Pack Zespri, It Packs a Punch

Team Zespri

Team Zespri

I recently participated the #PackZespri kiwifruit event in NYC that showcased kiwifruit as part of our vibrant food culture. This year I am the official spokesperson for Zespri Kiwifruit North America. For those of you who are new to Zespri Kiwifruit, they are the company which exports the world’s premium kiwifruit grown by more the 2,400 kiwifruit growers, who collectively produce more than 86 million trays of fruit each year!

The night was full of kiwifruit inspired food and cocktails and showcased the new kiwifruit variety, the SunGold.

Throughout the evening I inspired guests with my favorite ways to pack a punch of nutrition with kiwifruit as part of a healthy diet. Kiwifruits are loaded with nutritional benefits and the versatility of this fruit is endless.

Enjoying a Kiwi Mojito with Team Zespri

Tip: Pack a food bag for a busy work week.

Pack a Punch With Kiwifruit

  • Kiwifruits have more vitamin C than an orange, which helps with immunity and maintaining collagen for healthy looking skin.
  • They have just as much potassium as a banana, helping muscle contraction and maintaining healthy blood pressure.
  • Zespri kiwifruit helps promote digestion. Kiwifruit contains a digestive enzyme, known as actinidin that aids in the digestion and absorption of protein.
Enjoying a SunGold Kiwifruit on my Amtrak ride to the event. Just cut, scoop and enjoy!

Just cut, scoop and enjoy–even on an Amtrak!

Add Kiwifruit Anytime For a Boost of Flavor and Nutrition

  • Add kiwifruit as your “pop” of color and fruit serving to your lunch.
  • Just cut, scoop and enjoy. It’s a great choice on its own for a snack.
  • Cool off with a homemade kiwifruit popsicles. Puree kiwifruit with lemonade, and freeze in small cups for a popsicle treat. Or, freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker for a simple sorbet.
  • Kiwifruit Mojito

    Kiwifruit puree for cocktails and mocktails

    Put kiwifruit in a healthy wrap or pita with your favorite protein and other fresh vegetable fillings or include kiwifruit in your favorite salad, like this Roasted Corn and Zesty Kiwifruit Salad.

What are your favorite ways to pack a punch with kiwifruit? I’d love to hear your ideas! Please share your ideas and comments below. For more delicious recipes and information about the health benefits of kiwifruit visit Zespri Kiwifruit. You can also follow Team Zespri on Twitter @ZESPRIKiwifruit  and don’t forget to visit their Facebook page .

 

Sorting Out Fact From Fiction: The Gluten-Free Diet Craze

Gluten free diets have become the latest weight loss “fad”. I think one of the reasons this trendy way of eating has evolved is that rather than working on incorporating balance and moderation into meals and snacks, it can be easier to cut something out altogether – whether that’s wheat, dairy or something else. What people may not know who are following a gluten-free diet for weight control, is that many times when gluten is removed from processed foods, sugar, fat and butter are often added to improve the taste.

wheat For most of us, there really is no medical reason to eliminate gluten. In fact, many gluten-containing foods can be very nourishing (ex: whole grain bread and barley). As this article summarizes, there really are only three true reasons to avoid gluten (and I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear that none of them are weight loss related):

  1. An autoimmune condition like celiac disease in which the presence of gluten actually alters the intestine and causes malabsorption and other GI issues like pain and diarrhea. This diagnosis can be made by a biopsy and blood test.
  2. An allergy, which would have symptoms that might appear similar to any other allergy – hives, sneezing, etc. This can’t be tested easily, but is evaluated similar to other allergies based on visible symptoms.
  3. An intolerance/sensitivity which may have symptoms like abdominal bloating, but can’t be accurately tested for.

I recently did a series of videos with the #OWNshow and @OWNTV which covered a number of gluten-related topics, including an overview of what gluten is, if going gluten-free makes sense for weight loss, identifying hidden sources of gluten in some foods, and uncovering some sneaky truths about some gluten-free products that are on the market today. Watch each video below: Can You Lose Weight By Going Gluten-Free?  Weight Loss Gluten Free

The Sneaky Truth of Some Gluten-Free Products  Sneaky Truth Gluten Free Products Could You Be Eating Gluten and Not Know It?  Hidden Gluten The Gluten Guide: What is Gluten Really? Gluten Guide  What do you think about the gluten-free diet trend? To join the conversation about going gluten-free, leave a comment below, use the hashtag #OWNSHOW on twitter, or check out the OWN TV Facebook page.

Healthy Eating for Summer Barbecues

It’s that time of the year again – break out the grill!  Nothing says summer like a backyard BBQ or a picnic in the park.  It’s the perfect time to start flavoring up your favorite summer foods and drinks the healthy way! The key to creating a healthy summer BBQ is quality foods and ingredients.

Keep on reading to learn how to make your favorite summer foods healthy and flavorful.

Healthy Eating for Summer Barbecues on TV in Baltimore 

I recently appeared on WBAL with ideas for flavorful and healthy summer foods and drinks. Watch this clip for my tips and ideas, and check out the highlights below.

Featuring: Sunkist Grilled Marinated Rib Eye Steaks with Grapefruit Recipe, McCormick Asian Refrigerator Pickles Recipe, Wonderful Pistachios, The Real Deal Natural Snacks veggie chips, Pom Wonderful Juice Blends 

 

Add Flavor and Nutrients with Sunkist Citrus Fruits 

Sunkist offers a huge variety of premium quality fresh citrus year-round!  One of my favorite fruits to use in my summer dishes is grapefruit.  A true superfood, grapefruit provides antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, giving you the nutrients that promote heart health and glowing skin. Sunkist has a delicious Grilled Marinated Rib Eye Steaks with Grapefruit recipe that I love.  The rib-eyes are marinated with grapefruit juice, ginger, soy, and a little brown sugar for an amazing, zesty flavor, and then they’re grilled and topped with sauteed mushrooms.

Sunkist Valencia

The Sunkist recipe for Orange and Honey Grilled Chicken Strip Skewers is another favorite in my house. The chicken is marinated and basted with Sunkist Valencia oranges, green onion, cilantro and honey, and then grilled.  Sunkist Valencia oranges are at peak season now, and are ideal for juicing and marinades.  This recipe takes just 15 minutes and makes the perfect entree for your backyard barbecue!

 

Eat Colorful Summer Vegetables – Grilled or Pickled

Get your vitamins and minerals by eating all of those colorful summer veggies! Give your veggies a boost of flavor by using McCormick spices and herbs.  You can easily take advantage of fresh summer produce and make what’s good-for-you taste great with this simple Mixed Vegetable Grill recipe.  All you have to do is grab all of your favorite veggies and mix them in a bowl with a sweet and spicy blend of McCormick basil leaves, garlic powder, and black pepper with a touch of brown sugar.  Drizzle olive oil on top and then mix.  Once mixed, grill for about 10 minutes and you’ll have those great tasting veggies everyone will love!

McCormick Pickles

There’s always that new summer trend everyone’s talking about and wanting to try.  Well this summer, the latest trend is “quick pickling”.  Show off this new trend with the perfect Asian Refrigerator Pickles Recipe from McCormick.   These pickles are made with just English cucumber, red pepper, radishes, and carrots.  I personally use McCormick’s mixed pickling spice, because it gives you the right combination of spices and herbs, without the hassle of a full canning process. Check out McCormick.com for these recipes and tips to add more summer produce to the table and make your celebrations delicious.

 

Elevate Your Snacking Spread – Wonderful Pistachios

When looking for that great tasting crunchy summer snack, Pistachios are the way to go!  They make the perfect snack for munching on at your backyard BBQ while waiting for the grill, and they also go great with a cold beer.  They offer three times as many pieces per serving than potato chips and are a great source of protein and fiber.  We need protein in our diet for our body to repair and maintain itself, and fiber to prevent heart disease and lower our cholesterol!  If you want to add some flavor to your pistachios, don’t worry, Wonderful Pistachios come in many different flavors.  My favorite is Sweet Chili flavor which goes great paired with fresh watermelon.  This makes the perfect healthy snack to munch on during a hot summer day!

pistachios

 

Smarter Snacks 

Another better-for-you snack to enjoy while soaking up the sun at your backyard BBQ are veggie chips by The Real Deal Natural Snacks.  They taste a lot better than those plain old boring potato chips and are all-natural, gluten free, vegan, kosher and have 80% less fat than potato chips!!  They are made with real green peas, corn and rice, and there’s a serving and a half of vegetables in each ounce!  They come in two great tasting varieties: Original, and Sriracha which gives a spicy flavor kick!  Add these to a burger if you’re looking for that crunch, or just set them out in a bowl for everyone to enjoy!

Real Deal Sriracha

 

Hydrate with 100% Juice and “Mocktails

It’s always important to stay hydrated, especially in hot summer weather.  POM Wonderful‘s refreshing 100% juice blends are a delicious choice for healthy summer hydration.  They come in three thirst-quenching blends:  POM Coconut, POM Hula and POM mango, each combining the beneifts of 100% pure pomegranate juice with refreshing flavors.  POM Coconut, a blend of pomegranate juice with coconut water is especially good for hydrating before, during, and after exercising because it delivers potassium and only 140 calories per 12 oz bottle.  POM Mango and POM Hula are perfect on their own or as cocktail or “mocktail” mixers for all your summer parties.  This POM Princess is one of my favorites – it combines POM Hula, lemonade, and sparkling water for an amazingly refreshing drink.  Get POM blends in a 12 oz bottle perfect for on-the-go hydration or family friendly 48 oz packaging.

POM blends

 

What are your favorite healthy summer foods?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to @ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite tips for flavorful and healthy summer cookouts.

 

Disclaimer: I was compensated by Sunkist, McCormick, Wonderful Pistachio, The Real Deal Natural Snacks and POM wonderful to do the tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

Healthy Entertaining Ideas for the Fourth of July!

Nothing says 4th of July like watching fireworks and getting together with family and friends for a delicious barbecue!  I recently appeared on Let’s Talk Live with fun and healthy food ideas to make your Fourth of July celebration taste great. Read on to learn how to flavor up your celebration the healthy way with quality foods and ingredients, or watch the full clip below.

Surprise Your Guests with an Unexpected Burger

Did you know that over 90% of American households have a jar of peanut butter? Peanuts and peanut butter do more than just add fabulous flavor to our favorite snacks and meals — they also add nutrition to any dish.  Peanuts contain over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients. Combined with the fact that they have more protein than any other nut, peanuts are truly a superfood!turkeyburger

They’re also extremely versatile. Peanuts and peanut butter are a great addition to marinades, sauces or a nice crunchy topping for any side dish or salad you’re serving this summer! We all love using it for our PB&J sandwiches, or as a nice spread for some fruits and veggies, but have you ever thought of using it for your BBQ dish? You can actually add peanuts INSIDE your burger.  Try a “Better Burger” like this peanut teriyaki turkey burger that’s made with turkey, peanuts, mushrooms and teriyaki sauce. Find this recipe and many more at NationalPeanutBoard.Org.

Add A Twist to the Traditional BBQ Sauce

Another way to surprise your guests with taste AND nutrition is to add cranberries to your summer dishes. We tend to think of cranberries as a holiday food, but they’re good for us all year round! Did you know that cranberry products contain antioxidants called Flavanoids? A specific type of these that are unique to cranberries actually prevents bacteria from sticking to cell walls – for example, they prevent E. coli from sticking to the walls of the bladder to help prevent urinary tract infections. The international journal, Advances in Nutrition, did a review of the research and they found that the bioactive compounds in cranberries not only help reduce the incidence of certain infections and maintain a healthy urinary tract,but they also improve heart health by improving blood cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure and improving inflammation.  Add cranberries to your fourth of July celebration by trying this Cranberry Chipotle BBQ sauce recipe. It’s a simple homemade recipe with a blend of tart and smoky flavors that would be a great compliment to chicken or pork. Perfect for any BBQ spread!  For more info about cranberries visit http://www.cranberryinstitute.org/.

Elevate your snacks 

Everyone’s going to look for something crunchy to munch on at a party.  Snacks are perfect to have while waiting for the main dish to be ready! What could be easier than putting out a bowl of chips? Try these veggie chips by The Real Deal Natural Snacks. They have 80% less fat than potato chips, are made with real green peas, corn and rice and there’s a serving and a half of vegetables in each ounce! They come in 2 great-tasting varieties: original and sriracha – a spicy flavor kick! They’re all natural, gluten free, vegan, and kosher. You can find these snacks at your local Whole Foods and Wegmans.

THoney Smoked BBQ (72 bars)ry Interesting Pairings 

Another easy summer entertaining idea is pairing up your favorite snacks. I love KIND bars because they are made from ingredients you can see and pronounce. Various cheeses taste great when paired with KIND.  The new STRONG & KIND bars offer savory flavors and 10 grams of protein per bar from almonds, seeds, and pea protein. These don’t contain soy or whey protein.

There are five bold flavors to choose from, like Honey Mustard, which I’ve paired with creamy goat cheese, Thai Sweet Chili paired with Monterey Jack (for those who like their “spice”) and Hickory Smoked paired with Manchego (which together offer a nutty, smoky flavor). You can also try the Roasted Jalapeno and Honey Smoked BBQ flavors with your favorite cheese.

People will love that you gave them something new and fun to try while hanging out and it couldn’t be easier to pull together — just cut the bars and cheese into bite size pieces, and you’re ready to party! Visit www.kindsnacks.com for more information.

Serve Crowd Pleasing Sides

It’s not easy to find side dishes that can please a crowd, especially for the kids at the celebration. I found an option that kids will love and parents can feel good about. It’s new Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese!

This is a great choice for families looking to upgrade their mac-n-cheese, because Pirate’s Booty mac-n-cheese offers quality ingredients like:

  • Organic wheat pasta
  • Real cheese
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

They’re a good source of calcium, offering 10% of the daily value AND 9-10g of protein per serving. You can get Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese in four varieties – my favorites are the shells with aged white cheddar, and the traditional elbows with mild cheddar! Look for them at your local grocery store, or visit www.piratebrands.com for more information.

Hydrate with Citrus Beverages

Sunkist Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz Recipe ImageAdding citrus to summer beverages is a healthy and refreshing way to beat the heat! Sunkist offers more than 40 varieties of premium quality, fresh citrus year-round including oranges, lemons, grapefruit, specialties and organics. Rather than provide pre-made lemonade at your party, which often includes added sugars and artificial ingredients, give fresh-squeezed lemonade a try. Or try Sunkist’s delicious, lemony twist on iced tea.

For the adults, serve up their Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz.  The honey and ginger compliment the tangy, fresh grapefruit in this refreshing cocktail. I like to add a big wedge of Sunkist grapefruit for a garnish that doubles as a superfood snack packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Visit Sunkist.com for these recipes and more!

Thanks for checking out my favorite healthy ideas for the fourth of July! I’d love to hear some of your favorite ideas that make your fourth of July celebration full of flavor and nutrition!

Disclaimer: I was compensated by  KIND Snacks, Pirate’s Booty, Real Deal Natural Snacks, and Sunkist to do the tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

 

 

 

Cranberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce Recipe

 

This recipe was create by the Cranberry Marketing Committee and I made it for my July Fourth TV segment. I highly recommend it for your next bbq-it’s worth the effort for this sweet and smoky sauce to compliment your grilled chicken and pork. For more info about cranberries visit http://www.cranberryinstitute.org/.

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh gingercranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle (smoked jalapeño chili) powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. In a medium sauté  pan over medium-high heat, sauté ginger, onions and garlic in olive oil until tender but not browned.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in food processor or blender with ginger-onion-garlic mixture. Process until smooth.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

 

Festive Red, White and Blue “Stuffed” Burgers Recipe

Red White Blue Burger

Fire Up the Grill

With the Fourth of July right around the corner you can show your patriotic pride with a full flavored burger dressed in red, white and blue! These burgers actually have a healthy twist with marinated grilled vegetables incorporated right in.  I partnered up with Mazola Corn Oil to develop this festive recipe that uses Red pepper, White mushrooms and Blue cheese along with fresh parsley, balsamic vinegar and a heart-healthy marinade with Mazola.

You might not think of corn oil first when you think of heart-healthy oils. Mazola Corn Oil is the healthiest cooking oil for your heart, with more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than other cooking oils, and it can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. In fact, Mazola corn oil has 4 times more plant sterols than olive oil and 40 percent more than canola oil. A new study even found corn oil was better at reducing LDL or “bad” cholesterol than extra virgin olive oil!

Corn oil is a versatile all-purpose oil that is great for grilling due to its high smoke point, which is why I love using it with my grilled vegetables and my delicious, festive and fun Red White and Blue Stuffed Burger recipe below!

Red White and Blue Stuffed Burger Recipe:

by: Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, ACSM HFS

Filling

1-8 ounce container fresh mushrooms

Veggie Mixture-parsley, blue cheese, marinated and grilled mushrooms and red bell pepper

Veggie Mixture-parsley, blue cheese, marinated and grilled mushrooms and red bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

½ cup Mazola Corn Oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

3 teaspoons Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning

4 oz. blue cheese crumbles

¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

Burgers

1 ½ lbs. ground beef, 90% lean or greater

6 whole wheat burger buns

Make the Vegetable Filling:

Fast prep tip: You can marinate these veggies ahead of time and grill later, or instead of stuffing the burgers you can also mix in the filling throughout the patty.

diced grilled veggies

Dicing grilled marinated veggies

Slice veggies and marinate in Mazola with balsamic vinegar and seasoning for ~ 1 hr.

Preheat grill

Remove veggies from marinade and discard remaining liquid.

Grill veggies in a vegetable grill basket on high heat until lightly charred, about 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees. If you do not have a grill basket you can grill the veggies on foil, for 10-15 minutes.

Note: If you are not using a grill pan to sauté your veggies on the grill, make sure when cutting your veggies, leaving large enough space to place on grill.

Once mushrooms and peppers are grilled, dice and mix in blue cheese and parsley, then set aside while you form meat patties.

Make the Burgers:

You’ll need to make two 2 oz. patties for each burger.  Form 12-2 oz. patties (2 oz. ground beef is just a little larger than a golf ball).

For each burger, take one patty and top with 3 Tablespoons vegetable cheese mixture. Then place the second patty on top.  Press together and pinch the ends to seal your burger so the filling can’t escape. You may also use a fork to help seal the two patties together.

Stuffing burgers with veggie and blue cheese filling using 2-2oz patties for each burger

Stuff each burger with 3 Tbsp of veggie and blue cheese filling using 2-2oz patties for each burger

Grill to your desired doneness, about 5-7 minutes on each side for medium well doneness.

Enjoy this flavorful burger hot off the grill on a hearty bun and toppings of your choice – lettuce, tomato, onion, etc.

Nutrition Analysis

If you’re curious how these burgers stack up to your nutrition needs here’s the breakdown:

Analysis

Calories: 425

Fat: 25g

Saturated Fat: 11g

Cholesterol: 121mg

Sodium: 654mg

Carbohydrate: 8g

Fiber: 1g

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 37g

Calcium: 187mg

Share Your Favorite Grilling Recipes

What are your favorite Fourth of July recipes? Share your ideas in the comments below. Be sure to visit Mazola on Facebook to learn more health benefits and great recipes.

(Disclosure: I am currently working with Mazola as a paid spokesperson.)

 

 

 

 

5 Easy Ways to Eat More Fruit and Veggies

We all need to eat more fruits and vegetables! Did you know over 2/3rds of Americans don’t meet the recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake?!  We typically throw away spoil fruits and vegetable two times a week on average, which translates into about $42 a week!
I am not saying you need to sacrificing taste or flavor or have to eat salads at every meal, I’m here to say “you can’t mess it up”!  Just add in fruits and vegetables to any dish you’re making. No matter what the recipes says, you can always add fruits and vegetables to any dish to help bump up the nutrition. Include a variety of fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies in your meals. They tend to cost less and since they’re at their peak they tend to be more flavorful and nutrient-rich. Below are some simple ways to help bulk up your diet with more fruits and veggies.

1. Blend meat with mushrooms. The trend is to blend!  Blend finely chopped mushrooms into any of your favorite ground meat dishes, like meatballs or meatloaf (I like to do about 50% meat 50% mushrooms).  You’ll increase the amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals in your meal while decreasing fat and calories.  The finely chopped mushrooms blend so well with the ground meat that you’ll barely notice the difference. In fact, I think the mushrooms add moisture and flavor – mushrooms have umami flavor just like meat. Plus, substituting mushrooms for meat is a smart choice for your wallet, too!

Learn more about “blendability” from my friends at The Mushroom Council and try some fabulous recipes like these delicious looking Chicken and Mushroom Enchiladas Verdes. Grainfree-Enchiladas

Chicken And Mushroom Enchiladas Verdes
Chicken And Mushroom Enchiladas Verdes

2. Bust out the slow cooker

General Tsos

This image was reprinted with permission from http://mealmakeovermoms.com/ and http://healthyaperture.com

You really can’t beat a meal that cooks itself. The basic ingredients are protein (whatever kinds your family loves) and vegetables. Use water and herbs to add tons of flavor without a lot of sodium. Find an easy, delicious recipe you can follow like my General Tso’s Slow Cooker Chicken. The cost of making it at home is a fraction of what it costs to order take-out. My version costs about $13.00 and feeds 4 people whereas you’d pay that much for 1 entrée at a restaurant/for take out. Not only that, but you get to control the quality of ingredients that are used to prepare it. It’s a win-win!

Photo From: ohsheglows.com

Photo From: ohsheglows.com

3. Add veggies to a DIY smoothie

If you’re not crazy about eating your greens, incorporating them into your smoothies is a great way to disguise them!  It might sound weird, but you can use green vegetables like spinach, celery, and even kale and it can taste good! When you pair it with fruit like green apple or green grapes, it provide sweetness and I promise it does not taste like you are drinking veggies. This Peppermint Green Patty Green Monster Smoothie is kid-friendly and packed to the brim with deliciously minty and chocolatey flavor, with the added bonus of masking the spinach, you’re family will never know what hit them!

4. Go meatless burger

Black Bean Veggie BurgersDon’t think you can have a meatless BBQ?   Think again! Grilling isn’t just about meat, try adding something new to your barbecue spread. Veggie burgers can be made with chickpeas, black beans, white beans, potatoes, lentils, and pretty much any other vegetable that can be mashed and formed into a patty. Try this delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Burger recipe that’s perfect for your next gathering.  This veggie burger is a crowd-pleaser that even your carnivore friends will love.

5. Pack in the Fruit 

Fruit is an essential part of a healthy diet, delivering many essential vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates for energy and fiber for a healthy digestive tract. It makes for a smart snack, easy to drop in lunch bags or grab when on-the-go.

Take a break for some “afternoon energy” with portable good-for-you snacks, like blueberries! What’s easier than picking them up from the store and eating them right out of the container? Or you can make a portable snack ahead of time and bring it with you to work, like this Gluten-Free Spicy Blueberry trail mix.blueberry trail mix

Stay cool with this healthy and  fun kiwifruit pops dessert to make with your kids. They are so simple and really something the whole family will love. It’s just diced kiwifruit and 100% pineapple juice. This cold snack is so much healthier for you than your typical summer frozen treat.

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks to eating more fruit and veggies! Feel free to share your comments and favorite recipes below!

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