Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Festivities


By Meghann McMillan

It’s that time of year again where the leaves have changed colors, the air has gotten cooler, picking and carving pumpkins is a must and everyone seems to have tons of candy to share. With Halloween right around the corner it is easy to get caught up in the festivities, allowing a healthful eating to slip down the drain. This year, why not make some traditions a little healthier?

Can’t seem to get enough of any sort of pumpkin spiced drink that’s out there during the season? Ditch the high calorie drinks loaded with sugary pumpkin syrups and artificial colors and flavors for something more natural and chuck full of vitamins and minerals. Spice up your day with a homemade pumpkin spice smoothie! Pumpkin is loaded with anti-oxidants and vitamins A, C and E. One serving of pumpkin gives your body more than 250% of your RDA for vitamin A! Pumpkin is also a good source of B vitamins and is rich in minerals such as potassium and calcium. Combine that with the ingredients below and you’ll have a nutrient dense, low calorie delicious treat to give you a boost during the fall season.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

  • ½ can of pumpkin puree
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of ginger
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 3 ice cubes


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until contents are combined and smooth. 
  2. Add more Almond Milk as needed to think smoothie to your liking. Best enjoyed in the fall!

If one of your Halloween season activities includes picking and carving pumpkins, try turning it into a nutritious and delicious activity to add to the fun. Instead of tossing the “guts” of the pumpkin as you scoop them out to carve, put them aside and roast the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are just as nutrient dense as the flesh. Pumpkin seeds are packed with antioxidants, especially tryptophan. Pumpkin seeds contain heart healthy mono-unsaturated fats. They are loaded with fiber and protein and provide our bodies with tons of iron and zinc. To roast pumpkin seeds, preheat your oven to 170 degrees F. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt (you could also toss in olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, cayenne….whatever flavors are your favorite!). Once in the oven, let the seeds roast for 15 - 20 minutes. Enjoy these crispy treats on salad, in a snack mix, in your oatmeal or by the handful! 

With all the fall and Halloween festivities comes the Halloween parties. Halloween parties may mean the over consumption of many different sugary treats. This year, forget about bringing the traditional sugar laden candies and make your own sweet treats….without all the refined sugar! Check out this honey sweetened dairy free delights that are brimming with antioxidants and heart healthy ingredients.

Fall Dark Chocolate Treats

  • 1 cup coconut butter
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder OR 1 cup 100% Dark chocolate chips/bar chunks
  • ½ cup honey (raw is my favorite!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/3 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries


  1. Melt coconut butter in a nonstick pot over a stove top on medium heat. Make sure not to burn by stirring. 
  2. Once melted, stir in dark chocolate until smooth and combined. 
  3. Next add honey, vanilla and sea salt. Continue to stir until contents are combined and smooth. 
  4. Lastly, add the almonds and cranberries. Take off of heat. 
  5. On a parchment lined cookie sheet, drop spoon fulls of chocolate clusters. Let stand until hardened or store in the refrigerator until solid and ready to eat.

With these Halloween ticks, you will certainly be in for a treat this fall season, adding a little health to your fun. Enjoy and be safe!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mushrooms, The Ultimate Superfood

By Meghann McMillan

The mushroom, a fruiting body of spore bearing fungi has been recognized as one of the top superfoods. A superfood is a food that very nutrient dense, contains properties that contribute to good health and wellbeing as well as the ability to help prevent many diseases. Mushrooms are fully loaded with essential nutrients, antioxidants and health promoting properties.

Mushrooms contain riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, copper, chromium and selenium. When exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet (UV) light, mushrooms naturally generate vitamin D and become a good source of this important vitamin. In a country where low levels of vitamin D is becoming a very common and major issue, mushrooms are something people should be consuming more of. Mushrooms also contain fiber and protein and are low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium; an overall healthy food choice!

With cold and flu season approaching, it is important to consume more mushrooms. Why, you ask? Because mushrooms are known for their antiviral and immune enhancing properties. Whether you are fighting off a cold or preventing getting sick all together this season, mushrooms are always a good choice. These powerful fungi also have anti-cancer properties as well as cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar lowering properties. Mushrooms are a good choice for those following a heart healthy diet.


You can find a wide variety of mushrooms at your local grocery store or farmers market. Some of the more popular types including shitake, enoki, oyster, portobello and button. These mouthwatering mushrooms can be added to salads, soups and stir fries; topped on pizzas, burgers and sandwiches. They can be sautéed, baked or stuffed and are often used as a meat replacer due to their tender and meaty texture. The possibilities are endless and the health benefits of this superfood are immense.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant


The creator of the wildly popular blog How Sweet It Is, Jessica Merchant, was welcomed to the Xhibition Kitchen by her large following of "invisible internet friends." By the huge crowd in attendance, it was clear her friends were quite real and not invisible. Jessica showed the audience how to prepare two incredible recipes: Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Vanilla Berries; Amaretto Butternut Squash Soup. These recipes are featured in Seriously Delish along with 148 other imaginative recipes that are tasty and original and bring readers to a place where cooking becomes adventurous and food becomes fun. Five lucky audience members won signed copies after correctly answering what recipe Jessica posted in her blog the previous day. The audience enjoyed Jessica’s White Cheddar Apple Crisp while waiting in a line that wrapped around the room, all just to get their book personally signed. Jessica certainly made our Friday "Seriously Delish!"



Thursday, October 2, 2014

One-Hour Cheese by Claudia Lucero


A rainy day in Boston was brightened up by Claudia Lucero, whose inviting presence which filled the Xhibition Kitchen with warmth and the sweet smells of fall. She welcomed the crowd proclaiming “Do It Yourself cheese is a great rainy day activity”. Claudia is the entrepreneur behind UrbanCheesecraft.com and DIY Cheese Kits, which she used as inspiration for her cookbook. Claudia demonstrated Chevre French Kisses, infused with Herbes de Provence this cheese is layered with flavor. She taught us how easy it can be to be creative noting “Cheese makers are creative people, there is a lot to discover by accident. Many of my accidents ended up being some of my best recipes”. Claudia never imagined that she would be the one to write the ideal cheese book, which five lucky audience members won.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Eat Right Live Well - October

We all know that getting more exercise is good for us, but that may not be enough. While moving more is good, being sedentary less often is also important. Some health experts are even calling sitting the new smoking. So, if you went to the gym this morning, don't use that as an excuse to sit around the rest of the day.

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