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Healthy Living: Truvía Sweetener


Cranberry-Orange Muffins Made with Truvía SweetenerYou know the expression “sweet as sugar?” Well, this is but without the calories!

Truvía® Natural Sweetener continues to serve as a great-tasting, zero-calorie sugar substitute for people looking to reduce calories and/or sugar in their diets. That’s me! That’s me!

Truvía® is made from the stevia plant, which grows naturally. The extract comes from the leaves of the stevia plant, which was discovered hundreds of years ago in Paraguay and has been used worldwide for decades. Truvía® stevia leaf extract is a high-purity and consistent sweetener containing the best-tasting parts of the stevia leaf.

Truvía® sweeteners were created to help people maintain a balanced lifestyle while retaining the same sweetness they love in their beverages and recipes. Thank goodness for products like this, where you can still enjoy a treat without breaking the calorie bank.

To learn more about Truvía® Natural Sweetener, be sure to check out truvia.com or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Truvia. You’ll also find lots of great-tasting, reduced-calorie Truvía® brand recipes to try at truvia.com/recipes.

Cranberry-Orange Muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1⁄3 cup Truvía® Baking Blend
1 Tbs orange zest
1⁄2 cup Brookshire’s orange juice
2 Brookshire’s eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup skim milk
1 1⁄2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen), chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F.

Prepare muffin tin by using paper liners or greasing cups.

In a large bowl, add baking powder, flour, salt and baking soda. Mix together with a fork.

In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, Truvía® Baking Blend, orange zest, eggs, orange juice, vanilla and milk.

Stir the wet mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

Fold in chopped cranberries and fill each muffin cup about 3⁄4 full.

Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out clean (20 to 25 minutes).

Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 190, Fat: 9 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 50 mg, Sodium: 210 mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 4 g

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Healthy Living: Best Pizza Sauce EVER


Best Pizza Sauce EVERThe other night, Paul and I made homemade pizza.

It was outstanding for many reasons, including the fact that we made our own crust, grew our own basil for garnish and topping, used fresh mozzarella for the cheese, and made a so-simple-you-won’t-believe-it-sauce for the fresh pie.

It all started when Paul gave me an autographed copy of a Julia Child cookbook. Autographed by hand not a stamp, mind you. I stroked the pages lovingly and did not let anyone touch it for days on end.

Until I wanted to read it, that is.

Paul got me the cookbook because he knew I LOVE cooking, and I LOVE to read cookbooks. This masterpiece was meant to be read.

The first recipe in the book was for pizza, an incredibly simple recipe that let all the ingredients shine.

Easiest of all was the sauce, which is a great base a child can have fun helping you make. It’s made with a can of fresh whole, peeled plum tomatoes with only a few extra ingredients. It’s bright, tasty, fresh and healthy.

This would also be good tossed with fresh pasta, ravioli or tortellini, or used on top of a bruschetta.

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients:
1 (48 oz) can peeled Italian whole plum tomatoes
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed red pepper

Directions:
With your hands, crush tomatoes in a large bowl until pulverized. Add spices. Add olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Spread onto pizza crust; add toppings. Bake.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 149, Calories from Fat: 64, Fat: 7 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1231 mg, Potassium: 22 mg, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 14 g

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Healthy Living: Zucchini Pizza Bites


Zucchini Pizza BitesI was browsing Pinterest over the weekend (I was looking for healthy recipes, and recipes for s’mores kept popping up. I’m not sure how that happened) and noticed something on my feed: There were six or seven pins for “Foods You Should Never Eat.” Each one pictured bread, then several of the remaining pins on the page were for foods you could substitute for breads or other heavy starches.

I love my bread, but I know that it’s often “empty calories,” especially if I’m eating white bread or something similar. I know a lot of people find it hard to escape the clutches of white flour and processed carbs.

Let’s take pizza, for example. I’ve made pizza with the cauliflower crust. It was delicious, but it wasn’t “real” pizza crust.

Still, though, I’d like to enjoy the taste of pizza without the carbs and calories from the crust.

These zucchini bites are the perfect solution. They give you the added benefit of fiber and the vitamins of veggies without the calories.

Plus, you can just pop ‘em in your mouth!

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Ingredients:
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 large zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella, finely grated
1/4 cup pepperoni minis
1 Tbs Italian seasoning

Directions:
Preheat oven to broil.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add zucchini and cook, flipping once, until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place zucchini rounds onto a large baking sheet. Top each zucchini round with marinara, mozzarella and pepperoni minis.

Place into oven and cook until the cheese has melted, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with Italian seasoning, if desired.

Note: For some added texture, place the pepperoni minis on a paper towel; place in microwave and cook for 30 seconds. They’ll become crispy and render some of their fat onto the paper towel. Remove them from the paper towel, blotting grease before you add them to the top of the zucchini pizza bites.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 190, Calories from Fat: 125, Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 0.2 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 32 mg, Sodium: 455 mg, Potassium: 222 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 12 g

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Healthy Living: Sautéed Shrimp


Sautéed ShrimpAs I said last week, I just got back from the beach, and I’m sitting at my desk daydreaming about fresh seafood. We’re lucky that Brookshire’s seafood tastes like it just came off the boat because I’ve got seafood on the brain.

While I was at the beach, I think I was able to sample most seafood known to man. Okay, so not even close, but I did give it a valiant effort.

The great thing about seafood is that it’s good for you. It’s low in calories, low in fat, and rich in good fats and vitamins that your body needs.

Shrimp is so low in calories that you could eat until you were full without doing your body much damage, just skip the butter and deep-frying.

This sautéed shrimp recipe is reminiscent of my beach trip but without some of the extra calories I consumed while I was there. I can enjoy this at home, guilt-free!

Sautéed Shrimp
Yields about 3 ounces of shrimp per serving.

Ingredients:
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt-free lemon and herb seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and sauté 1 minute. Add lemon juice, lemon herb seasoning, salt and pepper; stir to coat shrimp. Sauté until shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes more.

Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 103.1, Calories from Fat: 30, Fat: 3.4 g (0.4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 142.9 mg, Sodium: 933.7 mg, Carbohydrates: 1.8 g, Fiber: 0.1 g, Sugar: 0.2 g, Protein: 15.5 g

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Healthy Living: Breathe Clean Air


Breathe Clean AirIt’s springtime and if you live in the South, you’re going to be turning your air conditioner on sooner rather than later.

First things first: change your filter. No, not next week, NOW.

It’s easy. Look to see what size you need. Go to Brookshire’s. Pick one up, then install. It takes 30 minutes, tops, for all those steps.

When you pull your old A/C filter out, you’ll see why replacing the filter at least once a month is important. See all of that gray gunk clinging to the filter? You don’t want to be breathing that in, do you?

In addition, your A/C runs more efficiently when the filters are clean, saving you money.

If you have a permanent filter, you can rinse it in the sink or bathtub, being careful not to damage the metal grating. Let dry and replace!

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Healthy Living: Celiac Disease


Celiac DiseaseGoing “gluten-free” is a trend or a health choice for some, but for others, it’s a critical way of life.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically-predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two-and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications. For these people, eating a slice of bread or a bowl of pasta is no joke. When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. It’s beyond indigestion or stomach cramps; it’s dangerous to a person with the disease.

Luckily, there are so many great gluten-free options and products in the grocery store today that offer delicious alternatives to wheat, rye and barley choices for people who eat gluten-free.

Look for the products among the shelves stocked at Brookshire’s and in the special section on the baking aisle. Major corporations have started labeling their products as well, to make them easy to identify.

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Healthy Living: Drink, Doggy, Drink!


Drink, Doggy, Drink!Summertime can be a prime time for dehydration in your outdoor pets.

You can tell when your pet is dehydrated if they become listless with a dry mouth or nose, sunken eyes and loss of appetite.

Don’t let your pets run out of steam this summer. Keep a water bowl filled at all times and keep it in the shade, if possible. Choose a plastic bowl, rather than a metal one, as it will keep the water cooler. Some pets love it when you fill their bowls with ice water because they like to chew on the ice as well.

Here are some other tips to keep your dog hydrated in the summertime:

  • Provide clean water at all times, and change it frequently to ensure freshness. Also, don’t forget to wash your pet’s water bowl every day to prevent bacteria from growing.
  • Monitor your dog’s water intake. Generally, a dog needs at least one ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day. If your dog is not drinking an adequate amount of water, seek veterinary advice. Monitoring water intake is especially important if he’s recovering from diarrhea, vomiting or other illnesses.
  • Purchase a water bowl with a weighted bottom to prevent your dog from knocking it over.
  • Bring extra water when you’re traveling or exercising with your dog.
  • If you notice your pet is drinking less than usual, check his mouth for sores or other foreign objects, such as burrs or sticks.
  • Avoid chaining a dog outside since he may get tangled up, preventing him from accessing his water bowl.
  • Keep your toilet lid closed to interrupt your dog’s efforts to turn the bowl, which can be a source of bacteria, into a water fountain.


Healthy Living: Skinny Buffalo Chicken Soup


Skinny Buffalo Chicken SoupAs winter fades into spring, it reminds me that bathing suit season is right around the corner. “Hooray,” said no one, ever.

All joking aside, it also reminds me that I should be thinking about bathing suit season all year long, but my overall health is more important than how I’ll look in a bathing suit.

This soup combines the flavors of my favorite food in a healthy form. To eliminate even more calories and fat, use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in place of the rotisserie chicken, and poach or roast then shred before use.

Skinny Buffalo Chicken Soup

Ingredients:
2 lb rotisserie chicken, cooked and shredded
3 Tbs dry ranch dressing mix
1 large head cauliflower, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 lb carrots, sliced
6 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbs butter
1 cup Frank’s RedHot® Sauce
chopped green onions and bleu cheese crumbles, for garnish

Directions:
Boil cauliflower in stockpot with water, ranch seasoning, chicken broth and chicken stock until very tender, approximately 10 minutes.

While cauliflower is cooking, sauté carrots, celery and onions with the butter. Cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are fork-tender.

Using an immersion blender, blend the cauliflower into a puree in the stockpot. It should blend completely and form a thicker base for the soup. Add the hot sauce and stir.

Add the celery, carrots and onions to the stockpot and stir.

Stir in chicken and let cook on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes

Serve hot with green onions and bleu cheese as garnish (optional).

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 436, Calories from Fat: 188, Fat: 21 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 140 mg, Sodium: 2257 mg, Potassium: 772 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 9 g, Protein: 38 g

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Healthy Living: Dates


DatesA friend of mine just returned from a trip to China, and she brought back packaged, dried dates. She gave me a handful, colorfully wrapped in cellophane with mysterious Chinese characters on them. She said she ate them all through her trip for extra energy, to avoid hunger pains and for something healthy in a foreign land.

Dried dates are sold at Brookshire’s, too.

Dates are a healthy way to incorporate fiber and antioxidants into your diet.

Dates can give you relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, sexual dysfunction, diarrhea, abdominal cancer and many other conditions.

Dates are good for gaining weight also, if you need to bulk up.

Dates are rich in several vitamins and minerals, and they contain oil, calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium.

Eat them as a snack food to stay full and feel full of energy.



Healthy Living: Always Wear Sunscreen


Always Wear SunscreenDo you remember the famous words often (and erroneously) attributed to Kurt Vonnegut, but in actuality penned by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich to be used as a potential commencement speech?

The speech/column begins:

“Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.”

Well, she wasn’t kidding, folks.

Sunscreen can protect your skin from getting dull, wrinkled and leathery, and more importantly, it can help protect you from skin cancer.

I wish I’d known when I was 17 that slathering myself with baby oil wasn’t a good idea. Age and sun spots are real. Luckily, no skin cancer for me, but recently a young (as in early 20s) neighbor was diagnosed with several spots on her shoulders and back. Scary stuff.

WebMD offers these tips for using sunscreen, which you can find in all levels of protection at your local Brookshire’s store.

  1. Wear sunscreen every day in all weather and in every season. It should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and say “broad-spectrum” on the label, which means it protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Put it on at least 15 minutes before going outside. Use 1 ounce, which would fill a shot glass.
  2. Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours or more often, if you’re sweating or swimming.
  3. Wear sunglasses with total UV protection.
  4. Wear wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  5. Avoid being out in the sun as much as possible from 10am to 2pm.
  6. Check your skin regularly so you know what’s normal for you, and to notice any skin changes or new growths.
  7. Choose cosmetics and contact lenses that offer UV protection. You still need to use sunscreen and wear sunglasses with broad-spectrum sun protection.
  8. If you’re a parent, protect your child’s skin and practice these habits together.
  9. Don’t use tanning beds.
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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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