Picking the Best Cantaloupe

13 Aug

How do you pick the best cantaloupe?  Follow these six tips next time you have a craving for this sweet treat!

Image result for cantaloupe

MOLD
The first thing you’ll want to look out for is mold, cracks, or soft spots on the rind of the cantaloupe.

SKIN
Next, examine the skin of the cantaloupe more carefully. The inside of a cantaloupe should be a subtle orange, but the outside is a different story! If the rind is green, that means it was picked too early and isn’t ripe yet. Aim for a rind that is beige.

WEIGHT
Weigh your cantaloupe! This is one situation where the heavier it is, the better!

RIPENESS
Sometimes cantaloupes can be too ripe. To double check, gently press the bottom of the cantaloupe with your thumb. A good cantaloupe will have a little give, but not too much. If the cantaloupe is squishy, that means it’s overripe and already rotting inside.

TAP
Listen to your cantaloupe! That’s right, go ahead and tap tap tap on the rind. If you hear a hollow sound, you’ve got a good fruit!

SMELL
Go ahead and smell the cantaloupe. Just like with pineapples, you should be able to smell the sweetness of the fruit. If you can’t smell anything, it’s probably not ripe yet.

Peaches Delight

10 Aug

August is National Peach Month!  Our Peaches Delight will surely do just that!

Peaches Delight

Servings:
1 Fruit
1 Starch
1 Supplement
1 Snack

Ingredients:
1 serving Peaches
1 Vanilla Pudding Shake Supplement (Prepared)
1 Butter Pecan Bar
1 serving Cereal or Melba Toast (Crushed) Spices to taste

Preparation:
Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

 

How to Use Skewers

9 Aug

Learn to skewer like a pro. Skewers can help ensure even cooking and add a little fun to your meal. Remember to use tongs or an oven mitt when turning them on the grill.

Crunchy Baked Catfish

8 Aug

It’s National Catfish Month!  Need a dinner idea?  Try our Crunchy Baked Catfish!

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Crunchy Baked Catfish

Servings:
1 Protein
1 Starch
Suitable for Fast Track patientsSuitable for Fast Track Patients

Ingredients:
1 serving Catfish
1 Breadstick, crumbled
2 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning Blend
Juice from 1/2 fresh Lemon

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray unflavored cooking spray on a baking pan. Place catfish fillet in pan. Evenly sprinkle top of fish with 1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning Blend. Squeeze lemon juice over fish. Toss crumbled breadstick with remaining 1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning Blend. Carefully top the fillet with the breadstick crumbs. Bake for 20 minutes or until the fish is fork tender.

 

Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Bites

3 Aug

It’s National Watermelon Day!  Looking for a cool, crisp and refreshing snack?  Try our Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Bites!

Image result for watermelon, cucumber, feta

Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Bites

Servings:
1 Protein
1 Vegetable
1 Fruit
** Freedom Meal Plans 4-7 ONLY

Ingredients:
1/2 medium Cucumber, cut into slices
1 cup Watermelon, cubed
1 oz. Low- Fat Feta Cheese, crumbled
1/2 Tbsp fresh Lime Juice
1/2 tsp fresh Mint, finely chopped

Preparation:
Arrange cucumber slices. Place a watermelon cube on each cucumber slice. Sprinkle the feta on top. Mix together the lime juice and mint. Before serving, drizzle this mixture over the stacks.

Blue Cross Members Share Their ‘Why’ for Losing Weight

3 Aug

We all have our own reasons for why we want to lose weight – more energy, overall health or perhaps a special occasion.

By taking advantage of an exclusive discount offered to Blue Cross members through the Blue365 savings program, find out how five patients teamed up with their local Medical Weight Loss Clinic and changed their lives.

Start your own journey today!  What’s your ‘why’?

 

Blue Cross Members Share Their ‘Why’ for Losing Weight

National Watermelon Day

3 Aug

NATIONAL WATERMELON DAY

Watermelon is the perfect fruit to enjoy on August 3rd.  It is also National Watermelon Day. Enjoyed by many, it is a favorite at summertime events such as picnics and fairs.  Watermelon is 92% water, which is why it is so refreshing.

Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp). Pepos are derived from an inferior ovary and are characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon – although not in the genus Cucumis – has a smooth exterior rind (usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh (usually deep red to pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, or white).

The fruit was likely first cultivated for its ability to hold plentiful water in a desert landscape, especially since the wild melon was bitter or tasteless.  Seeds and art found in tombs of Pharaohs are substantial evidence of the watermelon’s value. Cultivation and breeding brought out the better qualities of sweet and tender fruit we enjoy today.

Watermelons can grow enormous, and you will find competitions across the country which award prizes each year for the largest one.  The Guinness Book of World Records states that the heaviest watermelon weighed 262 pounds. To learn more refreshing watermelon facts, check out www.watermelon.org.

How to Pick a Ripe Watermelon

1 Aug

Can you think of anything more refreshing than the sweet, juicy taste of a watermelon on a summer day? You may think that choosing a great watermelon is up to chance, but there are actually several ways to spot the perfect watermelon so follow these tips and take the guess work out of your selection!

Image result for watermelon

1. Field Spot
When viewing watermelons, the first thing that sticks out are those weird white spots. However, these spots (called field spots)are quite natural. The field spot is the area where the watermelon rested on the ground. While every watermelon has a field spot, the best watermelons have creamy-yellow or even orange-yellow spots. Go for the gold.

2. Webbing
The webbing of a watermelon indicates the amount of times that bees touched the flower. The more pollination, the sweeter the watermelon is.

3. Boy or Girl?
You may have not known this, but watermelons have genders. The ‘boy’ watermelons, are taller and more elongated, while the “girl” watermelons are more round and stout. The boy watermelons are more watery, while the girl watermelons are sweeter.

4. Size
Our common sense tells us that bigger is better. So we may think that we should get our money’s worth and get the biggest watermelon we can haul onto our carts, but in reality, the best watermelons are average-sized. Don’t go for too small or too big, but just right. Size matters.

5. Tail
The tail of a watermelon indicates its ripeness. A green tail indicates that it was picked too soon and will not taste as good. Go for the watermelons that have dried tails for the best taste.

 

National Raspberry Cream Pie Day

1 Aug

NATIONAL RASPBERRY CREAM PIE DAY

Image result for raspberries

National Raspberry Cream Pie Day is observed annually on August 1st.  This day is in theme with other raspberry holidays in this same time period.  Raspberries are most plentiful this time of year.

Raspberries are the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genusRubus of the rose family.  The name also applies to the plants themselves.

  • Raspberries are woody stemmed perennials.
  • Raspberries are widely grown in all temperate regions of the World.
  • Raspberries are a very important commercial fruit crop.
  • At one time, raspberries were a midsummer crop, however with new technology, cultivars and transportation,
    they can now be obtained year-round.
  • An  individual raspberry weighs 0.11 – 0.18 oz.
  • An individual raspberry is made up of about 100 drupelets.
  • One raspberry bush can yield several hundred berries a year.
  • A raspberry has a hollow core once it is removed from the receptacle.
  • Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, manganese and dietary fiber.
  • Raspberries contain vitamin B1, vitamin B3, folic acid, magnesium, copper and iron.

Try our Raspberry Cream Pie

Servings:
1 Fruit
1 Nutrient
1 Supplement
Suitable for Fast Track patients

Ingredients:

Pie Crust:
1 Cinnamon Vanilla Cereal Nutritional Supplement
1-2 Egg Whites

Pie Filling:
1 serving Raspberries
1 Vanilla Pudding Shake Nutritional Supplement, prepared as pudding

Preparation:

Pie Crust:
Crush Cinnamon Vanilla Cereal and mix with egg white. Place mixture in a small muffin tin or baking cup. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Pie Filling:
In a blender, blend raspberries and prepared vanilla pudding. Spread mixture on pie crust, chill and serve.

How to Grill Stone Fruit

30 Jul

Grilled stone fruits such as plums, peaches, nectarines or apricots are equally tasty as they are easy to prepare.  Delicious served alongside grilled meats, you can also add them to greens or add them into salsas!