Eat Seasonally: Winter

Select Seasonal

There are so many benefits to choosing seasonal produce. All through out the year new flavors and colors of fruits and veggies are available. Eating with the seasons gives you and your family the opportunity to eat a rainbow of colors all year round.

The taste of seasonal produce is richer and more flavorful than non-seasonal. Non-seasonal produce is shipped from all around the world. During the transportation produces it often loses it taste and nutritional value.

Along with better flavor, another major benefit is the price! The abundance of crop and local distance allows it to be sold for less.

 

Winter Produce Guide

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Broccoli: choose broccoli that is deep green, with tightly packed heads. The heads should be firm and bigger than the stem. (See the super food benefits of broccoli here)

 

Cauliflower: choosing cauliflower is similar to broccoli. You are looking for a tightly packed head that is firm when touched. Unlike broccoli, you want your cauliflower to be pale with no visible dark sports

 

  • Tip: Cauliflower can spoil easily so keep it wrapped tightly in the fridge crisper drawer

 

Kale: select thick, crisp leaves- they should be dark green in color with no wilted edges. (See the super food benefits of kale here)

 

Pomegranate: the heavier the pomegranate, the juicer! Select pomegranates heavy in size and deep in color. The color may vary across the pomegranate with no effect on its flavor. (See the super food benefits of pomegranates here)

 

Beets: purchase heavy beets with minimal flaws

 

Brussels Sprouts: choose vibrant green sprouts that are tightly closed

 

Mandarins: pick deep orange mandarins that are firm. (See the super food benefits of citrus here)

 

Mushrooms: choose mushrooms that are not too wet and not too dry- perfectly moist.

 

Root Vegetables: root veggies should be firm with minimal discolored spots

 

Sweet Potatoes: choose orange sweet potatoes for a sweeter flavor and golden sweet potatoes for a creamy flavor. (See the super food benefits of sweet potatoes here)

 

Winter Squash: look for deep colors with no flaws, cracks or spots. (See the super food benefits of winter squash here)

Additional Seasonal Produce:

  • Green onion
  • Herbs (all varieties)
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lemon
  • Cabbage
  • Oranges
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Radish
  • Clementine oranges
  • Garlic
  • Tangerine
  • Grapefruit
  • Greens (ALL kinds of dark, leafy varieties)

 

Find in season produce at your local famer’s market! To find a farmers market close to you visit arizonafarmersmarkets.com

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Incorporate seasonal produce into your meals and snacks! Try a hearty winter recipe

by Eat Good Food.

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Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 3 medium to large sized peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 7 cups filtered water

 

First, preheat your oven to 400 °F and cut up your cauliflower into bite sized pieces.

Place cauliflower onto ungreased cookie sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil.

Place in oven and let roast until golden brown on the tops and tender, but not mushy, about 20-30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool while you cook the rest of the soup.

In large stockpot, bring sweet potato, onion, garlic and water to a boil. Salt (abt 3/4 tsp) and stir. Reduce heat and allow to remain at a constant simmer until sweet potatoes are tender.

Add in cooked cauliflower and divide soup into 2 parts.

Let soup cool and then blend one part soup in blend.

Enjoy!

http://www.allysonkramer.com/

Homemade House Cleaners

Many people would like to keep harsh chemicals out of our home environment where families, kids, and pets spend much of our time, so instead of buying chemical cleaners, try making your own! They’re considered safe, effective, and are an inexpensive alternative. Ingredients can be found at your local grocer or health food store.

 

All Purpose Kitchen & Bathroom cleaner

  • 8 oz. white vinegar
  • 8 oz. original blue Dawn soap
  • 1 plastic spray bottle

 

Directions:

In a small glass mixing bowl, add the white vinegar and heat in microwave for 15 – 30 seconds. Remove and mix in original blue Dawn soap, then pour into spray bottle.

 

Herbal All Purpose

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 tsp liquid Castille soap
  • 5 drops each essential oil of thyme, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender,
  • sandalwood, lemon, orange

 

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a large spray bottle (about 22 ounces) and shake before using. This formula disinfects and can be used on any washable surface in your home. Naturally antiviral and antifungal.

Tips for Staying Healthy During the Winter Season

You may be familiar with the old wives tale, “starve a cold, and feed a fever”. Instead, there are more practical ways to stay healthy during cold and flu season. Check out just a few below!

 

Wash your hands

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This is the single best way to prevent the spread of germs! After using the restroom, before handling food, after handling raw meat, after disposing of garbage, before touching your face, or any time where germs may be in question, wash your hands up to your writs in warm, soapy water for 30 seconds and dry your hands thoroughly to avoid the bacteria feeding ground (they thrive in moist conditions!) Try this: Next time, sing the “alphabet song” twice while washing up ~ that’s all the time you need! Whether you sing out loud or not is up to you

 

Drink water

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Hydration is essential for all of your body’s processes. A general rule of thumb is to consume water equivalent to half your body weight in ounces. For example, 150-lb person should drink about 9 glasses per day, or 72 ounces. Keep in mind that many foods you eat also contain water! Don’t like the taste of plain water? Infuse it with different fruits, herbs, or veggies!

 

Sleep

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Make sure you are getting a full night of restful sleep, generally 7 – 9 hours. Sleep helps your body reboot your immune system. Be sure to practice good “sleep hygiene” by eliminating distractions in the bedroom, such as electronic devices, and set the thermostat to a temperature that is cool, yet comfortable. Going to be at approximately the same time each night will also help set your body’s internal clock.

 

Work out

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Break a sweat at least twice each week to improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and support a healthy immune system. Maintain your regimen in between work out days by going for a brisk 30-minute walk … a great way for couples and families to connect after a busy day! Fido would probably like to join you, too.

 

Eat nutritious foods

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Eating healthy food is one of the best ways to build up your immune system. Try eating by color to obtain many of your vitamins and minerals! Here are a few food sources and a note about just one of their health benefits:

 

Vitamin A: Maintains health of tissue and skin

  • Great source: Sweet potato

Vitamin C: Protects against free radicals

  • Great source: Red bell pepper

Vitamin D: Maintains bone strength

  • Great source: Fortified milk*

Vitamin E: Antioxidant

  • Great source: Dark, leafy greens

*Sunshine is also an excellent, non-food way to receive Vitamin D! About 15-20 minutes per day is suggested.

 

Relax

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Minimize the amount of stress in your life, as studies have shown that increased levels of stressed suppresses your immune system. Try yoga, meditation, get a massage, read a book, or participating in your favorite hobby! Want to feel like a kid again? Color something! This method has also been proven to relieve stress and open up creative pathways in your brain.

Fun & Festive Holiday Treats to Make With Your Kids

In the midst of the holiday season, we can find ourselves indulging in traditional sugar filled treats. While these sweet delights are holiday staples, add some fresh fruit in with these fun and creative ways! A perfect activity to do as a family, and great to serve as festive appetizers.

 

Strawberry Santa

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package fresh strawberries
  • 1 tub frozen sugar free whipped cream (thaw according to package)
  • 1 bag mini dark chocolate chips and/or sprinkles

 

Directions:

Wash strawberries and cut off stems.

Flip them upside down and cut the strawberry nearly in half. Use the whipped cream as the filling between the strawberry top and bottom. (Make sure there is enough whipped cream in the middle, as this is the Santa face.) Then use the whipped cream and chocolate chips/sprinkles for buttons and Santa eyes.

Holly, jolly Santa will keep you on his “nice” list for making these little tributes!

 

Grinch Kabobs

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package green grapes
  • 1 package strawberries
  • 1 bunch ripe bananas (about 6)
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 1 package of toothpicks

 

Directions:

Wash the grapes and strawberries, then cut off strawberry stems.

Peel bananas and slice them into ½ to 1-inch pieces. Use the toothpicks to layer the fruit in this order: marshmallow, strawberry, banana, grape.

With Mr. Grinch looking so adorable, maybe he didn’t steal Christmas after all?

Healthy Homemade Treats

The holiday season is here and everyone is gearing up for their ugly sweater parties and family gatherings. With all of these holiday traditions and occasions, many of us find our selves in search for a cost friendly and thoughtful gift. From hostess gifts, to themed party gifts, our Healthy Homemade gifts are the way to go! Dress them up in pretty paper and a holiday ribbon to really make your homemade gift special.

Here are two recipes that make for great Healthy Homemade Treats.

 

No Bake Cookies

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  • 3 cups Oats or Quick Cook Oats (Not Cooked)
  • 2/3 cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut oil

 

Warm the honey, coconut oil & vanilla extract in microwave for 15 – 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and let cool until oat mixture is a thick texture. Scoop tablespoon size amount and roll into round cookies. Place on baking sheet to cool in refrigerator. Serve or package in holiday wrapping for a great gift.

 

 

Chocolate Bark

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  • 2 ½ cups Dark Chocolate
  • 1 cup toasted almonds
  • ½ cup goji berries
  • ½ cup pistachios, shelled
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs dried/shredded coconut

 

Melt chocolate SLOWLY, using a microwave or stove top. Constantly stir every 10 – 15 seconds and keep the heat low. Chocolate is very easily burned, if your chocolate starts to harden or clump quickly add honey to save it from seizing up. Once chocolate is fully melted, add in the remaining ingredients (except for shredded coconut) and softly fold until well mixed.

Pour chocolate mixture onto a nonstick baking sheet lined with parchment paper; make sure the chocolate is evenly spread and not too thin or thick. Sprinkle coconut shavings on top of chocolate. Then place in refrigerator for quick cooling. Once hardened, break off random pieces, giving your chocolate bark a homemade and rustic look; package into bags with ribbon or holiday wrapping for a delicious homemade holiday gift.

 

Healthy Tip: Add extra nuts or seeds, such as cashews, chia seeds & sunflower seeds for more crunch and healthy omega-3’s!

Apple Pie

I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase “As American as Apple Pie”, but what if you found out it wasn’t technically first made in America, and that it may in fact have been discovered before our own country? Check out some of our fun facts about Apple Pie, then use the recipe to make your own.

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  • The first written apple pie recipe goes back to 1381 in England; it was printed by Geoffrey Chaucer and included apples, figs, raisins, pears and a pastry shell (but no sugar-early English apple pies had no sugar. Sugar cost too much). Evidence of Dutch apple pies goes back to the 1600s.
  • English settlers brought apple pie-making to America.
  • Early American apple pies had a take-off crust.  First, the apples were baked in the crust.  Then the top crust was lifted off.  Sugar and spices were added.  The top crust was put back on.  Then the pie was served.
  • Settlers of the American west made mock apple pie.  They had no apples.  They used crackers and special spices instead.  They thought it tasted like real apple pie.  Some people still make mock apple pie today.
  • The most common toppings for apple pie are vanilla ice cream (a la mode) and cheese (American cheese or cheddar).

Oatmeal-Nut Crunch Apple Pie

DS5541

Try this healthier Apple Pie version from Eating Well

Makes: 10 servings
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 1/2 hours
Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

Filling

  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 medium McIntosh apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Topping

  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Preparation
  1. To prepare crust: Whisk 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in 4 tablespoons butter and cream cheese using a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture is pebbly. Add oil; stir until evenly moistened. Sprinkle water over the mixture; toss with a fork to combine. Knead the dough in the bowl a few times. Gather into a ball, press into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  2. Roll the dough into a 14-inch circle between 2 large pieces of parchment or wax paper. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Peel off the remaining paper. Press the dough firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Tuck the overhanging dough under, forming a double-thick edge. Crimp the edge with your fingers. Using a fork, prick the dough in several places. Refrigerate the crust for 15 minutes.
  3. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 375°F. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, about 30 minutes.
  4. To prepare filling: Combine apples, 1/2 cup brown sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a large bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour over the apples and toss again; mound the filling into the cooled crust. Coat the crust edges with cooking spray, return the pie to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare topping: Combine 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, oats, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or a fork until evenly distributed. Stir in orange juice concentrate and nuts.
  6. After the pie has baked for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and scatter the topping over the apples. Return it to the oven (covering the edges of the crust with foil if they’re browning too quickly) and bake until the topping is golden and the juices are bubbling around the edges, 20 minutes more. Cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
Tips & Notes
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare and refrigerate the dough (Step 1) for up to 2 days. | Equipment: 9-inch pie pan
Nutrition

Per serving: 340 calories; 13 g fat (6 g sat, 2 g mono); 21 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 110 mg sodium; 199 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (18% daily value)