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Roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans, squash and cranberries

Think you don’t like Brussels sprouts? This recipe will change your mind. Brussels sprouts have made a major comeback, and for a good reason. They’re loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, folate and fiber that will help keep you full and regular while lowering your change of heart disease and stroke. But if all you’ve had are mushy green sprouts soaking in some flavorless liquid, no wonder you don’t list them among your favorite foods. The key to enjoying brussels is the texture acquired while roasting. Brussels have thin leaves that become addictively crispy when done right — like a more filling kale chip. Blanching brussels first allows you to roast them at a higher temperature and achieve maximum crispiness. This gluten-free, vegetarian side dish of Brussels sprouts, cinnamon, squash, cranberries and pecans is a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving table — or any table. Brussels Sprouts salad with fall…

Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I whipped up another hummus recipe this weekend — roasted red pepper hummus. This one is probably my favorite yet. The roasted red peppers and cayenne pepper give this dip a smooth and creamy texture with a delicious sweet heat. It’s bursting with fresh flavors. If you’ve only ever had store-bought hummus, you’re missing out. It’s so simple to make and easily customizable, you can have complete control over snack time no matter your diet. I roasted my own red peppers because it only takes about 20 minutes and keeps the salt content down. But you can use jarred red peppers from the grocery store if you’re in a hurry. ROASTED RED PEPPER HUMMUS Ingredients 2 medium red bell peppers (about one 10 oz. jar) 1 can of chickpeas (about 15 oz.) 1 lemon, halved 1/4 cup tahini 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp olive oil 1/4 cup water 1 tsp salt 1/4 cayenne pepper Directions Preheat oven to 450ºF. Cut…

Tomato, zucchini, goat cheese and thyme tart recipe

Any recipe that uses up a good amount of veggies is a hit with me. I tend to go overboard at the farmers market — this time of year everything looks so delicious! — but it’s important not to let food go to waste. According to a Guardian report, roughly 50 percent of all produce in the United States is thrown away amounting to $1,600 in annual food waste for every family of four. With this staggering number in mind, I’ve made it a point recently to keep recipes on hand that use unusual vegetables, vegetables in bulk, or difficult herbs sometimes delivered in the CSA. Juices and stews are great for this task, but sometimes your veggies are just too darn pretty to hide. Tarts and galettes are a great option for showcasing those shiny vegetables, while also allowing plenty of space for layering and packing in leftover produce. You could easily throw in another layer of zucchini to…

10 recipes for when it’s too hot out to cook

Maybe it’s too hot outside to fire up the skillet, or maybe it’s busy back to school season — either way, there seems to always be a reason not to cook. But don’t fret. Here are a few incredible recipes for when time is at a premium, but taste is still what you crave. No cook dinner recipes: Easy Vegan Spring Rolls A big dose of veggies in your diet goes down easy along with the perfect peanut dipping sauce. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/145241156707084471/ Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps A simple, no heat recipe perfect for long summer days. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/271201208787853399/ AVOCADO STRAWBERRY SPINACH WRAPS WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING There is nothing not to love about this incredible ingredient combo. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/4574037104887733/ Zucchini Noodles and Veggies Keep it light with these raw zucchini noodles. The vegetable packs tons of hydration so you’ll be sneaking more water into your diet — always a good thing in the heat. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/144115256804496683/…

Get relief from the heat with these 10 hydrating fruits and veggies

According to the old rule of thumb, the average adult is supposed to drink 8 glasses of water every day. Some days that can seem downright impossible — and oh so bland. But here’s a tip for your water woes: You don’t have to drink all of that water. On a typical day, 20 percent or more of our water intake comes from solid foods like fruits and vegetables. While it’s still incredibly important to drink enough water, try incorporating some of these snacks into your daily routine. You’ll be checking off a few dietary boxes since all foods listed below are at least 90 percent water and they offer various other nutritional benefits. Cucumbers 96.7% water Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food, so they are perfect for summer salads on those sweltering days you can’t seem to stomach much else. Try mixing with watermelon and red onions for…

How to pick perfect produce: cucumber, zucchini, corn

We’re smack in the middle of summer, which means it’s prime produce season, but picking the best produce only comes with experience. Expert advice can certainly help. I visited a market to ask a local farmer how to choose the best pickles, cucumbers and corn. Watch as Becca gives us the pro tips. Zucchini Zucchini is a versatile summer staple. Pair it with pasta, fry it and serve with marinara, or make it in to a dish of trendy zoodles. When choosing zucchini remember these three things: Bigger isn’t better. Larger zucchini tend to have larger seeds and less flavor. Smaller is the way to go. Zucchini can be green, yellow or white in color, but always look for a rich saturation of color on top — the underside will be paler in color, and that’s okay. It’s just the side that didn’t face the sun. Stems are a good thing…

Creamy Roasted Beet Hummus: Your new favorite snack

Hummus has taken hold over most of America. Just a few years ago, most people had never heard of the traditional Mediterranean dip. Today, we can’t get enough of this creamy snack spread made from chickpeas, sesame seed paste and seasonings. Millennials, in particular, tend to gravitate toward new and unusual flavors. A new generation paired with a strong commitment to healthier dietary choices paved the way for the unusual light brown spread that packed a nutritional punch. Americans have been so receptive of hummus, in fact, that sales have started to creep towards those of other popular dips like salsa and guacamole. According to the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, hummus sales in grocery stores now top $725 million annually — up from $5 just 20 years ago. It is estimated that one in four homes now regularly stock hummus in the fridge. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have been cultivated in Middle…

How to: Easy method for roasting beets can’t be beet

After years of being banished to the back of the salad bar, beets are having a resurgence. The popularity of the bright red taproot comes as part of an overall increase of interest in health and nutrition. A study published in the American Medical Journal in 2016 found that the number of Americans with poor diets fell from 56 percent to 46 percent between 1999 and 2012. For many health conscious consumers, beets have been enjoying their rightful place center-stage of a balanced diet. They’re chock-full of essential nutrients like B vitamins, potassium, iron, copper, magnesium and manganese, and have all kinds of positive impacts on the human body. Consuming just one glass of beet juice per day has been found to lower systolic blood pressure by several points, while also lowering chances of heart disease and artery damage overall. Nitric oxide found in beets relaxes and dilates blood vessels, increasing blood to the brain and…

Spinach buckwheat pancakes made in the blender, perfect for Saturday mornings

Buckwheat pancakes are the perfect balance between delicate and hearty. They have more texture than the traditional buttermilk blend, and they don’t skimp on flavor either. Adding a cup of spinach to the mix makes it a balance between decadent and healthy, as well. And buckwheat is actually a great gluten-free alternative to the classically carb-heavy Saturday morning stack. Pancakes are one of my favorite breakfasts. I tell myself I can eat them more often if I improve upon their nutritional content, so when I first started to see green pancakes pop up on Pinterest, I had to investigate. The most photogenic stacks had used a white flour base, so the spinach color could shine through. This buckwheat version takes much of the color pop away, but leaves the health benefits in tact — and that’s more important than a photo, of course. While buckwheat is known as a healthy, nutty-flavored grain,…

Sweet Potato Chipotle Hummus

A recipe for a Sweet Potato Chipotle Hummus from www.SpoonUniversity.com recently piqued my interest. Armed with a leftover sweet potato to use up from dinner last night, I gave it a try. The recipe is supposed to taste like classic hummus with a sweet and spicy flare. Instead, of straight garbanzo beans and sesame, this recipe calls to replace half the usual beans with one baked sweet potato. The substitution adds a creamy sweetness that was great on chips and cucumbers slices. The recipe was easily accomplished in the Vitamix, but needed more than the suggested 2 tablespoons of olive oil to help it along. I added a sprinkling of salt and pepper as well as a good amount of cayenne for both taste and show. If you love hummus, you’ll love this creative rendition. Here’s the recipe with my adjustments. Sweet Potato Chipotle Hummus Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes Servings: 8 Ingredients: 1 medium sweet…