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.




Put Your Best Fork Forward// Small Changes to Help You Find Balance

Put Your Best Fork Forward.jpgMarch is National Nutrition Month! To help spread its message this month, we’ve got five recommendations for ways you can “Put Your Best Fork Forward.”


  1. Focus on small changes. The Dietary Guidelines recommend starting with small changes that add up to lasting lifestyle changes over time. Perhaps that means starting your day with breakfast, drinking more water or reaching for fruits/vegetables at snack time.
  2. Prepare more meals at home. Gather your family around the table, share a healthy meal and make memories at the same time. Remember to talk positively about healthy foods—your kids are listening!

  3. Make your plate MyPlate. Focus on the five food groups and fill your plate with lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and a serving of low-fat dairy on the side.

  4. Choose healthful options when dining out. Request healthy side dishes and ask for modifications to be sure the meal meets your nutritional goals. Practice portion control by bringing half the food home for another meal.

  5. Find that balance. Weight management comes down to calories in versus calories out, so be sure to find that balance between the two by eating the right amount of food to meet your needs while finding ways to move your body through physical activity.  

This article was written by Kaitlin Anderson, news@postbulletin.com.

 




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.

IMG_7383

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.

 




A New Year, a New You: Strategies to Simplify Your Life in the Kitchen

simplify your kitchen.jpgHave you made the goal to simplify your life in the new year? Try these strategies to simplify your life in the kitchen.


Organize

Keep shelf-stable items and utensils that you frequently use visible in the kitchen. Move spices you use often to the front of the cabinet and invest in a tiered tower or spice rack so everything is visible at once. Store dry goods such as flour, sugar, grains, and beans in airtight glass jars or plastic containers on the counter or on a visible row of the pantry. Store cooking utensils in a holder on the counter or in a drawer next to the stove (Bittman, 2014).

Stock Up

Having basic pantry, refrigerator, and freezer staples on hand can make it much easier to throw together a quick dinner. If the thought of purchasing all of the items at once seems overwhelming, add a few items to your list each week and in a couple of months, you will be set. Here is a basic list to get you started (Bittman, 2014):

  • Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, and/or vegetable oil
  • Vinegars – balsamic, red wine or sherry, and/or white wine
  • Dried herbs and spices – salt, black pepper, chili powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, sage, rosemary, tarragon, dill, basil, and thyme
  • Dried grains – brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat couscous, dried whole-wheat pasta
  • Dried and/or canned beans – garbanzo, black, kidney, navy, and/or cannellini
  • Canned tomato products – tomato paste, canned tomatoes (diced, crushed, whole)
  • Nut butters*
  • Brown sugar, honey, maple syrup
  • Flours – whole-wheat white flour, white flour, cornmeal
  • Baking soda, baking powder
  • Nuts and seeds* (walnuts, almonds, etc.)
  • Chicken and/or vegetable stock or bullion

*refrigerate to preserve quality

In addition, stock up on frozen vegetables – corn, mixed vegetables, peas, spinach, edamame – and fruit when items are on sale.

Plan Ahead

Planning several days or a week of meals at once may seem like an overwhelming task, but once you get into the routine, you will likely find it saves a great deal of time. There will be less trips to the grocery store and less time spent thinking about what’s for dinner.

Tips to get started:

  • Ask your family for favorite meal ideas.
  • Start small. Select one or two recipes you know how to make and add one or two new recipes per week.
  • Need help choosing recipes? Think about your weekly schedule. Are there going to be late nights at work or sports games to attend? If so, you may want to plan a slow cooker meal or a meal you can remake from leftovers for this busy night. Look at what is on sale at your local grocery store and consider what produce is in season, which means it will likely be less expensive.
  • Gather your recipes for the week and create a grocery list. First, check to see which items you already have at home. Include the other ingredients on a list. Organize your list according to the sections of the grocery store: produce, dairy, meat/seafood, dry goods/spices, and the freezer section.
  • Make notes about which recipes your family likes and dislikes. After a month or so, you’ll have a substantial list you can use to create a rotating meal schedule and you can add in new recipes if you choose to.
  • Visit Choosemyplate.gov for more grocery shopping and meal planning tips.

Cook Once, Eat Twice

  • Grains: Double a batch of grains, such a rice. Immediately separate, cool, and refrigerate the extra portion. Use the leftovers the next night in a stir-fry or casserole.
  • Meat/Protein: Roast extra chicken, pork, or beef. Use it the next night in a soup, tacos, or green salad.
  • Beans: Cook extra beans and use the leftovers for bean burritos or taco bowls.
  • Roasted vegetables: Roast extra vegetables and use the leftovers for a pureed soup or hearty vegetable stew. Or try roasted vegetable tacos or a roasted vegetable grain bowl topped with nuts, seeds, or crumbled cheese.

Remember to follow food safety rules for leftovers. 

  • Cool and refrigerate food in shallow containers promptly (within 2 hours of cooking).
  • Cold food should be stored at 40 F or lower.
  • Discard refrigerated leftovers after 3-4 days.
  • Remember to label and date frozen items. Store frozen items in containers such as gallon freezer bags or freezer grade plastic or glass containers and ensure that your freezer remains at 0 F or less.
  • Thaw frozen items in the refrigerator or microwave. Never thaw food on the kitchen counter or at room temperature.
  • Remember to reheat all leftovers to 165 F throughout.
  • Visit Foodsafety.gov for recommended freezer and refrigerator storage times or the National Center for Home Preservation’s Guide to Freezing Prepared Foods for more information on freezing leftovers. Additional information from the USDA on food safety and leftovers can be found here.

This article was written by Brittany Bingeman, Extension Assistant Professor FCS, Washington County

References:

  1. Bittman, M. (2014). How to cook everything fast. New York: Double B Publishing, Inc.
  2. Kitchen Timesavers. (2017). In Choosemyplate.gov. Retrieved from https://www.choosemyplate.gov/budget-time-savers.
  3. Leftovers and Food Safety. (2013). In United States Department of Agriculture

Food Safety and Inspection Service. Retrieved from https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/leftovers-and-food-safety/ct_index.

 




More on Cooking for One or Two

Cooking for One or TwoDid you see our tips for cooking for one or two people last week? Here are a few more tips to help you cook food that is delicious and nutritious, and to cut down on wasted food.


Rethink your recipes.

Most recipes that serve four or more can be easily converted to produce a smaller quantity; however, having knowledge of kitchen measurements can be helpful for those tricky conversions that are not as straightforward.

Keep these recipe measurement conversions in mind:

1 cup 16 tbsp.
1 tbsp. 3 tsp.
1 cup 8 fluid ounces
1 fluid ounce 2 tbsp.
1 pint 2 cups
1 quart 2 pints

For example, to make half of a recipe, you would substitute the following:

Recipe Calls For: Use:
1/4 cup 2 tbsp.
1/3 cup 2 tbsp. + 2 tsp.
3/4 cup 6 tbsp.
1 tbsp. 1 1/2 tsp.

Cook Once, Eat Twice

Having a plan for leftovers can be a great way to increase variety in your eating, reduce boredom and eliminate food waste.

For example, a one-pan, roasted vegetable and chicken dish makes an easy first meal and the components can be used in a variety of ways for leftovers.

Sample Recipe: Honey Mustard Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Roasting a pan of vegetables at the beginning of the week can be an easy way to add in extra vegetables over the next couple of days. Leftover vegetables can be frozen for use at a later time. Here are some ideas for using leftover roasted vegetables:

  • Make roasted vegetable tacos. This recipe includes black beans for an inexpensive protein source, and the Mexican flavor profile mixes things up.
  • Create a roasted vegetable + leafy green + whole grain + flavorful toppings bowl. Leafy greens include spinach, kale or mixed salad greens. Try whole grains such as quinoa, farro or brown rice, and add crunchy or flavorful toppings such feta or blue cheese crumbles, roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and/or walnuts and a vinaigrette dressing. Try this farro roasted root vegetable bowl.

Similarly, there are many uses for leftover roasted chicken.

  • Add roasted chicken to a soups or to a mixed greens salad.
  • Or, try the leftovers in chicken salad. This honey mustard chicken salad uses a similar flavor profile to the original sheet pan recipe. Substitute 2 tbsp. of light mayonnaise + 2 tbsp. non-fat Greek yogurt for the ¼ cup regular mayonnaise and you’ll pack in extra nutrition without sacrificing flavor.

Keep Food Safety in Mind

  • Remember to use good food safety practice when handling leftovers.
  • To start, food should initially be cooked to proper temperatures. Visit Food Safety.gov to find the proper cooking temperatures for various foods.
  • To cool cooked foods faster, place them in a shallow dish no more than 2 inches deep, and refrigerate promptly. (Foods should be kept in the temperature danger zone (40º-140ºF), or the temperature range that promotes bacterial growth, for less than two hours total.)
  • Never put warm foods directly in the freezer. Instead, cool them in the refrigerator and then put in the freezer.
  • Reheat all leftovers to 165 F. Stir food as it is reheating to make sure it is being heated thoroughly throughout, and test the final temperature with a food thermometer.
  • Keep a thermometer in your refrigerator to make sure the temperature remains at 40 F or below.
  • Refrigerated leftovers should be eaten within 3-4 days or discarded. Frozen leftovers can be kept for a few months, depending on the type of food. Visit Food Safety.gov to find the recommended times to store different foods in the refrigerator or freezer.

This article was written by Brittany Bingeman, Extension Assistant Professor FCS, Washington County

References:

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2015). 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. Retrieved October 5, 2017, from https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.
  2. Henneman A. (2012). Planning Healthy Meals for One or Two – A Checklist. University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension. Retrieved from https://food.unl.edu/documents/Cookingfor1or2.pdf
  3. Allen R. Cooking for One or Two. University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved from http://www.frontierdistrict.k-state.edu/health-nutrition/food-preparation/docs/Health%20Nutrition%20Cooking%204%20One%20Or%20Two.pdf
  4.     Henneman A. Reducing the Size of Recipes. University of Nebraska Lincoln. Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Retrieved from https://food.unl.edu/reducing-size-recipes-0
  5.     McEntire JC. (2011). Handle Leftovers with Care. FoodSafety.gov website. Retrieved from https://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/leftovers.html
  6.   FoodSafety.gov. Storage Times for the Freezer and Refrigerator. Retrieved from https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/storagetimes.html



Cooking for One or Two

Cooking for One.jpgTry these strategies for planning balanced, nutritious meals when cooking for just one or two people. Stay tuned for more tips on this topic next week!


It can be tempting to think that it’s too much trouble to plan and cook a balanced meal for just one or two people, but think of maximizing your nutrition as part of your self-care routine. You deserve it! Here are some helpful strategies.

Use MyPlate to plan balanced meals.                                      

MyPlate is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provides evidenced-based recommendations for nutrition and health for Americans ages two and older. Key strategies to maximize nutrition include the following:

  • Fill half your plate with nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose different kinds of colorful vegetables to provide a greater variety of nutrients.
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products for calcium and other important nutrients.
  • Eat a variety of lean, animal-based protein sources, such as lean cuts of meat, poultry and fish (including fatty fish), and plant-based protein sources, including nuts, seeds, beans, peas and soy products.
  • Choose whole fruits, including fresh, frozen and canned in 100 percent  juice, over fruit juice most of the time.
  • Aim to eat whole grains for at least half of your daily grain servings. Whole grains include 100 percent whole wheat products, brown rice and ancient grains like quinoa, amaranth, millet and whole corn.

Create a grocery shopping plan to allow for nutritious meals, while eliminating food waste.

Here are some helpful hints:

  • Shop with a list. (A good guideline for everyone!)
  • Choose fruit according to ripeness based on when you plan to eat or use it. (I.e., buy ripe fruit only if you will eat it in the next day or two.)
  • Check the back of the grocery display for fresher produce.
  • Choose frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, which will keep longer.
  • Rethink buying in bulk. Yes, the unit price can be lower, but is it really saving money if part of it goes to waste? Sometimes, buying a smaller quantity (i.e., a 6 oz. container of yogurt) that you will actually use is less expensive.
  • Buy meats and poultry in larger quantities, prepare one portion, and immediately freeze the rest in individual portion sizes.

This article was written by Brittany Bingeman, Extension Assistant Professor FCS, Washington County

References:

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2015). 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. Retrieved October 5, 2017, from https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.
  2. Henneman A. (2012). Planning Healthy Meals for One or Two – A Checklist. University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension. Retrieved from https://food.unl.edu/documents/Cookingfor1or2.pdf
  3. Allen R. Cooking for One or Two. University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved from http://www.frontierdistrict.k-state.edu/health-nutrition/food-preparation/docs/Health%20Nutrition%20Cooking%204%20One%20Or%20Two.pdf
  4. Henneman A. Reducing the Size of Recipes. University of Nebraska Lincoln. Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Retrieved from https://food.unl.edu/reducing-size-recipes-0
  5. McEntire JC. (2011). Handle Leftovers with Care. FoodSafety.gov website. Retrieved from https://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/leftovers.html

6.   FoodSafety.gov. Storage Times for the Freezer and Refrigerator. Retrieved from https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/storagetimes.html




Flavorful Eating in the Later Years

Flavorful Eating.jpgLooking to amp up the flavor of your favorite foods? Try these simple tips.


According to the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau data, there are more than 80 million people age 65 and older. This group comprises close to one-quarter of the total population of the United States. Numbers have increased significantly since the 1990s when they were only at 12 percent. This increased longevity has a variety of nutritional implications.

Oftentimes caregiving for these seniors falls to the younger generations which may include children or grandchildren.  Providing meals may offer a challenge for what seems like picky eaters or those with no interest in food. A little understanding or education can go a long way in making the process a bit easier.

Many seniors find that the foods they used to love just don’t taste the same anymore. It’s not their imagination; it’s a fact. Over time, our senses of taste and smell diminish, either naturally or as a result of medical treatments such as chemotherapy or medications. These losses can result in a decreased appetite, lack of interest in food, or even malnourishment. However, compensating for these losses is well within your control. Following are some ideas for making food more appetizing.

  • Arrange food attractively on the plate. Use simple plate patterns so food is clearly visible.
  • Vary shapes, textures, and temperature of the food. Take time to savor the food; smell it before you taste it and chew it thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Augment food’s flavor with a variety of herbs and spices.
  • Look for strongly flavored foods, if tolerated, such as garlic, onions, citrus fruits, and flavored vinegars.
  • Use fruit sauces or jams as well as concentrated flavors and extracts to stimulate taste buds.
  • Double the amount of herbs and spices added to recipes, but within reason. Black or red pepper shouldn’t be doubled automatically. Dry rubs and spice/herb combinations on meat and poultry add flavor without fat.
  • Use flavor enhancers like monosodium glutamate to enhance savory foods or reduce perceived bitterness or acidity. MSG is lower in sodium than table salt and can boost the flavor of sodium-restricted diets.
  • Add small amounts of fat (creamy dressing, cheese sauce, bacon bits) to soften sharp-tasting foods.

The chemosensory losses associated with aging and medical treatments can be readily and easily managed. By using these simple tips, seniors themselves, or through their caregivers, may regain the enjoyment eating once had, leading to improved nutritional status and better overall health.


This article was written by Ellen Serfustini, FCS Agent, Utah State University Extension

 




Wasted Food is Wasted Money

wasting food.jpg

Don’t throw your money away with your leftovers. Learn how to cut down on food waste and save money in today’s article.


Holiday time is upon us. It’s the time of year when people start feeling the pressure of extra demands on the paychecks. Much of holiday celebrating centers around food, and that puts a strain on the average food budget. However, holiday season isn’t the only time that staying within a tight food budget is necessary. It’s a monthly task that takes extra planning, and any trick to save a few bucks is helpful. Here are some interesting facts that may surprise you and get you thinking about ways you can save money.

A study done by George Washington University claims that 33.19 million tons of food were wasted in the United States in 2010—enough to fill the Empire State Building 91 times. Household food waste accounts for 55-65 percent of this total. Each month the average American throws away approximately 20 pounds of food. That’s 240 pounds per year at a cost of about $370 per person! Protein foods make up the biggest waste while breads and pasta are least likely to be dumped.

Why do we toss food? The biggest reason is because it spoils before we can eat it. Other reasons may include over-purchasing perishable food, cooking big meals and throwing some of it away, or not eating everything on our plate. The International Food Information Council reports that more than half of Americans say they take leftovers home from restaurants, use leftovers from cooking, plan their meals, make shopping lists, and use or freeze leftovers in a timely manner. This is a good start, but there are other critical ways to lessen the waste.

  • Think smaller portions. Super-sized portions are popular now. If we compare these portions to 20 years ago, many have doubled in size. We don’t need the extra calories. Using smaller plates also helps.
  • Store food correctly. Fruits and vegetables will last much longer if stored in the proper place. Bananas and tomatoes should be stored on the counter, out of the refrigerator. Onions, garlic, potatoes and winter squash should be in a cool, dark, dry place such as a cellar for optimum storage life. Apples will last up to a week on the counter but more than a week in the fridge. Keep them away from other produce as they produce ethylene gas which causes fruit to ripen faster. Citrus fruits should be stored in a mesh bag or the crisper drawer in the fridge. Berries, grapes, and cherries should be stored, unwashed, in the fridge. Washing these before storage hastens rot.
  • Keep a tidy fridge, freezer and pantry. If it’s out of sight, it’s usually out of mind. Much of fridge food isn’t discovered until it has grown green fuzzies. Remember that freezer food doesn’t last forever but dries out over time. When you bring new groceries home, move the older food to the front of the pantry or freezer and consume them first.
  • Understand expiration dates. A “Sell-By” date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires. The “Best if Used By” date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date. “Use-By” dates usually refer to best quality and are not safety dates. Even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome, and of good quality if handled properly. Trust your sense of smell and sight in these cases.
  • Be conscious of what you throw away and why. This way you can prevent the same from happening again.

Getting the most for our money is important. Some of these ideas may seem overwhelming but once practiced, they become habits that add extra money to our wallets and lessen budget stress.


This article was written by Ellen Serfustini, FCS Agent, Utah State University Extension




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




Ask an Expert // Dining with Diabetes

Dining with Diabetes

Know someone living with diabetes? Using MyPlate is a great way to plan balanced meals and help manage diabetes. Read on to learn more.


Utilizing MyPlate is a simple and effective way to manage diabetes.  MyPlate serves as a quick, simple example of how to eat according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans; which includes foods from all five food groups.  MyPlate is what a “balanced meal” should be. Eating a protein, a whole grain and fruits and vegetables at each meal and even for snacks is an important factor in managing blood glucose levels.

Try these six steps to get started:

  1. Using an 8” dinner plate, put a line down the middle of the plate. Then on one side, divide it again so you will have three sections on your plate.

  2. Fill the largest section that is half of the plate with non-starchy vegetables. Such as asparagus, artichokes, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, beets, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, peppers, radish, salad greens, sprouts, squash, sugar snap peas, swiss chard, tomato, turnips, or water chestnuts.
  1.  In one of the smaller sections, put whole grains and starchy foods such as bulgur (cracked wheat), whole wheat flour, whole oats, cornmeal, popcorn, brown rice, whole rye, whole grain barley, wild rice, buckwheat, triticale, millet, quinoa, sorghum, or whole grain pasta
  1. In the remaining small section, put your protein. Good sources of protein are beans (black, kidney and pinto), hummus, lentils, edamame, soy nuts, nuts and nut spreads, tofu, fish and shellfish, chicken, turkey, cheese, cottage cheese, whole eggs, or other meats with fat trimmed and in moderation.
  1. Add a serving of fruit, a serving of dairy or both.
  2. Choose healthy fats in small amounts such as:  olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocados.

Choosing to eat by the MyPlate guidelines is a great way to eat even if you don’t have diabetes and just want to be healthy or even lose weight. 


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