Find out the latest health and organic news from our resident dietitian, Rebecca, along with recipes, tips and more!
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A debate is currently being waged on what it means to be considered a “natural” food. We see this claim posted proudly on the front of many packaged foods. So what are the requirements for a food company to say that they have an “all natural” product? According to the main agencies that regulate food, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the natural claim can be posted on anything that is deemed ‘minimally processed’. This vague phrase leaves the door wide open for interpretation, allowing a multitude of packaged products to claim they are “natural”.
When Consumer Report conducted a survey of over 1,000 Americans they found that most people attributed the word ‘natural’ to mean no artificial ingredients, artificial colors or genetically modified foods (GMO’s). However, that is not necessarily true especially in regards to meat products. One fool proof way to ensure you are limiting GMO’s, artificial flavoring, colors and processing is to consume organic products. Certified Organic foods contain 95%-99% organically grown ingredients. When you see the 100% Organic label you can be confident the food is organically grown or contains all organic ingredients. Take a minute next time you’re at the store to watch for some of these labels.
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 Clearly Organic Eggs
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Pure Vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a bread pan with Clearly Organic cooking spray. Beat
together Greek yogurt, mashed bananas and eggs in a mixing bowl. Then beat in brown sugar
and vanilla until ingredients are evenly distributed. In a different small bowl mix together white and wheat flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently stir in oats and chocolate chips. Transfer batter to the bread pan and bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes. Bake until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow bread to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan.
When you think of adding beans to a recipe your mind often defaults to the various canned varieties of beans that are readily available at most grocery stores. In fact, you might even walk right by the bagged dried beans on your way to pick up a can of beans for your next chili recipe. The best part about dried beans is that they are the most nutritious and inexpensive food you will find sitting on the shelves at your store.
If you’ve never tried cooking with dried beans it’s worth experimenting with when making your next batch of soup. All dried beans require is time. They are easy to use and pack a little more nutritional punch than their canned counterpart. Dried bean have significantly less sodium than canned beans. They also have slightly more folate, iron and potassium. Canned and dried beans are similar in calories per serving and protein content. The main benefit to canned beans is their undeniable convenience.
Cooking with dried beans at home is no more trouble than filling a pot with water and letting it simmer joyfully on your stovetop all afternoon. Cooking a pot of beans on an afternoon when you are home anyway can be a relaxing and resourceful way to meal prep. Just be sure to give your beans plenty of time to reach their desired tenderness. Soaking beans in advance is also a great way to trim down the cooking time. One pound of dried beans yields about 5 cups of cooked beans. Making plenty of beans for soups, salads, burritos and much more. Extra beans not used after soaking can be stored in the freezer, that way you will have delicious and nutritious beans whenever you need them.
I love making these bite size candies! The best part about this recipe is that it can be modified to make a small batch of peanut butter cups or you can make dozens of delicious treats to share with friends and family. If you want to make organic candies, simply choose organic chocolate and Clearly Organic peanut better!
1 cup chocolate chips, if you desire dark chocolate candies use 60% dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Peanut Butter
Line a plate with 1 dozen mini muffin paper cups. Melt 2/3 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave (45 seconds at a time stirring after each 45 seconds) or using a double boiler. Melt until just smooth. Using a spoon pour a small amount of melted chocolate in each mini paper cup. Then place plate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to solidify chocolate. Remove from refrigerator and scoop 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter into each cup. Then heat the remaining 1/3 cup chocolate and pour over the top of each peanut butter cup. Place plate back in the refrigerator for 1 hour to solidify contents.
This antioxidant packed smoothie is a great option for breakfast or a midday energy boost. Not only does this fruit and vegetable blend taste delicious it also provides a generous amount of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and potassium!
1 cup spinach or kale spinach mix
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
3/4 cup Clearly Organic Almond Milk
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Honey
Place all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse blend until consistently smooth. Enjoy with a kiwi for an additional vitamin boost.
This chunky chili is a great healthy and hearty meal. It has the perfect balance of vegetables and protein. It can also be easily modified to include more veggies and chicken verses beef.
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
1 (28 ounce) can Clearly Organic Crushed Tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can Clearly Organic Red Kidney Beans
1 (15 ounce) can Clearly Organic Black Beans
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can Clearly Organic Whole Kernel Corn
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Black Pepper
Place olive oil, onion, carrots and cauliflower in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté for about 8 minutes. Add beef and stir continually to evenly disperse beef chunks. Cook and stir until beef is browned, about 5 minutes. Drain excess liquid from the pot if needed. Stir in crushed tomatoes, beans, diced tomatoes and corn. Bring to a boil then season with chili powder, brown sugar, paprika, cumin and pepper. Stir, then reduce heat to low and allow pot to simmer with the cover on for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Garnish soup with cheese, sour cream or avocado if desired.
When you think of foods that kids love your mind often jumps to items like pizza, macaroni and cheese and french fries. Kids may want to enjoy these foods on a daily basis but the same old recipe can get boring for adults and eventually the whole family. Reinventing recipes and putting new spins on your traditional line up can increase your nutritional profile and help expand your families love of meal time.
The most important thing you can do to help encourage healthy eating for kids is to have an ample supply of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand. Always have a fruit bowl in the middle of your counter so kids see this as a go-to option. Try not to label foods as “good” or “bad” this might make children feel like they have restrictions on food, making them want what’s off limits. If your child’s favorite foods are pizza, mac & cheese and french fries try making these items at home in a healthy way. Adding vegetables to pizza with more tomato sauce and less cheese can take pizza to the next level. Mac & cheese can be made with small chunks of cauliflower or broccoli to increase its nutritional content. Real roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes are very nutritious if made with olive oil, seasoning and roasted in the oven. Our Clearly Organic blog has recipes for harvest mac & cheese, which is veggie based, and we have an easy sweet potato fry recipe that the whole family will love. If you are looking for a way to spice up your kids menu check out these recipes!
2 cups cubed or shredded chicken
1 cup chopped pineapple pieces, well drained if using canned pineapple
1 cup mandarin oranges, well drained
1 cup cooked Clearly Organic Basmati Rice
1/3 cup organic mayo
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped roasted nuts (slivered almonds, cashews or walnuts)
Snacking is a daily ritual for many Americans. Therefore, it can be a habit that provides energy and motivation or it can be a trouble spot in your day. Smart snacking is very important especially if you follow a meal plan of 4-6 smaller meals each day. Making snacks nutrient rich with vegetables, fruit, protein and whole grains can boost your metabolism and provide essential vitamins and minerals.
Here are some suggestions to keep in mind next time hunger strikes.
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Raisins
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Clearly Organic Eggs
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Orange Juice
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée
1 1/2 cups peeled and grated carrots
1 apple, cored and grated
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line 12 muffin cups. Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with warm water; set aside to soak. This will help raisins stay plump and juicy. In a bowl whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, spices and salt. In a mixing bowl add grated carrots, apple and nuts. In a separate small bowl, beat together eggs, oil, orange juice and vanilla. Add egg mixture to grated carrots, apple and nut mixture. Then add flour mixture to the batter and stir until evenly distributed. Drain raisins and stir them into batter. Scoop batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake muffins in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tester inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes.