Posts Tagged ‘antioxidants’

Drinking a smoothie is an easy way to sneak in a serving or two of fruits and veggies towards your daily goal. A smoothie is great for breakfast, on the go meal, or a snack. Here’s how to blend a fruit- and veggie-packed smoothie that’s nutritious, satisfying and energizing.


  1. Choose a Base Start with a liquid base such as low-fat milk, soymilk, or nonfat Greek yogurt that delivers protein, vitamins, and minerals with a sensible amount of calories. If using juice, choose 100% grape, orange, apple, or cranberry varieties and try adding just a splash of it to a milk base so you don’t miss out on the protein. Remember juice adds extra sugar and calories so watch portion sizes.
  2. Add Fruit When adding fruit, most fresh, frozen and canned fruits shine in smoothies. For calorie control and to cap added sugar, choose plain, unsweetened frozen fruit and drain canned fruit packed in water or light syrup to reduce excess sugar. Slicing bananas and freezing them works really well.
  3. Yes…you can add veggies! Even vegetables can be added to smoothies. Just remember to use mild-tasting veggies so their flavor doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. If using a standard blender, you may need to chop them very finely or add a little water to help the blending process. Cucumbers, spinach, kale, and beets are popular options.
  4. Nutrient Boosters Super-charge your smoothie with flavorful and nutrient-packed blend-ins such as flaxseed, chia seeds, quick oats, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger), unsweetened cocoa powder, or powdered peanut butter.
  5. Less is More Remember to keep smoothie ingredients simple and take a ‘less is more’ approach. The more ingredients in a smoothie, the more calories it contains.

Kale Smoothie with Pineapple and Banana

1/2 cup coconut milk, skim milk, soymilk, nonfat Greek yogurt, or almond milk

2 cups stemmed and chopped kale or spinach

1 1/2 cups chopped pineapple (about 1/4 medium pineapple)

1 ripe banana, chopped

Water for desired consistency

  1. Combine the coconut milk, ½ cup water, the kale, pineapple, and banana in a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute, adding more water to reach the desired consistency.
  2. You can add a few almonds for extra protein if you would like!

For a great beet smoothie click here https://foodhero.org/recipes/un-beet-able-berry-smoothie.

Written by:  Melissa Welker M.Ed., B.S., Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County, Maumee Valley EERA, welker.87@osu.edu

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





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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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Berries and Fiber

Breakfast Cereal 3Berries have a high level of antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules found in food which may help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. Many people are aware of this and consume more berries because of this. But, did you know that berries are also high in fiber?

Check out the fiber values in berries:

Food Portion/Amount of Fiber
Raspberries, raw 1 cup 8 g
Blueberries, raw 1 cup 4 g
Currants (red and white), raw 1 cup 5 g
Strawberries, raw 1 cup 3 g
Boysenberries, frozen 1 cup 7 g
Gooseberries, raw 1 cup 6 g
Loganberries, frozen 1 cup 8 g
Elderberries, raw 1 cup 10 g
Blackberries, raw 1 cup 8 g

Preserve berries so you will have them to eat all year long. They can be canned, frozen or dried. Use them on your breakfast cereal, yogurt or in salads.

Try this recipe:

berries farm to health










Link to recipe card: http://localfoods.osu.edu/sites/d6-localfoods.web/files/Berries_0.pdf

Palmer, Sharon (2008). The top fiber-rich foods list, Today’s Dietician, vol 10, no 7, p 28.  http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/063008p28.shtml

The Ohio State University, Maximize your nutrients from : Berries, Farm to Health Series, localfoods.osu.edu/maximizenutrients

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

Reviewed by:: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, Ohio State University Extension, treber.1@osu.edu

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Driving down a country road every roadside market is selling pumpkins this time of year.  Is the goal to find the biggest, roundest pumpkin?  It depends on its purpose.  If you are looking for a pumpkin to decorate – you probably do want one that is big and round.  But, if you are choosing one to cook then you want a smaller, heavier pumpkin.

Pumpkin contains antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, and some B vitamins, iron, calcium and fiber.  It is a great way to obtain your daily vegetable requirements. They can be baked, boiled, steamed or pressure cooked.  1 pound of pumpkin yields about 1 cup of cooked pumpkin.

  • Start by washing the pumpkin thoroughly with cold water.  Do not use soap, dish detergent or bleach when washing since these household products are not approved for human consumption.
  • To bake:  cut in half or pieces, remove seeds and stringy parts.  Place cut side down in a baking dish, add 1/4 inch of water and bake until tender.
  • To boil:  cut in half or pieces, remove seeds and stringy parts.  Cook in salted water, scrape out shell and use as a puree in pies, breads, or casseroles.
  • For longer storage, extra pumpkin can be frozen.

Don’t waste the seeds you cleaned out of the pumpkin, roast them.  A  one-ounce serving has 163 calories and almost 8 g of protein.  Try this recipe from the University of Illinois Extension.


  • 1 quart water
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil or melted, unsalted butter
    1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
    2. Pick through seeds and remove any cut seeds. Remove as much of the stringy fibers as possible.
    3. Bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the seeds and boil for 10 minutes. Drain, spread on kitchen towel or paper towel and pat dry.
    4. Place the seeds in a bowl and toss with oil or melted butter.
    5. Spread evenly on a large cookie sheet or roasting pan.
    6. Place pan in a preheated oven and roast the seeds for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir about every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.
    7. Cool the seeds, then shell and eat or pack in air-tight containers or zip closure bags and refrigerate until ready to eat

On a nice fall day traveling through the countryside, choose a couple of pumpkins, a big, round one for decoration and a small, heavy one for cooking and eating.

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

Reviewed by:  Elizabeth Smith, NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension.

Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.


Ohio State University Extension Ohioline, Selection, Storing and Serving Ohio Squash and Pumpkin. http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/pdf/5530.pdf

USDA ARS NAL Nutrient Data Laboratory http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/list

University of Illinois Extension, Pumpkins and More. http://urbanext.illinois.edu/pumpkins/seed.cfm

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