snack

Quick and Easy Peach Frozen Yogurt

Quick and Easy Peach Frozen Yogurt

Sweet juicy BC peaches are making their way into the stores these days.  They are delicious just as they are, but for an equally healthy and yummy treat, try peach frozen yogurt or frozen yogurt popsicles.  They could be made with any fresh seasonal fruit.  Freezing the fruit first before blending it with yogurt speeds up the process and makes the end product a bit creamier. We tried frozen strawberry popsicles – they were a hit – as well as frozen peach yogurt.  The frozen peach yogurt was a bit soft.  Letting it freeze overnight probably would have made it a bit firmer, but it disappeared before we had a chance to test that out :)!     Frozen Peach Yogurt adapted from http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/instant_peach_frozen_yogurt.html Makes: 4 servings, 3/4 cup (188 mL) each Active Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes INGREDIENTS 4 cups  (1 L) coarsely chopped frozen peaches (about 16 ounces) 3 Tbsp (45 mL) honey 1/2 cup (125 mL) plain Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon (15 mL) lemon juice PREPARATION Place peaches in a blender or food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Combine yogurt, honey and lemon juice in a measuring cup; with the machine on, gradually pour the mixture through the feed tube. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides once or twice. Serve immediately or pour into a container or popsicle trays and freeze overnight. NUTRITION Per serving: 145 calories, 1 g fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 30 g carbohydrates, 0 g fibre, 3 g protein, 24 mg sodium.  Canada Food Guide Servings 1.7 Vegetables & Fruits, 0.2 Milk & Milk Alternatives.          ...

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Experiencing the Mediterranean Diet firsthand

Experiencing the Mediterranean Diet firsthand

Rhonda and Cathy both had the opportunity to travel to the island of Ischia off the coast of Italy earlier this year.  They participated in teaching a course that included a section on the effects of culture and environment on food and eating.  They experienced amazing hospitality staying at La Rotonda sul Mare and eating at La Caserecchia (http://www.ischiareview.com/la-casereccia.html) in the evenings.  We asked them to tell us a bit about their experiences.   PPEP:  What was the most amazing food experience you had while in Italy? R:  The freshness of everything was truly amazing.  Although it was still spring when I arrived, there was local produce available or it was brought in from farmland around Naples, which is a one-hour ferry-ride away.  The Colella family, which owns the restaurant, has their own farm.  The bruschetta was so delicious because of the sweetness of the tomatoes and the flavor of the olive oil. C:  Lemons are famous on Ischia because they are so large and much sweeter than the lemons we import to Canada.  The first night we arrived it was very late but we were taken to the restaurant before going to the hotel.  I was persuaded to try the house special, a linguine in cream sauce with lemon.  Later we had a cooking lesson and learned how to make it:  three ingredients – pasta, cream, lemon zest. PPEP:  What surprised you about the Mediterranean Diet as it was practiced where you were? R:  Well, since we were eating in a restaurant it’s not easy to determine how families were eating in their homes on a day-to-day basis.  One thing that endures is the social aspect of the meal.  Typically we didn’t start dinner until 7:30 or later and would leave around 3 hours later.  Most Italian families didn’t start until later than we did. C:  I wasn’t surprised by the bountiful seafood in the diet.  We had several kinds of fish like sardines and anchovies as well as mussels and shrimp.  I was surprised by the amount of meat because the Mediterranean Diet pyramid suggests meat once per week or less.  That could also have been because we were eating in a restaurant.  I was also surprised that most of the vegetables were cooked, even breaded and deep-fried.  I was also surprised by some differences in food handling.  For example, eggs in grocery stores weren’t refrigerated.   PPEP:  What lessons would you bring from the Mediterranean to the prairies? R:  Take advantage of what’s fresh and in season.  That’s hard to do in the prairie provinces about 8 months of the year, but for the other 4 months, you can amaze your taste buds.  Many grocery stores do try to highlight local produce and there are lots of farmers markets and backyard gardens. C:  Enjoy eating with family and friends.  Try new recipes.  Anything with a vine-ripened tomato in it is twice as yummy.   La Caserecchia Bruschetta For about 8 slices of Italian loaf: ½ cup (125 mL) balsamic vinegar 2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes (halved/quartered) 8 fresh basil leaves, torn 2 cloves minced garlic (or to taste) 1 tsp. (5 mL) dried oregano Salt and pepper (to taste) Olive oil 8 slices of bread such as Italian loaf To make a reduction, gently simmer ½ cup of balsamic vinegar in a small pot until reduced by half.  It should be thickened and syrupy.  Save the remainder for salad dressing or dipping strawberries. Toast the bread lightly (in the toaster, under the broiler, or on the BBQ grill, making sure to flip it to brown both...

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Summer smoothies

Summer smoothies

Smoothies are great at any time of year…summer’s fresh bounty of fruits and veggies make them particularly great at this time of year.  There are lots of smoothie recipes on line (click here for some yummy ideas) and in cookbooks (Oh She Glows, for example). Here’s a simple recipe made with fresh ingredients I had in my kitchen.   Kale, cucumber and lemon are the basis for it and then the secret is to add your favourite seasonal fruit(s) to sweeten it up just a little. Creamy Kale and Pineapple Smoothie Serves 2, Serving Size: 2 cups Ingredients: 1 cup (250 mL) fresh pineapple, diced 2 medium mandarine oranges 1 large lemon, peeled, seeded and diced 1 medium cucumber, diced 1 1in (2.5 cm) piece of ginger (optional) 1 cup (250 mL) chopped Kale, raw 1/2 cup (125 mL) water, or enough to make the desired consistency Ice cubes (optional) Directions: Layer the ingredients in the blender with the juiciest ones on the bottom, kale on the top.  Blend until smooth, divide and enjoy!   Nutritional analysis (per serving):  141 kcal, 1 g fat, 35 g carbohydrate, 5.8 g fibre, 4 g protein.  ...

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Rhubarb – Queen of the spring garden!

Rhubarb – Queen of the spring garden!

Rhubarb is hardy, full of flavour and it comes up at a time when everyone is longing for fresh garden produce. It used to be that every Prairie garden had a rhubarb patch. As a result, it’s been used in fruit compotes, baked in crisp, cobblers and cakes, made into jam, relish or chutney and served as a beverage.  This week we’ve adapted one of our PPEP recipes “Fresh Raspberry Muffins” to make “Fresh Rhubarb Muffins”.  The sweet topping contrasts really nicely with the tartness of the rhubarb.  The recipe makes 16 muffins, so there’s lots to share with family or friends or to freeze for a quick grab and go snack or lunch. Fresh Rhubarb Muffins (Serves 16, Serving Size 1 Muffin) Ingredients: Muffin Topping: Optional 2 Tbsp            all-purpose flour       30 mL 3 Tbsp            brown sugar              45 mL 1 Tbsp            oatmeal                      15 mL ½ tsp            cinnamon                   2 mL 1 Tbsp           orange zest                  15 mL 1 Tbsp            butter                           15 mL   Muffins: 1 cup              all-purpose flour            250 mL 1 cup              whole-wheat flour         250 mL ¾ cups          granulated sugar           175 mL 2 tsp               baking powder                10 mL ¾ tsp              baking soda                      3 mL ¼ tsp              salt                                     1 mL 1                      large egg                            1 1 ¼ cups        raspberry yogurt           310 mL 3 Tbsp            canola oil                          45 mL 1 tsp               vanilla                                5 mL 1 tsp               orange zest                         5 mL 1 cup              fresh rhubarb, diced       250 mL   Directions: Muffin topping: In a small bowl, mix flour, sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, lemon zest together.  Add butter or margarine and blend with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside. Muffins: Preheat oven to 375oF (190oC).  Line 16 muffin cups with paper or silicone liners. In a large bowl, mix together all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, canola oil, vanilla and lemon zest. Stir the egg mixture into the flour until combined.  The batter will appear thick, but resist over-mixing. Gently fold the fresh rhubarb into the batter Spoon the muffin batter into prepared muffin cups, filling the paper cup.  Sprinkle the tops with equal amounts of muffin topping. Bake in the centre of the oven for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick placed in the centre of the muffin comes out clean.   About this recipe:  Substituting rhubarb for raspberries in these muffins gives them an extra tangy burst of flavor – a great way to wake up your taste buds and celebrate spring. Per serving: 165 kcal, 4.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 28 g carbohydrate, 1.2 g fibre, 3.6 g protein, 138 mg sodium.  Canada’s Food Guide Servings:  0.1 Vegetables and Fruit, 0.7...

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An Apple a Day….

An Apple a Day….

Ambrosia, Gala, Jonagold, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp…the produce shelves at local stores and markets are bursting with new varieties of apples these days.  Many of them are grown in warmer regions of Canada, but over the years prairie fruit breeders have been patiently working on hardier varieties.  Dr. Bob Bors, Assistant Professor and Head of the Fruit Breeding Program at University of Saskatchewan is one of those patient people.  In an interview on CBC radio on Thanksgiving Monday, Dr Bors explained that it can take up to 20 years to develop a new variety of apple.  The good news is that there are a number of varieties on the market that will survive a Prairie winter and a number more in the development pipeline.  Besides flavour, one of the key characteristics they look for is cold hardiness.  Fortunately Honey Crisp, one of the most popular apples in the market place right now, has proven its worth as a parent to a family of apple varieties currently under development at U of Saskatchewan.  It was developed at the University of Minnesota ‘the second coldest apple breeding location in the world’, according to Bors. If you’re interested in the Fruit Breeding Program and recent apple introductions at the U of Saskatchewan click here. If you’re interested in knowing more about what’s new in apple breeding, click here to find the full CBC interview. If you’re interested in a fun and easy way to serve and eat apples, mix 3 parts of greek yogurt with 1 part peanut butter.  Add honey to taste and a dash of cinnamon if you like…and watch them disappear...

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Cooking with Kids

Cooking with Kids

School break is coming up across the Prairies and what better time to have some fun in the kitchen with yours kids. Getting them involved in preparing food can help to start them on a lifelong path of healthy eating.  There are lots of things that you can do with kids in the kitchen.  Depending on their age, it may be something as simple as washing vegetables or it might be as impressive as making a roast beef dinner.  Here are a couple of ideas  that fit with the PPEP theme – pure, simple, good for you and yummy! Dietitians of Canada has a great video on cooking with kids that features smoothies (scroll down, look for the picture with a boy in it :).  They suggest that you don’t even need a recipe, and one of our readers, Cheryl,  had this to offer ” I put cooked lentils or other mild tasting peas/legumes into my breakfast smoothie to add protein. Sometimes I’ll add a chunk of tofu. I don’t really taste it and it’s very affordable compared to store bought protein powder that many people use in their smoothies.”  PPEP has 2 simple and tasty smoothie recipes, a fruit smoothie for breakfast (frozen fruit, yogurt, milk and honey) and a Power smoothie (cooked white beans, frozen fruit, skim milk, sugar and vanilla) for an evening snack. If you or your kids are a little older,  Canada Beef’s Roast Beef Challenge may be just what you’re looking for – 3 simple steps to a delicious, home cooked roast beef!   You’ll want to have an oven-safe meat thermometer and it just so happens that they’re having a contest right now and the prize is….an oven-safe meat thermometer.  Their initiative fits well with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s “6 x 16” initiative that is aimed at helping kids to develop the skills to produce 6 healthy meals from scratch by the time they’re 16.  Great idea?  We think so!...

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