Poached Pears in Grape JuiceA delightful way to enjoy wholesome eating can start with your packing your plate with produce, including a dynamite little fruit—the Concord grape. Concord grapes are bold in taste and pack quite a nutritious punch. They can be enjoyed as 100% grape juice or in simple, healthy and flavor-packed recipes.

Consider this: Welch’s uses Concord grapes grown in North America exclusively by its family-farmer owners, who work tirelessly during harvest season to collect exceptional fruit that meets their high quality standards. These Concord grapes are picked at their peak and pressed into juice within eight hours of harvesting to capture their perfectly ripe flavor.

Thanks to the Concord grape, 100% grape juice can help support a healthy heart. According to Alton Brown, Food Network star, food historian and scientist, “Welch’s presses the entire Concord grape, skin, seed, pulp and all, and that releases heart-healthy plant nutrients called polyphenols.”

Many of the polyphenols in Concord grapes are the same as those found in wine. In fact, you can even use 100% grape juice instead of sweet wine in a variety of recipes.

There are many ways to get your share of the goodness of Concord grapes. 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes can be enjoyed in a glass as a nutritious beverage and can easily be incorporated into recipes for desserts, low-fat salad dressings, marinades and more. This tasty ingredient may not only enhance the flavor of your favorite dishes, it can add a boost of heart-healthy purple fruit to your day.

Here’s one easy way to add this one-of-a-kind fruit to your menu:

Poached Pears in Grape Juice

Ingredients

1½ cups Welch’s 100% Grape Juice made with Concord grapes

2 cinnamon sticks

2 strips of orange rind

4 pears, peeled with stems remaining

Preparation

In a medium saucepan, bring grape juice, cinnamon and orange rind to a boil.

Place pears standing in saucepan and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Turn or spoon juice over pears as they simmer. Remove pears and let cool.

Reduce sauce by boiling down to about ⅓ cup.

Spoon sauce over pears and keep chilled.

Serve pears by themselves or with light whipped cream.

You can find more facts, tips and recipes to share the goodness of Concord grapes with your family at www.welchs.com.

*Recipe and image courtesy of napsnet.com.*

Pirate's BootyParents can swap sugar-laden candy treats for Pirate’s Booty, a deliciously baked, all-natural snack that kids love and moms can feel good about adding to the Halloween treat bowl! Pirate’s Booty has less fat and fewer calories than traditional Halloween candy and zero grams of sugar. Also, Pirate’s Booty is gluten, peanut and tree-nut free, so it’s safe for trick-or-treaters or classmates with these common food allergies. Pirate’s Booty is made without trans-fats and ingredients you can’t pronounce. Plus, the Pirate is already dressed for the occasion! “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom and her little ones love this fun and healthy little treat for an easy grab-and-go snack all October long. (Who are we kidding, all year long!)

Pirate's Booty 2

This year, it will be easier than ever to pass out Pirate’s Booty, as Target and Super Target stores across the county will be offering special Halloween 20-packs of half-ounce, 65-calorie bags of Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar. The Halloween 20-packs of Pirate’s Booty will be available from mid-September through October.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Boo Berry MilkshakesStart the party with a great big BOO-Berry Milkshake, and make this Halloween the freakiest ever! In the midst of assembling your creepy costumes, finalizing scary party plans and putting out cobwebs and ghosts, don’t forget to include the most important party item—a tasty treat that will fill your guests with both fright and delight!

At Halloween gatherings, sugary sweets may sound great, but the post-candy sugar crash does not! The best solution? Nature’s candy—blueberries!

To get everybody in the spirit on an eerie Halloween night, make these scrumptious BOO-Berry Milkshakes with juicy blueberries. Not only are these spooky shakes naturally sweet, they’re ghoulishly festive too. Serve up these spine-chilling beverages to both kids and adults. They will be a smashing (and deviously healthy!) hit at your monster mash… just don’t be scared when the ghostly drinks vanish before your eyes!

Get more inspiring recipes and ideas for enjoying frozen and fresh blueberries all year, and find information about blueberry health benefits at www.LittleBlueDynamos.com.

“Boo” Berry Milkshakes

Ingredients

2 cups frozen (unthawed) blueberries

1 ripe banana

1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt (“Mom” prefers organic)

¾ cup milk (“Mom” prefers organic)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped topping

Additional blueberries

Preparation

In a blender, combine blueberries, banana, frozen yogurt, milk and vanilla; whirl until smooth. Pipe topping into swirls on top of shakes to make ghosts and dot with blueberries to make eyes.

*Recipe and image courtesy of napsnet.com.*

Roasted VegetablesThe vegetables can vary with the season, what you like, and what’s fresh in the market. The main thing to do is make sure that each is roasted to the perfect point of doneness — which will take a few separate pans.

This delicious recipes was created by mother-daughter duo Terry and Tracy Paulding, of Paulding & Co. Their comapny specializes in creating innovative event ideas for families and corporate entities through public cooking classes and exercises.

Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (not the super expensive kind, but make sure it’s from Modena)
1 small, firm globe eggplant
Handful of small sweet red (or yellow or orange) peppers
2 ripe tomatoes, if in season
1 red onion or bunch of spring onions
12 asparagus, if in season
2 medium zucchinis and/or golden zucchinis
1 yam
1 Portobello mushroom (optional)
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil as needed
2 Tbs. chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

One day in advance, pour the balsamic vinegar into a shallow pan. Let sit uncovered at room temperature overnight. You will have thick balsamic syrup by morning! Pack this into a jar or squeeze bottle. If it’s too thick, thin with a little bit more vinegar. This will keep at room temperature, so feel free to make more and use it on other dishes.

Prepare several baking sheets, by covering them with parchment and brushing the parchment generously with olive oil. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Wash all the vegetables. Split the peppers in half and seed them Top and tail the eggplant, and slice thickly. Thickly slice tomatoes, trim asparagus by snapping off the bottom fibrous stalks and then cutting them straight. Peel onion and cut into 6 even round slices, or wash spring onions. Wash, trim and slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices; halve these if zucchinis are large. Without peeling, cut yam in thick rounds. Leave Portobello whole, but trim stem. Place tomatoes, onion and mushroom on one oiled sheet. Blot eggplant dry (if salted) with paper towels and place on another oiled baking sheet with the peppers and asparagus. Place zucchini and yam slices on another sheet. Brush or drizzle all the vegetables with oil. Lightly salt each pan of vegetables, and put in the oven to roast.

Roast until vegetables are lightly golden. Eggplants should be soft, and tomatoes may become very soft. This should take from 15-25 minutes, depending on oven conditions and thickness of slices. Once the mushroom is done, slice it neatly.

Arrange vegetables into a “tapestry” on a platter. Before serving, dress with the balsamic and garnish with parsley.

Vegetables can also be grilled, but watch carefully so they don’t burn.

Makes 6 generous servings.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Terry and Tracy Paulding, of Paulding & Co.*

ALTER ECO Indian Inspired Street Tacos - finalThis might be the most interesting recipe ever featured on Tiny Green Mom! Merry Graham of Newhall, CA won the Alter Eco Quinoa challenge by coming up with this incredible recipe!

Indian Inspired Quinoa Street Taco with Fresh Fig Salsa

Recipe by Merry Graham (Newhall, CA)

Ingredients

1 cup Alter Eco Royal Black Quinoa

4 Numi Organic Carrot Curry Savory Tea Bags

1/3 cup steel cut oats (oats act as a binder)

4 fresh figs, chopped (if not in season, use ½ cup red seedless grapes)

1/4 cup minced baby carrots (mini food processor)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided

1/2 chopped green onions, divided

2 tablespoons red bell pepper, chopped

1 lime, cut in halves

1-2 teaspoons hot sauce, divided (optional)

1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper

1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin

3 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 packages (at least 10 count total) small artisan taco shells or slider taco shells

1/2 cup Greek low fat yogurt

2 cups shredded lettuce

Preparation

In a medium saucepan bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add tea bags and steep for 10 minutes while preparing quinoa. Rinse quinoa until water runs clear. Spread in a large skillet, over medium heat, toast for 10 minutes or until the quinoa is dry and airy. Add oats, 3 cups steeped tea, and 1/2 tsp sea salt, and bring to a boil. Adjust heat to low and simmer, cover, for 18 minutes, stirring once.

Meanwhile, make salsa. Combine figs, minced carrots, 1 tablespoon green onions, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, red bell pepper, squeeze of lime juice, a shot of hot sauce. Set aside.

Remove quinoa from heat, quickly add ancho chili pepper, cumin, 1/4 cup minced cilantro, 1/4 cup minced green onions, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, juice from 1/2 lime or to taste. Stir and taste; add about ½ teaspoon salt or taste. Cover and steam while preparing taco shells.

Heat a griddle and brush each taco shell with oil. Cook on one side just a minute, turn over and fold in half. Fry until just crisp. Remove and rub taco shell with second lime half and lightly salt. Fill with warm quinoa filling. Top with salsa, shredded lettuce, and a dollop of yogurt. Sprinkle remaining green onions and cilantro over platter of tacos.

ID-10062392 (1)Halloween is a celebration of make-believe, pumpkins, autumn, and most of all…candy. While kids wait all year for this holiday of endless sugar, it can often be a nightmare for parents. Candy usually contains sugar, which is the perfect environment for breeding bacteria that cause tooth decay. Consequently, to avoid future dental problems, it is important to keep two things in mind when eating candy:

1) Avoid excessive consumption of these sugary treats

2) Lessen the amount of time the sugar is present in the mouth

Dr. Margaret Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Dental Spa, a dental spa facility in Chicago’s Water Tower Place, offers the following tips for protecting children’s teeth at Halloween:

· Examine: Examine your child’s candy before he or she digs in to see if it meets your approval.

· Brushing: It is okay for your child to eat any candy that you approve of, but to help lessen the chance for tooth decay, have them brush as soon as possible after eating the candy. By brushing right after candy consumption, the impact of the candy on the teeth is minimal.

· Avoid: Avoid sticky candy such as taffy, gummy bears, caramel, etc. Sticky Candy adheres to teeth and leads to decay.

· Preparation: Prior to Halloween, visit your dentist to have sealants put into the child’s teeth grooves. This protects tooth enamel against decay caused by excess sugar.

If brushing soon after eating is not possible, here are these other tips that also can help:

· Together: Consume the candy with a meal. The increased saliva production while eating will help wash the sweet off the teeth.

· Rinse: Rinse the mouth with water.

· Gum: Chew a sugarless gum (especially those containing xylitol) after snacking on candy. The increased saliva from chewing will help wash the sugar off the teeth and xylitol gums help control the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

· Quickly: Eat the candy quickly in one sitting to decrease the amount of time it is contact with the teeth. Avoid eating any candy slowly over an extended time or over multiple sittings. Recent studies have shown that length of time eating a sweet can be more harmful than the amount of sweet consumed. This means hard candies, breath mints, etc. (long residence time in the mouth) can actually be worse for your teeth than a chocolate candy bar (shorter residence time in the mouth).

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Four Ways To Stimulate Your Kids Brains At HomeFour Ways to Stimulate Your Kids Brains At Home

It is important to stimulate the brains of your children and can be very beneficial to their future. You want the best for your kids, and that includes nurturing and taking care of their minds. By making learning fun, your child’s brain can get much-needed stimulation, and can be a great way to spend the day together as a family.

Read, Read, Read
One of the easiest ways to stimulate your child’s brain is to engage in reading activities together. This can build their vocabulary and comprehension, engage their imagination, and help develop speech. The more stories you read together, the more words their minds will be able to recognize and add into their vocabulary. Take turns choosing stories and have fun with it!

Flash Cards
Another way to stimulate learning is with flash cards. They can be words, numbers, money, math problems, colors, shapes, or even animals. A collection of flash cards can make the learning experience into a game for you and your child. If you can, create a reward system–every correct answer can earn them a point or a small prize. Be creative.

Microscopes
For anyone that has ever looked through a microscope before, they come away having seen something in a new and exciting way. Let your kids look at a flower, leaf, insect, or even a piece of food under a microscope, and you can explain how everything is made up of something much smaller. Your kids can view stereo microscopes in a new way, and understand that when you look a bit closer at something ordinary, it becomes extraordinary. The activity can be lengthened as much as you want. Make a day out of it, and you and your child can go explore outside to collect all sorts of things to look at under the microscope. Let their minds run crazy with curiosity as you learn together.

Puzzles
Another great way to stimulate your child’s brain is doing puzzles together. It helps them learn how to match shapes and problem-solve, but it’s also a fun activity. If your child doesn’t like puzzles, try doing a matching game to help develop memory skills or do some arts and crafts and ask them to mix certain colors. You can also have them paint certain shapes, vocabulary words, or math problems. Sometimes, doing something like math and vocabulary can be made into a more enjoyable activity for them if they do it in a new, exciting way.

KIND GreenWith the holidays right around the corner, families will be on the go between the grandparents houses, holiday shopping, and more! Why not pack some healthy snacks to curb reaching for unhealthy foods while at the mall or at cousin Suzie’s house, and tuck these little goodies in your purse or diaper bag instead.

KIND Yellow

KIND Bars

To say we love these little bars of deliciousness would be an understatement! KIND Bars are our new favorite “go-to” snack for when we are on the move. Plus, if you struggle with getting your little to eat their daily dose of whole grains like buckwheat, amaranth, or quinoa, try sneaking them with KIND Healthy Grains in their hard to resist flavors like Peanut Butter and Vanilla Blueberry. We admit, we like to sneak them in too!

Flax Paks

Flax Paks

With Carrington Farms Flax Paks, you can now add Organic Milled Flax Seeds to a healthy diet on-the-go! Packed in portable and convenient single serve packets with a pre-measured daily dosage, Flax Paks answer all the needs for a busy and health-conscious family. With no refrigeration necessary, ready-to-eat Flax Paks can be used at after-school activities, in the car, at home, and more. It’s easy – simply add a pouch of Flax Paks into yogurts, cereals, oatmeal, smoothies, baked goods, or salads to ensure that the entire family is getting a healthy and beneficial serving of Omega 3s, Omega 6s, fiber, and lignans.

Fruit Bliss Medley

Fruit Bliss

As good as the name implies, Fruit Bliss offers a selection of all-natural, unsulfured fruit that is just as sweet and juicy as fresh fruit! Made using high-quality whole fruit sourced from Turkey, France and Tunisia, Fruit Bliss’ sun-sweetened whole apricots, plums, dates and figs are infused with moisture to deliver a deliciously juicy fruit every time. Packed with fiber and essential vitamins, Fruit Bliss snacks are Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegan and OU Kosher certified and available in five varieties in perfectly portioned 1.75 oz packages that will satisfy a sweet tooth and pack easily when real fruit may not be an option due to spoilage. We are loving the apricots – YUM!

*Companies generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

savory-crepes-capreseThis scrumptious recipe for Savory Crepes Caprese is courtesy of the Inn at Ellis River in Jackson, New Hampshire.

Savory Crepes Caprese

Ingredients

3 large eggs (“Mom” prefers cage-free eggs)
1 teaspoon milk or water (“Mom” prefers organic milk or just water)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8-10 cherry tomatoes (variegated colors if possible)
3 tablespoons fresh mozzarella cheese, grated (“Mom” prefers organic)
3 large basil leaves

Preparation

Whisk eggs with milk or water and pepper. Cut tomatoes into quarters and chiffonade the basil. Heat a 6-7 inch nonstick saute pan and warm one crepe in the pan. Remove crepe to a warm plate and then coat saute pan lightly with butter or olive oil. Toss in cherry tomatoes and saute for a minute until they start to soften. Add beaten eggs and scramble over gentle heat. When eggs are partially cooked, add cheese and 2/3of the basil and continue to scramble to desired firmness. Spoon eggs onto one third of the crepe, roll, and garnish with the remaining chiffonade of basil.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BNBFinder.com.*