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Healthy Living: Freeze Your Fruit


No doubt the summer months produce some of the best fruit of the year, but how do you maximize all those great flavors – and the nutritional value – later in the year?

You can freeze summer fruits for use a few months down the road without compromising their taste, textures or nutrients if you go about it the right way.

  • For raspberries and blackberries, rinse, dry thoroughly, and then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer overnight. The next morning, portion into freezer bags or containers and seal well.
  • For blueberries, remove stems, rinse and dry. Then, follow the same method for raspberries and blackberries.
  • For strawberries, rinse, dry completely and then remove stems. Chop or slice and freeze until solid.
  • If you want to freeze fresh cherries, rinse, dry, remove pits and slice before freezing until solid.
  • Bananas are easy. Just peel and freeze until solid. They’re great for smoothies and banana bread.
  • For stone fruits like peaches, rinse, dry, peel, slice, remove pit and freeze until solid.
  • Apples are easy, too. Rinse, dry, peel, cut into chunks and freeze until solid.
  • For melons, remove the inside flesh and chop. Freeze until solid.
  • Citrus fruits can also be frozen. Rinse, dry, slice or segment and freeze until solid.

All these fruits are great for smoothies, toppings on yogurt, mixed into oatmeal or cereal, or baked into breads, muffins or cookies. You get summer taste and nutrition all year long.



Healthy Living: A Nutritional Favorite – Watermelon


A Nutritional Favorite - WatermelonLast weekend, we bought a watermelon at Brookshire’s. Now it’s still May and watermelons are at their prime in early July, but this one, as my family declared, “tasted like a Fourth of July melon.”

Indeed it did, and we’re thankful to have access to such beautiful produce grown close to home.

Not only is watermelon delicious, but it’s super healthy, too.

Watermelons are mostly water, 92 percent, in fact. So, eating watermelon keeps you well-hydrated.

You can also eat a lot without fear of consuming too many calories! One cup of watermelon contains only 42 calories.

It also contains many other nutrients, including:

  • Vitamin C: 21% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 18% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 5% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
  • Vitamins B1, B5 and B6: 3% of the RDI

Watermelon is also high in carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lycopene.

There’s no reason NOT to eat watermelon all summer long!



Dine In: Blueberry-Watermelon Feta Salad


Blueberry-Watermelon Feta SaladAll of the local farmers markets are starting to open. I love walking through the fresh produce, fragrant flowers, and tantalizing sights and smells.

It’s pretty much like walking through the produce department at Brookshire’s all year long.

This vibrant summer salad bursts with unexpected flavors that dance on your tongue. Make it right before serving though, as this tends to get soupy or mushy if it sits too long.

Blueberry-Watermelon Feta Salad

Ingredients:
2 oz olive oil
1 oz balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
8 cups watermelon, diced
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:
Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and red onion in a large glass (or other nonreactive) bowl. Add watermelon, blueberries, mint and feta. Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 303, Fat: 18 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 17 mg, Sodium: 507 mg, Carbohydrates: 35 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 27 g, Protein: 5 g.

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



Dine In: Grilled Dijon Onion Rings


Grilled Dijon Onion RingsDuring this time of year and if it’s Friday night, you’re going to find me on the back porch, likely with a fire going in the chiminea and something on the grill.

My favorite thing about the grill, aside from the scent and sizzle, is the variety of options you can cook outside. Not only do we grill our protein for almost every meal but most of our side dishes as well.

So far this year, I’ve grilled zucchini, baby portobello mushrooms, asparagus, squash, eggplant, green beans and onions.

These Grilled Dijon Onion Rings are amazing with steak. Grilling them gives the onions a smoky sweetness that is a wonderful complement to a rich steak.

Grilled Dijon Onion Rings

Ingredients:
3 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp lemon rind, cut into 1-inch julienned strips
2 sweet onions (such as Noonday), cut into 1/4-inch slices

Directions:
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Whisk Dijon mustard, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, thyme and lemon rind in a small bowl until well-combined.

Brush one side of the onion slices with some of the mustard mixture. Place the onion slices mustard-side down in a grill pan/basket/griddle.

Grill for about 5 minutes on the first side, while you baste the other side with the remaining mustard mixture. Turn once, and grill for another 5 minutes. Remove from the grill, and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 48, Fat: 2 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 136 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 1 g.

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

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Shop the Sale: Grilled Corn Three Ways


Grilled Corn Three WaysSummertime is grilling time, and one of the healthiest – and tastiest – grilled vegetable options is corn on the cob. It’s so easy to do and there are endless ways to add even more flavor to this sweet, summer favorite (although you honestly can’t go wrong with plain either). The best bit? Corn is in season, so you’ll have your pick of the juiciest cobs. The second best bit: corn is on sale all week at Brookshire’s!

Recipe
Remove silk from fresh ears of corn by pulling husk a little over halfway down. Rinse under cool running water to wash away silk sticking to ear. Pull husk back up the ear of corn. Tie with a thin strip of husk or piece of kitchen twine. Cover corn in cold water; soak for at least 30 minutes. Heat grill. When grill is hot, place soaked corn on grill rack. Grill over high heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until husks char, turning corn by quarter turns throughout the cooking time. Serve whole with butter, salt and pepper or your favorite toppings. Hint: all three topping recipes below are the bomb!

Mexican Style: chili powder + mayo + Cotija cheese + cilantro + lime juice
Honey Butter: softened butter + honey
Basil Parmesan: basil pesto + parmesan cheese

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Chef Tips

A-Maiz-Ing Corn
Called “maize” in most countries, corn is in fact a grain, not a vegetable, which is why you don’t find it growing wild. An ear of corn is part of the flower and the kernels are seeds, with each ear containing an average of 800 kernels across 16 rows. Something else you probably didn’t know: each ear of corn always has an even number of rows. Corn is produced in a variety of colors including yellow (the most common), purple, bluish gray, green, white, red, black – and even multicolored!

How to Pick The Best Corn
Selecting the highest-quality ear of corn is actually very easy. Examine the husk, opting for green and fresh. Feel the kernels through the husk. They should feel plump with no holes where kernels are missing. And lastly, look for tassels that are brown and moist or slightly sticky. These are the stringy bits sticking on the top of the corn. If the tassels are dry or black, it’s probably not the freshest ear.



Dine In: Beef Enchilada Dip


Beef Enchilada DipOne of my favorite restaurants has a new, seasonal dish on their menu that I’ve been ordering every time we go eat there: Cowboy Nachos.

The dish consists of a mound of crispy tortilla chips topped with a beefy, black bean chili and tons of melted cheese, garnished with sour cream and guacamole. It’s heaven on a plate and satisfies all the senses for me: crunchy, creamy, cheesy. What more do you need?

This dip is a great alternative to my favorite nachos to make at home. Not everyone in the family likes all the same things, so heaping everything on a plate of nachos wouldn’t work out for us.

If you make this dip, it allows each family member to control their amounts and add the garnishes they like.

It’s a fun way to wind down with the family on a Friday night.

Beef Enchilada Dip

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 large white onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (10 oz) cans red enchilada sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
cilantro, sour cream or olives, for garnish
tortilla chips

Directions:
Brown the ground beef and onion together in a large, cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet. Add garlic; cook for about 1 more minute. Drain grease.

Stir enchilada sauce into the meat, and mix until well-combined. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the cheese over the meat mixture. Reduce heat to low, and let cheese melt. If you want the cheese more browned and bubbly, place under broiler until the cheese is the desired consistency.

Garnish with sour cream, cilantro and olives, if desired. Scoop with tortilla or corn chips.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 485, Fat: 31 g (17 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 147 mg, Sodium: 1142 mg, Carbohydrates: 8g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g, Protein: 42 g.

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



Shop the Sale: Sweet Potato Hash with Caramelized Onions


Sweet Potato Hash with Caramelized OnionsPrep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
Serves: 8

What could be better than sweet potatoes, caramelized onions and chorizo? For breakfast, brunch or really any meal of the day, this hearty dish will satisfy even the most voracious eaters. Chef note: get perfectly caramelized onions every time by ensuring you don’t crowd the pan (we recommend a 12” pan for two large onions) and keeping the heat low. Remember, you’re not sautéing here! Serve with your breakfast favorites or as a side dish for a main meal.

Ingredients

1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 lbs yellow onions (about 2 large), sliced into thin half moons
1 Tbs kosher salt, plus more to taste if necessary
1 lb Mexican chorizo
3 lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 large potatoes), peeled and 1/2-inch diced
6 large cloves garlic, minced
2 long stems fresh rosemary, finely minced
3 Tbs olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions
Heat oven to 450° F. Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. When it foams up, add onions; sprinkle lightly with salt. Lower heat slightly. Cook onions for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and lowering heat further if they begin to burn. Cook until onions are very dark brown and caramelized. Meanwhile, put chorizo in another skillet. Brown over medium-high heat, chopping up into fine crumbles with spatula. Cook meat for about 10 minutes, or until browned and beginning to crisp. Drain any excess fat.

While chorizo and onions are cooking, place sweet potatoes, garlic and rosemary in large bowl. Toss with olive oil, kosher salt and generous amount of black pepper. Mix well. When onions are dark brown and meat is beginning to get crispy, stir them into sweet potatoes. Mix to combine. Line large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Spread out sweet potato mixture evenly. Roast sweet potatoes for 30 to 45 minutes or until soft and browned. Remove from oven. Serve hot with your favorite breakfast accompaniments.

Calories Per Serving: 567, Fat: 29 g (10 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 54 mg, Sodium: 1603 mg, Carbohydrates: 60 g, Fiber: 10 g, Protein: 18 g.

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Chef Tips

The Sweet Benefits of Sweet Potato
Not only do they taste good, they’re good for you. Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, copper and pantothenic acid. They also provide potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus, plus they’re high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Sweet Potato Latte Anyone?
While you might be more accustomed to sweet potato bakes than lattes, there are a lot of surprising (and delicious) ways to use sweet potato. From coffee to smoothies, hummus and pizza, chili and biscuits to decadent deserts like Ginger-Sweet Potato Cheesecake and Sweet Potato Pie, the uses for sweet potatoes are almost endless. Try swapping them for meat in your quesadillas, adding them to old favorites like Mac & Cheese or building a whole meal around them with recipes like Sweet Potato Fritters.



Healthy Living: Cauliflower Rice


Cauliflower RiceI resisted the craze of making cauliflower into rice for a long time, a very long time.

Now I regret every, single, solitary minute of my stubborn holdout.

Cauliflower rice is the best thing since sliced bread, without the carbs, that is.

Cauliflower rice gives you the impression you’re eating rice without the starch.

It’s simple and amazing. Use in place of your fried rice, your Mexican rice or whatever other kind of rice you fix. It’s faster to cook, too. No fluffing with a fork required.

Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower
2 Tbs coconut oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Remove florets from the head of cauliflower, and pulse in food processor until it has formed small “grains.”

Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Sauté cauliflower until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or use in another dish.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 75, Fat: 7 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 601 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 1 g.

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Shop the Sale: Onion Latkes


Onion LatkesPrep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves: 4

Try a new take on the traditional potato latke! This delicious alternative is the perfect appetizer or gourmet party hors d’oeuvre. Skip the usual sour cream and serve with garlic-chive yogurt dip, chipotle aioli, spicy peanut dipping sauce – or all three – for some flavorful pairings.

Ingredients
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups onions, finely diced
1 green onion, finely chopped
Oil, for frying

Instructions
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, seasoning salt, cayenne, garlic powder and a small amount of black pepper. Combine well. Add milk; whisk until thoroughly combined. (The batter will be thick.) Add all onions to batter; mix with wooden spoon until combined. (A few lumps are fine, so don’t overmix.)

In a large frying pan, heat about 1/2 inch oil to medium-high, adding more oil as needed while cooking.

Drop batter by the tablespoonful into hot oil. If needed, slide batter off with another spoon. Flatten slightly with spoon or spatula to about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden-brown. Flip and repeat on second side. Drain well on paper towels. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot.

Calories Per Serving: 159, Fat: 1 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 4 mg, Sodium: 900 mg, Carbohydrates: 33 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 5 g.

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

Chef Tips

What Are Latkes?
Latkes are traditional Jewish fried pancakes served at Hanukkah. While latkes are usually made from grated potatoes, these savory, shallow-fried cakes can – and have been – made from various vegetables, legumes and cheese for hundreds of years. Many cultures have their own version of the latke too, from the German kartoffelpuffer to the Korean gamja-jeon.

Don’t Cry Over Chopped Onions…And Other Onion Tips
Oh, onions! We love you, but you make us cry and our hands smell like you all day. Here’s how you can enjoy the flavor without the hassle.

Reduce tearing when cutting onions by chilling them in the freezer 10-15 minutes or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and leaving the root end intact when chopping.

To remove the smell of onions from your hands, rub them with lemon juice. Note: this also works for “onion breath”, but you need to rinse with equal parts lemon and water (although if you do wish to rub lemon in your mouth, please video that comedy).

Store dry onions in a cool, well-ventilated place. Do not store them in plastic bags. For peeled or chopped onions, store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7-10 days.

Or pick up a package of Brookshire’s Shortcuts chopped onions, found in the produce section of your local store!



Healthy Living: Whole 5® Puree


Whole 5® PureeWhen I saw this product on the shelf in the refrigerated section of Brookshire’s in the produce by prepared salads and bagged greens, I figured it was a juice.

It’s not. They’ll be the first to tell you that Whole 5® is a puree in which one serving contains the same antioxidant properties as five servings of blueberries. If you know your health facts, you know that’s a lot.

Whole 5® is not a juice or an energy drink. According to their website, “It is pureed whole food. It is dense nutrition that provides health-giving antioxidants and phytonutrients, plus natural sustained energy without stimulants.”

Whole 5® contains 15 super foods, including (all whole foods) grapes, apples, acai, pomegranates, blueberries, aloe, noni, cranberries, elderberries, bilberries, goji, nopal cactus leaf, plums, carrots and sweet potatoes.

It also contains two herbs: Chinese Skullcap and whole gentian root.

Finally, there are 13 trace minerals essential to overall health, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium, chromium, iodine, vanadium, molybdenum and sodium.

Adding an ounce of Whole 5® to your diet each day can give you more energy, help you sleep better, help you fight infection, and help you feel better overall. Recommended use is one ounce in the morning and one ounce in the evening.



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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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