Category Archives: In Season

watermelon

Summer is Here!

watermelon

School may be over soon, but that doesn’t mean your kids can’t enjoy our deli­cious lunches. Viva sum­mer camps!  Our camp lunch menu fea­tures sum­mer­time kid-favorites made health­ier, such as our 100% beef burg­ers and freshly made subs. If we’re not serv­ing your child’s sum­mer camp, let us know!

 

Of course, we could not serve camp lunch with­out another sum­mer­time sta­ple: water­melon! A sum­mer pic­nic is not com­plete  with­out an old-fashioned water­melon eat­ing con­test? The refresh­ing fruit is sweet­est, juici­est, and at the peak of its sea­son dur­ing the months of June, July, and August.

 

Like toma­toes, water­melon is rich in lycopene, which con­tributes to good car­dio­vas­cu­lar health. Water­melon is also rich in antiox­i­dants and has great rehy­dra­tion prop­er­ties.  Did you know that one cup of diced water­melon is about 92% water?  It also con­tains sub­stan­tial amounts of potas­sium. Potas­sium is what keeps elec­trolyte lev­els on check in the body. It is no coin­ci­dence that nature has given us this jewel dur­ing the hot sum­mer months, so ditch the arti­fi­cially col­ored sport drinks and have a big slice of nat­u­rally red water­melon instead. Your body will love you for it!

Football Catch On White

Start the Year with a Win!

Football Catch On White

So long hol­i­days. Hello Super Bowl! To cel­e­brate one of our country’s biggest sport­ing events of the year, many WT Cafés will fea­ture kid-favorite, appetizer-inspired entrees dur­ing the month of Jan­u­ary, including:

  • The Super Bur­rito Bowl – Fea­tur­ing our fresh, house-made gua­camole!  Served with or with­out chicken.
  • Loaded Potato Skins – topped high with roasted broc­coli, nitrate-free bacon, and ched­dar cheese.   Baked, not fried!
  • Black Bean Burger – This is no ordi­nary veg­gie patty! Our house-made blend of black beans and quinoa deliv­ers a pro­tein and fiber packed lunch.  Gluten-free and vegan!
  • Or try our gua­camole or pico de gallo with chips as part of our excit­ing a la carte offer­ings.

And that’s not all! See your  local WT Café menu to learn more.

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

foodmedicine

Spring into Healthy!

The days are get­ting longer, which can only mean one thing, it is time to say good­bye to win­ter and make way for the spring along with its bounty of fresh pro­duce that is begin­ning to make its appear­ance in mar­kets nationwide.

 

Spring time allows us to awake from the win­ter slum­ber in which we cocooned our­selves dur­ing the last three months. This time of year is syn­ony­mous with lunch in the park and a leisurely walk in the evenings.  Mother nature, along with a flut­ter­ing rain­bow of but­ter­flies and blue jays, fills our skies with color and life. On the ground, we begin to notice the specks of green that bud from the twisted arms of vines and trees every­where. And, not to be left behind or for­got­ten, the gar­den begins to show­case its most awaited per­form­ers; aspara­gus, col­lard greens, onions, leeks, and broc­coli amongst many oth­ers.  Most of these veg­eta­bles are green, bright, light, and jam packed with vit­a­mins and min­er­als.  They give us a respite from the starchy ( but still deli­cious) and heav­ier veg­eta­bles with which we have been sub­sist­ing dur­ing the  pre­vi­ous win­ter months.

 

The eas­i­est way to find sea­sonal pro­duce in your area is to skip along to a farm mar­ket that fea­tures locally grown and organic food. Because it has been grown locally, the fresh­ness of the prod­uct is dra­mat­i­cally greater than that of a veg­etable that has been hauled from across the coun­try.  How­ever, if a farm mar­ket is not avail­able in your area, a quick trip to the super­mar­ket will give you a hint as to what is in sea­son. Sim­ply find that pro­duce which is cheap­est. Because there is an abun­dance of a cer­tain fruit or veg­etable dur­ing a spe­cific time of the year, super­mar­kets will price it accord­ingly so that it flies off the shelves before it grows old and unap­peal­ing.  There are also sev­eral sites online that offer inter­ac­tive maps and lists of the pro­duce avail­able dur­ing each sea­son of the year.  The site www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org has an exten­sive list of the pro­duce that is in sea­son through­out the year. Like­wise, epicurious.com has a sea­sonal ingre­di­ent map that allows users to find sea­sonal items spe­cific to their location.

Fresh-and-local

Healthy Habit #8: Eat Local and in Season

This month we con­tinue our focus on the impor­tance of edu­ca­tion in fos­ter­ing healthy eat­ing habits for our chil­dren.  The beau­ti­ful thing is that nature makes this easy for us. We don’t have to go far­ther than our local farmer’s mar­ket to see what fruits and veg­gies are ripe, in-season, and ideal for incor­po­rat­ing into our family’s daily diet!

One of the best sea­sonal guides we’ve come across is by Epicurious.com.  It is an inter­ac­tive map that tells you what’s in sea­son where you live.  You can access it here: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/seasonalcooking/farmtotable/seasonalingredientmap

What Does “Eat Local” Really Mean? 

You hear it over and over again – Eat Local!  Farm to Table!  Eat in Sea­son!  Truth is, the def­i­n­i­tion is really what­ever you want it to be – eat­ing local can mean eat­ing within a 50, 100, or 500 mile radius from your home. The term “loca­vore” is some­one who pri­mar­ily or exclu­sively eats foods grown or made within a 100 mile radius.  How­ever, eat­ing local can also mean eat­ing foods just from the U.S.A.  The rule of thumb is to eat foods grown or made as close to home as you real­is­ti­cally can, while still hav­ing the vari­ety of foods you need to prop­erly fuel your family.

What­ever your def­i­n­i­tion, there are many ben­e­fits to eat­ing locally:

  • Peak qual­i­ties of fresh­ness, nutri­tion, and taste
  • Fewer chem­i­cals needed to trans­port or sta­bi­lize food
  • Helps fight global warm­ing, reduce car­bon footprint
  • Helps the local econ­omy and local small business
  • Keeps your fam­ily in touch with the seasons
  • Makes a won­der­ful story about the food on your plate
  • Expands your menu with new, local varieties

Unfor­tu­nately, our country’s improve­ments in food sci­ence have removed us from the source and ori­gin of foods so much that many chil­dren don’t see the con­nec­tion between their diet and nature. Even see­ing car­rots with the green tops is enough shock fac­tor for some chil­dren used to see­ing pri­mar­ily prepack­aged, shelf-stable prod­ucts.  Ven­tur­ing out to see the source of local foods improves that line of sight and cre­ates much more excite­ment to your family’s meal­time than a trip down Aisle 9 ever could.

Where Can I Buy Local Foods?

One of the best ways to buy local pro­duce is to visit a farmer’s mar­ket in your area.   Make sure the kids tag along – talk­ing to farm­ers about their crops and see­ing the fresh pro­duce will help increase a child’s appre­ci­a­tion of the ori­gins of food.  There’s noth­ing that expands your child’s culi­nary hori­zons more than see­ing a potato with all the dirt on it or eggs that were laid just 24 hours before or nine dif­fer­ent vari­eties of let­tuce all in a row. In addi­tion to farmer’s mar­kets, a great way to intro­duce your chil­dren to local pro­duce is to do a fam­ily farm tour, or a farm to table din­ner, or go to a u-pick farm and pick it yourselves!

Local Har­vest offers an inter­ac­tive guide to assist you in find­ing farmer’s mar­kets in your area.  All you need to do is type in your zip code here: http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/

You can find good infor­ma­tion on local u-picks here: http://www.pickyourown.org/

Some beau­ti­ful foods are mak­ing their way to us this fall, and you will see many of them on the Whole­some Tum­mies fall sea­sonal menu includ­ing:  pump­kins, apples, sweet pota­toes, broc­coli, spinach, and grapes.  Be sure to try them out before they’re gone!

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.

Summer Picnic Salads

By keep­ing your refrig­er­a­tor stocked with a vari­ety of fresh, savory, sweet, crunchy, salty and tangy ingre­di­ents, you’ll be ready for impromptu sum­mer pic­nics any day of the week.

When pack­ing sal­ads for on-the-go munch­ing, store ingre­di­ents in an air­tight con­tainer with a damp paper towel placed over the fresh veg­eta­bles to keep them hydrated; dis­card the paper towel before enjoy­ing your salad. Pack oil-based dress­ings in a sep­a­rate con­tainer and pour over your salad just before eat­ing. Avoid may­on­naise or dairy-based dress­ings, as they tend to spoil quickly in the sum­mer heat.


Ingre­di­ents for the per­fect sum­mer pic­nic salad:

  • Some­thing fresh: Color is key; choose a vari­ety of col­or­ful veg­eta­bles, along with nutri­tion­ally super-charged greens such as spinach or arugula.
  • Some­thing savory: Healthy, lean pro­teins such as tuna, poached chicken breast, beans or tofu, sea­soned with spices will sat­isfy your umami craving.
  • Some­thing sweet: Fresh or dried fruit will add a bit of sweet­ness and bal­ance to your salad.
  • Some­thing crunchy: Sun­flower seeds, sesame seeds or even crushed whole-grain cere­als will add crunch and nutri­tion to your salad.
  • Some­thing salty: A sprin­kle of Parme­san or shred­ded Ched­dar will add that salty bite, with­out a lot of sodium.
  • Some­thing tangy: A bright lemony dress­ing or tangy apple cider vinai­grette will add the zing every salad needs.

In Season: Rhubarb

Rhubarb, once used only for med­i­c­i­nal pur­poses, has become a favorite spring ingre­di­ent in the U.S. Although it’s typ­i­cally con­sid­ered a fruit, rhubarb is a veg­etable, sim­i­lar in tex­ture to cel­ery, but with a refresh­ing tart fla­vor and ruby red, pink and grassy green streaks in the stalks.

You’ll find organic rhubarb in farm­ers mar­kets and stores car­ry­ing organic pro­duce through­out the month of May. Our favorite Whole­some Tum­mies way to enjoy this veg­etable is in a com­pote with straw­ber­ries, driz­zled over freshly baked shortcakes:

Rhubarb Straw­berry Shortcake

Yields: 6 short­cakes
Allergy Info: soy-free; con­tains wheat, gluten, dairy

For the short­cakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 table­spoons sugar, plus extra for sprin­kling
1 table­spoon bak­ing pow­der
1 tea­spoon kosher salt
12 table­spoons unsalted but­ter, cold, diced
2 eggs
2 tea­spoons fresh rose­mary leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg beaten plus 1 table­spoons milk, for egg wash
6 small sprigs of rose­mary, from the top of each branch

For the com­pote:
3 cups rhubarb, leaves removed, washed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
1/4 cup orange juice
Pinch of salt
1 pint straw­ber­ries, hulled and quartered

For the cream:
1 cup heavy whip­ping cream
2 table­spoons pow­dered sugar
1 tea­spoon pure vanilla extract

Make the Bis­cuits:
Pre­heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift the flour, sugar, bak­ing pow­der, and salt into a large bowl. Using a pas­try blender, cut in the but­ter until the mix­ture resem­bles a course meal with pea-sized pieces of fat. In a sep­a­rate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, rose­mary and heavy cream. Add to the flour and mix until just blended. The dough should be sticky, but not wet.

Place the dough out onto a well-floured sur­face and form the dough into a rough cir­cle, one inch high. Cut 6 bis­cuits with a fluted or straight cookie or bis­cuit cut­ter and place on a bak­ing sheet lined with parch­ment. Brush the top of each bis­cuit with the egg wash and sprin­kle with sugar.

Bake for 20 min­utes or until the out­side is slightly golden around the edges. Do not open the oven door dur­ing the first 15 min­utes, to allow the bis­cuits to rise prop­erly. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Make the Com­pote:

Add the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and pinch of salt to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a sim­mer. Sim­mer for 10 min­utes and add half of the straw­ber­ries. Sim­mer for another 15 min­utes, or until the rhubarb is just ten­der but still toothy. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the rest of the straw­ber­ries to the cooled mix­ture and stir to incor­po­rate.

Make the Chan­tilly Cream:

Beat the cold cream with a wire whisk or hand mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Add the pow­dered sugar and vanilla and con­tinue to beat until stiff peaks just barely begin to form.

Assem­ble the short­cakes:
Split short­cake in the mid­dle, like a ham­burger bun. Place the bot­tom of the bis­cuit into a shal­low bowl and spoon some of the com­pote over the bis­cuit. Add a gen­er­ous spoon­ful of Chan­tilly cream. Place the top part of the bis­cuit on the cream and top with a small amount of com­pote and another dol­lop of cream. Place a small sprig of rose­mary on the cream. Repeat for each short­cake.

Chef’s Notes:

Com­bine the dough scraps to cre­ate addi­tional bis­cuits if desired. The sec­ond batch of bis­cuits will be slightly tougher and will not rise as high as the first, but will have the same flavor.