carbohydrates; 13 g fat (32% calories from fat); 3.5 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 200 mg sodium; 10 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Meal Ideas 11 June 2018

Brighten and Awaken Summer Flavors

(Family Features) Summer provides an abundance of delicious, fresh-picked flavors, giving home chefs plenty of opportunities to use them in both classic recipes and newfound favorites. From sides to salads to smoothies and everything in between, summer is all about creating dishes that taste tempting, bright and balanced.

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Using seasonal ingredients, like peaches and other sun-ripened fruits, can help play up the bounty of summer for all types of eating occasions. However, with a wide variety of available choices, it can be a dizzying task to select recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

This summer, Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and celebrity chef Candice Kumai – also known as the “Golden Girl of Wellness” – recommend these make-at-home recipes to help brighten and awaken the best flavors at your table.

“Apple cider vinegar is my favorite natural way to cook, look and feel my very best for all of summer,” Kumai said. “These recipes feature its powerful benefits and bright taste, which awaken summertime cooking.”

Kumai recommends her Carrot Beauty Noodles as a show-stopping side dish to accompany main courses throughout the summer, while a light and savory Miso Kale Caesar Salad can curb and satisfy appetites before dinner. Meanwhile, the fresh-and-fruity versatility of this Peach Smoothie means you can enjoy it at breakfast, as a nutritious midday snack or even for dessert.

All three recipes feature Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, which is raw, unfiltered, made with the mother and can be a chef’s secret ingredient to brighten and awaken taste buds to the true flavors of food by enhancing your favorite recipes during the summer or any time of year. Because it’s crafted with care, the clean, crisp flavors provide a difference you can see and taste while helping add a perfect sweet-and-sour balance to traditional meals as well as new favorites.

With so many fresh, delicious choices, summer is the perfect opportunity to make the most of flavors in almost anything you’re making, but selecting the right recipes and ingredients can be the first step toward truly soaking up the brightness of the season.

Find more tips and recipes for enjoying summer flavors at NaturesIntentVinegars.com, and find Nature’s Intent on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Carrot Beauty Noodles

Recipe courtesy of Candice Kumai
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2          cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • 3          tablespoons organic red miso paste
  • 3          tablespoons Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons roasted sesame oil
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  • 2          teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2          tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 9          cups spiralized carrots
  • 2          cups shelled organic edamame
  • 1          avocado, cubed
  • 2          tablespoons fresh mint (leaves removed from stems)
  • 2          tablespoons ground sesame seeds
  1. Cook rice or quinoa according to package directions.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, add red miso paste, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, roasted sesame oil, honey, ginger and tamari or soy sauce. Whisk well to combine. Add spiralized carrots, edamame and cooked rice or quinoa. Toss well to coat.
  3. Garnish with avocado cubes, fresh mint leaves and ground sesame seeds.

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Peach Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Candice Kumai
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 1/2    cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2       frozen banana
  • 3/4       cup sweet-potato puree
  • 3          cups frozen organic peaches
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground ginger
  • 1/4       teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1          scoop collagen powder
  • 1-2       tablespoons Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  1. In blender, combine almond milk, banana, sweet-potato puree, peaches, ginger, cinnamon, collagen powder and apple cider vinegar; blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

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Miso Kale Caesar Salad

Recipe courtesy of Candice Kumai
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

Dressing:

  • 1/4       cup tahini paste (ground sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4       cup organic red or white miso paste
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 3          tablespoons Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Salad:

  • 1          large bunch finely chopped curly kale, destemmed
  • 1/2       cup (about 1 ear) raw white corn, shaved off cob
  • 2          cups daikon radish (about 1/2 radish), peeled, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 2          ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2          tablespoons baked hemp seeds

Optional toppings:

  • 8          ounces wild salmon, grilled
  • 8          ounces organic tofu, grilled and cubed
  1. To make dressing: In medium mixing bowl, whisk tahini paste, organic miso paste, rice vinegar, honey and apple cider vinegar.
  2. Add kale, corn and daikon radish. Toss well to coat with dressing.
  3. Serve topped with cubed avocado, hemp seeds and salmon or tofu, if desired.

Source:  Nature’s Intent

Meal Ideas 19 March 2018

Refreshing Recipes for a Healthier Spring

Add healthy avocado for fresh, creamy flavor

(Family Features) For many, spring is an opportunity to hit refresh on many aspects of life, including what you eat. Rather than instituting a restrictive diet that forces you to cut back on your favorite snacks and dishes, consider making simple changes that can go a long way so you can enjoy the flavors of the season without sacrificing taste or eating less.
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For example, Atkins offers a long-term, healthy lifestyle featuring a balanced approach of high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats, while focusing on reducing levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and “hidden sugars,” which are the carbohydrates that convert to sugar in the body – you can’t see them but your body does.

Fresh flavors abound during spring, and you can enjoy nature’s bounty while avoiding hidden sugars by selecting high-fiber, low-glycemic fruits and vegetables. For example, a single avocado contains 10 grams of dietary fiber in addition to healthy fat. Consider a menu comprised of recipes like Egg-Filled Avocado with Prosciutto, Avocado Kale Berry Smoothie Bowl and Thai Peanut Buddha Bowl.

Live Low-Carb

Find more inspiration, tips and recipes by seeking out additional resources like “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook for Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle.” The book, filled with 100 whole-food recipes and simple solutions for living a low-carb lifestyle, contains a variety of meal plans, low-carb takes on classic comfort foods and tips for creating a low-carb kitchen. Readers can also learn about Atkins 100, a flexible and personalized low-carb lifestyle program.

Learn more about the benefits of a balanced, flexible, low-carb approach to eating at Atkins.com.
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Thai Peanut Buddha Bowl

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • Olive oil spray
  • 2          skinless, boneless  chicken breasts  (12 ounces total)
  • 4          cups baby spinach
  • 1          ripe Hass avocado,  thinly sliced
  • 1          medium zucchini,  cut into noodle  shapes
  • 2          carrots, cut into  noodle shapes
  • 2          radishes, thinly  sliced
  • 8          sprigs cilantro

Dressing:

  • 1/2       cup peanut butter
  • 3          tablespoons coconut  milk
  • 1          tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2          teaspoons hot chili  sauce
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 1          tablespoon minced  fresh ginger
  • 1          tablespoon sesame  oil
  • 3          tablespoons hot  water
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Coat small skillet with olive oil spray. Add chicken to skillet and cook 3-4 minutes, turning once or twice to brown chicken. Slide into oven and bake 6- 8 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in center when sliced with a knife. Set aside to rest 5 minutes then shred.
  3. To make dressing: In large bowl, mix peanut butter, coconut milk, fish sauce, chili sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and hot water. Whisk well until smooth.
  4. Divide spinach and avocado among four bowls. Top with chicken, zucchini, carrots, radishes and cilantro. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

Tip: If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can achieve the same effect by using a vegetable peeler to shave thin ribbons. You can also use a mandoline vegetable slicer then use a knife to cut the strips into thinner noodle-like strips.

Nutritional information per serving: 10.8 g net carbs; 427 calories; 18.1 g total carbs; 7.3 g fiber; 21.8 z protein; 30.7 g fat.
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Egg-Filled Avocado with Prosciutto

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 6          ounces watercress or baby spinach
  • 2          tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8          large eggs
  • 4          ripe Hass avocados, halved lengthwise and pitted
  • olive oil spray
  • 8          slices (about 4 ounces) prosciutto
  1. Place the watercress or baby spinach in large bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss well. Divide among four small plates.
  2. In large skillet, heat 2 inches water over medium heat until bubbles cover bottom and sides of pan. Crack eggs into small bowl (do not use eggs with broken yolks). When a few bubbles have broken surface of water, gently pour each egg into pan, leaving room between them.
  3. Cook eggs, without stirring, until whites are just set and yolks are still runny, 2-3 minutes. Use rubber spatula to gently release eggs from bottom of pan, if necessary. Using slotted spoon, remove eggs from water and drain on paper towels.
  4. Place poached egg in each avocado half. Coat medium skillet with olive oil spray. Heat skillet over medium heat and add prosciutto. Cook until crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer two avocado-filled egg halves to each plate and serve immediately with two slices prosciutto.

Nutritional information per serving: 4.1g net carbs; 422 calories; 16 g total carbs; 11.9 g fiber; 18.5 g protein; 34 g fat.
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Avocado Kale Berry Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/3       cup plain protein powder
  • 1          cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 1/2       ripe Hass avocado
  • 1          cup kale leaves
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1          teaspoon stevia (sugar substitute)
  • 1/2       cup fresh or frozen berries such as blackberries, strawberries or raspberries
  • 2          tablespoons almond or walnut halves
  • 2          tablespoons chia seeds
  1. In blender, blend protein powder, yogurt, water, avocado, kale, mint and stevia until smooth then divide between two bowls.
  2. Sprinkle berries, nuts and chia seeds over smoothies. Serve immediately.

Nutritional information per serving: 12.5 g net carbs; 356 calories; 24.2 g total carbs; 11.8 g fiber; 32.2 g protein; 15.6 g fat.

Source: Atkins

Snacks 25 October 2017

Pumpkin-Perfect Autumn Recipes

(Family Features) Fall is perfect for making time for fun before the busy holiday season – go for a fall picnic, visit your local orchard or pumpkin patch, and take advantage of all the flavors fall has to offer. Try these delicious, comforting, no-hassle fall ideas that won’t carve a big chunk out of your budget:

  • The great taste of seasonal produce can stand on its own, adding star power to simple recipes. Baked pears or apples are a sweet, festive treat. Slice them in half and fill with walnuts, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until the sugars caramelize and fruits soften.
  • Take on-the-go snacks to the next level by coating almonds or garbanzo beans in your favorite seasonal spices and baking until crispy.

No matter the season, trim time grocery shopping by relying on a one-stop-shop like ALDI. Whether you’re looking for a new pumpkin spice treat or need quality ingredients for your famous chili, you can find it all at wallet-friendly prices.

Find more tips and recipes for a hassle-free fall at ALDI.us.

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1/2       cup Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
  • 1/2       cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2       frozen banana
  • 1/2       cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almondmilk
  • 2          teaspoons Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice

Optional garnishes:

  • SimplyNature Flax Seed
  • Southern Grove Chia Seeds
  • Baker’s Corner Semi-Sweet Mini Morsels
  • Southern Grove Chopped Pecans, toasted
  • Apple slices
  • SimplyNature Organic Ground Cinnamon
  1. Blend canned pumpkin, yogurt, banana, milk, syrup and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl. Top with desired garnishes.          

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Mini Pumpkin Parfait with Cranberry Caramel

Recipe courtesy of Chef Kates, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1          package Cafe Bistro Spekulatius Spiced Cookies
  • 1/2       cup Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 1/2       cup packed Baker's Corner Brown Sugar
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 1          cup Sweet Harvest Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • 8          ounces Happy Farms Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread, softened
  • 1/4       cup Baker's Corner Powdered Sugar
  • 1          cup Baker's Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
  • 8          ounces Friendly Farms Whipped Topping, divided
  1. Place cookies in food processor and pulse to form fine crumbs. 
  2. In medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add cookie crumbs and stir over medium heat 5 minutes, or until toasted. Remove from heat.
  3. To make caramel: Bring brown sugar and water to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, or until color changes to dark amber. Do not stir, but watch closely. Stir in cranberry sauce and remaining butter. Return to simmer and continue stirring until well combined and thickened slightly, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Press warm cookie crumbs in bottom of small serving glasses, such as clear shot glasses, espresso cups, small bowls or parfait glasses. Set aside.
  5. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and continue mixing to combine. Gently fold in 6 ounces whipped topping.
  6. To complete assembly, top crumbs with layers of cranberry caramel and pumpkin cream. Repeat layers, including crumbs, 2-3 times depending on glass size. Top each parfait with dollop of remaining whipped topping. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 8 hours.

Source: ALDI

Breakfast & Brunch 11 August 2017

Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Busy School Days

(Family Features) When the school year rolls around, switching from pool to school means finding simpler ways to kick off the day with healthy and nutritious options.

Preparing feel-good breakfasts can be as easy as picking and putting together the right ingredients, if you know where to buy them. At grocery stores like ALDI, parents can conveniently find choices they can feel good about feeding their families, including fresh produce and organic, non-GMO and gluten-free options. Parents can also shop easier knowing ALDI private label items – which make up 90 percent of its products – are free from certified synthetic colors, added trans fats and MSG.

After the shopping trip, try these make-ahead breakfast ideas to give the busy mornings a boost:

  • Homemade energy bars are an easy breakfast option that can keep you fueled until lunch. For simple bars, heat coconut oil and vanilla in a saucepan until combined then transfer to a large bowl and mix with cashew butter, oats, dried fruits and granola. Press the mixture between two cookie sheets to flatten, refrigerate 2 hours and slice into bars.
  • Portion out produce for daily breakfast smoothies. Seal each weekday’s smoothie ingredients in separate plastic bags and simply toss the ingredients in a blender each morning. Enjoy your smoothie in a tumbler or try something new, such as this Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl.
  • Use your slow cooker to make oatmeal. Before heading to bed, simply add milk, vanilla and your favorite sweetener to rolled oats and cook on low 7-8 hours. Include dried fruit to soak up moisture and provide a sweet, juicy addition. Or try these Morning Oasis Overnight Oats for a no-cook variation on traditional oatmeal for a quick, crunchy start to the day.

Make school mornings a breeze with more quick recipes at aldi.us.

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Morning Oasis Overnight Oats

Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus overnight to set)
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3

  • 1 1/2    cups Millville Quick Oats
  • 1          teaspoon Southern Grove Chia Seeds
  • 2          cups Friendly Farms Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1/8       teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  • 3          tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey, divided
  • 1/4       cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, toasted
  • 1/4       cup Southern Grove Whole Almonds, toasted
  • 1          mango, sliced
  • 1/4       cup chopped coconut
  • .45       ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, shaved
  • .45       ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, melted
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In large mason jar, combine oats, chia seeds, almond milk, salt and 2 tablespoons honey. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. In medium bowl, combine quinoa, almonds and remaining honey. Spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Remove, cooling completely and crumbling. Store in re-sealable bag overnight.
  4. The next day, stir oats and pour desired amount into serving bowl. Top with mango, coconut, shaved chocolate and candied quinoa. Drizzle with melted chocolate.

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Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen   
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 3/4       cup blackberries
  • 1/4       cup blueberries
  • 1/4       cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 3/4       cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
  • 1/2       avocado
  • 1/2       frozen banana
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Pure Vanilla
  • 1          teaspoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
  • 2          teaspoons lime juice

Optional garnishes:

  • SimplyNature Flax Seed
  • Southern Grove Chia Seeds
  • Southern Grove Sliced Almonds, toasted
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Lime zest
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and add garnishes as desired.

Source: ALDI

Healthy 06 June 2017

Go Ahead ... Eat the Whole Watermelon

(Family Features) Sliced or diced, grilled or blended, there are countless ways to prepare watermelon. With some fruits, half or more is wasted when you throw away the seeds and peel, but you may be surprised to learn that you can use an entire watermelon, including the rind, to make delicious and refreshing dishes.

Most people think of watermelon as a sweet, juicy snack perfect for hot summer days, but with its high water content (92 percent), the fruit is more than just tasty. It’s also an ideal way to keep your body hydrated. What’s more, the ability to use the entire fruit makes watermelon one of the most versatile and value-conscious options in the produce department.

An average watermelon consists of about 70 percent fruit and 30 percent rind. Hollowed out, the rind is an attractive way to serve any number of recipes, but the rind is actually edible, too, and can be stir-fried, stewed or pickled, or even enjoyed raw. This yummy slaw gets its distinctive crunch from the watermelon rind, which is packed with citrulline and arginine, two compounds that may aid in healthy blood flow.

Watermelon is also a flavorful substitute for tomatoes, as shown in this traditional Italian appetizer, and contains higher levels of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable per serving, according to award-winning nutrition author and registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer.

Additionally, it lends some sweetness to a spicy salsa and a refreshing twist on a summery salad. You can also try blending watermelon with other fresh fruits for a super smoothie or mixing it up with some adult libations (and don’t forget, you can transform the rind into a mini-keg in minutes; just add a pour spout).

Find more ideas for using every bite of fruit, juice and rind at watermelon.org.

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Watermelon Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Makes: 6 servings

  • 12 slices watermelon cut into rounds or squares, approximately 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig basil, for garnish
  1. Place watermelon slices on paper towels and cover with additional paper towels to absorb excess fluid.
  2. In small saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar and honey. Stir to blend, bring to simmer and reduce heat. Stir occasionally until mixture is reduced by almost half. (Do not let reduce too far or allow to froth.) Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. On large platter, place watermelon slices and top each with slice of cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste, then sprinkle basil leaves evenly over top. Drizzle with olive oil, followed by reduced balsamic vinegar. Garnish with sprig of basil.

Tip: Use red and yellow watermelon for an extra pretty presentation.

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Watermelon Rind Slaw

Makes: 4 one-cup servings

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Slaw:

  • 4 cups grated watermelon rind (fruit and green peel removed)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  1. In small bowl, blend Greek yogurt, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, poppy seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. Place watermelon rind on several layers of paper towels to soak up excess fluid.
  3. In medium bowl, place dressing, rind, carrot and pineapple, and toss to thoroughly coat.

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Watermelon Slice Ice Pops

Makes: 5-15 servings

  • 5-15 watermelon slices, cut into triangular wedge shapes, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 5-15 ice pop sticks
  1. Insert ice pop stick into rind of each slice.

Optional variation: After inserting sticks, freeze ice pops before serving.

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Superfood Smoothie

Makes: 3 cups

  • 2 cups cubed and seeded watermelon
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup raspberry kefir
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons hemp
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • ice (optional)
  1. Place watermelon, raspberries, raspberry kefir, orange juice concentrate, hemp, agave syrup and ice, if desired, in blender and blend until smooth.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Snacks 05 June 2017

Smart Summer Snacks

(Family Features) A busy summer schedule requires plenty of energy, and while relaxation is sure to help, what you eat is your essential source of fuel. Just like filling up your gas tank, food is what makes your body go.

A well-balanced approach to eating is a smart way to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to power you through each fun-filled day and keep you operating in tip-top shape. An eating plan such as Atkins offers a balanced approach with delicious foods that contain fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates and good fats and proteins, while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars.

Reach for snacks full of seasonal fruits and vegetables like peaches, cucumbers, zucchini and raspberries that will satisfy your appetite and fuel your summer days. Find more warm-weather recipes and tips to stay energized throughout the season at Atkins.com.

Avoid the Hidden Sugar Effect

The frenetic pace of summer activities makes on-the-go foods the norm. While many portable snacks tout healthy benefits and good-for-you nutrition, it’s easy to be confused about what truly makes up nutritious foods, as well as how the body responds to various foods.

According to the recent Sugar Gap Study conducted by Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., there is a significant gap in Americans’ knowledge about nutrition and the “hidden sugar effect,” where certain foods turn into sugar during the digestive process. While a person can’t see these sugars, his or her body can. The study revealed that only 1 in 10 Americans are aware that certain foods can cause the hidden sugar effect.

Make better choices and avoid hidden sugars this summer with these tips for finding foods that won’t create excessive sugar spikes:

  • Beware of sugary beverages, especially fruit juices. Keeping well hydrated is especially important when temperatures rise, but sweet drinks can pack an excessive amount of sugar.
  • Know that not all snack bars are created equal – with many packing a sugary punch. An option such as the Atkins Harvest Trail Coconut Almond Bar combines roasted coconut and almonds which can keep you feeling full and satisfied without the hidden sugars.
  • Understand which foods can cause blood sugar spikes – it’s more than cakes and candy. All carbohydrates elevate blood sugar; even ancient grains and brown rice convert into sugar when digested, making it important to enjoy these foods in smaller portions. Learn more at hiddensugar.com.

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Tropical Raspberry Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 4 ounces firm silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup red raspberries, plus additional (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar substitute (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3 ice cubes
  • whipped cream (optional)
  1. In blender, combine coconut cream, tofu, raspberries, sugar substitute, if desired, and coconut extract; blend until smooth. To remove seeds, strain mixture through sieve then return to blender.
  2. With machine running, add ice cubes, one at a time, and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into tall glass and garnish with whipped cream and raspberries, if desired.

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Peachy Prosciutto Bites

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 (3 bites per serving)

  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 2 medium peaches (each 2 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • sugar substitute (optional)
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 12 basil leaves (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
    In single layer, toast almonds 10 minutes. Let cool then coarsely chop. Set aside.
    Slice each peach into six wedges and set aside.
  2. In small bowl, combine softened cream cheese with cinnamon and pinch of sugar substitute. Add almonds; blend to combine.
  3. Lay out single slice of prosciutto, place 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on top of peach wedge and top with basil leaf. Place wedge at one end of prosciutto and roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Smoked Salmon, Cucumber and Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 cucumbers (8 1/4 inches long each)
  • 8 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 12 ounces smoked chinook salmon (lox)
  1. Use mandolin or vegetable peeler to cut long, thin strips of cucumber.
  2. Spread cream cheese onto smoked salmon, place strip of cucumber at one edge and roll up with salmon and cream cheese. Pin in place with toothpick. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Zucchini Crisps

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
  • rosemary (optional)
  • dill (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch slices. If small, cut diagonally. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and Parmesan. Season as desired with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, rosemary or dill.
  3. Place in single layer on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, turning once. Cool on wire rack.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Atkins

Beverages 30 March 2017

Refresh Your Routine with Protein-Packed Smoothies

(Family Features) Spring brings warmer weather and a fresh start, making it the perfect time to reinvigorate your workout routine and healthy habits by starting with fresh ingredients. Whether you’re training for an upcoming event or simply looking for new and easy nutritious meal options, these protein-packed recipes prepared by U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s chef and registered dietician Megan Chacosky are perfect for casual fitness enthusiasts and elite athletes alike.

Few people understand the nutritional needs of athletes during their spring training period better than Chacosky. She stresses the importance of protein to all athletes. Boosting a simple smoothie recipe with a tasty solution like Rockin’ Refuel is an easy way to add a high-quality source of protein.

Made from pure, fresh milk, Rockin’ Refuel is a healthy option to start your day or recover after a workout. Chacosky typically uses one full bottle, which contains up to 30 grams of protein, as the base ingredient in smoothie recipes and adds fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

For example, Chacosky’s Spicy Chocolate Avocado Smoothie can be your solution following intense workouts to help repair and replenish muscles, or you can prepare for a big race with a Berry Cherry Blend Smoothie with its full serving of antioxidants. For athletes looking to maintain or lose weight while still taking in a daily dose of protein, her Lean Chai Latte Smoothie makes for a nutritious mid-day snack.

Find tips to optimize your nutrition at rockinrefuel.com.

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Lean Chai Latte Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Megan Chacosky on behalf of Rockin’ Refuel

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Rockin’ Refuel Vanilla Lean Builder
  • 1 tablespoon loose chai tea or contents of 1 tea bag
  • 1/4 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 cups ice
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency.

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Berry Cherry Blend

Recipe courtesy of Megan Chacosky on behalf of Rockin’ Refuel

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Rockin’ Refuel Strawberry Muscle Builder
  • 1/4 cup plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen tart cherries
  • 1 cup spinach
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency.

Tip: Use as morning meal replacement by adding 1-2 teaspoons chia seeds or 1-2 tablespoons oats for added fiber.

 

Spicy Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Megan Chacosky on behalf of Rockin’ Refuel

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Rockin’ Refuel Chocolate Muscle Recovery
  • 1/4 cup plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 cup ice
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency.

Tip: Add 1-2 teaspoons chia seeds or 1-2 tablespoons oats to add fiber.

Source: Rockin' Refuel

Beverages 03 October 2016

Chillingly Creative Drinks for Halloween

(Family Features) If you’re planning a monster bash this Halloween, brew up drinks so frightfully delicious that it will spook the taste buds of every little ghost, witch and goblin.

The Spooky Smoothie is a flavorful combination of vanilla milk and Greek yogurt, which is blended with ice and topped with whipped cream. The fun is all in the orange-tinted Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, so make sure to serve it in a clear glass. And ghosts will rise from the dead for the chocolaty Monster Mash Mudslide. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TruMooMilk.

Both of these tasty concoctions feature TruMoo, which is made with 35 percent less total sugar than the leading chocolate and vanilla milk competitor and has no high fructose corn syrup. That’s one thing that won’t scare you this Halloween season.

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Spooky Smoothie

Yield: 4 servings

  • 3 cups Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, orange color
  • 1 1/2 cups lowfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 5 cups ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup fat free whipped cream
  • Candy corn for garnish, optional
  1. In blender, combine vanilla milk, yogurt and ice cubes. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.
  2. To serve, pour into serving glasses. Top with whipped cream and candy corn.

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Monster Mash Mudslide

Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 cups TruMoo Lowfat Chocolate Milk
  • 10 chocolate wafer cookies, coarsely broken
  • 1/2 cup frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
  • 8 mini chocolate chips or mini chocolate candies (orange/brown color recommended)
  1. In blender, blend chocolate milk and chocolate wafer cookies until smooth. Heat mixture in saucepan or microwave until just heated through.
  2. To serve, pour chocolate milk mixture into 4 glasses. For each serving, spoon a large, upright dollop of whipped topping to resemble a ghost. Insert chocolate chips or chocolate candies into dollop for eyes.

Note: To enjoy a cold mudslide, do not heat in saucepan or microwave.

Source: TruMoo

Dessert 01 June 2016

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Ice Pops

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Strawberry Banana Smoothie Ice Pops

  • 1 cup Tree Top Apple Juice
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled, sliced and frozen
  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, sliced and frozen
  • 6 ounces vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into ice pop forms or paper cups. Place ice pop sticks in center and freeze, inverted, for 3 hours or until solid. Keep frozen until ready to serve.

Source: Tree Top

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