Carve Your Pumpkin // Keep the Seeds

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This month we’ll be sharing some of our favorite pumpkin recipes. 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.




Family Mealtime on Studio 5

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Join Live Well Utah blog editor Marta Nielsen as she talks with Brooke Walker of Studio 5 about Family Mealtime, and demonstrates some breakfast recipes from the Live Well Utah Cookbook, Family Mealtime Edition.


Did you see us on Studio 5? If you missed the show, you can watch the clip here. We have also posted the full recipes for the veggie frittata, granola, and overnight oats with all the variations.

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Don’t Let Aging Get You Down //  Healthy Eating

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This is the second installment in a three-part series on aging. Read part one on mobility, and stay tuned for a post on socializing. Whether you are aging yourself, or caring for an aging loved-one, this series offers some great tips to help you.


The phrase, “You are what you eat,” seems to have greater meaning as we get older.  The foods we eat in youth may not affect us immediately, but we start seeing the long-term effects of our regular diet in time.  If we are not careful or wait too long to make necessary changes, aging gracefully may not be an option.

Staying healthy as we age involves not only increasing mobility and strength, but also what we take into our bodies.  Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand to get the best results.  As mentioned in Part 1 of the aging series, aging can lead to limited mobility and other health issues.  Many diseases are associated with aging, but they can be prevented or delayed with consistent healthy habits.  Remember, the choices made in youth will influence how we age, but it is also never too late to take steps toward better health.

Have you ever set out to have a good habit that stuck? Once we master proper nutrition, it is so much easier to carry it into our older years. The Strong Women: Lifting Women to Better Health website suggests focusing on whole foods, especially those directly from the earth.  It is important to have regular meals and portions, and keep healthy snacks on hand for when you get the afternoon munchies.  Smaller portions eaten throughout the day sustain energy better than three large meals.

I don’t know about you, but I notice a big difference between eating one large meal and eating smaller portions throughout the day.  The large meal always leaves me feeling sluggish and tired.  I feel better throughout the day when I keep the healthy snacks with me, and it keeps me from overeating during meals.

Be aware of the calorie intake you need, because consuming more than your body needs can lead to weight gain, which leads to health concerns such as diabetes and high blood pressure.  Are you aware of how your body reacts to the foods you eat?  The NIH Senior Health website has some great information on how the food we eat affects our bodies. It addresses energy, weight and digestion.  Below are some great recipes provided by Utah State University’s Food$ense Nutrition Program.  More simple recipes can be found at care.com.

 

Main Dishes

Casseroles

Soups

Stir Fry

Sides

Veggies

Salads

Snacks

 


This article was written by Kirsten Lamplugh, Intern at the Salt Lake County USU Extension office, BS in Family and Consumer Sciences 

Source:

NIH Senior Health website- https://nihseniorhealth.gov/eatingwellasyougetolder/benefitsofeatingwell/01.html




Squash Pasta Sauce

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This month we’ll be sharing some of our favorite pumpkin recipes. Today’s recipe technically calls for butternut squash, cousin to everyone’s favorite orange pumpkin. You can go with butternut squash, or get festive and substitute pumpkin. Look for small pie pumpkins for the best flavor and texture.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (substitute pumpkin, if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 2 small celery stalks, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups milk
  • Spices of choice
  • Fresh herbs
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb. pasta of choice

Directions

Boil squash in salted, boiling water until tender, roughly 15 minutes. While squash is cooking, sauté onion in oil for 2-3 minutes, or until onion begins to turn translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add carrot and celery and cover pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Next add in cooked and drained squash and tomato paste. Stir to combine, and remove from heat. Add ingredients to a blender along with milk. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season as desired and serve over pasta of your choice with a generous topping of Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

 


Recipe adapted from Eat Well Utah.




Halloween Activity Roundup

 

halloween-activity-roundupOctober is here, and Halloween is coming. The temperature has dropped a bit, and you may have found your kids spending more time indoors and looking for things to do. We’ve searched for some of the best Halloween-themed activities to do with your kids, whether for everyday entertainment, a classroom party, or a gathering with friends. Check out our Pinterest Board for even more ideas.


  1. Healthy Halloween Snack Ideas from Eat Well Utah

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  1. 31 Days of Halloween STEM Activities from STEAM Powered Family

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  1. Weaving a Spider Web Alphabet Activity from Mom Inspired Life

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  1. Create Your Own Monster Cookie Bar from Babble

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  1. Spider Races from Still Playing School

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  1. Paper Cone Witch from Krokotak

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  1. Super Simple Spider Web Art from Kids Play Box

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  1. Self-inflating Halloween Ghost from Mama Smiles

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  1. Origami Bats from A Girl & a Glue Gun

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  1. Halloween Masks to Print and Color from It’s Always Autumn

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What are some of your favorite Halloween activities? Let us know in the comments!




Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

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This month we’ll be sharing some of our favorite pumpkin recipes. Today we have pumpkin zucchini bread. This delicious quick bread will fill your home with a wonderful aroma, and is a great way to sneak in a few extra servings of vegetables.


 

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

 

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin, butter, yogurt and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined (batter will be lumpy). Stir in zucchini, nuts and chocolate chips. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until breads test done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack.


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.




Family Mealtime // Easy Minestrone Soup

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Warm up this fall with a bowl of minestrone soup. Recipe from the Live Well Utah Cookbook, Family Mealtime Edition.


Minestrone Soup

Adapted from the Live Well Utah Cookbook, Family Mealtime Edition

  • 2 15 oz. cans kidney beans
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups zucchini, diced
  • ¾ cup celery, sliced
  • ½ cup carrot, diced
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • ½ cup uncooked penne, or other small pasta

Place one can of kidney beans in a food processor and process until smooth.* Spoon bean puree into a heavy pot; stir in remaining can of beans, water, zucchini, celery, carrot, tomatoes, and Creole seasoning. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in pasta; cook uncovered an additional 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.

 

*Note: If you do not have a food processor you can mash the beans in a bowl with the bottom of a glass, or use a blender or immersion blender.

 


September is National Family Mealtime month. Each Friday this month we’ll be posting on that topic — specifically from the Live Well Utah Cookbook, Family Mealtime Edition. This publication is available for free at your local Extension office, or available digitally here. It features some great tips on the importance of family mealtime and meal planning, plus 21 quick, inexpensive, and nutritious recipes that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters. 




Family Mealtime // Overnight Oatmeal 3 Ways

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Looking for a make-ahead breakfast to streamline your family’s morning routine? Try overnight oatmeal, and spend your morning eating together instead of scrambling to cook breakfast.


Peach Overnight Oats

Adapted from the Live Well Utah Cookbook, Family Mealtime Edition

  • 8 oz. containers (pint sized mason jars work well)

Per container:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sliced peaches (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbsp. honey, or other sweetener
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

 

To each container add oats, milk, vanilla, peaches, sweetener, and cinnamon in the amounts listed above, and cover with lids. Place filled containers in the refrigerator and let sit overnight. Oats will absorb the milk and some juice from the peaches. Enjoy in the morning!

Variations

Pumpkin Pie: in place of peaches, mix 1/2 cup canned pumpkin with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Spoon desired amount into jar (1/4-1/2 cup) before refrigerating, and top with chopped pecans before eating.

Any Season Berry: sub 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries for peaches.

Other Ideas: Try adding in chia seeds or ground flaxseed to your oats, adding more liquid as needed. Try substituting nut milk or part Greek yogurt in the recipe, and add fruits, nuts and seeds as desired to customize the flavors.

 


September is National Family Mealtime month. Each Friday this month we’ll be posting on that topic — specifically from the Live Well Utah Cookbook, Family Mealtime Edition. This publication is available for free at your local Extension office, or available digitally here. It features some great tips on the importance of family mealtime and meal planning, plus 21 quick, inexpensive, and nutritious recipes that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters. 




Family Mealtime // Crispy Granola 3 Ways

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Family mealtime can be anytime- why not at breakfast? Mix up some delicious granola on the weekend for a fast and easy weekday family breakfast option. Use your family’s favorite mix-ins, or try one of our suggested variations.


Crispy Granola

Adapted from the Live Well Utah Cookbook, Family Mealtime Edition

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 3 cups uncooked rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins, or other dried fruit (option)

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Put egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until frothy. Stir in honey, cinnamon, and salt. Add oats and all other ingredients (except dried fruit). Stir until ingredients are coated with egg mixture. Spread mixture on baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from pan, add dried fruit if using, and cool completely. Granola will continue to crisp as it cools. Store in an airtight container.

Variations

Pumpkin Spice: substitue pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, pure maple syrup for the honey, use pumpkin seeds for nuts, and add 1 tablespoon chia seeds.

Tropical Crunch: use macadamia nuts, yogurt covered raisins and/or chopped dried pineapple.

Cherry Garcia: use sliced almonds, dried cherries, and add semisweet chocolate chips when granola is cool.

 


September is National Family Mealtime month. Each Friday this month we’ll be posting on that topic — specifically from the Live Well Utah Cookbook, Family Mealtime Edition. This publication is available for free at your local Extension office, or available digitally here. It features some great tips on the importance of family mealtime and meal planning, plus 21 quick, inexpensive, and nutritious recipes that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters. 




Family Mealtime // Veggie Frittata 3 Ways

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Family Mealtime doesn’t have to be dinner. Try this fast and easy frittata for a protein-packed breakfast that is sure to bring your family to the table. Use your favorite vegetables, or try one of our suggested flavor combos.


Veggie Frittata

Adapted from the Live Well Utah Cookbook, Family Mealtime Edition

  • 1 tablespoon olive Oil
  • 2 cups vegetables, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 9 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese, any type

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat(a 10-inch nonstick pan works well). Add vegetables and opinion and cook until tender and liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and seasoning, and stir to until evenly mixed.

Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Add cheese to eggs and stir to combine.

Pour eggs over vegetable mixture in  skillet, and stir gently. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15-25 minutes, or until eggs are set in the center and food thermometer inserted in eggs reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Variations

The Greek: Spinach, sun-dried tomato, and feta cheese.

The Tex-Mex: green pepper, red onion, and pepper jack cheese.

The Garden: zucchini with parmesan cheese.

 


September is National Family Mealtime month. Each Friday this month we’ll be posting on that topic — specifically from the Live Well Utah Cookbook, Family Mealtime Edition. This publication is available for free at your local Extension office, or available digitally here. It features some great tips on the importance of family mealtime and meal planning, plus 21 quick, inexpensive, and nutritious recipes that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters.