Eat Right: Healthy for the Holidays!

Holiday meals are full of New Jammies’ traditional favorites, from turkey and stuffing to pumpkin pie topped with fresh whipped cream. With many of these holiday appetizers, entrees and desserts loaded with fat and calories, we like to discover some of the more healthier options for families, especially those with kiddos to please.   

One way to start thinking healthy for the holidays is to consider switching out traditional ingredients for less sugar- and calorie-heavy items. Everyday Health healthy living newsletter offers these options, featured in its “11 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps” article. These include skipping:

• Full-fat dips, and eat yogurt dips (hummus with yogurt and lemon recipe)

• Some alcohol calories, drink wine spritzer instead (8 ‘skinny’ holiday cocktails)

• Candied yams, eat roasted sweet potatoes (low-calorie candied yams recipe)

• Store-bought, eat homemade stuffing (low-calorie stuffing)

• Traditional gravy, eat low-fat gravy (click here for recipe from the Mayo Clinic)

These recipes will be a hit with the family this holiday, and help with staying healthy:

We discovered this healthy mama on instagram with a new low carb twist on stuffing.

Cauliflower Stuffing

“It’s really pretty simple: melt 4T butter, sauté 1 chopped onion. Add 2 chopped carrots and 2 ribs of diced celery and sauté till soft. Add about 3 cups of riced or finely diced cauliflower and cook about 8 min. Add 1cup chopped mushrooms and season with salt, pepper, 1/2 t dry sage, fresh parsley and fresh rosemary. Cover and cook 15 min. Add up to 1/2 c broth if it seems dry. Using frozen cauliflower rice brings more moisture. Serve warm and eat it up!!!”

Thanks  Jennifer!  https://www.instagram.com/jenniferpantall/

 

 

 

 

Wild Rice with Cranberries & Almonds

This low-calorie (120 per 1/2 cup), low-cholesterol (0 mg) side dish, courtesy of the American Diabetes Association’s Recipes for Living, is a healthful holiday option that can be made for a big dinner, or a small get-together with lots of leftovers, as it serves 11. According to the ADA, wild rice takes longer to cook than other rice, but it has a lower glycemic index of 45 compared to white rice with a glycemic index of 70. This is important for those holiday guests with diabetes or other special diet considerations. The toasted almond slices and dried cranberries are a nice touch for any holiday spread.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
2 (4-ounce) boxes wild rice
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes.

2. Add the water and chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil.

3. Add the rice; cover and cook according to package directions; usually about 50-60 minutes.

4. Remove the lid and add in the toasted almonds and cranberries; use a fork to mix together.

MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Confirm all ingredients are gluten-free, including the chicken broth, and this can be made gluten-free.

Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Finally we found Jenn, a veggie lovin’ mama, cooking up Roasted Butternut Squash Soup which she considers a cold-weather staple! We love this silky butternut soup served with spicy roasted chickpeas for extra flavor. Vegan, Vegetarian, and T-Rex toppings available, so there’s something for everyone!

Recipe yields approx. 4 bowls or 6-7 cups of soup.

COURSE SOUP
CUISINE AMERICAN
KEYWORD ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
PREP TIME 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME 50 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME 1 HOUR
SERVINGS 6 SERVINGS
AUTHOR JENN LAUGHLIN – PEAS AND CRAYONS

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lb butternut squash
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 onion (white or yellow)
  • 1 TBSP avocado oil (or favorite healthy oil)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed + minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • additional salt + pepper to taste

SPICY ROASTED CHICKPEAS

  • 15 oz canned chickpeas
  • 1 TBSP avocado oil (or favorite healthy oil)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (spiiicy!)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Make sure you have two large rimmed baking sheets handy as well as a blender.

  2. Drain and rinse your chickpeas and place on a stack of paper towels to dry a bit. The drier the chickpeas the crispier they’ll get in the oven. Woot!

  3. Cut your squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Pierce skin of squash a few times with a knife. Peel and cut your carrots into 3 portions. Peel onion and cut into 8 quarters.

  4. Place your squash (cut side down), carrot, and onion on a large rimmed baking sheet (or roasting pan). Drizzle with 1 TBSP oil (extra if desired) and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Pour 1/4 cup of water over the squash. (it will evaporate as the squash roasts)

  5. Pat chickpeas dry and add to your second baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 TBSP oil and season with 1/4 tsp salt. (The rest of the spices will be added after)

  6. Place both pans on the center rack in your oven and roast. Chickpeas will be done at 30 minutes and the squash and veggies will be done after 45-55 minutes. When squash is tender and can be removed from the skin easily with a spoon it’s good to go!

  7. While your veggies roast, combine spicy chickpea seasoning in a small bowl: paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper. Set aside and once chickpeas are done roasting, sprinkle with the seasoning blend, mix ’em up, and set aside. They will crisp up more as they cool!

  8. In a medium-large pot, melt 2 TBSP butter over medium heat. For extra flavor, let’s brown the butter first to add some nutty flavor to our soup! Let your butter melt untouched, then once it starts to simmer and brown, add minced garlic and whisk constantly until butter is golden and fragrant. Add your vegetable broth, cover, and reduce heat to low.

  9. Once your squash is ready, allow to cool enough t handle, then peel off the skin of the butternut. Alternatively you can scoop the squash out with a spoon.

  10. Working in batches, blend the veggies with the broth in your blender until silky. I was able to add half the veggies and half the broth and get it all blended in 2 batches. Filling blender only 2/3 full is best as hot liquid expands.

  11. Return the soup to your pot and mix well. Add any additional seasoning to taste and feel free to add extras like nutmeg, allspice, cayenne pepper, etc… If skipping the chickpeas (which have a LOT of flavor) you’ll want to add extra seasoning to the soup. Keep covered over lowest heat setting until ready to serve.

  12. Dive in while it’s hot and top soup with seasoned chickpeas and your choice of toppings from the notes below. I like mine with chickpeas, scallions and a teeny drizzle of cream!

    Visit Jenn for more topping and spice ideas for your bowl!   This might be bookmark worthy –  Peas and Crayons 

Wishing you a happy, healthy holiday season!!

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Eat Right: Heart-healthy Family Dinners

February is American Heart Month, and New Jammies joins the American Heart Association in reminding families this is an ideal time to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their loved ones, friends and communities involved.

“The biggest part of living healthy comes down to simply making healthy choices,” says the AHA. “While you can’t change things like age and family history, the good news is that even modest changes to your diet and lifestyle can improve your heart health and lower your risk by as much as 80 percent.”

In its Heart-healthy Recipes section of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women website, the AHA provides meal planning ideas that can save your heart by improving your diet.

“There’s a common misconception that anything described as healthy is lacking in flavor and satisfaction. To add insult to injury, there’s also an automatic assumption that healthy foods are unaffordable,” the American Heart Association says.

“The truth is, there are plenty of creative ways to make a tasty, heart-healthy dish. And you don’t have to be a master chef to whip one up, and do it well … Once you start eating this way, you may wonder why you didn’t start sooner. And before you know it, you’ll be coming up with your own inspired creations.”

Try these heart-healthy dishes from the American Heart Association and encourage your New Jammies kids and to eat right today:

Healthy greens and beans add a flavorful punch to this easy soup recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup.

Ingredients

6 Servings (Serving size 1 cup)
1 tsp. olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
1/2 small red onion (chopped)
1 medium celery (chopped)
1 medium garlic clove (minced)
2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
15.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added Great Northern beans (rinsed, drained)
14.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added, diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 tsp. dried oregano (crumbled)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme (crumbled)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups spinach
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the onion, celery, and garlic for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onion and celery are soft.

2. Stir in the broth, beans, tomatoes with liquid, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes so the flavors blend.

3. Stir in the spinach. Simmer, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.

4. Just before serving, sprinkle the soup with the Parmesan.

This protein-packed vegetarian Edamame Salad with Orange-Balsamic Dressing can be a main course or a side dish.

Ingredients

Serving size 1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups shelled edamame (green soybeans)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, lowest sodium available
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar PLUS
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, divided use
1 tsp. olive oil, extra virgin preferred
1/4 tsp. pepper
15.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added navy beans, rinsed, drained
1/4 tsp. salt
2 oz. mixed salad greens, torn into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
1/4 medium cucumber, sliced crosswise
1 medium Italian plum (Roma) tomato, diced
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup sliced radishes

Directions

1. Prepare the edamame using the package directions, omitting the salt. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, mustard, 2 tablespoons vinegar, oil, and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the edamame, navy beans, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar. Let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature or cover and refrigerate until needed, up to five days.

3. At serving time, put the salad greens on plates. Top, in order, with the cucumber, tomato, carrot, radishes, and bean mixture. Pour the dressing over all.

Benefit from heart-healthy omega-3 fats with this vegetable and seafood Spinach-Stuffed Baked Salmon dish.

Ingredients
4 Servings (Serving size 3 ounces fish and 1/2 cup vegetables)

1 tsp. olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
2 oz. spinach
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped, roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained if bottled
1/4 cup fresh basil (coarsely chopped)
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
Cooking spray
4 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each), rinsed, patted dry
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (lowest sodium available)
2 Tbsp. plain dry bread crumbs, lowest sodium available
1/2 tsp. dried oregano (crumbled)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the spinach and lemon zest for 2 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted, stirring constantly. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the roasted peppers, basil, and walnuts. Let cool for 5 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.

3. Cut a lengthwise slit in the side of each fillet to make a pocket for the stuffing. Be careful to not cut through to the other side. With a spoon or your fingers, carefully stuff a scant 1/2 cup spinach mixture into each fillet. Transfer to the baking sheet. With a pastry brush or spoon, spread the mustard over the fish.

4. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle over the fish. Lightly spray the top with cooking spray.

5. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the fish is the desired doneness and the filling is heated through.

This Blackberry Cobbler dessert recipe features nutrient-dense blackberries and is great for family meals, especially as the weather warms. Nutrient-dense foods are high in nutrients but relatively low in calories, and contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Cooking Tip: On the blackberries, this sweet-tart fruit is nutrient dense. Look for plump berries with a dark, rich color.

Ingredients
8 Servings

Cooking spray
4 cups blackberries
1/4 cup sugar substitute and 1/2 cup sugar substitute, divided use
1/4 cup water
Juice from 1 medium lime
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/16 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
1/4 cup canola or corn oil
1/4 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, gently stir together the berries, 1/4 cup sugar substitute, the water, lime juice, and ginger. Let the berry mixture stand for at least 15 minutes so the juices can accumulate.

3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar substitute.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, yogurt, and vanilla.

5. Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture, stirring just until no flour is visible. Don’t overmix.

6. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Using a spatula, spread the batter in the pan. (The batter doesn’t have to touch the edge of the pan; it will spread while baking.) Top with the berry mixture.

7. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For information on women and heart disease, visit Go Red for Women.

 

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Eat Right: Healthy Holiday Recipes for the Whole Family

Holiday meals are full of New Jammies’ traditional favorites, from turkey and stuffing to pumpkin pie topped with fresh whipped cream. With many of these holiday appetizers, entrees and desserts loaded with fat and calories, we like to discover some of the more healthier options for families, especially those with kiddos to please.

One way to start thinking healthy for the holidays is to consider switching out traditional ingredients for less sugar- and calorie-heavy items. Everyday Health healthy living newsletter offers these options, featured in its “11 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps” article. These include skipping:

• Full-fat dips, and eat yogurt dips (hummus with yogurt and lemon recipe)

• Some alcohol calories, drink wine spritzer instead (8 ‘skinny’ holiday cocktails)

• Candied yams, eat roasted sweet potatoes (low-calorie candied yams recipe)

• Store-bought, eat homemade stuffing (low-calorie stuffing)

• Traditional gravy, eat low-fat gravy (click here for recipe from the Mayo Clinic)

These recipes will be a hit with the family this holiday, and help with staying healthy:

Spinach Parmesan White Bean Dip

Found on Pinterest, one of our favorite resources for ideas for healthy recipes and fun holiday do-it-yourself projects, this simple, vegetarian, five-ingredient, gluten-free dip is “packed with protein and veggies, and tons of cheesy flavor.” Sounds great to us!

Ingredients
1 cup baby spinach, packed
1 15 oz. can white beans, small
2 tbsp freshly squeeze lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

1. Blend in food processor; salt and pepper to taste.

2. Serve with carrots, celery, cauliflower, pita chips or any healthy chip or veggie stick that goes great with dips.

 

Wild Rice with Cranberries & Almonds

This low-calorie (120 per 1/2 cup), low-cholesterol (0 mg) side dish, courtesy of the American Diabetes Association’s Recipes for Living, is a healthful holiday option that can be made for a big dinner, or a small get-together with lots of leftovers, as it serves 11. According to the ADA, wild rice takes longer to cook than other rice, but it has a lower glycemic index of 45 compared to white rice with a glycemic index of 70. This is important for those holiday guests with diabetes or other special diet considerations. The toasted almond slices and dried cranberries are a nice touch for any holiday spread.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
2 (4-ounce) boxes wild rice
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes.

2. Add the water and chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil.

3. Add the rice; cover and cook according to package directions; usually about 50-60 minutes.

4. Remove the lid and add in the toasted almonds and cranberries; use a fork to mix together.

MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Confirm all ingredients are gluten-free, including the chicken broth, and this can be made gluten-free.

 

Orange Glazed Turkey with Potatoes & Carrots

The American Heart Association offers many healthy options for traditional recipes on its website at recipes.heart.org. This citrus-roasted recipe for a turkey breast, to make holiday prep easier, caught our eye for a healthy take on festive meals.

”Try this new Simple Cooking with Heart take on traditional turkey. Its seasoning gives the dish a base of flavor, and orange marmalade adds tangy sweetness. Serve with potatoes and carrots. Enjoy the taste of Thanksgiving year-round!”

Ingredients
6 Servings
Nonstick cooking spray
1.5-1.75 lb. boneless, skinless turkey breast (all visible fat discarded)
2 tsp. dried mixed herbs (mix a combination of any/all – rosemary, basil, parsley, tarragon, chives, thyme, sage)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. orange marmalade
1 lb. washed potatoes (can use any type of potatoes), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 medium carrots (peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Place turkey in the dish.

3. In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients (herbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder). Rub half of mixture over the turkey.

4. Spread marmalade over turkey.

5. Stir potatoes, carrots and oil in to remaining herb mixture. Place vegetables in dish around the turkey. Bake for 1 hour.

6. Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.

 

Spiced Caramel Apples

Better Homes and Gardens knows a little something about entertaining, and has spent decades being one of the foremost experts on food. So it’s no surprise they’ve put together a list of Healthy Apple Desserts that includes this easy recipe that slow cooks while everyone is visiting.

“Instead of serving caramel apples on a stick, we cut apples in half, topped them with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cloves, and cooked them in a slow cooker. We added a drizzle of caramel topping later, along with a few chopped pecans, to create a healthy apple dessert that wows.”

Ingredients

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
5 medium red-skinned cooking apples (such as Rome or Jonathan), cored, and halved
1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar-free caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans

Instructions
1. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and cloves. Core and halve the apples.

2. Place 1/2 of the apple halves in a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle evenly with some of the cinnamon mixture. Add remaining apples and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.

3. Pour apple juice and lemon juice over apples. Stir to coat apples evenly.

4. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring gently halfway through cooking time.

5. Spoon apples and cooking liquid to individual serving dishes. Drizzle with caramel topping and sprinkle with pecans.

 

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Eat Right: Warm Drinks to Cozy Up to This Winter

On a cold winter’s New Jammies night, there’s nothing that warms the soul better than a warm mug of creamy homemade cocoa for the kids. Mom and Dad can relax with a soothing cup of herbal tea paired with a hearty scone on the side. These ideas for warm drinks, and more, will help the whole family heat up and eat (or drink) right this winter.

Warm milky drinkWarm Milky Drink

This recipe for a cozy milk concoction from Everyday Roots is described as a “tasty combination of warm milk, honey, and a sprinkling of nutmeg that’s your ticket into Snoozefest.”

The Everyday Roots website‘s goal is to spread knowledge about natural and home remedies to the general public. “A natural remedy could be defined as simply exercising daily, or eating healthier. After all, it’s the little everyday decisions that will help you live not just a longer and healthier life, but a happier one as well,” says the online resource.

According to Everyday Roots:

“Why warm milk: The idea that warm milk helps you fall asleep didn’t come out of nowhere. People over the centuries could tell you it really does work, but not for the modern-day reason that states it makes you sleepy because of tryptophan. Conclusive studies have been done that show milk does not raise tryptophan levels, but can raise internal body temperature when it’s heated, which will relax you and make you sleepy and calm. Add to this the most powerful effect of all, the placebo effect. Warm milk seems to do something psychologically that makes us calm and drowsy. Perhaps it makes us harken back to our days of infancy, and therefore makes the drinker ‘sleep like a baby.’ Either way you look at it, there’s something about it that makes falling asleep a breeze.

Why honey: L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid vital to our rest. It is the precursor to serotonin, which can be converted into melatonin, and melatonin is what regulates our sleep-wake cycles. Honey creates a spike in insulin, which drives tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier. It is then converted into serotonin, which in darkness is converted in to melatonin in the pineal gland in our brain. The result is that as nighttime approaches, you have more melatonin to tell your body ‘ok, it’s time to sleep now.’

Why nutmeg: Nutmeg is a pretty powerful spice, so much so it’s very possible to “overdose” and end up getting looped out, feeling incredibly ill, hallucinating, and experiencing a myriad of other unpleasant side effects. Ingested safely though, it is a pretty darn good natural sleep-aid, thanks to numerous chemical components that act similar to tranquilizers — just stick to a quarter teaspoon or less.”

Ingredients
1 glass of milk
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of honey
1/8 teaspoon to a 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Directions
1. Warm up about 8 ounces of milk in your favorite mug.
2. Heat it until it’s a little hotter than you would comfortably drink, and stir in 1 tablespoon of honey (or as little as 2 teaspoons if you prefer.)
3. Sprinkle with a ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg at the most, and let it cool to a temperature that is still nice and toasty warm but drinkable.
4. Make this about 30 minutes before bed when you start winding down, sip slowly, and enjoy.

Hot cocoa is a winter staple that makes us think of snuggling up by the fire with a fuzzy blanket and a nice book. This healthy version from at WellnessMama.com, a mom blog and resource that offers real food recipes, natural living and cleaning tutorials, beauty recipes and health tips with natural ingredients and remedies, is all-natural and dairy-free with no refined sugar.

Real Food Hot ChocolateReal Food Hot Chocolate
Makes 1 serving

Ingredients
8 ounces of hot (not boiling) water or coconut milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon gelatin powder
1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder (optional)
1 tablespoon of butter or coconut oil
1 teaspoon of maple syrup or honey (optional)
½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend to combine.
2. Serve warm and enjoy.

Notes
• Recipe can be doubled or multiplied as needed.
• Adding more butter or coconut oil will make a thicker hot chocolate.
• This must be done in a blender, since with the added coconut oil or butter, just stirring will not make a smooth mixture.
• More sweetener can be added for a sweeter hot chocolate if desired.

Green tea has many health advantages, and has been called the healthiest beverage on the planet. From brain-boosting nutrients and cancer-fighting antioxidants, green tea packs a healthy punch as a beverage served hot or cold. Wintertime is a great season to keep warm green tea on hand in a slow cooker in the kitchen or in a Dutch oven on a wood-burning stove. This recipe from Better Homes and Gardens is perfect for the cold weather and fighting off the effects of winter colds.

Slow Cooker Green TeaSlow Cooker Spiced Green Tea
Makes 8 servings

Ingredients
6 inches stick cinnamon, broken*
1 tablespoon snipped crystallized ginger
4 cups brewed green tea
4 cups orange-peach-mango juice or orange juice
1 cup dried fruit, such as peaches, apricots, and/or pears
Orange slices
Sugar (optional)
Cheesecloth

Directions
1. For a spice bag, place cinnamon and crystallized ginger in the center of a double-thick, 6- to 8-inch square of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth. Bring up corners; tie closed with clean cotton string.
2. In a 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-quart slow cooker combine tea and juice. Add spice bag and dried fruit.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 3 hours. Remove and discard spice bag and dried fruit.
3. Ladle tea into cups. Float an orange slice in each cup. If desired, sweeten to taste with sugar.

*TIP: To break cinnamon sticks, place in a heavy plastic bag and gently pound sticks with a meat mallet.


New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Eat Right: Healthy Pumpkin, Squash Recipes for Fall

PumpkinThis fall, New Jammies parents took note of a viral social media rumor about the contents in canned pumpkin pie filling used religiously at the holidays that had people talking. Many were shocked to learn the canned stuff is secretly butternut squash.

Oh, the humanity.

The snopes.com urban legend reference confirmed the rumor as true. “As much of 90 percent of pumpkin sold in the U.S. (and 85 percent worldwide) is a proprietary cultivar known as a Dickinson pumpkin, which are less photogenic than the type of pumpkins commonly used for display purposes,” Snopes reported.

The good news is pumpkin is a cultivar of the squash plant, so their nutritional values have similarities. Pumpkin and squash varieties, including butternut, acorn and spaghetti, are superfoods perfect for healthy fall recipes.

Pumpkin seeds — great for roasting, lightly seasoned, then snacking on — contain 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce. Mashed pumpkin is high in fiber, with 3 grams, and low in calories, at 50 calories per cup. Pumpkin and squash boost vision, lower blood pressure, help with sleep, and promote heart health.

New Jammies loves sharing in the bounty of fall by eating well and teaching our children the benefits of healthy fruits and vegetables. These recipes will keep pumpkin and squash on the grocery list all autumn long. Happy harvest!

Pumpkin muffinsBest Ever Pumpkin Muffins
cookingwithmykid.com

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
Makes 30-35 mini muffins

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 can 100% pure pumpkin
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup lowfat Greek yogurt

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
Mix flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in large bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together pumpkin, eggs, oil, and yogurt.
Combine wet and dry ingredients until just blended.
Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Transfer muffins to rack to cool.

Acorn SquashMashed Acorn Squash
wellnessmama.com

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

This simple and flavorful roasted acorn squash mash with a hint of coconut oil or butter and real salt.

Ingredients
2 medium size acorn squash
¼ cup butter or coconut oil
2 teaspoons real salt (or other natural salt)
Other spices (optional) Cinnamon, nutmeg, and garlic are good but not needed.

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place face down in a large baking dish and add about ½ inch of water.
Bake for 30-45 minutes (depending on size of the squash) until the skin is easy to pierce with a fork and the flesh is soft.
Remove from oven and scoop out the flesh of the squash.
Place in bowl and add coconut oil/butter and salt.
Serve as you would mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes and enjoy.

PumpkinHealthy Pumpkin Pie Custard
www.sugarfreemom.com

This pumpkin dessert is gluten-free and low-carb. Add in some golden raisins for a healthy, chewy twist.

Ingredients
1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin purée
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 beaten eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice liquid stevia or vanilla liquid stevia or even cinnamon stevia
Optional toppings: Dairy Free Whipped Cream, Sprinkle of nutmeg

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 6 ramekins or custard cups with olive oil cooking spray.
In a large bowl or stand mixer mix together pumpkin, cream eggs, spices and stevia.
Pour evenly into ramekins.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a knife in center comes out clean


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Eat Right: Healthy Kid-friendly Thanksgiving Recipes

The holidays are a chance for New Jammies families to sit down together and be thankful for the year that has passed and the new one ahead. Especially at Thanksgiving.

The annual Turkey Day dinner offers a bounty of fruits, vegetables and sweet and savory cuisine that often appeases adults more than kids. Picky eaters sometimes become even pickier when yams, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie are involved.

Thankfully, New Jammies is here to help.

We’ve found healthy Thanksgiving recipes sure to make everyone at the table happy. Even the kids. Happy holidays and bon appetite. Gobble gobble!

thanksgivingThanksgiving Apple and Dip Appetizer
Courtesy http://www.superhealthykids.com

Ingredients
One large Honeycrisp apple

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey

Instructions
The key to this appetizer is to prevent your apples from turning brown. To prevent browning, use lemon juice for the tart flavor. Slice apple in wedges and arrange slices in a fan shape like a turkey tail. Place every other apple up and then down. Fill small dish with peanut butter yogurt dip and garnish with a piece of candy corn for beak and raisins or chocolate chips for eyes.

Salad Greens with Pears, Fennel and Walnuts
Courtesy http://www.mayoclinic.org

Ingredients
6 cups mixed salad greens
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 medium pears, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions
Divide the salad greens onto 6 plates. Scatter the fennel and pear slices over the greens. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and walnuts. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Add black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Healthy Cranberry Sauce (adapted from WH Foods)
Courtesy http://www.superhealthykids.com

Ingredients
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
1/2 cup honey

Instructions
Place OJ, ginger, and cinnamon in a sauce pan. Turn on medium heat until it reaches a boil. Then add the package of cranberries. Stir over heat for 10 minutes. Add honey. Stir until well combined.

zucchiniZucchini Oven Chips
Courtesy http://www.myrecipes.com

Ingredients
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
Cooking spray

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425°. Combine first five ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.

pumpkinbarsPaleo Pumpkin Bars
Courtesy http://www.hummusapien.com

Ingredients
¾ cup creamy almond butter
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 overripe medium banana
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
⅓ cup chocolate chips and/or walnuts, optional

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8x8in square baking dish with cooking spray. Place almond butter, pumpkin, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir until well-combined. Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring until smooth. Pour into prepared baking dish, smoothing with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Serves 12.

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Eat Right: New Jammies Favorite Homecooking Foodie Sites

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For most, winter means it’s cold outside. And we all know when it’s cold, a cozy pair of pajamas and a home-cooked meal warms the body — and the soul. The team at New Jammies loves searching the web for hearty comfort food made from scratch during the winter months, and all year-long. These are a few of our favorite foodie sites featuring made-from-scratch recipes with fresh fruits and vegetables, hearty spices, and, most importantly, love:

1. Jamie Oliver
http://www.jamieoliver.com
English celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is on a mission. Backed by a petition signed by hundreds of thousands and international crowd support, he is leading the Food Revolution against obesity in the U.S. By working with kids, parents and schools, Chef Oliver is waging a full-on attack on obesity fueled by the prevalence of processed foods and the decline in cooking food from scratch at home. His recipe below for easy corn chowder is healthy-hearty because he uses flour with skim milk to create the creaminess instead of heavy cream or lots of butter.

Editor’s Note: One great way to add thick and creaminess to a soup without fat is puree some of the soup and add it back in to the soup. Works well with veggie soups or can be done before adding a meat or pasta into a soup.

Corn Chowder
Ingredients:
1 stalk celery
1 medium onion
Olive oil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon plain flour
840 ml semi-skimmed milk
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into little cubes
3 spring onions
175 g frozen corn
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped, or parsley

Method:
Pull the leaves from the celery stalks and set them aside. Chop your celery and onion. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the celery (not the leaves), onion, and thyme. Stir until the vegetables start to brown. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir for a few more minutes. Pour in the milk, add the potato and bring to a boil, stirring the whole time so the soup doesn’t stick to the pot. Cook until the potatoes are tender, but not mushy – this will take around 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the celery leaves, trim the ends off the spring onions and slice them thinly. When the potatoes are tender, stir in the corn, spring onion and celery leaves. Bring the soup back to the boil, then serve. This is delicious with a crusty brown roll or a Parmesan crisp.

Jamie’s top tips:
Frozen corn is fantastic and it’s always a useful ingredient to have in the freezer – it can be used in soups, vegetable dishes, salsas and salads.
If you wanted to make this more of a main meal you could always add some fresh or smoked fish or maybe even a handful of shellfish. Add them at the same time as you add the corn and make sure they are cooked through before you serve.
Chives and parsley are great in this soup but you can also finish it with spring onion tops or even crumbled crackers.
Whenever you’re simmering a thick soup or stew, be sure to reach into the corners when you stir so no nasty bits get stuck and burn.

Read more at http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/corn-chowder/#cJUOm7Sl1CJxR8PR.99

2. The Pioneer Woman
http://thepioneerwoman.com
Ree Drummond, known in most circles as The Pioneer Woman, is a ranch wife and mother, food blogger, TV host, writer and creator of some of the best feel-good food this side of the Mississippi. Her food has just that right blend of kick and comfort, and her easy-to-follow recipes include step-by-step instructions, complete with gorgeous photography. We love her sweet, home-on-the-range style and adventurous approach to home-cooked family meal planning for hard-working, food-loving families.

3. Peter Berley
http://www.peterberley.com
Peter Berley has dedicated his 30-year career to home cooking with a sustainable food focus. He makes his own cheese and bakes homemade bread when he’s not growing organic gardens, whipping up vegetarian recipes for his cookbooks, and teaching in-person and online classes. Berley’s book titles include “The Flexitarian Table” and “The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen,” featuring recipes simply made with short lists of fresh ingredients.

4. Rachael Ray
http://www.rachaelrayshow.com
Recipes with garlic aren’t the only reason to read Rachel Ray’s cookbooks and watch her popular daytime talk show and Food Network programming. She’s a lot of fun to watch, and learn from, and a genius with this much-loved species in the onion genus. We’ve all heard about the benefits of garlic — building up immune systems, growing gorgeous hair, clearing up acne and curing the common cold, to name a few — and Rachel’s recipes usually help us welcome more garlic into our diets and lives. Just typing in the word “garlic” in the Rachael Ray Show’s website search bar pulls up 2,027 results. We agree with Rachael: Garlic is king!

5. Sunny Anderson
http://www.sunnyanderson.com
Sunny Anderson is a foodie friend of the Rachael Ray Show, and we would love her to be a friend of ours. She’s a breath of fresh air to cooking shows, and seems like the kind of person you want to go on vacation with, or maybe at least share a dinner. The “What’s New” section of her website is chock-full of comfort food for home-cooking we would love to whip up in the wintertime. Fresh examples include her Spinach Tortellini with Onions, Sage and Pecans, an Open-faced Plum Tart, and the Mean-Green Cucumber Juice. Thanks for the fabulous flavors, Sunny!

6. What Amy Ate Today!
http://whatamyatetoday.blogspot.com
Amy from New Jersey is the author of this fun foodie blog dedicated to “making healthy eating easier with useful tips, recipes and recent health news.” She has some great funky recipes and good reads. A recent post included this hearty recipe for Veggie Curry with Yogurt, which is probiotic-filled and veggie-heavy with onion, zucchini, carrots, chick peas, and acorn squash:

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Veggie Curry with Yogurt
Ingredients:
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 zucchini, diced
Sprinkle of garlic powder
1 cup carrots, grated
1 cup chick peas (if canned, rinsed/drained)
1/3 cup Trader Joe’s Red Curry Simmer Sauce
1 acorn squash

Method:
In a hot pan heat oil, onion and zucchini, until beginning to brown. Sprinkle on the garlic powder, stir for a minute or so then add the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook an acorn squash in the microwave – making sure to rinse, dry, and poke it all over with a knife first, so the air can escape. Cook for 6 minutes, turn and do another 4 minutes. You may need to cook less or more depending on its size – but basically keep going until its soft. Then cut in half, scoop out seeds and remove the flesh.

Your meal is ready to plate. Start with 1/2 cup of the acorn squash. Top with 1 cup of the curry veggies. Add 2 tbsp of plain nonfat yogurt to cool it off and give it some creaminess.

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New Jammies would love to hear from you! In 2015, we want to blog on topics you want to read. If you have any blog ideas about eating right, playing right and sleeping tight, let us know at our contact form at https://newjammies.com/index.php?route=information/contact.

If we choose your idea for our next blog, you can win a pair of New Jammies!