Tag Archives: fall

McCormick’s Saigon Cinnamon Makes Over Homemade Microwave Popcorn

It finally felt like fall this weekend. I hope it did where you are, too! I spotted patches of red and orange in otherwise bright green trees. We lit a fire inside and even needed hoodies to go outside. For the first time since the official first day of fall, it felt crunchy. That’s my word to describe fall – crunchy. Which is appropriate, because one of my favorite fall snacks is popcorn.

My other favorite fall flavor is cinnamon. I don’t care if it’s on a cinnamon roll, toast, oatmeal, cookies, applesauce, topping my yogurt, or wafting from a candle, my nose simply cannot get enough of this scent. So on a recent trip to the McCormick spice headquarters, as part of the Fitbloggin’ conference, outside of Baltimore, Maryland, I found myself in cinnamon-loving heaven.

We went through some of their consumer research experiments, one of which had us tasting traditional ground cinnamon next to Saigon cinnamon. I would have said cinnamon is cinnamon before that afternoon. But the ground cinnamon that I add to French toast every Saturday morning suddenly tasted like red hots candies compared to the earthy, warm, woodsy flavor that came from the McCormick Saigon cinnamon. I fell in love with cinnamon all over again.

As soon as I returned home, making something with that cinnamon was all I could think about. With the fall season in full swing, and McCormick encouraging us to freshen up one of our recipes, the only logical choice was marrying cinnamon and popcorn. Maybe some raisins, too. Cinnamon Raisin Popcorn sounds like a pretty incredible fall snack, doesn’t it? (more…)

Red Beans and Rice with Shrimp and Sausage Will Jazz Up Weeknight Dinners

red-beans-rice

Now that the weather is turning cooler, I can’t stop thinking about big hearty dinners. You know, the kind that feel like they stick to your bones and make you feel satisfied from head to toe. I’m talking big pots of stew and chili – my favorite winter foods.

This year, I decided to kick off fall with something just as bold, but a little more fun. Why shouldn’t red beans and rice be part of this list of robust meals? It’s as big and bad as they are, and maybe even more delicious.

red-beans-rice-ingredients

I, as usual, make a few adjustments to a traditional recipe to boost the nutrition, save the calories, and let myself enjoy a piping-hot bowl guilt free.

Cooking from scratch is a thrill for me; I don’t mind the extra steps. So I start with dry kidney beans and soak them overnight. I’m old school like that. (more…)

Sweet and Nutty Trail Mix Makes the Perfect Fall Snack

If ever I’ve had a true food addiction, besides ice cream and frozen yogurt, it’s trail mix. The sweet-salty combination is enough to have me eating an entire jar without realizing what happened!

While trail mixes can be a bit of a temptation especially for those few among us who only pick out the chocolate bits (guilty), they can also be an incredibly health snack to fuel our most rigorous of activities.

This trail mix is a simple one to throw together, as are most. You’ll simply need even parts pecans, walnuts, almonds, raisins, dried cranberries and dark chocolate.

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HealthBuzz September 21: 7 Fall Family Activities, Jennifer Aniston’s Smartwater Commercial, and Banana Filled Recipes

Today marks the first day of fall! Before you clock out for the weekend take some time for a healthy dose of news. This week’s HealthBuzz consists of hot headlines from DIR and our partner sites, including Shape, IVillage, and Fitday, as well as some delicious banana recipes from Undressed Skeleton and Thinin10.

Don’t wait until the last day of the week to hear from us! Follow us on Twitter and Pinterest! Also, don’t forget to ‘Like Us’ on Facebook for the chance to win a year’s supply of guacamole from Wholly Guacamole!

Choose the Right Gym For You (So You’ll Actually Use the Membership)

With the fall and holiday season quickly approaching, gyms will be filling up with people wanting to maintain their health and figure for social gatherings and special events. Gyms can be uncomfortable and expensive and there is nothing like wasting money on a membership that you don’t use! Let us help you choose the right gym with this helpful guide.

Seven Fall Activities For the Whole Family

September 21 is the official day of fall! What better way to enjoy the weather then with your family? Stephanie Mansour from Step It Up With Steph shares seven fall activities for the whole family. There is even a healthy recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds! Fall has never been so healthy before. (more…)

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds and 5 More Healthy Fall Snacks

Finding healthy snacks can be difficult, especially amidst a sea of more unhealthy than healthy options. Couple the issue of availability with the season’s change, which leaves people out of their bikinis and into layered clothes, and we’re all of the sudden far less aware of what we’re putting into our bodies.

But if healthy snacking is important to you like we think it is, take heart and fight developing that unwanted “winter layer.” Try these six healthy do-it-yourself fall snacks from fitness expert and CEO of Step It Up With Steph, Stephanie Mansour.

Pumpkin seeds – You can buy store bought pumpkin seeds or you can roast pumpkin seeds yourself! After carving pumpkins collect all of the seeds, give them a rinse, and spread them out onto a cookie sheet lined with foil. Then, sprinkle with salt and place in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes. Making your own pumpkin seeds is a cheap and simple way to create your own nutritious fall snack. (more…)

Seven Fall Activities For the Whole Family

September 21 is the official first day of fall! Once the season begins leaves start to change to beautiful shades of yellow and orange, the weather starts to cool down from the triple digits, and apples and pumpkins begin to fill the market. For these reasons, we think fall is the best season of all with the weather at perfect temperatures and every possible food combination using pumpkin at our fingertips. 

As we enter this ideal season, how can families get outside and enjoy it? Fitness expert and CEO of Step It Up with Steph, Stephanie Mansour, shares some of her favorite activities for families to enjoy this fall.

The first family activity is pumpkin picking. Before Halloween, lots of families head to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin perfect for carving. Stephanie recommends turning the hunt into a workout. “Show your kids how to do squats while holding the pumpkin, or make an obstacle course out of the pumpkins you and your family pick out,” she said. “Have the kids jump over the pumpkins and run around them!”

After your family has picked out the perfect gourd, head home for carving. And after you’ve sculpted your best designs, set the seeds aside and teach your kids how to roast them. Stephanie recommends rinsing the seeds, spreading them out onto a cookie sheet lined with tin foil, sprinkling them with salt, and then baking them in a 400-degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes. This is yet another fall activity that provides a fun and healthy way to bond with your children.  (more…)

Healthy Fall Decadence with Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls

If the dawn of fall brings thoughts of pumpkin spice lattes and plenty of seasonal sweet treats, then you’re in the right place. However, what you won’t find with these pumpkin spice protein balls is butter, added sugar, eggs or anything refined for that matter. Instead, you’ll find four simple ingredients: oats, almonds, dates and pumpkin pie spice. The top ranked diets are featured in a comprehensive list made available in the link here.

We whipped these up last week as the weather was starting to cool and it was rainy outside. As the pulse of the food processor brought all of the ingredients together, the aroma of pumpkin pie spice filled the air – it was almost enough for me to wish summer good riddance, even though it’s undoubtedly one of my favorite seasons. But fall? It takes a close second. (more…)

Six Reasons to Start Your Diet on Labor Day

I’ve been writing for Diets In Review for a while, but I just found out recently that Labor Day is the second biggest diet day of the year; I am assuming following New Years Day.

With the rush of back to school and getting ready for the holiday season, I did not expect weight loss to be a high priority for many people. As the weather cools off and we look forward to boots and sweaters and layers, I expected fewer people to be concerned with dieting.

While I am slightly surprised to find out that Labor Day is the second biggest diet day of the year, there are reasons why it makes sense.

Back to school time, at least for me, brings to mind fresh notebooks and clean slates. If you grew up thinking of each fall as a new beginning, then autumn might be the perfect time for a habit change for you. (more…)

Kick-Off College Football With Healthier Man-Approved Tailgate Recipes

Finally! The weather is just starting to cool off, my favorite alma mater T-shirt is hanging front and center, and college football kicks off tomorrow. It’s almost more excitement than I can bear. I know I’m not alone, and I know I’m not the only one preparing a first game feast for my friends.

Whether you tailgate at home or from your couch, you can consume A LOT of calories in the four hours it takes to win a football game. I, for one, don’t want to be bloated when the big score comes in at the end, so I make a healthier spread. It’s far from rabbit food, but it’s also not the calorie bomb that most of my fellow fans are dishing up.

If I can promise you bold-flavored, sticky-fingered buffalo chicken, wicked dips, and killer desserts, can you promise to try at least one lighter tailgate party this season? I’m pretty sure everyone scores in that deal!

BBQ Pork Sliders

No one needs a half-pound pile of pulled pork, but a tiny slider or two can really fill you up. Our little pork sliders are smothered in a homemade barbecue sauce and a little coleslaw for a cool crunch.

Lighter Buffalo Chicken Dip

We guarantee everything about this recipe is the same as any you’ve tried before, except we’ve cut more than 200 calories out of it! A few simple swaps make this appetizer just as creamy, spicy, and in demand as its gut-busting counterpart. (more…)

The 15 Best Healthy Pumpkin Recipes You Haven’t Tried

Matthew Kaplan is the Editor for FaveDiets.com, a free online resource featuring hundreds of free healthy recipes, healthy cooking tips and loads more. Be sure to check out FaveDiets on Facebook and on Twitter.

Oh, pumpkins – what would fall be without you? After all, from Jack-o-lanterns to pumpkin pie, it is awfully hard to avoid those seemingly ubiquitous orange orbs this time of year. Try as you might, pumpkins are always the “it” food item this time of year.

However, while pumpkins and pumpkin dishes appear everywhere, the one place where they rarely make an appearance is the average home kitchen. This is too bad, as pumpkin recipes are delicious and, when done right, highly nutritious as well. If you have seemingly banned pumpkin from your recipe repertoire, then it’s time to reconsider. (more…)