Tag Archives: nutrition

National Cocoa Day

Heiße SchokoladeHappy National Cocoa Day!

We’re not sure if  December 13 celebrates cocoa beans or hot cocoa (or the cocoa powder used to make hot cocoa and other chocolaty treats). Considering that we’re in the midst of December and the holiday season, we’re going to assume National Cocoa Day is a day to celebrate hot cocoa. There’s no better time of year to cozy up by the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa.

Did You Know…that chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, can be good for your health? Cocoa contains flavanol antioxidants that improve cardiovascular health and may reduce your risk of heart disease and several types of cancer by protecting your body from damage caused by free radicals.

To reap the health benefits of your hot cocoa, skip the processed hot cocoa, which contains high amounts of fat and sugar, canceling out the health benefits of the chocolate.  Instead, make your own hot cocoa using unsweetened cocoa powder (more recipes below). Click here to learn the health benefits of cocoa powder.

Hot Chocolate (plus tips and variations)
“Perfectly Chocolate” Hot Cocoa (plus sugar-free version)
Hot Cocoa (plus variations)
More Hot Cocoa Recipes, Hot Cocoa Mix Recipes  and Tips!

Sources: punchbowl.com, livestrong.com, thehersheycompany.com, webmd.com Photo Source: Itisdacurlz, CC-BY-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Eat a Red Apple Day

December 1 is Eat a Red Apple Day!

Eat a Red Apple Day is pretty self-explanatory: celebrate apples (particularly the red ones) by eating at least one apple today.

Manzanas - Apples

Why? Because they are good and good for you, and they can be cooked, baked or eaten raw. Click here to learn more about the health benefits of apples and to find quick apple snack ideas and recipes. Then go eat some apples!

Look! More recipes! We really want you to eat more apples:

Curried Pumpkin (and Apple) Soup

Baked Apples

Healthy Apple Recipes

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, punchbowl.com, theultimateholidaysite.com
Photo Source: johannrela CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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National Nut Day

Mixed nuts small wood1October 22 is National Nut Day!

National Nut Day celebrates nuts of all kinds and everything they have to offer, besides serving as a tasty snack, of course. Nuts are a good source of healthy unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins E and B2, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, copper and selenium. If that’s not enough to celebrate, regularly eating nuts as part of a healthy diet can help keep your heart healthy. Learn more about nuts and heart health by clicking here.

Celebrate National Nut Day by choosing nuts over salt and sugar laden junk foods at snack time. Better yet, make National Nut Day the first day of your new heart-healthy diet!

Did You Know…Not all “nuts” are true nuts. True nuts include hazelnuts, hickory nuts, chestnuts and acorns, while peanuts are legumes, macadamia nuts are kernels, and almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts and pistachios are seeds.

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, punchbowl.com, wikipedia.org, mayoclinic.com
Photo Source: User:Melchoir, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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National Pasta Day

Farfalle PastaOctober 17 is National Pasta Day!

National Pasta Day celebrates a type of food familiar to a variety of cultures and countries: pasta! A versatile food that you can eat with a variety of meats, vegetables, sauces and other ingredients, pasta can be made dry or fresh and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. If that’s not enough, pasta (whole wheat, in particular) is also a good source of fiber, iron, B vitamins, folic acid and other nutrients. No wonder pasta gets its own holiday!

Learn more about pasta and  find pasta cooking tips and recipes  at the National Pasta Association’s website ilovepasta.org.

Celebrate National Pasta Day by learning how to cook pasta perfectly and trying out some new pasta recipes. Or you can stick to traditional pasta dishes, like spaghetti or mac n’ cheese.

 

Sources: punchbowl.com, ilovepasta.org, wikipedia.org
Photo Source: By Liveon001 © Travis K. Witt (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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National Zucchini Day

Courgettes primeur artlibre jnlAugust 8 is National Zucchini Day!

Today is all about the zucchini, a summer squash that you could live on if you had to, considering that it grows from one the most prolific plants, which produces a seemingly endless supply of zucchini no matter how many you pick.

If you’ve got too much zucchini on your hands, today is the day to get rid of it. Incorporate zucchini into every meal today, which isn’t hard at all! Add zucchini to stew or soup, toss with pasta or salad, grill or fry, or bake into bread. If you still find yourself overwhelmed by piles of zucchini, bake it all into bread and give a loaf to everyone you know. We’ll even provide the recipe: Mom’s Zucchini Bread!


Sources: punchbowl.com, holidayinsights.com
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National Watermelon Day

WatermelonAugust 3 is National Watermelon Day!

The sweet, refreshing watermelon is a summertime staple. Made up of 92 percent water, watermelon is not only a tasty and healthy snack but a thirst quencher on a hot summer day.

Watermelon is also a highly nutritional fruit and an excellent source of lycopene, a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that may protect against a variety of cancers, including prostate, breast, endometrial, lung and colorectal cancers. Learn more about the health benefits of watermelon at Whfoods.com. You’ll also find tips on how to select, store, prepare and serve watermelon.

Celebrate National Watermelon Day simply by enjoying this sweet summer fruit.  Or gather your friends for a watermelon carving contest! You’d be surprised what you can do with a watermelon…just check out the creative watermelon carvings at the National Watermelon Promotion Board’s website (instructions included)!

 

Sources: punchbowl.com, whfoods.com, watermelon.org 
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National Macadamia Nut Day

September 4 is National Macadamia Nut Day!

Macadamia nuts are a tasty and healthy type of nut that you can eat raw or flavored. Macadamia nuts also make a flavorful and crunchy addition to cooked dishes and baked goods, like Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.

Celebrate National Macadamia Nut Day by snacking on, cooking or baking with macadamia nuts.

Did You Know…that macadamia nuts have the highest amount of good-for-you monounsaturated fats, such as omega-7 and omega-3, of any nut? Learn more about the health benefits of these healthy fats and what other nutrients macadamia nuts are packing by clicking here.

 

Sources: punchbowl.com, wikipedia.org, livestrong.com
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Banana Lover’s Day

Banana.arp.750pixAugust 27 is Banana Lover’s Day!

If you’re a banana lover, we don’t need to explain why sweet, creamy, potassium-packed bananas are such a popular fruit. But for those of you who eat bananas for their flavor instead of their nutritional value, find out why bananas are so ridiculously beneficial for your health at whfoods.com.

There’s only one way to celebrate Banana Lover’s Day: Eat more bananas! Whether you eat them whole, combined with other foods, or baked into breads or pastries, there’s no wrong way to enjoy bananas on Banana Lover’s Day. Bananas also make great additions to smoothies, both because of their nutritional value and creamy texture. Head to Chiquita.com to find smoothie recipes and tips on how to make the perfect banana smoothie.

Love to bake with bananas? Try one of the recipes below!

Banana Banana Bread

Banana Crumb Muffins

Banana Cookies

 

Sources: punchbowl.com, whfoods.com
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