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3 Recipes to Use Winter Citrus

By |January 9th, 2018|Categories: Health & Nutrition, Recipes|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on 3 Recipes to Use Winter Citrus

Citrus 3 Recipes to Use Winter Citrus

If you grew up in Arizona, you probably remember memorizing our great state’s “5 C’s” somewhere in your elementary school career. If you never learned the 5 C’s, they are five main products or elements of Arizona’s environment critical to the state’s economy, namely:

– Copper

– Cattle

– Climate

– Cotton

– Citrus

While each of these five alliterative elements bring great value to the 48th state, here at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, we happen to have a favorite. Can you guess which ‘C’ we love best?

Citrus!

Citrus fruits, as you may know, are an excellent source of vitamin C, the piece of our dietary puzzle that maintains healthy skin and gums and even helps prevent cardiovascular disease. But there are far more benefits to eating grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes than just a dose of one vitamin. These fruits also boast an impressive amount of fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. Plus, they score low on the Glycemic Index scale, meaning that eating them won’t spike your blood sugar.

Here in the Phoenix area, we’re fortunate to enjoy the sunny goodness of citrus season all winter long. The balmy climate of Maricopa County allows for the cultivation of numerous types of citrus–sometimes even several varieties grafted onto one tree. And we have good reason to be proud of our citrus production. Arizona is one of only four citrus-producing states in the nation. (California, Florida, and Texas are the other three.)

So while we can get it fresh and local, why not use our abundant citrus in some heart-healthy recipes? Here are three options to get you started:

1. Pomegranate Grapefruit Avocado Toast

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Can’t get on the avocado-toast-for-breakfast train? Maybe all your taste buds need is the addition of a bit of sweetness! Pomegranate nibs and grapefruit slices put a unique, sweeter twist on this healthy breakfast.

2. Slow Cooker Pulled Orange Chicken Tacos with Pickled Vegetables

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Orange + pickled vegetables + chicken. Taco Tuesday will never be the same.

3. Broiled Asparagus Spears with Lemon

Broiled-Asparagus-Spears-with-Lemon-sized 3 Recipes to Use Winter Citrus

Before we know it, asparagus will be in season at the same time as citrus. These ruddy green stalks are traditionally harvested in springtime and make an excellent counterpart to the tangy lightness of lemon.

Do you have a citrus tree near you? Know someone who does? How do you like to take advantage of this gem of a winter crop?

 

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Recipe: Korean Vegetable Pancakes

By |September 29th, 2017|Categories: Events, Health & Nutrition, Recipes|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Recipe: Korean Vegetable Pancakes

KOREAN-VEGETABLE-PANCAKES-min-300x158 Recipe: Korean Vegetable Pancakes

September is Better Breakfast Month at the American Heart Association. When you think of eating a better breakfast, what comes to mind? Eating whole grains instead of refined, perhaps, cutting back on sugar, or topping your morning cereal with some fresh fruit? All fantastic options. What about adding vegetables? Many Americans struggle to get enough vegetables in our diet in general, let alone at breakfast. But it can be done–and it doesn’t have to mean gnawing on a stalk of broccoli next to your toast and coffee.

These Korean Vegetable Pancakes are a tasty, unique way to make vegetables appealing at breakfast time (for kids and adults alike). After all, who doesn’t like pancakes? Finely grating carrots, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower and adding them to an egg and flour-based pancake batter creates a pleasing texture and taste with a hefty dose of health! Some of the nutritional benefits of the veggies in this recipe include:

  • Broccoli has plenty of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. New research shows certain compounds in broccoli may be cancer-fighting.
  • Cauliflower is rich in fiber, potassium (good for your heart) and vitamin B6 (for energy & brain function).
  • Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A—great for your vision.
  • Zucchini is high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin A.

In addition to being an excellent choice for health, these pancakes also:

  • Have a super-quick cooking time of only 2 minutes per side.
  • Could be made for lunch or dinner, served with toppings like ketchup, cream cheese, or teriyaki sauce.
  • Could serve as a craveable appetizer, cut into quarters and served on skewers or toothpicks.
  • Contain no Korean spices (despite their name) but are extremely flexible as to what herbs or spices could be added for extra flavor.

We’re happy to share that we’ll be demonstrating this Korean Vegetable Pancakes recipe Saturday, September 30th here at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum’s Simple Cooking with Heart program. Join us at 10:30 in the museum’s Kitchen Café for a how-to, recipe card, and free samples.

Here’s to better breakfasts for you and your family!

Korean Vegetable Pancakes

(An American Heart Association Recipe.)

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

Directions:

1 Add enough ice cubes into 2 1/2 cups water to make water ice-cold.

2 In the bowl of a food processor, add carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, and scallions. Pulse to puree vegetables until finely chopped-but be careful not to turn the vegetables into liquid.

3 Into a large bowl, add flour, eggs, salt, and pepper. Pour in 2 cups of cold water (without ice cubes). Use a fork to whisk mixture together until combined. Stir in the pureed vegetables. Aim for a pancake-like batter consistency, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons more water if needed.

4 Coat an 8-inch nonstick pan with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup batter into the center of the pan. Cook until edges begin to get golden-about 2 to 3 minutes-and then use a spatula to carefully flip. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes until the side is golden. Transfer pancake to a plate. Spray pan with cooking spray and repeat continually until all 8 pancakes are made.

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Kids Cook With Heart

By |June 21st, 2017|Categories: Events, Health & Nutrition, News|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Kids Cook With Heart

If you’re a frequent visitor to the Halle Heart Children’s Museum or follow us on social media, you may have heard of our popular Toddler Test Kitchen program, in which little ones learn to cook simple, healthy recipes in a fun, hands-on environment.

But do toddlers get to have all the cooking fun at the HHCM?

No way! We’re excited to share that now kids ages 7-12 have a cooking program of their own in the museum’s Kitchen Cafe. Chefs-in-training are invited to join Kids Cook with Heart, a brand-new series sponsored by the Junior League of Phoenix. One Saturday a month, elementary-age students can join in an hour and a half session that incorporates healthy eating education with cooking age-appropriate nutritious recipes.

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The HHCM believes that it’s never too early to start a lifetime of heart health. Research shows that the more people cook for themselves, the healthier they are likely to be. If kids in this formative grade school age group can learn the valuable skills of cooking healthy meals in the home kitchen (and share this knowledge with their families), they’ll have a head start on the prevention of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Children in underserved communities are particularly vulnerable to increased risk of these health issues, which is part of the reason Kids Cook with Heart is totally FREE! Anyone can join by registering HERE.

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Our first session of the program kicked off this past Saturday, June 17th. A kitchen full of junior chefs was instructed by guest chef Ellen from The Farm at South Mountain, a local establishment known for its commitment to sustainable, seasonal foods. A spirit of culinary adventure prevailed, as Chef Ellen invited students to try some unusual veggies—a Persian cucumber and Zebra Stripe and Indigo Rose heirloom tomatoes. These seasonal delights were included as ingredients in the Summer Corn Salad on the menu for the day. Nothing says summer like grilled corn!

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Throughout the course of the class, junior chefs were given the responsibility of cooking ears of corn on a grill (no small task even for adults), chopping additional ingredients to add to the mix, and honing their chefs’ palates by tasting and adjusting seasonings like lime juice, salt, and pepper.

Summer-Corn-Salad-Recipe Kids Cook With Heart

In addition to the hands-on cooking portion of the experience, our budding chefs took a break from the kitchen and participated in one of our favorite museum activities, Video Game Olympics, which incorporates physical movement into something all kids love, video games!

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There’s more where this came from! Be sure to secure a spot for your 7-12-year-old child at any of our upcoming dates of Kids Cook with Heart.

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10:27 am 10:27 am

How Sodium Affects Your Heart

By |March 28th, 2017|Categories: Health & Nutrition|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on How Sodium Affects Your Heart

If you’re an American adult, you’ve probably heard that too much sodium can be bad for your heart. Perhaps your doctor has asked you to cut back on sodium-heavy foods to protect your heart health, or maybe you’ve made that decision for yourself. Leaving the saltshaker off the table, cutting back on processed foods, or choosing low-sodium canned goods are all great choices, but have you ever wondered WHY excess sodium spells bad news for your heart?

Little-mermaid How Sodium Affects Your Heart

The process by which sodium affects heart health isn’t complicated. Salt attracts water. Picture your blood vessels as pipes–just like the pipes running through your home–with water (aka your blood) flowing through them. When too much salt is introduced into your “pipes,” fluid begins to build inside. If too much fluid accumulates, the pressure in the pipes will rise. In your home, you’ll eventually have a plumbing emergency. In your body, as the pressure pushes on the walls of your blood vessels, you’ll eventually develop high blood pressure.

pipes How Sodium Affects Your Heart

The strain created by high blood pressure takes its toll on the cardiovascular system. The body responds to the stress of increased pressure in the arteries by causing them to weaken or harden. When arteries are weak or hard, the life-giving blood on its way to your heart will have a much harder time reaching its destination, potentially resulting in a blockage that leads to a heart attack.

Sodium recommendations are currently set at 2,400 mg/day, and will soon be changing to 2,300 mg/day, thanks in part to the American Heart Association’s lobbying efforts. But the average American takes in 3,400mg/day–40% more than recommended! It’s not hard to do. Americans get 75% of their daily sodium from processed foods, which we all know are pervasive in our society.

There are many ways to limit sodium in your diet (and they don’t all mean eating flavorless food)! Great flavors come in many forms. Try experimenting with other flavors like garlic, herbs and spices, or lemon juice when cooking at home. Choosing fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible, rinsing canned vegetables and beans, taking the saltshaker off the table, and simply reading food labels can all make a big difference in your salt consumption. The American Heart Association has also identified what are known as “the Salty Six”–foods that are a lot higher in sodium than most of us think.

Salty-Six-796x1024 How Sodium Affects Your Heart

Whatever path you take to reducing sodium in your diet, you can feel great knowing that you have done your heart a service! Healthy blood vessels mean healthy blood pressure, and healthy blood pressure is always a good thing for your heart.