Peach & Blueberry Cobbler

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Cook time: 20 m; Ready In Time: 1 h 15 m*
*All based on your cooking and oven style.

This new and improved healthier version of cobbler will keep your drawers fitting just right and not too tight. In this recipe, a portion of the butter is substituted for canola oil (1), and whole-wheat flour (2) is used in place of all-purpose flour, but don’t panic ladies, it turns out really good! As the cobbler bakes, the tender batter swells around the fruity additions, to give a peach (3) and blueberry (4) topping instead of the biscuit topping that usually laden this dessert. Go ahead and experiment with different fruits, and if you are a cast iron skillet lover, give yours more love by baking and serving the cobbler straight from it. Frozen fruits can also be used in this recipe, and the last healthy alternative used is reduced-fat milk (5).

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup reduced-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ripe, firm peaches (roughly 1 pound) pitted and sliced or sub 3 1/2 cups frozen peaches
  • 2 cups (1 pint) fresh blueberries; the same amount if using frozen berries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place oil and butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9 X 13″ baking pan, and heat until melted and fragrant; about 5-7 minutes.
  3. While the butter and oil are doing its thing, combine salt, baking powder, and flour in a large bowl. Add vanilla, sugar, milk, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the melted butter mixture to the batter and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the hot pan. Spoon peaches and berries over the batter, and return the pan to the oven.
  5. Bake until the top of the cobbler is browned and the mixture around the fruit is entirely set, approximately 50 min to 1 hour. Remove, and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm.

“Nutrition Label:” Serving Size: 1 piece; Per Serving: 196 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat.); 3 g fiber; 29 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 10 mcg folate; 11 mg cholesterol; 18 g sugars; 7 g added sugars ; 317 IU Vitamin A; 6 mg Vitamin C; 80 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 202 mg sodium; 188 mg potassium; Carbohydrate Servings: 2; Exchanges: ½ fruit, 1 ½ other carbohydrate, 1 ½ fat.

Ingredient Healthy Tid-Bits

  1. Canola oil is a monounsaturated oil (which is a healthy oil) that will aid your daily intake of Omega 3s, and these fatty acids are needed for cell growth, maintaining healthy cholesterol, and overall well being. Canola is also a good source of vitamin E, and has less saturated fat than olive oil, although olive is still an excellent choice for helping maintain your healthiness. By substituting 1/2 butter with 1/2 canola oil, you are saving yourself many grams of fat and calories, and you are improving your heart. But, did you know that canola oil is a GMO? Yes, it is a crossbred oil that originates in Canada who developed the oil for means of frying foods, hence its high smoke point.

  2. Wheat-flour has a double whammy! It not only can act as a substitute for all-purpose, but it also throws a much higher nutritional punch, knocking out all-purpose flour! For starters, it houses B vitamins, which are necessary for DNA, energy, fatty acid, and protein synthesis as well as calcium, zinc, vitamin K, and iron, all needed for blood clotting, managing blood sugar, and oxygen transport for blood and tissues. With whole-wheat flour, you will get a good dose of folate, which is crucial for growth and development of tissues, muscles, and organs, and if you need to reduce constipation, bloating, cramping, excess gas and/or diarrhea, look no further than whole-wheat. It contains roughly 30% (7g per 1/2 cup serving) of your daily Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) goal for fiber.

  3. Who doesn’t love a GA peach??? And I mean the fruit, not the native (because it’s a known fact that everyone loves people from the peach state of GA!). Vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, antioxidants, phenolic acids, potassium, and I am going to stop there on the benefits of peaches and start elaborating on its health benefits. Vitamin C assists with boosting the immune system, and fiber, we know, aids in digestion and keeping us “regular.” For the ladies and gentlemen looking for the healthy skin and eyesight fountain of youth, look no further than vitamin A. Its antioxidant and phenolic acid properties function in maintaining healthy skin and vision and delaying signs of aging, as well as growth inhibition of some cancers (breast). To top off a peach, just one a day may help prevent cardiovascular and bone disease. So, as Steve Miller Band says “love your peaches, shake your tree.”

  4. And the “God” of all antioxidants is berries! Blueberries are one of the best antioxidant foods, with a trail of studies showing its impact on preventing heart disease, fighting cancer, and improving memory power. These little blue gods are another fountain of youth due to their ability to slow the signs of aging. Blueberries are also low in fat, rich in vitamin C and manganese (functions in the central nervous system), and are an excellent source of fiber.

  5. Finally, we have reduced-fat milk, which still contains the same essential nutrients as whole milk; calcium, protein, iodine, but minus the fat and calories. I’ve mentioned calcium, and I am going to stress it again. This mineral has a busy schedule. Not only does it have the duty of aiding blood clotting, but calcium is also on “the hook” for cardiac function, nerve transmission, and smooth muscle contraction, as well as vitamin D’s assistant for bone absorption. Protein, of course, contributes to muscle growth among many other benefits, and iodine aids cognitive function and posses thyroid hormone responsibilities. So, by opting for reduced-fat over whole milk, you are sparing yourself a few more calories and fat, while still getting the nutrients of whole milk.

Still for the brain-Word of the Day

Onerous: A task or responsibility involving a great deal of effort, trouble, or difficulty

And for a little inspiration….

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So, don’t always rely too much on people!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Potato Salad-Sorry for the Delay 😐

Classic Tato SaladCook time: 30 min

Total time (prep + cook): 45 min (depending on your cooking style and methods)

This classic version adds more of a health punch compared to most original classic potato salads. You still get the creaminess this traditional favorite offers, although you are substituting half of the mayo for yogurt (1). And your fiber and potassium intake bumps up because these taters (2) are “skin” on. If you’re trying to save time and cookware, boil the eggs (4) on top of the potatoes while they are steaming in the steaming basket. Depending on your cooked egg preference, you can leave them in the basket the entire steam time or take them out a few minutes before the taters are tender and done.

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 pounds yellow or red potatoes, scrubbed and diced (1/2″ to 1″)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, DIVIDED
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (3)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery (5)

Directions:

  1. Bring 1-2 inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan or pot fitted with a steaming basket. Add potatoes, cover, and cook until tender, 12-15 minutes depending on your stove (while cooking, jump to #2). When done, spread the taters, in a single layer, onto a lined baking sheet (aluminum foil makes an excellent lining and easy for cleanup) and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; let cool 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk mayo, yogurt, onion, mustard, pepper, and remaining salt (1/2 tsp) in a large bowl. Once the potatoes are cooled, add them to the mixture along with the eggs and celery; stir to coat.

Serve at room temp or refrigerate until cold. The salad can be made up to 1 day, covered, and refrigerated.

Nutritional Information

Serving Size: ¾ cup; Per Serving: 146 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat.); 2 g fiber; 24 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein; 27 mcg folate; 40 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 1 g added sugar; 109 IU Vitamin A; 7 mg Vitamin C; 48 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 325 mg sodium; 552 mg potassium

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 ½
Exchanges: 1 ½ starch, 1 fat

Health Benefits:

  1. Low-fat plain yogurt (LFPY) adds calcium, which is needed for teeth and bones, and it is a high-quality protein to help build and repair muscles. LFPY also has live, healthy gut bacteria, which aids in digestion and some who are lactose intolerant may be able to intake small amounts of this yogurt. Still, this healthy substitute stimulates the immune system, and if you are looking to add MORE protein and creaminess, substitute with Greek yogurt.
  2. The skin on taters provides whopping values of fiber to keep you regular, potassium to control blood pressure, and many other vitamins and minerals. Most of the fiber, roughly half, is found in the skin, but beyond the skin, you’ll find most of the vitamin C, which is vital for healthy skin and hair. Potato and its skin also house vitamins B1 and B6; B1 assist in the bodies energy system, and Pyroxidene (B6) is vital for the central nervous system. This carbohydrate contains little to no fat, cholesterol, and calories but it does contain iron, magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu). For healthy blood, our bodies require iron, and for wound healing, Mg, Zn, and Cu take on the job. Last tidbit: Compared to bananas, which have 9g Mg, potatoes out win with 20g Mg, and for a greater nutrient powerhouse, go for the red taters.
  3. Have you ever taken a bite out of a raw onion? If not, I dare you to! Similar to potatoes, onions also contain vitamin C and fiber, along with healthy plant “chemicals” that are thought to prevent some types of cancer, based on studies. Onions are low in fat and calories and again, similar to potatoes, red onions pack a higher nutrient punch.
  4. HUMPTY DUMPTY (Eggs) does NOT spike blood cholesterol, but instead, he does the opposite by raising “good” cholesterol or HDL’s (I call this the happy cholesterol and LDL’s the lowsy cholesterol). All 9 essential amino acids (needed to make proteins) can be found in an egg. Essential indicates that your body cannot make them, they must come from diet. Eggs also provide a healthy dose of Omega 3’s to protect the brain and heart, carotenoids to protect our eyes, and vitamin D to protect our bones.
  5. Did you know that CELERY was once prescribed as an anti-hypertensive many centuries ago? Yeah, I didn’t either. I thought the only nutrition in celery was water, but nope, there is so much more. These gorgeous green, crisp stalks provide vitamin C and act as a diuretic to flush out excess fluid. Yes, ladies, we need our celery! If you suffer from inflammation, celeries properties may help. If you have high cholesterol and blood pressure, phthalates in celery may help lower it, and if you are trying to minimize your cancer risk, coumarins found in the stalks may provide some comfort.

These claims are all based on evidence-based studies; however, PLEASE see your dietitian and doctor before making drastic changes in your diet if you have any of the medical conditions stated above.

ASIAN BEEF NOODLE SALAD

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(Serves: 6)

3 c. spring mix salad

3 c. baby spinach

1 c. purple cabbage, thinly sliced

1 med. yellow pepper, thinly sliced

1 8-oz. pkg Udon Asian pasta

1 lb. 90% lean ground beef

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

3 T. low sodium soy sauce (divided)

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 lime, juiced

2 T. rice vinegar

1/2 tsp honey

3 T canola oil

In a large serving bowl, combine first four ingredients and set aside. Cook Udon Asian pasta according to package directions Rinse pasta well under cool water and then add to salad mixture. Brown ground beef in medium skillet over medium heat; drain off fat. Stir cayenne, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and lime juice into beef mixture; remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk remaining soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and canola oil. Pour over salad mixture and toss to coat. Serve salad and top with ground beef.

Nutrition Facts per Serving:

Calories 390, Fat 17g, Saturated Fat 4g, Carbohydrates 33g, Fiber 4g, Protein 27g, Sodium 420mg

Note: Udon noodles are wheat noodle with a neutral flavor found in the Asian aisle of most large supermarkets.

Adapted from: Bernadette Martineau, RD

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Grow fruits and veggies in your own garden! Kids are more likely to try something they’ve grown themselves.

Daily Inspiration 

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Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins (Vegan)

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YIELD: About 11 medium/large muffin

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: About 18 minutes, note reduction in oven temp after 10 minutes

TOTAL TIME: About 40 minutes + cooling

Baking with zucchini keeps everything so soft, moist, and you can’t taste it. The muffins taste like banana bread……though not like my mama’s! The one-bowl, no-mixer muffins are vegan and healthy. No butter, no eggs, the chocolate chips are solely sprinkled on top, and they’re made with coconut oil. It adds a nearly imperceptible undertone that’s sweeter and more fragrant than canola or vegetable oils, but substitute if you’d like. Between the softening powers of coconut oil, the creamy bananas that add tenderness, and the moisture-enhancing powers of zucchini, these are some of the softest and moistest muffins. The continue to get softer as the days pass, and the flavors marry tougher and tasted better the second day. You’ll never complain about eating your veggies after these muffins!

INGREDIENTS: 

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (or substitute with vegetable or canola)

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or substitute with coconut, soy, rice, cow’s)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup ripe mashed bananas (about 2 small/medium naners)

1 1/4 cups shredded zucchini, measured loosely laid in cup (not packed in or squeezed; about 1 medium zucchini, to peel is up to you)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

pinch of salt, optional and to taste

About 11 teaspoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips divided, about 1 teaspoon for each muffin (regular sized chips can also be used)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a non-stick 12-cup regular muffin pan very well with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside (use liners if you choose).
  2. To a large bowl, add the first 6 ingredients, through cinnamon, and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the bananas and whisk to combine.
  4. Before adding the zucchini, put it in a paper tower and squeeze tightly for about 10 seconds to remove moisture. After squeezing, you should have about 3/4 cup of compacted shreds. Add zucchini to bowl and stir to incorporate.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, optional salt and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
  6. Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4 cup measure or spoon, turn batter out into prepared pan, noting that the recipe yields 11 muffins. Adjust accordingly to your size muffin pans. Each cavity should about 3/4 full; do not overflow.
  7. Sprinkle the top of each muffin generously with chocolate chips, about 1 teaspoon each.
  8. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, reduce oven temp to 350F and bake for 8 minutes, or until muffins are set, domed, golden, and a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they’ve firmed up and are cool enough to handle. It’s normal for muffin tops to flatten as they cool. Muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. They also tend to soften over time and taste better on days 2-3 after the flavors married.

Adapted from: Averie Cooks

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Cook with your kids! Don’t think of this interaction as cooking lessons. Rather, realize that teaching your kids to put together a meal is a lesson they can use for the rest of their lives.

Daily Inspiration 

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Tropical Chicken

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MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Serving size: 1 chicken breast half with 1/2 cup topping

Total time: Marinating time + 35 to 45 minutes

Hands-on time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

4 (5 to 8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 cup teriyaki sauce

Juice of 1 lime, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced red onion (1 small)

1 cup diced fresh pineapple (or 18 oz can chopped pineapple, drained and cut into smaller pieces)

1/2 cup diced jarred roasted red peppers

1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Black pepper

Directions: 

Place chicken in a shallow bowl. Combine teriyaki sauce and juice of half the lime; pour over chicken. Refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 4 hours to marinade. Remove chicken from marinade, then discard marinade. Sauté*, bake, or grill chicken. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for two minutes. Stir in the pineapple, red peppers, salt and pepper. Squeeze juice from the remaining half of the lime over skillet mixture; cook one to two minutes. To serve, top each cooked chicken breast with 1/2 cup of pineapple mixture.

*Sauté it: Place a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until warm. Remove skillet from heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray or lightly coat with oil. Return skillet to heat and add chicken. Cook chicken six to eight minutes on each side until cooked through.

Nutrition per serving: 277 calories, 8g total fat (2g saturated fat and 0g trans fat), 157mg sodium, 42g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 7g sugar, 39g protein

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Don’t fear fat – but don’t go overboard! Fat has more calories than other nutrients, but it has multiple benefits. If you watch your portions, you can enjoy its decadence.

Daily Inspiration 

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Chicken Veggie Stew

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(Serves: 8)

2 T. olive oil

3 lg celery stalks, cut into bite size pieces

3 lg carrots, peeled, cut into bite size pieces

1 med Vidalia onion, chopped

Pepper to taste (optional)

2 1/2 c. tomatoes, chopped (can substitute 14.5oz can organic low-sodium chopped tomatoes)

32oz reduced sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (about 14 large leaves)

3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp ground thyme

6oz can tomato paste

1 1/2 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces

1 1/2 cup green beans, cut into bite size pieces

1 15oz can kidney beans, drained

1/2 cup pastina (mini-pasta), uncooked (I used quinoa noodles)

Heat oil in heavy 5 1/2 qt cast iron casserole over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots and onion and sauté until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes). Season veggies with pepper if desired. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, spices and tomato paste. Add the bite size chicken pieces, press to submerge. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to med-low, add green beans, kidney beans, and pastina and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is done. The liquid should reduce to a stew consistency. Discard the bay leaves. Ladle the stew into serving bowls.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 

Calories 290, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 2g, Carbohydrate 38g, Fiber 6g, Protein 17g, Sodium 650mg

Note: To boost the nutrients in this recipe add 2 cups of chopped collard greens. Collard are loaded with vitamins K, A, and C as well as many other health promoting phytonutrients. Sodium can also be reduced by rinsing kidney beans and using low sodium tomato paste. Make it a meal by serving stew with toasted multi grain cheese bread!

Adapted from: Jill McCoy, MS RD LD

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Eat More Whole Plants!  No matter what your eating style, you can gain more health benefits by filling up your plate with at least three-fourths plant foods, such as beans, lentils, whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, and farro), vegetables, and fruits. This eating pattern is also a health benefit for Mother Nature!

Daily Inspiration 

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

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This amazing recipe has no added sugars and it’s meaty, thick, full of Italian flavor! It makes a great sauce served over traditional pasta or spaghetti squash for a low-carb meal.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 15

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef (lean beef is recommended)
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 can tomato puree 29 ounces each
  • 2 can dices tomatoes, with juice 14.5 ounces each
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, brown the ground beef along with the garlic. Drain.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a low boil, stirring often.
  3. Once the sauce is heated through and at a low boil, reduce the burner temperature to low and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately or allow the sauce to cool, the package it in freezer-safe containers for easy storage.

Nutrition Label Facts: 

Calories 163, Calories from fat 99, Total fat 11g Cholesterol 32mg, Sodium 439mg, Carbohydrates 7g, Fiber 1g, Protein 9g

Adapted from: Taste of Lizzy T

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Rate your food based on a scale of one to 10, and don’t bother finishing foods that rank below a six. How many times have you taken a bite of a stale pastry or a tasteless entrée and complained about its flavour? It’s a waste of calories!

Daily Inspiration 

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