Find out the latest health and organic news from our resident dietitian, Rebecca, along with recipes, tips and more!
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The holiday season is upon us, and this festive time of year can have a big impact on your nutrition routine. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics the average American gains one to two pounds over the holidays. This may not sound like a significant amount but the reality is most people don’t lose those extra couple pounds. Making the holiday season a potential culprit for habitual weight gain. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! You can enjoy all your seasonal favorites if you practice some simple mindful eating.
Mindful eating (verses mindless eating) is the practice of becoming more aware of your body and mind connection to hunger. It’s analyzing how needs and wants affect your nutrition decisions. Mindful eating around the holidays can be making the conscience decision to only eat one plate of food at a meal verses going back to the buffet for seconds. Mindful eating is also the decision to eat more vegetables at a meal verses filling your plate with carbohydrates and meat. The basis of mindful eating is the desire to make better food choices and then follow through on that goal.
2/3 cup Clearly Organic Butter, softened
2/3 cup Clearly Organic Brown Sugar
1 1/2 cups Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric hand mixer beat together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add 2 eggs and continue beating with electric hand mixer. In a separate bowl combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine dry ingredients. Add 1/3 of the flour mix to the butter mixture bowl and stir with spoon to combine. Repeat until all of the flour and butter mixtures are evenly combined into one batter. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate. Drop batter in small spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cookies cool on a wire rack.
8 oz Clearly Organic Whole Wheat Rotini Noodles
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1 cup shiitake mushroom cups, cut in half
1 cup cremini mushrooms, cut in half
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup Clearly Organic Milk
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 Tablespoons panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with thyme and salt, continue cooking about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the mushroom mixture and cook for 1 minute. Then add milk and bring to a simmer while stirring. Add pasta, cheeses and chopped fresh spinach. Cook about 3 minutes until spinach slightly wilts. Then remove contents from the sauté pan and transfer to an oven safe dish. Sprinkle panko on top and bake for 10 minutes.
Cinnamon, maple, squash, apple and pumpkin…ohhh the sights and smells of Fall. When the sweaters and scarves come out we also start changing our meal habits and food choices. Fall often brings us back to soup, casseroles and warm pasta dishes. A common misconception is that these warm comfort foods have to be heavy on the calories and light on nutrients. Here are a few simple tips to make comfort foods healthier.
1. Make a cream sauce without heavy cream. Experiment with evaporated milk or use 2%
2. Swap your noodles. Try whole wheat pasta for your spaghetti or in your macaroni and cheese.
3. Try new varieties of potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes work great for creamy mashed potatoes without all the butter. Also try chicken stock verses butter for extra creamy and smoothmashed potatoes.
4. Choose lean meat. Instead of ground beef use grass fed free range meat.
As if we needed any more reasons to enjoy this seasonal favorite. Pumpkin not only adds flavor and spice to a recipe it also adds nutrients. This bright orange squash is loaded with Vitamin A and carotenoids. Vitamin A is best known for its ability to aid in vision clarity and help fight off certain cancers. Pumpkin seeds, just like other nuts and seeds, are excellent sources of plant based chemicals that can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
One cup of mashed pumpkin is loaded with potassium. Potassium helps us keep our electrolytes balanced so muscles can recover and function properly for rebuilding. Pumpkin cooks up beautifully in pies, soup, breads, ravioli, dips and casseroles. Watch the Clearly Organic blog for a healthier pumpkin pie recipe!
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup Clearly Organic Chicken broth
1 cup 2% Clearly Organic Milk
2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 sour cream
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Black Pepper
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons green onion, sliced
In a large stock pot place 2 Tablespoons oil and 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion. Sauté on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until onions look translucent. Add butter to pot and allow to fully melt then add 1/4 cup flour and begin to whisk into contents. This will make a thick sauce. Once the sauce looks somewhat smooth add chicken broth and continue whisking contents while it returns to a boil. Pour in milk and bring contents to a low boil. Place potatoes, green onion, Greek yogurt and sour cream into the pot and stir. Allow contents to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper as desired. You will know the soup is ready when the potatoes are cooked through and very tender. While contents is simmering. Cook bacon and prep toppings.
These pumpkin granola treats are an easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth!
1 bag Clearly Organic Pumpkin Flaxseed Granola
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 tbsp butter
¼ cup chocolate chips
Melt marshmallows and butter together in saucepan over low heat; stir continuously until melted.
Remove from heat and stir in granola until completely covered with marshmallow mixture.
Line an 8×8 pan with parchment or wax paper. Then pour and press granola mixture into pan. Let cool for a few minutes before sprinkling chocolate chips on top – you may need to gently press chocolate chips into bars. Cool in refrigerator to harden for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
6 apples, cored and sliced or cubed
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cinnamon
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Clearly Organic Oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 13×9 baking dish with Clearly Organic cooking spray. Wash, core and chop 6 apples. Place apples into a mixing bowl and add lemon juice. Stir to distribute. Then add 2 Tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir contents until evenly distributed. Place mixture into the 13×9 baking dish. In a separate mixing bowl add brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon. Add cold butter cubes to the mixture and cut with a pasty blender or use a fork to cut in cold butter chunks. Once the butter is evenly distributed into the mixture pour the contents over the top of the apples in the 13×9 pan. Place in preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until sides are bubbling and top is goldenbrown. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The best part about making your own pumpkin spice latte is that you can use natural ingredients and real organic spices, instead of sugary pumpkin flavoring. A homemade pumpkin spice latte can mean real pumpkin purée with organic vanilla, maple syrup and cinnamon.
2 Tablespoons pumpkin purée
2 cups Clearly Organic Milk
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cinnamon
1-2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Maple Syrup (depending on desired sweetness)
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Vanilla
1 cup strong brewed coffee, or 2 shots espresso
1/2 cup milk (for extra foam if desired)
In a saucepan over medium heat add pumpkin purée, milk, cinnamon, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir with a whisk continually. Heat contents until ingredients are evenly distributed and milk starts to foam slightly. Pour coffee evenly into two mugs. Top with milk and spice mixture. If you desire a warm frothy topping pour 1/2 cup milk into a mason jar, secure the lid and shake vigorously for 45 seconds. Then warm milk in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Spoon desired amount of foam over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Our nutritionist, Rebecca, was recently interviewed for a grocery industry podcast about organic foods. Take a listen below and learn more about organics, GMOs, the clean eating movement and more!