Because my life is anything but normal....

Sep 8, 2011

Healthy Food Fight!

I'm sure we all know cooking and eating healthy can be kinda tough.
Through I heard about the Aetna Healthy Food Fight
Aetna is providing healthy tips from a nutritionist, cooking and eating tips from Bobby Flay, among many other things. They have tons of recipes from Bobby Flay, The Culinary Institute of America, and everyday people.

Visit the Aetna Healthy Food Fight and explore all the wonderful recipes and other helpful features of their site.
I particularly love the "Healthy Recipe Analyzer". You can enter your recipe/ingredients and it'll rate how healthy your recipe is! You'd be surprised at how many recipes aren't as healthy as you think they are.

Another great feature is Aetna's "Fast Food Alternatives". Unless you're like me and you get sick just thinking about calories and fat, you probably grab fast food now and then. I personally have a hard time cramming down any "fast food" beyond Subway, but my husband has no issue eating a Double Whopper with cheese *shudders*.
If you're on the run a lot and you have to grab fast food, this tool is for you! Not only do they recommend a healthier alternative to some of your choices (such as getting vegetable pizza instead of deep dish), they also include the calorie count AND tell you how long you'd have to walk to burn off those calories!

You can also submit your own healthy entree recipe to compete against others.
Three top qualifiers from each region will travel to the Semi-Final recipe cook-offs.
The Semi-finalists will cook their dishes in front of a representative from The Culinary Institute of America and local VIP judges. The winner from each region will receive an all-expense-paid trip to New York City to compete in the Final Cook-off judged by Bobby Flay. Four Finalists will be competing before Bobby Flay and other VIP judges. The winner of the Final Cook-off will receive a grand prize of $10,000 worth of groceries donated by!

So, if you have a great healthy recipe, join the fight and submit it! If you don't have a healthy recipe, check out the Healthy Food Fight recipes and try something new.
While you're there, you can also enter for a chance to win a set of Circulon gourmet cookware!

I'm hoping some of the tips and recipes Aetna has provided will help my family be a little healthier. They're all junk food addicts and its hard to get them to eat anything that could possibly be good for them. If your kids are the same, give this healthy alternative to Fruit roll-ups a try! No dehydrator needed. My kids love fruit leather!

Apple Spice Fruit Leather
Yields one 11”x17” pan of fruit leather
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 5-8 hours at 170°F

1 25-ounce jar of applesauce
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves


    Preheat oven to 170°F.
    Line an 11”x17” jelly-roll pan or lipped cookie sheet with greased parchment paper (wax paper will smoke in the oven) or a silicone baking mat.
    Spread the puree until it’s about 1/4” thick. Pick up the pan and tilt back and forth until it’s evenly distributed.
    Bake in the oven for 5-8 hours. Rotate the pan halfway during the baking time to ensure even drying. Timing will vary depending on the fruit used. It’s ready when it’s smooth and non-tacky.
    Let it cool, then cut in strips with scissors or a pizza cutter. Stack or roll them and store in an airtight container or a zipper storage bag. I roll them with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they "peel" like real Fruit Roll-ups.

Tip: Store in a cool, dry place. You can store fruit leather for up to a year in the freezer, six months in the refrigerator or a few weeks at room temperature.

Other ideas/alternatives:
  • Spread a thin layer of melted caramel over the fruit leather and allow it to harden a little before rolling.
  • Cut fun shapes with cookie cutters, stack on parchment paper and tie with a ribbon to make a unique hostess gift or a lunch box surprise.
  • Spice up a can of pumpkin with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves for another twist on fall-inspired fruit leather.
  • Puree a can of peaches or other canned fruit in the blender for a quick option that requires no washing and slicing.
  • To sweeten fruit leather, add a couple teaspoons, or to taste, of vanilla, sugar, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup.
  • You can adjust this recipe for just about ANY kind of fruit! All you need is fruit puree (seasonings can make a difference!), sweetener, and a little tweaking of the recipe cook time (some fruits cook faster than others). Feel free to experiment and share! My favorite is plain strawberry (pureed fresh strawberries, sweetened to taste). Mixed berries are great as well.

I do not receive any monetary compensation and all opinions in this blog are mine and mine alone.

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