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Product Talk: Applesauce


Have you talked to your babies’ doctor about introducing solid foods? Applesauce is a great first food for your baby to try.

You can try to make it yourself with the recipe below or you can buy natural applesauce at the store.If you decide to get it from the store, read the label to make sure that it only contains apples. 

 

Blueberry Apple Sauce
Serves:4

Ingredients:
1 apple
1/4 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup blueberries
1 tsp cinnamon (if infant is ready for it)

Directions:
Wash apple, core it, peel it, and cut into small cubes. In a pot, place apples, oatmeal and water. After the apple is tender place in food processor with blueberries. If your infant is ready for cinnamon, you can add that too. Process the apple mixture until smooth. Make sure that you allow applesauce to cool before serving it to your infant.

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Posted in: Baby, Product Talk


Product Talk: Lentils


When you are going down the dried bean isle, do you see tiny, little bitty brown things that look like tiny rocks? Well those are lentils! Lentils can come in brown, green, and red, but you mostly see brown lentil at the grocery store.  If you are not much of a meat eater, good news lentils are a good alternative to meat; it is a good source of iron and protein.  Lentils are also high in fiber, low in fat and a good source of folate.

One good thing about cooking lentils is that lentils require no pre-soaking and it does not take all day to cook. All you have to do is rinse the lentils, add 1 1/2 cup water or broth to every 1 cup lentils, add your favorite seasonings, bring to boil after 2 minutes reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes or time on package instructions.



Product Talk: Potatoes


Did you know that potatoes can be purple? Potatoes can actually be brown, yellow, red and  yes, even purple/blue. You can use purple potatoes with some olive oil and a favorite seasoning to make delicious fries. To surprise your family and friends you can uses these potatoes in potato salad or to add color to dull hash browns. Potatoes are high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and have lots of fiber. The great thing about potatoes is that they can be cooked in the oven, on the stove top and even in the microwave.

Colorful Hash browns
Serves: 4
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
2 pounds purple potatoes
2 Tbs chopped onion
2 Tbs chopped bell pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbs olive oil

Directions:
Cook potatoes in the microwave or by boiling, until just tender. In a medium bowl, combine cooked potatoes, onion, pepper, salt, pepper, and milk.  Set aside. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add potato mixture. Press firmly together to form a large patty. Reduce heat and cook until golden brown. Do not stir. Once one side is golden brown flip hash brown. When both sides are golden , remove to a platter and serve.

Nutritional information:
Per serving: 246 calories, 7 g fat (1g saturated fat), 602 mg sodium, 1 mg cholesterol, 41g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 5g protein.

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Product Talk: Mini Rice Cakes


You can jazz up the snacks in your child’s life by switching them up—just a little. Have you ever tried mini rice cakes? They come in a range of flavors from plain to ranch to caramel. All you need to do is spread a mini rice cake with a teaspoon of cream cheese (try the flavored whipped cream cheese!) and you have a healthy, tasty treat! And of course, it’s easy to go from there and add all sorts of toppings: a slice of cucumber or banana fits perfectly, and you can smear on a bit of peanut butter and/or jelly, a bit of leftover chicken or cheese….you get the idea!

Mini rice cakes—the perfect way to eat a bit healthier and have fun while you’re at it!

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Posted in: Kids, Product Talk


Product Talk: Bananas


Babies and bananas go together like…..Mom and apple pie. Many pediatricians recommend bananas as the ideal first food, because they’re naturally sweet, very low on the allergy-potential list, and they’re creamy and healthy—no fat, no cholesterol and lots of antioxidants.

Fixing bananas for your baby is easy, too. Take a very-ripe banana, and mash it with a fork. And that’s it! If you think it’s a bit thick, stir in a few drops of water or milk. Start with just a tiny serving—one teaspoon is plenty for the first time out—and take it from there. If you prefer a more shelf-stable and convenient serving method, you can also buy bananas in jars of baby food. Read labels to be sure you’re getting bananas and only bananas!

Start a lifelong love of healthy fresh food by putting bananas high on your list of baby-friendly foods.



Product Talk: Cous Cous


Do you like to keep up with the trends? Maybe you’re the one setting trends in your community! Either way, trendy people need to know about cous cous. Have you tried it before?

Cous cous is a type of pasta. In Israel and other middle-eastern countries, cous cous takes all day to make and involves simmering grains in large pots. Here in the USA, however, you’ll almost always find Americanized, quick-fix cous cous.

It can be ready to eat in five minutes!

Picture a strand of spaghetti. Break it into the tiniest piece possible—about the size of a pin head—and that’s cous cous. Because it’s so small, it cooks quickly. Pour a cup of it into a pan of boiling water; turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let it sit five minutes to absorb the water. And presto—your cous cous is ready!

Cous cous comes in several varieties. In most of our stores, you’re likely to find regular “white” flour cous cous, whole wheat, and multi-color. The multi-color is made by adding vegetable juice to the wheat as it’s mixed. The result is red, green and orange cous cous.

Serve cous cous however you’d serve rice or pasta. Put it under a stir-fry, alongside chicken and broccoli, or blend with creamy cheese for an exotic mac-n-cheese! If you’d like to see another option, check out the April issue of Celebrate Cooking magazine (free in all Brookshire’s stores) and look for the Banana-Kiwi Salad with Cous Cous recipe—and let us know what you think! The recipe is also available as a webvideo (go to the Brookshires.com page to see it).

Start a trend with cous cous. Don’t tell anyone it’s healthy—just enjoy it!



Product Talk: Mangoes


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.



Product Talk: Peanut Butter


If there was a Top Five list of foods kids love, surely peanut butter would be on it. Moms love it too, because it’s a non-meat source of protein, it’s cholesterol free, and has heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Peanut butter doesn’t need refrigeration, has natural sweetness, and is a lunch box’s best friend. It just might be one of those perfect foods! You can get peanut butter several different ways: creamy or chunky; regular or natural (where the oils will separate and need to be stirred); and reduced-fat (note: there are more sugars in this type). You can even make your own! Just put a cup or two of peanuts (or other nut, for that matter) in a food processor and turn on. The nuts will chop, then turn to dust and then gradually turn to a paste. When it’s smooth enough, it’s done! You can add salt, oil or honey if you like, but plain is just fine.

What else to do with peanut butter? How about a smoothie? Combine 1 cup milk, 1 cut-up ripe banana (frozen), and 2 Tbs peanut butter in a blender until smooth. Or maybe peanutty pops: blend 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2 cups milk and 1 small package instant chocolate pudding. Spoon into 4-oz paper cups, insert an ice cream stick in the center and freeze 4 hours. Try Dandy Candy Peanut Butter Balls: equal parts peanut butter and powdered sugar. Squish together in a plastic bag until blended. Add enough honey or powdered sugar to make it yummy. Roll into balls or cut into bars.

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Posted in: Kids, Product Talk


Product Talk: Spinach


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.



Product Talk: Grits


Grits are one of those foods that either you love or hate. If you’re in the hate group, maybe your problem is in how you fix them!

We’ve got a recipe for a grits casserole that will convince all but the hard-core haters to give grits another try. And if it helps you, call your grits polenta. That’s the Italian word for the same food: cooked cornmeal. 

 

Cheesy Grits

Serves 10

Prep time: 10 minutes plus chilling; Cook time: 1 hour total

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked grits

4 cups (1 quart) milk

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/2   tsp pepper

1/3 cup melted butter

1 3/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Grease a 13 x 9 baking dish and set aside.
Cook grits according to package directions, using milk and ½ cup butter. Season with salt and pepper. Beat the grits at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, about 5 minutes. Pour into the baking dish. Refrigerate until set.

Preheat oven to 400 DEGREES.

Cut the grits into 2-inch squares. Place the squares in the baking dish, overlapping slightly. Pour the melted butter over top and sprinkle with both cheeses. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

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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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