(Family Features) No matter how busy your schedule gets this fall, it’s important to take time to nurture your physical and mental health and well-being. With busy schedules underway, remember to take time to cook and eat together with loved ones.
In fact, research from the “Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health” shows regular family meals make it more likely kids and adults will eat more fruits and vegetables.
Making healthy choices, including eating fruits, like those in Apple Nachos, and vegetables have also been linked to greater happiness, according to research published in “Canadian Family Physician,” and can help you through the transition back to school, the office or wherever your routine takes you. Pairing a healthy diet with other science-backed tips and recipes from the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative, supported by Kroger Health, can help you and your family feel your best.
For more free recipes, and to access more health tips, visit heart.org/healthyforgood.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative
- 1/3 cup dried unsweetened cranberries or raisins
- 1/4 cup sliced unsalted almonds
- 2 tablespoons unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
- 3 medium green or red apples, cored and thinly sliced into 12 wedges each, divided
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup smooth low-sodium peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- In small bowl, stir cranberries, almonds and sunflower seeds.
- Layer 18 apple wedges on large plate or platter. Sprinkle with lemon juice to keep apples from browning.
- In small microwaveable bowl, microwave water on high 2 minutes, or until boiling. Add peanut butter and honey, stirring until mixture is smooth.
- Using spoon, drizzle half peanut butter mixture over apple wedges. Sprinkle with half cranberry mixture. Layer remaining apples over cranberry mixture. Drizzle with remaining peanut butter mixture. Sprinkle remaining cranberry mixture over top.
Nutritional information per serving: 167 calories; 7.5 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 2.5 g polyunsaturated fat; 3.5 g monounsaturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 66 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 15 g sugar; 4 g protein.
Source: American Heart Association
(Family Features) One of the best parts of the holidays is the aromas and flavors of the season, from walnuts and cinnamon to peppermint and nutmeg. Sweet treats and mouthwatering desserts can bring family and friends around the table to celebrate the season together, one bite at a time.
During your festive gatherings this year, choose walnuts as the star baking ingredient. As many home cooks turn to wholesome ingredients that offer health benefits this holiday baking season, California walnuts make for a perfect addition to almost any dish and are an excellent source of omega-3 ALA (2.5g/oz). With a buttery flavor that elevates traditional and modern recipes, home bakers can do more with walnuts in the kitchen.
Part pumpkin, part cheesecake, this Walnut Pumpkin Cream Cheese Tart spices up the classic pumpkin pie recipe. Top it, or other favorite desserts, with light and airy Vanilla Walnut Whipped Cream flavored with honey and vanilla to complement festive dishes.
This holiday season, pick up a bag of walnuts for all your baking needs. To discover more festive dessert ideas, visit walnuts.org.
Walnut Pumpkin Cream Cheese Tart
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Sweet Tart Crust:
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/3 cup California walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
- 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup California walnuts, coarsely chopped
- whipped cream, for serving (optional)
- To make sweet tart crust: In medium bowl, stir flour, walnuts and powdered sugar. Stir in butter and egg. Using fork, stir well until soft dough forms. Gather into ball and wrap tightly.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or until dough is easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350 F and coat 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray.
- Lay pastry dough on lightly floured board and roll into 11-inch circle. Press dough into bottom and sides of prepared pan and poke with fork on bottom and sides. Bake 20 minutes.
- To make filling: In medium bowl, whisk pumpkin and cream cheese until smooth. Add brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk, beating until incorporated.
- Pour into prepared crust and top with walnuts. Bake 40 minutes, or until filling is set when pan is gently tapped.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve each slice with dollop of whipped cream, if desired.
Vanilla Walnut Whipped Cream
Total time: 8 minutes
- 2 1/2 cups California walnuts, divided
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons honey, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- In blender, puree 2 cups walnuts and water 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Add powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon honey, vanilla extract and salt; blend 30 seconds. Add remaining honey if sweeter taste is desired.
- To achieve thicker whipped cream, add remaining walnuts and puree until light and fluffy.
- Store tightly covered in refrigerator until ready to use.
Source: California Walnuts
(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.
Having enough energy and fuel to make it through a long day can be challenging. No matter if you’re a stay-at-home parent, corporate worker or small business owner, having a high energy level that lasts throughout the day is important for both you and those around you.
Having enough energy helps you stay alert and attentive to what is going on around you, whether that’s cleaning up after your little ones or filing a report your boss asked for.
When it comes to snacking during the day, these delicious, mouth-watering Energy Bites can give you the boost you need. They are made with creamy peanut butter and honey to curb your sweet cravings but still provide plenty of texture with shredded coconut and raw oats.
They are a perfect snack time nosh, rolled into simple balls, that can help you finish the task at hand.
Not only can they be that 2 p.m. pick-me-up, they are also simple to make and simply delightful to eat. You can store them in the refrigerator in a container for anytime snacking. Plus, the recipe makes 20 servings, which means it’s easy to prep your snacks for the entire week ahead of time.
Stop settling at snack time for stale crackers or high-calorie dips. Eating something that can make your body feel good and energize you for the rest of the day keeps you prepared for what’s to come.
Find more snack recipes at Culinary.net.
If you made this recipe at home, use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network to share your work.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup raw oats
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
- 6 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- In medium mixing bowl, stir peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract until combined.
- Add oats, coconut, flaxseed meal and chocolate chips. Mix until combined.
- Shape into 1-inch balls. Store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to serve.
(Family Features) After an extended period of social distancing, this year will be a time for reuniting with family and friends. Picnic get-togethers filled with delicious food are one of the best ways to reunite with loved ones when you’re ready for those long-overdue laughs.
While planning the perfect outdoor gathering can feel overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. With these simple tips, it can be easy to organize a memorable picnic reunion.
Make it fun. Whether it’s a water balloon toss or a three-legged race, organizing a few games for your guests can be a simple way to reconnect and have fun together. Outdoor games like ring toss and potato sack races or arts and crafts are activities all ages can enjoy.
Reach for pantry staples. No picnic is complete without good food. When planning your menu and packing your cooler, don’t stress. Before you make an extra trip to your local farmers market or grocery store, be sure to check your pantry. You probably already have the makings for simple yet delicious meals and snacks. For example, canned fruits, vegetables and proteins – like wild-caught tuna, salmon and sardines – can help you create and elevate your picnic recipes.
Host an eco-friendly picnic. Good food and good weather help make a successful picnic, but ensuring you leave your space as you found it is equally important. To minimize waste, invest in reusable picnicware, like utensils and plates. Also consider swapping your paper napkins for cloth versions. Not only are they more environmentally friendly, but they’ll also elevate the overall look of your picnic.
No grill, no problem. As more people seek out substitutes for red meat, change up your menu and serve seafood as a delicious alternative. For example, an Albacore Bliss Bowl made with Chicken of the Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water is a versatile choice that can be topped with veggies like cabbage, cucumber and carrot then drizzled with a homemade dressing. Since there’s no cooking required, you can easily prep ahead of time or even on-site. For those taking part in the day’s games and activities, try these Salmon Rollups which make perfect handheld snacks.
For more recipe inspiration while planning your next picnic reunion, visit chickenofthesea.com .
Albacore Bliss Bowl
Total time: 10 minutes
- 2 cans (5 ounces each) Chicken of the Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, drained and flaked
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup chopped purple cabbage
- 1/3 cup diced cucumber
- 1/3 cup shredded carrot
- 1/3 cup diced red pepper
- 1/3 cup diced mango
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds or black sesame seeds
- Divide cooked quinoa between four bowls. Top each with evenly divided tuna, cabbage, cucumber, carrots, red peppers, mango and green onions.
- In small bowl, whisk apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle over each bowl. Garnish with sesame seeds.
Total time: 15 minutes
- 1 can (5 ounce) Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup thick and chunky salsa, plus additional for dipping (optional)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup corn chips, crushed
- 4 flour tortillas (8 inches)
- 4 large leafy green lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry
- In bowl, combine cream cheese and 1/2 cup salsa until light and fluffy. Stir in salmon, cheese and corn chips.
- Spread 1/4 filling to within 1/2 inch of each tortilla edge. Arrange one lettuce leaf over filling. Roll up tortillas and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1-3 hours.
- To serve, remove plastic wrap, trim ends from rolls and cut each into 3-4 slices. Serve with additional salsa, if desired.
Source: Chicken of the Sea
(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) Busy mornings, afternoons and evenings are the norm for many families with days full of work, school, extracurricular activities, social commitments and more. Finding time to pause and share a meal is often a priority that may remain difficult to achieve.
With easy family-friendly recipes that call for Envy apples – named America’s No. 1 apple for taste, crispness, aroma and appearance, according to an independent sensory test by Forward Agency – you can bring your loved ones together for shared meals.
Crisp Apple Tacos put a fresh and sweet spin on a dinnertime classic by making tacos with pork medallions, homemade slaw and apple wedges. With plenty of easy prep work to be done, they’re a convenient way to call everyone to the kitchen; even little ones can help by mixing the dressing, apple sticks and cabbage for the tasty slaw.
For a quick and easy dinner option on busy summer nights, fire up the grill and cook Grilled Apple Portobello Burgers. Distinctly sweet apple rounds are paired with savory, umami-rich portobello mushrooms for a flavor-packed, meatless take on traditional burgers.
Easily recognized by their large, sharable size, Envy apples boast bright red skin that sometimes features a golden blush. They are ideal for snacking, with their satisfying crunch and balanced sweetness, and can also be served as part of any meal of the day. For example, Apple Avocado Toast provides a simple way to fuel up on weekday mornings or can be enjoyed as part of a weekend brunch with the family.
Find these delicious apples at a grocer near you by visiting EnvyApple.com.
Apple Avocado Toast
- 2 eggs
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- 1 Envy apple
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- edible flowers, for garnish
- In pot, cover eggs with 1 inch cold water. Boil 6-7 minutes then place in cool water bath.
- Peel eggs, halve lengthwise and set aside.
- Toast sourdough bread then mash avocado across bread with fork.
- Cut apple into thin slices and place on top of avocado along with egg halves. Top with lime juice, Parmesan cheese, chia seeds and chives.
- Garnish with edible flowers.
Grilled Apple Portobello Burgers
- 2 Envy apples
- 4 portobello mushrooms
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup herbed goat cheese
- 4 brioche buns
- 4 large butter lettuce leaves
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Heat grill to high heat.
- Slice apple horizontally into thick round wedges and remove seeds using fork.
- Remove portobello stems.
- In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and salt. Using basting brush, coat mushrooms on both sides with olive oil mixture.
- Grill mushrooms stem sides down 2 minutes then flip. Add goat cheese and grill 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Coat apple rounds with remaining olive oil and grill 1-2 minutes per side to lightly char.
- Serve mushrooms with apple rounds on brioche buns with lettuce and mayonnaise.
Crisp Apple Tacos
- 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 2 Envy apples, divided
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup shredded green cabbage
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 12 soft taco shells
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Cut pork crosswise into 1-inch medallions.
- Coat pork medallions with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper then add to saucepan over medium heat.
- Slice half of one apple into thick wedges and add to saucepan. Slice remaining half into thin wedges and set aside.
- Add rosemary to saucepan and heat 2-3 minutes. Flip pork and heat 2-3 minutes until pork is slightly golden and cooked through.
- Let pork rest 3 minutes then slice into strips.
- Thinly slice half of remaining apple into thin sticks around same size of shredded cabbage. Reserve remaining half.
- In serving bowl, toss apple sticks, carrots, red cabbage and green cabbage.
- In bowl, mix honey, mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar into dressing. Add additional salt and pepper, to taste.
- Mix dressing and cabbage; refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to serving.
- Cut remaining apple half into thin wedges.
- Top taco shells with pork, slaw, sour cream and squeeze of lime juice. Top with apple wedges.
Source: Envy Apples
(Family Features) As many people start getting back into normal routines, they’re returning to familiar on-the-go lifestyles by heading back to work, traveling to new destinations and enjoying time with loved ones.
While you get out to explore and gather with family and friends again, remember you’ll need fuel for your adventures. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, most Americans fail to get enough whole grains each day, opting instead for mostly refined grains.
Foods like tasty whole-grain popcorn offer an easy health hack so you can make every bite count. Try getting in the habit of popping 9 cups of popcorn in the morning and dividing it into two containers. Season one container with salt and herbs, the other with a pinch of sugar and cinnamon so you can alternate between sweet and salty throughout the day. Bringing delicious options like these while on the go can help satisfy hunger pangs while adding the fiber your body needs.
Because mouthwatering whole-grain popcorn is versatile and 3 cups is equal to one serving of whole grains, it’s a simple yet flavorful option for meeting dietary recommendations. It can be a breeze to add it to snacks like Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars, Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix or Sweet and Savory Curried Popcorn. You can even satisfy kids’ cravings with Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn, a six-ingredient recipe made in a matter of minutes.
Visit popcorn.org to find more nutritious snack ideas.
Sweet and Savory Curried Popcorn
Yield: 8 cups
- 8 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
- 1/3 cup ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt
- Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
- In saucepan over medium heat, melt ghee, brown sugar, honey, curry powder and cumin; stir until dissolved. Bring to light boil; remove from heat.
- Toss ghee mixture and salt with popcorn; transfer to serving bowl.
Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix
Yield: 9 cups
- 5 cups popped popcorn
- 3 cups whole-grain oat cereal
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup peanuts or other nuts
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- In large, microwavable bowl, stir popcorn, cereal, raisins, nuts and seeds; set aside.
- In small saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar and corn syrup until boiling; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly.
- Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after each minute.
- Spread onto greased cookie sheet; cool. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.
Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars
Yield: 12 bars
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup dried blueberries
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup whole natural almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
- Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In large bowl, combine popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds.
- In small saucepan over low heat, boil honey, brown sugar and butter 2 minutes. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Using damp hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into 12 bars.
- Dip bottoms of bars into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper-lined pan; refrigerate until ready to serve. Store in tight covered container in refrigerator.
Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn
Yield: 6 quarts
- 6 quarts popped popcorn
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Place popcorn in large, sealable plastic container or 2 1/2-gallon plastic sealable bag.
- Spray popcorn lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
- Sprinkle cheese, garlic salt, paprika and Italian seasoning over popcorn and shake to distribute evenly.
- To serve, scoop popcorn into reusable plastic cups.
Source: Popcorn Board
(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
(Family Features) Summer days are often spent with family and friends, soaking in the sun’s rays and enjoying outdoor living with warm-weather activities. Complement this year’s summertime excitement with food that matches your enthusiasm for the season.
Your menu can start with a fruity dip and a salad before diving into steak for the main course and a kid-friendly treat to top it all off. These recipes make the most of what summer has to offer with fresh fruits and veggies, bright and refreshing greens, tender cuts of meat and frozen treats that celebrate those memorable moments together.
Find more summer recipe inspiration at Culinary.net.
Dip Up a Good Time
Whether your summer days include planning extravagant meals or your on-the-go lifestyle calls for quick and easy recipes, simple snacks can fit a wide variety of menus. Dips are a perfect solution for afternoon pick-me-ups or evening appetizers when the whole family comes together.
This Apple Guacamole can be made in mere minutes, making it an ideal shareable among loved ones, by combining mashed avocados and seasonings with chopped Granny Smith apple pieces.
Visit Culinary.net for more snack ideas.
Recipe adapted from the Meredith Corporation
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 3 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
- 1/2 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
- 1/2 cup snipped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, juice only
- bottled hot pepper sauce, to taste
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- kosher salt, to taste
- tortilla chips
- In bowl, use fork to mash avocados, onion, cilantro, lime juice and hot pepper sauce to desired consistency. Stir in apple and season with salt, to taste.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
Savor a Bite of Steak
A hearty flavor profile and perfectly prepared, high-quality meat can make a summer meal truly spectacular, especially when paired with fresh veggies in a protein-packed sandwich.
Inspired by Vietnamese tradition, this Steak Banh Mi recipe – which features tender grass-fed flat iron steak, pickled carrots, bright lettuce and crunchy cucumbers – is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next summer gathering. Take your taste buds to new heights with Silver Fern Farms natural cuts of 100% grass-fed beef from New Zealand, which is minimally processed with no added growth hormones or antibiotics. There, the animals roam and graze freely over lush green hills and pastures, resulting in lean, flavorful, nutritious meat that tastes just as nature intended.
Visit silverfernfarms.com for more inspiration.
Steak Banh Mi
Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 10 ounces Silver Fern Farms New Zealand grass-fed beef flat iron steak
- 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon, plus 1/2 cup, rice vinegar, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Vietnamese baguettes or dinner rolls
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 4 Batavia lettuce leaves
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 Persian cucumber, sliced
- Remove steak from packaging and set aside 10 minutes. Once steak reaches room temperature, place steak in deep plate or storage container. In small bowl, combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, fish sauce, garlic, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar and five-spice powder; pour over steak. Cover and marinate in fridge at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- In small pot over medium heat, heat remaining rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Cook and stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Place carrots in deep plate or storage container. Pour cooled pickling liquid over carrots. Set aside to marinate.
- Remove steak from marinade and pat dry. Reserve marinade.
- Heat oven to 325 F.
- Heat heavy-bottomed pan over high heat and add oil. Once oil begins to smoke, add steak. Sear both sides, about 1 minute per side. Lower heat to medium.
- Add reserved marinade and water to pan. Cook, covered, 3 minutes, removing lid to flip meat occasionally. Remove lid and let sauce reduce 1 minute, or until slightly thickened.
- Transfer steak and sauce to large plate and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
- Toast baguettes in oven 5 minutes. Let cool 5-10 minutes.
- Slice baguettes along middle without cutting through.
- Slice steak into thin pieces.
- Spread mayonnaise on baguettes and add 1-2 lettuce leaves to each. Layer steak on lettuce leaves followed by cilantro, cucumbers and pickled carrots. Slice baguette into two sandwiches.
Go for Satisfying Summer Greens
Many summer meals start with a simple yet satisfying appetizer: salad. This year, make sure you set the table with a bright, delightful bowl of greens that sets the tone for an enjoyable and festive meal with loved ones.
This Apple, Strawberry, Blueberry Salad calls for an array of fruits, including a homemade blueberry dressing, paired with Fresh Express 5-Lettuce Mix for a fresh and flavorful base with pecan halves to add crunch. The salads are thoroughly washed, rinsed and gently dried then sealed in Keep-Crisp bags to maintain freshness.
Find more salad inspiration at freshexpress.com.
Apple, Strawberry, Blueberry Salad
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 large apples
- 2 packages (6 ounces each) Fresh Express 5-Lettuce Mix
- 1 pint strawberries, cut in half
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted
- blueberry dressing
- To make blueberry dressing: In blender, process blueberries, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste, until smooth. Set aside.
- To prepare salad: Cut apples into 1/4-inch thick slices. Using 1-1/2-inch diameter star-shaped cutter, cut apple slices into stars.
- Place lettuce mix in large bowl; add apples, strawberries and blueberries. Sprinkle with pecans. Before serving, drizzle each salad with blueberry dressing.
Sweet, Summery Treats
After some fun in the pool and time spent in the sun, a cooling treat is often the perfect way to cap off a summer day. Fresh fruits make those sweet eats even tastier and easier by making dessert in the morning and letting it freeze while you enjoy the warmth outdoors.
These Watermelon Berry Frozen Pops make dessert about as simple as possible by blending watermelon, blueberries, raspberries and honey before adding to ice pop molds and freezing throughout the day. With the addition of refreshing watermelon, you’re opting for a flavorful fruit that includes just 80 calories and no fat while providing an excellent source of vitamin C (25%) and higher levels of lycopene (12.7 milligrams per 2-cup serving) – an antioxidant being studied for its role in sun protection – than any other fresh fruit or vegetable.
To find more summertime snacks, meals and treats, visit watermelon.org.
Watermelon Berry Frozen Pops
- 6 cups watermelon
- 1 cup blueberries, divided
- 1 cup raspberries, divided
- 3 tablespoons honey
- In blender, blend watermelon, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup raspberries and honey until smooth. Press through fine mesh strainer to remove pulp and seeds.
- Fill ice pop molds 3/4 full with liquid. Add remaining whole blueberries and raspberries to molds. Insert sticks and freeze at least 4 hours, or until completely frozen.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Apple Guacamole)