Eat Right: Sweet, Healthy Desserts Families Will Love

Audrey Hepburn once said, “Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.” At New Jammies, we love dessert, especially cake, as much as the next sweet tooth. Since February is American Heart Month, and the perfect time for spreading the love, we decided to seek out tasty and healthy dessert recipes — including one for chocolate lovers — to keep hearts happy, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Spiced PearsHoney and Spice Pears
Courtesy American Heart Association
Makes 4 Servings

Enjoy a delicate, heart-healthy dessert by cooking seasonal pears in a light homemade syrup. For info on women and heart disease, visit Go Red for Women.

Ingredients
1 cup light cranberry juice cocktail
1/2-3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8-1/4 tsp. ground allspice
4 small firm pears (about 6 ounces each), peeled, halved, and cored
2 Tbsp. sweetened, dried cherries or cranberries
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. honey (divided use)

Tip: Serving size 2 pear halves and 1 heaping tablespoon sauce.

Directions
1. In a large nonstick skillet, stir together the cranberry juice, cinnamon, and allspice. Add the pears and cherries. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes, or until the pears are just tender-crisp.

2. Transfer pears with the cut side down to a serving plate, leaving liquid in the skillet.

3. Cook the liquid, still on medium high, for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, or until reduced to a scant 1/4 cup, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in honey. Spoon over pears.

4. Let cool completely, about 20 minutes. Turn the pears several times to coat with the sauce or transfer them to plates and spoon the sauce on top.

img_2304Frozen Yogurt Fruit Pops
Courtesy American Diabetes Association
Makes 4 Servings

You can make this recipe with any fruit and flavor of yogurt. Try mango chunks with pineapple yogurt, or kiwi halves with strawberry yogurt. You could also try other toppings like coconut or sprinkles instead of pecans.

Ingredients
Wax paper
12 strawberries, hulled
12 cake pop sticks
½ cup nonfat blueberry Greek yogurt
¼ cup chopped pecans

Directions
1. Line a small baking sheet with wax paper. Set aside.

2. Insert the cake pop sticks into the top part of the strawberry. Do not pierce through the end of the strawberry.

3. Dip each strawberry in the yogurt, shaking so that each strawberry is thinly coated. Use a spoon to help coat the strawberries if needed.

4. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of pecans (or coconut, sprinkles, etc) over each coated strawberry.

5. Place the strawberry pops on the baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours or until the yogurt is frozen. Once pops are frozen, remove from wax paper and serve or put in a freezer zip-top bag.

img_2306Cranfully Good Chocolate Bites
Courtesy US Cranberries
Makes 8 “Bites”

Rich dark chocolate topped with your favorites: cranberries, nuts, and dried fruits.

Ingredients
3 T 70-80% cocoa premium dark chocolate chips
1/8 cups mix of walnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios
1/8 cups mix of dried cranberries, raisins, gooseberries (optional), pumpkin seeds

Directions
1. Mix the nuts and dried fruits together.

2. Melt chocolate in microwave-safe container on low power setting. Rule of thumb: 1 min. for 1 oz.; 3 min. for 8 oz.; 3.5 min. for 1 lb.; 4 min. for 2.lb. Run microwave in 30 sec.-1 min. increments.

3. When most of the chocolate is melted, stir mixture continuously until smooth, shiny, and completely melted.

4. Spoon chocolate onto wax paper in even circles. Top with nuts and fruits. Let harden and then refrigerate 10 minutes.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Pie with Berriesimg_2305
Courtesy Mayo Clinic Staff
Makes 8 Servings

Dietitian’s tip: This dessert is more similar to a tart than a traditional cream pie. You can use any fresh, unsweetened berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries.

Ingredients
8 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 prepared graham cracker crust, about 9 inches in diameter
1 can (16 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1 pint berries, rinsed and drained (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, or a combination)

Directions
1. In a small bowl, mix the softened cream cheese with the sugar. Gently spread over the graham cracker crust.

2. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

3. Just before serving, spread the crushed pineapple over the cream cheese. Add the berries.

4. Cut the pie into 8 wedges and serve immediately.

 

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.

Photo Contest: Show New Jammies Your PJ Love

New Jammies LobstersFebruary is American Heart Month, and New Jammies is celebrating heart health and wellness by asking kids and their parents to show their PJ love.

Throughout the month, New Jammies, a Colorado-based producer of 100% organic cotton pajamas, is accepting entries for its “Show New Jammies Your PJ Love” contest. The contest is open to New Jammies customers and their families who can show kids wearing their favorite New Jammies PJs for infants, toddlers and young children.

Enter by clicking here.

“We love to see the smiles on kids’ faces when they’re wearing their favorite New Jammies,” says New Jammies founder Nicole Ludlow. “Since February is the month of love with Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, and we’re also observing American Heart Month, we think it’s a great time for families to show us how much they love their New Jammies through their own photos.”

Submitted photos will be featured on the New Jammies Facebook page, and the winning photo, chosen based on Facebook likes, will be highlighted on social media and in the New Jammies March e-newsletter. The winner receives 3 pair of PJs or footies of their choice (Value approximately $100.00). Photos can be submitted online by clicking here (or visit newjammies.com and click on “Photo Contest” at the bottom of the page). Deadline for entries is Feb. 29, 2016.

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. The company’s goal is to make a difference in the lives it touches by supporting philanthropic organizations whose goals are to improve communities and the lives of children. By making a New Jammies purchase, customers receive not only the highest quality, environmentally friendly product, but they also become part of the New Jammies team, helping to improve the quality of life for children.

For more information and to shop online, visit https://newjammies.com. Enter online here.

Sleep Tight: Valentine’s Day Gifts for Bedtime

At New Jammies, we believe Valentine’s Day is always a great way to show loved ones how much they mean to you. Gift-giving can range from homemade treasures made from the heart to a pair of warm New Jammies in red or pink to celebrate one of the most beloved holidays of the year.

New Jammies Pear Tree Love

New Jammies Pear Tree Love

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re helping kids sleep tight with $10 off any order, through Feb. 21. Shop from our wide selection of styles — boys and girls pajamas, PJ short sets, and toddler footies. Our Classic Stripes in red or pink, Pear Tree Love, Encircled Peace Love or Lobster collections are colorful ideas for kids’ Valentine’s Day gifts. Just use the code HEART2015 when ordering online as we spread the love with $10 off through Feb. 21.

Tuck kids into bed this Valentine’s with homemade stuffed animals made from their drawings, thanks to help from craft queen Martha Stewart. Her easy-to-make instructions include these basic materials found at home: A child’s cut-out drawings, fabric, a pencil, accessories (for eyes, nose, mouth, etc.), batting, and a sewing kit. Maybe even make the stuffed animals with older kids as a fun way to show how much you care while having fun with arts and crafts. Easy-to-follow instructions are found here.

Instead of showering kids with sugar and candy this Valentine’s Day, create goody bags of treats filled with coloring books, crayons, stickers, games, bubbles, heart-shaped toys and trinkets, and more. Dollar stores can be a source of such small treasures that kids can enjoy well past Valentine’s Day.

Happy parents make for happy kids, so gifts for Mom and Dad are important to exchange on this lover’s holiday. Especially when the gifts help induce much-needed rest, relaxation and improved sleep habits.

Rodale's Open Heart Pajamas

Rodale’s Open Heart Pajamas

Pamper Mom with cozy organic pajamas of their own. We love Rodale’s whimsical two-piece pajama set called Only Hearts. These pajamas are comfortable and lightweight with relaxed-waist pants and a roomy button-up top made from 100% organic supima cotton.

For a relaxing homemade gift for her that’s easy to create and a treat to give, try Herbalism Roots’ DIY Lavender Pillow Mist Spray. According to the therapeutic division of Denver Integrative Massage School, studies show the scent of lavender can help cure insomnia, anxiety, and overall restlessness that hinder sleep patterns. Their home recipe for pillow mist can be found on the shelves that contain lavender oil and promote a sound, deep sleep. Find the recipe here.

Dads can put their feet up and relax with Toad&Co.’s M’s Shuteye Pants. These yarn-dyed, draw-string pajama pants are made from mid-weight heathered organic cotton flannel. The man in your life will love these for their distinctive character and buttery softness as he heads to bed or the recliner.

Homemade gifts for him include coupons for 12 months of special pre-planned, relaxing stay-at-home date nights in pajamas. You can hand-draw them or print them out on the computer. Ideas include breakfast in bed, romantic massages, snuggling on the couch, and more. Search design ideas on Pinterest or go to this Better Homes & Gardens link that has free Valentine’s Day Coupon Downloads. These coupons for adults and offer blank options that can be specially customized for Valentine’s Day.

Cheers to love!