5 Key Tips to Selecting the Best Watermelon

26 Jun

Did you ever wonder what to look for when selecting Watermelons?  Do you give it a good thump on the rind or do you look for unblemished melons?

Consider these aspects when picking out your next Watermelon and let us know what you think!

  1. Field Spot
  2. Webbing
  3. Boy or Girl?
  4. Size
  5. Tail

Watermelon Pairing Guide

12 Jun

Watermelon has a wonderful texture, flavor, and color, that pairs well with many other ingredients when cooking!  Check out these watermelon flavor pairings when whipping up watermelon dishes this Summer.

Plan Ahead to Eat Healthy

7 Jun

June is ‘National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable’ Month!  Celebrate by planning ahead to eat healthy and adding more color into your diet.

A simple way to add more color to your meals is prepping your ingredients ahead of time. Make a plan to wash, prep & store the fruits and vegetables you’ll need for the coming week, so you’re prepared for healthy meals and snacks.

1. Keep sliced vegetables in a container in the fridge for a quick and easy snack (carrots, cucumbers, peppers.)

2. Pack sliced fruits or vegetables when you’re on-the-go to help avoid fast food and vending machine temptations. Grapes are a great no-mess option.

3. Before grocery shopping, create a meal plan for the week and make a list of all the items you will need to buy, including quantity.  Include a variety of colored food.

Learn more at http://heart.org

5 Habits to Avoid to Get Better Sleep

22 May

Seeking a better night’s sleep?  As a society, our lack of sleep has been labeled a public epidemic by the Center for Disease Control.  Check out these 5 habits to avoid.

 

 

 

 

5 Great Reasons to Shop at Your Local Farmer’s Market

15 May

Image result for farmers market

  1. Freshly picked, in season produce is at its peak in flavor and nutrition. Fresh fruit and vegetables are chock full of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Your local farmer’s market should be able to provide a guide so you can easily learn what fruits and vegetables are in season.
  2. Supporting your local farmer’s market strengthens your community and economy. Meet your local farmers; learn about foods grown in your area and catch up with friends and neighbors in your community while stocking up on fresh local goods.
  3. It’s a great activity for the family. Visit different booths with your kids and select a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, local dairy or protein. Helping in the menu planning can often mean kids will be more likely to eat the healthy meal prepared!
  4. You can try a new fruit or vegetable! Many farmers’ markets offer lesser known fruits and vegetables, providing a variety that can be both tasty and nutritious.
  5. Farmer’s often have recommendations for preparing their goods. They can help you learn how to select and store rare and common fruits and vegetables.

What is your favorite farmer’s market and why?

6 Ways to Give Your Yard an Eco-Friendly Makeover

10 May

With the arrival of spring, here are some landscaping ideas to contribute to the overall health of the planet, turning your yard into the perfect “green” space.

  1. Attract bees and butterflies. If you have a garden, you will want these pollinators in your yard. Planting a diverse array of native plants with a staggered bloom that bees and butterflies are attracted to will draw them to your yard all spring, summer or fall. Your local nursery will be able to help make suggestions.
  2. Welcome bats as the organic pest-control powerhouses they are. Bat houses for these flying mammals with a creepy reputation on your property will help you control pests.
  3. Go native with wildflowers and grasses. Cut back on mowing the grass and add some wildflowers and grasses native to Michigan. Check with your nursery, as some may grow too easily and become invasive.
  4. Plant your own salad. Increase the biodiversity of your yard by starting your own garden. You’ll save money, get exercise and enjoy the fresh fruits (and veggies) of your own labor.
  5. Harvest water from the sky. Install a rain barrel to capture any falling precipitation.
  6. Lower your cooling cost with trees. They help clean the air, provide shade and beauty, and can help reduce home cooling costs in the summer depending on how they are planted.

Link to original article:  http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/2017/04/06/6-ways-to-give-your-yard-an-eco-friendly-makeover/

Benefits of Cherries

2 May

Cherries may be a favorite when snacking on fruit, but there’s more benefits to this fruit than just a sweet flavor!

4 Benefits of Cherries:

1. Cherries are high in antioxidants, contributing to decreased inflammation, and reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.  Sweet cherries are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, anthocyanins and quercetin.  Fiber, Vitamin C, carotenoids and anthocyanins act as an anti-cancer team.  Cyanidin and quercetin help by reducing free radicals.

2.  Cherries are mostly water! Made up of an average of 80% water, snacking on this fruit will help you stay hydrated.  The water and fiber content in this fruit will also help you feel full, without all the extra calories.

3. They can help relieve pain from arthritis and gout.  Some research indicates that cherries can help reduce the symptoms from gout by lowering uric acid levels and reducing C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.

4.  This naturally sweet fruit is an easy, healthy dessert for Spring picnics.  Just throw in a bag and serve!

Try a Cherry Recipe!

Twice Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato

Servings:
1 Fruit
1 Starch

Ingredients:
1/2 medium Sweet Potato
5 medium, fresh Cherries, pitted
1/2 small Orange, peeled and sliced

Preparation:
Bake sweet potato until tender.  Cool slightly and scoop pulp from sweet potato halve so it can be filled.  In a food processor, process cherries and orange slices until chunky mixture is achieved.  Mix sweet potato pulp with fruit mixture until well combined.  Scoop mixture into potato shell.  Bake at 350F oven until heated through.

Cherry Chocolate Crunch

Servings:
1 Fruit
1 Starch
1 Supplement

Ingredients:
1 Chocolate Pudding Shake Supplement, prepared as pudding
1 serving Cherries, pitted
1 serving Rice Cakes, crushed

Preparation:
Mix all ingredients together well.  Chill for 2 hours and serve.