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Posts Tagged ‘fruits and vegetables’

roasted-vegetablesWhen I was growing up, my mother served most of our vegetables hot and moist. That’s because we ate a lot of home-canned veggies. When you open up a Mason jar filled with garden produce, the vegetables are “pre-softened” from the liquid and the canning process.  So that was how we ate most vegetables.  As a consequence, I grew up disliking the taste of many of them.

As an adult, I have changed my status to vegetable “lover” by utilizing a different cooking method, which is roasting. Hallelujah! What a difference roasting makes to the taste and appearance of a vegetable (mothers out there—take note of this for your picky eaters).

Roasting is a little more time-consuming than boiling or microwaving a vegetable, but the extra minutes are worth the effort. Roasting vegetables in the oven caramelizes the outside of the veggie, giving it a sweet, but crispy, taste.

What Vegetables to Roast?

Root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots are the most common choices, with broccoli, cauliflower, squash, and brussels sprouts coming in a close second. But don’t be afraid to try other vegetables such as summer squash, peppers, green beans, asparagus, onions, or even tomatoes.

If you want, you can mix two or more veggies together. Just make sure they are compatible, time-wise.  For example, roast cauliflower with broccoli, or butternut squash with potatoes.

Roasting Pointers

First cut the vegetables down to bite-sized pieces, then toss with your favorite oil or seasoned oil mixture. Generally a tablespoon or two of oil will suffice, unless you have a large amount of veggies to roast. The oil helps the vegetables crisp up in the oven and adds a rich flavor.

I like to use olive oil when roasting vegetables, but any oil will work. Use a couple of large spoons to mix or just stick your (clean) hands into the bowl and combine until everything is evenly coated.

Spread the vegetables onto a baking sheet that’s been lightly coated with cooking spray. They need lots of space, so use two baking sheets if necessary. Crowding will make the vegetables steam instead of roast. Once the veggies are on the baking sheet, sprinkle with a little seasoning—salt, pepper, or other herbs. I like to use sea salt for extra crunch.

Roast Until You See Toast

Make sure the oven is good and hot before you put the vegetables in to roast. 425°F is ideal for roasting most vegetables–if the oven temperature is too low, the vegetables will overcook before they’ve had a chance to brown.

Roast your vegetables until they are tender enough to pierce with a fork. Don’t worry if you see charred bits. Those crispy brown bits are the best part of the vegetable!

General Roasting Times for Vegetables

Cooking times are for roasting vegetables at 425°F.

  • Root vegetables (beets, potatoes, carrots): 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how small you cut them
  • Winter squash (butternut squash, acorn squash): 20 to 60 minutes, depending on how small you cut them
  • Crucifers (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts): 15 to 25 minutes
  • Soft vegetables (zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers): 10 to 20 minutes
  • Thin vegetables (asparagus, green beans): 10 to 20 minutes
  • Onions: 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them
  • Tomatoes: 15 to 20 minutes

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-roast-any-vegetable-101221

http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-roast-vegetables/

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

Reviewed by: Melissa Welker, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County

 

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localfoods_weekcolor_2015

Why should we be aware?

  • Agriculture is Ohio’s number one industry contributing jobs for one in seven Ohioans, and more than $107 billion to the state’s economy. (ohioproud.org)
  • Ohio offers a unique proximity of metropolitan and micropolitan areas, linking rural and urban consumers, growers and communities to food produced on small, medium and large-scale family-owned farms.
  • Ohio ranks in the top ten states for direct sales to consumers represented by a wide variety of food products including but not limited to eggs, milk, cheese, honey, maple syrup, beverages, bread and other artisan products, fresh, frozen canned and dried vegetables, fruits and meats. (USDA Ag Census, 2012.)
  • One in six Ohioans is food insecure and lacks access to fresh, local, healthy food.
  • All Ohioans are part of the food system just by making daily decisions about what food to eat.

There is not one definition for “local” food. When making food decisions, many people consider where their food was grown or raised and make an effort to develop personal connections with growers and producers to enjoy flavorful, safe, local food. Ohio Local Foods week is not only about enjoying the tastes of local foods but is also about becoming more aware and better informed about the nutritional, economic, and social benefits of local foods in Ohio.

Even during wintertime, Ohio local food is available, whether it is fresh produce grown with season extenders or crops that can be held for long periods of time in cold/cool storage as well as baked, canned, frozen and dried foods. August is a great time to celebrate Ohio Local Foods Week because of the availability of direct-to-consumer marketing of all products including a wide variety of fresh produce.

The Ohio State University Extension Local Food Signature Program invites everyone to celebrate Ohio Local Foods Week from August 9th – 15th, 2015. We encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to grow, purchase, highlight and promote local food all the time but especially during this week. I personally have a CSA (community supported agriculture) share at a local farm that I pick up every Monday. I also try to shop at my local farmer’s markets or fruit and vegetable stands. I also enjoy freezing a lot of my local produce so I can enjoy it all year long. There is nothing better than homemade strawberry jam or a side of sweet corn in the middle of our long Ohio winters!

Just as there is no one definition for “local,” there is no one way to celebrate Ohio Local Foods Week. Even though I prepaid for my CSA, I still plan to spend more than $10 buying extra sweet corn and some blueberries at my Farmer’s Market this week. You are invited to participate in the $10 Ohio Local Foods Challenge by committing to spend at least ten dollars (or more) on your favorite local foods during Ohio Local Foods Week. Look for regional community events, follow the event on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up at http://go.osu.edu/olfw10dollars for the $10 Ohio Local Foods Challenge. Even though I prepaid for my CSA, I still plan to spend more than $10 buying extra sweet corn and some blueberries at my Farmer’s Market this week.

Chard

Not sure where to find local foods or interested in finding new places? Here are some ideas to get started. You can also find an online summary of food directories. You can also check out events throughout the state. Let us know how you are celebrating Ohio Local Foods Week. Share your pictures and stories with us on Facebook or Twitter. #olfw15.

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: Patrice Powers-Barker, CFLE, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Lucas County, Maumee Valley EERA, powers-barker,1@osu.edu

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The avocado is a fruit that is native to Mexico and Central America. Its scientific name is Persea americana. Avocados provide great health benefits and are easy to incorporate into your diet. If you’ve never tried one, now is the time to become acquainted with this awesome plant food.

The reason? Avocados are power packed with nutrition. Weighing in at about six ounces and 160 calories, they contain 15 grams of monounsaturated (healthy) fat and 2 grams of protein. One serving (about one/fifth of an avocado) contains only 3 grams of carbohydrate, 2 of which are fiber. According to Authority Nutrition, avocados also provide the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 20% of the RDA
  • Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 14% of the RDA. (That’s more than bananas!)
  • Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.
  • Small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).

Consumption of avocados has been linked with improved heart health and may be useful in weight loss. That’s because the main type of fat in avocados, oleic acid, helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Eating avocados may also lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as reduce the “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol. The fat in avocados helps people feel full, contributing to weight loss. In addition, the low sugar/high fiber content is helpful for those trying to lose weight. Just remember that even though avocados boast many health benefits, some people may need to avoid them if (1) they suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, or (2) are allergic to latex.

There are many types of avocado, but the most popular type is the Hass avocado with dark green bumpy skin. It’s named after the man who first grew and sold that type of avocado in California in 1926.

Avocados are easy to prepare and add to recipes. For detailed instructions on how to cut an avocado, check out Avocado Central. Once cut, they tend to turn brown, so try sprinkling a little lemon juice to help maintain the bright green color. The healthy fat in avocados provides a smooth, creamy texture that is delicious eaten plain or combined with other ingredients to make spreads and dips. The most popular dip, guacamole, can also be used as a garnish in Mexican recipes or on salads and sandwiches. See Avocado Central for recipe ideas and preparation tips.

So what are you waiting for? Begin now to discover the different ways an avocado can become part of your healthy diet!

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

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

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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.

 kalesmoothie

  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

Sources:

www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org

www.realsimple.com

www.foodhero.org

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The search for the Fountain of Youth dates back to at least the fifth century BC and unfortunately everyone from Herodotus of ancient Greece to Ponce de Leon of Spain has been unsuccessful in their ventures. While there may not be a flowing spring that promises long life, the secret to longevity might be in the plants growing all around us.

Recently the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine investigated over 70,000 people and found a 12% lower risk of mortality for vegetarians. Additionally, the University of Oxford found a 32% lower risk of hospitalization and death from heart disease among herbivores in a cohort of approximately 45,000 volunteers. Other studies have illustrated lower risks of cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases with adherence to a plant based diet. Clearing out your freezer of all animals may not be necessary, but we could all benefit from a few more plant based meals.

“No meat?? Where do you get your protein??”
chili
Animal flesh is the most protein dense food, but it is certainly not the only source of protein. And it’s not the cheapest either: 1 pound of black beans costs roughly $1.39 while boneless, skinless chicken breast clocks in at around $2.39/lb. The pound of beans will also yield far more than the pound of meat.

Food Protein
Beans/legumes 15 g/cup
Nuts 6 g/1 oz
Quinoa 11 g/cup
Soy milk 7 g/cup
Tofu 9 g/3oz
Seitan 18 g/3oz
Tempeh 18 g/3oz
Peanut butter 7 g/2 tbsp

Tofu, tempeh, and seitan are some of the most protein dense plant foods. They act as great meat substitutes, but also tend to frighten people who haven’t experienced them before. Tofu is essentially curdled soy milk (just like cheese, right?) while tempeh is cooked and fermented soybeans (we’ll save refuting the anti-soy argument for another blog). Wheat based seitan is created by removing all of the starch of wheat leaving only the gluten.

Tofu can be grilled, baked, or fried and used in salads, sandwiches, or stir-fries. Crumbling tempeh creates a ground meat type texture ideal for chili or Sloppy Joes. Seitan, commonly sold in cubes and strips, has a grainy texture similar to chicken or steak and is great in fajitas, stir-fries, or grilled on kabobs.

Feeling intimidated? Most likely.

But don’t be! Preparing these foods may be new, but it is no more difficult or time consuming than meat based dishes. Try this tofu lasagna, Chipotle Spiced Seitan Tacos, or my super easy Sloppy Joe recipe below in place of some meat based meals to add variety and possibly even a few years to your life!

8 oz tempeh

2 tbsp olive oil

1 green pepper, diced small

1 small onion, diced small

1 can Sloppy Joe sauce (my favorite is Manwich®)

Whole wheat buns, toasted

Break up tempeh into 4 pieces. Simmer in a pot for about 30 minutes*. While tempeh is simmering, prepare veggies. When there is 10 minutes left for the tempeh, heat 1 T of the oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add onion and pepper to skillet and sauté until softened, about 7-10 minutes. Drain tempeh and crumble into pan. Add the other 1 T of oil and sauté an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up chunks of tempeh. Reduce heat to low and add sauce. Stir until heated through. Serve over buns.

*This step produces a milder flavor of the tempeh, but it can be omitted if you want to save time.

References

  1. Orlich MJ, Singh PN, Sabaté J, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fan J, Knutsen S, Beeson WL, Fraser GE. Vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality in Adventist health study 2JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013 DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6473.
  1. Crowe FJ, Appleby PN, Travis RC, Key TJ. Risk of hospitalization or death from ischemic heart disease among British vegetarians and nonvegetarians: results from the EPIC-Oxford cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 March; 97: 604-611.

Recipes Taken from:

http://highimpactvegan.com

http://veggiebelly.com

Written By: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, FCS, Wood County and Ryan Leone,  Program Assistant, Wood County with IGNITE: Sparking Youth to Create Healthy Communities Project

Reviewed by: Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D. Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed,OSU Extension, West Region

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With a range of medications available to help the 50 million Americans suffering from arthritis many may not know that what you eat can influence your symptoms and alsoartritis hands how the disease progresses.

Rather than supplements in the form of pills, food with certain nutrients can help.

·         Vitamin C about the amount in two oranges (152 milligrams a day) has been found to reduce the progression of osteoarthritis.  Vitamin C plays a role in the formation of cartilage, collagen and proteoglycans.  It also is an antioxidant which helps limit the free-radical oxygen compounds that can damage cartilage.

·         Vitamin D was shown to cut the progression of arthritis.  Living in the northern attitudes especially in the winter, makes it difficult to get enough Vitamin D.  This is the one vitamin that you may need to  supplement.  Vitamin D not only plays a role in bone building it seems to affect the production of collagen.

·         Beta-carotene reduced the progression of arthritis when 9,000 IU were consumed daily.  This was not seen when people consumed 5,000 IU.  Most Americans only get 3,000 to 5,000 IU a day of beta-carotene.  However, you can easily increase your amount by using orange vegetables and fruits.  One medium sweet potato contains 21,909 IU.  fruits-vegetables

·         Vitamin E – In a study with people who had knee osteoarthritis those that consumed 6-11 milligrams of Vitamin E daily (from food) saw a 60% reduction in the progression of the disease over 10 years compared to  those getting 2-5 milligrams daily.  Due to the increased risk of lung cancer, smokers should not take extra Vitamin E or beta-carotene pills.

·         Vitamin K is being studied now.  So far, the study suggests that Vitamin K may slow the progression of osteoarthritis.  Good sources of Vitamin K are spinach, broccoli, leaf lettuce, kale, asparagus and olive, soybean and canola oils.

·         Omega-3 Fatty Acids suppress inflammation in the joint.  This is what causes so much stiffness and pain.  Eating two or more servings of fish (baked or broiled) per week reduced the chance of developing arthritis.   Other sources of omega-3 are flaxseed and nuts.  Canola, soybean and olive oil have some omega-3s.   Best to avoid omega-6 fatty acids found in safflower, sunflower, cottonseed and corn oils.  These are usually also in processed foods and fried foods, so limit your consumption of them.

·         Limit consumption of sugar.   More inflammation has been linked with higher sugar consumption.

· Drink more water         Drink Water.  Water  helps all around from moisturizing, giving support to joints, carrying nutrients and removing wastes from the body.  Some medicines used for arthritis also change your thirst level.  Be sure to drink plenty of water, preferably 8 cups or more a day of liquids.

Eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and protein along with oils rich in omega-3s.  Limit sweets and other fats and oils.  Eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains will increase your fiber intake which the Arthritis Foundation says may keep inflammation down.

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

Reviewer:  Elizabeth Smith, R.D., L.D. Northeast Region Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

References:

Tufts University, [2013]. Eating Right for Healthy Joints, Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter Special Supplement, June 2013.

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Spring is in the air. Mornings are becoming brighter, the sound of birds returning, and the trees are beginning to bud. Returning with the (sometimes) pleasant weather in  Ohio are the local farmer’s markets. There are many different farmer’s market here in Ohio. To find one near you follow this link http://www.ohioproud.org/searchmarkets.php .   Purchasing from these locations is obviously a great way to support the local economy, but it also can improve your diet quality.

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An article published in the January issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looked at the diets of college students and their views towards local, organic, sustainable, and non-processed foods (typically those you’d find at your local farmer’s market). Researchers found that those who held more positive views towards these types of foods and practices tended to have a better diet.

Of the 1201 students surveyed, about half placed a moderate to high importance on these types of foods and practices. These same students also ate more fruits, vegetables, and fiber. They also ate fewer calories from fat, less sugar, and fast food less frequently.

Because this study was limited to college students, it is unknown whether the same effects would be observed in other populations. Regardless of whether or not these findings apply to other groups, there are many benefits to supporting your local market.

If quality is of importance to you, the foods found at your local market are some of the highest quality you can find. If you prefer the freshest foods you can find, look no further than the farmer’s market. Travelling only a matter of several miles preserves freshness better than those which traversed the nation.

While you’ll save a great deal of money by shopping at farmer’s markets, you will also be supporting the local economy. But, most importantly, you may be doing yourself and you’re family a very large favor by improving everyone’s overall health. This spring and summer, peruse your local market for the best seasonal fruits and vegetables. Be sure to bring along your family and friends in order to spread the word about all the great qualities about local farmer’s markets!

Here is more information on finding local farmer’s markets.

http://www.northernohiotourism.com/farmers_markets.htm

http://wood.osu.edu/topics/agriculture-and-natural-resources/2010%20Brochure.pdf/view

http://www.ohioproud.org/markets.php

Ohio proud facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ohio-Proud/104588964752

Written by : Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences and Ryan Leone, dietetic intern with Wood County Extension FCS Program, currently pursuing these advanced degrees- Master Food and Nutrition Program, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Master of Education in Human Movement, Sports, and Leisure Studies, Focus in Kinesiology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Reviewed by Dan Remley, OSU Extension Field Specialist.

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