Easy Asian Pear Sauce (52 New Foods, Around the World Week 1)

Posted by Jennifer Tyler Lee on January 07, 2013 2 Comments
asian pear sauce


Pear sauce made with crisp Asian pears and a hint of ginger is an easy and fun twist on homemade applesauce.

It’s 2013 and Crunch a Color’s 52 New Foods adventure is setting off on a tour around the world! Like the sun, we begin our journey in the East, sampling and savoring foods from Asia. What better way to get ready for the Lunar New Year than a stop at the fresh market in Chinatown!

asian pears picking


A visit to San Francisco’s Chinatown would not be complete without heading home with a bushel full of sweet, crunchy Asian pears. Their flavor and texture is like a cross between an apple and a pear, and they are delicious sliced into wedges as a snack. But on this brisk January afternoon, my kids were craving a warm treat, so we whipped up a batch of Asian pear sauce with a hint of ginger, and not a drop of refined sugar: an easy and fun twist on homemade applesauce.

Asian Pear Sauce

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 to 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 6 cups
Crunch a Color points: 5 yellow

Ingredients:

asian pear sauce ingredients


2 pounds Asian pears
2 pounds Fuji apples
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1½ cups water

Directions:

1. Wash, peel, and core the Asian pears and apples. Chop the fruit into ¼” size pieces. This is a fun job for the kids to do!

asian pear sauce step 1

asian pear sauce step 1b


2. Load all of the ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the fruit is soft. The Asian pears will remain slightly crunchy compared to the apples.

asian pear sauce step 2


3. Let the kids mash the fruit mixture with a potato masher until you achieve the texture you prefer. We made our sauce with small chunks of pear remaining.

asian pear sauce step 3


4. Let cool, then enjoy with friends!

asian pear sauce share

asian pear sauce


This delicious Asian pear sauce is a wholesome treat and an easy way to try something new alongside yogurt, roast chicken, or simply on its own as a healthy snack.

* What is your favorite way to enjoy Asian pears?

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Kumquat Jam

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

 

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One New Healthy Food a Week (52 New Foods)

Posted by Erin Nantell on January 04, 2013 0 Comments
pick one new healthy food a week


52 weeks, 52 new foods. This simple challenge planted the seeds of change at our family table. Pick a new healthy food to try each week and join the adventure!

Whether your kids are the picky eaters, or you are the culprit, it can be challenging to break out of the rut of serving the same three vegetables each week. But the key to eating healthy is to make colorful and diverse healthy food choices, which is why kids earn points for eating servings of colorful fruits and vegetables, and bonus points for trying new foods, when they play Crunch a Color: The Healthy Eating Game.

Last January, as a way to earn more of those alluring bonus points, we took on one simple challenge, together as a family: 52 weeks, 52 new foods. The adventure inspired our family to welcome a cornucopia of new foods to our table and make healthy eating fun for our whole family.

Fifty-two weeks later, I am proud to say that we achieved our goal, but the journey was infinitely more important than the destination. Our 52 New Foods adventure challenged everyone in the family to try something new each week, it encouraged us to start a garden, it brought us together to cook and enjoy healthy food as a family, and it connected us with new friends and food lovers in our community. We learned about where our food comes from, the artisans who work tirelessly to grow it, and how the food choices we make impact our neighborhood and the bigger world around us. 52 New Foods planted the seeds of change at our family table.

We hope you’ll join us as we continue our 52 New Foods adventure in 2013. It's easy to get started! Here’s how:

Let your kids choose one new healthy food to try each week.

Head out to the farmers’ market together and encourage your kids to discover new, seasonal vegetables and fruits to try. Putting the kids in charge of the adventure is the key to making it fun.

Cook the recipes together as a family.

Tune into the Crunch a Color recipe blog each week for easy, healthy, family-friendly recipes. Set aside one night a week for “new food night” and enjoy cooking together as a family. Our recipes generally feature five ingredients or less, and are easy enough for a five year old to make!

Make it fun.

Whether you’re racking up points for trying new foods with Crunch a Color: The Healthy Eating Game, or inviting giggles to your family table with Crunch a Color: Conversation Starters for Kids, make mealtime fun! Reward your healthy eating each week with an active family adventure, like a bike ride together to a new park or a trip to a local farm.

Record your favorite recipes.

Snap a photo, jot your recipes in a journal, or mark your healthy food of the week on your calendar. This is a great way to keep on track. At the end of the year, you’ll have a treasured family cookbook of new healthy foods to enjoy together.

What new, healthy foods will you try in 2013? Get your healthy food list started with these easy, family-friendly recipes:


About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

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Best Healthy Recipes of 2012 (52 New Foods)

Posted by Erin Nantell on January 03, 2013 4 Comments
best healthy recipes of 2012


The best healthy recipes of 2012 as voted by the toughest food critics at the table!

My kids were great at the 3 Ps: Pasta, pizza, and peas. Getting them to try new foods was a terrible struggle, until I turned healthy eating into a game with Crunch a Color. Kale became cool when it was worth 15 points and earning bonus points for trying new foods was irresistible. 

So last January, as a way to earn those alluring bonus points, we decided to take on one simple challenge, together as a family: 52 weeks, 52 new foods. The goal was to make it easy and fun for the whole family to cook and enjoy new, healthy foods together. This simple, singular goal was one that we all agreed would be fun to achieve and easy to remember.

Best Healthy Recipes of 2012

Of the 52 New Foods we tried, these 10 easy recipes were voted “Best Healthy Recipes of 2012” by my kids:

broiled grapefruit recipe

Broiled Grapefruit: This deliciously simple broiled grapefruit recipe adds a flavorful twist to your table: a sweet and juicy treat without a drop of refined sugar.

apple pear crisp 

Mini Apple Pear Crisp: Filled to the brim with sweet, bubbling fresh pears, apples and cranberries, this mini apple pear crisp is the perfect treat to serve at a cozy winter get-together by the fire with friends and family.

romanesco broccoli


Romanesco Broccoli: Romanesco was a new discovery for my kids and me! This spiraling spectacle looks like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, and made a deliciously fun addition to our family table.

easy butternut squash soup


Easy Butternut Squash Soup: This easy butternut squash soup recipe is a healthy version of my favorite holiday soup – and can be made ahead to give you more time to celebrate with friends and family.

tomato mozzarella skewers


Tomato Pops: Tomato mozzarella skewers with a kid-friendly twist, this easy recipe for Tomato Pops makes the seasonal bounty of fresh picked cherry tomatoes even more fun to enjoy with your kids!

nut free basil pesto


Nut Free Basil Pesto: Nut free basil pesto made straight from our garden. Dig in!

healthy zucchini muffins


Healthy Zucchini Muffins: Healthy zucchini muffins are fun to make and even more fun to enjoy cuddled up with your kiddos on a leisurely Saturday morning.

homemade tomato sauce


Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce: That’s amore! No longer will plates be brimming over with boring buttered pasta. Enjoy a boost of color with this deliciously easy, homemade tomato sauce that will have your whole family singing the praises of simple Italian cooking.

healthy no bake cookies


Healthy No Bake Cookies: Quick and easy (for you or your kids) to make, these tasty no bake cookies use sunflower butter instead of peanut butter to create a delicious batch of nut-free, healthy, no bake cookies that are great for dessert or a lunchtime snack.

quinoa stuffing


Quinoa Stuffing: For a healthy twist on a holiday favorite, this easy recipe for gluten-free stuffing made with quinoa, apples, sweet potato and walnuts is just the ticket.

What’s Next?

In 2013, Crunch a Color’s 52 New Foods adventure is setting off on a tour around the world with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution! I hope you and your family will join us for the ride.

What new healthy foods will you try this year? Start your list of 52 Healthy Foods to Try in 2013!

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

 

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Kumquat Jam (Week 51, 52 New Foods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on December 31, 2012 0 Comments
kumquat jam


Kumquat jam adds a simple splash of citrus to savory dishes: a burst of sunshine to start the New Year!

Like tiny bright lights sparkling on a gray winter day, kumquats brought a burst of color and fun to our family table this week. Thought to bring good luck and prosperity for the New Year, these little citrus buds made a big splash with my kids. Their tart flavor is like a cross between an orange and a lemon.  

Kumquat Jam

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes
Yield: Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:

kumquat jam ingredients


2 cups kumquats, cut into quarters
½ cup water
1 cup sugar

Directions:

1. Wash and cut the kumquats into quarters, removing the seeds.   

kumquat jam step 1


2. Bring the water and sugar to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

kumquat jam step 2


3. Add the kumquats to the sugar water and boil gently for 10 minutes. Remove and discard seeds that float to the top.

kumquat jam step 3


4. Drain the kumquats through a sieve, then return the syrup to the pot and simmer gently for another 3 to 5 minutes. Pour ¼ cup of the reduced syrup over the kumquats.

kumquat jam step 4


5. Cool then serve.

kumquat jam


We enjoyed our kumquat jam on cheese, bread, and savory dishes like chicken and salmon. But in the end, my kids had the most fun just eating the fruit straight from the basket. Sometimes, simple is best!

kumquats


* Have you tried kumquat jam? What is your favorite way to enjoy this playful winter fruit?

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

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Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce (Week 50, 52 New Foods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on December 19, 2012 0 Comments
cranberry pomegranate sauce


Cranberry pomegranate sauce is a playful twist on a familiar favorite: an easy way to welcome a new food to your holiday table!  


I have to admit, I was afraid of pomegranate. Not only was I unsure of how to use it in recipes, I was concerned about the big fat mess. It’s been on our 52 New Foods list for some time, but I wasn’t brave enough to try it until my kids and I discovered a simple trick for how to seed a pomegranate with no mess! Now, pomegranate seeds are regularly featured on our family table and we’ve discovered a new world of food possibilities with this old world fruit! One of our favorites is this deliciously easy cranberry pomegranate sauce. It’s a wonderful way to feature a new food with an old favorite on your holiday table.

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes
Yield: Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

pomegranate sauce ingredients


1 pomegranate, seeded* (about 1 cup)
1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
1 Tbsp orange juice
Orange zest for garnish

*Note: Check out our quick tip on how to seed a pomegranate with no mess!

Directions:

1. Remove the pomegranate seeds and set aside in a small bowl.  

pomegranate seeds


2. Load the cranberries, water, sugar and orange juice into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

pomegranate sauce step 1


3. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the pomegranate seeds and garnish with orange zest.

cranberry pomegranate sauce


Note: If you’re making this recipe ahead, leave out the pomegranate seeds until you are ready to serve.

* What is your favorite way to enjoy pomegranate seeds?

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Broiled grapefruit with agave and cinnamon.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

 

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