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


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


  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


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


  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


  • 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


  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


Give Jicama a Try!

JicamaAre you ready for a change in your vegetable menu? Give jicama a try (pronounced hic-uh-mah)! It’s  a delicious treat full of vitamin C and fiber and will add a crunch to your palate. We introduced jicama to the students in our after-school program. The youth loved it and shared it with their families.

A Food $ense (SNAP-Ed) Guide to Eating Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Jicama is a crispy, sweet, mild, bulbous root vegetable that is light tan in color and shaped like a small pumpkin. Jicama’s flavor is similar to an apple or pear, but its texture more closely resembles a radish or turnip. Some jicama is grown in Texas and Florida, but it is typically grown in semitropical or tropical climates, such as Mexico and Central and South America. Other names for jicama include yam bean, Mexican water chestnut, Mexican potato, and Mexican turnip (Bender, 2016; Park & Han, 2015; Park, Lee, & Han, 2016; Ramos-de-la-Pena, Renard, Wicker, & Contreras-Esquivel, 2013; Stevenson, Jane, & Inglett, 2007).

Nutrition Highlights:

120 grams of fresh, raw jicama provides 45 calories and approximately 40 percent RDA of vitamin C. Jicama is an excellent source of dietary fiber providing 24 percent RDA and less than 1 percent fat. Jicama also contains small amounts of vitamin B complex, vitamin E, and potassium. In addition, Jicama contains healthy amounts of magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, and antioxidants. Jicama is 86-90 percent water (United States Department of Agriculture, 2016).

Jicama’s low glycemic load makes it an excellent snack for diabetics and dieters, or anyone watching their blood sugar and insulin (Park & Han, 2015; Park, Lee, & Han, 2016).


Jicama is available year-round in most grocery stores. The market is flooded with jicama from Central America in the spring and summer.


The most popular method of eating jicama is in raw form. It can be cut into small cubes, sticks, or slices, and can be shredded and added to snacks, salads, and salsas for added crispness. Jicama tends to absorb sauces without losing its crunch, making it an excellent addition to stir-fry and salsa. Jicama can also be cooked and is often combined with lime, lemon, cilantro, ginger, and chili powder. The skin of jicama is inedible (Neff, 2007).


When shopping for jicama, chose medium-sized, firm tubers with dry roots. Larger jicama can be eaten but tends to be dry, starchy, and less flavorful. Avoid blemishes, wrinkles, or soft spots (D’Sa, 2004).

Cleaning and Preparing:

Wash jicama and remove the outer peel and the slightly papery layer just under the skin with a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler. Cutting the jicama in half, then in half again, makes it is easier to handle (Bender, 2016; D’Sa, 2004).


Store uncut jicama in a cool, dry place uncovered for up to 3 weeks (similar to potatoes). The ideal temperature is 55-59 degrees. Storing at lower temperatures or in a moist area may cause discoloration and decay. Once jicama is cut or sliced, refrigerate covered for up to three weeks (D’Sa, 2004).

Some ideas for enjoying jicama include:

  • Serve on vegetable trays along with carrots, celery, and other raw vegetables.
  • Combine with fresh berries and other fruits to make a fruit salad with a crunch.
  • Use in stir-fry, salads, or slaws.
  • French fry – baked or deep fried.
  • Peel, chop, and boil jicama for about 15 minutes until softened. Drain, mash, and season with butter, salt, and pepper.
  • Bake at 375° for 45 minutes and top with sour cream and butter and sprinkle with fresh herbs, chili powder, or chopped chives.
  • Mix shredded or finely diced jicama with pineapple and avocado to make a yummy salsa.
  • Add to soups and stews.

Jicama Fruit Salad

From https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov

Makes 7 servings


  • 3 cups jicama, sliced (small)
  • 2 cups watermelon (cut into pieces)
  • 1 mango
  • 1 papaya (small)
  • 1 lime
  • 2 kiwi
  • 1 tsp. lime or orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder


Wash, peel, and cut jicama into thin slices. Wash, peel, and cut the rest of the fruit into slices or medium-sized pieces.  On a large plate, arrange the fruit. Sprinkle the lime or orange juice over the fruit.  In a small bowl, mix the salt and chili powder. Sprinkle over the fruit and serve.  Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Jicama Fries

From  http://thehealthyadvocate.com/2012/08/30/jicama-fries/

Makes 4-6 servings


  • 1 lb. jicama, peeled
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp. Himalayan salt
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ground black pepper


  1. Slice peeled jicama into thin, matchstick-shaped fries.
  2. Combine sliced jicama with coconut oil and spices.
  3. Toss well to combine.
  4. Evenly spread the fries on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Jicama Chips

From http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/jicama-chips

Makes 4 servings


  • 3 whole jicamas
  • chili powder (to taste)
  • garlic powder (to taste)
  • onion powder (to taste)
  • salt (to taste)

Directions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Peel and slice jicama into thin slices. Spread out on top of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Season to taste. Coat chips with cooking spray. Place in oven at 400 F for approximately 25-30 minutes or until crisp. Enjoy with your favorite low-calorie dip!


Lime, Cilantro, and Chili Infused Jicama Fries

From www.annaliisakapp.com

Makes 3-4 servings


  • 1 smaller jicama
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. dried cilantro
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt


Preheat oven to 375 F. Add coconut oil to a medium mixing bowl and put it in the oven to melt. It only takes about a minute, so don’t forget the bowl in there!

Add lime juice, chili powder, dried cilantro, and sea salt to coconut oil and mix together.

Peel jicama and cut into sticks about the size of a small french fry. Mix jicama in the coconut oil and spread onto a baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper. If you have a cookie rack, lay the jicama on it. If not, you will have to flip them halfway through the baking time.

Bake for 30 minutes. Flip once at 15 minutes if not using a cookie rack.


Tangy Jicama Slaw

From http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/recipe/?iRID=829

Makes 8 servings


  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • ¼  tsp. black pepper
  • 2 ½ lbs. jicama, peeled and cut into julienne strips (10 cups)
  • ⅓  cup finely chopped fresh cilantro


Soak onion in 1 cup cold water with ½ tsp. salt for 15 minutes to make onion flavor milder.   Drain in a sieve, then rinse under cold water and pat dry.  Whisk together lime juice, oil, sugar, pepper, and remaining ¾ tsp. salt in a large bowl until combined well.  Add onion, jicama, cilantro, and salt to taste. Toss well.

This article was written by GaeLynn Peterson, USU Extension Assistant Professor, and Shannon Cromwell, USU Extension Assistant Professor


Bender, A. G. (2016). Jicama: A new veggie for your cancer fighting diet. American Institute for Cancer Research. Retrieved from http://blog.aicr.org/2016/05/10/jicama-a-new-veggie-for-your-cancer-fighting-diet/.

D’Sa, E. M. (2004). Using and preserving jicama. National Center for Home Food Preservation. Retrieved from https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/nchfp/factsheets/jicama.pdf.

Neff, C. (2007). Jicama. Retrieved from https://experiencelife.com/article/jicama/.

Park, C. J., & Han, J. S. (2015). Hypoglycemic effect of jicama (pachyrhizus erosus) extract on streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Preventive Nutrition & Food Science, 20(2), 88-93.

Park, C. J., Lee, H. A., & Han, J. S. (2016). Jicama (pachyrhizus erosus) extract increases sensitivity and regulates hepatic glucose in mice. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 58(1), 56-63.

Ramos-de-la-Pena, A. M., Renard, C., Wicker, L., & Contreras-Esquivel, J. C. (2013). Advances and perspectives of pachyrhizus spp. in food science and biotechnology. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 29, 44-54.

Stevenson, D. G., Jane, J., & Inglett, G. E. (2007). Characterization of jicama (Mexican potato) (pachyrhizus erosus) starch from taproots grown in USA and Mexico. Starch, 59, 132-140.

United States Department of Agriculture. (2016). Yambean (jicama), raw. (Basic Report: 11603). Retrieved from https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3268.


Savory Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

Pumpkin RecipesOctober is in full swing, and that means pumpkin is everywhere! Don’t reserve pumpkin just for your baked goods and sweet treats, try these savory pumpkin recipes to get a taste of fall.

Pumpkin is low in calories. One-half cup of mashed pumpkin (without salt) has 24 calories, 0 grams (g) fat, 1 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 1 milligram sodium. Pumpkins are packed with nutrients, such as fiber and beta carotene. Our bodies use beta carotene to produce vitamin A. Pumpkins are also rich in potassium.

You can steam it, bake it, boil it, microwave it (if you put slits in it), and pressure cook it. Once cooked it can be mashed, pureed, cubed and stored in either the fridge or freezer in air tight containers. Mashed or pureed pumpkin (either fresh or canned) has many options for its use. Here are just a few: Muffins, biscuits, and quick breads with part whole wheat flour; soups, added to the sauce in mac and cheese; added to chili; make a smoothie; cheese balls; and add to hummus. Cubed and cooked pumpkin can be used with pasta, risotto, soups, salads, and casseroles.

Pumpkin Chili

(From Taste of Home)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the next 10 ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours. If desired, cube avocado and thinly
slice green onions, and top when serving.

Yield: 10 servings

Quick and Easy Creamy Pumpkin Soup

(From NDSU Extension Service)

  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly, tops included
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 green chili pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth, reduced sodium or
  • 6 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 (16-ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup undiluted, evaporated skim milk
  • Salt* and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley

In a 6-quart saucepan, sauté onions, green onions, celery and chili pepper in oil. Cook until onions begin to look translucent. Add broth, pumpkin, bay leaf,
and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Add evaporated milk and cook over low heat 5 minutes. Do not boil. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2
teaspoon black pepper, if desired. Transfer hot soup to pumpkin tureen. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve hot.

*Canned chicken broth and canned pumpkin may contain added salt. Taste the finished soup before adding salt, as additional salt may not be needed.

This article was written by Teresa C. Hunsaker, USU Extension, Weber County, Family and Consumer Sciences Education

Fall Bucket List


Cooler temperatures and colorful leaves are on their way. We’re welcoming fall with more than 50 fall things to do around Utah. Pick and choose your favorites to create your own custom fall bucket list. 

The weather is starting to cool off, the leaves are changing and there is so much fun to be had.  Utah is full of great experiences, whether you want to spend time out in the crisp fall air or stay home working on simple projects.  Whatever mood you are, in it is nice to have a list of exciting ideas to choose from, and we have more than 50 suggestions for you to build your own fall bucket list.


  • Drive the Alpine Loop or other local canyons to see the leaves
  • Explore a corn maze
  • Visit the local farmer’s market
  • Go on a hike to see the fall colors
  • Go camping in the colors
  • Go apple, pumpkin, squash, pepper or tomato picking at a local “pick your own” farm
  • Go pick your own pumpkin from a pumpkin patch
  • Practice recreational shooting
  • Go hunting
  • Go Trick-or-Treating
  • Tell scary stories around a campfire
  • Go on a hay ride
  • Join in a family and friend turkey bowl football game



  • Do fall cleaning
  • Decorate the house
  • Host a football watching party
  • Host a Halloween party
  • Gather family for Thanksgiving dinner
  • Rake up and play in the autumn leaves
  • Clean out garden beds to prepare for next year
  • Plant spring bulbs
  • Plant a tree — Autumn is a great time to plant a tree, but be sure to water well if it is a dry autumn.


  • Do a chili cook-off
  • Make apple cider
  • Harvest fall produce and preserve it by freezing, drying or canning (jams, jellies, whole fruit, etc.)
  • Throw a homemade doughnut party – invite friends and family over for fun and doughnuts everyone can enjoy. Try them  baked or fried.
  • Make caramel apples
  • Try a new recipe for Thanksgiving (pie, stuffing, etc.)
  • Throw a party where everyone brings a different kind of pie
  • Host a crock pot party
  • Try a new homemade soup, like  Apple & Butternut Squash Soup (page 7) to help keep you warm as the days get colder.


  • Pumpkin carving – A tradition that never gets old. Find your favorite printable template or draw freehand to make your pumpkin carving creation.
  • Decorate/paint pumpkins to look like a favorite book character – Painting and decorating pumpkins is just as fun. They also last longer without wilting.
  • Boo” ding dong ditch the neighbors – Leave a bag of goodies on someone’s front porch and run away – once you have been “boo-ed” you hang an image of a ghost near your front door so others know you have been “boo-ed.”
  • Start a fall gratitude journal
  • Create a new autumn decoration
  • Make a new Halloween costume
  • Sew homemade hand warmers


This is a way to transport yourself and your little ones into another world of fun, adventure and fantasy. Cuddle up with a blanket and enjoy some of these favorites this autumn.

  • Scary chapter books:
    • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
    • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
    • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
    • Doll Bones by Holly Black
  • Halloween picture books:
    • Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
    • The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams
    • Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michal Rex
    • Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson
    • Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
    • In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
    • The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey
    • Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
    • Frankenstein by Rick Walton and Nathan Hale
    • Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson and Samuel Thaler
    • A Very Brave Witch by Alison McGhee and Harry Bliss
    • One Witch by Laura Leuck

    • Curious George Goes to a Costume Party by Margaret Rey
    • Where is Baby’s Pumpkin? by Karen Katz
  • Thanksgiving picture books:
    • ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
    • Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano
    • The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz
    • A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman and Jeff Shelly


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

Quick and Easy Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce Wraps

Celebrate Family Mealtime Month and prepare one of these quick, healthy lettuce wrap ideas for your next family dinner.

As you are probably aware, lettuce wraps are trending right now in the food department. They are fun, easy, and most of all, delicious. Even kids have a fun time eating their veggies with wraps. There are many types of lettuce you can use to change things up a bit. Here are some ideas that may be just the ticket for your next quick, easy and nutritious dinner:

Chicken Club Wrap

Bacon bits, cooked shredded chicken (can use leftover grilled chicken too), chopped tomatoes, avocados and ranch dressing (I make my own with buttermilk and reduced fat mayo).

Quinoa Basil Wrap

Fresh basil leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 cups cooked quinoa, 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added red kidney beans, rinsed and drained.

Taco Wrap

You guessed it…use the lettuce as the shell…the rest is taco meat, cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc. Whatever your favorite taco fillings are, they are perfect in a lettuce wrap!

Tasty Tuna Wrap

Make tuna salad as you like it. I like to make the dressing with plain Greek yogurt, mustard and lemon pepper seasoning. Add shredded carrots, chopped celery, and diced green onion. Chopped apple or sliced grapes are also a nice addition. You can also use chicken or hard boiled eggs to change up your salad filling.

Cheeseburger Wrap

Brown ground beef, add chopped onion and seasoned salt to taste. Melt cheddar cheese on top, place in lettuce and top with tomatoes, pickles, ketchup and other cheeseburger favorites.

Hawaiian Pineapple Wrap

Place sliced ham, cheese, and pineapple chunks inside lettuce. Top with chopped celery and chopped green onions. Drizzle with your favorite teriyaki sauce.

Asian Shredded Pork

Place cooked shredded pork, chopped water chestnuts, chopped celery, chopped green onion, shredded carrots and teriyaki glaze in a lettuce leaf.  Enjoy!  We also like sesame seeds, coconut and drained, crushed pineapple on ours.


There are so many other ideas, from a Greek/Mediterranean twist, to a smoked salmon filling, to a Thai with peanut sauce filling. The sky’s the limit! Wraps are fun to experiment with, and are a great way to stretch leftover meat. Whole cooked grains like cracked wheat, barley and brown rice also make a great addition. Or what about couscous?  Have fun!

This article was written by Teresa Hunsaker, USU Extension family and consumer sciences educator, Weber County

Winter Squash Wonder Pie

winter-squash-pieStill have some winter squash from the garden in your cold storage? Make good use of it in this delicious winter squash wonder pie. The kids won’t even realize they’re eating a vegetable!

Winter Squash Wonder Pie

Total preparation/baking time: 90 minutes (425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then 350 degrees F for 45 minutes)


  • 3 cups banana squash*               
  • 1 cup sugar or baking sucralose                
  • 6 Tbsp. maple syrup                                     
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 (12 oz.) cans evaporated milk
  • Directions

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Prepare squash by washing, cutting and removing seeds. Cut the flesh into large cubes. Place the squash into a pot, adding enough water to cover the cubes. Boil for about 20 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.

Measure the squash, scraping flesh from the shell and squeezing out extra moisture, and place it into a blender. Add the remaining ingredients with the evaporated milk going in last. (If both cans of evaporated milk won’t fit, add one can, and blend until well mixed, move the mixture to a large bowl and mix in the last can of milk.)

Make your own crust, or purchase one from the store. To prevent spills in the oven, place your pie crusts on top of a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. The squash mixture is quite runny, so place the pie tins on the rack, and then pour the mixture into the tins. Carefully push the rack back into the oven. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees, baking for another 45 minutes. To check for doneness, pat the top of the pie with a butter knife. The pies are ready when the tops are mostly firm. Remove from the oven, letting them cool for about 10 minutes. Serve with whipped topping, and enjoy!

*One regular-sized banana squash will make anywhere from 4-6 pies. Premeasure the extra squash for future pies. It will keep for about 6 months.

This article was written by Marianne Clayburn, Duchesne County FCS Program Assistant

Original recipe contributed by Debbie Clayburn, Bridgeland, Duchesne County 2016

What’s App with That? 7 Apps to Help You Save Money and Eat Better

What's App.jpg
Have you used a food, grocery or coupon app? We’ve got the lowdown on of some of the top apps in these categories to help you decide whether or not they are worth a download.

Grocery and Coupons

FavadoThis app is pretty awesome. You start off by entering your zip code or allowing location access so that the app can search for stores near you. From there, you pick stores of your choice. You can either view the ads for those stores, or better yet, compare the prices for the stores you picked. For instance: I chose Smith’s, Winco, and Costco. I could compare their ads in their entirety, or search for a specific item like broccoli. Smith’s broccoli was $0.79 per pound, while WinCo broccoli was $0.98. By doing this with all my grocery list items I could see where to get the most bang for my buck. You can also add the items you searched for or saw in coupons to a list by store.

Walmart– This app has a great feature: Savings Catcher. You can scan your Walmart receipt and the app will search prices of competitors in the area for advertised deals on the items you purchased. If a lower advertised price is found, Walmart give you the difference on an eGift card. This app also lists the weekly ad and current prices in store. You can order non-grocery items from this app and pick them up at the store, and refill prescriptions from this app. To order groceries, use the Walmart Grocery app, where you are able to select non-perishable foods to be delivered to your front door or complete all of your shopping and have it hand delivered to your car in the parking lot.

*Note: other stores also have their own apps to help with grocery shopping lists, couponing, etc. Smith’s grocery store app allows you to add coupons directly to your Fresh Values card, which eliminates the hassle of cutting and turning in paper coupons. Target’s Cartwheel app allows you to scan items in the store to see if there is a coupon or sale in addition to weekly ad prices. Check to see if the stores at which you typically shop have apps, and then see what they have to offer.

Grocery IQ or Grocery Pal – The best feature on these apps is that you can scan a barcode or use a voice search to find coupons. When you scan a barcode or search for an item, coupons from stores around you will pop up, then you can add the coupons and items you want to your list. This could be handy if you are in a store and want to quickly check prices elsewhere.  You can also view the weekly ads for stores in your area.

Nutrition Tracking

MyNetDiary –  This easy-to-use app is a classic nutrition tracker. You enter your personal information and select if you want to gain, lose or maintain weight. The app then tells you how many calories you should eat each day to achieve your goal. It tracks the amount of the fat, carbs and protein in the foods you enter, and calculates your allowed amount remaining in each category for the day. Perhaps the best part is that you can enter in your own recipes. With many other nutrition trackers, there are preset meals to choose from. With this app, you can select the ingredients that actually made up your lunch for the day, and it will calculate the nutritional information. You can also log exercise, water intake and add personal notes in the app. Using an activity monitor like a Fitbit, you can also track your steps and how many calories burned in the app.

Nutrition Education

Eat and Move -0- Matic – This is a great nutrition education app for families and children, produced by the National 4-H Council. Its designed to be like a game and is geared toward children. Your children may not find it the most exciting game to play on their own, but it is a good educational app for you to go through with your children. The app teaches how food and exercise work together. For example, it would take 27 minutes of jumping rope to burn the calories contained in an 8 ounce glass of chocolate milk.  It has dozens of food and exercise selections to choose from and lists the calories for each food. This is great for helping parents understand how much physical activity their children should be doing for the food they are eating, and it can teach children that they need to exercise to stay healthy and balance what they eat with physical activity.

Recipes and Cooking

Cooking Matters – This app’s focus is healthy, affordable and delicious meals. While it doesn’t have as many recipes as Pinterest, the recipes this app does have are healthy, simple and look very appealing. Many of the recipes use few ingredients. It also lists the serving size of each recipe and has a nice conversion feature to tell you how many ounces are in a pound or how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, etc.

Do you use any of these apps? Are there any you love that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!

This article was written by Sarah Hepworth Warner, Food Sense nutrition program intern, Utah County, and Melanie Jewkes, Utah State University Extension associate professor, Salt Lake County

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


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!


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. 

Garden Tomato Salsa

Salsa Graphic

Did you know Live Well Utah sends out a weekly newsletter? Each week we feature a list of quick tips, a recipe and an article — all sent directly to your inbox! Today we’re sharing a salsa recipe from a recent newsletter. If you like what you see, sign up to receive the newsletter here.


Summer is drawing to an end, but gardens are in full-swing production this time of year. If you find your countertops overflowing with red, ripe tomatoes, try this fresh salsa recipe to put them to good use. Don’t have your own garden tomatoes? Check out our Farmers Market Roundup to find local produce near you!


Garden Tomato Salsa


* 4-5 medium or large tomatoes

* 1/2 red onion

* 1 jalapeno

* 1 medium avocado

* 1 can corn

* 1 can black beans

* 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

* juice of 2-3 limes

* salt to taste

 Finely dice tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and avocado, and add to a large bowl. Omit jalapeno ribs and seeds for milder salsa. Drain and rinse corn and beans, and add to bowl. Chop cilantro and add to bowl, along with lime juice and salt, to taste. Expert tip: use scissors to quickly snip up cilantro. Enjoy with chips, as a topping on chicken or fish, or on a southwestern-style salad.