ABC 10 | Healthy Summer Treats

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Last week I appeared on ABC 10’s lifestyle/news program in Sacramento (Sac & Co.) with Host Mellisa Paul for their “Healthy Summer Treats” segment. I took advantage of many of the sweet summer fruits in season.

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On the menu…

Summer Fruit Bruschetta (fresh basil, strawberries, nectarines, and raspberry balsamic glaze) served on Dr. Kracker Seedlander Crispbread with cranberry mascarpone* (Italian cream cheese).

The mascarpone is a decadent “treat” due to its creamy milk fat content. To ‘thin’ out the fat, I created more volume by adding the raspberry balsamic glaze used in the bruschetta + chopped berries. The cheese is meant to be thinly spread on the cracker to help hold the bruschetta on the cracker and balance out the acidity of the bruschetta. A healthier substitute for mascarpone is Greek cream cheese which has half the fat/calories per tablespoon but has a more acidic, tangy taste.

The Seggiano raspberry balsamic glaze is a naturally dense, balsamic vinegar glaze, made with just cooked grape must, wine vinegar, and natural raspberry juice.

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Hawaiian guacamole (fresh avocado, mango, and pineapple) served with Veggie & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips and Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips. Boost your brain health by serving this dip with an assortment of fresh veggies, on fresh grilled salmon, or with beans. Avocados are an excellent source of vitamin E and healthy fat — great for your heart, brain, and skin!

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“Salad Bars” — A salad in a bar! These baked treats are made with whole grain flours, almond flour, almond milk, flaxseeds, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, banana, apple, applesauce, and zante currants. Contain no dairy or eggs.

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Quick Homemade Almond Milk (used in the Salad Bars above)

Mini Fruit Pizza with Plain Nonfat Greek yogurt (as the “cheese”) and strawberry fruit spread (as “the pizza sauce”) + various plant-based toppings (fresh fruit, nuts and seeds) on a multigrain thin sandwich bun.

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Freshly brewed Hibiscus Raspberry tea infused with fresh citrus and berries

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ABC 10 | Healthy Valentine’s Day!

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A healthy Valentine’s Day? Oxymoron, you say? It IS possible to healthify your V-Day eats and sweeten the deal with some fun food that your little darlings will enjoy. Here’s what was on the menu when I was on ABC10 yesterday as their recurring health expert. Get your kids and grandkids involved — this is when they can play with their food!

On the menu:

Cocoa Cupcakes: What makes these so moist? Cooked beets! Also, flaxseeds and chunks of pecans and give them an added boost of healthy fat and the dark cocoa provides powerful antioxidants. Contains whole wheat flour and NO dairy or eggs.

Razzberry Choco-mole: Move aside guacamole. Dark cocoa meets avocado for a decadent, smooth and creamy sweet treat. Blended with both fresh and frozen raspberries for a tart undertone. Does not contain dairy or eggs.

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Apple Heart Sandwiches: A sandwich kids will love to make. Slice apples horizontally then cut out the center with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Layer an apple slice with creamy nut butter, currants, muesli, and sunflower seeds, then top with an apple slice for a ‘hearty’ sandwich!

Chocolate Cups with Lemon-illa Filling: Dark chocolate cups are made lovingly by hand 😘 and filled with Greek cream cheese. The filling is flavored with fresh lemon zest, Mexican vanilla, and a touch of honey. Top with a fresh strawberry “heart”. Greek cream cheese contains half the fat and four times the protein than low-fat cream cheese.

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Hearty Green Salad:  A power blend of baby greens (Swiss chard, kale, and spinach) is topped with heart-shaped red peppers, cucumbers, and XO’s (cut from mozzarella and cheddar cheeses).

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Rosemary Red Hearts: Red potatoes are cut into hearts and roasted with rosemary, freshly ground pepper, sea salt, and smoked paprika.

Hibiscus Berry Smoothie: Red delicious apples, banana, frozen raspberries and strawberries, and cashew milk yogurt are blended in a base of hibiscus tea. Does not contain dairy.

Happy Valentine’s Day! XOXO ♥

Fit Find | Super Seed Crackers

Mary's Gone Crackers Super Seed CrackersIf you’re looking for a healthy edible platform for your NuttZo™ Seven Nut & Seed Butter or savory wild salmon salad, try Mary’s Gone Crackers® Super Seed Cracker! I like them dunked in fresh guacamole, but you can try them with your favorite salsa or dipped in some melted dark chocolate. Mmmm! But don’t get me wrong, they’re great naked right out of the box too!

I consider most crackers as bits of baked flour, butter or hydrogenated fat, and salt — pretty empty of any noteworthy nutrients. But these crispy Super Seed Crackers were a nice surprise. They’re made with real whole ingredients and are organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan.

Ingredients: Whole grain brown rice, whole grain quinoa, seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, poppy, brown flax, and brown sesame), filtered water, sea salt, sea weed, black pepper, herbs. No added sugar or oil.

One serving (13 crackers) contains:

  • 160 calories
  • 200 mg sodium (a little over the 1:1 ratio of calories to sodium, but pretty close)
  • 3 grams of dietary fiber
  • 1 gram of saturated fat

NOTE: On our last Superfood Friday (featuring broccoli) in cardiac rehab, these crackers got the thumbs up when sampled with the ‘broccamole‘ that I made. So, the next time you roll out your favorite dip, give these crackers a try. Let me know what you think! 😀

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: This just in… One of my cardiac patients told me that he bought a box of Super Seed Crackers at Costco after reading this post. He paid $7.99 for a 20-oz. box. I bought my 5.5 oz box at Sprouts for $4.99. Thanks for the tip, Dirk!