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Product Talk: Sweet Potato

Baked sweet potatoes are one of my favorite side dishes. Looking at a sweet potato you can see the bright orange color indicating that it is a good source of vitamin A; one cup of cooked sweet potato actually has 769% of your daily value of vitamin A. One cup of cooked sweet potato also has 65% of the daily value of vitamin C, 50% of the daily value of manganese, 29% of the daily value of vitamin B6 and 27% of the daily value of vitamin K.

I love everything with pumpkins, like pumpkin spice cookies, but pumpkin is hard to find outside the months of October and November. One trick I found this year is that you can substitute sweet potatoes for pumpkin. Next time you find a delicious pumpkin recipe but you can not find pumpkin, just cook a sweet potato and add the amount of sweet potatoes it says for pumpkin.

Shop the Sale: Ocean Spray Cranberries

Ocean Spray Cranberries are on sale this week at Brookshire’s. One cup of whole cranberries has 46 calories, no fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of sugar. One cup of whole cranberries has 5 grams of fiber! Cranberries can be eaten raw for a tart pop in your mouth or made into a sweet and tart cranberry sauce.

Healthy Living: Canned and Frozen Vegetables in Sauce

One tricky part of eating a gluten-free diet is that one type of food can be safe in one form but dangerous in another form. An example of this is, fresh vegetables are fine, canned plain vegetables are fine, even frozen plain vegetables are fine but,  if that frozen or canned vegetable is in a sauce then you may be in trouble. Be careful when you are picking out your vegetables; make sure they are sauce-free. 

The Perfect Pear

Color does not necessarily indicate ripeness. Instead, check the “neck” of the pear, near the stem; if it gives way slightly as you push it gently, the pear is ripe and juicy.

Store unripened pears at room temperature, but place ripe pears in the refrigerator. Cool temperatures will slow ripening and extend the fruit’s shelf life another 3 to 5 days.  

Cranberry Pear Salad
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Serves 4

1 pear, quartered, cored and finely sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup red onion, julienned
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into 1/2 pieces (about 3 cups)
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pistachios
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 Tbs orange juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine pear, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and cranberries; toss and let stand at room temperature to blend flavors, 5 minutes. Add romaine, blue cheese and pistachios; toss to combine. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar and orange juice; pour over salad mixture. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 348, Fat: 26 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 21 mg, Sodium: 447 mg, Carbohydrates: 21 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 11 g

© 2010, Brookshire Grocery Co. Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number. All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.

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Posted in: Nutrition, Produce

Healthy Living: Eating Your Vegetables

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables will lead to a healthy lifestyle. If someone asked you, “Do you eat your recommended amount of fruits and vegetables?” You would probably say, “Well of course I eat my fruits and vegetables…well at least all my fruit.” Fruits are easy to eat because they are sweet and that is what we like as humans, sweet foods, but vegetables on the other hand can be harder to eat. 

When picking a vegetable, pick one that is easy to prepare. For example, baby carrots and celery can be eaten as a snack but if you have to do a lot of work to a vegetable, chances are you end up not eating it. Just remember, keep it simple. 

When coming home from the grocery store, do not hide your vegetables in drawers put them at eye level. If you want to keep your vegetables fresh, you can place them in a glass jar; that way you will be able to see them.  

Dine-In: Asparagus and Fettuccine

Asparagus and Fettuccine
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8

1 (16 oz) pkg Food Club fettuccine noodles
2 Tbs Food Club olive oil
4 chicken breast, boneless, skinless, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
1 (12 oz) bag Food Club Steamn’ Easy Asparagus spears

In a pot of boiling water, add fettuccine; cook until al dente. Microwave asparagus according to package instructions. In a skillet, add olive oil and sliced chicken; cook until chicken is no longer pink. Add garlic and tomatoes to skillet. Place noodles on each plate and top with chicken, tomatoes, asparagus, and parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Information:Calories per Serving: 375, Fat: 10 g (3 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 120 mg, Sodium: 176 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 37 g

Product Talk: Pomegranates

In the last few years, pomegranates have become increasingly popular with all the new information about their health benefits. One of the most talked about health benefit of pomegranates is their high content of antioxidants.  Pomegranates are good source of fiber and folate and are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. The NuVal score of a pomegranate is a 91.

If you have never eaten a pomegranate before, they may look kind of scary when you first open them. Place the pomegranate in a bowl of water and remove the arils (pomegranate’s seeds) from the flesh of the pomegranate. Then place the arils in a bowl and enjoy! Be careful when eating the seeds because they can stain your clothing. Pomegranates are delicious to eat raw or add them to a salad.

Shop the Sale: Honeycrisp Apples

Honeycrisp apples are my favorite apples; when fall rolls around I am always looking for them in the store. Honeycrisp apples are sweet but yet a little tart too. They make the perfect apple for slicing for a salad or using to bake. Honeycrisp apples are on sale at Brookshire’s!

In Season

Thank goodness for winter squash:
Just when the runs of most summer vegetables are petering out, along comes the winter squash harvest, giving us new reasons to eat our veggies.

Dozens of varieties of squash come into season from now through early winter, and they all have a few things in common.

• They keep a long time: Kept in a cool, dry place – ideally around 50 degrees, with humidity between 50 and 70 percent – most squash varieties will stay fresh for up to two months. (It’s best to leave stems on, if possible.)

• Unlike summer varieties like zucchini, these have a hard rind that can’t be eaten, and they must be cooked before serving.

• They have a distinctive, hearty flavor that lends itself especially well in soups, stews, purees and casseroles that are naturals in cooler weather.

• Winter squash are relatively high in fiber (3-6 grams per one-cup serving) and deliver good amounts of vitamins A, C and the various Bs. Though naturally low-fat, varieties like butternut and acorn provide omega-3 fatty acids, linked to heart health.

Compact and dark green, these have a tough rind that can be difficult to cut. But they couldn’t be easier to cook: Simply slice in half and bake. For extra richness, fill each half with a little butter, brown sugar or real maple syrup.

The pale-beige, bell-shaped butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor that’s especially good in soups, because it purees beautifully, without being stringy. Its rind is thin and can be removed with a sturdy vegetable peeler.

Spaghetti Squash
This long, oval squash gets its name from its unusual flesh: After cooking, the yellow interior separates into long, thin ribbons that look like noodles. As for taste – no, it won’t pass for pasta. But because it’s milder and not as sweet as other varieties, steamed spaghetti squash pairs nicely with tomato-and-mushroom pasta sauce for a satisfying vegetarian entrée.

Sugar pumpkins
Sometimes called pie pumpkins, these are the much smaller cousin of the giant jack-o-lantern pumpkins traditional at Halloween. (And yes, all pumpkins are a variety of squash.) You can eat either kind, but the diminutive, round sugar pumpkins provide more flesh relative to their size, and they have a sweeter, richer taste and smoother texture than the larger variety. Use them in pies, soups, purees and exotic stews.

Roasted Autumn Vegetables

Roasted Autumn Vegetables

2 small butternut squash
8 medium new red potatoes, well scrubbed and quartered
1 red onion peeled and cut into wedges
1 pound of carrots (6 to 8 medium) halved lengthwise if thick, and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
2 Tbs Leigh Oliver’s Bistro Herb Blend Seasoning
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 450° F.  Place vegetables on a large baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle Leigh Oliver’s Bistro Herb Blend and salt over the vegetables. Toss to combine. Roast vegetables in oven until tender and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes. Toss vegetables and rotate the sheet halfway through cooking.

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Posted in: Cooking, Produce

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Copyright © 2010-2014, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
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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