Have Your Pumpkin … and Drink It Too!

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This season, pair your favorite pumpkin eats with some refreshing pumpkin spiced beverages! Here are several perfect Sprouts brand pairings that are a match made in pumpkin heaven.

Organic Cinnamon Pumpkin Ice Cream + Sparkling Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider

Organic Cinnamon Pumpkin Ice Cream + Sparkling Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider

Sparkle, spice and everything nice!


Organic Pumpkin Spice Kale Chips + Organic Pumpkin Spice or Apple Spice KombuchaOrganic Pumpkin Spice Kale Chips + Organic Pumpkin Spice or Apple Spice Kombucha

A healthier pair with pumpkin spice flare!


Pumpkin Dippers + Organic Pumpkin Spiced Apple CiderPumpkin Dippers + Organic Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider

(Trick or) treat yourself!

 

How to Host a Healthy Holiday Party

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It’s (almost) here. You may already have some holiday parties on your calendar and plans to cook up a storm for Thanksgiving. The holiday season is quickly approaching. How does that fit in with your healthy eating plans?

Though it may be tempting to take a little break for the next six weeks, your stomach and waistline may not appreciate that so much. Like us, you probably love cornbread dressing, mac and cheese and those homemade yeast rolls? We can’t be trusted around them. But here’s the thing … it’s all about balance. You don’t have to eat healthy 100% of the time. However, it can feel weird to go to a party that doesn’t have any fruit or vegetables on the table. If you’re playing host this season, here are a few ideas to provide your guests with plenty of options.

Step 1: Use What’s in Season.

Grapes, pears and apples are all sweet and delicious right now. Use the natural sweetness of these nutritious fruits to reduce added sugars in your dishes. Sweet potatoes and winter squash are also deliciously sweet as well as nutritious options. Combine fruit with winter greens for hearty salads.

Step 2: Go Small.

Instead of slaving over a large complicated menu, consider serving a variety of heavy appetizers. These can be prepped ahead of time and either served at room temperature or after a quick stint in the oven before guests arrive.

Step 3: Find Balance.

Look at your spread. Make sure you have a balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein so that everyone leaves feeling satisfied.

Step 4: Use the 80:20 Rule.

Offer 80 percent good for you dishes that taste great. (Remember: Healthy doesn’t have to mean tasteless.) Balance those with more indulgent desserts or dishes so your guests have options and get to enjoy some of the traditional holiday foods that can’t always be made healthfully. Also be flexible in what you offer. If you can’t find oranges, use tangerines. No halibut at the store when you go, try cod!

Step 5: Be Flexible.

It’s your party. Have fun! There’s no shame in using pre-cut butternut squash or pre-cooked shrimp, chicken or other foods that can speed up the prep process.

When creating a holiday party spread, the goal is to get some delicious bites on the table as well as enjoy your guests. It takes the same effort to make healthy bites as not-so-healthy ones. Here are a few dishes to try adding to your holiday spread this season.

Pear Prosecco CocktailPear Prosecco Cocktail

By Marisa Moore

Add pizzazz to your party with Marisa’s Pear Prosecco Cocktail

 

 


Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese & Walnut Bites

Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese & Walnut Bites

By Marisa Moore

Red, black and green grapes are still in season through January and just bursting with flavor. They cook up sweet and balance the tangy, saltiness of the creamy goat cheese. These Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese & Walnut Bites are sure to wow your guests!


Maple Pear Ginger Crumble

Maple Pear Ginger Crumble

By Marisa Moore

Fruit crumbles work well for dinner parties. Use whatever fruit is in season. Try seasonal apples and pears to make this Maple Pear Ginger Crumble. You can add nuts for more crunch and a little extra protein and heart-healthy fats.


About Marisa Moore

Helping People Eat Better One Morsel at a Time

Marisa Moore is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Marisa Moore Nutrition. Using a food-first, mostly plant-based approach, Marisa helps people eat better one morsel at a time through group classes, writing and developing healthy recipes. She enjoys working as a consultant for small and large businesses including food and nutrition startups and being an ambassador for delicious food and a healthy lifestyle.

A past spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, Marisa is a trusted food and nutrition expert and has appeared in most major media outlets including the Today Show, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and has had regular appearances on CNN.

Marisa is a contributing editor for Food & Nutrition Magazine and U.S. News & World Report blogger. Before launching her consultancy, Marisa worked as an outpatient dietitian, the corporate nutritionist for a national bakery café restaurant, and she managed the employee worksite nutrition program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Always ready for new passport stamps, Marisa loves to explore new countries, but in her spare time, you might find her cooking, dancing salsa or on a walk with her dog Biscuit. Learn more at marisamoore.com.

 

Fall Filled One-Pot Wonders

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Fall is the season for warm and hearty meals packed full of fall flavors. While some love to cook, nobody enjoys cleaning up a mountain of dirty dishes after dinner. From soups and stews to tasty rice dishes, we’ve curated a list of one-pot meals that allow less time cleaning up the kitchen and more time enjoying fall with the family.

shrimp recipe great for fall filled one-pot wonders

Try these one-pot recipes:

Vegan Succotash

Tex-Mex Shakshuka

Shrimp and White Bean Provencal

Tomato Pumpkin Stew

Curried Squash Soup

One Pot Tomato Collard and White Bean Stew

Vegetarian Chili

Creamy Corn and Broccoli Chowder

One Pot Organic Tomato Basil Pasta

Apricots: The Time Is Ripe

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There are some fruits that never disappear from store shelves. Year-round you can find apples, oranges, strawberries and bananas. However, the same can’t be said for apricots, which are available only for a limited time during the summer months.

At their prime now, and ranging in color and size, the apricots at Sprouts will not disappoint when it comes to flavor. The sun has kissed their cheeks, giving them a rosy blush on their light orange skin. Once you bite into the flesh, you’ll officially experience the essence of summer.

To the naked eye, the plain green budding flowers look unremarkable and spare. But our farmers’ discerning eyes can see palate-pleasing treasure hiding just beneath the surface. Sure enough, the flowers blossom and produce summer’s fragrant, juicy fruits several weeks later. They’re picked, packed, and shipped quickly to Sprouts—proving our commitment to farm-fresh produce, once again.

Just in case you’re new to apricots, here’s how to pick, prepare, preserve and polish off summer’s precious fruit.

Apricots in a carton

What to Look for:

Like apples, apricots are available in many varieties. The Helena, Tri Gem, Honeyrich and Patterson varietals are usually firm with good flavor, while Robada and Goldbar apricots have higher sugar contents as indicated by their red blush skins. When choosing apricots, look for fruit with a vibrant orange color. They should be plump and fairly firm. Fresh apricots are fully ripe when they are soft to the touch.

How to Prepare Them:

Because apricots are delicate in nature, they do not need to be peeled when eaten. After washing well, simply cut a fresh apricot along the seam and remove the seed (you’ll be able to separate it easily using your fingers).

Dish Them Up:

Fresh apricots are a flavorful and nutritious snack on their own. They are also an excellent complement to sweet, soft cheeses and tasty additions to baked goods such as pies, cakes, muffins, breads and ice creams. As far as entrées go, apricots pair especially well with poultry and pork dishes. View the Seared Tempeh with Grilled Watermelon and Apricots.

Make Them Last:

To keep apricots from over-ripening, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week. On the flip side, apricots that are slightly hard can be ripened in a paper bag for a couple of days. Fresh apricots can be frozen by halving and then placing them on a baking sheet until frozen. They can then be packed in plastic freezer bags.

 

Surf Sweets

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Surf Sweets

Whether you are filling Easter baskets, lunch boxes or packing a picnic, there is always room for a sweet snack. And Surf Sweets candy is the best kind!

Packed with delicious fruity flavors, Surf Sweets gummy candies and organic jelly beans have clean ingredients and are allergen friendly.

Here are just a few reasons to love Surf Sweets:

  • Made with organic fruit juice and organic sweeteners.
  • Each candy serving has 100% daily value of vitamin C.
  • Made without corn syrup.
  • No artificial colors or flavors.
  • Free of the top 10 food allergens.
  • (Most importantly) Surf Sweets taste great!

Bring them to a school party, sweeten your movie nights or treat somebody for a job well done. However you like to snack, you can enjoy the sweet satisfaction of having delicious treats everyone can enjoy. Try one in every flavor!

Follow us on social media for new items and giveaways:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SurfSweets/
Twitter: @surfsweets
Instagram: @surfsweets
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/surfsweets/

 

5 Simply Delicious Ways with Simply Organic Vanilla Extract

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The leaves are starting to change and there’s a crispness in the air. That can only mean one thing … fall is here! It also means that it’s time to dust off those cozy, family cookbooks and make sure you’re fully-stocked with all of your favorite holiday spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg and, of course, vanilla. With its sweet, velvety flavor, it is no wonder vanilla is the flavor most synonymous with the season.

Organic Vanilla Extract and muffin

Whether you’re looking for vanilla beans or extract, Simply Organic® Vanilla is vegan-friendly, naturally gluten-free and comes from small farming villages in Madagascar—one of the world’s best vanilla-growing regions. Simply Organic Vanilla can add a rich, creamy, sweetness-enhancing flavor to all of your holiday recipes.

Check out these mouth-watering, seasonal recipes to get you in the holiday mood:

Holiday Treats:

Use Simply Organic Vanilla Extract to highlight the rich flavors of your baked goods. From cocoa to clove and ginger, vanilla is the perfect flavor to bring out the best in your desserts.

  • Ginger Spice Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting­ – Moist cupcakes made with clove, ginger and cinnamon, paired with a rich and creamy vanilla frosting make for the perfect holiday dessert.
  • Cinnamon Clove Pumpkin Pie – Turn your classic pumpkin pie into the talk of the town using sweet vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. With a flaky, buttery crust and decadent filling, this pie is anything but ordinary.

Savory Bites:

Be adventurous! Don’t limit vanilla to sweet recipes—it can also be used to intensify many savory dishes as well.

Same Sweetness, No Alcohol:

Simply Organic’s organic, non-alcoholic vanilla flavoring can be used as a one-for-one equivalent to vanilla extract.

  • Vanilla Banana Pudding – Fresh bananas combined with the rich flavor of vanilla and sweet cinnamon make a refreshing after-dinner dessert. Top with crushed gingersnaps for the perfect amount of spice.

Your Guide to Grilling Up Greatness

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If you’re like us, as soon as the weather warms up, we get our grills fired up. It’s the perfect time to get your friends and family together while enjoying some smoky, saucy, messy-finger goodness.

However, if you haven’t had a lot of experience using the grill, you may feel a little intimidated, but fear not! Follow these helpful tips to go from being a grillin’ rookie to a grillin’ guru in no time.

Start with Picking the Perfect Cuts of Meat

Any great grill-out starts by picking the right cuts of meat. For a guaranteed flavorful and juicy experience, look no further than beef from the Butcher Shop at Sprouts. Available in USDA Choice and Prime grades, these must-haves are always fresh and never frozen. Ready to get your grill on? We recommend the following cuts of meats:

Grilling chicken kabobs on the grill

  • Steaks – New York strip, rib-eye, top sirloin, filet mignon, T-bone or porterhouse
  • Pork – Center-cut pork chops, boneless pork chops or pork tenderloin
  • Chicken – Chicken breast or boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Make the Most of Your Grill-Out with Marinades & Dry Rubs

Marinades and dry rubs are a great way to add extra flavor to your grill-out, but it’s important that you use them properly. When grilling with marinades we recommend using chicken or veggies. For vinegar-based marinades, be sure to marinate your chicken for no longer than one hour—if you’re not careful, the vinegar can actually make the chicken tough as opposed to tender. For marinades that are oil-based, feel free to let the chicken sit overnight. When grilling with dry rubs, like our Butcher Shop dry rubs, we recommend using steaks or pork.

Know Your Grilling Temperatures

The easiest way to take the guesswork out of grilling is to use a meat thermometer—it also ensures your meats are cooked to perfection! Below are the appropriate internal grilling temperatures for your favorite meats:

  • Chicken: 165°F
  • Beef and Lamb: 125°F (rare), 130°–135°F (medium-rare), 135°–140°F (medium), 140°–150°F (medium-well), 155°F (well-done)
  • Ground Beef or Lamb: 160°F
  • Pork: 145°F (medium-rare), 150°F (medium), 160°F (well-done)
  • Ground Pork: 160°F

Up Your Game with Sprouts Grilling Planks

Pleasantly surprise your guests by infusing your favorite meats and veggies with the subtle, smoky flavors of maple and cedar by using our new, easy-to-use Sprouts Grilling Planks. Simply soak the grilling plank in water for at least one hour, place seasoned foods on the plank and set directly on grill or in the oven at 350°F. Then enjoy the fruits of your labor!

 

Wyman’s of Maine

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Since 1874, Wyman’s of Maine has been perfecting the science of fresh freezing fruit to maintain optimum flavor and nutritional benefits.

Celebrate National Blueberry Month with Wyman’s Wild Blueberries or one of Wyman’s signature berry blends featuring Mother Nature’s leading antioxidant superfruit. Antioxidants prevent the oxidation of molecules in the body, which helps us fight disease.

Grown on 10,000 acres of their own blueberry barrens and on other fields around the Northeast, Wyman’s Wild Blueberries are picked at the peak of flavor and healthy goodness, then fresh-frozen at harvest to keep them as nutritious as the moment they were picked.

Wyman’s makes it easy to enjoy the taste and healthy goodness of these special little berries year-round, in convenient re-sealable bags. Fresh-frozen wild blueberries are perfect in cereal, smoothies, muffins, salads, desserts and more—no thawing required. Picked fresh and frozen in time. From our table to yours. Always Wyman’s of Maine.

Video Description: Learn more about Wyman’s of Maine. Details above.


Wild Blueberry SmoothieWild Blueberry Smoothie

A Wild Blueberry Classic!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. Wyman’s Frozen Wild Blueberries
  • 6 oz. vanilla yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions:

In a blender, combine all ingredients well at high speed. Serve and enjoy immediately

Courtesy of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America.

 

Veg Out: Great Summer Grillin’ Foods

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The high heat and smoky flavors of a grill can work wonders on certain vegetables, including some that would surprise you. The trick is in the timing. And, like everything, a little bit of preparation goes a long way.

Stock of corn

Fresh Corn

Fresh corn grills beautifully, especially when the heat caramelizes the kernels instead of steaming them. There are a few different methods for grilling corn. Some people like to do it with the husks still on or to wrap them in aluminum foil. Others claim that soaking them works best (though Cook’s Illustrated founder Christopher Kimball insists he has tested this carefully and finds no flavor or texture difference). Our favorite method is to husk them fully, coat them lightly in oil or butter, and place them directly on the grill. Just make sure you turn them frequently!

Asparagus

Asparagus is a favorite. Snap off the bottom end, marinate in olive oil, and add a little kosher salt and/or lemon zest. Four minutes on the grill, turning once, and they’re done.

Yams and Sweet Potatoes

Yams and sweet potatoes are superb on the grill when cut into 3/8-inch slices and skewered. But they’re pretty dense and can take about 10 minutes to cook through. Don’t worry about how dark they get on the outside, you can always peel off the outer layer with a fork. You want to make sure they are thoroughly cooked so you don’t end up with a hard, raw core.

Red Peppers

Red peppers seem to take on a totally different flavor when they are grilled. Stem and seed them, then cut into julienne strips. Marinate these in oil and then place on a very hot grill using a grilling basket (see below) or skewers. Let the skin blacken just a bit.

Eggplant

Eggplant also gets transformed by the grill, but since the water content is pretty high, you need to make sure you leave enough skin and flesh on it. Cut the eggplant crosswise into slices that are at least 1/2-inch thick; marinate with your favorite oil; then grill for about 12 minutes per side.

Radicchio

Ever try grilling radicchio? You’d think that a head of radicchio might shrivel up on the grill, but it actually holds up quite well. Slice it into length-wise quarters, apply the usual oil/salt marinade, and grill for about 5 minutes per side. A bonus: the slight charring along with the purplish-red color of the leaves looks gorgeous.

Don’t Let it Slip Through the Cracks

Nothing is worse than watching an expertly grilled onion browned on the edges and perfectly caramelized fall through the grill and land in a pile of ash. There are three or four good methods for keeping your veggies above the flames instead of in them.

  1. Buy a hinged grilling basket. You can find them in just about any kitchen accessory store, and there are plenty online as well. One real advantage to these baskets is that they are not being used to cook meat, so they tend to stay much cleaner than your regular grill top. That’s important when you are grilling vegetables because they are likely to stick, hence the surface must be extremely clean.
  2. Set wire cooling racks perpendicular to the direction of your regular grill surface. For example, the rack that is probably inside your toaster oven. By “cross-hatching” these, you reduce the hole space and can keep those veggies from taking a dive. Be sure to spray or oil your racks before using them, and to clean them off promptly when done.
  3. Use skewers. Wooden skewers are cheap and can be protected from the heat by soaking them before use. Metal skewers also work great, but conduct the heat and handle with tongs or oven mitts. Of course, getting the vegetables to stay on the skewers is no easy task. Skewers work well with peppers, mushrooms, small potatoes (like Yukon golds), zucchini or summer squash, and some onions. Don’t use skewers with cherry tomatoes or asparagus. It won’t end well.

A Few Other Tips:

  1. At Sprouts, we sell only natural hardwood charcoal. This helps to minimize the health risks associated with grilling meat, poultry and fish at high heat, and it works perfectly well for vegetables too. The irregular-size pieces seem to make it easier to start and maintain a fire too. (If you have a gas grill, of course, you’re way ahead of the game.)
  2. Since vegetables need high heat to cook correctly on a grill, avoid the common tendency to throw them on after you have removed your meat and are letting things cool down. You can cook them first, then wrap them in foil and throw them back on for two minutes just as you are removing the meat.
  3. Marinades that include fruit juices like orange or lemon may serve to reduce the risk of chemical reactions that can create potential carcinogens. Fifteen minutes of marinating is usually sufficient.

 

Turkey Veggie Cups

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Plastic cup with turkey painted on it.

Prepping Thanksgiving dinner can be tough—especially when little ones are involved. Creating an entire Thanksgiving spread and getting your kiddos to eat this balanced meal is a feat to feel thankful for when achieved.

Luckily, we’ve got a kid-approved snack that’s easy to make and fun to eat! Kids will love that these adorable turkey cups are just for them and you’ll love knowing this snack is packed full of good-for-you ingredients.

What you’ll need:

How to make ‘em:

  1. Cut out the turkeys and use double-sided tape to attach them to the cups.
  2. Slice your veggies into long, thin strips.
  3. Fill your cups with the desired amount of hummus and add sliced veggies.
  4. Enjoy!