The EatSmart Blog

Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Scrumptious Granola Love Crush Bars

Want to surprise your sweetheart with something homemade for Valentine’s Day? How about some Granola Love Crush Bars.  Ditch that idea of the store bought box of chocolates and make this delicious sweet that leaves both of your sweet tooth’s satisfied! Get the full recipe here!

granola crush 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Oatmeal
  • 2 cups Corn flakes
  • 1 cup Dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup Milk chololate chips
  • 3 Tbl Butter
  • 3/4 cup Honey
  • 2 Tbl Peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

Butter a strip of foil and line the bottom of a square baking dish. Toast the oatmeal and corn flakes in a 350~ oven for 5 minutes and then place in a large bowl. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, oatmeal, corn flakes, dried cranberries, pecans (hold the chocolate chips until things cool). In a sauce pan melt the butter, honey, peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Poor the warm mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. Wait about 5 minutes and add the chocolate chips (reserve a few to place on top of the bar). Place the mixture in the lined baking dish and press them into place to cover the pan and create the square bar shape (you can use wax paper). Once the mixture is pressed into the pan, add the additional chocolate chips and press those into the top of the bars. Refrigerate for one to three hours, remove and cute into even rectangles. Place into bags or baggies for easy on the go snacks.

granola 2

About the Author: I’m Julie, a home stylist, blogger, wife and mother of four living on the beach in San Diego California. I created Burlap and Crystal to keep me inspired and maybe even get you inspired. It’s a place to document the things I love. It has become a creative outlet where I share my personal style through recipes, entertaining tips, home décor, fab-finds, DIY projects and even a little piece of me…styling life my way.

Charity of the Month February 2014 – New York Bully Crew

EatSmart fans will continue to select each Charity of the Month in 2014. 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.

nybc

February’s Charity of the Month has been chosen by Lauren Tzanateas, an EatSmart fan.

Founded in December 2010, the New York Bully Crew is a not-for-profit dog rescue organization. This 501c3 is based on Long Island but their outreach is nationwide. Similar to Animal Planet’s hit show “Pit bulls and Parolees”, the NYBC specializes in rescuing pit bulls, the world’s most misunderstood breed of dog. However, the NYBC does not turn away any animal in dire need of rescue and they are willing to assist in all phases of rescue. The NYBC’s mission is to bring positive attention to what they consider to be the most loyal breed of dog. They work to give seconds chances to the innocent dogs that have been discarded by humans simply because of their breed. The NYBC’s Instagram profile reads, “On a tireless, fearless crusade to #savePits from the unimaginable abuse, neglect and abandonment they face every day.” At the NYBC, they firmly believe that there are “no” bad dogs, just bad owners. “New York Bully Crew… Speaking for the ones who can’t.”

The NYBCs website offers numerous pictures of “adoptables” (and might I add they are darn cute!) There is also an outlet to report abuse, volunteer opportunities, and feel good success stories.

Connect with the New York Bully Club.

http://nybullycrew.org/
https://www.facebook.com/NewYorkBullyCrew
Twitter: @thenybullycrew
Instagram: NewyorkBullyCrew

About the Author:  Lauren is a recent Fairfield University Undergraduate.  She majored in English with a Concentration in Professional Writing and a Marketing Minor.  She is a reader, writer, and animal lover, that enjoys to maintain a healthy lifestyle by cooking exciting new dishes for her family and friends.

We will be donating 50 cents for every new Twitter follower during the month of January. (So spread the word!)

Click here and EatSmart will donate:

Twitter Icon

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

Spicy Szechuan Lettuce Wraps (Gluten Free & Dairy Free)

spicy szechuan

Ingredients:

  • 8 Ounces Shaved Top Sirloin Steak
  • About 2 Tbs. San-J Gluten Free Spicy Szechuan Sauce (Enough to taste)
  • 1 Yellow Sweet Onions
  • 2 Head Romaine Lettuce
  • Brown Rice (See Below) (1/2 cup per serving)

Ahead of Time:

  1. Prep your favorite brown rice according to the package directions and set aside to cool.
  2. Cut some Romaine lettuce to use as tortillas! This is what we will be putting our steak and onions into!

Instructions:

  1. Wash and peel onions, and chop them finely.
  2. Next, put the onions in a large wok or any other pan with high sides will do.
  3. Add in the shaved steak, and put on medium heat.
  4. Add in a splash of San-J Gluten Free Spicy Szechuan sauce, to give the dish some spice and flavor
  5. Sautee for about 5 minutes, or until the steak is cooked thoroughly.
  6. Divide into 4 and add ½ cup brown rice to each serving.
  7. Let cool for a minute or two and enjoy!!

Get the full recipe here!

About the Author:  My name is Sarah Tsacogianis and I am a 20 year old college student with celiac disease and other allergies. I have a passion for cooking/baking (always have) as well as helping others. I like to combine the two, to create tasty recipes, that are not only allergen free BUT also have a healthy “clean eating” twist! Check out her website Gluten Free Gal and follow her on Instagram!

Skinny Beer Cheese Soup

SONY DSC

EatSmart Products is proud to celebrate Super Bowl 2014 here in New Jersey. WOW your guests with this lighter, healthier but still delicious Skinny Beer Cheese Soup and keep them coming back from more-all 4 quarters of the game!

Ingredients:

  •  4 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups 1% milk
  • 5 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 oz beer

Instructions:

  1.  In a small saucepan, simmer 2 cups of chicken broth and the potato for 15 minutes or until the potato is tender. Transfer the potato mixture to your blender and take out the center piece of the blender lid to let the steam escape. Put a clean dish towel over the top of the blender to avoid splatter. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large dutch oven, melt the butter oven medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot to the pan and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds more.
  3. Whisk together the flour, remaining broth, and milk in a medium bowl. Add this mixture to the dutch oven and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  4. Add the potato mixture, shredded cheese, dry mustard, worcestershire, pepper and salt to the soup. Stir constantly for one more minute (until the cheese melts).
  5. Add the beer to the soup and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.

About the Author: Becky Tarala is the voice behind The Two Bite Club, a blog about a love for food inspired by a family tradition. Becky is a wife and stay-at-home mom to two who shares recipes and stories from her family’s past as well as simple and accessible family favorites.

 


Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream

black bean soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
  • 4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight and cooked until tender
  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp lime juice

The month of January is National Soup Month and what better way to warm up than with a hot bowl of delicious Chipotle Black Bean Soup! Click here for the full recipe.

About the Author: Joanne Bruno is a vegetable and cupcake-loving MD/PhD student living NYC. She’s the voice behind the blog Eats Well With Others.

99 Calorie Skinny Brownies

99 calorie brownies

Ingredients:

  •  1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp Truvia
  • 6 oz plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tbls semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven at 350 degrees F. Spray an 8″x8″ glass pan with cooking spray.

2. Set aside the chocolate chips. Mix the rest of the ingredients together until combined.

3. Pour batter into the greased pan and sprinkle with the chocolate chips.

4. Bake for 20-22 minutes until brownies are set. Do not overcook as they will loose their chewy texture.

5. Cut into 9 squares and enjoy!

Of course if you don’t want to use Truvia, you can substitute it by using an additional 1/3-1/2 cup of sugar, but that will also up your calories considerably. For those that are gluten-free, I actually made this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (be sure to add some xanthan gum) Just do an equal substitution of the regular flour and it comes out fantastic.

Nutritional Information:

99 Calories
2.1g of fat
117g sodium
19.6g carbs
1.8g fiber
4.3g protein

About the Author: Rachel, a 30-something former financial services professional turned full-time mom and a part-time newspaper columnist and blogger. As a former financial service professional, she’s learned where you can cut costs and where it pays to spend a little extra. Her blog, This Mama Knows, is designed to show you ways to save on the mundane and where and when its smart to pay for the quality products & services.  Rachel also enjoys cooking healthy meals for her and her family.

Get in Shape for Spring Break Giveaway!

Enjoying the Winter but SOOOO looking forward to Spring? Aurorae Yoga, EatSmart Products and ToiletTree Products have teamed up to help you get ready for the warmer weather by sponsoring a Get in Shape for Spring Break Giveaway! One lucky person will WIN ALL 6 PRIZES (valued at over $400) including:

  • The EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital BodyFat Scale and Aurorae Classic Yoga Mat to encourage a healthier you
  • The ToiletTree STORMp3 Player and TravelWise Packing Cube Set to travel in style to that spring getaway

aurorae yoga giveaway

Aurorae Classic Yoga Mat
Aurorae Yoga Mat Sport Bag

eatsmart giveaway

EatSmart GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale
TravelWise 3-Piece Packing Cube System “The Weekender”

toilet tree giveaway

ToiletTree Products Toiletry Bag
STORMp3 Water Resistant Mp3 Player

To enter the giveaway event, simply complete the form below and click the submit button. Good luck!

Fill in your name. (1 Entry)
Fill in your email. (1 Entry)
LIKE each company on Facebook; Aurorae Yoga, EatSmart Products, STORMp3 and ToiletTree Products (1 Optional Entry)
Follow each company on Twitter; Aurorae Yoga, EatSmart Products, STORMp3 and ToiletTree Products. (1 Optional Entry)
Click here to share the giveaway on Twitter. (1 Optional Entry)

Giveaway ends on Tuesday, 2/4/14 at noon EST. The lucky winner will be selected at random and notified by email. They will have 48 hours to reply back before a new winner is selected. (Sorry, but it’s limited to US residents only!)

Charity of the Month January 2014 – Several Sources Shelters

EatSmart fans will continue to select each Charity of the Month in 2014. 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.

several sources

January’s Charity of the Month has been chosen by Maria Geronimo, volunteer at Several Sources.

Several Sources Shelters, a non-profit Christian organization based in Ramsey, New Jersey provides help, comfort and information to pregnant teens, unwed mothers and homeless women.  Their goal is to help the young mothers change their lifestyles so that in the future they will have an education, learn good parenting skills, and know God’s love to help them build the best lives possible for themselves and their children. Please read on to learn more about the life-affirming work this organization provides daily from Founder, Kathy DiFiore.

“When we first took a pregnant teenager into my home over 30 years ago, it was to help save the lives of preborn babies of young pregnant mothers. In those early years we had the help, guidance, and the support of Mother Teresa. Our work was also honored by President Reagan during a 1988 White House visit. Today we operate five shelters in NJ for babies and their mothers and for homeless women.

We operate a national 24-hour hotline program (1-800-662-2678) which is helping save preborn babies and brings hopeful alternatives to their frightened and desperate young mothers. We offer compassion, hope and love, so that mothers in need of care and their babies get the support they need.” -Kathy DiFiore

We will be donating 50 cents for every new Twitter follower during the month of January. (So spread the word!)

Click here and EatSmart will donate:

Twitter Icon

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

10 Processed Foods to Avoid Giving Your Kids

We throw around the term “processed food” quite a bit, though many of us don’t actually understand what it means.

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In simple terms, it refers to raw produce or meat that’s taken and used to produce food items that are the following:

  1. Attractive
  2. Marketable
  3. Have a longer shelf-life

Now, this isn’t inherently bad, but what can cause problems is the manner in which these foods are “processed.” Artificial ingredients, high amounts of sodium and/or sugar and low nutritional density all come into play with most processed foods.

In the past several years, there’s been a general cultural shift towards more organic and naturally grown foods that are free of processing– a phenomenon which is being taken note of by retailers.

Yet, there are still a ton of processed food choices, much of which is marketed to young kids.

As parents, it’s up to you to identify those foods and keep them out of your pantry, especially since there are so many natural and non-processed options in our day.

Here’s a short list of what to avoid:

1. Fast Food: While it’s certainly easy and probably even acceptable on an infrequent basis, fast food is almost always a poor choice in terms of nutritional value.

High fat, sodium and sugar are all major staples of most fast food chains. While some chains are making moves to increase the nutritional quality of their food, it’s not widespread or typical at this point.

You’re better off avoiding them entirely.

2. Hot Dogs and Bologna: Once again, the draw is that these foods are easy to prepare, but hot dogs and bologna are both a highly processed meat products with little nutritional upside.

3. All processed sugars (most children’s cereal, pop-tarts, etc.): Look for cereals that contain high fiber, oats, dried fruit and/or nuts and a modest amount of natural sweeteners. The headliners like Fruit Loops and Trix contain high amounts of corn syrup and little more than empty calories.

4. Bread: Aim for naturally baked bread with unbleached flour. This will probably mean that you’ll have to consider avoiding white bread entirely, but multigrain and high-fiber breads are not only better for you, they are quite delicious as well!

At first, your kids may not necessarily enjoy the taste of more wholesome breads, but the more they are included in their diet, you’ll find that their taste buds will adapt.

5. Mac and Cheese (pasta): There are some great natural and organic mac-and-cheese options. You can even get some that are made with rice pasta (gluten-free). Since the processed pasta is almost always made from enriched wheat, it poses the same problems you would get from white bread.

6. Frozen Pizza: Lots of sodium and a fair amount of processed toppings means most of these pizzas have little nutritional value. There are, however, some non-processed options starting to crop up.

7. Fries: Natural cut fries are better, but lots of salt and cheap oil (usually vegetable) make fries a poor choice for your kids in general. Instead, try a healthy homemade recipe with olive oil. Rather than stick them in the deep fryer, try baking them instead!

8. Potato Chips: They’re always tempting, no matter how old you are, but you run into the same problem as you do with the fries: salt, saturated fat and cheap oil.

9. Soda: It almost goes without saying, but this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning soda. It’s particularly addictive to kids because of the high sugar content, enough so that many people have grown up viewing it as a water substitute. Don’t even let your kids get started on it.

10. Juice or other Sugary Drinks: While it’s not as bad as soda, most juice drinks that are marketed to kids still just have too much sugar. Dilute their juice drinks with water and make sure you only buy drinks that are labeled as 100% juice with no added sugar. The fruit that’s used to make organic juice drinks have natural sucrose that will already make it sweet.

Don’t Even Start

Processed, packaged foods have nearly completely taken over the diet of Americans. Microwave popcorn, muffins and bakery muffins are packed with trans fats, which are twice as dangerous for your heart as saturated fat. Not only do these fats boost HDL (“good”) cholesterol and reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, they also increase your levels of artery-clogging lipoprotein and triglycerides, all of which can contribute to the number-one killer in the United States: heart disease.

So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, carefully read the ingredient list for any of the following words and avoid them at all costs:

Partially hydrogenated

  • Fractionated
  • Hydrogenated

The best way to get your kids to be and eat healthy is to not even start them on the foods mentioned throughout this article. Make sure their dietary habits are established before they start getting their hands on this type of stuff.

About the Author: Felicity Dryer is a health and nutrition enthusiast living in Southern California. She enjoys sharing personal health tips with both individuals and families, encouraging everyone to live a fulfilling lifestyle.  Check out Felicity’s website with more knowledge about health and wellness. How do you get your kids to eat healthy? Share your comments below!

Happy Holidays – The 2013 Charities of the Month

holiday tree

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