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Superfood Summer Stock up

Written by Lisa Jillanza

With all of the great summertime crop shares and farmer's markets, the summer months are the best time to stock up on great and fresh superfoods.

These summertime fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of “keep-you-full” fiber, and essential vitamins like A, C and E.

Superfoods for Summer

These foods can be eaten alone, or added to smoothies, salads, sandwiches, or can even be the star of your seasonal barbeque.

They are:

Kiwi : contains 21% of your nutritional value of fiber and is high in vitamins C and E, and potassium.

Asparagus : one cup contains 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar and only 27 calories.

Watermelon : one cup contains only 46 calories, and offers 18% of your daily vitamin A and 21% of your daily vitamin C.

Strawberries : get a full day's supply of vitamin C with one 49-calorie cup of strawberries.

Blueberries : these small treats provide 4 grams of fiber and almost a quarter of your daily vitamin C in one 84-calorie cup.

Cherries : one 77-calorie cup packs 10% of your daily fiber and 40% of your daily vitamin A.

Summer squash : one cup contains just 18 calories (yes that's 18 calories) and offers 32% of your daily vitamin C. Plus it makes an excellent noodle substitute.

Eggplant : one cup of eggplant contains only 20 calories and 11% of your daily fiber.  It also contains vitamin C, vitamin K, niacin, thiamin and vitamin B6.

Eating Healthy: Spotlight on: Bananas

Written by Lisa Jillanza
  • We consume about 25 pounds of bananas per person each year.
  • There are more than 1,000 varieties of bananas.
  • Bananas don't grow on trees : trees have bark and banana plants don't have bark.
  • Bananas are low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium.
  • A large portion of the calories in bananas come from sugars.

Health benefits of bananas

Recipe: Classic Banana Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Recipe: Banana Chia Pudding

  • 1 ½ cups vanilla-flavored flax milk
  • 1 large banana cut in chunks
  • 7 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Put milk, banana, chia seeds, honey, vanilla extract, and sea salt in respective order in the blender; blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until thickened, at least 2 hours. Spoon mixture into small bowls to serve.

Summer 101: Great Summertime Fruits

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Summer is a great season to partake in the numerous delicious seasonal fruits.  Not only do these summertime fruits taste great, but they also give you many nutritional benefits. Some fruits to enjoy before the season ends include:

Great Summer Fruits

Berries: the phytochemicals in blueberries, strawberries and blackberries all boost immunity, and protect against heart diseases and circulatory problems.

Peaches and plums: full of vitamin C and beta carotene, peaches and plums help to eliminate free radicals from the body.

Pineapples: being packed with the most vitamins and minerals, pineapples are also a great digestive aid.

Papayas and mangoes: both are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene and fiber.

Eating Healthy: Spotlight on Watermelon

Written by Lisa Jillanza
  • Watermelons are made up of 90% water.
  • Watermelons are chock full of a considerable amount of vitamins A and C.
  • They contain thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate and niacin in small amounts.
  • They are a great source of potassium, and also contain magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and iron in trace amounts.
  • Watermelons are also very low in calories, free of fats and cholesterol and are rich in carotenoids.

Watermelon Health Benefits

Recipe: Cajun Chicken with Watermelon Mint Salsa

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets

Mix together the spices.  Coat the chicken cutlets with the spice mixture.  Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and place chicken in pan.  Blacken on both sides and sauté just until cooked through.  Top with Watermelon Mint Salsa and serve immediately.

Watermelon Mint Salsa

  • 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup diced seeded tomato
  • Minced seeded jalapeno to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
  • ½ cup chopped fresh scallion

Toss ingredients together, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe: Grilled Scallop and Watermelon Kebabs

  • 12 sea scallops
  • 4 cups boiling vegetable or chicken broth
  • 24- 1”x1” watermelon cubes
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger

Cut the scallops into halves across the diameter to create half-moon shapes.  Place them in a heatproof casserole dish in a single layer.  Pour the boiling clear broth over the scallops and let them poach for 5 minutes.  Drain and cool the scallops.  On each skewer alternate one half-moon scallop, then two watermelon cubes, then one half-moon scallop.  Mix together the remaining ingredients and brush the kebabs as they are grilled over a medium-hot grill for 90 seconds per side, turning only once.  Serve warm.

Food for Thought: Spring Clean Your Diet

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Now that the long, cold, endless winter is over it's time to give up those comfort foods and trade them in for a spring cleaning of your diet!

The good news is it is possible to rid your body of harmful toxins that you may have indulged in during the winter months, just by eating better and right this spring.

Healthy Spring Diet Spring Clean Your Diet

These foods will help hydrate, refresh and detoxify your way into a healthier season and give you the energy you need to gear up for summer, too!

  • Berry green smoothie : Get started with a healthy smoothie blending together a cup of greens like spinach, kale and celery with a handful of fresh berries.  The greens contain chlorophyll that eliminates toxins that can contribute to liver damage and other illnesses.  The berries are packed with antioxidants and enzymes that fight free-radical damage, plus their sweetness combat the bitterness in the greens.
  • Curry powder : Popular in Indian foods, curry gets its yellow color from a compound called curcumin.  According to holistic medicine, curcumin is used to help aid with liver issues and digestive disorders.  And because curry powder is also an anti-inflammatory it also contributes to the production of glutathione, a liver-protecting antioxidant.  You can add curry powder as an accent to almost any food including eggs, chicken, and vegetables.
  • Cabbage : Made up of nearly 92 percent water, cabbage is a natural diuretic that will help your body get rid of excess fluids. It is also jam packed with glucosinolates, organic compounds that contain nitrogen and sulfur, that help to flush out unwanted toxins in the body.  Cabbage also is loaded with many essential vitamins like C, K, E and A, plus minerals, dietary fiber and folic acid.
  • Water : Always start your day with a big glass of water and stay hydrated all day long by carrying around with you a reusable water bottle.  Drinking water before a meal can help curb hunger and overeating, and you should definitely drink plenty of water before, during and after any workout.  The Mayo Clinic suggests shooting for at least 9 glasses of water each day to help flush out any toxins in your liver and kidneys.