Plan The Perfect Picnic With Seafood

From the trees to the breeze, picnics are a fun way your family can soak up the sunshine while enjoying a delicious and nutritious meal together.

“Picnics should be a prescription for health,” said Annessa Chumbley, registered dietitian, nutritionist and TV host. “They accomplish three amazing things needed for healthy living: nourishing the body, focusing on relationships and soaking up the benefits of being surrounded by nature.”

Consider stepping up your picnic game with a refreshing option like seafood. Eating seafood two times per week, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, can provide unique health benefits as a lean protein and source of omega-3s, healthy fats that are beneficial for your heart and your brain. To make it easier to create picture-perfect picnics, try these tips from Chumbley.

  • Pack bottles of cold or even frozen water in the picnic basket to help keep everything chilled and fresh so it’s ready to devour.
  • Plan to eat fresh and healthy foods like this Crab Salad for an easy-to- make option.
  • Create a dip nearly everyone can enjoy. Seafood can be added to almost any dip, and can be enjoyed with fresh, crunchy vegetables.
  • Jars can be a lifesaver when packing a picnic. Tape utensils to the sides of the jars for easy access to your favorite foods.
  • Don’t bring your phones, tablets or any other device that can distract you from family time. This is a time to relax and socialize with one another.
  • Try taping a thermometer inside your bag or cooler so you know the food is at safe, cool temperatures.
  • Place a small cutting board and knife in your pack, which can come in handy for chopping up fruits and vegetables.

For more seafood recipes and meal inspiration, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.


Crab Salad

Recipe courtesy of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Eating Heart Healthy Program
Serves 4

All you need:

  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp green onions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 oz walnuts (about 14 halves)
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 bag (8 oz) spinach
  • 1 can (6 oz) crab meat or fresh lump crab
  • 1/2 cup lentils, cooked
  • 1 grapefruit, cut into sections

All you do:

  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. To make dressing, mix yogurt, lemon juice, green onions and olive oil. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Toss walnuts with cayenne pepper, to taste, and bake 4 to 5 minutes. Make sure walnuts do not burn. Remove walnuts from oven and let cool.
  4. Toss spinach with dressing. Toss with crab meat. Sprinkle lentils on top and add walnuts. Place grapefruit pieces around edge.

Seafood Sustainability 101

April is Earth Month, which means we should be thinking a little bit more about the world around us. Let’s take a deep dive into seafood sustainability and how you can play your part in supporting your health, by eating #Seafood2xWk, and the health of the environment, by eating sustainable #Seafood2xWk.

What is Sustainable Seafood?

Sustainable seafood means that it has been caught or farmed with minimal impact to the wild population or the environment. To be responsible stewards of the ocean, we need to make sure we are harvesting what we need today but that it will also be available in the future. It’s important to know where seafood comes from – whether from a wild fishery or farm – and it should only be coming from those that are utilizing thoughtful, science-based approaches to their management practices.

What Can You Do?

Try something new to help alleviate the potential of overfishing. Shrimp, salmon and tuna make up more than 50 percent of what we eat in America, but there are hundreds of other species commercially available.

Wild vs. Farmed

Americans would be in better health if we ate more seafood, but the only way to achieve that is through a combination of the wild population and farmed fish (also referred to as aquaculture). Sustainable seafood relies on both types.

There are good wild and farmed sustainable seafood options, and many benefits to farmed fish beyond just providing a healthy meal. Farmed fish can help with the recovery of natural fish populations, improve indigenous food supplies, increase the diversity of available seafood products, and provide a healthier alternative to land-based animal protein.

In the U.S., some of our favorite and most popular seafood options are farmed, such as oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp, catfish, trout, salmon and black sea bass. Farming fish, shellfish and even seaweed helps produce food while restoring habitats, replenishing wild stocks, and rebuilding populations of threatened and endangered species. Wild fish can also be sustainable, as long as they are not overfished.

What Can You Do?

There are many excellent seafood guides available (see here for a list of SNP’s partner organizations). A place to start is NOAA’s FishWatch.gov, where there is good information and resources for consumers on its website to learn about different species – both wild and farmed.

Feeling inspired?

Try this mussels recipe. It’s easy, tasty, affordable and, most importantly, sustainable. Enjoy!

 

Mussels In Garlic Broth

From: Seafood Nutrition Partnership’s Eating Heart Healthy Nutrition Program
Created By: Chef Kelly Armetta, Hyatt Regency Boston

Serves: 4

All you need:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic, cloves sliced
  • 2 tbsp onions, white or yellow, chopped
  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp basil, dried
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1/4 cup clam juice (optional)
  • 2 14.5-oz canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • salt & pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. Heat large pot with olive oil and sliced garlic and onions.
  2. When aroma is released, add mussels.
  3. Add lemon juice, herbs and clam juice (optional). Gently toss.
  4. Add tomatoes. Cover and simmer over medium heat until mussels are steamed open, generally 3 to 6 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat. Discard unopened mussels.
  6. To finish mussels, add butter and swirl to make broth thicker. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Optional: Serve with crusty bread for dipping in broth.

Eat Smart And Add Seafood To Your Cart

People feel good about seafood — they agree it’s good for their health, it’s a perfect choice when they want something special or they love how it tastes. In fact, Americans are eating more seafood as they discover its great taste and healthy benefits. In 2017, a third of consumers reported they increased their fish consumption at home in the past year. Follow this link to find out why.

To learn more, visit seafoodnutrition.org.

 

 

American Heart Month: Love Your Heart, Eat Your Seafood

February is American Heart Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, which remains the leading global cause of death each year.

Seafood Nutrition Partnership aims to reduce the risks of heart disease by educating Americans about the health benefits of seafood and building awareness of seafood’s essential nutritional value. Specifically, eating seafood twice a week has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

In fact, a Mediterranean diet that includes seafood at least twice a week lowers the risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in seafood, help your heart in several ways. They curb inflammation in the blood vessels (and the rest of your body). At high doses they also make abnormal heart rhythms less likely and lower your level of blood fats called triglycerides. They can also slow plaque buildup inside the blood vessels.

Additionally, the American Heart Association recommends 1 gram a day of EPA plus DHA for people with heart disease. Eating oily fish is best, but your doctor might recommend a fish oil capsule. If you’ve had a heart attack, a prescription dose of omega-3s may help protect your heart. Some studies show fewer heart attacks and fewer heart disease deaths among heart attack survivors who boosted their levels of omega-3. Click here to learn which fish is the richest in omega-3s.

Take the Pledge to Eat #Seafood2xWk

Eating seafood regularly can help save lives and significantly improve overall health. Consuming two servings each week, as recommended by leading health organizations including the American Heart Association, is an easy way to make a positive commitment to your health and the health of those around you.

Need somewhere to start? Try this salmon recipe that delivers in taste, affordability and omega-3s.

Cumin-Scented Salmon with Black Bean Stew

Serves 4

All you need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed, crushed
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound salmon filet
  • ¼ cup yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • Chili flakes, to taste
  • 1 14.5-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 15.5-oz can black beans, low sodium
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • green onions, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced

All you do:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet on medium heat.
  2. Mix together cumin and coriander seed; season salmon with spices and salt and pepper. Save some spice mix.
  3. Add salmon to skillet and cook on each side for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, for the Black Bean Stew, heat remaining oil (1 tablespoon) in another pan and add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add peppers, chili flakes and saved spiced mix from Step 2. Cook until aroma starts to smell.
  6. Add tomatoes and allow tomatoes to start to sear.
  7. Add black beans and water. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Add cilantro, green onions and lime juice. Add salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
  9. Place black beans in individual bowls and add salmon portion on top.

From SNP Eating Heart Healthy Nutrition Program
Omega-3 per serving: 500-2000 mg

The Ultimate Holiday Seafood Entertaining Guide

The holidays are upon us and there’s no better way to celebrate family and friends than with delicious seafood. It’s often a busy and hectic time, filled with lots of food, so it’s important to keep up your omega-3 intake by incorporating more seafood into your celebrations.

One way to do so: Start with seafood appetizers! Seafood is among the highest-quality proteins and offers many additional health benefits, such as reducing risk for heart disease, improving how you feel during pregnancy, and helping your child develop a healthy brain and eyes.

We’ve rounded up our top three seafood appetizer recipes to help you kick-start your holiday entertaining. Dig in!

Old Bay Shrimp Stacks [developed by Cara Harbstreet of Street Smart Nutrition for SNP’s Start with Seafood Recipe Contest]

 

 

Smoked Salmon Avocado Flatbread [developed by Julie Harrington of RDelicious Kitchen for SNP’s Start with Seafood Recipe Contest]

 

 

Smoked Trout Brandade [developed by Linda Schneider of Wild Greens & Sardines for SNP’s Start with Seafood Recipe Contest]

 

 

For more appetizer ideas, visit Seafood Nutrition Partnership’s blog.

Understanding the Link Between Seafood and Diabetes Prevention and Care

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, and that is why November is dedicated to diabetes education and prevention. Nearly 30 million Americans – nearly 10% of the country – have diabetes and rates are on the rise.

People who are at risk for and those who have Type 2 diabetes can significantly lower their risk and side effects by making healthy changes. By trying to make small, incremental improvements to your eating habits, you can make a huge impact on your health outcomes. The American Diabetic Association offers recommendations, tips and recipes for balanced meals, including the suggestion to eat (fatty) fish two to three times per week.

The type of fat in seafood, heart-healthy omega-3s, “helps prevent clogging of the arteries,” according to the American Diabetes Association, and has so many other benefits – including reducing inflammation, increasing insulin sensitivity, and even improving your mood (with the release of blissful serotonin) (sources below). Simply, omega-3s can improve effectiveness of insulin and reduce many of your diabetic side effects.

Additionally, this chronic disease, one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., has far more reaching side effects. People with Type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to die from heart attack or stroke (sources below).

This Mustard Baked Mackerel is a great place to start – flavorful, affordable and, most importantly, good for you.

Mustard Baked Mackerel
From SNP Eating Heart Healthy Nutrition Program
Omega-3 Per Serving: 1,500 mg

Serves 4

All you need:

  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound mackerel fillets
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into rounds
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary

All you do:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Lightly coat sheet pan with one tablespoon of the olive oil. Place fish on pan and lightly spread mustard mixture on fish.
  4. Mix zucchini and rosemary with salt and pepper, and one tablespoon olive oil. Spread zucchini in single layer around fish, or on a separate sheet pan.
  5. Bake mackerel and zucchini in oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Can be served with brown rice or wild rice.

Sources

  • Browning LM, Krebs JD, Moore CS et al. The impact of long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on inflammation, insulin sensitivity and CVD risk in a group of overweight women with an inflammatory phenotype. Diabetes Obes Metab.2007 Jan;9(1):70-80.
  • Spencer M, Finlin BS, Unal R et al. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce adipose tissue macrophages in human subjects with insulin resistance. 2013 May;62(5):1709-17. doi: 10.2337/db12-1042.
  • Gao H, Geng T, Huang T et al. Fish oil supplementation and insulin sensitivity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lipids Health Dis.2017 Jul 3;16(1):131. doi: 10.1186/s12944-017-0528-0.
  • Danaei G, Ding EL, Mozaffarian D, et al. The preventable causes of death in the United States: comparative risk assessment of dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors. PLoS Med. 2009 Apr 28;6(4):e1000058. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000058.

National Seafood Month: Let’s Get This #SeafoodParty Started

October commemorates National Seafood Month and the Seafood Nutrition Partnership will be celebrating all month long – hosting parties, Healthy Heart Summits, seafood restaurant weeks, events at schools, chef demos and cooking classes, retail specials and more – across the country and on social media. Join the fun with the hashtags #SeafoodParty and #Seafood2xWk!

Most people feel good about seafood – yet only one in 10 people meet the goal of having seafood two times per week.  Here are the top three reasons you should step up your seafood game:

  1. Live longer: Eating fish literally saves lives – eating seafood two to three times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause1. Plus, seafood has essential omega-3s2.
  2. Seafood is a “protein with benefits”: It’s among the highest-quality proteins and offers many additional health benefits. It can reduce your risk of heart disease, improve how you feel during pregnancy, help your child develop a healthy brain and eyes, and improve memory and sharpness in older adults.
  3. Seafood is delicious, versatile, budget-friendly, and fast: From delicate, mild flounder to flavorful salmon, seafood can please any palate. Fresh, seasonal catches are easy on the wallet as are frozen and canned options. From start to finish, you can get fish or shellfish on the dinner table in 15 minutes or less.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today with this Salmon Cake recipe and check out these additional deliciously easy and affordable recipes the whole family will like.

For more information and resources, visit www.seafoodnutrition.org.

Salmon Cakes with Yogurt & Cucumber Sauce

From SNP Eating Heart Healthy Nutrition Program

Serves: 4
Omega-3 Per Serving: 900 mg

All you need:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp onions, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled, boiled and cooled
  • 1-14.7 oz salmon, canned, drained and crumbled
  • 1 lemon, juiced, divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup yogurt, plain
  • 1/2 tsp dill, dried
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • salt & pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. Heat 1/2 of oil in pan and add onions and garlic. Sauté until aroma is released.
  2. Meanwhile, crush potato and mix with salmon and 1/2 the lemon juice.
  3. Mix in cooked garlic and onions. Add egg and mustard. Mix again.
  4. Add bread crumbs. You may not need all the crumbs. Fold until combined.
  5. Heat pan again and add remaining oil.
  6. While heating, use an ice cream scoop or soup spoon and scoop salmon mixture. Place into pan, flattening the cake.
  7. Fry cakes on both sides for 4 minutes each.
  8. Combine yogurt, dill, cucumbers, remaining lemon juice and salt & pepper. Mix well.
  9. Serve salmon cakes with yogurt sauce.

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Sources

  1. FDA, Quantitative Assessment of the Net Effects on Fetal Neurodevelopment from Eating Commercial Fish (As Measured by IQ and also by Early Age Verbal Development in Children). Accessed 8/24/15: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ ucm393211.htm.
  2. Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB. Fish intake, contaminants, and human health: evaluating the risks and the benefits. JAMA. 2006;296:1885-99

Long-Term Health Benefits Shown from Eating Meals at Home as a Family

Regular family meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes we all want for our children: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and weight, and less risky behavior. National Family Meals Month is a nationwide celebration designed to underscore the benefits of family meals. This September, both Hy-Vee and Seafood Nutrition Partnership are among the organizations accepting the challenge and encouraging all Americans to pledge to share one more meal at home per week with our families.

Numerous studies underscore the long-term health, academic and societal benefits of consistently eating together as a family. However, according to a 2013 Harris Poll, only 30 percent of American families share dinner every night. With all the demands of a busy, modern life, family mealtime is often among the first to be cut from schedules.

Making and eating dinner at home is one way families can stay connected and share their daily experiences together as a family while enjoying a nutritious meal. When you cook your own meals, you know what you’re putting into your food, which is often healthier. And if you get your kids involved in cooking, they feel proud of helping and are more likely to eat wholesome foods.

As the new school year begins, it’s important to remember fish is a delicious source of lean protein that is perfect for busy students – and their parents. Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients essential for strong bones, brain development, and healthy immune and cardiovascular systems. Eating seafood regularly can help increase energy, improve memory, and aid in sports performance.

SNP’s mission is to help Americans address preventable health issues through a balanced diet centered around seafood. We want families to know that seafood is tasty, healthy, fast and easy to prepare for dinner, with most dishes taking about 15 minutes to make. We offer several tips and ideas for cooking healthy, balanced meals at home.