From The Nutritionist

Lindsay Watts, RD
Author:
Lindsay Watts, RD

What You Drink Matters

What we drink is as important to our bodies as what we eat. In recent years, Americans are rethinking what is in their glasses, bottles and cans. Regular soda (or pop) consumption has dropped 25% over the past twenty years as bottled water sales continue to climb.1 Cutting back on empty calories is good, but there is more to consider when choosing your drink. According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the majority of the US population falls short of the recommendations for a variety of nutrients and food groups including veggies.2 While the dietary guidelines recommend that at least half of your fruit and vegetables come from whole foods, up to one cup of 100% juice and juice with no added sugar per day can help you meet recommendations. From fruit and vegetable juices, to smoothies, beverages can pack a powerful nutritional punch that can help you reach your dietary goals, especially for these food groups.

Fruit & Veggie Up

Juicing is trendy among many consumers and fresh juice bars are so ubiquitous, you likely have one in a nearby neighborhood or even within your local supermarket. Despite this, overall juice consumption has declined 21% from 2004-20141, a concern when most Americans aren’t meeting their fruit and vegetable recommendations2-4. Whole fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients and dietary fiber that can be lost in the juicing process. However, juice can be an excellent source of many important nutrients and a refreshing way to fit more fruit and veggies into your diet. Look in the aisles of your grocery store for 100% juice like V8®100% Vegetable Juice and juice with no added sugar like V8® Vegetable Juice Blends.

As a Main Ingredient

Juice is great on the go or as thirst-quencher, but can also be added to your breakfast for a tasty, nutritional boost. Blend juice with low-fat yogurt, fruit, and vegetables for a delicious smoothie you can enjoy on the go. Need something a little more substantial? Try out a smoothie bowl like this Fruit and Granola Topped Smoothie Bowl made with V8® Healthy Greens Veggie Blends. Top with your favorite fruit, nuts, seeds, and other ingredients for a dish made just for you.

Cool Down

When the weather heats up, we often crave something cool and refreshing. Instead of hitting up the ice cream stand, try making juice pops with 100% juice.
Pour juice into pop molds and add your own fresh cut fruits for a sweet and healthy treat. In addition to staying cool through the warmer weather, it is also important to stay hydrated. Flavor your water by adding your favorite fruits, vegetables, and herbs into your water bottle. Try lemon and a bit of thyme, sliced ginger and orange slices, or cucumber and mint for refreshing infusions.

Be Mindful

We have all heard the adage “Knowledge is Power”. Be mindful of made-to-order beverages from your favorite coffee shops, quick marts, and juice bars. While fruity smoothies, fresh juice drinks, and premium coffees can be tempting, they may also provide extra calories from added fats and sugars. Keep nutrition in mind by checking out the nutrition facts and ingredients in your favorite drink on the company’s website. If your go-to turns out to be a little decadent, be mindful of your portion size.

We often think of food as the main way to get our nutrition, but what we drink matters just as much. Drinks can help us reach fruit and veggie goals, stay hydrated, or be used in delicious recipes. Make smart beverage choices as a part of an overall healthy diet to help you meet your wellness goals.

Cheers,
Lindsay

serving=1/2 cup

Lindsay’s Bio
Lindsay is a nutrition communications analyst at the Campbell Soup Company where she coordinates health professional and consumer communications. She also works with internal and external partners on retail health and wellness programs. Prior to her role at Campbell, Lindsay worked as an in-store retail dietitian. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from West Chester University and completed her dietetic internship with Pennsylvania State University.

  1. The Decline of ‘Big Soda’
  2. 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  3. State of the Plate: 2015 Study on America’s Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables
  4. Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.