7 Healthy Recipes for 4th of July

This 4th of July weekend try using some recipes Simply7 found to keep your holiday weekend healthy and delicious!

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_4th_of_july_recipes#3

1.  These red-white-and-blue popsicles are great to make when fresh blueberries and raspberries are in season. But other fruit, such as chopped strawberries or cherries, could work in this healthy popsicle.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 cups limeade

Preparation

  • Divide blueberries and raspberries among freezer-pop molds. Pour limeade over the berries. Insert the sticks and freeze until completely firm, about 6 hours. Dip the molds briefly in hot water before unmolding.

Red, White & Blue Potato Salad Recipe

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_4th_of_july_recipes#3

2.  Dressed with a tangy lemon vinaigrette and fresh mint, this healthy red-white-and-blue potato salad makes the perfect potluck contribution. Make it the day before and stir in the peppers and herbs right before you serve it.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baby potatoes, a mix of white and blue (or purple)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers, rinsed
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Preparation

  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cover with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a cutting board. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  • Whisk lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Cut the potatoes in half, add to the bowl and toss to coat.
  • Just before serving, add peppers, scallions and mint to the salad and toss gently.

EatingWell Flag Cake Recipe

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_4th_of_july_recipes#3

3.  Though this stunning red, white and blue American flag cake screams “Fourth of July Cake,” it’s such a good dessert you’ll want to make it for Memorial Day and other summer holidays too. We made this flag cake recipe healthy, with less saturated fat and calories than traditional versions, by replacing some butter in the yellow sheet cake with oil. Plus, for the cream cheese frosting, we used reduced-fat cream cheese and low-fat Greek yogurt instead of full-fat cream cheese and butter. And for decorations we used fresh blueberries, strawberries and raspberries dusted with confectioners’ sugar instead of loads of piped-on frosting.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tips)
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (see Tips) or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Frosting & Decoration

  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced

Preparation

  • To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper; coat the paper and sides of the pan with cooking spray.
  • Beat granulated sugar, oil and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated.
  • Whisk whole-wheat (or all-purpose) flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla and almond extract in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beating just until incorporated after each addition, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 28 to 34 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • To prepare frosting: Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth.
  • To decorate: Invert the cake onto a platter. Spread the frosting over the top and sides. Mark 3 horizontal lines for the white “stripes” and a rectangle in the upper lefthand corner for the “blue rectangle.” Gently pat berries with a paper towel to dry. Make 3 “stripes” of raspberries on the marked lines. Place half of the blueberries in the “blue rectangle,” leaving space between each berry. Sift the remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar over the raspberries and blueberries to make them the white “stripes” and “stars.” Fill the rest of the “blue rectangle” with the remaining blueberries. Place strawberries between the rows of raspberries as the red “stripes.”

4.  Fourth of July isn’t all about the food try making this delicious lemonade to keep the guests cool!

Healthy Watermelon Lemonade (Serves 4-6)

Check out this link to see the full recipe and many more.

http://aranthasgourmetbeauty.com/2012/07/31/guest-post-watermelon-lemonade-by-lindsey-crouch-of-quiche-queen/

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups fresh watermelon chunks
  • juice of 2 large lemons
  • 4 tablespoons (or 1/4 cup) pure maple syrup (Grade B preferred)
  • 2 cups cold water

Preparation:

  • Put the watermelon in a blender on high or “smoothie” setting, pushing it down with a tamper if needed, until it breaks down and becomes juice consistency (you may have a little froth on top, which is fine).
  • Squeeze both lemons into the blender with the watermelon juice, catching seeds with your hands (or use a juicer).
  • Finally, add in the maple syrup and water to the watermelon mixture in the blender.
  • Set the blender to medium speed and blend for about 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.
  • Serve the watermelon lemonade over ice in glasses.

 

 

Turkey Bacon & Gorgonzola Sweet Potato Skins with Fresh Thyme

5.  These are bursting with complimentary flavors thanks to the smokiness of the turkey bacon, the bite of the Gorgonzola and the brightness of the fresh thyme. They are simple and DELICIOUS!

 

Turkey Bacon & Gorgonzola Sweet Potato Skins with Fresh Thyme

Check out this link to see the full recipe and many more.

http://aranthasgourmetbeauty.com/2013/01/02/turkey-bacon-gorgonzola-sweet-potato-skins-with-fresh-thyme/

Ingredients:

  • 4 small sweet potatoes
  • 3 slices of turkey bacon
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Wash the potatoes, then cut them lengthwise. Add them to a pot filled with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a plate until they are cool enough to handle.
  • Place the bacon on a paper towel or plate and microwave until crispy and browned (about 4 minutes).  When it cools, crumble into small bits and set aside.
  • When the potatoes are cool, use a spoon to scoop out most of the meat of the potato, leaving about 1/8 of an inch of potato over the skin (reserve this for mashed sweet potatoes, like these!). Place the potatoes on a baking sheet.
  • Divide the gorgonzola cheese among the potato skins, then top each with bacon bits. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.  Remove from the oven, garnish with thyme, and serve.

20120606-162912.jpg

6.  If you’re looking for the perfect, healthy dish to bring to a BBQ or potluck, this is a fantastic summer side dish. It’s packed full of fresh green beans and grape tomatoes so it’s really low in calories and the Dijon and Parmesan add a ton of flavor while keeping it healthy.

Dijon Parmesan Green Bean Salad (serves 8-10)

Check out this link to see the full recipe and many more.

http://aranthasgourmetbeauty.com/?s=dijon+parmesan+green+bean+salad&submit=Search

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Place beans in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil
  • Cook, covered, for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender
  • Drain and shock the beans in a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking and keep them crisp and bright green
  • Place the green beans in a large bowl
  • Whisk the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl
  • Add tomatoes to the green beans
  • Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve

Magical Fruits Wands

7.  Fruit wands! They look super fun and not only will the kids love them adults as well. They are super easy to make and healthy. I guarantee they will be a big hit.

7 Tips to get in shape this Summer!

English: Jogging with dog at Carcavelos Beach ...

Exercise daily. Taking walks, joining a gym, or even taking a pair of light weight weights to work for at least a half hour a day will dramatically help you to get and stay in shape.

Maintain a clean diet. Know what you eat. Stay away from processed foods and sugar. Try eating more veggies and protein.

Don’t drink your calories. Try not to drink anything that has calories or a lot of calories. Drink water and plenty of it. Water suppresses hunger and is calorie, sugar, and carbohydrate free!

Try not to eat before bed. As we sleep our energy levels drop, which makes it twice as hard for our bodies to burn excess calories that we eat during a late night dinner. Save your food for when you are awake.

Starting slow is better than fast. Starting an exercise plan that includes running ten miles and then being sick for weeks is not where you should be starting. Start by walking for 30 minutes or using a lighter weight than heavier weights.

Find a partner. Having someone else pushing you and doing exercises with you, will make it easier to stay on track. They also can be a great motivational boost and make working out fun, rather than actual work.

Resting day. Make sure no matter what, you set aside a day or two to rest.  Some people choose to rest on the weekends. While others the weekend is the only time they have to work out.  Just as long as you give your body the proper rest it needs doesn’t really matter what day you choose. Do keep in mind this is not an excuse to binge eat and ruin all your heard work.

Who’s Ready For the Super Bowl.

The biggest game of the year is coming up soon, and we are all getting ready. Let’s all try to be healthier this year, the Simply7 team has found 7 healthier alternatives. Even if you replace just one thing at your party you’ll be doing your friends and family a favor.

  1. From Picky Eater we have a delicious and a very healthy alternative as a snack, here’s an Arugula, corn and tomato salad! Everyone will love this as a snack. http://pickyeaterblog.com/arugula-corn-and-tomato-salad/arugula
  2. Another great find on Picky eater’s blog is an alternative for onion rings; try sweet potato and zucchini wedges and oven chips. Cooking these in the oven instead of frying your food makes is a lot healthier. http://pickyeaterblog.com/healthy-food-swap-oven-fries-recipes/
  3. A delicious and refreshing snack you can put out and everyone would enjoy it, great fruit kebabs that are not only delicious but also cheap and easy to make! http://www.fitsugar.com/Healthy-Super-Bowl-Snacks-Dips-7269052?slide=5
  4. Looking at making burgers and grilling for your party, try this healthy alternative to hamburgers, add as many or as few toppings as you like, but try turkey instead of beef. burger
  5. For all of the chili lovers out there making it healthier just do the same as the hamburgers, just use turkey instead if beef here’s a great chili recipe. http://www.womansday.com/recipefinder/turkey-three-bean-chili-recipe-122837
  6. Here’s a great dip recipe, a healthy tomato hummus dip. Another great alternative for any dip anyone would enjoy something this healthy and tasty at any Super Bowl party. http://www.fitsugar.com/Healthy-Super-Bowl-Snacks-Dips-7269052?slide=6
  7. Last and definitely not least is try exchanging the potato chips, try all of our great chips, everyone loves them, and they are an amazing alternative for the regular chips! Order them on line, go to our website or even look up the closest store that carries our chips at http://www.simply7snacks.com/.

You don’t have to break your New Year’s resolution for the game. Why ruin it with one day if there are so many alternatives. Use our healthy tips and keep your resolution!

7 Tips for a Healthier Christmas dinner!

With Thanksgiving dinner behind us and the upcoming weeks of holiday parties, and family get-togethers The Simply7 team has put together some great and healthier alternatives to the traditional meals this holiday! Here are 7 different healthy recipes, for sides, desserts and casseroles.

  1. We’ll start with some healthy and delicious sides that you can make this year.  A delicious Sautéed Brussels Sprouts recipe, the recipe calls for bacon but if you don’t want to use it that’s fine just leave it out! Recipe Here
  2. Low-calorie Wheat Berry Salad from Health.com. This salad takes a little more preparation but it is definitely worth trying, we did! Recipe Here
  3. Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole –  from Food.com, Adding sweet taste of apple to the sweet potato the apple taste with the sweet potato gives this casserole a twist that you can’t resist. Recipe Here
  4. From CDKitchen we have a very healthy Baked Vegetable casserole, with three different vegetables this recipe could be the star of your holiday dinner. Recipe Here
  5. Now for healthier desserts, here are some healthier options for the same traditional tastes. First we have Pumpkin Custard from Whole Living, it’s like a crust less pumpkin pie! Recipe Here
  6. For the famous apple pie, here is a healthier option that is just as delicious! Adding some oatmeal and nuts to the pie makes it crunchy and delicious. Here’s a recipe from Delish for this great apple pie Recipe Here
  7. Now for one of the most important parts of the meal, the stuffing, here is a great healthier alternative for the stuffing! From Taste of Home we have a great Artichoke Stuffing recipe. Recipe Here or Try Simply7’s stuffing.

Making these little changes in your holiday meals can help you and your family be a little healthier and maybe will even start a new tradition.

7 Indoor Exercise Tips for the Holidays

With the Holidays just around the corner, let’s all try to be healthier before all of the office parties, the egg nog, and all of the food that the holidays brings into our lives. Here are 7 great indoor exercises for those cold days ahead of us. So you don’t have to skip your daily dose.

1. One of the most well-known exercises that works out your whole body, and good cardio, so good in fact that most athletes do it as well. Jumping rope, you can go out and buy one or you can use some rope you find around the house. It is fun, a good work out and you can have your kids do it with you for a fun indoor work out.

jump rope

 

2.  A great exercise to work out your core, that takes no equipment and helps you become                    more fit are Sit Ups or crunches they become harder the more you do, but taking fifteen minutes out of your morning to do them can really help you become healthier, more fit, and be ready for the holidays!

3.This next idea takes a little more time and a little bit of knowledge, doing Yoga every morning or every night can help you relax, get fit and beat those holiday pounds that everyone seems to find around this time of the year.

yoga

4. Another great work out that you can do quickly because it is so tiring is the plank it works your core. You can do it on any floor and as many reps as you want. It is so tough even the military uses it as a work out.

5. Just like the plank but a little easier and more well-known are Push Ups, if you do them right they are a great work out and you can take out as much time as you can to do as many as you can, but remember to push yourself!

push up

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Have you ever tried running up and down stairs? Well if you have stairs in your home, and you have some time, try it. It is great exercise and you can even have your kids join you and make it a race, great work out and fun family time.

7. A very simple and fun way to exercise is getting family or friends together or playing some music and start dancing! It is another fun and great way to exercise. All you need are your favorite songs and some moves and you are good to go. Dance as much as you want and remember to have fun!

These seven different work outs can help you stay fit and healthy throughout this holiday season, choose any or all of them and get your family to join you, quality family time while having fun! Don’t find those pounds that you have worked so hard to lose!

Simply7 Ideas for Trick Or Treat!

English: A pile of Planter's brand trail mix, ...
English: A pile of Planter’s brand trail mix, with peanuts, cashews, M&Ms and almonds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Taken for Halloween during a carving
Taken for Halloween during a carving (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every year Halloween comes around and for everyone it means dressing up, parties, and lots of sugar, let’s make this year different with these seven delicious yet healthy treats, you can make good decisions this year! Let’s start with one of all-time favorite autumn snack Pumpkin seeds. Who doesn’t like to turn on the over after carving out Jack O’ Lanterns spreading the seeds out in a pan and toasting them.

Making them crunchy and delicious you can either make them sweet by adding a little sugar or syrup or salty by sprinkling a little salt before popping them into the oven. For all of those trick or treaters make their candy bag a little healthier just go out and get cereal bars instead of the candy, they won’t think of you won’t be the mean person on the street giving them apples. Or if you don’t want to go out and spend a lot of money on cereal bars and you want to have fun; go out to the nearest store and make some  trail mix baggies to hand out, it can be a fun and healthy treat even for your kids! And who doesn’t like a small bag of pretzels once in a while; it’s healthier than candy and not too expensive either.

There are a lot of different alternatives to the teeth rotting candy that everyone chooses to buy for Halloween another thing you can buy that is both healthy and tastes good is raisins or the sweeter version of chocolate covered raisins. Or instead of having to give out candy or any type of food you can help hydrate the kids with a juice box or a little bottle of water. You can even give them something every kid loves, some apple sauce; it is a healthy and creative trick or treat snack. With a little help from everyone we can turn Halloween into a fun and healthy holiday for everyone to enjoy!

Trick or Treat (TV series)
Trick or Treat (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Latest Super Foods

Are blueberries, Greek yogurts and flax seeds already behind us? We’ve sought out the newest of the super foods and if you haven’t already heard about these you must read about them here!

Aloe Vera

Spotted forms of Aloe vera are sometimes known...Externally Aloe Vera has been used throughout history to help ease the discomfort of sunburns, minor wounds, cuts, scrapes and rashes. Many researchers believe that aloe can enhance the body’s ability to heal by stimulating the activity of collagen and elastin, two compounds responsible for healthy tissue integrity. Aloe juice alkalizes the digestive tract preventing over-acidity, a common cause of indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn and ulcers. A Must try for those suffering from ulcers or heartburn.  Buy here.

Goji Berries

These red berries are a rich source of vitamin C, having 500 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges and actually more than any other fruit. They also contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E and

Goji berries Svenska: Gojibär

contain a full complement of protein with 18 amino acids and 21 trace minerals. Most of all they are an excellent antioxidant making it an ideal natural whole food for reversing aging and protecting against diseases. Purchase here on Amazon. 

Skyr 

This Icelandic yogurt is really a soft cheese, but its texture and

nutrients are similar to Greek yogurt, and it includes the same basic ingredients – skim milk and live active cultures. Skyr is made using a centuries-old straining processes that removes the whey (liquid), which makes it creamy and thick without providing any fat! A single 6 oz container of plain, nonfat contains 16 g of protein compared to about 14 g in Greek and 8 g in traditional yogurt. It’s time to try this!

Skyr
Skyr (Photo credit: roboppy)

Chia Seeds

This little whole grain is an ancient health food that was used by the Aztecs and Mayans as a main energy source. These seeds pack more heart and brain saving omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds and have been shown in research to lower blood pressure and inflammation. These are a great addition to a smoothie for an added boost of fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s.  More info here.

Swiss chard

Swiss chard is rich in lutein, a carotenoid that helps protect against age-related macular degeneration. Swiss chard, with its plentiful nutrients, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and more helps prevent digestive tract and colon cancers and can also protect the kidneys of those with diabetes.

Swiss Chard. Taken during Tatton Park Flower S...
Swiss Chard. Taken during Tatton Park Flower Show 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s good for bone health, lung health, heart health, vision, immune systems, and mental clarity. The list goes on and on. It’s time to learn how to cook this. Recipe here. 

7 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Two phases (water and ice) in different states...
Image via Wikipedia
Eggs
Image via Wikipedia
English: Rolled oats Español: Copos de avena
Image via Wikipedia

Try these tips such as foods and liquids to increase your metabolism, foods that boost metabolism require more of your energy in order for your body to process and digest them, so is just like a mini-workout for your body.

  1. There is a lot to be said about drinking plenty of water; the colder the water the more effective it will be on speeding up your metabolism. A recent study by Germany researchers suggest that 90 minutes after drinking cold water (H20) will boost your metabolism by 24% over their average metabolism rate. Myfit.ca
  2. Eat lots of protein, and this doesn’t mean fill up on meat, try adding beans and lentils to your diet. Beans are loaded with fiber and incomplete protein.  Eggs are great as they contain high doses of protein and are low in calories and fats.
  3. Eat breakfast; starting your metabolism off in the morning keeps it working through out the day. It can boost your metabolism by almost 10 percent. http://www.metabolism-boosting-foods.com/
  4. Add fiber to your diet, Fiber helps keep you feeling full longer which helps prevent any binges and lapses in your meal plan. 1 serving of our Lentil Chips contains 3 grams of fiber!
  5. Carrot and celery juice are both said to increase metabolism if drank on a regular basis. http://www.ehow.com/facts_5038391_liquid-drinks-speed-up-metabolism.html
  6. Rolled oats in the morning can be used to spike your metabolism with high quality carbohydrates, protein and good fats. The best time to eat rolled oats is in the morning when your body needs carbohydrates for your brain and body to efficiently function throughout the rest of the day.
  7. Coffee is one of those foods that have been loved and hated by many nutrionists and dieticieans. The most recent research about caffeine and coffee suggest many positive benefits which include: Speeding up your metabolism, heart health, increased concentration and many more. http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-boost-your-metabolism