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Conquering Kale

Posted by Gail Moraski on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 @ 09:04 AM

Kale Crazy

Okay, everyone may not share the enthusiasm for kale expressed in this photo we recently shared on Facebook, but kale seems to be going mainstream!  In fact, we think it’s safe to say there’s a kale craze going on right now in the U.S., and maybe worldwide!

kale_4160800x533

Like us, everyone seems to be recognizing and loving the many health benefits of consuming kale regularly, including:

  • Kale has lots of iron and Vitamin K to help your body perform important, key functions.

  • Kale is high in antioxidants which can help protect your body from certain cancers and other health conditions.

  • Kale is high in fiber and fat-free – who doesn’t love that combination?

  • Kale also contains Vitamins A & C and calcium – more great vitamins and minerals to help you get and stay well.

You can learn more about the many great health benefits of kale at http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Eating-Kale.html

More and more professional chefs – as well as individuals who don’t cook for a living but who want to make healthy recipes for themselves and their families – are finding creative and tasty ways to incorporate kale into their menus.  Both party hosts and guests as well as restaurant chefs are serving up yummy, crispy kale chips in lieu of potato chips or fries.  And, more and more food companies like us here at Concord Foods, want to help their customers enjoy the best possible health, and are figuring out ways to incorporate kale in their products by pairing kale with seasonings and other food items that reduce kale’s bitterness. 

Take Our Conquer Kale Challenge

To help you conquer and capitalize on kale, we introduced our fast and delicious kale & apple smoothie recipe that combines the sweet taste of apple with kale to create a tasty treat that will have you running to, not running from kale.  Just follow the steps below to conquer kale!

Step One

Set a goal to make an apple & kale smoothie in the next two weeks, using the above recipe and/or this easy-to-follow video from our friends at Chelan Fresh.

Step Two

Create a habit of making and drinking at least three kale & apple smoothies each week, so you can really take advantage of the many health benefits described above.

Step Three

Share your success.  Post a picture of you drinking or making our kale & apple smoothie or just a picture of the great-tasting beverage you made with our kale & apple smoothie mix with protein on Facebook.  The first five individuals to post a picture by May 15, 2015, will win a five-pack of our kale & apple smoothie mix with protein.

Tags: Kale, Kale & Apple Smoothie Mix,

Playing It Smooth -- Part II

Posted by Gail Moraski on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 11:03 AM

A couple of weeks ago we blogged about all the benefits you’ll reap when you play it smooth. We talked about the many mental and physical health benefits you might expect to enjoy as a result of making your own healthy and delicious smoothies at home.  And, we shared that making your own smoothie vs. buying it at your favorite take-out place or smoothie bar is likely to save you both time and money.

kale_4160800x533

Despite understanding all the benefits you, your family, and your friends might get from playing it smooth, we bet – and we completely understand because we hear it all the time from our customers, and our own family and friends – you might still find the thought of making a smoothie intimidating.  That’s why we are so pleased to share this short, but extremely helpful, video made by our friends at Chelan Fresh marketing with you.  It shows you through an easy-to-follow demonstration, accompanied by written instructions, just how simple, and how fun, making a smoothie can be!

While in this case, you’ll learn how to make a kale & apple smoothie with our kale & apple smoothie mix with protein, we think once you watch this video, you’ll see how easy it is to make all sorts of smoothie creations, as the basic principles will apply.

 

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=779654052130681&set=vb.276009075828517&type=2&theater

We can’t wait to hear from our readers how you liked the video and to hear about and see how your smoothies turned out! 

So, please do share.

Tags: Kale & Apple Smoothie Mix,

Why Eggs Are Eggs-cellent

Posted by Gail Moraski on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 @ 08:03 AM

Florentine

With Easter just around the corner, we thought it was the perfect time to make sure eggs got the credit due them.  We know there’s folks out there that don’t give eggs much attention unless they’re out of breakfast cereal, they’ve got company for breakfast, or it’s time to dye a dozen.  But, we believe there’s so much more to eggs than being a pastel-painted holiday decoration, a back-up breakfast item, or a dish that’s only served when your parents are visiting for the weekend. So, we’re taking this opportunity to sing eggs’ praises and let you know why we think eggs are eggs-cellent.

 


Eggs Enhance Your Health

One of our most favorite qualities of the common egg is that it’s a great low-calorie source of protein and other important nutrients, including vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body functioning optimally.  A well-kept secret about eggs is that they contain choline, a nutrient your body greatly needs, but most people don’t get enough of.  Choline is used to build cell membranes and assists with proper brain function.

And, despite beliefs to the contrary, eggs provide the good, healthy type of cholesterol that your body needs -- HDL.  So, unless your healthcare provider instructs you to refrain (if you suffer from high cholesterol, you should check with your doctor first before introducing eggs into your diet), you should feel safe embracing eggs instead of fearing them. 

You can learn more about the many other health benefits of a diet that contains eggs from these great sources:

www.authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-health-benefits-of-eggs/

10 proven health benefits of eggs, supported by science

www.besthealthmag.ca/eggs

5 reasons to eat more eggs

www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283659.php

What are the health benefits of eggs

 Eggs Can Be Elegant or Easy-Going

And eggs are like that friend or family member you can take anywhere.  You know the one that looks perfectly comfortable at either a black-tie event or at a backyard barbecue?  Yup, eggs look and taste great whether you dress ‘em up – think Eggs Benedict or Eggs Florentine or dress ‘em down – think scrambled eggs with a little hot sauce or a side of guacamole.

We’ll leave the dyeing and painting type of egg dressing-up to you, but in honor of the egg and wanting to recognize the greater role it can and should play at Easter and all year-long, we’ve created some delicious and elegant recipes that pair eggs with lots of yummy vegetables.  We think both you and your guests will be wowed by the taste and look of these dishes on your Easter table, or any table, for that matter!  So, check out how we dress eggs up at http://www.holdtheham.com.  And, if you’re not yet ready to give up your breakfast meat, we’ve also got a recipe for traditional Eggs Benedict for you!


We’d love to hear and/or see how you dress your eggs up or down, or just learn more why you make sure to include lots of eggs in your diet, so please do share your recipes, photos, and ideas with us.

We hope your Easter and all your spring festivities are eggs-cellent!

 

Reap The Benefits of Playing It Smooth

Posted by Gail Moraski on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 @ 13:03 PM

Once we began writing this blog post, we realized that there are a large, and quite diverse, number of benefits to playing it smooth – making and drinking daily smoothies that is!  So many, in fact, that several don’t automatically come to mind when thinking about smoothies.  So, read on to test your smoothie benefit knowledge and to be sure you are in the know as to why you always want to play it smooth.


One of the most powerful benefits is that, when you make a smoothie at home and, therefore, control the ingredients that go in it, you can make a refreshing drink that contains many of the vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and protein that your body needs to function optimally.  By including vitamin- and antioxidant-rich produce such as kale and apple and incorporating calcium and protein by adding skim milk or by using our kale & apple smoothie mix with protein, you’ll be giving your body a powerful punch of wellness!

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Not only can you nurture your body by playing it smooth, you can also nurture your soul!  Another wonderful benefit of making a daily smoothie is that it provides for a few minutes of fun and creativity during what otherwise is likely a hectic day.  Many individuals enjoy the challenge of finding new ingredients to include in their daily smoothie and coming up with new recipes.  We love the great ideas from both “Fitness Magazine” and Whole Foods Market we’ve provided links to below for how to incorporate even more beneficial ingredients into your daily smoothie, such as spices, citrus, and seeds. So, be sure to check these ideas out, but also consider adding your own twists and personal style to your smoothie making!

In addition to being able to control and know exactly what’s in your smoothie, other benefits of making smoothies at home include saving both time and money.  We expect the economies of buying produce that can be used to make several smoothies vs. one, plus possible gas cost savings if you drive to your favorite smoothie take-out place to ultimately yield lower total weekly smoothie expenses.  And, just imagine how grateful you’ll be for “the gift of time” you’ll receive by not having to travel to purchase your smoothie or from being able to drink your breakfast on the go (if you have to! L) versus making or cooking a full breakfast!

If the above weren’t reason enough to play it smooth, then we’ve got some additional motivators for you.  We also expect you might reap the following benefits:

  • When you replace a sugary, starchy, or unhealthy snack or drink with a daily smoothie made with healthy ingredients, you’ll likely drop a few pounds, helping you get bathing-suit ready for summer

  • Your hair and skin will have a healthier appearance

  • You’ll have more energy, and just feel better, in general

Your friends and family will wonder how you make looking and feeling healthy seem so effortless – so smooth and easy!


We’d love to hear your thoughts on other benefits you get from playing it smooth, as well as hear about and see smoothies you’ve made using one of our smoothie mix recipes or ones you’ve made using one of our of many delicious and refreshing smoothie mixes.   So, please do share.

 


 

Brunch Ideas

Posted by Gigi Cohen on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 @ 15:04 PM

Ah Spring!  Gardening and other outdoor activities begin, nature nudges trees and flowers to blossom and holidays like Easter and Mother’s Day provide new opportunities for gathering with loved ones. For many, brunch is the perfect meal to serve during the early spring.  And a favorite staple of brunch across the country is eggs.  Not only are eggs filled with protein and nutrients, they have naturally represented fertility and life across many cultures and for Christians the egg symbolizes the Resurrection.    

 

For foodies who are less focused on what the egg represents and more concerned with the simple joys of its ability to be a conduit for flavor, the egg is its own cause for celebration.

 

One of the classic flavor pairings for the egg is with Hollandaise Sauce.   Known to be one of the most difficult sauces to perfect, its rich butter and lemon flavors delicately season plain eggs, poached fish and vegetables. 

 

If you’d love to include Hollandaise on your brunch menu, but don’t want to mess up the complicated emulsion, consider Concord Foods Hollandaise Sauce Mix.

 

Concord Foods Hollandaise Sauce is easy to make, requiring only one cup of water!

 

Recently, The Army Mom tried her hand at Eggs Benedict using Concord Foods HollandaisePhoto Source - The Army Mom Sauce mix.  After a successful trial, she believes that even “Julia (Child) would say this Concord Foods Hollandaise sauce is perfection.”   You can read all of The Army Mom’s thoughts on our Hollandaise Sauce mix as well as her success at poaching eggs for the first time on her blog. 

http://www.thearmymom.com/2014/04/create-perfect-eggs-benedict-for-your.html

 

If you are planning a brunch with more than a few people and want to serve a buffet style meal, consider mixing the ingredients in a casserole.  On the Kitchen is My Playground, blogger Tracey created an inspired Fresh Asparagus Hollandaise Casserole using a variety of brunch-worthy ingredients like fresh asparagus, celery, onion, Monterey Jack cheese, Concord Foods Hollandaise Sauce .

www.thekitchenismyplayground.com/2014/04/fresh-asparagus-hollandaise-casserole.html 

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Since it’s a casserole, you can prep the dish before your guests get to your home and after 20 minutes in the oven you’ll have a delightful “twist,” as Tracey says, on classic food pairings. 

 

Finally, if you’re planning to have children at your brunch, you may find Hollandaise a bit sophisticated for their palate.   For the younger set, try this easy recipe for a breakfast burrito which uses eggs, fresh tomatoes, red onions, cheese and Concord Foods Salsa Seasoning Mix that create a delicious brunch filling for your favorite flour tortilla.                                                            

http://www.concordfoods.com/breakfast-burrito/#.U012SPmTh8E

Breakfast burritos are a fun way to introduce the younger set to the joys of brunch.

Happy Spring from your friends at Concord Foods!

Soup Recipes to Warm Your Winter

Posted by Samantha McCaul on Mon, Jan 06, 2014 @ 15:01 PM

According to Psychologist and comfort food expert, Dr. Susan Albers, cold weather tends to make people feel hungrier than they do when it’s warm.  Dr. Albers indicates that the body processes food faster when it is cold, often making you feel hungrier. As proof, she points to a study which found that swimmers’ calorie intake after exercising in cold water was 44 percent higher than when they swam in warm water.

 

We found two of Dr. Albers’ suggestions for cold weather eating in her book EatQ: Unlock the Weight Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence, (http://www.eatq.com) most interesting. 

 

1)    Chicken Noodle Soup, according to at least one scientific study, is associated with feelings of comfort and chicken noodle soup has the added benefit of providing many nutritious benefits.

 

2)   While anyone that has eaten spicy foods knows it feels like your body is getting hotter, in reality spicy food does raise your body temperature. Dr. Alber suggests cooking a pot of spicy, turkey or bean chili and adding fiber to help keep you fuller.

 

Here’s some of our favorite soup recipes for a warm winter snack or meal.

 

Chicken Rice Soup (link:  http://www.concordfoods.com/chicken-rice-soup/#.Usrv2PmTh8E)

 

We’re betting in certain cultures chicken rice soup is far more familiar and therefore even more “comforting” than chicken noodle soup.  In this recipe, which uses two cans of chicken broth as a base plus previously cooked rice and chicken, we’ve created an easy soup recipe that doubles as a quick and satisfying solution for your chicken leftovers.

 

Corn Chowder (link: http://www.concordfoods.com/corn-chowder/#.UsrwxPmTh8E)

 

Cream chowder lovers have assured us they love this corn chowder recipe that uses Concord Foods Cream of Broccoli Soup Mix as its base.  Perhaps we’re biased but since Concord Foods is based in Massachusetts, we’re pretty particular about our chowders, and we think this is one of the best we’ve ever tasted.

 

Portuguese Kale Soup (link: http://www.concordfoods.com/portuguese-kale-soup/#.UsrytvmTh8E)

 

Dr. Albers would certainly approve of our Portuguese Kale Soup which blends Concord Foods’ Greens Seasoning, fiber-rich beans, chili-garlic flavored sausage and the incredibly nutritious kale for a perfectly balanced soup recipe that will make a delicious difference to any meal. 

 

Chili in a Tortilla Bowl (link:  http://www.concordfoods.com/chili-in-a-tortilla-bowl/#.Usr0EPmTh8E)

 

For those who love all things chili, we have a recipe that tastes like you’ve been cooking all day but only takes about a half hour.  The recipe calls for ground beef, black beans and Concord Foods Salsa Mix and its certain to raise the temperature around meal time. 

 

These are just a sampling of wonderful ideas for keeping warmly satisfied during the winter.  You can find additional soup recipes within our website http://www.concordfoods.com/soups-salads/#.Usr07fmTh8E.  Use the recipes as is, or as inspiration for a soup creation that’s sure to become a winter favorite in your home.  

 

Tags: Soup Recipes, Winter Soup Recipes

Great Holiday Recipes with Concord Foods Lemon & Lime Juice

Posted by Samantha McCaul on Thu, Nov 21, 2013 @ 13:11 PM

Holiday Recipe Banner

Lemon & Lime JuiceDid you know that Concord Foods first products were the lemon and lime juices in 1968? That was 45 years ago! Over the years, our chefs have developed some great recipes using these versatile ingredients. Many of these recipes are perfect for holiday dining and events. Here are some recipe suggestions from Concord Foods’ kitchen.

Cherry Salsa     Serves: 4
Ingredients
1 lb of Bing Cherries, chopped
1 small onion
½ cup honey
⅓ cup Concord Foods Reconstituted Lime Juice
2 small jalapenos peppers, minced
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 garlic clove

Directions

  1. In a small bowl combine honey and Reconstituted Lime Juice.
  2. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Pour honey and lime mixture over the cherry mixture.
  4. Refrigerate until serving.
  5. Serve with chips.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus     Serves: 8  

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons Concord Foods Reconstituted Lemon Juice
1 can (15.5 oz) chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
½ cup roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
Pita crisps
Cut up vegetables 

Directions: 

    1. In a food processor, combine lemon juice, chick peas, tahini, minced garlic and salt. Process until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl sides with a rubber spatula.
    2. Add roasted red peppers and process until the peppers are finely chopped.
    3. Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
    4. Serve with pita crisps and/or cut up vegetables.

    Chipotle-Lime Marinated Grilled Pork Chops     Serves: 4

    Ingredients: 
    4 Boneless or Bone-In Pork Chops (3/4-1 1/4" thick)
    2/3 cup Concord Foods Reconstituted Lime Juice1/3 cup soy sauce
    2 teaspoons oregano
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
    1-3 Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, or dried chipotle pepper(s), rehydrated, minced finely 
    Note: Use 1-3 peppers, depending on spiciness desired. Always wear rubber gloves when handling hot peppers. To rehydrate, cover peppers with hot water for 10 minutes. 

    Directions: 

      1. Place chops in a large self-sealing plastic bag. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over chops. Seal bag, refrigerate and let marinate for 12-24 hours.
      2. Remove chops from marinade, discard marinade, and grill chops over medium-hot coals until desired doneness (12-16 total minutes), turning to brown evenly. Remove from heat, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

        Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce     Serves: 8

        Ingredients:
        ½ cup shortening
        ¼ cup packed brown sugar
        1 egg
        ½ cup light molasses
        1½ cups all purpose flour
        ½ tsp salt
        ¾ tsp ground ginger
        ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
        ½ tsp baking powder
        ½ tsp baking soda
        ½ cup boiling water
        Lemon Sauce
        ½ cup Confectioner's sugar
        4 – 5 tsp Concord Foods’ Reconstituted Lemon Juice (to taste) 

        Directions 

          1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
          2. Grease and lightly flour one 9 x 1½-inch round baking pan.
          3. Cream shortening and brown sugar until light. Add egg and molasses; beat well.
          4. Stir together flour, spices and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with ½ cup boiling water, beating after each addition. Pour into pan.
          5. Bake in 350°F oven 30 to 35 minutes. Serve with lemon sauce.

            Lemon Sauce: Mix confectioner’s sugar with four to five teaspoons of Concord Foods Reconstituted Lemon Juice.

            These are just a selection of recipes. For more recipes, please visit us at http://www.concordfoods.com/holidayrecipes#.Uo5MdGco7cv. If you would like to share an original recipe with us, please e-mail us at marketing@concordfoods.com. Happy holidays!
                 
             

            Tags: Holiday Recipes, Holiday Entertaining, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice

            Berry Sweet Baking Promotion

            Posted by Samantha McCaul on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 @ 09:10 AM

            Concord Foods is excited to pair up with California Giant Berry Farms on a winter baking promotion, the Berry Sweet Baking Contest!

            Submit an original recipe that includes both fresh California Giant blueberries and Concord Foods’ delicious Blueberry Muffin Mix for a chance to win up to $250!  The Grand Prize Winner will also have their recipe developed by a professional chef, and shared online.

            Entries will be accepted from November 1st until December 15th.  For additional contest information, and perhaps a little recipe inspiration, check out www.calgiant.com/win or watch this great video.

             

            Tags: contest, recipe contest

            Halloween Caramel Apples

            Posted by Samantha McCaul on Wed, Oct 02, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

            Decorating caramel apples for Halloween can be great fun for the whole family! To get started, all you need is a little imagination and a Concord Foods caramel apple product! For the recipes listed below, we have used Concord Foods Microware Caramel Apple Kit. However, you can also use the Caramel Apple Kit or Caramel Apple Wrap.

            Jack O Lantern Group resized 600

             

            Jack O Lantern

            Jack O Lantern

             Ingredients:
            • 6 medium sized apples
            • 1 Microwave Caramel Apple Kit (can substitute Caramel Apple Kit / Caramel Apple
              Wrap)
            • 1 pouch of orange vanilla flavored wafers
            • Black writing gel or icing
            Directions:
            1. Dip apples into caramel as instructed on package. Let dry.
            2. Melt vanilla wafers in microwave or small saucepan over low heat.
            3. Dip each caramel apple in the melted vanilla. Decorate with black writing gel and let dry.

            Candy and Chocolate Drizzle

            Crushed Candy Covered Candy Corn Solo resized 600 

             

            Ingredients:
            • 6 medium sized apples
            • 1 Microwave Caramel Apple Kit (can substitute Caramel Apple Kit / Caramel Apple Wrap)
            • 1 pouch of chocolate flavored wafers
            • Candy pieces (We used crushed Butterfinger candy bars and candy corn)
            Directions:
            1. Dip apples into caramel as instructed on package. Let dry.
            2. Melt chocolate wafers in microwave or small saucepan over low heat.
            3. Using a spoon, drizzle each caramel apple with the melted chocolate. Sprinkle crushed candy
              bars or firmly place candy corns into the caramel apples. Let dry.

            We would love to see some of your decorated caramel apples! Please post them to our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ConcordFoodsRecipes.

             

             

             

             

             

            Tags: Decorated Caramel Apples, Halloween Caramel Apples, Concord Foods Microwave Caramel Apple Kit

            Concord Foods Celebrates Apple Picking Season

            Posted by Samantha McCaul on Tue, Sep 24, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

            Apple picking is a popular family activity in the Fall. Apple orchards across the country invite families to pick the fruit right off their trees. Apples are one of the easiest fruits to pick.  A visit to the apple orchard is fun for the whole family! In addition to apple picking, many orchards will
            offer hay rides, corn mazes and delicious treats such as fresh apple cider and apple cider doughnuts.

            To find apple orchards near you, we suggest visiting your local news website. For example, boston.com provides an excellent guide for the New England area. http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/specials/foliage/specials/apple_picking/. These guides are available throughout the country. In addition, some apple picking guides provide orchard listings by states, such as http://culinarytravel.about.com/od/markets/qt/ApplePickingSeason.htm.

            Throughout the season, Concord Foods will feature some top orchards on Facebook. These orchards will be giving away a select number of free Caramel Apple Wrap samples to their ‘U Pick’ customers. Here’s a hint about our first weekly orchard. It is located in Biglerville, PA and is famous for their apple bin porch, which contains over 25 different varieties of apples. If you are interested in finding out more about this orchard and learning about the apple orchard giveaways throughout the season, please visit us at https://www.facebook.com/ConcordFoodsRecipes.

            Apple Bin Porch

             

            The apple orchard giveaways offer a great opportunity for consumers to try the Caramel Apple Wrap. Using the Wrap, it takes only two easy steps to make fresh caramel apples. If you are interested in alternative uses for the Caramel Apple Wrap, we have many great recipe suggestions online, http://www.concordfoods.com/caramel-apples. Some favorite recipes include caramel sticky buns and turtle brownies! Caramel Apple Wraps are also available in
            retailers across the U.S.A.

            Turtle Brownies Caramel Apple Wrap  describe the image 

            We hope that everyone has a wonderful time apple picking and making caramel apples!

            Tags: apple picking, locating apple orchards, Caramel Apple Wrap

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