Culinary Nutritionist/Blogger Celebrates Clean Spring Eating

Spring has finally sprung, and it’s the perfect time of year to clean out the pantry and lighten everyday meals with delicious, nutritious ingredients. To celebrate this joyous season, The Healthy Apple blogger and culinary nutritionist Amie Valpone has created a free booklet filled with light recipes and tips for fresh, seasonal dishes that are sure to satisfy appetites without overloading on calories. Illustrated with her beautiful photography, the booklet includes quick breakfast ideas, a full menu for a spring dinner party and satisfying snacks on the go.

Almond Quinoa Breakfast Sundae for California Almonds.

Almond Quinoa Breakfast Sundae for California Almonds.

Created to delight the palate and the senses, “Clean Eating for Spring, with Amie Valpone ” is the result of a partnership between Valpone and California Almonds. Each tip and recipe features simple, fresh and on-trend ingredients like quinoa, fresh orange zest, raspberries, almonds and fresh mint. For those with dietary restrictions, she has included modifications for gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free recipes, so everyone at the table can celebrate the joy of spring. To download the booklet, visit AlmondBoard.com/AmieValpone.

“Spring is my favorite time of year, and I love the way food takes a lighter spin during these warmer months. Our comfort food cravings dwindle and we yearn to eat clean,” Valpone says. “For my ‘Clean Eating for Spring’ booklet, I’ve developed nutrient-rich recipes bursting with bright spring flavors.”

Tips involve how to make:

  • Dairy-free French toast
  • A quick and easy Mediterranean almond dip
  • A delicious breadcrumb alternative
  • A healthier, satisfying spin on a decadent hot fudge sundae

The dishes featured in the booklet begin with her Warm Almond Quinoa Breakfast Sundae and the perfect mid-morning snack – Almond Ricotta Toast. For spring dinner parties, Amie has included Cream of Carrot Soup with Almond Croutons to start, followed by a Roasted Radish, Spinach and Almond Salad with Balsamic-Coconut Vinaigrette with Almond-Crusted Salmon with Chickpea, Cherry and Almond Quinoa as the main attraction. For the grand finale, she has whipped up Spring Fruit & Herb Crumble , her own take on a traditional fruit crumble, without the heavy dough topping.

For more information on Amie or to download her free recipe booklet, visit AlmondBoard.com/AmieValpone

Magazine Names Eggland’s Best Organic Eggs as Winner of 2013 Best Kid Breakfast Food Award

Parents across America have voted and Eggland’s Best Organic eggs have been awarded “Best Organic Eggs” by KIWI Magazine. Eggland’s Best Organic eggs come from hens fed a certified all-vegetarian feed, and boast the same great nutritional benefits as all Eggland’s Best eggs.
“It is important that children start their day with a high-quality breakfast, which is why we asked our trusted Parent Advisory Board to share their favorite natural and organic breakfast foods,” said Judy Koutsky, the editorial director of KIWI Magazine. “Over 2,500 parents voted in 10 different categories including organic orange juice, organic milk and organic eggs. Eggland’s Best Organic was the winner in the organic eggs category.”
Eggland’s Best Organic eggs carry the official United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic seal and exceed USDA standards, according to the company.
“Eggland’s Best produces the most nutritious and highest quality eggs for adults and kids alike,” said Charles T. Lanktree, president and CEO of Eggland’s Best. “Our hens are fed an exclusive diet to help make the best tasting eggs and we are thrilled to have won this award from KIWI Magazine.”
Eggland’s Best Organic eggs are available in large, extra large, and jumbo sizes. In addition to the organic product, Eggland’s Best eggs are also available in white, brown, large, extra large, jumbo, cage free, hard-cooked and peeled, and liquid egg whites varieties.
As a result of Eggland’s Best’s strict quality assurance program and superior hen feed, Eggland’s Best eggs contain 25 percent less saturated fat, 10 times the vitamin E, and twice the amount of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids than ordinary eggs. Plus, Eggland’s Best eggs contain 38 percent more lutein and provide a good source of vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B5 and B12, and contain about 70 calories per egg.

“Bedroom Battles” Survey Suggests Men Are “Zen Masters” In The Bedroom

A recent study suggests that a significant percentage of men view the bedroom as a retreat. The “Bedroom Battles” survey from adjustable bed category leader, Leggett & Platt suggests that men are better at maximizing downtime in the master suite and that a focus on functional design could lead to a more relaxing space.

When asked what their bedroom is used for other than sleeping, a third of men (31%) claimed to use the space as a relaxing retreat, compared to only a quarter of women. Women cited clutter and disorganization as obstacles when creating a coveted tranquil haven. Nearly half of women (49%) claim their bedrooms required better organization.

Plus, when it comes to clutter, neither sex was shy about finger-pointing. Nearly half (48%) of those in a relationship came clean and admitted that they would like something of their significant other’s to “disappear” from the bedroom. Women were less irritated with their men’s clutter than men were about their significant other’s belongings. Fifty-one percent of men said they wished for a disappearing act versus only 46 percent of women.

A difference in preference is further supported by the “Home Is Where The Luxury Is” study from Unity Marketing, which found that men emphasize the functional, practical aspects of home decor while women are interested in creating safe, calming environments inspired by a resort or a retreat.

“These findings align with our experience with adjustable bed shoppers, who want their home decor to reflect both their personalities and their lifestyle priorities,” said Jay Thompson, president of the Leggett & Platt Adjustable Bed Group. “Our Designer Series line was developed to provide all of the functionality of an adjustable bed—including custom and pre-set positions, massage options and ergonomic remote controls—to meet the comfort needs of both genders along with the high-end aesthetics that appeal to women.”

Behind Closed Doors – Americans Neglect Bedrooms
When it comes to keeping the home tidy, the bedroom is lower on the priority list.  On average, Americans last organized their bedrooms six months ago. Two in five (40%) of survey respondents designated the bedroom as a go-to spot to stash household clutter. A majority reported having at least one bedroom “headache,” such as lack of space or outdated furniture.

“We can speculate that public spaces like kitchens and dining rooms are taking precedence when housekeeping is concerned, but these findings support our mission to help consumers create tranquil bedroom havens that help them retreat from the stresses of their daily lives,” added Thompson. “The ‘Bedroom Battles’ survey indicates a growing demand for products that will help these consumers transform the bedroom from serving simply as somewhere to sleep, to a place where everyone can be comfortable and relax.”

The Leggett & Platt Designer Series line of adjustable beds come in four on-trend colors with matching headboards and bed skirt options.  For more information on Leggett & Platt, a retailer near you and additional tips for turning the bedroom into a personal retreat, visit www.lpadjustablebeds.com.

The Leggett & Platt “Bedroom Battles” Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults, ages 18+, between February 1 and February 7, 2013, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population ages 18+.

The latest “Home Is Where The Luxury Is” study was conducted by Unity Marketing among 1,271 affluent (top 20% income) luxury consumers who bought/plan to buy any home furnishings. This online study was conducted in July 2012 within the U.S.

iCandy World Recalls Cherry Strollers Due to Strangulation Hazard

ICandy World has recalled its Cherry model strollers due to a possible strangulation hazard. This recall includes the iCandy Cherry stroller only in the colors Fudge (light-medium brown) and Liquorice (red and black).

The iCandy Cherry stroller system has a telescopic folding frame where a seat, bassinet or infant carrier car seat can be placed. The seat unit features three recline positions, adjustable footrest, five-point safety harness, removable canopy and removable bumper bar. There is a printed white cherry logo on the rear of the seat unit.

The strollers are being recalled because the opening between the bumper bar and seat bottom of the stroller can allow an infant’s body to pass through and become entrapped at the neck, posing a strangulation hazard to young children when a child is not harnessed.

If you have an iCandy Cherry stroller that’s included in the recall, you should immediately remove the bumper bar from the stroller and contact iCandy America Inc. to receive a free replacement bumper bar. You can continue to use the stroller while awaiting the replacement bumper bar. No injuries have been reported due to this problem. The affected models are as follows:

Batch No.  Cherry Stroller Color Serial Numbers
U10001169 FUDGE (IW119) 1-500
U10002 170 LIQUORICE (IW124) 501-1000
U10014 182 LIQUORICE (IW124) 1001-1500
U10013 181 FUDGE (IW119) 1501-2000

For more information, contact iCandy America toll-free at (877) 484-4179 anytime, e-mail info@icandyamerica.com or visit the firm’s website at www.icandyworld.com and click “United States of America” and “Important Safety Information – iCandy Cherry.”

 

LeapFrog Learning Games Sweep Parents’ Choice Spring Video Game Awards

LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc today announced six of its learning games won Parents’ Choice spring video game awards. Disney Phineas and Ferb won a “Silver Award;” Letter Factory, Brave and Learn to Read Ultra eBooks, Adventure Stories and Fairy Tales, won “Recommended Awards;” and Disney Jake and the Never Land Pirates won an “Approved Award.” To date, LeapFrog products have received more than 80 awards from The Parents’ Choice Foundation. Each game is available in LeapFrog’s extensive library of learning games, apps, eBooks, videos, music and more for the LeapPad1™ and LeapPad2™, and learning video game systems, Leapster Explorer™ and LeapsterGS™.

The Parents’ Choice Awards were established almost 30 years ago. During testing, the Parents’ Choice Awards committees evaluated products and rated them for their ability to entertain, teach, stimulate the imagination and inspire creativity.

“We are thrilled with the continued recognition our learning solutions receive from The Parents’ Choice Foundation,” said John Barbour, chief executive officer at LeapFrog. “Our highly experienced team of learning experts was involved in every step of the design and development process to ensure each of these games were engaging, age-appropriate and packed with learning. We are extremely proud to receive these coveted awards acknowledging our games as the highest quality educational video games for kids.”

LeapFrog won more video game qwards than any other brand in the spring Parents’ Choice Awards program. Six LeapFrog learning games were honored as the highest quality in children’s media. The Parents’ Choice “Silver Award,” a top honor, was given to Disney Phineas and Ferb for the game’s entertaining gameplay that introduces children to STEM skills. The Parents’ Choice “Recommended Award” was awarded to Letter Factory, Brave and Learn to Read Ultra eBooks, Adventure Stories and Fairy Tales, for their ability to make learning fun and help children develop skills in science, literacy and letter recognition. Disney Jake and the Never Land Pirates was the recipient of the “Approved Award” and recognized as a wholesome product that helps children develop foundational math skills.

“Our testing panels of educators and parents trust that every LeapFrog learning solution will engage children and have a positive impact on their learning potential,” said Claire S. Green, president, The Parents’ Choice Foundation. “As a result, today LeapFrog holds more Parents’ Choice Awards than any other company in the educational entertainment industry. Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Letter Factory, Disney Phineas and Ferb, Brave and Learn to Read Ultra eBooks are excellent examples of age-appropriate entertainment that engage and inspire children to explore new skills through innovative content experiences.”

Letter Factory and Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Disney Phineas and Ferb and Brave (MSRP $24.99) are available for the LeapPad1 and LeapPad2, and learning video game systems, Leapster Explorer and LeapsterGS. Learn to Read Ultra eBooks, Adventure Stories and Fairy Tales (MSRP $19.99, for children ages 4-6), are available for LeapPad1 and LeapPad2. All games are available at major retail locations and at www.leapfrog.com.

Target Now Carrying New Line of Frigidaire Countertop Appliances

By Lorrie Baumann

Look for the new line of Frigidaire Professional small appliances at Target, where the 5-in-1 griddle, 5-speed glass jar blender, infrared convection oven, and thermal carafe coffee maker are now being stocked. According to Frigidaire, all  of the appliances “offer added convenience with simple controls and time-saving features, and the coordinating, sleek stainless-steel designs give any kitchen an instant style upgrade.”

“Consumers today want appliances that will allow them to spend less time working in the kitchen and more time eating, relaxing or entertaining,” said Steva Sazama, marketing manager for Frigidaire Professional. “The new Frigidaire Professional small appliances not only save time, but also produce quality, professional-tasting results, making them the ideal gift for working moms or dads, newlyweds , recent college graduates – or even yourself.”

The new Frigidaire Professional™ small appliance line available at Target includes:

  • 5-in-1 Grill and Griddle – Produce an array of delicious meals with just one appliance using the Frigidaire Professional 5-in-1 Grill and Griddle, featuring an extra-large surface area for maximum cooking space. Whether using as a grill, griddle or panini press, this 5-in-1 appliance features separate temperature controls for each plate so you can cook different items simultaneously. Available at Target for $129.99.

    Frigidaire 5-in-1 Grille and Griddle

    Frigidaire 5-in-1 Grille and Griddle

  • Infrared Convection Oven – Cooking your food to perfection fast is just one way that the Frigidaire Professional Infrared Convection Oven helps make life more convenient. With no pre-heat time and Rapid Cooking Infrared Technology, the large-capacity convection oven holds an entire 12-inch pizza and makes it easy to produce family favorites quicker than ever before. Available at Target for $149.99.

  • 5-Speed Glass Jar Blender – The tastiest blended concoctions are just seconds away with the Frigidaire Professional 5-Speed Glass Jar Blender. This sleek, stainless steel blender is so handsome it begs for countertop display. Design meets function with five speed controls for perfectly blended smooth drinks, creamy soups, icy summer delights and more. Available at Target for $129.99.

    Frigidaire Professional 56-Ounce Glass Jar Blender

    Frigidaire Professional 56-Ounce Glass Jar Blender

  • Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker – Designed to deliver a decadent brew down to the last drop, the Frigidaire Professional Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker boasts a thermal, insulated stainless steel carafe that keeps coffee hot and flavorful. Easy-to-use features, such as a 24-hour programmable start option, make brewing your morning coffee a snap. Available at Target for $99.99.

“No matter who’s on your list this Spring gifting season, Frigidaire’s small appliances give the gift of time, and that’s something everyone will appreciate,” said Sazama.

I’m particularly interested in taking a look at that infrared convection oven, although of course, “infrared” in this context actually only means that it cooks with ordinary heat. This is no microwave — it sounds like a fancy-schmancy toaster oven with convection cooking, which is another way of saying that it’s got a fan to move the air inside the oven around so that the oven cooks faster.

I’ve been looking into replacing my microwave oven with a combination of countertop oven and hot-water pot for tea, and this seems like a possible option. This is a tad on the pricey side right now, since I’ll be cooking for myself only, but since it might do everything I really need in an oven, it might be a good choice. It does seem that, in any event, it’s worth looking at.

Foods From Various Ethnic Traditions Enrich Healthy Diet

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which used to be known as the American Dietetic Association, named March as its annual National Nutrition Month, which is the association’s prompt this year to urge Americans to celebrate the month with food from a variety of ethnic traditions.

Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all menu of eating choices for the month, the association suggests that we look for healthy choices within the culinary traditions if the diverse populations that have made the U.S. their home.

“The U.S. population is changing. By 2050, half of the U.S. population will be non-white. We need to have a global perspective on food and focus on diversity and multiculturalism, especially as they relate to the nutritional health of families,” said Vandana Sheth, a registered dietician and spokesperson for the association.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, calls a healthy eating pattern “an array of options that can accommodate cultural, ethnic, traditional and personal preferences and food cost and availability.” The guidelines, updated every five years with recommendations based on the most recent nutrition research, advise making about half your plate fruits and vegetables; about one-quarter protein, such as lean meats, black beans and tofu chunks; and about one-quarter grains, preferably whole grains. With each meal, the Dietary Guidelines recommend fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese.

“With the countless and increasing varieties of foods that are available today, people who live virtually anywhere can follow the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines and its MyPlate symbol to eat healthfully within the preferences of any culture,” Sheth said.

Examples of healthful menu items from ethnic traditions that follow the MyPlate recommendations include:

  • Chinese: Stir-fried chicken and vegetables such as bok choy, snap peas, carrots and bean sprouts; brown rice; and a dish of lychee fruit.
  • Italian: Minestrone (a hearty, tomato-based soup with beans, vegetables and pasta) with kidney beans added for folate, fiber and protein; gnocchi (flour or potato dumplings) with chopped vegetables like spinach mixed into the dough and served with lycopene-rich tomato sauce.
  • Greek: Tzatziki sauce (a creamy dressing of low-fat yogurt, garlic and cucumber) served on pita sandwiches or as a dip with vegetables; and dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with ground meat, vegetables such as bell peppers, eggplant and squash, rice, dried fruit and pine nuts).
  • Mexican: Jicama (a crisp and slightly sweet root vegetable) peeled, sliced and served on a salad with lime vinaigrette or chopped for a crunchy addition to salsas; and gazpacho (a cold tomato-based raw vegetable soup) made with spinach or cucumbers.

Additional menu ideas for ethnic foods that meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate include:

  • Fruit chutney (Asian Indian)
  • Grilled pineapple as part of a chicken shish kabob (Middle Eastern)
  • Mango or other tropical fruit smoothie (Latin American)
  • Baked pumpkin sprinkled with cinnamon (African)
  • Polish beets (European)
  • Stir-fried greens (Asian)
  • Cactus salad (Latin American)
  • Succotash (Native American or Southern U.S.)
  • Couscous (African)
  • Quinoa (Latin American)
  • Naan bread (Asian Indian)
  • Egg noodles (German).

Whirlpool Brand Earns Good Housekeeping Seal

Great design fits seamlessly into life, especially when it helps around the house. Whirlpool brand dishwashers are cleaning up with its Gold® Series Dishwasher with PowerScour™, as well as four other Whirlpool Gold Series Dishwashers, earning the Good Housekeeping Seal by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI). The ENERGY STAR® dishwashers scour away baked-on foods and deliver twice the coverage to clean without using an additional drop of water.

Founded in 1900 for the purpose of improving the lives of consumers and their families, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute is the consumer product evaluation lab of Good Housekeeping Magazine. Products such as the Whirlpool Gold® dishwashers which have the Good Housekeeping Seal are protected by a two-year limited warranty as part of the magazine’s consumer policy.

This announcement comes on the heels of the GHRI awarding Whirlpool Gold gas and electric ranges with TimeSavor™ Convection cooking with the Good Housekeeping Seal.

“Whirlpool brand is honored to receive the Good Housekeeping Research Institute Seal on our line of Whirlpool Gold dishwashers,” said Tanu Grewal, senior brand manager, Whirlpool. “The intuitive technology in our dishwashers will not only ensure your dishes come out spotless, but also make sure no water is wasted in the process.”

Key design elements s of the Whirlpool Gold Series Dishwasher series include:

  • The Sensor cycle cleans tough soils 35% better while using just the right amount of time, energy and water. It automatically selects the right wash and dry settings for your load by using two separate sensors to measure temperature, soil level and load size once during the prewash and once during the wash cycle.
  • The PowerScour™ option, available on model WDT910SAY, uses 40 targeted spray jets in a designated wash area to scour away baked on foods and new design features larger jets that deliver two times more coverage to clean even your large pots and pans without soaking or scrubbing.
  • Whirlpool’s ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers exceed government efficiency standards, so they are better for the environment and your wallet.

The Whirlpool Gold® Dishwashers (models WDT790SLY, WDT910SAY, and WDF750SAY) are available at national retailers with an MSRP starting at $649.00, while models WDT790SAY and WDF780SLY are available exclusively at Lowe’s.