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The Monte Bene Blog

Farm, Fresh, Family - Cooking with Kids: Pizza!

Farm, Fresh, Family - Cooking with Kids: Pizza!

Last week we discussed the importance of cooking with kids and the many benefits it has to offer. This week, we will continue by giving you a great recipe that is super easy and fun to make with kids of any age—even toddlers!

Pizza!

Kids love pizza and it’s one simple meal that packs in a great amount of creativity!

The Crust:

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup water (warm but not hot)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 1/2 cups flour

(to save time, instead of making your own yeast dough, you can also use a can or two of Pillsbury pizza dough)

 Preparation:

  • Add yeast, salt, sugar and water to a bowl and stir to combine.  Allow the yeast mixture to begin bubbling and add the Extra Virgil Olive Oil, and start adding the flour until a sticky mass forms using a wooden spoon.
  • Once the dough separates from the side of the bowl, take it out and place on a floured surface.  Knead by hand for 5-10 minutes or until you have a smooth ball

 Kids love kneading the dough! It’s fun to get a little messy with the flour, too!

  • Place ball in a bowl that has been oiled, and add a little more olive oil to the top of the ball.  Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place for an hour.
  • After an hour, punch the dough down and get all of the air out.  Cut the dough into 4 pieces if you want to make 4 kid-sized pies.

Dress the dough with any one of the Monte Bene Cooking Sauces!

 The Toppings:

The possibilities are endless! This is when the kids can get really creative! Breakfast pizzas, dessert pizzas, the list goes on! 

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Farm, Fresh, Family - Cooking with Kids

Farm, Fresh, Family - Cooking with Kids

As summer comes to a close and we get ready for fall and cooking all of the lovely foods it has to offer-- why not have your kids join in? Cooking with kids is an enjoyable experience for both the child and parent, and a wonderful learning experience!

With endless recipes to choose from, here are a few of the many benefits to cooking with kids:

  1. Communication: the kitchen is a wonderful place to talk with your kids and teach them about the joy of cooking, tell fun stories, and remind them about the importance of sharing meals. Cooking with them gives them an opportunity to learn about the different ingredients and the cultural background of foods.
  1. Math: cooking involves math. Ask your child to double the recipe, or subtract to make less, in order to practice math skills in an enjoyable way.
  1. Reading: reading a recipe and understanding the steps help the child practice reading comprehension. Adding in sequence and paying attention to detail are crucial when following a recipe.
  1. Cleanup: It’s fun to get a little messy in the kitchen, but once the meal is prepared, you can help each other clean up.
  1. Goals: the goal is to finish the recipe, so your child will feel accomplished when he has finished cooking and has achieved his goal--even if it isn’t perfect! And he will learn that it takes patience to achieve it.
  1. Fun: it’s fun to build memories and bond with your kids, while encouraging creativity.

Go ahead and pick out a recipe and enjoy all the benefits of cooking with kids!

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Farm, Fresh, Family - Take the Drama out of Sweets

Farm, Fresh, Family - Take the Drama out of Sweets

Parenting can be full of several challenges, and one challenge is raising kids with a healthy attitude and appreciation towards food and nutrition—particularly sweets. Kids love sweets, but it’s important to practice a healthy balance.

“The most important thing to remember when it comes to giving or not giving your kids sweets is: don’t make them a big deal,” said Dr. Lianna Bennett, Psy.D, a Clinical Psychologist from Northern Virginia. “We know from a neurochemical perspective that sugar can be very addicting. Parents are crucial in helping their child form a healthy relationship with food— including sweets and treats.”

In order to practice a healthy relationship with food, here are a few tips on how parents can help their children form a healthy attitude toward sweets. It’s also worth noting that every child is different, and for some kids managing the sugar in their diet is a crucial part of keeping them healthy!

It’s not a bribe: When we use the promise of dessert to get our child to eat broccoli, we teach them that broccoli is bad and only dessert is good. We teach them that sugar and sweets are a reward for normal behavior. Food can sometimes be an appropriate reward, for example giving one or two M&M’s for toilet training. But we want to make sure that we vary the rewards we use and that they are not primarily food based. “We already have such an emotional connection with food, so we don’t need to be creating connections for kids that could be unhelpful later in life,” Dr. Bennett explained.

It’s not number one: Ice cream is a fine and delicious treat, but we don't want to make treats the highlight of their day. We should be aware of how we talk about our food. It’s normal to delight in the food we eat, and meals can be a wonderful time for bonding and companionship, but dessert shouldn't be the only food we are excited about. “Kids pick up our attitudes toward food, so show your kids that exploring new and different foods can be exciting,” Bennett recommended.

Teach coping that doesn’t involve sugar: Most trips to the doctors end with a lollipop for good behavior. This creates the idea that if we experience something stressful, food makes us feel better-- but this can create an unhealthy attachment. “Food should be something that adds pleasure to life, not our means of coping with life,” she added.

Don’t deprive either: It’s the Romeo-Juliet effect; when you tell a kid that he can’t have something, he will suddenly want it more than anything in the world. Using sweet deprivation as a punishment can lead to kids to connect the loss of sweets with a bad attitude.

The bottom line? Cut the drama out of the sweets. Sweets are wonderful, but in order to have a balanced appreciation for the treats, it’s best to cut the drama and help kids realize that they’re not that big of a deal.

 

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Farm, Fresh, Family – Connect over Meals, not Social Media

Farm, Fresh, Family – Connect over Meals, not Social Media

Social Media started off with the intention of building connections, but as it so often begins to take over your life, it distances you from those who should be closest – your family. The addiction to social media has grown to the point that are countless articles dedicated to finding a balance between social media and real life filled with tips like “turning off your phone after 10pm” or “leaving your phone in the car while on a date”. There are even apps like SelfControl dedicated to blocking social media sites for a certain period of time! Artists have created videos on the importance of a balanced lifestyle and one artist has dedicated his blog to photographs that highlight the divide created when spending time with others but glued to the screen of a digital device. With all that being said for finding balance and building real connections, meal times are great for bonding with family members, and it’s a great way to educate your family on healthy eating habits!

Healthy eating and balanced meals are a part of a well-rounded lifestyle. Studies have shown that eating meals together increases nutritional benefits, as well as intellectual and behavioral maturity in children.  Busy families sometimes see mealtimes as stressful events when juggling different schedules and picky eaters, but with a little organization, they can be the best part of everyone’s day.

  • Have your kids help with meal planning – This gives them an opportunity to learn about the different ingredients in their meals and healthy food choices. And if you have picky eaters, this is a perfect opportunity to open their mind to foods they might not eat if simply placed in front of them at dinnertime.
  • Eat everything on your plate – If you’re picky about what you eat, don’t be surprised if your kids start to imitate you.

  • Learn about the cultural background of foods – Kids (and adults) love stories! And most people love eating a good meal, so use mealtimes to learn about different cultures and their foods. Have a pizza party and talk about the different types from different areas like New York, Chicago, and Italy. Or make burgers and talk about how this American staple actually originated from German immigrants.
  • Divide and conquer – Learn to delegate meal prep tasks. Allow them to develop fine motor skills and give them room to be creative (and get a little messy)!

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Farm, Fresh, Family - Saving Time, Saving Money

Farm, Fresh, Family - Saving Time, Saving Money

You’re busy, but you know that it’s important to have a home-cooked meal and to spend time with your family. Creating quick and healthy meals may seem daunting, but here are a few tips that will make your week a little easier without sacrificing the lovable home-cooked and healthy meals. 

  • Look Around: The best way to save money? Use the ingredients you already have! Spend a few minutes looking inside your fridge and pantry. Which of those items inspire your next meal? Start thinking about meals for the week based on what’s already in your home. 
  • Organize it: While we have you staring at your fridge and pantry, let’s get it organized! Make sure everything in your fridge and pantry is easily accessible and ordered. Sometimes we find ourselves buying more of what we dont need because it’s scary to look inside our cluttered fridge and pantry—take a moment to organize, and it will come in handy in the long run.
  • The Game Plan: So you’ve looked inside of your fridge, you’ve thought about meals, now write it down! Spend about 30 minutes of your Sunday preparing for the week and gathering those extra ingredients from the grocery store. Save time in the grocery store by organizing the list with the layout of the store.

Still not sure what to cook for the week? Watch a few quick, fast-motion cooking videos to inspire your grocery list. (Personal favorite? One-pot and one-pan meals—quick n’ easy).

  • Cooking for the Masses: Ah, yes, the leftovers. Make more and store it in Tupperware’s—the key to saving time and money. This does not mean that you have to eat the same meal twice, but rather reinvent the meal from the night before. Also, don’t throw away those extras carrots—there’s always a use for your leftover pieces, just freeze it!
  • Clean as you Go: Rather than allow the dishes to pile up, clean them as you cook. You’ll be amazed at how nice it is to look at your empty kitchen sink after the dinner is prepared.

 We hope you have enjoyed reading these tips! Stay tuned for more about how to save time and money in order to spend less time worrying and more time with friends and family.

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The Children of Durgi, India Thank You

The Children of Durgi, India Thank You

This year, the boys of St. Joseph’s Orphanage celebrated Christmas with a tree, a nativity scene, gifts, and games. For the first time, they were also able to draw water from their own well.

Father Joseph, the vicar of a small parish in Durgi, India, provides housing, food, clothing, and education to over 40 orphaned or abandoned boys from the surrounding villages. St. Joseph’s Orphanage is a safe house and a home for these boys, most of whom have nowhere else to go. Father Joe does his best not only to give them a place of sanctuary, but also to offer them the opportunity to escape poverty through education.

But with a full parish also in his care, his resources are often limited, especially because of the harsh weather and living conditions of the region. In 2015 and 2016, the region has experienced extreme drought. With no running water and few wells in the village, the community in Durgi and St. Joseph’s Orphanage were under tremendous need.

Monte Bene has assisted St. Joseph’s Orphanage with facility repairs and in providing clothes, supplies, and furniture. At the end of last year, we were able to provide Fr. Joe with the resources to build a well for the orphanage. The children were able to draw a limited supply of water for their daily use. But the water the well produced was not enough to sustain the local community as well.

In 2016, Monte Bene will be devoting a portion of its resources to helping build a well for the community of Durgi, India. It is through your loyalty to our company and support of our products that we are able to make these contributions. Know that when you purchase a Monte Bene product, you are directly helping the children of St. Joseph’s Orphanage and the people of Durgi. Thank you for your continued support.

 

If you would like to learn more about helping St. Joseph’s Orphanage and Durgi, please email us at info@montebene.com with the subject “St. Joseph’s Orphanage.”

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5 Facts You Didn't Know About Italian Easter

5 Facts You Didn't Know About Italian Easter

1. Besides Christmas, it’s the most important holiday of the year

In fact, some might even argue that Easter is even more important than Christmas. The holiday has religious importance as the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ and therefore the fulfillment of His birth. Even if they aren’t specifically religious, most Italians still embrace this significance and follow the traditional celebrations. Some might even compare Easter’s historical importance in Italy to Thanksgiving in America (and we all know how we feel about Turkey-Day).

2. It’s been a long time coming

Sure, it’s been a year since last Easter, but most Italians (following religious custom), have been anxiously waiting for Easter during the season of Lent, a 40 day period of fasting before Easter. They usually abstain from foods like meat and sugary sweets on certain days, meaning that when Easter finally rolls around, it’s the perfect reason for feasting and celebrating.

3. The celebrations are huge

So your family has an elaborate Easter egg hunt in your backyard? That’s nothing compared with a 24-hour parade or a giant fireworks show in the middle of the city. In most towns and cities throughout Italy, Good Friday – the Friday before Easter – is marked with processions or parades commemorating the death of Christ. And yes, some last up to 24-hours. You might think that a parade is a strange way to commemorate a death. But since Italians believe Christ's death is an essential part of the Easter celebration, to them, a parade is the proper way to commemorate it. Come Sunday though, the celebrations get even bigger. Just take the “Scoppio del Carro” in Florence, a traditional celebration in which a giant cart full of fireworks is lit on fire. Florentine lore says that a good explosion promises good luck for the coming year. 

4. It doesn’t just end on Sunday

Sure, we might celebrate Easter Monday by sleeping-in, but in Italy “La Pasquetta” (literally, “Little Easter”) continues the celebration. Many Italians enjoy picnicking with friends or getting out of the city to the country-side. In one town in Umbria, they celebrate by rolling giant blocks of Ruzzola cheese down a hill. Don’t ask us, it’s a thing.

5. And of course, it’s all about the food

So maybe Italians don’t do chocolate Easter bunnies – but when was the last time you finished yours? Instead, they celebrate with elaborately decorated chocolate eggs, usually hollowed out and filled with prizes. The “Colomba di Pasqua” is a dove shaped cake made from almond paste and sugar. For the main course, roast lamb (like this one) takes the center stage.

Other Sources:

Lifeinitaly.com
WalksofItaly.com

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More than a Single Day: Italian Christmas

More than a Single Day: Italian Christmas

The story goes that the three Wise Men were lost on their way to visit the Christ child. They came to the home of a strange old woman. With a long nose, warty skin, and scraggly gray hair, she was far from beautiful. But the three Magi told her about their journey – how they were looking for a great king and were bringing him lavish gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They asked the old woman if she knew where to find the child, but she did not. They asked her if she would like to join them in their search for the king. She only laughed, probably thinking these strange magi had lost their minds. She refused to go, so they left her alone in the house.

When night came again, she saw a great light in the sky – a star brighter than any she had seen before. Suddenly, she regretted not going with the Wise Men. She decided she would try to follow after them. All she had to bring to the new king were the toys of her children, who had died many years ago. She gathered these up in a sack, put on her cloak to keep warm, and then mounted her broomstick. After all, if she was going to catch up to the Wise Men, she would need to fly.

But as the old woman flew through the night, searching and searching, she could not find the great king child anywhere. Centuries later, she still flies through the night with her toys in a sack. Every year, on January 6 – the feast of the Magi, or the Epiphany – as she searches for the Christ child, she brings toys to young boys and girls in Italy.

…Or so legend would have it. “La Befana” is just one of many Christmas traditions celebrated by Italians. While Santa Claus is still more of a northern European and American tradition, La Befana is not the only one known for bringing gifts in Italy. Some Italians believe that the blind St. Lucy brings gifts to children on her feast day on December 13. Others celebrate on Christmas day with gifts from the Christ child Himself. The idea in Italy is that Christmas is more than a single day. It is an entire season of celebration, beginning in early December and running until January.

And of course, at the center of any true Italian Christmas celebration, is the food.

While Christmas is basically an all-day feast, Christmas Eve is a celebration of particular Italian significance. Known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes, it is technically a day of fasting. According to Italian Catholic custom, you shouldn’t eat meat the day before a major feast day. Fish, however, is perfectly acceptable. As Italians would have it, the day of fasting eventually became a night of feasting, with a 7 (or 10 or 13) course meal. Fish, of course, is the main ingredient in most dishes.

It’s unclear why “7” is the important number. Many (including our own Chef Neil) think it may have something to do with the Seven Sacraments. Others celebrate with 10 courses in honor of the 10 Stations of the Cross, or 13 in honor of the 12 apostles plus Jesus. Any number you choose, the point is to remind you of the reason for the season and to celebrate the coming of Christmas with family and friends. 

Some of Chef Neil’s favorite dishes form the centerpieces of the Feast of Seven Fishes. The best seafood comes from the southern, Campania region of Italy, where Chef Neil grew up. There’s nothing like fresh Mediterranean seafood and shellfish over a bowl al dente pasta, drizzled in cold pressed olive oil and tossed in fresh Italian tomato pasta sauce. For Chef Neil, it brings him back home, which is where everyone wants to be on Christmas Eve.

While we don’t have a whole feast laid out for you, you can try Monte Bene Linguine Scoglio for a taste of an Italian Christmas Eve.

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A Waste-Free, Hassle-Free Week

A Waste-Free, Hassle-Free Week

During the busy holiday season, making homemade meals can seem like something out of a dream. Who has time for that? But with a little help of a meal plan, take-out and fast food could be a thing of the past. We've put together a week of easy, no-stress meals to help you relax around meal-time and enjoy the season. 

Of course, all these recipes are just suggestions. Feel free to mix them up, change sauce flavors, or go vegetarian. 

First off, your grocery shopping list for the week: 

  • 3 jars of Monte Bene pasta sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
  • Chicken breast – 1 per each person in your family plus two extra
  • Pepperoni or Italian sausage (optional as pizza toppings)
  • Salad greens (mixed variety recommended)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans or 2 cans of green beans
  • 1 can refried black or pinto beans (or you can just get regular black or pinto beans)
  • 1 can white kidney or cannellini beans
  • Mushrooms or zucchini (optional as pizza toppings)
  • 8 oz. package of spaghetti
  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1-2 pre-made pizza crust(s)
  • 1 16 oz. container of sour cream
  • 3 oz. container cherry tomatoes 
  • 2-4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups per pizza)
  • 2-4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (depending on your family size)
  • Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salad dressing (or whatever you like to dress your salad with)
  • Fresh basil bunch

Day 1: Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

The beginning of the week can be pretty hectic - trying to prepare for the next 5 days, wishing it was still the weekend. We understand. So with this recipe, take it easy. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Monte Bene Garlic Marinara pasta sauce
  • ½ lb ground beef or turkey
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh cherry tomatoes
  • Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Preparation:

Warm your olive oil over medium heat and then add meat and onions. Cook thoroughly until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are soft. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti al dente, drain, and toss with 1 cup Monte Bene pasta sauce to prevent the pasta from sticking. Add the remaining jar of Monte Bene pasta sauce to the meat and onions, and add salt and pepper to taste. Plate pasta and top with meat sauce. Add fresh basil and Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese as desired. Serve with your favorite salad.

Day 2: Taco Salad

Day one is done. Phew. Hope you enjoyed that taste of Italy! Now let’s venture elsewhere.

Ingredients:

  • Salad greens
  • ½ lb ground beef or turkey
  • Taco seasoning (chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, onion powder, salt, garlic powder)
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can refried black or pinto beans (or beans of your choosing)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil 
  • Sour cream
  • Cheese
  • Salsa or hot sauce (recommended)

Preparation:

Heat vegetable oil in a medium sauce pan. Add onions and heat until just translucent. Add meat and cook until browned. Add taco seasoning. Add about 1/2 cup of water and cook until water evaporates and meat is completely coated. In a medium skillet, heat beans (5 to 10 minutes). Plate a bed of greens for each person, top with meat, beans, sour cream, cheese, and salsa/hot sauce as desired. If desired, serve with low sodium tortilla chips.

Day 3: Chicken and Veggies

You've used up all your beef. Time for some chicken. This dish gives you some room for creativity, but it is simple enough to accommodate that mid-week hustle and bustle.

Ingredients:

Chicken:

  • 1 chicken breast for each person, plus 2 extra
  • 2-3 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

You can add lemon juice, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, rosemary, or whatever seasoning is your favorite. This is your chance to style the meal to your own preferences.

Veggies:

  • ½ lb fresh green beans or 1 can green beans
  • Salt and pepper

Slice up ½ loaf of French bread to serve alongside.

Preparation:

You can bake or grill your chicken, whatever suits you. Just season up the breasts, add a little olive oil, and throw them in a casserole dish or on the grill.

Meanwhile, heat up your can of green beans or steam them. To steam, get a pot and fill it with about 1” of water and bring the water to a boil. If you have a steamer basket, place it above the water and steam the green beans in it for 1 ½ minutes. If you don’t, simply place the beans directly into the water for the same amount of time. Season with salt and pepper, and even a little butter, as desired.

Day 4: Chicken Soup

Now you get to throw a whole lot of stuff into a pot, which is just plain fun!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ jar Monte Bene Spicy Marinara pasta sauce
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • Leftover chicken, shredded
  • 1 can or ½ lb green beans
  • Leftover onion
  • 1 can white kidney or cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Fresh basil
  • Cheddar cheese

Serve with remaining half loaf of French bread.

Preparation:

In a large pot, add your jar of Monte Bene, can of broth, leftover chicken, green beans, leftover onion, and beans. Simmer at medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, or until heated through. Stir in cup of sour cream until well blended. Ladle soup into bowls and top with fresh basil and cheese as desired.

Serve with bread.

(NOTE: If you want to make the bread a little more interesting, brush it with olive oil and sprinkle garlic powder or minced garlic and broil for a couple of minutes until bread becomes crunchy.)

Day 5: Pizza

You made it to the end of the week! Now it’s time for something that is easy, fun, and a crowd-pleaser. 

Ingredients:

  • ½ jar Monte Bene Spicy Marinara pasta sauce
  • 1-2 pre-made pizza crust(s)
  • 2-4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Suggested additions: Mushrooms, pepperoni, Italian sausage, zucchini

Preparation:

Spread Monte Bene pasta sauce on your pizza crust, then top with 2 cups mozzarella per pizza. Add Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese as desired. Add any additional toppings.

Follow instructions on pre-made pizza crust packaging (typically you’re going to bake the pizza at 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes).

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7 Amazing Desk Snacks that You Can Feel Healthy About Indulging In (# 3 is the Best)

7 Amazing Desk Snacks that You Can Feel Healthy About Indulging In (# 3 is the Best)

There’s nothing wrong with indulging every now and then, but we’re getting closer to that time of year when we all indulge a little too much on those goodies that are a little less than healthy. Comfort food is the name of the game, and we can never seem to get enough of it when it comes around.

But it’s certainly not the time of year to feel guilty about eating good food and sharing it with your family and friends. Instead, why not try to balance out those moments of indulging with more healthy eating options?

Studies show that eating small snacks during the day can actually prevent you from eating too much unhealthy food. Eating healthy snacks keeps your energy levels stable, preventing you from overindulging at the next big meal. It also helps you stay more focused and, in turn, more productive throughout the day.

With this in mind, we’ve come up with a list of our favorite healthy snacks that are simple enough to pack for work and enjoy during a late morning or afternoon lull. These are packed with nutrients, protein, and antioxidants to fuel your body throughout the day.

  1. Greek Yogurt and berries: Greek yogurt is full of protein, which will help keep your energy levels up. It also has probiotics to help keep your digestion regular. Add the disease fighting antioxidant power of raspberries or blueberries and you have one healthy mid-morning meal.
  2. Pita chips and hummus: Pita chips are healthier than your average potato chip because they have fiber. Hummus is also rich in protein and several essential vitamins and minerals. It’s a low fat option for a savory snack.
  3. Dark chocolate and dried cherries: That’s right. We just said chocolate. Dark chocolate is actually one of the healthiest snacks you can indulge in; it has more antioxidants than most foods. Other benefits of chocolate? It could help improve blood flow, prevent cardiovascular disease, lower bad cholesterol, and protect your skin. The list of cherry health benefits is just as long – including cancer prevention, weight loss, and better sleep.
  4. Cottage cheese and crackers: Needing to add some Vitamin B-12 and calcium to your diet? Cottage cheese is the perfect low fat option. Serve it with some salted whole wheat crackers for satisfying crunch.
  5. Whole grain bagel with ricotta and strawberries: Get your carbs, protein, and antioxidants all in one. Spread on your ricotta, top with strawberries, and you have a perfect on the go snack.
  6. Popcorn and Parmesan cheese: We’re not talking about the buttery movie theater stuff. Plain “clean” popcorn is full of fiber, whole grains, and – you guessed it – antioxidants. Add some calcium, vitamin A, and protein by sprinkling it with a little Parmesan cheese for an extra tasty treat.
  7. Monte Bene Spicy Marinara sauce and fresh veggies: We could go on and on about the health benefits of tomatoes. We'll just say that cooked tomatoes are some of the best cancer fighting foods out there. Heat up your sauce or leave it cold for a unique dip for sliced celery, bell peppers, or carrots. 

Sources:

"Healthy Snack Ideas." realsimple.com 

"20 Snacks that Burn Fat." health.com 

"Amazing Health Benefits of Berries." everydayhealth.com 

"Greek Yogurt Benefits." healthline.com 

"Benefits of Hummus." healthyeating.sfgate.com 

"Healthy Snacks with Pita Chips." Livestrong.com 

"What are the Health Benefits of Hazelnuts?" Livestrong.com 

"7 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate." authoritynutrition.com 

"Health Benefits of Cherries." Mercola.com 

"Benefits of Cottage Cheese." Healtheating.sfgate.com 

"Healthy Benefits of Popcorn." Healthyeating.sfgate.com 

"The Benefits of Parmesan Cheese." livestrong.com 

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