Visiting with my grandson Louie, I got a great endorsement for this month’s Dietitian Pick of the Month, Two Good Greek Yogurt.
What yogurt should I Choose?
Of course, that depends on your overall preferences and health goals, but there are still a few things to consider. The good news is that mostly all yogurts contain the good-for-your-gut probiotics. But if you’re looking for a low-sugar snack, always check the label. You’d be surprised how many yogurts have 25-plus grams of sugar in a single serving. Under 10 grams of sugar is a good start; bonus points for no added sugar.
Danone recently came out with a Two Good Greek Yogurt line that contains only 2 grams of sugar and doesn’t contain the sugar substitutes aspartame, sucralose or acesulfame K. This is achieved by using a slow-straining process that removes some of the sugar from the milk. Because it’s still high in protein and calcium and low in sugar and sodium, it’s a good choice for anyone with diabetes or high blood pressure.
If you’re trying to lower your cholesterol, pair a low-sugar yogurt with something that’s high in fiber, like raspberries or ground flaxseeds. Not only will it be more filling, the extra fiber is what helps remove cholesterol from your blood.
To learn more about how yogurt can help you reach your health goals, join one of the free Hy-Vee dietitian store tours, every Monday, or Friday from noon to 1 p.m. Mondays are focused on diabetes and Fridays are focused on blood pressure/cholesterol. Call me to schedule or go by customer service. Visit with your Hy-Vee Dietitian on Thursday, January 17, 4:30-5:30 p.m. for more helpful hints, as we tour the Dairy Department.
COCONUTTY CREAM PIE YOGURT DIP
Humor your sweet tooth without the extra fat and calories.
Yield: 1 serving
Prep time: 5 minutes
All you need:
1 5.3 oz container Two Good Greek Vanilla Lowfat Yogurt
1 tbsp creamy almond butter (or other nut butter)
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp shredded and toasted coconut
1 tsp mini chocolate chips
Pineapple chunks or spears, and strawberries (for dipping)
All you do:
Mix yogurt, nut butter and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Sprinkle coconut and chocolate chips on top.
Serve with fruit for dipping.
Estimated calories (dip only no fruit) 200, 12.3 grams fat, 2.3 grams saturated fat, 98 mg sodium, 10.2 grams total carbohydrate, 2.2 grams fiber, 5.7 grams sugar, and 16 grams protein.
Vanilla Two Good Yogurt contains 80 calories, 2 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 35 mg sodium. 3 grams total carbohydrate, 2 grams sugar and 12 grams of protein.
Things to Know About Kiwifruit – Dietitian Pick of the Month
Bursting with sweet-tart flavor and amazing health benefits, meet the unsung winter fruit, kiwi. We should all be adding to the menu.
On the outside, it looks like a small oval coconut, with its translucent brown fuzzy skin. But on the inside, it’s vibrant lime green flesh is bursting with flavor and nutrients. When ripe, it has a juicy sweet-tart flavor that tastes like a blend of pineapple, melon, and strawberry. Its texture is soft but sliceable or scoop-able, making it a versatile ingredient in everything from salsa to smoothies.
Despite tasting like a summer fruit, kiwi is in season October through March, often getting overshadowed by an abundance of winter citrus. But if it’s vitamin C you’re after, you might be surprised to learn that, per gram, kiwifruit has twice the amount of vitamin C found in an orange. Plus, kiwifruits are an excellent source of vitamin K, and contain other healthful nutrients such as copper, fiber, and potassium. Here’s six more things you should know about kiwifruit.
Does a Gut Good
Two kiwifruits have fewer calories than a medium banana and more fiber, at around 4 grams. Add them to smoothies, yogurt parfaits, or salads for an extra boost of the nutrient that’s good for our gut.
Kiwis Heart You
In addition to heart-healthy vitamin C, kiwifruit contains polyphenols—antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease.
Sweet to the Touch
By holding them between your thumb and forefinger and gently applying pressure, you can tell how sweet the kiwi will be. Those that yield gently to pressure with be the sweetest ones.
They’re Great on Sandwiches
Sounds weird until you try it, but Kiwifruit’s sweet and puckery flavor pairs well with savory deli meats, like ham, turkey, or roast chicken. And if you’re feeling really daring, try using thin sliced kiwi or kiwi puree instead of jam on a peanut butter sandwiches. Who knows, maybe “kiwiches” will be the next best lunchbox favorite.
It’s Got a Kitchen Secret
Similar to pineapple and papaya, kiwifruit contains an enzyme that helps break down protein in tough cuts of meat, making it an excellent natural meat tenderizer.
Formerly Known as Chinese Gooseberry
Kiwifruit is native to China and is sometimes stilled referred to as a Chinese gooseberry. It wasn’t until the fruit was commercially produced in New Zealand that it was renamed by Westerners to kiwi, after the national bird of New Zealand.
This would make a perfect holiday salad. Add sliced strawberries for a colorful red and green salad! I will be sampling today in our Produce Department, stop by the store!
Kiwi-Strawberry Spinach Salad
Serves 4 10 minutes
2 tsp. Hy-Vee granulated sugar
3 tbsp. Hy-Vee canola oil
2 tbsp. raspberry balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. Hy-Vee light soy sauce
1 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted*
½ tsp. poppy seeds (optional) not added today.
4 c. fresh spinach
1 c. sliced fresh strawberries
2 medium kiwi, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, vinegar and soy sauce. Stir in sesame seeds and poppy seeds.
In a large bowl, toss spinach, strawberries and kiwi. Add dressing and toss to coat.
*To toast sesame seeds, place in single layer on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Nutrition facts per serving: 170 calories, 12g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 70mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 9g sugar, 2g protein.
Vitamin A: 20%, Vitamin C: 120%, Iron: 8%, Calcium: 6%
I am available to help you find good-for-you foods in the store. Stop by my office next to customer service or email me for assistance. For a nutrition education tour, go to customer service for dates and times and to register.
Do you need help prepping meals or shopping? Join our Simple fix class held monthly in our club room.
It’s a lot easier these days to prepare a gluten-free holiday meal with gravy, green bean casserole, turkey, ham and a variety of pies. Let me know if I can help you find gluten-free products in the HealthMarket or in the store. Remember to produce your gluten-free dinner, be aware of possible cross contamination/contact with gluten rich foods. Prepare in a separate gluten-free food prep stations, with gluten-free utensils and cookware. Use disposables whenever possible. If questions, contact Hy-Vee Dietitian Becky Guittar, RD at 402-467-5505
Tailgating is the quintessential fall activity! Whether you are grilling in your backyard or the stadium parking lot, tailgating brings a big crowd with big appetites. You don’t have to spend all day cooking for your hungry guest – let Hy-Vee be your resource for delicious “semi-homemade” tailgate treats!
Hy-Vee Hummus and FSTG multigrain chips. Make a wholesome snack!
Hy-Vee Salsa and HealthMarket Blue chips
Hy-Vee Sweet potato chips
Xochil corn chips with Desert Pepper Bean Dips Or Amy’s Black Bean Salsa with Corn
Hy-Vee plain yogurt for dips, add to ready-made dips
Black beans (no salt added) for salsa, tacos, burritos and eggs.
Hy-Vee Meat Counter
Pre-made BEEF kabobs (think school colors!)
Buy pre-cooked smoked pulled chicken and spend time preparing your secret sauce!
Hormel pre-seasoned pork loins are fantastic – ready on the grill in just 45 minutes – they are moist and tender! Try serving it sliced or on a ciabatta roll.
Whether you grill Alfresco or Aidell’s chicken sausages, you can spend your time with the many delicious toppings (sauerkraut, grilled onions and peppers, hot mustard sauce). Yum!
Make your favorite dip with fat-free/light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, but let the Hy-Vee Salad bar cut up all those veggies and fruits for you!
Give your veggie tray some pizzazz by using vegetables for “dishes” – cabbages, tomatoes and peppers cored all make fantastic bowls for dips.
Fruit and vegetable kabobs can be served raw or grilled with your own special sauce or dip. Again, think School Colors (Nebraska – strawberries, raspberries, apples, pears, alternated with small pieces of pound cake)
Avocados as a dip or a sandwich spread.
Team Spirit Steak Kabobs
All You Need
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1–½ tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound flat iron or sirloin steak, cut into small cubes
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces (or use your favorite team colors!)
All You Do
1. Combine onions, soy sauce, brown sugar, water, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and black pepper in a small bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add marinade and steak to resealable plastic bag and marinate for 15 minutes to 2 hours in the fridge.
Remove steak from marinade; discard remaining marinade. Thread strips of steak onto skewers alternating with bell pepper pieces. Transport assembled kabobs in clean resealable plastic bag in cooler to the game.
Grill for 8-11 minutes, turning once. Use meat thermometer to check for doneness 145 degrees medium rare and 160 degrees for medium well.
Nutrition per 3-oz serving: 150 calories; 9 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 276 mg sodium; 4 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 13 g protein
Mushroom BitesServes 8
All you need:
4 oz. mushrooms (Produce)
1 (15 oz) pkg Hy-Vee spinach dip
2 oz. grated cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (Produce)
1 medium orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped (Produce)
1 tbsp minced fresh basil (Produce)
All you do:
Remove stems from each mushroom. Using a spoon, scrape out and discard the black gills in each mushroom cap.
Fill each mushroom with about 1 teaspoon spinach dip. Warm in oven for 12 min. 350 degrees.
Top with cheese, chopped tomatoes and bell peppers.
Win Big with Beef at your Tailgate Party
Are you tailgating this Saturday at the Stadium?
Watch out for our #Hy-Vee Dietitians Becky Guittar and Carrie Nielsen. Are you cooking beef for your tailgate party? You could win a coupon for one of our BEEF Hy-Vee Mealtime Kits! Our dietitians will be browsing the Husker Nation Tailgate Party from 5 pm – 7 pm this Saturday! All you have to do is cook BEEF with your family at your tailgate party and Win!
When school starts, students and parents are packing lunches. It’s a good idea to think about including whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Tummy troubles can be helped with more dietary fiber and water. Some good examples of whole grains are whole wheat tortillas, whole grain crackers, whole wheat English muffins or rolls. Choose foods with 3 grams of dietary fiber or more. Regular girl with 5 grams of prebiotic fiber per serving can also help with regularity and maintaining a healthy digestion. Regular girl is tasteless and odorless dietary supplement, in a packet. It’s so easy to mix with water at room temperature. For your student, add directly to cereal, overnight oats, milk, juice or a smoothie. Plus, Regular girl also contains active probiotics, the healthy bacteria in your gut. I especially like because it is also gluten-free and is FODMAP friendly. See regulargirl.com for more information or ideas. You can find Regular Girl at Hy-Vee HealthMarkets or ask your Hy-Vee Dietitian to help you find it on the shelf.
Use My Plate to guide food choices and fill the bento box,
Have kids pack their own sack lunch with a lunch stations like this on your counter and
in your refrigerator.
Purchase a Bento Box or similar style lunchbox
Use silicone cupcake liners for dips or sauces
Get kids involved in meal planning and lunchbox choices! Sit down with kids and make a list of their favorite food items then post this list for inspiration.
Make food fun!
-Cut sandwiches into shapes using cookie cutters
-Make fruit/veggie skewers or sandwiches on a stick, pack fresh grapes in a small sandwich bag
-Add raw veggies to a salad dressing container
-Make pinwheels by wrapping sandwich contents in a tortilla and roll it
-Hide notes of encouragement or “I love you” in the lunchbox
-Include a small treat like a few marshmallows or animal crackers
-Kids love to dip! Contact your local Hy-Vee dietitian for healthy dip recipes. Some ideas may include hummus, sunflower seed butter, guacamole, bean dip, yogurt ranch dip, vanilla Greek yogurt or spinach dip.
Have kids help make homemade ice packs: soak a sponge in water, put it in a plastic bag and freeze overnight! As the “ice” melts the sponge will reabsorb it for repeated use.
Think outside the lunchbox-don’t feel obligated to serve only typical lunch food items. If your kid loves breakfast foods, serve them a peanut butter waffle sandwich in place of a regular sandwich to increase lunchtime excitement. If your kid enjoys snacks, turn snack foods into a meal!
Utilize “meal planning bins” to speed up your morning. Take time on the weekend to prep fruits, veggies, sandwiches, etc. into plastic bags. Fill refrigerator bins with items from different foods groups. In the morning simply grab a bag from each bin to put in the lunchbox.
From diet drinks and candies to ice creams and yogurts, sugar substitutes are tough to ignore. Because so many products do contain sugar, there is room in your diet to occasionally need a product that has no-sugar-added. Sometimes there is also a medical reason to reduce your sugar intake. Here is where SOLA products can provide some much needed relief to reduce your sugar intake. SOLA products are delicious, better-for-you foods without all the sugar, thus lower in carb. At Hy-Vee, you can find SOLA nut bars, sweeteners/packets and yogurt in our HealthMarket. You can also find SOLA ice cream in the frozen aisle and SOLA granola in with our cereal section, with so many flavors, it is hard to choose. Here is more information on sweeteners that you will find helpful. SOLA contains a unique blend of sweeteners, see below for more on these great new products.
How are sweeteners classified?
Sweeteners can be divided into two main categories: nutritive and nonnutritive. Nutritive sweeteners are any caloric sweeteners or sugars that provide carbohydrates (think table sugar, honey, or agave). Nonnutritive sweeteners are calorie-free or low-calorie alternatives, such as stevia, aspartame, and sucralose. And then there are sugar alcohols, which are technically considered nutritive sweeteners; they contain about half the amount of carbohydrates as table sugar. Examples include erythritol, maltitol, and xylitol. (Hint: The “ol” means alcohol, but not the intoxicating kind.)
Why are they so popular?
The average American consumes about 22 teaspoons of added sugar every day. Now compare that to the American Heart Association’s recommendation of no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women; and 9 for men. In other words, most people are getting way too much added sugar, which can quickly lead to a host of complications, from obesity to heart disease. These low- and zero-calorie sweeteners may help with weight and diabetes control by reducing caloric intake, and by not causing spikes in blood sugar.
Are they safe to consume?
In the U.S., the FDA must approve sweeteners or declare them “generally regarded as safe” before they can be used in food and drinks. According to the National Cancer Institute, there’s not significant evidence to support a claim that sugar substitutes cause cancer. However, it’s important to note that there’s still ongoing research regarding artificial sweeteners, including how they may affect gut bacteria.
Can I use sugar substitutes in recipes?
Yes, but because each sugar substitute or substitute blend has a different level of sweetness and chemical structure, it’s important to check with the manufacturer for baking ratios. Products like the Sola sweetener at Hy-Vee contain zero added sugar but can still be used in place of sugar in a 1:1 ratio.
5. Will using sugar substitutes make me gain weight?
While several studies have noted a correlation (not causation) between weight gain and the use of artificial sweeteners, the reasons remain unknown. Again, moderation, exercise, and being mindful of overall diet are the pillars for good health management. I have included some information on the different types of sugar alternatives.
Monk Fruit Extract This nonnutritive sweetener is extracted from a small Asian fruit and is 150 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar.
Stevia is a nonnutritive sweetener extracted from the stevia plant, a native of South America. Stevia can be 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar.
Maltitol, Erythitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol, and Xylitol are all sugar alcohols that can be found in candies, ice cream, chewing gums, and more. Gram for gram they are lower in calories than sugar and about half to 70 percent as sweet. Often, you’ll find sugar alcohols mixed with other sweeteners to achieve an ideal amount of sweetness.
Because sugar substitutes behave differently depending on how they’re used—stirred into coffee vs. baked into a cake, for example—manufacturers are developing blended formulas to achieve the best results for different uses. Some, like Whole Earth, use a blend of stevia leaf extract, monk fruit extract, erythitol, fructose, and chicory root fiber for sweetener packets; while others, such as SOLA, use erythritol, tagatose, maltitol, stevia leaf extract, and monk fruit extract. The idea is to blend the really, really sweet extracts with the less sweet sugar alcohols in a way that reduces a metallic after-taste and yields quality results.
I tried the SOLA ice cream, of course, a chocolate fudge brownie and was not disappointed, so creamy and yummy. I also made a Non dairy fruit sauce/smoothie for Angel food cake using 4 oz silken tofu, 10 oz frozen strawberries, 1 cup fresh strawberries, and 2 tablespoons SOLA sweetener. Or, serve over SOLA Granola instead of cake. This was a big hit in our Diabetes Prevention Class and Kid’s Cooking Class.
Johnson RK, Appel LJ, Brands M, et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2009;120:1011-20.
Sola™ Greek Yogurt and Vanilla Almond Granola Parfait
Makes: 2 Servings Prep time: 2 Minutes
2 (150 g) containers Sola™ Vanilla Greek Yogurt
8 Tablespoons Sola™ Vanilla Almond Granola
1 cup fresh berries of your choice
Spoon half of the yogurt into serving glasses and top with half of the berries and half of the granola, repeat and serve.
Nutrition facts per serving (calculated with ¼ cup raspberries and ¼ cup blackberries): 240 calories, 11g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 27g carbohydrate, *7g net carbs, 4g fiber, 10g sugar, 11 sugar alcohols 18g protein
Walnuts are the only nut that have omega 3 fats, they can reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
They contain powerful antioxidants. Walnuts are loaded with healthy fat and fiber — two things that can help you feel full, contributing to weight loss.
Cooking with walnuts
Mix into breading for fish or chicken, a great gluten-free option.
Toast and top salads, pastas, or soups.
Stir into batter for baked goods. I love in pancakes or muffins.
Puree into sauces, spreads, and dips.
Basil-Spinach Pesto with Walnuts
Recipe courtesy of Hy-Vee.com Makes 16 servings
⅓ c. Hy-Vee walnuts, finely chopped
1 c. packed basil leaves (about 2 oz)
1 c. packed spinach leaves (about 2 oz)
½ c. Hy-Vee finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. Hy-Vee kosher sea salt
pinch red pepper flakes, optional
⅔ c. Hy-Vee Select extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place walnuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes; remove and set aside to cool.
In a food processor, combine basil, spinach, walnuts, Parmesan, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes, if desired. Cover and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add oil and process until thoroughly combined.
Store in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to one month. Thaw frozen pesto in refrigerator overnight.
Besides snacking on them, what are some interesting ways to eat walnuts? Although each type of nuts has a distinct flavor, you can easily swap in walnuts for other nuts in recipes. Try incorporating them into breading for chicken or fish; in baked goods such as muffins, cookies, and breads; on top of cereals, yogurts, and fruits; and they’re especially nice when toasted and used to top pasta and soups. Other ideas include using them in salsas, pestos, aiolis, or ground and mixed into meatloaf, burger patties, or meatballs.
What’s the best way to store walnuts? Because of their high fat content, walnuts can go rancid rather quickly. If you plan to use them right away, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just remember to keep them away from odorous foods such as onions. For longer storage, store in an airtight container in the freezer.