Foods and Snacks to Keep Your Cool

It’s the ‘dog days’ of summer and the heat can really take a toll on our willingness to cook hot meals. Watch my recent appearance on Let’s Talk Live DC as I show some of my favorite foods and snacks that are nice and cool and you don’t have to turn on the oven to enjoy them!

Read on for some fresh and flavorful foods and snack ideas to help keep your cool in this hot and humid summer weather.

Go Tart

Go tart – tart cherries that is! Tart cherries have been found in research to help ease muscle pain and improve sleep quality and they happen to be a great ingredient in some cold food recipes. We’ve seen tart cherry juice be effective for muscle recovery in both runners and cyclists, so no matter what your sport, this is a cool addition to your nutrition routine.  Enjoy a refreshing homemade popsicle  made with tart cherry juice and coconut milk. Not onTartCherryCoconutPopsiclesFinal-700x455ly is this an easy way to cool down for anyone in the family, but it’s a smart idea for after a workout too so you can get the benefits of easing muscle pain and inflammation associated with exercise. Chilled soups are hydrating and refreshing in this weather. Try making Tart Cherry GazpachoTart-Cherry-Soup-700x455 which is a chilled soup made with tart cherry juice and frozen tart cherries – this is a really flavorful, cool way to start off a summer brunch or dinner party. Tart cherries naturally contain melatonin which helps improve sleep quality and duration.Tart cherries are easy to include in a variety of recipes, and they add a really nice tart flavor and nutrient punch to any meal.  Visit  Choose Cherries for many more delicious recipes and research on the health benefits of cherries.

Let Someone Else Prep

The Fresh Food line at 7-Eleven makes it convenient to eat a healthy bite, especially while on-the-go. The Fresh Foods line offers sandwiches, wraps, salads, whole and fresh cut fruit and yogurt parfaits, all made fresh. 7-Eleven’s salads are available in 4 different varieties all under 500 calories – like the BLT Salad loaded with crisp romaine lettuce and shredded red cabbage, grape tomatoes, real bacon and grilled chicken and served with avocado ranch dressing. They come in easy and portable packaging, which makes them a great lunch option and really affordable at $3.99. 7-Eleven’s sandwiches are all prepared locally and delivered fresh every day. They are made with fresh ingredients including premium meats and fresh-blended spreads – like tuna salad or smart turkey sandwiches. If you’re looking for a nutritious snack for on-the-go, 7-Eleven has a fresh selection of snack options like hard boiled eggs. You can also pick up yogurt parfaits and Carrot and Celery packs with dips. You can also follow 7-11 on Facebook to learn of Fresh Food in-store promotions .

Keep Cool with Smart Snacks

Keep cool between meals with smart snacks. Snacks are a great opportunity to get nutrients if you choose wisely. SunChips® multigrain sunchipssnacks are made with 100% whole grains and are a great tasting option to have on hand at home for a quick snack or if you’re throwing a BBQ. Each 1-ounce serving of SunChips snacks contains 21 grams of whole grains, which is almost half the recommended amount of 48 grams per day.  SunChips multigrain snacks can help you “keep your cool” by pairing with a protein-packed dip such as Savory Edamame Puree made with edamame, peas and ricotta cheese or with my Healthy Tuna Salad recipe made with tuna, hummus, spinach and other veggies. Visit Fritolay for more recipe inspiration and be sure to “Like” them on Facebook.

A Healthier Frozen Dessert

Ice cream and frozen yogurts can’t be beat in the summertime. This is one you can do at home, even if you don’t have an ice cream maker. My Banana Nut Crunch “ice cream” has two simple ingredients – frozen banana just pureed in a blender layered with KIND Healthy Grains Banana Nut Clusters. banananut_417x417The clusters are like a better kind of granola packed with super grains! Made with a unique blend of Five 100% Whole Grains: Gluten Free Oats, Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth and Buckwheat. They are gluten free and available in 8 flavors like Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters, Vanilla Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seed and Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds. You can also enjoy them with yogurt, milk, and on their own as a snack. Visit KIND Snacks for more

What are your favorite foods to keep your cool?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to@ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite summer time tips and recipes for keeping cool.

Disclaimer: I was compensated by KIND Snacks, Fritolay, Cherry Marketing Institute, and 7-11 to do the tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

Easy Weeknight Marinades Done Right

Grilled Tilapia2

I recently partnered up with the brand folks at Mazola Corn Oil to create this fun recipe for marinated grilled Tilapia with kiwifruit served over coleslaw. Mazola Corn Oil has more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than other cooking oils, and can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. It is a great source of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Its mild flavor and high smoke point also make it a fantastic all-purpose oil great for general cooking, baking, grilling, sautéing and stir-frying, and can be used as a butter substitute in certain recipes. It’s also the perfect oil to use in your coleslaw and marinades.

Why marinades? Because they help transform the taste of the foods without adding lots of fat, sugar, and salt to your meal. I love using fruit-based marinades because they add a delicious sweet, tangy flavor while making your dish even healthier. Plus, fruity marinades are perfect for the grill! You can make the marinade in advance to save time during the week – just throw in your favorite protein and you’re well on your way to a flavorful, wholesome meal. My basic marinade calls for just a few simple ingredients you probably already have on hand, which makes it quick and easy.

I chose to use tilapia in this fish-based recipe because it is economical and widely available. For a healthy diet, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week. Fish is a low-fat, high-quality protein filled with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is also a great source of vitamins and minerals.

Below are the recipes for the marinade, tilapia, and coleslaw for a tasty and easy weeknight meal.

MAZOLA and Kiwifruit Marinated Grilled Tilapia with Crunchy Slaw

by: Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, ACSM HFS

Serves 6

Simple 3-Step MarinadeMarinade1

½ cup of Mazola corn oil

3 kiwifruits peeled and chopped

4 minced garlic cloves

¼ cup of fresh chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons of lime juice

1 teaspoon of black pepper

2 tablespoons of salt

Add all ingredients into a shallow bowl, mix with a wooden spoon until well blended and place in a gallon size zip-lock bag. Add the tilapia, and let it marinate for 30 – 60 minutes in the refrigerator.fishinmarinade

Note: You may also make this marinade ahead of time keep for up to 1 day refrigerated.

Tilapia

2 lbs of tilapia

Preheat grill.  When grill is ready, remove marinated fish from storage container and place on hot grill.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Turn once and grill other side for about 4-5 minutes until cooked through.  Serve over coleslaw with additional kiwifruit and lime to garnish.

Coleslaw

Grilled Tilapia31/4 cup white vinegar

2 T sugar

2 T Mazola corn oil

16 ounces or 1 half head of cabbage, shredded

1 cup shredded carrots

1 tsp salt

salt and pepper to taste

Mix vinegar and sugar. Add oil. Add cabbage to dressing and season with salt and pepper. Toss with tongs or fingers to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Let stand 20 minutes. Re-toss and serve.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 256

Protein: 32g

Carbohydrates: 10g

Fat: 11g

Saturated Fat: 2g

Cholesterol: 76mg

Sodium: 783mg

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 8g

Share Your Favorite Grilling Recipes

What are your favorite marinades? Have you ever tried using fruit in your own marinades? 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.)

 

What to Eat to Beat the Heat

August can be a real scorcher and the heat can really take a toll on our willingness to cook hot meals. If you’re looking for ways to eat well without having to turn on the oven watch my recent segment “Eat to Beat the Heat” on WBAL or read on for some fresh and flavorful foods and recipes ideas to help keep your cool this summer.

Stay Hydrated 

In the dog days of summer dehydration can be a real concern, especially for people working physical jobs or exercising outdoors – like I like to do. Most of the time, water is the best beverage for hydration. For athletes, active adults and youth in sports, sports drinks may be a more optimal beverage for staying hydrated, but not all sports drinks are equal. BODYARMOR is a healthier alternative to other sports drinks because it has no artificial ingredients. Body Armor_BRANDEDIt’s made with hydrating coconut water and is high in potassium and low in sodium which can help prevent muscle cramping. Most people get enough sodium through their diet and don’t need to get it from sports drinks. BodyArmor has 2.5 times the electrolytes and more vitamins than the other sports drinks on the market. BodyArmor comes in 6 great tasting flavors like fruit punch, orange mango, and strawberry banana. Be sure to give them a “Like” on Facebook!

Drink Your Breakfast 

grapenutsmoothieFor breakfast we’re usually starting the day crunched for time – and new research suggest that those of us with kids find it harder to get the child ready for the day than ourselves. 63% of dads and 51% of moms feel this way. An idea that is both quick and cool is this Grape Nuts Tropical Refresher. It’s breakfast from your blender made with Greek yogurt, coconut water, frozen mango, Grape Nuts cereal and mint. Adding fiber-rich Grape-Nuts to your smoothie is a great way to sneak some extra whole grains into your diet.  Make a batch for the family in a matter of minutes and everyone can take theirs to-go. You can find many more delicious recipes by visiting Grape Nuts website or their Facebook page.

Mix It Up with Grapes from California California-Grapes-various-e1371487430670

Mix fresh California grapes into your meals to add color, crunch and taste. Grapes of all colors – red, black and green are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols that may help promote heart health. Try grapes in salads, side dishes, entrees and desserts, like this  Grape Tabbouleh Salad. It is a delicious cold salad that you can make ahead, enjoy as a meal or serve as part of your meal. Simply pour boiled water over the bulgur wheat and let it sit for 30 minutes to cook.  Add veggies – spinach, romaine, cucumber, onion and fruit – the grapes provide a refreshing sweetness. Then dress lightly with mint, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. grapegrainsalad

Frozen grapes are a staple in my household. They are a good option when you are craving that “something sweet” between or after meals. One ¾ cup serving of grapes contains just 90 calories, no fat, no cholesterol and virtually no 
sodium. For a creamy cool treat just freeze rinsed grapes whole in small snack packs and enjoy! You can find many other nutritious recipes by visiting Grapes From California or dropping by their Facebook page.

Keep Cool with Smart Snacks 

Keep cool between meals with smart snacks. Snacks are a great opportunity to get nutrients if you choose wisely. SunChips® multigrain snacks are made with100% whole grains and are a great tasting option to have on hand at home for a quick snack or if you’re throwing a BBQ. sunchipsEach 1-ounce serving of SunChips snacks contains 21 grams of whole grains, which is almost half the recommended amount of 48 grams per day. SunChips multigrain snacks can help you “keep your cool” by pairing with a protein-packed dip such as Savory Edamame Puree made with edamame, peas and ricotta cheese or my Healthy  Tuna Salad recipe made with tuna, hummus, spinach and other veggies. Visit Fritolay for more recipe inspiration and be sure to “Like” them on Facebook.

What are your favorite eats to beat the heat?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to@ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite summer time tips and recipes for keeping cool.

Disclaimer: I was compensated by BodyArmor, Fritolay, Post Cereal, and Grapes from California to do the tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

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.

 

 

 

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