Don’t let St. Patrick’s Day sneak up on you without having something green to fix for dinner! We’ve got broccoli crowns on sale this week—perfect for adding a touch of green to your plate. Broccoli is a good source of calcium, fiber and Vitamin C and very low in calories. Many nutritionists call it a super food, so take advantage of a great price on a great vegetable!
Did you know mangoes are the most popular fruit in the world? You might not think so if you base it on our local population, but when you factor in everybody in the world, mangoes have a lot of fans! They’re sweet and juicy and rich in fiber, Vitamin C and A, and taste kind of like a blend between peaches and raspberries.
Mango skin has an astringent quality, so you don’t want to eat the peel. And there’s a large pit in the center, so it can be a challenge to prepare until you get the hang of it. But this’ll get you started: take a sharp knife and cut around the pit on all sides, kind of like how you’d pit an avocado. Peel the skin away from the fruit and enjoy! Be warned, though: mangoes are so juicy that you may end up with sweet mango drippings running down your arms!
Mangoes make a great ingredient to fruit salads, or a topping for yogurt. But if you’d like a couple other ideas, here you go:
• Make a delicious salad by tossing fresh mango slices and mozzarella cheese slices with lemon juice and oil. Top with basil, salt and pepper.
• Sprinkle diced mango on a quesadilla before cooking to add a bit of sweetness to a savory dish.
• Make your own mango ice pops: puree fresh mango chunks in a blender. Pour into ice cube trays, stick in toothpicks or ice pop sticks and freeze.
Popeye was right! Spinach is a super food that really helps your body grow and be strong. And if babies start out eating spinach, they will learn to enjoy it for the rest of their lives. When they’re very young, babies may have a bit of trouble with spinach, because it’s full of fiber—and chewing. So you can start with jarred baby food! Spinach is full of iron, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. As your child gets older, steam or cook spinach and blend or stir it into just about anything—oatmeal, scrambled eggs, spaghetti sauce—it’s the perfect camouflage veggie. As years pass, use spinach in place of lettuce for salads and in sandwiches. Add a few leaves to quesadillas and pizzas, try cream of spinach soup….and you get the idea.
If you had a hard time liking spinach in your life, it could be because you had bad spinach. Boiled and squishy spinach can be hard for anyone to enjoy! Instead, get a big handful of leaves and steam them very briefly—just enough to wilt. You can put them in the microwave with a spoonful of water and cover with plastic wrap. Cook 1 or 2 minutes and that’s it! Lightly steamed spinach is amazingly better than the soggy stuff.
If you’re trying to get your kids to love vegetables, tomatoes are a great place to start. Nothing is more fun than tiny grape, pear and cherry tomatoes! Dip or skewer on toothpicks and watch them smile! Then you can talk about heirloom tomatoes—how these seeds are from old fashioned tomatoes that grow in crazy sizes, colors and shapes—but have wonderful flavors. Hold a taste testing party and see if you can tell the differences in the varieties!
Avocados are on a great sale this week at Brookshire’s, but you can only eat so much guacamole, right? What else do you do with avocados?
My absolute favorite dish is an avocado salad. Add a bit of cheese and it’s a vegetarian main course, or serve it along with whatever else you’re whipping up this weekend.
But wow, there’s something special about an avocado, isn’t there?? Creamy and rich, yet full of heart-healthy monosaturated fats—you just can’t lose!
Avocado Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
Prep time: 15 minutes
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs Food Club honey
3 Tbs Food Club olive oil
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and chunked
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 pint (16 oz.) cherry tomatoes, leave whole
Place cilantro, lime juice and honey in a blender. Take off blender top and while mixing, pour in olive oil from top to create a smooth dressing. Set aside.
Combine the avocados, onion and tomato in a bowl. Gently stir in the dressing. Serve on individual plates, a platter or even mounded in the original avocado shell. Garnish with additional cilantro, if desired.
Kids are just like the rest of us: they learn best in a hands-on atmosphere. So when you’re trying to instill a love of vegetables with your children, maybe the hands-on method will help!
Next time you’re at the store, pick up a variety of tiny tomatoes. Let your kids help pick them out, or just bring home a good selection. Grape and pear tomatoes (shaped just like they sound) are tiny bite-sized bursts of flavor. Cherry tomatoes are just a bit larger, but still small. From there, plum (or Roma) tomatoes are a big larger and egg-shaped. Slicing tomatoes are the full-sized ones.
So what do you do when you get all these tomatoes home? First, everyone washes their hands. Then help your kids identify the different types of tomoatoes. Pear, grape and cherry tomatoes should be easy! Talk about the thin skin that is fragile yet strong enough to hold all the juice and seeds inside.
Then get a knife—plastic or metal, depending on your child’s abilities—and cut one in half from top to bottom. Notice the pretty patterns. Cut another in half from side to side. Wow, there’s a difference, isn’t there? Slice up several more tomatoes, put them in a bowl and sample them. Save the rest for a salad tonight. And you know what? There’s a good chance your children will actually eat some!
If you had to guess the most popular fruit in the grocery store, would you have guessed it was bananas?
They’re the quiet, unsung hero of the produce aisle. And yet, they’re the top sellers….and for good reason!
Top 5 Things We Like About Bananas
1. Portable, non-messy snack
2. High in potassium, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.
3. A peanut butter and banana sandwich on toast is fantastic!
4. They’re so naturally sweet you never have to add sugar.
5. Rubbing a mosquito bite with the inside of a banana peel helps stop the itching. Really!
Some things have very short seasons, and clementines are a perfect example. They’re like tangerines, only sweeter, seedless and easier to peel.
Clementines are only available in the winter months, though…once they’re gone, they’re gone. If you’ve never tried a Clementine, swing on by Brookshire’s and pick up a few. Jump on the bandwagon of Clementine lovers!
They’re perfect for snacks and lunch boxes, because they’re so easy to peel.
Wintertime isn’t the greatest time to find fresh fruit at its peak of ripeness. If you find yourself craving peaches and blueberries in January, take a look in the frozen foods department. There you’ll find just about any fruit that tickles your fancy!
You can choose from single fruits or bags of fruit blends—ready to thaw and serve, and if you have leftovers? Toss them in the blender with a cup of yogurt and make fruit smoothies! You can’t lose when it comes to fruit!
The poor potato. Low-carb diets have given it a bad reputation, when actually; it’s a healthy, tasty, good vegetable. If you are carb-watching, a medium potato has 37 grams of carbohydrate—and that’s a high number—but it’s not sky high like some other foods.
And if carb-watching isn’t your priority, keep in mind that a medium potato is only 150 calories and fat free. As long as you don’t go crazy with the toppings, potatoes are just fine—and they’re on sale this week at Brookshire’s.
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