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Product Talk: Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds


Blue Diamond Smokehouse AlmondsAs soon as I opened the bag, I was overcome by the deep, smoky aroma of Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds.

Blue Diamond clearly doesn’t mess around with their naming conventions, as “Smokehouse” is exactly the right scent – and flavor – of this delicious snack.

Sold in a handy bag that you can easily reseal, Smokehouse Almonds are a great back-to-school snack for kids, or handy for adults who need a midday pick-me-up.

Since 1910, Blue Diamond Growers have produced quality almonds from orchards in California.

Almonds are cholesterol-free, have three grams of fiber per serving, are rich in vitamin E, and provide six grams of protein per serving with only two grams of net carbs.

Lightly salted, Smokehouse Almonds are the perfect snack for on the go, at home or any time.



Healthy Living: Healthy Fats


Healthy FatsIf those two words don’t seem to go together to you, you’re not alone.

When I first heard of a “low carb, high fat” diet, I thought to myself, “That’s a heart attack waiting to happen.”

Then, I realized that you’re not eating your body weight in Cheetos and ice cream; you’re opting for HEALTHY fats and HEALTHY carbohydrates.

Healthy fats include things like olive oil, avocados and nut butters. Healthy fats are great for your skin and hair, and they keep you feeling full longer. They’re also good for your heart.

Monounsaturated fats, like the ones found in olive oil and avocados, raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol). Canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds and avocados are good sources of healthy fats. Salmon is another good source of healthy fats.

Healthy fats help your body absorb nutrients, and they help your food digest more effectively.

Don’t go overboard, though. Fat is fat. Read labels and pay attention to serving sizes! Remember that a serving size of almonds is an ounce, not a can.



Mi Blog Hispano: La Avena – Un Desayuno Nutritivo


La Avena – Un Desayuno NutritivoAl pasar los años nos damos cuenta que nuestros cuerpos necesitan menos azucares y más proteínas y comidas saludables.  Dejamos los cereales dulces y decidimos por algo más nutritivo como avena o oatmeal, como le dicen en inglés.

De chica nunca me gusto comer avena.  Mi mama la hacía y llegue a probarla, pero simplemente no me gustaba.  Me quede con la idea de que la avena no tenía sabor.

Hace poco vino a visitarme mi hermana con su familia y compre avena porque les gusta comerla.  Ya que se fueron, quedaron algunos paquetitos.  Una mañana andaba a la carrera y con hambre.  Vi aquellos paquetitos y decidí hacerme una avena por lo rápido que es, y ¿qué creen?  ¡Me encanto!  Me quede pensando cuanto tiempo dure sin comer esta deliciosa y simple comida.  Ahora la como casi todos los días por la mañana, y vieran lo bien que me siento.  Les ofrezco a mis hijas pero no les gusta, y me recuerdan a mí cuando era chica.  Les digo que no saben de lo que se pierden, y que un día les va a encantar.

La avena es una comida bastante simple y sencilla de preparar, y tiene unos beneficios tremendos.  Ayuda a adelgazar, ayuda al corazón, contiene fibra, disminuye los niveles de colesterol y azúcar en la sangre, y algunos estudios enseñan que hasta nos protege contra el cáncer.  Al conocer esto de la avena decidí hacer un cambio y desayunar avena entre semana.  Yo compro la avena instantánea (Instant Oatmeal) de marca Brookshire’s por que esta sabrosa, viene en diferentes sabores, también porque me sale más barata que las marcas populares.  Mi esposo también empezó a comerla más.  A él le encanta agregarle nueces y plátanos para darle un poco más de saborcito.

Les recomiendo comer más avena para ayudar a cuidar su salud.



Healthy Living: Garlic-Parmesan Roasted Broccoli


Garlic-Parmesan Roasted BroccoliI LOVE broccoli, but I get so tired of just steaming it and plopping it onto my plate.

Broccoli is super healthy. It’s rich in vitamin D, which helps keeps our metabolism in balance. It’s also rich in vitamins A and K.

Broccoli helps the body detox. We all want that unwanted sludge out of our bodies, don’t we? Broccoli helps move unwanted contaminants from our systems. It’s a great antioxidant with its concentrated vitamin C. Broccoli has the most vitamin C of any of the cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli also has concentrated lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, other powerful antioxidants.

If you steam or roast broccoli, the fiber provides a benefit against cholesterol. Using heat to start to break down the fibers helps your body use it more effectively than if you eat it raw.

It’s great for your heart as an anti-inflammatory and how it lowers cholesterol. It’s also good to support eye health and to help regenerate sun-damaged skin.

Garlic-Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients:
24 oz (about 5 cups) broccoli florets
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
juice of 1 lemon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with oil or coat with nonstick spray.

Spread broccoli florets in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with parmesan and lemon juice, and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 162, Fat: 11 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 14 mg, Sodium: 213 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 9 g.

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



Healthy Living: Water


WaterI know I write about this frequently; it’s something I really struggle with.

I read today that the current recommendation for water intake is 80 ounces for an adult. I’ve also read studies which say to drink half your body weight in ounces. Either way, I bet that’s a lot more water than most Americans consume during the day, especially since nothing with caffeine or sugar counts as a “water” drink, no matter how hard I try to convince myself that unsweet tea equals water.

Basically, I have to trick myself into drinking more water.

I love the sparkling waters. They are calorie-free, sugar-free and fizzy, which I love. It reminds me of the years I lived in Europe, and any time you ordered water at a restaurant, they brought you the fizzy variety. It was probably also during that time period that I began to eschew ice. La Croix makes a variety of flavors, including lime, lemon, grapefruit and berry. Lime is my favorite.

Another trick is that every time I use the restroom, I have to chug 10 ounces after washing my hands. Sorry if that was too much information, but it works on getting the water down. I’m not likely to keep a bottle nearby to sip from, so chugging it works for me.

When I do keep a bottle of water handy, I try to flavor it with something. Chunks of watermelon, slices of cucumber or slices of strawberry are my favorite, but you could use any fruit or veggie you want.

I keep a 32-ounce bottle of water with cucumber in the refrigerator overnight, and my goal is to drink the whole thing before I leave for work in the morning. It’s so refreshing first thing in the morning, and it really helps to wake me up.

Another trick is to drink an equal amount of water for every caffeinated beverage you drink. This helps keep you hydrated.

So in theory, if I drink 32 ounces before work and another 16 ounces with my coffee (because I drink two cups of coffee), I’m more than halfway to my goal before lunch!



Healthy Living: Cinnamon Apple Chips


Cinnamon Apple ChipsSo far this summer, I’m losing the battle with my kids and fruit consumption, and this practically breaks my heart. There is nothing better than summer fruits.

It also begs the question: If my kids aren’t eating the abundance of fruit I’m leaving in the basket on the kitchen counter, what do they do with the fruit I pack them EVERY DAY in their school lunches? I’m not sure I want to know.

Since I’m often gone in the morning before they wake up for the day, I leave a note. Every day, the note says, among other things, “Eat some fruit. Drink a lot of water!”

My kids aren’t listening. I had to resort to a toddler tactic: turn the fruit into a fun snack.

They helped me make these, and they devoured them. That figures.

Sometimes, though, it’s whatever it takes!

Cinnamon Apple Chips

Ingredients:
4 apples, cored and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 to 2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 to 2 tsp granulated sugar, if needed
nonstick cooking spray

Directions:
Preheat oven to 200° F. Slice the apples and place them in a large bowl. Toss with cinnamon and sugar, if using. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Lay the apples on the pan in a single layer, so they are not touching.

Bake 2 to 3 hours until the chips are dry but soft. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container or zipper-lock bag for up to 4 days.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 210, Calories from Fat: 6, Fat: 1 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 4 mg, Carbohydrates: 56 g, Fiber: 10 g, Sugar: 42 g, Protein: 1 g.

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



Blueberry-Raspberry Smoothie


Blueberry-Raspberry SmoothieBreakfast is very important to me, and sometimes I don’t get the nutrition I intended. Smoothies, though packed with nutritional value, can be very expensive to purchase themselves. I love making them at my house, varying the ingredients each time to see what comes out of it. This particular smoothie I’ve made repeatedly because it’s so good (and friends keep requesting it).

Blueberry-Raspberry Smoothie

Ingredients:
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 dollop whipped cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups soy milk
1 handful fresh baby kale or spinach
2 tsp honey
1 1/2 cups ice

Directions:
Place all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy!

Calories Per Serving: 153, Fat: 5 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 6 mg, Sodium: 95 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 6 g.

Serves 3

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

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Healthy Living: Grilled Foil Packets


Grilled Foil PacketsOne of my good friends recently lost about 12 pounds.

I asked him how he did it.

His reply, “I grill pretty much everything. The fat cooks off the food, but the flavor stays in.”

I didn’t run it by a dietitian, but it sounds like pretty good advice to me.

Speaking of the grill and eating healthy, I’ve been pretty obsessed with grill packets lately.

Basically, you take any combination of protein and veggies, wrap them in a foil packet, and grill them! I like doing this with seafood because it cooks up so quickly, but you can do it with chicken, pork or beef. I’d recommend cutting them into chunks or strips, though, to make sure they’re cooked through.

Some healthy combinations I love are salmon with asparagus and lemon, shrimp with bell peppers and lime, chicken with broccoli florets, and seasoned tilapia with zucchini. You can really use any combination.

Here’s the premise:

Choose a protein and some veggies. Toss lightly with extra virgin olive oil, and season with whatever you like. I like lemon pepper seasoning, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, almost all of the McCormick Grill Mates, or just sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. The olive oil will help when you remove the food from the foil. Place an individual serving on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fold the foil over the top and side of the dish, leaving a little space. Seal tightly on every end. Grill for several minutes, and then flip (make sure the foil is tightly sealed so nothing leaks and causes a flare-up). Grill until cooked through. Let packets rest before opening them.



Family Matters: Summer Snacks


Summer SnacksSchool’s out for summer, and it’s time for the kids to be a little self-sufficient during the day.

I’m at work the vast majority of days in the summer, but that doesn’t mean my kids can’t eat a healthy meal and snacks while I’m at work.

One of their favorite things is apple slices with assorted toppings.

I slice the apples into rounds because, let’s face it, the knife is really sharp, and it makes me nervous if they use it if I’m not in the house. They do the rest. They love to slather an apple round with peanut butter. Then, they top it with raisins, almond slivers, coconut shreds, chocolate chips and dried cherries.

They also love celery sticks filled with cream cheese and topped with taco meat or buffalo chicken.

They also love to snack on fresh strawberries mixed with blueberries, Greek yogurt topped with granola and bagel thins spread with peanut butter.

If I can’t be at home, then I’m happy to know they’re eating healthy snacks that will sustain their energy throughout the day.



Healthy Living: Watermelon


WatermelonI bought the cutest, personal-sized watermelon at Brookshire’s today.

Other than tasting great and being easy to handle in a small, personal size, watermelon is a healthy summer fruit and a wonderful option for staying hydrated this summer.

Each bite of watermelon contains about 92 percent water and 6 percent sugar. That’s really not that much sugar, all things considered.

Watermelon has a lot of lycopene, which supports cardiovascular health. You’ll get the most lycopene when the flesh of the watermelon is dark red.

Watermelons also have properties that make them wonderful for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support. They also contain a lot of vitamin C, about 16 percent of the recommended daily value. In addition, vitamins B6 and A are also found in abundance in watermelon. There’s also some potassium, while the fruit is very low in calories and is fat-free.

I love adding a few cubes of frozen watermelon to my water, and then enjoying the cool, refreshing flavor as they chill my water.



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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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