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!
Just because the holidays are here again doesn’t mean the days of healthy eating have temporarily come to an end. While this time of year is full of delectable treats, there are always healthy eating options available to you and your family. You just have to look harder for them, or create them yourself!
For a start, you can try incentivizing your child to snack on healthy goodies like whole grain crackers, fruit, or raw vegetables before the big feast. Try placing these healthier choices in front of your kids when they are first hungry, as that increases the likelihood that they will eat them! Make a big deal out of these yummy “appetizers” so your child is excited to try them. Dining on holiday favorites such as fudge, cookies, and other baked goods is ok, but try to monitor consumption and encourage your kids to eat them in small portions.
The holidays are the perfect time to bring out those vintage family favorite recipes, and whip up something extra special for a large family feast or even a late night snack by the fire. While cooking with kids in the kitchen can sometimes be a difficult task, there are some dishes the little ones can help with and make it fun for the whole family. Some recipes children should be able to help with in the kitchen include: appetizers, side dishes, holiday cookies, and baked breads. Helping to create their favorite holiday sweets while spending time together in the kitchen with mom and dad is wonderful way for families to make the holiday season extra special…and extra wholesome!
Follow the link to learn about some kid-friendly recipes you and your little ones can make together during the holiday season: http://bit.ly/1u9zmAo. Bon appetit!
While the summer months are abundant with vibrant produce, it seems most of us struggle to keep up the healthy eating habits during the fall and winter because we don’t have as many options during the colder months. Dig just a little deeper, however, and you will find that root vegetables are the perfect answer to this culinary conundrum.
Bright orange and sweet, crispy and fresh, spicy and colorful; sweet potatoes, jicamas, and radishes are just a small example of the diverse textures, colors, and flavors that roots can add to a winter meal. Sweet potatoes are the epitome of comfort food when they are slowly roasted in the oven with olive oil and salt and then drizzled with honey while they are still warm!
If you are looking for a crispy addition to any salad, look no further than jicama. This tuber is abundant during the chilly months of the year. It has a crispy and refreshing texture that will brighten up any salad. All you need to do is peel the thin outer layer and it is ready to eat — no cooking required.
Radishes also become abundant during this time of year. The small root vegetables are bright red with a spicy white interior but also come in bright green and pink colors! These are great paired with tacos and a splash of lime juice, and they can be a great addition to salads too.
Don’t let the winter blues put a damper on your healthy eating! Eat fresh and in season by following this great resource for seasonal produce in your area — www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org
(This recipe is tree nut free & gluten free)
You carved your pumpkins and saved those pumpkin seeds, and we know just what to do with them! Of course, if you didn’t save them, you can simply purchase a bag of shelled, raw pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) from the grocery store.
- Vegetable-oil spray or 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons to 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups of raw, unroasted pepitas
- Line baking sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly coat it with vegetable spray or butter.
- Put the sugar, butter, honey, and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water to a large saucepan, and stir together until all the sugar is wet. Cook over high medium-high, but monitor it carefully until the mixture begins to thicken up a little bit.
- Once the mixture turns a medium golden (takes at least 10 minutes) immediately remove from the heat, and carefully whisk in the baking soda followed by the salt (Caramel mixture will bubble quite a bit at this point). Switch to a wooden or metal spoon, and fold in the pepitas or seeds.
- Quickly pour the mixture onto the sheet pan, and spread it out over the pan using the back of the spoon before it starts to harden.
- Cool completely, then break into bite size pieces and you are ready to enjoy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Pumpkin is not just for pumpkin pie anymore! Enjoy this delicious recipe with your family and fill your kitchen with the rich aroma of freshly baked bread. Perfect for breakfast with a dollop of cream cheese spread… yum!
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 cup pure pumpkin
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ metal loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In large bowl, with wire whisk, combine brown sugar and egg whites. Add pumpkin, oil, yogurt, and vanilla extract; stir to combine.
- In medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert pumpkin bread onto wire rack; cool completely.
- Serve warm with a glass of milk!
If you prefer a healthier Halloween treat to serve at home, there are creative ways to serve fruit that is also fun. The whole family can join in and help make these spooky Boonana Ghosts!
These Banana & Coconut ghost sticks are a great alternative to sugar loaded popsicles. They are also super easy to make, just pop them in the freezer and they are set to go! We love bananas because they are the perfect energy filled snack. They are packed with vitamins and minerals that help the body maintain levels of energy during physical activity.
Yields — 4 BOOnana pops
- 2 large bananas
- 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut — Spread out on a cookie sheet tray
- ½ cup of cold orange juice
- Chocolate chips — for ghost eyes
- Raisins — for ghost mouths
- Several popsicle sticks
- Peel bananas and cut in half. Stick a popsicle stick starting on the flat end of the banana 2 inches up. Freeze bananas on a wax paper lined sheet tray.
- Once frozen, remove bananas from the freezer and brush them with ice cold orange juice. Immediately roll them on the shredded coconut.
- Stick chocolate chips on to the face area for eyes by pressing firmly.
- Stick a raisin to mouth area.
- Now you have BOOnanas to enjoy!
There isn’t a kid in the world whose eyes don’t light up at the thought of the trick or treating frenzy on Halloween night. Parents, however, have the great task of monitoring every treat that their child brings home and living with the inevitable sugar rush. Halloween trick or treating can pose many threats for children; choking hazards, unwrapped candy, homemade treats, and food allergies are amongst the top food safety concerns. Not to mention an excess of empty and nutrient-void calories. But, as a rite of passage in American childhood, who are we to pooh-pooh all the fun?
Follow these safety concerns to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween holiday:
- Feed your children a power dinner before they venture out in their costumes. Lots of protein and fiber to fill them up, and plenty of veggies to counteract the inevitable chocolate overdose at the end of the night. Make it early enough so they can contain their excitement and the family dinner isn’t interrupted by continue door bell ringing of other trick or treaters! Whatever you do, don’t send them out on an empty stomach or you know exactly what they’ll be eating for dinner!
- Children shouldn’t snack while they’re out trick-or-treating. Urge your children to wait until they get home and you have had a chance to inspect the contents of their “goody bags.”
- Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
- Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
- Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
- Consider tossing all candy the next day or at the end of the week. There are many places that gladly accept donations …. Halloween Candy Buy Back where dentists “pay” for returned candy and then donate it to American troops overseas (http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/), Operation Shoebox (https://operationshoebox.com), and Operation Gratitude (https://www.operationgratitude.com) offer similar options. A great way to help your child feel good about giving their Halloween treats away!
National School Lunch Week (NSLW) is a week long national celebration running from October 14th to the 17th. This year, the NSLW is focused on emphasizing the relationship between healthy foods and an active lifestyle.
Initially created in 1962 by President John F Kennedy, the holiday serves as a way to promote the benefits of school lunch. Unfortunately, today’s school lunch programs are a contentious subject. On one hand, strict regulations are emerging from the nation’s capital, aiming to curb obesity rates by setting a high bar for what constitutes a healthy school meal in public schools. On the other hand, school lunch directors are struggling to fight food waste that they claim is being generated by the implementation of these guidelines. School lunch is as controversial as ever.
If you want to see changes in the foods served at your child’s school, please reach out to WT Café today and let us help you transform school food service for your child. We believe that food made from scratch and served in age-appropriate portions is the best approach to school lunch. It shouldn’t have to be this complicated…let’s get back to basics and cook from scratch for our kids.
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!