4th of July Colors: Ricotta Mousse with Limoncello Berries


RicottaMousse2Happy Fourth of July! Celebrate the holiday weekend with fresh berries topped with limoncello liqueur and creamy mousse – it’s a red, white and blue grown-up dessert. So simple and so fresh!

Ricotta Mousse with Limoncello Berries

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
6 tbsp. limoncello (lemon liqueur), divided
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 cups mixed strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, halved or quartered if large
Finely grated lemon zest (optional)

Prep: 10 minutes, Serves: 6

1. Beat cream and 2 tbsp. powdered sugar in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form.
2. In another bowl, beat ricotta with remaining sugar, 1 tbsp. limoncello and vanilla until light and fluffy; carefully fold in whipped cream. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. (May be prepared several hours ahead.)
3. Marinate berries in remaining limoncello while mousse is chilling. Place berries in 6 dessert cups or small bowls and top each with a large dollop of mousse. Top with lemon zest, if you like.

Orange You Ready For The Holiday Weekend?


BloodOrangeCosmoPlanning for your long holiday weekend? How about kicking it off with a refreshingly fruity adult beverage?

Blood Orange Cosmo

2 oz. super premium vodka (such as Skyy or Grey Goose)
1½ oz. Langers Cranberry Blood Orange Juice Cocktail
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1/4 oz. fresh lime juice
Lime twist (for garnish)

Prep: 5 minutes, Serves: 1

Shake well with ice; strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

Tip: To quickly chill a glass, wet it and put in the freezer. Or fill the glass with ice and water, taking care to dry it before adding your drink.

Eating Naturally on a Budget







Meg Burritt, Director of Wellness and Sustainability
Learn more about what makes Meg an expert.

We’re all trying to eat better these days, and for many of us that means giving our families healthier, less processed, clean foods. But the question is, Can my family really afford to eat naturally – on a budget? In fact, if you Google the term “eating naturally,” the first suggested search term is “eating naturally on a budget.” Everyone is trying to figure out exactly how to pay for this healthy habit.

At Raley’s, we’re here to help! Check out our natural foods sections today for new, lower prices.

Here are a few quick tips on how to eat naturally on a budget:

Shop smart! Look for the deals. We’re often so tempted to purge our cupboards and re-buy everything natural and healthy. But if you’re a savvy consumer you know natural and organic foods go on sale, in some cases just as often as the conventional alternatives. Buy your favorites when they’re on promotion in order to change your habits gradually. When shopping fresh, buy what’s in season in the produce section to save money and get the best flavor and nutrients.

Bulk up! Buy in bulk and shop the bulk section. When your favorite brands are on sale, buy more than what you need for that week (assuming the product has some shelf life). Take advantage of large packs – for example, buy a few cases of your favorite breakfast bar when they’re on sale instead of buying a single box. And always check out the bulk section. You can buy just a little to try something new, or if you have a daily staple, like granola, you can buy it in large volume. You’re saving on packaging and buying exactly what you need.

Freeze! Shop the fresh section and freeze on your own. If you’re buying large packs, you may not use everything in one sitting. So when you get home from the store, break out your large packs into individual portions and freeze them to use another day. This will help you avoid wasting food, which is of course wasting money! And don’t forget to shop in the frozen section for fruits and veggies that have been preserved at the peak of freshness – they’re more affordable than buying out-of-season fresh produce.

Here’s to being happy and healthy, naturally!

Grilled Dessert: Piña Colada Berries on a Stick



Move over kabobs! Here’s a new treat on a stick – grilled strawberries brushed with piña colada mix and sprinkled with flaked coconut. Yum!

Grilled Piña Colada Berries
Prep: 5 minutes, Cook: 5 minutes, Serves: 4

3 tbsp. thawed piña colada concentrate (in our Frozen Foods section)
2 tbsp. lime juice
20 medium-large strawberries, hulled
4 bamboo skewers
2 tbsp. flaked coconut

If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for 1 hour to keep from burning.

1. Stir together piña colada concentrate and lime juice in a small bowl. Thread strawberries onto bamboo skewers.
2. Grill strawberries over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, turning and brushing with the sauce mixture occasionally.
3. Place berries on 4 dessert plates and drizzle with remaining sauce; sprinkle with coconut.

Cool It With a Chocolate Mint Coffee Cooler


ChocMintCoffeeCoolerEureka! We’ve found it – the best summer cool-down drink. Well, it’s almost a milkshake, but the espresso makes it more grown-up, right? Sip on this fudge, vanilla and coffee delight and you might not even notice the late afternoon heat.

Chocolate Mint Coffee Cooler

1 tbsp. hot fudge topping plus extra for drizzling in glass*
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup vanilla frozen yogurt
1/4 cup warm water
1½ tsp. instant espresso powder or more to taste
2 Andes Mints

*The type in the squeeze bottle is easiest to use.

Prep: 5 minutes  Freeze: 5 minutes  Serves: 1

1. Drizzle the inside of a tall glass with hot fudge topping. Place in freezer until drink is ready.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth and pour into chilled glass.

Nutritional Information:
290 calories, 6 g protein, 9 g total fat (5 g sat.), 48 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 43 g sugar, 5 mg cholesterol, 115 mg sodium, 6 points

Fighting Hunger: Food For Families Fresh

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 11.48.25 AM






Jennie Teel-Wolter,
Food For Families Development Officer

There’s nothing like summer to make you feel like a kid again. One dribbling bite of a fresh, juicy peach and I’m instantly reminded of sunny afternoons spent making homemade jams with my grandparents.

But for the 2.5 million California and Nevada children struggling with hunger, summer can be a starkly different experience.

FFFWatermelonKidInstead of a trip to the local water park, they’ll stand in line at a food bank. Because demand for food assistance is higher this time of year, and donations to food banks are often at their lowest, the help their parents receive may not be enough to meet family needs.

And the fresh fruits and vegetables that so many of us savor all season long? They’re in rare supply. Access to produce at food banks can be extremely limited and many hungry families simply go without the fresh food they need to build a healthy diet. In fact, more than 75% of at-risk youth don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables on a regular basis.

But with your help, we can change this!

Now, through July 31, when you donate $1 to Raley’s Food For Families Fresh, we’ll provide a matching donation of fresh fruits and vegetables to a food bank in your neighborhood – up to $25,000.

It’s simple. You can donate at our checkstands, online at foodforfamilies.org, or on our Facebook page. You can even give a $5 donation by texting ENDHUNGER to 85944. Standard text messaging rates may apply.

As always, 100% of your donation will go directly to feeding families in your community with fresh, healthy food.

To learn more about how we’re fighting hunger this summer, check out our video below:

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 11.48.25 AM

Summer Rashes: How To Treat Those Annoying Bumps & Burns

Dave Fluitt

Dave Fluitt




Dave Fluitt, Pharmacy Supervisor, Raley’s
Learn more about what makes Dave an expert.

Poison ivy and poison oak – They can produce severe rashes that first appear as very itchy fluid-filled blisters. If the rash is in a small area, apply calamine lotion or over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. For a rash spread out over multiple areas of the body, oral Benadryl™ (diphenhydramine) can offer relief.

Just a reminder, never use Caladryl™ (diphenhydramine/calamine) lotion over a large area, particularly on a small child, because it can contain too much diphenhydramine which can be absorbed through the skin.

If you realize you’ve just been exposed to poison ivy, wash the area with soap and water immediately and you might prevent the rash. One product specifically designed to cleanse your skin of the oils from poison ivy and oak is Tecnu™, available in our Pharmacies. Obviously, it’s a good idea to know how to identify and avoid poison ivy and oak. Remember the saying, “Leaves of three, let it be.”

Heat rash – Also called prickly heat, it’s caused by blocked sweat gland ducts. Heat rash appears as tiny red or clear itchy bumps in areas where sweat collects, like skin folds. Frequent brief, cool showers and over-the-counter hydrocortisone ointment can help ease discomfort. The rash usually goes away within a day or two.

Mosquito bites – Female mosquitoes are the ones that bite us in their search for protein and iron to produce eggs. Their saliva causes a mild reaction in our skin, creating an itchy bump. Avoid scratching a mosquito bite to prevent it from becoming infected. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion can reduce itchiness.

Mosquitoes can carry disease so it’s important to avoid attracting them. Stay inside at dawn and dusk, or if that’s not possible, wear light-colored long sleeves and pants and use an insect repellent with DEET. Empty any containers of standing water to prevent mosquito larvae from maturing in them.

Bee stings – Bee and wasp stings are painful because venom is injected into the skin, but the pain usually subsides in a few hours. If the sting is recent, remove the stinger by scraping a credit card or finger nail over the surface of the sting – that could reduce the amount of venom released. Tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen taken as directed can relieve pain and a paste of baking soda and water applied to the sting can reduce itchiness. The sting will heal within a few days.

In the case of severe reaction to a sting, such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fever or convulsions, seek immediate medical attention.

Sunburn – In one of my previous blog posts I talked about choosing the right sunscreen. If you or your child experiences sunburn, a cool bath or shower and Tylenol or ibuprofen can help relieve symptoms. Aloe vera may also help, but never apply petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) to a burn. Dehydration usually accompanies sunburn, so remember to drink plenty of fluids. Never apply alcohol to a sunburn and avoid sun exposure until the sunburn heals.

If a child gets a sunburn that blisters, is extremely painful, or results in a fever over 101° F, call a doctor immediately. Seek emergency medical help if your child is under one year of age and experiences a sunburn. Never break sunburn blisters.

Refreshingly Spicy Watermelon, Jicama and Cucumber Salad


WatermelonJicamaSaladLooking for something different for that giant watermelon you just bought? Invite friends over for grilled burgers, chips and this spicy-but-refreshing watermelon salad with crunchy-sweet jicama, juicy oranges and cool cucumber. Your guests will say wow!

Spicy Watermelon, Jicama and Cucumber Salad
Makes 8 to 10 servings.

4 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
2 cups jicama, sliced into bite-size strips
2 cups English cucumber, sliced
2 oranges, peeled, sliced and quartered
2 tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce Salsa Piquante
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. mint, chopped (optional)

Place watermelon, jicama, cucumber and oranges in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together juice, sauce, salt and sugar; combine with fruit. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Top with mint, if desired.

Nutritional Information:
50 calories, 1 g protein, 0 g total fat (0 g sat., 0 g trans), 14 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium, 0.4 points

Raley’s Introduces Less-Than-Perfect Produce

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 11.00.50 AM

Did you know as much as 40% of the food we produce in the U.S. goes to waste? Some experts are now asking, What if we could reduce food insecurity in our communities by capturing some of that valuable food before it gets thrown out?

In an effort to combat food waste, Raley’s will begin selling imperfect produce through the “Real Good” produce pilot program in 10 stores in mid-July. Raley’s Wellness and Sustainability Expert Meg Burritt talks about the program below at 8:18 in PBS NewsHour’s recent segment, Why does almost half of America’s food go to waste?

What Do You Enjoy About Father’s Day?


RibEyeSteakOur experts share their favorite things about Father’s Day. What are yours? Leave a comment below.

Mike Schutt, Raley’s Produce Expert
Father’s Day is my favorite day of the year! Unlike the Fourth of July and birthdays, not everyone gets to celebrate it. Being a dad is the best gift my wife ever gave me and I will forever be grateful.

Koen Vermeylen, Raley’s Meat & Seafood Expert
Our kids make me bacon and eggs for breakfast every Father’s Day – with seven kids, there’s always turmoil in the kitchen that morning! More often than not, the eggs are overcooked but the bacon is just the way I like it. Seeing their smiles and excitement is worth eating overcooked eggs.

We always have a late afternoon lunch on Father’s Day and I grill my favorite steak, bone-in rib eye. My wife makes a salad, corn on the cob and baked potatoes. We sit down as a family and enjoy each other’s company.

Amy Davis, Raley’s Everyday Mom Blogger
My most memorable Father’s Day has to be the day I graduated from UC Davis. I was so happy my family could be there to see me graduate, especially my dad. His support and advice meant a lot to me then and still do today!

Anastasia Sotiropulos, Raley’s Bakery Expert
My dad is the greatest so we always try to make Father’s Day extra special for him. As kids, my brother and I would always get him something cool or gadgety, and we still buy him fun ties or vintage Hawaiian shirts (even though he’s got enough of each to last ten lifetimes). But as we’ve gotten older, we’ve realized what’s most important to our dad is just spending time together. Nothing makes him happier than when my brother and I travel back home to spend the weekend with him and our mom. And it’s that time together that I cherish most.