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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Pomegranate Seeds With No Mess!

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


Pomegranate seeds are delicious, but they can be messy. Here’s a quick tip for how to seed a pomegranate the easy and fun way, with no mess!

My kids love our secret trick for how to remove pomegranate seeds. It’s a fun, no mess activity and the reward at the end is a delicious bowl of tangy, crunchy pomegranate seeds that you can use in salads, sauces or just simply enjoy on their own.

How to Seed a Pomegranate with No Mess

Step 1: Slice the pomegranate in half and place in a large bowl of cold water.

pomegranate

how to seed a pomegranate step 1


Step 2: Working under the water, break apart the fruit using your fingers to release the pomegranate seeds from the membrane.

how to seed a pomegranate step 2


Step 3: Like magic, the membranes float to the top and the seeds sink to the bottom.

how to seed a pomegranate step 3


Step 4: Pour off the membrane filled water, rinse the seeds in a sieve and you’ve got a beautiful batch of pomegranate seeds ready to use in salads, cakes, or this deliciously simple cranberry pomegranate sauce.

pomegranate seeds

cranberry pomegranate sauce

* What is your favorite way to enjoy pomegranate seeds?

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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Broiled Grapefruit Recipe (Week 49, 52 New Foods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on December 17, 2012 0 Comments
broiled grapefruit recipe


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

Grapefruit is one of my favorite winter fruits. Slicing it open, I could swear I hear it call out, “Wake up, the day is here!” For some kids, the flavor can be a bit overpowering. My daughter loves the bright spray of citrus on her palette, but my son prefers a mellower flavor, which is exactly what broiling a grapefruit achieves. Delicately dressed with a touch of agave and a sprinkle of cinnamon and ginger, this broiled grapefruit recipe is one we’re adding to our list of ultra-easy, family favorites.

Broiled Grapefruit with Agave and Cinnamon

Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 3 to 5 minutes
Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

broiled grapefruit recipe ingredients


2 grapefruits, halved
4 tsp agave
A few pinches of cinnamon

Directions:

1. Wash the grapefruit and cut it in half. Using a small paring knife, cut around the outside of the grapefruit.  

broiled grapefruit recipe step 1


2. Top each grapefruit half with a teaspoon of agave, spreading gently over the fruit with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon (I added a little ginger too).

broiled grapefruit recipe step 2


3. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tops are slightly browned.

broiled grapefruit recipe


* Have you tried broiled grapefruit? What is your favorite way to enjoy this delicious winter fruit?

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Mini apple pear crisp.

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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