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‘Tis the Season for baking! The holidays call us together for fellowship, food and lots of seasonal treats. December is typically a month where multiple baked goods spring from peoples kitchens and cause many of us to share our favorite sweet creations. Here are a few tips of holiday baking.
8 oz round Brie cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup fresh cranberry sauce (see Clearly Organic blog for recipe)
1/4 cup walnut halves
Assorted crackers, such as Clearly Organic Stone Ground Wheat Crackers
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice off the top of the rind on the brie circle. Place the cheese in a small, parchment paper lined, baking dish. Top the brie with cranberry sauce and walnuts. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The fruit and cheese will be gooey and slightly bubbly. Carefully transfer the brie to a serving dish and serve immediately. Assorted whole grain crackers go well with baked brie.
‘Tis the season for Christmas cookies! Below is a list of our favorites shared from our nutritionist, Rebecca, and a few of our friends.
1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Honey
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Sugar
1 Tablespoon grated orange zest
Place fresh cranberries and orange juice in a small sauce pot. Heat over medium heat. Add honey, granulated sugar and orange zest to the pot and bring to a boil. The cranberries will start to pop and become more liquid. Reduce heat to medium low and let ingredients simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove cranberry sauce from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Contents will jell upon standing. Cranberry sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Anyone can put together a salad, but if your looking for greens to be the main event at your next meal then this article is for you. Salads can be a little lack luster when you’re simply taking some greens out of a bag and pouring on dressing. Here is an easy formula for constructing the perfect salad.
Every good salad needs: greens, dressing, protein, an added crunch and at least one bonus item.
Greens: when you think salad you immediately envision lettuce. However, your base of greens can be a variety of veggies. Shaved asparagus, cabbage, chopped kohlrabi or a roasted squash or brussel sprout. Your vegetable base can be grilled, pickled, raw or roasted.
Dressing: this is an important part of any salad. Dressings come in two main categories-vinaigrettes or creamy dressings. It’s important to remember that you don’t want to weigh down a soft leafy green, like spring mix, with a heavy creamy dressing. This will drown out flavors and make your greens feel mushy. Light leafy green mixes pair well with vinaigrettes while bold more bitter flavors from cabbage and kale and can stand up to a creamy base. Less is more when it comes to salad dressing.
Protein: a little protein can add stability and satisfaction to your salad. Anything goes here, just keep your protein flavors in line with your vegetables.
Crunch: this is the secret key ingredient. Roasted nuts, a classic crouton, savory granola, flax seeds and hemp seeds make great crunchy toppers.
Bonus items: think seasonal. Fresh or dried fruit, herbs and ancient grains make perfect bonus items. Berries work great in the summer along with fresh basil, cilantro or mint. Winter can be a great time to add quinoa, rice, couscous or barley.
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
1 (32 oz carton) Clearly Organic Chicken Broth
2 cups Clearly Organic Vegetable Broth
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups egg noodles
Place olive oil, onion, celery and carrots in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Sauté for 5 minutes to soften vegetables. Add broth and seasoning to the pot. Bring to a boil. Stew covered for 20 minutes over medium low heat. Add chicken and noodles to the pot and stir to combine. Continue cooking on medium heat until noodles are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove bay leave before serving.
1 (15oz) can pumpkin purée
3 Clearly Organic Egg Yolks
1 Clearly Organic Egg
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon all spice
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 cup ice water
Maple Vanilla Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
Start by making your pie crust. In a mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in water one tablespoon at a time until mix forms a ball. For best results use an electric mixer to cut in butter and stir in water. It’s also best to wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate overnight. Then roll out dough to fit a 9 inch pie pan. Place crust in pie plate and press into the bottom and sides. Scallop the edges of the crust if desired.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, egg yolks and egg. Add sweetened condensed milk, salt and spices. Whisk until throughly combined. Pour filling into pie crust in a 9 inch pie pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 35-40 minutes. Bake until pie is fully set in the middle, test by inserting knife in the center of the pie. After removing from oven allow pie to cool completely before serving or cutting.
Maple Vanilla Whipped Cream:
Place a metal mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will help the cream whip faster and stay fluffy. Pour cold whipping cream into chilled metal bowl. Using a standing mixer or whisk vigorously whip cream until soft peaks form. Add maple syrup and vanilla then continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gently scoop a dollop on top of your favorite dessert! Store in an air tight container for up to three days.
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.