This Spring Promises an Abundant California Avocado Season

It’s California avocado season…..

(NAPSI)—Springtime in California brings a plethora of vibrant, local ingredients, including fresh California avocados, for home and professional chefs alike to elevate their seasonal dishes. This year, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) anticipates an abundance of fruit, available now through summer, and encourages consumers to take advantage of locally grown California avocados to help enhance every meal for any occasion. 

The visionary behind some of the most well-known restaurants across Southern California and beyond, such as Herb & Wood, ANIMAE and Herb & Sea, Chef Brian Malarkey joins CAC in celebrating the season kickoff by developing a fresh, coastal recipe inspired by the heart-healthy superfood. 

“During my time living on the West Coast, I developed a strong appreciation for fresh, local produce and ingredients, which you’ll find throughout my menu offerings at my restaurants,” said Chef Malarkey. “When California avocado season rolls around, I seek out these delicious avocados to shape my cuisine, adding vibrant color, creamy texture and one-of-a-kind flavor to my dishes. There’s comfort in selecting foods that are locally sourced because they’re freshly picked and at their richest flavor, all while supporting the local community.”

Dungeness Crab Stuffed California Avocado

 

Chef Malarkey’s love of fresh, coastal cuisine is highlighted in his Dungeness Crab Stuffed California Avocado recipe, which pairs a Pacific seafood delicacy with delicious in-season California avocados. To view more of Chef Malarkey’s recipes or learn about California avocados, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com. 

Dungeness Crab Stuffed  California Avocado 

Recipe created by Chef Brian Malarkey for the California Avocado Commission 

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cook time: 10 minutes 

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 small shallots

2 Tbsp. avocado oil

1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 Tbsp. sea salt flakes, divided 

2 sprigs tarragon

4 sprigs dill

8 chives, chopped 

1 medium lemon 

12 oz. lump Dungeness crab meat

2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, cut in half, seeded and peeled

Instructions:

1. Remove the outer skin of the shallots, and slice them crosswise into thin rings.

2. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat with avocado oil.

3. Add the cherry tomatoes and shallot slices to the skillet, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until caramelized and shallot is translucent.

4. Transfer the tomato-shallot mixture into a blender and puree by slowly adding the sherry vinegar and half of the olive oil until it becomes an emulsified mixture. Season with a bit of the sea salt to taste. Set aside.

5. In a small bowl, pick the tarragon and dill off the stems, and add half of the chopped chives. Zest the lemon on top of the hand-picked herbs. Set aside. 

6. Segment the lemon by cutting off one end so it sits flat. Then trim the peel off the sides, removing the pith and seeds (reserve the peels, do not discard). Cut the lemon into six pieces and set aside.

7. There will be leftover lemon juice on the cutting board from segmenting the lemon. Add this juice, along with the juice from the reserved peels to the bowl with the herbs. 

8. Add the crab meat and remaining olive oil to the bowl. Gently toss together until combined. Add a little sea salt to taste. 

9. To plate the dish, sprinkle a little sea salt over each avocado half, and spoon a generous amount of the tomato vinaigrette on top (you will have leftover vinaigrette). Add the crab mixture to each half and garnish with lemon segments, remaining chopped chives and remaining sea salt to taste.

*Large avocados are recommended for these recipes. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

 

BG Farmer’s Market Opens TODAY May 12

Open Wednesdays 4 – 7 pm!

 
 
Opening Day for the Farmers’ Market! Welcome to all of our vendors and customers!
 
The hours are 4-7 pm located at the Main St. & Clough St. parking lot.
 
Bowling Green’s 2021 Farmers Market will run every Wednesday from May 12-October 21st.
 
Quick facts:
 
-Masks are not required because it is an outside event. Per CDC guidelines, guests must keep a 6 feet distance between them.
 
-The market runs from 4:00 pm-7:00 pm each week.
 
-26 total vendors are currently scheduled, vendors may vary on weeks.
 
-There will be food trucks and live music. Refer to the events section of the page
for specific information on what to expect each Wednesday.
 
-The children’s area is set to return! There will be interactive events for them to participate in.
 
We are so excited to see you stop out!

Creative ways apples can elevate your next brunch

Take your spring brunch to the next level by incorporating a crowd-pleaser like apples….

(BPT) – Brunch is the perfect pairing of morning delights and mid-day favorites. Whether celebrating holidays, anniversaries, friendships or simply a sunny Sunday, brunch is guaranteed to satisfy and bring smiles.

“From making pancakes with the kids on Saturday mornings to frittatas and mimosas with the best of friends, brunch foods are the ultimate in connection and warmth,” said Faith Durand, editor-in-chief of Kitchn, a cooking and lifestyle website whose brunch recipes in particular have continued to gain in popularity.

Take your spring brunch to the next level by incorporating a crowd-pleaser like apples. Big, beautiful Envy™ apples uniquely deliver a delightful crunch, uplifting aroma, and a sophisticated, balanced sweetness, making them a perfect addition to both savory and sweet dishes. What’s more, Envy™ apples remain white and crisp upon slicing, so brunch spreads will stay fresh and eye-catching.

Sweet or savory, brunch offers a range of possibilities for a creative sunny-day spread:

Brunch boards: The popularity of charcuterie boards has inspired countless spinoffs and one of the most delicious and customizable is the Brunch Board. While the concept is simple, the presentation is impressive. Find a large platter and arrange all your favorites in an eye-pleasing fashion. For example, place a row of mini pancakes or crepes on the platter between sweet and savory items, with sliced Envy™ apples and assorted fruit on one side and hard-boiled eggs, bacon and sausage on the other.

Avocado toast: With the massive popularity of avocado toast, adding this dish to your brunch is a no-brainer. To make your brunch special, upgrade standard ingredients for added flavor. Thin, crisp Envy™ slices, lime juice, chopped chives and shaves of fresh Parmesan take this quintessential brunch treat to the next level. Prepare slices for the entire table or invite guests to express their creativity with an avocado toast bar.

Fruit-enhanced bakery: Add a touch of sweetness and irresistible crunch to baked goods by adding diced Envy™ apple. Pancakes, muffins, crepes — the possibilities are endless.

Sharable sizes: Brunch is all about bringing people together, and sharable items are the perfect way to please all palates. A platter of sliced fruit, including large Envy™ apples that are naturally the perfect size for slicing and sharing, brings vibrant color to the spread and is also a delicious and healthy addition to brunch. You can’t beat the refreshing crunch in balancing out other savory or salty foods.

To celebrate all things brunch, Envy™ is the official fruit partner of Kitchn’s 2021 Brunch Fest. “With our first ever Brunch Fest social takeover, we’re celebrating the dishes and drinks that wake us up, bring our families together, and give us a reason to say cheers with the people we love,” said Durand.

Find recipes and more information on EnvyForBrunch.com.

Spring Vegetable and Envy™ Apple Orzo

This brunch recipe celebrates spring by pairing the sophisticated sweet flavor and crunch of Envy™ apples with seasonal fresh asparagus and umami-rich shiitake mushrooms. Tossed with a bright and zesty lemon vinaigrette, this delightful dish can star as an entrée or serve as a side.

Ingredients:

For the asparagus:

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the mushrooms:

4 cups shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

40 turns fresh cracked pepper

2 cups orzo pasta

1 Envy™ apple, small diced

4 tablespoons chopped parsley

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the asparagus in olive oil and salt and spread out on half of a sheet tray.

Toss the mushrooms in the olive oil and salt and spread out on the remaining half of the sheet tray. Roast in the oven until asparagus and mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.

Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients until well combined.

Cook the orzo in salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain well and then toss with the vinaigrette. Fold in the asparagus, mushrooms, apples and parsley. Serve warm.

Power Up Athletic Performance with Real Milk-Inspired Dishes

Never have I ever heard of “Rattle Snake Pasta”……this is a new one for me…….

(Family Features) From little ones learning the game to professional athletes pushing sports to new levels, nutrition impacts the ability to re-energize, stay hydrated and reach peak performance. Now, new data shows that one naturally nutrient-rich beverage provides more benefits than previously thought: dairy milk.

For years, real milk has been recognized as a powerhouse beverage that delivers nine essential nutrients, including calcium, protein and vitamin D. However, updated nutrient daily values for nutrition labeling and more robust government nutrition databases have provided data that shows real milk delivers 13 essential nutrients, making it a good or excellent source of four more vital nutrients: potassium, zinc, selenium and iodine. These nutrients help build strong bones, maintain a healthy immune system and maintain your central nervous system, all of which directly impact athletic performance.

“As a kid, you thought of dairy milk as the drink that helped you grow and have strong bones,” said Briana Butler, MCN, RDN, LD, a performance and sports dietitian who advises athletes. “As you get older and start paying more attention to drinks’ attributes, you realize that truth applies to adults and athletes as well. Real milk is a trustworthy and nutrient-rich way to repair, rehydrate and replenish muscles and bodies. It is truly an undeniable favorite of mine to fuel performance.”

As the “original sports drink,” real milk has fueled athletes for centuries and offers a natural nutrient combination not found in formulated sports drinks. It provides benefits for fitness enthusiasts of all ages including building lean muscle, maintaining strong bones and supporting a healthy immune system.

With 13 nutrients, real milk isn’t just the ultimate training fuel, it also makes your favorite recipes more tasty and nutritious. Dishes such as Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins are made in just 15 minutes and are a quick and nutritious snack that can be enjoyed on the go, crumbled over yogurt or paired with eggs for a morning power-up. You can also try Rattle Snake Pasta, a better-for-you version of a family favorite that combines rotisserie chicken, peppers and linguine.

Visit gonnaneedmilk.com for more information on real milk’s nutrition and for milk-inspired meals.

Rattle Snake Pasta

Recipe courtesy of registered dietitian Bri Butler and Power Portions
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/4       cup buttery spread
  • 2          tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4       cup dairy milk (2% recommended)
  • 1/2       cup vegetable broth
  • 1          tablespoon vegetable base
  • 1/2       cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • salt, to taste (optional)
  • pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1/4       cup pickled jalapeno slices
  • 3          tablespoons minced garlic
  • 10        ounces cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1          green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1          red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1          handful fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1          pound whole-wheat linguini, cooked
  1. In medium pot, melt buttery spread then add flour; mix well. Slowly add dairy milk and vegetable broth, stirring well.
  2. Add vegetable broth and Parmesan cheese; heat slowly until thickened. Add salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.
  3. Add jalapenos, garlic, bell peppers and roasted chicken; heat thoroughly.
  4. Serve over cooked linguini.

Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins

Recipe courtesy of registered dietitian Bri Butler and Power Portions
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1          zucchini
  • 1 1/2    cups dairy milk (2% recommended)
  • 3          bananas
  • 6          pieces pitted Deglet Noor dates
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2          tablespoons safflower oil
  • 2 1/2    cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons salt
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grate zucchini. Using kitchen towel or cheesecloth, wring as much water as possible. Set aside.
  3. In blender, blend dairy milk, banana, dates, vanilla and oil until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  5. Combine milk mixture, zucchini and oat mixture until well combined. Pour into coated 12-muffin pan.
  6. Cook 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Tips: Pair muffin (counts as one grain) with eggs and unsweetened nut butter for a balanced meal. Crumble over plain yogurt for parfait twist.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

SOURCE:
MilkPEP

Peanut Butter Perfection

Watch the video to see how to make this recipe…..

(Culinary.net) If you’ve ever taken a bite of something and the only word that came to mind was “yum,” you know what it’s like to experience this dessert. It’s fluffy, sweet, perfectly crumbly and tastes delicious. It’s rich but light. It’s a dessert that will likely never go out of style.

You can stop guessing what it may be: this treat is a scrumptious bite of Fluffy Peanut Butter Pie drizzled with chocolate syrup. You will understand the craze once you sink your fork into the chilled triangle resting on your plate. With a chocolate cookie crust and a thick, delicious peanut butter filling, this pie is everything many people want in a dessert.

Although it tastes like you have been in the kitchen all day, it’s a simple-to-make, delightful treat with luscious peanut butter flavor that melts in your mouth.

To make this pie, remove the filling from 20 chocolate cookies and crush them with a rolling pin until they are just crumbs. Mix cookie crumbs with melted butter and mold into a pie dish to create the crust.

Next, in a mixer, combine cream cheese and reserved cookie filling. Then add sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, lemon juice and vanilla extract while you continue mixing.

In a mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold peanut butter mixture in with the whipping cream.

Layer the peanut butter and whipping cream mixture on top of the crust in the pie pan. Chill for about 4 hours then drizzle with chocolate syrup just before serving.

This dessert is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. House guests, birthday parties or even just a simple treat after a meal; it’s an any-occasion kind of pie.

Find more dessert recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

 

Fluffy Peanut Butter Pie

Servings: 6-8

  • 20        chocolate cream-filled cookies
  • 1/4       cup butter, melted
  • 1          package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1          cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1          can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1          cup whipping cream
  • chocolate syrup
  1. Remove cream filling from chocolate cookies; set aside. With rolling pin, finely crush chocolate cookies.
  2. In medium bowl, combine finely crushed cookies with melted butter.
  3. Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate; chill while preparing filling.
  4. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add reserved cookie cream filling, peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk; beat until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  5. In medium bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture. Mix until combined.
  6. Pour into crust. Chill 4 hours, or until set. Drizzle chocolate syrup over pie before serving.
  7. Cover leftovers and store in refrigerator.

SOURCE:
Culinary.net

Take Salad Season to the Next Level

Try Thousand Island Burger Pizza or Kickin’ Chicken Tostadas…….

(Family Features) Warmer months typically call for lighter bites, and one of the first things that comes to mind for many is a fresh and flavorful salad. While a salad is a quick and easy way to up your veggie intake and get food on the table in next to no time, the same formula over and over again can make mealtimes feel mundane.

To take your salads to the next level, think of those greens as a blank slate for creativity and look beyond the bowl for elements that can help create new, satisfying meals. For example, Fresh Express Chopped Salad Kits are tasty and versatile salad mixtures with premium ingredients that can also be eaten as sides with your favorite protein or used as toppers for favorites like pizza and tostadas to help kick mealtime up a notch. The salads are thoroughly washed, rinsed and gently dried then sealed in keep-crisp bags for long-lasting freshness.

These easy Kickin’ Chicken Tostadas are made using the Kickin’ Bacon Ranch Chopped Kit, which includes garden fresh cabbage, green leaf lettuces, carrots, green onions, tortilla strips, uncured bacon bits and some heat from jalapeno ranch dressing. Just add the mixture to tostada shells topped with salsa verde chicken and avocado for a flavorful combination.

Or for a tasty twist on traditional favorites like pizza and burgers, try this Thousand Island Burger Pizza using the Bacon Thousand Island Chopped Kit – a combination of iceberg and green leaf lettuces, uncured bacon bits, Parmesan cheese crisps, honey butter cornbread crisps and creamy Thousand Island dressing – to bring sweet and savory flavors together with beef and cheese on top of a homemade pizza crust.

Find more ideas to elevate salad season at freshexpress.com.

Thousand Island Burger Pizza

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          can (11 ounces) refrigerated thin pizza crust
  • 12        ounces lean ground beef
  • 1          cup pizza sauce
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1          package (9.4 ounces) Fresh Express Bacon Thousand Island Chopped Kit
  • 1/3       cup dill pickle slices
  1. Heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Unroll dough and spread on 13-by-9-inch nonstick baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes; remove from oven.
  3. In small skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef, stirring frequently, 8-10 minutes, or until no longer pink; drain. Spread sauce evenly on baked dough to within 1/2 inch of edge. Top with beef and cheese.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Top with lettuce, bacon and salad toppings from kit and pickle slices. Drizzle with Thousand Island dressing from kit. Cut into 12 (3-by-3-inch) pieces.

Kickin’ Chicken Tostadas

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1          jar (16 ounces) salsa verde, any heat level
  • 2          packages (10.2 ounces each) Fresh Express Kickin’ Bacon Ranch Chopped Kit
  • 12        tostada shells
  • 1          avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  1. In large, covered skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in salsa verde 20 minutes, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 165 F.
  2. Remove chicken, reserving 1/2 cup salsa verde; shred with two forks. Toss with reserved salsa verde.
  3. Place salad from kit in large bowl; toss with half the salad dressing from kit. Add toppings from kit; toss to combine.
  4. Divide salad evenly among tostada shells. Top each salad with chicken and avocado; drizzle with remaining dressing.

SOURCE:
Fresh Express

Ice Cream Made with Love for Mom

Watch video to see how to make this ice cream recipe!

(Culinary.net) Few relationships are as special as a bond between a mother and her child. There is often so much laughter, so much love and so many good times spent around food and family over the years.

From trying new foods together and cooking lessons at a young age to time-honored family recipes, there are few things better than mom’s cooking.

This delicious Very Berry and Creamy Coconut Ice Cream was created with mothers in mind. It’s melt-in-your-mouth delicious, especially when it’s made with fresh ingredients right at home for a perfect addition to Mother’s Day festivities.

This ice cream features the rich tartness of frozen fruit and a sweet creaminess from the coconut milk. The two flavors of ice cream create a unique combination that’s out-of-this-world delicious.

To make the Berry Ice Cream, blend 2 pounds of frozen berries, sweetened condensed milk, honey and salt until smooth then freeze for four hours.

To make the Coconut Ice Cream, beat 2 cups of whipping cream in a mixer until stiff peaks form. In a bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, salt and 1 cup of the whipped cream. Whisk then add remaining whipped cream and whisk until combined. Place in a dish and freeze for four hours.

Once properly chilled, both ice creams are ready to scoop and serve. Garnish with mint leaves for an extra pop of color, if desired.

Enjoy a delightful treat with your mom as you make memories year after year. This time it may be mom’s turn to ask for the recipe.

Find more sweet treats for Mother’s Day at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Very Berry and Creamy Coconut Ice Cream

Yield: 11 cups

Berry Ice Cream:

  • 2          pounds frozen berries (such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries)
  • 1/2       cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt

Coconut Ice Cream:

  • 2          cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2       cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2       cup coconut milk
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
  1. To make berry ice cream: In blender, pulse frozen berries, sweetened condensed milk, honey and salt until smooth, scraping down sides.
  2. Pour mixture into 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. Freeze uncovered 4 hours, or until set.
  3. To make coconut ice cream: In large mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
  4. In medium bowl, whisk sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, salt and 1 cup whipped cream until combined. Add remaining whipped cream and whisk until combined.
  5. Pour into 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. Freeze uncovered 4 hours, or until set.
  6. Scoop desired amount of each ice cream into bowls to serve. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired.

SOURCE:
Culinary.net

7 Ways to Snack Smarter

Make Healthy Snacking Easy….

(Family Features) Eating a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner each day is an important part of maintaining a healthy diet, but what you eat between mealtimes can have just as much of an impact.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Eating a snack or two between traditional meals helps curb hunger and prevents overeating at mealtimes, provides an energy boost and can also help bridge nutrient gaps in your diet when you choose the right foods. On the other hand, consuming foods of little nutritional value out of boredom or habit can lead to eating too much and adding extra pounds to your waistline.

The key is taking a smart approach to snacking and making small shifts toward healthier choices. Consider these simple strategies to help you get started from the snacking experts at Fresh Cravings.

Snack Mindfully. It’s easy to overeat and overlook fullness cues when snacking in front of the TV or at a desk. Instead, treat snack time like you would a small meal and take a few minutes to eat in a designated area with limited distractions. Avoid eating out of boredom or stress and choose whole foods like fruits and vegetables or air-popped popcorn over processed chips, baked goods or candy.

Plan Ahead. Snacks can be a significant portion of many people’s daily caloric intake, so it’s important to include snacks when planning out your meals for the day or week. Include fruits, vegetables and proteins in your snack schedule and avoid refined starches and sugar, which are typically found in prepackaged and processed snacks. Planning and preparing snacks ahead of time can help you bypass those quick, unhealthy options and save money in the process, as well.

Make Healthy Snacking Easy. Keeping fruit, vegetables and other accessible nutritious ingredients in the refrigerator or pantry increases the chances you’ll reach for a better-for-you option when a snack craving strikes. Having staple ingredients on hand that can be paired with vegetables or whole-grain crackers like Fresh Cravings Hummus makes it easy to create healthy snacks. Made with high-quality ingredients like smooth Chilean extra-virgin olive oil, savory tahini, which is known to be a source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and non-GMO chickpeas, the line is available in Classic Hummus, Roasted Red Pepper and Roasted Garlic varieties and can be found in 100% recyclable packaging in the produce aisle of your local grocery store.

“Look for options that are filling and nutrient-dense,” said Mia Syn, MS, RDN, a dietitian who has helped millions learn healthier, sustainable eating habits. “My preference is Fresh Cravings Hummus because it’s a great example with whole-food ingredients like tahini, Chilean extra-virgin olive oil and non-GMO chickpeas, offering a balanced mix of filling fiber, plant-based protein and good fats.”

Combine Nutrient Groups. Each time you reach for a snack, try to include two or more macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates). For example, choosing foods containing protein like low-fat cheese or nuts and pairing them with carbohydrates (whole-grain crackers, grapes) can create balanced, filling snacks. Carbohydrates help provide both your body and mind with energy while protein-rich foods break down more slowly, helping you feel full longer. Other ideas include celery and peanut butter or fruit and Greek yogurt, which are easy ways to get more low-calorie, high-fiber produce into your diet.

Pay Attention to Portion Sizes. Snacks are meant to help ward off hunger between meals, not be substitutes for meals entirely. While measuring out snacks isn’t usually necessary, having an awareness of appropriate portion sizes can be helpful. If buying or cooking in bulk, divide snacks into smaller containers when meal planning to make it convenient to simply grab an appropriate size snack and continue your day.

Pack Snacks to Go. Having grab-and-go snacks packed while out running errands, working or completing everyday tasks can help keep you on track when hunger strikes. Packing items that don’t require refrigeration like trail mix, whole-grain crackers or granola bars can keep you from stopping at a convenience store or picking an unhealthy option from a vending machine. Preparing snacks at home also gives you more control over the ingredients you’re eating to ensure you’re sticking to an eating plan that’s better for your overall health.

Set a Good Example. Parents can influence children’s snack habits by consuming healthy snacks themselves. An option like sliced veggies paired with the rich flavors of chickpeas and creaminess of tahini found in hummus can be a perfect match to both satisfy hunger in a delicious way and build better-for-you habits. Snack time is also an opportunity to let kids learn about healthy eating by participating in choosing and preparing snacks. Cutting fruits and vegetables or turning foods into crafts are easy ways to get little ones involved in the process.

“For families challenged with integrating more veggies into their diets, hummus is also a kid-friendly flavor enhancer that packs beneficial nutrition instead of the saturated fats and sugar often found in many traditional dressings and condiments,” Syn said.

Smart Snack Ideas

Between work, school, extracurricular activities and family functions, it may seem like there’s no time to eat healthy when your family is seemingly always on the go. However, finding the proper fuel is even more important when you’re trying to balance a hectic schedule, which is where snacks can play an important role between meals.

Consider these nutritious snack options that can help satisfy a variety of cravings without taking up too much of that valuable time.

Crunchy Munchies

  • Apples or pears
  • Carrot and celery sticks
  • Cucumber or bell pepper slices
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Brown rice cakes
  • Nuts and seeds

Low-Sugar Sips

  • Plain or sparkling water (add fruit or herbs for extra flavor)
  • Unsweetened tea or coffee
  • 100% vegetable or fruit juices with no added sugars

Satisfying Noshes

  • Sliced vegetables with Fresh Cravings Classic, Roasted Red Pepper or Roasted Garlic Hummus
  • Fruit and vegetable smoothies

Find more ideas to satisfy snack cravings at freshcravings.com.

SOURCE:
Fresh Cravings

A Brunch Spread Fit for Spring

Breakfast and brunch options are nearly endless…..

(Family Features) From tasty small bites to a filling feast and even dessert for breakfast, brunch options are nearly endless. Take your spring brunch to the next level with recipes that appease appetites of all kinds.

First, start with portioned pastry cups perfect for appetizers. Bring out the protein-packed breakfast burritos for the main course then, for a final touch of sweet deliciousness, offer up lemony doughnuts to cap off the feast.

Find more brunch recipes at Culinary.net.

Bite-Sized Breakfast

Appetizer-sized portions and small bites of all sorts are ideal for breakfast spreads, and these Pastry Brunch Cups are perfect for starting a morning meal with loved ones. Or, if a busy schedule looms, try baking a batch and separating into appropriate serving sizes for a simple way to meal prep heading into a new week.

Find more breakfast recipes at Culinary.net.

Pastry Brunch Cups

Servings: 18

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 18 eggs
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • chopped fresh green onions
  1. Heat oven 375 F.
  2. In small saucepan, melt butter. Whisk flour with butter. Gradually pour in milk, whisking each time. Bring to simmer, whisking until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat; stir in Swiss cheese. Set aside.
  3. Use rolling pin to thin out puff pastries. Cut each into nine squares. Line pastry squares in muffin cups, pressing bottoms down firmly and moving pastries up sides for edges to come up just over muffin tins. Fill each cup with 1 teaspoon cheese sauce. Crack one egg into each cup and sprinkle each with diced ham.
  4. Bake 10-15 minutes until eggs set. Sprinkle with chopped green onions.

Power Brunch with a Protein-Packed Burrito

A well-rounded brunch calls for a multitude of dishes and beverages, but it wouldn’t be complete without a protein-packed recipe to get the day started.

This delicious Breakfast Burrito is loaded with colorful veggies and Silver Fern Farms 100% grass-fed strip steak. Hailing from New Zealand, home to some of the world’s most natural tasting beef and lamb, this premium cut of beef is aged 21 days and minimally processed with no added growth hormones or antibiotics. The animals are grass-fed year-round and allowed to roam and graze freely, so the beef offers a lean, flavorful texture that tastes just as nature intended.

Visit silverfernfarms.com to find more at-home brunch inspiration.

Breakfast Burrito

  • 1 Silver Fern Farms New Zealand 100% Grass-Fed New York Strip Steak (10 ounces)
  • oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 4 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large tortillas
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 avocado
  • lime wedges (optional)
  • hot sauce (optional)
  1. Remove steak from packaging and set aside 10 minutes. Once steak reaches room temperature, heat pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Rub steak with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Cook until medium-rare, approximately 3-4 minutes each side. Remove from pan and cover loosely with tinfoil to rest 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add splash of oil. Add onion; cook 1 minute. Add red bell pepper and mushrooms; cook 1 minute.
  5. Add cumin, paprika and chili powder; stir through.
  6. When veggies are tender (about 2 minutes), add tomato and cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk and salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Heat pan to medium heat and add splash of oil.
  9. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook, lifting and folding eggs until thickened and no visible liquid egg remains. Do not stir constantly.
  10. Lay tortillas on flat surface or plate.
  11. In center of tortilla, add cooked veggies and top with thinly sliced beef. Add handful of spinach, scrambled eggs, crumbled feta, cilantro and avocado. Fold bottom of tortilla and roll.
  12. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce, if desired.

Dine on Deliciously Sweet Doughnuts

Brunch is never complete without something sweet to cap off the morning feast, and doughnuts are often the perfect complement to an array of main courses.

These Lemon Ricotta Doughnuts pair the bite-sized morsels with lemon curd (if that suits your style) for a sweet-tart combination. They’re made using Domino Golden Sugar, which is made from pure cane sugar and is less processed than white granulated sugar, as one you can always trust in your favorite recipes. It works cup-for-cup just like white sugar but with a golden color and distinct hint of molasses flavor.

Visit dominosugar.com to find recipes perfect for entertaining and celebrating throughout the year.

Lemon Ricotta Doughnuts

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 7 minutes

Doughnuts:

  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups Domino Golden Sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Lemon Curd (optional):

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups Domino Golden Sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 lemons, zest and juice only
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. To make doughnuts: In large saucepan, preheat oil to 350 F. Prepare cookie sheet with paper towel to drain doughnuts once out of hot oil.
  2. In bowl, mix flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add lemon zest, eggs, ricotta cheese and vanilla extract; mix until well combined.
  3. Use ice cream scoop to scoop small amounts dough into oil, 4-5 pieces at a time. Fry each batch until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Keep oil at or near 350 F; if oil is too hot, doughnuts will turn golden brown but centers may still be raw. Remove from oil and drain in paper towel. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. While still hot, toss doughnuts with remaining sugar.
  5. To make lemon curd, if desired: In large bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and salt.
  6. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook at low-medium heat until thick and creamy, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool before serving with doughnuts.

SOURCE:
Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Domino Golden Sugar

Chowline: Spinach, the tasty and healthy food

Spinach can be eaten cooked or raw…

My kids refuse to eat spinach. How can I prepare it in a way that might appeal to a finicky eater?

First, it’s important to note that spinach is a healthy, dark, leafy, green vegetable that is full of protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, fiber, phosphorus, thiamine, and vitamins A, C, and K. 

Also considered a superfood, spinach, as part of a healthy, balanced diet, is important for skin, hair, and bone health. Additionally, spinach can help improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes, and it lowers the risk of cancer, improves bone health, and can promote digestive regularity.

Photo: Getty Images

There are three types of spinach, including savoy spinach, flat spinach, and semi-savoy spinach, all of which can be eaten cooked or raw.

And it’s fairly easy to grow—even over winter, said Tim McDermott, an educator with Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“If you want to grow spinach over winter, you can plant it in October by first preparing the soil, broadcasting the seed and lightly covering it with soil, and watering it,” he said. “Then, cover the cold-hardy vegetable with season-extension row covers.

“Protected under the cover, the spinach will germinate in a week or two and slowly grow over winter. Harvest can start when temperatures go over 45 degrees.”

McDermott, who runs the Growing Franklin food production blog, recently posted a video that he and fellow OSU Extension educator Jenny Lobb produced on how to make spinach into a crunchy, healthy salad that both kids and adults can enjoy.

The video demonstrates harvesting freshly grown spinach leaves and mixing them with fresh strawberries, crumbled goat cheese, slivered almonds, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to create a sweet, healthy, light, fresh salad.

“Spinach goes well with fresh strawberries,” Lobb said. “Spinach is also very versatile. It can be added to your favorite pasta, soup, or casserole, or sauteed in olive oil and seasonings.

“Spinach can also be added to a wrap, sandwich, or flatbread, or cooked in an omelet or even added to a smoothie to give it added healthy benefits.”

There are risks, however, for those who are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin, also known as warfarin. This is because foods that contain vitamin K, such as spinach, play a large role in blood clotting. 

Chow Line is a service of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line writer Tracy Turner, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or turner.490@osu.edu.