Snowmen Bagels

As much as I am awaiting Spring and hope to see no more snow this Winter, here is a great idea for a snowy day! I recently made this at a daycare with children and they were a hit!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat mini bagel (snowman body)
  • shredded carrots (nose)
  • low fat cream cheese (white for snowman)
  • dried fruit- I used cranberries (mouth and buttons)
  • blueberries (eyes)
  • pretzel sticks (arms)

Picture below is done by a crafty 5 year old!

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Heart Shaped Fruits

I couldn’t get enough of my heart shaped cookie cutter for heart health month in February! Did you know you can use a small shaped cookie cutter on a strawberry to make it into a perfect heart shape? This worked so well to add a special touch to fruit skewers for Valentine’s Day! I picked up my heart shaped cookie cutters from Walmart for only $0.99! I love finding great finds at a great price!

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Simply take your cookie cutter, push it through the strawberry, cut the heart-shape in half to make two heart shaped strawberries! You can also use these on other fruits, like melons, I just thought the strawberries were perfect for a heart!!

I got a little carried away and made all of my heart-shaped strawberries into a big heart!

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*Picture taken by Danielle Colombo, RD*

Adding Flavor With Herbs

Herbs do not only contain vitamins and minerals, the oils in most herbs have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties that can deliver disease-fighting health benefits as well. Growing an herb garden is an easy way to access fresh herbs all year-round.

Thyme: Contains generous amounts of Vitamin C, can be used in soups and stews, and can add flavor to foods including meats, roasted chicken, fish, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and winter vegetables.

Basil: Offers a range of flavors and aromas from lemon and mint to licorice. Sweet basil pairs well with Parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella cheeses, tomatoes, pasta, eggs, garlic, and poached fish.

Tarragon: Delivers a sweet licorice-like flavor. Tarragon can be used in green salads and goes well with eggs, chicken, fish, goat, and ricotta cheeses as well as citrus, tomatoes, parsley and vinegar.

Rosemary: Pairs well with fava and white beans, roasted meats and potatoes. This herb should be added early in the cooking process.

Mint: Pairs well with dark chocolate, cream-based dessert, lamb, cucumbers, young potatoes, carrots or peas, fruits and teas.

Chives: Pair well with eggs, cheddar and ricotta cheeses, and root vegetables (especially potatoes). Use them fresh, not cooked to maintain color and flavor.

Cilantro: Pairs well with chili peppers in salsas and curries. Commonly used in Thai, Indian, and Mexican cuisine.

Sage: Pairs well with rich and roasted poultry and meat dishes, onions, pasta and beans.

Parsley: 1 tbsp. of parsley delivers more than 50% of recommended vitamin K for adults. Pairs well with lemon and garlic, fish and soups.

Dill: Delivers a good amount of beta-carotene. Dill is a main ingredient in pickles and pairs well with cucumbers, eggs, potatoes and fish.

Food & Nutrition Magazine. July/August 2015

May is National Egg Month

Did you know that the month of May is National Egg Month? Eggs contain high quality protein to keep you full for longer periods of time and energized throughout the day. Eggs only contain 70 calories, making them a wonderful snack or part of a meal. When you think of eggs, think of them as a multivitamin. The nutrients found in eggs can play a key role in weight management, muscle strength, brain function, eye health, and can have other health benefits as well. Did you know that an egg yolk contains a higher percentage of the eggs’ vitamins than the white? It’s true: an egg yolk contains an entire eggs’ vitamins A, D, and E. Plus, egg yolks are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Dietary protein influences muscle mass, strength and function for all different age groups. The six grams of high-quality protein found in eggs an help children and teenagers build and preserve muscle, and for adults, protein can help prevent muscle loss. Many Americans are in the habit of shying away from eggs because of dietary cholesterol; however, more than 40 years of research has shown that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without impacting their risk of heart disease. So, the next time you’re re-thinking having an egg as part of your meal, go for it! Their nutritional and health benefits are eggstraordinary!!

Resource: http://www.incredibleegg.org

Spice Up Your Salad At Home!

When most people think of salads, they think of them as boring. But guess what… they don’t have to be! Here is a wonderful example of a way to spice up your salad. Share this wonderful recipe with family and friends!

Black Bean Salad:

What you will need: (Serves 4 people)

2 cups dried black beans

1 1/2 tbsp. coriander chopped

1 tbsp. fresh parsley chopped

1 tbsp. lime juice

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup tomatoes chopped

1/2 cup avocado peeled and diced

2 tbsp. shallots chopped

1 tbsp. green chili seeded, minced

4 cups salad greens

Preparation:

1. Soak the beans overnight. Drain, rinse and place them into a medium size pot. Cover them with water and cook up to 2 hours until the beans are softened.

2. Combine the coriander, parsley, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk. Add beans, tomato, avocado, shallots, and chili and toss well. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Combine with the salad greens shortly before serving!

Photo Credit: http://www.trialx.com

For more great recipes: Healing Foods: Cooking for Celiacs, Colitis, Chron’s, and IBS by Sandra Ramacher

Baked Apple Chips Recipe

These nutritious apple chips are easy to make and a healthy snack! This recipe serves 8 people and was developed by Lindsay Livingston.

You only need:

4 apples & 2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.
  2. Core the apples if desired. Slice the apples as thin as possible and place on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Bake the apple slices for one hour and then flip the slices over for another hour.
  4. Let the slices cool completely and store them in an airtight container.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 49; Total Fat: 0g; Sat. Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1mg; Carb.: 13g; Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 9g; Protein: 0g; Potassium: 100mg; Phosphorus: 10mg

Be realistic this New Year!

Happy 2014! New Year’s Day is one of the biggest days where we all set our year resolutions and a lot of the time these resolutions deal with weight loss. Let’s be realistic this year and set goals we know we can stick to!

START SMALL. We all want fast results, but being realistic means setting small goals and working our way up to where we want to be. Make a small, realistic goal each week to feel successful and look forward to achieving something new!

EAT MORE VEGETABLES.. AND FRUIT. By filling your plate for every meal with non-starchy vegetables and choosing to eat fruits wisely as snacks, you will be surprised how healthy you will begin to feel and might even see the weight start coming off just by switching to this simple advice! It may be extremely hard at first to get used to, but remember always start small! If you’re not used to eating vegetables at every meal, gradually introduce them into one or two of your meals and you will be surprised how fast your habits can change!

WHOLE GRAINS, WHOLE GRAINS, WHOLE GRAINS. Ideally as a nutritionist, we want everyone to eat only whole grains although the recommendation is make half your grains whole grains. If you want to feel fuller longer, I suggest that you eat as many whole grains as possible when it comes to choosing a grain. This will make you feel full because of the added fiber whole grains add to our diet! And remember, our bodies don’t require that many grains to survive, so slowly start cutting back if you are a grain-lover!

PORTION OUT YOUR FOOD. This can’t be stressed enough. Although it may be a lot easier said than done, once you get into the habit of portioning your food out, your body will thank you! With all the over-sized portions out there, especially in restaurants, we have tricked our minds and bodies into thinking we need more food when we really don’t. This may be a challenge at first, but trust me, it will become a lifestyle habit.

GET THE SUPPORT YOU NEED. It takes a lot to be successful if you don’t have people supporting you along the way. Find those who will support your goal and stick to it. If you need extra motivation and are lacking willpower, it’s important to find friends, family, or possibly a dietitian to help you many steps of the way!

Grocery Shopping When We’re Hungry=No, No, No!

Grocery shopping when we’re hungry is not a healthy way to approach food shopping and will most likely result in buying foods that we weren’t aiming to buy in the first place– wasting MONEY, CALORIES, and TIME! (I’m guilty of this!)

Eating a light snack before grocery shopping or after eating a larger meal such as breakfast, lunch, or dinner is key. We will see numbers go up on the scale from buying foods we were tempted to eat when we were hungrier (and these foods are most likely not healthy options!) Keep it simple, stick to a list, aim for FRESH foods!

It’s extremely important to have a list with us at all times and ONLY buy what is on that list.  We should all get into a habit of writing down foods during the week that our families can agree on and only stick to those foods. Aim for a time in the day that works best to go grocery shopping– when we are relaxed and our tummies are feeling full!

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Photo credit: www.writeonnewjersey.com

Do you have any suggestions/tips/comments on grocery shopping?

Blueberry Banana Pancakes, Only 3 Ingredients!

Do you enjoy pancakes in the morning? Are you a fan of blueberries and bananas? Instead of indulging in a high calorie breakfast of regular pancakes, try this recipe out! This recipe only requires 3 ingredients.. can it get any easier?!

  1. 1 large banana
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 1 handful blueberries

Directions:

  • Peel and slice the banana
  • Mash the banana and the egg
  • Mix until fully combined
  • Heat a skillet on medium heat
  • Fill 1/4 cup with the pancake mix
  • Add 5-7 blueberries
  • Cook until lightly brown

What do you think? Do you have any healthy recipes you would like to share?

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For more information on this recipe: http://undressedskeleton.tumblr.com/post/38657925508

How Do I Save Money & Eat Healthy?

Here are some wonderful tips by to keep your meals cheap and healthy at the same time! We all sometimes feel like we can’t afford the healthier items in a grocery store, but with careful planning.. we certainly can!

  • Start buying in bulk — Example: bagged apples are cheaper than individual apples
  • Keep a list & plan ahead — Budget experts say that making a list and sticking to it can help save you hundreds of a dollars a year on your grocery store bill.
  • Look for the healthy deals — Dried beans, nuts, whole grains, lean meats and dairy, and herb products and produce are items that you’ll want to stock up on when a sale occurs in your local store. Meats and whole grain products can be easily frozen for use at a later date.
  • Buy generic: You most likely won’t be able to tell the difference between brand name or a generic version!
  • Make sure to sign up for a store card! You never know when you will receive sales from using it!
  • Do not give into buying anything conveniently ready for you (ex. pre-sliced) it will always be more expensive!
  • You can always freeze food items, so instead of making a food item go bad.. make more and get creative on how to use it for different recipes!

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