Warm up this Winter with our Favorite Spicy Recipes

 

SpicySpice up your winter with foods that have a touch of heat. Adding herbs and spices can triple the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power to a meal says ClevelandClinicWellness.com.

Hot peppers, for example, contain capsaicin, which can help relieve minor aches and pains. A new study found that when ingested in pill form, it could help fight breast cancer. Together with a vitamin-powered green like Pete’s Living Greens Upland Cress, Organic Watercress or Butter Lettuce, your spiced-up meal will keep you toasty and healthy all winter. Check out a few of our favorites!

  1. Spicy Avocado Dressing – Drizzle this zingy dressing on a bed of fresh greens and a lean protein such as salmon or chicken.
  2. Spicy Tofu Taco Lettuce Wraps – This vegetarian recipe is great for #TacoTuesday. It also contains cumin, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that may help stop tumor growth.
  3. Spicy Soba Noodles with Wilted Watercress – For a quick weeknight dinner, this dairy and gluten-free dish is perfect with a touch of garlic. #DYK? Garlic helps reduce the hardening of arteries.
  4. Spicy Shrimp with Pan-Seared Romaine and Chickpea Puree – Impress your dinner guests with this restaurant-quality meal, which has the right amount of zest and zip.
  5. Lemony Yogurt Smoothie – Combined with cruciferous veggies cauliflower and (our personal fav) watercress, this smoothie is all sorts of nutritious. It even includes turmeric that may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems.

8 Reasons to Eat Our Living Greens

 

Eight reasons to eat our Living Greens. Hollandia Produce varieties are brightly displayed.You’ve probably heard eating your greens, like our Living greens, is good for your waistband, but did you know they provide a number of health benefits? According to the USDA, “Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods… [And] these same antioxidants have also been proven to decrease the risk of heart disease.” 

Here at Hollandia Produce, our Living greens not only provide essential vitamins and antioxidants but they’re rooted in freshness and alive with flavor. Need more convincing?

Here are eight reasons to eat our Living greens.

  1. They have ample amounts of vitamins and minerals. Watercress and Upland Cress have as much vitamin C as an orange and more calcium than milk. Romaine Lettuce has more vitamin A than a carrot, and Butter Lettuce contains significant amounts of Vitamin K.
  1. Watercress helps the body recover from exercise-related oxidative stress. A study found that subjects who consumed watercress daily before working out, experienced less DNA damage than their non-consuming watercress counterparts.
  1. They keep your stress levels down. Researcher Joe Hibbeln says in a NPR article about stress and diet , “omega-3s [can help] make your stress system more flexible.” By consuming a head of Romaine lettuce, like our Living Baby Romaine, you’ll receive an ample amount of your recommended daily amount of Omega-3 essential fats
  1. They’re a great low-carb option. Use Living Butter Lettuce in place of sandwich bread, taco shells and wraps.
  1. Cress protects your eyes and skin. In addition to its vitamin A and C power, Watercress and Upland Cress contain lutein — an antioxidant found most notably in dark green leafy vegetables that supports eye health and vision. 
  1. Our Hydroponic growing system uses less water than conventional farming. It recycles water while limiting water loss due to evaporation. Moreover, our method produces nearly four times the yield per acre while using up to 84% less water than if our lettuce were field-grown (exact figures depend upon the region, soil structure, time of year and irrigation method used).
  1. They’re versatile! Add them to a diverse array of dishes, including trendy Acai bowls, grain bowls, juices and more.
  1. They’re the freshest greens you can buy. Living Baby Romaine, Butter Lettuce, Watercress and Upland Cress are sold with their roots attached to preserve maximum freshness.

Kid-Friendly Snacks for Summer Vacation

 

GARD091H-FruitVeggieMonthThere are many reasons to celebrate during this time of year—many schools break for summer, weather gets warmer and the days are longer. Summer’s joie de vivre nature makes it tempting to pick up fast and pre-packaged food so that you carry on doing what you love most, spending time with loved ones. We’re here to help. Whether the kids have day camp, you’re hanging out by the pool or traveling to the lake house, try these quick, nutritious snacks that will satisfy the whole family. Another reason to prepare healthy meals is its National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. For an adult with a 2,000 calorie diet, one should eat 2 cups of fruit and 2- 3 cups of vegetables per day.

Colorful whole fruits and vegetables arranged in a beautiful way will entice your finicky little ones to take a crack at tasting new food. Try Carlsbad Craving’s Poppy Seed Chicken Fruit Salad with Butter Lettuce. The dish contains bright whole nutrient-rich foods from strawberries to avocados. Plus, it has the perfect edible vessel, butter lettuce, and can be packed in the cooler and eaten on-the-go.

 

Champneys-Watercress-BluebSmoothies are also great morning, noon and night meals that have a multitude of vitamin and minerals. This Watercress, Blueberry and Pineapple smoothie doesn’t contain any additional sugar or dairy but the fruits in the beverage will satisfy your resident sweet tooth. From vitamin A to zinc, watercress’s superfood powers have you and your family covered.

Summer wouldn’t be the same without ice cream. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making Ideas in Food’s Homemade Watercress Ice Cream. If you prefer your greens to be subtle in your treats, take a cue from Paleo Mom’s brownies with the hidden se6a00d83451f83a69e20115705f5361970b-picret ingredient—butter lettuce.

 

By integrating more fruits and vegetables into your daily snacks and meals, you can help shape better eating habits for your whole family. Who knows, your youngster may even ask for a second helping!

 

Add Greens to Shake up your Memorial Day Barbecue Fare

 

Healthy vegetarian eating organic lettuce in vegetable garden in natureHeading to a Memorial Day barbecue this weekend? Before you reach over for a char-grilled burger or a hot dog smothered in ketchup, consider adding greens to your seasonal meal. Did you know? According to nutritionfacts.org, plant-based foods have 64 times more antioxidants than meat, fish and eggs. This doesn’t mean you have to give up BBQ completely. It’s ok to partake occasionally in good ole American delicacies as long as your diet regularly consists of an ample amount of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate veggies in this weekend’s menu. With the popularity of clean eating and “vegivore-ism”, foodies and chefs alike have created delectable, party-friendly dishes where vegetables are the shining stars. Greens, like watercress and butter lettuce, are versatile and have an abundance of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins K and A, iron and calcium.

Watercress Potato Salad
Photo: Petrina Tinslay on Real Simple

Add a few dishes that highlight these indelible greens to your outdoor spread. Martha Stewart’s Grilled Butter Lettuce has the same smoky grill flavor as a burger, but without the amount of fat and cholesterol. A picnic or barbecue is not complete without potato salad. “Veg up” the summer staple by adding our Living Upland Cress or Watercress, which are certified antioxidant-rich superfoods. Try preparing Real Simple’s Baby Potato and Watercress Salad.

A Fruit AMerican Flag made up of strawberries, apples and blueberriesRing in this Memorial Day and the beginning of summer by sharing fresh, veggie-driven dishes alongside classics that will surely win over your friends and family’s bellies!

Juicing with Grace McGuire, A Vegan Super Mom and Health Blogger

 

Grace McGuire is a passionate mother of two based in Allen, TX. A vegan since she was 22-years-old, McGuire often shares her nutrient-dense juices on Instagram and will share her foodie wisdom on her soon-to-be blog Nourish with Whole Foods.

We recently had the pleasure to speak with McGuire on her secret to leading a healthy lifestyle while raising a family. This is an excerpt from our conversation.

Grace4Pete’s Living Greens: How did you initially become interested in healthy eating and Veganism?

Grace McGuire: I have been a vegan since I was 22-years-old. I was having a lot of stomach issues and the doctor suggested I go on a rabbit diet (leafy greens and vegetables) for a few weeks to regulate my stomach cramping and give my digestive system a little break from all the meat and processed fast foods I was consuming.

In the meantime, my oldest sister was in need of a kidney transplant and needed her siblings to get tested to see if we were a match. I started doing more research into how I could help get my body ready for the journey ahead and for all of the testing. I came across Veganism and how amazing it was at healing the body of inflammation and toxicity. I became a vegan shortly after. Although no one in our family was a match, by God’s grace, my sister was able to get a kidney from a family who donated their son’s kidney. We are so grateful to them and their enormous generosity to give life after losing their son.

grace1PLG: How do you maintain healthy lifestyle while juggling work, your kids and personal life?

GM: I have two little boys and one of the many things I want to teach them is to live a healthy lifestyle. I always prep and plan ahead. For example, I soak oats, quinoa flakes with nut milk and chia seeds for breakfast. I also always have quinoa and legumes on hand for protein. I keep my pantry and fridge stocked with seasonal organic fruits and vegetables. I also use a lot of dry herbs as well as fresh herbs to give my plant based cooking some flavor and added nutrients.

PLG: What advice do you have for mothers who are looking to make changes in their family’s eating habits but don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals?

GM: I know a lot of moms who don’t have a lot of time. With the little time they do have, they don’t want to spend it in the kitchen. My advice is to plan ahead and keep it simple. My mom is an excellent example. She doesn’t have time on the weekdays to cook with her job. I advised her to make quinoa and add frozen peas, corn, lemon juice, olive oil, kale, spinach and watercress for a simple and nutritious meal on-the-go. It doesn’t need to be heated and she can put it in a jar and have it in her purse whenever she gets hungry.

Grace 2PLG: Any advice on how to get kids to eat their vegetables?

GM: If you have a desire to eat avocados so will your little one! Kids tend to mimic everything we do, including what we put in our bodies. They might not be hungry, but if they
see you eating an apple, [chances are] they then will want a bite. Teaching our kids healthy food habits at a young age prepares them for food choices they make in their future.


 

Grace3Grace’s Anti-Inflammatory Juice with Pete’s Living Greens Watercress:

Ingredients:

1 Pineapple

1 cabbage

2-3 handfuls of spinach

1 bunch of Pete’s Living Greens  Organic Watercress or Conventional Upland Cress

1 lime (peeled)

2 celery stalks

Add all the ingredients to your juicer according to the manufacturer’s setting and enjoy over ice.

Did you know?: Drink Grace’s signature juice before hitting the gym. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that eating a small amount of watercress each day raised levels of key antioxidants that fend of DNA damage caused by exercise.

 

Commit to Healthier Eating Habits during Stress Awareness Month

Stress RelaxIn an age where over-scheduling and an “I can do it all” mentality are commonplace, Americans are feeling more stressed than ever before. According to a 2013 research report by Carnegie Mellon University, Americans’ stress levels have increased 10-30% over the last three decades. Furthermore, individuals experiencing high stress levels over extended periods of time are at a higher risk for autoimmune disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Since April is Stress Awareness Month, we’re sharing solutions for better managing fluctuating stress levels.

Salmon with dark greens
Salmon with dark leafy greens

 

One way you can keep stress levels in check is by practicing healthier eating habits. Refined sugars and complex carbohydrates have been found to intensify stress. While fish, like salmon and sardines, eggs, pumpkin seeds and dark leafy greens, including watercress, can assist the body in minimizing inflammation–which can be onset by both emotional and physical stressors. Researcher Joe Hibbeln of the National Institutes of Health in a NPR article about stress and diet says, “You can either be good at weathering stress or you can be brittle. And omega-3s [can help] make your stress system more flexible.”

Despite how insurmountable making dramatic lifestyle changes to combat stress while working, raising a family or running a household may seem, small steps can make a big impact and improve your overall health. Start with a bit of planning.

Watercress, sardine and orange salad.
Watercress, sardine and orange salad

Instead of reaching for convenient, sugary treats and preservative-laden fast food when you’re on the go, prepare and store nutrient dense, omega-3-rich meals in advance and store in tote-able containers. We recommend Whole Living’s Watercress Salad with Sardines, Oranges and Pepitas and Bon Appetit’s Pan-Seared Sausage with Lady Apples and Watercress, brimming with foods that contribute to a healthy immune system. Bonus: Olive oil-packed fish like sardines are affordable alternatives to their more expensive wild-caught cousins while offering similar health benefits.

Lastly, don’t forget to add Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress; they’re rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants and key vitamins and minerals!

For more stress-management tips, read “Healthy Eating to Decrease Stress” on WebMD.

 

Attention Friends, Fans, and Foodies…Want to Cash in on Your Passion? Enter A Better Butter Lettuce! Recipe Contest!

A Live Gourmet Original Chef Casear SaladDo you have a signature sandwich? Do you make a salad that no one can refuse? Then it’s time for you to cash in on your cooking passion with Hollandia Produce, L.P.’s first ever recipe contest.

Here’s how you can join in the fun. Now through July 31, create and submit an original butter lettuce recipe and enter it into one of our three category competitions: Salads/Sides, Appetizers, or Main Course. We’ll award a First-, Second- and Third-Place winner from each category with a $150, $75 and $50 gift card, respectively. And, we’ll award a $1,000 Williams-Sonoma gift card for the best recipe overall.

Need inspiration to get started? Visit www.lettucerecipecontest.com and download our six, chef-created recipes each featuring a different way to prepare and savor Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce. Whether you enjoy butter lettuce as a wrap, in a smoothie, on a sandwich or as Caesar, Wedge or salad, we have a delicious recipe for every occasion.

Then, when you’re ready, simply upload your recipe with a photo and the hashtag #butterlettucecontest onto the same website. A Live Gourmet original chef wrap receipeAlso, be sure to share your recipe on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so your foodie friends, fans and followers can you cheer you on or join in the competition too!

Butter Lettuce is both smooth (hence its name) and hardy — it’s an ideal stand-in for bread, especially if you’re counting carbs. It’s also rich in antioxidants and vitamins, particularly K, which is essential for a healthy heart and strong bones. But, if you need more convincing, read why the folks of thekitchn.com love this multifaceted green.

We know there are countless ways that our living butter lettuce can be prepared, served and enjoyed. That’s why we can’t wait to discover and share your original butter lettuce recipe!

Spring Renewal: Greens Meet Grains

Now that spring is here and our surrounding flora and fauna are emerging from their winter slumbers, we too can experience a renewal. One way we can achieve this is by consciously eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

According to a Harvard.edu article, fresh produce and grains, like brown rice and multigrain bread, are some of the best sources of fiber. The essential carbohydrate regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels and helps us feel full longer. While distinguishing itself from other starches and sugars, fiber doesn’t negatively contribute to your caloric intake.

Avocado, radish, upland cress, sea salt are arranged on a table
Click here to view a Flipagram video of assembling Avocado Toast with Upland Cress

Leafy greens like watercress and upland cress also provide servings of fiber. Together with an organic grain, watercress can complete the ultimate hearty meal. We’ve dreamt up two unconventional dishes that include high levels of fiber that you can eat morning, noon or night. Bonus: They also require little preparation and clean-up time.

Want to shake up your morning routine? Try Avocado toast with Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress. Toast a piece of organic whole grain bread to your desired doneness, layer with thinly sliced avocado and radish (which is also high in fiber), top with a cup of watercress, a pinch of sea salt and cayenne pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lime. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the colorful toast, which will be the envy of your Instagram foodie followers.

Savory Oatmeal with upland cress and root vegetables is a twist on breakfast for dinner. It’s even vegetarian! All you need is a whole grain like rolled oats, parmesan cheese, root vegetables (we used carrots and parsnip) and Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress.

Ingredients, including watercress, parsnip and rolled oat
Click here to view a Flipagram video of preparing Savory Oatmeal with Watercress

To prepare: Cook the oats according to packaging instructions while you roast the root vegetables in the oven at 400 degrees. Once vegetables are tender, add them to the oats and mix in a ¼ cup of cheese. Last but not least, add a mountain of upland cress or watercress for a subtle spicy bite.

Continue to experiment this spring by combining fruits, vegetable and whole grains to create your own unique, vitamin-rich meals. Once summer hits, you’ll have developed eating habits that make you feel energized and healthier. You may even not eye last year’s swimsuit with your usual wariness.

Prepare to be Marketed To: Fruits and Vegetables Take Center Stage

Looks like 2015 may have just gotten a whole lot healthier, thanks to a new ad campaign called: FNV, the cool, new way to refer to fruits and vegetables. Here, at Hollandia Produce, we couldn’t be happier. As farmers ourselves and longtime supporters of Produce for Better Health, we’ve been promoting healthy eating and the benefits FNV for years!fnv logo

Boulder, Colorado-based ad agency Victors & Spoils, whose client list includes juggernauts Coca-Cola and General Mills, just put America on notice with their in-your-face “Prepare to be marketed to” campaign video teaser.

green healthy foodThe pro-healthy eating campaign will start primarily on social media networks like Twitter, posting short videos featuring actress Jessica Alba and NFL quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton. Additional videos will be released in coming days starring Curry, New York Giant Victor Cruz, actress Kristen Bell, and others.

Replete with its own fashionable logo, the FNV campaign is the brainchild of Partnership for a Healthier America, that was created in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to get families to eat better and exercise more.

Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest noted that an advertising campaign for fruits and vegetables may be powerful in influencing eating decisions, but that its effectiveness will depend on how much support the campaign receives. What do you think? Will athletes and actors purporting the benefits of FNV be enough? Only time will tell; stay tuned!

In the meantime, feed your curiosity and your body with this delicious superfood salad and this entertaining video clip.

FNV, PREPARE TO BE MARKETED TO from Team FNV on Vimeo.

https://vimeo.com/120688660

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Top 5 Superfoods for a New Year/New You

If you’ve resolved to create a “new” you this New Year, we applaud you. While self-improvement involves many areas, improving your diet and health, will invariably impact most other aspects of your life.2015 Goals

According to a study that looked at the highest concentrations of 17 nutrients considered important for public health and published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following are the top five powerhouse vegetables considered the most nutrient-dense foods available today. We recommend you begin your New Year/New You resolution by incorporating these top five super foods into your daily meal planning.

1. Watercress: Based on its nutrient-to-calorie ratio, watercress ranked highest on the nutrient scale. This versatile leafy green is loaded with phytonutrients, cancer fighting antioxidants, and essential vitamins. In fact, one serving of this peppery flavored veggie contains as much vitamin C as an orange, more calcium than a glass of milk, and tons of fiber. Also, it contains high levels of magnesium, lutein, phosphorous, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B1, B6, K and E.

iStock_000054910914_Large2. Chinese Cabbage: This cruciferous vegetable contains natural chemical compounds that may help prevent cancer. It’s also extremely high in vitamin C, a great source of fiber; and rich in vitamin K, which is linked to slowing bone loss and promoting faster bone healing. Cabbage is also low in calories, sodium and cholesterol and fat free!

3. Chard: Chard is a relative of the beet family that includes Swiss chard, leaf beet, spinach beet, silver beet, seakale beet, and white beet. Chard contains large, tender, and mild tasting leaves. Swiss chard produces beautifully colorful stems, ranging from green to orange, pink, red and yellow. Also fat- cholesterol-free, this veggie is best known for being a great source of magnesium and vitamins A, C and K.

red swiss chard 4. Beet Greens: Beet greens are the leaves of the very nutritious beet plant. While beets themselves are loaded with nutrients, it may be surprising that beet greens have even higher levels of essential nutrients including, vitamins A and C, potassium, and magnesium. These dark greens, which can be eaten raw or cooked, are also chock-full of calcium, iron, and copper!

 5. Spinach: Like watercress, this well-known super food is available year-round and its mild flavor and texture make it a versatile recipe ingredient. Spinach is also rich in magnesium, folate and iron, nutrients that are necessary for energy and healthy red blood cell production. And, like our other leafy green it’s high in vitamins A, C, and K.

Start your year on the right track by planning well-rounded meals for you and your family. Keep in mind, no single fruit or veggie can give you all of your necessary nutrients, so incorporate a large variety throughout the day, and you’ll be well on your way to creating that healthier new you this new year.