Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Recipe ReDux Post # 59 and Gabby's Eats Strawberry Brownie Bites

June's Recipe ReDux is Bite Size Desserts to celebrate the 6th birthday of the Recipe ReDux challenge.  One of Gabby's Summer "To Do's" is to create a new recipe so I thought I'd bring her in on this one and so glad I did!!  She suggested we do something with a "brownie" and I also wanted to incorporate Summer into the mix so we decided  to use fresh strawberries for the toppings. This no-bake dessert is super easy to make, SO delicious and fairly low in carbs and sugar too.  We hope you will try them out and the other bite size treats from the Recipe ReDux bloggers!

½ cup creamy or crunchy unsalted natural almond butter (we used Trader Joes Raw Unsalted Crunchy)
3 tablespoons honey
1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder 
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2  cup oats (old fashioned, not quick)(*use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
¼ cup chocolate chips, measured, then finely chopped
4 strawberries, each quartered
3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
Wax or parchment paper

In a medium sized bowl, combine the honey, cocoa, salt and almond butter and mix well.  Stir in the oats and chocolate chips and mix some more. Press mixture into an 8 by 8 inch pan. (Lining the pan with a large rectangular piece of wax/ parchment paper, placing the mixture on one side and then folding the paper over to press down works nicely since the dough is a bit sticky.) Chill in the fridge for an hour or more (if you can wait that long!) or in the freezer for 10-15 minutes and cut into 16 squares. Roll each square into a ball, top with 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese and add one strawberry quarter.  

Makes 16 mini bites

Serving size: 1/16 of recipe, 1 bite  Calories 97 Protein 4 g Carb 9 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 7 g Fat 6 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 59 mg


Sunday, May 28, 2017

In The News: Some Great BBQ Recipes and Information From the Cranberry Institute

Follow That Bog!: Update from Mayflower Cranberries
In our last mailer, you saw cranberry growers hard at work prepping the bogs for growing season in our Spring on the Cranberry Bog video – but that was just the beginning! We checked in with Jeff LaFleur to hear the latest from the bog.

Sunrise on April 18, 2017 – following the first frost of 2017

This time of year, growers are on high alert for “frost watch” – keeping a close eye on temperatures to ensure it does not drop below a temperature that the cranberry vines can withstand, or the vines may be damaged by the cold causing reduced yield, or even worse, a complete loss of crop. When temperatures drop low enough, as on April 18 (22 degrees), growers run their irrigation systems to coat the vines with a layer of water, which will then form a protective frozen coating over the vines, preventing them from getting damaged. 

This year, the spring has been relatively mild, and there have only been a few frost concerns on the bog – however, this can always change at a moment’s notice!

Follow us! 
In case you missed it: The Cranberry Institute is tweeting! Please tweet with us, tagging @CranInstitute and using #CranberryBogBlogger to share your blogs and cran-thoughts! 

Bog Bites
A Sweet, Hot Topic
As an RD, you appreciate that discussing “added sugars” with consumers is more complex than meets the eye. Eliminating a food based on a single nutrient may not always be the answer to eating right. This is true when it comes to Greek yogurt, whole grain cereals, chocolate milk or of interest to the CI – cranberry juice and dried cranberries. As you know, despite having added sugars, research has shown that cranberry products provide many health benefits, including bioactive compounds that help to reduce the incidence of certain infections, improve heart health, reduce inflammation and maintain a healthy urinary tract.  

To help you have those tough conversations, we are pleased to provide you with resources we hope can help you address these questions: 
·         The Cranberry Mnemonic

Host Your Own Memorial Day Barbecue with Benefits
Looking for the perfect dish to jazz up this year’s Memorial Day party? We’ve got you covered with these cookout staples that are just PAC-ed with flavor (and health benefits)! Try your favorite and share how you include cranberries your summer barbecue with @CranInstitute!
·         Cranberry BBQ Sauce
·         Cranberry Baked Beans

Cranberry Health Research Library 
Browse the selections by year to find the most recent publications: doclib/doclib_search.cgi


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Recipe ReDux Post # 58 Family Friendly Sangria

The Recipe ReDux for May is Cocktails and Mocktails for May Celebrations and it couldn't have come at a better time.  Gabby's class breakfast fundraiser was on May 5th and the theme was Cinco de Mayo of course!  So... we decided to develop a mock "family friendly" sangria for the occasion.  Instead adding table sugar were relied on that natural delicious favor of the fruit juices and the cut up fruit and it came out delicious. The kids and parents were hooked and it is so easy to make and looks pretty too.  We hope you will give it a try and asked check out the other tasty beverages from the Recipe ReDux crew!


8 cups white grape juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup no sugar added cranberry juice
4 cups lemon sparkling/mineral water (without sugar added)
2 limes, sliced
4 clementines or 1 large orange, sliced
1 cup blackberries
2 small apples or 1 large, cut into ½ inch cubes (peel left on)


Add all the above EXCEPT the sparkling water, to a large pitcher (or two depending on the size you have on hand).  Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Right before serving add the sparkling water, mix well and serve.

Makes 15 cups (liquid, not including the fruit garnish)

Serving size: 1 cup/ 8 fluid ounces Calories 97  Protein 1 g Carb  25 g  Fiber 0  g Sugars  25 g Fat  0g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 11  mg


Saturday, May 13, 2017

In The News: Some Great Info and a Hummus Recipe from the Cranberry Institute!

Follow That Bog!: A Day in the Life of a Cranberry Grower
While cranberry bogs are best known for their iconic harvest, cranberry farmers are hard at work all year ensuring the success of next year’s crop – and the spring season is no different! To learn more about what is happening on a cranberry bog this time of year, we reached out to cranberry grower Jeff LaFleur, owner of Mayflower Cranberries in Plympton, MA and a member of the Cranberry Institute’s Board of Directors, who shared with us a little more about the anatomy of a cranberry plant, and showed us exactly how they prune the cranberry vines to prepare for the growing season ahead.

Check out his Facebook page, Mayflower Cranberries

Follow us! 
In case you missed it: The Cranberry Institute has officially launched its Twitter Account:@CranInstitute! Please follow us and tag @CranInstitute – along with #CranberryBogBlogger – in your cranberry-inspired posts!

Spring Cleaning Your Eating
Look no further for the perfect snack or quick addition to any meal – dried cranberries have 2.3 grams of fiber per serving, all the benefits of cranberry PACs, and they keep well at room temperature. Below find some of our favorite ways to use dried cranberries!  
·         Check out this video from the Cranberry Marketing Committee to see how to enjoy Dried Cranberries, 5 Ways featuring: 
o   Cranberry Chicken Salad
o   Baked Brie with Dried Cranberries 
o   Spinach Salad with Cranberries
o   Cranberry Trail Mix 
o   Ladybugs on a Log

Inspired? Tweet @CranInstitute with your favorite way to include dried cranberries as part of your spring snacking and meals!

Cranberries and Health
Experts Refute the Findings of Journal of the American Medical Association Study on Cranberries in Urology journal
·         Since the publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) article, “Effect of Cranberry Capsules on Bacteriuria Plus Pyuria Among Older Women in Nursing Homes,” experts in both the study of cranberries and the practice of urology have spoken out against the conclusions that were made. A commentary explaining how the design was fatally flawed was published in the esteemed scientific journal, Urology. Led by Bilal Chughtai, MD, Professor of Urology in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell MedicineEfficacy of Cranberry in Preventing Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections: Have We Learned Anything New?, describes that positive results for recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) prevention with cranberries (or any therapy) would not be expected in this population, where 69.2% of patients did not experience a UTI the year prior, as the patients did not suffer from recurrent UTIs as per Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines. Furthermore, asymptomatic bacteriuria and pyuria is unfortunately common in this population, thus the IDSA advises against treatment.  Lastly, obtaining uncontaminated, reliable urine samples in this population is a globally recognized challenge especially given that 78% of the subjects had dementia, 68% had urinary incontinence and 44% had bowel incontinence. It is also concerning that of the 185 initial participants, 33 individuals died during the one-year study. 

Without equivocation, Chughtai et al., states that cranberry products have reduced UTI rates in many at-risk populations in several studies. Adding that, quality randomized controlled trials on antibiotic alternatives, such as cranberry, are encouraged, or the medical community may be unable to manage the ever-increasing antibiotic-resistant UTIs.

Cranberry Health Research Library 
Browse the selections by year to find the most recent publications:

Sweet Talk 
The Cranberry Institute has teamed up with the experts to provide resources that will help dietitians, and consumers, choose the right foods for a healthy diet.
  • How to Talk to Consumers About Added Sugars
    • The “How to Talk to Consumers About Added Sugars” statement was developed by dietitians, for dietitians, offering guidance for RDs counseling and speaking to media about added sugar.

Hummus Just Got a Pretty in Pink Makeover
Trust us – this contest-winning Cranberry & Roasted Beet Hummus is definitely the prettiest (and probably one of the most delicious) hummus recipes you’ll try this year!

1 cup shallots; approximately 5-6 shallots
1 cup olive oil, divided
2 cups dried cranberries
1 orange, zested
12 fl oz. water
4 cups roasted beets, quartered
6 cups garbanzo beans, cooked
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups water, as needed
Salt and pepper to taste

1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.       Cut shallots into quarters. In small roasting pan, combine with 1/2 cup oil and cover with aluminum foil and roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 45 minutes, or until soft. place shallots in a China cap strainer to separate the oil from shallots and reserve both.
3.       Combine dried cranberries, orange zest and 12 fl. oz. water and simmer uncovered until water has almost completely evaporated and cranberries rehydrate.
4.       Toss beets in 1/2 cup oil, add salt and pepper to taste and roast on a sheet pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until edges become brown.
5.       Place cooked garbanzo beans, rehydrated cranberries, shallots, roasted beets, 1 cup water, lemon juice and shallot oil in blender. Puree until smooth, add remaining water to loosen, if necessary. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
6.       Serve with corn tortilla or pita chips.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Cranberry Guacamole

A few weeks ago a was sent this lovely serving bowl and some dried cranberries from the Cranberry Institute, and was encouraged to make a fun recipe for Spring.  I am fortunate to be one of their Cranberry Bog Bloggers and took advantage of the opportunity and decided I wanted to make some sort of fun dip to fill that awesome serving bowl.  I came up with this super delicious cranberry guacamole recipe that I have been saving for Cinco de Mayo, and here it is!  You will be amazed at how cranberries can change your guacamole from being just ordinary to extraordinary!  I hope you will try it out for this Friday's fiesta or anytime soon, enjoy!


2 small avocados or 1 large, peeled, pitted and mashed
½ of small jalapeno pepper or ¼ of a large, diced
juice from ½ of a lime
1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro
a dash or two of garlic salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
(additional salt to taste)

Makes 1.5 cups, 12 servings


Add all the above EXCEPT the cranberries to a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the cranberries and serve. If you do not have a food processor, just be sure to chop the cilantro/jalapeno very fine, mash the avocado well and mix all the ingredients together with a spoon in a small bowl.

Serving size: 2 tablespoons Calories 40  Protein <1 carb="" g="" span="" style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  4 g  Fiber  1.5 g Sugars 3 g Fat 2.5 g Saturated fat <1 1="" g="" mg="" nbsp="" o:p="" sodium="">


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Recipe ReDux Post # 57 : Tips to Reduce Food Waste!

Being that Earth Day also happens to be Recipe Redux submission day for April, the theme for this month is "Ways to Reduce Food Waste" and we were encouraged to share tips on how we do this at home.  Below are some tips on how I do cut down on food waste in my household. And, check out  some other cool tips from the Recipe ReDux crew by clicking the link at the end of the post. Happy Earth Day!!

Orange and Lemon Peel:

Instead of discarding the peels, I grate them and use the zest  in quick bread, muffin and pancake recipes like my Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes!

Overripe Bananas:

These are NEVER tossed in my house, they are used in muffins, pancakes as well as frozen to use in smoothies and or just as a yummy snack straight out of the freezer. Some of my favorite recipes include with over ripe bananas include my Banana Pancakes, Morning Glory Muffins and PB Cookie Dough Smoothie in a Bowl.

Mushy or Tart Berries:

Berries that are getting too ripe or are not the most sweet are great to freeze or use fresh in smoothies, muffins, even salad dressing- like my Triple B Smoothie, Strawberry Banana Protein Muffin, Strawberry Yogurt Dressing,  and Strawberry Vinaigrette recipes.

Old Apples:

I love to use older apples for homemade applesauce, in my Apple Cinnamon Muffins and Apple Pancake recipes.

Wilted Kale:

Kale that is not fresh enough for salad, gets thrown in a pan and used in my Simple Sautéed Kale and Quinoa Kale White Bean with Bacon Saute recipes.

Aging tomatoes:

Any tomatoes that are too soft get used in soups and sauces, like my Tomato Tarragon Cream Sauce, Spaghetti Al Pomadoro and Triple Tomato Bisque.

Stale Bread:

Bread that is no longer fresh can be used for breadcrumbs or croutons, in recipes like my Eggplant Parmesan, Mushroom Meatloaf Turkey Burgers and Parmesan Croutons. recipe-redux-linky-logo


Thursday, April 13, 2017

In The News: Fresh Fruit Consumption Associated With Lower Diabetes Risk

A new observational study in a Chinese population of over 500,000 people revealed that those with higher intakes of fresh fruit had a lower risk of developing developing diabetes in comparison with other participants. those participants with diabetes, higher intake of fresh fruit was associated with a lower risk of mortality rate as well as lower risks of developing microvascular and microvascular complications. Of note, this was an observational study, and thus the design limits ablity to establish causation and makes it difficult to distinguish the effects of fruit consumption from those of participants other dietary and behavioural characteristics.   Check out the research summary HERE.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spring Veggie Recipe Round Up

Now that we are officially a few weeks into Spring,  I thought I'd share some of my favorite recipes highlighting veggies of the season. Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

In The News: Exciting New Research About Anti-Cancer Compound in Broccoli

Recent research from Oregon State University has uncovered the mechanism behind broccoli's anti-cancer benefits. Their findings, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, showed that sulforaphane, a compound present in high amounts in broccoli and that is known to protect against prostate cancer, may work through influencing long non-coding RNAs. These IncRNAs may play a crucial role in in triggering cells to become malignant and spread.  The researchers showed that treatment with sulforaphane could normalize levels of a specific IncRNA.  This IncRNA, LINC01116, is upregulated in a human cell line of prostate cancer and can be decreased by treatment with sulforaphane.

The researchers noted that an increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, which are high in sulforaphane, appear to be associated with a lower risk of developing prostate cancer and that this preliminary research is an exciting look into the potential for cancer prevention and slowing its progress once detected.

Check out a summary HERE 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Recipe ReDux Post # 56 P B and B Smoothie

The Recipe ReDux challenge for March is "Spring Clean The Kitchen" -  meaning we needed to develop a recipe with what we have on hand already the kitchen. Well, I decided to try this one right before my usual trip to grocery store, meaning the time when I have the least food available. It was a Sunday afternoon, I happened to see some blueberries that were on their last leg in the fridge, so I knew they were going to be involved.  And, my daughter was concurrently whining for a snack so I decided to whip up a quick smoothie to tide her over until dinner. Combining the blueberries with some frozen bananas that I always keep some extra of, along with a scoop of peanut butter and milk worked great to create a peanut butter, blueberry and banana smoothie.  My daughter certainly drank it up and commented several times how "yummy" it was so I'd say this one was a winner.  Hope you will try it, along with all the other delicious recipes by the Recipe Redux group!


½ medium banana (preferably frozen), sliced
½ cup blueberries
1 tablespoon peanut butter
½ cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
( a few ice cubes- optional) 


Add milk to blender and then the fruit. Blend on high for at least 1 minute, then add the peanut butter and blend for another 30 seconds -1 minute until a smooth mixture is formed. Pour and serve. Chill if not serving immediately.

Makes 1 smoothie, one serving, 

Serving size: 1 smoothie Calories 220 Protein 6 g Carb 33 g Fiber 6 g Sugars 18 g Fat 10 g Saturated fat 1.5 g Sodium 160 mg



Sunday, March 5, 2017

In the News: Animal Fat and Saturated Fat Associated With Type 2 Diabetes Risk

New research has indicated that a higher intake of animal fat and saturated fat may increase the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.  Scientists evaluated data from the PREDIMED  (Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet), a study on 3,349 adults without type 2 diabetes but at high risk for cardiovascular disease to look at the relationships between total fat, subtypes of dietary fat and foods rich in saturated fatty acids and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Participants were assigned to a Mediterranean diet group or a control group. They were followed for approximately 4.3 years.  The results showed that participants who consumed higher amounts of saturated fatty acids and animal fat had two times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those participants with a lower intake of saturated and animal fat.  In contrast the mediterranean diet has long shown to be protective against chronic disease, possibly because its emphasis on unsatured fats like olive oil and nuts.  Check out a summary HERE


Monday, February 27, 2017

Trader Joes Treasures Post # 2

So in the spirit of keeping the momentum going and spreading the love about some great Trader Joes items, I bring you this post about another one of my favorite products- Trader Joes Steamed Lentils (ready to eat warm or cold).  This box of vacuum packed, pre-cooked lentils is full of potential and nutritional power! A 1/2 cup serving is only 120 calories, has 0 grams of fat, a reasonable 240 mg of sodium and 9 grams of protein!  In addition there are 20 grams of healthy carbs, with 2 grams of sugar and a whopping 8 grams of fiber/serving.

These lentils can be eaten right out of the package, as they are already cooked and they have a hint of seasoning, which is actually very delicious.  They are great in salads, soups, wraps and I have used them in my Lentil Taco FillingMediterranean Rice Salad and Lentil Sausage Pasta Sauce recipes.

If you have not tried them already, grab a box of the shelf in the refrigerated section!


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Recipe ReDux Post # 55 Cauliflower Mushroom Taco Filling

February Recipe Redux theme is Taco Tuesday!! So as you can guess, we were encouraged to develop a creative taco recipe :)   It is my belief that that the world can always use more vegetarian taco options so I decided to develop one to add to the mix!  I used two of my favorite veggies as a base -cauliflower and mushrooms, and simply sauteed them with some onions and basic spices and the result was really delicious.  Caulifower often has a potato-like texture, and mushrooms can be somewhat “meaty” in mouth feel so these two veggies worked very well as the filling to replace potatoes and meat, which are two popular types of taco fillings. This filling is very versatile and works well in tortillas, lettuce wraps, atop a salad or even as a yummy veggie side dish.  You can add beans, cheese or your favorite meat to pump up the protein.  I hope you will try it and also check out some of the other great taco ideas from the Recipe ReDux group!


5 cups chopped raw cauliflower florets
4 cups chopped Portobello mushrooms
1 cup chopped white onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon chili powder
½ tablespoon ground cumin
salt to taste (optional)


After chopping up all the veggies add the mushrooms and the onions to a large pan coated with the tablespoon olive oil and sauté on medium high heat, stirring occasionally,  until starting to brown (about 5 minutes).  While the mushrooms and onions are cooking, steam the cauliflower al dente in a pot of shallow boiling water or in a microwave-safe dish in 1 inch of water (covered) for about 4 minutes.  Drain the cauliflower and add it to the pan with the mushroom-onion mixture. Add the cumin and chili powder, mix well to coat the veggies and continue to heat for about 4-5 minutes until lightly browned and tender. Add salt to taste if desired and serve.  This works great with tortillas, lettuce cups, or mixed in with black beans atop a salad or as a burrito bowl with beans, rice and cheese.

Make 5 cups 5 servings

Serving size: 1 cup  Calories  90 Protein 4 g Carb 13 g  Fiber 3 g Sugars 5 g Fat 3 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium  40 mg



Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Recipe Round Up

Being that Valentine's Day is tomorrow, I thought I'd share some of my favorite recipes that make delicious treats for this special day... try one of them as a yummy and healthy alternative for your loved one!


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

In the News: The Mediterranean Diet May Protective Developing ADHD

It seems like the more and more research exploring the benefits of the Mediterranean diet is released daily!!  And now a new study has indicated that lower adherence to this diet may be positively associated with an increase in ADHD diagnosis amongst children and adolescents.

It was a case controlled study which involved 120 children and adolescents (60 were controls and 60 were previously diagnosed with ADHD). "Energy, dietary intake, adherence to a Mediterranean diet, and familial background were measured. Logistic regression was used to determine associations between the adherence to a Mediterranean diet and ADHD" per the research published in Pediatrics.  Lower adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with ADHD diagnosis and remained significant after adjusting for potential confounders. The factors that were associated with a ADHD diagnosis were less consumption of fruit, vegetables, pasta, and rice and higher frequency of skipping breakfast and eating at fast-food restaurants, along with high consumption of sugar, candy, cola beverages, and noncola soft drinks as well as low consumption of fatty fish. The researchers admitted that although this study does not establish causation it does warrant more research looking into the potential effects of consuming the Mediterranean diet with respect to development of ADHD.

Check out the study HERE


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Creative Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Check out this article I wrote for the Fit4D blog about ways to get more fruit and veggies in your daily diet!! Click HERE to read.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Recipe Redux Post # 54: Kicked Up Tomato Soup

My challenge for Recipe ReDux this January was to create a “budget friendly” entrée that costs less than $3.00/serving.  I thought this was a great idea and brought Gabby in on the task so she could learn about the cost of ingredients in addition to helping me in the kitchen.  When I think of cost friendly, I think of canned ingredients so we looked in our pantry to see what we had.  Being that’s its been cold and rainy lately we thought a soup recipe would be in order and got to work combining what staples we had on hand.  We decided to do a kicked up tomato soup that actually included adding refried beans, corn, chili powder and cumin for some flair.  It was super easy to make and…..costs only roughly $ 1.00 per serving!!  You can add left over chicken or more beans  (like whole pinto or black) if you want to increase the protein and can garnish it with low fat cheese or sour cream as well. We hope you will try it along with the other budget friendly recipes from the Recipe ReDux group.


32 ounces of vegetable broth
One 16 ounce can of corn  
One 16 ounce can of refried beans
One 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin


Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer (stirring occasionally) until warmed though and beans are uniformly mixed in, about 10 minutes. 

Makes about 12 cups, six servings

Serving size: 2 cups Calories 140 Protein 6 g Carb 24 g Fiber 7 g Sugars 19 g Fat 4.5 g Saturated fat 0.5 g Sodium 800 mg



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