Ok I admit it – I’m not always the healthiest when it comes to my food choices. Oh, I know better – I’m a volunteer Community Food Advisor in my city so I’ve taken nutrition training but fact of the matter is
a) I live alone most of the time so sometimes doing a lot of food preparation just for me seems daunting
b) I have a pretty hectic schedule and I tend to get busy and forget to eat. Then I’m really really hungry and just want to grab something fast and get right back to work.
c) I have Crohns disease and there are days when I simply don’t feel like eating. I know I need to get my nutrients but it seems like a struggle – and even more so when I don’t really have an appetite. Once again, if I’m not feeling well, I sure don’t feel like spending time doing food preparation.
d) I was not raised with the healthiest of eating habits. My dad had a huge sweet tooth and regularly ate cookies or even a piece of pie as his breakfast. Fruits and vegetables were not a high priority in my family and since our family originally came from the South, highly fried foods were a big part of our diet. Plus, I grew up in the 60s, at the height of convenience foods and back then convenience translated into “not very healthy”.
So, I’ve recently decided I needed to take control of this situation and work smarter, not harder when it comes to healthy eating. I had heard of a few new products, in particular great new flavours of Del Monte fruit cups such as Diced Apples and Pears with Caramel Flavor and Diced Pears with Vanilla and Spice, that would be helpful in my quest so I headed off to Walmart in search of healthier living! Check out my my shopping insights here on my Google+ photo album.
The new Del Monte fruit cups are such a great alternative for lunch or snacks for someone like me as well as for kids (to take in school lunches, eat in the car on the way to soccer practice, or as something they can easily help themselves to!). It’s a grab and go product – no preparation needed. You just open the lid and eat away! Best of all, they have only 60 calories per serving, are gluten free, fat free, cholesterol free, and don’t have any high fructose corn syrup in them, making them not only a convenient but also a healthy option. What’s more, with flavours like Diced Apples and Pears with Caramel Flavor, Diced Pears with Vanilla and Spice, and Diced Peaches with Cinnamon and Brown Sugar, you feel like you’re having a decadent treat when you eat one of these delicious fruit cups!
I’m a busy blogger and spend a lot of time each day writing, cooking up new recipes or making new crafts to share on my blog. The Del Monte fruit cups allow me to grab one and have a healthy snack without having to take time away from my work to clean and prepare the fruit. To round it out into a lunch, I add a serving of cottage cheese (you could use yogurt instead) for protein and dairy, topped with the contents of one of the fruit cups, and finally, finished off with a layer of my homemade granola to add grains and fiber. A healthy well rounded meal but still quick, easy, and convenient! Now that’s perfectly suited for me and my lifestyle!
My Homemade Granola Recipe (these flavours complement the flavours in the Del Monte fruit cups really well!)
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup nuts (I used pecans but you can use your favourite or a combination)
1 cup seeds (I used pumpkin seeds but you can use your favourite or a combination)
You can add about a cup of coconut to this if you like it but I don’t care for the texture.
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup juice (apple works well but I’ve also drained one of the fruit cups and used that in place of the juice; add a little water to bring it up to 1/3 cup)
I added 2 T. maple syrup because I wanted that maple flavour in it but it’s not necessary. You can use honey or more applesauce instead.
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Bake at 300 degrees F for about half an hour until golden brown. Stir occasionally to ensure even browning on all sides and prevent burning. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, you can stir in 1 cup dried fruit (your favourite or a combination) – I often leave the fruit out because I can just sprinkle some on if I want it when I eat the granola. This time I’m using dried cranberries.
Want to connect with Del Monte and learn more about their great products/find more ideas for using them? Go here:
“I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Del Monte #CBias #SocialFabric All opinions and ideas are my own.”
What a great recipe!! That fruit cup creation looks like perfection! I wish I could just grab one:)