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Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

5 Guilt Free Recipes for Labor Day Grillin’

Happy Labor Day to all! Sad to see the summer fly by so quickly but there is still plenty of time to enjoy some barbeque with family and friends. Barbeque may not be the first thing that comes to mind when putting together a healthy menu but with a few modifications you can keep your grill lean and finger-lickin’ good.

We have been scouring the internet for BBQ recipes that are both healthy and DELICIOUS to share with you and found so many that I am having a having a hard time choosing a select few—but here goes. Hope these make it onto your list of barbeque favorites—Enjoy!

Pear and Prosciutto Grilled Pizza
You can dazzle your guests with your outdoor pizza making skills.  Consider substituting whole wheat pizza dough for some extra fiber.

 

 

 

Grilled Peach Sundaes
A low calorie, heart healthy treat sure to please a crowd. Try with grilled pineapple too-delicious!

 

 

 

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich
Smoky, grilled eggplant provides awesome flavor while eliminating some of the calories and fat. A fantastic way to make good use of all the eggplant from your garden.

 

 

 

Grilled Corn with Chipotle Butter
What’s a barbeque without corn on the cob? The minced chipotle chilies add a spicy kick to everyone’s summertime favorite.

 

 

 

Healthy Grilled Pork Tenderloin Tacos with Fresh Apricot Salsa
This recipe from the National Pork Board combines the charred flavor of the pork with the citrus-y sweetness of apricot salsa –delectable tacos to please the masses.

What’s your favorite grilling recipe?

About the Author: Maria Geronimo is the Public Relations Director at EatSmart Products.

Charity of the Month for September 2012 – National Multiple Sclerosis Society

EatSmart fans will select each Charity of the Month in 2012. Fans will submit short stories about the charity’s mission and why it’s meaningful to them. We began our Charity of the Month donations in 2011.

For September 2012, loyal EatSmart Fan, Jamie Brabston selected the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, as she will be participating in Bike MS NYC. We will be donating 50 cents for every new Facebook LIKE during the month of September. (So spread the word!)

Read why Jamie picked the National MS Society:

I am supporting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society by joining the fight against MS. Each year, millions of people are affected by MS, and the National MS Society is one of their biggest resources. I am participating in this year’s Bike MS NYC, where I will be biking 100 miles on October 21st throughout NYC and the surrounding area. Bike MS has raised millions of dollars for the MS Society through its different races throughout the country.

I compete in several races every year, but I have yet to do one for charity. I’m excited that I will be able to make a difference in people’s lives by doing something I love. Bike MS NYC is the perfect race for me to start competing for a cause. Although I don’t personally know anyone who has been a victim to MS, I’m excited to be contributing to this organization.

Click HERE to access my personal fund raising page.

About Jamie: Jamie Brabston, a recent graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology, has been a runner for the last 10 years but has recently picked up triathlons and cycling. When shes not training, she spends all her time with her new puppy, Minnie. Bike MS, on October 21st, will be her second century ride but her first race for charity!

Click here to help donate:

If interested in submitting a charity for consideration, please email karen@eatsmartproducts.com. The donation amount will be capped at 500 new followers/likes.

Cinnamon Acorn Squash Pancakes

Guest post by Holly, owner of the blog The Healthy Everythingtarian.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients:
1 cup oats
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup pureed acorn squash
1 egg
3 T flour
2 – 3 T milk
2 T canola oil
1 heaping T brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
pinch of salt

Directions:
In small bowl, mix together oats, yogurt and squash. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly, adding more milk if the batter is too thick.In a greased medium saucepan over medium-low heat, scoop approximately 1/6 of the batter in the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, flip and smush down slightly with a spatula. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes or until both sides of each pancake are golden brown.

Makes 6 pancakes (2 servings)

About the Author: Holly is the author behind the award-winning healthy food blog, The Healthy Everythingtarian. She is a freelance writer + graphic designer by day and a Wisconsin beer connoisseur by night.

How to Avoid the Freshmen 15

You may have heard of something called “The Freshman 15,” which translates into those 15 pounds that some college freshmen gain from over indulging in dining halls buffets (and perhaps some drinks at frat parties!), their first year away from home.

We recently spoke to a junior at Bloomsburg University, Kristen Fallon, and she relies on the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale to help keep the pounds off and avoid the unwanted weight gain.  Kristen, and her three roommates, leave their EatSmart Digital Bathroom Scale strategically placed in their bathroom, their weapon of choice to track and maintain their weight.  “The scale is very useful because there is no other place on campus to weigh yourself, so having this scale really helps keep us on track.”

With the four girls being in a Sorority, they have many responsibilities and are always on the go, so eating healthy is not always their first priority.  “Being away at school and having a meal plan makes losing weight hard but having our EatSmart scale definitely helps us maintain a healthy weight by losing a few pounds, when needed.”

College students have a very hectic and demanding schedule and keeping themselves healthy is very important in order to:

  • keep their grades up
  • make their parents not have to worry about a dramatic change in their child’s weight
  • feel good both physically and mentally and get the most out of their college experience

Here are some tips to help avoid the Freshmen 15:

  1. Walk or bike everywhere. If you’re away at college and living on campus, chances are everything is within walking distance.  A few extra walking minutes each day really adds up.
  2. Eat as healthy as you can; choose water over soda and always try to eat balanced meals with fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins.
  3. Try to avoid late night snacking. When you just need to eat a “ little something” during those late nite study sessions, think yogurt with fruit, hummus with carrots instead of calorie dense snack foods like chips and cookies.
  4. 10 – 20 minutes of exercise is all you need sometimes; push-ups, sit-ups, planks, squats and lunges can all be done right in your dorm room.
  5. For Parents. When sending “care” packages try to send healthy options – and avoid baked goods.  All that sugar is too tempting to have sitting around in your dorm room.

What tips do you have to help college students avoid weight gain?

Story by: Joe Origoni, Marketing Assistant at EatSmart Products.

Avocado Fries with Sweet & Spicy Peach Dipping Sauce

Guest post by Marnely Rodriquez-Murray, author of the blog, Cooking with Books.

Ingredients
  • 1 large avocado
  •  ½ cup flour
  •  ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup panko
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup peach puree
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Directions:
  1. Stir peach puree, sriracha and honey together. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat about 3 inches of oil. The oil should be 350F for ideal frying temperature.
  3. Set up a breading station, placing flour in first bowl; in the second bowl whisk milk with salt; third bowl fill with panko. Season each step with salt and pepper! This is the order in which you will coat your avocado slices.
  4. Cut avocado open and remove pit and skin. Slice to ½ to ¾ of an inch thick, depending on what size you want your fries to be. The thicker cut the better, as for more control and sturdiness as a “fry” and much easier to dip!
  5. Dip slices into flour and coat; pass on to milk and finish coating with panko. Place on parchment-lined tray while you finish breading.
  6. Carefully fry each avocado slice until golden brown; don’t crowd that pot with slices, frying only a few at a time to keep oil at ideal frying temperature.  Drain the excess oil on paper towels.
  7. Serve with a side of Spicy Peach Dipping Sauce and enjoy!

About the Author: Marnely Rodriguez-Murray is currently a freelance food writer and professional baker, living on Martha’s Vineyard. She was born and raised in Dominican Republic, so her food is influenced by tropical flavors and intense combinations. Her blog, Cooking with Books, shares with readers the latest cookbooks in the market, recipes for the home cook, and more!

Gluten Free – What’s the Hype?

According to WebMd, approximately 1% of the world’s population has celiac disease and approximately 10% of people are gluten-sensitive. People with celiac disease and people who are sensitive to gluten have a difficult time digesting gluten, a composite of protein found in many grain products. In cases of celiac disease, gluten can cause serious intestinal issues that make it difficult for sufferers of the disease to absorb the nutrients their bodies need. People with celiac disease are more likely to develop serious intestinal complications if they don’t cut gluten out of their diets. Those who are sensitive to gluten usually have milder symptoms, including stomach pain, bloating, headaches, and fatigue. Both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can be difficult for doctors to diagnose. Other stomach issues such as Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome usually have to be ruled out before a diagnosis can be made.

Gluten-Free Diets
In the past few years, you’ve probably noticed a larger amount of gluten-free products for sale in grocery stores and offered on restaurant menus. The medical community has been diagnosing people with celiac disease for a while, but they’ve only been recognizing gluten sensitivity in patients for the last few years. Because of this, a large number of people have discovered that their bodies don’t react well to gluten, and a significant number of people have switched over to gluten-free diets. If you suffer from stomach issues, headaches, and tiredness, you may want to ask your doctor if the cause of what ails you is gluten.

Gluten-free diets have helped many people lose weight, and reducing gluten intake has become somewhat of a fad in the past couple of years. Celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Gwyneth Paltrow openly sing the praises of a gluten-free lifestyle, and a number of nutritionists and personal trainers recommend gluten-free diets to their clients. Reducing gluten intake typically means you eat fewer carbohydrates, and eating fewer carbohydrates leads to weight loss. In general, doctors recommend that only those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities cut gluten out of their diets.

People on gluten-free diets usually avoid the following foods:

  1. Bread
  2. Cake
  3. Cookies
  4. Pasta
  5. Salad Dressing
  6. Lunch Meat
  7. Soy Sauce
  8. Croutons
  9. Cereal
  10. Any other foods containing wheat, barley, rye, or Triticale

A successful gluten-free diet often makes eating out at restaurants difficult and requires a good amount of effort. Many of the foods we ordinarily eat on a regular basis contain gluten. If your body has a difficult time digesting gluten, however, eliminating it from your diet can make a world of difference in terms of how you feel.

Do you follow a gluten free diet?

About the Author: Amelia Wood, who often writes about medical billing and coding certification and welcomes your responses at amelia1612@gmail.com.

Fresh Plum & Oat Muffins

Guest Post by Wendy, owner of the blog Around My Family Table.

Ingredients:
8-12 large plums, pitted
2 sticks (1 cup total) butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbls baking powder
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.

Puree plums until smooth, 2 1/2 cups pureed plums are needed.

Cream butter and brown sugar using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer. Add eggs and pureed plums. Mix well.

Stir in salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and baking powder. Mix well by hand to combine. Add oats and flour. Continue mixing by hand until just combined.

Prepare 24 muffin tins with liners sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Fill muffin pans 3/4 full of batter and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

These freeze nicely, so they are perfect for a grab and go weekday breakfast. For more pictures and the story behind this recipe, please click here.

About the Author: Wendy from Around My Family Table has put her skills to work and created a wholesome and delicious Plum and Oat Muffin. Wendy loves to grind her own grains and cooks from scratch whenever possible.  She is a Stay-At-Home Mom to two kids and is married to her High School Sweetheart! 

5 High Protein Snack Ideas for Kids

According to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the protein needs in children change and increase as they get older.  For instance, a child 2 to 3 years old requires 13 to 50g of protein per day and a child 4 to 8 years of age requires 30 to 90g per day.  Once kids get to be 9 to 13 years of age, boys need more protein than girls, with boys needing 40 to 120g and girls needing 35 to 105g.  Protein makes up about 45% of the human body and is essential for good health, so it’s important to make sure that kids fulfill their recommended daily intake.  To help your child reach their daily requirement of protein here are some tasty high protein snacks.

  1. Hummus with pita chips is a high protein snack.  You can buy premade hummus or you can make your own at home.  To make your own, combine 1 can of chick peas, ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 T. of lemon juice, and 1 t. of cumin in a food processor.  Blend all of the ingredients together until they have a smooth and creamy texture.  To make your own pita chips, take 4 pitas and split them open so you have a single layer of bread. Cut each piece into wedges (6 to 8 per pita).  Brush the insides with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and dried oregano if you like.  Spread the chips into a single layer on two baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned.
  2. Banana with chocolate hazelnut spread makes a tasty, protein-rich snack.  Cut a banana in half and dip one end into the hazelnut spread to coat it, and then dip it into some chopped nuts to cover the spread. When you add the 2 T of chocolate hazelnut spread and 1 oz. of chopped peanuts to the banana, the snack clocks in with a whopping 10g of protein. This snack is very versatile and you can change it up according to your child’s tastes.  If your child doesn’t care for nuts, or has a nut allergy, coconut makes a good substitute. If you want to have a sweet treat you can dip the banana in mini chocolate chips.
  3. Smoothies make a quick protein laden snack, and are perfect for breakfasts on the go.  Blend your choice of frozen and fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, protein powder (optional), and some juice or milk in the blender.  If you use all fresh fruit add about a cup of ice to the blender. Be sure to use Greek yogurt in place of regular yogurt because it has twice the protein.  If you make the smoothie with a cup of Greek yogurt, fruit, juice, and a full scoop of protein powder it will contain 45g of protein.  (Protein powder is best consumed first thing in the morning or after exercise.)
  4. Protein filled yogurt parfaits feel like you’re eating a decadent dessert.  In a clear bowl layer sliced strawberries, vanilla Greek yogurt, and some sliced almonds or granola.  Repeat for additional layers.  Feel free to change up the fruit to take advantage of what is available seasonally or to what your child prefers.  Bananas are available year round and add a healthy dose of potassium to the parfait.  If you use 1 cup of Greek yogurt and ¼ cup of almonds your parfait will have 30g of protein.
  5. Sliced apples, peanut butter, and a cup of milk pack a high protein punch.  Pairing peanut butter with an apple will create a satisfying snack, and having a glass of milk to wash it all down makes it the perfect nutritional powerhouse for kids. With an apple, 2 T of peanut butter, and 1 cup of milk your snack would have 16g of protein.

About the Author: Sophie Leake, regularly writes for http://www.aupaircare.net/. She is a graduate in English literature and currently pursuing her masters in Online Journalism. She can be reached via email at: sophieleake75@gmail.com.

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream with Toasted Coconut and Almonds

Guest Post by Jenny Manseau, Culinary Arts/Culinary Nutrition student and author of the blog, Creative Cooking Gluten Free.

Ingredients:
2 cans (14.5 oz each) of Coconut Milk (not light!) – this is usually found in Asian markets or at your grocery store in the international isle
3/4 cocoa powder – sifted to remove any lumps
1/2-3/4 cup of sugar – I used a combination of honey and sucanat, both from Wholesome Sweeteners 
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped almonds
3/4 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:
This will yield about 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream – if your ice cream maker is smaller just adjust the ingredients to fit your needs.

Always freezer the bowl of your ice cream maker in advance.

I like to keep my coconut milk in the refrigerator which speeds up the process a bit. If you have room temp coconut milk be sure to chill the mixture for one hour before adding it to your ice cream maker.

In a large bowl mix together the cocoa powder, sugar (honey, sugar, agave, which ever you use), salt, and corn starch.

Add the coconut milk and vanilla extract – mix well until all lumps/solids are dissolved. As stated above if you are using room temperature coconut milk, be sure to pop this in the fridge for one hour before proceeding.

Please read your ice cream makers instructions, as each can be different for churning and freezing your ice cream. Some ice cream makers suggest running it for 20 minutes and others that I have read suggest 30 minutes. I went by sight to achieve the consistency that I was looking for – this was about 25 minutes.

When you have about five minutes left in the churning process add in your chopped almonds and toasted coconuts.

For a soft serve consistency enjoy right away or place in an air tight container and freeze. If you do not eat it right away and choose to freeze it, be sure to remove the container about 10 minutes or so before serving. Lisa and I tried it both ways and they were both delicious!

Top with toasted coconut and some finely chopped almonds! Enjoy!

About the Author: Jenny Manseau is a Culinary Arts/Culinary Nutrition student and author of the blog Creative Cooking Gluten Free. Jenny created her website after being diagnosed in 2008 with Celiac Disease and takes many “regular” every day recipes and alters them to the gluten-free diet.

Charity of the Month for August 2012 – Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

EatSmart fans will select each Charity of the Month in 2012. Fans will submit short stories about the charity’s mission and why it’s meaningful to them. We began our Charity of the Month donations in 2011.

For August 2012, loyal EatSmart Fan, Maria McCauley selected the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We will be donating 50 cents for every new Twitter follower during the month of August. (So spread the word!)

Read why Maria picked the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation:
When the lovely Karen Welby contacted me from EatSmart and asked if I would be interested in choosing this month’s organization for Charity of the Month – I was honored – and knew right away which one I would choose – Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Just in my close circle of friends and family, I know three young children who are afflicted with juvenile diabetes – two of which have been battling it since infancy. What amazes me is how strong and resilient these young children are as they are poked and prodded daily and continue to deal with the ups and downs of the disease.

Every day, nearly forty children are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the US.  Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood.  Without constant administration of insulin, the T1D can eventually be fatal.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation works hard on research trying to find a cure and to improve the lives of those affected by type 1 (juvenile) diabetes. They work hard to accelerate the progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing the disease. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal. Each year I try to do my part by participating in the Walk to Cure Diabetes. I am thrilled that EatSmart is giving me another opportunity to help in some small way.

For more information about JDRF and to learn what you can do to help, please visit their website http://www.jdrf.org/. And thank you again to EatSmart Products for the opportunity to help a worthy cause.

About Maria: Hi! My name is Maria from Huff and Buff! In addition to being a wife and a mom, I am an accountant by day, blogger by night and fitness enthusiast for life. I began blogging to discuss my passion for fitness and striking a balance to fit it all in. A huge proponent of at-home exercise, I love hosting reviews for some of the great exercise programs you can do right in the comfort of your own home! You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Click here to help donate:

If interested in submitting a charity for consideration, please email karen@eatsmartproducts.com. The donation amount will be capped at 500 new followers/likes.

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