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If you’re overwhelmed by New Year’s resolutions, try this instead

A pad of paper on a desk. The words "New year resolution" are written on the pad of paper.

Happy New Year! For many, the start of a new year can be motivation to kick start some lifestyle changes.

But resolutions can be overwhelming. I actually don’t make resolutions because honestly, it just puts too much pressure on achieving a specific outcome for the entire year. Imagine the stress and self-guilt if you can’t stick to your resolution. Let’s face it – life happens. Things get in the way – time, interest, family issues or other unexpected distractions. In fact, a recent survey by Forbes Health found that most resolutions last only two to three months. Only one percent of those surveyed stated that their resolutions lasted either 11 or 12 months. (1)

So as a registered dietitian, what do I suggest instead? Make a “SMART” goal for the month. The goal should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

For January, here’s my Nutrition Tip of the Month: Eat one green vegetable every day. Here are few ideas to get you started:

  • Add spinach to a smoothie or omelet
  • Serve a salad with lunch or dinner using kale, romaine or arugula
  • Snack on green peppers with your favourite dip
  • Toss broccoli or green peas into a stir-fry or pasta salad or fried rice
  • Roast Brussels sprouts or asparagus

A bowl of fresh greens

The key is to find things which are doable and sustainable for YOU! Over time, this will become a habit and next month, you can set another “smart” goal.

Let me know in the comments how you like to eat your green veggies!

 

References: (1)  2024 New Year’s Resolutions: Nearly Half Cite Fitness As Their Top Priority.  https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/new-year-resolutions-survey-2024/

Written by: Sue Mah, MHSc, RD, PHEc, FDC – Award-wining dietitian

How can I prevent an E. coli infection at home?

A fully loaded hamburger between two buns.Chances are you’ve heard about the recent E. coli outbreak at daycares across Calgary. E. coli infections can be especially dangerous for kids under the age of 5 as well as those who are pregnant, elderly or who have a weakened immune system.

Here’s what you need to know about E. coli and how you can prevent an infection at home.

What is E. Coli?

E. coli stands for Escherichia coli. It’s a type of bacteria that’s naturally found in the intestines of humans as well as animals including cattle, goats and sheep. While most strains of E. coli are harmless, there is one particular strain called E. coli O157:H7 which can cause serious problems such as stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and kidney damage.

What causes an E. coli infection?

An infection can occur after you eat or drink something that has been contaminated with E. coli, such as:

  • Raw or undercooked beef, especially ground meat: During butchering and processing, E. coli bacteria from cattle’s intestines can get on the outer surfaces of meat. The risk of contamination is greater in ground meat because it combines meat sourced from different animals.
  • Unpasteurized drinks such as raw milk: If E. coli bacteria is present on a cow’s udder or on milking equipment, it may get into raw milk. The heat of pasteurization kills the harmful bacteria.
  • Contaminated produce: When fruits and vegetables are harvested, they may come in contact with contaminated manure or water.
  • Improper food handling: E. coli may be transferred to food products if an infected person’s hands are not washed properly when handling food.
  • Contaminated waters: It’s also possible to become infected with E. coli after drinking contaminated water or swallowing water in swimming pools / lakes that are contaminated with stool.

How to prevent an E. coli infection at home

  1. Cook ground meat to a temperature of 160F (71C): Use a meat thermometer. Don’t judge doneness by colour since meat can turn brown before it is completely cooked.
  1. Drink pasteurized milk, juice and cider: The chances of an E. coli infection are higher in beverages such as raw milk and unpasteurized apple cider.
  1. Wash raw produce: E. coli can cling to produce, especially leafy greens. Wash leafy greens under fresh, cool running water. Keep rinsing until all of the dirt has been washed off. There is no need to wash ready-to-eat, pre-packaged leafy greens that have already been washed / pre-washed / triple-washed.
  1. Avoid cross-contamination: Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods in your grocery cart, at home and when cooking. Don’t use the same knives, utensils, cutting boards and plates to handle cooked foods if they have been in contact with raw meat. Wash equipment and countertops with hot soapy water before and after they come in contact with raw meat. 
  1. Wash your hands often. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before / during / after food prep, before eating, after using the bathroom and after changing diapers. Remind kids to wash their hands before eating and after using the bathroom too.
  1. Watch for news advisories / recalls related to E. coli outbreaks in food and lakes. You can find a list of food recalls from Health Canada here.

Ask a Dietitian – What’s the latest news about aspartame?

 

Aspartame is a low-calorie, artificial sweetener that is about 200 times sweeter than white sugar. It’s found in some diet soft drinks, desserts, yogurt, chewing gum and even some chewable vitamins. In Canada, aspartame has been approved for use as a food additive since 1981.

You may have seen recent news headlines about aspartame and cancer. Here’s what you need to know.

Two different groups did two different types of reviews

The health impacts of aspartame were assessed by two different organizations and they looked at two different things.

Review #1 by IARC – International Agency for Research on Cancer

The IARC conducted a HAZARD analysis. This type of review assesses the level of certainty that a substance can cause cancer. It does not consider dose or amount. Aspartame was classified as a Group 2B carcinogen, meaning that it is possibly carcinogenic with “limited evidence in humans and less than sufficient evidence in experimental animals.”

For background, substances classed in Group 1 are considered carcinogenic with “sufficient evidence in humans”, and those in Group 2A are considered probably carcinogenic with “limited evidence in humans and sufficient evidence in experimental animals.

Review #2 by JECFA – Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (a joint working group of the World Health Organization and the Food & Agriculture Organization)

A second review of aspartame was undertaken by JECFA where they conducted a RISK analysis. This type of review assesses the exposure level or amount consumed that can pose a risk to health. They concluded that aspartame does not pose a safety risk in the amounts that people typically consume.

JECFA also confirmed that the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 40 mg aspartame per kg body weight is still appropriate. This is the same limit set by Health Canada. In USA, the limit is 50 mg aspartame per kg body weight per day.

Chart showing the IARC hazard analysis versus the JECFA risk analysis

What does 40 mg aspartame per kg body weight per day look like?

For a 70 kg adult, the Acceptable Daily Intake of aspartame would be 40 x 70 = 2,800 mg.

One standard can of diet soft drink contains between 200-300 mg of aspartame. In other words, you would need to consume 9-14 cans of diet soft drink in a day to reach the maximum limit of 2,800 mg of aspartame, assuming that you don’t get aspartame from other sources. This is the maximum amount of aspartame that can be consumed daily over a lifetime without presenting an appreciable risk to health.

Read labels carefully for aspartame

Currently, aspartame is listed on the food label along with the aspartame content per serving. However, Health Canada has just announced new food labelling regulations for aspartame and other sweeteners.

By January 1, 2026:

  • Aspartame will no longer need to be listed on the front of packages.
  • Aspartame will still appear in the ingredients list, but the amount of aspartame (in mg) per serving will no longer be shown.
  • Foods sweetened with aspartame must still include a statement at the end of the ingredients list that warns individuals with phenylketonuria (PKU) that the food contains phenylalanine (this is a type of amino acid found in aspartame and needs to be avoided by people who have PKU).

See images below for a comparison of the original / current labelling of aspartame compared to the new labelling rules.

The Bottom Line

  • Remember that the amount or dose of any substance is important when thinking about the risk to your health. According to the WHO and FAO, aspartame is safe in amounts that people typically consume.
  • Look at all the products you consume which may contain aspartame such as diet drinks, sugar-free gum, dairy products and chewable vitamins. Stay within the Acceptable Daily Intake of 40 mg per kg body weight per day.
  • Enjoy eating a variety of wholesome foods to lower your cancer risk: whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats.
  • Take other healthy actions to lower your cancer risk: live smoke-free; be sun safe; move more and sit less; eat well; limit alcohol; and get screened for different types of cancer as recommended by your health care practitioner. 

Different actions to reduce the risk of cancer 

 

Follow me on Instagram @SueMahRD for weekly nutrition tips and recipes.

Ask a Dietitian: What is high protein milk?

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I noticed a brand of milk labelled as “high protein.” Compared to regular dairy milk, the high protein dairy milk contains 50% more protein and 50% less sugars. See the chart below for a quick nutritional comparison.

chart comparing nutrition info for regular vs high protein milkAccording to the company website (FairlifeCanada.ca), the high protein milk is made through an ultra-filtration process. No protein powders are added to the milk. Instead, the milk flows through multiple filters which concentrates the protein and calcium content while separating out the sugars (lactose). Most of the lactose is removed during this ultra-filtration. A lactase enzyme is then added to convert any remaining lactose into smaller, digestible sugars, resulting in a lactose-free milk with only 6 grams of sugars.

Drinking a high protein dairy milk can be a good option if:

  • You are trying to consume more protein and / or calcium in your meals
  • You are lactose-intolerant
  • You are trying to meet protein goals for muscle strength, bone health and improved sports performance
  • You are experiencing a health condition and need extra protein to build / repair muscle and bone

 

Written by Sue Mah, MHSc, RD, PHEc, FDC, Award-winning dietitian

Restricting Food Advertising Primarily Directed at Children

kids looking at their smart phones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you concerned about food ads to kids? Here’s your chance to share your thoughts!

Health Canada is now seeking YOUR comments on a policy update on Restricting Food Advertising Primarily Directed at Children. While kids see food ads in a variety of media platforms, food packages, sports sponsorships and settings (such as stores, theaters and rec centres), this first phase of the policy will focus on food advertising seen on television and digital media.

Your comments can help shape the draft regulations.

The full policy update is available here, and below I’ve listed some important background below.

Background

  • As part of Health Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy, the government is planning to restrict advertising to children of foods that contribute to excess intakes of sodium, sugars and saturated fat.
  • By limiting kids’ exposure to influential food advertising, Health Canada aims to lower a child’s risk now and later for developing overweight / obesity as well as diet-related diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, different types of cancer, dental disease and osteoporosis.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, children’s screen time increased, leading to potentially more exposure to food advertising.
  • Research from 2022 found that Canadian kids aged 2-6 years spend 24 hours each week watching TV / videos / YouTube and using social media / gaming. For kids aged 7-11, this figure rises to 30 hours per week.
  • On average, kids see 5 food ads per day on TV and 4 per day on social media. Teens see about 27 food ads on social media daily.

Health Canada is hosting webinars to discuss the policy update.

Register for the English webinar – Thurs May 11, 2023 @ 1:30-3pm EDT

Register for the French webinar – Thurs May 11, 2023 @9:30-11am EDT

Health Canada is specifically looking for comments related to:

  • Defining advertising that is primarily directed to children
  • Targeting restrictions to advertising on TV and digital media
  • Restricting advertising for foods that contribute excess intakes of sodium, sugars or saturated fat

You may also send comments by June 12, 2023 to:

Bureau of Policy, Intergovernmental and International Affairs, Food Directorate

Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada
251 Sir Frederick Banting
Postal Locator 2204C
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9
Email: bpiia-bpaii@hc-sc.gc.ca

 

References: Health Canada (April 28, 2023). Policy update on restricting food advertising primary directed at children: Overview. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/healthy-eating-strategy/policy-update-restricting-food-advertising-primarily-directed-children.html

 

Plant Science and the Price of Food

A paper grocery bag with a few food items sticking out

Have you heard the news?

Food prices are going up this year by an average of 5-7%. That’s according to the latest Canada’s Food Price Report by researchers at Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia.

The chart below outlines the anticipated increases in food prices for various food categories in 2023. The price of dairy, meat and bakery items will all increase between 5-7%, while vegetables will take the hardest hit, with prices expected to rise between 6-8%.

Chart showing percent increase in food prices for different food categories

Source: Canada’s Food Price Report 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year’s food price report also predicted an overall food price increase of 5-7%, and in reality, the increase was over 10%. What’s driving the rise in food prices? There isn’t one specific cause, but rather a mix of factors including geopolitical conflicts, higher oil / gas prices, as well as increased fuel and food production costs.

It’s no surprise that rising food costs are Canadians’ top concern. According to research from The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity, the cost of food has consistently been the number one worry among the majority of Canadians for the past five years. In 2022, 69% of Canadians were concerned about the cost of food and 56% were concerned about keeping healthy food affordable.

The good news is, plant science helps to reduce food waste and keep food affordable for Canadians. Scientists use plant breeding innovations like genetic modification and gene editing technology to develop new varieties of crops that are not only tolerant to heat and drought, but that also have an increased shelf life. Longer lasting produce can help you stretch your food dollar and minimize food waste at home.

Up to 40% of crops are lost each year globally due to insects, weeds and diseases.[1] What’s more, extreme weather situations such as droughts and floods could reduce crop yields significantly, potentially driving up food prices. Shorter / milder winters resulting from climate change could further threaten food production. Pesticides and genetically engineered crops are important tools to help protect crops from insects, weeds and diseases as well as limit food loss from farm to table. Here in Canada, plant science technologies are strictly regulated to ensure they are safe for people, animals, and the environment.

Research shows that without plant science innovations, prices would be 45% higher on average for many food staples, which would cost Canadian families an extra $4,500 a year for food.[2] Thanks to plant science, farmers have tools to grow safe, healthy crops while playing an important role in keeping food prices down.

Learn more about plant science innovations and food affordability at HelpingCanadaGrow.ca and www.RealFarmLives.ca.

 

[1] CropLife Canada. Facts and Figures: Food Waste.

[2] Regulatory Impacts / Alternatives / Strategies (RIAS) Inc. (2021 March). The Value of Plant Science Innovations to Canadians in 2020. 

 

7 Ways to Eat Better Every Day

a bowl of food with quinoa, shredded carrots, cabbage and spinach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article originally appeared on Canadian Food Focus, and I received monetary compensation from them to research and write this information. My articles represent my personal and professional views. I am one of many dietitian writers for Canadian Food Focus, which is a source for Canadian food and farming stories that provide advice to help you make confident food choices.

 

Canada’s Food Guide gives us general information about healthy eating. Now, a new report – Applying Canada’s Dietary Guidelines – by Health Canada shares additional recommendations to help you meet your nutritional needs. Here are 7 things you can do to eat better and why!

1. Eat a dark green veggie every day

Did you know that vegetables and fruit make up less than 25% of the foods we eat? We need to eat a dark green vegetable every day for essential vitamins and minerals, especially folate and iron.

Folate and iron are both important for red blood cells which carry oxygen from our lungs throughout our body.

Special attention: For adolescents and adults who could become pregnant and those who are pregnant / breastfeeding, eat foods rich in folate as well as take a daily multivitamin supplement with 400 mcg folic acid (400 micrograms or 0.4 milligrams). During pregnancy, the multivitamin should also contain iron.

Examples of dark green veggies:

  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Beet greens
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chinese broccoli
  • Collards
  • Dandelion greens
  • Fiddleheads
  • Green beans
  • Green peas
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Okra
  • Parsley (fresh)
  • Rapini
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Seaweed (some types: kelp, dulse, wakame)
  • Taro leaves
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress

Recipe ideas: Kale Chickpea Salad with Trout, Blistered Green Beans with Ginger

2. Eat an orange veggie a few times a week

Orange veggies are super sources of beta-carotene which convert to vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A plays a role in keeping our eyes, skin and immune system healthy.

Special attention: Men and individuals who are breastfeeding should enjoy orange veggies more often – on most days of the week.

Examples of orange veggies:

  • Acorn squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Hubbard squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Red and orange peppers
  • Sweet potato

Recipe ideas: Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa, Beans and Corn, Sheet Pan Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

3. Enjoy a variety of whole grains

On average, less than 30% of the total grains we eat are whole grain or whole wheat. Not only are whole grains naturally low in saturated fat, sodium and sugars but they also provide folate, thiamin, vitamin B6, iron, zinc, magnesium and fibre.

Enriched, refined grain foods (such as white rice and white bread) also provide iron and folic acid. However, breads can be a top source of sodium, and refined breakfast cereals / granola bars can be a source of added sugars.

Examples of whole grains:

  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Corn
  • Farro
  • Kamut
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Popcorn
  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Sorghum
  • Spelt
  • Teff
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Whole wheat pasta

Recipe ideas: Baked Mushroom and Herb Barley Risotto, Bulgur Chicken Burgers with Yogurt Sauce

4. Enjoy legumes, tofu, nuts or seeds every day for protein

Canada’s food guide recommends eating plant-based foods more often to reduce our overall intake of saturated fat. Currently, less than 20% of the protein foods we eat are plant-based. To pump up the plant protein, eat legumes (dried peas, beans, lentils, peanuts) or tofu at least once a day, as well as nuts or seeds at least once a day.

Recipe ideas: Chickpea Burger, Crispy Tofu Noodle Bowl

5. Eat foods with unsaturated fat

Replace foods high in saturated fat with foods which contain mostly unsaturated fat such as:

  • avocado
  • eggs
  • fish and fatty fish (salmon, trout, herring, sardines, mackerel, arctic char)
  • lean cuts of meat and wild grame
  • lower fat dairy products, fortified soy beverages
  • nuts, nut butters, seeds
  • poultry without skin
  • hummum
  • tofu
  • vegetable oils

Special attention: Help young children enjoy a variety of these foods throughout the day to help them meet their nutritional requirements for fat and calories.

Recipe ideas: Light Lemony Spring Herb Hummus, Crunchy Flax Chicken Nuggets

6. Get calcium every day

Calcium is a nutrient needed at all stages of life for bone health. Look for choices which meet your traditions and personal / cultural preferences.

Special attention: Children, adolescents, adult female and older adults have higher needs for calcium than others, so should include calcium containing foods at all meals and some snacks.

Examples of food sources of calcium:

  • Lower fat, unsweetened milk, yogurt and kefir (0-2% M.F.)
  • Unsweetened, fortified plant-based beverages (oat, soy, cashew, almond)
  • Cheese that is lower in fat and sodium
  • Tofu made with calcium
  • Legumes (e.g. edamame, navy beans, white beans)
  • Fish and shellfish (e.g. canned sardines / canned salmon with bones)
  • Some dark green / leafy green vegetables (e.g. arugula, bok choy, Chinese broccoli, okra, rapini, watercress)
  • Some seaweed (e.g. kelp, dulse, wakame)

Recipe ideas: Mac ‘n Cheese Muffins, Cod au Gratin

7. Get vitamin D every day from food and / or supplements

Vitamin D is made by the skin when exposed to sunlight. However many factors like smog, season, time of day, sunscreen use, and amount of skin exposed can all affect the amount of vitamin D that is produced.

If you don’t eats foods with vitamin D every day, take a 400 IU (10 mcg) vitamin D supplement. Some multivitamins also contain vitamin D.

Special attention: As we age, we make less vitamin D from the sun, and this can affect our bone health. Anyone aged 51 and older should take a 400 IU (10 mcg) vitamin D supplement every day in addition to eating vitamin D rich foods.

Examples of foods with vitamin D:

  • Fatty fish (salmon, artic char, rainbow trout)
  • Eggs (yolk)
  • Unsweetened, lower fat milk
  • Unsweetened, fortified plant-based beverages
  • Soft margarine

Recipe ideas: Baked Salmon with Honey Mustard Marinade, Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

References: Health Canada (2022 May 7). Applying Canada’s Dietary Guidelines.

 

5 Food & Nutrition Trends for 2023

Aerial image of friends eating with various dishes on the dinner table

What are the trends that will be shaping the way we shop, cook and eat?  We’ve scanned the research and share these top 5 trends.

1. Foods with benefits

According to the Mintel 2023 Global Food and Drink Trends report, 57% of Canadian consumers value food and drinks which offer health benefits such as heart health, gut health, stress management or immune support. Another growing health issue is sleep. Data from McKinsey research, cited in the 2023 Trend Report by Nourish Food Marketing, shows that better sleep is in fact, a higher health priority than better nutrition, fitness, mindfulness or appearance.

Do you have a product with unique benefits? This year’s National Nutrition Month theme for March focuses on unlocking the potential of food and ingredients. Work with me to leverage my expertise in sharing the nutritional and health benefits of your product in the media, social media, and at events.

 2. Technology

Move over Alexa. Adam is in the house. Showcased at this year’s CES tech event (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show), Adam is an interactive, two-armed robot, bartender or barista, making coffee, boba tea or other drinks. Canadian Grocer magazine predicts we’re entering an automation nation driven by innovative technology and labour shortages. Smart home faucets and appliances as well as self-service or smart cart checkout systems are already in use. Automation is also used for stocking merchandise and fulfilling orders at distribution centres.

What’s next? The tech savvy Gen Alpha population (born in 2010 and onwards, the same year that the Apple ipad was invented), AI (artificial intelligence) and trending #FoodTok recipes on TikTok will all be major factors shaping the future of food and beverage, according to Datassential.

3. Budget-wise eating

The cost of groceries will continue to rise. Canada’s Food Price Report predicts that food prices will increase by an average of 5 to 7 percent this year. Vegetables will take the biggest hit, with prices expected to go up 6 to 8 percent. For a family of four, this could mean an extra cost of over $1,000 over the year. For a two-adult household, it’s an extra $500. Eating out at restaurants will also cost an extra 4 to 6 percent. On top of this, natural gas and electricity bills will hike up between 50 to 100 percent for most Canadians!

To cope with inflated prices, consumers will turn to money-saving strategies such as reducing food waste, cooking from scratch and making copycat recipes at home instead of going to restaurants. The food budget will include more economical ingredients such as frozen veggies, cheaper cuts of meat and plant-based proteins. Ready-to-eat foods requiring little or no cooking and energy-efficient air fryer recipes will continue to be popular.

 4. Trending Foods

Seaweed – The term ‘seaweed’ actually refers to many different species of marine plants and algae that grow in oceans, rivers and lakes. Green algae, kelp, nori, seaweed snacks and wakame salad are just a few examples. Containing a range of nutrients such as beta-carotene, calcium, folate and vitamin K, seaweed is especially popular among Millennials and Gen Xers.

Mushrooms – With their meaty texture and umami-flavour, mushrooms are a perfect meat extender to stretch the food budget. Mushroom coffee and even mushroom-based cocktails are examples of the food’s versatility. Some mushrooms may have adaptogenic properties.

Tinned fish / canned fish – Thanks to a few viral TikTok reels about tinned fish date nights, eating canned mussels on corn chips is a trendy thing! Chalk up convenience, cost and nutrition too. We’re not sure exactly how long this trend will last.

5. Trending Flavours

Ube – Food experts predict that Filipino will be the cuisine of the year, with special attention to ube, a beautiful purple coloured yam. Ube has a sweet, nutty, earthy flavour and is used in chips, fries and baked goods.

Yuzu – This small citrus fruit looks like a mandarin orange and has a tart taste similar to a grapefruit. It’s used in Japanese ponzu sauce, drinks and baked goods.

‘Swicy’ – Think sweet plus spicy. Swicy is a flavour combo appearing in products such as chili dark chocolate, hot honey chicken, barbecue sauces and nut mixtures. Can’t wait to try it!

 

Caprese Pasta Salad

 

Bowl of bowtie pasta salad with mini bocconcini cheese and tomatoes.

Caprese Pasta Salad

My familiy loves bow-tie pasta! This recipe takes minutes to make and travels well for picnics and potlucks.
Course Salad

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 2 cups cooked bow-tie / farfalle pasta (or any other smalll pasta shape)
  • 226 grams (1 container) mini bocconcini cheese
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning or dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, toss together the salad ingredients.
  • In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  • Drizzle dressing over salad just before serving.
Keyword Picnic recipes, Picnic salads, Salads, summer recipes, Summer salads

What are pink strawberries?

A cluster of pink strawberries with an overlay of Sue's headshot and the words "What are pink strawberries?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you seen these little pink strawberries at Costco or your local grocery store?

They look like underripe strawberries, but they’re not. These little gems are actually pineberries – which is a fusion of the words “pineapple” and “strawberry” although there isn’t any pineapple in them. In fact, the pineberry belongs to the strawberry family and is a cross between the strawberries native to North America (Fragaria virginiana) and strawberries native to Chile (Fragaria chiloensis). Inside, the flesh is white. You may also see these cute little berries called pineberry strawberries or hula pineberries.

What do pineberries taste like?

Pineberries have a softer and creamier texture than a red strawberry. There are subtle aromas and flavours of pineapple (thus the name pineberry), pear and apricot.

What about nutrition?

Both pineberries and strawberries contain vitamin C, folate, fibre and potassium. Strawberries will have higher levels of “anthocyanins” – which are the healthy plant compounds that give strawberries their beautiful red colour. Since they’re more rare than red strawberries, pineberries tend to be more expensive.

How to eat pineberries?

Ripe pineberries will have a blush pink colour and bright red seeds. Eat pineberries the same way you would strawberries! Add them to your yogurt bowl, toss into a salad or add a handful to a snack board.

Will you try them? Have you tried them? Tell me what you think in the comments!

 

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