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Teach Your Children Well This Thanksgiving

Posted by Gail Moraski on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 @ 09:11 AM

We think Thanksgiving provides a lot of teachable moments for children. Whether they be our own children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, godchildren, or our best friends’ kids, children learn by example. We’re sure that there are many more Thanksgiving-related opportunities for teaching and learning than those we’ve listed below – and our thoughtful readers will surely come up with some great ideas of their own – but, here’s our food for thought (pun intended!).

Pass the Muffins Beyond the Table

As we discussed in our “Give More than Thanks” blog post, why not bake up an extra batch of muffins or an extra loaf of your favorite holiday bread for a local food kitchen or an elderly neighbor this Thanksgiving? Even if you can’t gather your favorite children to help you bake, ask them to join you in delivering your sweet treat to its intended recipient. That way, they’ll get to see how the hearts of both giver and receiver are warmed by a good deed.

 

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Healthy Food Can Still Be Delicious                               

Of course, as a company that offers products that pair with fruit and vegetables, as well as one that provides parents with a smart way to get kids to eat their fruit & veggies, we’re a big believer, and speak from experience, that healthy food like beautiful, nutrient-rich produce can be as delicious – in fact, even more delicious – than some comfort-type foods that lack nutritional value.

We’ve got lots of great seasoning mixes and delicious side dish recipes to make all sorts of fruits and vegetables pop at your Thanksgiving get-together! So, why not set a goal to serve a “rainbow” of fruit and vegetables this Thanksgiving? And, consider tying it in with November’s #ProduceChallenge from The Produce Mom.

 

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There’s Great Reasons to Give Thanks

We saved the most obvious and easiest lesson to teach for last – and that’s the importance and benefits of “giving thanks.” Regardless of religious beliefs, research shows that adults and children alike benefit from “counting their blessings” and expressing and acknowledging gratitude for them. Regardless of whether or not a prayer accompanies it, why not ask each guest at the Thanksgiving table to share things and people for which they are grateful before diving into Thanksgiving favorites? And, why not work on this great “Gratitude Turkey” craft (shown in picture below) from Parents Magazine with your child guests pre- or post-Thanksgiving-meal?

 

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Share This Season!

During this season of sharing, officially launched by the Thanksgiving holiday, we hope you’ll share with us on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram photos of the special dishes you make, time spent with family and friends, and/or things you did to give more than thanks this Thanksgiving, using #givemorethanthanks. And we promise to share too using the aforementioned hashtag as well as #bakedwithlove #madewithlove #blessingcounting #produceup #producepusher #fallflavors and#holidaysimplepleasures. And, throughout the November and December holiday season, we’ll be sharing both our and your great recipes on our “Holiday Simple Pleasures” Pinterest board.

Tags: Holiday Recipes, Holiday Entertaining, Healthy eating, Thanksgiving

Bake Bread to Nourish Body and Soul

Posted by Gail Moraski on Mon, Oct 31, 2016 @ 21:10 PM

As late October and early November usher in colder temps in many parts of the U.S., we’re reminded that it’s time to break out our loaf pans and engage in one of our favorite activities – baking bread with our children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. While summer provides the opportunity for lots of great family bonding time via outdoor activities like picnics at the beach or campfire s’mores-making, you and your family can keep the quality time and memory-making going with indoors activities for gathering family together, such as fall and holiday baking.

Stir Up Soul-Satisfying Reminiscences

We love baking fruit-rich breads with our favorite children this time of year because we feel like it nourishes everyone’s bodies AND souls. Family members get to spend time huddling around a mixing bowl, playfully arguing about who is going to get to add the next ingredient, stir the bread mixture, or pour or spoon it into the already-greased loaf pans. And, because family members can’t wait to taste the bread whose delicious aromas fill our homes as it bakes, we find no-one travels too far from the kitchen, which lends itself to more fun, lively chatter, and device-free time to catch up with each other. Yeah, we love the excuse that baking provides to get family members to leave their hand-held devices behind – okay, we admit we over-emphasize to family members the risks associated with bringing cell phones and tablets into the kitchen, such as the chance of getting baking ingredients or spills on them.

We also love how baking with our favorite children conjures up memories from our own childhood – adding ingredients and stirring as we chatted with our moms, grandmothers, and aunts – and sharing those memories with our children to keep family history and traditions alive. We’ve discovered children also enjoy learning and knowing that, by baking bread, they are perpetuating an activity dating back to at least the fifth century, B.C.

 

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Bake Up Body-Nourishing Blessings

In addition to the blessing of quality family time that bread-baking provides, when we stir up bread recipes that incorporate healthy, nutrient-rich produce like bananas and blueberries, we know our family members will be getting vitamins and minerals their bodies need from our belly-warming creations.  We think baking produce-rich breads are a smart way to fortify your family’s diet with fruit in the late fall and winter when bodies are craving something more calorie-rich and comfort-food-like than a stand-alone piece of fruit, as we shared in our “Why You Should Make The Time to Bake” post.

Our banana bread and blueberry muffin mixes – both of which can be used to mix up bread or muffins – make it easy for you and your family to create fruit-fortifying breads without having to purchase lots of costly ingredients. You can take the nutrition-level of the breads you bake up a notch further by incorporating several fruits in your recipe, like Allrecipes.com did in their apricot-orange bread creation, or by adding nuts like walnuts and pecans to your recipe (as long as the family members who will baking with you and enjoying the masterpieces you create don’t suffer from nut allergies.) We’ve found that our banana-walnut-chocolate-chip bread recipe and our tropical cranberry bread recipe that contains macadamia nuts are always family favorites.

Share How You Care For Loved Ones

We’ve collected a bread-basketful of recipes on our “Belly-Warming Breads” Pinterest board to inspire you, and we’ll be talking about how to “bake bread to nourish body and soul” using #bellywarmingbreads #fortifywithfruit #maketimetobake and #bakedwithlove on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We’d love to see what you bake up to nourish the bodies and souls of your loved ones, so please share!

Tags: Concord Foods Blueberry Muffin Mix, Breads, Bread Mix Ideas, banana bread mix, Belly warming breads

Scare Up a Healthier Halloween

Posted by Gail Moraski on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 @ 15:10 PM

 

It’s that time of year again where those of us who are parents or guardians of small children (and even teenagers), have to play policeman and watch guard over the Halloween treats that our children receive. For better or worse, we’re tasked with providing direction on what our kids should and should not eat (think a treat that may have spoiled because of days of sitting in the bag your child used when “trick or treating” or one that’s sure to break a tooth), and how much they can/should eat in one sitting, etc. It kind of makes you feel “batty”, right?

We can’t control the healthiness of treats that our children receive from knocking on neighbors’ doors, or at friends’ or school Halloween celebrations, but the good news is we can make sure that the treats we give out at our own spook-tacular get-togethers, or provide for parties our children will be attending, are somewhat healthier than standard Halloween fare, particularly candy. We can also make sure the treats and meals we serve to our family, leading up to and on Halloween, are fairly healthy ones. Read our ideas below for scaring up healthier Halloween treats.

Sweeten Things Up Naturally

One food item our friends and family always find hauntingly delicious is fruit. Who doesn’t love a naturally sweet strawberry, banana, apple, pineapple, grape, or slice of melon? Simply by dipping the aforementioned fruit in simple-ingredient, clean-label caramel or chocolate – there’s no need to cover it entirely – you can make beautiful Halloween treats with no artificial ingredients. We guarantee, like any good Halloween vampires, family members will enjoy sinking their teeth into these bewitching treats; meanwhile, that gorgeous fruit will be providing nutrients and fiber everyone needs. Watch how to make Halloween fruity beauties from YoYoMax. And, learn how to make a “ghostly fruit dip” from twohealthykitchens.com.

 

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Stir Up Savory Instead of Sugary Treats

Since you know that your children will have lots of opportunities for snacking on sugary treats during the Halloween season, you may want to forego making and/or serving sugary treats for any celebrations at your home or for the festivities family members will be attending. We believe you can stir up savory vs. super-sweet, spell-binding treats that will still have that Halloween magic. Check out these “deviliciously delicious” appetizers/finger food ideas from Woman’s Day Magazine, these Halloween-season savory treats from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, and hauntingly good recipes from Food Network.

And, of course, we know how you can simplify any of the savory dips you serve related to some of the recipes above. Simply use our salsa and guacamole dip mixes to stir up dips to put any of your guests under your Halloween spell, and if you haven’t got the time to prepare complex recipes, just serve carrot and celery sticks, grape or cherry tomatoes, or cucumber slices along with our easy-to-make, great tasting dips.

Send Trick-or-Treaters Off With Light Meals

We all know our favorite trick or treaters – and likely the adults who take them trick or treating – are going to sneak a treat or two from their Halloween bag as they go door-to-door, and without a doubt, beg us to let them taste some of their Halloween booty when they get home. Why not send them off with a light, but festive meal before they head out? We love these fun Halloween supper ideas from PopSugar.

Scare and Share

We’d love to hear and see all the treats (healthier and not-so-healthy) you scare up this Halloween, so please do share with us on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, where we’ll be sharing sweet ideas for Halloween treats using #heavenlyhalloween #healthierhalloween #appleactivities #apeoverapples #appleacumen and #caramelcrush.

And, despite the theme of our post, we know that some of you may still want to haunt Halloween with some less-healthy treats. We’ve collected a mixture of both “good witch” and “bad witch” treats at https://www.pinterest.com/concordfoods/heavenly-halloween/

We wish all our readers and their friends and family a gloriously ghoulish and safe Halloween!

Tags: Halloween treats, Halloween Caramel Apples, Candy Apples, apples, clean eating, clean label

Combine Your Passion for Apples and Art

Posted by Gail Moraski on Sat, Oct 01, 2016 @ 10:10 AM

It’s U.S. apple season and we can’t keep our eyes off of all the red, crimson, and/or green beauties we’re seeing in the grocery stores, at farmers markets, and at local u-pick farms. One of the many reasons we love apples is for the blank canvas their broad, shiny skin provides – allowing you to make something naturally beautiful even more beautiful! We worship at the throne of apples because many of us have young children at home who are still in that finicky eater phase. You know the one – “I don’t like fruit” or “I’m not eating that”.  We are so grateful for how apples just lend themselves to being decorated, and how that decoration is just enough to get our kids to try and enjoy eating this fruit that has so many great health benefits, such as those described in this fun facts piece from Washington Apples. 

Make Apples a Work of Art

Being a food company that offers many apple-related products, we’ve got lots of “decorating” ideas that will make your favorite children go ape over apples. And, you’ll get to indulge your artistic, creative side too!  While some may require more adult supervision and involvement than others (and are, therefore, less hands-on for your children) – such as making candy apples with our candy apple kit or caramel apples with our caramel wrap – children should still enjoy watching you make them, and of course, enjoy the great look and taste of your creations.

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 Raise The Apple Bar

Two easy, yummy, and eye-appealing ways to allow your children, or adults guests, for that matter, to enjoy the fun of apple art are:

  • Create a caramel apple bar – offer toppings like coconut, sugar and cinnamon mixture, or small toffee crumbles that guests can sprinkle on their caramel-coated apple slices. Be inspired by these ideas from Craftberry Bush.
  • Lay out an apple nachos bar –serve apple slices that your children and guests can decorate like they would a plate of nachos. See how Delish dishes out ooey-gooey apple nachos.

Increase Your Apple Acumen

Want more ideas for getting friends and family to reap the benefits of apple activities and for combining art and apple passions? Read our “Ape Over Apples” blog post and view an apple-cart-full of recipes on our “Apple Activities”, “Fall Flavors”, and “Caramel Creations” Pinterest boards.

Show Us How You Combine Your Passion For Arts and Apples

We’ll be talking about apple art and activities using #apeoverapples, #appleart, #appleacumen, and #appleactivities on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Please do join us and please share how you and your family combined your passion for art and apples this fall.

Tags: Halloween treats, Candy Apples, apples, caramel, caramel apples, food art

Take Tailgating Indoors

Posted by Gail Moraski on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 @ 15:09 PM

When talking with friends and family about fall activities, we recently learned that many of our loved ones had never experienced the multiple joys of tailgating. While they always thought tailgating sounded like fun – whether it be because of prohibitive game ticket costs, the disheartening thought of waiting in traffic to enter or leave a stadium parking lot, or all the perceived preparation and packing associated with it – they had yet to dip their toes in the tailgating pool. We didn’t want them or any of our readers to continue to miss out on all the yummy food and camaraderie of cheering together for a favorite team, so we’re sharing our ideas for taking tailgating indoors.

Gather Great Food and Great Company

As many groups of friends who are season ticketholders for professional football games do, why not rotate the responsibility for making and serving tailgating food? Get a group of friends who never miss watching the games of a shared favorite team on their family room TV to agree to host one or several games during the football season. Create and share a schedule of who’s willing and able to host game-watching on each of your team’s game dates.

While everyone can and surely will bring beverages and snacks to complement what the host is serving, when setting up your tailgate group, you can specify that those who aren’t hosting be responsible for bringing desserts or beverages to game-day festivities. Hosts can be asked to provide the hot and cold, filling dishes and appetizers. After all, that’s what tailgate food is all about – comfort food that’s extra tasty and warms you up (either because of heat, spice, or both!) on a cold fall day. Even if your team loses, you’ve still gotten to enjoy great food and great company.

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Tailgating Grub That Tantalizes

Anybody that knows even the slightest bit about great tailgate food knows that it’s the type of food that should make your mouth water – the type of food you look forward to all week. We’re talking all kinds of:

  • Chili and Cornbread
  • Hamburgers and Hotdogs
  • Ribs and Wings
  • Pizza and Calzones
  • Pasta and Potato Dishes
  • Casseroles and Crockpot Recipes
  • Brownies, Cookies, Pie, and Cake
  • Dips and Chips, including great guacamole and salsa that we make simple for you!
  • And So Many More Eye-and Stomach-Appealing Foods

When in doubt, think about the type of food you’d want to feed a hungry bunch of cowhands to keep them energized for the day ahead. After all, game watching can exert quite a toll on your body and mind, particularly when your favorite team is losing! We’re talking rib-sticking food that includes a mixture of starchy carbohydrates, protein, and even some fresh produce in keeping with the way most Americans like to eat these days.

 Inspirational Plays for Game Day

Don’t sit on the sidelines too long when it’s your turn to host. Read our “Host a Football Watching Party That’s All Fun and Games” and “Step Up Your Tailgating Game” blog posts in advance to inspire you to make some great game-day food and drink plays. And, check out our “Touchdown Tailgating” Pinterest board and our easy and yummy Tailgate recipes for more ways to score a tailgate-grub touchdown with your guests.

Share How You Scored – With Great Tailgate Food That Is!

We hope you’ll follow/like us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest where we’ll be using #touchdowntailgating #gamechangingtailgating #footballfare and #gamegrub to talk about tailgating tactics.

Tags: Guacamole, Party planning, Football, Tailgating tips, Tailgating recipes, Guacamole Dip, Salsa Dip, Salsa

Keep It Clean and Simple This Fall

Posted by Gail Moraski on Thu, Sep 01, 2016 @ 10:09 AM

Regardless of how you stay current on food and health trends – Web sites, blogs/vlogs, newspapers, magazines, TV, or radio – you’ve likely read or heard about the clean-label/simple-ingredient food and lifestyle movement. It’s a healthy-eating movement that Concord Foods supports and is glad to be a part of – one that meets the wants and needs of many Americans to be able to buy and consume food and beverages that contain a short list of ingredients they can easily recognize.

With the above in mind, and just in time for apple-picking season, Concord Foods is pleased and proud to introduce the first in what we hope will be a series of clean-label/simple-ingredient products under our new Simply Concord brand – Simply Concord Caramel Dip. If you watch our product video, you’ll see that our new caramel dip meets the growing demand for simpler-ingredient food products. Two out of three U.S. consumers now favor this kind of product.

In keeping with clean-label/simple-ingredient standards, Simply Concord Caramel Dip is non-GMO, and doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients, coloring, or flavors. It’s also free of high fructose corn syrup and is kosher.  Plus, in line with our clearly it’s time for simpler ingredients motto, our new clear tub allows you to see quite clearly what our Simply Concord Caramel Dip looks like.

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Feel-Good Fall Food You’ll Feel Great Serving Loved Ones

We all feel better when we make and serve food we feel good about to our loved ones. When you serve up fall snacks and recipes that incorporate our new Simply Concord Caramel Dip or other clean-label/simple-ingredient food and beverage items, you’ll enjoy both the great pleasure that comes with being able to better taste and recognize a short list of ingredients, and the peace-of-mind that comes with offering those you most care about simpler food.

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Follow Us To Learn More and Get Inspired

Because of our strong commitment to our customers to provide the type of food and beverage options they desire most, you’ll be hearing and seeing more and more from us about clean-label/simple-ingredient recipes and products. We hope you’ll follow/like us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest where we’ll be using #keepitcleanandsimple #cleanlabel #simpleingredients #rethinkfood, and #simplyconcord to keep you informed on this new food movement.

In addition, we’ll continue to add new recipe pins to our new “Keep It Clean & Simple” Pinterest board, where we’ve already collected a lot of clean-label/simple-ingredient recipe ideas, so you can feel good about the fall food and beverages you serve!

Tags: apples, clean eating, healthy snacks, caramel, simple ingredients, clean label

Pack Up Produce For Back to School

Posted by Gail Moraski on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 @ 16:08 PM

As we did this time last year in our “Staying Strong in September” post, we want to encourage our readers – and remind ourselves – that we don’t have to ditch the healthy eating and exercise habits we acquired during the spring and summer for less healthy ones. It’s all about preparation and organization, people! We’re sharing our secrets for maintaining healthy food-related habits, no matter how crazy the pace of the fall season gets.

Line Up the Right Tools – Literally and Figuratively

We think it’s so worth the investment of time and money to buy plastic leak-proof bento boxes such as those by yumboxlunch.com, recommended by Jennifer Bessinger, The Clean Food Coach, in her recent piece in “Lens” magazine, “Brown Bag It. Better”. Plastic bento boxes – with distinct compartments and a place specifically for dips (see yumboxlunch sample below) – are easy to clean, won’t weigh your kids’ backpacks down, and allow foods and sauces that don’t belong together to stay that way. Let’s face it – many children won’t eat certain food items if they’ve touched each other. And, we all know some adults who feel that way too!

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Also, if school and work settings don’t allow for refrigerating lunches, you’ll want to buy insulated lunch totes and ice packs, so lunch containers can be stored in the tote along with the ice pack. This will ensure cold foods remain cool and at a safe temperature to avoid food contamination risks.

Whether you pack up lunches the night before or the morning of school days, line up the number of bento boxes you need to fill, including one for you and your partner – so you’ve got healthy food to enjoy during the day too. Then, have some fun with the task of filling your boxes with food that’s diverse in texture, taste, and color. Like all Americans, we find we only have so much time and energy to be creative these days, so we love trying to make our boxes as beautiful and enticing as they can be. We also love thinking about how our loved ones will smile when they open their “smorgasbord” boxes that contain different healthy and yummy surprises each day!

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Fill 'er Up

When you fill your bento boxes with fiber-rich cut-up fruits and vegetables, you’ll be filling the bellies of your loved ones too. This means you and your family will be less likely to make impulsive, bad food choices – like junk food from the break-room machine or cafeteria line. It also means everyone will likely be able to stay more focused on their school- and job-related work.

For a balanced meal that will keep students and worker bees mentally sharp, be sure your bento box food combinations include: a protein, like cheese, nuts, beans, or turkey; a fat, like avocado found in guacamole or almond found in almond butter; and the dynamic duo of fiber and carbohydrates found in fruits & veggies. To get you started, below are a half-dozen food combinations for a healthy, pretty, and delicious bento box. But, we know you’ll come up with lots of other delicious and nutritious combinations!

  • Apple slices, Simply Concord Caramel Dip, Cheddar Cheese Slices, Almonds, Turkey Slices
  • Carrot sticks, Guacamole Dip, Cherry Tomatoes, Rolled-up Slices of Swiss Cheese, Tuna Salad
  • Individual grapes, Herb Cheese Dip, Hard Boiled Egg, Whole-Grain Crackers, Almond Butter
  • Mandarin oranges, Goat Cheese Crumbles, Turkey Slices, Field Greens, Macadamia Nuts
  • Field Greens, Salsa, Mozzarella Cheese Slices, Whole Grain Crackers, Hummus or Tuna Salad Made With Some Olive Oil
  • Pretzels, Simply Concord Caramel Dip, Cheddar Cheese Slices, Olives, Turkey Slices

Get inspired

Want more ideas for packing up produce-rich lunches? Check out our “Pack A Power Picnic“, “Vegging Out”, “Produce Up” and “Fortify With Fruit” Pinterest boards and read our post on “How to Pack a Power Picnic”.

Please do share

We’ll be talking about packing up healthy, yummy produce for school and work using #produceup #packupproduce #producepusher #stayseptstrong #fortifywithfruit and #vegout on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear about and see how you pack up produce for back to school, so please do share.

Tags: Back to School Tips, Vegetables, Fruit, packing lunches, bento boxes, staying healthy in the fall, healthy snacks

Be Crafty About Teaching Kids to Like Fruits and Vegetables

Posted by Gail Moraski on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 @ 11:07 AM

The way that “a spoonful of sugar can help the medicine go down”, creating fun creatures and edible artwork out of fruit and vegetables can be the right prescription for getting the children in your life to like and eat their fruit and vegetables.

There’s so many great reasons for being creative – literally and figuratively – about getting children to enjoy a large cross-section of produce. We all know that many great nutrients and vitamins are found in fruits and vegetables. But, you can learn more about the many health benefits of various forms of produce by reading our recent blog posts:  Conquering Kale, Supe Up Your Diet With Simply Super Strawberries, Fortify with Fruit, and Become a Pro at Vegging Out.

In addition to the health benefits your favorite children will reap from consuming more produce-based drinks and dishes, research has shown that children who learn to experiment with, and hopefully, enjoy, a variety of fruit and veggies at a young age, enjoy a very diverse, produce-rich diet as adults.

Use Fresh, Frozen, Raw or Cooked Produce to Produce a Dish That Delights!

We’ll let you decide whether you want to use fresh, raw, frozen, thawed, or cooked produce in your creations. And, depending on the age of children in-question, and the tasks involved, whether or not to involve them in design-making. Regardless, we want to share some helpful tips from our own experience creating colorful creatures – whether they be people, animals, or insects:

  • Celery and carrot sticks, and baby carrots make excellent arms and legs for the critter and creature designs we create on our children’s plates.
  • Cucumber, radish, summer squash, zucchini, apple, kiwi, banana, tomato, and potato slices (when sliced in the form of a round circle) serve as a great head/face for smaller creations. Grapes and cherry tomatoes make wonderful heads for insect food art.
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, kale and other greens ensure our creatures have a great head of hair.
  • Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and capers can serve as eyes or buttons on clothing.
  • A whole banana -- in or out of its skin-- or a half of a red, yellow, or orange green pepper provides a bright, beautiful body.
  • A small slice of purple onion or small bit of tomato makes for a beautiful smile.

See lots of wonderful produce creatures and critters on our “Kids Fruit & Veggie Fun” Pinterest board.

Provide a Smooth, Healthy Distraction

If a cute produce creature made solely with fruit and/or vegetables isn’t enough to entice children to eat the produce used to create it, consider adding something smooth and enticing such as guacamole or a thick smoothie to surround or in which to incorporate your artwork.

Given our love of great guacamole and the many mixes we offer, we had to share one of our favorite produce creatures (crocamole) that combines a dip made from fruit (yes, avocado is a fruit) with fresh vegetables. Thanks for the idea http://kidsinthekitchen.ajli.org!

 

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And, given our love of #deliciousandnutritious smoothies and the many mixes we offer, we’re also huge fans of this cute-as-a-bunny smoothie bowl recipe found at http://potluck.ohmyveggies.com/bunny-smoothie-bowl/ that provides for a double punch of fruits and vegetables.

 

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Use Our Containers to Keep Those Creative Juices Flowing

One last favorite crafty idea to get the children who are near and dear to us to enjoy the great taste and health benefits of produce is to encourage them to drink and eat recipes made with our lemon and lime juice. They’ve seen how much fun it is to create “juicekins” -- like the ones shown here -- from empty Concord Foods lemon and lime juice containers, which motivates them to ask us to serve beverages and dishes that contain it! Learn about our juicekin summer photo contest and get inspiration for creating your own juicekins on Pinterest.

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Share Your Sweet Creations

We’ll be talking about fruit and veggie crafts using #foodart #fruitandveggiefun #juicekin #produceup #fortifywithfruit and #vegout on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear about and see what fun creations you come up with, so please do share.

Tags: Guacamole, smoothies, fruits and veggie fun for kids, recipes for kids, crafts

How To Make A Sweet Summer Salad

Posted by Gail Moraski on Wed, Jul 06, 2016 @ 18:07 PM

With all its deliciousness and nutrition-ness, there’s never a bad time for making and enjoying a salad, but we find our friends and family members welcome salads much more on warm-weather days. Since we like to jump on any opportunity for our loved ones to eat healthy food – and welcome the break from cooking over a hot stove – we love to make and serve salads when temperatures are high.

Simply follow the steps below to create a summer salad that sparkles with bright colors and bright flavors!

  1. Make It Fruitful!

You know how we make salads that are extra “sweet” in all senses of the word? We add the yummy taste of summer fruit to our lettuce/greens and other vegetables. We find both our own and our guests’ mouths watering when we set down a salad with colorful strawberries, raspberries, and/or blueberries or other seasonal fruit.

  1. Be Cheesy!

Adding crumbled goat or feta cheese to a salad that incorporates fruit not only enhances its flavors, but also makes it a work of art. Know that your guests are goat- and feta- cheese-shy? Add some shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese.

  1. Go Nuts!

Beef up the health perks and the great taste of your summer salad by adding slivered almonds, walnuts or pecans. Or, go a bit wild and rogue – it is summer after all – and use some plain or spicy peanuts, macadamia nuts, or pistachio nuts.

  1. Dress Cool!

Because it’s summer, you don’t want a heavy dressing weighing your salad down. A few squeezes or squirts of lemon juice can make any dressing taste light & summery, but we particularly love this recipe for dressing made with lemon juice and olive oil. You can keep things extra simple by using our fresh-squeezed Italia Garden™ lemon juice from Italy in the aforementioned recipe, or simply mix a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil.

 

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Make It Blue-tiful!

Not good at figuring out what nuts, cheese, fruit, etc. to combine with greens? Why not serve up the blue-tiful Almond and Blueberry Salad with Blueberry Croutons and Lemon & Honey Vinaigrette shown above, or, get inspiration for other salads that incorporate summer’s fruit bounty from our Summer Salads Pinterest board?

Share Your Sweet Creations

We’ll be talking about sweet summer salads using #summersalads #fortifywithfruit #sweetsummersalads and #94simplesummerdays on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear about and see what #deliciousandnutritious creations you come up with, so please do share. And, be sure to enter your sweet summer salad recipe in the “Salad and Side Dish category” of our Summer Recipe Contest

Tags: Lemon Juice, Soup & Salads, blueberries, summer salads

Make It an Un-Four-Gettable Fourth!

Posted by Gail Moraski on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 @ 11:06 AM

Let’s face it, since it’s been 240 years since the U.S. Continental Congress signed “The Declaration of Independence” to declare the 13 colonies’ independence from Great Britain, sometimes, we Americans forget what Fourth of July is all about. At Concord Foods, we think it’s important that each and every generation of Americans understands and never loses sight of what July 4th aka Independence Day is all about – so much more than a day off from work and an excuse for a barbecue (although those are great reasons for a celebration too!)

In keeping with the above, we’re encouraging our readers to make some time to organize and engage in July 4th activities that will remind family members and friends about the great history and hugely important event behind this summer day of celebrations. What follows are some of our favorite ideas for making this year’s “Fourth” un-four-gettable on both the fun activities and remembering the day’s purpose fronts.

Fun Ways to Focus on the Fourth’s Forefathers

  • Step Back in Time – attend a local parade, reenactment, or lecture where you and your friends and family will have the opportunity to learn less-known facts about circumstances leading up to and surrounding July 4, 1776 – the day “The Declaration of Independence” was signed.
  • Trivialize Events – Gather “fun facts from the video and other great content found at http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th to provide material for a game of Independence Day trivia at your “Fourth” get-together.
  • Act out -- Notify friends and family attending your “Fourth” get-together that you’ll be awarding a prize to the group of individuals who puts on the most engaging skit depicting the days leading up to and the signing of the “Declaration”.

Feast Like a Founding Father

Why not keep the history lessons and the day’s focus on the past going by serving up food that’s reminiscent of fare eaten in 1776? We’re thinking that, almost 250 years ago, newly minted United-States-of-America citizens were feasting on lots of dishes made with produce, because, hey, produce has been a U.S. staple for centuries. And, this great piece by the Huffington Post echoes our thoughts. You’ll see that it’s likely that at the time of the “Declaration’s” signing, that in addition to forms of protein such as turkey, lamb, and fish (think crab cakes and trout), Americans were enjoying the below as well as other produce-incorporating fare:

  • Corn chowder
  • Green beans
  • Cherry pie
  • Lemon- and orange-glazed pound cake
  • Apple and cranberry desserts

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Since Concord Foods specializes in products that make fruits and vegetables extra-special, check out our lemon and lime juices and our seasoning mixes to see how you can add some extra pizzazz to any “Fourth” fare that includes yummy, healthy produce. We think our “Founding Fathers” won’t mind your adding a modern-day twist (pun intended) or taking advantage of the convenience of our lemon and lime juices or seasoning mixes!

While all the recipes we’ve collected don’t feature fruits and vegetables, you can get more “Fourth” fare inspiration at https://www.pinterest.com/concordfoods/fabulous-fourth/.

Regardless of how you choose to spend Independence Day, we wish all our readers a very safe one.

Follow Us and Share All Summer Long

In addition to tweeting and posting about “Fourth” festivities using #fabulousfourth and #unfourgettablefourth, each summer day, we’ll be tweeting and Facebook-posting about low- and no-cost pastime ideas for you and your family to enjoy summer’s simple pleasures – using #94SimpleSummerDays. We hope you’ll follow us for daily inspiration to help you unplug this summer and maximize the short season that is summer.

We want to hear and see how you celebrated Independence Day as well as what simple summer pastimes you and your family are enjoying, so please do share with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

Tags: Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, July 4th Menus, Vegetables, Fruit, lemon, Fourth of July, limes, Independence Day

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