Find out the latest health and organic news from our resident dietitian, Rebecca, along with recipes, tips and more!
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One of my favorite things about summer is the wide variety of delicious berries that are available June through August. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries are a mainstay in my grocery cart while they’re at the peak of freshness. The beauty of these super foods is that they offer us a host of different vitamins and minerals while also tasting like a decadent dessert.
Almost all fruits and vegetables contain disease fighting antioxidants. However, nutrient rich berries are some of the best sources of these vital components that improve our health. Blueberries, in particular, have concentrated amounts of anthocyanins that can help reduce inflammation and help slow age-related memory loss.
Even when the season for berries has passed, it’s important that we keep incorporating these fruits in our meal plan because of their nutritional profile. Purchasing frozen berries makes enjoying these fruits possible all year long. When picking up frozen fruit in the winter or for smoothies in the summer look for pure and simple fruit. Avoid the frozen fruits packed in syrup or with added sugar. These products can contain added sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup. Berries are delicious in their natural state, whether fresh or frozen. Watch for a strawberry coleslaw recipe next week!
2 cups shredded or spiralized carrots
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 cup Clearly Organic raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Greek Yogurt Mayo:
3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a mixing bowl add carrots, chopped broccoli florets (cut into bite size pieces) and raisins.
Add all of the ingredients of the yogurt mayo to a small mixing bowl and whisk together. Pour mayo mix over the top of the carrot broccoli mix. Stir to coat evenly. Stir in sunflower seeds before serving.
The flavors blend as the salad ingredients sit together, so this mixture is best if made in advance.
A customer recently asked for help getting her picky 14 year old son to eat healthy foods. A picky toddler is the typical food refuser. Parents often live with the hope that their beloved child will simply grow out of the food fuss phase, and thankfully most do. However, if you live with a longstanding picky eater here are a few tips to help save you and your child from additional frustration.
1. Parents, without involving your child, make a list of the healthy foods your child enjoys eating. There has to be at least a few fruits, proteins, nuts, cheese or other natural items that your child likes. This will help remind you of the foods to have readily available to help set your child up for success.
2. Involve your child in the cooking process. Especially if your child is always wanting to eat something different than what you are making for yourself and the rest of your family. Let your child modify the foods you prepare, but make them modify the food themselves. As your child reaches the teen years it is an educational opportunity for them to see how food is prepared.
3. Set parameters on snacking. Eating a large snack after school or late in the afternoon will likely interfere with their appetite at dinner. Hunger is a big motivator for kids to try new foods. Set a good example in your personal snacking choices and encourage moderate snacks when needed. Be sure to have a refrigerator and pantry stocked with lots of healthy options.
4. Choose your words wisely. Encourage and support your child’s well thought out nutrition decisions. Unlike toddlers teens can be reasoned with (most of the time), try not to make food rules and regulations. Strive to have open ended discussions that challenge your child to think about why they like eating certain foods
2 medium size zucchinis spiralized
1 cup quartered artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
1/2 cup cubed salami
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
7 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup quartered Kalamata olives
For the dressing:
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic dried basil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Slice zucchinis halfway through and then spiralize them using the noodle blade. Place zucchini noodles in a bowl with the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, feta cheese, salami, red onion and Kalamata olives. Place all the ingredients of the dressing in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour dressing over salad mix and combine thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. The mixture is best if left for an hour, so the dressing can soften the zucchini. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy.
The latest trend in cooking with vegetables and fruit is spiralizing. This is a delicious and fun way to serve up a wide variety of foods. Spiralizing is also a good way to incorporate some vegetables that have long been forgotten. I never knew what to do with a parsnip until I got a spiralizer.
What is spiralizing? Originally it was a technique common in the vegan and vegetarian world, because it is the process of turning ordinary vegetables and fruit into a noodle like shape and texture. Spiralizing requires a spiralizer machine. There are several companies that make the device, and the good news about all of them is that they are relativity inexpensive. They range in price from $25 to $55 dollars depending on how many blades come with the unit. The best part about spiralizing is that it fosters an easy way to prepare and cook vegetables so people can more easily reach their needed vitamin and mineral requirements for optimal health.
The best vegetable to try spiralizing first is a zucchini. In my opinion zucchini makes a delicious replacement for a traditional carbohydrate based pasta noodle. Zucchini noodles, commonly refereed to as zoodles, are light in calories but packed with fiber from the skin and vitamin C. Watch for a spiralized zucchini recipe later this week!
In honor of National Egg Month I thought I’d share my favorite way to cook up an egg! I learned this technique from my mother-in-law. My husband is a classic eggs for breakfast guy, so I quickly grew to love this cooking method because it’s a simple way to fry an egg and have it turn out perfect almost every time.
Cooking spray, butter OR oil
Lid for the frying pan or a plate that can cover your pan
Coat your fry pan with cooking spray or a thin layer of oil/butter. Turn stove top to high and let pan heat up, about 30-45 seconds. Crack your egg into the middle of the pan. Turn heat to medium-high and let cook until most of the egg white has solidified. Pour a small amount of water into the pan, ensuring the water has touched each edge of the egg. Cover pan, let egg steam until desired doneness is achieved.
My absolute favorite way to serve this kind of egg is on an open faced sandwich. I toast whole grain bread from my local bakery, spread a little hummus on the toast, top with my fried egg, 3 slices of avocado and a drizzle of sriracha!
1 (15oz) can of Clearly Organic garbanzo beans, drained with liquid reserved
1 clove of garlic crushed
2 teaspoons of Clearly Organic ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon toasted pine nuts (optional)
n a food processor or blender mix garbanzo beans, crushed garlic, cumin, salt and olive oil. Pulse together until well blended. Pour some of the reserved liquid from the beans over the mixture and continue to blend until the hummus reaches your desired consistency.
Serve with fresh vegetables.
Optional: top hummus with toasted pine nuts, and drizzle a little olive oil over the dip before serving. To toast pine nuts evenly spread nuts in a dry sauté pan and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes occasionally stirring the pine nuts as they toast.
As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer many people are looking for ways to freshen up their diet. This is the time of year that we can easily switch from the winter comfort foods to the wide variety of springtime fruits and vegetables. In-season produce is not only more cost effective it also packs the biggest nutritional punch. Eating seasonal is important and it can carry many health benefits.
Eating “seasonally” means consuming foods that are being grown and then harvested during the same time of year when consumers are purchasing and cooking them. In the past this happened naturally, but with the advent of global transportation we have access to most produce year round. Therefore, the movement of eating local in-season food requires consumers to be more conscience when choosing produce.
Here are a few examples of what to look for, during the Spring time, in the produce section or your farmers market: sugar snap peas, strawberries, asparagus, radishes, rhubarb and morel mushrooms just to name a few. Many of these foods can be teamed together in a salad or side dish to provide the best tasting, highest quality food available.
I first heard the phrase “clean eating” about a year ago at my local CrossFit gym. I immediately liked the term. It was a concise way of saying that someone wanted to consume whole, unprocessed, straight from nature foods. This is by no means a new concept, but I love that this phrase “clean eating” is circulating around the health conscious community. It’s helping to energize and give focus to the next generation of educated consumers.
Clean eaters strive to daily incorporate vegetables, fruit, whole grains, healthy proteins and fats. They also strive to limit refined grains, trans fats, added sugars and colorings/dyes added to packaged food. Consuming clean foods is not a diet trend, it’s more of a philosophy of meal planning. It doesn’t revolve around consuming more or less of a specific food group. Clean eating simply challenges consumers to pick more farm fresh foods, and when purchasing packaged items reading the ingredient list.
When adapting a clean eating lifestyle strive to incorporate plant based foods at every meal and snack. When shopping for foods located in the main aisles of your store simply look at the ingredient list to ensure that it’s relatively short and free of unidentifiable additives. Purchasing foods with the certified organic label is a great way to ensure you’re staying clear of artificial coloring and flavors. Clean eating can be a rewarding way to simplify your meal preparation and enjoy more of what nature has to offer.
1 large Clearly Organic egg
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic pure vanilla extract
1 cup Clearly Organic creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together egg, sugar, baking soda and vanilla with an electric hand mixer until creamy. Beat in peanut butter until well blended. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Press lightly with the back of a fork. Bake for 10 -12 minutes, until cookies are slightly set. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Recipe yields about 2 dozen cookies.
Variations: Stirring in dark chocolate morsels after batter is blended makes a great peanut butter chocolate chip cookie. Adding a sprinkle of sea salt prior to baking also provides a great sweet and salty cookie.