Thursday, August 22, 2013

Guest Post: Fun Red Hatter Summer Recipes

From the Queen of Royal Fitness

Summer is a time for having fun - spending time with family and friends at picnics, barbecues or walking on the beach. It's also a time when scrumptious summer fruits and berries are plentiful. Why not get in season with some berries that come in our favorite colors? How about some new and different ways to have fun eating strawberries and blueberries (purple berries)?

Need some encouragement to get your 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups of fruit per day? Fruit is naturally low in fat and calories, contains lots of fiber, and is chock-full of vitamins and antioxidant, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Red Hatter strawberry facts: 

  • They're a member of the rose family
  • They have more vitamin C than an orange
  • They rank among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity 
Red Hatter blueberry facts:

  • They rank the highest of any fruit in antioxidants
  • One cup contains less than 100 calories
  • Eating them has been shown to improve test scores on cognitive function

Here are some new ways to enjoy these nutrition packed berries:

Stawberry Ice Cubes (16 minutes prep)
(recipe from epicurious- Gourmet May 2008)

1lb. Strawberries
1/2 cup Water
1/3 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Puree all ingredients in a blender or mixer until smooth
  • Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup
  • Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid, about 4 hours
Add a strawberry ice cube to a glass of sparkling wine or add 2-3 cubes to a glass of lemonade and enjoy!

Chicken and Blueberry Pasta Salad (30 minutes prep)
(recipe from Eating Well online)

1lb. boneless, skinless chicken (poached, grilled or precooked)
8oz. whole wheat fusilli or radiatore pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot thinly sliced
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Shred cooked chicken into bite-sized strips
  • Cook pasta until tender, drain and place in a large bowl 
  • Heat oil and shallot in a small skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occassionally, until softened and starting to brown (about 2-5 minutes)
  • Add broth, feta cheese and lime juice to the pan and cook until feta begins to melt (about 1-2 minutes)
  • Add the chicken to the bowl of pasta
  • Add the cooked ingredients from the pan
  • Toss in the blueberries, thyme, lime zest and salt
  • Toss until all ingredients are combined
Tip: Can be cooked one day ahead. Refrigerate the pasta/chicken mixture separately from the cooked ingredients. Add the blueberries when you're ready to serve.

Let's have some fun Red Hatters! Try out these recipes and post a picture of yourself in RHS colors with your finished product on the Red Hat Society's Facebook Page. I'll be looking for you!

See you back here next month with more ideas about how to have fun and be healthy.

The Queen of Royal Fitness

In addition to being a RHS Queen, Lorie Eber, JD is a Wellness Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, and Gerontologist. Learn more about her at

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