Celebrate National Nutrition Month: Personalize your plate

By Sabrina Chen, CHOC dietetic technician, registered

MyPlate has been widely used to give a visual representation of how much we should eat of each food group. It’s important to jazz up our diets and personalize our plates to our lifestyles, personal tastes and goals. Each year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates National Nutrition Month. This year’s focus is on personalizing your plate. Take this month as a time to reflect on your personal goals to reach a healthy lifestyle.

Food is a wonderful way to bring people together and showcase different foods of various backgrounds and cultures. Don’t be afraid to try different cuisines you are unfamiliar with — you never know what your new favorite meal might be! You can also experiment with different ways of cooking to switch up the flavor or even save time.

Implementing healthy nutrition habits doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive. Try incorporating a new vegetable every week or switching up your protein from animal sources to non-animal sources such as tofu or lentils. Plan your meals ahead of time with a variety of nutritious foods every day.

Here are a few ideas that might help you personalize your plate and incorporate new-to-you foods:

  • Whole grains: Chapatti, tortillas, buckwheat noodles, wild rice
  • Vegetables: Bok choy, napa cabbage, okra, daikon radish
  • Fruits: Kumquats, papaya, Korean pears, dates
  • Dairy: Fortified soy milk, low fat cottage cheese, fresh cheeses
  • Proteins: Fish, adzuki beans, tofu, lentils
  • Healthy fats: sesame seeds, macadamia nuts, walnuts and avocado oils.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health” as said by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The recommended serving size of each food group can vary depending on various factors like age, gender and activity level. What works for other people, may not work for you. You can receive personal nutrition advice from a registered dietitian or dietetic technician, who can also provide tips on following a healthy diet.

To help get you started on diversifying the food on your plate, here is a delicious recipe for Japanese-inspired sesame soba noodles.

Japanese-inspired sesame soba noodles

Ingredients

Sesame dressing

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari, more for serving
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ½ teaspoon honey

Soba noodles

  • 6 ounces soba noodles
  • Sesame oil, for drizzling
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Squeezes of lemon
  • 2 cups blanched snap peas
  • ¼ cup edamame
  • 1 watermelon radish or 2 red radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • Sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and honey. Set aside.
  2. Bring an unsalted pot of water to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse well in cold water. This helps to remove starches that cause clumping. Toss the noodles with the dressing and divide into two to four bowls. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the avocado slices and add to the bowls along with the snap peas, edamame, radish, mint, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle with more tamari or sesame oil, if desired.

Fueling your body for the virtual CHOC Walk

By Emilee Ten Eyck, clinical dietitian at CHOC

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s  CHOC Walk in the Park has adapted by becoming a virtual event. The beloved community event, now in its third decade raising much-needed funds for CHOC, will be reimagined. Virtual fundraising efforts culminate in a virtual celebration, after which, supporters are invited to take a safe walk in their communities.

In order to prepare our bodies for physical activity, it’s essential we we have adequate nutrition and hydration. Here are a couple of tips for families to ensure their bodies will be fueled and ready for the walk:

1. Drink water throughout the walk

Our bodies are made up of water and it’s one essential part of any diet. When we don’t drink enough water, our body cannot function as well as it normally does, and we become dehydrated. CHOC recommends children drink the number equal to their age of eight-ounce cups. An example would be a 5-year-old should drink five 8-ounce cups every day. For children over the age of 8 years old, it is recommended that they drink 64 ounces of water every day. During physical activity, the body requires more water due to the body heating up.

2. Water is the most appropriate drink for hydration during the walk; sports drinks may not be needed

Most children only need water for hydration during exercise. It is recommended that water be the drink of choice for high intensity exercise lasting less than one hour or casual physical activity. If plain water doesn’t seem as appealing to drink, you can always add crushed fruit or herbs to give different flavors.

Some fun combinations to try are:

  • Berry Mania (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)
  • Strawberry and Mint
  • Tropical Splash (pineapple and orange)
  • Citrus Explosion (orange and lemon)

3. If you are going to eat one to two hours before the walk, try to pick foods that are easily digestible.

Eating too large or too heavy of a meal will cause an upset stomach if you work out afterwards. Try to pick foods that are easily absorbed in the body and will not weigh you down. Some examples of good pre-walk foods are fresh or dried fruits, oatmeal, trail mix or whole grain cereal and low-fat milk.

You can always make your own trail mix to prepare for the CHOC Walk by mixing different nuts, seeds, cereals, dried fruit and other items. Here are some examples of family-friendly trail mixes:

  • Tropical — dried pineapple, cashews, dried coconut, banana chips and pretzels
  • Sweet and Salty — popcorn, peanuts, raisins, dried fruit, almonds, sunflower seeds and chocolate candies

4. If walking for more than 90 minutes, bring a small snack to eat during the walk.

After 90 minutes of exercise, your body would benefit from a small snack of fruit, vegetables, trail mix or a granola bar to keep your energy level up.

 5. Have a balanced meal post-walk

The meal after completing the CHOC Walk is just as important as preparing for the walk. Your body needs a balance of nutrients to recover from exercise. It is recommended to have a low-fat protein source (chicken, salmon, eggs or lean meats), a source of grains (brown rice, pasta, whole-grain bread), fruits and vegetables after working out. Protein is important for the body to build and maintain muscle mass.

Fiber for kids: High fiber recipes for kids

By Christina Sharkey, clinical dietitian at CHOC

Adequate and proper nutrition is important for a child’s normal growth and development and since January is National Fiber Focus month, this is a great time to make sure that you and your family are getting enough fiber in your diet. Fiber is a beneficial part of our diet because it helps keep us full longer, control blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol and promotes regular bowel movements.

Incorporating fiber in your child’s diet: How much fiber does your child need?

Here’s how much fiber your children should be eating every day:

AgeMaleFemale
1-3 years14 grams14 grams
4-8 years19.6 grams16.8 grams
9-13 years25.2 grams22.4 grams
14-18 years30.8 grams25.2 grams

Source: The Institute of Medicine, based on 14gm/1000 calories/day (for age)

High-fiber foods for kids

As a parent, you may be concerned that your child isn’t getting enough fiber. Offering foods that are naturally high in fiber makes it easy to reach the recommended intakes.

Foods that are naturally high in fiber include:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • legumes

High-fiber snacks for kids

Some examples of snacks and other foods that are high in fiber include:

Grains

FoodServingAmount of fiber
Cooked oatmeal1 cup4 grams
Cooked brown rice1 cup3 grams, vs. just 0.7 grams in white rice
Cooked whole wheat pasta1 cup5.5 grams, vs. just 2.5 grams in regular pasta
Air popped popcorn3 cups3.5 grams

Legumes and Nuts

FoodServingAmount of fiber
Cooked kidney beans, lentils or black beans½ cup6.5-7.5 grams
Cooked edamame½ cup4 grams
Almonds1 ounce3 grams

Vegetables

FoodServingAmount of fiber
Cooked broccoli1 cup4 grams
Avocado½ of a piece5 grams
Raw jicama½ cup3 grams

Fruit

FoodServingAmount of fiber
Raw raspberries or blackberries½ cup4 grams
Raw pear1 piece5.5 grams
Raw orange1 piece3.7 grams
Raw banana1 piece3.3 grams
Raw medium apple1 piece4.8 grams

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

How to increase fiber in your child’s diet

If you’re looking for more ways to increase the amount of fiber in your child’s diet, here are some tips:

  • Leave the skins on fruits and vegetables.
  • Use whole wheat flour in place of white flour.
  • Replace white bread and cereals with whole grain options. Look for whole wheat, rye, oats or bran on the ingredient list.
  • Add fruit to whole grain cold or hot cereals.
  • Add fruit, nuts or whole grain granola to yogurt.
  • Add vegetables to scrambled eggs, omelets or pasta.
  • Aim to offer whole grains that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Foods that are labeled as a “good source of fiber” have at least 2.5 grams of fiber per serving. If you’re not sure how to read nutrition labels in the products you buy, check out this guide.
  • Choose whole fruit instead of juice.
  • Include fruit and vegetables with every meal. Aim for 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Put veggies, like lettuce, tomato or avocado, on sandwiches.
  • Add beans to soups and salads.
  • Add bran to baked goods.
  • Offer air-popped popcorn, whole-grain crackers, fruit, or vegetables as healthy snack options.

High-fiber recipes for kids

Besides just adding fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks, consider trying these fun high-fiber snacks and recipe ideas. Many of these can be made in advance for busy days.

Chia Pudding

Yield: 4 servings

Fiber: 6 grams/serving

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup of plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus optional 4 teaspoons for serving
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Chia seeds
  • 1-pint strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
Directions:
  1. In a medium bowl, gently whist the almond milk, yogurt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, the vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt until just blended. Whisk in the chia seeds; let stand 30 minutes. Stir to distribute the seeds if they have settled. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, in a medium bowl, toss the berries with the remaining 4 teaspoons of maple syrup. Mix in the almonds.
  3. Spoon the pudding into four bowls or glasses; mound the berry mixture on top and serve.

Recipe via Food Network

Blueberry Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal

This baked oatmeal recipe includes lots of fiber and can be made in advance for busy mornings!

Yield: 1 pan (6 servings)

Fiber: 6 grams/serving

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 medium apple, grated
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk of your choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, divided. If using frozen berries thaw them slightly.
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces for topping, optional
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes for topping, optional
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8×8 – inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, coconut, apple, carrot, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Arrange 1/2 cup of the blueberries along the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the oat mixture over the top of the blueberries evenly. Pour the milk mixture over the top of the oat mixture as evenly as possible. Tap the baking dish on the counter a couple of times to evenly distribute.
  5. Top the oatmeal with the pecans, remaining blueberries and coconut flakes.
  6. Bake 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and set. Cool on a wire rack and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Flavor the Moments

Roasted Chickpeas

If you are looking for something crunchy, a great high fiber snack is roasted chickpeas. Adding different flavorings can add some variety, and this is a great way to replace chips.

Yield: 6 servings

Fiber: 6.5 grams/serving

Ingredients:
Chickpeas:
  • Three 15-ounce cans of chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use avocado oil)
Taco Seasoning:
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion
  • Kosher salt
Vinegar-Lime Seasoning:
  • 2 teaspoons distilled vinegar
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
Onion-Garlic Seasoning:
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • Kosher salt
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put a few layers of paper towels on your work surface. Strain and rinse the chickpeas in a strainer, then shake off as much water as possible. Transfer them to the layer of paper towels, top with more paper towels and pat them gently and roll them around a bit to dry. Discard any papery skins that have peeled off or are about to peel off. Slide the chickpeas onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Roast the chickpeas, stirring them occasionally to keep them from burning in spots, until a little shriveled and crispy, about 45 minutes. Start checking them at around 35 minutes to make sure they are not burning.
  4. Meanwhile, make the seasoning mixes. For the Taco Seasoning: Mix the chili powder, coriander, cumin, granulated garlic and onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  5. For the Vinegar-Lime Seasoning: Mix the vinegar, lime zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  6. For the Onion-Garlic Seasoning: Mix the granulated garlic and onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  7. When the chickpeas are done, divide them evenly among three medium bowls. Toss each batch with 1 tablespoon of the oil, then toss 1 batch with each of the seasoning mixes.
  8. Return the chickpeas to the baking sheet, keeping each batch separate. Roast them for three minutes, just to cook the seasonings slightly. Let cool completely on the pan on a rack, about 30 minutes, then transfer to airtight containers. The chickpeas will keep for one day and will soften slightly as they sit.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Hearty Navy Bean Soup with Ham

This homemade soup recipe, from my own grandmother, has a hearty amount of fiber. Pairing this with warm whole-wheat bread and roasted carrots is perfect.

Yields: 6 Servings

Fiber: 8 grams/serving

Ingredients:
  • ½ pound navy beans, washed well
  • Ham bone and any small bits of leftover ham
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped and sautéed in 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup shredded raw russet potatoes
  • ¾ cup chopped celery and ¼ cup chopped celery leaves
  • About 2 teaspoons of salt, depending on amount of ham used
  • ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
  • ½ cup drained tomatoes (fresh or canned) cut into medium size pieces
  • ½ cup fresh green onion tops

*Note: the tomatoes and scallions may be omitted, but they help add some color and vegetables to the soup!

Directions:
  1. Soak the navy beans with 6 cups of warm water. Let stand overnight.
  2. The next day, pour beans and water in which they were soaked into a large pot. Add more water if needed to cover the ham bone.
  3. Combine all ingredients except for tomatoes and green onion tops.
  4. Cook soup in a covered pot over low heat for about 1.5-2 hours or until the beans are very soft.
  5. If using a ham bone, pull out bone and allow to cool briefly before removing any remaining ham bits and cutting into bite size pieces. Add the ham back to the soup and discard the bone.
  6. During last 10 minutes of cooking, add tomatoes and green onions and cook slowly uncovered.
  7. When done, taste, and season further if necessary.
  8. If soup appears thick, add a little water or stock of your choice. If soup appears thin, cook uncovered for a few minutes.

Recipe courtesy of CHOC dietitian Christina Sharkey’s grandmother

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Try a twist on tacos by swapping your typical meat for a plant-based protein that is high in fiber.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Fiber: 7-10 grams/serving

Ingredients:
Roasted Sweet Potatoes:
  • 1-2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes (~2 cups cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
Beans:
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1 15-ounce can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Apple cider vinegar or water, as needed
Serve with:
  • 10-12 tortillas
  • ½ cup tomatillo salsa verde
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese (can substitute with parmesan or feta cheese)
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, salt, cumin and chili powder. Spread on a baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for 15 minutes, then use a spatula to flip the potatoes over. Roast for another 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes and have puffed up and have crisp, roasted edges.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno, and sauté for 2 more minutes. Fold in the beans and cook. Stir occasionally until the beans are soft and seasoned, about 10-15 minutes. If beans seem dry or bottom of pan starts to sizzle, add a splash of apple cider vinegar or water as needed. Taste and season as needed.
  4. Warm the tortillas.
  5. Serve the tacos. Layer the tacos with sweet potatoes and black beans. Serve with avocado slices, minced cilantro and cheese.

Recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes

Planning for a smaller Thanksgiving this year

By Stephanie Chang, clinical dietitian at CHOC

 Thanksgiving is just around the corner and many of us are thinking about what we’re going to do for Thanksgiving 2020. You might be thinking:

“We won’t be able to have the big family celebration with our extended family.”

“We won’t be able to have a big potluck with our friends.”

“I don’t know how to cook turkey!”

“I usually volunteer to pick up the pumpkin pie and now I’m responsible for the whole dinner?!”

“What am I going to do with a whole ham or whole turkey when I’ve only got four people to feed and two of them are small children?”

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are encouraged to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with just the members of our household. How can you manage creating a special meal on a smaller scale?

There are lots of healthy and delicious options for those of us cooking for a small group. We can choose simple dishes that make it manageable for only one cook to make an entire meal. This year, we may have to forego the five or six side dishes we might be used to having for potluck dinners and instead focus on a few simple and tasty sides to make the meal complete.

The Main Dish

In years past, the whole turkey or the whole ham might have been the star of the meal. However, this year that may be too much for one household. Consider making this year special by choosing a different protein for a smaller group. A whole roasted chicken can be a smaller, manageable protein choice for a family if a whole turkey seems daunting. Chicken is a good source of protein and contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.

Roast chicken with rosemary

Ingredients:
  • 1 whole chicken, rinsed (about 3 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff with the onion and rosemary. Place chicken in a 9×13-inch baking dish or roasting dish.
  3. Roast for two to two-and-a-half hours, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken.

 Recipes courtesy of AllRecipes.com.

The Side Dishes

 To keep side dishes simple, choose winter vegetables that are in-season and plentiful at the grocery store this time of year. These mostly root vegetables tend to remain fresh for a long time, so if you are not able to use them all on Thanksgiving Day, the uncut ones can be stored for another time. Root vegetables can be washed and cut ahead of time to cut down on time in the kitchen later. If you are short on oven space, roast the vegetables first, then the protein. While the protein is cooling, you can heat the vegetables in the oven while allowing them to brown more for a better roasted flavor. Root vegetables provide fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, beta carotene and folate.

The recipe below is a colorful mixture that provides a variety of tastes and textures. Recipes like these can be easily halved or have items omitted if there is an ingredient that won’t work for your family.

Roasted potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts

 Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots (about ¾ pound), cut into 1 ½-inch thick circles
  • 1 ½ cups Brussels sprouts (about ½ pound), halved
  • 4 cups red bliss potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 ½-inch thick slices
  • 3 medium parsnips (about 1 pound), cut into 1 ½-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 ½-inch thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease a baking sheet with extra-virgin olive oil. Place vegetables on baking sheet and add herbs, salt and pepper. Toss well, evenly coating all the vegetables with the seasonings and oil. Add more oil if the vegetables seem dry.
  3. Spread the vegetables evenly on a large baking sheet. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

 Recipe courtesy of Food Network.

To make things easier on Thanksgiving Day, consider preparing cornbread the day before or Thanksgiving morning. Then by dinner time, it will be ready to simply heat and serve! The corn meal in the recipe adds 6 grams of fiber per 1 cup and also provides iron, B vitamins and vitamin A.

Honey cornbread muffins

 Ingredients:
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ stick butter, melted
  • ¼ cup honey
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
  3. Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.

 Recipe courtesy of Food Network.

Thanksgiving dinner may look a little different this year, but it can still be a special day shared with your household around a delicious and healthy meal.

The benefits of adding chickpeas to your family’s diet

By Laura Clapper, registered dietitian at CHOC 

Incorporating chickpeas – also known as garbanzo beans – a staple ingredient in hummus, into your family’s diet can result in a variety of health benefits.

Health benefits of chickpeas

 Chickpeas have a soft creamy texture and a nutty, buttery taste.  In addition to being filling, they offer many other benefits:

  • Protein and vitamin-packed
  • Low saturated fat
  • Fiber rich
  • Naturally gluten-free
  • Good for gut health
  • Good for blood sugar control

In addition to these health benefits, they are a sustainable crop which requires less water to grow than wheat or rice, have a long storage life, and are a more affordable source of protein than meat.

How to add more chickpeas to your diet

You can add chickpeas to chili, soups, stews, salads, grain bowls and homemade veggie burgers. They can be ground into flours as well.

Chickpea flour is versatile and nutritious and is good for plant-based and gluten-free diets.

Chickpea flour has a fine texture and a mild, nutty, earthy flavor. It is good for both sweet and savory dishes. Try substituting a few tablespoons of chickpea flour in recipes that call for wheat or rice flour.

Chickpeas can be purchased canned or raw. If you choose to cook your own, you can soak them in plenty of water overnight followed by simmering for two hours on the stove. Or, you can place one cup raw, un-soaked chickpeas with 4 cups water in a pressure cooker to cook for about 40 minutes.

How to make your own hummus

Hummus is a delicious dip made from chickpeas. It is best paired with crackers, pita bread or vegetables such as celery, carrots, cucumbers and sweet peppers. Hummus can be purchased in the market or easily whipped together at home using the recipe below.

Quick and Easy Hummus

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 can (about 15oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini or sesame paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Enjoy as a dip or spread onto sandwiches or wraps.

Leftover hummus may be covered and refrigerated up to one week.

Roasted Chickpeas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and line 15”x10”x1” baking sheet with foil. Drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas. Spread in a single layer over foil. Remove any loose skins. Bake until crunchy about 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Immediately toss hot chickpeas with oil and spice mixture. Cool completely.

Spice mixtures

  • Rosemary sea salt — Whisk two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon minced fresh rosemary and half a teaspoon of sea salt.
  • Orange curry — whisk two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, one teaspoon grated orange zest and one tablespoon curry powder.
  • Lemon pepper — whisk two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, one teaspoon grated lemon zest, and two teaspoons freshly cracked pepper.

Source: Taste of Home.com