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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!



Shop the Sale: Berry Smoothie


Prep Time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

Your favorite time of year is finally here! Strawberries are in season and we have the best selection – and prices – with strawberries on sale all this week at Brookshire’s. Sweeten up your mornings with our Berry Smoothie or enjoy it anytime as a sweet treat that won’t ruin swimsuit season. Check out the full recipe below plus some savory strawberry recipe ideas in our Chef Tips section.

Ingredients
1 medium ripe banana (about 4 oz), peeled and cut crosswise into 8 pieces
8 oz strawberries, stemmed and cleaned
8 oz blueberries
1/2 cup whole or skim milk
1/2 cup apple juice
1 pinch table salt
1 to 2 Tbs granulated sugar, divided
2 to 3 tsp lemon juice, divided
3 ice cubes (about 1 1/2 oz)
Garnish to your liking with an abundance of fresh fruits, nuts, oats, etc.

Instructions
Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange banana and berries in single layer on baking sheet. Freeze fruit until very cold but not frozen, about 10 minutes. In blender, puree cold fruit, milk, juice, salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and ice until uniformly smooth, about 10 to 15 seconds. Taste for sugar and lemon. If desired, add more sugar or lemon, and blend until combined, about 2 more seconds. Serve immediately, garnished as desired.

Calories Per Serving: 125, Fat: 2 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 3 mg, Sodium: 162 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 2 g.

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

Chef Tips

Berry Tasty Dishes
Strawberries aren’t just for desserts or eating straight from the carton. Although we highly recommend both methods, there are many savory options for this juicy berry as well. Some of our favorites are Turkey Fajitas with Strawberry-Jalapeno Salsa, Chipotle-Strawberry Glazed Pork Chops and Spicy Strawberry Gazpacho. For simpler meal ideas it’s hard to go past a Strawberry & Feta Spinach Salad (add chicken for lean protein) or you can go gourmet with your next grilled ham and cheese by choosing a buttery cheese like Havarti and topping with Strawberry Red Wine Jam. Even pizza or flatbreads pair well, with options like Strawberry, Basil & Balsamic Pizza and focaccia topped with berries, bacon, avocado and goat cheese.

How Sweet It Is
Not that you need any reason other than the sweet taste to eat strawberries, they’re also packed with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Finally, a treat that’s actually good for you! Get the most out of your strawberries by choosing berries that are firm, plump and a deep red color. Strawberries do not ripen further once picked, so it’s best to pick those that are fully ripened. If they’re dull or have yellow patches, they’re not ripe.



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.



Healthy Living: Using Sunscreen


Using SunscreenWe should all REALLY wear sunscreen all year long. Let’s be honest. How many of us don’t even think about it until the warmer months when the sun beats down a little more intensely than at other times?

I know I don’t (although I use a facial product with an SPF every single day, all year long).

As I was taking out the sunscreen today before a trip to the state park, I realized that I need to be a little more diligent about using sunscreen all year long.

Using sunscreen is the best way to help prevent melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. It also takes the consistent, proper use of sunscreen to make it most effective.

Use sunscreen every time you’re going to be outdoors, even in winter and on cloudy days. Ultraviolet rays can damage your skin under both conditions.

Use about  1 1/2 ounces of sunscreen each time you apply it, which should be about every 90 minutes in the sun, or more often if you’re swimming or sweating. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks all types of UV rays, with a number of 15 or higher.

Use sunscreen or wear protective clothing over every inch of your body. Adding a hat helps, as does wearing a cover-up over your swimsuit for beach days. Use a special sunscreen on your lips, and don’t forget behind your ears and on your scalp.

Remember, tanned skin doesn’t look healthy if it’s riddled with melanoma!

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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.

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



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.



Healthy Living: Roasted Garlic Green Beans


Roasted Garlic Green BeansGrowing up, my mom cooked green beans frequently. They were flash-frozen, which is the healthiest way to buy them if you can’t get them fresh, and boiled (which kind of defeated some of the health of the flash-frozen status). I can’t say they were my favorite.

When I was old enough to cook green beans, I only bought fresh beans, and I steamed them. They were healthy, but they did not have a lot of flavor.

My boyfriend likes them simmered with bacon. Super tasty, but I’m not sure there’s any health value left whatsoever.

However, these beans are the best of both worlds. They’re fresh and healthy with heart-healthy olive oil as the added fat, and they’re full of great taste and flavor. I also love the texture from roasting the beans instead of cooking them with liquid.

Roasted Garlic Green Beans

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans, rinsed and ends cut off
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
sea salt and pepper, to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Toss green beans with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic. Spread on a baking sheet. Roast for 17 to 20 minutes, stirring once. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 (as a side dish)

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 74, Fat: 2 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 12 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 3 g.

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

 



Healthy Living: Cheesy Spinach-Stuffed Peppers


Cheesy Spinach-Stuffed PeppersAlthough March in the Deep South gets warmer and warmer (as evidenced by the long-sleeved T-shirts I routinely trade for a short-sleeved version all month long), April is really the first month I consider to be true springtime. With the warmer weather comes the inevitable need to shed some hibernation weight from the winter months.

The fresh flavors of springtime just say “healthy” to me. More greens, more colors from the garden, and more fresh fruits and veggies.

While this recipe does have cheese (you need dairy, you know), it’s based on bright, fresh green bell peppers and filled with brown rice and other bright bursts of spring flavor, like garlic and basil.

These would be delicious served with a colorful salad as a side dish.

Cheesy Spinach-Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup water
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs garlic, minced
5 oz fresh spinach
3 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, plus extra for topping
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 large bell peppers

Directions:

Prepare rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350° F.

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until oil is fragrant and shimmering. Sauté the spinach and garlic for about 2 minutes.

Season with basil, red pepper, oregano, salt and pepper.

Add cooked rice to the skillet; stir in cheeses.

Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.

Remove tops from peppers, and scoop out seeds and pith. Stuff peppers with spinach/rice filling. Top with extra cheese, and place peppers in a foil-lined baking pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 357, Fat: 11 g (6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 30 mg, Sodium: 430 mg, Carbohydrates: 52 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 7 g, Protein: 15 g.

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



Healthy Living: Sinus Allergy Relief Drink


Sinus Allergy Relief DrinkIt’s allergy season in the South, and it feels like it came back a little sooner this year than most.

Allergies are a histamine reaction to things in the air this time of year, like grass, pollen, ragweed, mold and any other host of things that are blooming nearby.

You might need to see your doctor about combatting seasonal allergies, but there are natural home remedies you can also use to alleviate symptoms, such as a stuffy nose and sinus congestion.

One of them is this drink.

Made with all natural ingredients, a wise, older woman that I know swears by this concoction. She drinks one portion daily and swears that it helps keep her sinuses from becoming inflamed, thus keeping her breathing easily.

Even if it doesn’t have magical, medicinal properties, it IS healthy for you, no matter why you’re drinking it.

If you don’t have a juicer, peel and chop all of your ingredients. Add about 1/2 cup sparkling water, and process in a food processer until desired consistency.

Sinus Allergy Relief Drink

Ingredients:
2 large carrots
2 oranges
1 green apple, cored
1 small piece ginger, peeled

Directions:
Put all ingredients in juicer, and process according to manufacturer’s directions.

Serves 1

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 437, Calories from Fat: 23, Fat: 3 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 95 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 21 g, Sugar: 65 g, Protein: 7 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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