Find out the latest health and organic news from our resident dietitian, Rebecca, along with recipes, tips and more!
IMPORTANT NOTICE: AWG provides the Dietitian's Corner blogger(s) with free products and compensation for posts.
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.
Dark chocolate has long been recognized as a healthy treat. As many American’s get ready to savor this festive indulgence on Valentine’s Day or celebrate National Chocolate Lover’s Month, it’s good to know what the standards are surrounding dark chocolate health benefits. To get the most antioxidant benefits from cocoa beans it’s best to pick chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. A higher cocoa percentage typically means the product is lower in sugar and is associated with heart health benefits.
Another tip for purchasing healthy dark chocolate is to look at the ingredient list. Look for cocoa, or a form of cocoa, as the first ingredient. Also avoid dark chocolate that contains trans fat, artificial flavors or high amounts of sugar. It’s also wise to look for fair trade organic chocolate. This kind of chocolate is usually more ethically sourced and pesticide free. Visit the Clearly Organic blog for a homemade chocolate recipe this month.
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup low fat eggnog
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Vanilla
1-1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Raisins (optional)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Powdered Sugar
1 Tablespoon eggnog
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar using an electric hand mixer. Beat in the egg. In a separate bowl whisk together eggnog, yogurt and vanilla. In another bowl add flour, baking powder, zest, baking soda and salt. Stir dry ingredients. Add half of the eggnog mix and flour mix to the creamed butter bowl. Stir until evenly distributed. Add remaining eggnog mix and flour to the batter and stir. Gently stir in raisins. Pour batter into a greased 8×8 inch baking dish. Top with walnuts and place in preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes.
For the glaze: in a small bowl add powdered sugar and eggnog. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Drizzle over cake when it’s completely cool.
Like most “trendy” items food trends may come and go but some are worth pursuing and implementing into your routine. Luckily healthcare professionals agree that food habits are cycling back to more wholesome natural ingredients. In fact many of the food trends for 2019 include plant based products and unique ways to add more Omega-3’s to your meal plan.
Organic, dairy free and gluten free products are more readily available on store shelves. I do believe this health trend is here to stay. With the uptick in allergies and intolerances the market demands a wide variety of products that are lifestyle specific. In the end some classic food principals remain the same. Our bodies require a balanced diet of vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and fruit. While analyzing the food trends of 2019 keep these core values in mind.
Cranberry sauce doesn’t just have to be for Thanksgiving day. A fresh cranberry mix can be a unique topping for a variety of recipes.
1 (12oz) package fresh cranberries
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Sugar
2 Tablespoons water
Place fresh cranberries into a 1.5 quart sauce pot. Then cut the orange and lemon in half. Squeeze juice from the fruit utilizing a reamer. Juice the lemon and orange over a bowl then discard any seeds. Pour juice over the cranberries. Cut several small slices of orange and lemon rind. Place rind into the pot with berries. Add sugar and water then bring pot to a boil. Mix contents and keep at a low boil for about 5 minutes. Cranberries may begin to pop so place a lid over the top, yet allow some air to escape. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes then let contents cool completely.
Here are 5 ways to utilize this citrus cranberry sauce:
1. Add the mixture to plain Greek yogurt
2. Use it as jam on toast
3. Mix it into muffins or sweet bread
4. Use as a topping for baked brie
5. Make a glaze for chicken or pork
We often think of eating fresh seasonal foods during the summer months. However, December offers a wide variety of flavorful ripe produce. Holiday meals can be more colorful and nutritious with beets, brussels sprouts and butternut squash. All of these vegetables are at their peak of freshness in December. Cauliflower, fennel and mushrooms are also seasonal delights late in the year.
When it comes to fruit, oranges, kiwi and grapefruit are just right during the winter months. Pomegranates, pears and persimmons are also excellent choices in December. All of these fruits make delightful additions to any meal or snack. Next time you’re at the store pick up some of your favorite seasonal produce.
Striking the right balance with food, family time, fun and relaxation around the holidays is not easy. Even if we have good intentions to eat healthier and exercise during the Christmas season we usually lose sight of that goal the minute the first cookie platter shows up. Here are a few simple tips to help you stay motivated during the busy holiday season.
3 sweet potatoes, baked
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 can Clearly Organic Chick Peas, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Clearly Organic Cumin
1/2 cup tahini sauce (see Clearly Organic blog for recipe)
Wash 3 medium sized sweet potatoes. Poke several holes in potatoes with a knife, then cover in foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 1.5 hours. Remove from oven and let cool on the counter for 30 minutes.
For the roasted chick peas: drain and rinse 1 can of chick peas throughly with water. Place in a sauté pan. Add olive oil and cumin. Stir to combine. Heat chick peas over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Peas will begin to pop so place lid over beans allowing some heat to escape. Cook beans for 6-8 minutes or until they begin to brown and become evenly roasted.
Cut open baked sweet potatoes. Place desired amount of chopped spinach inside. Place 1/4 cup of roasted chick peas inside each potato. Then top potato with desired amount of tahini sauce.
This light and savory sauce makes a great salad dressing and dip. It also provides a flavor boost for sandwich’s, wraps or roasted veggies.
1/2 cup tahini
Juice from one lemon
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper
Place tahini, lemon juice and water in a mason jar. Whisk together with a fork. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper. Secure a lid on the jar. Then shake until contents are combined. Add additional water if you desire a thinner more pourable sauce.
Tahini is ground up toasted sesame seeds. This, now widely used, ingredient originates from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It’s also the latest trendy food that’s being drizzled on top of a variety of dishes. You might have recognized tahini from its regular appearance in hummus. However it’s the perfect addition to salad dressing, sauces, cookies, cakes and soup. Tahini offers a rich and nutty flavor with a smooth texture that pairs well with ancient grains and just about any vegetable.
Cooking with tahini is fun and easy. A simple yet versatile tahini sauce can be a goto dip, dressing or even something unique to swirl into a brownie mix for a rich nutty flavor. Watch the Clearly Organic blog for lots of recipes featuring tahini.
This simple and delicious chicken recipe goes great with sautéed mushrooms and onions. Add a side of brown rice and leafy greens and you have yourself a wholesome balanced meal.
4 boneless chicken thighs
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons Clearly Organic Turmeric
2 teaspoons Clearly Organic Paprika
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
Place flour, turmeric and paprika in a bowl. Stir to combine. Dredge chicken thighs in flour mixture. Place olive oil in a sauté pan. Heat oil on medium heat for 1 minute. Place chicken in sauté pan and cook on medium high for 4-6 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Cook until each thigh is browned on the edges and cooked through.