Stock up on cherries and freeze them for the rest of the year

I heard something yesterday that made me a little sad.  We are nearing the end of cherry season.   Yikes!  Those are a favorite!  But cheer up!  You can freeze those cherries and enjoy them anytime of the year!  So, I thought it was fitting to re-post this "how-to" about freezing cherries.  Stock up on those cherries now and enjoy those cherries year round!
Don't forget all the yummy recipes we made with cherries last summer: Cherry Quinoa and Cherry Cooler.

How to Freeze Cherries:

Today we take a look, through pictures, at how easy it is to freeze cherries.
There are 3 basic steps:
1. Rinse the cherries and dry them
2. Place the cherries in a sealable container
3. Date the container and place in the freezer - how easy is that!
What you'll need: cherries, strainer, sealable container, something to place a date on the container
Rinse the cherries and let drain. Then let dry or spread them on a
paper towel to dry (forgot to take a picture of this step).

Place the cherries in a sealable, freezable container. Be sure to mark the date you froze them.
If you'd like to see how to make these chalkboard labels see our previous post.

Place the cherries in the freezer.  When you are ready to use, just set the cherries
out at room temperature until they reach your desired temperature.


Be Cool!

Summer in Texas is definitely here!  Temperatures all over Texas are set to hit the high 90’s and low 100’s this week.  While most dietitians will tell you to cool off with some nice cold melon and a glass of ice water, we also know that many people just want to enjoy a cold treat!  Since all foods can fit into a healthy diet (in moderation), here are a few treat suggestions to consider. 

Let’s start with some frozen yogurt bars.  These are made from Greek yogurt and come in a variety of flavors.  Each bar contains the following:
Calories: 80
Total Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0g
Sodium: 50 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 15g
Fiber: 0g
Sugar: 12g
Protein: 6g
Vitamin A: 0%
Vitamin C: 8%
Calcium: 10%
Iron: 2%

Ingredients: Nonfat milk, Greek yogurt (cultured pasteurized nonfat milk, live active cultures), strawberries, sugar, milk protein concentrate, maltodextrin, contains less than 2% of: concentrated strawberry juice, natural flavor, citric acid, red beet juice (color), pectin, water, guar gum, locust bean gum.

Is a popsicle more your style?  Why not try Ruby Rockets Frozen Fruit & Vegetable Pops.  These also come in a variety of flavors and are one way to sneak a little fruit and vegetables into your diet (the dietitian in me couldn’t resist). There are no artificial colors, flavors, or sugars added to these.  Each bar contains the following:
Calories: 25
Total Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0g
Sodium: 10 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 6g
Fiber: 0g
Sugar: 4g
Protein: 0g
Vitamin A: 30%
Vitamin C: 30%
Calcium: 1%
Iron: 2%
Ingredients:  Filtered water, organic sweet potato puree, organic strawberry puree, organic white grape juice, organic carrot puree, organic red beet puree, organic banana puree, organic red beet juice concentrate, organic lemon juice concentrate, natural flavor, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086 (contains soy), citric acid.
We can’t talk about frozen treats and not include ice cream!  These slow churned ice creams are some of my favorite.  The slow churning allows for less ice crystals to form, leaving a creamier texture than most low-fat ice creams.  The flavor I chose here is a classic: Rocky Road!  Each ½ cup serving contains the following:
Calories: 110
Total Fat: 2.5g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 5g
Sodium: 30mg
Total Carbohydrates: 18g
Fiber: less than 1g
Sugar: 14g
Protein: 3g
Vitamin A: 4%
Vitamin C: 0%
Calcium: 6%
Iron: 4%
Ingredients:  Non-fat milk, sugar, miniature marshmallows (corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, gelatin), cream, corn syrup, almonds (almonds, partially hydrogenated soybean oil), whey protein, maltodextrin, propylene glycol, monostearate, guar gum, natural flavor, xanthan gum, carrageenan, vitamin A palmitate.
Perhaps you are looking for a creamy texture, but no dairy.  We have a variety of options, but here is  one option: Soy Dream Butter Pecan.  This non-dairy option contains the following per ½ cup serving:
Calories: 190
Total Fat: 11g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0g
Sodium: 140mg
Total Carbohydrates: 23g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 14g
Protein: less than 1g
 Ingredients: Filtered water, organic soy base (organic evaporated cane juice, organic rice dextrin, organic soymilk [soybeans], natural flavors, sea salt), organic expeller pressed sunflower oil and/or canola oil and/or safflower oil, pecan pralines (pecans, organic evaporated can juice, vanilla extract, contains 2% or less of potato starch, guar gum, carob bean gum, carrageenan, sunflower lecithin.




Easy Summer Meal: Light Chicken Salad

Summer meals at our house are usually light and fast with as little cooking time as possible.  With our hot Texas summers, who wants to turn on the oven?  Not me!  So I thought I would share one of my favorite go-to meals for an easy and quick meal.  You can even make it a day ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator and have dinner waiting for you when you get home!

Here are the ingredients I used:

Stir together the mayo, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

I had some frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I boiled for about 20-25 minutes, until they were cooked through.  When they were done, I put them in my mixer, turned it on low and let it do the shredding for me!
 Place all ingredients in a medium bowl.

Mix all together. 
I have served it here on some whole wheat bread.  You can also serve with crackers, lettuce leaves, mini bell peppers or enjoy it by itself!

Light Chicken Salad

2 cups cooked and diced/ shredded chicken breasts (about 3 chicken breasts)
1 cup chopped celery
¾ cup seedless grapes ( I like to cut these in half)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup fat free evaporated skim milk
¼ cup mayo 
¼ cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt (or you can completely eliminate the mayo and use ½ cup yogurt)

1.       In small bowl, mix together lemon juice, milk, mayo, yogurt, salt and pepper.

2.       In medium bowl, mix all ingredients together; stir.  Chill in refrigerator.

3.       Serve on whole wheat bread, lettuce,  or crackers.