February is a month of FOOD themed celebration! It’s national heart health month and canned foods month and we have Valentine’s day coming up and the Super Bowl! Phew! With lots to celebrate we can enjoy delicious food and still eat well. I’m sharing easy, flavorful, and good-for-you tips to keep the celebration enjoyable all month long.
Draw a Heart with Peanuts
Like our loved ones, peanut butter and jelly were just meant to be together. They’ve been “in love” since the early 1900s. I love peanuts and peanut butter because they have 7 grams of protein per serving, the most protein of any other nut, plus 30 vitamins and minerals. Peanuts and peanut butter fit into a heart healthy lifestyle. The “good” unsaturated fat in peanut butter is good for your heart. Try a new spin on oatmeal with PBJ Overnight Oats that comes together in the refrigerator. You can prep ahead this healthier take on jelly – mixed berries and chia seeds which has no added sugar. Whether it’s Valentines day and you make a cute little heart on top with a cookie cutter or just want an easy breakfast for busy weeks, everyone in the family will enjoy this dish. Get this recipe and more at NationalPeanutBoard.org
A Healthier Oil for Your Heart
A study in the journal of clinical lipidology showed that corn oil, Like Mazola, can help lower cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important for heart health. Mazola has more cholesterol blocking plant sterols than other oils – 4 times more than olive oil and 40% more than canola oil.
Everyone loves a good pasta dish. This version of Warm Tomato and Kale Pasta still provides all the comfort but with kale and tomato, sautéed in Mazola Corn Oil and mild spices for delicious flavor. The new Dietary Guidelines emphasizes that we choose “good fats” so I help my clients replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, like in Mazola Corn Oil. You can even use Mazola in baking, grilling, and roasting. Check out Mazola.com for recipes.
Make Your Pantry a “Cantry”
One of my secrets for getting a healthy homemade meal on the table is by keeping a well-stocked pantry, or I call it my “cantry”. Canned produce is on par nutritionally with fresh and frozen varieties, and in some cases even better. For example, I used beans and tomatoes in this delicious vegetarian chili. The canned tomatoes have more lycopene. Another bonus is canned beans make fiber more soluble so our bodies can better use it. Beans are heart healthy. Dietary guidelines suggest we aim to get half our plate vegetables and fruits. All forms matter—fresh, frozen, canned, and dried. Using fresh and packaged options together will help make it easier for you to eat better. Get this vegetarian chili recipe and more at CansGetYouCooking.com.
Sabra for Super Bowl Snacking
Sabra is the official dip sponsor of Super Bowl 50. I love dips because they can add lots of flavor to fresh cut vegetables for smarter snacking. What’s easier than putting out your favorite varieties of Sabra hummus with cut up veggies and whole wheat crackers at your party? 2 heaping spoons of hummus a day will help you meet the Dietary Guidelines for beans – hummus is made with
chickpeas and 2 spoons is about ¼ cup. And it’s wonderful if you can use hummus to get even more veggies.
Looking for a crowd-pleasing platter to serve? Try serving up hummus “sushi” rolls at your Super Bowl party – it’s made with a tightly wrapped tortilla loaded hummus, lettuce, cucumber, peppers, and shredded carrot. Visit Sabra.com to get this recipe and more.
Snack Smarter with Less Sugar
You can’t go wrong with KIND nuts and spices bars. This snack contains real, wholesome ingredients like premium nuts. The new dietary guidelines recommend we reduce added sugar intake. KIND has 50% less sugar compared to the average snack bar, only 5-6g per bar, mostly from honey or dried fruits and KIND does not use artificial sweeteners. I love that KIND offers some bars with dark chocolate so instead of overeating sugary candy or rushing to the vending machine for a lower quality bar, you can switch to KIND and enjoy an energizing snack without depriving yourself. Visit kindsnacks.com to discover your favorite bar.
Hear it From You
Let us know! What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate with food during the month of February? Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!
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Disclosure: I was compensated by National Peanut Board, Mazola, Can Manufacturer’s Institute, Sabra Dipping Company, and KIND snacks, for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.