Prisco’s Family Market

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

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Guacamole – The Fruit Dip We Americans Love to Eat- Tuesday, January 23, 2018

If you are over the age of forty you can no doubt harken back to a time when an avocado was still a bit unusual, and most Americans were either unfamiliar with or a bit squeamish about things like guacamole dip. Fast forward to the 1990s and we see all of that begin to change.

By the turn of the century, annual consumption of avocados began to rise dramatically year after year. In 2000 we each consumed on average about 2 lbs. of avocados annually, but in just 15 years that figure had grown 350% to seven pounds. Not only do we really love those little green fruits with the big seeds and bumpy brown skin, Super Bowl Sunday every year we consume over 50 Million pounds of the little critters, and it is safe to bet that about 70% of those avocados end up in the form of a guacamole dip.

So, guacamole dip…it tastes great and we can’t seem to get enough of it, but is it in any way healthy? Although high in fat, it’s the healthy monounsaturated variety. According to the American Heart Association, when healthy monounsaturated fats are in moderation in place of saturated and trans-fat, this can help lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol. However, if you overdo it guacamole can turn from good-for-you, to not very good-for-you quickly. A 1/2-cup serving of traditional guacamole contains around 100 calories and 9 grams of fat. And don’t forget to add the chips, which run about 140 calories per ounce (about 15 chips). However, it’s tough to stick to just 15 chips and stop scooping that guacamole. Many people tend to eat several servings at a time, which can rack up hundreds of calories.

Bottom line: Guacamole is a healthy snack packed with fabulous nutrients your body needs. Enjoy your guacamole, but keep those portions in check.


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.


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.


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.


What you may not know about cranberries!- Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Most folks don’t know that our neighbor to the north, Wisconsin, is the leading producer of cranberries in the US. Some 60 percent of all cranberries packaged and canned in the US come from 20 counties in central and northern Wisconsin. Actually, the cranberry is Wisconsin’s official state fruit. Cranberries are the state’s number one fruit crop, both in size and economic value. The sand and peat marshes in central and northern Wisconsin create the perfect growing conditions for cranberries.

Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water, but they are harvested using water. I know, we’ve all seen too many Ocean Spray commercials. A perennial plant, cranberries grow on low running vines in sandy bogs and marshes. In Wisconsin, cranberry marshes are flooded with water to aid in harvesting. Because the tart, tiny berries contain a pocket of air, when the marsh is flooded, the berries float to the surface to be picked up by harvesting equipment. Cranberries are harvested each year from late September through October.

Cranberries score among the highest of all fruits in antioxidants. Diets including fruits and vegetables with high antioxidant values, like cranberries, may help support memory function and coordination.

  • Cranberries are a cholesterol-free, fat-free and low-sodium food, and help maintain a healthy heart.
  • Cranberries are part of a healthy diet and contain antioxidants that may help maintain a healthy immune system.
  • As part of a healthy diet, cranberries can be added to low-fat vinaigrettes, whole grain pancakes, and yogurt.
  • Cranberries are ingredients in more than 1,000 food and beverage products on the market, and only 5 percent of Wisconsin's cranberry crop is sold as fresh berries.


Pomegranates – one of our lesser known Super Fruits- Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Are you looking for refreshing alternatives to sugary sodas? We suggest you try enjoying pomegranates, both in their natural state and as a juice. Yes, recently pomegranate has become increasingly popular, popping up on trendy salad and martini menus everywhere, but there are good reasons for this...

The Pomegranate tree is native to Asia and has been revered among many ancient religions for medicinal purposes. Researchers believe that the fruit’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may be used to help certain heart conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack and congestive heart failure. Known as one of the "super fruits", pomegranates contain elements that can help prevent fatty deposits from building up around our arteries. Studies have found that consuming pomegranate juice can reduce the development of these fatty deposits, a problem commonly found in patients with chronic conditions (such as diabetes).

While drinking pomegranate juice is the easiest way to get the benefits of this super fruit, don’t overlook the fun and great taste that can be had eating the fruit as well. Whole pomegranate seeds contain a good amount of fiber, too, which is essential for proper digestive and heart health.

Don’t overdo it, however. These little red bombs are high in naturally-occurring sugar. Eat the fruit or drink this delicious ruby-red juice in moderation — a small dash of juice in a glass of regular or seltzer water goes a long way!

Unlike those bananas or navel oranges which are easy-to-peel-and-eat fruits, round, hard, tough-skinned pomegranates are a bit more difficult to break open. Here are some ways to master this fruit and get to the juicy seeds inside.

  • Option one: Quarter the pomegranate with a knife and place the pieces in a bowl of water. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl while the rest of the fruit’s pith floats!

  • Others cut open the top of the fruit (like you would before carving a pumpkin) and then cut the fruit into slices, scooping out the seeds and putting them in a strainer for rinsing.

  • Try your hand at peeling. Starting from the pointy end, try your best to peel back the sides. (You can use a knife to get the process started.) Once you’ve peeled back some of the skin, use those fingers to gently loosen the kernels. Peel back the white pithy membranes as you go, and discard.

Healthy Snack Ideas That Kids Will Eat & Love- Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sometimes it’s awfully hard to come up with fresh new ideas and parents especially like new, good-to-eat, and good for their health ideas to prepare for their kids. We thought we would throw a few out there...Perhaps one or more might be a winner in your family.


Popcorn is a sure-fire hit with kids, and... it's a whole grain! Popcorn actually has 4 grams of fiber per 3-cup serving, which makes it a filling snack. Plus, it's endlessly versatile. You can transform air-popped popcorn with all sorts of toppings, including grated cheese, nutritional yeast, or cinnamon and sugar.

Peanut Butter

Natural peanut butter (no added sugars and other kinds of fats) is a great snack option. It gives your kids protein and healthy fats, and pairs perfectly with apples, bananas, celery and whole-grain crackers or toast.


Cheese is super-flavorful and satisfying, and gives your kids protein and calcium. Just make sure it's not in every meal and snack. Pairing cheese with apple slices or carrot sticks (or whatever fruits and vegetables your kids like) is the ideal power snack.

Grilled Cheese

Snacks don't need to be made from snack foods. Serving a sandwich (or half of one) can be a smart solution for snack time. Even grilled cheese can be a good choice when you use 100-percent whole-grain bread and add in sliced apples for extra fiber.

Super Crispy Rice Treats

Everyone loves marshmallow and rice crispy treats. Give them a health boost by including dried apricots, apples or cranberries, some ground flaxseeds, and roasted unsalted hulled sunflower seeds. Use puffed whole-grain cereal to make them even better for your kids.

Healthy Chips and Dip

A serving of pita or tortilla chips is really fine nutritionally — it has filling fiber and can be a tasty vehicle for healthy dips, such as hummus, black bean dip or salsa.


Eating almonds is good for your health and can help you lose weight.- Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Natural, unsalted almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack with plenty of health benefits. Loaded with minerals, they are also among the healthiest of tree nuts. Just a handful of nutrient-rich almonds a day helps promote heart health and prevent weight gain, and it may even help fight diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer's.

Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese, and a good source of fiber, copper, phosphorous and riboflavin. A one-ounce serving has 13 grams of “good” unsaturated fats, just 1 gram of saturated fat and is always cholesterol-free. When compared ounce for ounce, almonds are the tree nut highest in protein, fiber, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin. Every crunch carries lots of important vitamins and minerals, including one that most people don’t even think of in nuts: calcium. Usually associated with dairy and dark leafy greens, calcium works with vitamin D to build your bones and keep your body’s systems running at peak performance.

Almonds can help stave off hunger and satisfy your cravings. Almonds are considered a good fit with many popular weight-loss plans because they provide stellar satiety, plentiful nutrients per calorie, and great, go-with-every-food flavor and crunch.

What about calories in almonds? A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a one-ounce serving of almonds (about 23 nuts) has just 129 calories as opposed to the previous count of 160. That's a 20% decrease. Even better, almonds are also super simple to integrate into your diet. Just grab them as a great weight loss snack or make them part of a meal, and you could see the scales tip in your favor.


Flaxseed and Quinoa, Two Healthy Additions to Any Diet- Tuesday, August 29, 2017

As people become more and more conscious of their food choices, we are finding that many obscure and previously difficult to find food items are becoming more and more commonplace. For example, up until a handful of years ago, not many people had even heard of quinoa, let alone known of its many health benefits. The same is true for flaxseed meal, which is also experiencing a surge in popularity due to its nutritional properties -- especially its usefulness as a low-carb fiber source in many weight-loss diets.

Some nutritional information

What's so special about quinoa? Quinoa's reputation as the epitome of natural health foods is well deserved. It's gluten-free, packed with protein, and contains all nine of the essential amino acids required by the human body for proper function. It's also high in fiber, B-vitamins, potassium and calcium, and vitamin E. A cup of quinoa contains 220 calories, 39 grams of carbs and only 4 grams of fat.

How is quinoa used? Quinoa is a versatile grain and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be consumed on its own (cooked, of course), or as part of a recipe. Most folks use it in a similar manner to rice or bulgar wheat; you can try mixing your favorite seasonings with cooked quinoa and using it as a stuffing. It also makes for a fantastic and filling salad, such as this Quinoa Tabbouleh or Tuscan Quinoa Salad.

Flaxseed (sometimes referred to as "linseed"), is a real powerhouse of a food. It's been shown to improve digestion, lower cholesteroal, help maintain hormone balance, and promote weight loss. Flaxseeds are also the richest plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids available, making it perfect for vegans and strict vegetarians who may have difficulty finding a source elsewhere. Flax is also high in fiber but low in carbohydrates, making it a filling option for folks on a diet. And, like quinoa, flaxseeds contain complete proteins, which means they have notable amounts of all nine essential amino acids. Two tablespoons of flaxseed meal contains 60 calories, 4 grams of carbs and 5 grams of healthy fats.

How is flaxseed used? Flaxseeds are most commonly used ground, as they are not easily digestable whole. Flaxseed meal can be integrated without issue into most recipes that use batters or doughs. You can expect to see flaxseed meal as an ingredient in many baking recipes (cookies and muffins especially), but you can also stir a tablespoon or two into yogurt, oatmeal, or your next smoothie for a little added fiber and protein. Interested? Try this recipe for Apple and Carrot Muffins or this one for Blueberry Pancakes. We also have a recipe for the kale lovers out there.


Low-Carb Cauliflower – A healthy food substitute- Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This week, we wanted to place the produce spotlight firmly over one of our favorite vegetables, cauliflower. This may seem like an odd choice, but if you are a foodie or simply keen on cooking, you've probably already come across a number of articles and other media featuring this under-appreciated vegetable. It's become popular as a low-carbohydrate substitute in many recipes, replacing common ingredients such as flour in certain dough recipes (ex., gluten-free pizza crusts), or as an alternative to starch- and carb-laden dishes like mashed potatoes.

A little about cauliflower

While there are many different cultivars of white cauliflower, they are all marketed under the same name. In addition to the white varieties we're all well aquainted with, cauliflower also comes in other shades, including orange, green, and purple. Such varieties include the "broccoflower", a genetic cross which combines the physical features of cauliflower with the chlorophyll of broccoli, while mostly maintaining the cauliflower's unique flavor. With heads ranging from yellow-green to lime-green, broccoflower has a slightly sweeter taste than conventional cauliflower.

Selecting and storing a head of cauliflower

When choosing a cauliflower, look for a clean, white head with tight bud clusters – you'll want to avoid cauliflower whose florets are starting to separate or sag. The head of the cauliflower should be surrounded by thick green leaves, leaving the florets better protected and ensuring freshness over a longer period. Spotted or dull-colored cauliflower, of course, should be avoided if possible.

Cauliflower will keep forup to five daysif stored in a perforated plastic bag or in an open dry container in the refrigerator, but is best eaten as soon as possible. Never seal your cauliflower in a plastic bag or other closed container and always keep the head stem-side up to prevent moisture form collecting on it during storage, which can accelerate rot.

Cauliflower recipes

So, how to prepare your cauliflower? As mentioned previously, you have plenty off options when it comes to cooking this incredible vegetable. There are a number of substitution options for more complex recipes, and cauliflower can serve as a standalone ingredient for simple sidedishes in place of other, more conventional veggies. Consider the following examples...

Cauliflower Rice

Instead of the usual white rice, substitute cauliflower in your favorite recipes. Just pulse the florets in a food processor or grate them on a box grater (via medium-sized holes) until you have small, rice-sized pellets. Once you have your "rice", just saute in a skillet over medium heat in olive oil; cover and allow the heat to steam the cauliflower until desired tenderness. You can then season your "rice" as you see fit. - Cauliflower rice can be used in any dish that calls for white rice, including sushi.

Cauliflower in place of potatoes

This applies to both mashed varieties and chopped. Instead of diced potatoes in your corned beef or breakfast-style hash, try cauliflower. It cooks up roughly the same without any additional fuss, and really provides the texture you'd expect from a good hash. The cauliflower does an excellent job of soaking up the other flavors, whether you are cooking with bacon or meat or simply spices, and is an excellent base for highly seasoned dishes.

Cauliflower also makes for a fantastic mashed potato substitute. If you are trying to shave off calories and carbs, serve up mashed cauliflower at your next meal. It's easy to prepare: Just steam the cauliflower for about 14 minutes then place in a food processor. Add some cream or buttermilk, some butter, salt and pepper, and garlic if desired. Pulse until desired consistency and serve.

Basically, the sky's the limit when it comes to subbing cauliflower for potatoes. Shredded or diced cauliflower works splendidly in other potato-heavy dishes...Cauliflower Tots and Cauliflower Pancakes (fritters) are also fantastic. Just use your imagination!

Cauliflower pizza crusts

One of the most talked about uses for cauliflower these days is as an ingredient in low-carb and gluten-free pizza crust. Preparation is a bit more involved than making mashed cauliflower, but you're using many of the same utensils. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor until you have a powder – this is your flour alternative. For the specifics on preparing your cauliflower crust, see below.

Recipe courtesy of


1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg

2 cups freshly grated mozzarella

1/4 cup Pizza Sauce


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor to a fine snowy powder (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Transfer the processed cauliflower to a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a clean, dry kitchen towel and allow to cool.

When cool enough to handle, wrap the cauliflower in the towel and wring out as much moisture as possible, transferring to a second towel if necessary. In a large bowl, stir together the cauliflower, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, egg and 1 cup of the mozzarella until well combined. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and press into a 10-inch round. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and top with the pizza sauce and remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 10 minutes more.

Cauliflower in place of pasta in some dishes

Everyone loves macaroni and cheese, right? Well, even if you don't personally, surely you know someone who does. Cauliflower makes it possible for folks who love their mac to continue enjoying it, albeit modified. Just substitute small, bite-sized cauliflower pieces for the macaroni: Cook the cauliflower in boiling water for about five minutes; you're going for a more al dente texture, crisp-tender. Drain well and pat dry, then transfer to a baking dish. Pour your preferred cheese sauce over your "mac" and cook until browned on top and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Serve.

Cauliflower in cookies

This may not seem very appetizing, but it turns out that powdered/processed cauliflower can make a pretty good substitute for regular flour in cookies. For a tasty treat, try this recipe courtesy of

Flourless Oatmeal Cookies


1 cup frozen cauliflower, thawed

1/2 cup cottage cheese (I used 1%)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp honey

2 prunes, soaked in water for a couple minutes (the longer they soak, the better)

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350F. Combine cauliflower, cottage cheese, cinnamon, ginger, milk, maple syrup, honey, and prunes in food processor. Process until smooth. In a large bowl, mix together oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. Pour the mixture from the food processor into the bowl with oats. Mix to combine. Fold in cranberries and raisins. Form dough into cookies and place on greased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Let cool before removing from baking sheet and serving.