Hannibal Regional Blog


Our blog offers content about healthcare, healthy living and the culture at Hannibal Regional.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts have long been touted as one of the “most-hated” vegetables. However if we just assume we won’t like them or if we refuse to try new recipes, we may be missing out on a delicious nutrition powerhouse!  The cooking method of Brussels sprouts can make a big difference.  Boiling and overcooking tends to bring out a strong odor and flavor, compared to more modern recipes that utilize methods such as roasting, shredding, steaming, stir-frying, air-frying and even grilling which brings out and intensifies the natural sweetness of the Brussels sprouts.  Brussels sprouts add a big nutritional bang for the low calories they contribute.  They are a great source of vitamins C, K, A, B6 and folic acid as well as fiber and minerals including iron, manganese, choline, copper, potassium and phosphorus.  Try 1 or all 3 of these Brussels sprouts recipe, and you may be surprised to find that you love them!

Cooking with Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Makes 4 servings, prep time 25 minutes


  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts                     
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil                         
  • ½ Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. salt                                           
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  1. Heat oven to 375F.   Line or coat baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray.
  2. Clean and cut stems and halve sprouts.
  3. Spread sprouts on baking sheet then evenly coat with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until outsides are crisp and insides are tender.

Nutritional facts per serving:  Calories 81.3, Fat 3.9g, Carbs 10.8g, Protein 3.9g, Sugar 2.5g


Brussels Sprouts and Quinoa Winter Mix

Makes 6 servings, prep time 1 hour


  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 2/3 cup dry quinoa  
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds 
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar     
  • 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


  1. Heat oven to 375F.  Grease baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil or line with parchment paper, placing sprouts on one side and the squash on the other.
  2. Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove sprouts and place in large bowl.  Continue baking squash for additional 15 more minutes.
  3. While vegetables are roasting, rinse quinoa in a small strainer.  Heat a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook quinoa for 2 minutes until lightly toasted.  Add 1 1/3 cup water and turn heat to high.  Once boiling, cover and cook for 15minutes or until quinoa is fluffy.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together orange juice, vinegar, hemp seeds, salt and pepper.
  5. In the large bowl with sprouts and squash, add the quinoa, spinach, pomegranate seeds and pecans, then mix in the dressing from the small bowl.

Nutrition Facts per serving:  Calories 250, Fat 9.7g, Carbs 37g, Protein 9g, Sugar 7g


Brussels Sprouts, Kale and Almond Salad

Makes 4 servings, Prep time 20 minutes


  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 4 cups kale, shredded 
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 Tbsp. minced shallots
  • 2 Tbsp. spicy mustard 
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together shallots, mustard, juice, zest and honey.  Gradually drizzle in the olive oil while whisking the other ingredients.  Add salt and pepper as needed.
  2. Finely cut or shred the sprouts and kale into a large bowl, discarding the stems from the sprouts and kale, if desired.
  3. Toss vegetables with dressing, almonds and serve!

Nutrition Facts per serving: Calories 198, Fat 8.4g, Carbs 23g, Protein 9.5g, Sugar 8.5g

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian

Pros and Cons to Intermittent Fasting

A very popular trend currently making headlines is intermittent fasting. Many people define this differently. Generally, intermittent fasting is when an individual goes for an extended period of time without food or liquid calories. To some, this means fasting for 12-14 hours, to others it may mean an entire 24 hour day. Research on intermittent fasting is limited, but the benefits that have been shown with intermittent fasting are similar to those of any weight loss program or dietary pattern that promotes weight loss.

Intermittent fasting is not recommended for people with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), pre-diabetes or diabetes. Fasting can interfere with medications and insulin prescribed to those with pre-diabetes or diabetes. Instead, people with theses diagnoses should consult with a registered dietitian for an individualized meal plan. Individuals who are prescribed medications that are to be taken with food, should consider this when intermittent fasting. The greatest con to intermittent fasting, is that diet quality is not a focal point. Meaning that intake of fruits and vegetables, and good quality balanced food choices are often overlooked when following intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is a very black and white meal pattern- you eat during a 6-8 hours window, and fast for the remaining 16-18 hour period. Some people need this structure for successful weight loss. There are no guidelines as to what to eat or how much to eat. Intermittent fasting is simply about the timing of meals. If you do not want to give up certain foods, or change current food choices, intermittent fasting may be a preferred method for weight loss. Some individuals find weight loss success with intermittent fasting due to overall reduction in calories while others do not. 

As with any diet or lifestyle change, weight loss should be achievable and maintainable while following an intermittent fasting regimen. Weight loss can have many health-promoting benefits depending on the current health of the individual. As a registered dietitian, I do not promote intermittent fasting; however, if an individual wishes to try this method of eating, I will assist them in doing so in a healthful way.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian


These green beauties provide nearly 20 essential vitamins and nutrients and are a good source of fiber and folate, potassium, vitamin E and B vitamins.

Diets low in saturated fat, yet adequate in heart healthy fats such as those found in avocados, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

To eat, slice lengthwise, around the center seed and twist apart. Grab a spoon and scoop out, eat as is, spread on toast, chopped in salad, as guacamole or in other recipes such as the one below.

Avocado Tuna Salad

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red onion (minced)
  • 6 ounces can solid white tuna (in water)
  • 1 avocado (mashed)
  • 1 small plum tomato (chopped)


  1. In a bowl, whisk lime juice and red wine vinegar. Add the minced red onion and let sit for about 5 minutes while prepping other ingredients.
  2. Drain and discard the water from the can of tuna fish. Add to bowl with the red wine vinegar mixture.
  3. Add in the mashed avocado, chopped plum tomatoes. Fold ingredients together to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with whole grain crackers or over a green salad.

Blog post provided by:
Katied Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian

Adding Plant Based Protein to Your Diet

Protein, fat, and fiber are the three nutrients that stay in your stomach the longest, contributing to your satiety level. Protein at each meal helps to stabilize blood glucose levels and prevents the breakdown of lean body mass. Although protein recommendations are actually exceeded by the average person, consumption of plant based proteins are low. Plant based proteins such as nuts and legumes can be easily packed for a satisfying snack, and beans or grains can make for an inexpensive protein rich meal.  Below is a brief list of plant based protein foods to incorporate into your diet!

Food Amount Protein (g)
Almonds 1/2 C 15
Beans, cooked 1 C 16
Broccoli 1 C 3
Cashews 1/2 C 10
Chia seeds 2 Tbsp 6
Corn 1 C 4.5
Edamame, cooked 1 C 19
Hemp seeds 3 Tbsp 10
Hummus 1/4 C 5
Lentils, cooked 1C 18
Peanut butter, chunky 2 Tbsp 8
Peas 1 cup 8
Peanuts 1/2 C 19
Pistachios 1/2 C 12
Quinoa, cooked 1 C 14-18
Soybeans, cooked 1/2 C 11
Soynuts 1/2 C 22
Sunflower seeds 1/2 C 13
Tofu, firm 1/2 C 10
Walnuts 1/2 C 15
Wheat berries, cooked 1 C 12
Wheat germ or flaxseed 2 Tbsp 4

C=cup, fl oz=fluid ounce, oz=ounce, Tbsp=tablespoon

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitan

A New Meaning to Spring Cleaning

After a long winter, we often revive our home with a good spring cleaning. So why not do the same with our eating habits? We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but yet most of us fall short of the recommended 5-9 servings per day. The simplicity of the produce section is something that no other section of the store has. Every item comes "as is", and is in its whole form. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce risk for heart disease including heart attack and stroke, as well as protect against certain types of cancers. Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, which helps maintain proper bowel function, reduce blood cholesterol levels and much more. They are packed with many essential nutrients, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. The impact of fruit and vegetable consumption on our health is pretty remarkable.  Improving our eating habits can be hard, but if you currently don’t eat many fruits and vegetables, start by adding just 1 serving of a fruit and 1 serving of a vegetable to each day (1 orange with lunch, 1/2 cup sugar snap peas for a snack; ). Gradually increase the number of servings you eat per day to at least 2 fruits and 3 vegetables (or even up to 4 fruits and 5 vegetables). Spring clean your diet by choosing more from the produce section. 

What counts as a serving?

  • 1 medium piece of fruit= baseball size
  • ½ cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit
  • ¼ cup dried fruit
  • ½ cup 100% fruit juice
  • 1 cup leafy greens or raw veggies
  • ½ cup fresh, frozen or canned vegetables
  • ½ cup 100% vegetable juice

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian