Easy Berry Stuffed Egg Crepes

Yes, we admit, even though we’ve been registered dietitians and personal trainers for 15 years and we now know when a nutrition craze deserves the attention,  as teenagers, we fell prey to one of the biggest nutrition “crazes”.   The fat-free trend had us gobbling up fat-free Entenmann’s desserts because we thought fat-free must equal good.  Oy! Thank gosh that’s a thing of the past as we now eat healthy fat-packed avocados like nobody’s business 🙂 …

However, with all of the changes we’ve seen in the nutrition world, one thing that hasn’t changed is that people are constantly looking for a healthy, easy-to-make, satisfying, energy-boosting breakfast that won’t pack on the pounds.  We’ve found that many of the best breakfasts that do just that include eggs.  Eggs are truly one of the easiest, most delicious and nutritious ways to start the morning.  So in honor of eggs, particularly Eggland’s Best eggs and this month being Breast Cancer Awareness month, we whipped up this new recipe. Throughout this entire Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Eggland’s Best, a.k.a. EB (who we are proud spokespeople for!), continues its’ commitment in the fight against breast cancer by helping Susan G. Komen fund critical research, education and raising awareness through its pink EB “stamped” eggs.

This is quite suiting given that EB not only has eggs that are super delicious, their hens are also fed an all-vegetarian feed that causes the eggs to be higher in nutrients that aid in cancer prevention than other eggs (see below)  And this flurry of goodness was the inspiration for our Easy Berry Stuffed Egg Crepes!  Once you try these pups, they’ll be a household regular! 🙂

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Get your forks ready and join us! And in case you’re looking for other cancer-fighting breakfasts that also support these initiatives, here you go!

Tomato, Egg, Spinach & Feta Never Tasted Beta’ Wrap

Sunny Side Eggs on a Portobello “Bagel”

Skinny Breakfast Pizza

Basil Pesto Vegetable Omelet

Mexican Eggs in a Mug

Skinny Eggs Benedict

The Most Satisfying Weight Loss Breakfast

Mini Frittata Muffins

Here’s why this easy, delicious nutrient-packed breakfast helps to fight breast cancer:

The Eggs:

Eggland’s Best eggs are a great way to get that extra boost, because compared to ordinary eggs they are fed a proprietary vegetarian hen feed and have these cancer fighting bonuses:

  • 5X more vitamin D (vitamin D influences virtually every cell in the body and is one of nature’s most potent cancer fighters)
  • Double the omega-3s (help to fight inflammation and support brain and heart health)
  • 10X more vitamin E (protects against cancer, help cells in your body function optimally)
  • 25% less saturated fat (
    diets lower in saturated fat help to minimize risk of breast cancer)

berry_stuffed_crepe_removeberry_stuffed_eggs_honey_cropped1-_logoThe berries:  All of these sweet, yumsters pack in cancer-protection with the phytonutrients

  • All berries (especially strawberries and raspberries), are great sources of ellagic acid, a phytochemical that seems to prevent skin, bladder, lung, esophagus and breast cancer. It appears that ellagic acid has several cancer-fighting actions– it acts as an antioxidant, it helps to deactivate carcinogens in the body and it helps to stall the reproduction of cancer cells.
  • Strawberries also contain flavonoids, which help to neutralize harmful cancer-causing toxins.
  • Blueberries have anthocyanins, which many scientists believe are among the most potent antioxidants yet discovered.

 

 

Easy Berry Stuffed Egg Crepes

This satisfying breakfast will aid your weight loss efforts as it’s filling, nutrient-packed and has only 225 calories with 20 satisfying grams of protein and can be made in under two minutes!

Serves 1

Ingredients:

2 Eggland’s Best eggs (We use Eggland’s Best eggs because they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs)

1 cup mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries)

1 ounce fat free feta (we used Trader Joe’s)

Directions:

  1. To make crepes, use a microwave safe bowl with a wider base. Crack one egg in the bowl and stir it so that it’s mixed thoroughly.  Season with spices of choice.  Microwave for 45 seconds and allow to set for a minute.  Remove bowl from microwave and carefully use a spoon or spatula to remove the “crepe” from the bowl and place on a plate.
  2. Repeat step one with the second egg.
  3. Place half the berries down the center of each crepe. Add feta and roll the crepe. Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts per serving (entire recipe): 225 calories, 18 g carbohydrate, 20 g protein, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 4 g fiber, 396 mg sodium

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The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people get more nutrients from their food.

Easy Berry Stuffed Egg Crepes
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • Serves 1
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 Eggland’s Best eggs
  • 1 cup mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries)
  • 1 ounce fat free feta (we used Trader Joe’s)
Instructions
  1. To make crepes, use a microwave safe bowl with a wider base. Crack one egg in the bowl and stir it so that it’s mixed thoroughly. Season with spices of choice. Microwave for 45 seconds and allow to set for a minute. Remove bowl from microwave and carefully use a spoon or spatula to remove the “crepe” from the bowl and place on a plate.
  2. Repeat step one with the second egg.
  3. Place half the berries down the center of each crepe. Add feta and roll the crepe. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 225 Calories

6 Foods That are Better Than Botox For your Skin! Mornings with Maria Bartiromo

If you want younger looking skin, here is your food formula! We break it down for you with the amazing Maria Bartiromo!

 

It’s true, the foods that you eat really do impact the appearance of your skin!

 

Certain foods no-no’s for the skin—these are any foods that cause cell damage—it ages the skin and creates wrinkles.   Balance out skin “no-no” foods with foods that act a natural wrinkle cream.

 

  • No-No: Alcohol = Dehydrator —creates free radicals which damages cells and accelerates aging. Alcohol contributes to dehydration, and when our skin looks dry it also looks aged. It also can lead to broken blood vessels on the face which make the skin appear damaged. Think of that person we’ve all who after they drink their skin looks more weathered and older.

 

  • Natural Anti-Wrinkle Cream & Skin Hydrator: All Vegetables. Veggies naturally are rich in water, so they create moisture within your skin, plumping the cells and filling the crevices.  Think of them as your body’s natural lotion—plus a whole lot more.  They contain potent antioxidants that mop up the damage caused by alcohol, pollution, the sun, etc.  Vegetables (and fruits too!) are water and potassium rich so they hydrate skin, restore fluid balance and prevent it from looking wrinkled and withered.

 

  • Skin Hydrator: Avocado: As we get older our skin gets thinner and avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, and they moisturize skin from the inside out with their oil. Plus your skin will get a rejuvenating glow thanks to avocado’s anti-inflammatory properties which will minimize flare-ups and tone skin.

 

  • Skin Enhancer:  Tart cherries.  Alcohol disrupts sleep so cells can’t rejuvenate.  Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin so they enhance and promote sleep– and your body repairs and regenerates your cells, including your skin cells when you sleep.
    • Tart cherry juice has been linked to improved sleep quality and duration

 

 

  • No-No:  Inflammatory foods like refined carbohydrates (white bread, white flour products), sugar, fried foods, processed meats, MSG. They create a low-level systemic inflammation that you may not realize is even happening, but inside, this is what damages cells, leads to disease and aging and creates weathered skin.

 

  • Skin calmers & Smoothiers: Anti-inflammatory foods:
    • Spices like turmeric and ginger. These are calming and fight inflammation. They repair cell damage and counteract the effects of inflammatory foods.
    • Wild salmon as well as sardines, tuna, and herring are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are often lacking in our diets. These omega 3-rich fish are powerful anti-inflammatories and help to keep skin supple and soft with their oils.
    • Soy Ginger Salmon
    • DIY Brown Rice Sushi
    • Broccoli also contains anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, such as sulforaphane.
    • Spicy “Fried” Broccoli
15865443 - grilled salmon and vegetables

15865443 – grilled salmon and vegetables

  • Collagen Destroyer:
  • No- No: Collagen Destroyer–Sugar—refined like white bread, noodles and pasta (which break down to simple sugars) they enter our blood stream where they can then attach to the skin’s collagen and elastin. This causes the skins structure to weaken which results in visible signs of ageing by a process called glycation.

 

  • Anti-wrinkle Cream- Collagen Rebuilder: Tomatoes and other vitamin C rich food. Vitamin C keeps skin youthful and elastic by aiding in collagen formation–this helps the skin to snap back into place when you make expressions, rather than staying in the wrinkled expression.  Added bonus of foods like tomatoes that are typically red  in color is that they’re rich in lycopene and beta carotene, both act as a natural sunblock—so they also fight age spots and sun damage.

 

Here are a few great skin beautifying recipes:

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Strawberry and Citrus Salad with Avocado

Ginger and Carrot Slim-Down Smoothie

Minty Lime Iced Green “Flat Belly” Tea

..and for beta carotene for a natural sunblock (protector against age spots and sun damage) Roasted Tarragon Garlic Sweet Potato Fries

Some more skin beautifying food tips?

6 Foods That are Better Than Botox For your Skin! Grilled Salmon Recipe
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, divided
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
  • 1¾-inch cube peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¾ teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (see note below)
  • 4 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large bok choy, cut crosswise into ½-inch-wide strips (about 7 cups)
  • 4 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
  • Note: You can find this in most grocery stores in the Asian stores
Instructions
  1. In a blender add 1 garlic clove, the onions, soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, sugar, sesame oil and garlic sauce and blend.
  2. Meanwhile place salmon in 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon marinade ono top and allow to marinate 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 500°F. Using a rimmed baking sheet, place fish, with some marinade still sticking to it on top. Move any marinade in the dish to a small saucepan.
  4. Roast fish until just opaque in center, roughly 8 minutes.
  5. Heat the marinde in the saucepan until it begins to boil. Then set is aside to use for the glaze.
  6. Meanwhile, using a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add bok choy and mushrooms and press in 1 garlic clove using a garlic press.
  7. Heat for about 4 minutes. When it’s ready mushrooms will betender and bok choy will be wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Divide the veggies over the four plates. Place salmon on top and brush fish with glaze. Enjoy! 🙂
  9. Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
  10. Calories, 10 g Carbohydrate, 8 g fat, 36 g protein, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar,
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 piece Calories: 249 Fat: 8 g Carbohydrates: 10 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 36 g

 

Top Late Night Snacks (our picks for weight loss)

Although we’re twin sister registered dietitians and personal trainers who nowadays absolutely love veggies, we admittedly didn’t always adore them.  In fact, we were very picky kids and the moment our mom would turn her back from the dinner table, we’d sneak our salads off to our best friend, Mary and her black lab, Buddy, who liked veggies! 🙂 Luckily, our veggie-snubbing ways have changed, thanks to many reasons —(you can read more about that here)– and you may know that we also reset our taste buds, which definitely was partially responsible for the love affair we now have with veggies.  But one thing that hasn’t changed is that we each have a killer sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check.  Although, resetting our taste buds has been very helpful in taming the beast 😉 (aka our killer sweet tooth), it doesn’t mean that we don’t adore sweets, because believe us, we do—especially when the evening comes around!

And when our clients tell us that on nights when they stay up late and they get a little bit hungry or want to nibble, we can relate, as this is when our sweet tooth calls our name, ah!

Thankfully, we’ve learned to make some pretty delicious, waistline-friendly frozen desserts that we can eat and prepare in the very comfort of our own home—and that we love but don’t overeat! Plus, they are a lot less processed and have much less sugar—in fact, ours are actually pretty good for you! Remember our Skinny Strawberry Mint Ice Cream, Skinny Banana Ice Cream SandwichesDark Chocolate Banana Ice Creamand this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream?

As you settle in to watch your favorite television show after dinner, you may find yourself craving a late-night nosh. Do you cave in to chips or cookies and regret it later? Or maybe in your attempt to avoid junk food, you end up nibbling your way through the other food in your cupboard instead. If the late night munchies have gotten the best of you and your waistline, here are our top snacks to try.

 

They’ve all got less than 150 calories and really hit the spot.

 

Vanilla “Milkshake”

Two options:

  • Mix one scoop of vanilla or chocolate flavored protein with ¾ cup cold water, ice and 1/4 frozen banana and blend. (We’ve been using Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla or Chocolate Protein Powder lately)

OR

  • Mix a cup of almond milk (or skim milk) with one scoop of vanilla-flavored protein powder.

 

Why our clients love it: This light version of a milkshake feels like a real treat, satisfies sweet cravings, but won’t weigh you down.  The protein keeps your blood sugar stable. Bonus: The calcium in the protein powder (make sure yours is calcium-fortified, many are) may help your muscles and body to relax before bedtime. To learn more about our tips for choosing a good protein powder, check out our 3-Ingredient Weight Loss Pancakes (scroll down to find out about protein powder).

 CocoaVia_Banana_Cinnamon_smoothie1_CLOSE - Copy

 

Frozen Cherry Poppers

OK, we admit it, we have many favorite summertime (well, anytime) treats, but this one really is one of our new all-time faves! Plus, it’s so healthy, easy and just two steps! And there is something about the chewy texture of frozen cherries that really hits the spot—super-satisfying! And all for a measly 6 calories per popper! Woohoo! 5 Cherry Poppers are just 30 calories! Find out how they’re easy to make here.

Why our clients love it: A guilt-free, refreshing way to satisfy a sweet tooth? Sign them (and us! 🙂 ) up!

Frozen Yogurt Covered cherry poppers

 

 

Berry and Greek Yogurt Parfait

Use six ounces of a plain or vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt and one-half cup of halved strawberries or any of your fave berries. Layer yogurt in the bottom of the parfait cup, and then add a layer of berries. Alternate layers until you’ve finished ingredients.

Why our clients love it: It’s rich, creamy, and feels decadent. Plus it contains plenty of protein and fiber, so even if you didn’t eat enough dinner, you’ll go to bed feeling satisfied.

parfait_cropped

Popcorn

Four cups of seasoned air-popped popcorn

Why our clients love it: You get a huge portion (4 cups = 130 calories!) that will last until at least the first commercial of your favorite show. Eat it one piece at a time, and it may even last you through the entire program. The fiber will fill you up, and you can use it to quench a sweet or savory craving by flavoring it with cinnamon, chili powder, smoked paprika, or grated parmesan.

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Baked Apple Crunch

Made with one small apple, 1- 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon and one graham cracker. Cut the apple into half-inch slices and coat them with cinnamon on all sides. Microwave the slices on high for three to four minutes or until the apple is soft and juicy. Serve it on a graham cracker. Check it out here.

Why our clients love it: You can sink your teeth into this snack, and it’s sweet like the inside of an apple pie. Not to mention, the graham cracker adds a satisfying crunch (and it will make the house smell delicious!).

Apple-y-yogurt-Middle-prep

 

Figs and Cheese

Three small figs (or dates!) and one small, light 30- to 35-calorie cheese round (which will bring your total to 125 calories).

Why our clients love it: The figs are sweet, and since they’re fibrous, you’ve gotta chew ‘em and can’t devour them in a split second. Paired with protein-rich, savory cheese, it makes for a filling but indulgent treat.  If you use dates, they may be slightly higher in calories.

Date surprise pic

 

 

Whole Grain Crackers with Hummus

Serve five whole-grain crackers with 2 tbsp hummus.

Why our clients love it: The crackers satisfy your need to crunch and the hummus adds the perfect creamy balance.

 

What are some of your favorite healthy late-night snacks?  Please share them!

 

Apple Pear “Detox” Spa Water

If you’re looking to immediately get your mind and body back on the straight and slim after an overindulgence, this lil’ drink is your ticket!

We always giggle when we think that as kids we were unknowingly making “detox” drinks, similar to the ones we make now, only we were making them for a very different purpose.  When we were growing up, we spent most of our days at our best friend, Mary’s house, and often when we couldn’t think of anything to do, we’d make concoctions in her kitchen.  Although most of our experiments included making new snacks or meals, surprisingly, one of our favorite creations started out as our attempt to make a floral scented perfume out of apples, pears and mint, yet ended up smelling so delicious that we drank it!  We loved the taste and the smell and it was so refreshing that we decided to sell it at the end of Mary’s driveway in lieu of our typical lemonade stand–only we marketed it as both a yummy drink and fruity perfume, so that people could choose which they wanted to do with it.  If they were thirsty, they could drink it–and if they were sweaty and wanted to smell better they could splash it on their body– just like we did! 🙂

Ironically, now as registered dietitians, we actually know that those very same foods contain potent antioxidants that help to keep the body healthy–and we’re all over them. 🙂  This delish Apple Pear “Detox” Spa Water was inspired by our early experimentations.  And although your body is equipped to detox and cleanse itself on its own, naturally, certain health-promoting foods and drinks, assist it in its process. The ingredients in this spa water assists the body in its’ detox process by mopping up damaging free radicals and fighting inflammation, so the body can focus on detoxing and cleansing itself the best it can!  Drinking these beneficial nutrients helps lessen the burden on the body’s system caused by poor diet, pollution and stress. Plus, it helps you to lose the bloat and puff–and helps to prevent sugar cravings! (Read below). 🙂

 

0002_NutritionTwins-apple-pear-infusedwater-spearmint-applecidervinegar-detox-spawater_logo

 

Psst… looking for more “Detox” drinks?  Please feel free to search this site—and here are a few to try:

 

Cool Citrus Cucumber Detox

Apple Cider Vinegar & Lime “Detox” Drink

Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush

Lemon Ginger Detox Drink

Mixed Citrus Ginger Flush

 

How does this drink help you?

This drink not only tastes awesome so it encourages you to drink, it helps to flush bloat and puffiness by helping to fight constipation (hello, flat belly!) and by keeping irritants moving out of your intestinal tract along with the wastes and toxins. And if  you’ve overdone it with a salty meal or had Chinese food the night before, it quickly restores normal hydration status by flushing excess salt (goodbye bloat!).  Plus, it’s a good source of potassium to help counteract sodium.

Drink this dehydration buster to keep your joints well lubricated and your skin glowing (hydrated skin looks youthful, supple and healthy!).

It helps to prevent sweet cravings: For starters, simply drinking this healthy drink takes up space in your stomach, preventing you from feeling overly hungry. When you’re hungry, it’s hard to make a rationale decision about what to eat and it’s easy to give into sweet cravings (or that candy on your co-workers desk). And although you may not realize it, as you hydrate your body with this slightly sweet and tangy elixir, it helps to carry blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout your body, energizing you so that your brain doesn’t crave a quick pick-me-up (i.e. sugar). If you often wake up craving sugar, try drinking a large glass of this first and see how you feel, if you’re like us and our clients, you’ll be pretty excited about what it does to set you back on the healthy train!

 

0003_NutritionTwins-apple-pear-infusedwater-spearmint-applecidervinegar-detox-spawater_logo

Here are the other superstars in this drink:

 

Apples. Yeees! You probably know by now that we’ve both had one every day since high school, when our love affair with them began. 😉  An apple a day may just keep the doctor away! The powerful flavonoids in apples mop up damage caused by toxins, pollution, smoke and stress so the body can heal more quickly.  The flavonoids also keep your heart healthy.  Plus, apples have a good dose of vitamin C, to help mop up damage caused by free radicals and boost immunity.

 

Pears. Pears and apples have a lot in common, they both are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients to keep your body healthy and to fend off harmful invaders. Like apples, pears are rich in vitamin C, a rock star when it comes to healthy skin and boosting immunity. Pears also contain vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects you against free radical damage and heart disease. Plus, they’re a good source of potassium, so they counteract sodium and the bloat that comes along with it.

 

Spearmint. (can sub any mint) We like to think of mint as a peace maker in the body 😉 It eases indigestion and calms the stomach, likely by improving the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion. Thanks in part to it’s anti-inflammatory antioxidant rosmarinic acid, it “calms your insides” to ease the havoc inside your body!

 

Apple cider vinegar (ACV). We like to splash this health boosting elixir in whenever we can! As we’ve mentioned in some of our other recipes that include ACV (remember our Apple Cider Vinegar Lime “Detox” Drink?) it might be the little kick you need to help with controlling weight. A small amount may help control blood sugar levels when you drink it before eating. There may be a link between acetic acid, found in ACV and it’s starch blocking properties, making your body unable to digest starches consumed during a meal. Less starch being digested over time could mean a little less fat on your body.

0001_NutritionTwins-apple-pear-infusedwater-spearmint-applecidervinegar-detox-spawater_logo

 

Apple Pear “Detox” Spa Water

1 serving (12oz)

 

Ingredients

¼ apple of your choice, sliced into thin slivers, skin on

¼ pear type of your choice, sliced into thin slivers, skin on

1 sprig of spearmint or mint of your choice

12 ounces of water

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Ice to chill

 

Directions

  1. After washing fruit thoroughly, slice apple and pear into thin slices and add to a large glass.  Use a wooden spoon (or regular spoon) to slightly mash and breakdown the fruit.
  2. Add the mint to the glass. Lightly bruise the leaves of the mint by very gently mashing it to release the natural extracts and oils which will make for a relaxing and cooling experience.
  3. Add water and ice. Splash in apple cider vinegar..
  4. Add water and ice as needed. Discard and replace fruit and spearmint when no longer flavorful or by the end of the day.

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (1 serving is 12 oz): 4 Calories, 0 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 7 mg Sodium, 1 g Carbohydrate, 0 g Fiber, 1 g Sugar, 0 g Protein

Note: You’re simply infusing the water with flavors and all natural nutrients from the fruits and mint, so the calories are negligible.Apple-pear-mint-detox-waterCOLLAGE 

Apple Pear “Detox” Spa Water
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Ingredients
  • ¼ apple of your choice, sliced into thin slivers, skin on
  • ¼ pear type of your choice, sliced into thin slivers, skin on
  • 1 sprig of spearmint or mint of your choice
  • 12 ounces of water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Ice to chill
Instructions
  1. After washing fruit thoroughly, slice apple and pear into thin slices and add to a large glass. Use a wooden spoon (or regular spoon) to slightly mash and breakdown the fruit.
  2. Add the mint to the glass. Lightly bruise the leaves of the mint by very gently mashing it to release the natural extracts and oils which will make for a relaxing and cooling experience.
  3. Add water and ice. Splash in apple cider vinegar..
  4. Add water and ice as needed. Discard and replace fruit and spearmint when no longer flavorful or by the end of the day.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12 oz Calories: 4 Fat: 0 Saturated fat: 0 Unsaturated fat: 0 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 1 g Sugar: 1 g Sodium: 7 mg Fiber: 0 Protein: 0 Cholesterol: 1 g

 

A Cranberry, White & Blue 4th of July

You know how they say that twins have the same mannerisms and matching responses and reactions to questions and in conversations?  For us, this is mostly true, but it’s not always the case. However, there are particular situations where it’s a given that we’ll respond in identical ways.  For instance, mention our elementary school, summer vacations in Ocean City, Maryland and in Duck, North Carolina and the 4th of July– and it’s a guarantee that we’ll both instantly smile and get starry, dreamy-looking eyes, as we’re flooded with fun-filled memories of our innocent childhood days.  And when it comes to the 4th of July, this day was always one of our favorite days of the year, filled with sun, fun, and lots of red, white and blue—everything from our star-spangled bathing suits to the foods that we ate.  And to this day, the 4th of July is a guarantee that we’ll both be making sure it’s every bit as fabulous as it always was!

As registered dietitian nutritionists, it’s so much fun to make this holiday all that we remember it to be by using red, white and blue foods.  Here you’ll find our twin tendencies kicking in and even though we try not to make the same thing as each other, there’s a 99% certainty that we’ll both use the same foods. We can’t help it. First, we both love the opportunity to celebrate our holiday in-style, and second we know that anyone who eats our food is expecting to be getting some nutritional bang for their star-spangled bite!

So, check out what we’ll be whipping up, and why!

Cranberry BBQ Sauce!  And Cranberry Juice Cubes!

Betcha didn’t know that cranberries, the all-American superfruit, are one of three commercially cultivated fruits native to North America, and this is just one reason they are ideal at your 4th of July celebration (as well as in all of your summer BBQs!).

And with their gorgeous bursting red color, comes quite the nutrition bang. Check out these awesome cranberry health facts:

  • All cranberry products, including fresh and frozen cranberries, cranberry juice cocktail, dried cranberries and sauces, contain unique, health-promoting flavonoids called PACs. PACs help reduce the incidence of certain infections, maintain a healthy urinary tract, improve heart health and reduce inflammation associated with chronic disease and aging.

 

  • A new study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking 8-ounces of cranberry juice a day reduced the number of symptomatic UTIs by nearly 40 percent in women with recurrent UTIs.

 

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Cranberry Juice Cubes

These little magical delights are simply cranberry juice frozen in ice cube trays.  They jazz up water or seltzer with great flavor and nutrients—and make the holiday glasses look even more festive.

Cranberry Cubes empty glass - logo Cranberry Cubes in Water LOGO

 

 

CRANBERRY-BBQ-SAUCE

Cranberry BBQ Sauce

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup minced yellow onions

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. chili powder

1 ½ Tbsp. tomato paste

1 ½ cups cranberry sauce

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. dark molasses

¼-½ cup water, if needed

Directions

  1. In a sauce pan, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onions and sauté 2 minutes. Mix in garlic, mustard and chili powder and continue cooking 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 more minute.
  2. Add cranberry sauce, vinegar and molasses and bring to a simmer, whisking often until mixture becomes smooth. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until mixture reduces and thickens. Add water to mixture if it gets too thick. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Place in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use. Reheat before using.

Serving suggestion: Use as a condiment or on grilled vegetables, lean meats or poultry.

Nutrition Information Per 2 Tbsp. Serving: Calories 120, Calories from Fat 20, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 2g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 25mg, Total Carbohydrate 24g, Sugars 19g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 0g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 2%, Iron 4%

“Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee”

Note: Cranberry products, including cranberry juice cocktail, dried cranberries and sauces, offer the same health benefits of fresh cranberries, but may be sweetened to satisfy a variety of taste preferences

For more health information or research, please visit CranberryInstitute.com

Cranberry_Cube_Collage

Chickpea Blondies (Gluten-free, grain-free)

We often describe our parents, who raised us in a loving, healthy, cook-it-from-scratch, granola-making, wholesome home, as being basically hippies, minus the drugs. 😉 Long before it was considered cool to eat and buy locally grown food or to belong to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), our mom was all over it.  Before people were avoiding pesticides, our mom was on the case.  And when the current plant-based movement didn’t even exist and before it was considered cool to worry about sustainability, and saving the planet, our mom was serving us yummy spaghetti and lentil-“meatballs”– and bean “burgers” and vegetarian split pea soup had a regular spot on the weekly dinner menu too.  Our mom was simply out to keep us—and the planet healthy.  And you could see it all over her granola and chickpea covered apron.  🙂

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Our mom was eating conscientiously before it was chic.  She didn’t realize that she was savvy and ahead of her time, creating most of our family meals out pulses–the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods you know as dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas—unaware that years later, 2016 would be named International Year of Pulses (IYP) by the United Nations.

Now, as registered dietitian nutritionists, the coolest thing for us is that everything is coming full circle since we grew up with pulses and already love them and toot their horn (couldn’t resist! 😉) and our mom had taught us what the UN is currently acknowledging about pulses.  We get to deliver the amazing message about pulses and encourage you to enjoy them more often and take the pulse pledge.

To take the pledge you’ll simply commit to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks and join a global food movement!

Here’s why you’ll love it! Eating dry peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas helps reduce your carbon footprint – and it’s great for your health. Every 1/2 cup of cooked pulses delivers 9 grams of protein.

Pulses are:

  • nutritious (packed with protein, fiber, iron, potassium, antioxidants, and more!)
  • versatile and tasty (ummm… our yummy spaghetti and “meat”balls were made of lentils! our succulent “burgers” we made from beans—and just wait ‘till you check out the delectable sweet recipe below)
  • affordable (ah, yes….our mom didn’t let us forget that dad was a phD student with 3 kids to feed, so we were taught at an early age that pulses are one of the most cost effective proteins in the world)
  • sustainable (growing up, as proud owners of a “compost heap” in the wooded section of our suburban back yard, we were taught a thing or two about how pulses enrich the soil where they grow, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. Plus, they can grow in harsh environments and have a low carbon footprint and hardly require any irrigation (they’re water-efficient).

 

And just in case you we’re wondering what pulses do for our crazy sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check—we’ve got this scrumptious golden nugget below.  It’s a throwback to the Blondies our mom used to bake. Only these are even healthier and tastier, if you can believe it! We can’t!  And the protein and the fiber in the pulses help to keep you satiated.  Regardless, it’s hard not to eat the whole batch…they’re that good!

 

chickpea_blondies_horizontal_logoChickpea Blondies

Makes 16 servings

Chickpea_blondies_ingredients_logoIngredients

1, 15-oz can chickpeas, also may be found as garbanzo beans

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, plus 1 Tbsp, reserve for top

1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, reserve for sprinkling

Chickpea_blondies_tray_vertical_logo

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  1. Spritz an 8×8 pan with oil in a spray container.
  1. Rinse chickpeas and place in food processor. If using a blender, after rinsing chickpeas, remove their skin before placing in the blender by pinching the chick pea between your fingers. The skin will easily fall off and will take about five extra minutes and will ensure a very smooth blended product.
  1. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes in a food processor and blend until completely mixed.
  1. Fold in 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips.
  1. Spread batter evenly in pan, top with reserved 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips
  1. Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. You do not want to overcook these so check on them to see if they are ready sooner in your oven. They should be moist and a little brown around the edges. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean they are done. Cool pan on a wire rack until pan is cool to touch, sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes.
  1. Cut into squares. Makes 16 blondies
  1. Delicious immediately or cool in refrigerator for a delicious cold treat. If you prefer them to be more firm, simply allowing them to cool in the fridge.

 

Nutrition Facts Per 1 Serving: 123 Calories, 6 g Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 35 mg Sodium, 15 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 8 g Sugar, 3 g Protein

 

The Nutrition Twins work with the Pulse Councils to help people to eat more healthfully and encourage them to take the Pulse Pledge.

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Chickpea Blondies (Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free)
 
Nutrition Facts Per 1 Serving: 123 Calories, 6 g Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 35 mg Sodium, 15 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 8 g Sugar, 3 g Protein
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1, 15-oz can chickpeas, also may be found as garbanzo beans
  • ½ cup all natural peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips, plus 1 Tbsp, reserve for top
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, reserve for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spritz an 8x8 pan with oil in a spray container.
  3. Rinse chickpeas and place in food processor. If using a blender, after rinsing chickpeas, remove their skin before placing in the blender by pinching the chick pea between your fingers. The skin will easily fall off and will take about five extra minutes and will ensure a very smooth blended product.
  4. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes in a food processor and blend until completely mixed.
  5. Fold in ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips.
  6. Spread batter evenly in pan, top with reserved 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips
  7. Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. You do not want to overcook these so check on them to see if they are ready sooner in your oven. They should be moist and a little brown around the edges. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean they are done. Cool pan on a wire rack until pan is cool to touch, sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes.
  8. Cut into squares. Makes 16 blondies
  9. Delicious immediately or cool in refrigerator for a delicious cold treat. If you prefer them to be more firm, simply allowing them to cool in the fridge.