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Fruit-veggie juices, building Bento boxes and avocado-green pea spread

Fruit and Veggie Juice Blends

A chicken teriyaki bento box by getty images

Mango-Most mango juice blends contain a mix of apple, banana, mango and orange. Mango-carrot blends are also available; they work particularly well when making traditional carrot cake (the cake’s lower in fat, calories and cholesterol, while bringing out the sweet carrot flavor and creating a moist texture).

Orange-carrot-This blend adds a little sweetness and bright acidity to dishes. Many contain apple, which when combined with citrus, gives a tart kick.
Orange-carrot juices can contain up to three times as much vitamin A as regular orange juice.

Berry-veggie blends are loaded with the flavor of sweet fruits-you might not notice the big batch of veggies (like corn, beets and carrots).
Berry-veggie juices are high in vitamin C, due to a big dose of antioxidant-rich berries.

Most Green juice blends contain a mix of broccoli, spinach and fruits like apple, banana and pineapple.
Green juices are packed with nutrients from veggies that you can’t even taste within, and are especially good sources of vitamin C and potassium.

Building a Bento Box
Here’s a few ideas from blogger Wendy Copley about putting together these Japanese-style lunchboxes (she’s packed more than 1,200 for her family!):

Start With a Box
Take a container that’s entrée size (like GladWare).
Visually divide it into sections, than fill each section with a different food (Bento-style lunches are not only a good way to use up leftovers, they’re great for picky eaters; there’s bound to be something they’ll like!).

Add Color and Variety
Go for four or five different colors, using a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Pack Everything Tightly
If you fill it right up to the rim, the food won’t even move around, even inside a backpack.

You can make your own pouches with Glad Press ‘n Seal wrap; it’ll keep crackers and other dry foods from getting soggy.

Mix Shapes
Do something that’s visually appealing in each section; for example, cookie cutter sandwiches, checkerboard apples and fun pasta shapes.

For more on Copley’s Bento tutorials and other info, go to

Avocado-Green Pea Spread

Mash 2 avocados with 1 cup thawed frozen green peas and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice.
Spread on whole-grain white bread with crusts trimmed.
Top with radish slices and snipped chives or other vegetables and herbs.
Cut in half to serve.

Sources: “Juicy Secrets” by Maggie Meyer-Better Homes and Gardens, April 2013, “How to build a bento box-fun assembly required”-Glad ad-Better Homes and Gardens, April 2013 and food know-how section by Erin Simpson and Maggie Meyer-Better Homes and Gardens, April 2012

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