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It’s hard to believe summer officially ended and as if overnight, we’ve rolled into pumpkin season. I revisited ABC10 last week as their TV health expert and was excited to feature some healthy ways to eat America’s beloved fall vegetable. Pumpkins are packed with anti-aging nutrition and are a versatile veggie — you can cook it, soup it, bake it, sweeten it, or just eat their seeds! Pumpkin for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Yes, yes, and yes!
On the menu:
BREAKFAST: Pumpkin Nut Belgian Waffles — Chopped walnuts add a healthy dose of heart healthy omega-3’s to these light whole grain waffles. Topped with my favorite naturally sweet Spiced Apple Topping. (This antioxidant-rich topping is delicious over yogurt and muesli, pumpkin pancakes, and ice cream too!)
BREAKFAST, SNACK OR DESSERT: Super Moist Pumpkin Bars with Greek Cream Cheese Pineapple Frosting — These bars are delicious and healthy any time!
ENTREE: Pumpkin Marinara over Green Lentil Pasta — Super easy to make and super rich in skin-loving ingredients: pumpkin and tomato purée!
SOUP: Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Soup in Pumpkin Tureen — Pumpkins + apples make the perfect pair.
BEVERAGE: Pineapple Pumpkin Smoothie — This creamy smoothie (frozen pineapple, bananas, pumpkin, chia seeds, and Greek yogurt) makes a great way to start the day, pick you up in the afternoon, or reenergize you after a workout. Freeze it for a fresh fruit frozen dessert! 😀
DESSERT: Pumpkin Bark — Handmadeextreme dark chocolate with roasted pumpkin seeds and almonds.
What do you have planned for the Fourth of July? Here are some pics of what I prepared for my guest appearance on ABC 10. Click HERE to link to the video. Think FRESH and seasonal. There are so many sumptuous fruits and vegetables that are perfect for your picnic, party, or just you! See what’s “in season” at this time of year by scrolling over to the right column of this blog page.
Burrata Bites – Fresh Italian cheese in a fresh endive leaf ‘cup’ topped with fresh diced peaches, raspberries, and toasted almonds, then drizzled with Sonoma Gold balsamic vinegar — the key ingredient!
I was on ABC10 TV out of Sacramento yesterday to show their viewers (a.k.a. Easter bunnies) how to pull together a ‘healthy Easter basket’. Hmmm…. that’s an oxymoron, you say. Believe it or not, options outside of solid chocolate bunnies, Peeps and sugar-coated sugar do actually exist.
Here are my five basic principles when it comes to “healthify-ing” this tradition.
Include plant-based foods and plant-based colorants.
Load up on whole grains.
Use healthy fats.
Cut back on sugar.
Swap out milk chocolate with dark chocolate.
All the recipes for the treats on the show will be featured in my upcoming book, “Athletes in Aprons“. 😀
Oat & Berry Bars: These whole-grain, gluten-free bars are made with oat flour and rolled oats layered with an organic berry purée sweetened with just apple juice.
Chocolate Chip Cookies: These cookies will surprise you! They’re made with garbanzo bean and fava bean flours, oat flour, zucchini, dairy-free dark chocolate, and organic unsweetened applesauce. Gluten-free.
Fudge Brownies: These fudge-y treats are made with whole wheat flour and… spinach. Really! Their moist richness comes from just a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, unsweetened applesauce, and golden ground flaxseeds. You have to taste ’em to believe they’re not loaded with hydrogenated fat and white flour.
VIDEO: Native Hawaiian cuisine traditionally consisted of meat (pig and fowl), fish and shellfish, pineapples, coconuts, coconut milk, sweet potatoes, taro, seaweed, and sea salt as a condiment. Here’s an updated veggie version of some historical Hawaiian dishes which incorporate some of these native foods. I chatted with host Mellisa Paul on Sac & Co, ABC10’s local morning TV show out of Sacramento, about how to host a vegetarian Hawaiian luau.
Here’s what I prepared for the show:
Vegetarian Poke: tofu, mango, avocado, wakame (seaweed to impart the flavor of the sea), sweet onions (e.g., Maui or Vidalia onions), green onions, macadamia nuts, Hawaiian sea salt
Vegetarian Lau Lau: sweet potato, spinach, sweet onions, green onions, coconut milk, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, Hawaiian sea salt, and collard greens
Sparkling POG Juice
Haupia with fresh fruit and edible flowers (coconut dessert – pudding style)
Hawaiian bread pudding
Fresh pineapple in freshly cut coconut bowls
Fit Tip: If you cannot find Maui or Vidalia onions, look for an onion that has a flattened vs round globe shape. These onions are less pungent due to their low amount of sulfur compounds which allows their ‘sweetness’ (sugar) to come through.
VIDEO: As children develop, they also develop likes and dislikes for different foods whereby mealtime can become a battleground with your kids (or grandkids). I chatted with host Mellisa Paul on Sac & Co, ABC10’s local morning TV show out of Sacramento, about how to get your picky eater to be more curious and adventurous when it comes to trying new foods.
Above are my top picky-eater picks that I prepared for the show:
Inside-Out Cheeseburgers (can be made with tofu, turkey or beef)
Garden Pasta Salad (leaf-shaped pasta with broccoli ‘trees’ misted with olive oil)