Overnight Oats

Quaker Overnight Oats - cobornsblog.com

If you ever get time to visit Pinterest you have probably see Overnight Oats. Delicious and healthy morning breakfast ideas, made at night to enjoy in the morning. Simply layer 1/2 cup of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats and 1/2 cup of low-fat milk or juice, that will do the trick and the rest is just whatever else you want to eat with your oatmeal in the morning. Below are four delicious Overnight Oats recipes for you to try. Give ’em a shot and let us know what you think, or let us know what other combinations you have tried and enjoyed.

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Smarter Dessert Pizza

Smarter Dessert Pizza - www.cobornsblog.com

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Hey Everyone! I hope you are all enjoying summertime!  It’s a fabulous time of year! A great time to get together with friends and families to hang out at the lake or pool, and enjoy a barbeque or picnic. Many times you are asked to bring a dish to share or often dessert.  A family favorite for me for a dessert is dessert pizza.  It’s at every family event whether it’s a baby shower, wedding shower, barbeque or holiday celebration.  As you know, there are always so many recipes and variations.  For this blog, I am going to share a few of my favorites… of course they include more nutritious ingredients than the typical dessert pizza.


Dessert pizza usually includes dough, an icing for the sauce, and toppings.

For the dough, instead of using refined flour bread products or cookie dough, try making a dough from whole wheat WHITE flour, or whole wheat frozen bread dough to save time or you could also use an actual thin pizza crust that is premade… just make sure its whole grain.

Banana Graham Fruit Pizza - www.cobornsblog.com - Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with AshleyIcing

For the icing, instead of frosting, use sugar-free pudding or vanilla yogurt- Greek if you like it creamier and thicker, but make sure it’s at least low fat.  You could use cream cheese if you want, but make sure it’s whipped or reduced fat. To add some flavor for every 8 oz. of cream cheese add ½ tsp of either almond or vanilla extract.


As for the toppings, load up on the fruit for that natural sweetness and don’t forget to include the rainbow to keep it appealing to the eye and of course that means a variety of antioxidants. I like to include strawberries, kiwis and blueberries, but any assortment of your favorite fruits would be great! Don’t forget about pomegranates, peaches, mangos, pineapple, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, they all work great! If you absolutely need to have chocolate present, add mini dark chocolate chips, remember dark chocolate is nutritious providing a good source of antioxidants. You can also warm the dark chocolate chips to make a drizzle over the top of your fruit… how amazing does that sound? Seriously my mouth is watering right now! I think I might have to run to the store right now to make this!

Why it’s smarter

These fruit pizza variations have allowed you to cut the not so good fat, reduce the added sugar, and actually provide nutrients such as fiber from the dough. The fruits provide fiber as well as other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  If you chose to use the low fat yogurt you are also getting protein, calcium and vitamin D.

Now that is a dessert that you can be sure to enjoy without feeling guilty!

Quick, Kid Friendly Option

Maybe you are at home and want to make a personal size dessert pizza or maybe you want to get the kids involved!

I would recommend using a whole wheat tortilla shell or graham cracker for the dough and then still using either the same icing options for the icing and then the fruit for the topping.  To save time and to keep things safe, instead of cutting up the fruit you can use canned fruit that is already washed, and cut.

Banana Graham Fruit Pizza

I have included a tasty and more nutritious fruit pizza recipe below using bananas and graham crackers. If you love banana bread, you will love this recipe.

Banana Graham Fruit Pizza - www.cobornsblog.com - Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley

Banana Graham Fruit Pizza
Serves: 12
  • One Box Food Club Low Fat Honey Grahams
  • 3-4 Ripe Medium Bananas
  • 1 T. Honey
  • 6 Oz. Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Cups Kraft Fat Free Cool Whip
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes, halved
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place grahams in a large bowl and crush to a dirt consistency using a cup, blender, chopper or food processor. A few larger pieces is okay, it will add more of a cookie texture to your crust.
  3. Mash bananas
  4. Add bananas to crushed grahams and mix with hands until your mixture is similar to that of a meatloaf.
  5. Roll banana and graham mixture into a ball and place on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Flatten mixture with your hands. Roll it out from center going outward. You can use your finger tips or a roller.
  7. Drizzle the honey over the crust and spread it around with a spoon. This will help to create a crispy texture on the outside and a soft chewy texture on the inside, similar to a sugar cookie.
  8. Bake crust in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes. Check periodically to make sure your edges don’t burn. You want the crust to be lightly brown and crispy. The inside will be soft immediately after you remove it from the oven so allow it to cool before you try to transfer or it will break.
  9. Combine Cool Whip and Greek yogurt together, and place it in the fridge to thicken. (20 minutes)
  10. Once the crust has cooled, add the Cool Whip mixture to the center of the crust and spread evenly.
  11. Add fruit to the top as desired.
  12. Store in the refrigerator.

Peace and Wellness,
Coborn’s Supermarket Dietitian, R.D.

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Trade Up for a Better After School Snack

Trade Up for a Better Back to School Snack! #NuVal www.cobornsblog.comHey All! As I’m sure you are fully aware it is back to school, whether you are ready or not! Last month I blogged about nutritious breakfast options to fuel you and your child’s body before beginning your long day! All meals are important, but breakfast seems to be one of the most challenging as it tends to be very rushed.  Parent’s aren’t usually responsible for lunches as it is offered at the schools and the school lunches are now more nutritious than ever and continue to head in that direction!  So, today I will be blogging about better for you snacks for kids after school.  It may be before a sport or as they arrive off the bus.  After school snacks can be very tricky as a lot of the front of package labeling can be very misleading.

I remember as I was getting off the bus from school, I was starving! I couldn’t wait to have an after school snack.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t provided with the most nutritious options.  Back then, there wasn’t such a push for nutritious options and we were just on the verge of the childhood obesity epidemic. I would have snacks like mini corn dogs, pizza rolls, pizza, ice cream, cookies, cheese balls, Little Debbie’s nutty bars (they had peanut butter, so they had to be good for you), and easy mac! YIKES! I am honestly embarrassed to share that being a dietitian today!!!  I guess that just makes my improvements more significant.

Check out the image for all of my suggest snack trade ups! I hope these provide you with some ideas for healthy snack options for you and your families.

Happy Back to School!

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley. www.cobornsblog.com

Peace and Wellness,
Coborn’s, Inc. Registered Supermarket Dietitian

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Trading up for a Better Breakfast!

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley. www.cobornsblog.com

Hello There! It’s the beginning of August and you know what that means… school is right around the corner! Just as it is important to get all those pencils, erasers and notebooks, it is also important to plan ahead for your meals for back to school. With school commitments, schedules become crazier for families and it becomes more difficult to have time to make meals. So for this month’s blog I am going to be talking about trading up with NuVal at breakfast, as it is a very important meal of the day and can be quite challenging for many to fit it in and make nutritious choices. Next month, I will be sharing smarter snacks for back to school, so stay tuned!

Trade up for a Better Breakfast. Choosing a higher NuVal score when selecting Breakfast foods. www.cobornsblog.comWhat is your favorite breakfast before school? I have a confession about what I loved to eat back when I was in elementary school. My favorite would have been frozen toaster strudels. I didn’t just say that out loud, did I? I absolutely loved them because they were so easy to pop in the toaster and all I had to do was put on the frosting and enjoy! Wow, have I changed my eating habits, but that is what it is all about, right? Little improvements along that way…

Today, if someone asked me what my favorite quick and easy breakfast is, I would tell them whole grain blueberry waffles topped off with almond butter, blueberries, a half of banana and a very tiny bit of real maple syrup. Real maple syrup is so very sweet that you really only need a teaspoon at most. Or my new favorite is quick oats with peanut butter, dark chocolate chips and diced up bananas. Yum! I can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow morning!

Because I live and breathe NuVal, my trading up at breakfast is quite significant. My beloved toaster strudels come in at a low 3! Yikes compared to my waffles at a 44 and my almond butter at an 84 or my oatmeal at a 93! That’s what is all about, folks, trading up to better overall nutrition!

Here are some other examples of trading up that I recommend.

Trade up for a Better Breakfast. Choosing a higher NuVal score when selecting Bacon. www.cobornsblog.comTrade up for a Better Breakfast. Choosing a higher NuVal score when selecting Eggs. www.cobornsblog.comTrade up for a Better Breakfast. Choosing a higher NuVal score when selecting Breads. www.cobornsblog.com

Trade up for Better Bacon

Bacon – NuVal Score 5
Turkey bacon – NuVal Score 26
Even higher yet, Morning Star bacon – NuVal Score 42

Trade up for Better Eggs

Did you know eggs score a whopping 56? You could even trade up to Better’N Eggs at a 71 or to Egglands Best brand eggs that receive a score of 85. Talk about a nutrient powerhouse!

Trade up for Better Bread

White English muffins are a 23, while mulitigrain English muffins are a 46 and sandwich thins are a 45 (try them instead of bagels, as they are a more appropriate portion), whole wheat tortillas can score an 84 and whole wheat toast can be as high as 98!

Trade up for a Better Breakfast. Choosing a higher NuVal score when selecting Sausage. www.cobornsblog.comTrade up for a Better Breakfast. Choosing a higher NuVal score when selecting Hash Browns. www.cobornsblog.comTrade up for a Better Breakfast. Light and High Scoring Breakfast Idea! www.cobornsblog.com

Trade up for Better Sausage

Typical breakfast sausage links are only a 18, so instead you should try the reduced fat Jimmy Dean ground sausage at 25, Morning Star sausage patties at 33 or ground pork and season it yourself at 39! One last trade up could be Morning Star sausage links scoring a 40.

Trade up for Better Hash Browns

Hash browns range from 5-100. Now that is quite the range! Watch out for those Trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) and make sure the ingredients say only potatoes.

Then with all of those ingredients, you can prepare you own breakfast sandwich or burrito. My favorite trick to make it quick and easy in the morning is to prepare a large batch the night before so that it will last me a few days and all you have to do in the morning is put it in the microwave. And there you have it, a very nutritious and delicious breakfast that is sure to give you and your family the right nutrients to start a day off right.

Trade up for a Nutritious Breakfast

I’m going to make something fabulous tomorrow morning. I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out! I’ll stay on the lighter side with a yogurt with blueberries and granola for added nutrition. Plain yogurt can score as high as 100! And you can find granolas with that score in the mid-90s.

Trade up for a Better Breakfast. Choosing a higher NuVal score when selecting Cereals and Bars. www.cobornsblog.com

Trade up for Better Bars and Cereal

You also can still have cold cereal or a granola bar if that’s what you prefer, just remember to trade up within the category! For example if you normally have a Cap’n Crunch that scores a 4, consider trading up to Cheerios that have a score of 36! Or let’s say your favorite morning bar is a bar by special K, with a score of only 8. It would be easy to trade up to Belvitas that have a score of 23.

If you would like more personalized help planning your meals, please ask. I’m happy to help.

Peace and wellness,
Coborn’s Registered Supermarket Dietitian

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Which Nut Butter is Better?

Which Nut Butter is Better? Comparing Nutella, Peanut Butters, Sunbutter and Almond Butter. www.cobornsblog.com

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Are you under the Nutella spell, like most of us? Yes, this blog will be about Nutella, but I will also be discussing other nut butters out there on the shelves of your local Coborn’s.  Be ready to have many of your questions answered, including which nut butter is best for you.

Which Nut Butter is Better? Comparing Nutella, Peanut Butters, Sunbutter and Almond Butter. www.cobornsblog.comFirst of all, let’s talk about Nutella – here are the facts: 200 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat, 15 mg of sodium, and 21 grams of sugar in JUST TWO TBSP.  Nut butters will have a lot of fat, but the type of fat is more important according to recent studies.  Here are the concerns I have with this spread:
At most, we should have 20 total grams of fat for our day, however those with heart disease should have more like 12-15 grams; Nutella has 12 grams of total fat, with 4 grams coming from the saturated fat. Keep that in mind the next time you decide to spread it thick over some bread or crackers. Something else to consider is the amount of sugar (21 grams PER SERVING).  According to public health agencies adults should have no more than 24-36 grams of added sugar per day, and for Nutella’s 21 grams of sugar, you really aren’t getting any nutrition.  For example, I would prefer if you ate a yogurt with 21 grams of sugar, because at least you are getting some protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Finally, there is only 1 gram of fiber per serving.  As Americans we tend to not get enough fiber on a daily basis so it is of great importance to consider the amount of fiber you are consuming from foods.  Basically, think of this as a sometimes food, or a dessert.  This is not something I would encourage even though I know it is made with hazelnuts, which are the third ingredient behind sugar and palm oil. NuVal Score = 2

Which Nut Butter is Better? Comparing Nutella, Peanut Butters, Sunbutter and Almond Butter. www.cobornsblog.comLet’s increase our nutritional value by trading up to peanut butter. I choose Skippy creamy peanut butter. Looking at this compared to Nutella, we increased in the total fat, but lost a gram of saturated fat, went up a gram in fiber, lost 18 grams of added sugar, gained some B vitamins and Vitamin E. Whoa! Yes, I did say it went up in total fat, but the most important part is that we lost a gram in saturated fat.  Remember, I said the type of fat is more important according to recent studies so this is a great alternative to Nutella, however as I access the ingredient list I notice that there are hydrogenated vegetable oils listed.  This is something to avoid as it can increase the saturated fats.  Sodium is at 150mg, which I know can drop lower. Finally, the protein is at 7 grams, which is 5 more grams that Nutella. NuVal Score=20

Which Nut Butter is Better? Comparing Nutella, Peanut Butters, Sunbutter and Almond Butter. www.cobornsblog.comWhat about the “natural’’ versions of peanut butter? Well here we go…. I choose low sodium (see, I told you that sodium could go down) natural Jif creamy.  The fat stayed at 16 grams, the saturated fat stayed at 3 grams, sodium dropped to 80mg, fiber stayed at 2 grams and sugars stayed at 3 grams compared to Skippy creamy peanut butter. Protein is at 7 grams.  Now I move to the ingredient list and we have lost the hydrogenated oils so we have traded up even further to a NuVal Score of 25. NuVal Score =25

Which Nut Butter is Better? Comparing Nutella, Peanut Butters, Sunbutter and Almond Butter. www.cobornsblog.comNow let’s talk about Sunbutter. Total fat is the same, but the saturated fat dropped to 2 grams (any drop in saturated fat is great, even if it is just 1 gram) compared to Jif natural. The sodium did go up, however it is still considered low sodium. The fiber doubled to 4 grams, sugars and protein are the same. All of this brings the NuVal score up to 41. NuVal Score=41

Finally, we get to almond butter, my personal favorite, not only because it is so nutritious, but the taste is fabulous! The total fat went up to 17 grams… remember what I said before in regards to total fat… and the saturated fat dropped half of a gram.  Which Nut Butter is Better? Comparing Nutella, Peanut Butters, Sunbutter and Almond Butter. www.cobornsblog.comThe almond butter I choose is Full Circle (not all almond butter is the exact same in nutrition content, just as you saw with the peanut butters) and it’s SODIUM FREE! Now, for those of you who know me, THAT IS AMAZING; life can’t get any better at this point! Fiber is at 3 grams, and sugar is at 2 grams with protein at 6 grams compared to Sunbutter. Because of the NO sodium and all of the heart healthy fats in this product, the NuVal score is an 84. NuVal Score =84

Some of you may question why the score on almond butter is so high. I did discuss two reasons the score was higher, the no sodium, and the type of fats.  Let me elaborate on those fats.  Basically there are three types of fats: trans, saturated, and unsaturated. Trans fats… just say no! Now to the saturated fats; these fats are the ones we want to decrease in our diet as they are linked to increases in cholesterol levels, which put us at risk for heart disease.  The unsaturated fats… there are several types of these and we want to include a variety of all of them, however because of our food supply and typical American eating habits, we tend to get a lot of one type of these fats and the goal is to get all of the healthy fats. The most prominent type of heart healthy fat that is in almond butter is different than the type that is in peanut butter and sunbutter.  The type of fat in these nut butters we get so much of, but we really want to include that variety of heart healthy fats; that is most ideal! That is the main reason I recommend almond butter over the others.

All of these butters are great (minus the Nutella) and nutritious, some more than others, but it is really the type of fat found in almond butter that Americans could benefit from including in their diets more often. I hope this blog article helps to answer some of your questions regarding the different types of nut butters and their fats.

– Ashley
Coborn’s Dietitian

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