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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 18, 2017

Score big in your chili bowl with NuVal

By DEE SANDQUIST, Hy-Vee Dietian | Oct 24, 2013

As temperatures cool down and with football season under way, what better way to score big with your family and friends than with chili? Chili recipes vary greatly among regions of the country, families and individuals, but with the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, you can make sure your chili always scores big when it comes to nutrition.
NuVal is a nutritional scoring system in which each food is given a score based on its overall nutrition. All scores range somewhere from 1-100, and the higher the score, the better the overall nutrition. For example, 80 percent lean ground beef gets a score of 26, but if you trade up by using 99 percent lean ground turkey breast, the ground turkey breast gets a NuVal score of 64. The turkey breast has less fat and less saturated fat than 80 percent lean ground beef which helps its score. The turkey breast also has more protein per equivalent-size portion.
You can build your chili up with no-salt-added canned tomatoes and beans. Chili beans in chili sauce with salt added get a NuVal score of 50, but if you trade up to chili beans in chili sauce with no salt added, they get a NuVal score of 94. Tomatoes are the same way. Canned diced tomatoes with added salt range from 48-50 in NuVal scores, but canned tomatoes without added salt score a whopping 82-87.
Don’t forget to load your chili up with veggies. Check out some of these fresh vegetables’ winning NuVal scores:  bell peppers - 94, jalapenos - 100, fresh sliced mushrooms - 96, white or yellow onions-  93, fresh tomatoes -  96. Frozen vegetables can also be mixed into chili before heating. Ever tried adding fruit to your chili? Blueberries score a perfect 100 and you’ll be surprised at the flavor they add to your chili. They can also help balance out heat.
Typically toppings like sour cream, shredded cheese and crackers can also be improved. Replacing the sour cream on top of your chili with plain non-fat Greek yogurt creates a shutout win for your chili -taking the NuVal score from 25 all the way up to 93. Green onions score a perfect 100. And regular cheese can be swapped for Cabot 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheese for a touchdown trade-up.

Quick Turkey Chili
Serves: 6
Adapted from

All You Need:
•1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
•1 (19.2 oz.) package 99 percent Fat Free Ground Turkey
•2 (14.5 oz each) cans diced tomatoes, no-salt-added, undrained
•1 (15 oz) can no-salt-added chili beans in chili sauce
•3 tsp chili powder

All You Do:
1.Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble and cook turkey in skillet until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain.
2.Stir in tomatoes, chili beans and chili powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
•Nutrition Facts per serving: Calories 220, Total Fat 4.5g, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 55mg, Sodium 90mg, Total Carbohydrate 18g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 4g, Protein 27g.
Daily Nutritional Values:
•Vitamin A 25 percent, Vitamin C 35 percent, Calcium 4 percent, Iron 10 percent.

The information is not intended as medical advice.   Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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