Monthly Archives: September 2012

How to Pick the Best Produce

how-to-pick-the-best-produceJudging a fruit or vegetable by its cover may have unfortunate consequences. Often, a bump or a bruise in produce’s exterior may be the secret to finding the supermarket’s most flavorful fruits and veggies.

Macey’s experienced team of produce managers has a couple of tips for picking the best produce.

  • Handle your produce – The freshest fruits and vegetables are sturdy with tight skins.
  • Visually examine each choice – The most savory fruits and veggies are often blemished and misshapen.
  • Take a whiff – If you can’t tell after touching and looking at your produce, smell it! If it smells sweet and ripe, it’s good-to-go!

Some fruits and vegetables require more extensive examinations:

Broccoli

  • Look for hard stems with tight floret clusters that are dark green.

Romaine Lettuce

  • Look for crisp leaves, without brown edges.

Asparagus

  • Look for green spears with purple buds. The thinner the spear, the sweeter the taste.

Grapes

  • Find wrinkle-free, plump grapes that are attached to the stems. White powder on the grapes means they’ll stay fresher longer.

If you’re in doubt and can’t remember if bumps and bruises are good or bad, don’t hesitate to ask one of Macey’s expert produce managers for help.

 

Getting Kids to Eat Veggies

gettingKidsToEatVeggiesThrow out French fries, potato chips and juice boxes and ask yourself if your kids are getting the government’s daily recommendation for vegetable consumption? Most parents can’t get their kids to experiment with veggies, much less make a habit of eating them regularly. CNN’s Senior Medical Producer, Elizabeth Cohen, rounded up expert advice for struggling parents.

Here are three tried and true tips to get your kids to eat healthier:

Get ‘em while they’re hungry

Dr. Ann Kulze, family physician and author of “Eat Right for Life,” advises parents to capitalize on kids’ appetites. “If they’re hungry, they’ll eat,” Kulze said. “Serve an appetizer of colorful vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers and red bell peppers, with a low-fat salad dressing or hummus before dinner.”

Shop with your kids

Eileen Wolter, who writes a blog titled “A Suburban State of Mom,” encourages mothers to let kids pick out the fruits and vegetables. If the kids can smell the produce and admire the colors, they’ll be more likely to eat the veggies they feel comfortable with.

Have a “veggie night”

Mia Redrick, author of the “Time for Mom-Me” blog, recommends cutting out the competition. “Serve up edamame, hummus with veggies and mushroom burgers with Swiss,” Redrick suggests. With this strategy, kids don’t have the option of picking steak over carrots.

If you have any additional tips for helping kids to eat healthier, post your suggestions on our Macey’s blog!

Ways to Use Frozen Fruits and Veggies

bag-of-veggiesWe long for the time of harvest in the fall: the fruit stands, Farmer’s Markets, and our neighbor’s overflowing leftovers from their gardens.  The question is, what do we do after the harvest is over and we’re left with empty fridges and fruit bowls?  One word: Freezer.  What better way to keep the freshness and taste of your beloved fruits and veggies?

Here are some quick tips and ideas to use your favorites right from the freezer:

Frozen Fruits

  • Smoothies—just use skim milk or water, add ice and voilà!
  • Right out of the bag for a quick and easy nutritious snack.
  • Baked goods—frozen blueberries work well in muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc.
  • Shakes/Sundae Toppings—who doesn’t love peaches and ice cream?
  • Thaw and add to fresh oatmeal for your morning energy boost.

Veggies

  • Add to soups.  Frozen veggies are perfect for a soup like Minestrone.
  • Top pasta dishes with things like frozen peas.
  • Frozen broccoli or cauliflower work well as a side dish to spice up any meat entrée.
  • Add veggies to stir fry for a quick delicious dinner.
  • Frozen edamame are a great source of quick protein.  Who knew a soy bean could taste so good?

We’d love your ideas for ways in which you use frozen fruits and veggies in your own home!

Perfect Sides

mixed-veggies-in-dish“Hey mom what’s for dinner?” is the popular phrase used by kids, especially now that school has begun.  Throwing a steak on the grill or searing pork chops is the easy part; it’s what to put with the meat that’s the challenge.  So now that the meat is filling the patio or house with sweet aromas, the scrambling of creating a meal begins.  We’ve given you some easy and healthy ideas for side dishes to go with your meat and satisfy even the pickiest of eaters!

Beef

Who doesn’t love a hearty steak or juicy burger?

  • Olive oil rosemary braised red skin potatoes.
  • These are simple. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating, cut small red skin potatoes into bite-size pieces.  On a cookie sheet, lay out the pieces of potatoes and lightly drizzle olive oil over the contents. Then sprinkle dried rosemary on top.  Once the oven is pre-heated, cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes or until soft and lightly brown.  Enjoy!
  • Sweet potato with brown sugar and butter.  This is a healthier option for those of you who love those Thanksgiving marshmallow and sugary yams.  The taste is still there but without all of those unwanted calories!

garlic-breadChicken

Chicken is a fantastic lean meat that is packed with protein and taste!

  • Steamed asparagus with melted shredded parmesan cheese on top.
  • Green beans with lemon juice, butter, and almond slivers.  For this dish heat your beans then sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice over the beans. Let simmer for 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and half a cup of slivered almonds.  Simmer until the butter is melted.

mashed-potatoesPork

Whether it’s a chop or a loin, pork is the way to go to satisfy hunger and

  • Boil fresh beets for about 25 minutes.  When the beets are softened, drain, and remove skin and sprouts.  Cut the beets into bite-size pieces, add butter and sprinkle lemon juice over top.  Voila!give zest to any meal!
  • Sautéed zucchini and yellow summer squash.  Peel, cut into slices, and sauté in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft.  Bon appétit!

Fun After School Snacks

afterSchoolSnacksAs the water balloon wars and snow cones of summer end and the new Spiderman backpack and lunchbox returns, so does the notorious phrase “Mom I’m hungry!”  Which poses the questions to moms everywhere, what do I feed my kids for afterschool snacks?  Well instead of the boring same old apples and peanut butter, we’ve decided to spice things up a bit to not only keep your kids from going hungry but to keep them healthy too!

Kids After School Snacks

Ants on a Log

All you need for this classic is:

  • Slices of celery cut into small pieces
  • 1 Western Family creamy style peanut butter
  • Western Family raisin boxes

This treat will leave anyone happy and ready for adventure!

Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

Simple, healthy, and gives kids the energy they need after a hard day’s work!

Apples with Maple Cream Dip

This is perfect for the fall harvest and family time at your local orchard!

Ingredients for dip:

  • 1 cup of Western Family whipping cream.
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Western Family Maple Syrup

Whip cream and syrup together for about three minutes or until soft peaks form when removing the beaters. Serve and enjoy!

Apple Bites

This is a fun and healthy way to introduce Halloween, but is fun any time of the year. We like to take a “bite” out of bad nutrition!

All that’s needed for this snack is Western Family slivered almonds, and apples! Slice apples into serving portions. With a knife cut the skin side to create a wedge and missing piece for the “teeth” to be put into. Have fun with it!

Unique to Macey’s

hamburger-bunsWhen the fridge and cupboards are empty, choosing what food to replace them with is hard enough, let alone deciding which grocer to shop at.  Let us be your guide in helping you make the right decision for you and your family.  Macey’s has a number of exclusive and quality items that are unique to our stores only!

Bakery

All made from scratch, our baked goods give you the most bang for your buck. Plus they taste good too!  In our bakery we offer homemade:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Bars
  • Brownies
  • Donuts
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Cottage Bread
  • Texas Donuts (extra large donuts)
  • All American Bagels

Meat Department

Between running a household, handling a job, and who knows what else life throws at you, sometimes it’s difficult to even think about making dinner. Luckily, that’s where we can help.  From value packs to ground beef, Macey’s is the place for dinner.

  • Utah’s Best Ground Beef
  • Family Value Packs: Breakfast Starters
    • All you will need to start your morning off right!
    • Meal Solutions (Prepackaged Meat and Veggies)

Deli

Who doesn’t love ice cream? Come enjoy our creamy chocolate or vanilla Kong Kones or 5-Quart bucket of Kong Ice Cream.  This will put a smile on any face!

Food Storage

We have a large dedicated portion of each store for food storage.  In each store, a food storage manager is always available to help answer any questions guests may have or assist in anyway necessary.