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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Summer Produce Hacks

Bump up your nutrition with a few summer produce hacks:

   Berries - look for color & smell.  Color should be vibrant and especially with strawberries, they should smell very strawberry-ish.  Loaded with Vitamin C, anthocyanin and other antioxidants, they are a boon to your health in so many ways.  Think outside the cereal bowl by making: 
Berry Grilled Cheese Sandwich - Spread one piece of whole grain bread with apricot preserves, layer on some raspberries and slices of havarti cheese then top with the other slice and grill.  Makes a great breakfast sandwich. 

   Stone fruits - Store at room temperature until ripe, then keep in the fridge. Refrigerate cherries right away separately so they don’t absorb other flavors. Stone fruits contain phenolic compounds that protect against inflammation, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.  Let them play a starring role by making:
Stone Fruit Stack Caprese Salad – layer nectarines, fresh mozzarella & basil then drizzle with balsamic vinegar & honey.

   Corn on the Cob - Go with look and feel. It should feel firm when squeezed, have glossy silk, the tight husk should be grass-green in color.  Fresh corn is best within 24 hours, but you can keep it up to 3 days in the fridge.  Corn is good source of fiber and contains copounds that promote healthy vision.  It has the same amount of calories as an apple with less than ¼ of the sugar.  With the leftover cobs, cut off the kernels and make:

   Mangoes - I LOVE the easy drinking-glass-peel method for mango prep. Mangoes are great source of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A.  It's nutrition helps maintain healthy skin and it’s relatively low glycemic index is helpful in maintaining blood sugar. For a healthful and delicious snack on a hot day try:
Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Mango Pops - freeze mango slices, then dip in vanilla yogurt and return to the freezer for 30 minutes.  Wonderfully healthy popsicles are just that easy.

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