share. The Brookshire's Blog

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.



Earth Mama Angel Baby


Earth Mama Angel Baby

When I was pregnant with my boys and in the months after giving birth, I was so conscientious about what I put in – and on – my body.

Many mamas are, so Melinda Olson began formulating organic herbal remedies for friends in her Oregon kitchen, an endeavor which led to Earth Mama Angel Baby products.

Earth Mama Angel Baby products are safe, hospital-recommended, certified-organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. These natural, herbal personal care products, gentle castile soaps and teas are specifically formulated to support the entire journey of childbirth, from pregnancy through postpartum recovery, breast-feeding and baby care.

Melinda Olson is an expert in the benefits of plant medicine, and continually balances her trust and care of traditional herb wisdom with evidence-based research. She formulated her herbal pregnancy, postpartum, breast-feeding and baby care products to be safe and effective without worrisome ingredients. Of course, they are also baby-safe with no synthetic fragrances or preservatives.

Products include Angel Baby Lotion, Angel Baby Bottom Balm, Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash, New Mama Bottom Spray, Natural Nipple Butter and Organic Milkmaid Tea.

All are available at Brookshire’s.



Healthy Living: How to Soothe Coughs Naturally


Warm Tea with HoneyIt’s that time of year. My older son and I are both home sick today with coughs. My son, the hypochondriac, is convinced we both have enterovirus 68.

Luckily, we’re not that sick, but coughs due to the common cold are hard to treat. They also tend to linger. Doctors have different advice on medications: You don’t want to suppress a cough that is productive, but you don’t want to be wracked with pain every time you cough either.

Here are a few ways to help soothe a cough naturally.

First, stay hydrated. An upper respiratory tract infection like a cold or flu causes post-nasal drip. Extra secretions trickle down the back of your throat, irritating it and sometimes causing a cough. Drinking plenty of fluids helps to thin out the mucus in your body, helping to alleviate that while keeping mucous membranes moist.

Warm drinks and lozenges soothe the back of the throat, reducing the cough reflex. Try warm tea with honey and natural lozenges in a sugar-free variety, if you can find them.

Hot showers and humidifiers can also help by loosening secretions in the nose. Make sure that your humidifier is clean, though, so you aren’t spreading more bacteria.

If you don’t want to take a hot shower yourself, sit in the bathroom with the door closed while your little one showers. You’ll get the same benefits.



Product Talk: Almond Milk Smoothie


Almond Milk Smoothie“You’ve got to try this,” my friend said, handing me a glass with a suspiciously milky-looking substance in it.

Not that I have anything against milk: I grew up on 2 percent cow’s milk, and I think my mom served it at every meal until I left for college.

True story.

However, I can’t say it’s been my drink of choice since I moved out on my own. Still nothing against milk; it’s great for you and necessary for bone health, but I just don’t love it.

So, it was with great skepticism that I sipped from the glass she handed me.

It was good.

“It’s almond milk,” she said.

Milk? Out of almonds?

Exactly!

Almond milk is made from ground almonds and contains neither lactose nor cholesterol, which is another bonus for me as I’m trying to lower my total cholesterol.

It’s good for vegans and vegetarians, and it comes in flavors like vanilla or chocolate.

Although almond milk has less protein than cow’s milk, it is rich in nutrients including fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, potassium, iron, phosphorus, tryptophan, copper and calcium.

Try this smoothie made with almond milk. It tastes just like a Wendy’s frosty!

Almond Milk Smoothie

Ingredients:
3/4 cup almond milk
about 15 ice cubes
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 of a banana

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until you’ve achieved desired consistency.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 467, Calories from Fat: 393, Fat: 44 g (39 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 29 mg, Potassium: 700 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugar: 11 g, Protein: 6 g

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Healthy Living: Blood Orange Quinoa Salad


Orange SaladCitrus season in this part of the country lasts as long as a Southern afternoon sitting on the porch sipping tea.

Thank goodness it does because there are so many delightful and healthy ways to enjoy citrus fruits. The best benefit, in my opinion, is the amazing amount of vitamin C it adds to your diet. I know for the past three months I’ve changed the expression from ‘an apple a day’ to ‘an orange a day keeps the doctor away.’ I think I’ve eaten an orange or a grapefruit (my personal favorite) at least once a day since flu season started!

There’s no reason to stop eating citrus when the weather warms. This refreshing salad features the best and brightest of what both seasons have to offer.

Blood Orange Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:
1 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package directions
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
3 blood oranges, peeled, seeds removed and cut into slices
2 navel oranges, peeled, seeds removed and cut into slices
1 pink grapefruit, peeled, seeds removed and cut into slices
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup honey lemon dressing
2 cups broccoli sprouts

Directions:
Cook quinoa, let it cool and fluff with a fork. Trim fruit into pretty pieces, discarding seeds. Stir salad dressing into quinoa. Carefully fold in citrus, feta, green onion and avocado. Top with broccoli sprouts.

Honey Lemon Dressing

Ingredients:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp honey
sea salt
ground black pepper

Directions:
Shake olive oil, lemon juice and honey in a jar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 475, Calories from Fat: 144, Fat: 16 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 341 mg, Potassium: 983 mg, Carbohydrates: 74 g, Fiber: 12 g, Sugar: 38 g, Protein: 14 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Product Talk: Clif Bars


Clif BarsA friend of mine is training for a triathlon.

You know, one of those crazy races where you swim, bike and run intense distances and still finish standing?

He swears by Clif Bars for a snack or even a meal replacement.

Clif Bars are basically organic energy bars. Granola bars, if you will, but so much more. They’re packed with all-natural protein and other good stuff.

According to their website, “As a food company, we play a critical role in helping to create a more just and sustainable use of the planet’s resources. The food we make connects us to the environment as well as to a complex network of people and organizations, including farmers, distributors and the people who eat our food. Through these connections and working with our trusted partners such as like-minded businesses, non-profit organizations and experts at the forefront of transforming our food system, Clif Bar is able to make strides in sustainability. Working and learning together, we continue to look for ways to reduce our impact on the environment and share with each other on this journey.”

So, not only do Clif Bars meet your nutritional needs, they take care of our planetary needs, too.

That, my friends, is awesome.



Shop the Sale: Haas Avacados


I’m a little obsessed with avocados. Some “experts” will tell you the sweet potato is a “perfect” food, but I’d put avocados right up there with them. 

Buttery, velvety, mild and nutritious, the Hass avocado, with its green-to-black bumpy skin and luscious flesh, was cultivated and patented by Rudolph Hass in 1935. Hass avocados are known as the “year-round avocado” because of their seasonal availability and are grown in many places in the United States, making them readily available in your local Brookshire’s.

Avocados have more potassium than a banana, are low in calories and are chock full of “good” fats, not to mention they’re good for more than guacamole. Try this recipe today, while avocados are on sale at Brookshire’s.

Shrimp Stuffed Avocados 

Ingredients: 

Citrus Dressing
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp grated lime zest
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar 

Salad
1 cup frozen precooked baby shrimp (about 6 oz)
3 Tbsp chopped mint (more for garnish)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (more for garnish)
2 oz queso fresco or mild feta, crumbled (more for garnish)
1/2 cup diced English cucumber, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup seeded and diced tomato
2 avocados, ripe yet firm
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce

Directions:
To make the dressing, whisk together orange juice, lime juice, zest, pepper, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside. 

To make the salad, thaw shrimp and drain off any excess liquid. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp with mint, cilantro, cheese, cucumber and tomatoes. Split avocados and discard pits.

With a table knife, gently score flesh of avocado without splitting the shell. Scoop out avocado and add to shrimp salad, reserving avocado shells. Pour half of the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. In another bowl, toss romaine with remaining dressing. To serve, divide lettuce among plates. Set avocado shells on greens and fill with shrimp salad. Garnish with additional cheese, mint and cilantro leaves, and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 220, Fat: 13 g (2.5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 14 mg, Sodium: 430 mg, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber 8 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 14 g.



Healthy Living: Mint, Watermelon and Cucumber Salad


Ahhh…summertime…watermelon meets cucumber. Watermelon likes cucumber. Watermelon hops into salad with cucumber. Watermelon and cucumber live happily ever after.

Watermelon has been called one of the world’s healthiest foods. Along with tomatoes, watermelon is one of the foods highest in lycopene. Lycopene is a nutrient that’s especially important for our cardiovascular health, and many experts believe that lycopene is important for bone health as well. Watermelon is high in water content, and water is an essential element to make all of our body’s functions work more smoothly. Watermelon is full of beta-carotene, antioxidants and vitamin C.

Cucumbers, with their high levels of vitamin B, are a quick pick-me-up (think afternoon snack). They are also full of water and help the body stay hydrated and eliminate toxins. Cucumbers contain high levels of lignans, which are associated with reducing the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate. Cucumbers also contain high levels of potassium, magnesium and fiber, which work effectively for regulating blood pressure.

So, when you put them together, what do you get? A marriage made in superfood heaven.

Mint Cucumber Watermelon Salad

Ingredients
8 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
2 medium English cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Directions
In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, cucumbers, onions and mint. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over watermelon mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately, or cover and

Refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Serves 16

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 60, Fat (trans saturated fat): 3 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 78 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 1 g. 



Healthy Living: Quinoa


One of my new obsessions is quinoa.  I make it for dinner about once a week; it has become a staple in my house. When I go to Brookshire’s I know to add quinoa to my grocery cart because I will have it sometime during the week. I normally reserve quinoa dishes for busy nights because it’s so easy and quick to make. Quinoa has a nutty flavor and can go with almost any ingredient.

Quinoa is not a cereal grain, but a pseudo-cereal. You cook it and eat it like a grain, but it is actually an edible seed. Quinoa is not only packed with protein, but it is a complete protein – meaning it offers all of the essential amino acids. Quinoa is also rich in fiber and iron.

This is one of my favorite quinoa recipes that I have very often. I normally have enough to take in my lunch the next day.

Southwest Quinoa

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 tsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup cooked corn
1 (15 oz) can Food Club Black Beans
1/2 cup chopped cilantro 

In a saucepan, heat oil.  Add onion and garlic; cook until onions are tender. Add quinoa, vegetable broth and cumin to saucepan; bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add corn and black beans; cook until warm. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Calories Per Serving: 233, Fat: 4 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 538 mg, Carbohydrates: 39 g, Fiber: 7 g, Protein: 10 g



Healthy Living: Homemade Fruit Leathers


When we were growing up, mom made our school lunches: one sandwich, one piece of fruit, one cookie or small dessert.

Then, dad took over the job of packing lunches.

Imagine our glee when we opened our lunch boxes at school to discover a sandwich, a fruit roll-up and a cookie. Two desserts! We’d hit the jackpot!

I think this newfound nirvana lasted maybe a week before someone slipped and ratted dad out. He honestly didn’t know that a commercially prepared fruit roll up did not count as a serving of fruits or vegetables. Bless his heart.

However, fruit roll-ups or fruit leathers are super easy to make at home, taste a lot better and don’t leave red dye No. 40 all over your hands.

And best of all, they probably do count as a serving of fruit.

Homemade Fruit Leathers

Ingredients:

3 cups ripe, chopped fruit (Strawberries and peaches are my favorite. I can’t get bananas to work right, but we also love raspberries.)

Sweetener, to taste (I use about 3 Tbs honey. You could also use granulated sugar).

Directions:

Preheat oven to 150° F or the lowest temperature your oven will go. Line a 11 x 17 baking sheet with a Silpat nonstick baking mat or parchment paper.

Purée the fruit and sweetener in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour fruit mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread to about a 1/8″ thick. Tilt the sheet back and forth to evenly distribute the fruit mixture.

Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 6 to 8 hours, until fruit mixture is set and the center is not sticky. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Gently peel off the fruit leather from the Silpat mat or parchment paper. Cut into squares or strips (I’ve found a pizza cutter is great for this). If you want to make fruit roll-ups, roll the strips in parchment paper. Store in an airtight container. 

Serves 10

Calories per serving: 34 g, Calories from fat: 0 g, Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Sugars: 8 g, Protein:0 g. 



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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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