Watermelon Feta Kabobs

North Carolina grown watermelon tastes delicious paired with salty feta cheese and fresh basil. Thread all 3 ingredients onto a wooden skewer for a quick and healthy appetizer.CapeFearnutrition.com (20)

I hope you’re enjoying a myriad of  summer fruits and vegetables from the market, your CSA box, or a plot of dirt out back. If so, you’re going to relish this month’s Recipe Redux. Here’s our challenge

Get Your Fruits and Veggies in Shape

 

With produce galore, now’s a great time to enjoy lots of fruits and vegetables. Show us how you’re serving the bounty of gardens and orchards in shapes like ribbons, noodles, cut-outs, or other creative cuts.

Creatvie cuts..hmm. Not my strong suit. Therefore, I have one regret after reading this theme-> I still don’t own a spiralizer! But the show must go on so I bring you thisAttachment-1-2

watermelon cut into circles with a biscuit cutter and threaded onto skewkers alternating with chunks of feta cheese, and basil. (You can use cookie cutters to make any shape you desire and taylor to the theme of your party.) They make cute appetizers and help keep your summer entertaining menu light with only 76 calories and 3 grams of protein per kabob.  These are going to be perfect snacks for me on this hot July afternoon. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post to see how my colleagues are getting their summer fruits and veggies in shape.

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Watermelon Feta Kabobs

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (10-12)

  • 1 personal watermelon
  • 6- 8 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1″ squares
  • fresh basil leaves

tools

  • chef’s knife
  • 10 wooden skewers
  • 1 inch biscuit cutter

Instructions

1. Place melon on a cutting board and using a chef’s knife, cut melon in half.

2. Working with one half of the melon at a time, place watermelon on cutting board cut side down. Trim away the rind with a chef’s knife.

3. Cut the watermelon into 1 inch thick slices.

4. Put out circles with buscuit cutter.

5. Alternate watermelon, feta cheese and basil on each skewer. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Rehydrate, Refresh, and Relax with the Power of Cranberry

Cranberry juice ice cubes are a refreshing way to add a cranberry twist to  plain water or other  beverages  and reap the benefits of this amazing fruit. Capefearnutrition.com (19)
Disclosure: The Cranberry Institute has sent me research updates, cranberry tips, some seasonal recipes as well as cranberry juice cocktail and a Flamen Fast Release Ice Cube Tray. In exchange, I’m  sharing  some of this information with you.  I was not financially compensated to write this post. Opinions are my own.

This is actually my latest beverage related obsession, and it began with a nifty ice cube tray that makes four  2-inch ice balls. Do they look like gigantic cranberries, or what !?!???..IMG_4538Each ice cube ball has  about 1/4 cup of juice,  providing approximatley  30 calories.  I love the   twist of cranberry flavor they add to my water,  and the health benefits of proanthocyanidins PACs.image008

Aside from adding to my  plan water, here are some ways I like to rehydrate, refresh and relax with the power of cranberry:

cranberry juice ice balls + pomegranate berry flavored sparkling water

cranberry juice balls + tangerine lime flavored sparkling water

cranberry juice balls + light lemonadeIMG_4556

Whether you’re rehydrating from exercise, or kickin’ back on the porch these cranberry ice cubes will add a delicious twist to your refreshment. IMG_4558

 What cranberry juice cocktail combos to you like?

 

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Fluid Requirements: One Size Does Not Fit All

10 (7)It’s HOT outside and not drinking enough water will nix  your energy levels.  Believe it or not, losing as little as 1% of your body weight as water will slow you down.  Proper hydration optimizes your body’s ability to regulate body heat in hot environments;  improves the ability to recover quickly from training; and  runs  interferance with fatigue, helping  maintain mental alertness.

Today during my run, I  calculated my sweat rate, the optimal way to determine fluid requirements,  ’cause one size does not fit all. (Please click here for your free handout on how to Calculate your sweat rate.) The result: I lost two pounds of water in one hour. What does this mean? It means my challenge is to  drink 32 ounces of water (or other appropriate fluids)  by days end to make up for the deficit.

I don’t know about you, but  consuming one quart of  fluids all at once would  make me feel uncomfortable and bloated. So  I consume smaller amounts throughout the day, and I also vary what I drink.   I prefer  water, but also hydrate with chocolate milk, smoothies and my latest obsession (to be  revealed in my next post).

My sweat rate also helps me plan for hydration when I am exercising for over one hour, in  similar environmental conditions. I  now know that I require  8 ounces of water every 15 minutes when it’s 83 degrees and humid.

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Use this plan to balance drinking water and working out so you’re comfortable and perform your best, even during the dog days of summer.

Do you find it difficult to keep up with your fluid demands in the heat?  What tips do you have?

 

 

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Siggi’s and Sports Nutrition

My new favorite sports nutrition product goes to …

Drink_filmjolk@2x…  for their non-fat drinkable yogurt, aka filmjolk.

Disclosure: I am  a   siggi’s ambassador. By  including siggis in my blog post I am eligble to win a trip to FNCE in Boston. I was not compensated for my time. Opinions are my own.

A staple of Sweden, now filmjölk is a staple in my home. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Scandinavian dairy tradition, it’s a version of kefir.  If you’re a sports enthusiast, take note: this is a BIG league recovery drink that supports a healthy digestive system! I stock my refrigerator with both raspberry and vanilla.  After a 5 mile run, drinking 8 ounces of the raspberry flavored smoothie starts my recovery process IMG_4512

which includes rehydrating and replacing electroyles lost during exercise (8 ounces  provides 120 mg sodium and 240 mg potassium); preparing for tomorrow’s run by replacing glycogen stores (8 ounces provides 22 grams of carbohydrate); and repairing lean muscle  with high quality protein (8 ounces provides 8 grams of milk protein.)  Now here’s the icing on the cake,  it’s also rich in probiotic cultures (1 billion probiotics per serving)!   The tangy taste makes filmjölk the bomb! 

IMG_4511 sugar, aspartame, gelatin, artifical colorings , preservatives,  or high fructose corn syrup.   I think being active and eating healthy should be  simple and straighforward. Thank you siggi’s, for facilitating my healthy lifestyle.IMG_4510

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Cranberry Baked Beans

This summer, bring a twist to a BBQ classic with cranberry baked beans.capefearnutrition.com (16) Disclosure: The Cranberry Institute has sent me research updates, cranberry tips, some seasonal recipes as well as cranberry juice cocktail. In exchange, I’m  sharing  this information with you.  I was not financially compensated to write this post. Opinions are my own.

For as long as I can remember, baked beans have  been at every family reunion, pool party,and  backyard cookout I’ve attended on the 4th of July. But I have never seen Cranberry Baked Beans! Well,  until  I discovered the recipe sent to me by the Cranberry Marketing Committee. Intruigued by the idea of using cranberry juice  in lieu of all the ketchup, brown sugar and molasses, I immediately made a batch.  They are the bomb. And  cause cranberries are  native to the homeland, I think they’ll make a perfect side for your fourth of July spread.

 Recipe here. Happy Birthday, America! IMG_4495_edited-2

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