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Welcome to The Dietitian's Corner by Clearly Organic!

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

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Nutritionist Corner: Picking the Perfect Melon

One of my favorite fruits is watermelon, and late summer is the perfect time to pick one up. With watermelon season also comes cantaloupe and honey dew melons. The high water and electrolyte content in each of these fruits makes them a great food to have on a hot day. When shopping for melons look for fruit that is somewhat firm and symmetrical without soft spots or bruising. Melons should have a sweet smell, and if purchasing a cut melon look for flesh that is bright in color. Melons can ripen on your kitchen counter at room temp for a few days. Once the fruit is cut or chopped store it in an air tight container, in the refrigerator, for up to three days.

Melons are a naturally sweet low calorie food. A wedge of any variety of melon offers a rich source of Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Fresh or frozen melon pieces offer an excellent alternative to sugary desserts. The juicy sweetness and refreshing nature of melon make it a perfect summer and early fall selection.

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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

This recipe makes one 12 fl oz portion.

1 banana, sliced
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Peanut Butter
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Honey (optional)
4 medium size ice cubes

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until contents have reached your desired consistency. The addition of honey is optional, based on the level of sweetness you prefer.

FullSizeRender[1] FullSizeRender
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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Mango Avocado Salsa

1 mango, peeled and seeded
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 teaspoon salt (optional)

Chop the peeled and seeded mango into small chunks. Mix together mango, red bell pepper, olive oil, vinegar and lime juice in a bowl. Fold in diced avocado and season with salt.

This chunky salsa is great with Clearly Organic Corn chips or as a topping on fish tacos!

Nutritionist Corner - Mango Avocado Salad
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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Melon Mint Salad

This 3 ingredient salad is simple to make and can be enjoyed as a refreshing snack or as a side dish.

6 cups cubed watermelon
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup feta cheese crumbles

Chop melon and place in a serving dish. Chop mint leaves and keep in a separate bowl until ready to serve. Combine all three ingredients just before serving. If desired serve all ingredients separate so guests can combine melon, mint and feta in single serve portions as they enjoy the salad.

melon-mint-salad-1 melon-mint-salad-2
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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas

This unique Middle-eastern snack is delicious and nutritious. They are best fresh out of the oven.

1 can Clearly Organic Chickpeas
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic (optional)
1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Empty contents of chickpea can into a strainer and thoroughly rinse beans. Place rinsed beans on paper towel lined baking pan. Pat to dry. Absorb excess water from pan with the paper towel. Discard paper towel. Add olive oil to pan with beans and stir beans on the pan to ensure all the beans are coated with oil. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes. Let beans cool on pan for 10 minutes. Place in bowl and season with sea salt and any desired spices.

Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas
Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas
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Nutritionist Corner: Hydrate With A Twist

Want to make drinking water a little more exciting? I know I do. Water is an essential part of life that we need every single day. It is a pure and healthy form of hydration, but plain water can be a little boring sometimes. So why not try infusing your next glass of water with fruit or fresh herbs.

The most common and easiest way to add a twist to your water is by adding citrus. Lemons, limes and oranges add flavor and vitamin C. Cucumber and mint are also a delightful and refreshing combination. By drinking water with natural sweetness, like fruit, you can reduce the urge to drink soda and other sugary beverages.

For optimal performance our bodies requires a minimum of 8 cups of water per day. But we all stand to benefit from more H2O if we live in a warm climate or if we’re physically active. Infusing water can be done by the glass for a single serve portion or it can be made in a pitcher. When friends and family are coming over I like to fill my large clear glass pitcher with various types of infused water each time we are having a celebration. From strawberry tangerine to rosemary grapefruit, and lemon cucumber – have fun trying different varieties of naturally flavored water.

 Tangerine and blackberry infused water Tangerine and blackberry infused water

Tangerine and blackberry infused water

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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Picnic Pasta Salad

This meat and vegetable based pasta salad is a perfect meal for a picnic. It’s easy to pack up in a basket or toss in your travel backpack and enjoy anywhere.

1 cup cooked Clearly Organic Whole Wheat Rotini
1 cup cooked chicken, cubed
1 cup cooked Italian sausage chunks
1 cup red, green and/or yellow pepper chunks
1 cup broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 cup canned artichokes, drained and sliced
1/2 cup black olive slices
1/2 cup Colby cheese cut into small chunks
1 cup Clearly Organic Italian dressing

Cook whole rotini noodles according to package. Place cooked noodles into a medium size mixing bowl. Cut cooked chicken and Italian sausage into chunks and place in mixing bowl with the noodles and stir. Chop peppers and broccoli and add to meat in mixing bowl. Drain canned artichokes and olives. Slice olives and artichokes and add to mixing bowl. Add Clearly Organic Italian dressing and toss mixture. Just before serving, chunk cheese and add to salad.

Variations: This can be a vegetarian dish. Simply omit the chicken and sausage and add extra broccoli and peppers.

Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Picnic Pasta Salad Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Picnic Pasta Salad
Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Picnic Pasta Salad Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Picnic Pasta Salad
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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Simple Summer Salad

1 (5 oz) pkg organic mixed field greens
1 (6 oz) pkg raspberries, rinsed and pat dry
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted or candied
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 avocado, cubed
1 thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Raspberry Vinaigrette salad dressing

Place Mixed field greens in a salad bowl. Top with raspberries, walnuts, goat cheese, avocado and green onion. If desired mix salad dressing in with the mixture and toss, or serve salad dressing on the side. This salad also tastes great topped with grilled chicken.

Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Simple Summer Salad
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Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Seed Muffins

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Apple Sauce
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 cup Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup Clearly Organic All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cinnamon

In a small mixing bowl whisk together eggs, orange juice, apple sauce and oil. Add chia seeds and oats to the liquid and stir to combine. Let mixture sit for at least ten minutes while you prepare the rest of the batter. Chia seeds need to soak for the nutrients to be released. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper liners. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a mixing bowl and stir until evenly distributed. Add OJ mixture into the flour mixture until ingredients are just combined. OJ mixture will be slightly gelled after soaking for 10 minutes. Gently fold blueberries into batter. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup 3/4 full. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon in a small ramekin, then sprinkle over unbaked muffins. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes.

Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Muffins Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Muffins
Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Muffins Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Muffins
Nutritionist Corner Recipe: Blueberry Chia Muffins
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Nutritionist Corner: Reading Ingredient Lists

It’s difficult to know what to prioritize when looking at a food label. Between the fine print of the ingredient list, and the mess of the Nutrition Facts chart it can be hard to know what words or numbers to scan for on a label. Not to mention the changing trends of health gimmicks that aim to catch our eye on the front of the package. However, one truth does remain, the nuts and bolts about what is in packaged food still lingers in the ingredient list.

Here are two things to look for when reading the ingredient list:

  1. The length of the ingredient list. I know this is an elusive recommendation, because how long is too long when it comes to ingredients? If the list is longer than around 5 ingredients, scan more closely to see what’s in the food you are holding. Leading you to recommendation #2.
  2. Watch for certain words in the ingredient list. Try to limit or avoid foods with the words “modified”, “enriched”, “color” and “soy lecithin”. These words typically imply that the food is genetically engineered and contains GMO’s (genetically modified organisms).

One of the best labels to look for on the front of a package is the USDA Certified Organic label. This is one way to ensure you’re consuming food that is not genetically modified, and contains limited or no extra processing.

USDA-organic
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