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*

Greek Yogurt Heart Bites

These Strawberry and Yogurt bites were a perfect recipe that I made for a lot of valentine treats this past February! Not only do adults and teens love them, but the kids do too! This is also a simple recipe that the kids can be involved in too. This recipe was provided from Produce For Kids (http://produceforkids.com/) They have amazing recipes for kids to make on here!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (if you want them sweeter, use vanilla)
  • 2 tbsp. honey

Directions:

  • Mix together and spread into a heart shaped ice cube tray
  • Freeze for 2 or more hours

For the exact recipe: http://www.produceforkids.com/meal-planning/strawberry-yogurt-bites

 

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*Picture taken by Danielle Colombo, RD*

Happy 4th!

This weekend is known for parties which could also mean that some of us may overeat on some of our favorite barbecue treats! Today, I have a healthy snack that you can bring with you to your next party. Not only is it very fast, but it’s also very simple to make! Bring it to a party for not only you, but your families, friends, coworkers, etc. Why not make something sweet and enjoyable for everyone to enjoy, even children! This is a sweet treat to make made from nature’s very own candy.. fruit! In the following recipe you will need toothpicks, raspberries, blueberries, and mini marshmallows. You can always substitute for other red fruits. Instead of using marshmallows you can also try to use bananas, however they might brown very quickly after slicing them.

The great thing about these little snacks is that you can enjoy them on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or any other patriotic holiday to celebrate the USA! Happy 4th everybody! Enjoy the day and be safe!

*Pictures were taken by Danielle Colombo, RD*

 

Homemade Super-Seedy Granola Bars

Looking for a high fiber, protein filled snack? These homemade super-seedy granola bars are the perfect fit! These bars are filled with delicious peanut butter and super seeds! Make extra bars, freeze or refrigerate the rest for later! A fantastic grab and go snack.

granola bars

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats               1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds                             3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds                               1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt                                   1 cup unsalted peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey                                         1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Line a 9 by 9 inch square pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap with enough overhang for easy removal
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cinnamon and salt
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract until very smooth.
  4. Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and using a wooden spoon, stir until evenly  combined.
  5. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and firmly press the mixture evenly into the pan.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Gently lift the parchment paper to remove from pan and slice into 16 bars. Place in a freezer-safe bag to store in the fridge or freezer. Serves 16.

Nutrition Info: Serving 1 bar (45 grams) Calories: 209; Total fat: 13g; Sat fat: 2g; Sodium 77mg; Carbohydrate: 20g; Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 11g; Protein: 7g

Adapted from: Alexandra Caspero January/February 2016 Food and Nutrition Magazine

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

dark chocolatePerfect for the holiday season: This delicious recipe is not only simple, but delicious and filled with antioxidants! If you are a chocolate and mint lover, this combination is fantastic.

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. dark chocolate chopped or 1 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 4 candy canes, crushed

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave or over a double broiler
  2. Once the chocolate is melted, mix until the chocolate is smooth
  3. Pour the chocolate onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Spread into a thin layer
  4. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top of the chocolate and press in lightly
  5. Refrigerate the bark for 20-30 minutes to let harden
  6. Break the bark into 15-20 uneven pieces. Keep refrigerated before ready to serve

 

Add Pears To Your Season Menu This Fall

One medium pear is 100 calories, has 5.5 grams of fiber, 10% of the daily value of vitamin C, and 5% of the daily value of potassium! The high pectin in pears makes them ideal for jams and spreads.

A member of the rose family, pears are delicious in both sweet and savory dishes and can be enjoyed raw, stewed, sauteed, baked, roasted, poached and grilled!

If you enjoy pears, here is a wonderful salad to share with family and friends during the Fall season!

Pear waldrof salad:

Ingredients;

4 large crisp, green pears, unpeeled, chopped into chunks

5 stalks of celery trimmed, coarsely sliced

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup walnuts

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 cup low fat cottage cheese

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

Directions:

Place chopped pears, celery, raisins, walnuts and lemon rind into a large bowl and toss together. Place cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, and honey into the container of a blender and process for 2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Pour cottage cheese dressing over pear mixture and stir to combine well. Chill until serving. Serves 8 people.

Nutrition information:

Serving size: 1 cup

Calories: 182

Total fat: 6g

Sat. fat: 1g

Cholesterol: 13mg

Sodium: 147mg

Carb: 29g

Fiber: 5g

Sugars: 20g

Protein: 6g

For more information: Food and Nutrition Journal September/October 2014. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Pomegranate Hummus

Chickpeas are boiled, mashed, and mixed with few ingredients to make hummus. Chickpeas’ fiber, protein, iron, and B vitamins make hummus a satisfying and nutritious dip! Hummus can serve as a dip or spread that is vegan-friendly, gluten-free and can be a common food for those with food allergies. Are you a fan of hummus? Try this amazing recipe!

Pomegranate hummus: Developed by Alex Caspero

Ingredients:

  • 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 2 drops hot sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions:

  1. Place chickpeas, garlic cloves, tahini, salt, lemon, hot sauce, and 1 tablespoon of pomegranate juice in a food processor. Process until the hummus is pureed.
  2. Scoop the hummus into a bowl and top with 3 tablespoons of pomegranate juice. Using a knife, swirl in the juice.
  3. Top with pomegranate seeds.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 74; Total Fat: 5g; Sat. Fat: 1g; Chol.: 0mg; Sodium: 95mg; Carb: 6g; Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 2g; Potassium: 82mg; Phosphorus: 63mg

For more great Recipes visit Alex’s awesome website: http://delicious-knowledge.com/

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

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Are you a vegetarian or vegan and struggle with finding meals, appetizers, and sides for Thanksgiving? Thanks to Christine Byrne (Buzzfeed Staff), here are 37 delicious vegetarian recipes! Click the link for recipes. Here’s a sneak peak for what the site offers recipes for! Sounds delicious to me!

Appetizers:

  • Sweet Potato Carrot Latkes
  • Truffled Mushroom Deviled Eggs
  • Pear, Shallot, Delicata Squash Soup
  • Mashed Potato Fritters
  • Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Gruyere Tartlets
  • Honey crisp Apple and Parsnip Soup

Salads:

  • Roasted Carrot and Red Quinoa Salad
  • Delicata Squash Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Pomegranate Seeds
  • Wild Rice, Farro, and Tangerine Salad
  • Roasted Carrot Salad with Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Crispy Garlic Chips
  • Ginger pear and Parsnip Salad

Sides:

  • Slow Roasted Green Beans with Sage
  • Cauliflower with Brown butter, Pears, Sage, and Hazelnuts
  • Horseradish Chive Mashed Potatoes

Condiments:

  • Vegan Mushroom Gravy
  • Cranberry Sauce with Cinnamon

Mains:

  • Winter Squash Bowl
  • Butternut Squash Lasagna and Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Pretzel Cashew Crusted Tofu with Sweet Onion Chutney
  • Caramelized Tofu and Shredded Brussels Sprouts

VEgan-thanksgiving-624x624Picture credit: www.chicagonow.com

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/vegetarian-dishes-for-thanksgiving