Thursday, May 8, 2014

Simple Solutions Series: Speedy Snacking Solutions

Simple Solutions Series

April Healthy Eating Presentation

If you noticed, I published my Simple Solutions Series for May before this one and I did this because I wanted to publish the fresh salsa recipes on Cinco de Mayo. You can find it here. Let's rewind a bit back to April (and my second food demo): 

My friend and I teamed up for the second time to bring forth yet another opportunity to showcase how easy (and affordable) it is to eat healthy. Here's the recap from March when we covered Grazing on the Go.

We reviewed the Traffic Light Eating (TLE) concept and reminded our guests that we'd be focusing primarily in the green and yellow light categories. In the TLE, sometimes the foods we choose fall in what we consider the continuum and sometimes foods can straddle the yellow-red part of it. Anything with added unnecessary sugar (natural or not) can be considered in this section. If the sugar is refined and processed, it is a red light food, but if it is natural and the consumption has been lessened and depending on the other ingredients, it may fall closer to the yellow. One of the recipes we made today falls in the yellow continuum section. 


#1 - Washing produce (We used strawberries.)

I filled the sink mid way with tepid water and added 3 tbs of white distilled vinegar. The strawberries soaked for about 5 minutes. Why this works: The vinegar kills bacteria and helps to dissolve the wax and contaminant residues found on the skins of many fruits and vegetables. 

I also covered that you can make a quick spray using a spray bottle, juice from 1/2 of a lemon, 3 tbs vinegar, and 1 cup water. Mist the produce, rinse and wipe clean. 

A few of the guests are doTerra reps and they shared with me that lemon E.O. can be used in place of fresh lemon but that smaller batches must be made to preserve the E.O. and if possible, to use a darker color bottle. 

The benefits of making your own produce wash: cheaper than store-bought, cleans more effectively than water alone, and all-natural (as even the store-bought types in health food stores can have lots of unnecessary ingredients). 

#2 Build a Trail Mix 

Ingredients we had: dried cranberries, raisins, and cherries; unsweetened coconut chips, banana chips, crushed almonds & walnuts, and dried pineapple. My friend showed various containers that can store the ingredients and keep them fresh longer. Everyone was given a bowl to scoop out the ingredients they wanted to snack on while we started demonstrating snacks. Making your own trail mix is great to have in a pinch and as a healthy snack. You can make yours ahead of time and store it in a mason jar in your car or in a resealable snack bag or in a small container that fits snugly in your bag or purse. This will help you avoid the drive-thrus and reach for something nutrient dense. [I will be publishing a recipe on DIY trail mix later and will be linked here when it goes live.]

#3 Strawberry Reduction 

On the stove top, I reduced down 1 cup of sliced strawberries with 2 tbs of water and a pinch of coconut sugar. The strawberries weren't very sweet so I thought a pinch of natural sugar would compliment what we were making. The recipe for the strawberry reduction (without added sugar) is here

#4 Aloha Dip (two kinds)

Dip 1 - Ingredients: 8 oz of softened Greek yogurt cream cheese, 2 tbs of powdered sugar (DIY here), 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1 cup of strawberries. The tool, Power Chef System, in the right corner of the image above is what we used to make both recipes.  

#5 Slicing a fresh pineapple 

Before I share the second Aloha Dip recipe, I showed the guests how to slice a pineapple. The way you may be thinking works great when your pineapple has sat on the counter a bit too long and most of the sides are yellow but IMO it requires extra steps of prep and you waste more of the pineapple. Visit my May Healthy Eating post here to see how I demonstrated cutting the pineapple. 

Dip 2 - Ingredients: 8 oz softened Greek yogurt cream cheese, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of fresh pineapple. We chose not to add the DIY powdered sugar to this recipe because the pineapple was very sweet already. The guests agreed that it didn't need it. 

#6 Not Your Mama's Shortcake (as seen here

This recipe was made as per the blog post (linked above) and I made a double batch as we had 9 adults and 2 kids in attendance. 

So -- which topic number fell in the yellow-red light continuum? Any guesses? 

Secondly, which topic above peeked your interest and one that you will be incorporating more of in your week?

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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