Tag Archives: berries

Put Your Best Fork Forward!

It’s March which means it is National Nutrition Month! This year’s theme:

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I love the idea of putting your best fork forward. It means doing what is best for yourself, every day. Make choices that count, make you feel good, and help you become the person you want to be. Here are 3 tips for putting your best fork forward this month and any time.

1) Plan ahead. Good nutrition and health doesn’t just happen. Make a menu, write a grocery list, prep veggies ahead of time, join a gym, buy workout equipment, etc. Think through what it takes to eat and feel the way you want, then take steps to doing that. Set yourself up to succeed.

2) Move on from a set back. Did today get the better of you? Not feeling like exercising this morning? A party at work led you in the path of a bunch of sweets? It is OK. I repeat, it is OK. But move on. Don’t let one side step from your plan turn into a complete new path. Step back on track with you next choices and move on.

3) Start your day out right. Try to start you day with a good for you breakfast or exercise. A good choice first thing in the morning can really help set the tone for your day. I’ll admit, I don’t LOVE exercising. It’s work, guys! But, I do love how I feel the rest of the day when I do exercise and get myself going on the right foot.

And in that mindset, here’s a delicious smoothie I tried this morning that helped set me up for success today.

Berry-Beet Smoothie (Serves 3-4)

Berry Beet Smoothie

¼ cup orange juice
1 cup plain or vanilla fat free Greek yogurt
1 ½ cups frozen mixed berries
1 medium raw beet, peeled chopped into chunks
1 bunch beet greens, large stems removed
1 banana, frozen
Water or skim milk, as needed

1. Layer ingredients in order in a blender. Start blender on low, then gradually increase speed as needed to get smooth consistency. Leave blender on each setting at least 30 seconds. Add water or skim milk if needed to thin out the smoothie. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 158
Protein: 12 gm
Fat: 1 gm
Saturated Fat: less than 1 gm
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Carbohydrates: 28 gm
Fiber: 5 gm
Sodium: 114 mg

Recipe Notes: I just squeezed a fresh orange and pulled some of the pulp in too. Bottled orange juice would be fine. I used plain yogurt. It tasted fine to me, but the kiddos around me were a little less thrilled. The vanilla yogurt with its extra sweetness would have helped them. I just used the greens from my bunch of beets, then roasted the extra beets up for my lunch. You might not need extra liquid; it will depend on how thick your yogurt is and how strong your blender is.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

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Berry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Growing up, I hated cold cereal and oatmeal for breakfast. I feel sorry for my poor parents looking back. What kid hates eating cereal? I enjoy both immensely now, but I had to find my way. Now, I feed oatmeal to my family almost every day.

For oatmeal, I discovered I just don’t like dousing my oatmeal in milk like my parents did. So you would think this baked oatmeal would be a dream for me. I found eating it just like this was actually a little too far on the “thick and dry” spectrum for me. However, cooled off and eaten like granola over some Greek yogurt, I could eat an entire pan of this stuff.

This baked oatmeal comes together very quickly as far as hands on time. It’s perfect for a holiday morning, like Easter. Mix it up, throw it in the oven, then go enjoy hunting for eggs and trying to keep your kids from eating all of the candy before breakfast. It’s great for a get together too, since it can be served hot, warm, or cold.

Enjoy!

Berry Banana Baked Oatmeal (Serves 8)

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2 cups old-fashioned oats
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 tablespoon peanut butter, optional
1 ½ cups skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups berries, fresh or frozen
1 banana

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Combine oats, brown sugar, soda, and cinnamon in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine egg, peanut butter, milk, and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Gently fold in berries and banana. Pour into prepared baking dish.

3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until looks “set”. Serve hot, warm, or cold.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 166
Protein: 6 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 24 mg
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 120 mg

Recipe Notes: You can use whatever combinations of fruit you like. Apples, pears, and coconut come to mind as other great ideas to mix in. I liked the addition of peanut butter, but make sure you whisk it in well. I didn’t do the best job, so some bites tasted very peanut and others not at all. As I said above, if you don’t love this as is, try it cold over some yogurt. It’s the best parfait ever.

Recipe source: adapted from Six Sisters’ Stuff

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Sour Cream Waffles and Berry Syrup

Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly. For me, cooking a delicious meal is my favorite way to show love and caring.  I appreciate being on the receiving end of that kind of gift as well. I especially have a soft spot for breakfast food. Waking up to a delicious breakfast that I didn’t have to make is pretty high on the list of “things that will make Kim love you”.

Now, these probably aren’t the healthiest waffles ever. These are the waffles my mom only made on holidays growing up. They are a legend to me. I have tried to “healthify” them a bit. Syrup is syrup, guys. We aren’t kidding anyone. But I found this recipe that doesn’t call for adding a ton of sugar but is still super delicious and missing the sourness often found in homemade berry syrup. Make this for your significant other on Valentine’s Day. They will truly love you forever…or until it is all gone.

Enjoy!

Sour Cream Waffles (Makes 8 waffles)

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3 large eggs
¾ cup skim milk
½ cup melted unsalted butter
¾ cup nonfat sour cream
1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

1. Separate eggs. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

2. Beat yolks until bubbly. Add milk, butter, and sour cream. Gently stir in flour, baking powder, and soda until just combined.

3. Fold egg whites into batter.

4. Bake in hot waffle iron to desired doneness.

Nutritional information (Amount per waffle):

Calories: 230
Protein: 7 g
Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 8 g
Cholesterol: 103 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 148 mg

Berry Syrup (Makes about 2 cups)

3 cups frozen mixed berries
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon – 1 tablespoon cornstarch

1. Combine berries, sugar, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Let cook for about 5 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, combine lemon juice and cornstarch. Stir into berry mixture. Cook, adding more cornstarch as needed, until it reaches desired thickness.

3. Serve over waffles with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Nutritional Information (Amount per ¼ cup serving):

Calories: 58
Protein: 0 g
Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Carbohydrates: 14 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 1 mg

Recipe notes: I think I ended up adding close to 1 tablespoon cornstarch. But I don’t like super liquid sauce. Start with ½ teaspoon and add more if needed to suit your preferences.

Source:  family recipe for waffles;  berry syrup from eatingwell.com

Low-iodine:  The syrup would work well on a low-iodine crepe or pancake.

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Overnight Oatmeal

In my last post, I discussed the importance of getting enough protein at breakfast and mentioned oatmeal as a protein-rich breakfast.  However, many people don’t want to cook in the morning or eat hot cereal in the summer.

Overnight oats are a great solution and are fast, simple, and endlessly versatile.  I will give you the basic recipe here plus three variations I have tried.  But you can change up the liquid, fruit, sweetener, and other mix-ins to make it yours.

If you are skeptical (like myself and my husband), don’t be afraid!  It kind of tastes like eating a parfait with less crunchy granola.  We actually don’t mind hot cereal in the summer (interpreted as we eat oatmeal about 5 days a week), but this provides a nice variation to our usual routine.

If you are starting to get ready for back-to-school, this could be a great breakfast to add to your repertoire. Prepping it the night before saves you time in the morning. Your kids can even eat it in the car (if you trust them). And a filling breakfast can help them focus at school.

Enjoy!

Overnight Oatmeal (Serves 1)

Basic Recipe:

½ cup dry rolled oats (NOT quick or instant oats)
½ cup liquid
½ tablespoon sweetener (more or less to taste)
Desired mix-ins

1. Mix oats, liquid, sweetener, and mix-ins in a sealable container. Place in fridge overnight. Stir again before eating, adding additional sweetener or mix-ins as desired.

Recipe notes: The liquid could be milk, juice, yogurt, soy milk, almond milk, etc. I probably wouldn’t sue water, but you could try it if you wanted. It doesn’t look like enough liquid, but it will be. I added more liquid because I was nervous, and I had soupy oatmeal in the morning. For a sweetener, I typically saw honey as I searched online. I’m sure traditional brown sugar for oatmeal would also work. If using a plain yogurt for your liquid, you might want to increase your sweetener amount. Most recipes I saw online said to put in seasonings at night, but add fruit/nuts/nut butters in the morning. I put everything in at night except for the chopped nuts, and it worked just fine.

Other mix-in ideas: cinnamon, chopped fresh fruit, berries (fresh or frozen), nut butter, chopped nuts, dried fruit

Here are my different concoctions. See the basic recipe for instructions.

Peach and Walnut Overnight Oatmeal (Serves 1)

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½ cup dry rolled oats
½ cup peach flavored, nonfat yogurt
½ tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Calories: 400
Protein: 14.6 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 2 mg
Carbohydrates: 62 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 74 mg

Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal (Serves 1)

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½ cup dry rolled oats
½ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1-2 tablespoons milk (optional to thin it out a little)
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup blueberries

Calories: 326
Protein: 17.5 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 6 mg
Carbohydrates: 60 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 45 mg

Strawberry Overnight Oatmeal (Serves 1)

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½ cup dry rolled oats
½ cup skim milk
½ tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup sliced strawberries

Calories: 257
Protein: 10 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 2 mg
Carbohydrates: 50 g
Fiber: 6.5 g
Sodium: 55 mg

Source: adapted from many sources online

Low-iodine adjustment:  Use juice or water for your liquid.

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