Find out the latest health and organic news from our resident dietitian, Rebecca, along with recipes, tips and more!
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Recently Clearly Organic customer Kathleen W wrote in to ask about organic smoothies. She requested more information on good protein sources for our favorite smoothie combinations. Thanks for your question Kathleen. We hope this blog post provides a little guidance for your next smoothie making endeavor.
Making the perfect smoothie requires the right ratio of produce, protein and healthy fats. When you’re making a smoothie that will serve one here is a good guide.
*1 cup of your favorite fruit. Fresh or frozen. If you use frozen you likely won’t need to add ice.
*3/4 cup of liquid. Milk, almond milk, coconut water and yogurt are great options. I think it’s wise to skip or limit fruit juices because it adds a lot of extra sugar and calories.
*1 Tablespoon of healthy fats. Such as avocado, chia seeds, milled flax seeds and nuts add nice texture and nutrition to a smoothie.
*extra boost of vitamins and minerals – add a handful of greens such spinach or chopped kale. Other boosters can be a small scoop of protein powder or a few tablespoons oats can add extra fiber.
This beautiful vegetable offers a wide variety of health benefits due to its rich mineral and antioxidant content. Beets can range in color from red to purple even yellow and orange. No matter what the pigment of this vegetable it packs a powerful nutrient punch. Beets can help fight cancer, heart disease, inflammation and stimulate brain functioning.
When you are picking a bundle of beets up at the store or farmers market look for beets that are firm, smooth, brightly colored and attached to their original fresh green leaves. Beets can be roasted, steamed or even grated and eaten raw over a salad. Almost every part of the beet can be enjoyed, the bulb, the stem and the greens. The only part that needs to be discarded is the thin stem on the bottom of the bulb. Beets can stay fresh in the fringe for 2-3 weeks if the greens are removed. Beets are one of mother natures most nutritious foods. Watch the Clearly Organic blog for more recipes featuring beets.
2 zucchini (about 8 inches long)
1/2 lb Italian sausage
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Sunflower Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Marinara Sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Trim the ends off the zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp leaving about a 1/2 inch in the shell. Save pulp for sautéing with vegetables. Place zucchini boats on a baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with sunflower oil and salt & pepper. Use hands to evenly coat zucchini with oil and seasoning.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet add chopped pulp, onion, carrot, sunflower oil and salt & pepper. Sauté over medium heat while stirring for about 5 minutes. Add Italian sausage continue cooking for 5-8 minutes until sausage is browned and onions are translucent. Add cream cheese and stir to evenly distribute. Remove mixture from heat. Let cool for a 5 minutes then load zucchini boats. Top each boat with marina sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Then turn on broil and broil for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes then top with fresh basil before serving.
This healthy fruit pizza recipe is made with all natural organic ingredients. The crust is an oatmeal based dough and the creamy topping is Greek yogurt mixed with whipped cream cheese and honey. It makes for a wholesome treat or snack.
1 cup organic flour
1/3 cup Clearly Organic Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Vanilla
1/3 cup Clearly Organic Coconut Oil (melted)
1 cup Greek Yogurt
4 oz whipped cream cheese
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Honey
Fruit Topping of your choice. Berries, peaches, banana and kiwi work great.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper. Add dry ingredients (first 5 ingredients) to a mixing bowl. Stir to evenly distribute. Whisk together egg, vanilla and melted oil. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to evenly distribute. Then place dough onto the pizza pan and press dough into a circle. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven or until dough is golden brown. While dough is cooking combine yogurt, whipped cream cheese and honey. When crust is golden brown remove from oven and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Then top with cream cheese mixture and fresh fruit.
No matter what kind of meal plan someone follows they likely won’t see results unless they enjoy foods in the right portion size. Controlling portions is much easier said than done. The most logical way to keep portions in check is to weigh and measure your food. However, that’s tedious and pretty unsustainable for most people. Here are two simple tips to control your portion sizes.
This refreshing summer salad is perfect for your next picnic or barbecue. It’s easy to make and loaded with flavor.
4 cups watermelon, cubed
1 cup yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
2 oz goat cheese, chunked
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Balsamic Vinegar
Add watermelon, tomatoes and basil to a salad bowl. Gently toss. Just before serving top with goat cheese chunks and balsamic vinegar. Best when served chilled.
The best part about making your own preserves is that you can use fresh or frozen fruit. In this recipe I used fresh raspberries picked from my neighbors garden and frozen blueberries and strawberries. Preserves go great on top of pancakes, waffles, ice cream or whole grain bread.
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
3 cups strawberries
1 cup Clearly Organic Sugar
Juice from one small lemon, squeezed and deseeded
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Stir together contents and let sit so the flavors meld and fruit releases its juice. If using frozen fruit allow enough time for the fruit to thaw, at least an hour. Add contents to a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir frequently. For 30 minutes allow fruit to simmer while stirring frequently. Let preserves cool for 15 minutes in the pot then transfer to storage containers or sterile jars if canning. Homemade preserves can be kept in the frig for up to a month.
Late summer offers the widest range of foods available during the year. Some of the most delightful fruits and vegetables are at their peak in August. Berries are still plump and juicy this time of year and fresh lettuce can still be found at the farmers market.
Here are 5 foods that are best to enjoy in the month of August.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe but onions are naturally sweet. The best way to pull out the sweetness from an ordinary onion is to caramelize. Caramelizing onions is the process of slow cooking them in a little oil until they are translucent brown and loaded with rich sweet flavor. Caramelized onions go great on sandwiches, pizza, steak, onion soup and quiche. The delightful sweet flavor can also be enjoyed alone. Caramelized onions make a tasty side dish.
When preparing your onions to be caramelized peel back all the thin outer layer and cut the onion root to tip. Place the onion slices in a thick bottomed sauté pan that’s coated with olive oil. Heat the pan on medium high until everything starts to simmer then stir, add a pinch of salt and lower the heat to medium low. The onions will need to cook about 30 to 40 minutes, on low, while you stir occasionally. The trick is to let the onions sit long enough to turn slightly brown but stir before they burn or dry out. I like adding a little water to the pan about half way through to ensure the onions don’t dry out. The process takes time and practice, but the delicious result is a crowd pleaser.
1 box Clearly Organic Shells and Cheese
3/4 cup cauliflower rice (finely chopped cauliflower)
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 Tablespoons tomato chucks for garnish
In a medium size sauce pot bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cauliflower rice to boiling water. Boil rapidly for 8 minutes. Drain and add two Tablespoons butter, baby spinach, 1/4 cup milk and contents of sauce packet. Stir well and allow spinach to slightly wilt. Portion mac and cheese into serving bowls and top with crumbled bacon and tomato.