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

My Account

Search:
Asparagus, the "food of kings"- Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Asparagus may not officially be royalty, but it sometimes is referred to as the “food of kings,” and "the aristocrat” of vegetables. Cultivated for more than 2,000 years, asparagus was prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans for both taste and the medicinal properties they believed it possessed. King Louis XIV of France loved asparagus so much he had special greenhouses built, so he could enjoy the vegetable year-round.

Not only does asparagus taste delicious, it offers us a rich supply of nutrients. Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. It’s also a good source of antioxidants. This is just the beginning of a long list of health benefits attributable to asparagus, but we all want to eat it, not think about it. Why not consider some of these asparagus recipes and see if you don’t feel a bit more regal?

Asparagus and Jack Cheese Frittata

Risotto with Portobello Mushrooms and Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus Soup

Marinated Asparagus Salad

Steamed Asparagus

Chicken and Fresh Asparagus Casserole

 

Some things you just might not know about avocados- Tuesday, January 31, 2017

This weekend tens of millions of Americans will be tuned in to watch the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons do battle on the grid iron for ultimate bragging rights in 2017 as the kings of American football. Of course, while watching the game, it’s extended half time extravaganza and even its ridiculously expensive commercials, we will be sublimely satisfied downing our favorite adult beverages and lots of delicious finger food.

One of the most popular snack items associated with football watching is something that comes our way from south of the border, those delicious green vegetables (or are they fruits?) known as avocados.

I thought I’d share a little about what I’ve learned regarding this lovely green friend since recently took my position here in Prisco’s produce department.

Let me begin by setting the record straight. Even though they are often displayed near other well-known vegetables, the avocado is not really a vegetable but rather a fruit, a single seeded berry. So, I wonder... Should I start displaying them with the raspberries, strawberries and blueberries? Maybe not just yet.

So what makes it a fruit? Well, according to the University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources, a fruit is “the matured ovary of a flower,”. Fruits consist of a tough outer layer (the skin or rind), a middle layer we typically think of as the flesh of the fruit and a casing around a seed (or seeds). Avocado is further classified as a "fleshy" as opposed to a "dry" fruit, and a berry rather than a drupe, which has tough pits or stones, like peaches.

Here is something that surprised me, and perhaps you as well: I learned that an avocado has more potassium than a banana. A single avocado has 975 milligrams of potassium, while a banana, well-known for being loaded with potassium, delivers just half that, with 487 milligrams per large fruit.

As everyone knows, you want your avocados to be ripe in order to enjoy them. When they are shipped north we want them to still be in a rather unripe state so that they arrive here to the store in good shape. Once we buy them and take them home, however, we want them to ripen quickly so that we can truly enjoy them. Here is a little secret that will help you get ripe avocados sooner rather than later: Let them spend some time hanging around with some bananas or apples. Both of these fellow fruits release ethylene gas, a naturally-occurring plant hormone. If you store your unripe avocados in a brown bag with an apple or a banana, the gases trapped in the bag will help those green guys ripen quicker.

When looking to add protein to your diet we naturally think of meat as a good source. But what if you are a vegetarian or vegan and don’t eat meat? You still need your protein so it’s important to know where else you can get your required daily protein. It turns out that one avocado packs four grams of protein, among the highest amount coming from a fruit. And it’s good quality protein to boot. While they don’t contain every single amino acid required in the body’s protein-building process, they do have all 18 of the important ones. Plus, all of that protein is available for the body to use, while some of the protein you might get from meat sources is not.

For all you chefs and bakers, here is a good food substitution tip I recently learned as well that is worth passing along. You can substitute avocado for butter. The creamy texture and healthy fats make for a surprisingly easy baking substitution. And no, you won’t be making green muffins. By substituting avocado for some but not all of your butter in baking, you can cut the fat by almost 40%. You can substitute avocado for butter in a 1:1 ratio, but since it doesn't melt the same way it won't coat your dry ingredients the same. You need to increase your wet ingredients a little to compensate. Its recommended to just substitute avocados for half of the butter.

There you have it. Enjoy those avocados this weekend. Can we all say Ole for Guacamole?

 

Donna Hess – Produce Lead

Want to reduce your carb intake? Try cauliflower in your favorite recipes.- Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It's an unfortunate fact that ingredient-limited diets, especially those programs that require reducing carbohydrate intake, can be highly unpleasant for beginners. In many cases you're required to sacrifice most if not all of your favorite foods, leaving you feeling both hungry and miserable. However, it's important to stay the course even if you experience some discomfort. Don't let the initial side effects of a low carbohydrate diet stop you from eating healthy. Once you are over the hump and your body begins to adapt, you will find yourself feeling much better.

While this is good news, it does not address the loss of your favorite foods, which can be distressing for many people and make it difficult to persevere in their new dietary regimen. In order to make eating low carb satisfying and manageable over the long term, physically and mentally, you need to find a way to re-incorporate some of the foods you love. And one of the best ways to do that is to substitute low carb ingredients for the high carb ones in your favorite recipes.

This week, Prisco's Family Market is featuring cauliflower – one of the best low carb food substitutes out there. This amazingly versatile vegetable can fill in for just about anything "bready" – and in the spirit of experimentation, cooks have come up with plenty of new and interesting ways to use it.

Here is a list of recipes using cauliflower as a replacement for breads, pastas, and starches, while keeping your favorite flavors intact...

Cauliflower “Everything Bagels”

The quintessential New York food. Pair them with some fat and a protein source to make a complete breakfast. They’d be delicious with an avocado and some lox or turkey slices!

Recipe courtesy of lexiscleankitchen.com

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, riced (about 3 cups)

  • 2 tbsp almond flour

  • 1 tbsp coconut flour

  • 1 tbsp organic corn meal

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

"Everything" Topping

  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 1 tsp dried minced garlic

  • 1 tbsp dried minced onion

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a food processor, or using a hand grater, pulse/grate cauliflower until rice consistency

3. In a bowl combine eggs, cauliflower rice, almond flour, coconut flour, corn meal, garlic powder, and salt

4. In a separate bowl combine "everything" topping ingredients

5. Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet

6. Make 4 even sized balls and lay onto parchment paper

7. Sprinkle "everything" topping and slightly press them into the top

8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bread-like consistency (it might be longer depending on the size you make)

9. Remove from baking sheet and let cool directly on a cooling rack

Optional steps: Broil on high for 3-5 minutes after baking. For extra crisp, remove from baking sheet and do the broiling step with the buns directly on the oven rack.

 

Cauliflower “Rice”

For those of you who are accustomed to eating rice, this is a recipe for you.

Recipe courtesy of thepaleomom.com

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of cauliflower (4-5 cups riced)

  • 3 Tbsp cooking fat (such as coconut oil)

  • 2 tsp lemon zest (approximately 1 lemon)

  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/8 tsp salt , to taste

Instructions

1. Trim cauliflower and place florets in a food processor (you may have to do this in batches). Pulse until chopped to rice grain size. Set aside.

2. Heat cooking fat in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower to the oil and cook, stirring frequently until cauliflower is cooked al dente (about 6-8 minutes).

3. Stir in lemon zest, parsley and salt. Cook 1 minute. Enjoy!

 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower crust is thin and crispy, perfect for anyone who likes pizza with a nice crunch on the bottom. And since you’re making it yourself, it’s easy and fun to get really creative with the seasonings. (Note: You can also use that crust for calzones, pizza pockets, or just about anything else you’d otherwise use pizza dough for.)

Recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, stalk removed

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until fine. Steam in a steamer basket and drain well. (I like to put it on a towel to get all the moisture out.) Let cool.

3. In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder and eggs. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into a circle, resembling a pizza crust. Bake for 20 minutes.

4. Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes.

 

Cauliflower “Breadsticks”

A big basket of breadsticks can really bring the table together, and they’re delicious dipped in some homemade marinara sauce! Fortunately, cauliflower comes through again with a way to make them lower carb.

Recipe courtesy of fastpaleo.com

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower

  • 1 tablespoon of oregano

  • 1/2 tablespoon of basil

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 2 eggs

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. You can either put the whole head of cauliflower in a microwave safe dish and put in the microwave for 10 min. Then remove and put in a food processor until smooth OR you can put the cauliflower in the food processor first until you get a rice consistency and then put in a microwave safe dish and put in the microwave for 10 min.

2. Let the cauliflower cool slightly then place in the refrigerator until cooled completely.

3. Once cooled, mix the rest of the ingredients in the cauliflower.

4. Grease a cookie sheet and place cauliflower on it. Use your hands and pat down cauliflower until it is about 1/2 in thick. Place in an oven set for 425 degrees for about 25 min or until slightly brown.

5. Remove from oven and turn to broil at 500. Cut your cauliflower in the desired sticks you want and flip over. Place back in the oven until both sides are brown and desired crispness. Enjoy!

 

Cauliflower "Macaroni & Cheese"

Nobody can really pretend that cauliflower is shaped like macaroni, but if you’re looking to dig into a big pile of rich, cheesy goodness, cauliflower mac is just the thing.

Recipe courtesy of grassfedgirl.com

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cauliflower florets

  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup coconut milk, canned

  • 1/2 cup homemade broth

  • 2 tbsp coconut flour, sifted

  • 1 soy free organic egg, beaten

  • 2 cups grass-fed cheddar cheese/raw cheese

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Salt the cauliflower then steam it until al dente.

3. Then place the florets in a greased baking dish.

4. In a skillet heat up the coconut milk with a pinch of salt and pepper over medium heat.

5. Add the broth and keep stirring.

6. Add the coconut flour to the mixture and let the sauce bubble.

7. Remove the sauce from heat then whisk in the egg.

8. The sauce should thicken and then pour it over the cauliflower.

9. Add the cheese evenly then bake for 35-40 minutes.

10. Turn the oven to broil for 3-5 minutes to get a nice color on top.

 

Food trends we will be watching closely in 2017- Tuesday, January 24, 2017

One of the things that my sister Jacquie and I enjoy doing is reading through the food magazines to see what new food ideas are coming down the pike. We often find ourselves chuckling at some of the concepts that start on either the East or West coast, or the hipster pockets like Santa Fe, Bolder, and Portland.

The majority of these trends -- or more precisely, fads -- never make it to our stodgier Midwest before fading off into the sunset of "interesting moments in food". At the same time, however, we are keenly interested in being on top of what our customers may be hearing about and looking for. Besides, trying new things is just plain fun.

This week I thought I’d share just a few of the new food ideas and concepts that we think you will be paying close attention to this year.

Vegetarian Comfort Food

Last week, Dona wrote about vegetables and gave us some easy to make recipes and healthy ideas on how to use them. Turns out that eating more veggies is a real trend that is catching on, and not just something our mothers told us we needed to do if we wanted to live a good life.

Vegetables will continue to gain ground on the dinner plate as animal proteins and heavy side dishes make way for vegetarian options. According to Pinterest, there’s a rise in the word “veggies” in its comfort food searches by 336% last year, while words such as “lasagna,” “macaroni” and “Stroganoff” were off by 69%, 55% and 50%, respectively. What this means is that many more people are likely to order mashed cauliflower instead of rice and pasta, and they will be topping their pizzas with spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms rather than sausage and pepperoni.

Cauliflower – the current “HOT” Veggie

According to the food experts, cauliflower will be the new veggie that we will see on restaurant menus everywhere. Move over kale and Brussels sprouts, it's cauliflower’s time to shine.

Breakfast with a New Twist

This past week, the business news mentioned that the effect of offering breakfast items all day is waning and not driving sales as it did the past two years at McDonalds. Perhaps what this means is that it may be time to change up the breakfast menu a bit. For example, companies like Starbucks are now offering spiced up breakfast sandwiches. What the food experts are saying is that the texture of breakfast is likely to change. Smoother breakfast offerings such as soft scrambled eggs, buttered grits, or oatmeal will start to be replaced by so-called more “aggressive”, crunchier items like fried chicken, crispy chorizo and chimichurri.

Wake up with Chocolate

Recent studies linking dark chocolate consumption to positive health benefits may encourage more consumers to indulge in the a.m. A recent study from Syracuse University highlighted the benefits of dark chocolate, specifically on cognitive function — abstract reasoning, memory, and focus. What better time to ramp up your ability to focus and get your thinking cap in place than first thing in the morning before heading off to work? Perhaps it’s time to make a chocolate bagel sandwich with a Lindt dark chocolate bar nestled between the two warm haves of a toasted all-grain bagel?

Rethinking Pasta

Pasta is pasta right? Well, no, not really. We are beginning to see a growth in popularity of more plant-based pastas. Again, more focus on the veggies. Alternative grain noodles made from quinoa, lentils and chickpeas (which also happen to be gluten-free) are quickly becoming favorites, while grain-free options like spiralized veggies and kelp noodles are also on the rise.

The Color Purple

Yes, that is the title of a 1982 novel by Alice Walker that won a Pulitzer Prize and later became a popular Steven Spielberg movie. But here I’m referring to a new color trend we can expect to see as it relates to the food we eat. Richly colored purple foods are popping up everywhere: purple cauliflower, black rice, purple asparagus, elderberries, acai, purple sweet potatoes, purple corn and cereal. The power of purple goes beyond the vibrant color and often indicates nutrient density and antioxidants. 

Hope you found this interesting and if you have any new ideas about the foods you want to see offered at our store, please let us know! We are always on the lookout for new ideas -- especially ideas that our customers bring us.

 

Bridget

Kitchen Gadgets Worth Having- Tuesday, January 17, 2017

For the chef or foodie that loves spending time in the kitchen, we have come up with a list of some handy gadgets that may not all be must haves, but certainly are worth considering.

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Ratcheting Pineapple Slicer with Depth Guide

  • Quickly and easily cores and slices fresh pineapples

  • Ratcheting turning knob for continuous rotations

  • Measurement markings on shaft help prevent piercing the bottom of the pineapple shell

  • Knob and shaft separate with the press of a button for easy cleaning and are dish washer safe

  • Sharp, medium-sized blade is shaped for compact storage

  • Accommodates most pineapple sizes

  • Soft, comfortable, non-slip grip and BPA free

Available from Amazon here.

 

OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer

  • All-in-one tool splits, pits, and slices avocados safely and effectively

  • Pitter removes pit with a safe and easy twisting motion

  • Slicer removes fruit from skin in perfectly even slices

  • Soft, comfortable, non-slip grip

  • Top-rack dishwasher safe

Available from Amazon here.

 

BBQ Temperature Tongs

  • All-in-one tongs and digital fork

  • Always have your BBQ meat done right

  • No more multiple tools

  • Large clear LCD display

Available from Amazon here.

 

Spirelli Spiral Slicer

  • Sturdy stainless steel blades

  • Creates endless julienne strips

  • Finger guard

  • Stainless steel/Plastic

  • Dishwasher safe

Available from Amazon here.

 

How to maximize the nutrition from fresh vegetables- Tuesday, January 17, 2017

“Eating more vegetables is a great way to eat healthier.” As the insurance company commercials say… “Everybody knows that.” Well, we all know it, but the sad truth is that far too often we tend to ignore those sage words of advice when making meal plans. Trust me, if every customer at Prisco’s was eating all the fresh fruits and vegetables that the USDA recommends, I’d need to clone myself three times to keep up with the demand.

So, since we know that more vegetables are good for us but we often don’t make the effort to eat them, I thought that perhaps if I gave out two pieces of simple advice we could all do a bit better. Here you go… two key tips:

  1. Don’t cook all the nutrients out of your vegetables or you will gain nothing and end up with flavorless, disappointing fillers.

  2. Change things up and try some new but easy to make recipes that will add some adventure to what you are serving.

Most vegetables can be eaten either raw or cooked, and it’s a fact that cooking your vegetables can lead to a loss of nutritional content and flavor, especially when boiled. The key is to watch out for cooking vegetables too long, and with too much water. If you cook vegetables gently -- and without a great deal of water -- you will help protect the water-soluble vitamins. You might try blanching your veggies, which is when you quickly cook vegetables in boiling water, and remove them when they're still very crisp, to help preserve the color and nutrients.

Here are some other helpful tips that will keep most of the nutrients in your vegetables as you cook them.

  • Rinse fresh vegetables thoroughly before using. Even those with skins need to be washed to remove bacteria, insects, and as much pesticide as possible. However, don’t soak them as that can remove key nutrients, like vitamin C.

  • To preserve water-soluble vitamins and minerals, cut veggies into large pieces or cook them whole. Baked potatoes, for example, keep more nutrients than mashed potatoes.

  • Try to keep cooking time, temperature, and the amount of liquid to a minimum. That’s why steaming is one of the best ways to cook vegetables.

  • Another good idea is to use your microwave rather that a boiling pan. Microwaving broccoli can preserve up to 80% of its vitamin C.

  • Baking or roasting is another healthy option for most veggies, while “griddling” -- cooking on a flat metal surface with little to no oil -- was shown in studies to be an especially good choice for beets, celery, onions, Swiss chard, and green beans.

  • Sautéed vegetables require a bit of oil, but that’s not a bad thing if you use a heart-healthy choice like olive or canola oil. Add some spices and garlic for good flavor. Smash your garlic first as this will release the flavor and enzymes that discourage blood vessel clots.

Taking these suggestions to heart, I came up with four recipes that I’d like to suggest you try. Each is easy to do and makes use of one or more of the nutrient saving tips listed here.

Baked Parmesan Zucchini

Honey-Glazed Carrots

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Baked Sweet Potato "Fries"

 

Eat all your veggies!”

Dona Hess – Produce Lead

Make good use of your Crock-Pot!- Tuesday, January 10, 2017

After the holidays, we are all looking to get back on track and try to eat healthier. Our sales of chicken (especially skinless, boneless breasts) spike this time of year. There is good reason that this happens. Half a chicken breast with skin-on has about 13.4 grams of fat and 249 calories; without the skin, the same amount of chicken breast meat has only 135 calories and 3.06 grams of fat.

A disadvantage of skinless chicken, however, is its tendency to dry out, which I spoke about in a blog last year. You can avoid this by using a slow cooker or Crock-Pot. The long, slow cooking process will concentrate the flavors of the chicken and added seasonings without drying the meat, and cooking in a slow cooker allows you to cook the meal while away from home with no worries of scorching the meat.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

Begin by rinsing the skinless, boneless chicken breasts and then patting them dry with a paper towel. Next, place them next to each other in the bottom of your slow cooker or crock-pot. If possible, keep the meat in one layer covering the bottom and don’t overlap it.

Next, sprinkle seasonings, such as freshly ground black pepper, fresh or dried herbs and a little salt, over the chicken breasts. Sodium-free seasoning blends are a good choice if you are on a low-salt or salt-free diet. Now add just a dash of liquid -- about a tablespoon or two -- to the slow cooker. The small amount of liquid will help the chicken remain moist as it steams in the cooker. For a neutral taste, use low-fat chicken or vegetable broth. For a more of flavor boost, kick it up using fresh squeezed lemon juice or white wine. Not interested in any of these? Plain tap water will do the job as well.

Turn the chicken breasts over with tongs so they get a thin coating of liquid. This will prevent the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the cooker. Place the lid on the slow cooker. Turn it on and adjust it to cook on high for three to four hours or low for seven to eight hours.

Remove the lid about halfway through the cooking time and turn the chicken breasts over with tongs. Replace the lid and continue to cook the chicken.

If you are looking for a easy to make crock pot chicken recipe, try this:

SLOW COOKER BALSAMIC CHICKEN

4 Servings PREP TIME: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 8 Hours

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, brown sugar and garlic; set aside.

Season chicken breasts with basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste.

Place chicken breasts into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in balsamic vinegar mixture. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

 

Good Eating

Chris Tope – Meat Department Manager

Crock Pots and Slow Cookers -- The Working Mom's Helper- Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The usefulness of crock pots and slow cookers really can't be overstated. They are incredibly valuable appliances, particularly for individuals who work full time and may not have the energy or interest to prepare a meal from scratch when they get home.

There are a number of advantages to using a crock pot. Firstly, the lower temperatures reduces the risk of scorching foods which tend to stick to the bottom of a pan, or which may burn easily in a conventional oven. In fact, slow-cooking makes it almost impossible to burn food even if it's cooked much too long (while your food may end up with a somewhat unpleasant texture, at least you won't end up with charcoal briquettes for dinner!).

Slow cookers are also perfect for preparing less expensive and/or tougher cuts of meat, such as chuck roasts, chuck steaks, beef stew meat, venison, or any other variety of meat that contains a lot of connective tissue and collagen.  The longer cooking times utilized by crock pots and similar appliances results in a breakdown of that unpleasant tissue, thereby tenderizing the meat and making it significantly more palatable.

Last, but most importantly, slow cookers are super convenient!  Many recipes do not require much fuss from you; simply load the requisite ingredients into the cooker and leave it alone.  In fact, some models include timers or thermostats which bring food to a given temperature, and then lower it automatically to minimize the likelihood of over-cooking, so you can expect the best possible outcome from your recipes.  Also, cooking your meals in a single pot, rather than an array of pots and pans and other hardware, reduces the amount of time spent washing up afterward -- and the low cooking temperature and glazed pot make cleaning easy.

So for you moms (and dads!) out there who don't have a lot of extra time on your hands, consider getting a crock pot or slow cooker, and you may never find yourself without a plan for dinner again.

A side note for new crock pot owners (courtesy of About.com):  Whenever you purchase a new slow cooker, use it the first few times, on HIGH and on LOW, before leaving it unattended.  There's always a potential for the crock pot to boil the food if it operates at a higher temperature than other pots, so you should determine what to expect from the different temperature settings.  Also, remember to place the cooker on a cookie sheet, granite countertop, the stovetop, or a similar surface, as the bottom can get quite hot.

Click here for some slow cooker recipes.

 

Turn your New Year’s resolutions into real solutions for healthy eating!- Sunday, January 1, 2017

Every year as we head home from the last holiday party, usually a New Year’s celebration, we make a promise to ourselves to cut back on junk food and embrace healthier eating and physical exercise. Unfortunately, very few of us ever make it through the football playoff season and by the time the Superbowl arrives in early February, all our best intentions have fallen to the wayside.

It’s not easy to suddenly acquire will power and get serious about healthy eating and exercise, but if only we could it would do us all a world of good. There are tools, tips and aids that can help, and that is what we would like to begin to share with you today.

There are some painless ways that you can help yourself and other members of your family begin and maintain a healthier lifestyle. One great place to start is with the MyPlate Daily checklist, which isprovided by the US Department of Agriculture. Visit their website and take a few seconds to provide your sex, age, height and weight, and it will generate a couple eating checklists for you: One that will allow you to maintain your present weight if that is where you want to be, and another to help you lose weight over time. Here is the link.

In addition to the MyPlate Daily checklist, this site provides a wealth of information and great tips to help us all develop healthier lifestyles, especially as they relate to what we eat.

 

 

Everything You Eat and Drink Matters — Focus on Variety, Amount, and Nutrition

Choose a variety of foods and beverages from each food group to build healthy eating styles. Include choices from all the MyPlate food groups to meet your calorie and nutrient needs when planning or preparing meals and snacks.

FOOD GROUPS

Fruits - Focus on whole fruits. Fresh is best but also consider frozen, dried, and canned options. Always choose whole fruits more often than 100% fruit juice to help control sugar intake.

Vegetables - Vary your veggies. Vegetables are divided into five subgroups and include dark-green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, legumes (beans and peas), starchy vegetables, and other vegetables.

Grains - Make half your grains whole grains. Grains include whole grains and refined, enriched grains.

Protein Foods - Choose a variety of lean protein foods. Protein comes from both animal (seafood, meat, poultry, and eggs) and plant sources, (nuts, beans and peas (yes, these last two are veggies as well), seeds, and soy products).

Dairy - Move to low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt. Dairy includes milk, yogurt, cheese, and calcium-fortified soy beverages (soy milk).

Oils - Oils are part of healthy eating styles because they provide nutrients for the body, like fatty acids and vitamin E. They also enhance the flavor of your food. Some oils are eaten as a natural part of the food such as in nuts, olives, avocados, and seafood. Other oils are refined and added to a food during processing or preparation, such as soybean, canola, and safflower oils. Choose the right amount of oil to stay within your daily calorie needs.

Choose Foods and Beverages with Less Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Added Sugars

The saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars found in foods and beverages are important for you to think about as you build your healthy eating style. Although sometimes found naturally in foods and beverages, sugars, sodium, and ingredients high in saturated fat are very often added during processing or preparing foods and beverages. Try to limit or avoid highly processed foods.

Start with Small Changes

Create an eating style that can improve your health now and in the future by making small changes over time. Consider changes that reflect your personal preferences, culture and traditions. Think of each change as a “win” as you build positive habits and find solutions that reflect your healthy eating style.

 

New Year 2017- Sunday, January 1, 2017

Everyone here at the store is ready to unwind. With the holidays behind us, our busiest six weeks each year, it’s nice to get some calm back in all our lives. Don’t get me wrong, the rush that comes each year starting in mid-November and lasting through the end of the year is something that none of us would trade. During the holiday season, we work our hardest -- but at the same time it gives us the most satisfaction.

Since today is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down and ponder things in quite some time, I thought I’d reflect a bit on the year 2016, our 90th in the business, and at the same time look forward to what is ahead for our store in 2017 and beyond. For Prisco’s, I feel 2016 was a very blessed year.

Though transitioning a business has many barriers, complications, and complexities, we feel that Prisco’s is aimed high at the future and ready to bring Aurora and the surrounding communities a lot of excitement in 2017. Here is a peek at the things we have planned for this year (because you asked for it!):

  1. We are going to look at grocery categories, bring in new and exciting products you have been looking for, and make the store look even more beautiful.

  2. We are going to explore options on how we can make your shopping experience easier and more complete! This includes a stronger, more comprehensive online experience.

  3. We are looking to expand our dairy department to give more variety and the fresh options that you deserve!

  4. We are looking to expand our prepared meal offerings so you can have a delicious, home-cooked meal ready when you stop by!

  5. Last but not least, we are going to work with our awesome neighbors, both business and residential, to make this community one of the strongest in Aurora!

Together, let’s make 2017 a great year filled with fun, family, and food!

 

Andy