Category Archives: Fruit

pomegranates

Super Food of the Month – Pomegranate

pomegranates

While Decem­ber may not seem like a month to fea­ture fresh grown fruits and veg­eta­bles, that couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth.  Each month of the year brings with it deli­cious fruits and veg­eta­bles that are in sea­son. First grown in Per­sia, Pome­gran­ate is one of the old­est known fruits and packs a wal­lop of nutri­tion in every bite.

In the pome­gran­ate, the month of Decem­ber offers a delight­ful fruit that can be used in many of your clas­sic hol­i­day recipes. Hol­i­day favorites such as sweet pota­toes can be coated with a pome­gran­ate glaze, iced tea can be served hot or cold with just a hint of pome­gran­ate juice, and your stan­dard stuff­ing can be tweaked for the hol­i­days by adding pome­gran­ate to it. Pome­gran­ate is espe­cially use­ful in hol­i­day recipes because it stores so well. With proper seal­ing and refrig­er­a­tion, pome­gran­ate should keep for up to 2 months.

The savory taste of pome­gran­ate is only rivaled by its almost unmatched health ben­e­fits. Pome­gran­ate con­tains a pow­er­ful com­pound called puni­cala­gin. Puni­cala­gin is found only in pome­gran­ate and has shown to lower cho­les­terol as well as increase the speed at which heart block­ages go away. Pome­gran­ate is also one of the most pow­er­ful anti-oxidants of all fruits. These are just a few of the many health ben­e­fits pome­gran­ate pro­vides, and med­ical stud­ies are find­ing more and more every year.

While peel­ing off the tough outer layer of pome­gran­ate fruit just to get to the seeds and juices may seem like a lot of work, the end­less recipe uses and health ben­e­fits make it well worth it.  It’s easy to see why it’s Whole­some Tum­mies choice for Super Food for the month of December!

For more pomegranate-centric recipes, fol­low the link: http://abt.cm/1cQKnld

And for more on the won­der­ful health ben­e­fits pome­gran­ate can pro­vide you and your loved ones, click the link: http://bit.ly/11SbPgN.  Enjoy!

TAMATO

Tomato: Fruit or Vegetable?

TAMATO

This month are fea­tur­ing an abun­dant super food that is well known by any­one who’s ever eaten a slice of pizza. No…it’s not anchovies!  We’re talk­ing about the hum­ble yet ver­sa­tile tomato! But the tomato, as we know, is as con­tro­ver­sial as it is deli­cious. After all, it lies at the heart of an ongo­ing debate that has con­founded crit­ics for centuries:

 

Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable?

 

Botan­i­cally, some argue, a tomato is con­sid­ered a fruit. But, as oth­ers point out, it is com­monly pre­pared as a veg­etable. This puz­zling ques­tion was even brought to trial in 1893 when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled it to be a veg­etable. This debate may very well go on for­ever, but the one thing we can all agree on is that the tomato is a deli­cious addi­tion to sal­ads, sauces, and snacks alike.

 

Sadly, Sep­tem­ber is the time of year when toma­toes are slowly going out of sea­son in the north­ern­most states, while still grow­ing big and juicy in the rest of the coun­try. So get them before they’re all gone! They’re chock full of antiox­i­dants (lycopene) that help build up a strong immune sys­tem. And did you know that eat­ing fresh toma­toes can help lower bad cho­les­terol mak­ing it good for your over­all heart health? But per­haps the most impor­tant nutri­tional ben­e­fit of a tomato is its excep­tion­ally high vit­a­min C con­tent!  Kind of like, what are those things called? Oh yeah, fruits!

 

Toma­toes come in all shapes, sizes, and col­ors includ­ing deep orange, pur­ple, and maroon. When select­ing them, don’t neglect the “uglys.” Instead, base your selec­tion on the sweet aroma that a ripe tomato will release and it’s impor­tant to make sure they have a rich color. Store them at room tem­per­a­ture as they are sen­si­tive to cold and pair them with, well, just about anything!

Incom­ing search terms:

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blog-smoothie

New Menu Highlights

blog-smoothie

We have been hard at work all sum­mer long prepar­ing for our excit­ing Fall 2013 menu! We even added a full-time team mem­ber to our grow­ing com­pany in order to focus our ener­gies on the very impor­tant topic of recipe test­ing. Wel­come, Marysol!

Some new items we are pleased to announce include:

Sun­but­ter Brown­ies
Our creamy sun­but­ter (nut-free and made from yummy sun­flow­ers) com­bines with rich vel­vety cocoa to cre­ate a choco­lately match made in heaven!

Inside Out Cup­cakes
Our newest line of WT Cre­ations, these del­i­ca­cies con­sist of a health­ier cup­cake for­mula that is then injected with a yummy, icing-like filling!

Smoothie Day Fundraiser
What do the names Choko Loko, Very Berry, and Banana Blue have in com­mon? They are all final­ists in our Cre­ate a Smoothie con­test. We are test­ing a vari­ety of smooth­ies to see which ones YOU like best! Get on to the Whole­some Tum­mies Face­book page and place your vote today!

Side Items
More fresh sides to choose from – we are increas­ing our num­ber of fresh side items so your child has a hard time say­ing no!

Entree items cur­rently being tested include:

  • Taquitos
  • Ravi­oli
  • Cal­zones
  • Crispy Chicken Sandwich
  • Buf­falo Chicken Sandwich

Here’s to keep­ing our menu fresh, nutri­tious, and exciting!!!

tableofvegetables

Excite your Palate and Stay Healthy

Hip­pocrates, the ven­er­a­ble Greek physi­cian who lived dur­ing the Clas­si­cal Greek era once famously said “Let food be thy med­i­cine, thy med­i­cine shall be thy food”.  Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of the founder of West­ern med­i­cine, we’ve pro­vided a list of many fruits and veg­eta­bles along with a leek recipe that can make its grand debut in your kitchen this Spring so that you too can spring into a healthy and whole­some life this season.

Spring Pro­duce Showcase

Apri­cots

Arti­chokes

Aspara­gus

Bar­ba­dos Cherries

Bel­gian Endive

Bit­ter Melon

Broc­coli

But­ter Lettuce

Cac­tus

Chay­ote Squash

Che­r­i­moya

Chives

Col­lard Greens

Corn

Fava Beans

Fen­nel

Fid­dle­head Ferns

Green Beans

Hon­ey­dew

Leeks

Limes

Lychee

Peas

Pineap­ple

Pur­ple Asparagus

Radic­chio

Ramps

Red Leaf Lettuce

Rhubarb

Snow Peas

Sor­rel

Spinach

Spring Baby Lettuce

Straw­ber­ries

Swiss Chard

Vidalia Onions

Water­cress

White Aspara­gus

Healthy habit #3 Fill Your Fruit Bowl

M&M’s, Skit­tles, Nerds, Reeses Pieces, Laffy Taffy, Jell-O, Ice Pops. For as bad as these treats are for us, the man­u­fac­tur­ers of these pop­u­lar can­dies know some­thing we don’t – when it comes to kids and food, color sells. In fact, stud­ies show that drinks col­ored with red dye taste sweeter to kids than the same drinks with­out the red dye, even when the drink itself remained unchanged. How can you lever­age this knowl­edge to train your children’s eat­ing habits?

Four words: FILL YOUR FRUIT BOWL.

A fresh, in-season fruit bowl offers as many col­ors as a bag of M&Ms or Skit­tles, and a thou­sand times the nutri­tion. What col­or­ful foods do you make acces­si­ble to your kids?
The next time you make that gro­cery store trek, spend an extra five min­utes in pro­duce. Bet­ter yet, stop by a farm-fresh pro­duce mar­ket or local farmer’s mar­ket while you’re out run­ning errands. Local pro­duce is often less expen­sive and has lower pes­ti­cides and reduced car­bon foot­prints. Make a com­mit­ment to spend $20 on as many dif­fer­ent kinds and col­ors of fruits and veg­eta­bles as you can find.

Try any of the fol­low­ing: Blue­ber­ries, straw­ber­ries, bananas, can­taloupe, hon­ey­dew, water­melon, peaches, pears, plums, man­goes, grapes, kiwi, pineap­ple, avo­cado, apples, toma­toes, car­rots, cucum­bers, red pep­pers, broc­coli, and yel­low pep­pers. Just to name a few.
Once home, take a big serv­ing bowl out of your cab­i­net, place it on your kitchen island, and fill it up with your col­or­ful new pur­chases. Sit back, and wait for the kids to notice. Fresh and in-season, picked and sliced at the peak of ripeness – col­or­ful fruits and veg­eta­bles make a deli­cious and fill­ing snack (espe­cially when paired with a protein-rich dip like straw­berry yogurt or herbed cream cheese). With those bright col­ors placed in a vis­i­ble loca­tion within arm’s reach, your kids (and you) won’t be able to resist! Once the fruit bowl starts to empty, fill it up again, and again, and again.

Color makes food more inter­est­ing. It’s a fact that kids eat with their eyes first – we all do. If a food looks bright and col­or­ful, it is per­ceived to be more appeal­ing, more appe­tiz­ing, and iron­i­cally, may even appear to be fresher. At Whole­some Tum­mies and WT Café, we make a big deal out of choice. We believe kids should make their own choices when it comes to food. Free­dom of choice allows them to try new things and gives them con­fi­dence in mak­ing future food deci­sions. The caveat to this free­dom is that as par­ents — as CEOs of our fam­ily kitchens — we must care­fully mon­i­tor the choices we make avail­able to our children.

What kids have ACCESS to is what kids eat. With 4 out of 5 kids not eat­ing the fruits and veg­eta­bles they need every day, let your full fruit bowl feast your children’s eyes AND fuel their bodies!

In Season: Watermelon

Water­melon is a vine-like veg­etable, related to cucum­bers and squash. Not only does water­melon quench sum­mer­time thirst with its high water con­tent, it also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, with the abil­ity to calm symp­toms that con­tribute to con­di­tions like asthma. Water­melon is very low in calo­ries, with zero fat and cho­les­terol. It’s high in fiber, vit­a­mins A & C and is a good source of potas­sium. And like toma­toes, pink water­melon con­tains free-radical fight­ing lycopene that pro­tects your cells from damage.

While wedges of water­melon are often served in the sum­mer, we like to puree the pulp and freeze it for cool treats when the weather is hot. Because water­melon is so sweet by itself, the only thing needed to make home­made ice pops is the water­melon, a paper cup, and a craft stick.

Water­melon Ice Pops

Yields: approx­i­mately 10 ice pops (depend­ing on the size of your cups, you may yield more or less)
Prep time: 10 min­utes + 6 hrs. freeze
Allergy info: soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free

Ingre­di­ents:
1 (4 to 5-lb.) organic seed­less water­melon
12 paper cups or tall par­fait glasses (tall shot/dessert glasses)
Plas­tic wrap or foil
12 ice pop sticks

Direc­tions:
Remove col­ored flesh from the water­melon rind. Dis­card seeds, dice water­melon flesh. In the bowl of a food proces­sor add diced water­melon; pulse until smooth. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour water­melon mix­ture into strainer. Using a spoon or spat­ula, press water­melon mix­ture through strainer; dis­card any seed pieces and large pieces of pulp.

Pour water­melon evenly into cups; cover tightly with plas­tic wrap. Using a sharp par­ing knife, make a small slit in the mid­dle of the plas­tic wrap. Poke ice pop sticks through plas­tic wrap.

Place cups in freezer. Freeze at least 6 hours; serve frozen. Store in the freezer, cov­ered, up to 3 weeks.

Inspire Healthier Choices by Exposing Kids to Fruits & Veggies!

One of the many rea­sons Whole­some Tum­mies packs our kids menu with tons of good-for-you foods!

As reported in the Cap­i­tal Times…
Study: Stu­dents’ expo­sure to pro­duce inspires health­ier choices
Doug Shore — 8/18/2008 6:34 pm

As child obe­sity con­tin­ues to be a major health con­cern nation­wide, results from a new study indi­cate chil­dren may be influ­enced to eat bet­ter sim­ply through expo­sure to health­ier foods.

The study, which was pub­lished in the most recent Wis­con­sin Med­ical Jour­nal, involved data from two groups of Wis­con­sin fourth-, sev­enth– and ninth-grade stu­dents. One group, con­sist­ing of 784 stu­dents, received fruit and veg­etable snacks in school as part of a USDA pro­gram. The other 343 stu­dents in the study were not being given fruit or veg­etable snacks at school.

After the first three months of the USDA pro­gram, stu­dents in both groups were asked about their will­ing­ness to try new fruits or veg­eta­bles at school. Researchers found the 784 stu­dents receiv­ing snacks as part of the USDA pro­gram were twice as likely to try a new fruit at school com­pared to the chil­dren not tak­ing part in the program.

The basic con­clu­sion is that after only three months, the stu­dents in the USDA pro­gram were more will­ing to try fruit and veg­eta­bles at school,” said Eric Jamelske, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of eco­nom­ics at the Uni­ver­sity of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and one of the lead authors of the study.
After look­ing at the data, Jamelske also hypoth­e­sized that the USDA snack pro­gram had more of a pos­i­tive effect on the fourth-graders.

The data seems to indi­cate that the sooner kids are intro­duced to fruit and veg­eta­bles, the more likely they are to choose them as snacks instead of candy and soda,” Jamelske said.
Jamelske and Lori Bica, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of psy­chol­ogy at UW-Eau Claire, will con­tinue to con­duct research on the pro­gram and the eat­ing habits of chil­dren. They hope to pro­duce more spe­cific data regard­ing exactly which fruits and veg­eta­bles kids are will­ing to eat.

We’re a lit­tle too depen­dent on the schools for data,” said Jamelske.

Sher­man Mid­dle School in Madi­son took part in Fresh Fruit and Veg­etable Pro­gram (FFVP) last year. Prin­ci­pal Michael Her­nan­dez said the pro­gram was an unqual­i­fied suc­cess, and almost all of the kids were excited to get the fruit or veg­etable snacks.

About 95 per­cent of the stu­dents looked for­ward to the snacks,” said Her­nan­dez. “Kids, teach­ers and par­ents all thought it was a great idea.”

Blue­ber­ries and kiwis were two of the most pop­u­lar items at Sher­man. He said the pro­gram did well in expos­ing kids to healthy foods they nor­mally do not eat.

Most stu­dents had not tried kiwis before, but they were a big hit,” Her­nan­dez said. “And I am always see­ing kids eat­ing blueberry-flavored candy, so it was nice to be able to offer kids real blue­ber­ries, which they loved.”

The U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA) cre­ated the FFVP in 2002 to help improve nutri­tion and help chil­dren avoid becom­ing over­weight or obese. The pro­gram pro­vides fund­ing for stu­dents from selected schools to receive free fresh fruit or veg­etable snacks for an aca­d­e­mic year.

Accord­ing to Jamelske, Wis­con­sin was one of 14 states to receive fund­ing for the snack pro­gram last year, but thanks to changes in the most recent farm bill all 50 states will now par­tic­i­pate in the FFVP. How­ever, leg­is­la­tion will limit the pro­gram to 25 ele­men­tary schools in each state.
Although Sher­man Mid­dle School will not receive the FFVP grant for the upcom­ing school year, Her­nan­dez believes the pro­gram should be expanded.

This pro­gram is what schools should be doing,” said Her­nan­dez. “It’s much bet­ter than hav­ing candy and soda machines in the lunchroom.”