18 Apr 2014

5 Healthy Apricot Recipes

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Delicious, juicy apricots may be one of the most delectable fruits to use in cooking healthy recipes. (And another reason why it can be found in our That’s It Apples + Apricots Fruit Bar!) This sweet, seasonal selection is easy to incorporate into a variety of cuisines. The following are some favorite dishes with a spin on modern cooking for a healthy lifestyle. 

Zesty Apricot Salsa

1 lb. Apricots in 1/2″ dices

1/2 cup minced red onion

1/2 red jalapeno (seeded and minced)

1 teaspoon seeded and minced habanero pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine all diced produce into mixing bowl. Drizzle with oil and juice. Refrigerate for up to two hours. Serve with brown rice chips.

 

Apricot & Cashew Wheat Stuffing

1/4 cup salted butter

1/3 cup chopped apricot

1/3 cup gold raisins

1/2 cup chopped salted cashews

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 red onion minced

Combine ingredients in a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until soft, but not browned. Add 4 cups of wheat croutons and fold together. Spread stuffing into buttered baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

 

Sriracha Apricot Glazed Meatballs

2 lbs. ground turkey

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 bunch finely minced green onion

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients well and roll into walnut sized balls. In a large skillet, brown meatballs over medium heat until completely cooked and set aside to cool slightly.
Glaze

In a shallow skillet heat 1 tablespoon of butter. Add 4 minced apricots and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Cook over medium-low heat stirring frequently until the fruit is rendered into a jam like consistency. Add 1 tablespoon of cooking Sherry, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 2-3 tablespoons of Sriracha whisking together until a nice glaze forms. Dip meatballs 3/4 of the way into glaze and serve.

 

Apricot Glazed Chicken

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs

6 apricots halved, and pureed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove minced garlic

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Salt and pepper thighs and place into hot skillet. Cook chicken until slightly browned.

In a mixing bowl whisk pureed apricots, garlic, and vinegar. Place chicken in a baking dish and cover with sauce. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the glaze is slightly sticky.

 

Fresh Mozzarella and Apricot on Grilled Sourdough

4 slices sourdough bread

2 apricots sliced thin

4 slices fresh mozzarella or Daiya cheese

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Softened butter

Butter one side of each of the 4 pieces of bread. Placing butter side down on a flat skillet top with apricot, sugar, cinnamon and mozzarella. Place remaining bread slices butter side up on top. Cook four minutes on each side.

As you can see there are several varieties of recipes that incorporate this lovely fruit. Whether you like something on the spicier side or mild, sweet or salty, there are sure to be a multitude of choices out there for you to explore and enjoy. Happy eating!

11 Apr 2014

Five Tips To Stick To A Healthy Diet

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Temptation to overeat is all around us, from ads with big juicy hamburgers to rich chocolate cake and crispy fried delights. Maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging, but there are ways to overcome the urge to overindulge. Here are five tips to help you stick to a healthy diet:

1. Drink plenty of water. The health benefits of water abound, from improving skin to keeping your organs properly functioning. Drinking an eight ounce glass of water before a meal is filling, thus reducing your appetite. Sip on water throughout the day to stay hydrated, cleanse your system and prevent bloating. If exercise is part of your weight loss plan, be sure to drink water throughout your workout for optimum muscle performance. Your body loses water through perspiration so replenish by drinking water after exercising.

2. Visualize your goals. Pull out old photos at your best weight or inspiration clippings from magazines of the size body you would like to achieve. When the temptation to cheat on your diet arises, use these visuals to help you stay focused.

3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Loading up on fresh produce is satisfying and helps curb the urge to cheat with sweets. Fruits and vegetables have fiber, which help you to feel fuller longer. Grabbing a handful of berries or munching on a crunchy celery stick is a healthy way to snack when those mid afternoon munchies occur. You can also eat a healthy That’s It Fruit Bar.

4. Find an exercise you enjoy. Take a walk, jump on the trampoline with the kids, ride your bike, hula hoop or join a dance class to help increase your metabolism. Exercise produces those feel-good endorphins, giving you the energy and willpower to stick to a healthy diet. Take the time to try something new and get moving.

5. Indulge every now and then. There is something about forbidden food that increases cravings. Allow yourself a cheat day or special treat now and then so you do not wind up feeling deprived and going on an all out binge. Remember, everything in moderation. Have chocolate covered strawberries or a half a slice of cake to satisfy a craving without feeling guilty for overindulging.

Sticking to a healthy diet is all about creating new habits. Celebrate this opportunity to take better care of yourself and achieve your dreams.

11 Apr 2014

5 Tips to Stick to Your Exercise Plan

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A regular exercise regimen makes you stronger and helps you feel great. An exercise routine that works for you has a ton of benefits beyond becoming toned and lean, but keeping up with it isn’t always easy. Here are five ways to stick with this healthy ritual.

1. Go and do a simple warm-up
It happens to the best of us. We get into a routine and get excited about the possibility of change. However, after a while, the practice gets tough. When it’s getting hard to get started, just show up. Tell yourself that you’ll just do a warm-up when you get to the gym. Getting yourself there can be the hardest part some days.

2. Get a workout buddy
When you succeed beyond your wildest dreams, they’ll be there to give you a high-five. When you’re having a difficult day at the gym, they’ll be there to encourage you. Pairing up with friends who have exercise goals of their own makes it easier to get into the gym. There’s nothing like sweating beside someone who’s conquering challenges beside you.

3. Schedule it
It’s not going to happen if you don’t schedule it in your calendar. Getting an exercise routine in place means taking the time to create a habit. Building your body takes time and patience. Carry snacks like That’s It Fruit Bars in your gym bag so you have enough energy to push through when you’re hungry.

4. Find a trainer
If you don’t really know what you’re doing when you go to the gym, it could be beneficial for you to find someone who does. A trainer can teach you what to do and what muscles to work. They can show you how to be safe and correct your form when you’re doing a repetition incorrectly. This can save you time and energy in the long run.

5. Do something you enjoy
Too many people make the mistake that working out must be brutal, boring and exhausting. There’s no way to make going to the gym fun when you approach getting in shape this way! There are plenty of exercises and sports that help you burn calories.

Making exercise a habit is one of the best ways to keep your body strong. Take the time to decide what motivates you to get fit and make a plan to stick with it!

28 Mar 2014

Best Post-Run Snack Ideas

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No matter your workout or running schedule, most everyone will try to get in at least a small snack before they finally hit the gym or trail. What some may not realize is that the post-workout snack is just as important as the food that is consumed before one’s exercise. For those that want to make every run as efficient as possible, here are some of the top snacks to wind down with. Of course, That’s It Fruit Bars are great snacks for any time.

The Protein Shake

The protein shake has typically been considered the traditional post-workout snack. Protein shakes are the perfect blend of carbohydrates and protein without weighing you down with a huge plate of food. A convenient protein shake is going to have a few basic properties beginning with the protein itself. Some may want to use dairy products for the protein, but soy and whey powders can be just as effective. Throwing in fruits such as a banana, strawberries or pears will add flavor as well as antioxidants and potassium.

Tuna on Whole Wheat

Outside of lean white meats, tuna is one of the go-to options for those that would like to quickly repair their muscles with amino acids after a workout. Fresh tuna should be packed in water and requires nothing more than some pepper, celery seeds, or a splash of lemon juice. Small amounts of salt and mustard can also be used to increase flavor. The blend of carbs and protein in a tuna sandwich will also help to suppress one’s appetite for less nutritious options.

Yogurt and Berries

After an especially difficult run, muscles throughout the body are starved for amino acids. Minor tears in the muscle fibers can result in soreness, fatigue, and potentially even serious damage. In order to combat this, yogurt is one of the best options with proteins that are easily broken down by the body. Those that are lactose intolerant may even enjoy the fact that yogurt is one of the most easily-digestible dairy products. Adding fresh berries or cherries will improve the overall carb load for increased energy.

After an exhausting run, it can be difficult to muster the energy to create a meal. Luckily, these few simple snacks can be made beforehand and could make all the difference on improving one’s speed, endurance, and strength.

27 Mar 2014

9 Quick And Easy Workouts You Can Do At Home

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Everyone wants to be able to go the gym, but not everyone has the time needed to make the commitment. Luckily, there are plenty of small exercises that anyone with a busy schedule can do. Here are nine quick and easy exercises that you can do at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Push-Ups

Push-ups are a tried and true method of exercising your arms and chest muscles. They are quick, easy, and it doesn’t take a lot of them to start feeling the burn. You can adjust your arm placement to change the intensity of the workout. If you cannot do them on the floor, try doing them against the sofa or against a wall.

2. Sit-Ups

Sit-ups are great for exercising your abs and legs. A lot of people like to place their feet in between the crevice of their sofa and the floor. This provides enough leverage that allows you to do sit-ups all on your own.

3. Downward Facing Dog

This is a yoga move, but it still makes a great all-around exercise. It stretches your calves and it is a good way to get ready for a long day. It’s a very slow and deliberate exercise. It isn’t about feeling the burn.

4. Forward Lunges

Working out your legs is very important. Use this exercise to work out those thighs. If you only do one leg exercise for your routine, this is the one you want to do. It’s very simple and pretty fun as well. If you want to intensify the workout, use hand weights while you do it.

5. Single Leg Stand

This not only improves your balance, but it also builds a little muscle in your calf. The brilliant thing about this exercise is how simple it is. You can do it in the shower or while combing your hair.

6. Front Plank

This exercises your abs and your back. Try to keep as still and steady as possible. It’s harder than you might imagine.

7. Squats

A great exercise for your legs. Like other leg exercises, you can multitask while doing this exercise. Squats while brushing your teeth is a pretty efficient use of time.

8. Touch Your Toes

This is a very simple stretch that gets your legs ready for the day ahead.

9. Jumping Jacks

Everyone knows what jumping jacks are. They are quick and fun. They get your energy levels up and work out your legs and arms.

All in all, there are many different exercises that you can do at home. Being in shape and going to the gym are not mutually exclusive. Use these exercises in conjunction with eating healthy fruits and veggies to get that healthy lifestyle you’ve been looking for. Don’t forget to keep That’s It Fruit Bars around for a healthy snack before and after working out.

21 Mar 2014

5 Healthy Pear Recipes

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Pears have a light and sweet flavor that makes them especially delicious in both sweet and savory dishes. If you’re a fan of these tasty fruits and want to find more creative things to do with pears, these five recipes can make dinner, dessert or a get-together with friends even more enjoyable. Don’t forget you can take pears with you on the go with our That’s It Fruit Bar Apples + Pears.

Pear Slices with Bleu Cheese and Bacon

Pears and bacon taste especially satisfactory together, and are the perfect combination of sweet and smoky flavors. For a delicious appetizer, cut Bartlett pears into slices. Be sure the slices are wide enough to hold a few crumbles of blue cheese. Wrap each pear slice in turkey bacon.

Place the pear pieces on a cookie sheet and preheat the oven to about 300 degrees. Drizzle the pear slices with a little olive oil and sprinkle   with pepper. Place the appetizers in the oven for about 10 minutes to meld the flavors together before serving. The pear appetizers can be     served raw as well.

 

Arugula and Pear Salad

This salad makes an ideal side dish and the sweetness of the pear compliments the earthy taste of arugula beautifully. Simply wash the arugula and sprinkle the greens with a combination of olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs. Cut the pears into small slices and mix with the arugula. Add feta cheese and pecans and toss. Use vinaigrette that includes flavors like pomegranate or champagne to add a tasty finishing touch to this simple and elegant salad.

Grilled Cheese with Pear and Bacon

A grilled cheese is a classic sandwich that tastes great with soups and salads. Use your favorite whole grain bread for this recipe. Melt a combination of butter and coconut oil in a skillet and create a sandwich with bread, Swiss or Monterey Jack cheese, thin pear slices and turkey bacon. Cook the sandwich on both sides until the bread is golden brown. Serve the sandwich with a soup that pairs well with pear, like potato or French onion.

Roasted Chicken with Pears and Potatoes

For a more creative take on chicken, add pears and potatoes for this roasted main course. Marinate chicken breasts and thighs in a combination of olive oil, lime juice, fresh herbs, white pepper and pear juice for anywhere from 45 minutes to overnight. Cut up vegetables like purple onion, fennel and chives and place them at the bottom of a roasting pan. Slice both red and green pears and add them to the veggies. Drizzle the pears and vegetables with olive oil and add the meat the roasting pan. Place in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve the dish with wild rice or the pear arugula salad listed above.

Baked Pears

For dessert, try these baked pears, which is low in carbohydrates and packed with flavor. Cut Asian or Bartlett pears in half and core them. Add a dollop of butter, a teaspoon of brown sugar, macadamia nuts and shredded coconut to each pear half. Drizzle the pears with a combination of rum, honey and vanilla extract.

Bake the pears for about 15 minutes, or until the fruit becomes soft in the middle. Remove the fruit from the oven, allow it to cool, and serve with vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream.

Each of these recipes is sure to impress your guests as well as your family members. Pears are also rich in fiber and vitamin C, so you’re providing substantial nutrition in each dish as well. Enjoy!

19 Mar 2014

Five Healthy Reasons to Eat Pears

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People love to eat pears because they are a deliciously sweet and reasonably-priced fruit. However, there are even more reasons to indulge in this delectable treat. Pears offer up a bevy of healthy goodness in each and every bite. Make sure you keep some That’s It Fruit Bars Apples + Pears on hand for a delicious snack.

1. Improve Your Immune System

The high levels of vitamin C and various other nutrients contained in pears can help you stay healthy. Eating a pear each day will give your immune system a boost and help keep you from getting colds, sore throats and other illnesses.

2. Avoid Food Allergies

Many people suffer from a variety of food allergies or food sensitivities and must be very careful of what they eat. Pears are considered one of the most hypoallergenic foods, and they can be eaten by anyone from the smallest child on up. They have no adverse effects on those with food allergies.

3. Rehydrate Your Body

In very hot weather, people working and playing outdoors can be at risk of heat stress or heat stroke. Most often, drinking enough water will ensure this does not happen. However, drinking water sometimes gets boring to children and some people old enough to know better. Offer them a pear instead. Fresh pears are made up of 84% water content and will keep your body hydrated.

4. Increase Your Fiber Intake

Like apples, pears are high in fiber and can help lower your cholesterol when eaten regularly. Fiber can do many other things for you as well, such as improving your digestive system, improving heart health and reducing the risk of certain cancers, stroke and heart disease.

5. More Vitamins and Minerals

In addition to vitamin C, pears also supply generous doses of vitamins K and A. Vitamin K is essential in ensuring your blood clots properly, and vitamin A helps your eyes to be at their best. You will also get an excellent dose of potassium in every pear you eat. This is beneficial to both your heart and your muscles.

These are all very good reasons to eat pears, and there are many more benefits that come from pear consumption. You can enjoy this sweet snack every day and know you are being kind to your body.

13 Mar 2014

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids

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Whether you are preparing lunches for your child’s upcoming school week or you have kids who need lunches on the weekend, finding delicious, yet healthy options can often feel tricky. Especially if you have picky eaters in the house! However, making lunchtime fun and tasty is possible with a bit of creativity when it comes time to cook. Make sure you include a That’s It Fruit Bar as a healthy alternative to cookies or sweets for your little ones.

Salad Wraps With Chicken or Tuna

Make salad wraps together with your kids using chicken or tuna and mayonnaise (or veganaise), depending on their preferences and tastes. You can then mix in celery and cranberry for additional nutrients and a sweet flavor. Purchase large heads of romaine lettuce to easily create wraps using longer strips of the lettuce. You can also use low-carbohydrate wraps to lower the overall bread and sugar content.

DIY Healthy “Taco Kits”

Create a DIY health “taco kit” for you and your children to make lunch together. This DIY option works well if you are preparing their lunches for school the night before, or you are making lunch with each other in the afternoon. Include sides of chopped tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, peppers and other vegetables to encourage your children to try new foods, even if they are not familiar with them. Making lunchtime exciting and “DIY” is a way to get your kids excited about trying new foods.

Implement Panko Breadcrumbs

Any time you want to serve fried chicken or another friend item, consider using panko bread crumbs rather than traditional breadcrumbs, as these have fewer carbohydrates, calories and fat. Using panko breadcrumbs gives a flavorful and crunchy texture to meats without additional bread content, allowing you to feel less guilty when your children demand homemade chicken nuggets! You can also use panko breadcrumbs when making classic dishes for your children and family, such as chicken parmesan and chicken cordon bleu.

Implementing healthier lunch ideas for kids is a way for you to ensure your children are getting more nutritional content every day, regardless of whether they are at home or at school. Knowing how to choose the right ingredients over foods that are over-processed and lacking in vitamins and minerals is another way to keep your family healthy and active.

12 Mar 2014

Health Benefits of Mangoes

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First cultivated in Southeast Asia, mangoes are now grown in several frost-free tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The “King of Fruits” can be eaten raw, juiced or incorporated in recipes that require tropical fruit, such as chutneys, curries, ice cream, yogurt, smoothies and other fruit drinks. Clinical research demonstrates that this delicious fruit contains several important nutrients, which provide a wide range of impressive health benefits.

The aromatic fruit is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and other essential substances. Key nutrients include Vitamins A, C, E and several members of the B-complex as well as natural sugars, carbohydrates and insoluble fiber. Mangoes also provide trace nutrients, including folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc. Vitamin A promotes good eyesight and boosts the immune system along with Vitamin C. 25 different carotenoids. B-complex vitamins, such as B1, B6, B9 and B12, lower stress levels and protect the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient that reduces the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness.

Mangoes also contain antioxidant compounds that lower the risk for breast, colon and prostate cancer. Studies confirm that mangoes have a low glycemic index, which means that the fruit does not spike blood sugar and insulin levels. A single cup of raw mango has less than 100 calories and does not contain cholesterol or fat. Further studies demonstrate that mangoes contain an enzyme that breaks down proteins, which helps to soothe the digestive system. The insoluble fiber and pectin in mangoes lower cholesterol, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease. These substances also prevent digestive issues like indigestion and constipation.

While many people enjoy mangoes raw, the fruit is a popular ingredient in cuisines around the world. Mangoes are a great way to enhance the flavor of a meal or to prepare authentic ethnic dishes. This delectable superfruit is easy to incorporate in any diet whether the goal is to lose weight or enjoy the other health benefits of mangoes. To add more mangoes to your diet, try That’s it fruit bars in Apple + Mango. Get the health benefits of apples and mangoes in one easy to carry fruit bar!

06 Mar 2014

5 Healthy Cherry Recipes

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Many recipes that include fresh cherries are desserts. Cherry pie, cherry cupcakes, and cherry ice cream are delicious, but what about using cherries in other meals? Here are five recipes to help you do just that. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cherry Granola Breakfast Parfait

2 c plain yogurt
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 c sliced almonds
4 tbsp maple syrup, divided
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix oats and almonds. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, oil, and salt. Stir the sugar mixture into the oat mixture until new mixture is uniformly wet. Spread in a single layer onto the baking sheet. Bake until granola is crispy (about 20-25 minutes), stirring occasionally. Pour 1/4 cup yogurt into a bowl or tall glass. Drizzle some maple syrup over the yogurt. Add a layer of granola, then a layer of cherries. Repeat until all yogurt, granola, and syrup are layered into the parfait.

Cherry Feta Orzo

1 lb orzo pasta
1/2 lb feta cheese
2 c cherries
1/4 c parsley, chopped
1/4 c slivered almonds
3 tbsp shallot, minced
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt

Pit and slice cherries, then set aside in a bowl to drain. Cook orzo until al dente, then drain and rinse. Set orzo aside in a large bowl to cool. Remove cherries from juice. Add shallots, salt, oil, and vinegar to the juice to form a dressing. Add dressing and parsley to the orzo. Mix well, then stir in cherries and almonds. Crumble feta over the top and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Cherrylicious Elderflower Fruit Salad

1 pint raspberries
1 pint blueberries
1/2 pound cherries
2 oranges, peeled
2 tbsp elderflower liqueur

In a large bowl, combine blueberries and raspberries. Pit cherries and section oranges over a bowl to collect the juice. Add cherries, oranges, and juice to the berries. Gently stir in elderflower liqueur.

Cherry Ginger Iced Tea

4 c water, divided
4 teabags
1 c cherries, pitted and diced
1 medium piece ginger, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine cherries and ginger slices. Sprinkle sugar over cherries and ginger. Cover with 2 cups water. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring 2 cups water nearly to a boil, then pour over tea bags. Steep until amber in color, then discard bags. Strain cherry-ginger water into tea. Add lemon juice to taste and pour over ice.

Cherry Gorgonzola Salad

8 c herb salad mix
2 c cherries, pitted and sliced
1/2 c apple cider
1/3 c walnuts
1/4 c gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp shallots, diced
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1/4 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Bring cider to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir water and cornstarch in a small bowl; add to saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly for 30 seconds or until no lumps remain. Remove from heat and stir in shallots, vinegar, salt, and pepper to create a dressing. Pour salad mix in a large bowl. Toss in dressing, then top with berries, cheese, and walnuts.

Don’t forget, you can always have a healthy snack with That’s It Apples + Cherries fruit bars.

Bon appétit!