Aged Fruit Cake

fruitcake

Do you have a surplus of canned fruit in your pantry? Use it up with this delicious fruit cake recipe! And remember, always practice proper food safety when preserving and using canned goods.


 

This is an old Extension recipe for using up your bottled fruit.  This cake is more like a pudding cake, rather than a light and fluffy cake.  If old fruit is not available, canned fruit of any age, or fruit cocktail, works well.  Serves 16-20. 

Ingredients:

1- quart fruit, with juice
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup raisins, nuts, or coconut (optional)

Instructions:

Blend fruit with juice in a food processor or blender (or use a potato masher—it need not be a fine puree).  Add sugar and oil to fruit and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix.

Pour batter in a non-stick 9×13 baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Cake is rich and can be eaten plain, but if frosting is desired, a butter cream or cream cheese frosting pairs well.


Need a refresher? Click here for canning safety tips!




Hearty Cornbread Mix

Cornbread main

Summer is upon us and that means grilling season. Check out this delicious cornbread recipe for your next cookout!


Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon buttermilk powder

1 tablespoon sugar

Add:

2 tablespoons molasses or honey

2 tablespoons oil

3/4 cup warm water

Instructions:

Whisk together dry ingredients.

Mix together wet ingredients and pour into dry mix.

Stir lightly until just moistened and scrape into greased pie plate. Bake in 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until done.

 


This recipe was contributed by Suzanne Prevedel, family and consumer sciences educator for USU Extension in Duchesne County.




Cooking with Kitchen Staples

Kitchen Staple GraphicWith a few basic cooking skills and some common kitchen staples, you can cook a variety of foods in your kitchen. Try some of these basic recipes using flour, and learn more about the Youth Can Cook program.


Youth Can Cook

The Youth Can Cook program is a multi-tiered life skills and job-readiness program. Eligible youth will be provided with food-related education, healthy relationship tips and be connected to career opportunities, by completing the Food Safety Manager Certification and through a paid internship. 

As part of the Youth Can Cook program, teens learn about basic cooking skills. With the combination of basic cooking skills and staple ingredients, the options are endless. Staple ingredients are ingredients commonly used for a variety of recipes. Today we are focusing on the staple ingredient, flour.

Cooking with Flour

Do you have a lot of flour but are not sure what to do with it? Flour is a kitchen staple that many people have on hand. It is a diverse ingredient used for making sauces, desserts, and tortillas. Here are a few recipes that don’t take long and might have you thinking outside of your normal routine! The following recipes call for whole wheat flour; feel free to use half whole wheat flour and half white flour, or just white flour for these recipes.

Homemade Tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ C. whole-wheat flour
  • ½ C. oil
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 C. water heated in microwave for 1 minute

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer set with a dough hook, pour in the flour, oil, and salt. Beat with the paddle until crumbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the sides as needed. If your hand-held mixer comes with dough hooks, those can be used as well.
  2. With the mixer running, gradually add the warm water and continue mixing until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. Take out the dough and divide it into 12 equal-sized pieces. I do this by making the dough into a big log shape that is about 8 – 10 inches long. Then I cut it in the middle. Then I cut each of those pieces in the middle and so on until you have 12 pieces.
  4. Using the palms of your hand, roll each piece into a round ball and flatten it out on a baking tray or board. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or up to one hour.
  5. Heat a cast iron skillet, griddle or 12-inch skillet over med-high heat. The pan should be fairly hot before you begin cooking the tortillas.
  6. On a lightly floured board or counter top, use a rolling pin to turn each ball into an 8-to-10 inch flat circle (measure against your recipe if printed on a 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper). Be careful not to use more than a teaspoon or two of flour when rolling out each ball into a tortilla because too much excess flour will burn in the pan.
  7. Grease the pan with a touch of oil (or ghee) and then carefully transfer each tortilla, one at a time, to the pan and cook until puffy and slightly brown, about 30 to 45 seconds per side. Set aside on a plate to cool slightly. Eat within an hour, refrigerate or freeze.

Recipe from: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/recipe-whole-wheat-tortillas/

Homemade Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ T. yeast
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 ½ t. sugar
  • ¾ C. water
  • 1 t. canola oil (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add water and oil and mix well to incorporate flour mixture. Form dough into ball. Let rise 10 minutes while covered with a clean towel.
  4. Turn dough onto a well-floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a pizza crust shape.
  5. Place on prepared pizza pan or baking sheet. Cover with your favorite sauce and toppings and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Recipe from: Food $ense program

Homemade Pretzels

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 C. warm water
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 package fast acting yeast
  • 2 ¼ C. all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ C. whole-wheat flour
  • 4 T. butter
  • ¼ C. honey
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 C. water
  • 1/3 C. baking soda (for boiling water)
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 T. water
  • Salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine the water, salt, yeast, flour, butter, and honey.
  2. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl, and prepare a second bowl by rubbing vegetable oil along the inside.
  4. Place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  6. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
  7. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan.
  8. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope.
  9. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel.
  10. Place onto the parchment-lined, half-sheet pan.
  11. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, one by one, for 30 seconds.
  12. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula.
  13. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with salt.
  14. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe from: http://honestcooking.com/honey-whole-wheat-pretzels/


This article was written by Katie Kapp, Youth Can Cook Program Coordinator with Utah State University Extension Salt Lake County

 




What’s in Season? Winter Fruits and Vegetables

Seasonal EatingKeep your menu plan fresh with seasonal fruits and vegetables — even in wintertime! We’ve got a recipe roundup for you, plus two new recipes at the end; one for pineapple pear crisp and the other for balsamic and bacon Brussels sprouts. Tune in to Studio 5 on Monday to see Live Well Utah Editor Marta Nielsen demonstrate these new recipes with Brooke Walker.


Eating in season is something we think about in the summertime when our gardens are bursting with raspberries, tomatoes, peaches and zucchini, but you can eat in season all year long! Stores may carry out-of-season foods in the winter, but you’ll usually find lower prices and higher quality produce when you shop in season.

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It’s easy to keep winter-season fruits like apples, bananas, grapefruit, oranges and pears on your counter for healthy snacking. Pineapple and pomegranate are also in season, and can be purchased already prepped and ready to eat, or you you can save on costs and do your own prep-work and keep the ready-to-eat fruit in the fridge. If you have healthy food options visible and accessible, you’re more likely to make healthy choices!

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There are also many vegetables that are in season in the winter, such as avocados, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash. These veggies work perfectly for those warm-me-up foods we love to eat in the winter like soup, or oven-roasted veggies.

Try these recipes that use winter fruits and vegetables:

Snacks and Treats:

Salads and Sides:

Main Dishes:

Pineapple Pear Crisp

This gingery crisp is a little bit tropical, but still a warm-the-belly kind of dessert that is perfect for colder months. This recipe maximizes the sweetness and flavor of the fruit with minimal added sugar and oil, and uses hearty whole grains in the topping. Serve it topped with frozen yogurt for added decadence. Serves 6 people.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe pears*
  • 2 c ripe pineapple (about ½ a pineapple)
  • ¼ t cinnamon
  • 2 T brown sugar (or honey)
  • 1 t freshly grated ginger (or ¼ t ground ginger)

For the topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t fresh grated ginger (or ¼ t ground ginger)
  • ¼ t nutmeg
  • 3 T melted butter (or coconut oil for added tropical flavor)

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Chop pineapple into ½-inch pieces and set aside in a medium-sized mixing bowl (be sure to get all the pineapple juice left from cutting and chopping into the bowl). Peel, core and chop pears into ½-inch pieces, and mix with pineapple. Add cinnamon, brown sugar (or honey) and fresh ginger to the fruit, and stir so that it is coated evenly. Transfer fruit to a 9×9 baking dish.

To prepare topping, mix dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until well combined. Add melted butter, and stir until mix loosely holds together. Spoon crumble mix evenly over fruit, and bake for 30 minutes. Cover crumble with foil, to prevent over-browning, and bake an additional 5 minutes (or until pears are tender).

*Be sure to use ripe pears. Unripe pears will not soften sufficiently when baked. Bosc and D’anjou pears work nicely in this recipe.

Bacon and Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

This out-of-this-world Brussels sprouts recipe will convert even the most skeptical taste testers.The Brussels sprouts are are roasted, tossed with a zesty balsamic vinaigrette, and topped with bacon crumbles and pomegranate arils—what’s not to love? Recipe serves 4 generously.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pieces thick-cut bacon
  • 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils (approximately 1 small pomegranate)

Balsamic Dressing:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • ½ t maple syrup
  • ½ t prepared mustard (Dijon or whole grain)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place bacon on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, or until crispy. When bacon is cooked to your liking, remove from baking sheet and set aside. Brush around rendered bacon fat to evenly coat lined baking sheet, and drain off any excess (this will enhance the flavor of the Brussels sprouts as they roast).

Meanwhile, prepare Brussels Sprouts by trimming the ends and cutting in half. Toss Brussels sprouts with oil, salt and pepper. Next, evenly arrange Brussels sprouts, cut side down, on the lined baking sheet used to cook the bacon. Roast for 20 minutes, or until sprouts are easily pierced with a fork. For smaller Brussels sprouts, 20 minutes will yield sprouts cooked soft all the way through. If you prefer a little crunch left in your vegetables, check doneness at 15 minutes.

While Brussels sprouts roast, crumble the cooked bacon and prepare the dressing. Whisk together all ingredients in a liquid measuring cup for easy pouring. If you are seeding your own pomegranate, versus buying the arils alone, you can also do this while the Brussels sprouts roast.

Transfer roasted Brussels sprouts to a serving dish, and top with balsamic dressing. Stir until evenly distributed, and top with crumbled bacon and pomegranate arils.


marta-nielsen-web2Marta Nielsen is the editor of Live Well Utah. She did not attend Utah State University (she graduated from another university whose colors are red and white), but loves working for USU Extension. Marta loves to cook and eat, garden, craft, travel, and read. She makes specialty cakes for family and friends as a hobby, and has been talked into making a few wedding cakes in the past. She and her husband have two small children, and live in Salt Lake County.

See more contributor bios here.

 




Dinner in a Pumpkin

Dinner in a pumpkin.jpgImpress your family and friends with afestive fall dinner— soup served in a pumpkin!


When I worked for Food $ense a few years ago we stumbled across what has become one of my favorite fall recipes , dinner in a pumpkin.  It is best to use a cooking pumpkin for these types of recipes.

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 potatoes, 1″ cubes
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, 1/2″ slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 2 T beef bouillon granules
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pumpkin (10-12 lbs.)

Directions:

In a medium pan, brown ground beef, rinse and drain.  Add beef back to pan and add water, potatoes, carrots, green pepper, garlic, onion, salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour.  Stir in bouillon and add tomatoes

Wash pumpkin and cut an 8″ circle around the top stem.  Remove top and set aside.  Take out seeds and loose fibers from inside the pumpkin.  Place pumpkin in shallow pan.  Spoon beef mixture into pumpkin and replace stem.  Brush outside of pumpkin with olive oil.  Bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours or until the pumpkin is tender.  Serve by scooping out a little pumpkin with each serving.  


This article was written by Paige Wray, USU Extension Assistant Professor, San Juan County Family Consumer Sciences/4-H




Spicy Vegetable Soup

 

Spicy Vegetable Soup

Looking for a hearty fall soup? Look no further, this spicy vegetable soup will hit the spot. Bonus: it’s vegan and gluten free!


No need to pull up Pinterest and search for the perfect “fall” soup recipe any longer–I have the perfect one for you here! With the weather being drizzly and cloudy, I decided I might as well embrace the fall-ness. So, I put on my new cardigan, lit my candle, put on some autumn tunes, and started creating this recipe.

Meet — Spicy Vegan Vegetable Soup. One taste and you guys are going to be best friends!  

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There’s nothing better than a warming bowl of your favorite soup on a cold night. Not the kind of soup from a can, but the easy homemade kind that’s comforting and good for the soul, with leftovers to spare.

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This recipe is actually incredibly healthy! One serving provides a significant amount of vegetables, which means many different vitamins and minerals. It’s spicy, it’s easy, it’s warm, and it is oh-so flavorful. You just can’t beat it!

Wanna know what’s even better? This tasty soup can be made in one pot! Less effort + less dishes + a whole lot of veggie action = one ridiculously good meal!

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The spiciness level is bearable and won’t leave your mouth burning, but it’s enough heat to warm you up! Of course you can adjust it accordingly and omit the jalapeno or cayenne pepper if spicy isn’t your thing.  

When all the flavors combine, you are left with a super healthy meal chock full of plant protein from fresh veggies, black beans, plus a nice blend of spices to please your taste buds.

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Spicy Vegan Vegetable Soup

Yields: 4 large bowls of soup, or six modest servings

Ingredients

  • 2.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 of a jalapeño, finely diced (optional)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 15 oz. cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water (or more as needed, depending on your consistency preference)
  • avocado, for topping
  • cilantro, for topping

Spice Blend

  • 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper*

 

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat and sauté onion, jalapeño, bell pepper, and sweet potato for about 7-9 minutes. Add garlic for about 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth/water, and the spice blend. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft.

  2. Add zucchini and black beans and cook for about 5 more minutes.

  3. Top with avocado and cilantro.

*Optional, the cayenne pepper adds spice


This article was written by Marisa Christensen, Dietetic Intern,  and Jaqueline Neid-Avila, MDA, RDN, CD




Easy Apple Roses

Apple RosesImpress your friends and family with beautiful, delicious, and easy apple roses.


Ingredients

  • 1 red apple (Honeycrisp, Pink Lady or any red baking apple)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (follow directions on box for thawing)
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Additional butter and sugar for ramekins

Directions

Generously butter the ramekins/muffin pan so the roses don’t stick. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two ramekins (6-8 ounce) and sprinkle with sugar. Core the apple, cut in half and slice thinly.

Place apple slices in a single layer on a plate and microwave on high for about 45 seconds to soften. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel while rolling pastry. If you prefer, saute’ the apples in a single layer in a skillet using a small amount of butter for about 30 seconds per side to soften. Remove to a plate. Leave uncovered. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll puff pastry sheet to less than 1/8 inch thick. Cut two 3-inch by 12-14-inch strips, using a pizza cutter. Brush melted butter over dough, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix. Place the apple slices lengthwise on the long edge of the dough, about ¼ inch above the edge of the dough and overlapped slightly.

Fold the bottom half of the dough over the apple slices with the rounded edges of the slices exposed. Beat the egg and water in a bowl. Brush the surface of the dough with the egg wash. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix. Starting from the end, roll the dough to form a rose-shaped pastry. Seal roll with end of the dough strip. Transfer roses to ramekins. Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar. Place ramekins on middle rack of oven. Bake about 25-30 minutes or until well browned. Remove from oven and place on a baking sheet and cool 5-10 minutes. Remove from ramekins and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cool. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, or drizzle with warm caramel topping or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


This article was written by Patricia Mathis, USU Extension 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences Educator in Wasatch County




Carve Your Pumpkin, Keep the Seeds!

pumpkin-seeds

Today we’re talking about pumpkin seeds— how to prepare them and different ways to use them. So as you get ready to carve pumpkins this year, don’t forget to save the seeds!


When you are carving that Halloween Jack-o’-lantern this year, here is one request I have for you, keep your seeds! Did you know that 1 oz of pumpkin seeds has around 5 grams of protein? Pumpkin seeds are an easy, cheap way to add a nutritious boost to your trail mix, baked goods and granola.

First and foremost, remove the pulp and seeds from the inside of your pumpkin. I like to put the seeds and pulp in a bowl of water while carving my pumpkin. This helps to pull away all the strings from the seeds. When you have only seeds left in your bowl, give them a good rinse. Move seeds to a new bowl and sprinkle with your favorite seasonings and oil. Make sure to mix well.  Next you will want to spread them evenly over a large baking tray. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Make sure to check and stir the seeds frequently to avoid burning. Cool pumpkin seeds and then store them in an air-tight container.

When choosing a seasoning for your pumpkin seeds, think about what you plan to do with them. The outer part of the pumpkin seed can be removed (hulled) after they have been roasted. The inner part of the pumpkin seed is a green color and is a great addition to breads and muffins.

Check out these five ways to use pumpkin seeds below:

Traditional Roast

When using this method, try different spices to give your seeds some flair. Here are some combinations:

  • Cinnamon Toast Pumpkin Seeds: 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp sugar, 3 Tbsp melted butter or olive oil
  • Chili Pumpkin Seeds: 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp tamari sauce, 2 tsp garlic powder, salt to taste, 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Spicy Pumpkin Seeds: ½ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes, 2 Tbsp melted butter or olive oil
  • Ginger Zest Pumpkin Seeds: 2 Tbsp ground ginger, 2 Tbsp sugar, ½ tsp orange zest, 2 Tbsp melted butter or oil
  • Parmesan Pumpkin Seeds: ¼ c Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 2 Tbsp melted butter or oil.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

This one was new to me, but has quickly turned into a favorite. Making a traditional pesto with pine nuts can be pricy, but not when you are using your pumpkin seeds! For this it is important to have hulled (green) pumpkin seeds.

Ingredients- 2 c. hulled pumpkin seeds, 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ tsp sea salt, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 c. fresh cilantro, and ¼ c. water. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Cover and chill until ready to use.

More Ideas

  • Add them to trail mix or granola. Do your granola or trail mix recipes call for nuts? Reduce the portion of nuts and add pumpkin seeds for the remaining portion.
  • Add them to baked goods or use in brittle. Instead of making a nut brittle this year, sub in hulled pumpkin seeds to make a new fall favorite.
  • Garnish soups, salads and desserts. Add a little extra crunch to any meal by topping your dish off with pumpkin seeds!

This article was written by Jaqueline Neid-Avila, Utah State University Extension nutrition faculty for Davis County. Comments or questions may be sent to jaqueline.neid-avila@usu.edu or call 801-451-3404. Republished from October 2016.




Ask an Expert // What Can I do With a Pumpkin?

what to do with pumpkin.jpg

Pumpkins can be more than a porch decoration. Read on to learn about their nutritional value, and for a delicious pumpkin soup recipe.


It is that time of year again. Autumn is here with cooler nights, falling leaves and pumpkins around the town.  In addition to being a welcome sign of fall, pumpkins are a welcome addition at the table.  The bright orange color is a dead giveaway that pumpkins are loaded with beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant and pro-vitamin to Vitamin A.  

Vitamin A is needed for healthy skin, strong bones, eye health and may reduce the risk of some cancers.  Let’s use these great vegetables for more than just pies.  They make tasty soups, breads, side dishes and additional desserts.  Pumpkin puree can become a great breakfast smoothie by adding yogurt, milk and some spice.  

 

This year, try roasting the pumpkin seeds instead of throwing them out. They are a great snack and are rich in fiber and vitamins B and E.  Kids especially love them.  Try washing the seeds and patting them dry.  Soak them in soy sauce, butter or Worcestershire sauce for about an hour.  Then spread on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with garlic powder, seasoning salts, Italian spices or even a Cajun seasoning.  Roast at 250 degrees for about 1 hour.  Turn seeds throughout the roasting time and enjoy the crunchy bite when they are done.

 

While the seeds are roasting, take a little time with the family and enjoy a book about pumpkins.  Enjoy reading, Pumpkin Circle: The story of a Garden by George Levelson.  

 

This season, visit a pumpkin patch with your family and bring home a pumpkin. This may become an activity to remember or even a new fall tradition!

 

You might like using pumpkins to dot your outdoor pathway on Halloween. It is recommended that you use battery-powered or plug in jack-o-lanterns instead of a live candle.  If you do use a live flame, be sure it will be away from trick or treaters and in a secure place.  Make sure the pathway to your door is safe with no objects in the way of a child.  Keep your home well-lit and inviting, and put all pets away for the evening.

 

The bright colors of pumpkins can be added to a beautiful decoration, used as a centerpiece or can stand alone.  Pumpkins are inexpensive, nutritious, colorful and a sure sign that autumn has arrived.  Be creative and find new ways to use a pumpkin in your home. Try this soup recipe or visit USU Extension for additional pumpkin recipes.

 

Easy Pumpkin Soup

(source: verybestbaking.com-Libby’s Pumpkin)

  • 1 pumpkin
  • 2 cups milk or half and half
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 3 cups seasoned croutons

Cut the lid from the pumpkin, remove seeds and fibers.  Alternate layers of croutons and cheese in pumpkin.  Add chicken broth and milk.  Bake for about 2 hours at 350 degrees.  To serve, stir the contents and create a thick soup.  Enjoy.


This article was written by Carolyn Washburn, retired Utah State University Extension associate professor




Eating in Season // Pomegranates

pomegranatesIf you like the sweet and tangy flavor of pomegranates, now is the time to incorporate them into you menu plan, because they are in season through November. Read on to learn some of the nutritional benefits of pomegranates, and for a few recipes to try while they are in season.


As fall arrives we can enjoy the sweet, tart, juicy taste of pomegranates. These native
Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fruits used on anything from salads to desserts are an excellent source of the phytochemcials, making them one of the best antioxidants. The
edible seeds of these yellow-orange to a deep red colored fruits have a citrus flavor and
make a delicious juice.
The last few years, the health value of the pomegranate has been under study. Research
is now showing us that the pomegranates may be one of the best antioxidant fruits that
can fight cancer, slow down the aging process, increase heart health and help with
Alzheimer’s disease. True, not all the research is in, but several studies from UCLA and
USDA indicate that pomegranates are a major stabilizer of cancer. The naturally
occurring antioxidants in this fruit fight the free radicals that do promote disease.
One average pomegranate contains about 100 calories and 25 grams of sugar. They are
also a good source of potassium.
Opening a pomegranate can be messy; however, if you cut the blossom end off and score
through the skin marking the fruit in quarters, you can submerge the pomegranate in ice
cold water and rub the seeds off the skins. The skin will float to the top, the seeds to the
bottom and then drain off the fruit.
To store pomegranates, keep at room temperature for a week, refrigerate in an air tight
bag for up to 3 months, or freeze the seeds for 6 months to a year.
Most pomegranates are imported into Utah markets and grocery stores from California
and Arizona; however two varieties are produced in Washington County, Utah. The light
pink seeded Dixie Sweet is native to the Southern Utah warm climate with soft and sweet
seeds. Other southern Utah-grown pomegranates and those imported may have darker
and harder seeds. If you have an opportunity to travel to southern Utah, take the time to
consume these locally grown fruits. No matter where you consume them, a pomegranate
could be one of the best foods you can give your health. The harvesting time for
pomegranates is October through November; you will find them in most Utah grocery
stores during October into December. Pomegranates are a treat, enjoyable as a salsa, in
salads, with main dishes, as jelly and syrups, or just by the hand full, so eat up and enjoy.

Pomegranate Salsa

  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • 2 oranges, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 Chile jalapeño, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 Tbsp lime juice

Score, and break pomegranate apart in ice water. Drain the pomegranate seeds. Add all
ingredients and chill for 2 hours before serving.

Pomegranate Jelly

  • 3 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, fresh, frozen and thawed, or bottled
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 package (2 ounces) powdered pectin
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar

Combine pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and pectin in a 4 or 5-quart pot. Bring to a boil
over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar until well blended; return to a
boil and continue boiling, uncovered, and stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Remove
jelly from heat immediately.

Process in hot water bath 15 minutes. Cool for 24 hours and then remove the ring before
storing on the shelf.


This article was written by Carolyn Washburn, retired Utah State University Extension associate professor,