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

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Kid Friendly Cooking

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!

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Tropical Chicken Salad

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)

Tropical Chicken Salad Tropical Chicken Salad
Tropical Chicken Salad
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Smart Snacking

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. Always incorporate a fruit or a vegetable at snack time. This will provide your body with more nutrients. Instead of crackers and cheese try apple slices with cheese or cucumbers & cheese.

 

    1. Try to limit eating snacks that only incorporate one food group. Providing your body with the right ratio of nutrients, and calories, will keep you energized and help with weight management. Snacks that include protein tend to be more filling and satisfying. Try 1/4 cup of cottage cheese with half an avocado, or pear slices with 1/4 cup ricotta cheese. Both of these options have a hearty supply of protein and fiber while being 200 calories or less.

 

  1. Think outside the box. If you find yourself eating the same foods week after week, even if they are healthy foods, try to mix up your options. Snacking on veggies doesn’t always have to be baby carrots and celery. These are wonderful vegetables but try to mix up your snack veggies with asparagus, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, edamame, red cabbage, zucchini and fresh green beans. By diversifying your foods and food groups you are more likely to eat the appropriate portion, and it keeps you from binging on fats and sugars.
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Morning Glory Muffins

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.

Morning Glory Muffins Morning Glory Muffins
Morning Glory Muffins Morning Glory Muffins
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Egg Muffins

These easy egg muffins are a great way to start the day! If you make them ahead of time you’ll have a high protein breakfast, that includes vegetables, ready to go. So, if you’ve made a New Years resolution to eat a better breakfast these tasty muffins could be a great addition to your morning routine.

Egg Muffins

6 Clearly Organic Eggs
1/2 cup frozen or fresh spinach
6 mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Clearly Organic Pan Spray
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 muffin cups on a muffin pan. Divide spinach, mushrooms, green onion and cheese between each of the 6 muffin cups. Crack an egg into each muffin cup and sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula carefully remove egg muffins. Enjoy immediately or muffins can be refrigerated or frozen for up to 3 weeks.

Egg Muffins Egg Muffins
Egg Muffins
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Popcorn

If you’ve walked down the chip aisle recently you might have noticed a surge in a particular snack item? Packaged popcorn has a growing presence at the grocery store and in shopping carts. Recently, popcorn has gained more popularity and some good press. It has a wide variety of health benefits. The outer layers of popcorn are a good source of protein, iron and phosphorus. Popcorn is naturally plant derived so it contains polyphenols, an antioxidant that can help rid our bodies of impurities. The main reason I’m an advocate for popcorn consumption is that it can be an excellent alternative to calorie laden chips that don’t offer our bodies any nutritional value.

Making popcorn at home can be a fun and easy project for the whole family. All you need is 2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil, 1/4 cup popcorn kernels and a little sea salt. Using a 2 quart sauce pan with a lid or a Dutch oven, add oil and kernels and toss so oil is coating all the kernels. Heat the covered pot on medium heat and wait for the magic to happen. It takes several minutes for the first kernel to pop but once it does slightly crack the lid to release steam then gently shake pot occasionally while cooking to allow for even heat distribution. Once popping slows down and diminishes remove lid and turn off your stove top. Add your desired amount of sea salt and enjoy a healthy snack!

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Detox Salad

2 cups green cabbage, finely chapped
2 cups red cabbage, finely chopped
1 large carrot, shredded or finely chopped
5 radishes, shredded or finely chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
1 avocado
1/4 cup dry roasted sun flower seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Dressing:
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Blue Agave Sweetener
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic 100% Cranberry Juice

Chop green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot and radishes in a food processor. It works best if you chop each food separately and in small batches. Add chopped cabbage, carrots and radishes to a mixing bowl. Whip together all dressing ingredients. Then pour over the top of chopped vegetables. Stir together vegetables and dressing until evenly distributed, season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in sunflower seeds just before serving. Serve one cup of chopped vegetable mix over 1/2 cup fresh spinach. Place avocado slices on top of salad.

Detox Salad Detox Salad
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Mushroom Risotto

1 lb baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup brown rice, or arborio rice
3 cups Clearly Organic Chicken Broth
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté mushrooms in butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat add sliced onions, garlic and olive oil. Cook until onions are soft, 8-10 minutes. Stir in rice and cook one minute, coating rice with oil. Add 1 cup broth and let simmer until liquid is mostly absorbed, stir frequently. Repeat with remaining broth and water. Cooking time for rice will be 20-25 minutes. Rice with start to be creamy and chewy in the center, not dry. Add more water if needed. When rice looks done stir in mushrooms and cheese. Cook until cheese melts. Serve immediately. Top with ricotta cheese or small amount of cream cheese as a garnish, if desired. Risotto looks and tastes great over a bed of greens.

Mushroom Risotto Mushroom Risotto
Mushroom Risotto Mushroom Risotto
Mushroom Risotto
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Detox

Feeling a little sluggish after the holidays? Then perhaps it’s time to clean up and detoxify your diet. Detoxification of a meal plan is really about taking a break from certain foods and cleaning the body from the inside out. By removing or eliminating toxins in your diet you can start fueling your body with healthy nutrients that can protect you from disease and restore your natural ability to maintain optimal health and wellbeing.

Our bodies were not meant to absorb the large quantities of additives, chemicals and toxins that we are exposed to on a consistent basis. Therefore, by taking a set period of time to consume only fresh natural foods we can remind ourselves, and our digestive system, how good it feels to obtain all our vital nutrients through whole foods. During a detox or cleansing program try to base your food choices on real foods such as: fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, lean proteins especially fish and most importantly drink plenty of water.

Before starting any new meal plan or exercise routine it’s wise to consult your doctor or medical professional. Many people find that detoxing their diet can be easy and delicious. There’re many different guidelines and programs to follow when you are looking for the right plan for yourself so be sure to work with a medical professional to find the plan to works best for you.

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Resolution Time

Millions of Americans make a health related New Years resolution each year. Whether it’s eating better, kicking the smoking habit or getting to the gym more often, each of these goals are a worthy cause. Which is exactly why they are the most common New Years resolutions. No matter what your goals are for 2016 here are three simple tips to accomplish them in the new year.

    1. Track your progress. You can do this with a journal or on a piece of paper. The most important part is to regularly keep tabs of your progress, to have an honest conversation with yourself about where you’re at and where you want to be.

 

    1. Ask for help. If you want to workout more and eat better perhaps a personal trainer or health coach could guide you in making a plan that works best for your lifestyle. If you’re trying to kick a bad habit an accountability partner can keep you motivated and they can be a great support system.

 

  1. Celebrate every success. By celebrating your short run successes you allow yourself to have more fun accomplishing your goals. It will also help build your confidence and commitment to achieving your year long goal.
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