Summertime Hydration

Oh, the joys of summer! After all the rains Oklahoma saw this spring, it’s strange to think that the dog days of summer are just around the corner. As our temperatures soar, and we spend more time outside, it’s important to make sure we’re staying hydrated.

Experts estimate as much as 75% of the American population could be suffering from chronic dehydration. Symptoms include fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating.

During summer months, though, we are especially concerned not with chronic dehydration, but acute dehydration. Symptoms of mild dehydration can range from dry mouth and fatigue to dry skin, headaches, and decreased urine output. Symptoms of severe dehydration are more alarming – extreme thirst, sunken eyes, rapid heartbeat, and skin that doesn’t bounce back to normal if you pinch it.

You’ve probably heard that the best gauge of your hydration is the color of your urine – the lighter it is, the better hydrated you are. This is especially important to pay attention to during the hot summer months, especially if you are outside in Oklahoma’s extreme temperature.

Teens and their parents should be extra careful during the hottest days. Teenagers typically have lower body weight, and are not as able to recognize their symptoms.

Avoiding dehydration

Heat StrokeThe easiest way to avoid dehydration is deceptively simple – stay hydrated. Drinking enough water to stave off dehydration is far easier than rehydrating. Drink two or three cups of water before exercising, and be sure to keep drinking during and after your workout.

If you find yourself dehydrated, cool water is your first line of defense, hydrating your body and keeping your temperature down. Stay away from the sodas when you’re trying to replace lost water.

If you become confused, dizzy, or light-headed because of dehydration, don’t hesitate to seek out medical help.

Enjoy the summer weather, but be sure take in plenty of water when the heat and humidity turn up!

stay hydrated

Cheers for Cherries

It’s officially cherry season in the U.S and while they are so special they may seem like a treat, cherries are a delicious way to rack up your fruit servings! Ranking high on the antioxidant scale, cherries pack a powerful nutrient punch! With such a small growing season it’s essential to preserve these jewels at their peak of freshness. Stock up today at your local supermarket, and follow these simple steps to enjoy them year round.

Can – Select firm, ripe sweet cherries. Rinse, drain and remove stems and pits, if desired. Pack cherries into clean hot canning jars and cover with medium-hot syrup (1-1/2 cups sugar to 2 cups water), leaving 1/2 -inch headspace. Seal jar according to manufacturer’s directions. Place jars on rack in canner. Process 25 minutes for pints and quarts in boiling water bath with boiling water two inches above jar tops. Remove jars from water bath. Cool away from drafts. Remove rings from sealed jars after 12 hours.

 

Dry – Select firm, ripe fresh sweet cherries. Wash, cut in half, and remove stems and pits. Place cherries, skin side down, in single layers trays. Dry cherries at 140F for 6 to 12 hours, being careful not to over-dry; cherries should be leathery and slightly sticky when properly dried. To store, place in small plastic bags, seal and keep in dark, dry, cool place. Dried cherries are a great in recipes and as a snack.

 

Freeze – Work with small amounts of fresh sweet cherries to allow for quick handling and freezing. Select firm, ripe sweet cherries. Rinse and drain cherries thoroughly. Pack according to preferred method and freeze immediately

Step 1: Rinse firm, ripe cherries in cold water; drain thoroughly.
Step 2: Pack cherries in a plastic freezer bags of freezer-proof containers. Remove excess air; fasten or cover tightly.
Step 3: Freeze.

 General Freezing Tips:

  • Before freezing, label and date each plastic bag or container.
  • Freezer should be 0°F, or lower.
  • For fastest freezing, place bags directly on freezer shelves. Leave space around each bag until contents are frozen.

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 BONUS RECIPE – Cherry Stuffed Grilled Chicken

Serves 4

 1 cup fresh sweet cherries pits removed and coarsely chopped

½ onion, finely chopped

1 tsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

½ tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

Pinch of salt

4 chicken breasts, boned and skinned

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 clove of crushed garlic

Freshly ground black pepper

  • Combine the cherries, onion, sage, thyme and salt and mix well. Cut a pocket on the thicker sides of the chicken breasts and stuff with the cherry mixture. Use metal skewers or cocktail sticks to close and seal the opening.
  • Combine the oil, vinegar, garlic and pepper with a pinch of salt and mix well to make the marinade. Use this to marinate the prepared chicken breasts and chill for an hour.
  • Either grill by conventional method or griddle the chicken breasts brushing with the marinade and turning until cooked through and the juices run clear.

The chicken breasts can also be cooked in the oven: Brown first on both sides in an oven safe pan then bake at 375 F, 190 C, gas mark 5 for 12 – 15 minutes or until the juices run clear.

*Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 305 Calories, 32.4 g protein, 11.5 g carbohydrate, 14.3 g fat (42% Cal. from fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 1.1 g fiber, 1130 mg sodium.

5 Herbs You Should Try

The commitment to eating healthy can seem like a challenge to your taste buds. The truth is, you’re retraining them to enjoy natural, nutritional flavors, and not the supercharged artificial taste they’re used to. Don’t give in to the temptation to sprinkle on the salt or load up the sugar. Here are five herbs you can use to keep your food tasting fresh and flavorful.

SassafrasSassafras

If you’re a gumbo fan, you’re already familiar with the taste of sassafras – it’s the basic component of Filé powder. It’s spicy and earthy, and can be used to thicken soups and stews in addition to the classic gumbo. Sassafras is also the key component of traditional root beer.

OreganoOregano

No Italian course would be complete without oregano, and its spicy, warm taste can kick any meal up a notch. Oregano actually becomes stronger when it’s dried, so watch how much dried oregano you add to your dinner. Adding it to stews can transform a good dish to a great one.

BasilBasil

Known for its use in pesto, basil originated in India, but its use is common to many cuisines, including Italian, Thai, and Vietnamese. Use fresh basil at the end of your cooking period, or you’ll risk ruining its flavor with high heat.

RosemaryRosemary

Pair rosemary with white meats or a pot of beans for a fragrant, delicious, and hearty meal. Remember to remove the springs of rosemary before serving.

DillDill

Last but not least, dill imparts a sharpness to any meal, and is often paired with creamy dishes to cut through their richness. Dill is commonly served on fish, and is a prime ingredient in pickle making. It can often be found in Eastern European cuisines.

Try using combinations of these herbs on some of your favorite dishes. We’re willing to bet you won’t miss the added fat, sugar, or salt you’ve been used to.

Choosing the Right Cut of Beef

Round, chuck, rib, shank, brisket, sirloin… The nine portions of a cow can yield some 40 common cuts of beef, each one with its own uses, flavors, and best cooking methods. Cuts of beef can vary wildly in their fat content, their toughness, and their taste. Here are a few of our favorite cuts.

From the Short Loin

T-bone

The short loin of the cow, just behind the ribs, yields the well-known tenderloin cut, the porterhouse steak, and the T-bone steak.

The tenderloin is common in steak tartare, beef Wellington, and beef Stroganoff, and is the source of the iconic filet mignon.

The porterhouse and T-bone steaks are characterized by their t-shaped bone, and both have a strip steak on side of the bone, and a piece of tenderloin on the other. T-bone steaks typically have less tenderloin than porterhouse steaks.

From the RibRibeye

While we won’t wade it the murky waters beef ribs vs. pork ribs in regional barbecue, one of our favorite cuts of beef comes from the rib portion of the cow: the ribeye steak.

Ribeyes are known for being particularly tender and exceptionally flavorful, making them a favorite amongst steak eaters. Known as a “cowboy cut” when the bone is left in, this cut of beef is well-marbled and quite juicy.

The BrisketBeef Brisket

Beef brisket is a staple in the barbecue world, and its pickled variant – the corned beef brisket – has its own place in history as the foundation of the famed Reuben sandwich. Brisket is often cooked slowly over low to moderate heat, which tenderizes the meat and breaks down its connective tissues. Brisket is often purchased in one of two distinct cuts – the flat cut, or the deeply marbled point.

From the FlankFlank Steak

The flank portion of the cow gives us two well-known pieces of meat, the flank steak and the skirt steak. The skirt steak is best known for its use in classic fajitas, while the flank steak is often found in London broil. Both of these steaks are highly flavorful, but can be tough. Slicing the steak thinly, against the grain will improve its tenderness.

Healthy Grilling

Warmer temperatures mean most of us head to the great outdoors for fun and recreation. Heading outside for dinner can also be a great decision for your health – grilling is one of the easiest ways to make flavorful food without the preservatives, added fats, and other obstacles to great health.

Grill in batches

I love grilling, not just for dinner, but for an entire week’s worth of meals. Grill your food in batches, and wrap your proteins in heavy duty foil to protect them in the freezer. This makes healthy lunches for work a snap. Heat up your protein and some frozen vegetables, and you have a nutritional, filling lunch in almost no time.

If you prefer fresh veggies to frozen, roast your vegetables in smaller batches, and keep them in the refrigerator. Remember that food can be kept for four days in your fridge before being eaten.

Lay off the sauce

It’s tempting to pour a sugary, sodium-packed prepared sauce all over your meat before putting it on the grill. Avoiding this temptation is key to keeping your grilled meals as healthy as possible. Instead of prepared sauces, create your own marinades with simple ingredients like olive oil, lemon or lime juice, and freshly prepared mustard. Don’t forget to add your favorite fresh or dried herbs and spices to pack a flavorful punch without the sugar and sodium.

Cook it through

Healthy grilling begins – and ends – with good food safety. It’s easy to toss food on the grill and walk away, without paying good attention to its temperature. Investing in a good, accurate meat thermometer will keep your family safe, as will these easy tips.

  • Chicken and seafood should go straight from the refrigerator to the grill, stopping only to season them if they haven’t been marinated. Beef can be warmed to room temperature, but shouldn’t be allowed to stay there long.
  • Keep your food colder than 45°F or warmer than 140°F. This range is prime bacteria growing temperature, so stay on either side of it to keep your food safe.
  • Avoid contaminating your cooked proteins with the bacteria from uncooked ones. This means using one set of tongs for cooked food, and one for raw, along with a separate platter for cooked and uncooked foods. It also means making sure your cooked veggies don’t make contact with raw meats.

Summer grilling is a great way to prepare healthy, delicious foods for your family, as long as it’s done with an eye to safety. Happy grilling!

Cottage Cheese Perfect Pairings

Whether sweet or savory, Daisy Cottage Cheese can be the perfect complement to your favorite foods.  When you combine it with veggies, nuts or fruit, you get a satisfying yet healthy twist to an old favorite.

Daisy Avocado Cilantro

Avocados with Cilantro & Tomatoes

Craving guacamole? This pairing provides the taste, texture of a traditional guacamole and adds extra protein to keep you feeling satisfied longer.

Daisy Banana Pecan

Bananas & Pecans

Behold –bananas, and pecans, make a delicious pairing that are truly satisfying and still incredibly healthy. A pairing that calms the sweet tooth yet provides decent nutrition – what a lovely thing.

Daisy Beet Romaine

Beets & Baby Romaine

This colorful pairing provides a harvest blend of nutrients.

Daisy Blackberry Walnut

Blackberries & Walnuts

This unique flavor combination offers a high nutritional content of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants with protein to boot.

Daisy Blueberry Almond

Blueberries & Almonds

This pairing is sure to make your heart happy!

Daisy Fig Pistachio

Figs with Pistachios & Cardamom

Feel like something exotic and nutritious? These classic flavors offer more than just good taste

Daisy Apple Cinnamon

Granny Smith Apples & Cinnamon

Give this staple snack of green apples and cinnamon a boost of protein by adding cottage cheese! It will be sure to leave you satisfied!

Daisy Grapefruit Honey

Grapefruit with Mint & Honey

This unique combination offers a refreshing, light, decadent snack.

Daisy Grape Spinach

Grapes & Spinach

Sweet juicy grapes combined with bitter-earthy spinach greens offers is bursting with essential nutrients.

Daisy Kale Almond

Kale & Almonds with Rosemary

Kale is hotter than ever! This delicious pairing is a trend that will be sure to last.

Daisy Mandarin Almond

Mandarin Oranges & Toasted Almonds

This pairing adds a sweet citrus taste to roasted almonds for a delicious crunch that also can help you stay well.

Daisy Mango Mint

Mangoes & Mint

Colorful, tasty and antioxidant-rich.

Daisy Artichoke Tomato

Marinated Artichokes & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This Mediterranean inspired pairing is bursting with flavor and health-boosting, nutrients.

Daisy Mushroom Spinach

Mushrooms & Spinach

This delicious pairing packs a powerful punch of nutrients and flavor.

Daisy Papaya Macadamia

Papayas & Macadamia Nuts

This sweet and crunchy pairing makes a snack you can feel good about!

Daisy Peach Cinnamon

Peaches & Cinnamon

A fiber-rich, protein-packed combo that may help promote stable blood glucose levels.

Daisy Pomegranate Honey

Pomegranate & Honey

Mix up pomegranates, honey and Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese for a powerful antioxidant-protein buzz.

Daisy Raspberry Muesli

Raspberries & Muesli

Hearty crunch of the muesli mixed with the sweetness of the raspberries provides a snack that satisfies you anytime of the day.
Daisy Red Pepper Sunflower Seeds

Red Pepper & Sunflower Seeds

Try this snack your heart, body and soul will love.

Daisy Brussels Sprouts Hazelnuts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Hazelnuts

Forget all your notions of what Brussels sprouts used to taste like. This flavorful combination is festive enough for a special occasion and easy enough for every day.

Daisy Strawberries Spinach

Strawberries & Baby Spinach

Think smart: combine this trio to boost brain power.

Daisy Strawberries Cinnamon

Strawberries & Cinnamon

Combine these pairings for a sweet treat that packs a nutritious punch.

Daisy Tomatoes Dill

Tomatoes & Dill

This savory pairing is packed with antioxidants!

Mother’s Day Brunch

It’s the time of the year to celebrate Mom, and restaurants around the city are filling up with reservations for brunch. This year, think about throwing Mom the perfect brunch yourself, with these easy recipes – one quick trip to your neighborhood Homeland, and you’ll have everything you need.

While you’re there, make sure you stop by the floral department for some fresh flowers that are sure to delight.

Orange Blossom Hibiscus Iced Tea

2 Orange Blossom Hibiscus tea bags

1 container of Simply Lemonade

Fresh lemon slices

Fresh orange slices

Brew tea according to the directions on the package. Let the tea cool. Add 3 parts tea and 1 part lemonade into a pitcher. Pour over ice and garnish with fresh lemon and orange slices.

Smoked Salmon Crostini

For the spread

1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened

6 ounces of smoked salmon, roughly chopped

1 heaping tablespoon of fresh dill, plus some for garnish

2 tablespoons of finely minced red onion

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Using a fork, gently combine everything until light and fluffy.

 

For the crostini

1 white baguette

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the baguette into thin slices and spread them on a baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and add a pinch of black pepper. Bake for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy.

Spread the cream cheese filling over the bread and garnish with a dash of fresh dill.

Blueberry Muffin Cake

2 cups less 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 egg, room temperature

1 cup sour cream

1 pint of fresh blueberries

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

Sparkling sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the all-purpose flour, the baking soda and the baking powder in a mixing bowl.

In a standing mixer, gently combine the sugar and butter. Add the egg and beat on medium speed until the mixture is light in color and fluffy.

On low speed, gently combine the flour and sour cream to the mixture in 3 parts – starting and ending with the flour – until fully incorporated.

Fold the blueberries and lemon zest very lightly into the batter and place it into a greased 9-inch spring form pan.

Sprinkle with sparkling sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Caprese Florentine Quiche

1 refrigerated pie crust

2 ounces of diced pancetta

4 eggs, room temperature

1 cup whole milk

2 ounces mozzarella

2 ounces of fontina cheese

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves

1/3 cup of fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Pre-bake the pie crust for 8 minutes.

While the pie crust is cooking, place the diced pancetta in a skillet and cook on medium-high until lightly browned. Set pancetta aside.

Whisk the eggs and milk together until the mixture is light and really well combined. Combine the cheese, salt, and pepper.

Layer the tomatoes, spinach, and basil leaves on the bottom of the pie crust.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the fillings in the pie crust.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the quiche is golden brown on top & the egg mixture is set. Allow it to cool 5 minutes before serving.

Breakfast Potatoes

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 orange bell pepper, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

2 pounds red potatoes, quartered

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter, softened

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the garlic, peppers, onion, potatoes, rosemary, salt, pepper, olive oil, and butter.

Spread evenly onto a baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes (toss after 10 minutes).

Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes until the potatoes are really crisp and golden brown.

Healthy Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Pubela on May 5, 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War. The Mexican army’s victory over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla was very unlikely. The success at Puebla represented a symbolic victory for the Mexican government. In the United States Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. Cinco de Mayo is not to be confused with a celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day, which is September 16.

Today, celebration of Cinco de Mayo includes festive food and drink, music, and dancing. Like celebrations of all holidays you can incorporate healthy components. One easy way is to incorporate fruit into dishes. Incorporating fruit into salsa recipes is a great way to do this for Cinco de Mayo. You can use fresh or frozen fruit. Popular recipes for fruit salsas include adding: pineapple, mango, strawberries, blueberries, and even kiwi. You can even try variations of combinations of fruit in salsa. Fruit provides essential vitamins and minerals, important to overall health. The more colors the better. Remember to shoot for five servings of fruit a day!

Choosing lean meat options is another way to incorporate healthy components into the holiday celebration. Lean meats include: poultry, fish, and seafood. You can swop out a high fat meat for a lean meat in any recipe. The spicy shrimp Cinco de Mayo bowls are a great way to enjoy a lean protein.

Whole grains are always an option, as well. Instead of choosing refined grains such as white rice and white bread choose whole grains. Examples of whole grains include brown rice, wheat bread, couscous, and quinoa. Whole grains are full of fiber, iron, B vitamins and other essential nutrients. Try to make half of your grains whole!

Spicy Shrimp with Sweet and Zesty Mango Salsa Cinco De Mayo Bowls

ShrimpMangoBowls

Ingredients

Salsa

  • 1/2 of a lime
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 mango, peeled, pit removed, chopped or small dice
  • 2/3 cup chopped or small dice tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup cucumbers, small dice
  • 1/4 cup small dice red onions
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 small jalapeño, seeded, minced
  • salt

For the shrimp

  • 10 ounces raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails off (thaw if using frozen)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil

For the bowls

  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped or shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups cooked couscous

Instructions                                          

Make the salsa

  1. In a small bowl, combine the lime and lemon juices, agave syrup, ginger, and a big pinch of salt. Stir well and set aside. Add the remaining salsa ingredients to a medium bowl and toss with the lime dressing and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Marinate and cook the shrimp

  1. Toss the shrimp with some olive oil and the spices and salt to thoroughly coat. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil a large saute pan over medium. Add the shrimp to the pan when the oil beings to shimmer. Sear the shrimp on both sides until pink and plump.

Assemble

  1. Line two pasta bowls with equal amounts of the romaine and red cabbage. Spoon couscous over each, followed by a layer of salsa. Divide the shrimp between the two bowls and layer over the salsa. Finally, top both bowls with a generous helping of salsa.