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Sweet Summer Corn

sweet corna

 

One of summer’s greatest pleasures is enjoying a fresh ear of sweet corn at a backyard barbecue.   We eagerly await the corn harvest, and now it’s here!  Fresh sweet corn is available in most communities throughout the month of August.

Corn is a nutrient-rich vegetable.  One ear of corn is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and potassium.  Corn is also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin; phyto-nutrients that are linked to a reduced risk for cataracts and macular degeneration.  Corn has about the same amount of calories as an apple, but with one-fourth less sugar.

To reap the full nutritional benefits of corn, cook no longer than 10 minutes in boiling water to minimize nutrient loss. While boiling is the primary way most of us prepare corn, grilling is a popular and tasty alternative. Other ways to enjoy this nutritious vegetable include mixing it into pasta dishes, corn bread, soups and/or salads.

For a different taste, try seasoning corn with lime juice instead of butter.  Or combine cooked corn kernels with chopped scallions, red pepper, hot pepper sauce and lime juice as a quick salsa for meat, poultry or fish.

So what are you waiting for?  In a few weeks corn season will be over. Make plans to visit your local farmer’s market to pick up some sweet corn this weekend!

Written by:  Beth Stefura M Ed, RD, LD, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Donna Green, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, green.308@osu.edu
Resources:  Summer Corn – More Than Delicious, Web MD

Everyone thinks the elderly are the most at risk for being scam victims.  We have young adultsstereotyped that the “less educated, less intelligent, elderly, lower income, and less financially secure” at the most at risk for a scam.  However, according to a survey by the Council of Better Business Bureaus found roughly 30 percent of those aged 25 to 34 were scam victims and only 10 percent of those age 55 and older were scammed.

One of the co-authors on the study thinks the elderly may be more savvy about scams than those under 35.  Why is that?  For one thing the elderly are usually less impulsive buyers than younger people and are less likely to purchase online, where more scams happen.

The Better Business Bureau recommends two things you can do to help yourself and others.  One is if you are a victim, report what happened and warn others.  This will help you feel empowered as you gain some control in the situation.  It will also help others.

The second thing to do is learn about the latest scams and methods villains are using to swindle people.     Knowledge of what scams and the scam methods could possibly help people froroad-sign-464653__180m being taken.

According to the Better Business Bureau the 10 Top Scams in 2015 were:

  1. Tax Scam – Someone claiming to be from the IRS calls you and says you owe back taxes.  They say you have to pay now in order not be arrested or face legal consequences.
  2. Tech Support Scam – Someone contacts you saying your computer has a security threat or a virus.  They claim they will fix it if you allow them to have control of your computer.
  3. Sweepstakes or Lottery Scam – They claim you have won a prize but you have to send money for delivery.
  4. Advance Fee Loan Scam – After completing a loan application online you are told you need to send a processing fee, security deposit or insurance to get the money (which doesn’t come).
  5. Fake Check Scam – You receive a check but it was more money than it should be. You are told to deposit it and wire the difference, but you end up with no money and sending money to them.     road-sign-464641__180 (1)
  6. Debt Collection Scam – Someone calls claiming you haven’t paid a debt and you could go to jail, if you don’t pay immediately. Crook often claims to be with the government or law enforcement.
  7. Credit Card Scam- Someone calls claiming they need to verify your account or a recent transaction. Don’t ever give them your account numbers and security codes over the phone.
  8. Home Improvement Scam – Someone offering to fix what is wrong demands payment before doing the work. You pay and then the person never does the work.
  9. Government Grant Scam – Receiving a call or letter that you have qualified for a government grant, you are asked to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card for a “processing” or “delivery” fee.
  10. Work-From-Home Scam – Completing an online job application for an alluring job, you are told you have to pay an advance fee for materials and information. They may take your money and/or steal your identity.

Check things out carefully before you get scammed!

 

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer:  Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension

References:

Connecticut News. (2016).  New Better Business Bureau Study Reveals Widespread Misconceptions About Those Most at Risk of Getting Scammed.  Available at http://www.bbb.org/connecticut/news-events/news-releases/2016/07/new-better-business-bureau-study-reveals-widespread-misconceptions-about-those-most-at-risk-of-getting-scammed/

Eisenberg, R. (2016). Surprise! Millennials More Likely to Be Scam Victims Than Boomers:  A BBB study bursts the myth of the duped little old lady.  Available at  http://www.nextavenue.org/surprise-millennials-likely-scam-victims-boomers/

Steinberg, J. (2016).  Warning! Millennials and Gen-Zers are More Vulnerable to Scams than Senior Citizens.  Inc.  Available at http://www.inc.com/joseph-steinberg/warning-millennials-and-gen-xers-are-more-vulnerable-to-scams-than-senior-citiz.html

 

 

What’s in Your Breakroom?

breakroomIs there a breakroom in your office or place of work? If so, how would you describe it? Is it warm and inviting? Large? Small? Bright? Dark? Think about the food that you see on the counter tops, if any at all. Does your breakroom support people who are striving to make healthy choices? Or, like mine, is it a place full of tempting but unhealthy food that you try to avoid?

Research suggests that taking short breaks during the work day can improve focus and increase productivity, but the breakroom may not be the best place to take a breather- depending on the foods that are available there. A breakroom full of sweet treats can quickly sabotage the best diet-related intentions. A breakroom free of unhealthy choices, on the other hand, can support physical health while also promoting socialization and collaboration amongst coworkers.

If the food environment in your breakroom is less than ideal, consider making or advocating for the following changes:

  • Make sure that drinking water and cups are freely available to all. Water may be 2015-09-24 18.41.07 (1)accessible via a water cooler, drinking fountain, or filtered pitcher that is kept in the fridge.
  • Provide access to a refrigerator and microwave so that coworkers can safely store and prepare healthy lunches from home.
  • Celebrate special occasions, such as birthdays, with fruit instead of cake.
  • Use a potluck sign-up sheet, such as those created by the Growing Healthy Kids Columbus Coalition, for office gatherings where food will be served.
  • Get rid of candy dishes. Replace with bowls of fruit, if desired.Fruit Basket
  • Create a healthy snack cabinet.
  • Establish a “no dumping” policy to discourage coworkers from bringing cakes, cookies or other desserts from home.
  • Encourage your director or CEO to sign a healthy meeting pledge to demonstrate your organization’s commitment to supporting a culture of health in the workplace.

If it seems daunting to advocate for these changes, take heart in knowing that a growing body of research supports improving the office food environment to support the health of employees. Healthy meeting resources from the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association may assist you in making these changes. Once you speak up, you may be surprised by the number of coworkers who favor such changes. A healthier workplace has benefits for all!

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

References:

American Cancer Society (2009). Meeting Well. http://www.acsworkplacesolutions.com/meetingwell.asp

American Heart Association (2015). Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage toolkit. http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@fc/documents/downloadable/ucm_465693.pdf

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011). Brief Diversions Vastly Improve Focus, Researchers Find. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208131529.htm

 

parsleyWhen you go out to eat and are served a meal with a nice sprig of parsley, do you eat it or throw it away? Parsley is commonly used by restaurants to add a splash of green to the dinner plate. Just in case you didn’t know, it’s edible.  And healthy.

Parsley has a long history of being used as a medicine–thousands of years to be exact. However, it has only been used as a seasoning since the Middle Ages.  Some of its earliest uses were to help ‘fasten your teeth’ (people had spongy gums from scurvy and parsley contains vitamin C), enhance eyesight, and regulate menstrual periods.  Nowadays, we have the research and equipment to analyze the health properties of foods; and darn, if those ancients weren’t right on the money.

Parsley has three times as much vitamin C as oranges, which classifies it as an excellent source. It also contains volatile oils that have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animals, particularly in the lungs. The oils are most effective at inhibiting the carcinogens from cigarette smoke and grilling (the black, charred stuff we get on our food when it burns on the grill). The combination of those two items alone makes parsley worth a chew at the end of your meal.

Parsley is a good source of chlorophyll. If you eat it after a meal, it will cleanse your breath.  Eat too much garlic?  Finish off the meal with your parsley garnish and you will be good to go. Parsley can be used as a diuretic and is helpful in reducing the risk for kidney stones.  Eating the stems and leaves of parsley on a regular basis may potentially save you the agony of developing and passing kidney stones.

Parsley is easy to grow (as are most herbs). You can grow it in your garden or in a flower pot.  Parsley is a biennial, which means it takes two years to complete its lifecycle. Most people plant it in April or May to get the largest amount of parsley, but you can even plant it in July, which will give you a late fall crop.

Fresh picked parsley should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Wash right before using, as it is very fragile.

“Parsley Potatoes” is an easy recipe to make; just boil red-skin potatoes until tender and then toss them in melted butter with finely chopped parsley.  It is also good thrown into a tossed salad, or sprinkled over fish, soup, and stew. It only takes two tablespoons to provide health benefits, so eat your garnish!  Or better yet, grow some in your garden and extend the benefits to everyday dining.

Written by: Donna Green, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

Reviewed by: Beth Stefura, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-792-parsley.aspx?activeingredientid=792&activeingredientname=parsley

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/vegetables/growing-parsley/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284490.php

 

 

 

 

grocery

Do you have a plan when you make a trip to the grocery store?  You can save time and money by planning ahead before you head off on your trip.

  • Plan your meals using a worksheet such as, Create a Grocery Game Plan. This will help you make decisions about what you need to buy.
  • Go through your cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer to see what items you already have that can be incorporated into your meals.
  • Consider your schedule for the week……choose meals that are easy to prepare on busier days and save recipes for days when you have more time
  • Make a list of recipes you would like to try. Need help finding new ideas?  Try What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl for healthy, low-cost recipes using items you already have on hand.

Now that you know what you will be cooking each week, use your list of weekly meals to create a list of foods and drinks you need to buy.  Be sure to include fruits, vegetables, and milk even though they may not be part of any of the recipes you have planned for the week.

Time to make your list:

  • You can use scrap paper or the back of an envelope.
  • Type your list on a computer
  • Type your list in the “notes” section of your smartphonegrocery 2
  • Download a free mobile app for grocery lists
  • Use this template to make your list

Once your meals are planned and your list made, here are a few tips to help you get the most for your dollar.

  • Read the sale flyer(s) for the stores you plan to visit to see what is on sale from your grocery list. You can find sale info at the store’s entrance, in the newspaper, and on the store’s website.
  • Use coupons for as many items on your list as you can. They can be found as inserts in newspapers each week, you can download coupons from the internet, and your grocery store most likely has digital coupons on their website that can help you save even more.
  • Look for store brands that typically cost less than name brands.
  • Ask for a rain check if the store is out of a sale item. This is usually done at the customer service desk located in the front of the store. A rain check lets you pick up the item once they are back in stock.
  • Sign-up for your store’s customer loyalty program. This free program offers discounts and rewards to members.

Sources:

Pixabay.com

United States Department of Agriculture, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/sites/default/files/budget/grocery_list_interactive.pdf

United States Department of Agriculture, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/sites/default/files/budget/grocery_gameplan_interactive.pdf

United States Department of Agriculture, http://www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/

 

Writer: Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County, jones.5640@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Choose Your Cherries!

cherries

Did you know that tart (sour) cherries have powerful secret nutrients? Studies have found that the antioxidants in tart cherries are highest at peak ripeness, so consuming them when they are fully ripe will offer the most health benefits. Both fresh tart cherries and cherry juice concentrate contain compounds called anthocyanins that provide the following health benefits:

 

  • Arthritis pain relief
  • Lower risk of stroke.
  • Protection for people with existing gout from recurrent attacks.
  • Lowered risk for inflammation
  • Beneficial metabolic affects such as decreasing fat, sugar, and insulin levels in the blood
  • Melatonin in tart cherries promotes better sleep
  • Helps reduce free radicals in the body, possibly reducing the risk of some cancers and Alzheimer’s disease

Everyone should try to eat more fruits and vegetables; adding tart cherries (or the concentrate) can easily add an extra serving of fruit to your meal plan each day!

Ohioans are fortunate to be able to enjoy many different types of locally produced foods (including cherries). Ohio State University Extension is providing the opportunity for people to celebrate that fact during the second annual Ohio Local Foods Week, Aug. 7-13.

“We are blessed here in Ohio with an abundance of locally grown and produced items,” said Heather Neikirk, OSU Extension educator and co-leader of Extension’s Local Foods Signature Program. So celebrate local foods week with us and get started today!

Written by: Marie Diniaco Economos, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Trumbull County, Western Reserve EERA, economos.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Donna Green. Ohio State University Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Erie County, Erie Basin EERA, green.308@osu.edu

Resources:

http://localfoods.osu.edu/maximizenutrients.

www.anthocynin.com

www.choosecherries.com

 

 

 

raspberry-995344_640

Did you know that today is National Raspberry Cream Pie Day?  Raspberries are abundant at this time of year.  Raspberries- like many other fruits- are an excellent source of Vitamin C, manganese and fiber. They also contain the phytonutrient ellagic acid, a potential anti-cancer agent.   They are an excellent source of soluble fiber and may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Raspberries also provide a slow release of carbohydrates into the blood stream.  This fruit is very low in calories, providing just 64 calories per cup serving. Raspberries also provide 8 grams of fiber and 54% of the daily need for Vitamin C.

If you are looking for raspberries on this eventful day you may be surprised to find that a variety of colors from red to black to purple to yellow are all available. Raspberries should be bright, shiny, and uniform in color. Avoid ones that are dull and appear to have surface moisture, as moisture promotes decay.  Handle this produce very gently to avoid bruising. Bruising shortens the life of the fruit and contributes to low quality. Berries are highly perishable; therefore, store fresh raspberries uncovered in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Gently rinse berries in cold water prior to use.  Never soak berries in water.  Be aware that raspberry shelf life is short so only buy what you can use. Plan to eat your berries within one to two days after purchase.

Try this quick and easy Raspberry Cream Pie Recipe:raspberry-925190_640

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 pints fresh raspberries
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared reduced fat graham cracker pie crust

Directions

  1. Whisk sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice together in a bowl; gently fold 1 pint of raspberries.
  2. Spread filling evenly within the crust.
  3. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.
  4. Top pie with remaining fresh raspberries when ready to serve and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from allrecipes http://allrecipes.com/recipe/229009/fresh-red-raspberry-cream-pie/print/?recipeType=Recipe&servings=16

 

Not enough time to make a pie today? Try these quick and easy ways to add raspberries to your National Raspberry Cream Pie Day:

  • Add fresh raspberries to hot and cold cereals
  • Top nonfat yogurt with fresh raspberries and some granola for a great breakfast, snack or dessert.
  • Combine raspberries into a fresh lettuce salad and top with a low fat vinaigrette dressing
  • Lastly, just enjoy fresh berries as a snack. They are delicious, sweet and juicy!

WRITTEN BY: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County and Marcia Jess, Program Coordinator, Wood County.

REVIEWED BY: Shawna Hite, Healthy People Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension, Family & Consumer Sciences

Sources:

http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/HYG-5511

http://extension.illinois.edu/raspberries/

http://www.msuextension.org/nutrition/documents/RaspberryFFS.pdf

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