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*

 

Watermelon Fun!

Today is the first day of July and the summer time is here! What better way to celebrate the first day of July with a fun watermelon drink? Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C,  has plenty of antioxidants (watermelon gets it reddish-pink shades primarily from lycopene!), and has a rich supply of an amino acid called citrulline.

A fully ripened watermelon will feel heavy for its size. Heaviness in a watermelon is a good thing because the water content of a watermelon will typically increase along with ripening, and a fully ripened watermelon will be over 90% water in terms of weight! A fully ripened watermelon will also often have a ground spot that has turned creamy yellow in color.

Looking for ideas on what to do with watermelon? Make it into a fun drink. I used plain seltzer water mixed with watermelon for a light spritzer drink to enjoy on a hot day. About 1 liter of seltzer mixed with the inside of the watermelon makes a fantastic drink! I scooped the inside of the watermelon out with an icecream scoop and blended it in a blender with the seltzer water. You can add a hint of lime juice to the drink if needed. I picked up a handy watermelon kit at my local ShopRite that came with stands to hold the watermelon balanced, and a spout to pour the drink out of the watermelon– very easy to use!!

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I also made a delicious watermelon and feta salad last month! It was DELICIOUS! Did you ever think of mixing watermelon with cheese? The next time you are thinking of making a salad and you are a watermelon lover, this is definitely the choice for you!

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The possibilities with watermelon are endless! What better way to enjoy the summer than with a refreshing watermelon recipe?

 

 

Summer Squash

Squash is considered one of the oldest cultivated crops in the Western Hemisphere. It is low in calories – 1 cup contains fewer than 20 calories and it’s water content is more than 90 percent. They are excellent sources of vitamin C and potassium.

Zucchini: This is the most popular summer squash. It can be baked, fried, sauteed, grilled, steamed or shredded. It can be eaten raw or cooked!

Squash blossoms: These yellow or orange flowers can be used as a colorful garnish or can add to a mild squash flavor. You can stuff these with soft cheese and bake them or coat them in batter and lightly fry them!

Pattypan: This has a distinct saucer shape! You can slice this squash and pan fry, or scoop out the interior and stuff them.

Ronde de Nice: This French zucchini is firm and mild flavored. It is also sometimes called eight-ball squash. It is perfect for scooping out and stuffing with grains or vegetables before baking.

Yellow Crookneck: This bumpy yellow squash can be steamed, boiled, or sauteed. It is often used in soups and stews.

Source: July/August 2014: FoodandNutritionmag.org

Photo credit: www.homesteadanywhere.com

Tasty Summer Treat Ideas

Are you looking to keep the weight off, but yet enjoy summer snacks during the heat? Here are some healthy options to choose from..

 

  • Smoothie: Aim for adding fresh fruit, ice, and non-fat yogurt if needed. Some places use ice cream or full-fat yogurt or add whole milk and high-sugar fruit juice, so make sure to ask or simply, make your own!
  • Iced coffee: While the coffee itself isn’t high in calories, everything added to it can quickly turn into a high calorie beverage! Save calories by opting for low-fat milk, skipping the whip cream and choosing the smallest size.
  • Frozen Yogurt: The new trendy, frozen yogurt places opening up can quickly add up to a high calorie treat! In order to keep it healthy– aim for low-fat yogurts and stick with healthier toppings like a variety of fruits or nuts.
  • Frozen fruit bars: You can buy these in a grocery store. They are a quick, already portioned, frozen treat that are about 70 calories each and aren’t too high in sugar!
  • Frozen grapes: If you haven’t tried freezing your grapes before, I suggest you give it a try! This is definitely a refreshing, healthy snack on a hot day!
  • Frozen banana bites dipped in chocolate: Craving chocolate and you like bananas? This is a perfect summer snack for everyone! Just be sure to watch your portions.
  • Grilled Pineapple: An easy recipe with only 4 ingredients: 1 20-oz can of Pineapple chunks in pineapple juice, 3 bananas, 1 lemon, and 7 skewers you can make 7 servings of a delicious treat! Instructions: Drain pineapple and slice bananas into small pieces (the same size as the pineapple). Stick pieces onto skewers and place on a plate. Squeeze lemon juice over the sticks, cover, and store in refrigerator until ready to grill. Grill at medium heat, turning every 2 minutes until slightly charred (5-7 minutes). Dust with cinnamon and enjoy! Can be served hot or room temperature.
  • Snap Peas and Warm Goat CheeseAn easy snack with only 2 ingredients: 10 snap peas and 1 oz. of goat cheese. Instructions: Melt goat cheese in microwave for 10 seconds. Be careful not to overheat because the cheese will separate. Dip snap peas in goat cheese one at a time and enjoy! You can also use this warm dip with celery, carrots, and pretty much any veggie imaginable!
  • Mango Parfait: Top plain Greek yogurt with chunks of fresh mango and a couple of tablespoons of granola.
  • Strawberry Cheesecake BitesCut out the leaves and stems of 20 strawberries and fill each berry with the cream cheese mixture. Then, roll the tops of the berries in Graham cracker crumbs.

 

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What are some of your favorite summer time treats?

Summer eating Strategies

Simple strategies to stay healthy during the summer..

  • Eat Breakfast: eating breakfast has been shown to help minimize impulsive, unplanned snacking during the day. Examples:  Greek Yogurt, berries, and whole grain cereal. A whole wheat English Muffin, melted reduced fat cheese and a piece of fruit.
  • Include protein in your meals and snacks: Protein will have the most dramatic effect on satiety or that feeling of fullness.
  • Eat salad before your dinner: Consuming a large, high volume, low calorie salad before a meal can reduce the calories eaten at that meal by over 10-percent.
  • Add fruits or vegetables to all your meals: They will fill you up!
  • Add healthy fats to your meals and snacks: Fat slows the movement of food out of the stomach into the intestines so it will also prolong satiety.

For more information: http://www.necn.com/05/29/12/Summer-slim-down-strategies/landing_health.html?blockID=715824&feedID=4210