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Welcome to The Nutritionist Corner by Clearly Organic!

Find out the latest health and organic news from our resident dietitian, Rebecca, along with recipes, tips and more!

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Baking Season

‘Tis the Season for baking! The holidays call us together for fellowship, food and lots of seasonal treats. December is typically a month where multiple baked goods spring from peoples kitchens and cause many of us to share our favorite sweet creations. Here are a few tips of holiday baking.

  1. Pay attention to butter consistency. Butter is the first ingredient in many baked goods, so it’s vital to your end result to have your butter prepped as the recipe directs. Particularly heed the instruction for room temperature butter. Over melted or greasy butter can change the look and texture of your final product.
  2. Read the entire recipe in advance. To avoid disaster or a missing ingredient read your recipe and instructions ahead of time. It’s also wise to set all your ingredients out on the counter before you begin.
  3. Room temperature eggs. This is an easy step to skip. However, room temperature eggs, much like butter, can make a big difference in texture and structure of your product. Room temperature ingredients emulsify with better uniformity and consistency.
  4. Measure with precision. Baking requires good measuring practices. Spoon and level measure flour with measuring cups. Measure wet ingredients in a measuring pitcher. Watch the Clearly Organic blog for some delicious holiday treats. Happy Baking!
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Baked Brie With Cranberry Sauce

8 oz round Brie cheese, at room temp

1/2 cup fresh cranberry sauce (see Clearly Organic blog for recipe)

1/4 cup walnut halves

Assorted crackers, such as Clearly Organic Stone Ground Wheat Crackers

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice off the top of the rind on the brie circle. Place the cheese in a small, parchment paper lined, baking dish. Top the brie with cranberry sauce and walnuts. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The fruit and cheese will be gooey and slightly bubbly. Carefully transfer the brie to a serving dish and serve immediately. Assorted whole grain crackers go well with baked brie.

 

Baked Brie With Cranberry Sauce

 

Baked Brie With Cranberry Sauce

 

Baked Brie With Cranberry Sauce

 

Baked Brie With Cranberry Sauce

 

Learn More From Our Nutritionist

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10 of Our Favorite Cookie Recipes

‘Tis the season for Christmas cookies! Below is a list of our favorites shared from our nutritionist, Rebecca, and a few of our friends.

  • cranberry oatmeal cookies

 

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup Clearly Organic Honey

1/4 cup Clearly Organic Sugar

1 Tablespoon grated orange zest

 

Place fresh cranberries and orange juice in a small sauce pot. Heat over medium heat. Add honey, granulated sugar and orange zest to the pot and bring to a boil. The cranberries will start to pop and become more liquid. Reduce heat to medium low and let ingredients simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove cranberry sauce from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Contents will jell upon standing. Cranberry sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

 

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5 Tips For Healthy Meal Planning During The Holidays
  1. Stock your pantry. Having your go-to items already at home makes meal planning one step easier. Beans for chili, noodles for chicken noodle soup, rice for casseroles and whole grain crackers for dips are great stock up items for the busy holiday season.
  2. Prep challenging recipes in advance. If a meal calls for lots of chopped ingredients, consider cleaning and chopping ingredients the night before. Vegetables in particular can take a lot of time to skin and chop, so it’s great if you can tackle time consuming steps a day early.
  3. Have healthy snacks ready to go. You’re much more likely to eat veggies and fruit as a snack if it’s prepped and ready to eat. We often grab high carbohydrate (and high calorie) snacks because they are convenient when we’re starving. If fresh vegetables and fruit are made just as easy to consume then chances are we’ll make the right choice.
  4. Dust off your slow cooker. One dish hearty meals that can fed multiple people are easily made in your slow cooker.
  5. Make breakfast the night before. If you despise mornings then make them easier by prepping breakfast the night before. Overnight oats with chia seeds, an egg bake and muffins can all be made the night before so you can sleep a bit longer.

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Making An Entree Salad

Anyone can put together a salad, but if your looking for greens to be the main event at your next meal then this article is for you. Salads can be a little lack luster when you’re simply taking some greens out of a bag and pouring on dressing. Here is an easy formula for constructing the perfect salad.

Every good salad needs: greens, dressing, protein, an added crunch and at least one bonus item.

Greens: when you think salad you immediately envision lettuce. However, your base of greens can be a variety of veggies. Shaved asparagus, cabbage, chopped kohlrabi or a roasted squash or brussel sprout. Your vegetable base can be grilled, pickled, raw or roasted.

Dressing: this is an important part of any salad. Dressings come in two main categories-vinaigrettes or creamy dressings. It’s important to remember that you don’t want to weigh down a soft leafy green, like spring mix, with a heavy creamy dressing. This will drown out flavors and make your greens feel mushy. Light leafy green mixes pair well with vinaigrettes while bold more bitter flavors from cabbage and kale and can stand up to a creamy base. Less is more when it comes to salad dressing.

Protein: a little protein can add stability and satisfaction to your salad. Anything goes here, just keep your protein flavors in line with your vegetables.

Crunch: this is the secret key ingredient. Roasted nuts, a classic crouton, savory granola, flax seeds and hemp seeds make great crunchy toppers.

Bonus items: think seasonal. Fresh or dried fruit, herbs and ancient grains make perfect bonus items. Berries work great in the summer along with fresh basil, cilantro or mint. Winter can be a great time to add quinoa, rice, couscous or barley.

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Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil

1/2 cup white onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced

1 (32 oz carton) Clearly Organic Chicken Broth

2 cups Clearly Organic Vegetable Broth

1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Dried Basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper

1 bay leaf

2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

2 cups egg noodles

 

Place olive oil, onion, celery and carrots in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Sauté for 5 minutes to soften vegetables. Add broth and seasoning to the pot. Bring to a boil. Stew covered for 20 minutes over medium low heat. Add chicken and noodles to the pot and stir to combine. Continue cooking on medium heat until noodles are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove bay leave before serving.

 

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
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Classic Pumpkin Pie With Vanilla Whipped Cream

Pumpkin Pie:

1 (15oz) can pumpkin purée
3 Clearly Organic Egg Yolks
1 Clearly Organic Egg
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon all spice
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

 

Pie Crust:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 cup ice water

 

Maple Vanilla Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Pure Vanilla Extract

 

 

Directions:

Start by making your pie crust. In a mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in water one tablespoon at a time until mix forms a ball. For best results use an electric mixer to cut in butter and stir in water. It’s also best to wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate overnight. Then roll out dough to fit a 9 inch pie pan. Place crust in pie plate and press into the bottom and sides. Scallop the edges of the crust if desired.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, egg yolks and egg. Add sweetened condensed milk, salt and spices. Whisk until throughly combined. Pour filling into pie crust in a 9 inch pie pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 35-40 minutes. Bake until pie is fully set in the middle, test by inserting knife in the center of the pie. After removing from oven allow pie to cool completely before serving or cutting.

Maple Vanilla Whipped Cream:

Place a metal mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will help the cream whip faster and stay fluffy. Pour cold whipping cream into chilled metal bowl. Using a standing mixer or whisk vigorously whip cream until soft peaks form. Add maple syrup and vanilla then continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gently scoop a dollop on top of your favorite dessert! Store in an air tight container for up to three days.

 

Classic Pumpkin Pie

 

Classic Pumpkin Pie

 

Classic Pumpkin Pie

 

Classic Pumpkin Pie

 

Classic Pumpkin Pie

 

Maple Vanilla Whipped Cream

 

Classic Pumpkin Pie

 

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Mindful Eating

The holiday season is upon us, and this festive time of year can have a big impact on your nutrition routine. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics the average American gains one to two pounds over the holidays. This may not sound like a significant amount but the reality is most people don’t lose those extra couple pounds. Making the holiday season a potential culprit for habitual weight gain. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! You can enjoy all your seasonal favorites if you practice some simple mindful eating.

 

Mindful eating (verses mindless eating) is the practice of becoming more aware of your body and mind connection to hunger. It’s analyzing how needs and wants affect your nutrition decisions. Mindful eating around the holidays can be making the conscience decision to only eat one plate of food at a meal verses going back to the buffet for seconds. Mindful eating is also the decision to eat more vegetables at a meal verses filling your plate with carbohydrates and meat. The basis of mindful eating is the desire to make better food choices and then follow through on that goal.

 
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Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

2/3 cup Clearly Organic Butter, softened

2/3 cup Clearly Organic Brown Sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric hand mixer beat together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add 2 eggs and continue beating with electric hand mixer. In a separate bowl combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine dry ingredients. Add 1/3 of the flour mix to the butter mixture bowl and stir with spoon to combine. Repeat until all of the flour and butter mixtures are evenly combined into one batter. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate. Drop batter in small spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cookies cool on a wire rack.

 

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

 

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

 

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

 

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

 
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