Easter Fun with Food and Friends

Easter is just around the corner, so let’s hop to it! I have cute, tasty and creative ideas for your celebration to help serve up your best Easter yet. Check out my spread during my appearance on Let’s Talk Live DC.

Serving Up the Incredible Egg

Whether you’re decorating them, eating them, or both, there is no denying it: eggs are a huge part of the Easter season! You might be surprised to hear that American Egg Board, image1has been donating hard-boiled eggs to the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll since 1977! This year, they’ll be donating more than 30,000 eggs for South Lawn attendees. Not only are eggs fun to hunt for (especially with cool decorating techniques using glitter or craft tape), but they are a nutritional powerhouse. One large egg has 6 grams of high-quality protein and nine essential amino acids, all for 70 calories.

Eggs are also one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of Vitamin D, with nothing artificial. Try these Bacon and Cheddar Deviled eggs for your Easter brunch. Just 83 calories per serving and 5 grams of protein. And the good news is that hard boiling eggs just got easier! The American Egg Board is introducing a new method to help make eggs easier to peel AND shave 30% of your time hard-boiling them. Check it out here.

image2

Easter Brunch Crowd Pleasers

We all know hummus makes a great dip, but it’s also a versatile ingredient in your Easter brunch dishes. Two 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. For Easter Brunch you can go the extra mile – try serving these vegetarian Curry Roasted Eggplant Hummus burgers. Full of flavor, with garlic, curry, parsley and even oats. After roasting they come together in the food processor quickly. You can make them ahead and save some time. Get this recipe and more at Sabra.com.

Healthy Treats for Your Easter Huntimage3

The hunt for healthy Easter treats is over. Wonderful pistachios are a heart smart with nearly 90% of the fats the unsaturated type. There’s 49 nuts in a serving, compared to about 15 chips making them a great option to include as a snack for your guests. Try filling plastic eggs with pistachios for a healthy hunt. You can also serve Wonderful pistachios as a snack before the meal instead of chips.

Get Crafty with Wonderful Halos

For a family friendly craft, Easter basket fun, or even as a image1place setting, these are cute bunnies you can make with Wonderful halos. Wonderful halos are California grown mandarin oranges that’s an excellent source of vitamin C, naturally fat and cholesterol free. Halos are seedless and easy to peel and eat for the entire family. Visit Halosfun.com to learn how to make these adorable Halos bunny pouches.

Better for You Easter Basket Treats

For the Easter Baskets, youimage2 definitely want to toss some KIND in there. With 30 core flavor options KIND has something for everyone, and of course KIND is made with real, wholesome ingredients like premium nuts. KIND “Nuts and Spices” has 50% less sugar compared to the average snack bar, only 5-6g per bar, mostly from honey or dried fruits. And check out their 5 new flavors like BLACK TRUFFLE
ALMOND SEA SALT, DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND MINT, and my fave DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND COCONUT You can purchase this 30-bar pack, featuring the new flavors at Kind Snacks. Adults and kids would love a gift of KIND this Easter or thinking ahead to Mother’s Day in May.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate Easter?   Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

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Disclosure: I was compensated by Wonderful Brands, Kind Snacks, Sabra, and American Egg Board for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right

March is National Nutrition Month and I’m thrilled to share some creative ideas for you to savor the flavor and eat well. The #1 influencer of our food choices is taste. Not surprising. We love delicious food. Here’s of few of my favorite tips on how you can add flavor to food that’s good for you and delicious!

Think Outside the Bowl with General Mills Bell Institute Health and Nutrition

Starting with cereal, which we all know about for breakfast. Cereal can be a smart choice, and offer good-for-you Whole Grains. Look for Whole Grains first on the ingredients list. With a think-outside-the-bowl mentality you can use cereal in so many dishes. Valentines Trail Mix pic_1I used Cheerios in this Nutty Chocolate Trail Mix – a smart snack, just add your favorite nuts and dried fruit and you have a satisfy treat. Looking for something a tad more unique? I used cereal to make a crunchy crust for fish. Fish is good for you, but it can lack flavor. I made this Crunchy, Asian-inspired Baked Fish with ginger and soy and Golden Grahams for a crunchy topping – this is baked, not fried.

fish picNo matter how you take your cereal, keep in mind that cereal can be a key source of vitamins and minerals, it’s cost effective, and you have lots of options in the store now, including gluten free, and whole grain cereals. You can find this recipe at my website www.RebeccaScritchfield.com.

Wonderful Halos

Bowls are a hot trend right now. Basically, you combine a bunch of good for you foods in a bowl, and make it taste delicious. This is a Mandarin Chicken and Quinoa Bowl. You can serve it “deconstructed” so you can see all the colorful parts. This bowl is loaded halo saladwith vegetables, whole grains from the quinoa, black beans which are great for digestive health, and Wonderful halos – a California grown mandarin orange that’s an excellent source of vitamin C, naturally fat and cholesterol free. Halos are seedless and easy to peel and eat for the entire family. Get them as a snack and include them in your meals for a boost of sweet flavor.

Sweet Scarlett’s

If you’re looking for a colorful and refreshing new side dish that will impress people with flavor and color, this Grapefruit and Carrot Salad is it – made with Sweet Scarlett’s, a Texas-grown red sweet scarlettegrapefruit. Compared to other grapefruits, Scarlett’s have a sweeter flavor and more vibrant red color. This salad can come together quickly with already shredded carrots, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, parsley, and a Moroccan spiced vinaigrette with flavors of cumin, cinnamon and honey. You can make this ahead of time and eat it during your busy day too! You’ll get 100% of vitamin C in half a grapefruit so include them in your snacks or as a something sweet after a meal.

Wonderful Pomegranates

I’m not one to skip dessert. This is Pomegranate Fro Yo made with POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice. It’s so easy a 3-year-old can do it. (I know because my daughter helped me.) You combine Greek yogurt, pom fro yobuttermilk, lemon juice and POM wonderful, chill, and then you can freeze it in popsicle molds or run it through an ice cream maker and freeze. POM Wonderful is a little tart in flavor, contains powerful antioxidants, and has zero added sugars and nothing artificial. Perfectly cool with the warmer weather have been enjoying.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate with flavor?   Please share below or tweet to@ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

Find out more about these products and topics by connecting on Twitter @bellinstitute@pomwonderful@HalosFun,

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Disclosure: I was compensated by General Mills Cereals and Pom Wonderful for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

Eat the “Bugs” Do-It-Yourself Probiotic Pickles

Fermented-Pickles-5

You might wonder “Why would anyone want to eat bacteria?” If you have ever had yogurt, kefir, or kimchee you’ve had fermented foods. Fermentation is a process by which bacteria chemically break down parts of the food. Then, you eat it.

Fermented foods are great for your health because they are believed to help support a healthy gut microbiome. There are billions of “good” bacteria living in our digestive tract helping us create vitamins, digest food, and prevent infection from viruses and bad bacteria.

Doing your own food fermentation can be easy, fun, and delicious. Start with everyone’s favorite – the pickle. While grocery store pickles get their flavor from vinegar, these pickles get their flavor from the bacteria’s handiwork.

 

Do-It-Yourself “Probiotic” Pickles
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 quart sized jar
  • 3 pounds Cucumbers (Pickling or mini cucumbers work best because they have fewer seeds.)
  • Seasonings:
  • 3 sprigs of dill
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice (or combination of mustard seeds, coriander, bay leaf, and black peppercorn)
  • Optional: hot pepper or red chili flake for spicy pickles
  • Brine:
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • Onion bulb to keep pickles submerged.
Instructions
  1. Soak cucumbers in cold water. This helps keep them crunchy while they ferment.
  2. Clean cucumbers well and cut ends off.
  3. Cut cucumbers to desired size. Keep in mind that smaller slices will ferment faster.
  4. Pack cucumbers tightly into the jar.
  5. Add dill, garlic, and pickling spices.
  6. Prepare brine by combining salt and water and mixing to dissolve salt.
  7. Make sure to leave about an inch of room in the top of the jar. This is necessary for fermentation to take place.
  8. Cover jar and place on countertop for 3 days.
  9. Taste a pickle. If you like it, put the jar in the refrigerator to stop the fermenting process. If not, re-cover and taste each day until they are ready.
  10. Once in the refrigerator, don’t worry about keeping them submerged. Enjoy your “probiotic” pickles for up to 6 months.

Don’t just stop at cucumbers. Any vegetable can be “pickled” this way. Try green beans, peppers, zucchini, or asparagus for a new twist!

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Nutty Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix: A Whole Grain Treat for Any Valentine

Valentines Trail Mix pic_1Disclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

I’m always happy when Valentine’s Day rolls around. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to express gratitude for special people in my life and get some time in the kitchen doing what I love — preparing food with my kids. This year, I enlisted help from my 3-year-old to make these “Be Mine Valentine” snack packs filled with chocolate, cherries, nuts, and whole grain cereal.

Celebrate with the Goodness of Whole Grains

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines encourage us to make half our servings of grains whole. However, ninety-five percent of us fall short of the recommended 48 grams of whole grain per day. On average, adults consume 1 serving, while most kids consume less than a serving of whole grains each day.

The Benefit of Whole

Whole grains, like whole grain oats, corn, whole wheat, rice and quinoa can provide your body with good-for-you nutrients like folate, iron, and B vitamins to help it function. By focusing on eating a variety of whole grains, you’re getting fiber, a healthy plant-based vitamins, minerals, and a variety of phytochemicals that are beneficial to your health.

Celebrate the “Day of Love” All Year Long

There are easy ways to give whole grains some “love” all year long. Try one new whole grain each month. Ever wondered what millet or quinoa tasted like? Prepare whole-wheat pastas and pizza doughs. Add rolled oats when baking or stir in a handful to your favorite yogurt. Enjoy whole grain salads like tabbouleh or toss your favorite grains with greens for a custom grain bowl.

Fill Your Bowl With Love

A bowl of whole grain cereal can get your day off to a great start giving you a balanced blend of nutrients. When choosing ready to eat cereal, look for whole grain listed as the first ingredient.

What about a warm bowl of mixed grains, topped with berries and crunchy almonds? Or a quick omelet filled with last night’s quinoa? Transform your leftover rice into a breakfast burrito with eggs, beans and cheese. Whatever your morning routine looks like, there’s a whole grain breakfast option that can work for you.Trail Mix bowl pic

Made With Love

Edible gifts are a great way to show you care without spending a lot of money and have some fun making memories with the ones you love. This tasty little gesture of dark chocolate and peanut butter chips, dried cherries and raisins, almonds and walnuts combined with whole grain Cheerios™ or Chex™ makes a great-tasting gift you can feel great about giving.

Make any adjustments to the recipe for your food preferences or food allergies.

Be-Mine Valentine’s Trail Mix
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Snack Mix
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Chex™ or Cheerios® Cereal
  • ½ cup roasted salted almonds
  • ¼ cup dried cherries (can use any dried fruit)
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup peanut butter chips
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients
  2. Bundle this Be-Mine mix in decorative goodie bags or small canning jars with a homemade card and festive ribbon. Too cute!

Hear From You

What’s your favorite way to give sweets to the sweeties in your life? Share a link to your favorite Valentine’s recipe in the comments below.


 

Disclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

Ditch Your Diet and Make Small, Satisfying Changes Instead

On average, women will try – and quit – 9 diets in her life. And recent research shows the more diets people go on, the more weight they gain. Instead of hopping on that pointless diet roller coaster again, make little changes that are healthy and enjoyable.

Little Changes Big Taste

Blueberries are jam-packed with fiber, vitamin C, and manganese plus there are only 80 calories in 1 cup.  And you can add them to practically anything – these little blue dynamos pair perfectly with everything from oatmeal to savory dishes. Try them in this salmon and avocado flatbread for a quick and nourishing meal.

Snack Smart with Sargento

Sargento cheese snacks have 4-8 grams of protein/serving to keep you fueled and satisfied with a natural source of protein.  It’s a wholesome snacking option that doesn’t sacrifice on taste – there are 14 varieties like sharp cheddar, Colby jack, and pepper jack to help you stay fueled even when you’re on the go.

Make a Better Breakfast

When it comes to breakfast, you want a delicious and nutrition option, and it’s great if it’s also convenient since we’re always on the go, especially in the morning.  New KIND breakfast bars are soft baked with a crispy outside, and loaded with whole grains for sustained energy throughout the morning.  Each two-bar pack provides more than a full serving of whole grains and is a great source of fiber to fill you up. Try them on their own, dipped in Greek yogurt, or paired with fruit, milk, or your morning latte.

Don’t Deprive Yourself

Don’t cut out all the things you love. Studies show that the more you try to avoid something the more you want it and the greater chances you have of overeating eventually.  For my sweet cravings, I love enjoying these Heavenly Organics Chocolate Honey Patties – they are made with 4 ingredients or less and have have a dark chocolate shell made from 100% cocoa that’s filled with 100% raw organic honey blended with natural flavors like Mint, Pomegranate and Peanut.

Upgrade your Sports Drink

It’s not just food, but we need exercise to be healthy. When we work out, it’s crucial to stay well- hydrated.  If you’re an athlete or have a very active child, you might benefit from more than just plain water during activity, especially if it’s over 60 minutes. Parents will often ask me, what’s the best sports drink for my active child and I recommend BodyArmor because it has no artificial ingredients, is low in sodium, and has more potassium-packed electrolytes and vitamins that any other sports drink, and it’s made with coconut water.  Try 7 great tasting flavors like fruit punch, orange mango, and strawberry banana.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What are some of your favorite tips to “ditch the diet” and stay healthy?  Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

Find out more about these products and topics by connecting on Twitter

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Sign up for my e-mail list and get my FREE Feel Great Guide and get a handy health and happiness journal and more.

Disclosure: I was compensated by U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, Sargento, KIND snacks, Heavenly Organics, and Body Armor for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.