Prisco’s Family Market

1108 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-264-9400

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 am to 8:30 pm | Saturday, 7 am to 8 pm | Sunday, 8 am to 7 pm

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Potassium - A critical mineral we don’t tend to get enough of.- Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Potassium is an essential nutrient in our diet. It is the third most abundant mineral in the human body and is a powerful element in improving health. It contains the components for maintaining a high level of well-being and an improved lifestyle. Apart from acting as an electrolyte, this mineral is required for keeping the heart, brain, kidneys, muscle tissue, and other important organ systems of the human body in good condition. The benefits we extract from potassium include relief from stroke, blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders, and anxiety and stress. It helps to enhance muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and the nervous system.

As important as potassium is to maintaining good health, it just happens to be a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of. Currently, just 3 percent of the US population is meeting the US recommended adequate intake for potassium of 4,700 mg per day.

So what are good sources of potassium?

Although there are many sources of potassium in the produce aisle, potatoes are among the very best. Not only do potatoes rank highest for potassium among the 20 top-selling fruits and vegetables, but they are also the most affordable source of this key nutrient, providing significantly better nutritional value per dollar than most other raw vegetables and fruits. In fact, at just 110 calories, one medium-size (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato has more potassium than a banana, provides almost half the daily value of vitamin C, and is sodium-, fat- and cholesterol-free.

Most people think of bananas as a good source of potassium, which they are. However, 1 large banana only delivers about 15% of your daily recommended intake of this mineral.

Adding lentils to your soups or stews will deliver a decent amount of fiber which is important, but lentils also contain more than 350 milligrams of potassium in every half cup. That equates to roughly 10% of your daily intake for this critically important mineral, in addition to a decent amount of dietary fiber, copper and manganese, which can further help with heart health and bone mineral density.

Just half of a salmon fillet contains more than 20% of your potassium intake for the day, in addition to the plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and other essential minerals. Regularly eating salmon has been associated with better nervous system function, a reduction in blood pressure, and less inflammation throughout the body, which can be affected by poor fluid balance.

Looking for a healthier snack? Try raisins! With roughly 250 milligrams of potassium in every quarter cup, raisins are an excellent choice. Despite only being 7% of your recommended amount, raisins are also packed with other minerals and dietary fiber.

Avocados pack a powerful amount of potassium. Approximately 30% of your daily requirement of potassium can be found in a single avocado.

If you prefer to get your potassium in a liquid form, try milk. Roughly 10% of the daily requirement of potassium can be found in a single 8-ounce glass. This is in addition to the calcium and phosphorus available in this popular beverage, the levels of which can be regulated by proper potassium levels in the body.

 

Some tips and motivation to help keep you eating healthier.- Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Okay, silent show of hands, how many of you have stuck to your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and lose some weight? How many have had some set-backs but are still committed and working at it? Good, nice to see so many of you are committed to eating healthier this year, and kudos to those of you who have been zealous about it. Don’t get discouraged if over the weekend you may have fallen off the wagon a bit…just get up, and climb back on. You are not alone and we are all cheering each other on, right?

I like tips and shortcuts when it comes to facing a tough challenge, so I did some digging on the world-wide web and came up with a number of ideas to help each of us. See if any of them might work for you.

On the American Heart Association’s website I found the following tips:

  1. Watch your use of salt & other ingredients: Americans eat more than double the daily amount of sodium recommended by the American Heart Association. Too much sodium increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems, but this excess isn’t just from salting at the table. Americans get most of their sodium — 77 percent — from processed foods. If you choose these foods, compare the labels and look for lower-sodium versions. Reading labels is one of the best ways to eat healthier. In addition to watching out for too much salt, pay close attention to what else you are ingesting with the prepared food. Too many ingredients is usually a red flag, especially if most of the ingredients require a PHD in chemistry to know what they are and what they do to us.

  2. Pile on the fruits and vegetables: Spend more time in the produce department and try to make it a point to have two fresh fruits and or vegetables in every meal that you eat. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Look for fruits and vegetables of many different colors. Then try a “healthy sauté” using a small amount of liquid to cook vegetables. Need a quick, healthy weeknight dinner? Try a salad.

  3. All Fats are not bad. A certain amount of fat in our diet is necessary for good health, just choose good fats over bad whenever possible: Learn how to substitute good fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats) for bad fats (saturated and trans fats). For example, try canola oil or olive oil instead of butter. Choose lean meats, poultry without skin and fish instead of fattier cuts of meats. Enjoy heart-healthy fats in moderation and remember this tip: 1 teaspoon equals 1 serving.

  4. Cook at home. There are lots of reasons that a home-cooked meal is good for your health and your wallet. There is nothing wrong with an occasional night out or breakfast at your favorite pancake house, but home-cooked meals will save money and give you a better chance of eating healthier. Cooking at home allows you to make sure the ingredients are healthy and the portions are correct. Try using a smaller salad-size plate instead of a big dinner plate, as well.

If any of you have some healthy eating tips that you would like to share, please pass them along. Together we can all be a little bit healthier in 2018.

 

Andy

Meet Some Veggies That Will Boost Your Weight Loss Efforts- Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Everyone knows that eating your veggies is good for your health, but on top of that we’ve discovered that a number of vegetables happen to carry specific nutritional profiles that make them especially beneficial as aids to weight loss by revving your metabolism, turning off belly fat genes, and melting excess body fat. For Example:

  • Bell peppers - contain a metabolism-boosting compound, dihydrocapsiate, and their high vitamin-C content can help you lose weight. Just one cup of sweet bell peppers serves up three times the daily requirement of vitamin C, which counteracts stress hormones which trigger fat storage around the midsection. For a healthy snack, dip slices of bell peppers into hummus.

  • Broccoli - contains a phytonutrient called sulforaphane that will increase testosterone and fight off body fat storage. Like bell peppers, broccoli is also is a good source of Vitamin C.

  • Spinach - According to health experts, Popeye was on to something when he would bulk-up on spinach. Not only did it give him great biceps, but spinach took his calorie burning capability up a notch or two. The reason is that spinach is packed with protein, a nutrient that aids post-pump muscle recovery and growth.

  • Pickles – Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Pickles are low-cal, filled with fiber and covered in vinegar. One large pickle has just 15 calories and 2 grams of belly-filling fiber, so eating three or four can actually leave you feeling pretty satiated for less than 100 calories! How does the vinegar come into play? Acidic foods help increase the rate at which the body burns off carbs by up to 40 percent—and the faster you burn off carbs, the sooner your body starts incinerating fat, which can help you get that lean look you crave.

  • Onions – To begin with, onions are very low in calories and easy to add to most meals. However, the bigger benefit that onions offer is that they are rich in quercetin, a flavonoid that increase blood flow and activates a protein in the body that helps regulate glucose levels, torches stored fat, and keeps new fat cells from forming.

 

It’s A Good Time to Enjoy Hearty, Healthy Meal Options- Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The holidays have come and gone, and some of us feel a sense of disappointment at their passing...or perhaps regret. The stress and anxiety of preparation are behind us, which is a relief, but taking down the decorations is never as fun as putting them up. The thought of another three months of cold, snowy weather are also weighing on our spirits - unless you are a skier or snow plow driver.

Of cou­rse, the other thing most of us have to face after the holidays is the fact that a portion of all of that holiday cheer and good tasting food is now sitting around our waistlines and other places, stubbornly refusing to go away. Everyone knows that exercise will help move the scale in the right direction, but it’s insane to put on your coat and boots and head out for a lively jaunt when the temperature is below zero even without any wind chill. I do have a friend who received a new Fit-Bit for Christmas and he claims it’s motivated him to go out and walk a couple miles several times a week, but knowing him as I do, I think the newness of the Fit-Bit will wear off soon.

Well, I’m here to tell you that there is plenty of light at the end of this tunnel and we all need to be encouraging to each other. If we are supportive, getting through the remainder of winter is certainly manageable and better days are on the horizon. As we put together the store’s specials for these first few weeks of January, we tried to come up with a number of featured items that will do a good job of supporting a healthy diet; expect reasonable amounts of calories, and lots of foods that work well to keep us warm and energized on these very cold, sub-freezing days.

Some of my favorites are basic, simple things that I remember my mom - and her mom before her - cooking to fill our home with good smells and great tastes. Things like meatloaf, beef stew, chuck roasts, pasta and warm, homemade chili. You will find all of these items plus some new healthy suggestions in this week’s ad. For example, have you tasted our homemade super-food salad or our kale orzo salad? How about the pre-grilled and marinated chicken breasts in our deli?

I’d also encourage you to visit our new specialty cheese case and pick up one or two imported cheeses and a bottle of wine to pair with them. What a great way to spend an evening sitting in front of a roaring fire. (Don’t worry if you don’t happen to have a fireplace. It’s a nice option but definitely not required to enjoy the cheese and wine.)

 

Stay warm and healthy, Spring arrives March 20th.

Andy

Quick and Painless Ways to Reduce Calories- Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Okay, for those of you who are determined to maintain your 2018 New Year’s resolution to lose weight, here are a few painless ways to reduce the the number of calories you consume at each meal.

  1. Make French toast using egg whites and skim milk, and cook in a non-oiled, non-stick pan. This can save up to 250 calories.

  2. Make your own breakfast sandwich: Use an English muffin or two slices of multi-grain bread, microwave-poach an egg, then add tomato and a slice of fat-free cheese. Save about 500 calories.

  3. For breakfast, eat a low-fat waffle. (It racks up only 70 calories, while a bagel is about 360 calories. Save over 250 calories!)

  4. Reach for an orange rather than a glass of orange juice. You will feel fuller and save about 100 calories.

  5. Use ground chicken or turkey in your pasta sauce or chili rather than ground beef and save up 250 calories.

  6. Whip your soft-tub margarine with a countertop or hand blender. The whipped in air will make it have the consistency of pancake house whipped spread, and you will save 100 calories as you eat far less margarine.

  7. Avoid the ‘meat lovers’ pizza. Select a thin crust instead of a thick one, and order half the cheese and double the vegetables. This will easily save you about 500 calories.

  8. Spread sugar-free jam on your toast or sandwich. Two tablespoons contain just 20 calories, compared with 100 calories in traditional jam.

 

The New Cheese Case Has Arrived- Tuesday, January 2, 2018

As Andy noted in our pre-Christmas ad, Santa promised to get me a new cheese case to replace the one at the end of our first aisle that died a couple of months ago (RIP).

This past week it arrived, and there was quite a lot of excitement as we took it off the truck and struggled to get it into the store and situated in its new home in the center of aisle one. No one, however, is more excited than me as this case has been something that the store has needed for a long time. At long last we will be able to do our specialty cheese justice as we can dramatically increase the variety of cheeses offered.

With the wine section just steps away, I’ll be able to help wine and cheese lovers pair up combinations of each that will be both pleasing to taste and, in most cases, show a savings for both the wine and cheese. The new case will be filled with cheeses from nearly every country in Europe, as well as some from South and Central America and a few other interesting corners of the world. We will also be featuring many small batch cheeses produced locally in the Midwest by cheese makers who raise their cows, sheep and goats on family farms for the sole purpose of creating delicious artisan cheeses.

Next time you visit, please take some time to walk around the new cheese case and take a close look at what we now have to offer. And by all means, try a sample if we happen to have some available, and take home a package and tell us what you think about it. We'd love to get your feedback.

On another note, I wanted to remind folks that we just rolled out a new list of reward items that are now available for redemption on our Prisco’s Points program. This month we’ve added in some wine and craft beers. Legally we can’t give beer or wine items away free, but we are offering one of each of our most popular wines and craft beers for a price as low as $3.99 with a set number of Prisco’s Points. Not interested in adult beverages? No worries: check out our selection of ten other great offerings. There is something there to suit even the fussiest shopper's taste.

 

See you at the Cheese Case,

Bridget

Avocados – The SUPER FRUIT you will want to invite to your next party- Tuesday, December 26, 2017

This time of year, avocados are one of the stand-out items in our produce department. They’re the go-to ingredient for guacamole dips at parties, and they're also turning up in everything from salads and wraps to smoothies and even brownies.

The name that’s best known in the industry for avocados is the Hass brand. The Hass tree was discovered in the backyard of a mailman named Rudolph Hass in California in the 1930s, and Hass patented his tree in 1935. When we say avocados are popular, we aren’t kidding. On average, 53.5 million pounds of guacamole is eaten every Super Bowl Sunday, enough to cover a football field more than 20 feet thick.

So what, exactly, makes this pear-shaped berry (yes, it’s a fruit not a vegetable) such a super food? For one thing, avocados contain four grams of protein, making them the fruit with the highest protein content! They offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving, including potassium (which helps control blood pressure), lutein (which is good for your eyes), and folate (which is crucial for cell repair and during pregnancy).

Avocados are also a good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. They also give you vitamins C and E, plus natural plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer. Avocados are low in sugar and have he highest fiber content of any fruit, which helps you feel fuller, longer.

These are all great facts, but there is such a thing as too much avocado. While the fat in avocado is monounsaturated fat (which is a "good" type of fat that helps lower bad cholesterol), avocados have a lot of calories. The recommended serving size is smaller than you’d expect: 1/5 of a medium avocado (or 1 ounce) is 50 calories.

 

Let’s Party Like It's 2018- Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Well, Christmas just flew past in a flash. The presents are all unwrapped and many have already been exchanged for something with a better fit or catchier look. What’s next? Well this is the season for celebration, so if you are like most of us the next big thing are the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day parties with friends and neighbors, and perhaps even some relatives who are still in town.

Here are some easy to execute party ideas that your guests will love almost as much as you, because most of these ideas involve us doing all the work with you getting all the credit.

For the most part, New Year’s parties are not sit-down dinner occasions. The food is casual and finger-friendly. For starters, I'd like to suggest the following:

  1. Cheese and fruit trays. This is something my sister Bridget started making up for Thanksgiving this year and they have been a real hit. At $15 each, try two different varieties and listen for the 'oohs' and 'ahs'.

  2. Speaking of appetizers, be certain to check out our new appetizer bowls of chicken wings and Santa Fe egg-rolls.

  3. Continuing on with the idea of finger foods, we are featuring three appetizers this week that are ideal for a New Year's or indoor tailgate party: Bacon-Wrapped Dates stuffed with goat cheese, Mushrooms stuffed with our homemade Italian Sausage & cheddar cheese, and Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeños stuffed with chive and veggie cream cheese.

  4. Our Corned Beef Sliders are a tasty treat and available in packages of six or twelve, so combining packages. You can get just enough for a party of four or forty.

  5. I’d also suggest you consider our homemade pizzas or pasta items located in the first aisle freezer, and nothing hits the spot like a nice slice of Grandma Prisco’s recipe homemade lasagna, available with just cheese, meat or vegetables. Depending on the size of your guest list, we offer full and half trays in the freezer case. Just heat and enjoy.

  6. Another can’t miss favorite from our kitchen is our homemade Italian beef in au jus.This week for the holiday we are offering a free package of six Milano Italian Beef rolls FREE with the purchase of one pound or more of our beef.

If you stop into the store and visit us in the deli we’ve got lots more ideas and things to show you. Looking for craft beer and wine recommendations? Ask Justin and Andy for some suggestions as we have something for everyone’s taste and budget.

Have a fun and safe New Year’s weekend, and we will see you next week when we all go on a diet.

 

Happy New Year!

Jacquie

Need help in the Kitchen? Call on us!- Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I have little time to chit-chat today...Actually, no, that’s not true, I have absolutely NO time to chit-chat today, but I thought it was important to get the word out to those of you who may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with your holiday preparations. If you want to take some of the pressure off yourself, I’d encourage you to give us a call or stop in the store and ask for some help with some of the hard-to-do or perhaps mundane (but still time consuming) tasks required to get a Christmas dinner on the table.

For example, why peel and boil potatoes or make stuffing or cranberry relish when we can do it for you, saving time and mess and giving you more time to work on important menu items? Other popular Christmas items include Grandma Prisco’s homemade lasagna in three varieties, our homemade meatballs and homemade pulled pork, and Grandpa Tony’s homemade Italian beef. Thinking about desserts? We have a wide assortment of sweets, including cookies, pies and cakes. Appetizers are easily taken care of with one each of our shrimp cocktail, cheese and antipasto trays. Don’t forget to check out Bridget’s assortment of brie and other classic gourmet cheeses to serve before or after dinner with your favorite wine.

Are we busy? You bet we are, but only because of great customers like you, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call or visit; we'll put our heads together to see how we can make this Christmas dinner one you will enjoy and fondly remember.

As I close out now and head back to our kitchen, I do want to add one final thought. From my kids, Andy, Bridget and Jacquie, myself and all the rest of the Prisco & Guzauskas families and our employees, we would like to thank you, our loyal Prisco’s customers, for counting on us year after year to provide your family with the food that you will share on this most special holiday.

 

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to all.

Beth

Some Cheese & Wine Selections for Christmas- Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Some of the most popular cheeses to serve over the holidays include creamy goat’s cheese, any number of brie, tangy/extra mature cheddar, and English stilton. As you build your cheese tray, try to include a variety of textures and tastes, and be certain to offer some well recognized American favorites for your cheese newbie guests.

Most cheese belongs to one of four basic categories: aged, soft, firm, or blue. For a good variety, choose at least one from each group. Some examples: 

 Aged: Aged Cheddar, Comte, Goat Gouda
 Soft: Constant Bliss, Camembert, Brillat-Savarin
 Firm: Manchego, Mimolette, Parmigiano-Reggiano
 Blue: Gorgonzola Dolce, Valdeón, Stilton

When choosing wine to go with your cheese, serve unoaked or lightly oaked white wines such as pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc, riesling and chardonnay, and light-style red wines, such as pinot noir, with lighter cheeses like goat cheese, feta, Monterey Jack, Colby, young cheddar, and Jarlsberg.

Serve bigger-style red wines, such as some pinot noirs and merlots, with semi-hard cheeses including farmhouse cheddars, dry Monterey Jack, Manchego, and Gouda.

Some of your guests are likely to prefer a sweeter wine (Port, Sherry and Madeira). These work best with salty, stronger cheeses such as Roquefort, Stilton and other blue cheeses, or pungent cheeses like Alsatian Muenster, French Epoisses or Italian Taleggio.

If you'd like just one wine to go with a variety of cheeses, then select either riesling or an unoaked or very lightly oaked chardonnay for a white wine, and a light to medium-bodied pinot noir as your red wine.