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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.

Plantains

You’ve likely seen these large banana looking foods hanging out in your produce section at the store. They range in color from green to black, and unlike bananas each color can serve a different purpose for cooking. Black plantains are not rotten they’re actually the sweetest option of plantain which is often used for baking and desserts. Green plantains are starchy with a slightly sweet taste when cooked. They can be used like a potato. Adding them to a soup, stew or curry dish works great. Green plantains also make the best plantain chips. Yellow and black plantains have a sweet taste when baked or fried. They are much less starchy than their green counterpart.

 

Don’t be fooled by the fruit like look. Plantains must be cooked to be enjoyed and to reap their many nutritional benefits. This unique food is gluten free, in fact it’s a staple in many grain free breads, muffins and tortilla recipes. Watch the Clearly Organic blog for some easy ways to incorporate plantains into your next recipe

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Egg Salad With Fresh Chives

This light and refreshing mix goes great as an open faced sandwich or it can be a protein packed salad topping over a bed of leafy greens.

6 Clearly Organic Eggs, hard boiled

1/2 cup celery, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons Greek yogurt

2 Tablespoons organic mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon chives

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop hard boiled eggs into chunks and place in a medium size mixing bowl. Add finely chopped

celery, yogurt, mayo and chives to the bowl. Mix until evenly distributed. Add salt and pepper to

taste.

Egg Salad With Fresh Chives

Egg Salad With Fresh Chives

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Easy Basil Pesto

Pesto is not only delicious on pasta it also goes great in omelettes, dips, on top of soups and spread on sandwiches. This herb based sauce packs a powerful flavor punch.

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup fresh grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Clearly Organic Olive Oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place basil and nuts into a food processor. Pulse several times, then add garlic and cheese. Pulse several more times and scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl with a spatula. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Stop a few times while adding oil to scrape down the side with spatula. Continue running food processor until ingredients are well emulsified. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Easy Basil Pesto

Easy Basil Pesto

Easy Basil Pesto

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Pure Maple Syrup

The season for producing pure maple syrup spans the gap between winter and spring. Most maple syrup comes from regions where large amounts of snow are melting throughout March. This melting snow helps to nourish thirsty maple trees so they yield copious amounts of sap. It takes 40-45 gallons of sap to produce about one gallon of pure maple syrup.

 

A common question many maple syrup farmers get is; what’s the difference between light colored and dark colored syrups? Maple syrup is Graded solely by its color, and the difference in color is primarily related to what time of year the product was made. Grade A maple syrup is made at the beginning of the season. It’s considered a light aromatic syrup that is traditionally pancake syrup. Grade A Dark Amber is made later in the season when the weather is warmer. It’s considered a good option for baking since its flavors are more robust. Grade B is the darkest and it’s made at the end of the season just before the maple tree begins to bud. It has a strong bold maple flavor. All pure maple syrups contain beneficial naturally occurring nutrients, and pure maple syrup is never refined so you won’t see anything else listed on the ingredient list. Next time you’re at the store pick a bottle of pure maple syrup and enjoy the flavors of the season

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Cooking With Fresh Herbs

Just a pinch of vibrant fresh herbs can add unique flavor and color to any recipe. Many chefs consider herbs the secret to transforming a normal dish into an extraordinary meal. The challenge many everyday cooks run into is knowing how to appropriately use herbs. It’s also worth noting that if a recipe calls for dried herbs one can easily choose to add fresh herbs if desired. Dried herbs are more potent and concentrated than fresh, so you will use less. When transitioning to fresh you’ll likely use three times as much. Therefore, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon dried oregano you would need 1 tablespoon fresh, since there are 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon. Here are some tips on how to pair and incorporate herbs into your kitchen.

Basil- a natural partner to tomatoes, peas and zucchini; great in pesto, pastas and sauces

Thyme- eggs, potatoes, poultry and squash

Flat Leaf and Italian Parsley- potato and egg salad, tabouli

Rosemary- fish, lamb, chicken, roasted potatoes, soup and stews

Dill- carrots, potato and egg salad, cottage cheese, fish, green beans

Mint- fruit salad, tabouli, tea and water

Cilantro- chicken, salsa, tomatoes, most Mexican and Caribbean cooking

Chives- potato and egg salads, dips and tomatoes

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Spring Vegetable Quinoa Salad

This bright green salad incorporates lots of seasonal vegetables. It can stand alone as a well balanced lunch or it can be a great accompaniment to roasted sweet potatoes at dinner.

 

1 cup cooked Clearly Organic Quinoa

1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil

12 asparagus stalks, ends removed and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup fresh peas or frozen sweet peas, thawed

1 cup cooked chicken

1 cup fresh baby spinach

Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

Basil infused olive oil (optional)

Sunflower seeds (optional)

 

Cook quinoa on the stove top according to package. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes, then add cut asparagus. Cook, stirring often, until asparagus is tender and bright green. About 5 minutes. Add garlic and peas then season with salt and pepper if desired. Stir in cooked chicken and quinoa. Add spinach and stir until it wilts, about 3 minutes. If desired top salad with a drizzle of basil infused olive oil and a pinch of roasted sunflower seeds.

Spring Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Spring Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Spring Vegetable Quinoa Salad

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I love a spiced oatmeal raisin cookie. This traditional recipe incorporates cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon, but feel free to adjust the spice content to suit your tastes. Classic oatmeal raisin cookies may be my favorite but who doesn’t love mini chocolate chips added to their cookies? After I loaded about half the dough onto the baking sheet I added 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips so we could have oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies too!

3/4 cup all- purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Clearly Organic Butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Granulated Sugar
2 Clearly Organic Eggs
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Vanilla
3 cups Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup Clearly Organic Raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine white and wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Stir gently and set aside. Beat butter, sugar and brown sugar with an electric hand mixer in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla then continue beating with mixer. Stir in flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Then gently fold in oats and raisins. Roll dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden on the edges. Let cool for 4 minutes on baking sheet. Store in air tight container.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ingredients

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies on Cookie Sheet

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies on Cookies Finished

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The Perfect Poached Egg

Poaching is a great way to transform a simple egg into a decadent indulgence. Once you perfect the technique you can easily enjoy poached eggs at any meal time. Here is a guide on how to poach an egg.

  1. Heat water in a 2 quart nonstick sauce pan with a lid. Add enough water to come up 1 1/2 inches on the sides of the pan. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons white vinegar, then bring contents to a simmer over medium heat. If you have a thermometer 190 degrees is the ideal temperature for poaching.
  2. Crack one fresh organic egg into a small ramekin. Stir the simmering water in one direction with a spatula then carefully lower and add egg in the center of the lightly whirl pooling water. If poaching more than one egg crack eggs into separate ramekins or add the eggs to the simmering water one at a time.
  3. Turn off the heat to the pan and cover sauce pan. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Don’t open lid or stir water at this time. Simply let the egg sit.
  4. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon. If you are enjoying your egg right away, immediately transfer it to the desired serving method. If you are making your poached eggs ahead of time for a salad topper or another desired recipe, transfer the eggs into an ice bath and refrigerate up to 8 hours. Simply reheat in warm water before serving.

The most classic way to enjoy a poached egg is a traditional Eggs Benedict, but once you master the art of poaching you’ll fall in love with adding this perfect protein to other dishes. Salad, pasta, risotto, sweet potatoes and soup are also great foods that get even better when topped with a poached egg.

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Coffee Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Sugar
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Butter, at room temp
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
2 Clearly Organic Eggs
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Vanilla
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup chopped Granny Smith apples (fresh blueberries also work great)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square pan with Cleary Organic cooking spray. Mix together dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, wheat flour and baking soda. In a small bowl stir together granulated sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. With an electric hand mixer in a large bowl beat together brown sugar, butter and oil until fluffy and smooth. Then beat in eggs, vanilla and yogurt. Add flour mixture to the large bowl in two batches, stirring with a spoon until just combined. Spread half the batter into the 8 inch greased pan. Sprinkle half the nut mixture over the batter and top with fruit. Pressing fruit into batter. Spoon the rest of the batter over the mix, smoothing the top. Then sprinkle the remaining nut mixture on top of the cake. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely, about 15-20 minutes. If desired, serve with a dollop of yogurt.

 

Coffee Cake Ingredients

 

Coffee Cake

 

Coffee Cake

 

Coffee Cake

 

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Overnight Egg Bake

If you’re hosting a brunch or feeding multiple people for breakfast this egg bake is a delicious option. Preparing the ingredients ahead of time makes this main entree an easy solution for a morning meal. The vegetables and breakfast sausage can be mixed and matched to ensure the egg bake is something everyone will enjoy.

 

4 cups cubed Italian or ciabatta bread
10 Clearly Organic Eggs
1 1/2 cups Clearly Organic Milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cooked breakfast sausage
1/2 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup grated cheese (Monterey Jack or cheddar)

 

Grease a 13×9 baking dish with Clearly Organic cooking spray. Set aside. In a medium size sautéed pan add 1 tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil. On medium-high heat sauté vegetables for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Cut Italian bread loaf into cubes, then place in greased 13×9 baking dish. Vigorously whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. After egg mixture is sufficiently whisked pour over bread chunks. Gently toss bread chunks in baking dish to ensure liquid is evenly distributed. Top the bread chunks with the sautéed vegetables and cooked breakfast sausage. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and store in refrigerator overnight.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove egg dish from the refrigerator and place in the preheated oven, covered. Bake for 35 minutes. Uncover dish and add 1/2 cup grated cheese then continue baking for another 15 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked.

 

Overnight Egg Bake

 

Overnight Egg Bake

 

Overnight Egg Bake

 

Overnight Egg Bake

 

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