Cool Foods for Warm Weather

Me mind on fire. Me soul on fire. Feelin’ Hot. Hot. Hot

You too? Last thing you want to do is turn on the oven. I feel ya. That’s why I I’m keeping mine off and making these easy foods and recipes instead. No oven necessary.

Go ahead and store your winter sweaters and other things you don’t need in there. Pour a nice cold glass of ice water and get inspired to keep it cool (and healthy) when it’s hot outside.


Disclosure: The brands and organizations included in the TV segments and blog are clients of mine.


ABC Newschannel 8 Let’s Talk Live DC

Watch my appearance on NBC WBAL Baltimore from their website

Give Your Breakfast Cereal an Upgrade

Get your “good energy” before heading out the door by upgrading your morning cereal!

post-great-grains

Post’s Great Grains Protein Blend Honey, Oats & Seeds has whole grain flakes made from cracked wheat and whole kernel barley. It is sweetened with a kiss of honey and combined with nutritious pumpkin seeds, almonds and multigrain clusters studded with sunflower seeds.

I love this cereal because you get about 8 grams of protein in a one cup serving along with fiber, whole grains, vitamins, and minerals. Great Grains Protein Blend is also a non-GMO verified cereal, and the less processed whole grain nutrition can help support a healthy metabolism, providing a great start to your day.

Try it with fresh fruit in a yogurt parfait or get more creative recipe ideas at www.GreatGrains.com.

Replace Your Oven With Your Blender

Swap your oven for your blender and stay cool this summer! I love smoothies in warmer weather. They can be a great way to boost fruit and even veggie intake AND you can get your kids to like them too.

Fuel Up Smoothie 2

TruMoo Chocolate milk has no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial growth hormones, so you can feel great about serving it to your family, whether it’s in your smoothies or served cold in a glass! It’s the perfect base for smoothies because it has protein calcium and Vitamin D, which are essential for bone health.

This is the “Fuel Up Smoothie” with just three ingredients – chocolate milk, almond butter and kale!

TruMoo Fuel Up Smoothie

1 1/2 cups TruMoo Chocolate milk

1/2 cup baby kale

1 cup ice cubes

1 tablespoon almond butter

In blender combine TruMoo Chocolate milk, baby kale, ice cubes and almond butter. Blend until smooth and frothy, and serve.

Serves 1.

Visit www.TruMoo.com for this and other great recipes!

Boost Flavor with California Cling Peaches

I love to enjoy the flavor and nutrients of peaches year round thanks to my trusty can opener and stockpile of California Cling Peaches in my pantry (and refrigerator – Yes, it’s true!)

SweetChickenWrap-632x474

Here’s a surprisingly simple and exciting tip: Did you know you can store canned peaches in the refrigerator so they are nice and cold when you’re ready for a nutritious snack?

Thanks to recent studies, we know California canned peaches are nutritionally on par with fresh. Canned peaches packed in extra light syrup have the same grams of sugar as peaches packed in juice. So the choice is up to you, both are healthy choices.

Most canned, cupped or jarred peaches are grown in California by third and fourth generation family farmers. They are made in the USA. Check your food label for Domestic peaches. It will say product of USA or California or nothing at all.

Most importantly, they are delicious on their own AND they add flavor to any recipe! For example, I dressed up my chicken wraps by adding slices of peaches (get the recipe here!).

You can also try peachcicles made with peaches, greek yogurt, and nutmeg. They remind me of peach pie! They are also a fun treat to make with kids that will keep you cooled down in the afternoon.

Get a free downloadable cookbook at the website for California Cling Peach board at www.CalClingPeach.com.

Dip Into Cool, Zesty Snacks with Sabra

Sometimes when you’re on the run, it’s nice to have options that don’t require any work at all! I love the Sabra snack packs. You can get hummus with pretzels, salsa with tortilla chips, or the hummus on its own ready for your sliced veggies to dip.These are great to take to the zoo, on a hike or picnic, or a day at the water.

sabra eggs

If you’re entertaining, it couldn’t be easier to put out “party size” Sabra hummus and several varieties of salsa as dips for veggies, pita triangles, or tortilla chips. Hummus is made with fiber rich chickpeas and salsa is made with fresh vegetables including tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic making them healthy AND delicious!

Celebrate National Hummus Day on May 21! Sabra would love to know how you are choosing to enjoy your hummus with #2SpoonsHummus!

Use both salsa and hummus to add zesty flavor to your favorite recipes, like these hummus deviled eggs – a summer classic. Get this recipe and more at www.Sabra.com.

Spice Up the Party with Lean Lamb

Swap the burgers and dogs for lean and nutrient rich lamb from Superior Farms. (shop tip for D.C. area – I got mine at Shoppers in Takoma Park. Check the Shoppers website for a location near you.)

SuperiorFarmsBlueCircleCOLOR

With a “flock comes first” motto, these ranchers take great care of their lamb. Lamb are raised outdoors on high quality natural grasses and grains, which contributes to the unique flavor of lamb.

Lamb is lean, with a 3 ounce serving on average 175 calories and 10 grams of fat. Plus lamb has protein, vitamins, and minerals to help nourish you.

Try these two great recipes that your family or dinner party guests will love!

First up, lamb sliders made with ground lamb and seasoned with Mediterranean herbs – a perfect “finger food” at parties. Even easier, any recipe that uses ground beef can be modified to use ground lamb.

Or try pulled lamb tacos with creamy cilantro slaw. (I’ll be honest, I took a super quick shortcut and did a quick dry rub on Pulled Lamb Tacos 1my lamb, then put it 8 hours in the slow cooker, overnight, filled 2/3 high with water. The lamb feel apart so easily the next morning and I stored it in the fridge until dinner.

If you don’t have time to make your own slaw from scratch, buy a small store container, then buy the package of slaw without dressing and combine them. If you need more dressing, add Greek yogurt and a bit of vinegar.)

For these recipes and more, visit www.SuperiorFarms.com.

Halt the Salt with a KIND Snack

Between meals and snacks, especially on the go, it can be easy to overdo the salt. A Center for Disease Control report states that 70% of packaged foods contain excessive amounts of sodium – exceeding the FDA’s “healthy” labeling standards.

KIND snacks are low in sodium and they are so easy to take with you anywhere.

Kind bar

Almond Coconut Cashew Chai bars are “Very Low Sodium” and Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate Nut bars are “Low Sodium” even though it’s got that great hint of salt! Both of these bars have 5 grams of protein and you can get them at Starbucks with your coffee and you’ll have a snack you can feel good about for whatever adventure you have that day.

 

 

Through May KIND is honoring our nation’s military with #ThanksKindly on Twitter. All you do is send a tweet and then a very cool robot actually handwrites the “thank you note” and gives it to an active service member. For every tweet sent, $1, up to $10,000 KIND will donate to Cell phones to soldiers.

Check out the video at www.KINDsnacks.com/ThanksKindly.

These ideas are easy and fun. They work whether you are entertaining or “out and about” enjoying the weather and all the great activities summer has to offer. What plans do you have for “fun in the sun” this week?

Join the #Spring2Wellness Challenge Today (3 more weeks left)

Spring (1)Since the start of spring, over 1,000 people have been enjoying their time learning new tips for motivation, recipes and workouts absolutely FREE with my latest challenge, “Spring 2 Wellness.”

It’s not to late to join in. We have three more weeks left of weekly challenge emails. Sign up here.

After you complete it, I’ll be sharing my 7-day “feel good guide” (also free). Then you’ll get messages from me ongoing 1-2 times a month, with some of my favorite tools, tips and resources right to your inbox.

Read on if you would like to catch up and get some wellness in your life instantly! Next challenge goes out Friday April 25th,

Spring 2 Wellness Week 1

Week 1 was all about goal setting.

Your intention is your commitment to take action. Start by (1) get a clear on what you want and why you want it and (2) WRITE IT DOWN or it isn’t happening.

I will ______ on (or by) ________.

Check out this link for more goal setting tips 9 Habits For a Happier Healthier Life

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 2

Week 2: plan, plan, plan.

You know the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Even if you can eek by without planning, imagine how much more could you get done with healthy living if you plan. You save time, you’re more clear on your goals, and you’re more likely to stick to them when you feel like bailing.

Learn how to meal plan like a boss.  Meal planning makes grocery shopping much more efficient (saving you time and money), and keeps your mind set on eating healthy.

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 3

Week 3: Move to the rhythm of the work out

Turn something dreadful into something less dreadful.  Let’s face it, you may not feel like working out at all.  It’s tiring, takes up time or uncomfortable.  It’s OK.  Do it anyway.

Use music as a distraction and it can make your workouts more fun.  Think of some of your favorite songs, create a play list, and I dare you not to move to them!

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 4

Week 4’s challenge was all about meditation.

While I love yoga, I could never seem to get into meditation. My brain is constantly thinking, moving from one idea to the next. Trying to control or stop my thoughts seems like the opposite of what I am supposed to do.

However, after trying to give my self 1 to 5 minutes every morning to just do nothing, I could see how it helped me feel more positive and energized for a great day. I got a real boost to my health and happiness.

I wrote an article published on US News: Health, check it out, it talks more about Mediation and how and why you should try it.

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 5

Are you dying to know? Sign up for the challenge and you’ll see what’s up my sleeve next.

Balance Your Plate Better: My Food Tips for National Nutrition Month

(Disclosure: National Peanut Board, Post Grape Nuts FIT, Nestlé, and Genova Seafood are clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)


March is National Nutrition Month which means it’s time to celebrate with the theme“bite into a healthy lifestyle”.  I’m thrilled to share these ideas — they’re easy, fun, and delicious and perfect for all occasions!

WBAL TV 11 March 14, 2015

WBAL TV 11 March 14, 2015

Check out my recent segment on NBC WBAL TV 11 and read on to get my tips and recipes you need to balance your plate better – and it’s not hard!

Add Peanuts and Peanut Butter Anywhere

Use peanuts and peanut butter anywhere.

Use peanuts and peanut butter anywhere.

Peanuts and peanut butter are a smart choice for any meal, any time of day. Have a handful as a snack, top a piece of wheat toast or wheat pancake, stir in your oatmeal or smoothie – they are so convenient and easy.

Peanuts have more energy-boosting protein than ANY other nut with 7 grams protein per serving PLUS over 30 vitamins and nutrients. Peanuts are also an affordable source of protein, which anyone on a budget surely can appreciate.

Both my girls are eating real food now (they grow up so fast!) Both love to “dip” and I made up a super easy dip that taste great with fruits and veggies.  Simply stir 2 tablespoons of peanut butter into 1/2 cup yogurt or Greek yogurt and dip your kids favorites. Let them help make it and taste it if they are old enough.

Get more creative recipe ideas at www.NationalPeanutBoard.org

 Try Grape Nuts FIT Granola

Everyone loves granola and I’m digging the taste and crunch of this new Grape-Nuts FIT granola, which is a good source of fiber, provides 30 g of whole grains and has 9g of protein per serving.GrapeNutsFit225

Made with crunchy Grape-Nuts nuggets, puffed barley, and cranberries, it’s a nutritious way to fuel your everyday adventures and your workouts.

Try it with Greek yogurt, milk or oatmeal for a power-packed breakfast or snack. You also might like it on it’s own. Instead of running to the vending machine in that afternoon energy slump, try a couple handfuls of this granola and get re-energized without the crash.

Get more information and recipes at www.GrapeNuts.Com

 

Balance Your Plate 

nestle-mac-cups

I enjoy working with Nestlé on their “Balance Your Plate” education campaign. The idea is to pair frozen prepared foods with vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins for a balanced meal.

Mac and cheese is a family favorite, including mine. But I don’t always have the time to make it homemade.  Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese has freshly-made pasta and real cheddar cheese.

I love these Stouffer’s Classic Mac Cups because they are conveniently portioned with 10g protein, no preservatives, and they cook in about 3 minutes!

On a busy weeknight, the Classic Mac Cups can be an easy and tasty component of your family’s meal. Serve it with any vegetable. My girls love broccoli and we say “mac and cheese with little trees” when we eat this (cute, huh?) Then pick your protein. I happen to like grilled chicken with this dish. Then, serve up some fruit for dessert and you have yourself a simple and easy balanced plate.

For more information about the Nestlé Balance Your Plate, visit www.NestleUSA.Com/balance.

Upgrade Your Tuna with Genova Seafood  

Higher quality food is more satisfying and enjoyable, making eating healthier more fun. Genova is premium quality seafood with three simple ingredients – wild-caught Yellowfin tuna fillets, a touch of salt and just enough olive oil.

Chilled grilled vegetables with Genova tuna.

Chilled grilled vegetables with Genova tuna.

The simplicity of the ingredients make Genova uniquely satisfying – whether you simply top it on your salad at lunch or use it as an ingredient at your next dinner party.

Because Genova is a premium quality tuna, it’s a favorite of local foodies and culinary experts.

Try chilled grilled vegetables with tuna and tuna with black lentils – both of these recipes and many more yummy ideas for tuna are available at www.GenovaSeafood.Com

 

 


(Disclosure: National Peanut Board, Post Grape Nuts FIT, Nestlé, and Genova Seafood are clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)

National Nutrition Month: Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle

(Disclosure: Post Grape Nuts, KIND Snacks, Body Armor, National Frozen and Refrigerated Food Association, and Sunkist are TV clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)


March is National Nutrition Month which means it’s time to celebrate with the theme“bite into a healthy lifestyle”.  I’m thrilled to share these ideas — they’re easy, fun, and delicious and perfect for all occasions!

Check out my recent segment on Let’s Talk Live D.C. in the video clip and read on to get my tips and recipes you need to “bite into a healthy lifestyle” today!

Cook Once Eat All Week

Grape nuts crunchy oatmeal pancakes

Grape nuts crunchy oatmeal pancakes

Grape Nuts cereal has been nourishing us for over 100 years. A half-cup serving of Grape-Nuts cereal
is an excellent source of fiber, provides 100% of your day’s whole grains, and it’s high in iron. You know you can enjoy Grape Nuts with cold milk or warmed up – but did you know you can also cook with it?

Crunchy Oatmeal Grape Nuts pancakes are a huge hit with my family. I love making them once on the weekend and having left overs to enjoy during the busy week. There are lots of creative recipes for meals, appetizers, and snacks at GrapeNuts.com.

Brighten Meals With Citrus

Specialty citrus is in season right now through April. You can get lots of varieties like cara cara oranges, which offer 150% of your daily needs for vitamin C. Moro blood oranges have a beautiful distinctive red interior and hints of raspberry flavor, and Minneola Tangelo, which you can identify by the distinctive knob at the stemare an excellent source of both Vitamins C and Folate.

Sunkist minneola salsa over  grilled chicken thighs

Sunkist minneola salsa over grilled chicken thighs

If you’ve never had a Minneola tangelo, you’re in for a real treat. They are a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine, giving them a juicy, sweet and tangy flavor!

Try pairing fish, meats or grilled vegetables with minneola salsa – The salsa has oranges, roma tomatoes, onion and cilantro adding flavor and zest to ANY dish. I used grilled chicken thighs, but you could also use this salsa with fish or black beans and rice. Check out Sunkist.com for this recipe and more.

Make Your Homemade Meal Easy

Real food, frozen.

Real food, frozen.

We all know how hard it can be to get a wholesome, homemade meal on the table. When you’re in a dinner dilemma look in the frozen foods section where you’ll find REAL FOOD, frozen.

Butternut squash and sage ravioli from Evol, is prepared and FLASH frozen which locks in nutrients. Add color and nutrition with Green Giant Tuscan broccoli. These vegetables are picked at their peak ripeness and frozen, also locking in nutrients.

Real food, frozen

Real food, frozen

Let’s talk convenience. Start to finish, dinner is on the table in less than 20 minutes and you don’t have to order take out, which can be pricey. Here you can be in charge of quality even if you don’t cook from scratch.

Frozen foods aisles have global flavors available too – lots of ethnic-inspired dishes for the types of cuisine your family enjoy. Visit EasyHomeMeals.com  to discover your next homemade favorite.

Do the KIND Thing

KIND healthy grains bars

KIND healthy grains bars

Try KIND Healthy Grains Bars. Granola bars made from ingredients you can see and pronounce.

With five super grains: Gluten Free Oats, Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth and Buckwheat,  KIND healthy grains granola bars have at least 18 grams of whole grains per bar, and a good source of fiber.

They have a chewy and crunchy texture for a satisfying snack morning or afternoon.

KIND is on a mission to inspire “KINDness” in our communities.You can go online and vote for your favorite socially impactful cause and KIND will give away $10,000 a month to the cause with the most votes. www.KINDsnacks.com

Upgrade Your Sports Drink

Spring sports have started (or will start soon). Parents will often ask me, what’s the best sports drink for my active child. If you are an athlete or have a very active child, you might benefit from more than just plain water during activity, especially if it’s over 60 minute

Potassium packed sports drink, no artificial ingredients.

Potassium packed sports drink, no artificial ingredients.

I recommend BodyArmor because it has no artificial ingredients and is low in sodium – unlike other sports drinks. BodyArmor has more potassium-packed electrolytes and vitamins that any other sports drink, and it’s made with coconut water.

Try 5 great tasting flavors like fruit punch, orange mango, grape, and strawberry banana. Pick it up at Target or retailers near you. www.DrinkBodyArmor.com


(Disclosure: Post Grape Nuts, KIND Snacks, Body Armor, National Frozen and Refrigerated Food Association, and Sunkist are TV clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)

 

 

 

Healthy (and easy!) Holiday Entertaining

Feeling overwhelmed by the holidays?  Are you looking for ways to simplify holiday entertaining so you can focus on the things that really matter, like hanging out with your family and friends?  I totally get it, which is why I recently appeared on WBAL in Baltimore to share my best tips for easy entertaining.  Yes, I said it, easy – it’s really all about keeping the food healthy and the people happy, which is so much simpler than it sounds!  Keep reading to learn my favorite time-saving tips and tricks.

rebecca wbal

Bring a Hostess Gift

If you’re not the one doing the actual entertaining, it’s always thoughtful to bring a gift for the hard-working hostess.  I love bringing all the fixings for a signature cocktail station with quality foods.  Some of my faves are Sweet Scarletts, which are sweet, Vitamin C-loaded grapefruits with a beautiful red color,  antioxidants and potassium-rich POM Wonderful juice, and POM POMS fresh pomegranate arils which do all the work of scooping the seeds for you.  Make cocktails with the juices and some vodka or champagne, or make mocktails by adding sparkling water.  Use the fresh Sweet Scarlett segments and POM POMS arils for a nutritious and gorgeous garnish.  POM has loads of drink recipes on their website for more boozy inspiration.

image source: pomwonderful.com

image source: pomwonderful.com

Another great hostess gift is a cheese board – bring it stocked with your favorite healthy snacks, and then leave it behind when the party ends.  I always include cubes of my favorite cheese (I love a sharp Cheddar) and Wonderful pistachios, which are full of protein and filling fiber, and have a big serving size – 30 pistachios have only about 100 calories.  Round out the cheese plate with Vitamin-C boosting-Halos, which are sweet, seedless, and easy to peel.

Score a Touchdown at Your Tailgate

Tailgate parties are all about the dip.  And did you know that Sabra is the official dip sponsor of the NFL and that you can win prizes like a trip to the 2016 Pro Bowl in Hawaii when you buy their dips?

Image source: sabra.com

Image source: sabra.com

There are tons of easy, festive ways to use Sabra dips during the holiday season.  I’m personally partial to their hummus because it has plant protein, fiber, and good-for-you fats, plus it tastes amazing.  Try warming it up since the weather is a bit cooler outside and top it with beautiful red pomegranate arils for a festive touch.  The Greek yogurt dip is another family favorite – serve it with your favorite veggies and warm pita triangles (just cut the what pita into wedges and microwave for a few seconds).  I like using red and green bell peppers at this time of year for a little kick of holiday cheer.  Speaking of red and green, pair up Salsa and Guacamole for a pretty party platter; just place them side by side and fill the rest of the platter with tortilla chips and you have a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Visit sabradiplife.com for coupons, recipes, and prize info.

Serve Wheat Foods with Confidence 

image source: wheatfoods.org

image source: wheatfoods.org

Wheat is the basis of just about all holiday baking and recipes! All your favorites share the benefits of wheat. Wheat foods help provide nutrients everyone needs, including B vitamins, fiber, and carbohydrates. It’s important to remember that carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced eating. It can be a real time-saver to pick up items for breakfasts and snacks like muffins, banana bread, and scones – serve it with plain yogurt and fresh fruit for a well-balanced start to your day. Check out WheatFoods.org for versatile recipes like this Chicken Cashew Pasta, which you can serve hot or cold. Or a favorite especially around the holidays, Whole Wheat Spinach Lasagna.  If you have weight concerns, allow yourself to enjoy all foods in moderation and stick to an exercise routine that’s joyful through the holidays and into the New Year.

Sweeten Your Meals, Naturally

California Raisins are a great way to spice up your holiday menus and they offer a unique twist on traditional family favorites. Make them part of your holiday cookie decorating with festive gingerbread cookies freckled with California raisins. Raisins are an ingredient you can feel good about. They are an all-natural, dried-by-the-sun fruit, with no added sugar, no cholesterol and zero fat

Image source: calraisins.org

Image source: calraisins.org

I also love using them in festive side dishes like this Acorn Squash with California Raisins. It’s a beautiful presentation. California Raisins add a natural sweetness to dishes – and with only one ingredient – raisins! Visit LoveYourRaisins.com for these recipes and more!

Now it’s your turn – what are your favorite tips and tricks for holiday entertaining?  Leave a comment below or find me on Twitter @ScritchfieldRD.

Disclosure: I was compensated by California Raisins, Wheat Foods Council, Wonderful brands, and Sabra Dipping Company for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.