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Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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Oct
14
2021

I love creating new recipes that include some of my favorite immune boosting ingredients. This tasty recipe combines chickpeas, California grapes, Greek yogurt, and pecans.

Did you know that natural grape compounds, including antioxidants and other polyphenols, help protect the health and function of cells? Studies suggest that resveratrol and certain flavonoids may positively influence immune function. Grapes are a good source of vitamin K, which may help support lung health during COVID-19.

In my newest recipe, Chickpea Salad with Grapes + Pecans, I used several immune health ingredients like chickpeas, Greek yogurt, grapes, and pecans. I use it with pita bread but it can also be used on whole wheat bread or on top of greens.

Grapes are also a perfectly portable snack. Whether you’re hiking and biking or chilling and grilling in the backyard, get outside and enjoy. Grapes are also perfect to send to school with your kids or enjoy after a workout. I also love giving them to my teenage daughter who plays high school volleyball as grapes are also very hydrating and she LOVES California grapes…they contain about 82% water!


Chickpea Salad with Grapes + Pecans

Serves 6

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups red California grapes, sliced in half
½ cup celery ribs, diced
½ cup pecans, chopped
6 pita bread halves

Dressing
¼ cup Greek yogurt, plain
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Sea salt, to taste

Mash ½ of chickpeas. Combine all chickpeas with grapes, celery, and pecans. In a small bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar. Add dressing to chickpea mixture and stir until well combined then spoon mixture into pita bread.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Opinions are my own.

by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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Sep
9
2021

I’m always looking for new ways to prepare salmon and I must say, I hit this one out of the park! I’m using several heart healthy ingredients like salmon, grapes, olive oil, garlic and pistachios to create my yummy recipe….Salmon with Roasted California Grapes + Pistachios!

Heart-healthy grapes may help promote long-term health. Grapes help support heart health by promoting the relaxation of blood vessels to help maintain healthy circulation. Research suggest that adding grapes to the diet every day helps support heart health in both men and women.

Salmon with Roasted Grapes and Pistachios
Serves 4

4 cups red California grapes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pistachios, chopped
4- 5 oz. salmon filets
3 T olive oil (divided)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss grapes in 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic. Place grapes on a baking sheet. Mix 1 tablespoon olive oil with chopped pistachios. Put them on another baking sheet.

To prepare the salmon filets, rub both sides with olive oil, sprinkle with smoked paprika and a pinch of sea salt, for taste. Place on top of aluminum foil onto a baking sheet while leaving enough aluminum foil to close it.

Bake salmon, grapes, and pistachios on 400 degrees with the salmon on the top shelf. Remove pistachios after 8-10 minutes. Remove salmon after about 14 minutes or until cooked to your preference. Remove grapes after about 15-18 minutes. Sprinkle the pistachios on top salmon and then add the grapes on top and around the salmon.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Opinions are my own.

by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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Aug
12
2021

No matter where you are headed PACK THE SNACK that goes where you go…go with grapes! Grapes are delicious on their own and so convenient and portable but also a very versatile ingredient for many different snack recipes.

I created this Grape Salsa recipe in partnership with the folks at Grapes from California folks and it is so yummy that after having it with some tortilla chips, I started eating it by the spoonful!

We know that grapes may support brain health and for this recipe I also included some other brain health ingredients like black beans, corn, and olive oil.

Heart-healthy grapes may also play a role in healthy aging. Natural grape compounds, including antioxidants and other polyphenols support healthy cell function, a foundation for good health.

Grape Salsa

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red seedless California grapes, quartered
  • 1 cup green seedless California grapes, quartered
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Once grapes are all quartered put them into a large bowl. Add onion, black beans, corn, lime juice, vinegar, olive oil and sea salt to grapes. Gently stir all ingredients together.
  • Serve with tortilla chips.
https://nutritionexpert.com/blog/2021/08/9231/

I am a paid spokesperson of California Grape Commission. Opinions are my own.

by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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Mar
18
2021

This energy-dense, nutrient-rich food deserves to be on your must-eat list in 2021. Spoiler alert: Your immune system, heart and waistline will thank you

Pistachios may be small, but they pack a big nutritional punch. Recently published studies have added to the growing body of existing evidence that further prove how healthy these tiny green nuts are for the body. Here are five little known facts about the health and nutritional benefits of pistachios that may surprise you.

1. Pistachios are a Complete Protein

The latest  research reveals that pistachios contain all 9 essential amino acids, making them a “complete” protein similar to eggs, dairy and meats. Even more impressive, one  ounce of pistachios contains  6 grams of protein — that’s as much protein as an egg!

Compared to other complete proteins that need to be cooked or refrigerated (like fish, beef or cheese), pistachios are more convenient for a grab-n-go post-exercise snack since they contain the amino acids required to build and maintain muscle mass and lean body tissue. Plus, being a complete plant-based protein, pistachios are an ideal snack or dessert topping for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian eating pattern.

2. Pistachios Support a Healthy Immune System

While vitamin C-rich oranges tend to steal the spotlight as the go-to food for building a healthy immune system, pistachios provide other important nutrients to help boost  immunity, including protein, B-vitamins, zinc, magnesium, selenium and other bioactive compounds.  Here’s how:

  • B-vitamins (B1, B6 and Folate) are necessary to fight off infection.
  • Zinc, magnesium and selenium may lower the risk and severity of viral infections.
  • Protein can strengthen the immune system by helping to maintain healthy immune cells, which are responsible for eliminating damaged cells, bacteria and viruses.
  • Gamma-tocopherol (an antioxidant) my help speed recovery time and lower airway inflammation.

3. Pistachios are Good for Your Heart

Thanks to their heart-friendly  unsaturated fats and antioxidants—including vitamin E and lutein and zeaxanthin-—pistachios are a heart-healthy choice. These satisfying nuts  also provide plant phytosterols, naturally-occurring compounds which lower blood cholesterol levels to help protect the heart. According to the FDA’s qualified health claim for nuts: “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

4. Pistachios are Loaded with Nutrients

According to the USDA Nutrient Database, pistachios provide more than 30 different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Some of the key essential substances in this nut  (which are sold either shelled or  in-shell) include magnesium, fiber, copper, potassium, iron, manganese and B-vitamins. What’s more, you get all those nutrients as well as the same amount of protein as an egg. And here’s an eye-opening fact: Pistachios are one of the only nuts that provide lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that are important for protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays, blue light from phone and computer screens and age-related eye damage.

5. Pistachios May Help Win at Losing (weight that is)

It’s true. Pistachios provide the dynamic duo of protein and fiber—two nutrients that help keep you satisfied and tame cravings ultimately making you less likely to overeat. If your goal is to lose unwanted pounds,  research suggests that in-shell pistachios may be your best option. In one study, participants ate 41% fewer calories when they had to crack the nuts open compared to the time when the nuts had already been removed from their shells. The researchers believe seeing the evidence of the empty shells may serve as a  reminder of how much you’ve eaten, reducing the likelihood of  overindulging.

Visit American Pistachio Growers for more fun pistachio info.

This is a #sponsored blog post, opinions are my own.

by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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Dec
7
2020

Refreshing and full of flavor without all the calories and sugar.

Ginger Grape Sparkling Water

6 red grapes
1 T ginger
3 oz cranberry juice
4 oz Keylime LaCroix

Blend together grapes, ginger and juice. Strain. Add LaCroix and enjoy!

Disclosure: I am a paid spokesperson for LaCroix. Opinions are my own.

by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert® | December 4, 2020
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This is a fun and festive holiday punch that won’t break your calorie budget. Skinny Holiday Punch 4 oz Hi-Biscus LaCroix 3 oz cranberry juice 3 oz pineapple juice Handful of cranberries Stir together the LaCroix and juices. Top with cranberries. Enjoy! Disclosure: I am a paid spokesperson for...

by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert® | December 3, 2020
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This Pomegranate Sparkler is the ideal skinny holiday drink that tastes amazing.  Enjoy! 6 oz Keylime LaCroix 3 oz pomegranate juice 3 T pomegranate seeds 2 T mint Store together LaCroix and juice. Top with pomegranate seeds and mint. Enjoy! Disclosure: I am a paid spokesperson for LaCroix. Opinions...

by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert® | December 2, 2020
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One of my all-time favorites that I have made with LaCroix. Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade 4 oz Lime LaCroix 2 oz lemon juice 3 strawberries, sliced Add lemon juice to LaCroix. Add in sliced strawberries. Enjoy! Disclosure: I am a paid spokesperson for LaCroix. Opions are my own.  

by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert® | November 30, 2020
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Oh, so refreshing! Pineapple Coconut Slush 6 oz Coconut LaCroix 6 oz Pineapple Juice 1 cup ice Blend together ice and pineapple juice. Pour that mixture into glass and then add LaCroix. Stir and enjoy! Disclosure: I am a paid spokesperson for LaCroix. Opinions are my own.  

by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert® | November 17, 2020
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  As a registered dietitian, I get samples of new food products all the time. Many are tasty, but not always the healthiest and others can be nutritious but not tasty. And, you all should know by now that I am all about deliciousness! That’s why I’m so excited to share with you a product line...

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