Find out the latest health and organic news from our resident dietitian, Rebecca, along with recipes, tips and more!
IMPORTANT NOTICE: AWG provides the Dietitian's Corner blogger(s) with free products and compensation for posts.
The content posted here is for general informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Health information changes frequently as research evolves. You should not rely on any information here as a substitute for consultation with medical professionals.
The extra sunshine and warmer temperatures of spring bring with it a whole new host of foods to liven up your meal times. It’s so refreshing to see a new lineup of fruits, vegetables, and microgreens at the grocery store.
My absolute favorite springtime food is sugar snap peas. This colorful pea pod offers a wide range of nutrients like Vitamin C and fiber. Snap peas have a natural sweetness so they taste great as a healthy snack, or they can provide an added crunch to a green salad.
Asparagus is another nutritious springtime favorite for many people. It’s easy to prepare and it can be added to a variety of dishes. Other seasonal foods for March through June include arugula, rhubarb, strawberries, radishes and all varieties of sweet peas.
Don’t forget about morel mushrooms, chives, collard greens, fennel, spinach, and artichokes. Next time you’re at the store take advantage of the quality and freshness of springs seasonal produce.
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28oz) can Clearly Organic crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons Clearly Organic Cumin Powder
2 teaspoons Clearly Organic Chili Powder
1 can Clearly Organic Corn, drained
2 small cans diced green chiles
1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken, shredded
About 16 corn tortillas
2 cups enchilada sauce, canned
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
In a large sauté pan add oil and turn heat to medium high. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Place minced garlic in sauté pan and continuing cooking for 2 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, corn and green chilies. Season mixture with salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Bring contents to a boil and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium and let stew for 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Stir in cooked shredded chicken to tomato mix.
Coat the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish with Clearly Organic cooking spray. Spoon in about 1/4 cup chicken and tomato mix into each corn tortilla. Fold tortilla over filling and place in baking dish with the seam side down. Repeat until pan is full. Top with enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro before serving. Also goes well served with sour cream and Clearly Organic Salsa.
In recent years carbohydrates have been considered friend and foe. During the fat-free phenomenon in the ninety’s bread and pasta where commonly promoted healthy choices for any meal. Then fad diets swung the opposite direction recommending more protein and low carbohydrates. Now many people are left to wonder if carbohydrates can be part of a healthy meal plan?
The short answer is, YES! Carbohydrates, like pasta, when enjoyed in the right portion size are part of a well-balanced meal plan. When it comes to pasta there are a few important factors to consider when implementing this wholesome food into a meal. Consider topping a serving of pasta with equal parts vegetables and protein. For example, 1/2 cup cooked whole wheat pasta pairs well with 1 cup of marinara meat sauce. Then serve that hot dish with a 2 cup serving of a green salad for a delightful well-balanced meal. Also, be mindful of pasta sauces that have high caloric concentrations. Here are three great recipes showing healthy ways to enjoy pasta.
See the Clearly Organic blog for more healthy recipes.
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Coconut Oil
1/2 cup 100% cacao powder
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Raw Honey
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
Slowly melt coconut oil in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir in cacao powder, honey and vanilla. Stir continuously over medium low heat for 2 minutes or until all ingredients are well blended. Pour mixture into candy molds or a parchment lined bread pan to make a chocolate bar. Refrigerate at least one hour or until chocolate becomes solid.
Variations: Add chopped nuts, dried fruit, Clearly Organic Almond Butter, orange zest, Clearly Organic Cinnamon or Clearly Organic Cayenne Pepper to taste. Add variation just before pouring into chocolate mold.
Smoothies are often thought to be a healthy meal replacement or a nutritious snack. They also make regular appearances on detox plans and weight loss programs. This leads many people to wonder, are all smoothies healthy? They can come in many forms, from homemade to store bought. The key to making a smoothie healthy is to find the right balance of vegetables, protein, fruit and good fats.
Smoothies are an excellent way to fit in extra nutrients and antioxidants to your day. They’re also portable and compact for an on the go meal. Just watch out for store bought smoothies or homemade recipes with large amounts of juice, sugar and calories. A balanced single serving smoothie can include about 1 cup fruit (fresh or frozen), 1 cup greens, 3/4 cup to 1 cup liquid (almond milk or plain yogurt) plus an additional protein (nut butter, chia seeds, cooked quinoa, flax seeds). Check out the Clearly Organic blog for healthy smoothie recipes.
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 large Clearly Organic Egg
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Coconut Oil
1/3 cup Clearly Organic Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or Clearly Organic Semi-Sweet Chocolate (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×4 loaf pan with Clearly Organic cooking spray.
Mash bananas in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Whisk in egg, Greek yogurt and oil to mixing bowl. Stir brown sugar, vanilla and maple syrup into banana mixture. In a separate bowl add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir dry ingredients, then add dry ingredients to banana batter in large mixing bowl. Stir until evenly distributed. Add dark chocolate chips if desired. Pour contents into greased loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
This entree salad includes whole grains, healthy fats and a delicious blend of fresh ingredients.
5 cups organic mixed greens
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (8oz) mozzarella ball, cubed
1 avocado, deseeded and chopped
1 cup cooked farro (this can be substituted for cooked Clearly Organic quinoa if desired)
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Cashews, chopped
For the dressing:
1/3 cup Clearly Organic Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Olive Oil
In a large salad bowl add greens, halved cherry tomatoes, cubed mozzarella and avocado chunks. Toss to combine. Just before serving add cooked farro grain and chopped cashews. Toss to combine. For the dressing place balsamic vinegar and olive oil into a mason jar with a lid. Shake to combine. Just before serving add desired amount of dressing on top of salad mix.
Dark chocolate has long been recognized as a healthy treat. As many American’s get ready to savor this festive indulgence on Valentine’s Day or celebrate National Chocolate Lover’s Month, it’s good to know what the standards are surrounding dark chocolate health benefits. To get the most antioxidant benefits from cocoa beans it’s best to pick chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. A higher cocoa percentage typically means the product is lower in sugar and is associated with heart health benefits.
Another tip for purchasing healthy dark chocolate is to look at the ingredient list. Look for cocoa, or a form of cocoa, as the first ingredient. Also avoid dark chocolate that contains trans fat, artificial flavors or high amounts of sugar. It’s also wise to look for fair trade organic chocolate. This kind of chocolate is usually more ethically sourced and pesticide free. Visit the Clearly Organic blog for a homemade chocolate recipe this month.
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup low fat eggnog
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Vanilla
1-1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Raisins (optional)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Powdered Sugar
1 Tablespoon eggnog
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar using an electric hand mixer. Beat in the egg. In a separate bowl whisk together eggnog, yogurt and vanilla. In another bowl add flour, baking powder, zest, baking soda and salt. Stir dry ingredients. Add half of the eggnog mix and flour mix to the creamed butter bowl. Stir until evenly distributed. Add remaining eggnog mix and flour to the batter and stir. Gently stir in raisins. Pour batter into a greased 8×8 inch baking dish. Top with walnuts and place in preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes.
For the glaze: in a small bowl add powdered sugar and eggnog. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Drizzle over cake when it’s completely cool.
Like most “trendy” items food trends may come and go but some are worth pursuing and implementing into your routine. Luckily healthcare professionals agree that food habits are cycling back to more wholesome natural ingredients. In fact many of the food trends for 2019 include plant based products and unique ways to add more Omega-3’s to your meal plan.
Organic, dairy free and gluten free products are more readily available on store shelves. I do believe this health trend is here to stay. With the uptick in allergies and intolerances the market demands a wide variety of products that are lifestyle specific. In the end some classic food principals remain the same. Our bodies require a balanced diet of vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and fruit. While analyzing the food trends of 2019 keep these core values in mind.