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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!



Product Talk: Ocean Spray® Mocktails


Ocean Spray® MocktailsWhen I saw this product on the shelves at Brookshire’s, I giggled.

Someone I know well, who shall remain nameless, has an evening tradition in her family of “Cocktails and Mocktails” in the evening. She and her husband have a glass of wine, and her children have juice in fancy glasses.

Now, they can have their mocktails premixed!

Ocean Spray® Mocktails come in three flavors: Cranberry Peach Bellini, Cranberry Sangria and Tropical Citrus Paradise. Let me be very clear: These do NOT contain alcohol. Ocean Spray® Mocktails are delicious premium, non-alcoholic juice drinks inspired by your favorite cocktails, according to the Ocean Spray® website. You CAN mix them with an adult beverage or even sparkling water for a fun, fizzy flavor.

These drinks are made with premium Ocean Spray® ingredients. Find them near the juices in your local Brookshire’s.

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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.



Family Matters: National Pet Month – Small Animal


National Pet Month - Small Animal

May is National Pet Month and a great reason to celebrate all the people out there who take care of small pets like hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits.

The goal of National Pet Month is to promote the benefits of owning a small pet, support the adoption of small pets, raise awareness of the benefits of owning a small pet for both owners and furry friends, increase awareness of services available from professionals who work with pets, and draw attention to the valuable contribution of working companion animals to society.

So, let’s talk about owning a small animal.

The first benefit is space! You don’t have to have a lot of it, or a yard, or an outdoor space to keep a small pet happy and healthy! They don’t tend to break furniture, chew up your shoes or need to go on walks.

Small pets tend to be fairly clean and keep themselves clean with little effort on your part. They don’t eat a lot and don’t tend to be very expensive, either for initial cost or upkeep. Small animals are also independent, and they’re a great choice if you want the companionship of a pet without having to keep one constantly entertained.



Family Matters: National Pet Month – Dog


National Pet Month - Dog

May is National Pet Month and a great reason to celebrate man’s best friend.

The goal of National Pet Month is to promote the benefits of owning a dog, support the adoption of dogs, raise awareness of the benefits of owning a dog for both owners and furry friends, increase awareness of services available from professionals who work with pets, and draw attention to the valuable contribution of working companion animals to society.

There is a reason dogs are called “man’s best friend.”

If you get a dog, the chances are that the dog is going to love you for life. Dogs are loyal, committed, protective, territorial and playful. They can have a variety of talents and skills. Some dogs will hunt with you. Others are great for herding. Some varieties are great for farms, and others are perfect for your lap.

Dogs, like humans, come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. It shouldn’t be hard to find one that suits you and your lifestyle. Dogs are great with families and with children. They can help protect your house. They will ride in the car with you. They love to be petted, walked and played with.

My dog, Astro, is a 100-lb lap dog. He thinks he’s a lap dog, anyway. He is thrilled when I walk through the door at night. He stands beside me if the doorbell rings. He alerts me any time someone walks into the front yard. He cleans up any food that I drop on the floor. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it. He brings so much joy to every day. I can’t imagine not having him around.



Family Matters: National Pet Month – Cat


National Pet Month - Cat

May is National Pet Month and a great reason to celebrate all the people out there whose furry friends are of the feline variety.

The goal of National Pet Month is to promote the benefits of owning a cat, support the adoption of cats, raise awareness of the benefits of owning a cat for both owners and furry friends, increase awareness of services available from professionals who work with pets, and draw attention to the valuable contribution of working companion animals to society.

I ended up owning a cat by accident. My neighbor in an apartment building had a litter of kittens, and it’s a proven fact that you can’t hold a kitten and then walk away without it. Pretty much everything I’d thought about having a cat proved to be untrue. My cat was very loving and very social. She wanted to be held and petted, and she didn’t mind being picked up. She loved water. She would sit on the edge of the bathtub and draw her tail back and forth through the bath water as I bathed. She was very vocal and would greet me when I walked through the door with a series of small meows.

Cats are great pets because they are pretty independent. You don’t have to take them on walks, and they don’t necessarily need to go outside. They are loving and can be good companions. Cats tend to have longer lifespans, don’t need a lot of space, and can groom themselves.



Family Matters: National Pet Month – Bird


National Pet Month - Bird

May is National Pet Month and a great reason to celebrate all the bird owners out there!

The goal of National Pet Month is to promote the benefits of owning a bird, support bird adoption, raise awareness of the benefits of bird ownership for both owners and feathered friends, increase awareness of services available from professionals who work with pets, and draw attention to the valuable contribution of working companion animals to society.

Let’s talk about the benefits of owning a bird. I do not have one myself, so I texted a friend who has a parakeet named Nellie, asking her what benefits she gets from being a bird mom.

“I have constant company, and I really believe Nellie talks to me and carries on conversations,” she wrote back. “Nellie is highly intelligent and communicates effectively without ever saying a word.”

Another benefit of owning a bird is that they have a long lifespan and can be a constant companion over many years.

Birds also encourage humans to be more social, as many of the talking varieties will actually converse with you in a give-and-take exchange.

Having a bird lowers your stress levels as you play with and talk to your pet. It also keeps your mind sharp as you train and work with your pet.



Healthy Living: Magnesium


MagnesiumOne of the few supplements I take each day is magnesium.

When I was filtering out my supplement needs, magnesium emerged as one of the few individual minerals that I needed to make sure I was taking enough of.

Magnesium can help hypertension and cardiovascular disease. It can also help correct kidney and liver damage. It can rectify peroxynitrite damage that can evolve into migraines, glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease. It can help with restless leg syndrome, PMS, insomnia, osteoporosis and fungal infections. It can contribute to an improvement in muscle weakness, cramps and impotence. Check with your physician to find out if you are magnesium-deficient and what kind of magnesium to take as a supplement.



Product Talk: Fresh Crawfish


Fresh CrawfishEach spring, crawfish come into season in the South, and there’s only one place to get the freshest crawfish without having to catch it yourself: Brookshire’s.

The friendly fish monger behind the seafood counter will take your order. I recommend ordering your crawfish at least three days in advance of when you need it (preferably about a week), so Brookshire’s can make sure to have your order in the store when you need it.

You probably want to order 3 to 4 pounds of crawfish per person, maybe a little less for a child and maybe a bit more for your crawfish-loving friends.

Bring a cooler large enough to carry the crawfish when you pick it up from the store. It’ll likely come in a netted bag, and you want to keep it on ice until you’re ready to clean it and cook it. You should plan to cook it on the same day you pick it up from the store.
Be sure to clean your crawfish first by submerging them in a large, clean sink. Any crawfish whose tails are straight should be discarded (they are dead). Any crawfish that are obviously dead also need to be discarded. You might need to change the water in the sink more than once, until the water stays clear. Cook the crawfish immediately.



Dine In: Corned Beef


Corned BeefWe didn’t eat much corned beef growing up.

I am Italian, after all.

As an adult, it seems like a lot of the people I really enjoy in life have Irish heritage, so I’ve been forced to learn a little bit about Irish cuisine. Happily forced, that is.

Now, it turns out that corned beef is not a traditional Irish dish, but it was introduced into the cuisine by a melding of Irish and American culture, where the cured beef was substituted for bacon by Irish-American immigrants in the late 19th century.

It then became a quasi-traditional dish to eat on St. Patrick’s Day (today, that is). Corned beef is usually eaten with potatoes and cabbage.

Corned beef is basically pickled brisket. Not THOSE kind of pickles, but cured brisket, simply stated.

You can purchase it pre-cured and reheat for tonight’s homage to all things Irish, or you can make it yourself!

Corned Beef

Ingredients:
1 (4 to 5 lb) beef brisket
2 quarts water
1 cup sea salt
1/2 cup raw cane sugar or organic brown sugar
1 stick cinnamon or about 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 Tbs mustard seeds
1 to 2 Tbs black peppercorns
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp allspice berries (optional)
1 Tbs coriander seeds
1 tsp juniper berries (optional)
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaf
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 to 3 bay leaves, crushed

Directions:
In a large, heavy stockpot, combine water, salt, sugar and spices; stir until dissolved.

Heat to a simmer; remove from heat and let cool by using two cups of ice if needed.

Refrigerate until very cold. Brine must be chilled through before it is used for the meat.

Trim the brisket, and place inside a 2-gallon, zip-top bag. Add brine. Make sure brisket is covered completely and totally surrounded by liquid. Place bag inside a smaller bowl if needed to help conform to a shape that keeps the meat fully submerged in liquid.

Place bag in the refrigerator, and let sit for 3 to 5 days. Every day, flip bag and move brine around.

After the brisket has finished brining, remove from bag; rinse well in warm water.

Place in a slow cooker, and cook on low for 8 to 12 hours.

Slice and serve with cabbage and potatoes.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 576, Calories from Fat: 164, Fat: 18 g (7 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 253 mg, Sodium: 11774 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 87 g.

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



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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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