Nutrition Monday – Zucchini!

Summer Zucchini

ZucchiniNothing screams summer like fresh veggies. We are officially in the beginning of summer and we thought we would highlight one of our favorite veggies, the zucchini.

A staple at many farmers markets during the warmer months, zucchini, which is a type of summer squash, and it can range in color from yellow to deep green. It has a tender texture with a slightly sweet flavor and, at just 21 calories per cup, it makes a welcome addition to a calorie-controlled diet. Zucchini boasts a rich nutritional profile, and it offers health benefits thanks to its phytonutrients, mineral and vitamin content.

Vitamin C

Zucchini serves as a good source of vitamin C. A water-soluble antioxidant, vitamin C dissolves in your body fluids and protects your cells from free radicals, which are highly reactive compounds that oxidize your DNA, lipids and proteins, causing cellular damage. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet also aids in nerve cell communication, helps your body metabolize cholesterol and keeps your tissues strong. A cup of chopped zucchini contains 22 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 24 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 29 percent for women, set by the Institute of Medicine.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Zucchini also provides you with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytonutrients that belong to the carotenoid family, which is the same nutrient family that includes beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A. Lutein and zeaxanthin promote healthy eyesight. They filter light rays as they enter your eye, helping to ensure that harmful rays can’t damage your eye tissues. While, as of September 2013, the Institute of Medicine has not set a recommended daily intake for lutein and zeaxanthin, the American Optometric Association notes that intakes of at least 6 milligrams per day can reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes blindness. A cup of chopped zucchini provides 2.6 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin, or 43 percent of this intake goal.

Manganese

Consuming zucchini also boosts your intake of manganese, an essential mineral. Like vitamin C, manganese protects your tissues from harmful free radicals. It supports the function of glycosyltransferases, a family of proteins that promote healthy bone tissue development. Manganese also helps your body produce collagen essential for efficient wound healing. Each cup of chopped zucchini boasts 0.22 milligram of manganese. This provides 12 and 10 percent of the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily intake for women and men, respectively.

1. Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed-ZucchiniServes: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 zucchini, halved, seeds and pulp removed

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare stuffing: In a large saute pan on medium-high, heat 1 tsp oil. Add garlic, onion and mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms soften, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining 2 tsp oil, vinegar, bread crumbs and Parmesan. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Spoon an equal amount of stuffing into each zucchini half. Bake on a foil-lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Nutrients per 1/2 stuffed zucchini: Calories: 110, Total Fat: 5 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 12 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 5 g, Sodium: 135 mg, Cholesterol: 2 mg

2. Spinach Zucchini Ravioli

zucchini-ravioli

Serves 12 Ravioli

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 lbs. ground turkey
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp. of Grill Mates- Montreal Chicken Seasoning (or you could use just salt & pepper)
  • 4-Zucchini
  • Tomato Marinara Sauce

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Slice zucchini  with peeler; set strips aside
  2. In a medium wok combine:  ground turkey, chopped fresh spinach,  1/2 large onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and seasoning; sauté until turkey is cooked all the way through
  3. Assemble the ravioli using 4 zucchini strips and 2 Tbsp. of turkey mixture.
  4. Wrap them up and put face down in baking dish.
  5. Top with marinara sauce and bake at 350* for approx. 30 minutes

 3. Spicy White Bean and Zucchini Spaghetti 

dsc_0116edited2Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Vegan

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 oz. gluten-free pasta
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 (15 oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. Barlean’s organic ground flax seeds

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook gluten-free pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package; drain and rinse under cool water for 2 minutes then set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sea salt and pepper.
  3. Add cooked pasta, white beans, zucchini and finely chopped fresh basil, red pepper, sesame seeds and ground flax seeds; gently toss to coat with balsamic dressing.
  4. Serve warm.

4. Zucchini Taco Bites

ZUCCHINI TACOServes – whole family

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1/2 pound (leftover) taco meat
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar
  • opt parsley leaves
  • opt sliced black olives

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Slice zucchini and place on buttered baking sheet.
  2. Top with a spoon or so of taco meat.
  3. Sprinkle on cheddar.
  4. Top with parsley, olives, etc if you like.
  5. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.

5. Cinnamon Paleo Zucchini Bread               {Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free}

dairy-free-gluten-free-zucchini-breadServes: 6-8

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegetarian
INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large ripe zucchini, shredded (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1½ Tbsp. almond extract
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup organic coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ tsp. Himalayan sea salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. gluten-free (aluminum-free) baking powder
  • 2 ½ cups almond flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1½ Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. all spice
  • ¼ tsp. fresh lemon zest
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl; beat eggs until they are fluffy. Add zucchini, almond extract and coconut sugar; mix well. Slowly add coconut oil and continue to mix.
  3. Sift coconut flour; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine sea salt, baking soda, baking powder, almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, all spice, lemon zest and sunflower seeds; mix well to combine, then add the dry ingredients to the wet egg mixture. Stir well until wet and dry mixtures are combined and there are no lumps in the batter.
  4. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan; bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until bread is set. Check the doneness by inserting a toothpick after 50 minutes to see if the inside is cooked completely.
  5. Set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve warm.
Calories: 298 Fat: 22.7g Protein: 8.3g Carbs: 30g Fiber: 6.2g Sugar: 20.2g Sodium: 273mg

 

Nutrition Monday – Peaches!!

Peaches-prepp

We LOVE Peaches!

Peaches are very synonymous with summer in our household. So we thought we would scour the net and find the best recipes that involved our favorite summer fruit. My grandmother used to make the best peach cobbler I have ever had to date. Unfortunately just like that generation, nothing was very healthy.

Here are the top five recipes we found with our beloved peaches as the main guest!

1. Peach Creamsicles

pop2-300x300Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe peaches, dices
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups peach nectar (a couple brands to look for are Kern’s and Yoga)

Instructions

  1. Combine the Greek Yogurt and diced peaches
  2. Pour the yogurt mixture into each Popsicle mold, about halfway up to each mold. If necessary, use spoon to push down the yogurt so it reaches the bottom of each mold.
  3. Place molds in the freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours
  4. Pour nectar into each mold, filling to top. Freeze again for at least another 4 hours.

2. Peach, Tomato and Basil Summer Salad

Tomato-4-of-4Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • Serves 4 to 6
  • What You Need
  • 2 large peaches
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • ½ red onion
  • 15-ounce can cannellini beans (or 1½ cups cooked)
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup feta crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or substitute red wine or white wine vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice the ½ red onion. Place it in a small bowl and cover in cold water. Squeeze the onion slices and release 5 to 6 times. Drain the water, and repeat the squeeze and rinse 2 more times. Then place the slices back in the bowl and cover with cold water while you assemble the salad. (This process helps to tone down the bite of the red onion.)
  2. Dice the peaches. Dice the tomatoes. Cut the basil into thin strips (chiffonade). Drain and rinse the beans.
  3. In a canning jar, pour 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 pinches kosher salt, and some fresh ground pepper. Shake vigorously to combine.
  4. Drain the onions and squeeze them dry. In a large bowl, mix together tomatoes, peaches, beans, basil, red onion, and dressing gently together. Add a few additional pinches kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.

3. Summer Peach and Balsamic Pizza

peach-balsamic-pizzaServings 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch pizza dough (use your favorite recipe, or use mine here)
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced or grated
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil

Instructions

  1. To prepare the balsamic reduction, pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vinegar has reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F or as high as your oven will go. If you have a pizza stone, preheat the stone in the oven for at least 30 minutes to allow it to get thoroughly hot.
  3. Divide dough into tennis-ball sized pieces. Take one piece of dough and punch it down on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a circle approximately 1/4-inch thin. Place the pizza on a pizza peel or pan that has been generously coated with corn meal. Lightly brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Top with mozzarella, goat cheese, and peach slices. Drizzle the pizza with balsamic reduction. Repeat for remaining pizzas.
  4. Place the pizza in the oven-directly on the pizza stone, if using one, or on the oven rack. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until pizza crust is golden and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Cut into slices and serve.

4.  Crockpot Peach Salsa Chicken

Crockpot-Peach-Salsa-Chicken-Recipe-at-TheFrugalGirls.com_Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 – 5 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, thawed
  • 1 jar Smucker’s Peach Preserves {18 oz.}
  • 1 jar Pace Medium Chunky Salsa {16 oz.}
  • Crockpot

Instructions

  1. Cook chicken in crockpot on high for 3 hours {covered}
  2. After 3 hours, drain juices from crockpot
  3. Mix together Salsa and Peach Preserves
  4. Pour mixture over chicken, and cook on high for 30 more minutes {covered}

5. Peach Cobbler

afa5d033-4dc3-4aa2-b67f-e818f985845cServes – 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Bisquick Heart Smart® mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup fat-free (skim) milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 can (29 oz) peach slices in light syrup, drained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Vanilla reduced-fat ice cream, if desired

Instructions

  1. Step1 Heat oven to 375°F. In ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish, stir Bisquick mix and cinnamon. Stir in milk and oil with wire whisk or fork until blended.
  2. Step2 In medium bowl, mix sugar, peaches and lemon juice. Spoon over batter in baking dish.
  3. Step3 Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand about 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm with ice cream.

Nutrition Monday – Healthy Shakes

Milkshakes

Today is National “Rocky Road Ice Cream” Day. While we love some ice cream as much as the next person, sometimes it is not the healthiest items in the food groups. So we found 5 great low-fat, low in calories, great tasting shakes you can make at home and not feel guilty!

1. Brandied Berry Milk Shake

berry-shake-400Berries pack this recipe full of disease-fighting antioxidants, but the sweet treat is the brandy mixed in. It’s a small portion, but it adds a hint of flavor to the fruity drink.

Ingredients: Vanilla low-fat ice cream, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, low-fat milk, brandy

Calories: 182

 2. Espresso Soy Milk Shake

espresso-shake-400This sweet sip makes a delicious dessert. The boost of caffeine may help lower your risk of diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, and this shake is vegan-friendly.

Ingredients: Fat-free chocolate syrup, instant espresso granules, vanilla soy ice cream, low-fat soy milk

Calories: 290

3. Pumpkin Pie Shake

pumpkin-shake-400Though pumpkin is popular in the fall, you can enjoy this creamy treat year-round. You’ll get calcium from the milk and beta-carotene from the pumpkin.

Ingredients: Vanilla reduced-fat ice cream, fat-free milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin-pie spice, fat-free whipped topping

Calories: 198

4. Snickerdoodle-Peach Milkshake

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Nothing says summer like peaches! Here is a great peach milkshake topped off with snickerdoodle crumbles.

Ingredients: 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup Vanilla ice cream,  1 1/2 peaches (fresh, chopped), 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 cookies (snickerdoodle, + crumbles for garnish)

Calories: 100

5. Classic Strawberry Milkshake

strawberryA Strawberry milkshake is a timeless classic. We made ours with very few ingredients and all for under 150 calories.  A perfect treat for a hot summer day.

Ingredients: 2 cups strawberries (cleaned), 1 cup milk (We used 2%), 1 cup vanilla ice cream, 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt (or plain lowfat)

Calories: 140