Archive for January, 2015

power up your salad

Choose colorful vegetables and greens for a nutritious meal.  Lettuce and greens vary in levels of nutrients.  Although paler lettuces, such as iceberg, have some nutritional value, it’s best to choose the deeper, brighter ones – these contain the cancer-fighting antioxidants. Mix and match a variety of colors and textures, such as crunchy romaine tossed with soft, nutrient rich spinach leaves or peppery arugula leaves and add red leaf lettuce.   Spinach contains almost twice the amount of iron of most other greens and is an essential source of nitric oxide which helps dilate the arteries and deliver oxygen.  Arugula is rich in cancer fighting phytochemicals.

Add in tomatoes which are loaded with lycopene- great for your skin and bones.  Black beans, chickpeas or a hard-boiled egg all are good sources of lean protein.  Toss in carrots (great source of beta-carotene and Vitamin C) and artichokes, which aids in digestion.

Add fruits in season, mixed berries, oranges, apples or pears.  Toss with a healthy option salad dressing that is high in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fat.  Olive oil and vinegar may be a simple tasteful choice.

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

Reviewed by:  Cheryl Barber Spires RD, LD, SNAP-Ed Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension, West Region, spires.53@osu.edu






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oranges lemons limesWhat do the above fruits have in common?  Yes, they are a great source of vitamin C!  Most of us know this, but do we get enough?  Vitamin C is an antioxidant which helps the body to heal wounds and cuts.  Citrus fruits are also rich in flavonoids which have anticancer properties and may also help with cardiovascular and other diseases.  All fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C but the highest amounts are found in citrus fruits.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 90 mg for adult men and 75 mg for adult women.  A medium orange contains about 70 mg.

The orange tends to be the most popular of the citrus fruits.  And, my favorite this time of year.  You can keep oranges at room temperature for about a week.  Keep them in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks.  They are easy to take with you for lunch or a snack. Try some of these favorites:

Cara Cara Orange:  It is a navel oranges that looks like a regular orange on the outside but it has a pinkish color on the inside.  They are very sweet with a hint of a cranberry taste.

Blood Orange:  It is smaller than an orange with a red to maroon inside.  They have a strong orange flavor with a hint of raspberry.

Pomelo:  This type of orange looks like a grapefruit but taste sweet and is less acidic.  It has a thick yellow skin and is white to deep pink inside.

Add an orange each day to boost your consumption of fruits and vegetables.  They are high nutrient, low-calorie options for meals and snacks.

Author:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu.

Reviewed by:  Liz Smith, Program Specialist, Snap-Ed, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

Source:  National Institutes of Health, Medline Plus, Vitamin C, updated Jan 12, 2015.  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002404.htm

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Lentil Soup - 2What better way to comfort yourself on a chilly day than with the wonderful aroma of soup simmering on the stove?  From hearty vegetable soups to creamy bisques to refreshing chilled soups; soup can be used for appetizers, main dishes, side dishes or desserts and are an economic staple in many diets.

Soup-based meals can help stretch your food dollar while offering a hearty, nutritious, quick and easy meal option.  Soup can be a tasty way to add healthy beans, legumes, grains and vegetables to your diet and a convenient, yet inexpensive way to add protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

And after you’ve enjoyed your delicious “bowl of bountiful comfort,” take care to store leftovers properly. According to the United States Department of Agriculture it would take an 8-inch stock pot of steaming chicken soup 24 HOURS to cool to a safe temperature in your refrigerator.  To be safe:

  • Place the pot of soup into a sink full of ice water. Stir frequently – every 10 minutes to help disperse the heat.  Divide large amounts of hot leftover soup into shallow containers – less than 2 inches deep – for quick cooling in the refrigerator.  Once cooled, refrigerate promptly, covering when chilled.  Use within 2 days.
  • Freeze soup for longer storage. Leave ½-inch space at top of container.  Use within 2-3 months.
  • To reheat soup, heat to steaming hot throughout, at least 165 degrees F.

Here are a couple of my favorite soup recipes for you to enjoy!

Lentil and Brown Rice Soup

1 (2 oz.) envelope of Onion, Beefy Onion, or Beefy Mushroom Recipe Soup Mix

1 (14 ½ oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, un-drained and coarsely chopped

4 c. water

¾ c. lentils, rinsed and drained

½ c. uncooked brown rice or regular rice

1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped

1 large stalk of celery, coarsely chopped

½ tsp. basil leaves

½ tsp. oregano

¼ tsp. thyme leaves (optional)

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

¼ tsp. pepper

In large saucepan or stockpot, combine soup mix, water, lentils, uncooked rice, tomatoes, carrot, celery, basil, oregano and thyme.  Bring to a boil, then simmer covered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until lentils and rice are tender.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Makes about 3 – 2 c. servings.

Tired of getting your fingers burned when removing a piping hot bowl of soup from the microwave?  Learn how to make a microwave cozy.

Chilled Strawberry Soup

1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed

1 c. low-fat sour cream

2 T. cornstarch dissolved in ½ c. cold water

2 c. whole milk

2 to 4 T. strawberry liqueur

whipping cream for garnish

Boil strawberries in medium saucepan; stir in cornstarch mixture.  Stir and simmer for 3 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.  Whisk in sour cream, milk, and strawberry liqueur.  Cover and chill.


The Food Safety Educator, http://www.aamp.com/foodsafety/documents/FSE-Volume6- No2.pdf, Volume 6, No. 2, 2001, retrieved January 21, 2014.

Seven Simple Soups and Stews, Alice Henneman, MS, RD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.

Soup: What You Need to Know & Favorite Recipes, Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service.

Written by:  Cynthia R. Shuster, CFLE, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Reviewed by:  Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Erie County, Erie Basin EERA

Reviewed by:  Jennifer Lindimore, Office Associate, OSU Extension, Morgan County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Kimberly Barnhart, Office Associate, OSU Extension, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA

CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clients on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information: go.osu.edu/cfaesdiversity

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Diversity is a word you hear often – “we need more diversity in the workforce,” or “we live in a diverse community.” But what does this really mean? The Oxford Dictionaries Online states that some key words of diversity include difference, variety, and variable. Diversity refers to those human differences that make us unique and set up apart from others. Diversity can include differences in skin color, personality, language, and much more.

Any exploration of diversity should start by looking inward and examining our first judgments about others who are different from us. Exploring diversity in our world is a way to expand and help us see a fuller picture of those around us.

As we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 19, 2015, we need to ask ourselves “What am I actively doing to promote the courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that defined Dr. King’s spirit and energy?” “What am I doing to promote and encourage diversity?”

What quotes will inspire you?

Think about and practice quotes which will encourage you to promote diversity. In the words of M. Scott Peck, “Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.” Senator Edward Kennedy said “What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.” “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength,” according to Maya Angelou. Yuri Kochiyama knew what he was talking about when he said “Don’t become too narrow. Live fully. Meet all kinds of people. You’ll learn something from everyone. Follow what you feel in your heart.”

Did you know?

  • According to the Human Genome Project, people are more than 99.9 percent identical at the DNA level.
  • According to smartplanet.com, the top most diverse cities in 2011 were found in California followed by Washington, D.C., and New York City.
  • Youth with disabilities are among with poorest and most marginalized of the world’s young people. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates 98 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school, and 99 percent of girls with disabilities are illiterate.
  • The hunger relief organization Feeding America tells us that one in every six people in the United States is hungry every day.

What are some important questions to ask and discuss?

  • How do you define diversity?
  • How did you form your definition of diversity?
  • Why is diversity important to you and your future?
  • Why is it important to recognize the similarities and differences we have with others?
  • How have you actively show sensitivity to those with disabilities?
  • In what other ways do you think your life is different from someone your age but living in a different part of your community or United States?
  • How might you handle another person’s views on politics or a controversial topic that differs from your own?
  • What does equality mean to you?

Where can I find some resources on Diversity?

What’s one final thought about Diversity?

In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Remember, we can all keep that dream alive within ourselves, our families and our communities. Continue to dream because diversity is the source of our strength!

Written by: Janet Wasko Myers, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Ohio State University Extension, Madison County, myers.31@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu


Diversity: The Source of Our Strength, Ohio 4-H Project Book 372, The Ohio State University Extension, http://estore.osu-extension.org/ or available through your local OSU Extension office.



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Time to Coffee Makerclean your coffee maker? Using it each morning many of us forget to take the time to clean it. If you just heat water in it why do you have to clean it?

Mold and bacteria love a moist environment. Not drying it out between uses can cause growth. If there is still a little water or moisture in the coffee maker during the morning, bacteria can start to grow. In a study from the NSF International on coffee makers half of them had mold and yeast growing in their reservoirs. About ten percent had dangerous bacteria growing. In fact, some coffee makers had higher germ counts than bathroom door handles and toilet seats. If you think with a single-cup coffee maker you can avoid the problem think again. Any moist environment at room-temperature will allow bacteria to grow.

Cleaning Take out the white vinegar as it will help clean and “decalcify” or remove mineral buildup. You can get mineral buildup from regular tap water.

Pod-type or Single-use.

If you have a single-use or pod-type machine pour vinegar into the machine and run it through a few cycles. Then run water through a few cycles to avoid vinegar taste. You need to do this every month. This will also help to prevent any clogs in many nooks and crannies of the machine. Check your machine instruction book for what parts could be put in the dishwasher. YouTube has some videos on cleaning some machines. Make sure you use a clean drinking cup each time to avoid bacteria growth in your cup.

Classic Coffee Maker

If you have the classic coffee maker, pour half water and half vinegar into the brewing chamber and run through the machine until the chamber is half empty. Then stop the machine and let the mixture sit in the machine a half hour before finishing the brewing cycle. Use a paper filter in the brewing chamber. Fill the machine with water and a new paper filter and run through a cycle. Do this twice to avoid vinegar tasting coffee. Run this mixture through every month.

Daily you should make sure you clean your carafe with warm soapy water and soft scrubbie to remove any build-up in the carafe.  If it is dishwasher safe you can use the dishwasher. Clean the lid and filter basket daily, too. Leaving the brewing chamber open to air out or dry can help prevent some bacteria growth.

Cleaning will help your coffee taste better, as bacteria can add a bitter taste. Enjoy a safe cup of coffee or tea.

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

Reviewer: Cheryl Barber Spires, Program Specialist Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program Education, Ohio State University Extension


Cohen, S., {2014]. Are you drinking mold with your coffee? Available at http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/are-you-drinking-mold-with-your-coffee-120214.html

Strutner, S. [2014). Your coffee maker is full of mold. Here’s how to clean it. The Huffington Post, Available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/29/how-to-clean-coffee-maker_n_5861026.html

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Score a touchdown with friends and family tonight with this Buckeye Bean Soup!  Tonight we will cheer on our Ohio State Buckeye Football team in the first NCAA College Football National Championship in Dallas, Texas.baloon  This soup will make a healthy addition to tonight’s pregame meal.  Canned soups generally have 800-1000 mg of sodium per one cup serving. This soup has less than half that amount and is additionally high in fiber .Therefore Buckeye Bean soup is appropriate for people with diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, or high blood pressure.  Any type of beans can be used in place of pinto beans in this recipe. In addition, if your football fans prefer a creamier soup, the soup can be pureed in a food processor for a creamier consistency if desired. To save time, the vegetables can be chopped ahead and placed in a zip-top bag. The beans can be drained, rinsed and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator before using.

Finally, if you’re New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier, remember portion control with those peanut butter chocolate buckeyes tonight during the game! GO BUCKS  .. BEAT DUCKS!

Winning Buckeye Bean Soup

Makes approximately ten, one cup servings

130 calories per serving , 1 gram Fat, 6 grams Dietary Fiber, 6 Grams Protein


2 tsp. olive oil

1 cup each diced onions, red pepper and carrots

2 cloves garlic, minced (or ¼ tsp. garlic powder or 1 tsp. bottled pre-minced garlic)

1 tsp. each dried thyme, oregano and parsley

3 cups reduced-sodium broth (can be beef, chicken or vegetable)

1 cup tomato sauce

2 (19 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp. brown sugar

¼ tsp. black pepper


Measuring cups and spoons

Large saucepan or stockpot


Mixing spoon


DWDHeartyBeanSoup (1)


Step 1.  Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, red pepper, carrots, garlic, thyme, oregano and parsley. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.

Step 2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Writer: Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Wood County, Erie Basin EERA, Zies..1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Dan Remley, MSPH, PhD, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness, Remley.4@osu.edu

Recipe Source: Dining with Diabetes, WVUES 2000-present, original recipe Hearty Vegetable Bean Soup


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microbes1The study of bacteria has interested doctors and researchers for centuries. However, that interest was primarily focused on “bad” bacteria—pathogens that make us sick and cause disease. Over the last 20 years, there has been a tremendous increase in the study of “good” bacteria and its effect on our guts.

In 1990, approximately 125 studies were published on the topic of microbiome (a term used to reference the bacteria, viruses, and archaea that live on us and in us). In 2009, studies of microbiome numbered over 500. Why all this interest now? Hippocrates, considered to be the father of western (modern) medicine, said in 400 B.C that “death sits in the bowels.” We’ve long recognized the importance of the intestines in human health. But now we have state-of-the-art technology that allows us to actually study gastrointestinal microbiota.

Bacterial cells outnumber human cells 10-1. They colonize every surface of the body exposed to the external environment. They are on our skin, reproductive organs/urinary system, respiratory system, and gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The most colonized of the four is the GIT—your colon alone contains over 70% of all the bacteria in your body.

Where Do They Come From?

The only time you were “bacteria-free” was when you were in the womb. Bacterial colonization begins at childbirth. When a baby travels through the birth canal, it is exposed to microbes (bacteria) present in mom’s gut and vagina. If mom chooses to breastfeed, her milk provides another healthy dose of microbes. Both of those exposures are extremely protective to the child, as well as supportive of the establishment of a healthy immune system. Last, but not least, is exposure to microbes from the child’s environment; such as household dirt and bacteria from other family members, friends, and/or pets. It also includes exposure to bacteria from outside sources. By the time a child turns three, his or her microbiome is pretty well established.

Why Should We Care?

Establishing a healthy microbiome is important because:
• It supports your immune system,
• It helps protect you from disease,
• It helps detoxify your body,
• It affects how much you weigh.

An unbalanced microbiome may:
• Increase risk for inflammation
• Increase risk for chronic disease
• Increase risk for obesity, asthma, and allergies

How Can You Protect–and Increase–Your Gut Bugs?

1. Phase out the antibacterial products. Your home is not a surgical center. Continue to hand wash frequently to reduce risk for illness, but use regular soap and water (not antibacterial products). Family members don’t need to be wet-wiped every day.

2. Go outside. Open the windows of your house or office whenever possible. Fresh air and sunlight are nature’s natural antibiotics. They will protect you far more than keeping your house hermetically sealed and sanitized.

3. Eat less of the foods that kill off healthy bacteria. They include, but are not limited to, processed foods, sugar, saturated fat, and meat products that come from animals fed antibiotics.

4. Use antibiotics as little as possible. Antibiotics are great for killing bad bacteria, such as strep. However, when you use an antibiotic, you also kill off a lot of good bacteria in your gut. If an antibiotic is absolutely necessary, use it. Otherwise, let the illness (such as cold or flu) run its course.

5. Eat more probiotics. Yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, pickles, sourdough bread, and kimchi are some examples.

6. Eat more plant foods! Plant foods contain fiber, which gives your gut bacteria something to chew on, break down, digest and extract nutrients from (fermentation). Fermentation produces by-products such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). SCFA provide energy to your intestinal cells and help keep the lining of your colon healthy.

Growing a Body of Knowledge

Remember Pig Pen from the Charley Brown comic series? How about the John Travolta movie “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble?” Establishing a healthy “microbiome medium” lies somewhere between living in perpetual dust clouds and a germ-free bubble. In the next installment of Microbiome: the Mystery and Magic of Your Gut Bugs, we will look at the connection between obesity and your microbiome.

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

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792171/

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